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Online Maledicted

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My interesting recycling facility haul today
« on: Sat, 01 February 2020, 15:21:46 »
There was a Zenith keyboard I had been chasing after on Ebay for at least a few days, which has lead to some interesting finds, including a weird old alps SKCC terminal board that I asked about earlier in another thread. I eventually realized that the place selling it was a 10-15 minute drive from me, so I got in touch and took a little trip. Great guys running the place. They don't know much about keyboards, so I identified a few things for them as I went through them. Their Ebay guys weren't around and that specific keyboard wasn't forthcoming, but I shot them an offer of $200 for a stack of 4 cool (though in need of TLC) boards I found lying around. I would say it was more than fair for untested boards, in a package deal, without having to deal with shipping/returns, etc. That was all I brought with me anyway. Here they are:



The first is a weird old terminal keyboard of unknown origin. Thanks to user Findecanor I know that it closely resembles a DEC VT100 terminal's keyboard. It appears to have Alps SKCC cream switches, and they have a few more of these as we speak. I had another post asking about them (which I'll update with more pictures) here: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=104466.0



The next is an early IBM Model M, part number 1390120, manufactured in 1986. It is missing some keycaps, and some of the keys feel a bit mushy.



The next is a Fujitsu keyboard with Fujitsu Peerless switches, most of which felt interesting/decent (I had never felt them before).



Finally, something close to what I have been hunting, a white label Zenith Z-150 with Green Alps switches, which are (understandably, when you see the pictures) a bit gritty at the moment.



I haven't tested any of these yet, but I have disassembled the mystery board and gotten some decent pictures of the interior. They'll be in the other thread about it.

What do you think. Cool finds? They also had some space invaders keyboards of various switch type, and a cool Corona luggable with switches I couldn't immediately identify off of the top of my head.
« Last Edit: Sun, 02 February 2020, 19:23:27 by Maledicted »

Offline Sintpinty

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 02 February 2020, 10:24:27 »
There was a Zenith keyboard I had been chasing after on Ebay for at least a few days, which has lead to some interesting finds, including a weird old alps SKCC terminal board that I asked about earlier in another thread. I eventually realized that the place selling it was a 10-15 minute drive from me, so I got in touch and took a little trip. Great guys running the place. They don't know much about keyboards, so I identified a few things for them as I went through them. Their Ebay guys weren't around and that specific keyboard wasn't forthcoming, but I shot them an offer of $200 for a stack of 4 cool (though in need of TLC) boards I found lying around. I would say it was more than fair for untested boards, in a package deal, without having to deal with shipping/returns, etc. That was all I brought with me anyway. Here they are:

Show Image


The first is a weird old terminal keyboard of unknown origin. Thanks to user Findecanor I know that it closely resembles an DEC VT100 terminal's keyboard. It appears to have Alps SKCC cream switches, and they have a few more of these as we speak. I had another post asking about them (which I'll update with more pictures) here: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=104466.0

Show Image


The next is an early IBM Model M, part number 1390120, manufactured in 1986. It is missing some keycaps, and some of the keys feel a bit mushy.

Show Image


The next is a Fujitsu keyboard with Fujitsu Peerless switches, most of which felt interesting/decent (I had never felt them before).

Show Image


Finally, something close to what I have been hunting, a white label Zenith Z-150 with Green Alps switches, which are (understandably, when you see the pictures) a bit gritty at the moment.

Show Image


I haven't tested any of these yet, but I have disassembled the mystery board and gotten some decent pictures of the interior. They'll be in the other thread about it.

What do you think. Cool finds? They also had some space invaders keyboards of various switch type, and a cool Corona luggable with switches I couldn't immediately identify off of the top of my head.

You got lucky, my dump doesn't even have mech keeb s
« Last Edit: Mon, 03 February 2020, 05:35:22 by Sintpinty »

Online Maledicted

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 02 February 2020, 10:33:38 »
You got lucky, my dump doesn't even have mech kee s

I would agree, since I have never seen so many mechanical keyboards in one place before, but I didn't go to the dump. That may be why you may have struck out. You need to find an electronics recycler in particular. I'm sure they're around, but they don't always like to advertise their location. The place I found doesn't even have a single sign posted outside of the warehouse/office area they're operating out of. Apparently they have a problem with people stealing their higher-valued scrap metals. You've got to search them out.

Offline el_murdoque

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 02 February 2020, 11:39:49 »
Impressive loot!

Online Maledicted

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 02 February 2020, 19:26:25 »
Impressive loot!

Thank you. There were technology treasures left and right there. It was hard not to drool.

Offline Sintpinty

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 03 February 2020, 05:35:39 »
You got lucky, my dump doesn't even have mech kee s

I would agree, since I have never seen so many mechanical keyboards in one place before, but I didn't go to the dump. That may be why you may have struck out. You need to find an electronics recycler in particular. I'm sure they're around, but they don't always like to advertise their location. The place I found doesn't even have a single sign posted outside of the warehouse/office area they're operating out of. Apparently they have a problem with people stealing their higher-valued scrap metals. You've got to search them out.

Should be easy to find in hamilton

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 03 February 2020, 10:42:37 »
You got lucky, my dump doesn't even have mech kee s

I would agree, since I have never seen so many mechanical keyboards in one place before, but I didn't go to the dump. That may be why you may have struck out. You need to find an electronics recycler in particular. I'm sure they're around, but they don't always like to advertise their location. The place I found doesn't even have a single sign posted outside of the warehouse/office area they're operating out of. Apparently they have a problem with people stealing their higher-valued scrap metals. You've got to search them out.

How would you search them out? Btw, great finds!  :thumb:

Online Maledicted

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 03 February 2020, 12:10:42 »
How would you search them out? Btw, great finds!  :thumb:

With this one, I just happened to notice that an Ebay seller was based near me, searched for their name online and got in touch with them on social media. Another general recycler I got into I just happened to notice had cool electronics when were were scrapping/disposing of a few old pieces of furniture, etc. You should be able to find most of them in your area with some Google searches though and/or talking to the guys that work at whichever ones you do visit.

Thank you. I'm glad I took the trip.

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 03 February 2020, 16:22:02 »
How would you search them out? Btw, great finds!  :thumb:

With this one, I just happened to notice that an Ebay seller was based near me, searched for their name online and got in touch with them on social media. Another general recycler I got into I just happened to notice had cool electronics when were were scrapping/disposing of a few old pieces of furniture, etc. You should be able to find most of them in your area with some Google searches though and/or talking to the guys that work at whichever ones you do visit.

Thank you. I'm glad I took the trip.

I'm glad you found so much stuff too! Good luck in your future finds.

Online Maledicted

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 08 February 2020, 12:51:06 »
I finally tracked down what I went there for to begin with: A Zenith ZKB-2. It has yellow switches, but I already feel that they may be undervalued vs greens. These ones are certainly in better shape than the greens on the Z-150, though I'll probably be cleaning and lubing both boards, maybe even swap SKCM blues in if they're ever on Ebay NOS for a reasonable price again.

235370-0

I grew up surrounded by Zenith televisions, so I plan on using this board as much as possible once it has been gone over.

235372-1

The 3, 6, and enter keys on the number pad seem to not be functioning at the moment. I imagine that's just due to these failed solder joints. I'll have those fixed shortly.

Addendum: That was definitely the culprit. It is back to full function, I'm listening to its beautiful buzzer at this moment.
« Last Edit: Sat, 08 February 2020, 12:56:20 by Maledicted »

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 09 February 2020, 08:38:06 »
I finally tracked down what I went there for to begin with: A Zenith ZKB-2. It has yellow switches, but I already feel that they may be undervalued vs greens. These ones are certainly in better shape than the greens on the Z-150, though I'll probably be cleaning and lubing both boards, maybe even swap SKCM blues in if they're ever on Ebay NOS for a reasonable price again.

(Attachment Link)

I grew up surrounded by Zenith televisions, so I plan on using this board as much as possible once it has been gone over.

(Attachment Link)

The 3, 6, and enter keys on the number pad seem to not be functioning at the moment. I imagine that's just due to these failed solder joints. I'll have those fixed shortly.

Addendum: That was definitely the culprit. It is back to full function, I'm listening to its beautiful buzzer at this moment.
Great! Good luck with your future finds.

Online Maledicted

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 10 February 2020, 08:25:56 »
Great! Good luck with your future finds.

Thank you, the same to you, if you end up doing the same sort of uncontrollable hunt for archaic keyboards that you don't need.

I had to use a 1/4" socket to remove the bolts that hold the plate to the top casing on the ZKB-2, so I think that that definitively settles the matter of the correct definition of Zenith. This board was designed and manufactured in Imperial units, so we obviously must use the 'Murican pronunciation (forget the fact that Imperial units came from Britain originally).

235503-0

So ... do you remember how I said that the yellow switches in the ZKB-2 felt to be in much better shape than the greens on the Z-150? This is what the ZKB-2's switch plate looks like:

235505-1

It must be a minor miracle that this board works at all. It must have been sitting outside at some point. There's rust and various forms of detritus just encrusting this thing. It is almost as if the board itself willed itself not to die. I don't particularly want to do it if I'm just going to slap the same switches back in, but this looks like a candidate for a complete teardown and rebuild, to refinish the switch plate.

This also makes me wonder what horrors may wait inside some of the other boards I got from the same place, especially the Z-150.

Offline shine

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 10 February 2020, 10:59:04 »
impressive!
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Offline jacethesaltsculptor

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 21:15:37 »
That metal Badge M looks killer, if it's feeling mushy it's probably time for a Bolt Mod.  :(

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Online Maledicted

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 22:24:19 »
That metal Badge M looks killer, if it's feeling mushy it's probably time for a Bolt Mod.  :(

It is probably my first candidate for a full strip, clean, and bolt mod, although it is also my oldest Model M, so I partly don't want to risk ruining it either.

Offline jacethesaltsculptor

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 23:17:33 »
That metal Badge M looks killer, if it's feeling mushy it's probably time for a Bolt Mod.  :(

It is probably my first candidate for a full strip, clean, and bolt mod, although it is also my oldest Model M, so I partly don't want to risk ruining it either.

I can't say I blame you, it looks to be in great shape.

My Silver Badge M, that I've acquired in Recent months is one of my babies too, so I don't blame you being careful with it. You can feel the difference in heft between it and later Model M's as well.

No cracks on the back? Have both of its feet?

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Online Maledicted

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 23:40:52 »
That metal Badge M looks killer, if it's feeling mushy it's probably time for a Bolt Mod.  :(

It is probably my first candidate for a full strip, clean, and bolt mod, although it is also my oldest Model M, so I partly don't want to risk ruining it either.

I can't say I blame you, it looks to be in great shape.

My Silver Badge M, that I've acquired in Recent months is one of my babies too, so I don't blame you being careful with it. You can feel the difference in heft between it and later Model M's as well.

No cracks on the back? Have both of its feet?

Absolutely. I almost want to weigh it against even Ms from just a few years later.

No cracks, has both of its feet. I'm somewhat surprised since it was literally pulled out of a gaylord full of scrap electronics.

Offline jacethesaltsculptor

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 23:51:46 »

Absolutely. I almost want to weigh it against even Ms from just a few years later.

No cracks, has both of its feet. I'm somewhat surprised since it was literally pulled out of a gaylord full of scrap electronics.

Only IBM would build a board that could be thrown and it'd look like it was gently set down instead.

when I got my Metal Badge, I could tell how this keyboard formed a continuum to the modern day from Model F's. It just feels like that old quality through and through.

I hope for your sake that it's in great shape and that you can just use it as it is. Throw up pics if you do mod it though, I'll be doing that myself soon enough on an M122 I just recently got. (It's got locklights and it's an IBM, but it's going to mush, so I can tell it's bolt mod time.  :( )

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Online Maledicted

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 26 March 2020, 00:28:37 »

Absolutely. I almost want to weigh it against even Ms from just a few years later.

No cracks, has both of its feet. I'm somewhat surprised since it was literally pulled out of a gaylord full of scrap electronics.

Only IBM would build a board that could be thrown and it'd look like it was gently set down instead.

when I got my Metal Badge, I could tell how this keyboard formed a continuum to the modern day from Model F's. It just feels like that old quality through and through.

I hope for your sake that it's in great shape and that you can just use it as it is. Throw up pics if you do mod it though, I'll be doing that myself soon enough on an M122 I just recently got. (It's got locklights and it's an IBM, but it's going to mush, so I can tell it's bolt mod time.  :( )

I'm sure I'll bolt mod it, I can hear the rivets shaking around inside. That parts Model M I got actually feels the most consistent of any of the ones I own yet. lol. I prefer it that way anyway. I like how with my Fs that I don't have to worry about that crap, so bolt-modding an M and just being done with that for good will be the route I want to go. I'll leave it stock otherwise.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 26 March 2020, 07:34:15 »

my first candidate for a full strip, clean, and bolt mod


If you have $10 to spare, you might order one of the new thin white latex mats ("blankets") from Unicomp to replace the original thick black rubber one.

It makes the feel noticeably more crisp.
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Online Rob27shred

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 26 March 2020, 08:14:42 »
Really nice finds Maledicted! I've kinda been after some Zenith boards for some SKCL sweetness myself (admittedly I have not looked to hard yet though). I recently linearized some 9/10 SKCM oranges I have & they feel incredible! In fact I like them so much I'm actually gonna be building my Raven with them, instead of swapping the SKCM browns I got in my ALPS64 build like I originally planned. The plate on the ZKB-2 is pretty rusty & definitely needs restored, but the biggest factors in switch quality with SKCL/M ALPS switches IME are how much they have been used & how much dust, dirt, grime, got inside of the switches while it still was in use. Even if the board is pretty nasty as long as the switches haven't been used a lot while dirty they'll be fine. Of course barring situations like a board that has sat outside or had a ton of crap dumped on it. Anyways GL with restoring them, they should end up being awesome boards!

Online Maledicted

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #21 on: Fri, 27 March 2020, 02:46:19 »

my first candidate for a full strip, clean, and bolt mod


If you have $10 to spare, you might order one of the new thin white latex mats ("blankets") from Unicomp to replace the original thick black rubber one.

It makes the feel noticeably more crisp.

I may well do that. I didn't know this was even a thing, thank you.

Really nice finds Maledicted! I've kinda been after some Zenith boards for some SKCL sweetness myself (admittedly I have not looked to hard yet though). I recently linearized some 9/10 SKCM oranges I have & they feel incredible! In fact I like them so much I'm actually gonna be building my Raven with them, instead of swapping the SKCM browns I got in my ALPS64 build like I originally planned. The plate on the ZKB-2 is pretty rusty & definitely needs restored, but the biggest factors in switch quality with SKCL/M ALPS switches IME are how much they have been used & how much dust, dirt, grime, got inside of the switches while it still was in use. Even if the board is pretty nasty as long as the switches haven't been used a lot while dirty they'll be fine. Of course barring situations like a board that has sat outside or had a ton of crap dumped on it. Anyways GL with restoring them, they should end up being awesome boards!

Thank you, I got pretty lucky. Personally, I just really like Zenith as a company, growing up with a lot of their tvs around. The fact that they made a bunch of high quality Alps boards is a great coincidence. I haven't had much time feeling tactile Alps, although they felt better than anything else I have tried. I could certainly see why, if you wanted linears, you might want to linearize tactile Alps. The few yellows and greens that I have that still feel smooth feel fantastic. That's part of why I haven't used the ZKB-2 at all beyond initial testing. I want to rip the thing apart and clean it all first. I'll have to desolder all of the switches anyway to properly remove the rust on that plate, and prevent it from coming back. Thank you, I hope that they will. Otherwise, I'll find switches for them. Goodluck with your own future Alps adventures.


Offline typo

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #22 on: Fri, 27 March 2020, 15:37:42 »
Maledicted, was it where I told you?

Online Maledicted

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Re: My interesting recycling facility haul today
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 30 March 2020, 13:43:43 »
Maledicted, was it where I told you?

Nah, this post is originally from before we spoke about that place in Illinois. It is a local place, pretty well hidden, in Jackson. I would probably have to ask the owners if they're comfortable giving out the address. They've had people break in and steal things. I still need to contact that guy. I really shouldn't be spending any more money on keyboards. lol