Author Topic: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???  (Read 1314 times)

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Offline Azmodan

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Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« on: Thu, 19 October 2017, 00:07:59 »
Hello keyboard geeks!

Which keyboards you consider classics and must have, for a collector or for someone who appreciates a good keyboard, aside the obvious IBM Model M and F?

Do you consider some keyboards as an investment?
« Last Edit: Thu, 19 October 2017, 08:27:06 by Azmodan »

Offline Azmodan

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 19 October 2017, 15:34:29 »
No-one!?!?

I have my eyes currently on a DELL AT101W, which is not very expensive and the switches feel nice heavy and tactile! It has ALPS black. 

I am open to other suggestions or keyboard that feel similar to IBM Model M and F.

Finally I would love to get my hands on a keyboard with Honeywell Hall effect switches that I can use.

Offline need

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 19 October 2017, 15:44:27 »
This question is so pointless... I mean just get what you fancy trying, what's the point of seeing keyboards as investments. You ain't gonna get rich by flipping keyboards.

Offline chyros

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 19 October 2017, 15:58:20 »
Oh man, there are SO MANY good old keyboards, old keyboards are better than modern ones! :D
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline klennkellon

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 19 October 2017, 16:18:37 »
Like Chyros said their is a bunch of really good ones.

I'd argue one of the IBM Model F's is the best ones to look for. It's not super rare or expensive nor very difficult to get working on modern PC's. You just have to get used to funky layouts.


Offline Azmodan

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 19 October 2017, 16:54:46 »
Like Chyros said their is a bunch of really good ones.

I'd argue one of the IBM Model F's is the best ones to look for. It's not super rare or expensive nor very difficult to get working on modern PC's. You just have to get used to funky layouts.

I am definitely adding a model F to my collection within the next 2-3 months if I find it in good price or on local charity shops/thrift shops.

Offline Azmodan

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 19 October 2017, 17:00:05 »
Oh man, there are SO MANY good old keyboards, old keyboards are better than modern ones! :D

The problem is that there are too many good old keyboards, so I need to prioritize, which I want more than others, or which ones is better to buy at certain periods, depending on supply and demand, which usually dictate price!

P.S. Your reviews definitely provide a good guide to that, but at the same time I get to change my mind of which keyboard to get all the time... LOL

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 19 October 2017, 19:33:08 »

I have my eyes currently on a DELL AT101W, which is not very expensive and the switches feel nice heavy and tactile! It has ALPS black. 


Every hobbiest should have an AT101. The chassis is outstanding and it is also a great base for modification projects.

You can pull the tops of the switch bodies and bend the leaves to make the stock switches either linear or clicky, or you can substitute parts from other Alps switches to make viable clones.

One of my favorites is a black Dell AT101W into which I transplanted orange Alps from an Apple Extended Keyboard and added a set of Dolch-style caps from Tai Hao.
 
James McGill Buchanan decided he needed to influence policy at a deeper level. In the ensuing years, he sought to lead an economic and political movement in which he stressed that “conspiratorial secrecy is at all times essential” to mask efforts to protect the wealthy elite from the will of the majority. In September 1973, Buchanan held the inaugural meeting of the International Atlantic Economic Society, arguing for the need to “create, support and activate an effective counterintelligentsia” to reshape the way people thought about government. He believed the center-left controlled academia and “effectively indoctrinated political actors in both parties,” MacLean writes. To fight back, conservatives needed to develop new surrogates who could be “indoctrinated” in turn with right-wing ideas, and then “mobilized, organized and directed” to disseminate them.
Seeing the name eventually led her to rooms full of documents that made clear how “operatives” had been trained “to staff the far-flung and purportedly separate, yet intricately connected, institutions funded by the Koch brothers and their now large network of fellow wealthy donors.” - Nancy McLean 2017

Offline SamirD

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 20 October 2017, 00:18:59 »
You need to figure out what 'feel' you like.  Then you find a board you like and you'll hear about another that's similar, so you get that one.  And on and on and on until you have enough for every occasion.  ;D

Offline Magna224

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 24 October 2017, 21:59:37 »
I feel like Omnikey is one of those must haves. I have wanted one for like 7 years and I finally got one NIB and it exceeded my expectations. I also feel like everyone should have some form of monterey keyboard or blue ALPS board too. Also an old school cherry board. There's really too many awesome old keyboards to list. Just buy them all.
If you live in AZ you can try my keyboards. I usually keep plenty of different ALPS and MX and buckling springs.

Offline Azmodan

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 25 October 2017, 14:35:17 »
I feel like Omnikey is one of those must haves. I have wanted one for like 7 years and I finally got one NIB and it exceeded my expectations. I also feel like everyone should have some form of monterey keyboard or blue ALPS board too. Also an old school cherry board. There's really too many awesome old keyboards to list. Just buy them all.

At this stage I am definitely leaning towards APLS and the DELL AT101W. As far as I understand the black ALPS are the clicky one from that family of switches. Are the blue linear?

Offline chyros

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 25 October 2017, 16:06:02 »
I feel like Omnikey is one of those must haves. I have wanted one for like 7 years and I finally got one NIB and it exceeded my expectations. I also feel like everyone should have some form of monterey keyboard or blue ALPS board too. Also an old school cherry board. There's really too many awesome old keyboards to list. Just buy them all.

At this stage I am definitely leaning towards APLS and the DELL AT101W. As far as I understand the black ALPS are the clicky one from that family of switches. Are the blue linear?
Blue and white are clicky, orange, salmon and black are tactile, yellow and green are linear. Plus a bunch more.

If you plan on getting anything Alps, just make sure to GET A SUPER ULTRA CLEAN ONE. I can't stress this enough. It'll feel like **** if it isn't. But once you do man, it's great :D .
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline 1391406

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 25 October 2017, 16:40:55 »
I do like the Chicony KB-5181, though I prefer Blue ALPS.
Unicomp Classic | Chicony KB-5181 (Monterey Blues) | IBM Model M (1391401) | IBM XT Model F | IBM AT Model F | Dell AT101W | 122-key IBM Model F
IBM Model M13 | Apple Extended Keyboard | Apple Extended Keyboard II | MTEK K104 | NTC KB-6251/2 | Realforce 87U | Realforce 104U | Type Heaven

Offline Snowdog993

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 25 October 2017, 19:13:30 »
Model M.

If you want to see pictures you can go here: http://snowdog993.imgur.com

Offline 1391406

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 26 October 2017, 09:02:02 »
Aside from the obvious Model M and F.
Unicomp Classic | Chicony KB-5181 (Monterey Blues) | IBM Model M (1391401) | IBM XT Model F | IBM AT Model F | Dell AT101W | 122-key IBM Model F
IBM Model M13 | Apple Extended Keyboard | Apple Extended Keyboard II | MTEK K104 | NTC KB-6251/2 | Realforce 87U | Realforce 104U | Type Heaven

Offline mogo

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 26 October 2017, 09:21:06 »
LASER keyboard with SMK 2nd Gen switches. They're outrageously clicky (described often as a "double-click") and MX compatible. I''m really hoping to one day figure out how to design a 60% PCB for the switches.


Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 26 October 2017, 09:34:09 »

LASER keyboard with SMK 2nd Gen switches.


I have one of those, it is really nice. And, bonus, it is very close to true-ANSI in spite of the bigass Enter.
James McGill Buchanan decided he needed to influence policy at a deeper level. In the ensuing years, he sought to lead an economic and political movement in which he stressed that “conspiratorial secrecy is at all times essential” to mask efforts to protect the wealthy elite from the will of the majority. In September 1973, Buchanan held the inaugural meeting of the International Atlantic Economic Society, arguing for the need to “create, support and activate an effective counterintelligentsia” to reshape the way people thought about government. He believed the center-left controlled academia and “effectively indoctrinated political actors in both parties,” MacLean writes. To fight back, conservatives needed to develop new surrogates who could be “indoctrinated” in turn with right-wing ideas, and then “mobilized, organized and directed” to disseminate them.
Seeing the name eventually led her to rooms full of documents that made clear how “operatives” had been trained “to staff the far-flung and purportedly separate, yet intricately connected, institutions funded by the Koch brothers and their now large network of fellow wealthy donors.” - Nancy McLean 2017

Offline mogo

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 26 October 2017, 09:41:56 »

LASER keyboard with SMK 2nd Gen switches.


I have one of those, it is really nice. And, bonus, it is very close to true-ANSI in spite of the bigass Enter.

I know, I borrowed the pictures of your board! <3 And, for me, the BAE is a bonus.

Offline chyros

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 26 October 2017, 11:03:47 »
LASER keyboard with SMK 2nd Gen switches. They're outrageously clicky (described often as a "double-click") and MX compatible. I''m really hoping to one day figure out how to design a 60% PCB for the switches.
Show Image

Show Image

Those are not outrageously clicky ;p . The clicky rabbit hole goes so much deeper than that xD .

SMK 2nd gen click switches are really nice though. The Cherry-mount ones sound slightly different from the Alps-mount ones, too.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline Snowdog993

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 28 October 2017, 00:04:13 »
Aside from the obvious Model M and F.

Oops. I didn't read that very well.  Is there any other?  ;D
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Offline ander

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 28 October 2017, 02:47:52 »
...What's the point of seeing keyboards as investments[?] You ain't gonna get rich by flipping keyboards.

That said, if you'd bought a bunch of Model F-XT's last year, you'd be pretty well off now. Because of their odd layout, they were going for $25–30. Then Chyros did his rave review, and now they're being bid up well over $100. That's not a bad return. (I keep pestering him to tell me which underappreciated vintage keeb he's going to lionize next, but he's not talking.)

Offline SamirD

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 30 October 2017, 14:43:36 »
We should have some sort of crowdsourced 'stock market' like price tracker for all the most popular boards.  That way, when Chyros does one of his fantastic reviews, we can precisely quantify how the market reacted.  And then we can get manufacturers to send him free boards to review. :D

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #22 on: Mon, 30 October 2017, 17:41:03 »

And then we can get manufacturers to send him free boards to review.

Has he reviewed any current modern boards positively?
James McGill Buchanan decided he needed to influence policy at a deeper level. In the ensuing years, he sought to lead an economic and political movement in which he stressed that “conspiratorial secrecy is at all times essential” to mask efforts to protect the wealthy elite from the will of the majority. In September 1973, Buchanan held the inaugural meeting of the International Atlantic Economic Society, arguing for the need to “create, support and activate an effective counterintelligentsia” to reshape the way people thought about government. He believed the center-left controlled academia and “effectively indoctrinated political actors in both parties,” MacLean writes. To fight back, conservatives needed to develop new surrogates who could be “indoctrinated” in turn with right-wing ideas, and then “mobilized, organized and directed” to disseminate them.
Seeing the name eventually led her to rooms full of documents that made clear how “operatives” had been trained “to staff the far-flung and purportedly separate, yet intricately connected, institutions funded by the Koch brothers and their now large network of fellow wealthy donors.” - Nancy McLean 2017

Offline digi

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 30 October 2017, 17:48:05 »
SIIG Minitouch with Monterey Blues

Offline chyros

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 31 October 2017, 01:12:39 »

And then we can get manufacturers to send him free boards to review.

Has he reviewed any current modern boards positively?
Did I give any a negative review actually? XD
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline klennkellon

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 31 October 2017, 01:50:19 »
Also, old Focus boards. Especially the 2001 and 2002.



Every board comes with awesome doubleshot caps and you can get anything from SKCM Blue, SKCM White, or one of many clones. The older the better and also ones built in Taiwan instead of China, but I had a 95' board from China that had still had SKCM White  :confused:
 
Their boards with built in calculators are also really cool and not too rare, but they are unreliable as **** (like most Focus stuff tbh) so they might be good for keycap and switch harvesting if you don't feel like fixing it up (probably just a ****ty controller)


Offline rich1051414

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 31 October 2017, 04:05:55 »
Most older keyboards are simply too large to honestly be useful for most people, but not all of them. I am a huge fan of chicony since their keyboards were really compact and light weight, but still typically were rock solid. They also had some amazing stuff, like their 5591 with the integrated trackball.
Currently, my favorite keyboard is a chicony 5192 with futaba ma switches. The keyboard is also light weight and is not massive in size for no reason, so it doesn't look out of place on the desk.

A lot of keyboards I would love to actually use daily are just too big and get in the way, like my AEK. Also, because of ABS yellowing, you will probably need to retrobright if the dirty looking keyboard turns you off.
« Last Edit: Tue, 31 October 2017, 04:08:40 by rich1051414 »
AEK Orange AlpsSiig Minitouch with Orange Alps, Chicony 5192 Futaba MA, Whitefox 60% Zealios 67g, Realforce 87U 55g Topre, CoolerMaster Quickfire Rapid TKL Cherry MX Blue, Eagletec Falcon Z-77 Mod-M, NEC APC-H412 NEC Blue Ovals, Unicomp Model-M Spacesaver, XMIT Hall Effect, WASD Code Cherry MX Clear, KBDFans75 Lubed Gateron Greens, Azio MGK L80 Kailh Brown

Offline DudeSnail

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #27 on: Tue, 31 October 2017, 09:26:10 »
Most older keyboards are simply too large to honestly be useful for most people

Most of the people in that "most people" category are not on this forum, and generally do not care about old keyboards.

Offline mogo

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #28 on: Tue, 31 October 2017, 12:59:25 »
Most older keyboards are simply too large to honestly be useful for most people, but not all of them.

You say that, but three people in my office are still using Microsoft Natural Keyboards. The late-90's ones. They're enormous. It just gives them an excuse to request larger varidesks I think.

Offline SamirD

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Re: Classic keyboards, that are good as well???
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 31 October 2017, 14:46:10 »
Also, old Focus boards. Especially the 2001 and 2002.

Show Image


Every board comes with awesome doubleshot caps and you can get anything from SKCM Blue, SKCM White, or one of many clones. The older the better and also ones built in Taiwan instead of China, but I had a 95' board from China that had still had SKCM White  :confused:
 
Their boards with built in calculators are also really cool and not too rare, but they are unreliable as **** (like most Focus stuff tbh) so they might be good for keycap and switch harvesting if you don't feel like fixing it up (probably just a ****ty controller)


I second these.  I found one locally for cheap and it's got a nice feel for a 'cheap' board.  :thumb: