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geekhack Community => Keyboards => Topic started by: Entropia on Mon, 02 November 2020, 09:34:27

Title: Restored Model M keyboards by Clickykeyboards.com. Recommended?
Post by: Entropia on Mon, 02 November 2020, 09:34:27
I feel like owning an IBM Model M keyboard, like the one I had many years ago. I have seen that Clickykeyboards.com sells early Model M keyboards, which have been thoughtfully cleaned and restored. Looking at the photos they look like new. It's also very interesting that they have replaced all the plastic rivets with screews, whick means the keyboard should, in theory, feel great and last for many many years. The money they ask for these keyboards is not a joke (450), so that's why I'm asking if you have had any experiences with them. It would be really bad to pay that much and receive a keyboard with any aesthetic defect or with some keys feeling slow or prone to get stuck. I'm also worried about the fact that some adds referring to different units have exactly the same text, not reflecting the exact particularities of a specific case.

As an alternative I've been considering the new Model F by modelfkeyboards.com. However, I don't like the compact layouts without function keys and other limitations. It's a shame, because everyone agrees that Model Fs feels even better than Model Ms.
Title: Re: Restored Model M keyboards by Clickykeyboards.com. Recommended?
Post by: fanpeople on Mon, 02 November 2020, 10:27:10
I bought my SSK from Clickykeyboards in like 2014. Dam now I miss that keyboard. ****. I should not have sold it. ****.
Anyway, I don't think that guy completely restores all keyboards getting sold. I thought he just replaced broken rivets with screws. Although I just had a look at the website and maybe he does now? Maybe he always did? I don't think the SSK came screw modded. Either way you can screw/bolt mod any Model M rather easy, there are plenty of instructions on how to do it. All you really need is the correct size screws I think these are the correct size screws that I used when I did a few boards ages ago.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2mm-x-6mm-Stainless-COUNTERSUNK-Self-Tapping-Screws-x-100/360429310586

You literally undo the keyboard. Then slice the rivets off. Mark them with a marker of use a soldering iron to create an indent. Drill out the holes. Screw in the screws. Done. The rest is just washing plastic, anyone can wash cummy finger stains off plastic.

It is actually a really easy project so long as you don't drill into plastic with it sitting on your knees.





Title: Re: Restored Model M keyboards by Clickykeyboards.com. Recommended?
Post by: yui on Tue, 03 November 2020, 00:54:02
I feel like owning an IBM Model M keyboard, like the one I had many years ago. I have seen that Clickykeyboards.com sells early Model M keyboards, which have been thoughtfully cleaned and restored. Looking at the photos they look like new. It's also very interesting that they have replaced all the plastic rivets with screews, whick means the keyboard should, in theory, feel great and last for many many years. The money they ask for these keyboards is not a joke (450), so that's why I'm asking if you have had any experiences with them. It would be really bad to pay that much and receive a keyboard with any aesthetic defect or with some keys feeling slow or prone to get stuck. I'm also worried about the fact that some adds referring to different units have exactly the same text, not reflecting the exact particularities of a specific case.

As an alternative I've been considering the new Model F by modelfkeyboards.com. However, I don't like the compact layouts without function keys and other limitations. It's a shame, because everyone agrees that Model Fs feels even better than Model Ms.
an other option is unicomp for a start, they make brand new model M with the caveat that the metal plate and cases are thinner and the cases do not quite fit well but around 100 usd instead of 450 so for a start it is decent, and if you do not mind a bit of cleaning you can even find them for cheap on ebay (got 3 for 30 usd + shipping from a military surplus seller last year) and having tried screw modding one i can tell you too it looks scarier than it is, and having a 10 usd keyboard to try on does help take the edge off
Title: Re: Restored Model M keyboards by Clickykeyboards.com. Recommended?
Post by: Entropia on Tue, 03 November 2020, 03:08:16
I had a Unicomp but I sold it. The only resemblance to a real Model M was the buckling springs.
Title: Re: Restored Model M keyboards by Clickykeyboards.com. Recommended?
Post by: yui on Tue, 03 November 2020, 03:49:06
I had a Unicomp but I sold it. The only resemblance to a real Model M was the buckling springs.
well yeah and the construction, shape, pretty much everything, they are built on the same model just made slightly cheaper, i have an ibm M122 from 1993, 3 2003 (i think, need to check later) PC122 and one 2018 PC122 and apart from sound they all feel pretty much equal, i heard that at one point the quality was very low because of the molds being very worn, but they made new molds to fix the issue. and really the only defining feature of a model M is the buckling springs so i think that it is good if it is the main resemblance to the old ones...
I do not like when peoples **** on small companies for no real reasons, i am not even merican. well what applies to small companies also apply to peoples.
Title: Re: Restored Model M keyboards by Clickykeyboards.com. Recommended?
Post by: Leslieann on Tue, 03 November 2020, 07:10:47
Unicomp isn't a copy or a clone or anything else, it's the direct decendent. They have the molds, the license, everything from the original. Remember they are the OG and had to compete with rubber domes as such M's got cheaper and cheaper while trying to compete. Mechanicals didn't always have the draw they do now.

As for clickeykeyboards, I have bought parts but no keyboards but they do know their stuff. Is that worth the cost, no. What you pay for the the knowledge that you can get exactly what you see, when you want it and know that it not only works but you won't get it and find an ant nest inside and half the wires chewed through by a mouse. It's convenience and insurance that you will get a quality board that hasn't been through hell. Whether that's worth it to you is only something you can decide.
Title: Re: Restored Model M keyboards by Clickykeyboards.com. Recommended?
Post by: fohat.digs on Tue, 03 November 2020, 07:15:15

The only resemblance to a real Model M was the buckling springs.


This is just troll bait. A Unicomp is a full true Model M keyboard in every way.
Title: Re: Restored Model M keyboards by Clickykeyboards.com. Recommended?
Post by: Entropia on Tue, 03 November 2020, 13:57:39
I have nothing against Unicomp. I tried one once and I must say it was good for the price if you want buckling springs, but not if your want and very good keyboard overall. For me what defines a Model is not only buckling springs, but the fact that they are built like a tank, heavy, well finished... That is why I am after a early unit, which for me is the only real Model M. I have owned a Model M by Lexmark and it was very different, not only in weight, but also in typing feel.
Title: Re: Restored Model M keyboards by Clickykeyboards.com. Recommended?
Post by: Entropia on Wed, 04 November 2020, 05:14:02
Today I have paid a visit to the Unicomp website and I have seen that they have released a new keyboard with buckling springs, called New Model M. The announcement claims that it is a better keyboard than the Ultra Classic I had. However, they do not specify in what sense it is better, better build quality, better keycaps, better electronics...? Do you have further information? Has anyone here tried this new keyboard?

EDIT: I have just found a review: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=106969.0
Title: Re: Restored Model M keyboards by Clickykeyboards.com. Recommended?
Post by: yui on Wed, 04 November 2020, 06:05:31
the ultra classic was built to compete on price, the new M seems to try to compete on value, so a better build quality for a reasonable price.
Title: Re: Restored Model M keyboards by Clickykeyboards.com. Recommended?
Post by: Entropia on Thu, 05 November 2020, 02:39:37
Is it true what I have read that the typing on the New Model M feels mushy and worse overall compared to the Ultra Classic?
Title: Re: Restored Model M keyboards by Clickykeyboards.com. Recommended?
Post by: Kavik on Thu, 05 November 2020, 22:38:15
I don't have experience with Clickykeyboards.com, but I would not pay that kind of money for a standard Model M when you can find them on eBay for $60. As fanpeople said, you can clean and even bolt mod the thing yourself (if you even need to) for a few bucks and a couple hours of your time.

My only experience with a Unicomp board was so bad that it must have been a lemon, so I am biased, but an 80s Model M does feel infinitely better than the Unicomp I had, in both keyfeel and case rigidity.