Jump to page content

Cherry keyboard codes

Contents

For examples, see the master vintage keyboards list.

Prefix letters

Prefix Indication
CB Capacitive keyboards, unenclosed
B Bare chassis assembly (unenclosed keyboard); also used by Hirose parts
K Fully-enclosed keyboard
G German-designed (bare or enclosed)
U Unknown; found in a custom-made German-built keyboard
UB Unknown; normally indicates a UK-built keyboard but there is at least one exception

Groupings

See Cherry article numbers at Deskthority for more modern series including membrane keyboards. The following list is concerned primarily with vintage mechanical and solid state types.

These groupings are largely by observation only, as almost none of them are documented in catalogues. As such, the correct meaning may differ from the meaning presented.

“Encoded” keyboards and keypads have logic circuitry to provide a keyboard protocol; “unencoded” keyboards and keypads simply provide a PCB with switches and, with keyboards, a matrix.

Grouping Description
B10 Hirose: Xerox 1109 type 2 controller PCB (B10-0002A; 1984)
B15 Hirose: Xerox 1109 type 2 MX keyboard assembly (B15-2033D; 1984)
B21E Used for the Cherry-made HP 9835 keyboard (B21E-A601) with M1/M11 switches
B25 Hirose keyboards, e.g. Logitec K-12J with gold crosspoint (B25-59AA, on case exterior), SORD M243EX with MX (B25-1540A, on PCB; 1984)
B64 Encoded keypads (mechanical)
B65 Unencoded keyboards and keypads (with mechanical switches); with the keypads, there is no matrix, and every position has its own conductor on the edge connector
B70 Encoded keyboards; based on catalogue data these have no numeric keypad
B76 Found on Tektronix B76-07AA keyboard; no numeric keypad
B80 Encoded keyboards; based on catalogue data these do have a numeric keypad
CB25 Solid state keyboards from Hirose
CB80 Solid state keyboards (with numeric keypads); these were changed to B4VE in the 1982 US catalogue, which appears to be a revised version of CB80
B4TE Unusual prefix for solid state capacitive (see B4TE-8301)
B4V Official catalogue series for solid-state capacitive keyboards (found as chassis only)
B4VE Typical prefix for solid state capacitive; seems to have replaced CB80 by 1982
B4VB Variant of the above
U01 Found in a custom-made German-built keyboard for the Basis 108 microcomputer
UB70 Found on a UK-built M8 keyboard, with no number pad
UB80 Found on UK-built keyboards with gold crosspoint/M7 switches (generally the same code is used for the chassis as the for the case), but model UB80-01AA is instead a Cherry-produced Hi-Tek keyboard
UB88 Found on UK-built keyboards with M8 switches (with a number pad)
UB89 Found on a UK-built keyboard with what one assumes are M8 switches (with a number pad)
G80 German-designed keyboards and keypads, with mechanical switches, excluding ML which was given its own series (G84)
KFN3 Enclosed solid state capacitive keyboard (perhaps F denotes foam and foil), possibly the DIN-compliant redesign
BFN3 Solid state capacitive chassis assembly
KXN3 Enclosed MX keyboard made in Waukegan (German-made keyboards used G80)
KXND Found on a keyboard described on Reddit as “Early/ Cherry Terminal” made in late 1985
BXN3 MX chassis assembly made in Waukegan
BXND See at KXND
BXNZ MX chassis assembly made in Waukegan for Tektronix

US keyboard codes

Judging by the 1973 Switches & Keyboards catalogue, it seems that Cherry had the following schema in mind:

BS-MBK

“B”
Prefix for bare keyboard assemblies
S
Subseries (see groupings, above), typically 70 (without numeric keypad) and 80 (with numeric keypad) for keyboards
M
Number of modes (typically 3 or 4)
B
Number of data bits (typically 7
K
Number of keys (e.g. 53, 66)

The widely-sold B70-4753 keyboard, for example, is tenkeyless (B70), quad-mode (4), uses 7 data bits (7) and has 53 keys.

By 1979, it can be clearly seen that Cherry did not stay with this pattern. The later model numbers are not yet understood.