Alps.tw Type I (Hua Jie AK-CN2) Linear Modding

KeyAboard

05 Feb 2019, 17:03

Hello there!

I have a Focus FK-2001 I found in a thrift store time ago, with these switches. The case is yellowed (more grey than yellow though), the switches feel from okay to awful scratchy accros the keyboard, and the keycaps seem to be ok and seem like pad printed (I can see the surface of lettering from side and a light)?

The leaves must be bended and dust must be inside. I thought on cleaning them and doing a dampened Cream transplant (linear), but I don't wanna (des)solder, and the 'switchplate' of the clones, simplified to two metal pieces, wouldn't recreate the authentic feel.

Having this on hand and the price of a new Matias/Cherry keyboard, I opted for trying some kind of mod, preferably lineal. This would be my second mechanical (I have and use a Model M for 1 year now), so is great to not spend too much on it and giving me an experience with both linear and Alps type switches for a pennies (or not).

My idea was opening the switches and taking everything of, unbend the 'switchplate' leaves if bended, clean the whole switch,and then put in together without the clicky leave, and without desoldering. As possible upgrade, some custom gold springs and lube, at most. Or maybe something from Matias (with the budget going far than I intended for this 'project'), but I have the feeling I will like more linear than clicky, tactile or damped Matias.

Is a good idea for the work required? I heard these switches can't close once opened, or they are very hard to do at least. So if I take the leaves off the swithc to make a linear mod, would these stems close easy? And las doubt is, how is the feel of simplified Alps linear (with or without custom springs) compared with anything Cherry and linear SKCL/linear Blacks? That is something I have no experience to tell, as only tried BS, so I appreciate any feedback. Are linear Alps.tw T1 good as a first linear? I would use it mostly for typing as a silent and/or lighter keyfeel keyboard.

EDIT: This post was a mess due to me being in a hurry: I edited it to make it more understandable :)

User avatar
yuchipashe

08 Feb 2019, 08:09

Also got the FK-2001 way back, disassembled the switches and put every part through the ultrasonic cleaner process. One thing is for certain, it was very hard for me to put the switches back into place and had to desolder them and that still took me a while, to the point where I ended up salvaging a used alps blue board and harvested the switches and placed it on the FK-2001. I don't think it's impossible to reassemble without desoldering, just that it takes time and frustration. Also, after removing the click leaf, it still sounds noisy to me.

User avatar
abrahamstechnology

08 Feb 2019, 17:19

Have you checked out my group buy for newly manufactured AK-CN2 switches?

User avatar
Myoth

08 Feb 2019, 17:49

abrahamstechnology wrote:
08 Feb 2019, 17:19
Have you checked out my group buy for newly manufactured AK-CN2 switches?
No and not planning to

KeyAboard

09 Feb 2019, 20:59

yuchipashe wrote:
08 Feb 2019, 08:09
Also got the FK-2001 way back, disassembled the switches and put every part through the ultrasonic cleaner process. One thing is for certain, it was very hard for me to put the switches back into place and had to desolder them and that still took me a while, to the point where I ended up salvaging a used alps blue board and harvested the switches and placed it on the FK-2001. I don't think it's impossible to reassemble without desoldering, just that it takes time and frustration. Also, after removing the click leaf, it still sounds noisy to me.
I don't know if it's the fact these are Alps type that they are so hard to mount back, but I tried to open one switch and, indeed, it was impossible to reassemble it. The plastic of stems is kinda 'moldable', maybe these clones' stems are made cheaply but after a few tryings, the size/shape of stems looks like it could deform if too much force is exerted.

I don't know if this is inherent to Alps design, or caused by age/bad building quality of the Hua Jies. Anyway, modding this stems is becoming less appealing if they even couldn't design them to close properly (which is not an issue with Alps at all, AFAIK). Will watch some more tutorials and try to do it more gently now.

abrahamstechnology wrote:
08 Feb 2019, 17:19
Have you checked out my group buy for newly manufactured AK-CN2 switches?

Yes. But, unless I need some replacement, like springs, sliders, stems, clicky leaves... I'm sticking to the ones I got (hence the linear mod, clicky leaves are unusable), and if I end soldering at some point, I'll probably go with SKCM Alps Creams, White or Black.

I hope you can fill a group buy succesfully, as simplified Alps/clones are still said to be better than typical Cherry MX switches, so there I can see some appealing if you like Hua Jies more than Matias, and you can't find real/clean SKCMs.

User avatar
swampangel

09 Feb 2019, 21:41

KeyAboard wrote:
09 Feb 2019, 20:59
yuchipashe wrote:
08 Feb 2019, 08:09
Also got the FK-2001 way back, disassembled the switches and put every part through the ultrasonic cleaner process. One thing is for certain, it was very hard for me to put the switches back into place and had to desolder them and that still took me a while, to the point where I ended up salvaging a used alps blue board and harvested the switches and placed it on the FK-2001. I don't think it's impossible to reassemble without desoldering, just that it takes time and frustration. Also, after removing the click leaf, it still sounds noisy to me.
I don't know if it's the fact these are Alps type that they are so hard to mount back, but I tried to open one switch and, indeed, it was impossible to reassemble it. The plastic of stems is kinda 'moldable', maybe these clones' stems are made cheaply but after a few tryings, the size/shape of stems looks like it could deform if too much force is exerted.

I don't know if this is inherent to Alps design, or caused by age/bad building quality of the Hua Jies. Anyway, modding this stems is becoming less appealing if they even couldn't design them to close properly (which is not an issue with Alps at all, AFAIK). Will watch some more tutorials and try to do it more gently now.
I'm curious what trouble you have had reassembling them. I find them harder to open up than SKCM, but no more difficult to reassemble, other than the usual issue with simplified alps designs where you have to ensure the contact leaves enter the appropriate slots in the upper housing. So I wonder whether I'm just lucky or missing something.

KeyAboard

Yesterday, 17:51

Apart from being my first time assemblig/dissasembling Alps style switches, I can't put together upper and down housing, with the alligned slots, I believed mostly due to being first time. Maybe contact leaves are bended too much? Only one side of the housing will close and where the contact leaves are, it won't fit and it will stay 'diagonal' instead.

Will try to post a pictures later (been absent/busy this week so couldn't visit the forum), as soon as I can.

User avatar
Sup

Yesterday, 18:06

Tbh if you want linear alps just get NOS from Taobao it's hella cheap and who knows how long supply will last.

User avatar
ZedTheMan

Yesterday, 21:17

Sup wrote:
Yesterday, 18:06
Tbh if you want linear alps just get NOS from Taobao it's hella cheap and who knows how long supply will last.
Where are they selling NOS linear Alps on Taobao?

User avatar
Sup

Yesterday, 22:41

ZedTheMan wrote:
Yesterday, 21:17
Sup wrote:
Yesterday, 18:06
Tbh if you want linear alps just get NOS from Taobao it's hella cheap and who knows how long supply will last.
Where are they selling NOS linear Alps on Taobao?
I bought some yellow alps from here with superbuy.

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=564 ... .N.95e0e05

User avatar
Muirium
µ

Yesterday, 22:59

Simplified Alps, I presume? NOS complicated would be a joy to behold!

User avatar
Sup

34 minutes ago

Muirium wrote:
Yesterday, 22:59
Simplified Alps, I presume? NOS complicated would be a joy to behold!
SKCL complicated yellow alps switches. Smh there is no simplified SKCL switch.

Edit: other then matias garbage clones

Post Reply

Return to “Keyboards”