Simplified Alps force curves?


26 Jan 2020, 19:37

My journey through mechanical keyboards started with buckling springs and cream Alps, with occasional encounters with Topre. A couple of years ago I wanted to switch to a tenkeyless layout and got a Cherry MX Brown board. Hated it. Eventually I found my way to this wonderful collection of force curve graphs and much was explained. You can SEE the scratchiness in Cherry's graphs, and the way the force quickly matches and then exceeds the (rather low) tactile peaks is fundamentally different from Alps and Topre, which flatten and don't re-approach the peak before bottom-out. Different strokes for different folks, but I know where I come out.

Anyway, still wanting tenkeyless and not yet ready / willing to go transplanting switches, I bought a KBParadise board with Tai-Hao APC Blues. After throwing the keycaps from my SGI Bigfoot on there, I'm enjoying it greatly. That's the most important part, but I'm a sucker for objective data and I was still curious how the force curves compare to other Alps and Cherry. However simplified and clone Alps is one area the otherwise extensive "Haata" collection skips entirely (with the exception of Matias). My googling attempts haven't turned up much more. Does anyone know of any force curve plots for simplified Alps?


02 Feb 2020, 19:15

Well, in the absence of any info forthcoming I went ahead and did some crude investigations myself. I was able to measure the force for actuation and complete depression, as well as approximate distances for those two. The other points in the graph are "experimented subjective impressions".
taihao_apc_blue_55g.png (17.39 KiB) Viewed 234 times
This is no substitute for an actual force measurement but at least gives the main idea: 52g click near the top, a pronounced dropoff and quick recovery, then gradually to 55g close to bottom. Light with pronounced tactility, most similar in overall form to Matias switches, which I guess isn't surprising since they are both simplified Alps mechanism.

Anyway, not complex Alps, but worlds different from Cherry. I hope these switches (and the Fuhao/Fukka) will get some more interest and keyboard models so they and their keycaps don't die out.

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