Alps Appreciation

h.parks

30 Jan 2020, 05:53

Alps dactyl bottom mount redesign update pic 8-)

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abrahamstechnology

30 Jan 2020, 16:55

Do you have the STLs for that?

h.parks

01 Feb 2020, 08:15

abrahamstechnology wrote:
30 Jan 2020, 16:55
Do you have the STLs for that?
https://github.com/h-parks/dactyl-keybo ... ter/things

enjoy. alps stabs fit and switches snap in quite well.

be gentle on the plate; it can be fragile.

still working on the top case design but it should fit ok-ish right now.

kelvinhall05

01 Feb 2020, 17:58

My recently acquired Omnikey Ultra has some issue with switches binding when pressed off-center. The seller said the switches were super clean and the board itself is in good shape. Is this normal?

EDIT: Also, a lot of switches are clicking on the upstroke, way more than my FK-9000 which also has white Alps.

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Chyros

01 Feb 2020, 18:11

kelvinhall05 wrote:
01 Feb 2020, 17:58
My recently acquired Omnikey Ultra has some issue with switches binding when pressed off-center. The seller said the switches were super clean and the board itself is in good shape. Is this normal?

EDIT: Also, a lot of switches are clicking on the upstroke, way more than my FK-9000 which also has white Alps.
No, clean Alps switches do not bind. Also, I'd never take the word of a merchant, especially a commercial one, on whether or not it is "clean" – many will think "clean" means "not immersed in mud" :p .

Clicking on the upstroke is also not a great sign. You should probably take a look inside the switches and see if there's anything inside. If there is, it's not clean.

I made an extensive video seris on restoring Alps switches, check it out :) .

kelvinhall05

01 Feb 2020, 18:17

Chyros wrote:
01 Feb 2020, 18:11
kelvinhall05 wrote:
01 Feb 2020, 17:58
My recently acquired Omnikey Ultra has some issue with switches binding when pressed off-center. The seller said the switches were super clean and the board itself is in good shape. Is this normal?

EDIT: Also, a lot of switches are clicking on the upstroke, way more than my FK-9000 which also has white Alps.
No, clean Alps switches do not bind. Also, I'd never take the word of a merchant, especially a commercial one, on whether or not it is "clean" – many will think "clean" means "not immersed in mud" :p .

Clicking on the upstroke is also not a great sign. You should probably take a look inside the switches and see if there's anything inside. If there is, it's not clean.

I made an extensive video seris on restoring Alps switches, check it out :) .
Cool, thanks man. I do have one unrelated question: how much would a 4704 F50 macropad/numpad in 9/10 shape with a cable go for?

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abrahamstechnology

04 Feb 2020, 17:45

Thank you! One day I'll print it in ABS and vapor smooth it.

the_ambyguous

05 Feb 2020, 04:14

a service replacement apple IIc board just sold on ebay earlier today. shoulda posted it earlier. it looks plausibly NOS, considering its not in an IIc and there’s packaging. i was sorely tempted, but i have too many SKCM blues and not enough fiat currency.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3448822817
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NeK

05 Feb 2020, 14:01

the blue color of their stems are way to light and I have never seen it before, or is it the photograph?

the_ambyguous

05 Feb 2020, 14:47

NeK wrote:
05 Feb 2020, 14:01
the blue color of their stems are way to light and I have never seen it before, or is it the photograph?
its just the way the light is hitting the switches in the paragraph. those are definitely genuine blue alps. they’ve been confirmed before by another user who purchased the same IIc service replacement keyboard a while back. although they originally came with amber alps, the replacement board came with blues.

NeK

05 Feb 2020, 21:17

Wow nice 👌 enjoy them

orihalcon

06 Feb 2020, 02:06

I won that one! I had a real NOS one about 5 years ago, but ended up trading it soon after I got it.

See here: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=71488.0

Money shot from NOS board of yore:
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I was too afraid to open them for fear of damaging them, but I've gained a lot of experience in the meantime and will be doing that for sure this time :D

I'll post a switch teardown once it arrives and compare to original blues and ambers for you all here.

The stems were definitely lighter in person and almost translucent to some degree. I'm guessing they were only used in those replacement boards as Apple probably was one of the few companies that would care to meet a minimum order quantity and have something similar to their previous custom Amber ALPS. This might have been after production of regular blues was over as well, hence the custom light blue/translucent plastic? Just a theory.

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AlpsComeback

08 Feb 2020, 03:17

(I hope this fits here since it's an Alps keyboard :) )

The Apple M0116 keyboard has a really weird and bad arrow key arrangement, so I recently changed mine to the one in the picture below. It's much better, and although I'm still not used to where the /? is now, it's much easier to navigate. I'm probably not the first one with this idea, but if you want to improve your M0116 layout, try this!
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kelvinhall05

08 Feb 2020, 03:40

So I've thoroughly cleaned my Omnikey Ultra but after using it for a week, the clicking on upstroke has come back. Why the fuck is it coming back? The two other white Alps boards, one in *worse shape* than this one before cleaning never had that issue. Why why why are my switches cursed in this board.

I vacuumed and dusted the top and bottom housings, wiped the sliders, washed the click leaves in straight rubbing alcohol, but to no avail. The switches feel a lot better, but some are now clicking on the upstroke again. Fucking hell.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

08 Feb 2020, 03:48

I can see how upstroke click would be annoying on a tactile board since those aren’t supposed to click. But what’s so bad about a clicky switch clicking on an upstroke?

In my experience most clicky alps have a faint click on their upstroke. When the slider comes back up it has to clear the click leaf again, albeit at a different angle, but I don’t think it’s uncommon for clicky switches to click on their way up - the leaf Is only “anchored” at its base after all.

kelvinhall05

08 Feb 2020, 03:54

//gainsborough wrote:
08 Feb 2020, 03:48
I can see how upstroke click would be annoying on a tactile board since those aren’t supposed to click. But what’s so bad about a clicky switch clicking on an upstroke?

In my experience most clicky alps have a faint click on their upstroke. When the slider comes back up it has to clear the click leaf again, albeit at a different angle, but I don’t think it’s uncommon for clicky switches to click on their way up - the leaf Is only “anchored” at its base after all.
It's not that. The upstroke click only appears on a few switches, and it's almost as loud (I'd say even a little louder) than the downstroke or normal click...

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

08 Feb 2020, 03:59

Ironically, cleaning it might have caused it - you gave the leaf more wiggle room, as it were. If it really bothers you try switching the click leaf with switches you rarely use - like scroll lock or something. I don’t recommend paper mod as that will dampen click on the downstroke as well.

kelvinhall05

08 Feb 2020, 04:28

//gainsborough wrote:
08 Feb 2020, 03:59
Ironically, cleaning it might have caused it - you gave the leaf more wiggle room, as it were. If it really bothers you try switching the click leaf with switches you rarely use - like scroll lock or something. I don’t recommend paper mod as that will dampen click on the downstroke as well.
The weird thing is that more switches were clicking on the upstroke before. Cleaning fixed most of them.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

08 Feb 2020, 05:40

I was just joking =P


But yeah try switching the leaf springs! I’m actually curious to see if that fixes it. Like I wonder if the noise is leaf dependent or top housing dependent.

ntv242

08 Feb 2020, 20:01

I think Alps is not for me :(

I guess I would have to part ways with alps boards. Recently I acquired an old Dell with salmon alps. In theory, it should be better, if not way better, than my first alps kb - A Dell 102 with bamboo black alps. Sadly, it is no different. Or the difference is so small I just can't feel it. The salmon is still not as smooth as I thought it would be, and feel just unpleasant as the bamboo black alps. I think afterall, alps switch is just not for me. I do enjoy my other new board with kalih box jade, a lot, so I guess I am more towards cherry like kind of switch.

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I really wanted it to work, but I guess alps is not for everyone :roll:

kelvinhall05

08 Feb 2020, 20:43

This is why you buy Alps only in good shape.


imo, 90% of the reason to buy Alps is for the sound, not keyfeel. There are better linears, better tactiles, and better clicky switches if all you're going for is feel. But man do Alps sound good.

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ppCircle

08 Feb 2020, 23:20

kelvinhall05 wrote:
08 Feb 2020, 20:43
There are better linears, better tactiles, and better clicky switches if all you're going for is feel. But man do Alps sound good.
DOUBT :lol:

kelvinhall05

08 Feb 2020, 23:26

ppCircle wrote:
08 Feb 2020, 23:20
kelvinhall05 wrote:
08 Feb 2020, 20:43
There are better linears, better tactiles, and better clicky switches if all you're going for is feel. But man do Alps sound good.
DOUBT :lol:
Maybe not better clickies, but if you also include keycap and PCB compatibility as well as availability...yeah

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E3E

09 Feb 2020, 00:14

No need to debate it, really. It's your opinion based on your experience. Modern support for Alps is very limited, of course.

Regarding keycaps though, Alps has many, many profiles and interesting variants if you're looking at vintage options. To find the most intriguing stuff Alps has to offer, it does require some digging into what is out there and an open mind as not everything will be ANSI or ISO.

Alps and Topre are my go-to, but I get sick of Topre faster than I do Alps. Alps becomes a very good palate cleanser after I get tired of Topre.

MX, Cap BS, and Alps Plate Spring are nice, but not favorites of mine. I also don't care for Beamspring.

Ultimately, it's simply preference when it comes to what people like or dislike.

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abrahamstechnology

09 Feb 2020, 00:46

ntv242 wrote:
08 Feb 2020, 20:01

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Are you willing to sell that if you don't want it?

ntv242

09 Feb 2020, 07:25

Yeah, but I think I will sell local first. These dell kbs are big and heavy, and I am more familiar with shipping method in UK.

Then i guess I will use this fund to go further into the box route, to see where it would take me :D

orihalcon

11 Feb 2020, 06:23

The replacement IIc made it to me today with (sky?) blue ALPS. A couple of the switches had broken top housings, which I replaced those without any problems. See pics below for difference in slider color and click leaves compared to regular blue ALPS. Newer (sky?) blue stem is the one in the middle of two other regular blue stems and click leaf of the (sky?) blues is on the right in the pictures below.

Also, PSA - if you have an ALPS stem that is broken off in your slider and you want to get the stem fragment out without damaging anything, use a bobby pin to push it out from the underside as it fits perfect and can transmit the force without bending.
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ZedTheMan

11 Feb 2020, 06:29

I'm surprised at the difference in click leaves! How does it feel compared to normal blues, whites, and the ambers they replace?

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Chyros

11 Feb 2020, 08:54

Which one of the click leaves is the "normal" blue Alps?

orihalcon

11 Feb 2020, 15:09

Click leaf on the right is a first gen (Grey Plate) Blue ALPS (and looks like it's got some original lubricant on it as well). Feel is pretty similar but maybe a bit smoother. You can kind of see that the plastic on the ligthter blue sliders is smoother/less textured/more slippery, Springs appear to be identical. The newer ones have tall white switch plates with more modern top housing ALPS logo. Not sure if the "Dark Grey" locking ALPS this uses helps date it at all? I'll have to do a short typing video here soon comparing the sky blues to original blues. I'll apologize in advance that it will be far less epic than one of Chyros' :D

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