A designation from my own type naming scheme used to categorise this keyboard with or from others by their common features and market intent but may/may not be derived from official names.
|Model F 3104/3178 Data Entry Base Keyboard|
A [keyboard enthusiast] community given name for this keyboard. It can be a shortening of its name and properties, a more abstract term, a real-life reference, or metonymy.
Possible companies responsible for making this keyboard for the company marketing it.
The name of the known switching mechanism that lies under this keyboard's keys.
|IBM capacitive buckling springs|
|Earliest AppearanceEarliest Appearance
The year (and possibly the quarter) that this keyboard part number was introduced, first observed, first recorded or the first example found.
|Original KeycapsOriginal Keycaps
The keyboard's original keycaps' material and text/symbol printing technique.
|PBT with dye-sublimated legends|
|Casing ColourCasing Colour
The original colour of this keyboard's outer casing. For keyboards whose casing materials are known to yellow, this will refer to the original colour before such transformation occurs.
The possible branding and logo styles found on this keyboard part number. This could be multiple styles at once or possible styles found over time.
|IBM silver square badge|
The style of this keyboard's flip-out or extendable feet. If applicable, this may also state how many levels of height adjustment are available and whether the feet could be rubberised.
The protocol(s) this keyboard can use to speak to the host computer (eg, scancode sets).
The keyboard-to-host connection. This is could be a description of a cable (its colour, whether its coiled, whether its detachable, and what connector is at its end) or the name of a wireless technology.
|Grey straightened-style fixed DA-15 cable|
|Key CountKey Count
The number of keys that this keyboard originally had.
|Form FactorForm Factor
The standardised or universally acknowledged name for this keyboard's layout form factor.
Documents ("Doc"), websites and/or webpages ("Web") that were used as a source of information for this keyboard part number. Examples of this keyboard part number I own ("ASK") will also be included as sources.
|Doc: IBM 3178 Display Station Brief Description of Announcement, Charges, and Availability (#183-034) [source: IBM]
|Data Last Updated||2022-09-01|
More on this type of keyboard...
The IBM 3104 Display Terminal and 3178 Display Station were both low-cost terminals announced in December 1982 and March 1983 respectively. The IBM 3104 was intended for IBM 8100 Information System or IBM 4321 and 4331 Processor applications, whereas IBM 3178 was designed to be used in a 'traditional' 3270 setting by connecting to an IBM 3274 Control Unit or 3276 Control Unit Display Station. Despite that, both were IBM 3270 Information Display System family terminals and provided IBM 3278 Model 2 equivalent functionality but did not support many 3278 optional features.
Along with its typewriter-like counterpart, the 3104/3178 Data Entry Keyboard is a part of the IBM Base Keyboard family that originated in 1977 during the Model B keyboard era. Specifically, this 75-key keyboard uses the physical layout from the 327X-75 type Model B keyboard. It constituted only 1 of the 4 total 3104/3178 keyboard variants, which was used exclusively with 3104 Model B1 and 3178 Model C1. It lacked the right-most keypad that the typewriter version of the keyboard had, but whereas earlier IBM 3270 family keyboards were also physically smaller when they lacked one, the 75-key 3104/3178 keyboard was the same size as its 87-key counterpart but simply had a blanking plate covering where the keypad would normally go. The 75-key keyboard assembly's barrel plate is shorter than the 87-key's, meaning it cannot be 'upgraded' to an 87-key physical layout without replacement parts and a replacement barrel plate. Being a data entry keyboard, it had a functional layout similar to an IBM Card Punch Keyboard. B1 and C1 keyboards seem to share part numbers.
Amongst Model Fs, the 3104/3178 keyboard design was very distinct. They had a large area of unused space above the keys (a trait shared with only the 3101/7485 Terminal Keyboard), with only a single blue-coloured toggle switch and silver-square IBM badge consistently interrupting it. This switch was used for toggling the terminal's display between mixed-case or uppercase-only characters and gives these keyboards their common nickname "blue switch Model F". Some 3104/3178 keyboards may have what appears to be a compartment outline in this area, which was likely the result of shared tooling with the aforementioned 3101/7485 keyboard that had a compartment in this location for covering DIP switches - for 3104/3178 keyboards, it had no purpose. Just above the keys, a very pronounced raised section spanning the width of all the keys was present which can be used to hold small items or layout diagrams in place. Underneath the keyboard, there was a compartment used for storing the host terminals' Problem Determination Guide for convenience. Whilst 3104/3178 keyboards had no native retractable feet for adjusting typing angle, there were clip-on feet (P/N 5641299) available. Another notable feature of the 3104/3178 keyboards was their included solenoids used as a "keyboard clicker" that would engage as an audible confirmation for a registered key. The clicker could be toggled on or off with the bottom-right-most key of the left 4x2 key bank. 3104/3178 keyboards had a grey cable terminating in a male DA-15 plug.