Cherry article numbers
This guide to Cherry article numbers is a work in progress and may contain errors. If you have a keyboard that has a code position that does not follow this guide, then please add it to the guide.
The article numbering scheme is not always consistently followed, for each and every model. The scheme is most reliable for the G80-3000 model.
Some keyboards have been updated slightly even though they have kept their full article number. Therefore, knowing the date of manufacture could also be useful. There have also been very limited editions of keyboard with special prints or covers that retain their base models' article numbers.
Cherry article numbers usually follow one of these forms:
- G8X-YYYY ZZZ [/RR]
- G8X-YYYYZZZZZ[-N] [/RR]
JK and JM represent consumer keyboards and mice respectively, with a four-digit part number PPPP. The rest of the codes begin with "G8", where the X digit signifies the series, typically including the switch family.
The YYYY part is the model number, consisting of four or five digits.
Older Cherry boards tend to have a 3 letter code. Five-letter codes have been spotted on boards from 1994 onwards, but keyboards with three-letter codes were produced up to early 1996. Article numbers beginning with G85 have only a two-letter layout code. Some older, long deprecated models do not have any letter code at all.
After the letter code, there could be a hyphen and a digit, -N. Often, "-0" is on keyboards that are light grey (Ger:"Hellgrau") and "-2" on keyboards that are black.
Last, there could also be a space, a slash and a two-digit numeric code. The meaning of this is unknown. There has been speculation that it would be some kind of revision number.
The first few characters before the first dash in the product code signify the series, where each series has a different switch type:
- G80: G80 series — Full-Travel Mechanical
- V80: prototype G80 keyboard (eg V80-5000)
- G81: G81 series — Full Travel, Sealed Contact (FTSC) with MY switches
- V81: prototype G81 keyboard (eg V81-1000)
- G82: G82 series — rubber sheet (LPK)
- M82: bundle of G82 keyboard together with a mouse
- J82: rubber sheet, of different design from G82 (eg J82-16000)
- G83: G83 series — New Technology Keyboard (NTK) with rubber sheets
- M83: bundle of G83 keyboard together with a mouse
- G84: G84 series — ML switch keyboards
- J84: durable compact keyboards
- G85: G85 series — Cherry SX scissor switch keyboards
- M85: bundle of G85 keyboard together with a mouse
- T85: engineering sample for G85 keyboard (T85-20050)
- G86: G86 series — Advanced Technology Keyboard (ATK), with spill-proof rubber sheets
- M86: bundle of G86 keyboard together with a mouse
- T86: engineering sample for G86 keyboard (T86-63400)
- J86: vandal-proof keyboard with metal keys (J86-4400)
- G87: G87 series — membrane
- ESA: G80 series — Full-Travel Mechanical- So far only seen on ESA-3000-HASRO and ESA-3000HAGD0
As of November 2013, G88, G89 and G90 do not appear to exist.
The number after the first dash in the product code signifies the model number.
All discovered model numbers have four or five digits. Model numbers ending in 1 tend to be custom orders for large corporations. There are four-digit models numbers where the first digit is 0.
Some models are available for several series, with the same case and other exterior features but with different switches. For instance, the 3000 model is in both the G80, G81 and G83 series. Other series have their own models.
The first letter in a three or five-letter letter code always signifies keycap type and quality:
- L = Lasered PBT,POM or ABS (Usually one of the first two)
- P = Pad-printed ABS
- H = Double-shot ABS (Hochdruck Spritzguss, "high-pressure injection moulding")
- S = Dye-sublimated PBT (Sublimationsdruck)
- O = unknown (see Nortel NTNX51HH, G80-9035 OAAUS)
The only exception to these rules that we have seen so far is the ESA-3000-HASRO which has dye-sublimated keycaps, while having 'H' in the article number. This would usually suggest double-shot keycaps.
Connector and switch variation
On G80 boards, the second letter in the letter code signifies MX switch variation and cable connector, although this tends to be very confusing as the numbering scheme is not always consistent.
Keyboards of other series usually have the letter 'A', 'P' or 'U' to signify only the connector (DIN, PS/2 or USB). The exception is the G85 series where all keyboards have USB.
|Letter||MX Switch (G80 only)||Connector||Note|
|A||Black||DIN||G80-5000 has Brown switches|
|B||Brown||PS/2 (usually)||G80-1191 HBG has black switches and DIN-5 plug|
|C||Black||DIN w/ PS/2 adapter|
|D||Black||DIN||On an early Cherry G80-1000|
|G||Black||DIN||Shorter cable, or sometimes Brown switch|
|P||Black or Clear||PS/2 or USB-combo||P code keyboards with MX Clears seem to only be Reuters keyboards|
|Q||Clear||PS/2 or USB combo||G80-1502 has Black switches|
|R||Black or Clear or Blue||PS/2 or USB combo|
|S||Blue||PS/2 or USB combo|
|T||Silent Black||USB only||Silent Black is found in the G80-3494LTCEU|
|W||Blue; Silent Red||OEM; Silent Red is found in the G80-3494LWCEU|
Often, custom boards with serial numbers ending in 1 can have confusing letter codes that do not match the switch type. (For example G80-3300 Terminals that are found with Brown or Clear switches.)
If the letter code is five letters long, there is also a third (middle) letter. The meaning of this letter is not entirely understood, but it is believed that it may indicate the connector or a special feature of the keyboard.
Some codes that have been sighted:
- A: Found more often on older boards, winkeyless, such as G80-5000HAAUS, G80-3000LFADE
- B: G80-11800 with trackballs
- C: G80-3000 with combo PS/2 + USB connector
- E: Seen on G80-8200LPEDE; 121 keys with winkeys, card reader and relegendable keys, PS/2 (source images)
- M: Winkey on early boards, such as G80-3000LS"M"GB, G80-11900HR"M"US
- N: Only appeared in G81 series, such as G81-3000HKNBE, HKNNO, LPNUS
- P: G80-3000 with PS/2 connector
- Z: G80-150x with card reader
Last one or two letter(s) in the layout code signifies/signify the layout. Modern boards have the two-letter layout codes. Older boards with three-letter letter codes have only one letter used for the layout.
|One letter||Two letters||Layout|
|A||AR||English and Arabic|
|AY||Austrian dialect novelty layout (German ISO)|
|BY||Bavarian dialect novelty layout (German ISO)|
|D||DE||German ISO ("QWERTZ")|
|EU||ANSI with Euro symbol on letter 5.|
|F||FR||French ISO ("AZERTY")|
|FY||Frankish novelty layout (German ISO)|
|HY||Hessen "Hessische" dialect, novelty layout (German ISO)|
|KL||UK, English and Klingon ISO|
|KO||Korean, Roman and Hangul ANSI|
|OY||Upper Palatinate (Oberpfalz, Bavaria) dialect novelty layout (German ISO)|
|PN||Pan-Nordic ISO (Danish, Swedish/Finnish, Norwegian combo)|
|R||Russian (Cyrillic) and English (various)|
|RC||Roman and Chinese ANSI|
|RD||Russian (Cyrillic) and German (ISO)|
|RG||Russian (Cyrillic) and English (ISO)|
|S||Scandinavian (Danish) ISO|
|SY||Saxon dialect novelty layout (German ISO)|
|T||TS||Czech ISO ("QWERTZ")|
|V*||RB||English (US-ANSI) and Cyrillic (Russia, Ukraine, etc.)|
|V*||RO||English (US-ANSI) and Cyrillic (Russia, Ukraine, etc.)|
|VY||Berlin ("Berliner") dialect, novelty layout (German ISO)|
|X||Used for special orders. Does not signify layout.|
|XB||Matrix layout for Cherry G80-1950.|
|XX||ISO, no legends. Sold primarily to other companies that add custom legends.|
|XY||ANSI, no legends. Sold primarily to other companies that add custom legends.|
|ZY||Frankish dialect novelty layout (German ISO)|
|?||Cologne "Kölsch" dialect, novelty layout (German ISO)|
*: There is very small difference between RO and RB. Both variations have been spotted as V.
- G80 = MX switches
- L = lasered caps
- F = MX Blue Switches with DIN connector
- A = Winkeyless layout
- DE = German ISO layout
- G80 = MX switches
- F = MX Blue Switches
- H = double-shot caps
- D = German ISO layout
- G81 = MY switches
- S = Dye sublimated keycaps
- A = DIN connector
- D = German ISO layout
- G83 = Rubber dome switches
- L = Lasered keycaps
- U = USB connector
- CH = Swiss ISO layout
- G84 = ML switches
- L = Lasered keycaps
- C = Combo PS/2 and USB connector
- IL = Hebrew layout
- G85 = Scissor switches
- DE = German ISO layout
For other examples see Category:Cherry keyboards.
A lot of the information in this guide has been gathered from ads seen at vendor's and on auction sites. Some of the information also comes from "Dating Cherry Keyboards" on the old Geekhack Wiki.
Where explicitly cited above:
- Deskthority — Cherry g80 Model 1191 made by tandem. (FIXED)
- Deskthority — 
- Reddit: Vintage Cherry board - with Hebrew lettering!
- Deskthority — Cherry G81-3054HAQ (Greek ANSI doubleshots)
- Deskthority forum post about legendless G80-3000: New Cherry MX keyboard - Which switch?