IBM M13 Y-Cable PS/2 Family

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General Information

M13 controllers are broken out into two categories: fixed cable and SDL cable. It is important to note that no production M13s with an SDL cable have been observed. The possibility exists and SDL to Y-Cables exist in great quantities, but these were also used on the IBM Model M5-1 and IBM Model M5-2.

Compatibility Matrix

The IBM Model M13 controller is not compatible with any other Model M or any other keyboard. The keyboard matrix arrangement is identical to all post-1990 Model M's but the controller does not operate correctly without the TrackPoint II present.

Care, Feeding and Repair

The M13 controller produces a great deal more heat than a standard Model M controller. The reason for this is that the M13 controller is actually comprised of a total of three controllers; the matrix controller for the keyboard, the TrackPoint II controller, logic and translator for the TrackPoint, and the PS/2 passthrough controller segment. All production M13 controllers are covered by a metalized cardboard heat shield. While removal of the heat shield is unlikely to damage the controller itself, it will damage the lower chassis, which is M13 unique.

Repairs to the M13 controller should only be performed by people with extensive soldering experience. Replacement parts cannot be sourced for the TrackPoint elements. Common problems with M13 controllers include capacitor aging, cable damage requiring cable replacement, and worn matrix contacts.

It is critically important that you do not misplace the PS/2 pass-through parts. Replacements for these are no longer available.

Sources for M13 Controller Parts

  • Compatible PS/2 Y-Cables can be sourced from Unicomp.
  • Capacitors can be sourced from Mouser, DigiKey and other reputable electronic component sellers.