Alps Bigfoot

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Template icon--Illustration.png This article requires additional photographic illustration — could do with some additional angles, to more clearly illustrate the character of the design
Alps Bigfoot
Branding Various
Manufacturer Alps Electric
Layouts Various
Keyswitches Alps SKCL/SKCM series
Interface Various

Alps Bigfoot (also BigFoot and Big Foot) is a nickname given to the former Alps standard OEM keyboard platform.

History

Alps "Bigfoot" keyboards were sold to a large number of customers; in Japan, they are best known for their use in AX systems, and in the West they are best known in the guise of the original Dell AT101. The "Bigfoot" name has also become associated with the Alps SKCL/SKCM series switches used in these keyboards.

The Packard Bell KCLEA907L has a case of the same design, but the switch layout is based on the IBM Model F AT, instead of the IBM Model M.[1] This smaller design is not covered by the "Bigfoot" moniker.

Later Dell AT101 keyboards, as well as at the AT101W and AT102W, were made by Silitek, with an identical design to the Alps-made keyboards; it is not known whether this transfer of manufacturing was amicable, or whether it was arranged without the participation and approval of Alps Electric.

Identity

In the 1994 Alps catalogue, Bigfoot keyboards were listed as models KFCMEA and KFCLEA. The model numbers suggest separate product ranges for linear (SKCL) and tactile and clicky (SKCM) switches. "KFCLEA" has an extra 'F' compared to the "KCLEA907L" Packard Bell model. The non-Bigfoot Panasonic Business Partner 286 keyboard has assembly number KFCMEA015A, which suggests that "KFCLEA" and "KFCMEA" refer simply to SKCL/SKCM series switches and do not denote any specific keyboard arrangement.

Rear labels do not use KF codes. Generic OEM labels as found on Dell and Toshiba keyboards refer to these keyboards as models "101"[2] and "102"[3] and as "AT101" (and presumably AT102) from family "AT101-102".[2] "101" and "AT101" appear in the Alps Electric USA FCC IDs of GYI3PVAT101 and GYIAT101-102 (keyboards made in the US and Ireland). Whether this has any bearing on Alps Electric in Japan is not known.

Examples

Keyboard Switches Years
Early Dell AT101 series Alps SKCM Salmon
Sharp Personal Workstation Keyboard[4] Alps SKCL Yellow, Alps SKCL Green
Sharp UE-1K02 AX Keyboard[4] Alps SKCL Yellow
Mitsubishi M-6905-1 AX キーボード[4] Alps SKCL Yellow
Mitsubishi M-6905-1N AX キーボード[4] Alps SKCL Yellow
HP C-1414 AX keyboard[4] Alps SKCM Cream
Sanyo AXキーボード[4] Alps SKCM Cream?
Fuji Xerox XJ-T99[4]
SGI Bigfoot series Alps SKCM Cream Damped, Alps SKCM Black, Alps SKCM White Damped
Bull KBU 1971[5] Alps SKCM Black (pine) ca. 1989
Toshiba 102[3] Alps SKCM Salmon

Gallery

References

  1. ちゃたりたいね — PACKARD BELL KCLEA907L ALPS茶軸リニア
  2. 2.0 2.1 Deskthority — The Alps Trilogy Part 3: SKCM Orange & Alps history.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Deskthority — Bigfoot Toshiba branded.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Atelier Silencium — AX & Alps Bigfoot Keyboard
  5. geekhack — Alps Appreciation Thread