Author Topic: Unicomp Mini Model M SSK prototype first look, overview/review and experience  (Read 4147 times)

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Offline fohat.digs

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if you don't like the high pitched noise of the Model F.


could this be fixed with dental floss mod?


Yes, that is precisely what the dental floss mod does. And why it is virtually useless on a Model M.



I think the plastic rivets were a step too far for the sake of cost savings.


True. There were a lot of compromises in the F-to-M transition, but that is the one that really impacted functionality. The personality and charm of the F were eliminated, but the M was entirely adequate for what was probably imagined to be a 3-5 year life cycle.
 
What this shows is that the Republican Party knows, deep down somewhere, that even before Trump they had less than a policy agenda. All they’ve had for the past decade or so is strategy and tactics to suppress the vote, either through extreme gerrymandering or State-level laws. More often than not, as we’re seeing, through both. Without a stated party platform they are left with nothing but the insanity of The Power Grab and The Big Lie. The Party as a whole has, for some twisted logical reason, decided that America no longer needs Democracy. That in the bent and tortured reality Republicans have created for themselves America was never a Democracy, the Founders never intended for the country’s politics or social order to change, that the country’s democratic features would always only extend to wealthy White Christian property owners. They’ve also, collectively, decided that threatening major, multi-billion dollar corporations that employ tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people worldwide will somehow, for some reason, cower in the corner when State politicians decide to take a few million in subsidies off the table. When faced with hundreds of millions, or even billions, in lost business because The People are voting with their wallet, I know where I’d position my company, and it’s not at the dinner table with Mitch McConnell and his wife.
– **** Scott 2021-04-08

Offline Maledicted

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if you don't like the high pitched noise of the Model F.


could this be fixed with dental floss mod?


Yes, that is precisely what the dental floss mod does. And why it is virtually useless on a Model M.

I had a feeling you would chime in on that one. I like my Fs to ping, so I couldn't speak from experience on it.

Online yui

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i kinda also think that the old rivets can break with use, the hammer hitting on the plate create vibration and a sharp force on them, and from the old broken M i have all of them had the rivets closest to the most used keys broken (although one of them is used enough for a key to be worn to the point that part of the legend was fading, this one only had 2 intact rivets when i got it)
i still think that compared to modern keyboard the M is a tank, but compared to what came before it, yeah it is rather flimsy
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Offline tp4tissue

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Model M isn't a TANK though.   It's just HEAVY because of that steel plate.

The true Tank boards were all special builds for industrial environments, and TBH, I'd worry a bit about the radiation/ toxins  in collecting them..

Offline fohat.digs

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i kinda also think that the old rivets can break with use


It is random and unpredictable. One of my oldest Ms, a 1390131 from about 1986-87, came to me a few years ago used (but not abused) with zero broken rivets. But at about the same time, I bought a New-in-Box, sealed, SSK from Cindy with just over half of its rivets already broken.

Since I have done it enough to be comfortable with the process, I have bolt-modded all (but one) of the Model Ms that I intend to keep for my own personal use. For me, it is a relatively painless way to correct the most obvious glaring weakness of the keyboard.
What this shows is that the Republican Party knows, deep down somewhere, that even before Trump they had less than a policy agenda. All they’ve had for the past decade or so is strategy and tactics to suppress the vote, either through extreme gerrymandering or State-level laws. More often than not, as we’re seeing, through both. Without a stated party platform they are left with nothing but the insanity of The Power Grab and The Big Lie. The Party as a whole has, for some twisted logical reason, decided that America no longer needs Democracy. That in the bent and tortured reality Republicans have created for themselves America was never a Democracy, the Founders never intended for the country’s politics or social order to change, that the country’s democratic features would always only extend to wealthy White Christian property owners. They’ve also, collectively, decided that threatening major, multi-billion dollar corporations that employ tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people worldwide will somehow, for some reason, cower in the corner when State politicians decide to take a few million in subsidies off the table. When faced with hundreds of millions, or even billions, in lost business because The People are voting with their wallet, I know where I’d position my company, and it’s not at the dinner table with Mitch McConnell and his wife.
– **** Scott 2021-04-08

Offline Maledicted

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Model M isn't a TANK though.   It's just HEAVY because of that steel plate.

The true Tank boards were all special builds for industrial environments, and TBH, I'd worry a bit about the radiation/ toxins  in collecting them..


Agreed. I think just about anything relatively rigid made today is more of a tank than a Model M that's still held together by plastic rivets.

Offline Snowdog993

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Model M isn't a TANK though.   It's just HEAVY because of that steel plate.

The true Tank boards were all special builds for industrial environments, and TBH, I'd worry a bit about the radiation/ toxins  in collecting them..


Agreed. I think just about anything relatively rigid made today is more of a tank than a Model M that's still held together by plastic rivets.

I do like Phosphorglow.
« Last Edit: Thu, 11 March 2021, 09:40:48 by Snowdog993 »

Online King Icewind

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Is there any particular reason why you cant use metal rivets?

Offline Snowdog993

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Is there any particular reason why you cant use metal rivets?

Long story short, it is the design of the keyboard itself. The membrane is sandwiched between the barrel and the back plate. The barrel has long extensions that are melted to the back of the steel back plate. They can hold for decades or just completely fall apart. The screw mod is actually installing small screws in where the extensions broke off. It is very tedious work, but well worth it. I attempted to do this before, and failed.
I guess the reason why Unicomp does not make a "riveted" assembly is because it would be very costly to create a jig to throw all the rivets into, and improve the quality of the keyboards. Nine times out of ten, they last a very long time.
I suppose it could be done, but would take a lot of ingenuity to make it so it can be mass produced like that. Nobody has really addressed that issue because these keyboards are built very well for the price you pay.
Edit:
You just can't "rivet" haphazardly either. The tension across the whole barrel has to be equal across the whole back plate. The tolerances are very critical so each key has equally the same tension between.
Too late. Long story.
« Last Edit: Thu, 11 March 2021, 09:33:00 by Snowdog993 »

Offline fohat.digs

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The tension across the whole barrel has to be equal across the whole back plate.


Tangentially off-topic, but for this reason I always recommend "barely finger tight" for screws or bolts because steel in compression is capable of generating a very powerful force compared to plastic in tension.
 
What this shows is that the Republican Party knows, deep down somewhere, that even before Trump they had less than a policy agenda. All they’ve had for the past decade or so is strategy and tactics to suppress the vote, either through extreme gerrymandering or State-level laws. More often than not, as we’re seeing, through both. Without a stated party platform they are left with nothing but the insanity of The Power Grab and The Big Lie. The Party as a whole has, for some twisted logical reason, decided that America no longer needs Democracy. That in the bent and tortured reality Republicans have created for themselves America was never a Democracy, the Founders never intended for the country’s politics or social order to change, that the country’s democratic features would always only extend to wealthy White Christian property owners. They’ve also, collectively, decided that threatening major, multi-billion dollar corporations that employ tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people worldwide will somehow, for some reason, cower in the corner when State politicians decide to take a few million in subsidies off the table. When faced with hundreds of millions, or even billions, in lost business because The People are voting with their wallet, I know where I’d position my company, and it’s not at the dinner table with Mitch McConnell and his wife.
– **** Scott 2021-04-08

Offline quadibloc

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They started taking orders on the 14th, and they started shipping yesterday, on the 20th, so the Model M SSK is now no longer a prototype, it is real. Initially, the choices that are available are limited. USB only, and black only. Available in U.S. or International layout, and in all grey keys in addition to grey and white keys at least for the U.S. layout.

Offline Touch_It

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I kinda want to get one, even though I use my numpad all the time.  Someone should talk me out of this.  I really should focus on fixing my f107 and F122. (really should just find someone to do the work for me at this point)


Visit the Typing Test and try!

Offline Maledicted

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I kinda want to get one, even though I use my numpad all the time.  Someone should talk me out of this.  I really should focus on fixing my f107 and F122. (really should just find someone to do the work for me at this point)

What's wrong with them? I'll take the F107 and you can buy one of these.  ;D

Offline Touch_It

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I kinda want to get one, even though I use my numpad all the time.  Someone should talk me out of this.  I really should focus on fixing my f107 and F122. (really should just find someone to do the work for me at this point)

What's wrong with them? I'll take the F107 and you can buy one of these.  ;D

nothing is super wrong with it, but it needs a few things.

1.  case needs painted again or clear coat removed. (did a crappy job on that)

2. Had some chatter issues iirc with some keys double registering or not at all.  maybe related to #3.

3.  I don't think i did a great job with the foam replacement and reassembly.  Key feel is inconsistant with some areas being quite pingy as they should be and other areas feeling "dull".

with 2 young kids i just haven't found/made enough time to work on it.


Visit the Typing Test and try!

Offline Maledicted

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I kinda want to get one, even though I use my numpad all the time.  Someone should talk me out of this.  I really should focus on fixing my f107 and F122. (really should just find someone to do the work for me at this point)

What's wrong with them? I'll take the F107 and you can buy one of these.  ;D

nothing is super wrong with it, but it needs a few things.

1.  case needs painted again or clear coat removed. (did a crappy job on that)

2. Had some chatter issues iirc with some keys double registering or not at all.  maybe related to #3.

3.  I don't think i did a great job with the foam replacement and reassembly.  Key feel is inconsistant with some areas being quite pingy as they should be and other areas feeling "dull".

with 2 young kids i just haven't found/made enough time to work on it.

You're using an xwhatsit controller, right? Did you try an alternative debounce filter? Might have to tweak voltage for keys that don't register, although if some feel and sound inconsistent, pulling all of the caps on the suspect barrels and making sure the spring sits about where all of the known good springs sit, then reseating the caps with the board tilted 90 (space bar up) might fix all of the problems besides the chatter.

I think that people are running QMK on their xwhatsit controllers now too though, including with the F107, which is supposed to do a better job at just figuring out the voltage threshold automatically.

If any of the springs don't seem to be sitting right, or if you tried all else and nothing has helped with the feel and/or specific keys not registering, I like to tweak the springs in the barrel with a pair of fine needle-nose pliers. Usually I just need to stick them down in the barrel, grab the spring near where it attaches to the flipper and compress it to help seat it better. Otherwise, sometimes I gently pull up on the spring and do the same again, making sure the spring seems to sit in about the same place as the others with the keyboard flipped 90 degrees like mentioned before.
« Last Edit: Mon, 22 March 2021, 21:23:55 by Maledicted »

Offline rwiker

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They started taking orders on the 14th, and they started shipping yesterday, on the 20th, so the Model M SSK is now no longer a prototype, it is real. Initially, the choices that are available are limited. USB only, and black only. Available in U.S. or International layout, and in all grey keys in addition to grey and white keys at least for the U.S. layout.

I've checked the Unicomp web site, but I cannot see any indication that it is available in international layouts?

Offline tp4tissue

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When they do the Beige run, hope they get the right Beige, 

Don't want that pale beige,   

Want that Rich mustard beige that says HARD WORK

Offline Snowdog993

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When they do the Beige run, hope they get the right Beige, 

Don't want that pale beige,   

Want that Rich mustard beige that says HARD WORK

Like any other Model M? Or do you mean those keyboards that need retrobrite because of the type of plastic on certain keyboards? Unfortunately, the Model M does not actually need retrobrite at all. I guess you may want to paint it that yellowish color on the clamshell and keys to get it that uneveness of those competitive models that actually need retrobrite.

Online King Icewind

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Has anyone's shipped yet? I am patiently waiting impatiently.  :D

Offline quadibloc

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I've checked the Unicomp web site, but I cannot see any indication that it is available in international layouts?

You are correct that it doesn't seem to be possible to order the international layout version from the Unicomp web site. Their New Product Announcement for the SSK claimed that it would be available on release in the intenational ISO keyboard as well, and would also in a short time be available in the Macintosh layout.

Offline tp4tissue

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When they do the Beige run, hope they get the right Beige, 

Don't want that pale beige,   

Want that Rich mustard beige that says HARD WORK

Like any other Model M? Or do you mean those keyboards that need retrobrite because of the type of plastic on certain keyboards? Unfortunately, the Model M does not actually need retrobrite at all. I guess you may want to paint it that yellowish color on the clamshell and keys to get it that uneveness of those competitive models that actually need retrobrite.


There's a very distinct difference from the pale beige which approach white (blueish), and the older warmer beige towards yellow.

The classic computer feel is squarely towards Yellow. Whereas leading into the black+silver era, the beige produced began to go towards blueish white.

Offline Maledicted

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When they do the Beige run, hope they get the right Beige, 

Don't want that pale beige,   

Want that Rich mustard beige that says HARD WORK

Like any other Model M? Or do you mean those keyboards that need retrobrite because of the type of plastic on certain keyboards? Unfortunately, the Model M does not actually need retrobrite at all. I guess you may want to paint it that yellowish color on the clamshell and keys to get it that uneveness of those competitive models that actually need retrobrite.

I don't think any plastic needs retrobiting myself. Yellowing adds character. I have an old Fujitsu board that literally looks like mustard. I wouldn't have it any other way.
« Last Edit: Wed, 24 March 2021, 12:20:17 by Maledicted »

Offline Snowdog993

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When they do the Beige run, hope they get the right Beige, 

Don't want that pale beige,   

Want that Rich mustard beige that says HARD WORK

Like any other Model M? Or do you mean those keyboards that need retrobrite because of the type of plastic on certain keyboards? Unfortunately, the Model M does not actually need retrobrite at all. I guess you may want to paint it that yellowish color on the clamshell and keys to get it that uneveness of those competitive models that actually need retrobrite.


There's a very distinct difference from the pale beige which approach white (blueish), and the older warmer beige towards yellow.

The classic computer feel is squarely towards Yellow. Whereas leading into the black+silver era, the beige produced began to go towards blueish white.

I guess you are referring to Apple keyboards? That's an entirely different perspective. Maybe I just misinterpreted what you are going on about. Anyway, if you had a Model M, you would be wondering what you were going on about in the first place.

Offline fohat.digs

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Naturally, I am old-school and like everything beige.

That said, IBM's "industrial" cases with classic pebble and pearl caps is striking and awesome.
What this shows is that the Republican Party knows, deep down somewhere, that even before Trump they had less than a policy agenda. All they’ve had for the past decade or so is strategy and tactics to suppress the vote, either through extreme gerrymandering or State-level laws. More often than not, as we’re seeing, through both. Without a stated party platform they are left with nothing but the insanity of The Power Grab and The Big Lie. The Party as a whole has, for some twisted logical reason, decided that America no longer needs Democracy. That in the bent and tortured reality Republicans have created for themselves America was never a Democracy, the Founders never intended for the country’s politics or social order to change, that the country’s democratic features would always only extend to wealthy White Christian property owners. They’ve also, collectively, decided that threatening major, multi-billion dollar corporations that employ tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people worldwide will somehow, for some reason, cower in the corner when State politicians decide to take a few million in subsidies off the table. When faced with hundreds of millions, or even billions, in lost business because The People are voting with their wallet, I know where I’d position my company, and it’s not at the dinner table with Mitch McConnell and his wife.
– **** Scott 2021-04-08

Offline skriefal

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Has anyone's shipped yet? I am patiently waiting impatiently.  :D

I haven't seen anything yet to indicate that they've begun shipping.  Seems that they've missed their shipping date estimate.

31 March 2021 - UPDATE - Shipping notice received today.
« Last Edit: Wed, 31 March 2021, 14:24:59 by skriefal »

Offline Wulkes

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Got mine last week, been holding on to these sets of blanks for 7+ years waiting for this board to come out.  :cool:

But the sculpt of the black spacebar is off, so it gets stuck, so I'm going with the grey blanks for now.



Online King Icewind

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Looks great! How's the USB connector?

Offline Wilkes

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Exactly as solid as you can imagine a full size USB port to be, haha. It came bundled with a 6 ft USB a to a cable from monoprice. QC is about what you can expect from Unicomp, which is to say it wasn’t blemish free, but I’m not pressed about it. Happy to have it as my new daily driver.

Offline diqkiq

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My order status is still pending. Who else has received their keyboard?

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Filco Majestouch TKL, Noppoo Choc Mini, Realforce 87 55g, Model M TKL, Ducky Shine 3 TKL, KC60, Planck.

Online King Icewind

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Mine is still pending as well. Ordered March 2nd. When did you order yours?


Offline Snowdog993

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Offline diqkiq

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Feb 28. Today I just got the shipping notification

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Filco Majestouch TKL, Noppoo Choc Mini, Realforce 87 55g, Model M TKL, Ducky Shine 3 TKL, KC60, Planck.

Offline funkmon

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Offline sefixmm

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Nice color combination !

Offline Maledicted

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Nice color combination !

Yeah, that looks great.  :thumb: Any more detailed impressions so far?

Offline Cloverdale

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What a beauty! This makes me want to get one but I have to remember that Cherry MX BROWNS! are much better for my use and I already got TKLs of those. Sigh...

Also, if UNICOMP did a separate numpad Model M style they could have the ultimate Model M kit with that and the SSK.

Offline Maledicted

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What a beauty! This makes me want to get one but I have to remember that Cherry MX BROWNS! are much better for my use and I already got TKLs of those. Sigh...

Also, if UNICOMP did a separate numpad Model M style they could have the ultimate Model M kit with that and the SSK.

That would be cool, but I don't know how much of a market there would be for it. I suppose every active user of an SSK (old and new), and even F62 and F77 keyboards are a prospective buyer, but 4704 Model F users are a bit of a stretch. Their biggest market is industrial and medical business users that are more worried about custom mappings/legends than they are modularity/mobility and/or aesthetics.