Azio Levetron Clicker Matias Click switch swap

bobcat418

03 Jun 2019, 05:01

Hello all, recently I ran across my first mechanical keyboard again, the Azio Levetron Clicker. This keyboard originally came with the Tai-Hao Alps style switches, however after 3 years of heavy use and 3 more years of intermittent use, some of the keys began working incorrectly. Specifically, the D key and the E key were acting up and would not always trigger. Many of the keys had also seen a decrease in tactility, and because of this, in conjunction with testing out a Matias Tactile pro at a local Microcenter, I decided to swap the switches on this board. Below is some of the process, apologies in advance for not going more in depth.

The process began with the keyboard as I had it
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Keyboard initially
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The keyboard opened using three plastic clips at the top of the case, which upon releasing revealed the controller
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Opened case
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I began desoldering the switches, using desoldering wick and then gently removing the old switches from the mounting plate with pliers
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Desoldering
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Desoldered switches
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Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of the bare pcb, but the plastic mounting plate was held onto the board by the switches alone. The PCB can be isolated from the rest of the keyboard pretty easily, since the micro controller slides off of the pins without any trouble.

My Matias switches had arrived the day before, I ordered 120 switches in case I messed any up since this was my first major soldering project. Once the desoldering was complete, I checked the board for any stray solder and gave it a quick wipe with some rubbing alcohol to remove the grime that had built up over the years.
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The switches upon arriving
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Soldering the new switches on was much quicker, and I tested the board out before full reassembly. The up arrow key was not functioning, although upon inspection it was revealed that it was due to a layer of flux under the solder joint preventing connection and not a faulty switch.
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The new switches just before testing
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Underside of the board, please excuse some of the crappy solder joints
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After all was verified to be in working order, I reassembled the keyboard and put it into my setup. This is now my new daily driver, taking the place of my Logitech G710 blue, as the Matias Click switches feel much nicer to me.
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The fully reassembled keyboard
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Overall, this was a rather fun first keyboard project, and surprisingly the new switches fit right into the board. The keycaps fit pretty well and although I might replace them with some others in the future due to the rubberized keys, they work well enough for me at the moment. If you happen to find one of these boards or have one lying around, they make for a pretty decent inexpensive platform for Alps style switches. I'm very satisfied with the new switches and look forwards to using this new keyboard more in the future!

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Polecat

04 Jun 2019, 03:38

Nice job, and thanks for sharing! There aren't that many modern Alps/clone keyboards, so it's always interesting to me to see a new one.

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Hypersphere

27 Jun 2019, 21:45

Congratulations on the switch replacement job. It is also nice to see some positive news about Matias switches, which in recent months have accumulated negative reviews, apparently owing to some QC issues at the factory in China.

I am typing this on a KBP V60 Type R (completely programmable) with Matias Click switches. I put it into a TEX aluminum case, and swapped out the original keycaps with dye-sub alphas from an IBM 5140, blank black modifiers and spacebar from Matias, and a red Esc and RCtrl from Tai-Hao. I use the RCtrl as my Fn key -- I've remapped the board in a HHKB layout.

I like Matias switches, and I have had no problems with them.

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