Author Topic: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards  (Read 628337 times)

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Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2650 on: Tue, 22 September 2020, 18:50:17 »
Dye sublimation update - the trial of the dye sublimation jig is set to be completed this week. 

Second container shipment update - the factory is wrapping up the repairs and expects the shipment to go out before the end of October.  In order to continue mailing out keyboards upon request, they will not be holding up the second container shipment for the dye sublimation to finish.

This is the first test of a full jig as opposed to previous tests of small jigs to work out how to achieve the tolerances, so it took a few weeks longer than previous test jigs.

Also I wanted to share (with permission) a great photo from a customer matching his True Red F77 with an SGI (Silicon Graphics) Fuel computer.  A great setup!

« Last Edit: Tue, 22 September 2020, 21:07:35 by Ellipse »

Offline mode

  • Posts: 308
Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2651 on: Wed, 23 September 2020, 01:26:46 »
Dye sublimation update - the trial of the dye sublimation jig is set to be completed this week. 

Second container shipment update - the factory is wrapping up the repairs and expects the shipment to go out before the end of October.  In order to continue mailing out keyboards upon request, they will not be holding up the second container shipment for the dye sublimation to finish.

This is the first test of a full jig as opposed to previous tests of small jigs to work out how to achieve the tolerances, so it took a few weeks longer than previous test jigs.

Also I wanted to share (with permission) a great photo from a customer matching his True Red F77 with an SGI (Silicon Graphics) Fuel computer.  A great setup!

(Attachment Link)


Damn that’s a good look, red is the best colour imo. They sure don’t make computers like SGI used to.

I’m still a bit tempted!

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2652 on: Wed, 23 September 2020, 15:26:07 »
Solenoid Installation Guide and Sound Test video:


Offline pixelpusher

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2653 on: Fri, 25 September 2020, 08:12:20 »
Thanks for the installation and demo video.  I placed an order for a driver and solenoid.  I put a reference to my original order in the notes.   :thumb:

Offline Pete

  • Posts: 50
Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2654 on: Sat, 26 September 2020, 06:41:03 »
I wonder if anyone has thought about installing multiple solenoids? I'm only half joking because I'd love to hear it in action :)




Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2655 on: Sun, 27 September 2020, 22:43:29 »
Could the xwhatsit solenoid driver handle two new solenoids safely?

My solenoids are specced (at 6V) for 0.15a, 0.9w

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2656 on: Wed, 30 September 2020, 20:47:55 »
Here is the Brand New Model F September Update – shipping milestone, dye sub success, next container shipment, solenoid installation video, firmware:

https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/blog/

This month the 500th Brand New Model F Keyboard shipped! This is a major milestone for the project.

It is a great summary of the happenings of the project since the prior update last month.  Great summary for those who have not been following the project threads too closely in recent weeks.

Over on Deskthority there has been a discussion on potential third party logos and renderings which all look nice.  It would be cool if everyone who wanted to could put their own initials on their new Model F keyboards!

People may like a buckling spring patent type like the one posted on the project web site, though with a square silver logo badge like the old IBM keyboards.  Below is the artwork created for the project by a forum member.

The final round will continue to have no visible branding on the product itself.

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Offline dc_in_sf

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2657 on: Mon, 12 October 2020, 13:29:40 »
OK love love loving my F77



I started working in 1990 at a hospital that was an IBM shop, so PS/2's and model M's everywhere (and lots of 3192 terminals). Loved those Model M's and kept using them over the next ten or so years, only stopping when I started needing a windows key (and having a brief flirtation with MS Natural keyboards).

When I got sucked into this hobby a few years ago I investigated Cherry MX green hoping to get some of that same tactile clickiness that I remembered from the Model M's but was disappointed. This board finally brings me back to the joy I remember of IBM keyboards of my youth (and now I have my own office so no one can complain about the noise).

Key caps are from Unicomp, have a couple more inbound to match my layout, but they are a pretty cheap option for anyone looking to fill their board while waiting for the GB printed keys to ship.

Offline darkcruix

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2658 on: Tue, 13 October 2020, 10:15:09 »
I wanted to share my current status of the Technical Manual for Model F keyboards.

Currently it is still work in progress and open topics to be filled. Nevertheless, we have over 170 pages so far and things are moving forward. As long as I still correct things, move things around, and replace photos etc, I wanted to ask for some help about / around:
  • Photos of original IBM Model F Keyboards not yet shown
  • Topics that can't be found in the Table of Contents so far
  • Obvious corrections or mistakes I made
  • Illustrations, like exploded drawing of the keyboard, etc.

Updates are more frequent in Deskthority at: https://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=24416
The download of the PDF (full size / compressed pictures) at: https://www.bucklingspring.com

Offline Shikada

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2659 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 06:07:09 »
Hi, I've been considering this keyboard for a while now and I see that orders are accepted until Oktober? Is that the end of the early bid round? If so, what happens to orders after that?

Also if I ordered today, what's the rough estimate for it being shipped to me? Next year? 2022?

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2660 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 10:32:15 »
darkcruix great progress on the definitive Model F Manual!

Hello Shikada - please do check out the project web site blog for details on the shipping timeline and status.  Last month we passed 500 Brand New Model F Keyboards that have shipped so far!  In summary:

With the separate shipping option (pay 10 units of $1 increments, more for shipping outside the US - PM or email me to confirm), all classic case keyboards, except True Red and Black, are in stock and can likely ship in 3-6 weeks without the low serial selection (2-3 weeks if you check the low serial/priority check box on the keyboard product page).  Same for black case ultra compact F77, ANSI layout only, and regular gray case ultra compact F62, ANSI enter or HHKB split shift with 2U backspace.  Unprinted pearl/pebble keys are also in stock, though all other unprinted keys and printed keys will be shipping separately, expected later this year.

For all other options, if you order now it will take several months for delivery.  The second container shipment is expected to arrive later this year, by year end.

If you wait a few months until it is in stock, it will take a few months from that point for delivery because of the new orders increasing the backlog between now and then.

Offline dc_in_sf

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2661 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 11:18:17 »
Hi, I've been considering this keyboard for a while now and I see that orders are accepted until Oktober? Is that the end of the early bid round? If so, what happens to orders after that?

Also if I ordered today, what's the rough estimate for it being shipped to me? Next year? 2022?

I loved my F77 so much, I'm in the progress of figuring out whether I want to buy a F62 as well. These are seriously nice pieces of kit, so I'd say hop in sooner rather than later.

Offline raptorzoz

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2662 on: Sat, 17 October 2020, 06:24:26 »
Hi, I've been considering this keyboard for a while now and I see that orders are accepted until Oktober? Is that the end of the early bid round? If so, what happens to orders after that?

Also if I ordered today, what's the rough estimate for it being shipped to me? Next year? 2022?

where did you see that it would only be accepted until october?

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2663 on: Sat, 17 October 2020, 09:36:58 »
Hi, I've been considering this keyboard for a while now and I see that orders are accepted until Oktober? Is that the end of the early bid round? If so, what happens to orders after that?

Also if I ordered today, what's the rough estimate for it being shipped to me? Next year? 2022?

I loved my F77 so much, I'm in the progress of figuring out whether I want to buy a F62 as well. These are seriously nice pieces of kit, so I'd say hop in sooner rather than later.

Has anyone customized their new Model F F62 / F77 layouts beyond the standard offerings?  I'd be interested in seeing what people do to optimize their keyboards.

Please do feel free to share layout screenshots / QMK JSON files / xwhatsit firmware .l files - for the latter two I think they should be compressed to ZIP format before they can be uploaded on the forum.

Offline euphxenos

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2664 on: Sat, 17 October 2020, 15:27:38 »
Hi, I've been considering this keyboard for a while now and I see that orders are accepted until Oktober? Is that the end of the early bid round? If so, what happens to orders after that?

Also if I ordered today, what's the rough estimate for it being shipped to me? Next year? 2022?

where did you see that it would only be accepted until october?

If you look at modelfkeyboards.com, there's a note that says:

"10/31/20
please have your orders in by then!"

That's probably what Shikada was asking about.  That note has been there for several years.  Every month, that date gets pushed out another month.

Offline BlissOnTap

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2665 on: Sat, 17 October 2020, 19:58:46 »
I have a question about the barrels. Were the barrels in the original Model Fs very different from XTs? Most Model F barrels I have seen are so smooth they have a glossy, near polish look to them. The ones on my F77 have a very coarse feel and look and it seems like it affects the feel of the keyboard.
« Last Edit: Sat, 17 October 2020, 20:42:02 by BlissOnTap »

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2666 on: Sat, 17 October 2020, 20:16:43 »
Bliss the new barrels are as smooth as, or in some cases smoother than the old barrels.  This reviewer confirms the opposite of your experience and notes the new barrels are actually smoother than their original IBM XT keyboard: 

https://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?p=461064#p461064

Some individual examples of the old Model F Keyboards I am sure have been smoothed down even more than others over time after years of use and your XT barrel may be one of them.  Like with the new springs, I expect the Brand New Model F Keyboard components including barrels to change with age over time.

The new barrels just have less black color added to the plastic compared to the originals, so the deep black color is less uniform and it may look a little different when photographed but the feel is smooth. 

Are you using the Brand New Model F keys or other keys by the way?  My one piece keys in my experience are better than the Model M style two piece keys in terms of key feel.

« Last Edit: Sat, 17 October 2020, 20:53:00 by Ellipse »

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2667 on: Mon, 19 October 2020, 23:46:01 »
The first trial of the full key set dye sublimation was just completed. The keys were sublimated but the results were not on par with previous tests, so they will be doing further testing before mass sublimation can start.

The legend alignment is improved from prior tests but is still not within my tolerances.

Below is the same scan posted earlier of the newly sublimated keys compared with original IBM keys. I have also added scans from many years ago of the same physical keys so everyone can see what four years of typing does to wear down the key top surfaces. As the textured surface wears down, the keys can become more smooth/slippery.

I expect the same to occur with the new production keys as they are the exact same material that IBM used for keys as per the IBM Model F Keyboard production engineer who has been a big help to the project. This is why I am hoping to be able to make as many spare key sets as possible so people can order them with their keyboards and have for future decades.

To see the texture it is best to save the photo or open the image in a new window to zoom in.

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Offline Havattack

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2668 on: Tue, 20 October 2020, 21:24:13 »
there has to be a way to make an adapter so i can use my MX keycaps on these things.. I want a solenoid pretty bad.

Offline mode

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2669 on: Thu, 22 October 2020, 01:00:44 »
there has to be a way to make an adapter so i can use my MX keycaps on these things.. I want a solenoid pretty bad.

No way, the shape is the total opposite of mx, the only way to do it would be to add an insane amount of height.

Offline Kavik

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2670 on: Fri, 23 October 2020, 19:28:56 »
there has to be a way to make an adapter so i can use my MX keycaps on these things.. I want a solenoid pretty bad.

No way, the shape is the total opposite of mx, the only way to do it would be to add an insane amount of height.

If you got it to work, you'd have to use a uniform profile because of the plate curve.
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline diazel

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2671 on: Sun, 25 October 2020, 11:36:02 »
Okay so I just received my brand new F62 & F77 from Joe and I don't know how else to say this....

I could not love this thing anymore than I do. It's incredible. For all the keyboards, for all the switches I've tried, I finally understand why the Model F is considered one of the best typing experiences you can ask for.

The sheer weight of them is astounding. My fiancée asked to see this super expensive keyboard I bought and I handed her the F77 and she almost dropped it when I let go. I also might have omitted that I bought two in a moment of weakness when I thought I'd regret not having the numpad on the side.

I got the beige F62 and industrial gray F77 and at first glance, the industrial gray looked so much better but the longer I sit in front of it, the more I'm coming around to the beige as it matches better with the buttons that it came with. The only way I can describe it is "vintage clean".

The sounds this thing makes is epic. As someone who sits in a home office alone 90% of my workday, you'd think the loud noise wouldn't be a factor. I've typed on keyboards before while on conference calls and not had it been too bad. That is simply not the case here. Every single person I've been on conference call this week have all commented on the 'enhanced' noise. So whenever there are other ears "present", I have to rely on my KVM and pulling in a silent killer. But when it's just me? Holy ****. I never thought I would love it as much as I do. My models seem to have a decent amount of spring sing and I've seen a number of youtube videos employing the floss mod to quiet it so I figured if my model had it, I'd mod it because I didn't like the spring sounds I'd heard so often through Chyro's videos or demos even of this board. There's no chance of me doing that now. While wearing my headset, it is the perfect combination of music [from the springs] and actual music.

Literally the only part that I could possibly have anything to complain about would be the USB cable it came with. They both came with super long cords but one was sheathed and the other straight plastic. I hate both of them. But they're super easy to replace. So I can barely complain about that as well.

Overall, very well done, Joe. I had moments of panic after dropping that kind of money on a switch type that I had never even experienced--I have a M122 and Lexmark Model M sans buckling springs boards but they're nowhere near this. Joe was super responsive with all of his correspondence and answered all my questions and even went above and beyond in explaining simple stuff to me that was clearly on his website had I taken the time to read it all properly instead of being hasty in my excitement. Joe is awesome. Model F Keyboards is awesome. This keyboard is awesome.

Alright, I'm off to respond to all these work emails coming in with a big smile on my face. :)

Offline dc_in_sf

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2672 on: Sun, 25 October 2020, 11:59:36 »
Okay so I just received my brand new F62 & F77 from Joe and I don't know how else to say this....

I could not love this thing anymore than I do. It's incredible. For all the keyboards, for all the switches I've tried, I finally understand why the Model F is considered one of the best typing experiences you can ask for.

The sheer weight of them is astounding. My fiancée asked to see this super expensive keyboard I bought and I handed her the F77 and she almost dropped it when I let go. I also might have omitted that I bought two in a moment of weakness when I thought I'd regret not having the numpad on the side.

I got the beige F62 and industrial gray F77 and at first glance, the industrial gray looked so much better but the longer I sit in front of it, the more I'm coming around to the beige as it matches better with the buttons that it came with. The only way I can describe it is "vintage clean".

The sounds this thing makes is epic. As someone who sits in a home office alone 90% of my workday, you'd think the loud noise wouldn't be a factor. I've typed on keyboards before while on conference calls and not had it been too bad. That is simply not the case here. Every single person I've been on conference call this week have all commented on the 'enhanced' noise. So whenever there are other ears "present", I have to rely on my KVM and pulling in a silent killer. But when it's just me? Holy ****. I never thought I would love it as much as I do. My models seem to have a decent amount of spring sing and I've seen a number of youtube videos employing the floss mod to quiet it so I figured if my model had it, I'd mod it because I didn't like the spring sounds I'd heard so often through Chyro's videos or demos even of this board. There's no chance of me doing that now. While wearing my headset, it is the perfect combination of music [from the springs] and actual music.

Literally the only part that I could possibly have anything to complain about would be the USB cable it came with. They both came with super long cords but one was sheathed and the other straight plastic. I hate both of them. But they're super easy to replace. So I can barely complain about that as well.

Overall, very well done, Joe. I had moments of panic after dropping that kind of money on a switch type that I had never even experienced--I have a M122 and Lexmark Model M sans buckling springs boards but they're nowhere near this. Joe was super responsive with all of his correspondence and answered all my questions and even went above and beyond in explaining simple stuff to me that was clearly on his website had I taken the time to read it all properly instead of being hasty in my excitement. Joe is awesome. Model F Keyboards is awesome. This keyboard is awesome.

Alright, I'm off to respond to all these work emails coming in with a big smile on my face. :)

How do you like the F62? I am loving my beige F77 (for all the reasons you mention) and am determined to pickup a 2nd board, just can't make my mind up between the F62 or another F77 (in another colorway)

I will say I recently switched to a Jabra Engage 75 for work calls, and the noise cancelling on it is so good that I was not able to demo the sound of the keys to a friend over skype, ended up having to record a separate video to send to him.

Offline diazel

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2673 on: Sun, 25 October 2020, 16:20:10 »

How do you like the F62? I am loving my beige F77 (for all the reasons you mention) and am determined to pickup a 2nd board, just can't make my mind up between the F62 or another F77 (in another colorway)

I will say I recently switched to a Jabra Engage 75 for work calls, and the noise cancelling on it is so good that I was not able to demo the sound of the keys to a friend over skype, ended up having to record a separate video to send to him.

I got the F62 in the HHKB format which I think might be ultimately why I like this one better than my F77 even though the Industrial gray colorway of my F77 I think looks better. What's funny was I bought the beige F62 to go along with a sleeper build that I'm building out of a 1989 Macintosh IICi case which is sufficiently yellowed to match. If the F62 was standard ANSI, I think I'd prefer the F77. Yeah a noise canceling headset would be great but since I work from home on my personal station (3 monitors vs 15" laptop monitor...no thank you) so I'm always on my Steelseries pro which means they hear everything when I'm not on mute, haha.

Offline Kavik

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2674 on: Sat, 31 October 2020, 01:21:22 »
Today is the four year anniversary of placing my order. Here's to hoping for receipt in 2021 (I'm choosing to wait for the keys)! Great to see everyone's pictures and also the great reviews! It looks to be worth the wait  :thumb:
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2675 on: Sat, 31 October 2020, 11:03:50 »
I want to thank everyone for their patience with me and with the factory.

For those who have not seen recent updates, the current state of the project is below:
Orders are still being accepted.
More than 500 Brand New Model F Keyboards have been personally tested and shipped by me.
Dye sublimation quality is excellent but the factory is working on the alignment of the legends on the keys before I approve this last step of the project.
While we wait for the dye sublimation to finish, I am continuing to send out shipments without printed keys to those who want early delivery, with printed items to ship later.
If you want your order to go out within one month from now, there is a good chance that it is in stock because I ordered extra keyboards beyond what everyone ordered, and the first container shipment arrived a while back.
The only keyboards that are not going out are those who prefer delivery all at once (e.g. if they do not have extra Model M / Model F / Unicomp keyboards to borrow keys from) and those whose keyboards are in the second of two container shipments of the early bird round (mostly the remaining keyboards with installed, unprinted blue/black keys as well as the compact case keyboards), expected to arrive around year end. 
PM or email me if you have a classic case keyboard and want to ask about the separate shipping option to get your keyboard in the next month or so.  Also in stock (and able to ship ahead of keys) are some compact F62 keyboards (regular gray case color, ANSI only) and compact F77 keyboards (black case color, ANSI only).

Offline civet

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2676 on: Tue, 10 November 2020, 04:04:28 »
Got my Industrial Grey F77 last week. Knowing what I know now, I would wait through the whole 5 years of the project run and not regret it in the least.

It's... marvelous, to such an extent that a friend who had previously been thoroughly unimpressed by a boltmodded ~94 Model M said "I wasn't expecting to like it after the M experience, but this is simply lovely. Light switches, "precise" feel, the whole package". I second that opinion.

All keys worked out of the box(after putting the blank keycaps on - smart choice to pack them separately, I could see such massive PBT boulders be a risk to ship mounted, despite the excellent packing), the layout was what I intended to set it to, there wasn't any sensing threshold issue or USB issue or anything like that, it seems everything has been ironed out. It seems to have come with QMK.

I read about the early tooling and assembly hurdles, but Ellipse's incredible attention to detail has really paid off. The Classic zinc alloy case in particular looks like a high quality commercial product. I couldn't believe the symmetry and the paint job is one I distinctly remember from 80s IBM powder coating(which is to say imperfect, but in the *exact* way required for authenticity, if that makes sense).

I know some have said it previously, but this in an M layout would probably eat a large chunk of the fancy MX clone market. Can't imagine why the Modern case F62 wouldn't do so for the whole 60% trend, apart from the limited production run.
As it stands, the F77 is close enough to a TKL for me.
« Last Edit: Wed, 11 November 2020, 02:37:00 by civet »

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2677 on: Tue, 10 November 2020, 10:29:28 »
Got my Industrial Grey F77 last week. Knowing what I know now, I would wait 5 years and not regret it in the least.

It's... marvelous, to such an extent that a friend who had previously been thoroughly unimpressed by a boltmodded ~94 Model M said "I wasn't expecting to like it after the M experience, but this is simply lovely. Light switches, "precise" feel, the whole package". I second that opinion.

All keys worked out of the box(after putting the blank keycaps on - smart choice to pack them separately, I could see such massive PBT boulders be a risk to ship mounted, despite the excellent packing), the layout was what I intended to set it to, there wasn't any sensing threshold issue or USB issue or anything like that, it seems everything has been ironed out. It seems to have come with QMK.

I read about the early tooling and assembly hurdles, but Ellipse's incredible attention to detail has really paid off. The Classic zinc alloy case in particular looks like a high quality commercial product. I couldn't believe the symmetry and the paint job is one I distinctly remember from 80s IBM powder coating(which is to say imperfect, but in the *exact* way required for authenticity, if that makes sense).

I know some have said it previously, but this in an M layout would probably eat a large chunk of the fancy MX clone market. Can't imagine why the Modern case F62 wouldn't do so for the whole 60% trend, apart from the limited production run.
As it stands, the F77 is close enough to a TKL for me.

Thanks for your review civet!  Glad everything is up and running.

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2678 on: Tue, 10 November 2020, 22:31:17 »
Dye sublimation of keys update:

The factory has made excellent progress over the past two weeks on sublimating entire key sets. They are DHL Express mailing me the key set samples for evaluation.

I will upload better photos after receiving the key sets in person.

The engineers report that the key sublimation quality remains excellent and they are working on the consistency of alignment.

As noted before, the goal is to get these keys in line with the 99th percentile example of the Model F, with the expectation that we will reasonably achieve the 50th percentile or better. From the prior keys received in hand I think we've achieved 99th percentile sublimation quality (hoping these hold up with the incoming samples!) and am hoping for 50th percentile or better alignment.

Some keys will always be slightly out of alignment tolerance - even so with IBM - so the goal is not perfection. According to my digital caliper measurements of an excellent, probably 90th+ percentile IBM XT keyboard example with outstanding sublimation quality, 24% of its keys aligned out of the bounds of the standard deviation (an amazingly tiny 0.15mm!). IBM's out of bounds on this set ranged up from 0.18mm to 0.46mm variance from the average alignment of the key set (still excellent results). As I've seen having owned and refurbed dozens of F's over the years, the standard deviation was far larger / looser on many of the other, later production units.

Looking at the compressed photos they sent me, about 16% to 21% of the keys were noticeably outside of tolerance of alignment. Will probably be more once I have looked more closely and am able to measure.

The goal is to get at least the alignment consistency to around what the typical IBM Model F alignment was over the life of the Model F (I wouldn't be holding up everyone's sublimated keycaps orders if we're at the 50th Model F percentile instead of the 99th percentile of alignment, for example).

Next steps: If I approve the sublimation quality, they are going to continue testing to determine the best settings for correct alignment while still maintaining the same sublimation quality. Once everything is approved, mass sublimation will start. They will be sublimating and inspecting thousands of key sets so it will take some time but we will proceed only if everything is right and the factory is aware that out of tolerance alignment is not acceptable.

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« Last Edit: Tue, 10 November 2020, 22:33:03 by Ellipse »

Offline civet

  • Posts: 18
Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2679 on: Wed, 11 November 2020, 03:11:42 »
I can only speak for myself, but I appreciate the attention to detail is the same for the printed keys as for the rest of the keyboard.

I do have one question, though: have you thought about reverse dyesub on the black keys? As in... dyesubbing the whole key black, save for a letter-shaped area.

Offline diazel

  • Posts: 114
Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2680 on: Wed, 11 November 2020, 07:12:08 »
I can only speak for myself, but I appreciate the attention to detail is the same for the printed keys as for the rest of the keyboard.

Agreed. I just brought my F77 to the office to annoy my boss. Instead of being annoyed, he was impressed with the quality, shocked by the weight, and then proceeded to recount all these tales of installing old XT & AT terminal units back in the day at $3-8k a pop.

Naturally, I'm excited about the keycaps because I'm sure as hell not going to find all blue with dye-sub legends on Unicomp's website! I've got some donor sets that will hold me over but I can't wait until those blues and blacks.

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2681 on: Mon, 16 November 2020, 12:11:25 »
I can only speak for myself, but I appreciate the attention to detail is the same for the printed keys as for the rest of the keyboard.

Agreed. I just brought my F77 to the office to annoy my boss. Instead of being annoyed, he was impressed with the quality, shocked by the weight, and then proceeded to recount all these tales of installing old XT & AT terminal units back in the day at $3-8k a pop.

Naturally, I'm excited about the keycaps because I'm sure as hell not going to find all blue with dye-sub legends on Unicomp's website! I've got some donor sets that will hold me over but I can't wait until those blues and blacks.

Ha, this is great!  Thanks for sharing this story.  If anyone else has Model F stories please do share them!

Also some good news - the lost/stolen keyboard has been safely returned to me by Cargo Largo in cooperation with the buyer who agreed to return it.  I want to thank Cargo Largo and the buyer for their cooperation and helpfulness.  I especially want to thank the buyer for checking out my blog entry about this particular lost/stolen keyboard and letting me know about it.  As a recap, the back story is that an eBay user (and winner of the new Model F auction) suspected that the Cargo Largo listing may have been the exact keyboard that was "lost" by UPS and resold by an affiliated company Cargo Largo, which tends to sell a lot of such items "lost" by UPS.  I confirmed by serial number that it in fact was the specific keyboard in question.

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2682 on: Mon, 16 November 2020, 14:02:42 »
Dye sublimation update: Dye sublimation quality approved for production; alignment very good for nearly all keys but not yet approved

More good news - the latest sublimation tests arrived today by DHL Express and the quality is outstanding, as good as the earlier samples and in my opinion equal to or better than my 99th percentile quality IBM Model F reference set. I have also examined them with my Meiji EMT stereo microscope like last time.

Legend alignment has improved significantly from last month's testing, but it is still not good enough in some instances. The factory noted that they are going to focus on the alignment, now that the sublimation quality has been confirmed good. As a note, some keys are repeat keys because the jig holds more keys than are contained in a standard key set. Some keys like Ctrl, Alt, Left Shift have been left out of the key set sample. Please see my prior note about the Function keys - the below alignment is not correct for the function keys and Esc keys (as well as other keys) and they will be standard Model F / Model M locations for the production key sets.

Also I have posted the November update on the project web site blog - for a summary of all the updates and forum postings please head over there.  https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/blog/

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« Last Edit: Mon, 16 November 2020, 17:49:57 by Ellipse »

Offline jterp7

  • Posts: 48
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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2683 on: Tue, 17 November 2020, 18:41:02 »
Thanks darkcruix for your update on the case powdercoating and on the Model F manual.

Interest check:  ultra durable modern style powdercoating for classic zinc and/or compact aluminum cases?

Just to show everyone how far powdercoating has come:  here's a video of me taking the end of a screwdriver and trying to damage these samples. Only the faintest of marks was left on these cases.

I am wondering if anyone would be interested in tough coatings for the final round.  I am planning on switching at least the compact cases to the tough powdercoating instead of the anodizing.  The appearance is great for both of them and the powdercoating is far more durable than anodizing.  You'll still be able to get the classic powdercoating no matter what, as a possible option for the classic style cases.


Any update on the powder coating for the compact cases?

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2684 on: Tue, 17 November 2020, 19:49:00 »
All painting and anodizing is staying the same for now.  I will post an update if that changes in the future.

Offline Pete

  • Posts: 50
Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2685 on: Wed, 18 November 2020, 22:54:24 »
All painting and anodizing is staying the same for now.  I will post an update if that changes in the future.

Is that two seperate processes used for different keyboards, or two stages in the same process of applying the color?

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2686 on: Wed, 18 November 2020, 22:56:10 »
The classic style zinc cases are powdercoated only, and the ultra compact aluminum cases are anodized only.

Offline Pete

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2687 on: Thu, 19 November 2020, 16:05:15 »
Please see my prior note about the Function keys - the below alignment is not correct for the function keys and Esc keys (as well as other keys) and they will be standard Model F / Model M locations for the production key sets.

What was the note about the Function keys?  I am wondering, do the dedicated F1 - F12 keycaps come with each order that includes keycaps?

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2688 on: Thu, 19 November 2020, 16:23:45 »
Just that the legends were not aligned correctly for the samples - the F1, etc. keys for this project will have legends more towards the middle of the key like you would see on a Model M.  https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=79141.msg2978646#msg2978646

Yes the key cap sets are full 103 key sets so you could even use them on another buckling spring keyboard.  Check any of the 4 product pages to see the key set keys.  If you order any F77 with a key set, you get another key - the 1U 0 Ins key for the number pad area.

Offline Pete

  • Posts: 50
Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2689 on: Thu, 19 November 2020, 16:26:26 »

Yes the key cap sets are full 103 key sets so you could even use them on another buckling spring keyboard.  Check any of the 4 product pages to see the key set keys.  If you order any F77 with a key set, you get another key - the 1U 0 Ins key for the number pad area.

Awesome, thanks!

Offline Pete

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2690 on: Fri, 20 November 2020, 14:35:21 »
Are there any recommendations for additional parts that could be ordered now to cover things wearing out or failing in the future and that could be hard to obtain later?



Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2691 on: Fri, 20 November 2020, 15:24:29 »
The most important extras are the First Aid Kit of spare parts for future repairs once production has long shut down (over 700 kits ordered so far!), controllers, key pullers, extra key sets (the key tops do wear down over time and you won't be able to buy more XT quality one piece keys after the end of the project) and also a spare custom made 3 meter USB cable (same as the one that is installed with the keyboard).  I hope to be able to manufacture as many First Aid Kits and spare parts as possible to keep all these great Model F keyboards running decades from now.


Most or all of the spare parts are certainly important, even if you have to fix something that was damaged accidentally like a spring or a controller if you trip on the cord and the controller breaks (has happened to a number of people).  I believe that the spare parts will become increasingly valuable in the years to come, to avoid having to purchase and cannibalize another Model F keyboard for parts.

Offline Kookiekurls

  • Posts: 32
Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2692 on: Sat, 05 December 2020, 14:48:17 »
Is there any estimations about when this will be shipped? I can’t find anything on the website or any emails about when I might expect to receive mine. The last update made it sound like most went out? And there’s no contact info on the site. Thank you
« Last Edit: Sat, 05 December 2020, 14:50:38 by Kookiekurls »

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2693 on: Sat, 05 December 2020, 17:54:06 »
Please feel free to email me for specifics on shipping a particular order.  More than 500 Brand New Model F keyboards have shipped so far but there are still many to go!  More details on the project/shipping status are posted on the updates page of the project web site.

Offline sleepy916

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2694 on: Mon, 07 December 2020, 02:48:14 »
Ellipse, thank you so much for all the time you spent on this project. I received both a little while ago but I just started using the F77. I never had the OG 77 Key but I do have a Kishsaver, and it feels pretty similar.

I'll have to buy a set of the new keys and get a split right shift key.




Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2695 on: Mon, 07 December 2020, 05:58:30 »
Looks nice sleepy916!  Thanks for sharing the photo and update. You are fortunate to have an original Kishsaver!

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2696 on: Wed, 09 December 2020, 17:31:31 »
As an update I've been having some email deliverability issues in recent weeks. I worked with my web hosting provider and I think the issues have been resolved. The issue was for people emailing me for the first time in the past few weeks (not an issue from those emailing me in reply to one of my emails). Please do let me know over PM if you are still having issues emailing me through the project web site and please do feel free to follow up if I haven't replied within a few days.

Offline Ellipse

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2697 on: Fri, 11 December 2020, 08:41:25 »
Second container shipment update:  The factory continues to finish up quality control re-inspection and repairs with the remaining keyboards as detailed before.  This work has taken significantly longer than expected.  The container shipment is now preparing for a departure in about 2-3 weeks, meaning it would be arriving around the end of January or early February.  I would have hoped that the shipment could have gone out far sooner of course but the quality control of the goods and making repairs were more important than meeting a timeline.  And as noted before, having me do all the repairs (even if the shipment went out earlier) would have significantly bottlenecked the QC and shipping process more than having the factory team take care of it.

Dye sublimation update:  The factory continues to improve the placement of the sublimation.  Results have improved from the previously posted test.  Fewer keys are noticeably out of place.  They are continuing to work on this.  Please disregard the wrong color used on some of the test keys; all keys will be the correct color for production.  I am hoping for everything to be finalized this month with dye sublimation to begin in January before the weekslong Chinese New Year break.

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Online LightningXI

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2698 on: Sun, 13 December 2020, 08:19:46 »
Good to hear about the improvements on dyesublimation. We get closer to the final fulfillment of many orders...! Can't wait to see these crisp keys soon.

Offline Water lee

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Re: [GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards
« Reply #2699 on: Sun, 13 December 2020, 11:01:59 »
 :thumb:
make it better!