mothergoose729 wrote on 2021-02-23, 07:34:
Thanks that technical bit is great to know. It looks like I will have to either get exactly the model F, or probably a modern mechanical keyboard to be sure that it will perform. Too bad, I really like the look (and price) of that KB-8923. Authentic IBM or not.
dr_st I don't need true nkey rollover, nobody does, and I have never owned a gaming quality keyboard in my life. More than anything I just don't want to have to worry about it.
If you've never noticed, I'd say it's a bit excessive to go for a huge hunk of model F steel. Note that "Model F" isn't a single model, it's a range of models sharing the same technology. The commonest is the XT keyboard, with a quite different layout to modern boards. As stated, the F-122 'Battleship' and F AT come closest to a modern board, but the one is insanely huge and heavy (I have one 😉 ) and the other rare and even by F standards pricey. Talking of which, a bunch of enthousiasts have re-started production of Model F with modern layouts (but beige still very much an option). Prices are similar to when they were new, which is extremely high compared to most modern boards, USD 389 for a complete board with keycaps. If not scared off by price, take a look here
I have found some Cherry MX boards in light gray. They are more "timeless" in a way than retro, but they will do still look good with my setup. I can buy retro themed keycaps but they are all dramatically over priced. Maybe I'll drop some hints to my wife for next christmas, heh 😁.
Cherry's own boards vary between decent to rather bad. Avoid the ubiquitous G80-3000 (bendy weak plastic case) and aim for the G80-1000 (older, with metal backplate). Steer well clear of any G81 boards, they have Cherry MY switches, whose type feel has been variously described as "prodding a corpse" or "typing on a wet newspaper". Some Cherry G80-1000 boards have NKRO, some don't, it's a bit of a mixed bag and you need to look at the specific model number. Take a look here. G80-3000 boards generally don't.
Commonest MX switch on old keyboards is the MX Black, a moderately heavy linear switch. Good retro feel, but I'm not a huge fan as it's not tactile. MX Blue (light clicky) is the alternative on older boards (now-common tactile silend MX Brown weren't really a thing back then). They feel OK-ish, but I don't like the sound - high-pitched and somewhere between metallic and cheap plastic. I prefer sound&feel of Alps White from same period, and IBM buckling spring is vastly superior in terms of sound & feel. But I'm a) spoilt (I have a *LOT* of keyboards, both vintage and modern) and b) pretty opinionated. Compared to a generic rubber dome, both MX Black and MX Blue will generally feel a lot better, and as for sound, that's highly personal, and also influenced by casing and keycaps (MX Blue on G80-1000 sound a lot better than on G80-3000).