Futaba MD, a few different color combinations

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Sangdrax

19 Feb 2018, 08:53

I looked on the wiki and searched the threads here but didn't see some of this stuff so I thought I would add it while I'm pulling things apart. Won't post the switch teardowns as they're identical to the ones Thomas already posted on the wiki.

The Samsung M-10 I'm redoing has four color varieties of the MD cruciform mount. Each color is a different weighting. Lightest on the left to heaviest on the right.

Black and orange is alpha and number keys. White and cream is the spacebar. White and orange is the modifier, Fkeys, and so on. Black with white is the 2U keys in the heavy areas.

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The 2U keys use a form of barrel slider for stabilizing very reminiscent of the Model M. Has a little rubber pad underneath. They really seemed to like that sort of thing as you guys know from the one even at the top of the spring in the regular switch slider.

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Spacebar stabilizers. Use a simple double hinge snap. Again, the little rubber pads.

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And a stop collar like you see on many other boards. Very similar to how Cherry does it on an MX.

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And for one last Cherry comparison, only one switch was busted in the board when I got it, and it was a very old repair. The mount was snapped off inside the keycap and it looked like they just decided to superglue the whole mess together. So I drilled out the busted mount from the keycap and cleaned it, then cut an MX Black slider down to size and pinned it to the old slider with a bit of brass wire. Only about a quarter milimeter higher than before and works perfect. As tough as one solid piece of plastic again.

Just shows this kind of repair can be done, in the days when NOS parts eventually dry up.


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Hope this helps one or two folks.

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Chyros

19 Feb 2018, 08:57

Funny coincidence, I had a teardown video on Futaba MD planned xD . I wish we knew what to make of these colours!

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Sangdrax

19 Feb 2018, 09:10

I've opened them all up, and it really seems the spring weight is the only different thing. I was cleaning and lubing them all before I saw NOS was only $3 for 20 and the unused switch with the collar felt a million times better than the stuff I was cleaning even after lubing so I said "What the hell am I doing? I can replace the whole thing for cheap!"

The really light ones especially don't take to lubing well and have trouble pushing the massive caps back up. The heavier ones work well but don't feel as snappy. I think it's the travel distance. If they had more it would be better. As is, I wouldn't recommend lubing them at all. And they seem very sensitive to dirt. There were a couple rusty spots on the plate and the switches there would straight jam down before cleaning.

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Daniel Beardsmore

19 Feb 2018, 09:36

What's the approximate difference in weight between them?

It would be interesting to see all the springs, as it may be possible to gauge the difference visually (although having the wire gauge measurements using calipers would also be necessary).

White+yellow/cream can't be that much heavier as that's a standard switch for whole keyboards, possibly like how Alps offered a pair of weightings (such as SKCC cream and green).

Also, how did you get a Futaba keycap onto a Cherry keystem? According to my notes that doesn't work (although I forget why).

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Sangdrax

19 Feb 2018, 09:51

I can ballpark the weights with some change tomorrow once I get them back in the plate. And I can take pictures of the spings next to each other since I'll be transferring them to new housings anyhow. But my BS guess is something along the lines of 35g/50g/70g/90g for the springs. Black with white is pretty darn heavy.

Reason they don't fit on Cherry normally is the slider goes inside the switch on an MX. But the mount itself is the same dimensions.

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Daniel Beardsmore

19 Feb 2018, 09:58

White/black/orange (first one) should be around 70 g actuation, based on what I have — it's a standard weight switch. Ivory/yellow is also pretty standard weight, so far as I know.

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Dingster

19 Feb 2018, 10:20

What do they feel like :)?

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Sangdrax

19 Feb 2018, 10:36

Daniel Beardsmore wrote: White/black/orange (first one) should be around 70 g actuation, based on what I have — it's a standard weight switch. Ivory/yellow is also pretty standard weight, so far as I know.
Went ahead and did a ballpark with a stack of nickles and Black Orange is not near that high. Looks like Black Case/Orange base around 50g, White Case/Cream Base around 60g, White Case/Orange Base around 85g, and Black Case/White Base at a whopping 100g. For fully depressed switch with a cap on it anyhow. Actuation being in the middle is probably a bit less. So my guesses were all low.

Will cross check with my white slider/black case/orange base NOS ones coming in tomorrow. Things are really gonna be a pain in the ass if those are really 70'ish. I'll have to swap the springs in everything instead of just half of everything. :shock:

EDIT:Just remembered I can just use my multimeter in continuity mode for actuation. Will update the numbers momentarily. They're even lower.

WS/BC/BB no cap is about 47g to actuation
WS/WC/CB about 58g
WS/WC/OB about 82g
WS/BC/WB about 105g (hard to do this one right as everything really stacks too high to hold straight)
Dingster wrote: What do they feel like :)?
Kinda remind me of a giant MX Black or Gray but less scratchy, shorter throw and way more ping. Not buttery smooth like my old Harris, but certainly not as bad as it seemed some other folks said with similar boards. The dirty super scratchy ones will make you want to riot though.
Last edited by Sangdrax on 19 Feb 2018, 10:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Dingster

19 Feb 2018, 10:51

Sangdrax wrote:
Daniel Beardsmore wrote: White/black/orange (first one) should be around 70 g actuation, based on what I have — it's a standard weight switch. Ivory/yellow is also pretty standard weight, so far as I know.
Went ahead and did a ballpark with a stack of nickles and Black Orange is not near that high. Looks like Black Case/Orange base around 50g, White Case/Cream Base around 60g, White Case/Orange Base around 85g, and Black Case/White Base at a whopping 100g. For fully depressed switch with a cap on it anyhow. Actuation being in the middle is probably a bit less. So my guesses were all low.

Will cross check with my white slider/black case/orange base NOS ones coming in tomorrow. Things are really gonna be a pain in the ass if those are really 70'ish. I'll have to swap the springs in everything instead of just half of everything. :shock:

EDIT:Just remembered I can just use my multimeter in continuity mode for actuation. Will update the numbers momentarily. They're even lower.

WS/BC/BB no cap is about 47g to actuation

Dingster wrote: What do they feel like :)?
Kinda remind me of a giant MX Black or Gray but less scratchy, shorter throw and way more ping. Not buttery smooth like my old Harris, but certainly not as bad as it seemed some other folks said with similar boards. The dirty super scratchy ones will make you want to riot though.
Oh man they sound perfect, since I love linears :lol:

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Chyros

19 Feb 2018, 11:16

Sangdrax wrote:
Daniel Beardsmore wrote: White/black/orange (first one) should be around 70 g actuation, based on what I have — it's a standard weight switch. Ivory/yellow is also pretty standard weight, so far as I know.
Went ahead and did a ballpark with a stack of nickles and Black Orange is not near that high. Looks like Black Case/Orange base around 50g, White Case/Cream Base around 60g, White Case/Orange Base around 85g, and Black Case/White Base at a whopping 100g. For fully depressed switch with a cap on it anyhow. Actuation being in the middle is probably a bit less. So my guesses were all low.

Will cross check with my white slider/black case/orange base NOS ones coming in tomorrow. Things are really gonna be a pain in the ass if those are really 70'ish. I'll have to swap the springs in everything instead of just half of everything. :shock:

EDIT:Just remembered I can just use my multimeter in continuity mode for actuation. Will update the numbers momentarily. They're even lower.

WS/BC/BB no cap is about 47g to actuation
WS/WC/CB about 58g
WS/WC/OB about 82g
WS/BC/WB about 105g (hard to do this one right as everything really stacks too high to hold straight)
Dingster wrote: What do they feel like :)?
Kinda remind me of a giant MX Black or Gray but less scratchy, shorter throw and way more ping. Not buttery smooth like my old Harris, but certainly not as bad as it seemed some other folks said with similar boards. The dirty super scratchy ones will make you want to riot though.
I've had a bunch of Futaba boards, some of them seemingly very clean, but they all feel like crap. No Complicated ones though, mostly low-profile ones and one Simplified one. The low-profile switches I have in NOS condition too, but even those are just awful, no idea who thought that those were a good idea. I'd rather wank in a bag of nettles than use those for an extended period of time.

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Daniel Beardsmore

19 Feb 2018, 19:22

By "WS/BC/BB" you mean "WS/BC/OB" right?

WS/BC/BB is another valid scheme; this is depicted on ePartsHub for MD-4P series, specified by Sejin as having an operating force of 100±25 gf, which one assumes is terminal force not actuation force. This is also the same as what GRI specified for GRI KBM (except converted to US measurements). WS/BC/BB as depicted by ePartsHub is also the switch that Sandy has. However, GRI seemed to use WS/BC/OB in their keyboards, prior to ordering white custom-branded switches.

Measurements of terminal force (peak force in this instance) will permit comparison between your actual switches, and the Sejin/GRI spec. I've also asked HaaTa for a graph of WS/BC/OB since he has some NOS.

There are more colour schemes not covered, such as WS/WC/WB used by MR-6C series, also with operating force 100±25 gf despite being a different colour.

Note that you are mixing up ivory/cream/white/colourless (all called "W" above) with yellow. Your "cream" bases are clearly yellow; calling them "cream" will cause confusion, as these switches are never "white", generally one of varying shades of translucent ivory that could be referred to as "cream", "white", "ivory" or "colourless" depending on shade, lighting and perspective.

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Sangdrax

20 Feb 2018, 01:09

Yeah, orange base on the first.

I took a photo of that yellow switch under natural light and the RGB values look like this.

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I guess I just don't like calling it yellow since it's not a nice bright chromium base dye. If I was painting that color, I'd make it by starting with white and adding a drop of brown and a drop of yellow. Which to me is a very light warm brown rather than a dirty yellow, but obviously not the standard.

What I called white is just the natural undyed color of the plastic, whatever the standard is.

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Daniel Beardsmore

20 Feb 2018, 02:52

In your photos, and everyone else's, it's clearly pale yellow. I have no idea where you got that golden sand from.

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Sangdrax

20 Feb 2018, 03:11

All I did was use the eyedrop tool to get the RGB values from a natural light photo with proper white balance. Look for yourself. There's red/orange/white etc on the background paper for other color comparison.

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Daniel Beardsmore

20 Feb 2018, 09:48

This is the picture you posted (without any colour balance applied), with golden sand and pure yellow for comparison:
Yellows.jpg
Yellows.jpg (26.66 KiB) Viewed 326 times
Another set of photos of the base: [wiki]STM Pied Piper[/wiki] — although it's possible to argue that this is "cream", it's best to avoid it all the same due to confusion with the ivory shade used for the shell and slider. (They are definitely ivory, as opposed to [wiki]colourless[/wiki], although whether they are pigmented ivory or whether that is the natural plastic colour, is not known.)

To be certain, you need a camera with good white balance adjustment and/or use of the flash to control the lighting.

Here's another variant, ivory-ivory-black:

[wiki]Krown Porta-printer[/wiki]

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Sangdrax

20 Feb 2018, 10:17

That first picture is under a yellow indoor light at night. And I can't fully correct for that without everything getting washed out with glare because the relative light is so low. The second is color accurate though.

But like I said, you guys know how to name things, not me. I do have some real ivory laying around from an antique piano that got scrapped a couple years ago if you want some comparison photos if that might help too. It's not particularly translucent and more white than the sliders IMO.

I'll also have a ton of these different switches laying about minus the separate springs after I finish my switch swap if anybody needs a handful for looking at for wiki stuff. Best way to look at something is probably in the hand.

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Daniel Beardsmore

20 Feb 2018, 20:38

The worst one is "white" vs "clear": with Cherry, "white" means pigmented white and "clear" means "colourless" (Cherry's own terminology), but for any other brand, we use "white" for both colourless and pigmented white! Alps used "ivory" for what we call SKCM Cream Damped (per the 1994 catalogue), whereas I'd use "ivory" for the older, non-damped tactile switches (SKCM Cream) that are a different shade (be that intentional or otherwise).

The problem with using "cream" for the base, is that the shell is closer to real cream colour, although the base in some cases looks the colour that Wikipedia calls cream (which is pale yellow, and nothing like the colour of actual cream).

Those Futaba shells are a really weird translucent cream or ivory shade that looks like it might be some kind of raw plastic with a natural tint (called "natural" by Siemens), as opposed to naturally colourless "white" plastic. It's definitely not something that falls under either of our conflicting definitions of "white". Cream or ivory, I guess, but it's hard to tell as it seems not to be consistent; in your colour-accurate image, though, the shell comes out blue :)

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Sangdrax

21 Feb 2018, 21:08

Makes sense to me.

Oh, I did get a shot of the springs when I was swapping into NOS stuff. You can actually see the difference between all four with the naked eye because of the varying heights. Picture isn't great but I was in a rush to get everything swapped and back in the correct positions on the plate before I went to bed. Weight increases from left to right.

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Daniel Beardsmore

21 Feb 2018, 22:44

It's hard to be sure what I'm seeing, but the one on the right and the one on the left appear to differ primarily in wire gauge (same length and same number of free turns).

I thought that a higher turn density meant lighter, which would put the second one as heavier than the third, but the third looks like it might have heavier gauge wire than the second (but not as heavy gauge as the fourth).

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Sangdrax

22 Feb 2018, 06:33

I think you're right. I just don't have a digital caliper to confirm the gauge difference in the middle two.

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Daniel Beardsmore

22 Feb 2018, 09:31

Hopefully if we can get a graph of MD-4PCS (white/black/orange) we can start to get a better idea. It's not impossible for it to have ~50 g actuation and 100 g terminal force: that would put the preload at zero, and give it a steep force graph. I would be surprised by such a graph, but it's not impossible to meet both those figures in a single graph. The graph should give us some indication about whether the colour relates to weight.

Incidentally, my MD-4PCS switches seem to have the same springs as yours, albeit silver tone instead of gold tone.

The spring in Sandy's white/black/black is not a match for any of them, though.

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HaaTa
Master Kiibohd Hunter

08 Mar 2018, 05:02

Sorry for the delay, I measured these over a week ago, but life happened...

(There are some missing, but I don't have the loose switches so I'll need to dig them out of a keyboard unless someone can send me loose versions)

Futaba

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GRI

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This one isn't entirely in the comparison, but is semi-related.
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Sangdrax

08 Mar 2018, 05:53

Nice. The orange-black graph definitely reflects exactly how they feel. Wish I had some loose stuff to send you but all my spares are things you already got. Looking forward to more graphs when you track some more variants down.

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Chyros

08 Mar 2018, 06:56

Wow, those graphs are bizarre xD . Are these used or NOS?

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HaaTa
Master Kiibohd Hunter

08 Mar 2018, 08:13

These are all NOS.

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Daniel Beardsmore

08 Mar 2018, 09:40

Engicoder has a couple of types coming your way, NOS as I recall. That might help clear up some of the confusion.

By the way, MD-4PCS appears to be white/black/orange. I'm just using MD for the series, as that is what's in common between MD-4P (uncertain subset) and MD-7 (illuminated).

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Daniel Beardsmore

08 Mar 2018, 09:45

By the way, what happened to Press/Release for white-white?

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HaaTa
Master Kiibohd Hunter

08 Mar 2018, 09:53

I think the contacts may not have been working, I'll see if I can remeasure it.

(the pins are hard to get a grip on with my minigrabbers)

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Sangdrax

08 Mar 2018, 20:53

I've found that even the ones that seem dead just means slightly loose pins. They have to be tight to connect right. Make sure they're cranked in all the way.

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Daniel Beardsmore

08 Mar 2018, 23:18

According to the specifications, KBM-01-01 is 3.5±0.8 oz (99±23 g), so that graph is just slightly outside the extent of the tolerance.

MD-4P is cited the same, as 100±25 gf, and that's depicted as white-black-black, so the graph above is just slightly outside of tolerance in the other direction.

As such, though, I would need to see a lot more examples of these switches being tested before I would feel comfortable with the data.

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