IBM Model 3278 (Beamspring)

At the time of writting, this old beamer is the prize of my collection. I have acquired this from a DT member who let it go for a fair enough price. They were kind enough to send me an metal(iron) door with the board too.

Initially, I liked the battered look of the board, but after a while, I powder coated it to black. I couldn’t find an “olive-green” or “matte-black” color, So I settled for Glossy black. It looked quite good in person but shines a lot on camera.

Glossy black powdercoating

The board wasn’t in a terrible condition when I got it. The foam had turned into sticky goo, which needed some cleaning up. I manually cut a craft store foam and replaced it.

Handmade replacement foam

I got Pandrew’s version of the Xwhatsit controller to replace the original controller. I got Pandrew’s solenoid driver too, and after a bit of hacking around with QMK, I got it working.

Replacement controllers and solenoid

There are some corrosions on the plate but I was told that they won’t grow, so I didn’t bother. There was a bit of rust on the switch springs, so I tried to take apart the switches to clean them but found them hard to disassemble and ultimately gave up. The rust doesn’t affect the smoothness of the switches.

I used the board for a week as my daily driver with the solenoid on. I wasn’t very impressed with the heavy space bar as it tired my thumb after every 15 minutes. Apart from that, this board is an absolute joy to have and is a thing of beauty.

I love this board, and hopefully, it will be on my secondary machine for years to come, but right now, I will get back to my beloved F AT and get some work done.