NOTE: The links and information are provided on an "as-is" basis. I am not responsible if you try a modification and burn out your keyboard controller. For depot level service, I recommend Unicomp, who actually built them for IBM.
US Patent 4118611 BUCKLING SPRING TORSIONAL SNAP ACTUATOR
Model M page "Type Hard or Go Home" Dead Available on Internet Archive
Buckling Spring Page (by Sandy Tatsuo - finally found it again))
25 Years of the Model M Non www address. I might suck this up.
Nice clip of a buckling spring in action!
Modify Model M PCB (Pentium 4 Systems, KVM switches, others) by John Szybowski
Retrieved via the Internet Archive. Links to external adapter and cable.
ClickyKeyboard Restoration and collection Sells KBs, cables, and parts.
Convert your Model M Keyboard to Bluetooth with Bluefruit EZ-Key HID
Model M parts from Unicomp - SDL cables, springs, matrix, key caps...
AMP 1-520424-2 Product Page
PLUG SUB-ASSY, ROUND CABLE, 50 SERIES, SDL
Buckling Switch (The REAL clicky keyboard)
Model M PCB
Pinout for J8 (LED Tape Socket)
RS/6000 KB PCBs
Terminal KB PCB
AT Keyboard and SDL Pinouts
PS/2 Keyboard and SDL Pinouts
RS/6000 Keyboard and SDL Pinouts
M$ Elite Keyboard (Don't use it!)
Dr. Jim Wayne Bobbitt Style Hack
Running Without a Keyboard (or mouse!)
Belkin OmniView SE Incompatible
Cleaning the Keyboard (How to Open the KB)
Socket Sizes Needed
Fixing the detached plastic base (no need for screw and nut mod)
Keyboard Error Codes
Scan Code Followed by 301 Error
Present Model M Manufacturer
Location of Keyboard Connector
On PS/2s, the keyboard port is the one closest to the power supply.
Buckling Spring illustrations are from Wikipedia Model M keyboard, Design
Buckling Key Switch
Buckling spring key on key press and release. U.S. Patent 4,118,611, issued to IBM in 1978
Graph of key force over key travel for a buckling spring key. Visible in graph position 1C the fast force drop when the spring buckles. U.S. Patent 4,118,611, issued to IBM in 1978
Peter Wendt wrote:
The "M"-keyboard "as we know it" with the 101/102 keys design and the LEDs for NumLock, CapsLock and ScrollLock has been introduced along with the PS/2 in 1987.
The "MF-II Text/Data Keyboard" was available earlier as "MF-1" for XT, XT-286 and AT and seemed to have a dual-mode interface, since it had no LEDs and worked along with the slower PC/XT keyboard interface (non-bidirectional).
The MF-1 keyboard had been introduced in 1985 for the PC/XT/AT line to allow people to use F-keys, cursor control and separate number pad - particularly for use with a 3270 / 5250 host emulation (introduced the separate Print / SysReq, Scroll and Pause/Break keys along with the sixtett of keys between cursor and Print / SysReq used mainly for the IBM Assistant software series). Therefore you will find a line with "(C) 1985 IBM Corp." on the decal underside of the M-keyboard. This is the year where the original (non-LED) design had been patented.
The oldest "MF-II" keyboards (with LEDs) you may find will be those produced by IBM for the launch of the PS/2 in early 1987. They presented the family as a whole new product line - new designs, new keyboard, new monitors, new formats and new expansion bus. Before that the old "clickety-click" keyboard with 10 F-Keys to the left ruled. And before that the PC and XT 88-key with no F-Keys at all.
The "new" design of the MF-II was primarily made by moving the F-Keys above the text- /datakeys like the PF-Keys (programmable function keys) on the3270 Terminals of that time - however only 12 of them, not 24. "No one ever needs 24 function keys ..." (No one ever needs more than 640KB RAM ...)
This keyboard made it over the whole world. Even most nowadays keyboards copy the same basic layout. No matter if they split the keyboard into halves or half-round layout - the basic arrangement is the same as on the keyboard IBM *designed* in around 1980 for the 3278 / 79 graphic terminal and later altered the same design for the PS/2 family.
Also a very unique feature of the "M" keyboard -not copied by the cloners- is the two-parts keycap. The most intriguing version is the "transparent keycaps" version sold for host programmers. The "letter" keycaps can be taken off and were replaced by transparent keycaps - with small pieces of paper between key body and cap.
This allows programmers to define own keyboard "Symbols" and have appropriate lettering on them during the development phase. I must have a set of these caps around anywhere - along with a "letter mat" for ALGOL or APL-2 programming language symbols.
IBM PS/2 A Reference Guide, TJ Byers, Intertext Publications, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY 10020, 1989 ISBN: 0-07-009527-2
Keyboard Mechanics (Page
162 - 164)
(Pages 167 - 168)
Model M PCB
DOB is 01SEP88 PN 1393291 PCB is 170mm x 50mm
DOB is 19NOV91 PN 1395601 PCB is 150mm x 38mm
PCB is 91-ish PCB is PN 1395604
DOB 31JAN92 PN 1397553 PCB is 150mm x 38mm
DOB 20MAR93 PN is 1398012 PCB is 162mm x 50mm
CP1 and CP2 (B9HC0114 102MX8) are now back. See the outline for J2 ( four pin header) right below the SDL port?
The Ground trace is almost twice as wide as the other three. The ground trace is always towards Pin 1.
RS6000 M Keyboard PCBs
DOB of 05-31-91 PCB is 1394596, whole KB is 1394540 (ID# 4023580)
U1, U3 2392161 (IBM part number for a standard 7406 TTL chip)
U2 1394599 HD6805V1RN18P CPU with embedded code
J10 Speaker connector
CP1, CP2 B9HC0114 102M x 8 capacitor packs
Rick Ekblaw sent me the original image and said-
PCB is 1394596
Terminal Keyboard PCB
From Gereon Wenzel
J7 (three pin header, upper left) KB cable connector (?).
U2 is a Motorola 1387587 (possibly IBM house #)
Smaller ICs appear to be SN7406Ns.
Why is the upper right tape receptacle of the Terminal keyboard shorted with a sheet of alloy?
Programming Considerations (Pages 173 - 176)
Since the introduction of the IBM Personal Computer line in 1980, IBM has changed the keyboard twice. The first change came with the release of the IBM AT. The 84-key keyboard that accompanied the first model of the AT has a different key layout and produces scan codes distinct from those of the original 83-key PC keyboard. The scan code sets on the two keyboards are different because, for reasons of physical circuit design, it is most efficient to assign scan codes by key location. To maintain software application compatibility with the two keyboards, IBM added a scan code translator to the 8042 controller. After translation, the controller’s output for a given key is the same as that key’s output for the PC keyboard controller.
The 101-key enhanced keyboard used for the PS/2 introduced yet another keyboard layout. However, instead of coming up with a new set of scan codes for the new layout, IBM devised three. The Select Scan Code command (followed by an option byte of 1, 2, or 3) activates the scan code set of that number. An option byte of zero causes the keyboard to respond with the number of the currently active scan code set. The code sets differ in the values generated for the press and release of each key.
By default, the PS/2 keyboard boots to the 84-key set (set 2) used by the original AT keyboard and does not recognize the presence of the new keys. For most keys, it sends a single-byte press code and a two-byte release code consisting of F0H followed by the press code. These codes need to be translated by the BIOS interrupt 09H routine. For example, the “B” key sends scan code 32H to the BIOS, which interprets it as an “M”. However, with code translation enabled, the 8042 controller translates the scan code to 30H, which is properly interpreted by the BIOS as a “B”. The translation process also converts each two-byte release code to a one-byte code that is the same as the press code with the high bit turned on.
When scan code set 1 is activated, the keyboard produces codes that match the result of translating scan code 2. For the keys common to the enhanced and original PC keyboards, this code set produces the same press and release codes as the original keyboard. In effect, this code set moves the translation from the 8042 to the 6805, thus disabling scan code translation at the 8042 level. Support for the 17 enhanced keys is available through the second scan code set. However, only DOS 4.0 (Ed. and above) can access these extended keys from the keyboard without special programming practices. When using DOS 3.3, you must use the extended interrupt 16H BIOS functions, AH=10H and AH=11H.
Scan code set 3 is similar to scan code set 1 in that it produces the same scan codes for the majority of the ASCII keys and uses the same press/release coding convention. However, some keys are curiously reassigned. For example, with the scan code set 3 activated and 8042 translation enabled, the CapsLock key behaves like the left Ctrl key, and the NumLock key acts like Esc. In fact, if the keyboard were to be relabeled, it would look exactly like the 84-key layout of the original AT keyboard. The support for this scan code set is not yet complete, and using it’s features may result in programming errors.
I've encountered 3 different quality levels of the IBM 101's so far.
1) Removable cable, heavy, clicky feel (the best)
2) Fixed cable, but same weight and click feel (OK) <-- Lexmark built
3) Fixed cable, non-click squishy feel (horrible) <-- Lexmark built
All of the Win95 style 104's I've seen sucked.
The keyboard and auxiliary device signals are driven by open-collector drivers pulled to 5Vdc through a pull-up resistor.
AT Style Pinout for Keyboard Connector and SDL
SDL = Shielded Data Link, a type of shielded connector created by AMP and used by IBM and others for keyboard cables
PS/2 Style Pinout for Keyboard Connector and SDL
RS/6000 Style Pinout for Keyboard Connector and SDL
Note that the RS/6000 Keyboard port has the speaker signal and speaker ground signals that the PS/2 keyboard port lacks.
M$ Elite Keyboard
Hi John !
>I bought a micro soft elite keyboard pluged it into the keyboard port , fired up the ole 9577 Launa and the screen locks at the IBM screen.
From Peter Wendt
The Guardian for PS/2 -- APKME (thanks for the link, Brian Sammon)
From Jim Shorney
Get a cheap keyboard, take the
microcontroller circuit board out, whack the cable to 6
inches or so, and reconnect the microcontroller board.
Do the same with a cheap mouse. Wrap in tape or
put it in a small plastic 'project box' to insulate
Fools Rush in Where Angels
Fear to Tread
Holy BAT, Batman!
A keyboard *always* sends in a BAT message
after power-up, provided that it can control the clock
and data lines to it's satisfaction.
Impact of Cutting Data and
Traffic on data and clock lines is
asynchronous - no keyboard pressing or mouse moving, no
traffic. Both lines are high when no traffic, and are
standard TTL type open collector at each end. So you can
break and reconnect the clock and data lines without
problems. Just maintain power to the keyboard and mouse
at all times- a weakness of manual switch-boxes,
especially if you switch slowly or an intermediate
position is not used or has a powered-down system on it.
If you're building a smart switch box, design it to not
switch until the clock and data lines have been idle for
half a second or so to make sure you don't switch in the
middle of a transmission.
(*)The IBM PS/2 Hardware Interface Technical Reference Manual.
Hold That Thought!
One thought: grab some 4066 CMOS quad analog switch
chips and wire them to tri-state one keyboard while the
other is switched through, and vice versa.
Keyboard Emulator Hack (Dr. Jim Wayne Bobbitt style)
Wild Bill clears leather with:
Well, it wasn't hard. The first thing I needed was a busted keyboard. My dad found one alongside the highway that had blown off of a truck. It was all broken, so I opened it up and pulled the controller board inside...after disconnecting all the connections on the board that went to the keys. I left the keyboard cable attached to the controller. To make it look cleaner, I also desoldered the Num, Caps, and Scroll lock LEDs.
I went to RadioShack and got the casing, as well as a 5 volt blue LED. Forget exactly which one it was--but it is black plastic and the package said something about an RS232 port space.
To mount the keyboard controller inside the casing, I
ran a screw through part of the casing and a hole in the
controller circuit board.
Running without a Keyboard (or mouse)
Is there a way to get a 95A to boot without a keyboard attached ? I want it to boot to NT4 as a file and printer server with no keyboard, mouse, or monitor attached.
Helmut P. Einfalt wins for the simplest suggestion:
Ed. Not sure what
systems have "Bypass System Programs on Error" or
similar. I do know some systems have a "Network Server
Belkin OmniView SE Incompatible
From Tim Clarke
Just suffered a severe disappointment with these (F1D104u - UK PSU). They *Do Not* work with PS/2 BIOSes, as PS/2s run the keyboard in Scan Code Set 2. The only "workaround" is to disconnect and reconnect the keyboard from/to the KVM after switching to another port. Similarly, when the keyboard is correctly in Scan Code Set 2 the "hot-key" sequence is not recognised. Lastly, although the mouse does continue to work, the "sensitivity" is set to default after a switch.
Al Savage Responds
Tim Clarke salvos back
Cleaning the Keyboard
> Can I safely open the keyboard or will all the springs, keys, etc. jump out and land on the floor?
From Bob Eager
From Helmut P. Einfalt
I was delving deeply into the azure realm, when I
noticed my Industrial Model M keys were "flexing" before
they would do a left Shift-(letter). This was odd, at
the time I swapped out the keyboard and thought nothing
of it. I finally opened up the case, only to find a
goodly number of the melted plastic studs had snapped
off, hence the flexing when the key forced the plastic
frame down close enough to the curved metal base to
create a closed switch...
Searching the web brought up many mods using either
wood screws, metal screws, or the omega device, nut and
bolt. Being the lazy kind, I asked on the PS/2 Hardware
forum for advice. As usual, it came from a man used to
the glare of camera strobes and the sighs of starlets
that can't catch his attention...
Dr. Jim Shorney takes time from filming infomercials
and gives us a prescription:
"Diamond Jim" to his clique, otherwise known as "The
Solder God to the Stars" let slip his new Hollywood
method of re-attaching the plastic base to the curved
"The guys that write these nice tutorials don't know
about plastite screws. I found a size that works well
from McMaster-Carr. Worship me some more and I may
"From the Holy Coffee Can of M-bits...
"Material locks against the triangular (tri-lobular) shank to ensure a vibration-resistant connection. Also known as Plastite screws, they have coarse, sharply angled threads and a blunt tip. They provide maximum holding strength with minimal stress in formable plastics such as polypropylene and polycarbonate. Length is measured from under the head for pan head screws and from the top of the head for flat head screws."
Incompatible IBM Keyboard
From Charles Lasitter
Part 84G2524 / FRU 84G2529, mfg date 09/28/99, vendor: Unicomp; IBM has managed to do the unthinkable. It now makes PS/2 input devices that can't stand the sight of real PS/2 equipment.
Specifically, keyboards made by this vendor for IBM work great in crAptivas, but don't like Model 77s, 95s, and so on. Generates the "301" keyboard error right away in the Model 95 computers, and generates nonsense keyboard output attached to a Model 77.
I had several TrackPoint keyboards with sticky / weak left mouse button bars, and I submitted them for service. The failure was really one of annoyance / hindrance, as opposed to just plain broken keyboards.
Well, these keyboards were returned in their place, and the manufacturer was a new one. I can't remember the first manufacturer, but I'd advise you to try FIND OUT before you go buying or giving up any currently working trackpoint keyboard of this type.
This error is from a problem with a specific key, in this case the Left-Alt key, scancode 11.
The error list above is correct, but confusing.
301 KB reset or stuck-key failure (XX 301 XX = scan code in hex) would result in
"Scan Code" "301" or in this case "11" "301"
Speaker Grille on Keyboard
>Well I know this has nothing to do with cleaning but... what is that hole on the bottom of PS/2 keyboard. It looks like a mounting place for some kind of a speaker or what?!
The first series of the MF-keyboard called
MF-1 which lacked the 3 status LEDs had in fact a
speaker. It was designed for the XT family of IBM PCs
and was intended to be used for "professional typists",
which prefered to have a "click" in addition to the
mechanical "keyclick" itself. There was a software
available, which enables / disables the speaker click
... standard was "On" AFAIK. Worked with that thing for
some time back in 1987 ...
Model M Parts
If you have a desktop, the 5' cable might work for you. But for myself, I prefer the 10' cable. If you have a 80/85/95, you have to go to the floor and behind the system. If you have a desktop, you usually have to run the cable behind the system. This way you can sit away from the monitor.
Looks grim to find the long PS/2 to SDL cable, you will probably have to get a male/female PS/2 cable...
Model M Cables (Looks like they are 5' long)
1398094 Detachable Y Cable
1379947 Detachable Y Cable - Black
1395110 Detachable PS2 Cable - Pearl
Model M Parts
PVPLASM Pivot Plate & Spring Assembly
INSERT Stabilizer Insert (Enter key, Black - Vertical Keys, White - Horizontal Keys)
MEM Membrane assembly (Enter membrane assembly P/N you wish to purchase)
49G2224 Replacement Pointing Stick Caps
LED LED Overlay - Num / Caps / Scroll Lock (Model Ms used "Pebble - LEDs on bottom")
BUTTONS Buttons, printed, unprinted, sets, singles...
Model M Maker
Unicomp bought the buckling spring technology from Lexmark.
Ian Warford wrote:
Note the manufacture date on my Model M. (Ed. Image edited for