Hirose Cherry switches and the Xerox 1109

I found this tab from way back — MouseFan's Sord M243EX keyboard page (someone here may have pointed me at it; I forget now):

http://www7.ocn.ne.jp/~hisao/image/M243EX.htm

MouseFan suggests that the "HCP" written on the switches stands for "Hirose Cherry Precision", the full name of Hirose Cherry AKA Cherry Japan.

Right now, we have:

1) Tradition
Hirose Cherry MX Orange — standard key switch, linear
Hirose Cherry MX Clear — space bar switch, linear

2) Sord M243EX
The switch in the Sord M243EX appears to be Hirose Cherry mount and appears to be clear, but used for a whole keyboard. Linear again. Same switch as Hirose Cherry MX Clear, above?

3) Xerox 1109 Type 2 Lisp workstation keyboard
Cherry MX Linear White
Cherry MX Pale Yellow
Cherry MX Grey Green
Cherry MX Lock

MX Linear White looks clear to me, not white (though MX White switches have been both colours), and all but MX Lock quite clearly have smaller keystems:

Xerox Star low-profile keyboard

Most of the photos aren't quite sharp enough to be 100% confident that it's the Hirose Cherry mount, but it certainly looks to be that way. Also, kps's Xerox keyboard was made in Japan, which ties in with it having Hirose switches.

Since the main keyboard switch appears to be white/clear, the switches are presumably the same as those in the Sord M243EX.

What's interesting is that the Xerox keyboard also has the same "HCP" branding on most switches as in the Sord, and the same HCP/Cherry mix and match.

It's hard to be sure, but MouseFan seems to think late 1984/early 1985 for that Sord, i.e. very early in the Cherry MX lifetime, exactly as with the Xerox.

Questions

1. Is it likely that the same switch was used for the normal keys in one keyboard, and space bar in another? In other words, should I merge Cherry MX Linear White into Hirose Cherry MX Clear?

2. Are we happy that "HCP" means "Hirose Cherry Precision"? If so, then the remaining two HCP switches should be renamed, giving us as follows:

Cherry MX Linear WhiteHirose Cherry MX Clear
Cherry MX Pale Yellow → Hirose Cherry MX Pale Yellow
Cherry MX Grey Green → Hirose Cherry MX Grey Green


Thoughts?
Daniel Beardsmore
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Unread post07 Jun 2014, 18:37

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Yes I agree with that, that Hirose variants should be specified as such. There is also regular Cherry MX linear clear as well.
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Unread post08 Jun 2014, 03:47

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My question was whether anyone had reasonable doubt that HCP means Hirose Cherry and that those switches are Hirose Cherry mount.

Do you have a reference for linear clears with normal German MX mount? I've never heard of those before.
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Unread post08 Jun 2014, 12:09

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HCP is for certain Hirose Cherry. As for the linear clear they are essentially identical to black in every way but color. I found some once in a keyboad from 1984, and also have seen them in couple electric typewriter or at least I am pretty sure they were not the smaller Hirose stems. I think perhaps Cherry didn't use any coloring originally as there were linear, tactile and click switch with identical appearance.
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Unread post08 Jun 2014, 15:45

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I got one board which the space bar with HCP others with hirose cherry.
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Unread post12 Jun 2014, 11:15

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I like cherry and jade.
You should post some photos of it.
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Unread post12 Jun 2014, 22:25

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Unread post14 Jun 2014, 03:41

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The photos don't illustrate what you just said.
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Unread post14 Jun 2014, 13:09

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Yes
I didn't take that photo.
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Unread post16 Jun 2014, 06:16

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I like cherry and jade.
So now I'm back to what I said originally: You should post some photos of it.
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Unread post16 Jun 2014, 08:28

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Image
Image
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Does that keyboard have a manufacturing date? If not, what date is showing on the controller chip?

It's always nice to have more dates for when these switches were sold. It's interesting that several keyboards used both the HCP and Cherry switches at the same time.
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Unread post17 Jun 2014, 08:20

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Image\
59 12 21 is 昭和59年 (1984 12 21)
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So:

  • cherry-jade: December 1984 (confirmed)
  • MouseFan: December 1984/March 1985 (confirmed)
  • IvanIvanovich: 1984
  • kps: ca. 1984–1985 (based on what I recall reading, and a topic where kps gives the replacement as having been introduced in 1985 plus, "84" appears in several chip numbers on his 1109 keyboard)

No sightings of these switches after early 1985 so far. It looks like the moulds got changed over around the end of 1984.
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Unread post17 Jun 2014, 18:58

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I no longer have a place here.
IvanIvanovich wrote:HCP is for certain Hirose Cherry. As for the linear clear they are essentially identical to black in every way but color. I found some once in a keyboad from 1984, and also have seen them in couple electric typewriter or at least I am pretty sure they were not the smaller Hirose stems. I think perhaps Cherry didn't use any coloring originally as there were linear, tactile and click switch with identical appearance.

What do you make of Cherry MX White?

I don't consider it logical to class Type A white, Type B white, and modern white as the same switch.

If your theory is correct, and I've been thinking the same in this regard, Type B white is MX Blue. In other words, the MX Blue page should note that the switch originally started out life with a clear stem.

It's interesting to note that MX Clear was allegedly introduced in 1989, and Type B white was also allegedly introduced in 1989.

I would have thought that MX Blue was around before 1989, but I guess not.

Type A white is presumably the original MX Green.

Ideally all these odd switches would go here:

Cherry MX mount recognition
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Unread post10 Jul 2014, 19:17

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I agree original white=blue, it's all the same click type, same force only difference is color.
I think blue appeared in 87 or so judging by dates on parts, though it's always possible older part stock were used to complete keyboards. Certainly was out in 88.
White and green coexisted, and had differences. Green mostly existed to use as spacebar switch on blue. White 80cN existed as a full board use switch and originally had a stronger grey click type swtich to be used as it's spacebar. Which seemed to have both been more or less replaced by clear/t grey as the higher force solution for POS/Industry stuff by 90 or something.
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Unread post10 Jul 2014, 21:13

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How do 80 cN "white" (clear) and green (also 80 cN) differ?
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Unread post10 Jul 2014, 23:37

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White is dampened click. Not as 'snappy' and quieter.
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Unread post11 Jul 2014, 03:02

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I mean Type A white. You're saying that Type A white, which was clear, is the same as modern white, which is white?
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Unread post11 Jul 2014, 08:21

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As far as I can tell, if white has the black click part it's a dampned and if it has the clear/white click part it isn't. So, theoretically A and C should be the same. I myself haven't had a verified age A version to make a direct comparison against though so I can only go on what has been reported by others.
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Unread post11 Jul 2014, 15:36

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