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The mystery of FRU 08K4986

T4x series specific matters only
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micrex22
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The mystery of FRU 08K4986

#1 Post by micrex22 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:11 am

After using my 14.1" T41 a lot more (and really digging its keyboard and ultra-clicky trackpoint button assembly--which is even better than what I had experienced on the T43), I decided to look up the FRUs in the HMM.

Sadly, "08K4986" was nowhere to be seen. Even more strangely the 14.1" models for some reason never had ALPS as a manufacturer since they or IBM decided two manufacturers was enough. I couldn't check the original HMM as nobody preserved it, just the later 2006 homogenous release.

I began to dig through some old thinkpad forums threads to figure out where it belongs and got these two:
viewtopic.php?p=38580 "Which T42 keyboard is this? - Made in Thailand or China?"
viewtopic.php?p=337626 "keyboard FRU 08K4986 / Part 08K4957"

Roll the clock back to 2004 through 2007, and users were hoping they'd get a 08K5044 Thailand-made board, and not a 08K4986 Chinese-made board. But it gets better, they start saying that 08K4986 is indeed Thai (it isn't), adding to the whole confusion even more.

Now if 08K4986 is actually CHICONY, that's amazingly impressive as it's definitely the best keyboard to ever roll out of the Chicony factories. It's miles better than 39T0581. At this point I'm still not sure if it actually is Chicony as the HMMs don't list it so it could be ALPS for all I know. It uses the NMB/ALPS 'platform' mechanism that I've never seen Chicony utilize. As users in the past said '08K5044' was better, I'm kind of curious and going to see if I can hunt one of those down.

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Re: The mystery of FRU 08K4986

#2 Post by dr_st » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:37 am

Just take one keycap off, and examine the underlying switch. All 3 manufacturers have pretty distinct switches, AFAIR.
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T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

micrex22
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Re: The mystery of FRU 08K4986

#3 Post by micrex22 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:55 pm

dr_st wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:37 am
Just take one keycap off, and examine the underlying switch. All 3 manufacturers have pretty distinct switches, AFAIR.
Well on the T6x keyboards, all manufacturers had very discreet switches, and sometimes for the T43 series. But when it came to the T40, T41, and T42 there were a lot of variances on how each manufacturer designed everything.

For instance, the T43 ALPS keyboards used 'platform' switches just like NMB did, so it wouldn't be out of this world for Chicony to also use platform switches on prior keyboards:
ALPS T43: http://i.imgur.com/PHmCiTd.jpg
NMB: http://i.imgur.com/I8phaew.jpg

However... ALPS' platform switches do differ from NMB's, and 08K4986 uses platform switches that are very 'NMBish', so we could perhaps deduct that NMB created both variants, it's just that the Thailand 08K5044s are 'better' somehow. I think the only way to solve the mystery is if I hunt down a 08K5044 later.

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Re: The mystery of FRU 08K4986

#4 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:17 pm

micrex22 wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:55 pm
dr_st wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:37 am
Just take one keycap off, and examine the underlying switch. All 3 manufacturers have pretty distinct switches, AFAIR.
Well on the T6x keyboards, all manufacturers had very discreet switches, and sometimes for the T43 series. But when it came to the T40, T41, and T42 there were a lot of variances on how each manufacturer designed everything.

For instance, the T43 ALPS keyboards used 'platform' switches just like NMB did, so it wouldn't be out of this world for Chicony to also use platform switches on prior keyboards:
ALPS T43: http://i.imgur.com/PHmCiTd.jpg
NMB: http://i.imgur.com/I8phaew.jpg

However... ALPS' platform switches do differ from NMB's, and 08K4986 uses platform switches that are very 'NMBish', so we could perhaps deduct that NMB created both variants, it's just that the Thailand 08K5044s are 'better' somehow. I think the only way to solve the mystery is if I hunt down a 08K5044 later.
Is that a 240 in the second picture?
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

micrex22
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Re: The mystery of FRU 08K4986

#5 Post by micrex22 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:11 pm

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:17 pm
Is that a 240 in the second picture?
Negatory, that's a TransNote (one way to tell is due to the capslock being integrated on the left shift). I've always wanted a 240, though. But then I have way too many thinkpads as it is, and DOS and 9x gaming are best with a CRT and OPL3.

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Re: The mystery of FRU 08K4986

#6 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:18 pm

micrex22 wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:11 pm
Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:17 pm
Is that a 240 in the second picture?
Negatory, that's a TransNote (one way to tell is due to the capslock being integrated on the left shift). I've always wanted a 240, though. But then I have way too many thinkpads as it is, and DOS and 9x gaming are best with a CRT and OPL3.
Id like a TransNote but being left handed makes them useless to me unless I find one of the 5 left handed models in existence.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

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