Author Topic: IBM M15 pics  (Read 7215 times)

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Offline mr_sf_applet

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IBM M15 pics
« on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 08:45:04 »
This is the other keyboard I got this past week:



































Looks like it's going to need some cleaning under the space bar.




The Erase-Eaze feature allows this to function as a backspace key rather than a space bar.






























Compared with the Avant Stellar.









The toggle switch for the Erase-Eaze feature.



This is a port for the even rarer companion numerical keypad, which I don't have and would love to get.

Offline iMav

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 09:59:57 »
Nice pics!

I'm not big on split keyboards...but I think I'd like it quite a bit if I simply left it un-split.  It'd make a nice space saver.

Offline xsphat

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 11:57:28 »
Ditto iMav, we think alike.

I love the 'board, it's really cool.

Offline elmomax

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 14:26:54 »
Agree... looks great not split.  Is this clicky|  What is the feel of this and sound?  How old is it?  Where did you find it?  So many questions, so little time.  It is a beauty.

Offline xsphat

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 15:07:52 »
It's a Model M buckling spring keyboard. The touch is stiffer than the black Alps, and not quite as responsive, but it is a great system.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 16:55:03 »
I got it from clickykeyboards.com. This is the listing for the very keyboard I ordered:

http://www.clickykeyboards.com/index.cfm/fa/items.main/parentcat/12675/subcatid/0/id/309468

The photographs in the listing are not of the actual keyboard, but of the same model, the "Options by IBM" version of the M15. The photograph of the "birth certificate," however, with serial number and date of manufacture, is of the very keyboard now in my grubby little hands. Extremely rare item, only the 9th to cross Brandon's way at clickykeyboards.com. I'd been waiting months for one to become available, checked almost every day on eBay and clickykeyboards.com. This one was released for sale on clickykeyboards.com on Friday, November 23, the 13th birthday of this keyboard, according to the bottom label/"birth certificate". I snagged it as soon as I got the chance, at 7:00 AM in the morning PST, right out of bed. These things are so rare that I had no second thoughts about buying it, despite the cost. Cost, you may ask? More than any sane person would reasonably pay for a computer keyboard, but when it comes to keyboards, I have lost hold of my senses.

I know that one of these showed up on eBay around August of 2006, and fetched a high enough sum as to bring a second M15 out of the woodwork. Two for sale in one month. Incredible. And apparently, per Brandon's description, the one in the YouTube video was sold on eBay in February of this year. But that might have been it: 3 eBay listings of the M15 in the past 16-17 months. Even the Touchstream keyboards show up more more frequently than that. And I don't know when the last one prior to this one was sold on clickykeyboards.com. I'm pretty sure not in the last 6 or 7 months. So I'd been waiting a long time for this one.

Are the keys clicky? You bet! They're the buckling springs of the IBM Model M and the various Model M variants. See the FAQ at clickykeyboards.com for more info and links about buckling springs. These require more force than the Cherry switches to actuate, about the same level of force as the white Alps sliders. They are what ergocanada.com describes as "High Force / Audible Keyswitches." I have no direct experience of the black Alps sliders, but it sounds like they would have a lighter touch than the buckling springs of the Model M boards.

I find the sound and feel of buckling springs to be more straighforward than the white Alps sliders. The white Alps have, when I have trouble adjusting to their feel after a prolonged absence, what I think of as a wobbly uncertainty (I think Whiskey nailed it when he talked about the horizontal play of the key caps in another topic here). But after the inevitable adjustment each time I return to the Avant Stellar, and when I have worked up a good rhythm, the wobbly uncertainty becomes depth of character, a complexity to the key action which lends a certain richness to the tactile experience. The Model M click feels much simpler, a definite  assertive ping. The sound on this Model M15 is a bit tinnier than on the standard Model M's such as the 1391401. The ping of the M15 is higher pitched than the click of the white Alps on the Avant Stellar. To me the Avant Stellar (and the silver-and-black SMK-85 as well) goes "clickety-clack clickety-clack..." Whereas the M15 goes "ping ping ping ..." And both are satisfyingly loud.

I didn't realize until after I had ordered that the keys on the M15 have a lower profile than the standard keys on the regular Model M's. I read somewhere that they use the same keys as the Model M2, the home version Model M. Most of the listings for the Model M2 on clickykeyboards.com say that the keys are non-removable. I'm not clear if this applies to the Model M15 keys as well. Maybe I should email Brandon for clarification on this before I try to pop a key and wreak irreparable harm on this jewel.

I'm typing this on the Model M15 right now, unsplit and flat. And yeah, it makes a terrific space saver keyboard. That hadn't occurred to me when I ordered it. It was only when I placed it beside the Avant Stellar that I realized how compact it was.

Here are a couple of side-by-side comparisons with the Model M 84-key Space Saver:









I had some problems with the NUM LOCK light and the SCROLL LOCK light. I thought it was a defect in my M15. but then I switched the PS/2 to-USB adapter from the expensive Y-mouse back to the much cheaper Ziotek that I had bought from clickykeyboards.com (also available from Amazon) and everything is working perfectly. (It's sorta funny that there should be a NUM LOCK light but no NUM LOCK key, which is on the companion numerical keypad that is apparently much rarer than this ultra-rare keyboard.)

I want to spend more time with this keyboard, but the thing is, keyboard slut that I am, I've also fallen in love with the non-clicky but mechanical Filco Majestouch, which just may be the most comfortable keyboard I have ever typed on. I'll have to post a follow-up in the Majestouch thread in the next few days.

Offline Nonmouse

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 19:41:09 »
There's a similar Cherry keyboard on ebay right now (ends tomorrow) that's up to $365.  It's an MX-5000, with brown (reduced-force tactile) sliders.  I put it on my watch list when it popped up, with an opening bid of 24.99, but I don't want it $400 worth...

Offline mr_sf_applet

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 20:11:01 »
Wow, didn't even know about that one. I'm putting it on my watch list, just to see how much it finally sells for tomorrow.

Just found the following site -- Japanese of course -- with lots of interesting pictures:

http://mineko.fc2web.com/box/kb-room/items/cherry-ergoplus-mx5000.html

Offline mr_sf_applet

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 20:23:24 »
Although the model on the Japanese web site has a slightly different part number: G80-5000HPMUS / 00.

The one on sale on eBay is G80-5000HAMUS / 04. I don't know enough about the Cherry numbering system to know what the differences are. But hey, brown MX switches!! That's what this post is being typed on.

Offline Nonmouse

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 21:26:40 »
Quote from: mr_sf_applet
Although the model on the Japanese web site has a slightly different part number: G80-5000HPMUS / 00.

The one on sale on eBay is G80-5000HAMUS / 04. I don't know enough about the Cherry numbering system to know what the differences are. But hey, brown MX switches!! That's what this post is being typed on.

I think I've (mostly) decoded Cherry's naming scheme from the keyboards listed on their site.

The first letter (of the 5 trailing letters) is the size of the keyboard- all Lxxxx keyboards are 16", all Pxxxx keyboards are 11", for instance.  I suppose the H also might indicate the split layout on these; I couldn't find any others to compare.

The second letter is the connector type- U has a USB connector, P has a (or 2 for touchpad keyboards) PS/2, an A means an AT connector, and a T means a PS/s with a connector for an optional touchpad

The third letter is related to the layout- an M indicates Windows keys, an A means no windows keys (unless the k/b has a magnetic stripe reader; then it indicates 2 downstream barcode reader ports and a 3 track MSR, 104 keys), a B means a two-track MSR, and a D means a 3 track MSR with no downstream ports

The fourth and fifth letters are the country layout of the keys- US, EU, etc

The first trailing number indicates the color- no numbers is beige, 0 is light grey and 2 is black.  I don't know what the second trailing number means.

So the difference between those keyboards is AT vs PS/2 connector, plus some unknown difference.  I'm going to guess it's an appearance change, but I don't know....

Offline mr_sf_applet

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 22:03:16 »
Quote from: Nonmouse
I think I've (mostly) decoded Cherry's naming scheme from the keyboards listed on their site.

Ah! Good info to know. Thanks!

Offline xsphat

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 22:27:27 »
Quote from: Nonmouse
There's a similar Cherry keyboard on ebay right now (ends tomorrow) that's up to $365.  It's an MX-5000, with brown (reduced-force tactile) sliders.  I put it on my watch list when it popped up, with an opening bid of 24.99, but I don't want it $400 worth...


Check out the first bidder [or second], I hoped no one would catch it.

Offline fkeidjn

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 22:30:10 »
Is there any kind of indication as to what kinds of keyswitches are used in the keyboards?
Kinesis Keypad - Filco FKBN104M/EB - Unitek space-saver - Acer 6511-TW - Apple Extended II (M3501) - Scorpius M10 - Cherry G80-1800, AT - SGI Granite - vintage Fujitsu - IBM Model M, 101 and mini - Model F, 84-key AT - Dell AT101W - Northgate 101

IBM M15 pics
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 22:32:10 »
Quote from: fkeidjn
Is there any kind of indication as to what kinds of keyswitches are used in the keyboards?


Should be brown Cherries.

IBM M15 pics
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 02 December 2007, 22:41:15 »
Quote from: mr_sf_applet
Quote from: Nonmouse
I think I've (mostly) decoded Cherry's naming scheme from the keyboards listed on their site.

Ah! Good info to know. Thanks!


AFAIK, it was one of the first such keyboards ever made (1994?).  I think they dropped the model very quickly.  BTW, BTC copied the layout of the M15, but it has a membrane, and is not adjustible:

http://www.ergodirect.com/product_info.php?products_id=14086

There is also one without a touchpad, and a split version:

http://www.digit-life.com/articles/choosingakeyboard/index.html
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=BTC8110M-AT-KYB&cat=KYB

The split one is impossible to find.

Offline xyzzy

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 03 December 2007, 12:17:36 »
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o


AFAIK, it was one of the first such keyboards ever made (1994?).  I think they dropped the model very quickly.  BTW, BTC copied the layout of the M15, but it has a membrane, and is not adjustible:

http://www.ergodirect.com/product_info.php?products_id=14086

There is also one without a touchpad, and a split version:

http://www.digit-life.com/articles/choosingakeyboard/index.html
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=BTC8110M-AT-KYB&cat=KYB

The split one is impossible to find.


Another keyboard that is surprisingly similar to the Cherry MX5000 is the Kinesis Maxim.

It the linked page, the key arrangement is slightly different (the 3 keys below the status led have been relocated on the left), but the model shown in the pdf brochure sports the exact same key layout as the Cherry... and I'd say it wouldn't look bad if it wasn't for those oddly shaped keytops  :roll:

PFU HHKB Pro (capacitive) Topre Realforce 87U (capacitive) IBM Model M SSK 1391472 (buckling spring) IBM Model M SSK UNI04C6 (buckling spring) IBM Model M 1391405 (buckling spring, x4) Cherry MX 5000 ErgoPlus + MX 5700 keypad (brown Cherry) Cherry MX 1800 Compact (blue Cherry) Cherry MX 11900 Touchboard (brown Cherry) Dell AT102W (black Alps) Apple Extended Keyboard II (cream Alps) Acer 6312-TA (black Acer) Unikey KWD-601 (white Cherry)

Offline mr_sf_applet

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 03 December 2007, 14:30:57 »
That Cherry MX-5000 sold for $393.80.

IBM M15 pics
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 03 December 2007, 19:15:11 »
The Kinesis Maxim is a membrane board.

Offline xyzzy

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IBM M15 pics
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 04 December 2007, 06:44:10 »
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
The Kinesis Maxim is a membrane board.

In the specifications they say:
Quote
Quiet, low-force, tactile switches: switches provide a soft touch and positive feedback.

Also here in the third paragraph they say:
Quote
...  the Kinesis Maxim keyboard with its smooth operating high quality mechanical key switches has a KOF of 51.7 grams

So I assumed it used some kind of low force key switches, like the brown Cherry sliders.

Is it possible that there are different models with different mechanisms?  :roll:

PFU HHKB Pro (capacitive) Topre Realforce 87U (capacitive) IBM Model M SSK 1391472 (buckling spring) IBM Model M SSK UNI04C6 (buckling spring) IBM Model M 1391405 (buckling spring, x4) Cherry MX 5000 ErgoPlus + MX 5700 keypad (brown Cherry) Cherry MX 1800 Compact (blue Cherry) Cherry MX 11900 Touchboard (brown Cherry) Dell AT102W (black Alps) Apple Extended Keyboard II (cream Alps) Acer 6312-TA (black Acer) Unikey KWD-601 (white Cherry)

IBM M15 pics
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 04 December 2007, 07:12:02 »
Quote from: xyzzy
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
The Kinesis Maxim is a membrane board.

In the specifications they say:
Quote
Quiet, low-force, tactile switches: switches provide a soft touch and positive feedback.

Also here in the third paragraph they say:
Quote
...  the Kinesis Maxim keyboard with its smooth operating high quality mechanical key switches has a KOF of 51.7 grams

So I assumed it used some kind of low force key switches, like the brown Cherry sliders.

Is it possible that there are different models with different mechanisms?  :roll:


I think the reviewer made a mistake, or possibly meant the Kinesis Advantage, which indeed uses brown Cherry switches. Here's the product spec of the Maxim: http://www.ergocanada.com/products/keyboards/kinesis_maxim.html