SNKB-M1986-BT1-122

Notes

This battleship came with a yellowed case and several likely aftermarket worn pad-printed keycaps. I replaced the original case with a NOS case sourced from Unicomp. The original terminal-centric legends were largely replaced with a Wheelwriter keycap set recovered from a beyond recoverable keyboard assembly with some standard PC Enhanced Keyboard keycaps mixed in. The pearl Esc, and pebble Fn, stepped Ctrl, 1u backspace and old-style Windows logo keycaps were from Unicomp. I also performed an "Erase-Eaze" split-spacebar mod using the "Code" and spacebar keys sourced from the same aforementioned Wheelwriter assembly. This keyboard was also featured in my Differences between and classifications of 122-key Model Ms comparison topic.

Original specs/details

Full Name IBM 3179 Color Display Station Keyboard
Part NumberPart Number
The number used to describe this keyboard's specific release; usually specific for a target region, language or SKU, etc.
1389152
TypeType
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 M Type I 122-key Converged Keyboard
NicknameNickname
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.
Battleship
Known Host SystemsKnown Host Systems
A list of known host systems this keyboard could be bundled with or at least designed specifically to operate with. This could be terminals, desktop PCs or laptops.
IBM 3179 Model 1 Color Display Station (IBM 3270 family)
Key-switchesKey-switches
The name of the known switching mechanism that lies under this keyboard's keys.
IBM membrane buckling springs
Original KeycapsOriginal Keycaps
The keyboard's original keycaps' material and text/symbol printing technique.
PBT with dye-sublimated legends
FeetFeet
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.
Dual-setting riser feet
ProtocolProtocol
The protocol(s) this keyboard can use to speak to the host computer (eg, scancode sets).
IBM Mode 2 (scancode set 3)
ConnectionConnection
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 coiled-style fixed DIN (240) cable
Form FactorForm Factor
The standardised or universally acknowledged name for this keyboard's layout form factor.
120%
Production Date 1986-06-09
Acquisition Date 2020-04-29

About this keyboard type

The Type 1 122-key Model M was a continuation of the IBM Converged Keyboard family that originated as the IBM Model F keyboards, with the 122-key Model F Converged Keyboard being the most immediate predecessor. The Type 1 "M122" first appeared as the "membrane type (new type)" keyboard unit for the IBM 3205 Color Display Console by September 1985, a 7-colour console terminal intended for IBM 43X1 family IBM System/370 compatible processors that originally used "capacitance type (old type)" (Model F-based) keyboards. Type 1 was quickly adopted for other terminals soon after, starting with the IBM 3290 Model 230 Information Panel in October 1985, which was a plasma screen IBM 3270-compatible terminal. Model 230 was released with such a keyboard as a combined alternative to the earlier 3290 Model 1 that shipped with a Type 1 104-key Model F Converged Keyboard and an optional 24/25-key Model F Keypad. Other possible Type 1 host terminals included the IBM 3179 Models 1 (3270-family) and 2 (5250-family) Color Display Stations from November 1985 onwards, the IBM 3193 Model 1 Display Station (3270-family) released in June 1986, and eventually the IBM 3180 Models 1 (3270-family) and 2 (5250-family) Display Stations and IBM 3270 Personal Computer AT (aka, IBM 5273). Specialised Type 1 "M122s" were also released, including one for IBM PC3270 terminal emulation (specifically P/N 1393656).

Like its Model F predecessor, early "M122s" such as Type 1 are often nicknamed today as "battleship" or "battleship-sized" keyboards due to their sheer size. Besides the Model M-based FIB Keyboard Controller, "M122s" are in general the largest Model M keyboard designs. Being a Converged Keyboard, they have their recognisable top 24-key and lefthand side 10-key function key banks. The 24 keys typically have either "PFxx" (IBM 3270-style) or "Cmdxx" (IBM 5250-style) nomenclature legends. "M122s" typically used typewriter-style functional layouts, but data entry versions were technically available with IBM Card Punch-style alphanumeric legends. For the IBM 527X and PC3270 keyboards, they additionally had blue sublegends to differentiate PC-only functionality to terminal-only/universal functionality much like the later Type 4 122-key Model Ms (Host Connected Keyboards).

Type 1 "M122s" were perhaps the most conservatively designed Model M keyboards as they almost completely resembled their Model F predecessor. The top cover piece design was virtually identical to the "F122's" from the top and sides, including retaining the Model F-style two-setting riser feet that can be accessed via large grey circular buttons on either side of the keyboard. A way to tell either keyboard apart is the bottom cover piece, which for "F122s" was black painted metal compared to all "M122s'" dyed pearl-white plastic. The usual plastic used on either case piece is likely the same PVC used on other Model Ms of the period, which crucially seems more robust than any Model F Converged Keyboard plastic piece as those were known to experience cracking. Some Type 1s produced by IBM UK were known to yellow. Type 1 usually connected to its host terminal via a permanently attached grey coiled cable terminating in a 240-degree 5-pin DIN plug with a screwable metal jacket. They exclusively used IBM silver-square badges regardless of generation. Some keyboards for 3270-family terminals may have an 8-position DIP switch bank for setting keyboard ID.

Typing demo