Very early IBM keyboards

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Very early IBM keyboards

Postby xwhatsit on Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:07 pm

Hello all,

I'm trying to source an early IBM "beam spring" keyboard. I have buckling spring boards (the famous Model M and F), but I very much want to try the earlier beam spring mechanism.

These were fitted to terminals for the IBM mainframes and microcomputers in the 70s and early 80s. My first preference is for the IBM 5251 keyboard (part numbers 7361073 and 7362149) or the 3278 keyboard (1742705 and other 1742??? numbers), but all kinds of keyboards used beamsprings (even the Displaywriter word-processing system).

I have been in contact with some US suppliers, but even those who will ship here have crazy shipping rates (try $US197 for a $US99 keyboard), so I'm hoping to find something locally.

I plan to build a converter to interpret the terminal interface so it can be used as a modern USB keyboard. I write code all day, and if the beam spring keyswitch is all the original IBM patent and internet reports say, my hands will thank me for it!

Either contact me on here, or send an email to tom@cornall.co if you have any leads or anything for sale.

Many thanks,

-Tom

IBM 3278 keyboard:
Image

IBM 5251 keyboard:
Image
xwhatsit
 
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Re: Very early IBM keyboards

Postby xwhatsit on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:15 pm

Still looking, Display Writer boards are OK too:

Image
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Re: Very early IBM keyboards

Postby Gibsaw on Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:00 am

xwhatsit wrote:even those who will ship here have crazy shipping rates


Tom, have a look at shipito.com. It means I can buy from "USA only" vendors and they're not kidding when they say they get volume discounts from people like fedex.

It's still not cheap, but quite often it can be cheaper for me to ship something via them, despite that it ends up being shipped twice.

Even when it isn't cheaper, I can usually make up the difference by having a bigger choice of vendors.
"dsakey" on trademe. Apple II's are my thing.
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Re: Very early IBM keyboards

Postby xwhatsit on Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:52 pm

Thanks Gibsaw, I haven't looked at them before. They take a commission but it could still definitely be worth it. Yes it's the `US only' can often be very irritating, especially when the price is still low and nobody's taken any interest!

I have actually had an email from a US seller who saw this forum post, which is encouraging! Might possibly have one of these lovely boards soon if all goes well :)
xwhatsit
 
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Re: Very early IBM keyboards

Postby Gibsaw on Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:12 pm

xwhatsit wrote:They take a commission...


Technically, no. they don't. They charge a flat $US8.50 per package.... But that would depend on what you think about their fees for the credit card transactions. :?
"dsakey" on trademe. Apple II's are my thing.
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