Alps Lubricant FOUND!

User avatar
JP!

11 Oct 2020, 15:34

joebeazelman wrote:
11 Oct 2020, 09:39
After a series of emails with the representative, and sending her the Threebond 2583G datasheet, she suggested trying their 760G formulation. She claims it's nearly identical to it and provided me with a summary along with a detailed datasheet. I figure others who are more knowledgeable might be able to determine if this maybe a suitable alternative as it is widely available and reasonably priced. At the end of the day, it's all about the feel.
From the description from the manufacturer perhaps 744 would be more suitable for this application?

https://www.nyelubricants.com/nyogel

nyo.jpg
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NeK

11 Oct 2020, 22:57

JP! wrote:
11 Oct 2020, 15:34
joebeazelman wrote:
11 Oct 2020, 09:39
After a series of emails with the representative, and sending her the Threebond 2583G datasheet, she suggested trying their 760G formulation. She claims it's nearly identical to it and provided me with a summary along with a detailed datasheet. I figure others who are more knowledgeable might be able to determine if this maybe a suitable alternative as it is widely available and reasonably priced. At the end of the day, it's all about the feel.
From the description from the manufacturer perhaps 744 would be more suitable for this application?

https://www.nyelubricants.com/nyogel


nyo.jpg
I don't think so. The 744 says it is a *light* viscocity silica, whereas the 760 is a *thick* viscosity silica. I am certain that the viscocity of the original lube is thick viscocity as anything light does nothing. And this is reflected in the sliding feel, you can feel that viscous wax-like smooth sliding.

NeK

11 Oct 2020, 23:04

joebeazelman wrote:
11 Oct 2020, 09:39
Let me preface this by stating that I am not a tribologist, nor have I ever lubed switches. Nevertheless, I have been reading the posts here with keen interest as I plan on restoring some old Alps switches.

A client of mine, who services microscopes, uses a dampening grease made by a company called Nye Lubricants. He suggested I contact them to see if they offer a product similar to Threebond 2583G. He claims lubricants vary little among manufacturers given a specific application, since they often cross license each other's product to serve their respective markets.

I took his advice. After a series of emails with the representative, and sending her the Threebond 2583G datasheet, she suggested trying their 760G formulation. She claims it's nearly identical to it and provided me with a summary along with a detailed datasheet. I figure others who are more knowledgeable might be able to determine if this maybe a suitable alternative as it is widely available and reasonably priced. At the end of the day, it's all about the feel.

I've attached the summary and the datasheet for anyone interested. TDS_SHORT_English_NYOGEL+760G (2).pdf
Logically, there should be plenty products from other manufacturers that are essentially the same, or unnoticably different. So I think that she is right. One question though, did she tell you *why* she thinks the 760G is nearly identical? Which exactly specs is she basing this conclusion on? I compared both the TDS of TB2583G and Nyogel 760G and they use difference units and difference test methods for their specs. The only common that I can verify are truly the same between them are: 1. the are "silicon greases" 1. their color is white and 3. the worked penetration which is for both 311 (in unknown units, as it is not mentioned in both sheets). Everything else though is different.

Knowning what she base her conclusion on, weould help us understand more about all those properties and measurements.
Last edited by NeK on 11 Oct 2020, 23:49, edited 1 time in total.

NeK

11 Oct 2020, 23:06

headphone_jack wrote:
07 Oct 2020, 04:50
NeK wrote:
07 Oct 2020, 02:04
headphone_jack wrote:
06 Oct 2020, 16:05
Well, we think we found as close as we're gonna get. TB1855 is a silicone based JIS spec grease that seems to be a direct descendant of the original Alps lube, at least in terms of composition. The only problem is getting a sample of it, as it is not available online anywhere except within Malaysia. However, recently a tube went on sale on US eBay, which a friend of mine promptly nabbed. He has yet to test it on anything though, as his ceiling is being remodeled and it is very dusty. Not exactly an ideal environment for lubing switches as dust sensitive as Alps. Still, I hope this will yield positive results. Still not 100% certain, but I'm pretty damn sure this is as close as you can get to OG alps lube. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the best Alps lube though, so don't go out and start importing gallons of the stuff for resell. There is a high probability that modern silicone based lubes meant for keyboards offer much better smoothness than an industry grade lube meant for contact protection above all else.
Great stuff. I wonder if there is some equivalent lube from other manufacturers (that is readily available in the US and EU) and has a similar composition. I am wiling to bet that especially if they have the same viscosity, they will be indistinguishable from the OG. I don't care to spent some money and buy a few just for testing them. Just the other day I bought an Aluminum Complex based grease just to test (spoler: didn't work). Have you perhaps found the datasheet for TB1855? That would be nice to take a look at.
The datasheet should be available here: http://www.threebond.co.jp/en/product/r ... 160129.pdf
That one is the SAFETY datasheet, which says nothing at all about the lubricant's properties. We need the Technical Datasheet, which states the properties measurements and their values, in order to have something to compare and verify, at least on a paper level.

NeK

12 Oct 2020, 00:16

NeK wrote:
11 Oct 2020, 23:04
Logically, there should be plenty products from other manufacturers that are essentially the same, or unnoticably different. So I think that she is right. One question though, did she tell you *why* she thinks the 760G is nearly identical? Which exactly specs is she basing this conclusion on? I compared both the TDS of TB2583G and Nyogel 760G and they use difference units and difference test methods for their specs. The only common that I can verify are truly the same between them are: 1. the are "silicon greases" 1. their color is white and 3. the worked penetration which is for both 311 (in unknown units, as it is not mentioned in both sheets). Everything else though is different.

Knowning what she base her conclusion on, weould help us understand more about all those properties and measurements.
I did a bit of research and got some things pegged down:

1. "Specific Gravity" on the TB2583G Technical Datasheet is the same as the spec "Density" on the Nyogel one. They are 0.83 and 0.88 respectively. Very close.
2. "Evaporation rate" is 3% and 3.4% respectively, so I guess it is almost the same

In summary:

They both:
  • are Silicon Oil greases
  • are white
  • have the exact same Penetration Rate*
  • have similar Specific Gravity/Density)**
  • have very similar Evaporation Rate
They differ on:
  • Oil separation is 6.39% for the TB and 1.5% for the Nyogel. ***
Specs that are not on both sheets:
  • Nyogel specifies the exact kind of Oil it uses. Whereas TB does not.
  • Coefficient of Friction is stated only on the TB.
  • Dropping Point in Celcius is stated only on the TB. ****
  • Nyogel states two related measurements with the above: the Flash Point and the Pour Point in Celcius. ****
  • Consistency is stated only on TB. However I think this just another way to measure the viscosity, which we have established that they are similar through the Specific Gravity <-> Density in the first list.
* at 100K (1/10mm), whatever that means, as stated on the Nyogel sheet.
** According to the NYE CTM test spec, Density is measuring the Specific Gravity. As they state: "CTM-003: DENSITY AND SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF LUBRICATING GREASES
The procedure consists of filling a metal cup of a known volume with the test grease and determining its weight at 25°C.". So according to the description, the Specific Gravity and Density in this case are the same measurement.
*** However they use completely difference test specs. Therefore these probably are not comparable. Maybe we could do a research of the different test methods, the JIS K 2220 and the ASTM D-6184 and find out what their numbers mean and whether they are anyway comparable or somehow convertible to one another, or not.
**** If we knew what Dropping, Flash and Pour Points are, we could probably compare them and maybe find out if they are similar or not.

My conclusion so far:
They seem to be similar, but more research is needed.

headphone_jack

13 Oct 2020, 17:32

I am planning on ordering a sample of the Nyogel 760g to do some comparisons with. Problem is I don't own any actual factory lubed alps, so I can't directly ascertain exactly how close it is or isn't to the original. Basically, I am just testing it against some NOS unlubed alps, just too see if there is an actual increase in smoothness. If I find a blue alps board soon, then i will definitely do a side by side. Will post the results once I get it.

NeK

13 Oct 2020, 20:24

Without a board with blues/oranges in immaculate/NOS condition (and verified objectively that they are so), it is impossible to compare and make any conclusions. The lube is very distinctive in its feel and in my opinion is what makes them feel so amazing.

As far as I know, and by the keyboards that I own, ALPS used a different kind of plastic material for their later unlubed stems. The new stem material is more slippery, more shiny and more smoother by its own. I remember reading somewhere about various methods that can make plastic (POM, ABS etc) more smooth and slippery by mixing them with various lubricants builtin. So there was a progress in the way of the plastics as well at that time.

Therefore they probably decided that this new material was smooth enough and ditched the lube for cost cutting reasons.

However, don't get me wrong, they too have a great feeling, but no matter how good, they just are not the same as the wax-like smoothness that the 1st gen had.

The material change of the plastic and the lack of lube are also, in my opinion, the main factors in the subtle difference in their acoustics too.

Of course I may be wrong here and talking out of my rear and in reality there are lubed white, cream and later SKCM switches out there too. Please correct me if anyone knows better.

TurtleMines

25 Oct 2020, 22:52

So I decided to order a a small jar of nyogel 760g shortly after reading that the threebond lube had some kind of positive effect to the switches. I had a pretty scratchy batch of brown and orange alps switches laying around, so I decided to test it out on them.

I ultrasonic cleaned the slides, and I put a really layer on both the sliders' bottom half (The part that is hidden in the housing at all times) and some on both the tactile leaf and contact leaf. Upon putting them back together, I was fairly disappointed. It felt as though both the orange alps and brown alps had the same type of tactility. I can only describe that the brown alps lost the "snap" kind of feeling that stock switch has. It also increased the binding on single unit keys on both switches, which was really weird to see from orange alps.

However, the switches became really, really smooth. I had not noticed this with other dry lubes, like RO-59, finishline or other teflon-based lubes. They now have almost a waxy feeling on the way down, and whatever scratchiness that both had is almost negligible. I feel as though the sound profile hasn't changed compared to other switches in better condition, except for the fact that the scratchy sound is virtually gone.

It was definitely a mixed bag at the start. On one hand, the switch became really smooth, enough to rival the smoothest of current mx clones, but binding became a bigger issue and I noticed a change in the tactility profile.

I came back to the same switches after a couple days, and I tested again out of curiosity, wondering if the passage of time might have changed how the switch felt. At this point in time, the binding problem solved itself. Off center presses became as smooth as center key presses, and it seemed like the tactility on the lubed switch was on par with a stock switches. I'm really in awe of how good this switch feels to press compared to my other switches in better condition.

Take my initial testing with a grain of salt, since there was no scientific way to prove what I felt, but I'm starting to believe that Nyogel 760g has great potential in reviving somewhat-scratchy sounding switches. I'd also like for people that have NOS switches to test it out on their not-so-great switches to compare :)

User avatar
zrrion

25 Oct 2020, 23:01

did you clean and lube the housings as well? I feel like that might help in regards to binding

User avatar
toniwonkanobi

25 Oct 2020, 23:02

TurtleMines wrote:
25 Oct 2020, 22:52
So I decided to order a a small jar of nyogel 760g shortly after reading that the threebond lube had some kind of positive effect to the switches. I had a pretty scratchy batch of brown and orange alps switches laying around, so I decided to test it out on them.

I ultrasonic cleaned the slides, and I put a really layer on both the sliders' bottom half (The part that is hidden in the housing at all times) and some on both the tactile leaf and contact leaf. Upon putting them back together, I was fairly disappointed. It felt as though both the orange alps and brown alps had the same type of tactility. I can only describe that the brown alps lost the "snap" kind of feeling that stock switch has. It also increased the binding on single unit keys on both switches, which was really weird to see from orange alps.

However, the switches became really, really smooth. I had not noticed this with other dry lubes, like RO-59, finishline or other teflon-based lubes. They now have almost a waxy feeling on the way down, and whatever scratchiness that both had is almost negligible. I feel as though the sound profile hasn't changed compared to other switches in better condition, except for the fact that the scratchy sound is virtually gone.

It was definitely a mixed bag at the start. On one hand, the switch became really smooth, enough to rival the smoothest of current mx clones, but binding became a bigger issue and I noticed a change in the tactility profile.

I came back to the same switches after a couple days, and I tested again out of curiosity, wondering if the passage of time might have changed how the switch felt. At this point in time, the binding problem solved itself. Off center presses became as smooth as center key presses, and it seemed like the tactility on the lubed switch was on par with a stock switches. I'm really in awe of how good this switch feels to press compared to my other switches in better condition.

Take my initial testing with a grain of salt, since there was no scientific way to prove what I felt, but I'm starting to believe that Nyogel 760g has great potential in reviving somewhat-scratchy sounding switches. I'd also like for people that have NOS switches to test it out on their not-so-great switches to compare :)
Nice! But why did you complicate things by lubing the contact and tactile leaf plates? (Why not just put it on the slider areas?)

TurtleMines

25 Oct 2020, 23:16

toniwonkanobi wrote:
25 Oct 2020, 23:02
TurtleMines wrote:
25 Oct 2020, 22:52
So I decided to order a a small jar of nyogel 760g shortly after reading that the threebond lube had some kind of positive effect to the switches. I had a pretty scratchy batch of brown and orange alps switches laying around, so I decided to test it out on them.

I ultrasonic cleaned the slides, and I put a really layer on both the sliders' bottom half (The part that is hidden in the housing at all times) and some on both the tactile leaf and contact leaf. Upon putting them back together, I was fairly disappointed. It felt as though both the orange alps and brown alps had the same type of tactility. I can only describe that the brown alps lost the "snap" kind of feeling that stock switch has. It also increased the binding on single unit keys on both switches, which was really weird to see from orange alps.

However, the switches became really, really smooth. I had not noticed this with other dry lubes, like RO-59, finishline or other teflon-based lubes. They now have almost a waxy feeling on the way down, and whatever scratchiness that both had is almost negligible. I feel as though the sound profile hasn't changed compared to other switches in better condition, except for the fact that the scratchy sound is virtually gone.

It was definitely a mixed bag at the start. On one hand, the switch became really smooth, enough to rival the smoothest of current mx clones, but binding became a bigger issue and I noticed a change in the tactility profile.

I came back to the same switches after a couple days, and I tested again out of curiosity, wondering if the passage of time might have changed how the switch felt. At this point in time, the binding problem solved itself. Off center presses became as smooth as center key presses, and it seemed like the tactility on the lubed switch was on par with a stock switches. I'm really in awe of how good this switch feels to press compared to my other switches in better condition.

Take my initial testing with a grain of salt, since there was no scientific way to prove what I felt, but I'm starting to believe that Nyogel 760g has great potential in reviving somewhat-scratchy sounding switches. I'd also like for people that have NOS switches to test it out on their not-so-great switches to compare :)
Nice! But why did you complicate things by lubing the contact and tactile leaf plates? (Why not just put it on the slider areas?)
I think I put a wrong picture in your head. I meant that I put some lube on the leaves where it contacts the slider, not the whole leaf plates. In any case, I don't think it really complicates much. I just put it there since the lube is going to get on the leaf through contact and I didn't want to have a situation where the lube rubs off on only the parts where the slider contacts the leaf, which is pretty much where the scratchiness is created

TurtleMines

25 Oct 2020, 23:17

zrrion wrote:
25 Oct 2020, 23:01
did you clean and lube the housings as well? I feel like that might help in regards to binding
I haven't done that yet. I'll try that when I have time later :D

NeK

26 Oct 2020, 08:22

TurtleMines wrote:
25 Oct 2020, 22:52
However, the switches became really, really smooth. I had not noticed this with other dry lubes, like RO-59, finishline or other teflon-based lubes. They now have almost a waxy feeling on the way down, and whatever scratchiness that both had is almost negligible. I feel as though the sound profile hasn't changed compared to other switches in better condition, except for the fact that the scratchy sound is virtually gone.

Take my initial testing with a grain of salt, since there was no scientific way to prove what I felt, but I'm starting to believe that Nyogel 760g has great potential in reviving somewhat-scratchy sounding switches. I'd also like for people that have NOS switches to test it out on their not-so-great switches to compare :)
Wax-like (very) smooth sliding (on and off-center) is exactly the feeling that NOS (or near NOS) have! :D Well, I think we have finally found the lube (or at least one of many similar I guess) that will give the glory of ALPS back. Make ALPS great again! :lol: (oops that's from another story).

What I wanted to ask you is that, do they feel any heavier with the lube? can you measure them? Also check if they are heavier on off-center presses compared to on center ones. (Just put your keyboard on a kitchen counter-top weight scale, and press slowly, the difference in grams will be the force in grams. easy peasy).

I'm off to order myself some Nyogel 760g asap. :ugeek: :ugeek: :ugeek: :ugeek: :ugeek: :ugeek:

PS. One thing that I can add to this, is that any harshness/binding even with the lube is due to the plastics themselves been corroded from the age and they need smoothing out.

headphone_jack

27 Oct 2020, 22:51

TurtleMines wrote:
25 Oct 2020, 22:52
So I decided to order a a small jar of nyogel 760g shortly after reading that the threebond lube had some kind of positive effect to the switches. I had a pretty scratchy batch of brown and orange alps switches laying around, so I decided to test it out on them.

I ultrasonic cleaned the slides, and I put a really layer on both the sliders' bottom half (The part that is hidden in the housing at all times) and some on both the tactile leaf and contact leaf. Upon putting them back together, I was fairly disappointed. It felt as though both the orange alps and brown alps had the same type of tactility. I can only describe that the brown alps lost the "snap" kind of feeling that stock switch has. It also increased the binding on single unit keys on both switches, which was really weird to see from orange alps.

However, the switches became really, really smooth. I had not noticed this with other dry lubes, like RO-59, finishline or other teflon-based lubes. They now have almost a waxy feeling on the way down, and whatever scratchiness that both had is almost negligible. I feel as though the sound profile hasn't changed compared to other switches in better condition, except for the fact that the scratchy sound is virtually gone.

It was definitely a mixed bag at the start. On one hand, the switch became really smooth, enough to rival the smoothest of current mx clones, but binding became a bigger issue and I noticed a change in the tactility profile.

I came back to the same switches after a couple days, and I tested again out of curiosity, wondering if the passage of time might have changed how the switch felt. At this point in time, the binding problem solved itself. Off center presses became as smooth as center key presses, and it seemed like the tactility on the lubed switch was on par with a stock switches. I'm really in awe of how good this switch feels to press compared to my other switches in better condition.

Take my initial testing with a grain of salt, since there was no scientific way to prove what I felt, but I'm starting to believe that Nyogel 760g has great potential in reviving somewhat-scratchy sounding switches. I'd also like for people that have NOS switches to test it out on their not-so-great switches to compare :)
Wow, thats amazing! We finally have our lubricant. Any plans on doing a side by side comparison with NOS lubed switches? Would love to hear a typing test!

headphone_jack

27 Oct 2020, 23:00

Wonder what this would do to other switches that used the same plastic for the sliders and housings. Are any other common switches made out of nylon like alps? Would also be interested in testing this on some MX based switches, could have some potential there.

Jacobalbertus1

27 Oct 2020, 23:03

I have some CURSED switches I will try this on

User avatar
zrrion

Yesterday, 01:46

have we compared this new lubricant to other available lubricants? The smoothness you are describing might not be unique to this lubricant. We should have sufficient statistical rigor before starting a hype train

TurtleMines

Yesterday, 02:20

zrrion wrote:
Yesterday, 01:46
have we compared this new lubricant to other available lubricants? The smoothness you are describing might not be unique to this lubricant. We should have sufficient statistical rigor before starting a hype train
I totally agree. I've only been exposed to finishline, RO-59 and ptfe powder methods of lubing, and I'm definitely not the authority to dictate what feels like NOS, or as you said, if it's even a new kind of smoothness unique to this lube. I realize I may have been too haste with my posting, but it was only because I couldn't wait to hear more from this thread. I only shared my post to share my excitement and initial findings about the smoothness in comparison to the better-conditioned alps switches I have, which might not even be considered "good" condition by others. However, I do hope that people with more resources can look into this, because as the thread reads, Nyogel 760g could be as close as we can get to the original Alps lube in the western market.

*edit - I forgot that I have tried tribosys 3204 and krytox 205g0 as well, but seeing as I haven't lubed all my switches with them, they probably didn't leave too good of an impression.

brainandforce

Yesterday, 05:00

I wish I knew about this before I lubed my SKCM Blacks with Tribosys 3204 and tungsten disulfide. (Granted, that was actually a good choice, but I would have wanted to try this as well)

The one question I have is whether the lubricant may harm the switches over time since it's a hydrocarbon-based grease and the general advice has been to avoid them because they may dissolved plastics.

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