A 21st keyboards

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Nov 24 2013 - 13:23
Posts: 226
A 21st keyboards

I'm trying to find clarification on this. Was there any sort of sequence to the different keyboards used on the original Apple IIs? I've seen some with earlier serials than my A2s1 case that have the keyboard with the power 'button' that looks similar to the II+, then earlier still that have the brown raised button like mine. I'm just wondering if the one in mine is correct, or if Apple used the different designs all over the place.

Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: Oct 9 2011 - 12:54
Posts: 1352
Re: A 21st keyboards

Early Apple II had the raised key looking power indicator. There were two types of that keyboard. One with an edge connector and one without. The earlier one had an edge connector. Both had no daughter board as the encoder was on the keyboard PCB itself. These are referred to as early Datanetics keyboards. From what we gather the switch from edge connector to non edge connector came somewhere just before serial number 3000. There was some overlap in the non edge connector production with early apple II plus. Very early which had the raised key looking power indicator. These keyboards come up on eBay every so often, expect to pay between 400-600 for a non confirmed working one. It may cost you another 100 or so to repair/replace switches that may be dead and not revivable with ISP or dexoit and a lot of patience.

Next up was the newer Datanetics which came after the "teens" in serial numbers. It had a daughter board to hold the encoder and a power indicator which didn't sit flush but was what most people think of when the see an apple II or plus. The last couple I saw in eBay went for around $200.

By the time Apple switched to the non datanetics keyboards I don't think they were shipping the plain II anymore. datanetics spun off their keyboard division that did work for Apple to become the keyboard company. There were subsequent other keyboard for the II plus. But I assume you only wanted to know about the II.

Don't even get me started on apple II power supplies LOL

Cheers,
Corey

Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jun 5 2008 - 07:26
Posts: 475
Re: A 21st keyboards

http://www.willegal.net/appleii/early-a2-keyboards.htm

I am currently restoring a keyboard with separate encoder and ALPS keyswitches made in early 81 and I'll be adding that to the page soon.

The keyboard company was not a spin off of Datanetics. It's a bit murky, but I believe that Apple funded or at least promised business (is there a real difference?) to a startup staffed by some lead Datanetics employees. Undermining your supplier is a pretty ugly business practice, so I expect that there is more to the story, that is unsaid. Datanetics seems to have fallen off the map, once this happened. Here is a story on it by Michael Muller, which is also published on Wendell's page.
http://imgur.com/a/t4Smx

Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: Oct 9 2011 - 12:54
Posts: 1352
Re: A 21st keyboards

I stand corrected. I mis-remembered the story from Wendell's website. You are correct. Steve Jobs pushed Michael Muller from Datanetics to start a company to make keyboards for Apple exclusively called the keyboard company.

Cheers,
Corey

Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Nov 24 2013 - 13:23
Posts: 226
Re: A 21st keyboards

Okay.. so now I'm wondering. According to Mike's site, my keyboard probably should have the square power indicator, but it has the dome. The keyboard soldermask is brown. Is it likely the owner switched out the power indicator? Or just got a keyboard that was produced just before they switched to the other style power light? And the serial on this unit is A2S1-38495.

I've attached photos to my first msg.

Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: Oct 9 2011 - 12:54
Posts: 1352
Re: A 21st keyboards

Can you post a picture of the keyboard PCB?

Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jun 5 2008 - 07:26
Posts: 475
Re: A 21st keyboards

it is highly unlikely that anyone should have switched the power light.

regards,
Mike W.

Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Nov 24 2013 - 13:23
Posts: 226
Re: A 21st keyboards

Can you post a picture of the keyboard PCB?

I posted a few pics on my first msgs there. . Do those show what you're looking for?

Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Nov 24 2013 - 13:23
Posts: 226
Re: A 21st keyboards

Early Apple II had the raised key looking power indicator. There were two types of that keyboard. One with an edge connector and one without. The earlier one had an edge connector. Both had no daughter board as the encoder was on the keyboard PCB itself. These are referred to as early Datanetics keyboards. From what we gather the switch from edge connector to non edge connector came somewhere just before serial number 3000. There was some overlap in the non edge connector production with early apple II plus. Very early which had the raised key looking power indicator. These keyboards come up on eBay every so often, expect to pay between 400-600 for a non confirmed working one. It may cost you another 100 or so to repair/replace switches that may be dead and not revivable with ISP or dexoit and a lot of patience.

Next up was the newer Datanetics which came after the "teens" in serial numbers. It had a daughter board to hold the encoder and a power indicator which didn't sit flush but was what most people think of when the see an apple II or plus. The last couple I saw in eBay went for around $200.

By the time Apple switched to the non datanetics keyboards I don't think they were shipping the plain II anymore. datanetics spun off their keyboard division that did work for Apple to become the keyboard company. There were subsequent other keyboard for the II plus. But I assume you only wanted to know about the II.

Don't even get me started on apple II power supplies LOL

Cheers,
Corey

Curious.. transwarp has a II in the 8000s on ebay with the plus like raised power light.. based on what you mentioned above, is it likely that keyboard is a replacement?

Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: Dec 19 2008 - 21:01
Posts: 392
Re: A 21st keyboards

I have one that is the single board with no edge connector, but raised power light that is NOT a keyboard-key. So there are all kinds of variants...

It's an early 1979 II+.. I guess it could have been a II where someone swapped in Applesoft ROMs and replaced the top cover.

Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: Oct 9 2011 - 12:54
Posts: 1352
Re: A 21st keyboards

I have only seen the non-daughter board ones with the raised key looking indicator.

Advertisements seem to run into 1979 with the raised indicator. I should mention that many I have seen are cracked so they may have simply been replaced with the flatter indicator. But the keyboard could still be original to a machine.

Cheers,
Corey.

Log in or register to post comments