Zeke

It was worth the wait.

A Zenith ZKB-2, at long last.

z4

I’ve been hunting for one of these keyboards for almost exactly one year (as a matter of fact, it was one year ago today that I put out a request on Geekhack for one- to which I got zero responses).  I’d heard such good things about the smoothness of its key switches, which are Alps SKCL green – a linear switch that was purportedly as smooth as butter.  I had to try them.

Finally, one showed up on eBay from Portland, Oregon.  I’d posted a message to the seller asking if the key switch sliders were yellow or green, and that was last Friday.  He finally responded on Monday: “Green.”  Within seconds I purchased it, as he was a high-rated seller with a lot of sales behind him.

z3

It has a number of blemishes and warts, but overall I am very satisfied with it.  It has a unique feel and sound, and is another “dream board” to type on.  It was produced in October 1987 and weighs almost exactly 5 pounds with the cord.

Tonight, on a Friday night, I put off all social engagements or even the hint of social engagements so I could do a rudimentary clean-up job and actually use this thing after waiting for so long for one.  I was going to disassemble it fully, but couldn’t figure out how the back plate separated from the case!  All six screws were removed, but something was causing a hangup, and considering that the plastic is very brittle, I didn’t want to take any chances in screwing something up.  So, that tare-down and accompanying photo-documentation will have to wait (sorry, Daniel!).

z2

A great video review from Chyros here (consequently a board I almost ended up with, but am glad he ended up with it because I like his reviews!).

z1

This is a bittersweet moment in a way, because I feel that this was the last keyboard I really “had” to have.  I do not think my enthusiasm for keyboards is diminishing (that should be obvious in the next post), but I think my “problem” of acquiring them is finally subsiding.

Not my fastest speed, but OK for the first test with this board – it was a blast to test drive it on 10FastFingers.com.  It just felt “right.”

z5

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4 thoughts on “Zeke

  1. Congratulations on finally scoring this fine piece of mechanical keyboard history! 🙂 I can’t wait to hear more about it. I recently scored two different vintage keyboards, each with a different Alps switch variant. They should be arriving soon.

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    • Hi David, thanks for your comment! Good to hear on your score of another couple of Alps key switches (which ones?). Honestly I’d love to try them all, but I don’t know if that’ll ever happen. I’ll say though that if you think you’d enjoy linears, you really should try greens. 🙂

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    • Thanks. Consequently the guy selling that board is the other person that could have ended up with the ZKB-2 in that video. I’m not a big fan of the Z-150’s layout though (more on this in my next post, which is probably a couple of weeks away). Plus, now that I have Alps green key switches in my life, I won’t need another board with them. That’s not an outrageous price for the board though.

      Speaking of the Z-150 with green Alps, did you happen to read on Deskthority where Cindy (elecplus) thinks that in the past she may have thrown 300 of them in the dumpster about five years ago? Apparently this was before she knew about Deskthority. It hurts to hear that! A $30K mistake!

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