Author Topic: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)  (Read 10255 times)

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Offline YakMN

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IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« on: Sun, 08 September 2013, 15:56:17 »
I finished my Model F AT mod today, so I thought I'd post the pics because wcass's were lost.

This mod takes a stock AT F and does the following:
  • swaps out the big enter key for a "regular" ANSI enter key + a 1.5x backslash key
  • swaps out the 1.0x backslash and 1.0x backspace key for a single big backspace key
  • replaces the huge + key on numpad with a huge Enter key
  • uses a Soarer mod to remap the keys and add some macros
  • replaces the AT spacebar with a Model M spacebar and adds an extra modifier key to each side of the spacebar

This mod doesn't represent anything new: others have done this before. I am just capturing it in one place, and then only because wcass's spacebar mod photos were all lost in a GH industrial accident.

What I want you to know:
  • Modded AT F is, to me, the finest typing experience I have ever had. (ok, I could wish there was a 1.0 FN key on the left side so I could use my layer 2 cursor keys, but...)
  • This is not a hard mod to do, and it is TOTALLY worth doing. See my pictures below on 2 things that can go wrong (but are easy to avoid).
  • The day the boffins here succeed in figuring out how to make our own BS keyboard layouts will be a GREAT day. For now, I have my AT F. :)

Predecessor Mod Writeups (I recommend reading these first):

Special thanks to fohat for the extra barrels and hammers, to wcass for the template and advice, and to soarer for the magic box!


Before and After

34583-0
Before: Photo of the stock AT F as the ebay seller posted. The transparent stickers with the colored dots came off easily and left no residue.

34585-1
After: The AT F in it's final configuration: USB mod, ANSI mod, Spacebar Mod. Desperately needs better keycaps.

Fun with Soarer

You can connect an AT F with a regular PS2-to-USB adapter. You will need a DIN5-to-PS2 adapter as well. This works fine, but... you'll have to live with the default layout. (or do per-computer key remapping, but that still won't get you your extra keys). I decided to make a external converter, and not embed the teensy in the keyboard. I like the big black curled cable, what can I say? I am also pretty darn lazy, so I went with the smallest breadboard I could find, and got away with 4 solders. I used some scrap wire from a chopped up ethernet cable, because it has solid copper, which you can just plug into the breadboard.

34587-2
Project Box and Breadboard for the Teensy. Think this is a project box from Radio Shack.

34589-3
Test fit of breadboard and teensy. I actually cut the rails on the inside of the project box down too far, I was planning on having the breadboard facing up, but then I realized too late that there wouldn't be enough space, so I flipped it upside down. Because I had cut the rails down so far, the USB plug hole is right at the bottom of the box.

34591-4
DIN5 connector wired up. 4 solders, and I didn't even shrink the heatshrink tubes. Din5 connector: mouser part 568-NYS325.

34593-5
Plug-n-Play with Breadboard. breadboard is mouser part 619-700-00012.

34595-6
End result: standalone Soarer converter box

34641-7
* warty_AT_ANSI_SpaceBar_mac.sc (2.3 kB - downloaded 98 times.)
My (current) key layout map and matching soarer config. I wish I actually had the keycaps shown here...

Disassembly

34597-9
Case opened. Be careful with the plastic clips in the front of the case when opening.

34599-10
Note the position of wires for re-assembly. On mine, the plugs have deadspots though, so it would be difficult to put them back the wrong way.

34601-11
With the rear plate removed, the barrels and hammers are free-floating.

Making it Pretty!

34603-1234605-13
On mine, there was some minor corruption/rust on the plate: the little white spots in the photo. The plate was very clean, overall, but I played with the dremel a bit, and it looked like it would be quick to clear off, and I really just wanted to paint the darn thing orange, so…

34607-14
This took a little longer than I thought, about 30 mins, mostly because of 2 things:
1) the plate is curved (inwards, from the top)
2) I didn't have a dremel extender bit, so I could only get the tiniest sliver of the sander bit in contact with the plate for any part further in than say 1.5" from the edge.

34609-15
Totally unnecessary sanding and rustoleum application: just because :)

Spacebar / Extra Keys Mod

34611-16
Wcass has made up a great template you can use to see how you need to modify the plate to make extra (partial) holes for the 2 new barrels. He prints his to transparencies. I didn't have a way to (easily) print onto a transparency, so I printed wcass' template onto regular paper, and cut out the parts related to the spacebar mod, then taped it to the plate.

34613-17
Template taped on to the back of the plate.

34615-18
The AT F "barrel"/stabilizer for the spacebar, with a Model M donor spacebar. Note the square towers to either side…

34617-19
This is my first mistake: I didn't visualize how the extra barrels would fit together with the spacebar barrel once I cut it. So I cut it right before the towers. I should have cut the towers themselves off, then cut about 1/8 or 1/4 inch beyond the end of the Model M spacebar…. more on that later…

34619-20
Barrel cut-out done for the right side extra key, with a few barrels fitted into place. You can see my 2nd mistake in this photo: the left edge (in the photo) of the extra key barrel plate doesn't line up perfectly with barrel plate above. I didn't realize what this meant at the time (doh!), and let it go. It would have been very easy to shave off a bit more of the plate so they lined up. I didn't realize the error until I had the whole thing put together again…

34621-21
Right-hand extra key barrel when viewed from above. Note the gap between the end of the space bar "barrel" and the start of the extra key barrel.

34623-22
Time to make a stabilizer for the spacebar.

34625-23
I just used some scrap metal I had around to do some tests. I used superglue for the tests, because it sets instantly, and is easy to remove later. After I had them shaped he way I wanted, and positioned the way I wanted, I traced them on the board, removed them, sanded out the superglue traces, and used an epoxy to glue them down permanently.

34627-24
Some experimenting showed that I got better results when I could curve the front (overhanging) part of the stabilizer catches down a bit, so that you have to force the space bar under them just a tad. I switched to using one of these picture hanging clips because it was easier to work with.

34629-25
The part of the picture clip I used, bent into the profile I wanted. Whatever you use has to be pretty narrow, so it can fit between the barrels.

34631-26
After trimming out the holes for the extra barrels, painting, re-fitting the foam, and re-fitting the barrels and hammers, I finally realized the problem with my "spacebar gap". Since the barrels are basically held together with pressure anyway, I didn't bother with any glue: I just trimmed a bit off the previously removed spacebar barrel towers, and fit it in there. All you want to do here is create some pressure between the space bar barrel and the extra key barrel, so the extra key barrel doesn't come lo0se (because if it's loose, your key will be loose too). I had to do the same thing on both sides.

34633-27
Ready to put the back plate on again. Note the extra hammer for the 1.5 backslash key, and the removal of hammers for the old 1.0 backslash key.

34635-28
Backplate has been reattached. This is a good reference for which barrel to put a hammer into it, for the keys with 2 barrels. If you put the hammer in the left-hand barrel, but the key has it's pluner on the right-side, you'll have to take the plate off again.

34637-29
Test fit of keys. I still haven't noticed at this point that the right-hand extra key is jammed up against the spacebar because I needed to trim out just slightly more metal. The 2 keys don't actually touch, so they work fine, but it doesn't look *quite* right.

34639-30
I tried adding some rubber stuff to the back of the case, in hopes of dampening some of the sound. I didn't record the sound before, so I don't know if it's working. Took about 1 min and doesn't hurt, so I just left it in there.

I also found some new floss at CVS yesterday, called "Deep clean ultra floss", from Oral-B. It seems to dispense the floss from a roll in the container. I didn't have any luck with the SuperFloss mod, but maybe I can make some kind of difference if I use this.
« Last Edit: Sun, 08 September 2013, 16:11:47 by YakMN »

Offline The_Beast

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 08 September 2013, 16:07:34 »
Very cool, I just did something similar but I didn't change to a model M sized spacebar since I like my bars to be big!

Hope you don't mind me posting a link to the mod I did:
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=47267.08
Vendor Status: Sadly, not taking any orders/pre-orders at this time

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Offline YakMN

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 08 September 2013, 16:14:04 »
Beast: no worries. I mucked around in your thread anyway ;)  I added a link to yours at the top as well.

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 08 September 2013, 16:17:03 »
This is awesome. I love modding guides like this. Thanks for sharing it :D
Please check out TactileZine.com!

Online fohat.digs

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 08 September 2013, 16:40:59 »
Magnificent work!

I was going to mod my F-AT for the Enter and Backspace, but cutting a few holes to get Alt keys would be a huge plus.

Those spacebars are really awkward, working down to an M spacebar would be sweet (plus, I have some extras!).

Thanks for this guide!
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on Russia’s exploitation of the Custom Audiences system. Facebook officials have previously said that they were caught off guard by the Russian propaganda campaign because the accounts, pages and ads appeared to be legitimate.
In addition to Custom Audiences, Russian operatives used other Facebook tools to target groups by demographics, geography, gender and interests, according to the people familiar with the investigation. The Custom Audiences tool differs because it allows advertisers to feed into Facebook’s systems a specific list of users they want to target.
The conclusions of investigators fit those of several independent researchers, who say that the Russian disinformation campaign exploited the core advertising and tracking technologies that Silicon Valley has honed over a decade to serve corporate America — and that are widely available, with few if any restrictions, to political actors in the United States and abroad.
– Washington Post – Dwoskin / Timberg / Entous – 2017

Offline Game Theory

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 08 September 2013, 17:22:02 »
Applause for the excellent guide.  The photos really help to understand all the mods.
... he's just a poor kid from the stupid ages.
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Offline 0100010

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 10 September 2013, 10:32:36 »



Looks awesome!

Mod edit: image rehosted to remove malware warning in Chrom(ium) web browsers.
« Last Edit: Wed, 11 December 2013, 18:00:41 by dorkvader »
  Quoting me causes a posting error that you need to ignore.

Offline Hellmark

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 10 September 2013, 12:38:25 »
I take it that the model F isn't held together with fused plastic like the innards on the model M?

Offline YakMN

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 10 September 2013, 18:35:07 »
no thanks necessary, glad to be able to give back a tiny amount.

Hellmark: there are no plastic blob entanglements to worry about with the AT F, so no bolt mods needed. Putting it back together is actually easy. I haven't done a 122 key Model F, now THAT looks like a challenge.

Offline wcass

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 11 September 2013, 22:18:15 »
Yes, excellent write-up and great pictures.

If i remember correctly, I first first cut off the tops of the spacebar towers leaving just what would be under the plate, and then cut off the ends to about the middle of the tower bases, close to the clip for the old stabilizer. I should update that template with the outline of the barrels so that you can check the size before cutting.

<clicky clicky clicky click>
« Last Edit: Wed, 11 September 2013, 22:40:27 by wcass »

Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 18 October 2013, 15:55:04 »
This is gorgeous.  I think I might have went for more of a SSK look for the right hand side, but this is simply amazing.

Without the converter, what do the new ALT keys register as (if at all)?

Are there any more links to others' implementations of this (apart from Beast's already linked above)?
Daily driver: SSK or Tenkeyless IBM AT
1984 Model M Industrial Prototype ⌨ 1992 Black Oval Industrial SSK ⌨ 1982 5251 Beam Spring ⌨ 89 Key "SSK" ⌨ M13 triplets

Online fohat.digs

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 18 October 2013, 16:51:32 »
I have been meaning to ask, so since the thread is revived, I want to know about the Alt keys.

Did you somehow make the new barrel holes with a drill, ream them out sideways with a Dremel and grinding head? I figure you can't drill, since the square holes seem to make up at least half the new void.

Did the barrels fit nice and snug? And/or what did you do to keep them firm and tight?

Thanks
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on Russia’s exploitation of the Custom Audiences system. Facebook officials have previously said that they were caught off guard by the Russian propaganda campaign because the accounts, pages and ads appeared to be legitimate.
In addition to Custom Audiences, Russian operatives used other Facebook tools to target groups by demographics, geography, gender and interests, according to the people familiar with the investigation. The Custom Audiences tool differs because it allows advertisers to feed into Facebook’s systems a specific list of users they want to target.
The conclusions of investigators fit those of several independent researchers, who say that the Russian disinformation campaign exploited the core advertising and tracking technologies that Silicon Valley has honed over a decade to serve corporate America — and that are widely available, with few if any restrictions, to political actors in the United States and abroad.
– Washington Post – Dwoskin / Timberg / Entous – 2017

Offline wcass

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 18 October 2013, 20:35:19 »
I have been meaning to ask, so since the thread is revived, I want to know about the Alt keys.

Did you somehow make the new barrel holes with a drill, ream them out sideways with a Dremel and grinding head? I figure you can't drill, since the square holes seem to make up at least half the new void.

Did the barrels fit nice and snug? And/or what did you do to keep them firm and tight?

Thanks
if you download the PDF file that i posted 9/11 you will see where you need to cut the old stabilizer. if you cut right there, then the two new barrels fit in snugly against the old space barrel.

I used a Dremmel with cut wheel to enlarge the holes on the plate. It is hard to see a black guide line on the black plate, so first, you might put a piece of white label or masking tape over where you will be cutting and then mark where you want to cut to (again, follow the template for positioning). i had some clear "full letter size sheet labels"; i printed the template on that and stuck it on the plate.

Don't try to cut in a circle. Make several "strait to the side" cuts to the marked edge.
« Last Edit: Fri, 18 October 2013, 20:38:21 by wcass »

Online fohat.digs

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 19 October 2013, 12:15:53 »
Oh, cool!

You've got that stabilizer (what I have been referring to as an "undercarriage") to shoulder the barrels against. Great idea.

I have not had that F AT out of its box in a couple of years, but now I really want to do the mod.

Thank you again.

PS - I was kidding about the key dyeing. Next time I will try to keep the agitation to a minimum. Just shaking the pot is probably enough.
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on Russia’s exploitation of the Custom Audiences system. Facebook officials have previously said that they were caught off guard by the Russian propaganda campaign because the accounts, pages and ads appeared to be legitimate.
In addition to Custom Audiences, Russian operatives used other Facebook tools to target groups by demographics, geography, gender and interests, according to the people familiar with the investigation. The Custom Audiences tool differs because it allows advertisers to feed into Facebook’s systems a specific list of users they want to target.
The conclusions of investigators fit those of several independent researchers, who say that the Russian disinformation campaign exploited the core advertising and tracking technologies that Silicon Valley has honed over a decade to serve corporate America — and that are widely available, with few if any restrictions, to political actors in the United States and abroad.
– Washington Post – Dwoskin / Timberg / Entous – 2017

Offline spremino

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 11 December 2013, 01:27:16 »
Wow! Congratulations.

Would an ISO mod be possible? Thanks.
A long space bar... what a waste of space!

Offline wcass

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 11 December 2013, 09:07:31 »
Wow! Congratulations.

Would an ISO mod be possible? Thanks.

an ISO mod is so simple that it was not even covered! The IBM design will work with either key layout.

Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 14 December 2013, 13:13:43 »
Is it possible to get the new ALT keys working without the soarer?  Do they register as anything if plugged via AT->PS/2(->USB) converter?
Daily driver: SSK or Tenkeyless IBM AT
1984 Model M Industrial Prototype ⌨ 1992 Black Oval Industrial SSK ⌨ 1982 5251 Beam Spring ⌨ 89 Key "SSK" ⌨ M13 triplets

Offline Soarer

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 14 December 2013, 13:28:15 »
They register if plugged in to a PS/2 port. Commercial PS/2-to-USB converters don't handle them though, and may not even handle the ISO mod.

Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 14 December 2013, 14:55:06 »
A quick measurement the width of the alt+space+alt keys as they sit on the M shows they're 7 7/16" inches total width.

The cutout for the spacebar on the F is also 7 7/16"

I placed the M space and two alt keycaps on an F and even when they're touching it looks like they would barely fit in the opening.

Looks like I might be able to pull in the alt keys a little from how they're positioned on an M, but not get the amount of space around the keys you're showing.

Did you have to expand the cutout on the F as part of this mod?
Daily driver: SSK or Tenkeyless IBM AT
1984 Model M Industrial Prototype ⌨ 1992 Black Oval Industrial SSK ⌨ 1982 5251 Beam Spring ⌨ 89 Key "SSK" ⌨ M13 triplets

Offline Soarer

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 14 December 2013, 15:13:14 »
I think I pulled them in as much as I could, which meant shaving a tiny amount off the keys to make sure they didn't rub (since the spacebar rotates a little; otherwise they would've been fine, just). I didn't shave any off the case.

Offline YakMN

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Re: IBM Model F AT ANSI + Spacebar Mod (with pics)
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 14 December 2013, 15:59:30 »
If you mean, by "cutout", the top plastic cover, then yes, it would be very very tight. I shaved off a small amount on either side of each alt key, using a dremel sander bit. You can reproduce the curved corner perfectly. If you don't do that, you'll have to do what Soarer did, and shave the keys. And it will still be tight.