IBM 1387033: Space Unsaver

What do you get when you cross a 122-key terminal keyboard with a ‘tenkeyless’ space saver?

This is not a common item, at all. For a long time, this particular example of part number 1387033 was the only one you would find any references to online – the only relevant results would in fact be this exact same unit, by its previous owner and the parts reseller it came from before that.

After a long and fruitless search for another like it, in May of 2011 the previous owner and I came to an agreement and I obtained the board from him.

It is a 104-key (122 minus numeric keypad) keyboard, for the 3290 terminal.

I coined the nicknamed “space unsaver” in the geekhack IRC channel, as it is the closest equivalent to the IBM Space Saving Keyboard built with capacitive buckling springs, but does the opposite and un-saves space with its size.

Prior to my ownership, this unit was in care of the previous owner, dw in the UK. Prior to that, it was listed for sale by Recycled Goods in USA.

  • Identification: IBM part number 1387033, ID number R8871, designated ‘Model F’, manufactured in USA by Lexmark 1992-11-11 (more likely refurbished at this date, and manufactured years earlier)
  • Application: IBM 3290 display station
  • Connectivity: DIN5 ‘terminal AT’ interface with fixed cable
  • Key layout: 104-key 3290-type layout
  • Keyswitches: tactile and ‘clicky’ buckling spring over capacitive PCB
  • Acquired: May 2011, private sale plus trade agreement online

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