Sun Type 5

From Deskthority wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Template icon--Illustration.png This article requires additional photographic illustration — need photos of the switches — what is a "standard" Fujitsu rubber dome? — and the rear case to demonstrate that "Type 5"/"Type 5c" are real Sun model numbers
Sun Type 5
Sun Type 5 UK.jpg
Branding Sun Microsystems
Manufacturer Fujitsu
Keyswitches Rubber dome
Interface Sun proprietary
Weight 1.75 kg
Years of production 1991—1997

The Sun Type 5 is a keyboard that was made for Sun SparcStation line. It is the successor of the Sun Type 4 and the predecessor of Sun Type 6. Earlier production units only had the Sun chain logo.


The keyboard internals are standard Fujitsu rubber dome with a curved backplane.

The exterior is in Sun's colour scheme of light grey and purple. The keycaps are of higher quality than typical Fujitsu keyboards: sharp-edged, dished and with dark blue letters. Caps Lock, Num Lock, Scroll Lock and Compose each has a small window for a LED. All keys do not have the same hue: modifiers are in the same light grey tone as the case while the alphanumeric keys are white.


There are a few variants, with either:

Sun Type 5, U.S.A./UNIX layout, detachable cable

  • More IBM-like layout, including ISO layouts.
Sun Type 5c, Swedish IBM-like layout

Tenkeyless variants were also made[Citation needed].

To the left side, there is a cluster of named function keys:

Stop Again
Props Undo
Front Copy
Open Paste
Find Cut

The space bar row takes one of these forms:

Control Alt Meta Meta Com­pose Alt Graph
Caps Lock Alt Meta Meta Com­pose Alt Graph

Cable and protocol

The protocol is Sun's proprietary. The signalling is based on RS-232 at 1200 baud.

The first version had a connector for a detachable cable on the left and right sides, where the other port could be used for a Sun mouse. Sun Type 5c has a fixed cable and a dedicated Sun mouse port in the middle of the underside with cable channels for both cables going to the left and right.

Use with modern computers

  • Because the signalling is based on RS-232, a typical serial port can be used coupled with the right cable and drivers.
  • Sun-to-USB converter for sale on VPI[1]
  • Sun-to-USB converter schematics and firmware by Brad Minch.[2]
  • Sun-to-PS/2 converter schematics and firmware by Ove Risberg available on the net.[3]

Hobbyist attempts have been made to reprogram a RS-232 to USB converter into a keyboard converter. Another Swedish enthusiast has made a new controller that speaks PS/2[Citation needed]. Protocol converters have also been spotted for sale in a shop in the Akihibara district in Tokyo, Japan.



  1. VPI — Commercial USB to SUN Adapter Retrieved 2015-07-06.
  2. — Sun keyboard to USB converter, by Brad Minch Dated 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2015-07-06.
  3. The Buzzard Homepage — Sun Type 5 Keyboard on the PC, by Ove Risberg Dated 2003-09-04. Retrieved 2015-07-06.