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Model M-e Modular 67-Key POS, MANPOS & MCANPOS Keyboards

Applies to IBM or Toshiba Modular 67-Key POS Keyboard, Modular 67-Key POS LCD Keyboard, Modular ANPOS Keyboard (ANPOS II) and Modular CANPOS Keyboard (CANPOS II)

Contents

Background

Various Modular POS Keyboards<a class='source-link' href='/wiki?id=modelmemodular#Sources'><sup>[ASK]</sup></a>
Various Modular POS Keyboards[ASK]

The IBM/Toshiba Modular series of POS (MPOS) input devices are a modern follow-up to the Retail series of POS (RPOS) input devices of the 1990s. Originally introduced in 2008[1], the MPOS series fields analogues for almost all of IBM's previous offerings whilst retaining the same IBM buckling rubber sleeve key-switch design and core layouts along with enhancing their features and in many cases adding more available buttons around said core design. MPOS input devices are provisionally known in the enthusiast space as members of the Model M extended family ("Model M-e") due to their clear and pronounced lineage to the Models M7, M7-1, M8, M9 and M11 that make up the RPOS series.

MPOS was introduced relatively late into IBM's retail business timeline. In 2012, IBM Retail Store Solutions was sold to Toshiba TEC[2] to become Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions (TGCS), which continues producing MPOS to this day. Their future is unclear as touchscreens become more and more present, but for now, Toshiba TEC alongside Unicomp with buckling spring Model Ms continues to produce the remnants of the once-colossal Model M family.

Specifications

Modular 67-Key POS Keyboard

Marketing names
IBM Modular 67-Key Keyboard, Toshiba Modular 67-Key Keyboard
Designation
M-e (not official)
Keycaps
Lasered (pearl white) or pad-printed (grey) ABS (printed) and transparent ABS (relegendable)
Case dimensions
32.5cm x 16.7cm x 2.4cm[3] (12.8" x 6.57" x 0.94")
Case material
PC+ABS-FR(40)
Case colour(s)
Pearl white, iron gray or storm gray
Layout
67 total keys; 66 programmable, 1 fixed (Ctrl)
Connectivity
USB via 6x2 IDC
Production
2008[1] to present

Modular 67-Key POS LCD Keyboard

Marketing names
IBM Modular 67-Key Keyboard with LCD Display, Toshiba Modular 67-Key POS LCD Keyboard, Toshiba Modular 67-Key Keyboard with 2x20 LCD, Toshiba Modular 67 Key Keyboard w/ LCD
Designation
M-e (not official)
Keycaps
Lasered (pearl white) or pad-printed (grey) ABS (printed) and transparent ABS (relegendable)
Case dimensions
43.5cm x 16.7cm x 2.4cm[3] (17.13" x 6.57" x 0.94")
Case material
PC+ABS-FR(40)
Case colour(s)
Pearl white, iron gray or storm gray
Layout
67 total keys; 66 programmable, 1 fixed (Ctrl)
Connectivity
USB via 6x2 IDC
Production
2011[4] to present

Modular ANPOS Keyboard (MANPOS)

Marketing names
IBM PS/2 ANPOS II Keyboard, IBM Modular PS/2 ANPOS II Keyboard, Toshiba Modular ANPOS Keyboard
Designation
M-e (not official)
Keycaps
Lasered (pearl white) or pad-printed (grey) ABS (printed) and transparent ABS (relegendable)
Case dimensions
Without pointing module: 43.7cm x 16.7cm x 2.4cm[3] (17.2" x 6.58" x 0.94")
With pointing module: 43.7cm x 20cm x 2.4cm[3] (17.2" x 7.87" x 0.94")
Case material
PC+ABS-FR(40)
Case colour(s)
Pearl white, iron gray or storm gray
Layout
116 (US English) or 117 (rest of world) key full-size (58 programmable keys)
Connectivity
PS/2 (excludes P/N 3AA0xxxxxxx) or USB via 6x2 IDC
Production
2008[1] to present
Predecessor
IBM Model M9 RANPOS Keyboard, IBM PS/2 ANPOS Keyboard with Integrated Pointing Device

Modular CANPOS Keyboard (MCANPOS)

Marketing names
IBM CANPOS II Keyboard, IBM Modular CANPOS II Keyboard, Toshiba Modular CANPOS Keyboard
Designation
M-e (not official)
Keycaps
Pad-printed ABS (printed) and transparent ABS (relegendable)
Case dimensions
Without pointing module: 34cm x 21.5cm x 2.4cm[3] (13.39" x 8.47" x 0.94")
With pointing module: 34cm x 24.8m x 2.4cm[3] (13.39" x 9.76" x 0.94")
Case material
PC+ABS-FR(40)
Case colour(s)
Iron gray or storm gray
Layout
133 (US English) or 134 (rest of world) key compacted full-size (32 programmable keys)
Connectivity
PS/2 (excludes P/N 3AA0xxxxxxx) or USB via 6x2 IDC
Production
2008[1] to present
Predecessor
IBM CANPOS Keyboard

History

MPOS in general is an upgrade of IBM's Retail series of POS (RPOS) keyboards. The RPOS series was announced on 1st June 1993 for the IBM 4694 POS Terminal model 001 and it consisted of five keyboard designs[5], initially manufactured by Lexmark then later Maxi Switch, XAC and XSZ:

These five keyboards in turn replaced IBM's 4683/4684 era keyboards that were manufactured by IBM itself, Key Tronic and SMK. All five keyboards used RS-485 serial for general communication and PS/2 for scancodes, the former fact meaning they are not natively programmable with a regular PC. By September 2001, IBM introduced the first new enhancement to the RPOS series, the IBM PS/2 ANPOS Keyboard with Integrated Pointing Device (alternatively known as IBM PS/2 ANPOS Keyboard with Integrated Mouse)[6] added an integrated TrackPoint-style pointing stick and two mouse buttons to the original Model M9 ANPOS Keyboard design. This began the Model M extended family (M-e) that MPOS belongs to. Furthermore, by April 2002, IBM released the Compact Alphanumeric POS (CANPOS) Keyboard[7] which represented an even more radical modification to the previous ANPOS Keyboard design by compacting a full-size keyboard and 32 programmable buttons into a form-factor with a similar width to a tenkeyless keyboard.

The MPOS series of Model M-e keyboards debuted in June 2008, based on the then-current RPOS series and M-e keyboards being produced by XSZ. Initially, the line-up included the Modular 67-Key POS Keyboard, the Modular ANPOS (MANPOS) Keyboard, and the Modular CANPOS (MCANPOS) Keyboard[1]. IBM also had alternative names for the latter two; ANPOS II and CANPOS II Keyboards respectively to represent the fact they're replacements for two previous M-e designs. By October 2011 and nearing the end of IBM Retail Store Solutions' existence, IBM introduced the Modular 67-Key POS LCD Keyboard[4] to complete the MPOS series and the modern IBM/Toshiba POS Keyboard line-up at large. The MPOS series brought up two major innovations to IBM/Toshiba POS series; a modular interface for non-button based features and a unified connection interface for USB and PS/2 connectivity. The modular interface replaces major Retail and early M-e keyboard features such as the key-locks, magnetic stripe readers and pointing devices with 2 or 3 hardpoints that allow these features to be installed or removed at will. This was likely an effort to make user configuration and repair/replacement easier as well as suppress the need for many manufacturing variations. The new connection interface replaces the old separate RS-485, PS/2 and USB connectors and unique internal electronics for each with a single connector and internal controller PCB that can communicate with a host via PS/2 (Alphanumeric models only) or USB depending on the cable used.

Design

Key-switches

More information: IBM buckling rubber sleeve

Late POS-type IBM buckling sleeves<a class='source-link' href='/wiki?id=modelmemodular#Sources'><sup>[ASK]</sup></a>
Late POS-type IBM buckling sleeves[ASK]

The key-switch design was not subject to change as IBM transitioned from the RPOS series to the MPOS series, as such it retains IBM buckling rubber sleeves (known simply as [IBM] buckling sleeves). These were once IBM's primary portable computer key-switch technology in the first half of the 1990s, being adopted on famous IBM machines such as the IBM Personal System/2 L40SX (Model M3), IBM ThinkPads 700, 720, 750 and 755, and IBM RS/6000 Notebook 860 (Models M6 and M6-1). Unlike generic rubber dome key-switches, the rubber component in buckling sleeves plays no part in pressing down on the membrane. Instead, the design offloads this duty to rods on the keycaps or barrel-mounted sliders (depending on specific implementation) that descend through the keyboard's key-switch barrels. This effectively eliminates the mushy feeling of bottoming out on rubber dome keyboards since the actuation interface is more solid, whilst still keeping the design tactile and relatively quiet. IBM buckling sleeves are very snappy and quite tactile with what's perhaps best described as a medium stiffness feel relative to other key-switch designs.

IBM adopted a variation of the design for its RPOS series POS keyboards when they were introduced in 1993, which is what MPOS inherits. Presumably, this development was part of the reason why the RPOS series were designated Model Ms (M7 through M11). Most MPOS keys use standard gauge sleeves with MCANPOS additionally using medium-tall gauge sleeves for their half-height keys. The former sleeve gauge is interchangeable with all Model M3 and M4 and most Model M6 and M6-1 sleeves. The MPOS' specific sleeves and actuation method implementation is known as the late (rod-actuated) POS-type IBM buckling sleeves which were introduced mid-way through RPOS series keyboard production around 2002. As such, post-2002 Retail and all MPOS series keyboards generally enjoy sleeve and keycap compatibility with each other. However, RPOS series keyboards produced before 2002 (ie, by Lexmark or Maxi Switch) use early (barrel slider actuated) POS-type IBM buckling sleeves that share only sleeve compatibility since the keycap mounts differ. Most MPOS sleeves are clear-translucent coloured and the only minute physical difference to the sleeves are slight grooves on their outer rims but this doesn't significantly alter the key-feel or sound.

Outer case

MPOS keyboards feature PC+ABS-FR(40) plastic cases in a very similar style to its RPOS series predecessors, with PC+ABS-FR(40) being a high flow flame retardant version of PC+ABS[8]. The plastic is sturdy and taut, giving little flex and giving the feeling of robustness. It's also textured, but only slightly and nowhere near the level of most buckling spring keyboard cases. That said, the cases are wedge-shaped just like its 1980s Model M ancestors but are more angular once again just like its RPOS series predecessors. As will later be explained, the main difference between the Retail and MPOS series is support for more keys and the modular interface. All MPOS keyboards are styled similarly to maintain a uniform resemblance.

Internal assembly

Technically speaking, the internal assembly follows the classic Model M staple of three distinct layers; the barrel plate, the membranes and the backplate. The barrel plate sits at the top facing the user and is used for holding individual key-switch components are their correct position above the membranes' contact points. Due to the uniqueness of some of the MPOS designs, there's no standard uniform barrel plate between all four designs that could be cut down as you may expect from buckling spring Model Ms. That said, the alphanumeric MPOS keyboards have a universal alphanumeric barrel plate design for both US English and rest of world layouts. The membranes are a part of the key-switch system used as the circuitry to be actuated by the keycaps' rods. Finally, the backplate provides rigidity. MPOS keyboard assemblies are held together with screws just like their RPOS series predecessors, meaning the main weakness of most buckling spring Model Ms - the plastic rivets - is not a concern for these keyboards.

However, MPOS keyboard assemblies are more tightly integrated than almost all other Model Ms except IBM Selectric Touch Keyboards (Models M1 and M2). Whereas RPOS series M7 through M11 and some earlier M-es retain a distinct metal backplate, MPOS series membranes and barrel plate secure onto a plastic middle case piece instead that acts as the backplate. That said, the design seems robust and barely any deck flex can be experienced.

Modular interface

The hallmark and namesake of these updated POS keyboard designs are of course their modular components. This takes the main non-button related features of the keyboards and makes them discreet devices that can be added or removed as desired. This design philosophy was presumably implemented to make repairing the keyboards easier, make customer ordering and configuration easier, and limit the amount of wholly distinct keyboard variants IBM and later Toshiba had to manufacture - for example, IBM used to market two distinct versions of the Retail 50-key POS Keyboard with (Model M7) or without (M7-1) a magnetic stripe reader. The MPOS keyboards have two (67-Key) or three (MANPOS and MCANPOS) module hardpoints that can attach a specific kind of module of which 4 types are available. Each module is further explained in the Modules section.

Hardpoint
Connector
Module
Keyboard
MSR
6x2
MSR
All
Security
5x2
Keylock, fingerprint
All
Pointing
3x2
Pointing
Excludes 67-Key

The keyboards can come with no modules installed or some modules installed configured in predefined packages. If a module isn't present at purchase, a hollow blanking module will be installed (these can be ordered separately as well). All modules slide in or out of place and are secured by a single screw on the bottom of the keyboard. When removing a module, there is a press-down button with a blue-coloured sticker across it for releasing the module.

Keycaps

MPOS shares the same type of keycaps as that of late RPOS series keyboards made by XAC and XSZ and there are two types of keycaps; alphanumeric and relegendable. The permanent alphanumeric keycap legends are lasered (pearl white) or pad-printed (grey/black). Opaque keycaps and relegendable keycap stems seem to be ABS. The alphanumeric keycaps for MANPOS are standard unit sizes, however, MCANPOS has slightly compacted keycaps. Relegendable keycap stems can take 1-unit or 1.25-unit form. Transparent keytops for 1-unit stems can take 1-unit, 2-unit horizontal or 2-unit vertical forms - use of 2-unit keycaps require configuration through the IBM/Toshiba Modular Device Utility or using the UPOS API to disable one of the two keystems' from registering its own keypress.

The keycaps are unfortunately difficult to remove without breaking the top of the keystem off. To remove 1-unit relegendable keycap stems:

  1. Remove all adjacent keytops around the given keystem you want to remove
  2. Push the keystem down and turn it 90 degrees (should work regardless of clockwise or anticlockwise)
  3. Pull the keystem out with a wire keycap puller

Other keys such as alphanumeric, modifiers and spacebar can only be safely removed by opening up the internal keyboard assembly and pushing them out from the other side of the barrel plate. To put a keycap back in, you simply push it back in with the two protrusions on the keystem's plug facing left and side relative to the keyboard. If the key doesn't press properly or stays stuck at the bottom, you should be able to rotate the keystem until it starts acting normally again.

Connectivity

The MPOS keyboards exclusively use locking 6x2 IDC connector based cables, displacing the Retail and older M-e options of 8-pin AMP SDL for RS485 and PS/2 or 4x1 connector for USB. Most MANPOS and MCANPOS keyboards from before 2018 support 12V powered USB, USB and PS/2, just requiring a separate cable for a particular one. However, when Toshiba introduced 3AA0xxxxxxx part number nomenclature versions of the MANPOS and MCANPOS by 2018, they dropped PS/2 support. The 67-Key POS keyboards have always only supported 12V powered USB and USB.

Type
0.7m pebble gray FRU & SMU
1.4m black FRU & SMU
3.8mm black FRU & SMU
12V Powered USB
45U0031
45U0036
45U0038
USB
45U0011
45U0016
45U0018
PS/2
45U0021
45U0026
45U0028

The simplicity of the connector's design can allow anyone to create their own replacement cables easily, even with just basic tools and equipment such as jumper wires and a sacrificial USB cable. modelrail.otenko has detailed the connection of a MANPOS keyboard and has even created a 3D printable plug casing[10].

Modules

Magnetic Stripe Reader module

The magnetic stripe reader (MSR) module is used to read the data stored on the black stripe that swipe cards have. This modular replaces the built-in MSR most RPOS series keyboards had. Available options as of May 2014[9]:

Type
Feature code
Colour
SMU
FRU
Three-track
2260
Grey
44T4080
44T4090
Three-track
2260
White
44T4180
44T4190
JUCC
2262
Grey
44T4082
44T4092
JUCC
2262
White
44T4182
44T4192

Keylock module

Available options as of May 2014[9]:

Feature code
Colour
SMU
FRU
2264
Grey
44T4084
44T4094
2264
White
44T4184
44T4194

Touch Pad/Pointer module

Also referred to as simply as the pointing module or Glide Pad and pointer module by IBM[12], this module attaches a two-button Varatouch pointing stick and a touchpad to the keyboard[3] via the pointing module hardpoint. Due to their lack of said hardpoint, the 67-Key POS Keyboards cannot use this module. This module replaces the singular two-button pointing stick previous IBM and Toshiba POS keyboards could have. This module also features a large rubber half-sphere on its bottom to help support the module. Available options as of May 2014[9]:

Feature code
Colour
SMU
FRU
2266
Grey
44T4104
44T4096
2266
White
44T4105
44T4196

Fingerprint module

Note that the fingerprint module requires the USB cable option for it to operate. Available options as of May 2014[9]:

Feature code
Colour
SMU
FRU
2268
Grey
44T4102
44T4099
2268
White
44T4103
44T4199

67-Key MPOS Keyboard

The Modular 67-Key POS Keyboard is the direct successor to the IBM/Toshiba Model M7 50-key POS Keyboard and is thus occasionally referred to as the M7-e in fan circles. It was announced on 17th June 2008 for the IBM SurePOS 300[1]. As the name implies, the M7-e adds 17 keys over its predecessor, however, these new keys are arranged around the same basic layout as the original 50-key M7 to allow for some familiarity for IBM's customers upon upgrading and preserve application-level compatibility. Also included from the M7 design is a dedicated Ctrl key that cannot be reprogrammed and the same numeric keypad with a double-width 0 key by default, giving the design 65 total programmable keys out of the box (66 if the "0" keycap is removed). Being an MPOS series device, the MSR and key lock are now modular attachments instead of fixed components. As such, the M7-1 (M7 without built-in MSR) is also succeeded by the M7-e.

67-Key MPOS LCD Keyboard

The Modular 67-Key POS LCD Keyboard is the direct successor to the IBM/Toshiba Model M8 50-key POS LCD Keyboard and is thus occasionally referred to as the M8-e in fan circles. Its planned availability was 14th October 2011 for the IBM SurePOS 300[4]. The changes and narrative echo that of the non-LCD version. As the name implies, the M8-e adds 17 keys over its predecessor, however, these new keys are arranged around the same basic layout as the original 50-key M8 to allow for some familiarity for IBM's customers upon upgrading and preserve application-level compatibility. Also included from the M8 design is a dedicated Ctrl key that cannot be reprogrammed and the same numeric keypad with a double-width 0 key by default, giving the design 65 total programmable keys out of the box (66 if the "0" keycap is removed). Being an MPOS series device, the MSR and key lock are now modular attachments instead of fixed components.

MANPOS Keyboard

The Modular Alphanumeric POS Keyboard (MANPOS) is the direct successor to the original Model M-e based IBM PS/2 ANPOS Keyboard with Integrated Pointing Device (hence IBM originally called this design the IBM Modular PS/2 ANPOS II Keyboard[12]). It was announced on 17th June 2008 for the IBM SurePOS 300[1]. The M-e PS/2 ANPOS itself was a Model M-e upgrade of the original Model M9 ANPOS Keyboard. Being an MPOS series device, the MSR and key lock are now attachments instead of fixed components and the design now gains a touchpad compared to a PS/2 ANPOS Keyboard or any pointing device compared to the M9. In terms of layout modification, the changes are tame - only 3 programmable keys have moved to make way for the pointing module. The status indicators panel is also much smaller now.

MCANPOS Keyboard

The Modular Compact Alphanumeric POS Keyboard (MCANPOS) is the direct successor to the original IBM CANPOS Keyboard (hence why IBM-branded MCANPOS were also known as IBM Modular CANPOS II Keyboards). It was announced on 17th June 2008 for the IBM SurePOS 300[1]. The original CANPOS itself was a compact redesign of the Model M9 ANPOS Keyboard. Both CANPOS and MCANPOS fit a full-size keyboard and many programmable keys in a chassis that is a similar width to a tenkeyless keyboard. Additionally, all alphanumeric keys are slightly thinner compared to their M9 ANPOS, M-e PS/2 ANPOS and MANPOS counterparts. Once again as you may expect, MCANPOS made many of CANPOS's features modular but in this case, it also added the possibility of a key lock and a touchpad that the original CANPOS could never have. No extra keys were added despite some programmable key layout alterations, meaning both CANPOS and MCANPOS have 133 (US English) or 134 (rest of world) keys. Extra status indicators were also added; CANPOS only had three keyboard lock-lights, MCANPOS adds a "Wait", "Offline", "Message Pending" and a user-definable light.

Gallery

Further reading & resources

Internal

External

Sources

ASK. Admiral Shark's Keyboards original content. License/note: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

  1. IBM - IBM SurePOS 300 machine type 4810 offer new point-of-sale keyboards [accessed 2022-04-06].
  2. IBM - Toshiba TEC to Acquire IBM’s Retail Store Point-of-Sale Solutions Business; Agreement Allows Both to Tap Growing Smarter Commerce Opportunity [accessed 2022-04-06].
  3. Toshiba - Toshiba POS Keyboards Technical Specifications [accessed 2022-04-06].
  4. IBM - IBM SurePOS 300: New IBM Modular 67-Key POS Keyboard with LCD Display offers increased security and additional customization options [accessed 2022-04-06].
  5. IBM - IBM 4694 Point of Sale Terminal Model 001 Brief Description of Announcement, Charges, and Availability [accessed 2022-04-08].
  6. IBM - IBM Point of Sale Subsystem Installation, Keyboards, and Code Pages [accessed 2022-04-08].
  7. IBM - IBM SurePOS 500 Series Overview [accessed 2022-04-08].
  8. idemitsu - Flame retardant PC alloy grade Properties [accessed 2022-04-10].
  9. Toshiba - Toshiba SurePOS 700 Models 4900-xx5 Guide to Features [accessed 2022-04-06].
  10. modelrail.otenko - IBM 45U0018 POS Keyboard [accessed 2022-04-09].
  11. TheMK#1822 - contributed PS/2 pinout information.
  12. IBM - IBM Point of Sale Options and I/O Devices Service Guide DRAFT [accessed 2022-04-06].
  13. ASK Keyboard Archive Photos - 65Y4045 (2010, IBM) [accessed 2021-12-05]. License/note: saved from volatile AliExpress listing.
  14. TheMK#1822 - donated photos. License/note: CC-BY-NC-SA.
  15. IBM - ftp://public.dhe.ibm.com. License/note: archived from IBM public FTP & used under fair dealing.