Topre slider variants and their differences

Laser wrote:
Muirium wrote:Is there something wrong with these? Besides the hideous colour!

Image
https://kbdfans.cn/collections/electros...-adapter-x

Dawdling over my Topre mount keycaps order there, a few other things of theirs caught my eye. These come with damping rings, for a price. I wonder what happens when they are fitted. The caps run low? Are there collisions when you bottom out?

The other thing is their Bluetooth 60% PCB but that’s a whole other topic.

Those are better than the JTK ones, but worse than the Novatouch ones (feeling-wise). Faults: (1) those intended for the larger keys have to be filed in the corners to fit, (2) at least my batch has a very small angle (when mounting keycaps, they are very slightly rotated to the right, if I remember correctly), aaand (3) the stems are a little too thin, i.e. the keycaps are a little bit loose - again, that happened on my batch, I don't know if all are like this. Also they are not fit for silencing rings (no internal notch), and probably the legs should be shortened too in that case. That doesn't mean one can't use the KBDFans very-thin-silencing-rings, but *some* tactility is lost, in my experience. There are some who say that they don't feel any tactility loss, however.

That’s the detail I want! I’ve never even tried NovaTouch sliders in my Realforce, let alone vital #1 workhorse HHKB Type-S. So what’s the story with stabs? The NovaTouch handles MX mount stabilisation like this:

Image
Image
Image

It’s been a long, long time since I was last inside a Topre. How do aftermarket MX mods work there? No stabilisation besides the central slider itself? How does that feel on a spacebar?
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Unread post05 Aug 2018, 17:03

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The stabilisers on the Shift, Enter etc. work pretty well; as for the spacebar ... AFAIK most people let the spacebar alone, since it it's a 6u one harder to find in its MX-compatible format; it became easier nowadays to just buy aftermarket 6u Topre spacebars (or spacebar kits, wink wink nudge nudge) which have the advantage over the originals of also being made from PBT.
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Unread post05 Aug 2018, 17:17

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True. I like Matteo’s PBT spacebars, and I bet these are simply clones. But how well do they lie, height wise, when mixed with Cherry or DSA or SA caps? Those are the 3 MX profiles I have to play with, very much in reverse order! It’d be a cliff…
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Unread post05 Aug 2018, 17:44

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Probably, Cherry or bust. Although with my Devlin's (DSA, "Q-series SKIDATA") black keycaps, the Topre spacebar didn't stuck out too much. Especially if you commit the heresy (flipped spacebar).
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Unread post05 Aug 2018, 17:47

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Unread post05 Aug 2018, 18:51

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Not all is lost, IF you have 6u MX-compatible spacebars .. there was a thread on GeekHack about somebody replacing the spacebar from a HHKB I think, by placing (somehow! that's the trick) Costar stabilizers instead of the Topre spacebar stabilizer housings. Sure, you can always take the spacebar stabs from a Novatouch, but this means you just sacrificed it, or you moved the problem on the Novatouch ..

Ah yes! Here it is:

topre-mx-spacebar-stabs.png


Relevant text:

Q: Did you replace (move) the SA Spacebar's stem or is there any other wizardy to make this possible?
A: Nope, although I did glue in the costar stabilizers I had - they weren't tight.

(This thread, called "Topre SA keycaps other than HiPro?", although it won't load for me right now, had to use google's cache)

Pics from that same thread (to drool over):
Spoiler:
Image

Image

Image


P.S. Sorry for somewhat hijacking the thread (temporarily)! All in the name of Topre-to-MX-conversion keyboard science!
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Unread post06 Aug 2018, 00:21

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No worries. I am thinking about another title for the topic. I'm a bit busy finishing the introduction of my thesis, which is due ASAP. Hopefully I'll find some time to look into this more, and maybe take some more measurements to confirm the slider differences (and housing too, perhaps).
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Unread post06 Aug 2018, 11:32

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the_marsbar wrote:I'm sorry for the late update. I was thinking about how to present my findings (in particular, making a drawing that would explain what I measured). I took measurements of sliders from a HHKB Pro 2 (black), HHKB Type-S, CM Novatouch, and a Realforce 104 (purple/silent sliders).

Here's a figure showing the slider and where I measured (E points to where there's a notch in the silenced sliders):
Image

Here are the actual measurements (I measured the thickness of the silencing rings on the HHKB Type-S and Realforce 104 to be 0.4 mm):
Image

The measurements should of course be taken with a grain of salt (the numbers in the table represent single measurements of one slider from each of the keyboard). I might do some more measurements at some point, if I manage to get hold of a better set of vernier calipers (I borrowed my dad's electronic one, probably a cheap unrealiable one). If anyone has suggestions on anything that could be improved, I'm happy to hear them.


I'll add the 5th slider type measurements (also to be taken with a grain of salt):

Code: Select all

|-------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| Slider type       |     A |    B |    C |    D | E   |
|-------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| KBDFans Adapter-X | 11.80 | 9.20 | 4.00 | 1.40 | n/a |
|-------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|




The relation A = B + C - D seems to hold.

I'll try to also measure a CM Novatouch slider (when I open up the keyboard) and compare the results with yours.
Last edited by Laser on 13 Aug 2018, 08:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post12 Aug 2018, 22:18

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Great - thanks :)
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Unread post13 Aug 2018, 05:37

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You're welcome! :) And updated (no Novatouch measurement yet):

Code: Select all
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| Slider type        |     A |    B |    C |    D | E   |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| KBDFans Adapter-X  | 11.80 | 9.20 | 4.00 | 1.40 | n/a |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| Plum (?) Topre-MX  | 11.80 | 9.30 | 3.90 | 1.40 | n/a |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| JTK MX             | 11.70 | 9.20 | 3.80 | 1.30 | n/a |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| HHKB Pro 2         | 11.50 | 9.00 | 3.90 | 1.40 | n/a |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| Novatouch CM Storm | 10.70 | 8.20 | 3.90 | 1.40 | n/a |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| Leopold FC660C     | 11.60 | 9.10 | 3.90 | 1.40 | n/a |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|



Note: I used a classical vernier caliper, so my reading might not be very precise.
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Unread post01 Sep 2018, 17:47

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Thanks again :) I think it's good to have this information - especially useful for silencing.
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Unread post03 Sep 2018, 08:12

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Recently I installed soft-landing pads in my Novatouch. Ironed as thin as possible (paper-thin). My initial impression is that they work really well, but take a lot more time to prepare and install. It's also really important that they end up having the same thickness (thinness). If they are not, the keys will not sit at the same height (it's easy to spot once the keycaps are mounted).
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Unread post05 Sep 2018, 19:02

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(some further notes)

I think from the table it's visible that C and D are pretty similar between all the slider variants, and that the Novatouch slider is shorter (A and B). This actually explains why the Novatouch, when bought new, came with a set of MX silencing rings (to be put under the keycaps; these are *not* the Topre silencers, but "normal" MX ones): due to the shorter B length of the slider, many types of keycaps, when mounted, will be at a lower position and thus they will hit the top plate of the keyboard. I just did such a mod (moving Novatouch sliders in a FC660C, and mounting on them Cherry profile keycaps from a FC660M), and the keycaps hit the metal plate; if I put MX silencing rings under the keycaps, all is well (although I don't like it too much, since it makes the slider<->keycap mounting distance even shorter than it is; yet the keycaps seem stable).
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Unread post06 Sep 2018, 01:13

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Another interesting information about factory-silenced black Topre sliders in older Realforce kbds: https://imgur.com/a/b8v48

"It turns out the width of the Realforce 91UBK-S slider legs is slightly greater than the fc660c's."
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Unread post08 Sep 2018, 21:52

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Interesting. It’s good that they went away from that housing and slider design.
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Unread post09 Sep 2018, 06:06

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A couple pics from a reddit post, comparing the Realforce RGB slider with the Plum/Niz clone slider:

Image

Image
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Unread post23 Sep 2018, 17:57

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It looks like the slider feet are approx. same height. But the RGB sliders sits noticeably lower than the Plum one...
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Unread post25 Sep 2018, 09:05

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Yes, it kinda looks similar to the Novatouch slider, apart from the color (this goes well with the theory that the Novatouch was a test-horse for the future Realforce MX-compatible models) :) I may be able to actually measure this slider ... soon ...

Also one missing dimension in all measurements above is the diameter of the slider "cylinder" - for example the KBDFans Adapter-X clearly has a smaller diameter, because it wobbles inside the housing :( I think this is its only flaw, but an important one.
Last edited by Laser on 25 Sep 2018, 14:33, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post25 Sep 2018, 13:00

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Great information - thanks :)
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Unread post25 Sep 2018, 13:01

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You're welcome, I'm interested too :)
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Unread post25 Sep 2018, 13:41

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Laser wrote:You're welcome! :) And updated (no Novatouch measurement yet):

Code: Select all
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| Slider type        |     A |    B |    C |    D | E   |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| KBDFans Adapter-X  | 11.80 | 9.20 | 4.00 | 1.40 | n/a |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| Plum (?) Topre-MX  | 11.80 | 9.30 | 3.90 | 1.40 | n/a |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| JTK MX             | 11.70 | 9.20 | 3.80 | 1.30 | n/a |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| HHKB Pro 2         | 11.50 | 9.00 | 3.90 | 1.40 | n/a |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| Novatouch CM Storm | 10.70 | 8.20 | 3.90 | 1.40 | n/a |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|
| Leopold FC660C     | 11.60 | 9.10 | 3.90 | 1.40 | n/a |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----|



Note: I used a classical vernier caliper, so my reading might not be very precise.


So, the Plum/Niz sliders' D measurement is the same thickness as regular Topre sliders? It looks slightly thinner to me in pictures. I'd really like to get a precise measurement for this specific dimension. If they are a little thinner i'd like to use these sliders with Keyclack's silencing rings. A thinner flange would compensate for the thickness of the silencing ring and keep as much tactility as possible.
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Unread post28 Sep 2018, 18:31

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The Plum sliders have a tight circular notch around their cylinder base, to allow for the silencing rings (that can be found by default installed in Plum/Niz keyboards, as in the pic below) to sit a bit lower. I'm not in the city, so I can't measure again too soon (also it would be good if somebody else would cross-check the measurements). In any case, a silent slider (purple, type-s) keeps the tactility by having a notch under its base, so that the dome isn't pressed in the default position.

niz_02.jpg
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Unread post29 Sep 2018, 11:17

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I used some digital calipers from Harbor Freight and measured the thickness of the base (measurement D) of a Niz/Plum 75 slider and a HHKB Pro 2 slider. Both were between 1.35 and 1.40 mm (most of the times it was 1.36-1.38) when measuring multiple times from different locations.

The Niz/Plum slider does have a channel cut out for the oring but it barely affects how high the oring sits. The oring itself is very thick (compared to other topre silencing methods) and definitely affects resting position and key travel.
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Unread post29 Sep 2018, 23:48

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Thanks for the measurements! :)
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Unread post30 Sep 2018, 02:55

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Updated: added column for the slider cylinder diameter (Φ), for the first 4 types in the table (I think we can assume the Novatouch and Leopold have diameter similar to the HHKB slider, because the KBDFans Adapter-X wobbles inside the Novatouch housing). One conclusion would be - the KBDFans Adapter-X sliders would make good replacements inside Plum/NIZ capacitive (Topre clone) keyboards, since the dimensions fit and the material should be better (POM, i.e. more slippery).

Code: Select all
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----+------|
| Slider type        |     A |    B |    C |    D | E   |    Φ |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----+------|
| KBDFans Adapter-X  | 11.80 | 9.20 | 4.00 | 1.40 | n/a | 8.20 |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----+------|
| Plum (?) Topre-MX  | 11.80 | 9.30 | 3.90 | 1.40 | n/a | 8.20 |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----+------|
| JTK MX             | 11.70 | 9.20 | 3.80 | 1.30 | n/a | 8.20 |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----+------|
| HHKB Pro 2         | 11.50 | 9.00 | 3.90 | 1.40 | n/a | 8.40 |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----+------|
| Novatouch CM Storm | 10.70 | 8.20 | 3.90 | 1.40 | n/a |      |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----+------|
| Leopold FC660C     | 11.60 | 9.10 | 3.90 | 1.40 | n/a |      |
|--------------------+-------+------+------+------+-----+------|

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Unread post01 Oct 2018, 18:10

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Is the surface of sliders under the cylinder a square with rounded corners? It looks like a parallelogram. Any issues with positioning keycaps with KBDFans sliders and stock slider housings? Do Plum sliders face this problem in Topre slider housings?
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Unread post18 Oct 2018, 20:22

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I had no problems placing either Plum or KBDFans sliders in Topre housings, but, either due to the cylinder diameter, or maybe due to shape of the slider corners (?), at least the KBDFans feel wobblier than the stock Topre sliders (I don't remember about the Plums though, I tested briefly a long time ago; but they didn't "stuck")
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Unread post18 Oct 2018, 21:29

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So...placing KBDFans mx sliders into a Niz Plum keyboard will make the keys les wobbly and smoother than stock ? Interested in replacing stock plum with KBDFans sliders + Silence-X Rings on my Plum75...
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Unread post03 Nov 2018, 18:09

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I recently did something similar (KBDFans sliders in a Plum keyboard). Two things:

- you have to remove the notches on each KBDFans slider, because the Plum housing cylinders are full cylinders, all-around, and would block the notches.
- they feel smoother, but the keys are still wobbly :( It may be not because of the slider diameter, but maybe because of the shape of the corners of the slider legs (?). In any case, still wobbly.
Last edited by Laser on 03 Nov 2018, 21:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post03 Nov 2018, 19:03

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Laser wrote:I recently did something similar (KBDFans sliders in a Plum keyboard). Two things:

- you have to remove the notches on each KBDFans slider, because the Plum housing cylinders are full cylinders, all-around, and would block the notches.
- they fill smoother, but the keys are still wobbly :( It may be not because of the slider diameter, but maybe because of the shape of the corners of the slider legs (?). In any case, still wobbly.

Thanks man, I'm trying to find a way to make the board less wobbly or I think I'm gonna put it on sale.
It's my funniest and eye popping board, but since I got it I only modded it towards being better (lubed sliders, 65domes, foam inside case) but still it's my least used board : Image
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Unread post03 Nov 2018, 19:34

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