NEC blue ovals

zts

08 Jun 2015, 03:17

Do we know anything more about these switches? NEC proprietary? Nothing in Wiki and not much elsewhere either. Very light clicky. They feel very smooth but the actuation and click are at different points. These are from NEC APC-H412.
nec_4.jpeg
nec_4.jpeg (473.1 KiB) Viewed 3236 times
nec_5.jpeg
nec_5.jpeg (421.26 KiB) Viewed 3236 times
nec_7.jpeg
nec_7.jpeg (380.81 KiB) Viewed 3236 times
nec_10.jpeg
nec_10.jpeg (422.86 KiB) Viewed 3236 times
nec_2.jpeg
nec_2.jpeg (253.45 KiB) Viewed 3236 times

User avatar
ramnes
ПБТ НАВСЕГДА

08 Jun 2015, 03:38

I heard a lot of good about those switches. Are they comparable to Alps Blue switches in term of feels?

zts

08 Jun 2015, 04:08

ramnes wrote: I heard a lot of good about those switches. Are they comparable to Alps Blue switches in term of feels?
I think they could be seen as close to Alps, but less tactile. There is some auditory feedback on key reset that is different but also pleasant. It takes a few hours to adjust to the delay between the actuation and tactile/click point -- this could be very annoying to some. A very smooth switch by any measure.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

08 Jun 2015, 08:25

Yes I can confirm zts here. But I would say that NEC`s are louder than blue Alps. The "problem" with my apc-h412 is the pinginess. Each keystroke resonates across the entire metal plate. The switch itself feels great. Here ar some links:

http://www7.ocn.ne.jp/~hisao/image/apch412.htm

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=25015.0

To answer your question zts, I believe we do not know a lot about the NEC switch.

User avatar
Chyros

08 Jun 2015, 10:05

Cindy swears by these, apparently. I'd love to try them out.

Can someone with a mic record some typing sounds off one of these? I'd love to hear what they sound like :) .

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

08 Jun 2015, 10:50

I´m never really good at these recordings. The keyboards do not sound the same as they do in real imo. Recorded with my nexus 5. Here you go Chyros:

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fi ... 8085247877

User avatar
ramnes
ПБТ НАВСЕГДА

08 Jun 2015, 11:55

They sound a bit hard to press, are they?

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

08 Jun 2015, 12:30

ramnes wrote: They sound a bit hard to press, are they?
stiff, yes. Like I said the recording is quite different from how I hear them myself. And my phone mic is not the best.
Last edited by seebart on 09 Jun 2015, 08:24, edited 1 time in total.

Findecanor

08 Jun 2015, 14:17

zts wrote: NEC proprietary? Nothing in Wiki and not much elsewhere either.
Daniel Beardsmore, you goofed! ;)

I have seen it on forums a few times before but not in real life. It should be the most common NEC switch. The NEC metal top switch in the Wiki seems to be keycaps-compatible ...

kbdcraft

08 Jun 2015, 14:18

I really love this keyboard.
Long time ago I've used this one.
Wow... It feels once upone a time story... :)
Thank you for your pics for reminding my old memory.

User avatar
klikkyklik

08 Jun 2015, 15:27

I love these switches; they are currently my favorite. I know it's pointless to say that because of the subjectivity of the matter, but .. .I said it anyway. I even prefer them to the almighty Alps blues. Mine are NOT stiff or hard to press at all- but perhaps that's because of heavy usage prior to my owning it, I'm not sure.

Here's a video of me typing on them, in an APC-H412. They have a nice pleasant "smooth" clickiness to them; Thomas (Chyros) asked me once if I thought they felt like maybe a cross between Alps blues and Cherry blues, and yeah, maybe that's a good way to describe them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPXl9Ra6pcs

User avatar
klikkyklik

08 Jun 2015, 15:37

I hope Thomas can find a board with these switches and do a proper review of them!

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

08 Jun 2015, 15:41

mine aren`t "hard to press" either. More snappy and clicky loud. I`m pretty sure my board has seen a lot of useage.

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

08 Jun 2015, 19:50

I have like four of these in the house. One of them needs a thorough cleaning. They're great, probably better when not filthy.

User avatar
Chyros

09 Jun 2015, 00:15

klikkyklik wrote: I hope Thomas can find a board with these switches and do a proper review of them!
I'd love to! :) From what I've heard of them, and having heard their sound above, they sound like they would be just right for me ^^ .
XMIT wrote:I have like four of these in the house. One of them needs a thorough cleaning. They're great, probably better when not filthy.
None of them are for sale though xD . Did they all already go, then? :)

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

09 Jun 2015, 01:46

No blue ovals are for sale yet. These keyboards are wonderful enough that I'd like to restore the ones I have and sell them in working order. I have a few but one will probably need to be a parts donor.

User avatar
Chyros

09 Jun 2015, 01:52

XMIT wrote: No blue ovals are for sale yet. These keyboards are wonderful enough that I'd like to restore the ones I have and sell them in working order.
Oh wow. That sells amazing :D .

jacobolus

09 Jun 2015, 08:44

The big problem with these is the premature actuation. Just like with Omrons and to a lesser extent clicky space invaders.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

09 Jun 2015, 09:08

jacobolus wrote: The big problem with these is the premature actuation. Just like with Omrons and to a lesser extent clicky space invaders.
elaborate please.

jacobolus

09 Jun 2015, 09:56

These switches (reportedly: I’ve only ever tried one of HaaTa’s that wasn’t plugged into anything) actuate before the click/tactile point. As a result, you can type without actually causing any of the switches to click. At least with clicky Omron and space invader switches, the result of this property is that the switches sometimes chatter and yield extra accidental keypresses.

zts

09 Jun 2015, 10:15

^ Yes, the actuation point comes before click and tactile feedback -- theoretically, a great touch typist (and I'm not) could type without ever reaching the click/tactile feedback point. I took me a few hours to adjust to that, but it's worth it. Then again, some will dislike that delay between the actual actuation and the rest of aural/tactile feedback.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

09 Jun 2015, 10:28

jacobolus wrote: These switches (reportedly: I’ve only ever tried one of HaaTa’s that wasn’t plugged into anything) actuate before the click/tactile point. As a result, you can type without actually causing any of the switches to click. At least with clicky Omron and space invader switches, the result of this property is that the switches sometimes chatter and yield extra accidental keypresses.
I'll have to try that, I never noticed. I own all three of those. I tend to bottom out a lot, probably why I did not notice.

User avatar
klikkyklik

09 Jun 2015, 13:11

Correct, these keyswitches do have that property. However, attempting to reliably type silently probably isn't too practical; I can't imagine why someone would even try, unless it's 2am and you don't want to wake up a spouse in the same room?

For me at least, the APC-H412 took zero time to get used to and I've had no troubles with accidental keypresses. I use it as my main programming board, and if it was a problem I'd have sold it long ago. :)

There is also a white (cream?) variant of these switches, but I have no idea of their characteristics. Are they linear or tactile, I wonder?

User avatar
klikkyklik

09 Jun 2015, 13:26

It's nice to know that XMIT is going to have a potential donor board available. The reason I haven't pulled the caps off mine is for concern of breakage. I read somewhere on GH that a dude broke a switch on keycap removal and it kind of freaked me out- but then again, I'm overly cautious. I just enjoy the board enough that a problem like that would ruin my day.

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

09 Jun 2015, 13:31

Yeah. With these it is really easy to destroy a switch with key cap removal. I'm going to tear into mine and try to develop a procedure that won't destroy switches. I think rolling them off - sort of the same idea as with Space Invaders - might work best.

The issue at hand is that the plastic plate at the top of the switch which holds everything together is extremely thin. If you pull straight up, and the key is stuck on in any way (easily true for a dirty switch), the force required to free the key cap from the blue slider will be greater than the force required to break the top plate and everything will fall apart.

Once it is disassembled, an assembly workaround would be to use something like Finish Line Extreme Fluoro between the key cap and the slider to make it easier to pull them apart in the future. IMO the best key designs depend on a latching mechanism, not friction, to stay in place. Yet another reason why buckling spring and Space Invaders are such great designs.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

09 Jun 2015, 13:49

that's good to know XMIT. I'll be careful with mine next time. Phone pic:
IMG_20150609_134614.jpg
IMG_20150609_134614.jpg (955.6 KiB) Viewed 2917 times

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

09 Jun 2015, 14:11

Yup. Those little four dots are rivets that break really easily.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

09 Jun 2015, 14:13

now that you mention it the caps sit fairly tight on those sliders. It took some pulling to get them off. But how are you going to "roll them off" ?

User avatar
Muirium
µ

09 Jun 2015, 14:19

XMIT wrote: MO the best key designs depend on a latching mechanism, not friction, to stay in place. Yet another reason why buckling spring and Space Invaders are such great designs.
I like their feel, for sure. But both of those switches are a bitch when it comes to removing and installing caps. You can damage the spring on both of them. Blech! I'd take MX, Alps or Topre over those two cap mounts any day. Despite my fondness!

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

09 Jun 2015, 15:07

seebart wrote: now that you mention it the caps sit fairly tight on those sliders. It took some pulling to get them off. But how are you going to "roll them off" ?
Alright, I just tried this. Here is the procedure:

1. Grab both sides of the key with a Topre style key cap puller. The key cap puller should be vertical, perpendicular to the keyboard.
2. Rotate the key cap puller to the right about the centerline of the key cap. The left edge of the key cap will rise and the right edge of the key cap will either stay in place or drop.

I successfully removed about five keys this way with no drama, no scratches and no broken switches. The key caps roll right off.

The Topre style key cap puller is the forward one in this (stolen) photo:
KeyPullers.JPG
KeyPullers.JPG (46.11 KiB) Viewed 2897 times
This should work equally well with a wire key cap puller but engaging the side of the key cap - and not just a corner - is key. I have not tried with a ring style key puller but the nubs may not provide enough engagement.

Post Reply

Return to “Keyboards”