Romanian Hall Effect keybord and other stuff

User avatar
gogusrl

31 Oct 2014, 23:04

A guy that sold me a Model M a few months ago, got in contact to tell me that he found another 6 keyboards that he was ready to sell them to me after he gets them from his parents. Fast forward a month or so he's finally ready and tonight I received a big package.

I was supposed to buy 6 but he sent me 7 keyboards. Sorry for the rushed crappy pics but I was too excited about this find to hold on until I can get better ones. I do promise to replace them next week with some decent shots.

Keyboard 1 : Junior XT Hall Effect Keyboard

The most interesting by far this keyboard made in Romania by http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/FEPER. It seems to use a 8086 cpu clone and here's the datasheet of the soviet eprom.
Spoiler:
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Keyboard 2 : Junior XT

The second Junior XT, made in Romania but it looks to be just a Mitsumi clone. Will open it up tomorrow.
Spoiler:
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Keyboard 3 : Bunker Ramo

No clue what this switch is and I didn't have to time to investigate further (or take a pic of the full keyboard it seems but it's an ibm terminal clone).
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Keyboard 4 : Unitek with Mitsumi Microswitches
Again I'm missing photos of the full keyboard (keys look like very very yellowed dyesubs and are currently soaking). There's a red escape that looks like a black double shot on the inside (if that doesn't make any sense, just look at the pics).
Spoiler:
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Keyboard 5 : vdt 52 r

No backlabel.
Spoiler:
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Keyboard 6 : Vendex

This one has white linear space invaders (one of the switches I've been dieing to try) and they're just as smooth as they say. This is going to be the first board I'm going to look to actually using.
Spoiler:
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Keyboard 7 : IBM Model M terminal 1390714

Google doesn't return anything relevant (beside my preemptive bragging on geekhack about what I found).
Spoiler:
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Last edited by gogusrl on 03 Nov 2014, 23:03, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

31 Oct 2014, 23:16

Nice Romanian haul!

#4 isn't Cherry M8, it's Mitsumi:

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Tell me how you like them! I've heard varied reports, and Cindy has a board of the yellow MX mount kind like yours.

#1 is definitely interesting. I love those Eurostile legends:

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Euro.png
Euro.png (123.77 KiB) Viewed 2733 times
On second look, the @ and $ etc. are too round for Eurostile. But it's close.

Linear space invaders, eh? Another I've got to try.

User avatar
gogusrl

31 Oct 2014, 23:25

I like how they feel but while all of them are tactile, only some of them click. I'll take one apart to see if I can add some information to the wiki. They feel more like Cherry ML(but smoother) rather than MX (but I never touched a brown/clear so far, only blue) so I'd call them highly tactile. The peach one in the spacebar is linear and doesn't click.


Forgot to add, the Hall Effect Junior XT has by far the heaviest switches I've seen. They're a lot harder to press down than the Linear Gray in my space bar (I'd say at least 120g). Going to try to remember to test this tomorrow after work.

User avatar
Nuum

31 Oct 2014, 23:27

Number 3 has ITW magnetic valve switches. number 5 seems to have some kind of Stackpole/Hi Tek switch but in black instead of white/clear.
Last edited by Nuum on 31 Oct 2014, 23:34, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

31 Oct 2014, 23:30

Every board has something different! Nice.

User avatar
002
Topre Enthusiast

31 Oct 2014, 23:32

What are the switches on that 'vdt'?
They look a little bit like Stackpole or Hi-tek but I can't see any contact leaves inside and the surrounding housing/skirting is different.

User avatar
gogusrl

31 Oct 2014, 23:40

Looking at the wiki I think it's a Hi-tek switch just like this one : http://www.flickr.com/photos/triplehaat ... 5403683621

edit :

Just realized I have the pics he sent me so here's 6 of the 7 boards with all the keycaps & stuff.
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User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

01 Nov 2014, 00:12

gogusrl wrote: [The Mitsumi switches] feel more like Cherry ML(but smoother) … The peach one in the spacebar is linear and doesn't click.
That's my experience with the loose switches I've got: they're like ML with deep travel (ML is 3 mm, the mini Mitsumis are a surprisingly deep 4.3 to 4.5 mm travel). My mini Mitsumis have a "stretched" tactile peak, more like Topre than anything. It's also the first time I've seen a different one used for space bar, implying that the peach switch is heavier than the yellow ones. The yellow ones don't click that I know of, and only the Japanese seem to know how to get them apart without destroying them.

Those Hi-Tek-like switches are really weird. Definitely need to get that apart and scrutinise it for any indications of manufacture, including the underside of the space bar (where Stackpole have been known to mould their name). That clip-together design is really strange. I am suspecting that it's a copy, considering you're in Romania.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

01 Nov 2014, 13:50

I wonder… a custom built with Mitsumis. They've got the MX cap compatibility that I need. And if I got a fullsize board of them, there ought to be enough still in good shape for a compact.

Depends more than anything if I like the feel. We need a tour or tester!

User avatar
Nuum

01 Nov 2014, 14:02

The problem is, that these Mitsumi switches are not easily sourceable, but I like the idea of a custom keyboard with them. They are much smaller than Cherry MX as far as I can see, so you could even use smaller keycaps for something like the F-keys.
@Daniel: You got your bag of Mitsumi switches from Devlin, right? Where these the only ones left?

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Daniel Beardsmore

01 Nov 2014, 15:02

I've sent Nick an e-mail to ask if there are any more Mitsumi switches left.

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Muirium
µ

01 Nov 2014, 15:07

Thanks. Could be most informative.

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Nuum

01 Nov 2014, 15:27

That would be awesome, thanks for asking! I'd like to try these out.

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Daniel Beardsmore

01 Nov 2014, 19:05

My bag of 20 was it (old stock from way back when Devlin used them in production).

I have 18 good ones left (I broke two trying to get them apart), so I'll have to split them between the people who want them (and keep a few back).

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Muirium
µ

01 Nov 2014, 19:16

That'd be great! I only need to try a few, thanks.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

01 Nov 2014, 19:23

some rare keyboards you got there gogusrl, very impressive stuff.

User avatar
gogusrl

01 Nov 2014, 19:26

Decided to clean up the space invaders first because I really want to try it out. Man, getting those caps out is a bitch. Managed to pull 2 switches and lost a spring for like 30 mins (I've already given up on it but somehow managed to step on it and feel it).

I gave some feedback to the guy and he came back with 2 more keyboards/computers and will send me tomorrow pics of 2 electric typewriters (one ibm, one unknown).

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As for the Mitsumi switches, I'm really not impressed. Not sure if I should spread them around so everyone can check it out or give them to one member to make a keyboard.

edit : also got an Alps clone with some very nice doubleshots. Pics tomorrow.

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

01 Nov 2014, 19:31

What's wrong with the Mitsumi ones?

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gogusrl

01 Nov 2014, 19:36

I posted yesterday a quick review. TLDR not all of them click and they feel like Cherry ML but smoother. I'll try to make a video.

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Daniel Beardsmore

01 Nov 2014, 19:39

What makes you think they're supposed to click? Mine don't click (I've taken the apart and there is no clicker) — the clicky ones are very rare and no-one has ever seen what makes them click. Certainly no-one's ever suggested that the yellow ones are supposed to click.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

01 Nov 2014, 19:53

Sometimes a broken switch can click. I found that out with an Apple Adjustable Keyboard. Mine has a switch on the join with a fractured top shell. The slider wobbles around a bit, and often clicks; despite none of the switches being clicky. It's pretty obvious it's broken, though.

User avatar
gogusrl

01 Nov 2014, 19:59

And yet, some of mine click.

Here's a quick audio recording of them. I tried to take a video with my phone but it seems I have a really shitty phone because you couldn't hear the click over the background noise.
Attachments
Untitled.zip
(203 KiB) Downloaded 65 times
Untitled.rar
couldn't just attach the .wma
(203.11 KiB) Downloaded 50 times
Last edited by gogusrl on 01 Nov 2014, 21:35, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

01 Nov 2014, 21:32

Public Service Announcement: a lot of people DO NOT have a program that opens RAR files! Do not create RAR files. Use zip. It's supported by most if not every major operating system on the planet. (Other formats are acceptable if you are specifically targeting a single operating system, e.g. .tgz for Linux)

(In my case, I can open RAR files, but most people can't. Stop sending people files they can't open.)

The recording is inconclusive but it doesn't sound clicky to me. The switch works by stretching a horizontal spring over a nub, and the sound may just be the result of the spring scraping past plastic. They're a bit scratchy by design. Even black Alps switches can click a bit, but it's not intentional.

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gogusrl

01 Nov 2014, 21:35

I'll try to get a better recording and zip it up.

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Laser
emacs -nw

02 Nov 2014, 00:09

Cool stuff! :)

@Daniel B.

While i don't care for RAR programs, note that most of archivers/extractors, in any OS, should support extracting RAR files, because the source code for the extract component is available (unlike the one to create archives).
So, while few people can rar, most people can unrar.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

02 Nov 2014, 00:27

OS X doesn't support .rar files, out of the box. I use The Unarchiver, which is an ideal little multiformat extractor as its name suggests. But I still don't like .rar files. Just not quite as much as I dislike wma files, I admit! The open implementation has a memory leak which scales linearly, and is really noticeable on multi gigabyte files.

DT has weird allowed attachment file format rules that I've bumped into before. Can't remember if .zip is allowed, but .jpeg isn't (annoying when one camera saves to those instead of the functionally identical .jpg).

So yeah, .mp3!

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

02 Nov 2014, 01:51

Laser wrote: While i don't care for RAR programs, note that most of archivers/extractors, in any OS, should support extracting RAR files …
Not really. RAR is pretty useless and the only reason to ever implement it in the OS is to deal with all the idiots who keep creating RAR files when they know it's not implemented in any OS. (Same with people who send OpenOffice files as if, somehow, the recipient's going to have OpenOffice, which they invariably won't.)

I used RAR back in MS-DOS days when it shaved off a few bytes over zip, but it certainly wasn't a huge improvement over zip, not like with bzip2 and LZMA.

What's funny is everyone who has WinRAR installed in Windows XP upwards (which have native zip support). It's not like WinRAR's UI is any good. As far as I'm concerned, the only thing an unarchiver should do is just extract immediately on double-click, wrapping up the contents in a folder if there's more than one item at the root. That's what StuffIt Expander did, but the Windows version was horrendously buggy (frequently choking to death on archives) and then they removed the automatic expand behaviour completely.

andrewjoy

02 Nov 2014, 11:30

what pisses me off is when something is ziped and then you open the zip and its then in rar part files as well . whats the point ?

oh and people sending stuff open open office format is nowhere near as bad as sending it in Microsoft doc format i mean what if you don't run windows or mac ? or what hapens if you need to open it in 10 years and microsoft no longer support the old format ?

People should send documents in pdf format

User avatar
002
Topre Enthusiast

02 Nov 2014, 11:34

andrewjoy wrote: what pisses me off is when something is ziped and then you open the zip and its then in rar part files as well . whats the point ?
Don't you know, man? If you keep putting compressed files into compressed files, you'll eventually have a 0kb file!

User avatar
Laser
emacs -nw

02 Nov 2014, 12:45

Daniel Beardsmore wrote:
Laser wrote: While i don't care for RAR programs, note that most of archivers/extractors, in any OS, should support extracting RAR files …
Not really. RAR is pretty useless and the only reason to ever implement it in the OS is to deal with all the idiots who keep creating RAR files when they know it's not implemented in any OS. (Same with people who send OpenOffice files as if, somehow, the recipient's going to have OpenOffice, which they invariably won't.)
"should" here was to be understood as in "are able to".
The fact is, most extractors with GUI know how to extract rar, even if they don't know to create a rar file.
Thus, the comparation with OpenOffice format is flawed.

I don't use rar myself at all, but IMHO you are coming too hard on seeing a rar file (it wasn't the tone of an advice). People will use what they are used to use, even if better solutions appear, as there are other, much more important things in life to spend time or argue about.

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