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Thread: Micro Switch 53RW4-1 Dated 39 Week of 1970 Mystery Keyboard - Any ideas?

  1. #1

    Default Micro Switch 53RW4-1 Dated 39 Week of 1970 Mystery Keyboard - Any ideas?

    Hello Everyone,

    I have an old keyboard that I was wondering if anyone could identify? I listed in on eBay today as I've had it for several years now, and I really don't think I'll ever get around to doing anything with it. However, I'm still very curious what it's original intention was. It is from a company named Micro Switch out of Freeport, IL. This is now a division of Honeywell, but I'm not sure if it was then. It's a little more than a keyboard, it's an enclosure with a keyboard on it. When I bought it, I thought it was a 1970's kit computer, but after I found the date code of 7039 inside, I realized it was probably meant for a control system, or a terminal, etc since it predates microprocessors. I put the eBay link in here as it has pics of the unit:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/273338658033


    IMG_5141.jpg

    Just thought I would see if anyone has any clue what this guy was for, I can't find any info on it online. It has been modified like the previous owner was planning to make a homebrew computer out of it, but it looks like he never got too far.

    Thanks!
    -Kevin
    TexElec.com

  2. #2
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    Looks like a homebrew rig to me--the 7-segment displays mounted on perfboard scream that, as well as the horrible solder connection on the switches. The keyboard itself is Micro Switch, later purchased by Honeywell and then sold to Key Tronic.

    What the box does is anyone's guess, but it's a fair guess that it's somebody's re-purposed surplus setup. The enclosure looks vaguely familiar, but I can't place it.
    Last edited by Chuck(G); July 4th, 2018 at 07:18 PM.

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    Does the PCB actually say Microswitch anywhere? Photos are too small to tell. Kinda has a SWTPC kind of feel to it, but definitely not their keyswitches. Doesn't have any teletype or punch function keys that I can see.. wonder if it's ASCII. Definitely looks a bit hacked up. I wonder if it's a Jameco or something shoved into a Microswitch case?

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    I could be mistaken but it is similar to a TRS-80 Model 1 keyboard: http://www.nightfallcrew.com/wp-cont...y/IMG_3330.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Williams View Post
    It is from a company named Micro Switch out of Freeport, IL.
    It is a HiTek/Stackpole keyboard, the block molding gives it away.
    A Hall-Effect Micro Switch keyswitch looks VERY different.

    It does look like a TRS kb to me.

    What probably happened was that case started out life as a key to tape keyboard, and someone started building something else into it.

  6. #6

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    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the responses, and I think it is a Hi-Tek keyboard as well. I did some more digging, but there is no name on the board itself. I also think it is the same layout as the Model I keyboard. It wouldn't surprise me if Tandy just used something off the shelf for their design. The Micro Switch case seems to have had either this keyboard, or one with exact same physical layout. The black piece of this case around the keyboard seems to be molded perfectly, and not cut. I guess there could have been any number of uses for this guy, just hoping someone recognized it. I also agree that it was something the guy I got it from planned to make a homebrew computer out of with a 4 digit hex display, but just never did anything with it. I can't blame him, I never did anything with it myself.

    Take care,
    -Kevin

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