Author Topic: Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?  (Read 10433 times)

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Offline bhtooefr

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« on: Sun, 01 February 2009, 20:38:43 »
Long story short, I stretched a spring on my 1391401 testing something out (on how the BS switch works.)

I've got a spare Model M that's pretty much in existence just for this kind of thing.

So, how do I pull a spring from it without possibly stretching it, and then install it safely?

Offline iMav

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 02 February 2009, 07:11:33 »
I would think that would be incredibly difficult without cracking the frame and replacing the entire BS assembly.

Offline lowpoly

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 02 February 2009, 07:20:56 »
Quote from: bhtooefr;20546
I've got a spare Model M that's pretty much in existence just for this kind of thing.

Can't you just swap the whole assembly?

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Offline bhtooefr

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 02 February 2009, 08:51:27 »
The problem is, it's a Lexmark assembly, and it definitely feels worse than the assembly I've already got. It's one key (the escape key) that's messed up on my 1391401, so...

I know it's possible to do this...

Offline lowpoly

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 02 February 2009, 09:16:45 »
Next time, use scroll lock. :)

If it looks anything like this



it should be possible to pull the spring close to the base with some sort of rectangular U-shaped flat metal. Small part of the U goes into the spring. Use the same hook to press it back. Or a small brass tube around the spring so that it can't buckle away, then apply pressure with a tooth pick or so inserted into the tube.

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Offline bhtooefr

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 02 February 2009, 09:44:43 »
You know, a pick of some kind should get it out... just hook into the spring as low as possible, pull, and then use it to push. There should be JUST enough room to manuever with a small pick.

Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 02 February 2009, 11:26:24 »
you can buy dental picks (the kind your dental hygenist uses on you) on ebay for pretty cheap. They're incredibly handy for use as tiny metal hooks.

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Offline pex

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 02 February 2009, 17:03:12 »
Quote from: wellington1869;20606
you can buy dental picks (the kind your dental hygenist uses on you) on ebay for pretty cheap. They're incredibly handy for use as tiny metal hooks.


You asked a question about spring replacement on my Model M thread that I never got around to doing research on my own parts to answer.  Is this thread particularly on point for your question?

Quote from: wellington1869;11622
Here's a question about model m internals - is it relatively easy to replace or swap the spring in a buckling spring stem? (For instance if you wanted to increase/decrease the resistance)
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Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 02 February 2009, 18:00:37 »
Quote from: pex;20630
You asked a question about spring replacement on my Model M thread that I never got around to doing research on my own parts to answer.  Is this thread particularly on point for your question?


hey, pex -- ya, I remember that question. I suppose it would be apropos to talk about it here since bht basically had a similar question. I'd love to see pics of "removing spring in a model M" if, next time anyone removes one, they want to take some macro pics.  I've played around with the springs a bit in the past and never figured out how to remove it (or if it was even possible) on the 1391401. (I know other buckling models have different assemblies in which it might be easier to remove them; I think XS just removed one from his M2 for instance).

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Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 02 February 2009, 22:28:24 »
Sandy, wondering if you have any thoughts here.  Do you think the click is made by the spring alone or by its hitting the side of the case?  And do you have any thoughts on getting the spring out, in a 1391401?

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Offline sandy55

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 03 February 2009, 00:32:13 »
Well, I think all 3 of them ( spring, spring/side wall of a barrel, hammer/membrane and plate) make clicking sound.  Animated gif at Qwerters shows buckling action of Japanese A01 ( it's not a minuature, but a cutout of actual stem/barrel of A01. and buckling mechanism of A01 is completely same with M/F ).

if you compare clicking sound of F and M, you may notice there is a big deference in sounds. A hammer of F hits circuit board on a steel back plate directly while that of M hits 3 membrane sheets on a steel plate over rubber mat( neoplain sheet?).  Deference of switching components makes huge difference of sounds.  Thus we can understand that a clicking sound is produced through hitting action of a hammer onto switching plate. but this is one of factors of clicking sounds.

I think there isn't noticeable difference in buckling action ( and components ) within a barrel between F and M. Sounds generated within a barrel might be basically same.  As we can see A01 animation, a spring actually hits side wall of barrel, then there should be some kind of sound.
This is the 2nd factor.

Lastly. as you noted in your previous post, we can mute clicking sound using  just a little dose of silicon grease around a spring. And it explains that a spring itself generates sound when it buckles.          

As for the title of this thread, lowpoly's suggestion would be better for removing a coil spiring. But I'd like to recommend not to use springs you pulled out.  You're removing a spring because it's something wrong. Once a spring loosened or bent, it may cause unstable buckling action even if you amend it as well as you can.  Better to get a junk model M as a donor for springs, stems and caps, controllers and so and so.
In order to  install a new spring.... you need a special hand made tool.
But a bamboo stick will also do this work.

Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 03 February 2009, 01:57:43 »
Quote from: sandy55;20677
Well, I think all 3 of them .


I see what you're saying. Thanks for the detailed analysis.

So basically if its all three, that makes it harder to control the click level.

Grease does wonders, but I still think hitting the side of the barrel is the largest component in the sound (I actually think the grease gets on the barrel wall and mutes the sound by muting the strike against the barrel wall). In other words, it might be just as effective to put a blob of grease on the barrel wall (in the strike zone) rather than on the spring. (I could be wrong, but thats my feeling so far).

But its just a lot easier to apply the blob of grease to the spring.

The "soft touch" IBM keyboards (where grease is pretty saturated) are nearly totally silent. This says that the contribution from the hammer/rocker and spring itself is probably much less than the barrel sound.

Which all comes back to the fact that grease remains the most effective way to control the click sound, I guess.

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Offline sandy55

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 03 February 2009, 06:24:34 »
Quote from: wellington1869;20683
(I actually think the grease gets on the barrel wall and mutes the sound by muting the strike against the barrel wall). In other words, it might be just as effective to put a blob of grease on the barrel wall (in the strike zone) rather than on the spring. (I could be wrong, but thats my feeling so far).


I do also put grease springs( small amount ) and barrel wall in the strike zone.

Quote
Which all comes back to the fact that grease remains the most effective way to control the click sound, I guess.

I'm not so confident on this. I can's say which is the most effective way 'cause it's impossible to add grease around hammers.

Offline itlnstln

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 03 February 2009, 06:38:22 »
Keeping with the theory that the hammer creates the click, I would imagine that the grease on the springs does not allow the springs to buckle as sharply (the more grease, the smoother the buckle) as the grease would cushion compression of the spring and smooth the slide of the spring in the buckling phase.  Thus, the hammer comes to a rest on the membrane vs. slamming down on the membrane (or upper housing on the up stroke) or somewhere in between depending on how much grease is on the spring.


Offline sandy55

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removing a spring from M
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 03 February 2009, 07:08:24 »
this is not recommending you to follow my method. this is just an example how to do.  If you want to try it, please do it with your own risks.

Here is my method removing a spring from model M.

Material; tweezers. Women use it for eyebrows and I use it for Model M.

m_sprmvr_1; upper/normal,  lower/adjusted for removing M spring
m_sprmvr_2; left/normal,  right/adjusted for removing M spring

m_sprmb_1 ; stick a tool into a barrel
m_sprmv_2 ; push it down to catch a bottom end of a spring and grab it  firmly ( with your fingers which are not pictured )
m_sprmv_3; joggle and pull up slowly . then a spring comes out from a barrel.

Please do not examine donor M. I know it's dirty :)

to be continued to Installing method

Offline sandy55

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Installing a spring into a barrel
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 03 February 2009, 07:50:42 »
I couldn't find my right tool for installing a spring which is made of stainless steel stick. So I made one using a bamboo stick.
It just took 10 minutes to make it. I suppose you can get bamboo sticks at Japanese ( or Chinese ) restaurant.  It's a yakitori stick.

Explanations of pictures
m_spinst_bmb; handcrafted tool.  When you make a similar stick please make a deference of level more accurate. mine is just an example to show my method.

m_spinst_1; set a spring at a tip of your tool
m_spinst_2: set it onto a projection on a hammer
m_spinst_3; push the rod downward and press the spring down. Rotate the rod/spring clockwise slowly.  If you rotate counterclockwise, spring may get loosened.
I forget correct position of spring.  I think I wrote somewhere in my M trivia page.

m_spinst_4; you can see the spring is set properly. Bottom end of the spring is held firmly around the projection of a hammer.
I checked the key buckled properly.

Offline Bluemercury

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 03 February 2009, 09:20:27 »
ive done a spring swap myself, i was having some problems with a particular key and was considering of removing the plastic studs so that i could clean it, but thank god chaging the spring worked 5 stars...:)
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Offline lal

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 03 February 2009, 09:42:44 »
Jesus. Thanks so much for this extensive superclear tutorial on removing and reseating a buckling spring, Sandy! I like the feeling of being certain that it *can* be done, should I need to do it someday. Your warning holds me back from trying it right now out of curiosity, though. I really need to get a junk Model M for dissection and research.
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Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 03 February 2009, 13:05:27 »
Quote from: itlnstln;20694
Keeping with the theory that the hammer creates the click, I would imagine that the grease on the springs does not allow the springs to buckle as sharply .


ya I was wondering about that too... it doesnt seem to affect response times of the switch though, so I guess thats good

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Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 03 February 2009, 13:07:08 »
Quote from: sandy55;20699

Here is my method removing a spring from model M.

thanks for taking the time to document this, its extremely useful :)

Quote


Material; tweezers. Women use it for eyebrows and I use it for Model M.


lol, I didnt realize how many keyboard-fanatics lurk around the cosmetics aisle in CVS ;)  I thought I was the only one!

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Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 03 February 2009, 13:10:40 »
sandy, interesting that on the spring removal you say to "jiggle it" to remove it, but for insertion you say "turn it clockwise". Why not turn it counter-clockwise to remove it?

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Offline sandy55

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 03 February 2009, 18:37:10 »
In order to remove a spring, clockwise turn[/COLOR] might be a theory. Please examine picture m_spinst_1.jpg in *installing a wire*.
Springs may come out if you can rotate your griping tool clockwize direction within a barrel. I didn't shape mine thin enough to do so. I just thought thinner tips may lose strength of tweezers.

Then why not counterclockwise to push the spring down.
Theoretically, it should be counterclockwise turn to screw down model M's spring deeper.  But a plastic made projective stud tends to block a tip of a coiled wire being screwed down in because there is no screw thread and a diameter of a studs is wider than that of a spring. If a spring stacks biting plastic stud and you screw a spring further, said spring will be widened and loosened, most likely.  Just my practical experience, not a theory.

Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 04 February 2009, 01:08:47 »
So I wonder what would happen if you cut out (drilled out) the U-shaped area that is the actual strike zone on the barrel.  (The U-shaped cut-out in the stem, when the stem (key) is pressed down, is the area that the spring actually strikes into when it buckles).

Then the spring would buckle but would have nothing to hit.

That would leave just the spring's noise and the hammer's noise to constitute the click sound. There would be no click sound contribution from the barrel at all at that point.

In theory, that should give all the feedback with a radically reduced click sound.

And no rubber parts or grease to wear out, either.

This would make a great experiment. I'd love to do it at some point when I have the time.

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Offline cmr

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 25 June 2009, 18:55:18 »
Quote from: lowpoly;77294
Next time, use scroll lock. :)
it should be possible to pull the spring close to the base with some sort of rectangular U-shaped flat metal. Small part of the U goes into the spring. Use the same hook to press it back. Or a small brass tube around the spring so that it can't buckle away, then apply pressure with a tooth pick or so inserted into the tube.


i've been putting off doing this but i finally got around to it. it worked just as you described.

i accidentally stretched the spring on my up-arrow key a few months ago. i managed to twist and smash it back in so it would at least actuate, but it was sending a double keypress about 20 % of the time. and it didn't buckle. it just kind of went off at some point during the travel.

so i reached in with  the blade of this and pulled the damaged up-arrow spring as well as the scroll lock spring. after that it was as simple as pushing each spring back down in its new home. now the up-arrow key fires once per keypress and even buckles exactly like all the other keys on the board. the scroll lock seems to work just like the damaged up-arrow did, but i don't think i'll really miss it.

Offline ch_123

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 30 June 2009, 17:21:25 »
Quote from: itlnstln;77395
Keeping with the theory that the hammer creates the click

It doesn't. When I opened my Model F, I took one of the barrels/stems out (they're removable in the F) and put one of the springs/hammers in it. I help the thing between two fingers (so that the pivot part of the hammer was pressed against my thumb, and my index finger against the keycap) and when I pressed down it made it buckle and swing the hammer, yet it still clicked despite the fact that the hammer wasn't hitting anything. The hammer is responsible for that metallic ping sound you get (particularily on the older Model Ms and Model Fs), but the click is definitely the spring buckling (and possibly hitting the side of the barrel)
« Last Edit: Tue, 30 June 2009, 17:29:55 by ch_123 »

Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 30 June 2009, 17:26:22 »
i dont think anyone really knows the source of the click in the bs switches. we've had this debate before about whether its:
a) spring by itself
b) spring hitting side of barrel (I think others have more or less eliminated this one, as well)
c) hammer strike
d) some combination

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Offline ch_123

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 30 June 2009, 17:32:25 »
Woops, when I said "Isn't definitely" I meant "Is definitely". Thing is that there's a few sounds going on when you press a key on a BS board, the click comes from the spring buckling and the the ringing metallic sound comes from the hammer. I'm not sure how much the spring hitting the side is going to contribute as it's plastic, and thus isn't likely to make much noise when something hits against it.

Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #27 on: Tue, 30 June 2009, 17:38:49 »
Quote from: ch_123;100298
Woops, when I said "Isn't definitely" I meant "Is definitely". Thing is that there's a few sounds going on when you press a key on a BS board, the click comes from the spring buckling and the the ringing metallic sound comes from the hammer. I'm not sure how much the spring hitting the side is going to contribute as it's plastic, and thus isn't likely to make much noise when something hits against it.


what you're saying, and whats interesting then, is that the spring makes a *loud* click on its own regardless of what it hits.
It would be interesting to listen to just the spring clicking by buckling, outside of the barrel, if anyone wants to record or film that.

It would be similarly interesting to listen to the hammer's sound by itself (on audio or video).

So I guess when you press a key the two sounds are nearly simultaneous, and the overall 'click' is a combination of the two?

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Offline ch_123

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #28 on: Tue, 30 June 2009, 18:01:10 »
Quote from: wellington1869;100299
what you're saying, and whats interesting then, is that the spring makes a *loud* click on its own regardless of what it hits.
It would be interesting to listen to just the spring clicking by buckling, outside of the barrel, if anyone wants to record or film that.

It would be similarly interesting to listen to the hammer's sound by itself (on audio or video).

So I guess when you press a key the two sounds are nearly simultaneous, and the overall 'click' is a combination of the two?

The click wasn't loud yet it was there. The difference is perceived noise could be explained by the fact that when it's all locked up inside the assembly, the noise is trapped in, where as when I pressed it between my hands, the sound is "escaping" out the bottom. For the same reason, trying to buckle the spring outside of the barrell, or cutting away part of the barrel isn't going to be an accurate test, because of the different acoustics that the sound is in.

However, I then tried it on different surfaces, and the click noise was the same as the keyboard normally sounds, but the metallic sound was replaced by something else depending on the surface I tried it on, (eg. a hard "thud" when I tried it on a wooden desk, a weak hollow sound when against a cardboard box).

I'd make some recordings sometime, but considering that it was a rather tedious process to disassemble and reassemble it, I don't intend on doing it again any time soon :P

Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 30 June 2009, 18:03:07 »
Quote from: ch_123;100302
The click wasn't loud yet it was there. The difference is perceived noise could be explained by the fact that when it's all locked up inside the assembly, the noise is trapped in, where as when I pressed it between my hands, the sound is "escaping" out the bottom. However, I then tried it on different surfaces, and the click noise was the same as the keyboard normally sounds, but the metallic sound was replaced by something else depending on the surface I tried it on, (eg. a hard "thud" when I tried it on a wooden desk, a weak hollow sound when against a cardboard box).

I'd make some recordings sometime, but considering that it was a rather tedious process to disassemble and reassemble it, I don't intend on doing it again any time soon :P


thanks for the info, every little bit helps :)
interesting that being on a surface of some kind makes the volume of the click louder. I wonder if its just a surface-amplification (sound wave reverberation) effect or if the bottom of the spring is smacking against the surface when the spring buckles.

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Offline ch_123

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #30 on: Tue, 30 June 2009, 18:13:28 »
I'd assume it's the hammer. Of course, in the F the hammer is about twice as long, which would explain why there's a much stronger metallic sound on the F compared with the relatively subtle one in the M.

Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #31 on: Tue, 30 June 2009, 18:15:28 »
no i meant when the spring is held by itself and buckled by itself. You mentioned that when held on a surface it was louder.

I'd get an F board in an instant if the damn alt keys were next to the spacebar and the spacebar werent so damn long.  Too bad we cant transplant the F switch into, say, an endurapro :)

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Offline ch_123

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #32 on: Tue, 30 June 2009, 18:31:38 »
Quote from: wellington1869;100306
no i meant when the spring is held by itself and buckled by itself. You mentioned that when held on a surface it was louder.

I'd get an F board in an instant if the damn alt keys were next to the spacebar and the spacebar werent so damn long.  Too bad we cant transplant the F switch into, say, an endurapro :)

Oh right, I get you. And funnily enough, on the PCB, there are capacative contacts for (what I assume are) Alt keys on either side of the space bar, and they are placed so that you could in theory put the two alts and a spacebar from a Model M in and they'd fit (there's also ones that would allow to relocate the |\ key to either the proper ISO or ANSI location) Unfortunately, some of the other unusused contacts that I tried didn't appear to do anything when I tried the. However, if I ever open it again, I might try it.

Even if we were to assume that there is some way to make them work, there's no places to slot in stabilizer bars on the Model F's top plate for a Model M space bar, as the spacebar that comes with it (which is really stiff and without a doubt the worst thing about the keyboard) uses a weird stabilizer bar that is under the top plate. I suppose you could in theory hack a fix by breaking the slots off a Model M and gluing them to the top plate, or something like that...
« Last Edit: Tue, 30 June 2009, 18:41:01 by ch_123 »

Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #33 on: Tue, 30 June 2009, 18:44:05 »
Quote from: ch_123;100309
And funnily enough, on the PCB, there are capacative contacts for (what I assume are) Alt keys on either side of the space bar, and they are placed so that you could in theory put the two alts and a spacebar from a Model M in and they'd fit (there's also ones that would allow to relocate the |\ key to either the proper ISO or ANSI location) Unfortunately, some of the other unusused contacts that I tried didn't appear to do anything when I tried the. However, if I ever open it again, I might try it.

man it would be *awesome* if you could somehow transplant the F circuit board into an M case ;)  I wonder why those switches didnt work.

Quote

Even if we were to assume that there is some way to make them work, there's no places to slot in stabilizer bars on the Model F's top plate for a Model M space bar, as the spacebar that comes with it (which is really stiff and without a doubt the worst thing about the keyboard) uses a weird stabilizer bar that is under the top plate. I suppose you could in theory hack a fix by breaking the slots off a Model M and gluing them to the top plate, or something like that...

well, where there's a will there's a way ;D  The harder part would be moving the alt keys, but if there are slots existing for them already as you say, that really raises my hopes ;D

damn, i'll have to acquire an F board at some point when I have more time and putz around with it I guess ;)

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Offline ch_123

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #34 on: Tue, 30 June 2009, 18:46:59 »
Well, it wouldnt fit into a Model M case because of the F-keys on the left and the numpad beside the main block. The best you could hope for is tweaking the Model F's layout to approximate that of the Model F.

Offline wellington1869

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Safely removing and installing a spring from a Model M?
« Reply #35 on: Tue, 30 June 2009, 18:49:03 »
Quote from: ch_123;100311
Well, it wouldnt fit into a Model M case because of the F-keys on the left and the numpad beside the main block. The best that you could hope for is getting something that approximates the layout of a Model M into the case of the Model F.


oh yea, i forgot about those function keys on the left ;D

its a pity, I had one of those (my dad bought one of the early 8086 pc's around '83 or 84 I think). I probably used that F thru about '86 or '87. I had no idea of its value, lol. It got thrown out a long time ago.

"Blah blah blah grade school blah blah blah IBM PS/2s blah blah blah I like Model Ms." -- Kishy

using: ms 7000/Das 3