• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here
  • From now on we will require that a prefix is set for any items in the sales area. We have created regions and locations for this. We also require that you select a delivery option before posting your listing. This will hopefully help us streamline the things that get listed for sales here and help local people better advertise their items, especially for local only sales. New sales rules are also coming, so stay tuned.

Complete my IBM 5150 setup

bettablue

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
1,647
Location
Eugene, OR
As the title explains, I want to do one more thing to complete my IBM 5150 setup. I am getting a very nice IBM 5160 Expansion Unit, and have upgraded the computer to be where I want it with the exception of the keyboard. I am definitely going to keep the keyboard that came with it, but I also would like to upgrade it to one with a more traditional layout similar to the Model M. I know there are some out there that can be switched from XT to AT, but I haven't seen very many. And if possible, I would like to stay with IBM branded equipment. What are my options for a replacement? How much would one run to purchase, not on E-Bay?

As aleays, thanks much.
 

Lutiana

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
3,223
Location
Dublin, CA USA
If you have an actual Model M, it should work already (autoswitching). You just need the cord with the 5-pin jack (I'm guessing yours is PS/2).

--T

Doesn't this also require a later BIOS revision? Also how do you tell if it is an actual Model M?
 

bettablue

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
1,647
Location
Eugene, OR
Doesn't this also require a later BIOS revision? Also how do you tell if it is an actual Model M?

Unfortunately, I own a model M keyboard. It has both cables, one the PS2 I use with my Windows 7 computer, and the larger DIN connector. Even though the larger connector will fit the 5150, the keyboard does not work with a 5150 computer. The 5150 and 5160 both use a different type of plug or wiring than the IBM 5170 AT and later systems.

I thought there was a model M that was swichable between the two types, but standard system keyboards do not.
 

Terry Yager

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
Unfortunately, I own a model M keyboard. It has both cables, one the PS2 I use with my Windows 7 computer, and the larger DIN connector. Even though the larger connector will fit the 5150, the keyboard does not work with a 5150 computer. The 5150 and 5160 both use a different type of plug or wiring than the IBM 5170 AT and later systems.

I thought there was a model M that was swichable between the two types, but standard system keyboards do not.

You're probably bumping up against that BIOS thing (sorry, I'd forgotten that gotcha). Someone here should be able to supply you with the correct version.
Perhaps it's time to start a thread on ID-ing all the various Model M subspecies as well. (I hate the later UK made ones with the cord attached (how are they labeled again? Lenovo??)). AFAIK, all the ones with the detachable cord do autoswitch tho.

--T
 

modem7

Veteran Member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Messages
8,092
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I thought there was a model M that was swichable between the two types, but standard system keyboards do not.
From Meuller's Upgrading & Repairing PCs:

"The 101-keyboard was designed as a replacement for both the 83-key and the 84-key units, and theoretically works as a complete replacement for the earlier keyboards for any system. One problem, however, is that the individual system ROM BIOS may not be able to operate the 101-keyboard correctly. If this is the case, the 101-key keyboard does not work at all (as with all three ROM versions of the IBM PC), or only the new added keys do not work (F11 and F12 function keys)."

From my reading of that, even if you find an autoswitching Model M, it won't work at all on a 5150.
 

Stone

10k Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
12,814
Location
South Jersey, USA
I used to have a fleet of Model M keyboards. I still have a few. Tomorrow, I'll go out to the test lab, aka garage, and try them on my 5160. I've been using AT/XT keyboards with it lately. This is the first time I'll be trying the Model Ms on it.
 

Terry Yager

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
I plead insanity! (This stuff will make anybody crazy).

If I read it correctly, even you do find a non-IBM physically switchable 101-type board, you'll still need the BIOS upgrade as well.

--T
 

bettablue

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
1,647
Location
Eugene, OR
You're probably bumping up against that BIOS thing (sorry, I'd forgotten that gotcha). Someone here should be able to supply you with the correct version.
Perhaps it's time to start a thread on ID-ing all the various Model M subspecies as well. (I hate the later UK made ones with the cord attached (how are they labeled again? Lenovo??)). AFAIK, all the ones with the detachable cord do autoswitch tho.

--T

Lenove bought out IBMs PC manufacturing, but I think the name youre looking for is Lexmark. Lexmark built model M keyboards for quite a while before Unicomp took them over. So now Unicomp has the same keyboard, although the steel back plate is thinner and the keyboard doesn't have the exact feel. I didn't know the model M was auto switching though. That can save a lot of time. And if I CAN connect a model M, I'll definitely be using the IBM 5150 more often.
 

bettablue

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
1,647
Location
Eugene, OR
Hey, that's why I've been on 5 yellow pills and 2 green pills for a while now !

How come your so special? I only got to choose between red and blue! I keep telling myself I should have taken the BLUE pill, but no! I had to be different...
 

Terry Yager

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
I must be getting better. I've been able to eliminate all the red, green and yellow pills just by switching to the lil blue ones!

Yeah, Lexmark it is. Hate those things even more that the regulation Ms...they just don't feel right. Too light, too flimsy, I dunno, sum'n. Mebbe I'm just too oldskool...I still believe that after you've let all the smoke out, you should still be able to tie a rope around yer old computer gear and use it as a boat anchor. I mean, if ya can't recycle it, ya might as well just send it to the landfill. What a waste!


--T
 

bettablue

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
1,647
Location
Eugene, OR
I must be getting better. I've been able to eliminate all the red, green and yellow pills just by switching to the lil blue ones!

Yeah, Lexmark it is. Hate those things even more that the regulation Ms...they just don't feel right. Too light, too flimsy, I dunno, sum'n. Mebbe I'm just too oldskool...I still believe that after you've let all the smoke out, you should still be able to tie a rope around yer old computer gear and use it as a boat anchor. I mean, if ya can't recycle it, ya might as well just send it to the landfill. What a waste!--T

I have to agree with you on that point. I started using a model M keyboard about 2 years ago. This keyboard I have has been bolt modded, had all of the springs replaced, and is in effect better than new. Whenever I try to get another model M for family or friends, I always go for the grey label made between 1986 and 1989. I don't like the blue label ones because by then Lexmark had taken over and immeditely started for ways to cut back and save money. The steel backplate is thinner, plastics also seem different somehow, and all of them seem more "Pingy" Some people will tell you that they love the blue lagel ones best because they're newer, or whatever, and I suppose there is something to that, but still the weight and plastics differences make me pause. Then there are the silver labels. These were the first model M's. Some of these didn't have any lights for the lock keys. People like these because they were the first ones etc.

All three have merit. But I am not too sure about the auto switching capability. Is there some documentation on this somewhere? Because if that is in fact true, I'll be ordering another model M in about a week, unless someone here has a bolt modded keyboard for sale.
 

Pepinno

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
555
Location
Barcelona
All three have merit. But I am not too sure about the auto switching capability. Is there some documentation on this somewhere? Because if that is in fact true, I'll be ordering another model M in about a week, unless someone here has a bolt modded keyboard for sale.

I can confirm to you that my true blue IBM Model M "AT style" keyboard (100-something keys, Spanish International layout) with a DIN plug works with my true blue IBM XT, and also works with my AT clone Pentium-1 machine (which has a AT keyboard connector, not a PS/2 one). This Model M keyboard has no leds for caps lock, num lock, scroll lock. I guess it must be doing some autoswitching because I don't manually switch anything in it when moving it from the XT to the Pentium, or when moving it back from the Pentium to the XT.

When I got the IBM XT, it came with this Model M "AT style" keyboard.

It has always bothered me its lack of the lock led lights, so I have since got a 80-something keys real XT keyboard (Spanish layout) with the function keys on the left side, and with nice led lights integrated in-key in the lock keys.
 

mbbrutman

Associate Cat Herder
Staff member
Joined
May 3, 2003
Messages
6,269
There are many models of the Model M. The Model M you have might be a 1390120 (or a derivative), which was explicitly designed for an XT. It has no lights because an XT wouldn't use them anyway.


Mike
 

bettablue

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
1,647
Location
Eugene, OR
There are many models of the Model M. The Model M you have might be a 1390120 (or a derivative), which was explicitly designed for an XT. It has no lights because an XT wouldn't use them anyway.

Actually, mine is model #1391401; probably the most abundant of the gray labels. Not that that really means anything. But mine does have the lock LED's. If I had my wish, I'd get me the spacesaver model without the 10 key area. Those go for a premium though. IBM made so many models that I don't think they even know what they made and what they didn't. But if a space saver came up that was in decent condition for less than $50 or so, I would almost have to do a monkey jump. Most seem to go sell on an average over $150.00. I can't afford to buy a space saver for even $50.00 right now any way, too many hands in the pot as it is. Not with the expansion unit and the Compaq Portable I'm in the process of buying.
 

bettablue

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
1,647
Location
Eugene, OR
I can confirm to you that my true blue IBM Model M "AT style" keyboard (100-something keys, Spanish International layout) with a DIN plug works with my true blue IBM XT, and also works with my AT clone Pentium-1 machine (which has a AT keyboard connector, not a PS/2 one). This Model M keyboard has no leds for caps lock, num lock, scroll lock. I guess it must be doing some autoswitching because I don't manually switch anything in it when moving it from the XT to the Pentium, or when moving it back from the Pentium to the XT.

When I got the IBM XT, it came with this Model M "AT style" keyboard.

It has always bothered me its lack of the lock led lights, so I have since got a 80-something keys real XT keyboard (Spanish layout) with the function keys on the left side, and with nice led lights integrated in-key in the lock keys.

Now that is something... I have never seen an AT style model M. Do you have pics? I would love to see it.
 

Pepinno

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
555
Location
Barcelona
Now that is something... I have never seen an AT style model M. Do you have pics? I would love to see it.

Well, I call "AT style keyboard" to the standard 100-something keys keyboard with the F1 up to F12 keys at the top, as opposed to the "XT style keyboard" which carries only 80-something keys and has the the F1 up to F10 function keys at the left.

The IBM Model M keyboard which I have is like the one in this picture, but without the lock led-lights at the top right side.

model-m.jpg
 
Last edited:
Top