Hi, i have an ibm 5251 with original xwhatsit pcb from his first gb.

Can i simply buy uour driver pcb + your solenoid to add it to my board ?

Is there specific instruction to install the solenoid inside the case ?


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Yes my solenoid will fit the IBM, though you’ll have to secure it in the case yourself. I recommend securing it well – feel free to experiment!

The screws are probably 6-32 inside.  Just make an order note to add a 6-32 0.25″ length screw and I’ll try to include one for free with your order!

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If you want to upgrade to USB-C I recommend purchasing my new USB-C xwhatsit controller which is based on the latest xwhatsit revision.  The first group buy you purchased from used an older micro USB design.  Otherwise it is likely compatible.

Also you will need to order the solenoid driver and solenoid itself.

All three items can be purchased here:  https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/product/xwhatsit-beam-spring-or-model-f-controller/

See the above page for important safety and installation instructions.

Right now the controllers are discounted because I have just made a new batch of them at the PCB factory.

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If it has the external header pins and is Rev 3 or Rev 4 it would be OK to work with the solenoid driver and solenoid, but you may need to perform a firmware update on your controller. The latest firmware is available at

I confirm this is a Beamspring-USB-5251 Rev4 20140324 pcb with a 6 pins header. So i guess it should work. Great !

Is there a discount for shipping cost of light items like these 2 ? 55,80$ for France is the shipping cost for a keyboard, no?

Yes, please order 29 units of the store item $1 increments and choose free/other shipping at checkout. Unfortunately USPS international shipping costs have significantly increased, even for light items.

Great, that is much better !

One last question before ordering, i have a 3101 (not a 5251, wrong ref in the title) the one without the dip switch on the front. I didn’t receive it with the a solenoid, not even sure that there was one at all initially. But my case still have a specific place for it, will your solneoid fit like the ibm one ? I don’t have the sort of wire to secure it, is it something that you can provide as well ?

Thanks !

I also missed the screw for the solenoid driver, do you have a size ref ? Ty

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