Mechanical Keyboard Corner

posted this on another thread but wanted to post it here…new keeb for me to add to the collection


My Model M is ready

Got a 5.5mm nut driver to take it apart? Take it apart and take pics?

Does anyone have a recommendation for a washable mechanical keyboard? This would be for a clinic/hospital usage where I may need to clean/decontaminate/disinfect it afterwards.

A smaller compact one would be preferred but i’d hate to go larger than a TKL because it wont fit in my bag. Any suggestions?

Excellent, looking forward to it! What do you think of the 5576-C01’s big stand?

I understood it not to be so much a stand but a thing to prevent it from sliding off another stand for a lapdesk type contraption

Also, some more IBM stuff to share. I just got a package today from my fellow r/modelm mod, including two keyboards (and some prototype merch, goodies and ‘easter eggs’).

First up, a NOS IBM 4683 POS Matrix Keyboard P/N 76X0100 from sometime in the '80s. It was however opened up once by my buddy to confirm what it was and what switches it had. The internal assembly is made by Key Tronic for IBM and uses Key Tronic’s Foam & Foil switches (haven’t evaluated the condition yet but presently feels like very stiff linears). It also included templates and ‘windows’ for use with making labels for the keycaps.

The second keyboard is just an IBM 3471 InfoWindow terminal Model M P/N 1394204 that needs some work (rivets, dirty, etc.). Whilst unremarkable, it was professionally part number converted by CEL for IBM in 2000, likely for use with a different terminal. My best guess is that it was an IBM 3151 keyboard from the late '80s. In any case, I wanted a ‘CEL-touched’ keyboard for the collection.


I am working on a mod you can use with the terminal keyboard to make it a badass qmk board. stay tuned :smiley:


Fair enough, that makes sense. My idea of it being used to park the keyboard upwards comes from deskthority and I think a few archived newsgroups. I love to get my hands on some documentation for translating and scanning. For now, I guess we can enjoy this:

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@0skillz In relation to the funny post;

That is on Drop now too, huh. Slightly cheaper depending on how shipping works out for you.

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i didn’t know about this thread!

i stumbled onto that mac pc keycap while searching around for stuff because my 1st gen corsair k60 had the A-F keys die on me. I tried to take it apart years ago and wasn’t successful so i’m just gonna get a real mech board now and maybe attempt opening up the corsair again after that.

Oh… Well eh, welcome.

Yeah there are some seriously impressive boards up there some where.

Cool sounds like a good project and a good way to learn the skills to build and repair them.

my first keyboard that didn’t ‘come with the computer’ had multimedia controls at top-center. The left edge had a scroil wheel that i used for windows’ volume control.

i liked it so much that i bought a second one a few years later when they had it in black:

those logitechs lasted me for YEARS but when i saw the K60 with black keys on aluminum i just had to have this!

some things i never liked about my Corsair K60:

  • not full mechanical - F-keys, and almost all other non-alphanums are rubber dome.
  • the media keys and volume scroller are on the wrong (right-hand) side of the kybd - this seems to be a universally agreed upon position for keyboards and i have no idea why. the logitech keyboards had the placement correct imo. I found this vmeter thing at some point tho and mounted it at the left edge of my keyboard tray and love it. Some day maybe i can find a similar solution for media transport keys, every small keyboard i’ve ever seen would take up too much space for how often i would use it so those are pretty much no-go for me.
  • the media transport keys north of the numpad were impossible for me to use without accidentally hitting the numpad top row keys because they are so much lower than the keycaps so i never really used them.
  • non-standard keycaps meant i wasn’t ever going to get replacements
  • the spacebar stabilizer was horrible, nothing i ever tried fixed it, the spacebar on the K60 was like a seesaw at times and would not activate at all once it got stuck in a left-side down position - i hit the bar almost exclusively with my left thumb.
  • there are screws under the north-center corsair badge… and that badge is a very thin piece of metal that bends and deforms VERY easily double stick taped to the chassis. almost wanted to cry when i was trying to take it apart because i was like yeah, that piece of metal is NEVER going to look nice again after this.

I posted my complaints in the corsair forums and watched the threads there for a couple of years. their later keyboard releases never impressed me much.

what i loved:

  • brushed aluminum top!
  • super-easy to clean with canned air or swabs to get dust, hair and almost anything else out from between and under the caps with ease.

so here’s what i’m thinking:

one of the few full keyboards without a garish color scheme that i see in stock right now



i can’t decide between those 2 sets so i’ll just get both. they fit with my liking of retrosynth type graphics and whatnot with the pinks, purples, and blues. I think i’d rather have hot pink/magenta letters on all keycaps with black, dark blue or dark purple caps but not seeing that anywhere yet. I’m not sold on RGB lighting but wanting a certain color for the keycap letters almost, but not quite, makes me want to consider lighting more.

if i wasn’t in panic mode right now maybe i could have found a full layout mech with the keys more exposed for easy cleaning like the corsair but such is my life.

shoulda mentioned red switches all around, i bought o-rings for the corsair back when i got it, silent reds for the mistrel. I have fond memories of using the buckling spring type keyboards back in the day but don’t think the tactile bump of modern mechanical type switches would really be near the same experience. I don’t miss the noise of the old buckling springs either.

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Anything specific you need pics of? I don’t have the Japanese model, just a regular Model M I kifed from work.

As a follow up on the IBM 4683 Matrix Keyboard, I’ve now taken some better photos and done a teardown.

Here are the best photos:

There are a few more photos and some commentary on my website’s article on the keyboard:

The next task is getting it working on a modern PC. I’ve confirmed that a standard IBM POS SDL to PS/2 powers it on and all LEDs illuminate, but the keyboard is unresponsive. This specifically needs this “POS SDL” as it’s an 8-pin AMP SDL connector instead of the 6-pin version found on typical Model Ms. I’ve tried forcing my Soarer’s Converter to use different sets but it either doesn’t speak Set 1, 2 or 3, or IBM changed the data and clock pins in their POS SDL cables at some point. The cable I have is confirmed working on Model M7, M8, M9 and M11 POS keypads and keyboards, which were all released in 1993 (ie, 7 years after this keyboard). If worst comes to worst, it should be possible to bypass most of the electronics and hook up a new controller directly to the capacitive sensing PCB but I’d rather not modify anything if I can help it.


did a switch upgrade on my Glorious 60percent keyboard last night…from Gat browns to kiwi switches


soldered together a simple qmk numpad kit.

I also have a kit with rotary encoders and hot swap, but it has tiny smd components and my hot air gun broke :frowning:

I’ve ordered a bunch of different switches to build an ideal 96% somewhere in the future


How do you guys feel about being “that guy with the mechanical keyboard” on conferences? I got called out multiple times already.

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Just run zilents.

I occasionally get called out, but very infrequently. Maybe once a year.