Durability of Beamsprings

Alps switches (edited) are prone to dust, and if used long enough while dirty they will become permanently damaged as the dust creates micro scratches on the plastic surface (i.e. they will never be as smooth as new).

I was wondering if anyone here could tell me know how true this holds for Beamsprings. I saw a force graph of a New beamspring switch by Haata, and it seemed to be significantly smoother than his original graph which was made using an old beamspring.

Also, I know these boards were much cheaper in the past (anywhere from $200 to $300 in 2016), but have significantly inflated in recent times. Is $600 an OK price to pay for a 5251 that's in pretty decent shape?

Appreciate your time!
mog_genius88

Unread post24 Apr 2018, 05:29

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Beamsprings due to being a different mechanism suffer from different problems from age. You may find some large keys may not have enough return force to rise back up when pressed slowly (1). Some fly plates will not snap back as loudly or has a different sound (just like buckling springs) (2). Some keys may bind a little (1). Now this doesn't stop the key from working. It is that I am picky.

Of course YMMV depending on how it was stored. The ones I have were last serviced in 94 and the original foam is still good with no wobble.
xxhellfirexx

Unread post24 Apr 2018, 06:19

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xxhellfirexx wrote:Beamsprings due to being a different mechanism suffer from different problems from age. You may find some large keys may not have enough return force to rise back up when pressed slowly (1). Some fly plates will not snap back as loudly or has a different sound (just like buckling springs) (2). Some keys may bind a little (1). Now this doesn't stop the key from working. It is that I am picky.

Of course YMMV depending on how it was stored. The ones I have were last serviced in 94 and the original foam is still good with no wobble.

Thank you so much for your response!

So will these problems persist even if it well restored? People don't seem to talk about these problems at all when they create videos for these boards.

Edit: I was told by a couple people that they did not have these issues after they restored and fully cleaned it. Was this your experience as well?
mog_genius88

Unread post24 Apr 2018, 06:30

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In the current market, $600 seems to be fair for a 5251, but it's hard to say if prices will come down a bit, they basically skyrocketed a few months ago.

Looking back, I sold one for $200 in late 2016, as a point of reference, but that was indeed a little while ago.
pr0ximity
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Unread post24 Apr 2018, 11:50

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mog_genius88 wrote:Alps switches (edited) are prone to dust, and if used long enough while dirty they will become permanently damaged as the dust creates micro scratches on the plastic surface (i.e. they will never be as smooth as new).

Correct.
mog_genius88 wrote:I was wondering if anyone here could tell me know how true this holds for Beamsprings. I saw a force graph of a New beamspring switch by Haata, and it seemed to be significantly smoother than his original graph which was made using an old beamspring.

The real difference is one can repair and restore any Beamspring as you can easily see in many threads here at DT hence a Beamspring will last forever with the proper maintenance.
mog_genius88 wrote:Also, I know these boards were much cheaper in the past (anywhere from $200 to $300 in 2016), but have significantly inflated in recent times. Is $600 an OK price to pay for a 5251 that's in pretty decent shape?

Unfortunately that is also true. I will not comment on that price. Thats a lot of money for what is the most common BS.
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Unread post24 Apr 2018, 12:51

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I would have to agree with minimal maintenance that a beamspring should last a lifetime even as a daily driver. Think they are rated for >100 million actuations? Keycaps can develop some wear/shine with time and any dust that accumulates can easily be cleaned out after the initial restore after the foam is replaced with something that won’t degrade. A lot of the initial rough shape of these is due to being used in industrial environments with a lot of manufacturing dust and have been sitting in moisture laden environments. They shouldn’t rust or get dusty nearly as fast in a home environment :-)
orihalcon

Unread post24 Apr 2018, 16:26

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pr0ximity wrote:In the current market, $600 seems to be fair for a 5251, but it's hard to say if prices will come down a bit, they basically skyrocketed a few months ago.

Looking back, I sold one for $200 in late 2016, as a point of reference, but that was indeed a little while ago.

Yea prices may come down but I don't know if I want to take the chance. This is the last keyboard in my collection so I'm probably just going to grab it. There's also a chance it can get worse!
orihalcon wrote:I would have to agree with minimal maintenance that a beamspring should last a lifetime even as a daily driver. Think they are rated for >100 million actuations? Keycaps can develop some wear/shine with time and any dust that accumulates can easily be cleaned out after the initial restore after the foam is replaced with something that won’t degrade. A lot of the initial rough shape of these is due to being used in industrial environments with a lot of manufacturing dust and have been sitting in moisture laden environments. They shouldn’t rust or get dusty nearly as fast in a home environment :-)

Thank you for the info! This pushed me to buy the beamspring haha. Wish me luck on the restoration!
mog_genius88

Unread post24 Apr 2018, 20:21

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mog_genius88 wrote:Also, I know these boards were much cheaper in the past (anywhere from $200 to $300 in 2016), but have significantly inflated in recent times. Is $600 an OK price to pay for a 5251 that's in pretty decent shape?

Unfortunately that is also true. I will not comment on that price. Thats a lot of money for what is the most common BS.[/quote]

Yea... but I don't want to risk the prices getting worse. :-( The best time for any hobby is "before you got into it". LOL
mog_genius88

Unread post24 Apr 2018, 20:25

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