NTC KB-6251

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NTC KB-6251
NTC KB-6251EA -- top.jpg
FCC ID FMA44HKB6251 (1988)
FMA44HKB6252EA
fma44hkb6451
Manufacturer NTC
Layouts 101/102-key Asian 101
Keyswitches Alps SKCM Blue
Alps SKCM White
Omron B3G-S series
Cherry MX Blue
Aristotle Cherry MX clone
Mitsumi miniature mechanical
alps.tw Type T5
alps.tw Type OA2
Keycaps Pad-printed, double-shot ABS
Interface XT/AT switchable
Precedes Unikey KWD-601

KB-6251 is a widely-sold family of slimline Alps keyboards from NTC (Nan Tan Computer Company). Current examples found use a bigass enter key and single-unit backspace key. The Alps switches are mounted onto a plastic or metal plate, giving this slimline model a very light weight. Variants with amber Omron B3G-S series switches or alps.tw Type T5 mounted into a metal plate were also made. Keycaps can be double-shot or pad-printed.

The XT/AT switch, located next to one of the flip-out feet, is unconventionally labelled as "80206/8088" instead of "A/X" (per the NTC KB-6151) or XT/AT. Newer models may also have "80206/8088" raised lettering on the bottom panel, but no switch.

The version with Windows keys is Unikey KWD-601.

June 6, 2020: Spotted a Zeos keyboard with Hi-Tek Series 725 black switches ("Space Invaders") on ebay. RT-101+ model number on bottom case label.

Variants

KB-6251

  • Branded as Champking Computer Co.[1] and Champion Computer Co.[2]
  • Chinese layout, with double-shot English letters and pad-printed Chinese characters
  • Amber Omron B3G-S series switches including space bar, mounted into a metal plate
  • FCC ID FMA44HKB6251

KB-6251/2

  • Listed as "KB-6251/2" on rear label[3]
  • ANSI layout with doubleshot keycaps
  • Alps SKCM White
  • FCC ID FMA44HKB6251

KB-6251/2

  1. Cherry MX Blue[4]
  2. White four-tab clones[5]

KB-6251EA

Plastic plate example

  • Pine Alps SKCM White
  • Found in UK 102-key layout, with no exterior markings of any kind except QC and serial number
  • PCB model NTC 71-6071A-505
  • The official designation is not known, as the rear label is missing; KB-6251EA is the model written on the PCB, which is often incorrect due to different models sharing a single PCB

KB-6251EN

  • Alps.tw Type OA2
  • Ultratech Branded
  • Plastic Plate
  • ANSI layout
  • Doubleshot keycaps
  • Found on eBay Australia

Metal plate examples

There are versions with a black-painted steel plate or an unpainted steel plate. Some of these examples have Zeos branding.[7]

KB-6251EM

It is possible that the "M" in "EM" stands for "Mitsumi", giving "A" for "Alps" in "EA". Unlike the KB-6151, where "EN" has been seen on an Alps clone version, Alps clone KB-6251 keyboards also use "EA".

Unspecified suspected KB-6251 variant ("Super Kingsun")

This variant in the AT-style US "Big Ass Enter" layout is branded for "Super™ Kingsun", evidently in reference to Super Kingsun Ltd[9], bearing their logo on a fairly low-quality silver-on-black sticker on the upper left of the top case. It makes no mention of the manufacturer or any model or part number anywhere on the case, and although there is a spot for an FCC ID on the foil sticker, it was either never printed on mine or rubbed off before I got it. There is a separate sticker on the back indicating that it was made in Hong Kong. Based on what little info I can find, it seems likely that this was sold in China, despite the US layout.

  • Alps SKCM White switches, which appear to be unlubricated
  • FCC ID missing from sticker on my board
  • "Big Ass Enter" AT-style US layout
  • Printed keycaps (not doubleshot)
  • Has the Intel 8088/80286 labelled XT/AT protocol switch labels moulded into the plastic on the bottom of the case, with a nearby protocol switch to toggle between them

Unspecified UK KB-6251 variant ("dan")

This variant is branded for "dan Personal Computers", bearing their blue "dan" logo on the upper right of the top case, and makes no mention of NTC other than indirectly via the FCC ID. According to the sticker, it was "made in Thailand for dan Technology plc (UK)".

  • Alps SKCM White switches, which appear to be unlubricated
  • FCC ID FMA44HKB6251 on the sticker
  • PCB labelled "71-E103A-103", mounted on an unpainted metal plate
  • UK 102-key ISO layout
  • Printed keycaps (not doubleshot)
  • ISO-style, textless icon modifier key legends except for the Return/Enter key, which has both the "Return" arrow and the text "Enter" above it, approximately centred on the keycap
  • Has the Intel 8088/80286 labelled XT/AT protocol switch labels moulded into the plastic on the bottom of the case, despite not actually having a protocol switch (it seems this is likely a slightly later model which exclusively speaks "AT" with scancode set 2)

KB-6252

KB-6252CH

KB-6252EA

  • 102-key layout
  • FCC ID FMA44HKB6252EA (not in the FCC's records)
  • Alps SKCM Blue[12] and white Alps switches of unknown variety.[13]

Blue Alps version

White Alps version

KB-6451EA

KB-6752EA

  • 102-key layout
  • FCC ID FMA44HKB6251
  • Hua-Jie AK series green switches.
  • Desoldered XT/AT switch

Unknown (SFON)

Unknown "KB-6251" with SFON Alps clone switches (no photos were posted as evidence)[14]

Unknown (Optimus KB-6251)

Unknown "KB-6251" sold in Poland under Optimus SA brand[15]

  • Aristotle Cherry MX clone switches[10], plastic plate
  • Big-Ass Enter key and a 1 unit backspace
  • No XT-AT switch
  • FCC ID LIAKB-6251 — this example appears to have been made after this product range was transferred to Unikey (FCC grantee LIA), prior to the model transitioning to the 104/105-key Unikey KWD-601.

References