Author Topic: IBM Model F AT refurb!  (Read 670 times)

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Offline Mallowpuff

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IBM Model F AT refurb!
« on: Mon, 21 May 2018, 21:56:05 »
I recently picked up a fairly nice IBM Model F AT. I almost bought the USB adapters and did it that way but decided to go the little more in depth route.

Overview of the finished product,

IBM Model F AT converted to ANSI. Unicomp ANSI keycaps, the rest are original. Soarer's converter on a pro micro, new foam, slightly lightened space bar, washed all the barrels. That's pretty much it.

So on with the build. This is not meant to be a guide, but feel free to ask questions!

First off, I'd like to thank user xueyao. Without his help, I probably wouldn't have done this. Thank you.

Alright, first things first!(Or second in this case?) This is the board as I got it.



Not bad at all! Only issue was the cord was pulling out. One of the reasons I decided to go all out. I was going into this blind as I had no way to test it and the seller said it was untested. And he found it on the side of the road! I guess that says just how well these hold up!

The first thing I did with the board is pull the caps off. Easy PZ. Left the space bar on. I then proceeded to remove the screws and pull the case apart. It came apart quite easily actually.





Separating the metal plate from the capacitive board was not as easy, but nothing broke and it wasn't anything too bad. I could see the metal tabs breaking after bending them too many times though so be careful! Obviously the next step was to remove the barrels and spring assemblies.. I was happy to see the foam wasn't in awful sticky condition. It did need replacing though. The capacitive board was like new!









The backplate was in.. Good condition? Some small "rust spots" but nothing too drastic. We decided to sandblast it and give it a paint job anyways! Good ol' rustoleum red!





Grabbed some 2mm craft foam and put that in.. Did a little early put together..









Then we waited for the Pro Micro and Male to Female USB Micro to arrive.. Once they did, we were pretty much finished. Just had to flash Soarer's onto the micro(With xueyao's guide..) We had some problems with wiring as we prematurely cut the connector off before testing with a multimeter. So basing off of pictures found online, we took a leap of faith and hooked the Pro Micro up! Threw some foam in there for safe measure.





And probably the thing I'm most proud of.. A very sleek looking USB Micro female connector that by some struck of luck fit almost perfectly in the cord slot! Making a removable USB that looks like it was there from the factory! Barely any cutting of the connector was required.



Finished it off with a custom cable from Mechcables..



And Viola! It's done!



Like I said, feel free to ask questions! I'll do my best to answer them!


Online Techno Trousers

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Re: IBM Model F AT refurb!
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 21 May 2018, 22:09:49 »
Looks really nice. I'm considering pulling mine out and doing the ANSI conversion. But I want to do the full space bar mod as well to give myself Ctrl and alt keys in the expected place. I know it'll involve some plate modding, but it'll be worth it to have the extra keys and a nice, light space bar like my F-122. Did you consider doing that?

Offline Mallowpuff

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Re: IBM Model F AT refurb!
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 21 May 2018, 22:14:31 »
Thanks!!

I thought about it but decided against it. On top of the extra work, it's also irreversible. Will I ever reverse what I did? No, probably not. But I'd like the option. I'm going to remap capslock and ctrl, and the escape key to the geekhack key, but that's enough for me.

Offline xueyao

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Re: IBM Model F AT refurb!
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 21 May 2018, 22:22:55 »
Love your male to female USB adapter! Looks so slick. Will definitely be in good service for a long long time.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk


Online BlindAssassin111

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Re: IBM Model F AT refurb!
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 21 May 2018, 22:31:35 »
That is beautiful! I just got a model F XT and hope to convert it to USB similarly. Sadly can't convert to ANSI but I am just happy to have a model F tbh.

Offline Mallowpuff

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Re: IBM Model F AT refurb!
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 22 May 2018, 10:37:36 »
Thanks guys!!

I was very happy with that USB. By the way, it's the Start Tech USB Male to Female Micro on Amazon. If anyone wants to do the same.


Online fohat.digs

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Re: IBM Model F AT refurb!
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 22 May 2018, 11:56:12 »

it's also irreversible. Will I ever reverse what I did? No, probably not.


Although the plate gets 2 half-circles ground out of it, you could probably put the original space bar back, unless you had shaved off the ends of the black "undercarriage" assembly.
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Offline Mallowpuff

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Re: IBM Model F AT refurb!
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 24 May 2018, 00:29:43 »
Sorry for the late response.

That's true, but between the extra work, actual modifying of the board and possible irreversibility, it wasn't worth it. This will be going as a main on one of my PCs and I don't find myself using those keys much anyways. When I do need to use something like task manager I'll just make it work with what I have.

Now, one thing I noticed is the space bar.. We straightened the bar a bit, but it needs to go a lot more I think.. After using it for awhile(typing on it now for this post) the spacebar feels like 2-3x the weight of a normal key. I'll have to a complete disassembly but I'm tempted.