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Vintage IBM Model F PC / AT Keyboard [SOLD]

The post below is outdated (January 21, 2012). You may be interested in the following featured articles: “IBM Model F PC / AT Keyboard: My Daily Driver” and “How to Make an IBM Model F PC / AT Keyboard Usable on a Modern Computer“. Find other articles on the IBM Model F PC/AT keyboard by clicking here →.

Manufacturer: International Business Machines (IBM)
Model: Model F PC/AT, i.e., Model F Personal Computer / Advanced Technology
Serial Number: 262060860
Condition: Average
Cosmetics: Scuffs, stains and minor superficial blemishes in some areas but no deep scratches to either the case or the keycaps; needs cleaning. Most of the conspicuous marks have been removed – see photos below (the first four photos demonstrate the condition of the keyboard before cleaning and the rest show the keyboard in its current state) and read the February 13, 2012 update below.
Operation:The keyboard works as expected and without any issue. Nice, crisp typing.
Price: SOLD!
Shipping: Charged at cost. Local pick-up is possible and FOC.
Contact: modelf4sale@gmail.com

Up for sale is a used IBM (84-key) Model F PC/AT keyboard. This is a spare that I’ve had for a couple of months and I don’t foresee myself ever using it because my current daily driver (another Model F PC/AT) is running strong. Instead of keeping it stored in the box, I thought it might be a good idea to sell it so that someone else might be able to enjoy the sublime clickiness of this keyboard’s capacitive buckling spring mechanism.

Don’t confuse the Model F PC/AT with the Model F XT. The latter is less rare than the PC/AT version but does not easily work on modern day computers (unless you do a hack using a Teensy with Soarer’s adapter code). The Model F PC/AT that I’m selling has a five-pin DIN connector, with allows you to make the keyboard work easily with any computer with a PS/2 port (via any AT to PS/2 converter) or a USB port (via a AT to PS/2 converter and a PS/2 to USB adapter). In short, no hacking is required to get the IBM Model F keyboard to work with any modern day computer.

The IBM Model F is built like a tank, weighing approximately 2.8 kg, or 6.2 lbs. The quality is top-notch and arguably better than the Model M. I own two of the latter – a Model M 1391401 and a Model M “Mini” Space Saving Keyboard (SSK) – and two Model Fs, so I’m in a fairly good position to assess the comparative quality of the two different models.

One apparent downside of the Model F (and probably its only one) is its layout. It took me about two days to get used to the small Backspace key and to toggling the NumLock function (so that the key cluster on the right is used as the numeric pad or the Arrow keys and the Home, End, PageUp, and PageDown keys). The ten function keys on the left side don’t bother me at all; in fact, some people prefer them there rather than at the top, as in the standard keyboard layout, due to easier accessibility.

Dimensions of the IBM Model F PC/AT

While shopping for my first Model F, I simply could not find precise information on the keyboard’s dimensions, even in the few reviews available online. People might want to know these measurements to decide whether the keyboard is going to fit their computing setup or simply for comparison with other keyboards. So here are the dimensions of the IBM Model F PC/AT:

Width: 46.3 cm / 18.2 inches (without the knobs to extend the legs); 50.3 cm / 19.8 inches (with the knobs)
Depth: 20.6 cm / 8.1 inches
Height: 3.8 cm / 1.5 inches
Weight: 2.8 kg / 6.2 lbs

A Cleaner IBM Model F PC/AT Keyboard – February 13, 2012 Update

Addendum February 13, 2012

Due to some queries I’ve received about the marks above the “= +” key and below the “Caps Lock” key, I decided to spend some time (not much) to clean up the keyboard a little to show that those are merely scuffs/smudges that are easily removed. The first four photos above show the keyboard in its condition when I first received it. The next twelve photos show the keyboard after 15 minutes of cleaning with a slightly damp tissue and my own homemade cleaning agent. As you can see the marks above the “= +” key are hardly visible and those below the “Caps Lock” key are virtually gone—like magic! There are just a few remaining spots that tell you this is the same keyboard.

On Hold Pending Sale – February 14, 2012 Update

Addendum February 14, 2012

Thanks to all persons who have expressed interest in this keyboard. It is now placed on hold pending payment from a buyer.

Addendum February 22, 2012

SOLD and shipped to Hong Kong!

The post above is outdated (January 21, 2012). You may be interested in the following featured articles: “IBM Model F PC / AT Keyboard: My Daily Driver” and “How to Make an IBM Model F PC / AT Keyboard Usable on a Modern Computer“. Find other articles on the IBM Model F PC/AT keyboard by clicking here →.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Ed Avis February 10, 2012, 2:52 AM

    I’d love one but I imagine that shipping to Europe would more than double the price 🙁

    • Andy Teh February 10, 2012, 7:58 AM

      @Ed Avis—Shipping by Air Mail to the UK will be US$50, or ₤31.60. The cost will be similar for other parts of Europe and the US. Quite reasonable when you consider the weight of this keyboard.

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