Series and models
Older Tipro keyboards (going back possibly as far as the beginning of Tipro itself) used model numbers beginning with “T”. The format of early model numbers is not known, but later model numbers followed a specific format.
Very little is known about early Tipro keyboards. Model T141A has been found from 1989. This is from before Tipro was incorporated. The case is Cherry G80-1000 series and is date-stamped in German; Tipro originally bought in cases from outside. The switches are Tipro’s own MX-style type. Technically this model number could still be in the standard schema.
The old details available on the older models are those given in the January 1996 catalogue, of which Tipro kindly supplied a copy.
The following switches were listed in the catalogue:
- Cherry MX (linear and clicky), 4 mm travel
- Cherry ML (given as 2.5 mm travel, but ML offers 3.0 mm travel)
- RAFI RACON 12 (0.8 mm travel, IP 65 protected)
- RAFI RF15 and RF19 (0.5 mm travel)
- Omron B3F (0.3 mm travel)
Only MX and B3F were listed as being used by the various models; no examples were given of where the other switches might be used.
From the catalogue, this generation included the following families:
|T16X family||Desktop||Programmable matrix layout||MX||Replaced by MID|
|T56X family||Desktop||Programmable with flat legend cover||B3F|
|T74X||19″ rack kit with rails||Full travel and sealed cover||MX, B3F?|
|T54X||Desktop||Sealed cover||B3F?||Now K54X|
|T64X||Rack mount||Sealed cover||B3F?||Now K64X|
|T17X||Desktop||Adapted keyboards for disability support||MX|
Only T16X family and T56X family are referred to as such in the catalogue. The other family designations have been given for convenience along the same format.
Additional features for the programmable included magnetic card readers, barcode readers, extra indicator lights, liquid crystal displays, key-operated locks and protocol customisation. Keycaps could be dye-sublimation printed or double-shot moulded; alternatively, low-travel switches could be selected, with a flat cover placed over the top containing the legends.
The adapted keyboards could be supplied with acrylic covers to prevent keystrokes hitting two or more keys simultaneously. Another of the features provided was a hardware implementation of sticky keys; that is, the constituent keys of a keyboard shortcut could be pressed in sequence instead of together, for users typing with a single finger or a mouth stick.
MID—Modular Input Device—was Tipro’s older modular keyboard system, introduced in 1997. MID keyboards offered a choice of Cherry MX full travel and Omron B3F-4005 short travel switches. The Omron B3F-4005 switches have 0.3 mm travel and nominally 255 cN actuation force.
MID keyboards do not contain diodes in the keyboard matrix, and thus they are 2KRO only. As quad keycaps already depress four simultaneous switches, the manual briefly explains the issue of ghosting and how to deal with this.
All MID models seem to have model numbers beginning “MID-”.
MID has been out of mainstream production since around 2013; in 2018 Tipro reported that it could only be purchased as a custom product in large quantities.
FREE is Tipro’s current range of modular keyboards, introduced in 2002 and replacing the MID line. Configurations of FREE modules have ordering codes beginning “TMC-”, while individual module ordering codes begin “TM-”. As with the older MID range, both Cherry MX and Omron B3F switches are available.
The Chameleon module has a grid of 16 LCD keys (each one 32×16 pixels) and 12 standard relegendable keys. The standard keys use Cherry MX switches while the LCD keys use an unspecified switch with 2.5 mm travel and 130 cN actuation force.
K-Line is Tipro’s current industrial keyboard line. All current K-Line keyboards use Omron B3F-4005 switches. K-Line follows on directly from the T_4_ types, and uses the same model number schema, albeit with a “K” prefix instead of “T”. However, drivers exist for K16X and K56X programmable keyboards, which are not documented, and it is not known what “K” denoted here.
T/K model schema
T generation and K-Line keyboards use four-character model numbers, using the following formats:
- Undefined; possibly “Tipro” (brand) or “tipkovnica” (“keyboard”)
- K-Line industrial keyboard
- Form: see below
- Classification: 4 = industrial, 6 = programmable, 7 = disability adapted
- Model: the model within the family
Note that K-Line keyboards class CM as a single code, making them officially KFMM. However, the first character of MM is always listed as 4, as it should be for an industrial model.
Complete ordering codes for K-Line keyboards are longer than the model numbers given above.
The form code (F, above) is one of the following:
- Desktop form factor with Cherry MX switches
- Desktop form factor with Omron B3F switches
- “Rack mount”: sheet metal cover with screw holes (not to be confused with 19″ rack kit)
- 19″ rack kit: complete bolt-in rails kit for 19″ racks, with slide-out keyboard
- “Panel mount”: as “rack mount” but with extra space at the sides of the sheet metal cover, and no screw holes