Author Topic: Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15  (Read 4769 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline wheel83

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 189
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 13:24:12 »
I think we should start a petition for Unicomp to remake this glorious unicorn of a keyboard. Or at least some sort of ergonomic board. Any ideas and your stance on this is appreciated.


EDIT:  ehhh its a dumb idea.  unicomp would never go for it.  I guess we will all have to suffer from ulnar deviation to enjoy buckling springs haha
I <3 BS

Offline lowpoly

  • Posts: 1749
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 13:31:05 »
Wasn't the M15 made by Goldtouch?

Miniguru thread at GH // The Apple M0110 Today

Offline wheel83

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 189
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 13:37:01 »
No it was made by IBM and is known to be the only buckling spring ergonomic split keyboard. I believe it uses 60g force.

The part# is: 13H6689

from clickykeyboards.com:

"Keyboard is unique in that it is the only mechanical buckling-spring keyboard made by IBM that is fully adjustable in terms of ergonomic position.  The two halves of keyboard are connected at ball-joint and can be separated into two separate pieces.  Keyboard can be also adjusted to various heights to accommodate most comfortable typing angle to alleviate stress on hands, wrists and arms."

It is extremely rare, but at the same time it seems like an incredibly good product (imo).

I think Unicomp could easily sell a few hundred of these.
I <3 BS

Offline lowpoly

  • Posts: 1749
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 13:46:46 »
Thanks, I mixed that up. The designer of the M15 founded the Goldtouch company.

Miniguru thread at GH // The Apple M0110 Today

Offline nerp

  • Posts: 59
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 14:02:00 »
Unicomp is a really small operation. If they don't have the factory equipment to make this board (especially some of the more complex components) I think we might be out of luck. It would be neat if they could but I have a feeling this would require a huge chunk of money for them to be able to do. They'd need to sell tens, if not hundreds of thousands of boards to justify such an expense.
U N I.C O M P - Am I the only one that likes the logo?

Offline wheel83

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 189
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 14:19:49 »
true.  i never said it was possible or easy.  i think just by saying you support the petition is the real cause.  just to get a list of people interested is the first step.  this is basically the only possibly way to see a buckling spring split keyboard.  so i am giving it a shot.  it doesn't have to be *exactly* the m-15.  something just like the chicony kb 7001 would suffice.

and i don't think they would need hundreds of thousands of boards if they charged let's say $300 dollars for just one of them.  Unicomp must have some money if they bought the patent and make many various products.  I am sure they all don't sell like hot cakes haha.  this would be a niche product, with a high price mark up.


say "i'm down" if you want your name on the top list. thanks dudes.
I <3 BS

Offline cchan

  • Posts: 223
  • Location: Michigan
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 14:20:55 »
I support the petition. (I'm never going to be in the money enough to buy one though.)
HP Envy17: Core i7-2760QM, 8GB DDR3, 128GB Crucial m4 + 750GB Hitachi, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, Cherry ML4100, Logitech M500, HP zr22w
IBM Thinkpad X60: Core Duo T2400, 2GB DDR2, 128GB Samsung 830, Xubuntu 12.04 x86, Cherry ML4100, Logitech M205, HP zr22w
Raspberry Pi Model B: BCM2835, 0.25GB DDR2, 8GB Samsung SD card, Raspbian Wheezy, human interaction devices as above

Offline itlnstln

  • Posts: 7054
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 15:18:42 »
I support the petition, but the M15 wasn't one of the design patents that Unicomp acquired from IBM.  The patent went to Goldtouch (or the original designer).  Because of this, I don't think Unicomp could make one even if they wanted to and had the machines to do so.


Offline wheel83

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 189
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 15:20:41 »
I was speaking of just the buckling spring technology.  I am wishing for ANY type of ergonomic board from them.  Not necessarily an M15.  But a full split keyboard design would be nice.
I <3 BS

Offline skriefal

  • Posts: 233
  • Location: Utah, USA
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 15:46:06 »
I support this, too -- although not at $300.  If it's under $200 then I'd certainly consider it.

Offline lowpoly

  • Posts: 1749
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 15:54:10 »
Whatever you suggest to Unicomp it has to be something that requires only small changes to their existing tooling.

Miniguru thread at GH // The Apple M0110 Today

Offline MANISH7

  • Posts: 155
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 16:11:30 »
Quote from: wheels83;23011
and i don't think they would need hundreds of thousands of boards if they charged let's say $300 dollars for just one of them.  Unicomp must have some money if they bought the patent and make many various products.  I am sure they all don't sell like hot cakes haha.  this would be a niche product, with a high price mark up.

a few months ago i spoke to jim about this kind of thinking. he set me straight. :p

they DO need to sell tens of thousands of keyboards to justify creating  new product. even variations that appear subtle are very expensive to do if their current machines aren't already capable of doing them.

then i said there are customers who are willing to shell out $150+ for specific kinds of keyboards. unfortunately, those customers (you, me, etc.) are far, far, outnumbered by those who want something cheap, generic, and at a low price. low number of customers (in your words hundreds) * high price tag <<< higher number of customers * moderate price tag.

given the current economic state, unicomp has to focus on the basics. work with what they already have. maybe if better times come a few years later then they can think about other cool new ideas. right now is not a good time.

i also share your interest in reviving the m15 keyboard. in fact, i'd be one of the first to order it and spend a good chunk of change (preferably <200 tbh). yes i love buckling springs and would really like a keyboard that can split AND you can adjust its height / angle. a lot of "ergonomic" keyboards today may be split to reduce ulnar deviation but they slope upwards which encourages you to bend your wrists (even more harmful). the m15 is a supreme product.

Offline lowpoly

  • Posts: 1749
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 16:41:11 »
I'd like to know where the original tools for the M15 are.

Miniguru thread at GH // The Apple M0110 Today

Offline itlnstln

  • Posts: 7054
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 16:42:25 »
Quote from: lowpoly;23028
I'd like to know where the original tools for the M15 are.


I'm a tool for the M15. :(


Offline wheel83

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 189
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 17:42:18 »
I guess you are right.  It's just a pipe dream.  I'll have to wait until one pops up again.  I'm ready to spend that stimulus package though haha.
I <3 BS

Offline nerp

  • Posts: 59
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 17:59:42 »
Well, to help Unicomp out, I'm making sure that every writer I know and all the writer's group I'm aware of at least consider trying out a buckling spring board. The fact that I have an NPR link to send to people is a huge plus. That story is really our ace up the sleeve; anyone who writes professionally for a living can't listen to that clip and not feel a sense of duty to get a real writer's keyboard.
U N I.C O M P - Am I the only one that likes the logo?

Offline bhtooefr

  • Posts: 1624
  • Location: Newark, OH, USA
  • this switch can tick sound of music
    • bhtooefr.org
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 27 February 2009, 22:29:29 »
Except holding onto some romantic notion of rarity to keep people who need both the tactility and crispness of BS, and an ergonomic layout, from getting the keyboards they need for reasonable prices, is RIDICULOUS.

That said, with the patent situation... it'd be easier to get KeyOvation to make a BS GoldTouch than to get Unicomp to make an M15 replica.

Offline bhtooefr

  • Posts: 1624
  • Location: Newark, OH, USA
  • this switch can tick sound of music
    • bhtooefr.org
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 28 February 2009, 08:22:29 »
There are people who have RSIs exacerbated by crappy rubber domes, and who also need the split ergo layout, though.

Maybe a 5576-A01's BS modules could be retrofitted to a rubber dome keyboard, after removing the RD sheet...

Offline itlnstln

  • Posts: 7054
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 28 February 2009, 09:01:27 »
While I would love to have an M15, I think webwit is right to a certain degree when talking about ergo 'boards with buckling springs.  Even though, the buckling springs in the M15 may have been lighter than those in the "regular" Ms, they are still a heavy switch.  I found more pain relief when I moved to Alps-based switches from rubber domes and BSs than I did with the split layout alone.  The Northgate Evolution was the pinnacle of pain relief having the spilt layout as well as lighter switches.  I think for a pure pain relief solution, I would press Goldtouch to make a version with Cherry switches and not a BS version from either Unicomp or Goldtouch.


Offline bhtooefr

  • Posts: 1624
  • Location: Newark, OH, USA
  • this switch can tick sound of music
    • bhtooefr.org
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 28 February 2009, 09:15:39 »
That's also true, BS was designed to replicate a typewriter, which is very heavy to type on for mechanical reasons, not necessarily be ergonomically optimal (although the engineers likely realized that some of the BS switch behavior made it ergonomically superior to some other solutions...)

And, I don't have any RSIs, and greatly prefer Cherry blues now...

(Also, I have noticed that... I may not ever need a split ergo layout, because instead of bending my wrists, I change the angle of my fingers so that they hit the keys properly. I don't move my wrists all that much while typing, mainly my fingers.)

Offline lowpoly

  • Posts: 1749
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 28 February 2009, 11:08:36 »
Quote from: bhtooefr;23067
Maybe a 5576-A01's BS modules could be retrofitted to a rubber dome keyboard, after removing the RD sheet...


That reminds me of the project where someone was going to build an M15 from two standard Ms. What happened to that?

Miniguru thread at GH // The Apple M0110 Today

Offline MANISH7

  • Posts: 155
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 18 March 2009, 18:47:39 »
Quote from: wheels83;23005
I believe it uses 60g force.

If you can have buckling springs using 60g force...

Is it possible to have buckling springs that use 45g force? Would this be a problem for the buckling mechanism?

I'd be very interested in a Unicomp *mechanical* keyboard that has lighter key action and is therefore more ergonomic. Definitely beats spending ~$300 to import the Topre from Japan.

I'm going to try to devise a plan to mod my spare 139401 with lighter springs to test out this thought.

Offline wellington1869

  • Posts: 2885
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 18 March 2009, 18:56:51 »
Quote from: MANISH7;24872

I'm going to try to devise a plan to mod my spare 139401 with lighter springs to test out this thought.



what would happen if you snipped the springs so they're shorter (like chloe did in this alps switch mod)?
http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?t=1263

In her case it resulted in a lighter switch. Wonder if buckling springs would get lighter (and still buckle). You might have to experiment with just how much to lop off.

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

using: ms 7000/Das 3

Offline MANISH7

  • Posts: 155
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 18 March 2009, 19:29:57 »
lol, i was browsing that thread before posting. i suspect that shortening the springs will prevent them from buckling enough. it'll only take a minute to try so i'll give it a shot later this week.

Offline bhtooefr

  • Posts: 1624
  • Location: Newark, OH, USA
  • this switch can tick sound of music
    • bhtooefr.org
Petition for Unicomp to re-make the IBM M15
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 18 March 2009, 19:40:44 »
Spring length changes the buckle point. If the springs are shorter, it'll buckle later in the travel.