Author Topic: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)  (Read 2529 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline hvontres

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 58
  • Location: Oceanside, CA
  • Buckling Spring Enthusiast
[Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« on: Sat, 08 August 2020, 17:08:20 »
« Last Edit: Sat, 08 August 2020, 18:53:50 by hvontres »
Henry von Tresckow

             
1986 Model M 1390131 (square badge), 1987 Model M 1391401 (Oval Badge), 1993 Model M2 project, Modded Reddragon k556 with Hako True switches and dev/tty keycaps (work keyboard)

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 08 August 2020, 18:04:31 »
Is $150 shipped a good deal for an AT/XT? In the process of typing it out I decided it probably is.

I'm also hoping someone who really wants it yoinks. If it's still up in 20 minutes though I guess I'll be researching solenoid installation.

Offline hvontres

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 58
  • Location: Oceanside, CA
  • Buckling Spring Enthusiast
Re: Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 08 August 2020, 18:07:13 »
Is $150 shipped a good deal for an AT/XT? In the process of typing it out I decided it probably is.

I'm also hoping someone who really wants it yoinks. If it's still up in 20 minutes though I guess I'll be researching solenoid installation.

I apologize to your wallet....
Henry von Tresckow

             
1986 Model M 1390131 (square badge), 1987 Model M 1391401 (Oval Badge), 1993 Model M2 project, Modded Reddragon k556 with Hako True switches and dev/tty keycaps (work keyboard)

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 08 August 2020, 18:25:24 »
I'll see if I can talk them down by $6 :p
It's almost like I'm trying to lose on purpose...

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5913
  • Location: 35°57'20"N, 83°52'50"W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 08 August 2020, 18:33:10 »
It seems to me that anything under $200 for a complete working F AT is a good deal.

XTs sometimes go for almost that much and they are at least 20X more common.
The difference in characterization of crime and who commits it skews what criminality looks like demographically. "What we're seeing so far is very similar to the process that we see with Islamic violent Jihad radicalization," said former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, "This wanting to belong to a cause greater than yourself, wanting to get affirmation from a group who may not even know who you are or ever met you. And then feeling like you're part of this deployment, this cause. You heard him say on the clip 'It's my job to protect this.'
No, it's not your job. But you think it is. And video last night shows him walking around roaming around with the assault rifle not really doing much of protecting anything." Figliuzzi made it clear that calling these characters "troubled" is a misnomer. "I would assert," Figliuzzi continued. "that it's time we stopped using the word ‘troubled’ with regard to white young people who act out like this and start thinking about the radicalized term that we used when people of color or people of Islamic faith act out like this. This is a radicalization process that's happening. It happened with the El Paso shooter in Texas. We kept hearing he was troubled. No, he was radicalized. And it's happening online."

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 08 August 2020, 18:44:14 »
It's an XT. I bought it anyway.

I guess I've been broken by bad prices elsewhere.

Offline hvontres

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 58
  • Location: Oceanside, CA
  • Buckling Spring Enthusiast
Re: Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 08 August 2020, 18:52:35 »
It's an XT. I bought it anyway.

I guess I've been broken by bad prices elsewhere.

My wallet thanks you. I just hope I didn't set you up on a quest for one of those F 107's..... I figure I will stick with my model M collection for now.
Henry von Tresckow

             
1986 Model M 1390131 (square badge), 1987 Model M 1391401 (Oval Badge), 1993 Model M2 project, Modded Reddragon k556 with Hako True switches and dev/tty keycaps (work keyboard)

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 08 August 2020, 18:56:36 »
This will be my first buckling spring board. The 2KRO on the Model M always gave me pause, but I figured I needed to give buckling springs a shot (and prices are only going up). With WYSE boards going for $75+, I can justify paying twice that for a Model F.

Now all I need is a one cork foot, a converter of some kind and two solenoids, one on either end of the board that will alternate fire.
« Last Edit: Sat, 08 August 2020, 19:32:41 by Rayndalf »

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1399
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 10 August 2020, 11:04:39 »
It's an XT. I bought it anyway.

I guess I've been broken by bad prices elsewhere.

My wallet thanks you. I just hope I didn't set you up on a quest for one of those F 107's..... I figure I will stick with my model M collection for now.

Everyone who likes buckling springs should really own an F107. They're wonderful.

This will be my first buckling spring board. The 2KRO on the Model M always gave me pause, but I figured I needed to give buckling springs a shot (and prices are only going up). With WYSE boards going for $75+, I can justify paying twice that for a Model F.

Now all I need is a one cork foot, a converter of some kind and two solenoids, one on either end of the board that will alternate fire.

I think Ellipse is selling cork feet for his new Models F. I am not sure if the size is exactly the same as on an original XT, but I could check later. He has custom solenoids being made too, if they aren't sold out yet. I'm not sure how you plan to fire the solenoids without an xwhatsit controller, which has apparently been used with an XT, but that requires some PCB surgery.

Surely with all of your hunting around for ancient boards you've got a Soarer's converter with a 5-pin din socket, right? Easy and fun to build, otherwise Orihalcon has more commercial ones on Ebay. Should cover your bases for most vintage boards, otherwise Hasu's firmware seems to be becoming very capable too.

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 10 August 2020, 16:18:17 »
Honestly I've just gotten lucky that all my DIN5 boards have been AT/XT switchable and AT with a passive adapter is just PS/2 (which works with commercially available converters). As a result I still haven't ordered any DIN5 sockets yet.

I guess I meant convertor or controller. Internally converting with a microcontroller is the cheapest option, but the xwhatsit is probably worth the cost if I ever want to sell it or get a solenoid to work without going insane. I'm glad new solenoids are available, if the only way to get a solenoid was to tear one out of a blue switch F, I'd sell the XT and use the blue switch F (they run around 50% more than XTs and the layout isn't much worse).

So QMK has no support for solenoid antics yet? I guess that'd be why newer customs aren't throwing them in.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1399
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 10 August 2020, 17:12:00 »
Honestly I've just gotten lucky that all my DIN5 boards have been AT/XT switchable and AT with a passive adapter is just PS/2 (which works with commercially available converters). As a result I still haven't ordered any DIN5 sockets yet.

I guess I meant convertor or controller. Internally converting with a microcontroller is the cheapest option, but the xwhatsit is probably worth the cost if I ever want to sell it or get a solenoid to work without going insane. I'm glad new solenoids are available, if the only way to get a solenoid was to tear one out of a blue switch F, I'd sell the XT and use the blue switch F (they run around 50% more than XTs and the layout isn't much worse).

So QMK has no support for solenoid antics yet? I guess that'd be why newer customs aren't throwing them in.

Have you used a board with an XT layout before? I would worry more about getting used to that, and whether you even can, before worrying about major mods like hacking up the PCB to try to solder an xwhatsit to it. The XT's controller is part of the main PCB. You're going to want/need an external adapter eventually, so you may want a Soarer's converter for now and go from there.

I think suitable solenoids have been floating around, but none purpose-made for Model Fs, to my knowledge. I have no idea on QMK. I have never had any reason to use that firmware before.

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 10 August 2020, 17:26:51 »
https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/product/xwhatsit-beam-spring-or-model-f-controller/

Parts are available, but it's $30 each for the xwhatsit, the solenoid controller, and the actual solenoid. With shipping thats at least $100 in parts for a keyboard I still couldn't daily drive, but ~$275 total for a well built meme machine with "impeccable retro styling, OG dyesubs and endgame switches" almost seems like a steal.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1399
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 10 August 2020, 18:43:33 »
https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/product/xwhatsit-beam-spring-or-model-f-controller/

Parts are available, but it's $30 each for the xwhatsit, the solenoid controller, and the actual solenoid. With shipping thats at least $100 in parts for a keyboard I still couldn't daily drive, but ~$275 total for a well built meme machine with "impeccable retro styling, OG dyesubs and endgame switches" almost seems like a steal.

Some people end up loving the XT layout, somehow, so you never know. I tried. It didn't work out. The XT is wonderfully pingy though thanks to its metal lower casing. I did the opposite with mine. I bought it as-is with a cut cable and spliced a nice HOSA MIDI cable in to replace it, then used it with an external converter.

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 10 August 2020, 18:56:57 »
A converter I could use with other boards (My Unitek K151 looks like an AT clone but is XT only) is cost effective, but making the most obnoxious machine has it's appeal too.

Mini DIN 6 cables are somehow even cheaper than DIN 5. I guess PS/2 is users (POS systems and old people?) won't pay as much as musicians.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1399
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 10 August 2020, 21:28:47 »
A converter I could use with other boards (My Unitek K151 looks like an AT clone but is XT only) is cost effective, but making the most obnoxious machine has it's appeal too.

Mini DIN 6 cables are somehow even cheaper than DIN 5. I guess PS/2 is users (POS systems and old people?) won't pay as much as musicians.

I have two K151L boards, wonderfully made (besides the PCB), contrary to Unitek's reputation. I put box jades in one of them, since some of the "vintage" blacks didn't work. I now chalk that up to some of the legs on the diodes literally having rusted through though.

I imagine that may just be supply and demand. Plenty of supply and less demand?

I did just compare the cork feet on my new production F77 and my original F XT. The size definitely seems to be exactly the same. The cork particles seem a lot more dense on the F77, but close enough.

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 10 August 2020, 23:57:08 »
I'm pretty close to mocking up a Unitek K151 front sticker that matches the font on the rear sticker (I did some research and metal badges are very expensive when they aren't standard sizes).

There are two versions of Boul Mich floating around, a poorly vectorized scan from an old font CD Rom and a new (and flawless) version that costs $20. I really might just pay the $20 and be done with it, since trying to clean the font up the free version in inkscape feels like a complete waste of time.

I guess I'll put out an IC (lol) and see how many people would want one at the slightly larger (20?) order price. Either way I'll order a handful in case I buy more Unitek boards.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1399
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 10:20:07 »
I'm pretty close to mocking up a Unitek K151 front sticker that matches the font on the rear sticker (I did some research and metal badges are very expensive when they aren't standard sizes).

There are two versions of Boul Mich floating around, a poorly vectorized scan from an old font CD Rom and a new (and flawless) version that costs $20. I really might just pay the $20 and be done with it, since trying to clean the font up the free version in inkscape feels like a complete waste of time.

I guess I'll put out an IC (lol) and see how many people would want one at the slightly larger (20?) order price. Either way I'll order a handful in case I buy more Unitek boards.

What do you mean by Boul Mich? This is a Unitek logo? I have thought about just making my own that has nothing to do with Unitek, since I don't think the K151L (specifically) ever actually came with anything there anyway. I also thought about painting the case and adding LEDs ... since why shouldn't a cosmetic F clone from the 80s be black with red LEDs? I don't know if I can bring myself to do that to a vintage board though, no matter how valueless.

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 16:04:10 »
Boul Mich is the name of the font Unitek used for their logo on the back sticker. It looks like a 1920's font because it actually is (which is funny to see on what was once cutting edge PC compatible hardware). The 'U' was hard, but the rest of the letters have been straightforward.

The harvested one I purchased had a sticker (that was gone by the time I got it), but it was pretty ugly too. I know Unitek was a small company, but whoever bought and branded their boards are literally unknown.

I'm taking cues from Keytronic labels and trying to echo the back label in an attempt to give it some dignity and cohesion, but is you know of cooler logos that fit in the size of a fortune cookie fortune, let me know.

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 14 August 2020, 19:58:22 »
I have to say the Model F reminds me of my dog, a little chunky, and surprisingly heavy, but despite the incessant sound they're remarkably soft. I actually like the subtle spring ping (my dog doesn't ping).

I had always heard "MX blues are nothing like buckling springs", and had built them up in my mind to be heavy ultra tactile uber switches, but in terms of weight and feeling they feel like blues that got 12 hours of sleep and turned their life around. These switches don't really seem condition dependent either (I don't think lube would do much, they feel fine).

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1399
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 14 August 2020, 20:22:04 »
I have to say the Model F reminds me of my dog, a little chunky, and surprisingly heavy, but despite the incessant sound they're remarkably soft. I actually like the subtle spring ping (my dog doesn't ping).

I had always heard "MX blues are nothing like buckling springs", and had built them up in my mind to be heavy ultra tactile uber switches, but in terms of weight and feeling they feel like blues that got 12 hours of sleep and turned their life around. These switches don't really seem condition dependent either (I don't think lube would do much, they feel fine).

Capacitive buckling spring has very, very light tactility. The thing that makes it feel more tactile than it really is is that the spring weighting seems to stack just before it buckles, so you've got a sudden but gradual build in weighting, then a sharp and crisp (yet slight) tactile event. I don't think any of that is really present in MX blue, the tactile event is also noticeably lower in the overall travel than MX clickies.

Capacitive buckling spring is always smooth and crisp so long as the springs are seated properly. It is pretty much unaffected at all by dust, and being capacitive, the board is likely to continue to function until the apocalypse.

I have always quite liked the Model F ping. I can't say whether I like it more or less than a nice bassy Alps board. I like them both very much for sound. It certainly sounds much better than MX clickies. I would think that would be an objective statement, but maybe not.

Offline funkmon

  • Posts: 294
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 15 August 2020, 05:41:23 »
Yes, I think the Model F has a huge amount of placebo tactility, but I noticed it for the first time a few days ago how non tactile it really was. As some may know, I've been trying an experiment using things I hate: surprise, I still hate em, and one of the things has a much stronger tactility than the Model F even though it doesn't quite feel like it when you're really using it, just next to each other. Very strange. The F is a lesson in weak but effective tactility; I consider Box Pinks to be on a similar level in that regard, although not in overall switch feel.

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 15 August 2020, 06:22:45 »
I was captivated by just how good the one stabilized key on the board is (no wobble even pressing the spacebar on the very edge), and made the classic blunder of trying to remove the space bar. Luckily it's fairly easy to disassemble (no soldering anyway) I tried the abbrasive side of a sponge, but the corrosion is pretty hard (despite how thin it is), do people normally sand the plate and paint it?

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 15 August 2020, 13:42:38 »
So nice I "accidently" bought another one (same buy price but only $20 shipping). Not sure why I put in an offer, but at least I now I'll need a total of 4 cork feet.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1399
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 15 August 2020, 17:13:46 »
I tried the abbrasive side of a sponge, but the corrosion is pretty hard (despite how thin it is), do people normally sand the plate and paint it?

I usually apply this to firearms, (the exact process I used on a board being first tried on a surplus Hi-Power) but I have done it with good results on at least one board. Copper brushes are cheaper available, usually even at most hardware and home improvements stores. A copper scouring pad would probably work as well. Copper is harder than rust (I'm not sure what sort of corrosion that is, but it should still work well) but softer than steel, so it can very effectively remove active rust from a steel surface without harming the rest of the steel, especially when paired with oil (I use ATF). I don't worry about painted surfaces, especially if they're black. Hi-Powers of a certain vintage all have enamel paint. Mine was mostly gone wherever it had rusted. I obviously didn't want the rust to return, so I used Rust-Oleum appliance touch-up paint to cover the exposed metal. It doesn't look perfect since enamel paints, and powder coat, have a noticeable thickness to them, but it does do the job of stabilizing the metal and has blended well both with the Hi-Power and the K151L plate I used it on. If you wanted to refinish the whole thing, I would dunk the plate in vinegar until it eats all active corrosion and strips all of the paint for you at the same time. Some cut the vinegar with water, since there is apparently a risk that it may eat good metal too if you leave it in too long otherwise.

After that you should be able to clean with an alcohol or solvent of your choice, prime, and paint.

Offline hvontres

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 58
  • Location: Oceanside, CA
  • Buckling Spring Enthusiast
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #24 on: Sat, 15 August 2020, 17:15:38 »
So nice I "accidently" bought another one (same buy price but only $20 shipping). Not sure why I put in an offer, but at least I now I'll need a total of 4 cork feet.

So you have an example of how to put it back together?
I always hate when my initial offer gets accepted on the first try. It feels like I could have gotten a better deal.
Henry von Tresckow

             
1986 Model M 1390131 (square badge), 1987 Model M 1391401 (Oval Badge), 1993 Model M2 project, Modded Reddragon k556 with Hako True switches and dev/tty keycaps (work keyboard)

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 15 August 2020, 20:14:29 »
So nice I "accidently" bought another one (same buy price but only $20 shipping). Not sure why I put in an offer, but at least I now I'll need a total of 4 cork feet.

So you have an example of how to put it back together?
I always hate when my initial offer gets accepted on the first try. It feels like I could have gotten a better deal.
Given they (somehow) regularly sell for more, I have no idea. I can't imagine who pays such a premium for unconverted examples. I'd assume anyone who accepts of the layout and protocol are keyboard or vintage computer aficionados... who don't mind paying double what XTs cost a few years ago(?)

You know, that's a great excuse for buying a second F XT. I'm still not sure if the spacebar stab wire goes "point down" or "point up" as it's sort of spring loaded.

Online Rayndalf

  • Posts: 369
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 15 August 2020, 23:49:24 »
Just realized they were being sold by the same seller. Unfortunately the seller wouldn't combine shipping.

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5913
  • Location: 35°57'20"N, 83°52'50"W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 16 August 2020, 09:32:28 »

I always hate when my initial offer gets accepted on the first try. It feels like I could have gotten a better deal.


You can't worry about this.

The first thing that my instructor said on my first day of sales training was: "What is the definition of a good business deal?"
Answer: "When buyer and seller come to an agreement on a price that they both consider to be fair."

Buyer's remorse is a real thing but you will make yourself crazy if you worry about it. As a seller as well as a buyer, I feel a similar thing when I list something at a fixed price and it sells in an hour or less.


The difference in characterization of crime and who commits it skews what criminality looks like demographically. "What we're seeing so far is very similar to the process that we see with Islamic violent Jihad radicalization," said former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, "This wanting to belong to a cause greater than yourself, wanting to get affirmation from a group who may not even know who you are or ever met you. And then feeling like you're part of this deployment, this cause. You heard him say on the clip 'It's my job to protect this.'
No, it's not your job. But you think it is. And video last night shows him walking around roaming around with the assault rifle not really doing much of protecting anything." Figliuzzi made it clear that calling these characters "troubled" is a misnomer. "I would assert," Figliuzzi continued. "that it's time we stopped using the word ‘troubled’ with regard to white young people who act out like this and start thinking about the radicalized term that we used when people of color or people of Islamic faith act out like this. This is a radicalization process that's happening. It happened with the El Paso shooter in Texas. We kept hearing he was troubled. No, he was radicalized. And it's happening online."

Offline funkmon

  • Posts: 294
Re: [Sold] Model F on the cheap (sort of)
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 17 August 2020, 21:09:38 »
Happened to me just recently, but I genuinely feel bad because this guy who bought my Model M 122 got an okay deal but not a great deal. He paid more for it than I did. Sad times. Hopefully he is happy. It allowed me to save up just enough money to waste it on Ellipse.