SMK Alps mount
|SMK Alps mount|
|Family||SMK second generation|
|Introduced||1986 or earlier|
|Switch type||Clicky; tactile; latching lock|
|Contact mechanism||Metal leaf|
|Peak force||60 cN|
|Keycap mount||Alps mount|
|Switch mount||Plate mount|
SMK Alps mount switch is a provisional name for the Alps mount variant of the SMK clicky switch family (itself an inapplicable name considering that some Alps-mount switches are tactile). The most common variety is the clicky variant with the blue slider, widely referred to as a Monterey switch.
If the white variety is indeed SMK (and there is no reason why it would not be) then this gives us a maximum introduction date of 1986, as this is when the Apple IIGS was introduced.
The keycaps are compatible with Alps CM but the switch has a different mounting hole and pin layout. A coiled spring provides most of the resistance, and there are two leaf springs for contact and click respectively.
Unlike other switches in this family, the base of the switch is not SMK branded. This has led many people to believe the switch to be a copy, but both Monterey and Chicony have confirmed purchasing the switch from SMK. No reason for the lack of branding is known.
The switch's feel has made it well regarded among keyboard enthusiasts.
The popular moniker "Monterey" name comes from the fact that the keyboard was first reported being found in a Monterey K104 keyboard; Japanese keyboard collector MouseFan is alleged to have chosen the name "Monterey switch".
The switch has a tactile bump just before actuation where it also clicks. It actuates near 2 mm into the stroke and bottoms out at 3.6 mm. It feels a lot like a Cherry MX Blue switch but with sharper tactility. Unlike the Cherry MX Blue, it does not have hysteresis.
Standard clicky Monterey as described above. Blue slider.
See also: Keyboards with Monterey switches
- Monterey K104
- Some Monterey K108
- Some Chicony KB-5181 (ANSI) and KB-5182 (ISO) as well as their 104 and 105-key equivalents
- Chicony KB-5591 (all or some?)
- Some SIIG MiniTouch (not MiniTouch Plus)
- Chicony KB-9600 and variants (including SusTeen)
- Apple IIGS keyboard
- Chicony 5181 and Monterey Switch Disassembled - Article by ripster on Geekhack.
- MouseFan's page on Monterey switches in the Susteen KB9600 - in Japanese.
- Sandy55's review of a Chicony 5181 - in Japanese.
- Picture and description of Monterey White switches - topic started by 486