Strange Apple II keyboard types

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Daniel Beardsmore's picture
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Strange Apple II keyboard types

Edward Harro Walsh documented on his website (currently suspended) some very bizarre keyboard switches reportedly found in Apple II computers. The only switch type depicted with photographs was the Alps type¹ — all the rest were shown with diagrams. The keyswitch types used in Apple II computers are fairly well understood: Datanetics DC-50, Alps KBB¹, ITT snap-action array (possibly Datanetics DC-70), SMK J-M0404 series, Mitsumi KAM, Apple hairpin spring and Alps KCM.

¹ normally KCC at this point in time, but inexplicably referred to as “KBB” by Apple in their bill of materials

What Edward depicted bore no resemblance to anything I’ve ever seen in an Apple keyboard, and his site offered no clear information or references (no suggestion of what models had these keyboards, and where he came across this information), and no way to contact him. In fact, none of the designs looked like anything I have ever seen in any keyboard, from any manufacturer anywhere in the world. Even the bill of materials offers no suggestion of anything else existing. (The illustration showing KBB is a scan of a poor-quality photocopy, so I cannot be sure what those are, but they should be KCC, which is what we know was used.)

Where are all these strange Apple II computers with non-standard keyboards?