Ortek MCK-101

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Ortek MCK-101
Ortek MCK-101FX.jpg
FCC ID GM8MCK101SX
Branding None, various
Manufacturer Ortek
Features Multiple function key legends
Layouts Asian 101
Keyswitches Alps SKCM White
alps.tw Type T5
alps.tw Type T8
unknown four-tab clone
Keycaps Cylindrical; double-shot and pad printed
Interface XT/AT switchable, AT (5-pin DIN)
Years of production 1990–1993 found to date

MCK-101 describes multiple models of full-size XT/AT and AT keyboards produced by Ortek. There is also a curved design that strongly resembles the Chicony KB-5161 with a separate FCC ID.

Description

The MCK-101 series was produced in a number of variations. Model "MCK-101SX" (also "MCK-101 SX") came with Alps SKCL/SKCM series switches, while model MCK-101FX (or "MCK-101 FX") useda variety of four-tab clone types. The PCB and mouldings are marked "SX" regardless of which switch type was used.

All versions share a characteristic flat case. The most common design has space for function key legends under a flip-up cover that contains the brand badge, but keyboards were also produced without this feature. Multiple integrated function key legend cards are stored under the cover, allowing the user to choose the appropriate legend for the application in use; multiple cards were provided as standard, for applications including WordPerfect, dBase IV and Lotus 1-2-3. The other sides of these cards had blank spaces for creating custom cards for other applications, which curiously also included spaces to label Print Screen, Scroll Lock and Pause.

In most instances, the keycaps are double-shot, with different colours for the modifier keys; these colours correspond to the legends on the function key cards. Thick ink pad printing has also been found.

One of the weaknesses of this keyboard is that the plastic housing comes without any UV protectant coat and yellows faster and easier than many other keyboards from that time while the keycaps preserve/retain their colour very well over time.

The case makes space for an XT/AT switch, marked "8088" (XT) and "80286, 80386" (AT). This switch is not always present; when fitted, it faces sideways away from the access hole.

Variants

The following entries are presented in chronological order.

MCK-101SX, Alps SKCM White

This example uses pine Alps SKCM White switches. The rear label and controller chip are both dated 1990.[1] The function key legend cover is still present, but the brand badge and legend strips are all missing. In addition, this version uncharacteristically uses pad-printed legends.

This keyboard has also been found in its original box, with double-shot keycaps. None of the photos show the controller date. The XT/AT switch is absent.[2]

MCK-101FX, unknown four-tab clone

This example uses unknown four-tab clone switches. The controller chip is dated 1991.

MCK-101FX, alps.tw Type T5

This example uses alps.tw Type T5 switches, variant A, clicky. The controller chip is dated 1993. The function key legends and the legend cover are all missing. This is reported to be MCK-101FX, although no picture depicting this was ever provided.[3] This example uses Tai-Hao TI series keycaps.

CMI MO-1101C, alps.tw Type T8

This example uses grey, clicky alps.tw Type T8 switches. The XT/AT switch is absent.[4] As it has an OEM model number, the specific variant (SX or FX) is not recorded. This particular keyboard lacks the function key legend feature.

References