View Full Version : iBM model F 83-key bracer bar for space bar

June 20th, 2014, 07:11 PM
So I chanced it in a cheapish model f keyboard on eBay.

It works, but has some mechanical issues.
When I got it, it wasn't together quite right. I had to unscrew the bottom half because it was only partially tucked under the ridge part, if that makes sense. Anyway, it still doesn't fit quite right..

The main problem now is it feels like the bracer bar under the space bar is missing. It presses, but only if pressing directly in the middle. Anyone know if a model M one can be substituted?
I haven't taken it apart yet but plan to tonight. I don't have time now so I was hoping to get some opinions before I crack her open.

June 20th, 2014, 10:29 PM
OK I should have waited until I opened the keyboard. The bracer bar was not inside the space bar like modern ones. That's why I thought it was missing. I couldn't see it when I peeked under the space bar.

It was hidden pushed all the way inside the plate where the switches are. I created a hook out of a paper clip and fished it out and now the space bar works fine.

**EDIT Turns out it was on backwards!
Basically I had to take it completely apart to install the spacebar. That wasn't very fun.

June 22nd, 2014, 09:22 AM
Sounds like you're putting together several systems at once to me.
I hope thing are going well for you.

I've tackled many errant cheap plastic keyboards before, and possibly even a mechanical one in my childhood at some point.
I don't think it's fun to do ANY of them, and what can be said about the FILTH?
But it's good to clean them... Ugh.
I remember one that was all brown from cigarette smoke. Heh.

June 22nd, 2014, 11:55 AM
Did you have to separate the keypad PCB and keys (they're wedged together)? Because getting that back together really isn't fun and I'd love some tips lol

Awesome that it's working properly again :)

June 22nd, 2014, 01:48 PM
Yes it was super filthy and disqusting.
I actually had to put it back together a few times since the first few times the keys wouldn't "buckle" on one or two random keys.

The trick is (for me at least) was to put the metal plate upside down and I elevated it on two boxes so I could get the plungers and springs in. Make sure you only install the space bar and no other keys.
Then I put the back plate on.

Since a normal human only has two hands this part is the hardest. When you put the two halves together bend the metal tabs down so they press the two halves together and you don't spill all the peices out. Then I put it on end and tapped it with a hammer to lock the two plates into the tabs.

Now you can start putting the key caps on. I recommend tapping them and making sure they buckle correctly. That's why I had to do this a few times. On the last time I did it, I had one that didn't buckle so instead of redoing it all, I tapped it hard a few times then twisted it side to side and then it worked.

Also when putting the keyboard assembly into the case, put the legs out. Don't have them folded inside the case. That's why mine wasn't fitting correctly in my first post. When you have them folded into the case, they can fold in enough to block the pcb part from fitting correctly and the outer shell won't fit right.

None of this will probably make sense unless you have opened one of these already, lol.

I had more trouble than I should have because it looked like someone had already opened it and didn't put it back together quite right. I didn't realize that until later. I'll put a couple pics up later