Alternative blue alps switch?

consensual-penis

29 Aug 2019, 06:16

I've been craving a blue alps keyboard for a little bit now, but seeing the current prices of around 400 bucks no matter the board, I'd rather just find an alternate switch.

aside from skcm whites and buckling springs, what else is there?

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ZedTheMan

29 Aug 2019, 06:24

Nothing. Early SKCM whites in good condition are very similar if not functionally identical in feeling to later blue alps.

You can also go for SKCM Ambers, but I find those to be more niche in feeling.

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Polecat

29 Aug 2019, 06:32

Blue Alps keyboards sell on ebay fairly often for a lot less than $400, you just need patience, persistence, and a bit of luck. For example a KB-084 just sold for $50 a couple weeks back. (no, I didn't buy it, but I could have...) Search often, and don't expect to find a deal if you use "blue Alps" as your only search term.

That said, early white SKCM switches, specifically the ones with no branding on the upper housings, sound and feel very close to blues. I have two matching pairs of keyboards with blues and early whites (Northgate 102 and Monterey K102) and in both cases I wouldn't be able to tell the switches apart without removing a keycap. Just recently I bought the white Alps Monterey on ebay thanks to a tip from a member here, and I think I paid 50 bucks for it. The deals are still out there.

consensual-penis

29 Aug 2019, 06:46

Polecat wrote:
29 Aug 2019, 06:32
Blue Alps keyboards sell on ebay fairly often for a lot less than $400, you just need patience, persistence, and a bit of luck. For example a KB-084 just sold for $50 a couple weeks back. (no, I didn't buy it, but I could have...) Search often, and don't expect to find a deal if you use "blue Alps" as your only search term.

That said, early white SKCM switches, specifically the ones with no branding on the upper housings, sound and feel very close to blues. I have two matching pairs of keyboards with blues and early whites (Northgate 102 and Monterey K102) and in both cases I wouldn't be able to tell the switches apart without removing a keycap. Just recently I bought the white Alps Monterey on ebay thanks to a tip from a member here, and I think I paid 50 bucks for it. The deals are still out there.
my biggest issue is that the only two keyboards I know of with blue alps switches are the Onmnikey 101/102 with the gold label, and the Acer kb-101a.

I guess one of these days I'll find on of those keyboards NIB, It will just take a lot of time to do it.

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Polecat

29 Aug 2019, 07:01

Well...NIB is setting the bar a bit higher. That will take a big chunk of luck!

Do some reading, in the wiki and all the other sections, and especially watch the ads here since you're more likely to get a better deal (and more honest description) than on ebay. Being smarter than the average bear will give you a big advantage.

Be aware that just because one example of a particular model has blue Alps switches does *not* mean that all examples will. Gold label Northgates also came with (early) white SKCM switches. This is true of other makes and models as well.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

29 Aug 2019, 07:04

The 101 actually only ever came with white alps - the only omnikey that came with blues is the gold label 102, and even some of those are early whites.

There are definitely more than those two boards (102 / kb-101a) out there with blue alps, though! Take some time to do some research and you'll find plenty of them! I can definitely see why you'd think $400 is the going rate for blue alps boards if you're basing your evaluations on the two most popular blue alps boards, haha. Currently, the most consistent way to obtain blues is on yahoo japan by snagging a PC-8801 - and those fetch anywhere from 80-150 before shipping!

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User101

29 Aug 2019, 18:54

I got my Leading Edge DC2014(with the entire computer system) for "only" 150$. Most blue alps board never went over 300. Also, many keyboards use blue alps. Like the OemMax 101 and Focus 747. If you do some research you'll find out that there plenty of options.

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ppCircle

31 Aug 2019, 14:51

Best option is searching. My cheapest blues i bought for 3$ and the most expensive ones for ~25$? First blues i found after 6 months of searching (morning and evning, everyday) But you know, all depends on luck. Also as they say. You can buy early whites but imo they still not sound as good as blues. Idk why. I wish you luck.

orihalcon

31 Aug 2019, 16:05

I've got a bunch of blue ALPS sliders, click leaves, and springs that you could swap into existing ALPS switches, possibly without even desoldering if you are good at it. Was thinking of listing these for about $2 per "set" eventually. PM me if interested.

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SneakyRobb

31 Aug 2019, 23:04

orihalcon wrote:
31 Aug 2019, 16:05
I've got a bunch of blue ALPS sliders, click leaves, and springs that you could swap into existing ALPS switches, possibly without even desoldering if you are good at it. Was thinking of listing these for about $2 per "set" eventually. PM me if interested.
Hi, I am just curious. What are you doing that you have such a stockpile?

consensual-penis

01 Sep 2019, 05:27

orihalcon wrote:
31 Aug 2019, 16:05
I've got a bunch of blue ALPS sliders, click leaves, and springs that you could swap into existing ALPS switches, possibly without even desoldering if you are good at it. Was thinking of listing these for about $2 per "set" eventually. PM me if interested.
While that does sound like a pretty cool project, I think for now I'm just gonna save my money.

I've spent so much money in the past month on keyboards, stepping back a bit makes me realize that I need to take a break.

The only thing that I think I want to do now is remove the listing for my hhkb pro 2 from r/mechmarket and pick up those bke domes and see what those do for me.

Thanks all for the input!

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