Datadesk Switchboard

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Template icon--Illustration.png This article requires additional photographic illustration — need photos of the original Datadesk version and of the Somers EK1
Datadesk Switchboard
Datadesk Switchboard -- infobox.jpg
FCC ID E98-1100 (1990)
Branding Datadesk
Layouts ANSI
Keyswitches Alps SKCM White
Interface XT, AT, PS/2, Apple M0110A, ADB
Price $239 (1992)[1]

Datadesk Switchboard is a modular keyboard from Datadesk, targeted at both PCs and Macintoshes. The keyboard shares the same stylistic design as the fixed-layout Datadesk Mac-101E.


The Switchboard supports both modular rearrangement and DIP switch configuration. A cover behind the function keys can be lifted to reveal two banks of DIP switches, with sixteen switches in total.[2] In addition, the three main keyboard areas (alphanumeric, navigation, and numeric keypad) are provided as interchangeable modules that slot into edge connectors; these can be rearranged to suit the user, for example to create a left-handed arrangement with the numeric keypad on the left.[3] The function key row (including print screen, scroll lock and pause) is not part of any modules, and remains unchanged.

The DIP switch configuration legend indicates that the following changes can be made:

  • Layout and protocol selection: Macintosh SE/II, Macintosh Plus, IBM AT and PS/2, and IBM PC XT
  • Reversal of caps lock and control
  • "Shifted period" (likely indicating that pressing shift+. still gives .)

Because the Switchboard is a Macintosh keyboard, it features a dedicated power key.

The cable is detachable, and different cables can be connected depending on the type of computer with which it will be used.

The keycaps are double-shot UKF DS03.

Other versions

The Switchboard was also marketed by DSI as the DSI Modular Pro, model DSK105 (not to be confused with the DSI Modular Mac); the Modular Pro uses the Datadesk-registered FCC ID. The Modular Pro has been shown to have the same Datadesk-branded PCB.[3]

The Somers EK1 Engineering Keyboard from Somers Engineering uses a matrix layout for the alphanumeric area.[4]


A DSI Modular Mac keyboard (pictured below) has been found with incorrectly-moulded Alps SKCM White switches: most of the mould numbering is missing, along with the Alps logo. The resulting upper shell mould appears to be an exact match for the Simplified Alps Type III switch, strengthening the suggestion that Type III clones were adapted from the rejected moulds of real Alps switches.


DSI Modular Pro


  1. Google Books — PC Magazine, February 25, 1992 (The Write Stuff, pp. 303–329)
  2. LumberJocks — Works in Progress #6: Humidor Test Build - Finished
  3. 3.0 3.1 Atelier Silencium — alps keyswitch
  4. TIFAQ — Other Keyboards - Alternative Keyboard FAQ