The Buckling Spring

About Me

Born in the mid 1970s I grew up with the first Home Computers and just a breath later with the IBM compatible PCs.

Before I had my very first IBM clone, I vividly remember sitting at a desk with a Portable Personal Computer from IBM in front of me. The hours I typed on the keyboard must have annoyed the parents of my friend. In contrast, I was blown away. Only later I realized, this was my very first encounter with a keyboard using the Capacitive Buckling Spring mechanism. I was only 11 or 12 years old, but still, after all those decades, I remember this so well. This was when I decided, that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Let us fast forward 30 years, meanwhile I am working in the Computer Industry for decades. In 2015 my primary keyboard was one of those with mechanical switches that make some clicky noises. It was in one of these late nights, when I remembered the keyboard shown above. In the age of the internet all information is just a search engine away.

Back then, I had to figure out that the protocols for most of those IBM keyboards aren’t compatible anymore and the key layout was also sub-optimal. I nearly gave up on it and used a modern Membrane Buckling Spring for a while as a substitute.

Fate it seems did strike again. I flipped randomly through a few pages on my phone when I saw this note that there was a controller available that made those old keyboards speak with modern computers… It was Christmas 2017 when I had my very first Capacitive Buckling Spring keyboard on my desk, a controller PCB, and a soldering iron. The result can be seen below.

I wasn’t aware that I could have just used a Soarer’s converter for the F122 Battleship. Around the same time, or shortly after, I watched a bunch of videos from Thomas Ran (https://www.youtube.com/user/Chyrosran22). It is definitely his fault (🙂) that I spent way too much money on IBM keyboards (Capacitive Buckling Spring and Beam Spring).

When I read about Joe Strandberg’s project to recreate the 4704 models, I got extremely excited. I followed the postings as a silent watcher for some time, but when I was confident that the right person took up this massive project, I was sure to spend the money in the right place. Go and visit his store at https://www.modelfkeyboards.com.

In 2020 I decided that a Technical Reference is missing and started to invest time in creating a manual…