Well it's been a time since I was on the site. I was busy retiring from one career and starting a new one with a penetration testing company.
But that's not why I'm writing. Because of the overwhelming generosity and kindness of fellow Applefritter neighbor Robert Fantinatto, my U-2200 lives again with a genuine Unitron keyboard. I have a few video matters to troubleshoot, such as jiggly output and the bell not sounding through the keyboard, but other than that it lives! The keyboard was in great shape to start and looks even better after restoration with retro-brighting the keys and case. Frankly it was in such good shape, glueing a couple parts on the top and cleaning was all it needed.
Here is a photo of the final unit.
Super cool clone!
Yeah, I want that.
One of the great things about the Apple ][+, and one of the things that Apple hated, is that because it was created from standard TTL components, it didn't really have any specialized parts or ASICs and was easy to clone. And so it was, extensively. Even when they added logic to extend it, it tended to be minimal extensions, again keeping it relatively easy to clone. The same of course was true of the IBM PC because it was mostly made from Intel, Motorola, and standard memory chips. On the other hand, I can't think of any clones at the time for the Commodore 64 or Atari 400/800 which had specialized video and sound chips.
That looks extremely solid. How much does it weigh?
I find it fascinating that they managed to squeeze in the word "BEL" above the "G", but then just gave up for the at-sign over the P and caret over the N.
That...and the fact tht the C64 / VIC sold for rock bottom prices, making cloning a certain money losing venture.