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bettablue
August 21st, 2014, 11:25 PM
As most of you know, I have a fetish for IBM keyboards. I have two XT class keyboards, one for each of my 5150 machines. I also have and use two IBM Model M boards. I have no idea what is on my 5160 XT as it's currently boxed up and is in storage until my nephew moves back out. (That's a whole 'nother story though and has no bearing here.)

I am curious though. I know at one point I had a model F keyboard attached to a pitiful IBM 5170 AT I eventually sold for parts. But looking at the XT keyboards and the Model F, I couldn't really tell the difference. So, what is the difference between the two? What about their compatibility? Which keyboard will work with what computer?

I know more about the Model M than I would care to admit. I use one with my current Windows 7 computer, and can't see ever going back to any of today's rubber dome wonders! After it's arrival, I used my then new-to-me Model M, manufactured in Aug, 1987 for about two weeks before heading back to the office. Working on their keyboards was horrific! I can't even type on any of today's rubber dome keyboards. After a day at work, my hands would hurt from the banging you have to do, just to register a single key stroke. That's why I love the early IBM keyboards. Aside from their hybrid mechanical/membrane mechanism, I love the weight. Seriously, I love the fact that my keyboard stays where I put it. The XT boards weigh in at what; 10 to 12 pounds? and the GOOD Model M's come in at roughly 5.5 Lbs. I know the keyboard will stay just where I put it. Plus, if needed, it could serve as a lethal weapon.

So, aside from physical stats, what info can you all give me in regards to the Model F vs. IBM's XT keyboards?

As always... Thanks much.

vwestlife
August 22nd, 2014, 04:42 AM
The PC/XT and AT keyboards are both Model F. The PC/XT version has 83 keys and no num/caps/scroll lock lights while the AT version has 84 keys (including a dedicated SysReq key) and has the lock lights. There was also a 122-key Model F keyboard for the 3270 PC.

krebizfan
August 22nd, 2014, 09:15 AM
The PC/XT uses a different encoding method than the AT. The keyboards (except for the lights) and slight changes to layout are very similar. Some keyboards were designed to work with both XT and AT by recognizing the computer's protocol.

The Model F was the term for a generation of IBM keyboards. Many Model F forms will not work with any IBM PC, XT, or AT.
http://deskthority.net/wiki/IBM_Model_F

Maverick1978
August 27th, 2014, 08:15 AM
The PC/XT and AT keyboards are both Model F. The PC/XT version has 83 keys and no num/caps/scroll lock lights while the AT version has 84 keys (including a dedicated SysReq key) and has the lock lights. There was also a 122-key Model F keyboard for the 3270 PC.
Easiest way to tell the difference between them - the lights, and the L-shaped Enter key on the 84-key version. Assuming that you didn't read the tag saying "IBM AT? :)

Betta, if you've the 84-key variant and ever need a few bucks, those tend to pull upwards of $150 on evilbay, and you could likely skip the hassle altogether and sell direct on GeekHack and get your price too, especially if it's in good condition.

bettablue
August 27th, 2014, 09:35 AM
Easiest way to tell the difference between them - the lights, and the L-shaped Enter key on the 84-key version. Assuming that you didn't read the tag saying "IBM AT? :)

Betta, if you've the 84-key variant and ever need a few bucks, those tend to pull upwards of $150 on evilbay, and you could likely skip the hassle altogether and sell direct on GeekHack and get your price too, especially if it's in good condition.

Thanks Maverick...

Sadly, I do not have the 84 key variant, but standard 83 key XT keyboards. Both of them are connected to their own IBM 5150 system too. Sadly, I did have an 84 key model F a while ago. I traded it for the full height hard discs with a Winchester hard disc controller, and some other various parts I needed to finish assembling my 5161 expansion unit. In that aspect, I came out on top quite nicely. Especially since the Winchester HD controller is the one everybody seems to want because of it's on board BIOS.

Thanks guys.



Oh well.