IBM Model F AT


This keyboard originally came with IBM Personal Computer AT (PC/AT). This computer was released in 1984, and IBM has produced over 100,000 units before discontinuing them in 1987. Some sources say that the AT stands for Advanced Technology.

IBM Model F AT key units

This model was a successor to the very famous and now weird XT layout. The IBM PS/2 (Personal System/2) was the successor to the IBM PC/AT, and with it came the venerable model M keyboard. The model M keyboard introduced the very layout that is being used worldwide even today.

Acquisition & Restoration

I have acquired this keyboard from eBay for a fair price. It was super dirty and was full of gunk. The barrel plate has rusty, and there were a bunch of dead spiders inside. The keycaps were quite filthy too.

Dirty assembly

The Foam was rotten and kept falling out the whole time; However, the back rainbow plate was pristine, and there weren’t any rust spots on it.

Model F AT rainbow plate

I removed the caps and barrels and washed them in warm soapy water. Then scrubbed the barrel plate but couldn’t repaint it because I ran out of spray paints by then. Replaced the rotten foam with a hand-made 2mm one, and reassembled everything.

AT -> PS/2 -> USB (A) -> USB (C)

It was an absolute joy to use the keyboard on modern machines. It uses AT protocol, So using a passive AT to PS/2 converter would do the trick. Since I don’t own a computer with a native PS/2 port, I daisy-chained an active PS/2 to USB (A) converter and then another Type A to Type C adapter to connect my Macbook Pro.