IBM JX keyboards
|This article requires additional photographic illustration — need some switch photos for visual reference; also, internal details demonstrating OEM (after which the page can be properly categorised as Alps OEM)|
|Part number||6343690 (White, fullsize, Japanese) 6343691 (Black, fullsize, Japanese) Others|
|Layouts||81/98-key English or 85/102-key Japanese|
|Keyswitches||Alps SKCL Green/Alps SKCL Compact, Alps common mount low profile|
|Interface||IR and/or proprietary cable|
|Discontinued||Late 80s/early 90s|
The IBM 5511 JX Personal Computer was the Japanese equivalent of the infamous IBM PCjr. The JX was a far more successful machine than its American equivalent due to better design, including that of its keyboards, which were made by Alps for IBM. It was also sold on the Australian and New Zealand market, and thus there are English versions of the keyboard in addition to Japanese ones.
Design and Features
Unlike the low quality chiclet keys of the PCjr keyboard, the JX keyboard had high quality linear Alps switches (either Alps SKCL Green switches with Alps SKCL Compact switches for PF1 to PF10, or the earlier Alps common mount low profile with white sliders). There were two main variants of the keyboard: a Standard keyboard that lacked a numpad, and could only interface with the JX via an infra-red interface, and a Professional version, which featured a numpad, and allowed the user to connect to the computer with a removable cable in addition to the IR interface. The cable was coiled, and used mini-DIN connectors, which are incompatible with the PS/2 interface. Using the IR connection required the user to install two AA batteries into a compartment in the back of the case. The Japanese version of the JX was available in white and black, whereas the Australian/New Zealand version was available in black only. All variants used double-shot keycaps.