Author Topic: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard  (Read 14546 times)

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Offline merlin64

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Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« on: Wed, 20 January 2016, 19:25:15 »
Just wanted to share with you all my first rare keyboard find!

For the uninitiated, the Sun Type 5 is a rubber dome keyboard made for Sun's computers. For more info, please read the following:
https://deskthority.net/wiki/Sun_Type_5

I thought they were all rubber dome until I came across the following post:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=56413.0

I thought it was pretty cool and wondered if I could find another one. It is not made by Sun, but by a company called Integrix based on the FCC ID.

Just my luck, I found one in ANSI!! woohoo. It's basically the same keyboard except that its in ANSI and only has keycaps in English. Everything else is the same.

I have yet to actually try it out to see if it works, but it looks absolutely in perfect condition.

Here are some pictures!

125104-0 125106-1 125108-2
125110-3 125112-4 125114-5
« Last Edit: Thu, 21 January 2016, 11:19:31 by merlin64 »

Offline chyros

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 21 January 2016, 03:24:52 »
Oh wow, it's completely different! It doesn't even LOOK like the Sun 5 we all know Oo . Even the keycaps and layout are incomparable.

Does it have the Sun plug and protocol?
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 21 January 2016, 04:01:14 »
Futura looks pretty good, even as pad printed ABS(?). I still like my version better though. :)

Offline merlin64

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 21 January 2016, 09:13:49 »
Oh wow, it's completely different! It doesn't even LOOK like the Sun 5 we all know Oo . Even the keycaps and layout are incomparable.

Does it have the Sun plug and protocol?

Yes it does! I just haven't been able to test it yet. Considering making my own Sun->USB converter, but it's soo big. I'm a 60% up to TKL guy, so putting something like this at work is not gonna be comfortable.

Offline Corsa1r

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 21 January 2016, 13:20:29 »
That's really pretty, and I had done some research on this a day or so ago, and had no idea this type of board  came in a cherry black.  So nice.
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Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 21 January 2016, 13:32:20 »
Ooo that's a fun keyboard. Just enough battleship for my tastes. Nothing too huge.

Offline merlin64

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 21 January 2016, 13:43:06 »
I think it's gonna stay in my collection unless someone really really really wants it and gives me a price I can't refuse LOL.

I'm gonna try and find some SA keycaps and put them on. I bet it would look fantastic on this.

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 21 January 2016, 13:44:15 »
I'm gonna try and find some SA keycaps and put them on. I bet it would look fantastic on this.

That'd be a great look. Definitely post pictures if you do that.

Offline 0100010

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 21 January 2016, 14:09:14 »
ANSI "Sun" board, that is mechanical.  That is awesome!
  Quoting me causes a posting error that you need to ignore.

Offline merlin64

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 22 January 2016, 21:28:54 »
Yah just have to find a full SA set that supports some of the oddly shaped keys, like the "Help" and "Esc" keys. I suppose I should put it in my WTB thread.

Offline Vectrex720

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 23 January 2016, 11:17:19 »
I've got some old Sun keyboard NiB in the basement somewhere... should probably dig that out.

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Offline SamirD

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 23 January 2016, 15:04:26 »
Very cool board!  It would be neat to get it working to see how nice it is to type on. :)

Offline BigDov

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 23 January 2016, 15:57:49 »
Waaaay back before I ever cared about such things, literally almost 20 years ago when I first started working at Sun, there was a buyout of the company I was working at in Oregon (Cray) and a ton of Sun stuff flowing through the doors. It got to be so much, that a couple years later we were literally tossing those in the garbage or in people's trunks for those that wanted to try their hand with one at home. They were GREAT keyboards!!

Awesome find :D
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Offline XMIT

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 12 July 2017, 06:17:39 »
Necro time.

I found a board like this a while back and put Round 6 caps on it. It's one of my favorites.

173067-0

I wish this board were easier to find, it's one of my favorites! It doesn't quite work as is. One day I need to open it up, install up to date stabilizers, replace the controller, and get it going.

For Round 2 of my Hall effect keyboard offering, I'm going to offer a 120-key board with a very Sun like layout - and Sun modifier keys if I can help it.

Offline chyros

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 12 July 2017, 08:57:02 »
Damn. That looks amazing.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline merlin64

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 12 July 2017, 09:02:23 »
Necro time.

I found a board like this a while back and put Round 6 caps on it. It's one of my favorites.

(Attachment Link)

I wish this board were easier to find, it's one of my favorites! It doesn't quite work as is. One day I need to open it up, install up to date stabilizers, replace the controller, and get it going.

For Round 2 of my Hall effect keyboard offering, I'm going to offer a 120-key board with a very Sun like layout - and Sun modifier keys if I can help it.

That looks gorgeous. I had been meaning to put nantucket selectric on mine but was concerned about the non standard sizes and profile difference. Looks like it's only with the control and escape keys on the top left.

Offline StickyBlueJuice

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 12 July 2017, 09:08:42 »
Necro time.

I found a board like this a while back and put Round 6 caps on it. It's one of my favorites.

(Attachment Link)

I wish this board were easier to find, it's one of my favorites! It doesn't quite work as is. One day I need to open it up, install up to date stabilizers, replace the controller, and get it going.

For Round 2 of my Hall effect keyboard offering, I'm going to offer a 120-key board with a very Sun like layout - and Sun modifier keys if I can help it.
Damn that looks fantastic!

Offline XMIT

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 12 July 2017, 10:11:53 »
Yeah I really love the 120-key layout! I was so excited to find my board in a recycling heap. ohaimark was there - he's good luck.

I really think Sun was onto something with this one. The extra 12 keys are great for customization, they provide a nice place to put artisans, and they're really awesome if you grew up with an IBM PC XT board and want to use your left pinky for function keys. They provide a natural home for all of the beautiful extra modifiers of the Space Cadet layout. Sure, an IBM 122-key battleship gives you a second function row. But this gives you a regular ANSI layout, media keys, and extras. Heck, even Razer copied this design with the Blackwidow. I wonder why no one else offers it anymore?

The last thing in the world I want to do is to hijack this thread and turn it into an advertisement - coverage of my boards is in plenty of other places. But, because I love this layout so much, I wanted to share that Round 2 of the Hall boards will have a 120-key offering. Here's a sneak peek!

173096-0

Please be warned: these are not the final production caps. Also, there will be a slight layout change before production: increasing the spacing between regions to 0.5u (9.5mm) to better honor the Sun Type 5 and its derivatives. I'll talk more about it in a separate thread once I clean up the photos.

So, yes, if you happen to find one of these lovely Sun Integrix boards, please post here! I'm going to do a full teardown on mine one day when I open it up for new stabilizers and a new controller. I've already retr0brighted it. Be warned: it has weird stabilizers, a 1.25u Esc, and the included key caps are nothing special. But it is such a great platform for more interesting hacking.

Offline merlin64

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 12 July 2017, 10:25:21 »
No problem at all XMIT, wishing you the best with the new set of keyboards! Hopefully it will be in my price range this next time around!

That makes 3 of us with these boards =). I've been too weary about ruining this keyboard by doing any kind of controller modification so I'll be paying attention to your upcoming thread!

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 12 July 2017, 16:23:03 »
Also, there will be a slight layout change before production: increasing the spacing between regions to 0.5u (9.5mm) to better honor the Sun Type 5 and its derivatives.
Good that you are using 1.25 modifiers in the bottom row.

I have worked on Sun workstations with Sun keyboards and in European ISO layouts, the right Alt key needs to be used a lot. The Sun keyboards having the right Alt key farther to the right than other keyboards is quite annoying. You can get used to contorting your right hand... but when it is under the . (period) key, it is so much easier to press with the right thumb.
« Last Edit: Wed, 12 July 2017, 16:24:55 by Findecanor »
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Offline rowdy

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 12 July 2017, 22:02:01 »
I wish mine was mechanical, but it's one of those awful rubber dome things.

I do like the shape of the keycaps though - nice and pointy :)
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But thatís incorrect. Itís in HHKBís slogan, but when Americaís cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

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Offline chyros

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 01:29:07 »
I wish mine was mechanical, but it's one of those awful rubber dome things.

I do like the shape of the keycaps though - nice and pointy :)
The dome with slider model is extremely good-looking, in all fairness. It's one of the most elegant boards I've ever seen. But this mech one with the keycaps is almost an homage.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline merlin64

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 01:32:14 »
The keycaps on the actual Sun Type 5 keyboards are much much better than these.  The colors look better too!

Offline XMIT

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 06:21:27 »
The real Type 5 has PBT dye subs that fit over a slider, sort of like a Model M.

I've thought of 3D printing an adapter that would turn those into Cherry caps, but haven't had the time to design one.

Offline chyros

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 10:37:46 »
The real Type 5 has PBT dye subs that fit over a slider, sort of like a Model M.

I've thought of 3D printing an adapter that would turn those into Cherry caps, but haven't had the time to design one.
I think that'd be hard, to be honest. The caps are pretty thick, and have ridges on the inside, so I'm not sure they'd slide over the switch properly. If that were the case you'd get very tall key modules.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline XMIT

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 11:13:08 »
The real Type 5 has PBT dye subs that fit over a slider, sort of like a Model M.

I've thought of 3D printing an adapter that would turn those into Cherry caps, but haven't had the time to design one.
I think that'd be hard, to be honest. The caps are pretty thick, and have ridges on the inside, so I'm not sure they'd slide over the switch properly. If that were the case you'd get very tall key modules.

Yeah I haven't really thought it through. A quick look at my Type 5 reminds me that it has a curved plate, like a Model M. But it's still something that would be fun to do.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 11:48:55 »
The real Type 5 has PBT dye subs that fit over a slider, sort of like a Model M.
I wanted to transplant the keys from my Type 5 onto another Fujitsu-made keyboard, but I found that the locking keys have a different incompatible keycap mount for the LEDs under them.
At least the Type 6 and maybe also the Type 7 have the same sliders under the keys otherwise. The Type 7 that I have used are less mushy.
« Last Edit: Thu, 13 July 2017, 11:52:32 by Findecanor »
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Offline chyros

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 15:34:55 »
The real Type 5 has PBT dye subs that fit over a slider, sort of like a Model M.

I've thought of 3D printing an adapter that would turn those into Cherry caps, but haven't had the time to design one.
I think that'd be hard, to be honest. The caps are pretty thick, and have ridges on the inside, so I'm not sure they'd slide over the switch properly. If that were the case you'd get very tall key modules.

Yeah I haven't really thought it through. A quick look at my Type 5 reminds me that it has a curved plate, like a Model M. But it's still something that would be fun to do.
It's worth it, tbh. There's few rubber boards I have as much respect for as the 5c.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline merlin64

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 15:46:55 »
I always see stacks of them at the recycling center here. Quite a few have missing caps as the next budding enthusiast mistakes it for a mechanical keyboard.

If anyone reading this will be at the Seattle Mechanical Keyboard meetup on July 22nd, I'll probably have it decked out with cool SA caps like what XMIT has done here.

Offline XMIT

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 15:54:14 »
If anyone reading this will be at the Seattle Mechanical Keyboard meetup on July 22nd, I'll probably have it decked out with cool SA caps like what XMIT has done here.

Oh man! Photos please! :D

Offline StickyBlueJuice

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #30 on: Fri, 14 July 2017, 03:05:19 »
If anyone reading this will be at the Seattle Mechanical Keyboard meetup on July 22nd, I'll probably have it decked out with cool SA caps like what XMIT has done here.

Oh man! Photos please! :D
Oh yes would love some photos of that.
They usually have pretty good photographic coverage of the events though. :D

Offline merlin64

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #31 on: Fri, 14 July 2017, 12:56:12 »
I'll have the meetup video posted on my channel the weekend after. If you haven't subscribed, do check out MechMerlin on YouTube.
« Last Edit: Fri, 14 July 2017, 13:48:54 by merlin64 »

Offline XMIT

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #32 on: Fri, 14 July 2017, 13:24:22 »
Must be nice to have the kind of time to put those videos together.

Offline merlin64

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #33 on: Fri, 14 July 2017, 13:51:46 »
Must be nice to have the kind of time to put those videos together.

I try man, honestly there are some nights where I'm up till 3 am finishing edits. I think it helps a lot when you're passionate about it. I work a typical 8-10 hour job M-F, married, no kids yet but soon hopefully, so we'll see how this goes.

Offline daniel_centore

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #34 on: Sat, 22 July 2017, 19:05:24 »
If anyone reading this will be at the Seattle Mechanical Keyboard meetup on July 22nd, I'll probably have it decked out with cool SA caps like what XMIT has done here.

I was there but didn't see your keyboard. Was I just being blind?

Offline merlin64

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #35 on: Sun, 23 July 2017, 02:28:54 »
LOL..I ended up carrying so much camera gear and sound equipment that I had to let go of a few keyboards. I actually forgot to even pack my keyboards until this very morning!


Offline XMIT

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #36 on: Sun, 23 July 2017, 06:30:47 »
Heh. After meetup it takes me about a week to get everything back in order.

Offline Sylvester

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #37 on: Sun, 30 July 2017, 23:21:57 »
good for collection

Offline SamirD

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #38 on: Wed, 08 November 2017, 09:13:06 »
Now down to only $11.34.  :thumb:

Offline SamirD

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #39 on: Fri, 24 November 2017, 16:21:08 »
Now down to only $11.34.  :thumb:
Oops, wrong thread.  :-[


Offline rowdy

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #40 on: Wed, 03 January 2018, 01:10:18 »
Now down to only $11.34.  :thumb:
Oops, wrong thread.  :-[

I'd probably buy one of these if they were available for $11.34.
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But thatís incorrect. Itís in HHKBís slogan, but when Americaís cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

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Offline SamirD

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Re: Mechanical Sun Type 5 Keyboard
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 03 January 2018, 08:20:18 »
Now down to only $11.34.  :thumb:
Oops, wrong thread.  :-[

I'd probably buy one of these if they were available for $11.34.
Well at least the plug and play converter is.  :cool:  Probably even cheaper today as I haven't checked lately.