Alps Lubricant FOUND!

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PotatoMonkey

05 Mar 2021, 05:25

I just ordered some Nyogel 767a, Im hoping that the nyogel alone will do a better job of emanating scratchiness from my dampened creams than my tribosys 3204. Seeing as there is still no US-available alternative to OKS 477, has anyone thought of using some pure PAO oil to dilute the Nyogel 767a? From what I can tell by reading this thread the OKS seems to only be mixed in to reduce the viscosity of the 767a, and using a little bit of pure PAO oil might be a pretty economical way of achieving the same goal.

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NeK

05 Mar 2021, 07:23

I am not a chemist, but I think there is another important difference between the OKS and the 767A: the NyoGel is a dampening grease, which means it makes the sliding heavier and slower (slow internal shear), where the OKS is a lubricant grease which does exactly that, it lubricates, making the sliding easier/faster (fast internet shear).

However and having said that, all those fancy terms may actually be just a lighter or heavier PAO oil, so your approach may work for all I know.

BTW: I think that NyoGel 744H or 744VH may be a better choice than the 767A, because they are lighter in the first place. But I haven't tried them, as they just cost too much to get hold of some, in europe.

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ZedTheMan

05 Mar 2021, 15:12

NeK wrote:
05 Mar 2021, 07:23
I am not a chemist, but I think there is another important difference between the OKS and the 767A: the NyoGel is a dampening grease, which means it makes the sliding heavier and slower (slow internal shear), where the OKS is a lubricant grease which does exactly that, it lubricates, making the sliding easier/faster (fast internet shear).

However and having said that, all those fancy terms may actually be just a lighter or heavier PAO oil, so your approach may work for all I know.

BTW: I think that NyoGel 744H or 744VH may be a better choice than the 767A, because they are lighter in the first place. But I haven't tried them, as they just cost too much to get hold of some, in europe.
Hey NeK, I have a proposition. I've been trying to find someone willing to proxy me some OKS 477 to try out with 767A. You need NyoGel 744H or 744VH. I live in the US, you in Europe. If I could procure some 744H or VH, would you be willing to do a lube swap with me? (Alternatively, if you would be willing to sell otherwise, I'm happy to pay the increased cost of shipping and time for such a proxy) I can get normal 744 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005KLCX5E/?c ... _lig_dp_it for this.

Jan Pospisil

05 Mar 2021, 20:55

"would you be willing to do a lube swap with me?"
Quite the sentence. :))
I support you 100% though.

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NeK

05 Mar 2021, 21:26

ZedTheMan wrote:
05 Mar 2021, 15:12
NeK wrote:
05 Mar 2021, 07:23
I am not a chemist, but I think there is another important difference between the OKS and the 767A: the NyoGel is a dampening grease, which means it makes the sliding heavier and slower (slow internal shear), where the OKS is a lubricant grease which does exactly that, it lubricates, making the sliding easier/faster (fast internet shear).

However and having said that, all those fancy terms may actually be just a lighter or heavier PAO oil, so your approach may work for all I know.

BTW: I think that NyoGel 744H or 744VH may be a better choice than the 767A, because they are lighter in the first place. But I haven't tried them, as they just cost too much to get hold of some, in europe.
Hey NeK, I have a proposition. I've been trying to find someone willing to proxy me some OKS 477 to try out with 767A. You need NyoGel 744H or 744VH. I live in the US, you in Europe. If I could procure some 744H or VH, would you be willing to do a lube swap with me? (Alternatively, if you would be willing to sell otherwise, I'm happy to pay the increased cost of shipping and time for such a proxy) I can get normal 744 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005KLCX5E/?c ... _lig_dp_it for this.
sure, why not. Lets check what prices we can find for both the products and the shipings. I'll PM you

Avi

09 Mar 2021, 07:31

My experience with the Nyogel 767A/OKS 477 mix on Blue Alps.

At first, I applied too much lube. Keys became too stiff and sluggish. Then I removed the lube from sliders using a cloth. When you remove lube with cloth, it does not get removed completely, you can still feel with your fingers that the plastic has some lube residue. Also a bigger amount of lube residue left between railings on the sides of the slider.

The mix definitely improved the key feel, but unfortunately not to 10/10. The switches were originally ultrasonic cleaned. They did have serious scratch and binding, but they were snappy when pressed in center. I'd rate them 4-5/10. After lubing, they bind considerably less, the scratch decreased (I'd say decreased by 50-70%). Switches have become much less snappy now. Overall I'd rate the switches 6-7/10 now. Any Cherry MX switch is smoother and snappier than Alps in this condition.

What I do not like about the result is inconsistency. Some switches feel heavier than others. Sound also varies quite a lot. Maybe it's because of my lubing technique.

After cleaning switches with cloth, I also tried re-applying a thinnest layer of lube to the rails. There was no noticeable difference between "cleaned with cloth" and "cleaned with cloth + thinnest layer of lube on rails".

The most important thing is that the keyboard was in "unusable" state before and after lubing it changed to "usable".

NeK, can you describe in more details how exactly you applied the lube? I was very impressed that you rate your result as close to 10, but I'm somewhat disappointed with my own experience.

Thanks.

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NeK

09 Mar 2021, 13:47

Avi wrote:
09 Mar 2021, 07:31
NeK, can you describe in more details how exactly you applied the lube? I was very impressed that you rate your result as close to 10, but I'm somewhat disappointed with my own experience.

Thanks.
You can check out my video in my previous post with the comparison between an OG 10/10 switch and a 767A/OKS477 restored switch (was a 6-7/10). You'll see that it is snappy, sound is unaffected and good, and the feel is at least on par (or even better) than the OG.

When they are in very bad condition (as you say unusable) it is indeed a difficult restoration, I can tell you that. However it is not impossible to restore them to a good condition.

Everything is still a work in progress until we nail down every little detail. So don't give up, yet. You should find out in what way they are "bad" and focus on fixing that issue first. Let me give you some hints that I have concluded so far:
  • first make sure that the stem and housing are very, very clean. They should be "squeaky" clean (note: this only true for blue/orange alps), meaning that rubbing your finger on the surface of the plastic stem, should not be smooth, but have some friction, this is how you know that it is clean of any oils/dirt/dust whatever. I don't have an ultrasonic device, but in order to clean them I had to manually rub them with a microcloth. I know, it is tedious but at least test it on one and see if it makes any difference.
  • About the click sound: this is entirely up to the click leaf and has (almost) nothing to do with the lube. Any inconsistencies that you find between switches in click sound, are probably because some of their leafs are not straight and smooth enough, or have been bent in some way or another. You should compare a known good sounding switch's leaf with a bad one and see what are the differences. You'll find that the bad one would be bent in some way. Try to fix it by bending them very carefully and delicately back to shape, it will definitely improve the click.
  • try mixing more 767A in the mix. 767A is great in making the harsher surfaces smooth. So start by using 70% 767A and 30% 477.
  • applying the lube: you are doing it right. you fist apply a layer, as thin as you can manage, to the following points: the stem upper silders, the stem lower sliders AND sides and finally just a tiny bit in the front surface where the contact leaf makes contact. Then, put it together and press it some times so the lube gets spread. And then take it apart and swipe with a microfiber cloth the sliders, as you already did. Put it back together and there should be no binding and very smooth sliding.
  • center press smoothness heavily depends on the contact leaf and the stem front surface (where they make contact). Make sure that those two are cleaned very well, and rub the stem with a microcloth, this will smooth it out. Also make sure that you lube that surface part too.
  • make sure the springs are good too. They should be about 10 to 11mm in height. This is something I totally missed on some and spent too much time trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with some switches.
  • The harshness in general, depends on the condition of 1. the stem plastic surface 2. the housing sliders surface 3. the contact and click leaf surfaces. They all need to be clean, and without any micro-asperities. Feel their smoothness, using a soft plastic probe or a tweezer by gently running them over their surfaces. To amend this, try cleaning both the contact leaf of the bottom housing and the click leaf with a microcloth. Do this also for the back and front surfaces of the stem (don't be afraid to put some strength for that).
In other words, if the click leaf is straight and smooth and in somewhat good shape and if the stem plastic and housing plastic are somewhat smooth, then the lube will make it a 9-10/10.

UPDATE:

if you get any binding, it means that there isn't any lube in the most important places. Those places are, in my experience, these. Let me know if the graphs need some clarification.

NOTE: no need or point to lube the insides of the sliders. The friction happens on their outside corners mostly, with the exception of the insides of the top sliders.
lube points
lube points
skcm-blue-important-lube-points.png (38.14 KiB) Viewed 1383 times
skcm-blue-important-lube-points.png
skcm-blue-important-lube-points.png (28.53 KiB) Viewed 1384 times

Avi

09 Mar 2021, 16:00

NeK, thanks for the high quality explanation and for the research you're doing! I'll experiment more.

Avi

13 Mar 2021, 15:57

I have been able to improve my results considerably. I can rate my results as 8/10 or even 9/10. I think I may have found something important here, maybe a new method of Blue Alps restoration. The method is dangerous to the switches, use at your own risk.

I used a heat gun. My idea was that I can heat the sliders to the point when their surface melts very very slightly, smoothing out micro scratches and inconsistencies. I broke one switch during experiments, but at the end I'm happy with the results. I have to say that I'm not sure how big of a role does the heating itself plays here, because I heated already lubed switches, (767A/477 mix as I described above). It might be the result of heating the lube rather than sliders. I have no way to tell because I have no unlubed sliders left.

Here is what I did exactly: picked the slider with metal tweezers and used a heat gun set to 260C. I tried higher temps, the sliders start to melt at 290C. If you see that the slider corners start to become white, you're one step from messing them irreversibly, stop here. 260C is a safe temp (at least from what I can tell). I double checked the temperature with thermocouple. I heated the sliders for about 15 seconds from one side and then for about 15 seconds from another. The slider decolors slightly during the process, but it seems to be temporary. I installed them back and now they are snappy, smooth and do not bind. Great success!

Now what I think about this. Like I said, I'm not sure if this would have worked without lube. It's possible that the process has nothing to do with plastic heating. Maybe the lube changes its properties during heating. Maybe the lube interacts with the slider material creating more smooth surface. Maybe the lube just disperses more smoothly and evenly during heating. Or maybe the lube has nothing do to with this at all.

I also tried to heat the upper housings. I broke one irreversibly at 250C, it deformed. 200C looks to be safe, but I did not experiment much. It's more difficult to visually check the state of the housing during heating, I do not want to risk losing more switches.

ntv242ver2

13 Mar 2021, 16:07

Honestly that sounds probable but it feels very difficult to get a consistent results, let alone avoid the damage. Some time i wonder if we should just stay away from dirty alps and never bother with them. Kind of agree with chyros here on this point.

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Bjerrk

13 Mar 2021, 16:40

It's just such a shame. Mechanical keyboards should be durable and serviceable/repairable. Not finicky with respect to dust and heavy use.

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NeK

13 Mar 2021, 21:38

Sounds a bit of an overkill. You are right that this result is difficult to interepret. Was it the heat on that plastics or the heat on the lubed plastics? I have some questions, did that also fix the click sound issue? If not, did you tried my tips about it?
Also in this new state, how do you know if they are 8-9/10? Did you compare them to an OG, or jusy going by how smooth they feel to you?

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NeK

13 Mar 2021, 21:41

Bjerrk wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 16:40
It's just such a shame. Mechanical keyboards should be durable and serviceable/repairable. Not finicky with respect to dust and heavy use.
We are talking about 30+ year old keyboards that have taken a lot of beating and are in bad condition. They actually are pretty durable.

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Bjerrk

13 Mar 2021, 21:51

NeK wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 21:41
Bjerrk wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 16:40
It's just such a shame. Mechanical keyboards should be durable and serviceable/repairable. Not finicky with respect to dust and heavy use.
We are talking about 30+ year old keyboards that have taken a lot of beating and are in bad condition. They actually are pretty durable.
That's not the impression I've got from e.g. chyros' videos. In his Alps restoration guide, he even says that "Everyone knows that Alps switches will start to feel horrible VERY quickly with heavy use or dirt incursion".

And with ntv242ver2 saying "Some time i wonder if we should just stay away from dirty alps and never bother with them" above, and others coming to similar conclusions ...

Now, bear in mind that I am in no way questioning the other merits of (good condition) Alps switches. Great keyfeel, sound etc.

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NeK

13 Mar 2021, 23:45

Bjerrk wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 21:51
NeK wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 21:41
Bjerrk wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 16:40
It's just such a shame. Mechanical keyboards should be durable and serviceable/repairable. Not finicky with respect to dust and heavy use.
We are talking about 30+ year old keyboards that have taken a lot of beating and are in bad condition. They actually are pretty durable.
That's not the impression I've got from e.g. chyros' videos. In his Alps restoration guide, he even says that "Everyone knows that Alps switches will start to feel horrible VERY quickly with heavy use or dirt incursion".

And with ntv242ver2 saying "Some time i wonder if we should just stay away from dirty alps and never bother with them" above, and others coming to similar conclusions ...

Now, bear in mind that I am in no way questioning the other merits of (good condition) Alps switches. Great keyfeel, sound etc.
I'm not going into a hypothetical debate about your drawn impressions from other people's generalized statements, about a whole range of technologies and products. That's just silly.
What I will do though is say that I am currently using 35+ years old ALPS SKCM (White and blue) keyboards regularly, which are in pretty good shape and condition, despite being used heavily before I got them, and that is not an impression, nor a generalized statement like 'everyone knows', it is a fact.

Are there switches that are more durable? Hell yeah, the IBM buckling springs for example are practically indestructible. In comparison with ALPS, then yes ALPS are very sensitive, in fact everything seems sensitive in comparison with BS. But in absolute terms, they are durable, and very much so.
A keyboard used for 30 years and is still in a good enough condition? That is remarkable indeed.

As for the "serviceable" issue, it is actually ironic to hear. ALPS switches can be taken apart, without any de-soldering, in fact you can take them apart by just using your fingernails if you really try to. You can then give them a quick cleaning and just put them back again in a few seconds, like nothing has happened. It's that easy, yes, it's that serviceable.
You can also, just as easily, replace any part of the switch, (except only for the contact plate and the bottom housing, but those rarely get bad and they do not contribute to the condition of the switch in anyway anyhow). So, yeah, pretty much ALPS are one the most - if not the most - easily serviceable switches out there. They are even designed from the ground up to be that easy to open them up and to service them. That says a lot.

As for durability, well let me tell you a story, for instance, a few months ago I got a nice Monterey K102 with white SKCM switches for good price. Switches were slow and mushy, obviously they had some solidified dirt from humidity. Well, I only performed a simple switch cleaning, and voila, I ended up with a great keyboard, that blows away any other modern clicky one, any day. And I ended up using it as my daily driver at work, where as a programmer I constantly and heavily use it 10+ hours a day in my job, and I love it. No deterioration has happened. In fact it is very smooth, excellent sound and a pleasure for me to use. By your claims and your impression, it should by now have been teared apart to thousand pieces.

Now it is entirely another matter, if you find a keyboard in the recycle center, that had coffee spills, had been buried under dirt for years, had being kicked around and had developed extensive oxidation from heavy humidity, then that one will be in pretty bad condition with pretty much unusable switches. Just like the one that Avi above tried to restore, and what we are talking in the last posts about.

BTW I am trying to find the easiest and most efficient way to restore even those badly conditioned switches. And you know what? I personally already had success. Maybe the consensus all those years was "don't bother, it's just too difficult/impossible", but things are looking up. I at least, have tangible results, that speak of themselves.
I understand why the consensus was that, because it was indeed complex and difficult to work out all the details and its nuances, however this is totally the wrong time to call it quits. This is in fact, the time where things start to look good.

And lastly, just consider restoring a keyboard with really bad condition MX switches from 30+ years ago. Yeah, well good luck with that. "Serviceability" will get on a whole different level then.

Avi

14 Mar 2021, 06:45

NeK wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 21:38
Sounds a bit of an overkill. You are right that this result is difficult to interepret. Was it the heat on that plastics or the heat on the lubed plastics? I have some questions, did that also fix the click sound issue? If not, did you tried my tips about it?
I tried your tips about it first. I re-lubed and wiped the slider more thoroughly, but I was able to improve my results only slightly. But that was an improvement anyway and now I know that I previously did not wipe the sliders enough, too much lube left, making the switches too slow.

I think the heating may have evaporated extra lube especially in the corners where it's difficult to remove just by wiping. That's just another theory of why it worked.

After heating, the click sound improved too. Previously, some switches sounded too muffled. Now all of them click more or less evenly. Many switches, however, still suffer from the upstroke click. I can fix this on per-switch basis by bending the click leaf.
Also in this new state, how do you know if they are 8-9/10? Did you compare them to an OG, or jusy going by how smooth they feel to you?
This is purely subjective. Honestly I never tried OG Blue Alps. I have some experience with various other switches. I have a Salmon board in pristine condition, this is my baseline for Alps smoothness.

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Bjerrk

14 Mar 2021, 18:48

NeK wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 23:45
I'm not going into a hypothetical debate about your drawn impressions from other people's generalized statements, about a whole range of technologies and products. That's just silly.
Hi NeK,
I think you are being a bit unfair, and your whole post is generally somewhat overbearing. That seems unnecessary.

Now, in general, I prefer to listen to experts when researching topics I am not knowledgeable about. I am a scientist (physicist) by profession, and I am well aware of the evidence hierarchy.
I consider chyros, along with several other members of this board, an expert when it comes to keyboard switches in general, and ALPS in particular. So, yes, their statements do help me form an impression of these subjects, which is all I said, when I asked my question.

You then choose to call this silly, and follow it up with an anecdote about a particular board:
NeK wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 23:45
As for durability, well let me tell you a story, for instance, a few months ago I got a nice Monterey K102 with white SKCM switches for good price.
Listen, I'm all for discussing anecdotal evidence. But you should perhaps step down from your high horse.
NeK wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 23:45
By your claims and your impression, it should by now have been teared apart to thousand pieces.
That's a straw man, I'm afraid. I said nothing of the sort.

Now, to get to the meat of the discussion:
NeK wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 23:45
As for the "serviceable" issue, it is actually ironic to hear. ALPS switches can be taken apart, without any de-soldering, in fact you can take them apart by just using your fingernails if you really try to. You can then give them a quick cleaning and just put them back again in a few seconds, like nothing has happened. It's that easy, yes, it's that serviceable.
Absolutely. But this thread is also a testament to how difficult it is to restore a switch to its original smoothness. That seems like a limitation in terms of serviceability.
NeK wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 23:45
BTW I am trying to find the easiest and most efficient way to restore even those badly conditioned switches. And you know what? I personally already had success. Maybe the consensus all those years was "don't bother, it's just too difficult/impossible", but things are looking up. I at least, have tangible results, that speak of themselves.
I understand why the consensus was that, because it was indeed complex and difficult to work out all the details and its nuances, however this is totally the wrong time to call it quits. This is in fact, the time where things start to look good.
Now, this is where it gets interesting. I very much appreciate the work that you (and others) are putting in. It'll surely benefit a lot of people, and save a lot of boards. I recently bought my first ALPS board, which is also why I am interested in their strengths and weaknesses. A reliable method of restoring badly conditioned switches would certainly be fantastic!

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zrrion

14 Mar 2021, 19:42

Bjerrk wrote:
14 Mar 2021, 18:48
A reliable method of restoring badly conditioned switches would certainly be fantastic!
  1. ultrasonically clean the switch
  2. wet lube the switches, lube type is not important
  3. press the switches repeatedly while they are very torqued and angled in the housings. this should put a lot of pressure on where the stem is contacting the housing
  4. clean the wet lube off of the slider and housings
  5. apply spray on PTFE lube to the sliders. Bag lubing works well here but is not the only method that works
  6. replace the contact leaf with a leaf from a clean switch
  7. reassemble
This method uses the torquing process to smooth out the plastic parts of the switch while the wet lube catches anything that comes loose so that it does not get in the switch and make it scratchy again. From there you can remove the old lube from the slider and apply PTFE. I suppose it is also possible that the PTFE can be replaced with one of the suggested wet lubes in this thread but I have not tried any of these wet lubes and the only lube I have personally tried with good result is PTFE spray lube.

This method is a lot of work though, and isn't as simple as cleaning the switch and applying lube. Crucially you have to replace the contact leaf as the wear on the metal is not as easy to repair as the wear of the plastic parts. This often gets overlooked on other cleaning methods so they end up leaving a significant source of scratchiness present (which, in combination with people not applying lube correctly/consistently likely contributes to the mixed results reported). There is likely a way to polish contact leaves so that replacements do not need used but I have not heard of anyone trying such a thing. Presently you can source good leaves from less desirable alps switches like dampened creams/dampened whites/black alps without much trouble, but it is not ideal and restoring existing contacts would be preferred if anyone figures out a good method

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Bjerrk

14 Mar 2021, 19:50

zrrion wrote:
14 Mar 2021, 19:42
Bjerrk wrote:
14 Mar 2021, 18:48
A reliable method of restoring badly conditioned switches would certainly be fantastic!
  1. ultrasonically clean the switch
  2. wet lube the switches, lube type is not important
  3. press the switches repeatedly while they are very torqued and angled in the housings. this should put a lot of pressure on where the stem is contacting the housing
  4. clean the wet lube off of the slider and housings
  5. apply spray on PTFE lube to the sliders. Bag lubing works well here but is not the only method that works
  6. replace the contact leaf with a leaf from a clean switch
  7. reassemble
Thanks, man! I'll give it a go if necessary (haven't received my board yet). You should make a video, especially #3 on the list would be nice to see.
zrrion wrote:
14 Mar 2021, 19:42
Presently you can source good leaves from less desirable alps switches like dampened creams/dampened whites/black alps without much trouble, but it is not ideal and restoring existing contacts would be preferred if anyone figures out a good method
Yeah, it would of course be even better if one could avoid cannibalizing other boards. But I appreciate the straight-forward method.

Hanslau

20 Mar 2021, 07:23

Surprisingly contact leaves and switch plate contribute significantly to switch feel.. I just swapped NOS housing and sliders, and still the difference is clear..

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NeK

20 Mar 2021, 10:32

Hanslau wrote:
20 Mar 2021, 07:23
Surprisingly contact leaves and switch plate contribute significantly to switch feel.. I just swapped NOS housing and sliders, and still the difference is clear..
Switch plates can't contribute, they do not touch or have anny size difference AFAIK. Contact leaves though indeed they do. But that is easy to "fix", either they need a good cleaning and rubbing with a cloth, or they have been bent slightly, in which case you can un-bend them back to the shape they were.

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ZedTheMan

24 Mar 2021, 17:11

NeK wrote:
20 Mar 2021, 10:32
Hanslau wrote:
20 Mar 2021, 07:23
Surprisingly contact leaves and switch plate contribute significantly to switch feel.. I just swapped NOS housing and sliders, and still the difference is clear..
Switch plates can't contribute, they do not touch or have anny size difference AFAIK. Contact leaves though indeed they do. But that is easy to "fix", either they need a good cleaning and rubbing with a cloth, or they have been bent slightly, in which case you can un-bend them back to the shape they were.
I can't attest as to actual contribution to difference in feeling, but switch plates did come in different sizes for alps, with tall vs short, tall being all up to white, and many whites, and short white switchplates being later switches in the skcm/l lines. Part of the 1989-1990 overhaul the switches got. Some people claim they can tell the difference in switchplate, I'm not so sure.

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NeK

24 Mar 2021, 19:51

Bjerrk wrote:
14 Mar 2021, 18:48
NeK wrote:
13 Mar 2021, 23:45
I'm not going into a hypothetical debate about your drawn impressions from other people's generalized statements, about a whole range of technologies and products. That's just silly.
Hi NeK,
I think you are being a bit unfair, and your whole post is generally somewhat overbearing. That seems unnecessary.
Sorry, I didn't meant to sound like an @$$. Just got a little too defensive of ALPS there.
Absolutely. But this thread is also a testament to how difficult it is to restore a switch to its original smoothness. That seems like a limitation in terms of serviceability.
Well, I don't really agree on this. It is more of a testament that there was a lot of things about ALPS switches, that we really didn't know.

I have accumulated a surprisingly big amount of details and nuances of how Blues actually work. None of this were commonplace knowledge. Even zzrion's remark about the leaves going bad is a good example of that.

They are complicated indeed and there are many things to take care of, when doing a proper restoration, however once everything is nailed down, it is actually pretty simple to do it. The bottom line is that they are pretty much serviceable. And I mean getting them to the same level of smoothness.

At least, I go to extreme lengths in order to be as objective as possible about making sure the restoration is as close and faithful as possible. To the point that you cannot tell them apart.

But there are so many things that need to be adressed first, in order for even claiming that a result is good or not. For this, we need to have each and every aspect well defined, documented and measured as objectively as possible. And I am referring to feel, sound, smoothness, weight, tactility etc. This is a strict requirement in order to be able to do a useful and meaningful comparison, even before doing any restoration. I mean if you have no clue how it is supposed to feel or sound, what kind of restoration can you do? Chances are you will make them different in lots of ways.

I am planning on doing exactly that in the coming weeks (or months).

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NeK

24 Mar 2021, 20:04

ZedTheMan wrote:
24 Mar 2021, 17:11
NeK wrote:
20 Mar 2021, 10:32
Hanslau wrote:
20 Mar 2021, 07:23
Surprisingly contact leaves and switch plate contribute significantly to switch feel.. I just swapped NOS housing and sliders, and still the difference is clear..
Switch plates can't contribute, they do not touch or have anny size difference AFAIK. Contact leaves though indeed they do. But that is easy to "fix", either they need a good cleaning and rubbing with a cloth, or they have been bent slightly, in which case you can un-bend them back to the shape they were.
I can't attest as to actual contribution to difference in feeling, but switch plates did come in different sizes for alps, with tall vs short, tall being all up to white, and many whites, and short white switchplates being later switches in the skcm/l lines. Part of the 1989-1990 overhaul the switches got. Some people claim they can tell the difference in switchplate, I'm not so sure.
Maybe the do have some difference, but I can't logically see how it would result in different feel, because the plastic of the switchplates at no point at all makes any contact with the stem or any other part besides holding steady the contact leaf. The leaf on the other hand absolutely contributes a lot to the tactility and feel.

If the contact points of the leaf are in different heights or have significantly different pressure because of the different switchplates, then yes it would make sense. But if they are similar then it shouldn't have any human perceivable diff.

Of course these are very easy to try by using the exact same parts except the switchplate and do a direct comparison. Just needs someone to spent some time on it to do it. Anyone willing?

Hanslau

25 Mar 2021, 08:53

Perhaps my contact leaves are dirty, Is it worth ultrasonic cleaning them?

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NeK

25 Mar 2021, 20:33

Hanslau wrote:
25 Mar 2021, 08:53
Perhaps my contact leaves are dirty, Is it worth ultrasonic cleaning them?
I think using a microcloth with a contact cleaner spray is sufficient. But I gueas ultrasonic would do the trick too.

andresteare

20 Apr 2021, 00:01

Anyone tried mixing Nyogel 767A with with a more conventional lube, for those who can't get OKS?
What I get from this conversation is that you use a thicc boi (Nyogel) for binding and stability and a thin boi for smoothness (OKS) to get the right balance. So would it make sense to mix nyogel with krytox/tribosys?

User avatar
NeK

20 Apr 2021, 06:23

you got the main point right. however you missed on the greases combination.

Krytox/tribosys first of all are not hydrocarbon oils, synthetic or otherwise, they are a different type of oils, a synthetic PFPE, so they don't get mixed well with nyogel which is a synthetic hydrocarbon one. and secondly, they are way too light (non-viscous) to make any difference anyhow. nyogel would dominate them. it is as if you are mixing cement with yogurt and expecting yogurt to make the cement softer. (a monstrously exagerated example, I know and thus not accurate, but illustrates the point)

ALPS switches need heavy viscosity lubricants, because of their big stems, materials and the more steep angles that they can travel.

OKS is way more viscous than krytox/tribosys and works with ALPS and can actually mix well with nyogel, and lube them nicely.

to clarify further the general point:

NyoGel 767A is a *dampening* grease i.e., it makes for a slower and heavier slide, whereas OKS and krytox/tribosys are *lubricants* i.e. they make the slide lighter and faster.

Dampening gives a precise, controlled and stabilized feeling, and thus improving the quality of the sliding and the whole switch. Lube, just provides a smoother and faster slide, but when it is light viscous and is used on big and harsh surfaces, it tends to result in *stiction* (sticky + friction, i.e. heavy ier static friction and lighter dynamic friction) which is actually worse in feeling.

andresteare

20 Apr 2021, 16:04

Thanks a ton for rhe explanation, maybe a dry lubricant layer in the housing and slider and after they dry a tiny amount of nyogel? I'm sorry if it's a dumb question but literally there is no way to order OKS from Chile.

Edit: nevermind, I understand that teflon will not soften nyogel, but would it be any better than just nyogel?

andresteare

24 Apr 2021, 20:50

And if I want to look for an equivalent of OKS 477, what would be the criteria? Viscosity at 40° and PAO based?

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