Author Topic: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms  (Read 4129 times)

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Offline Maledicted

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One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« on: Fri, 17 April 2020, 11:20:55 »
I have no idea if this is a fantastic price, but I certainly considered it. Just under $500. The seller told me the switches feel about 7.5 out of 10, however. I have only now decided I should share instead of agonizing over whether or not I should get it.



RARE IBM SKCM BLUE ALPS MODEL M KEYBOARD

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 17 April 2020, 12:09:24 »
I would love to have one of those, but that price is steep.

Since these are some form of "counterfeit" IBM products, it seems odd that they would have showed it as a 1390120, the variant without lock lights.
“At the age of 35, after 6 years as a renunciant, he sat under a tree in Bodhgaya in North India and vowed not to get up until he had found the secret of our everlasting wandering from rebirth to rebirth. Sensing trouble, Mara, the demon of sense pleasures, sent a series of distractions his way, but the Buddha-to-be would not be stirred by such trivialities.
After 49 days, awakening came upon him. In one of the great moments in world history, he saw that all things are impermanent and ever changing. He saw how we suffer because we wish the world were otherwise. And through these insights he saw his suffering itself wander away. From that point forward he was the Buddha, which, like the term “Christ” is a title rather than a proper name.
For the next 45 years, the Buddha wandered the Indian subcontinent, turning the wheel of dharma and gathering monks and nuns into a crew of wandering beggars. Together they bore witness to what has been described as “History’s Most Dangerous Idea” – that  human beings can solve human problems on our own, without recourse to God or divine revelation.”
– Stephen Porthero 2010

Offline chyros

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 17 April 2020, 12:54:24 »
The price is much too high and the picturing is ridiculous. No full picture means DO NOT BUY under any circumstances!

Also, since these were first discovered, a decent number have emerged. They're not THAT rare.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline Maledicted

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 17 April 2020, 13:01:38 »
The price is much too high and the picturing is ridiculous. No full picture means DO NOT BUY under any circumstances!

Also, since these were first discovered, a decent number have emerged. They're not THAT rare.

You would know better than I. The caps are included. That much the seller told me when I asked. The way the pictures are taken is definitely curious. I imagine the only other real way to get one of these at all, much less for cheaper, would be to try to find one in Asia ... somewhere?

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 18 April 2020, 02:39:18 »
Spotted that, and yeah, what kind of maniac posts such ****ty pictures on their listings? is it incompetence or does he have something to hide?

Offline ed_avis

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 20 April 2020, 09:48:35 »
I'd expect the ALPS switches to age a lot worse than buckling springs -- so this is surely for rarity value only?

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 20 April 2020, 10:40:17 »
A really solid, well-built keyboard in straight conventional ANSI layout with blue Alps?

That is a lot of people's true endgame unicorn keyboard.
“At the age of 35, after 6 years as a renunciant, he sat under a tree in Bodhgaya in North India and vowed not to get up until he had found the secret of our everlasting wandering from rebirth to rebirth. Sensing trouble, Mara, the demon of sense pleasures, sent a series of distractions his way, but the Buddha-to-be would not be stirred by such trivialities.
After 49 days, awakening came upon him. In one of the great moments in world history, he saw that all things are impermanent and ever changing. He saw how we suffer because we wish the world were otherwise. And through these insights he saw his suffering itself wander away. From that point forward he was the Buddha, which, like the term “Christ” is a title rather than a proper name.
For the next 45 years, the Buddha wandered the Indian subcontinent, turning the wheel of dharma and gathering monks and nuns into a crew of wandering beggars. Together they bore witness to what has been described as “History’s Most Dangerous Idea” – that  human beings can solve human problems on our own, without recourse to God or divine revelation.”
– Stephen Porthero 2010

Offline Maledicted

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 20 April 2020, 10:52:12 »
I'd expect the ALPS switches to age a lot worse than buckling springs -- so this is surely for rarity value only?

You can abuse a membrane buckling spring keyboard in ways that you cannot an Alps board with no ill effect, yes. Many, like myself, still find SKCM blue alps to be even better than capacitive buckling spring in terms of feel and sound. Rarity would be a factor, the switches themselves would be a factor (blue alps boards in good shape are already worth $300+ to the right person), and the fact that it is what is considered by many to be the ultimate switch ever made (besides beamsprings) in an iconic IBM chassis renowned for its heft and durability.

A really solid, well-built keyboard in straight conventional ANSI layout with blue Alps?

That is a lot of people's true endgame unicorn keyboard.


Also that. ^

Offline ed_avis

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 20 April 2020, 11:06:44 »
OK, I'll have to experience blue Alps for myself.  I was unimpressed with black Alps recently, not so much for the feel, as for the poor lifespan and what seems like a fiddly, unreliable design.  Leaf springs getting bent out of shape slightly with long term use, and so on.

I've tried Monterey Alps clones, which feel nice, but I can't comment on how they would stand up to years of heavy typing.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 20 April 2020, 13:02:45 »
OK, I'll have to experience blue Alps for myself.  I was unimpressed with black Alps recently, not so much for the feel, as for the poor lifespan and what seems like a fiddly, unreliable design.  Leaf springs getting bent out of shape slightly with long term use, and so on.

I've tried Monterey Alps clones, which feel nice, but I can't comment on how they would stand up to years of heavy typing.

Their biggest weakness is their susceptibility to dust. A board may look fine, but if the switches got any dust/debri inside of them, they may feel terrible, and if they've been typed on over time with that debri in place, they may not return to a smooth feel. I do wonder if sanding/lapping/etc may help in those cases. I have plenty of dirty Alps boards to clean, so maybe I'll find out.

I have always heard that they wear out more easily than other switches as well. I guess I'll try to take it easy on my one good SKCM blue board until we have new production, or something modern that can actually replace it.

I have only just briefly typed on black Alps, which seemed wonderful to me for a tactile switch (I haven't tried anything better yet), but their clickies are wonderful. I think modern linears may have come far enough in the past few years that their linears may no longer be necessary.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 20 April 2020, 14:49:39 »

I have always heard that they wear out more easily than other switches as well.


I would disagree with that. I got a Dell AT101W with a Dell system in the late 1990s and used it for several years (~5), gave it to a friend who put it in a closet for years(~10), then I got it back and it still feels fine.

I have also bought a new-in-open-box AT101W in about 2012 that felt bad, presumably because it had been in an environment with very fine airborne dust. You just don't know until you use it.
“At the age of 35, after 6 years as a renunciant, he sat under a tree in Bodhgaya in North India and vowed not to get up until he had found the secret of our everlasting wandering from rebirth to rebirth. Sensing trouble, Mara, the demon of sense pleasures, sent a series of distractions his way, but the Buddha-to-be would not be stirred by such trivialities.
After 49 days, awakening came upon him. In one of the great moments in world history, he saw that all things are impermanent and ever changing. He saw how we suffer because we wish the world were otherwise. And through these insights he saw his suffering itself wander away. From that point forward he was the Buddha, which, like the term “Christ” is a title rather than a proper name.
For the next 45 years, the Buddha wandered the Indian subcontinent, turning the wheel of dharma and gathering monks and nuns into a crew of wandering beggars. Together they bore witness to what has been described as “History’s Most Dangerous Idea” – that  human beings can solve human problems on our own, without recourse to God or divine revelation.”
– Stephen Porthero 2010

Offline Maledicted

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 20 April 2020, 14:59:12 »

I have always heard that they wear out more easily than other switches as well.


I would disagree with that. I got a Dell AT101W with a Dell system in the late 1990s and used it for several years (~5), gave it to a friend who put it in a closet for years(~10), then I got it back and it still feels fine.

I have also bought a new-in-open-box AT101W in about 2012 that felt bad, presumably because it had been in an environment with very fine airborne dust. You just don't know until you use it.

You would know better than I would, it is just what I have read. I haven't even had an Alps board for a full year. Certainly way better than foam and foil and Futaba where they literally seem to decompose just sitting around, lol. I try to keep mine covered in towels though when I'm not using them. If they do eventually do a failthful reproduction of Alps switches, we're going to need a case with a dust cover, like those FK-2001s.

Offline chyros

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 20 April 2020, 15:17:19 »
A really solid, well-built keyboard in straight conventional ANSI layout with blue Alps?

That is a lot of people's true endgame unicorn keyboard.
It's even got NKRO from what I remember. So the gamer kiddos can't use that as an excuse not to use it xD .

The biggest problem is condition. These SKCMAG M's tend to be in very bad condition.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline shine

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Re: One of those unicorn SKCM blue Model Ms
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 01 May 2020, 10:02:10 »
I am considering it as well, it's a nice mix
Beamspring 1978 IBM 3276 data entry I, 1983 IBM 6580 Displaywriter | Model F 1985 F122 (6110345), 5291 F Bigfoot | Model M IBM M122, IBM M industrial gray | Custom KBD75V2