[Other news] Kailh BOX Switches Crack and Stress Keycap Stems

Kailh BOX Switches Crack and Stress Keycap Stems @ Geekhack
On my keyboard with Kailh BOX Navy switches, one of the arrow keys kept wiggling off. I noticed the stem had cracks on two sides. I put Gorilla Glue on the stem and clamped it with a vice grip, and it help the problem a bit when I placed it back on the keyboard.

Kailh's response @ Geekhack
1.Given that box switch stem cracks issue,we've set about checking first article inspection for three monthes immediately the keycap cracks happens,the specification shows our stem size is normal,because we offer the box switch for 1 year and not any problems when you guys uses it.

2.We're so sorry that GMK and Maxkey keycap mounts cases,we''ll optimize the stem tolerance to fit the general keycap.

probably the most helpful info: BOX Switch Updates from NovelKeys @ Reddit
BOX switches currently have an x axis that is 1.32mm (+- .02mm tolerance). According to Kailh's internal testing, their switches have all been in that spec.

The reason that the BOX switch has a 1.32mm X axis is because DAREU asked Kaihua to widen the BOX switch from 1.3mm to 1.32mm. At the time, DAREU was really the only company that was buying BOX switches. Because of this, Kaihua agreed to change the dimensions for DAREU.

NovelKeys has halted all BOX switch sales

I have talked to Kaihua for quite some length about all of these issues. They have agreed to change the stems to 1.3mm (+- .02mm tolerance) for at least my orders.
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Unread post31 Jul 2018, 20:52

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Kailh's response is quite scummy, trying to shift the blame off of themselves to anyone else.

I applaud NovelKeys' transparency here though, they are really doing a great job.
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Unread post31 Jul 2018, 20:55

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So in short , wait for NovelKeys new stock and order directly from them ?
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And check every one with your handy, ever ready callipers…
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Enjoy that MX clone lifestyle.
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KBDFans also removed the BOX switches from their site.
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andrewjoy wrote:So in short , wait for NovelKeys new stock and order directly from them ?

Apparently, Kailh was scummy in dealing with NovelKeys too. He's got a warning on his site and has discounted them, so I guess Kailh didn't exchange his, and he had to take the bath.
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Unread post09 Aug 2018, 03:17

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chuckdee wrote:Apparently, Kailh was scummy in dealing with NovelKeys too. He's got a warning on his site and has discounted them, so I guess Kailh didn't exchange his, and he had to take the bath.

Don't forget that Cherry Corp did the very same thing of distributing "Scratchy" switches across their whole range yet never accepted any returns with any of them.

The retail channel just got rid of them by selling all the defect switches to customers who bore their failure and complete resentment.

This is common business practice in the 21st century, make dodgy crap and distribute the broken items quickly though the retail chains. That is why our land fills are running out of space, even here in Convict Town ;) .
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Unread post09 Aug 2018, 06:59

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Elrick wrote:Don't forget that Cherry Corp did the very same thing of distributing "Scratchy" switches across their whole range yet never accepted any returns with any of them.

The retail channel just got rid of them by selling all the defect switches to customers who bore their failure and complete resentment.

This is common business practice in the 21st century, make dodgy crap and distribute the broken items quickly though the retail chains. That is why our land fills are running out of space, even here in Convict Town ;) .

Absolutely! Those Cherry switches were CLEARLY out of spec. They were in fact so scratchy that the soldering joints on some keyboards broke from the vibration. The smoothnes of their switches is specified as "Juicy MILF" when they really delivered switches there felt like Uma Thurman in a coma!

Stop making a fool of yourself. You're comparing clearly out-of-spec products with products that you personally don't enjoy. We've been getting an in-spec product from Cherry at all times (exception see below) no stems busted no builds ruined.

One thing that DID in fact bother me though was when Cherry was delivering the switches for the community MX Silent Black GB and accidentally put in MX Red springs and THEN refused to take responsibility.
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Unread post09 Aug 2018, 07:56

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Wodan wrote:One thing that DID in fact bother me though was when Cherry was delivering the switches for the community MX Silent Black GB and accidentally put in MX Red springs and THEN refused to take responsibility.

Technically, even those were still within spec. At least within Cherry's external set of specifications.
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Unread post09 Aug 2018, 08:05

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Khers wrote:Technically, even those were still within spec. At least within Cherry's external set of specifications.

That claim just made it worse IMO!

https://www.cherry.de/PDF/EN_CHERRY_MX1A-1xxx.pdf

Actuation force: 60 ± 20 cN

+/- 30%

Cherry Fabois all over the world shocked. 300hp BMW in spec with 200hp?

Anyway, no keycaps were harmed
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Wodan wrote:
Khers wrote:Technically, even those were still within spec. At least within Cherry's external set of specifications.

That claim just made it worse IMO!

https://www.cherry.de/PDF/EN_CHERRY_MX1A-1xxx.pdf

Actuation force: 60 ± 20 cN

+/- 30%

Cherry Fabois all over the world shocked. 300hp BMW in spec with 200hp?

Anyway, no keycaps were harmed

I agree, those tolerances are quite hilarious, especially considering how easy it is to design a spring with certain characteristics (unless you want to mimic the sound a three decade old spring made buckling into a plastic barrell, when it was new).
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Unread post09 Aug 2018, 08:21

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Khers wrote:I agree, those tolerances are quite hilarious, especially considering how easy it is to design a spring with certain characteristics (unless you want to mimic the sound a three decade old spring made buckling into a plastic barrell, when it was new).

The funny thing is all those keyboards using the 'Buckling Spring' mechanism still seem to work despite being used as kitchen tops and spooge receptacles, for many years ;) .

Sometimes you really need to keep it simple for it to last a long time, suspect all this Cherry-felching will eventually die off before any Buckling Spring stops working.
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Unread post09 Aug 2018, 09:17

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And why do people have to bolt mod their boards or replace the foams? It doesn't seem like IBM had high standards regarding long term usage.
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Unread post09 Aug 2018, 09:39

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Elrick wrote:Sometimes you really need to keep it simple for it to last a long time, suspect all this Cherry-felching will eventually die off before any Buckling Spring stops working.

The Australian Model Ms must have barrel plates made of tungsten and the Model Fs must have foam made of ... well something that doesn't rot away.

For most of us, IBM keyboards are restoration projects while Cherry keyboards from the same era tend to just work. They have no shitty foam or brittle plates. That's the facts ...

Is it worth restoring a Model F and will you get a power trip from the breaking of the springs? JAWOHL MEIN FÜHRER!!!!

But don't romanticize these boards. They have their flaws and were sold a 2x-5x the price of Cherry boards.
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I have never seen a Model M or a F that has stopped working due to rivets or foam. When you take them apart to clean them sure that foam may fall to bits. There is a reason both M and F have a higher MTBF than any electro mechanical switch be it made by cherry alps or anyone else.

Then again i have never seen an old cherry board stop working, however most of the old ones i have where not made by cherry. The switches are super reliable, the build quality of there own casings are total trash.

But if someone said to me , take a model f and a mx board and type on them till they fail , i would bet on the metal contacts of the cherry wearing out before the capacitive system of the F.
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Capacitive BS as a contact mechanism is clearly superior to even the gold plated crosspoint contacts. That reflects in the rating of the mechanisms at 100mil vs 50mil
But the membrane BS is the IDENTICAL contact mechanism as Cherry MY rated at 25mil (IBM) or "up to 50mil" (Cherry) which is a difference from the "more than 50mil" rating of the gold crosspoint.

But when comparing the longevity of these keyboards, additional factors come into play like the common use of material that ages badly (foam, plastic barrel plates)
These G80 boards are like Russian T34 tanks. Simple but indestructable - just a few discrete switches on a PCB in a case - not much that can go bad.

I don't get it what some IBM folks keep starting the reliability discussion. When comparing a nice Montblanc Ink Pen with a ten pack of Bic Cristal, you wouldn't compare them by their reliability.
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You are correct when it comes to the case construction, the quality of the plastic in the model F's ( AT excluded as that appears to use the same stuff as the M) leave a hell of allot to be desired.

And considering the price you paid for an IBM vs a cherry back in the day its impressive what you get for your money.

But i still don't rate the construction of the G80 myself, not a fan of the PCB mount stuff, its doing a massive dis service to the switch in my option. A good wyse will do the job better than G80 IMO.

And cherry does have the advantage that is a switch does fail you can just replace it and not have to take the whole bloody thing apart.
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andrewjoy wrote:But i still don't rate the construction of the G80 myself, not a fan of the PCB mount stuff, its doing a massive dis service to the switch in my option. A good wyse will do the job better than G80 IMO.

Same here really despise the Cherry touch of only using cheap plastic casings with pcbs.

Although the WYSE keyboards come with their gawd awful layouts not representative of the standard ANSI setup so it's best avoided.

Also trying to buy any plastic keys for all those earlier WYSE keyboards are an utter arse-tearing experience, not worth the pain and misery trying to fill that keyboard with any new key-sets. If you do find any Group Buys that offer every type of key to fill your old WYSE keyboard, that super Large Space Bar will always reside in it.

Hence no matter the colour or style of key-caps, that Space bar has to stay there permanently.
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Unread post10 Aug 2018, 06:06

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Well you can get keyboards with Cherry MX switches from 10$ to 10‘000$

There‘s more than just G80s and Wyse :lol:
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Wodan wrote:Well you can get keyboards with Cherry MX switches from 10$ to 10‘000$

There‘s more than just G80s and Wyse :lol:

Yeah but their still plastic and pcb with NO decent Metal Plate, if you're talking about the standard Cherry made junk.

Please show us where another normal ANSI full metal plate (and casing) keyboard using any style of Cherry switch (please no Razer, Corsair, LZ, Ducky, Filco, WASD, Varmilo junk).
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Elrick wrote:
Wodan wrote:Well you can get keyboards with Cherry MX switches from 10$ to 10‘000$

There‘s more than just G80s and Wyse :lol:

Yeah but their still plastic and pcb with NO decent Metal Plate, if you're talking about the standard Cherry made junk.

Please show us where another normal ANSI full metal plate (and casing) keyboard using any style of Cherry switch (please no Razer, Corsair, LZ, Ducky, Filco, WASD, Varmilo junk).

Cherry MX Board 6.0 - metal plate, metal case, Cherry switches and made by Cherry - seems to fulfill all your requirements.

Image
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Unread post10 Aug 2018, 08:16

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Elrick wrote:Please show us where another normal ANSI full metal plate (and casing) keyboard using any style of Cherry switch (please no Razer, Corsair, LZ, Ducky, Filco, WASD, Varmilo junk).

Have you completely missed the custom kit trend?

You can get a custom MX-compatible keyboard kit with your choice of plate material and a 3kg+ solid aluminium case for ~300$ in pretty much ANY layout you ever wanted to try. I've got a TX1800 that weights the same as an IBM-107.

With the recent market rates for IBM Model F keyboards, getting a decent custom from KBDfans (i.e.) is probably even cheaper than getting a Model F!
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Khers wrote:Cherry MX Board 6.0 - metal plate, metal case, Cherry switches and made by Cherry - seems to fulfill all your requirements.

Image

Already had it some years ago, put it downstairs in the basement because it had their dreadful Red Switches (hate soft linears).
Wodan wrote:With the recent market rates for IBM Model F keyboards, getting a decent custom from KBDfans (i.e.) is probably even cheaper than getting a Model F!

Too late, I'm already in with the Ellipse Model F77 keyboard hence still waiting for it to arrive to my hell hole, down under.

Also noticed KBDfans keyboards which look interesting, have never bought one yet but I might try one model to see how it is. Good that they have assembling services for their products (wish most others out there would have that very same service).

Was hoping you would provide a link to some OLDER keyboards that have an in built metal plate using either old black switches or even any blue ones (I'm not picky about which switch as long as it's NOT a red cherry switch).
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Unread post10 Aug 2018, 08:52

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The problem with assembly service is the choice of switches. Most people in the custom game want to put in their hand modded, hand picked vintage switches. Chances are you'd have picked Kaihl BOX switches for your KBDfans assembly service effectively giving you a 300$ stem buster.

When looking at older keyboards things get a lot more complicated. There's a short period of time when the layouts were already kinda modern (gotta give the Model M credit for that layout) and the build quality was still over the top. Model F keyboards are a great example. As soon as their layout becomes halfway useable, they also become ungodly expensive. The only way to have a chance to grab one for less than 100$ is settling for an XT or Bigfoot with their inacceptable bottom rows.

So yeah you can try and hate on Cherry switches and find tons of constellations where they suck but in the end, they are the dominant switch in the high end custom building for a reason. I can't imagine ANY other switch has been made in nearly the same numbers and for anywhere near the same production period. Imagine Cherry let their high quality products die in the late 80s/early 90s like pretty much all other brands. We'd all be tossing each other off over the smoothness of these MX Black switches and dat butter in these MX clears.

Edit:

https://deskthority.net/wiki/Cherry_G80-0693
https://deskthority.net/wiki/Cherry_G80-0777
https://deskthority.net/wiki/Cherry_G80-0778
I also had this TA Cherry board with plate mounted MX Blacks and a weird layout ... can't find a link.
There's some out there but they have weird layouts and are rare
Last edited by Wodan on 10 Aug 2018, 09:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Most early 80s Cherry keyboards are plate mounted and have a metal backplate. Listing all of them would be a long task.

Just one example: wiki/Cherry_G80-0418 The cases obviously suck but those were optional things back then.
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Unread post10 Aug 2018, 09:12

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I have what i think is a late 80 unbranded 122 key. I will get some photos, but its the nicest cherry board i have ever tried. Super thick plate, ok ish caps ( thin double shot) and lovely vintage backs. MMMmmmm ! I need to get some photos of it , nothing on the wiki at all about it.
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Wodan wrote:The problem with assembly service is the choice of switches. Most people in the custom game want to put in their hand modded, hand picked vintage switches. Chances are you'd have picked Kaihl BOX switches for your KBDfans assembly service effectively giving you a 300$ stem buster.

Don't have time to build any keyboards and usually when I get back home I only have one week to pay all the bills, sort out any family issues that need sorting and of course listening to never ending complaints about everyone and the next doors.

Just no time to actually build any keyboard hence it's far easier to pay a 'business' to put in what switches they have in stock, beggars can't be choosers in this case.

Well have noticed they do sell Zealios for their keyboards at KBDfans. The single most useless switch that pretends to be "Tactile" but clearly isn't.

Although if you love Linear then they're not bad, lubed and they all use the very same Cherry fitment that doesn't GAPE any style of Key-set.

The BOX Navy is still one of my most liked switches, despite it being a Key-cap shredder. The minions all hate them but it's the most safe keyboards in the house when I'm away, no one uses them besides myself.
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Unread post10 Aug 2018, 10:35

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