New Datacomp Alps

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Polecat

26 Oct 2017, 04:23

Daniel Beardsmore wrote: Datacomp switches are in effect a continuation of SKBL/SKBM (they bought the tooling from Forward). However, SKBL/SKBM was only 10 M cycles, while SKCL/SKCM was 20 M; Datacomp are citing 20 M for their switches. SKBL/SKCM came out in 1991 I think, according to Forward; I was hoping they'd be able to find some old documentation to prove this, but I've not heard back since. The wiki page for SKBL/SKBM is pending a few adjustments when I'm ready — hopefully soon.
I have thirteen Northgate keyboards in all, and one Avant, and all but the Avant have mold numbering that matches the SKCM Wiki. Only the Avant has SKBM-style numbering on the housings. Northgate stopped dating their labels sometime in the Gen2 period, so I'll need to open those up to establish the (approximate) manufacturing dates. But my feeling is that Northgate used SKCM/complicated throughout the Omnikey run, and Creative Vision made the change to SKBM/simplified around 1995 or so with the Avant models. Any evidence to the contrary?

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Daniel Beardsmore

26 Oct 2017, 09:53

The oldest examples of SKBL/SKBM "simplified" Alps that I've seen so far are from 1995.

We know that various companies used both Alps and clones, and offered a choice. For Nan Tan, the clones were called Nan Tan switches — there's a scan somewhere here of a brochure showing the options (Nan Tan, Alps or Omron switches as I recall). For Ortek, you had the SX and FX models, one being Alps, the other being clones.

So why not SKBL/SKBM? Maybe it was too hard to differentiate Alps (expensive) and Alps (cheap) to the end user? It seems that simplified Alps was not used until it became somehow non-viable to continue with complicated Alps.

I don't know, but that is one way to account for the discrepancy.

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Polecat

26 Oct 2017, 14:43

Daniel Beardsmore wrote: The oldest examples of SKBL/SKBM "simplified" Alps that I've seen so far are from 1995.

We know that various companies used both Alps and clones, and offered a choice. For Nan Tan, the clones were called Nan Tan switches — there's a scan somewhere here of a brochure showing the options (Nan Tan, Alps or Omron switches as I recall). For Ortek, you had the SX and FX models, one being Alps, the other being clones.

So why not SKBL/SKBM? Maybe it was too hard to differentiate Alps (expensive) and Alps (cheap) to the end user? It seems that simplified Alps was not used until it became somehow non-viable to continue with complicated Alps.

I don't know, but that is one way to account for the discrepancy.
No discrepency at all if Northgate was using SKCM in April, 1992. I followed the Northgate ads and reviews, and I don't remember them ever offering a choice of switch.

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Chyros

26 Oct 2017, 15:35

The whole timeline is weird anyway, as SKCM Dells were still made by Silitek in 2001. I have two of them now IIRC (one white, one black). I have a gut feeling Silitek either bought an enormously gargantuan bunch of switches years before that, or they took over part of Alps' tooling.

nickg

26 Oct 2017, 19:15

I was gonna get matias but I can wait a bit to see these. interesting(sad) they're copying cherry mx naming.

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Chyros

26 Oct 2017, 19:40

nickg wrote: I was gonna get matias but I can wait a bit to see these. interesting(sad) they're copying cherry mx naming.
Cherry MX uses naming? xD

nickg

26 Oct 2017, 20:19

Chyros wrote:
nickg wrote: I was gonna get matias but I can wait a bit to see these. interesting(sad) they're copying cherry mx naming.
Cherry MX uses naming? xD
Meant color but basically the same thing here

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Daniel Beardsmore

26 Oct 2017, 23:38

Chyros wrote: The whole timeline is weird anyway, as SKCM Dells were still made by Silitek in 2001. I have two of them now IIRC (one white, one black). I have a gut feeling Silitek either bought an enormously gargantuan bunch of switches years before that, or they took over part of Alps' tooling.
The most recent confirmed date for SKCLAR was (as I recall) 2001 (someone was selling a box of them on Yahoo! Japan stamped "01"), so it's feasible that other models were still made. A PDF dated 1999 (on the wiki) covers SKCLAR and SKCMCQ, and nobody knows what SKCMCQ is. I thought C might mean bamboo but there's no evidence for this. Whatever SKCMCQ is, it's white and clicky, but that should be SKCMAQ.

It's going to be some time before we understand it all.

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green-squid

29 Oct 2017, 22:54

I just hope the switches will be affordable (like gateron). I'd love to get clicky alps switches at a good price (mathias is still a bit pricey)

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Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

28 Jan 2018, 23:51

Are these in the wild yet?

Wazrach

21 Mar 2019, 23:32

I'm REALLY interested in these, how come nobody talks about them? Where can I buy a board with these switches?

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abrahamstechnology

21 Mar 2019, 23:33

Once I complete my Hua-Jie group buy I'll see if I can have any luck with Datacomp.

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Hypersphere

22 Mar 2019, 17:06

I received an email from Daniel at KBP back in January regarding sources for contemporary Alps-type switches. To summarize what he said:

Hua-Jie: Will sell to consumers if there is a GB meeting their MOQ.

Tai-Hao: Do sell to consumers, but quality and consistency are not so good.

Datacomp: Sell only business to business, not directly to consumers. They *might* reconsider if the order were large enough.

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kakan

22 Mar 2019, 17:12

time to form an IC then!

Wazrach

22 Mar 2019, 20:29

Hypersphere wrote:
22 Mar 2019, 17:06
I received an email from Daniel at KBP back in January regarding sources for contemporary Alps-type switches. To summarize what he said:

Hua-Jie: Will sell to consumers if there is a GB meeting their MOQ.

Tai-Hao: Do sell to consumers, but quality and consistency are not so good.

Datacomp: Sell only business to business, not directly to consumers. They *might* reconsider if the order were large enough.
Thanks for clearing that up, Hypersphere! That is a big shame. I heard a typing demo of them in action, and they sound super deep.

daguil68367

06 Nov 2019, 16:47

I'd love to see a group buy for these, even if they're not complicated.
Maybe combining the best parts of these switches and Matias switches could create a pretty good result.
(a Matias slider and linear bottom housing combined with the Datacomp top housing and leaves sounds like it could have potential)

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