SKCM ALPS - Switchplate repair


16 Sep 2019, 09:58

I recently got around 80 SKCM Blue ALPS for cheap. ( 0.15$ per switch).
Spent the last weekend disassembling them, cleaning them with some denture tabs. Lubing the stabs with some dry teflon lube.
After the assembly and soldering them in the Hasu ALPS64PCB I realized that half of them are not working.
What is weird, the switches feel great, not worn out, nice round bump and nice sounding click.
I was told they were kinda stored in the outdoors so maybe that ruined the switchplates?
But there was no rust nor excessive grime inside them.
Maybe the person desoldering them, yanked them with to much force out of the PCB and that damaged the switchplates?
It sure seemed that someones used brute force to break them off, since several switches showed signs of that.

How can I repair these switchplates?

These feel so satisfying to type on to just give up on them.
Only thing that comes to mind is dipping the switchplates in some rubbing alchohol.
Second thing that comes to mind is replacing faulty SKCM Blue ALPS switchplates with some SKCM White ALPS ones. But that changes the feel of the switch, which I don't like.

TLDR: I have around 50 SKCM Blue ALPS switches that have faulty switchplates. How to repair them?


16 Sep 2019, 15:24

Well, you're gonna have to replace the switchplates. Maybe open them up and spray them with contact cleaner? If that doesn't work, you're gonna need to replace the switchplate.

Also: changing the switchplate shouldn't really change the feel of the switch?


16 Sep 2019, 16:35

I got a Z150 with greens a while back and found that about 15 switches were dead. I tried soaking/shaking the switchplates in Isopropyl alcohol which worked for a few but not all. I ended up disassembling the switchplates on the remaining few and using a q-tip dipped in Isopropyl to remove the oxidation from the internal contacts. All but 1 switch works now. Luckily the switch housing holds the switchplate together nicely so as long as you're careful and don't need to open the switches after, it should work fine. **only separate the switchplates if absolutely nothing else works**

Good luck!


17 Sep 2019, 09:05

Yeah, I'm gonna try with the contact cleaner.

Wow, never imagined you can put the switchplate back together after you disassemble them. After you break those two plastic rivets I thought there is no way of that switchplate being usable. So the switch housing keeps the switchplate together.

I did a test with putting some switchplates from SKCM dampened swithces, since Blue ALPS and dampened ones have the same swichplate height. They are kinda thicker than the Blue ALPS ones, and I felt a difference in the switch feel.
I can try using switchplates from the SKCM White ALPS but those are shorter and require their own bottom housing.

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18 Sep 2019, 20:50

You can get NOS Yellow Alps from Taobao and swap the plates.

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26 Sep 2019, 08:14

The contacts corrode and loose conductivity completely

do it two or three times with low force. test before re-assembling.
If I had this blues, I would take my time. I do not have a very good feel about using contact cleaner,

good luck cheers


26 Sep 2019, 21:57

abrahamstechnology wrote:
18 Sep 2019, 20:50
You can get NOS Yellow Alps from Taobao and swap the plates.

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27 Sep 2019, 11:40

I had success with repairing some dead SKCM switchplates. I have washed them in ultrasonic cleaner with "Somat" rince aid liquid for dishwasher (about two tablespoons per 200ml of water) and then immersed them in isopropyl alcohol to get rid of the water.

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27 Sep 2019, 13:32

(Amusingly, in Yorkshire, they pronounce “something” as “summ-at”, which I’ve seen spelled as “somat” when written down. Calling the all important cleaning fluid by a euphemistic name does lend a certain alchemy to this technique! “What spell did you use?” “Somat, by goom!”)

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