Alps Lubricant FOUND!

headphone_jack

03 Nov 2020, 15:35

Quick update: I have received my tube of Nyogel. Hopefully I can lube the switches tonight. I have heard reports from people that got theirs before me that it indeed takes a few days to cure, and up to a week to cure fully, lining up with what TurtleMines said. While it has not been compared with 10/10 Alps just yet, hopefully sound tests comparing them will begin to come out once all the current boards finish curing. Hopefully we can get conclusive results by the end of the week.

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NeK

03 Nov 2020, 18:04

Great! I can't wait for mine to arrive.

User avatar
hellothere

09 Nov 2020, 23:19

Nyogel 760G has been received. I have plans on using it on some salmon Alps. Might be a while before I do so, though.

headphone_jack

11 Nov 2020, 22:30

I finished lubing a board with the Nyogel. I am mainly testing whether this lube can help recover damaged and scratched Alps sliders, rather than comparing them with original keyfeel. I am just waiting for it to finish curing and I will give more info when it is fully finished.

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hellothere

12 Nov 2020, 00:54

Regarding "curing," are you letting the switch top and slider stay out or are you putting the whole switch back together?

I've almost finished ultrasonicing my salmon Alps switches. I can probably start lubing the switches tomorrow.

headphone_jack

12 Nov 2020, 03:47

hellothere wrote:
12 Nov 2020, 00:54
Regarding "curing," are you letting the switch top and slider stay out or are you putting the whole switch back together?

I've almost finished ultrasonicing my salmon Alps switches. I can probably start lubing the switches tomorrow.
I put them all back together and am letting them sit for probably about a week or so.

User avatar
NeK

13 Nov 2020, 11:09

I received the day before yesterday and managed to do some tests. And, well... I am disappointed, very disappointed.

I used it on 3 different Blue SKCM switches, two of them came straight from a keyboard and they were "virgin" (not opened before) and the third is thoroughly cleaned and polished and slides and feels smooth.

The results are horrible, they make the keys bind as hell. I don't understand how is that even possible, but they actually do make them bind unbelievably and terribly bad. How on earth a lubricant can increase binding friction is beyond me but here it is. What did I do wrong here, guys? what is your opinion? Check out the pics and videos and let me know. I am frustrated now and this just only gets me more stubborn and want to find the right lube or technique to finally fix this.

NOTE: To clarify: I did left the first 2 switches to "cure" for about 30+ hours, maybe more, and they didn't get any better...

I took pictures and videos and tried to document this as much as possible in the little time I had. So here we go:

These are the parts of the switch that I tested:
Spoiler:
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_switch-parts-2.jpg
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This is the slider before applying the lube:
Spoiler:
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_before-01.jpg
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This is a video showing how it was clicking before applying anything.
https://youtu.be/w2oLDZXicBc
I applied some on the inside of the top sliders of the stem:
Spoiler:
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test-applied-inside-sliders-1.jpg
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Here's the video
https://youtu.be/hz53kvYAXgc
I then applied some to the bottom sliders as well:
Spoiler:
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_also-applied-to-bottom-1.jpg
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nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_also-applied-to-bottom-5.jpg
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Here's how it behaved, in this video I am using a kitchen scale. The scale has been 'reset' (tare) to show 0 grams when the switch tester is on it, therefore the grams that it displays are actually only the force that I exert on the key. (of course this is not accurate, but good enough for this)
https://youtu.be/MBV6QMCipGw
I then continued on and applied the lube on all points of the stem: the top sliders (on the outside) and the contact points with the click and contact leafs in front and back:
Spoiler:
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_applied-everywhere-1.jpg
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nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_applied-everywhere-4.jpg
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And here is the monstrous binding in video:
https://youtu.be/FsalZbu2MTk
For reference, here is a second switch that I have, and had thoroughly cleaned and polished:
Spoiler:
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-1.jpg
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And here is how it clicks:
https://youtu.be/Qq4e2b2T6Go

headphone_jack

13 Nov 2020, 14:20

NeK wrote:
13 Nov 2020, 11:09
I received the day before yesterday and managed to do some tests. And, well... I am disappointed, very disappointed.

I used it on 3 different Blue SKCM switches, two of them came straight from a keyboard and they were "virgin" (not opened before) and the third is thoroughly cleaned and polished and slides and feels smooth.

The results are horrible, they make the keys bind as hell. I don't understand how is that even possible, but they actually do make them bind unbelievably and terribly bad. How on earth a lubricant can increase binding friction is beyond me but here it is. What did I do wrong here, guys? what is your opinion? Check out the pics and videos and let me know. I am frustrated now and this just only gets me more stubborn and want to find the right lube or technique to finally fix this.

NOTE: To clarify: I did left the first 2 switches to "cure" for about 30+ hours, maybe more, and they didn't get any better...

I took pictures and videos and tried to document this as much as possible in the little time I had. So here we go:

These are the parts of the switch that I tested:
Spoiler:
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_switch-parts-2.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_switch-parts-1.jpg
This is the slider before applying the lube:
Spoiler:
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_before-01.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_before-02.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_before-03.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_before-04.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_before-05.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_before-06.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_before-07.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_before-08.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_before-09.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_before-10.jpg

This is a video showing how it was clicking before applying anything.
https://youtu.be/w2oLDZXicBc
I applied some on the inside of the top sliders of the stem:
Spoiler:
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test-applied-inside-sliders-1.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test-applied-inside-sliders-2.jpg

Here's the video
https://youtu.be/hz53kvYAXgc
I then applied some to the bottom sliders as well:
Spoiler:
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_also-applied-to-bottom-1.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_also-applied-to-bottom-2.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_also-applied-to-bottom-3.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_also-applied-to-bottom-4.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_also-applied-to-bottom-5.jpg

Here's how it behaved, in this video I am using a kitchen scale. The scale has been 'reset' (tare) to show 0 grams when the switch tester is on it, therefore the grams that it displays are actually only the force that I exert on the key. (of course this is not accurate, but good enough for this)
https://youtu.be/MBV6QMCipGw
I then continued on and applied the lube on all points of the stem: the top sliders (on the outside) and the contact points with the click and contact leafs in front and back:
Spoiler:
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_applied-everywhere-1.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_applied-everywhere-2.jpgnyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_applied-everywhere-3.jpgnyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_applied-everywhere-4.jpg

And here is the monstrous binding in video:
https://youtu.be/FsalZbu2MTk
For reference, here is a second switch that I have, and had thoroughly cleaned and polished:
Spoiler:
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-1.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-2.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-3.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-4.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-5.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-6.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-7.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-8.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-9.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-10.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-11.jpg
nyogel-760g-blue-skcm-test_second_switch-12.jpg

And here is how it clicks:
https://youtu.be/Qq4e2b2T6Go
Remember, the binding is consistent with the testing results we've had. My switches also bind, but they bind noticeably less than they did when I first lubed them. The curing process seems critical for this lube, I wouldn't make my final judgement until a week or so has passed.

User avatar
hellothere

13 Nov 2020, 18:12

I've finished lubing my salmon Alps switches. I haven't yet reassembled them.

For a data point for these tests,

* Original feel of the salmon Alps was about a 7/10. My pine white, orange, and cream damped Alps keyboards all feel a lot better than the salmon.
* I ultrasoniced the sliders and top housing. I did not desolder the switches from the keyboard.
* I lubed the slider channels in the top housing. I lubed all but the top and bottom of the sliders.

The Nyogel tube I have is a different color than NeK's. That might be because he's in Greece and I'm in the US, but it also might be that one of us has a newer tube. I don't see an expiration date on my tube, though.

User avatar
NeK

13 Nov 2020, 21:47

hellothere wrote:
13 Nov 2020, 18:12
I've finished lubing my salmon Alps switches. I haven't yet reassembled them.

For a data point for these tests,

* Original feel of the salmon Alps was about a 7/10. My pine white, orange, and cream damped Alps keyboards all feel a lot better than the salmon.
* I ultrasoniced the sliders and top housing. I did not desolder the switches from the keyboard.
* I lubed the slider channels in the top housing. I lubed all but the top and bottom of the sliders.

The Nyogel tube I have is a different color than NeK's. That might be because he's in Greece and I'm in the US, but it also might be that one of us has a newer tube. I don't see an expiration date on my tube, though.
I emailed the other day Armytek and asked them if the nyogel is pure or if they add or do anything to it and they responded that no, it is only completely pure Nyogel 760g. So I trust, that we all have the same one.

User avatar
NeK

13 Nov 2020, 21:53

headphone_jack wrote:
13 Nov 2020, 14:20
Remember, the binding is consistent with the testing results we've had. My switches also bind, but they bind noticeably less than they did when I first lubed them. The curing process seems critical for this lube, I wouldn't make my final judgement until a week or so has passed.
I hope you are right, but I doubt it. They are binding so strong, they are like climbing hooks on a rock! But anyway I have left the 2 lubed switches undisturbed in the keyboard and I'll check them out after about a week or so, just to give this a fair chance.

User avatar
hellothere

14 Nov 2020, 00:54

My results start with, "Hmmmm."

I reassembled all switches and they all work fine. No binding that I can currently feel, and I had at least two keys that were doing that before the teardown. However, some of the keys have now started to go "clicky." I disassembled a half dozen and used about 3x more lube than I had before. No more clicky on about 5 of the 6.

The keyboard I'm currently typing on, an AEK II, had a problem with clicky. I soaked the sliders in Super Lube (PTFE) for 24 hours and let it dry for another 24. It's gotten better every day. If just using the Nyogel doesn't make the clicky go away, I might try cleaning the sliders, using Super Lube first, then adding Nyogel. Super Lube is supposed to be compatible with "most" other lubricants.

headphone_jack

15 Nov 2020, 05:41

NeK wrote:
13 Nov 2020, 21:53
headphone_jack wrote:
13 Nov 2020, 14:20
Remember, the binding is consistent with the testing results we've had. My switches also bind, but they bind noticeably less than they did when I first lubed them. The curing process seems critical for this lube, I wouldn't make my final judgement until a week or so has passed.
I hope you are right, but I doubt it. They are binding so strong, they are like climbing hooks on a rock! But anyway I have left the 2 lubed switches undisturbed in the keyboard and I'll check them out after about a week or so, just to give this a fair chance.
You also used like, WAY too much lube on the sliders looking at your pictures. From what I understand, nyogel works best when applied in a thin layer over the rails of the slider. Yours is absolutely coated in the stuff. I would suggest scraping a lot of it off and then seeing if the binding is at least partially fixed.

User avatar
NeK

15 Nov 2020, 12:05

headphone_jack wrote:
15 Nov 2020, 05:41
NeK wrote:
13 Nov 2020, 21:53
headphone_jack wrote:
13 Nov 2020, 14:20
Remember, the binding is consistent with the testing results we've had. My switches also bind, but they bind noticeably less than they did when I first lubed them. The curing process seems critical for this lube, I wouldn't make my final judgement until a week or so has passed.
I hope you are right, but I doubt it. They are binding so strong, they are like climbing hooks on a rock! But anyway I have left the 2 lubed switches undisturbed in the keyboard and I'll check them out after about a week or so, just to give this a fair chance.
You also used like, WAY too much lube on the sliders looking at your pictures. From what I understand, nyogel works best when applied in a thin layer over the rails of the slider. Yours is absolutely coated in the stuff. I would suggest scraping a lot of it off and then seeing if the binding is at least partially fixed.
OK, I'll try it and see.

kshopper2084

15 Nov 2020, 15:11

I'm no expert but yeah, a tiny bit goes a long way with this stuff.

Re: "seasoning" the lube, I would recommend you use the keys initially to ensure the lube is spread across the areas where friction occurs. I don't think leaving the switch idle is going to do anything, any benefit from time would be also come with use (more lube settles into micro-abrasions in the slider, gets pushed out of the way where it might be restricting movement, etc.

Also, I thought Salmon Alps were the first gen of Alps that came from the factory without lube?

User avatar
hellothere

15 Nov 2020, 19:45

kshopper2084 wrote:
15 Nov 2020, 15:11
I thought Salmon Alps were the first gen of Alps that came from the factory without lube?
You may be correct. I can say that there wasn't any lube before I added it.

User avatar
hellothere

15 Nov 2020, 20:09

headphone_jack wrote:NeK, you also used like, WAY too much lube on the sliders looking at your pictures
I wrote:I disassembled a half dozen and used about 3x more lube than I had before. No more clicky on about 5 of the 6.
So, an inconsistent result.

I don't have too much of a problem spamming various keys on that keyboard every day and waiting to see if everything works next week.

User avatar
Yasu0

18 Nov 2020, 19:28

Interesting reading these results. May be the case that existing wear in to the plastic is causing permanent effects that no lube can reverse? I am still waiting to try to get in what I can if I can get it in the US.

User avatar
hellothere

19 Nov 2020, 22:01

I purchased my tube of Nyogel from Amazon, Yasu0, so it's easy to get in the US.

=======

I'm still not feeling much of a change and there's only one more day of testing.

I have both an AEK II (cream damped) and Apple Standard keyboard (orange) that came in this week. Both of those need some love. I'm thinking about using the Nyogel in the top housing and Super Lube on the sliders. I'm a bit backed up on projects, so results from those might be a bit.

User avatar
Yasu0

19 Nov 2020, 22:34

I'm working on getting an assortment of 3bond lubricants. Not just for keyboards. I just like the company's product. Their products are used by Toyota and Honda if that is any indication of their quality and technology.

User avatar
hellothere

20 Nov 2020, 23:40

It's been a week and the answer is ... there actually is a noticeable change. The keys do feel smooth and waxy. I still have a few sliders that are clicky, though. I think I might re-lube those. Let's say it's almost an 8/10 now? I don't use that keyboard much, so I can tell the difference in feel pretty easily.

I've hit my AEK II with the Super Lube, so I'll start working on the top housings.

I've got too many projects!

User avatar
NeK

22 Nov 2020, 02:26

hellothere wrote:
20 Nov 2020, 23:40
It's been a week and the answer is ... there actually is a noticeable change. The keys do feel smooth and waxy. I still have a few sliders that are clicky, though. I think I might re-lube those. Let's say it's almost an 8/10 now? I don't use that keyboard much, so I can tell the difference in feel pretty easily.

I've hit my AEK II with the Super Lube, so I'll start working on the top housings.

I've got too many projects!
That's good to hear. How were they before you lubed them? And are there any binding issues now? The upstroke click issue has to do with the click leaf alone and not with the stem or the housing and can easily be fixed.

User avatar
hellothere

22 Nov 2020, 04:02

NeK wrote:
22 Nov 2020, 02:26
That's good to hear. How were they before you lubed them? And are there any binding issues now?
About a 7/10, with a couple keys binding. I haven't had any more binding issues. Yet. The caveat is that I did disassemble, but not desolder, the switches and ultrasonic cleaned the top housings and sliders, so the keys no longer have their "original" sliders. i.e. it's possible that if F5 was binding originally, that slider is now on the "Enter" key on the numpad, which I rarely use.
NeK wrote:The upstroke click issue has to do with the click leaf alone and not with the stem or the housing and can easily be fixed.
Oooo. Please do share a link or comment!

User avatar
NeK

22 Nov 2020, 05:44

Sure, I'll make a quick video about it.

User avatar
NeK

22 Nov 2020, 13:48


User avatar
hellothere

23 Nov 2020, 04:11

Very helpful, NeK! Thanks.

The upstroke click is getting less noticeable the more I use the keyboard, which is also something I've seen with an AEK II with cream damped Alps after I lubed that. Additionally, I really didn't care too much for this keyboard when I first bought it: I thought the weighting was too much, along with the binding on a couple keys. Now it feels like a bit heavier orange Alps, which is what it's supposed to be.

I bought another AEK II with cream Alps and I finished lubing the stems with Super Lube and ultrasonicing the top housing. I'll try to lube the top housings with (not as much) Nyogel tomorrow and/or the remainder of the week. I have high hopes.

I'm going to have a serious problem, soon: I have a four or five Alps keyboards and I told myself that I'd limit my "collecting" to 3 keyboards, i.e. two "daily drivers" for the two computers I use and a backup. The pine white Alps board is staying, but the other top two spots are open.

User avatar
hellothere

24 Nov 2020, 21:28

My Alps salmon is still improving each day. I'm happy with that.

I've finished the top housings for my AEK II. I'll continue work on the full switches throughout the week.

User avatar
Muramasa

25 Nov 2020, 00:10

Do you think they're improving with use or time?

Rayndalf

25 Nov 2020, 00:41

hellothere wrote:
24 Nov 2020, 21:28
My Alps salmon is still improving each day. I'm happy with that.

I've finished the top housings for my AEK II. I'll continue work on the full switches throughout the week.
I somehow ended up with a bag of Salmon Alps, have you tried them without the tactile leaves? Mine are unlubed and the tactile feel was mediocre, but as linears they were strangely satisfying (objectively they probably need lube, but I really liked the feeling regardless).

User avatar
hellothere

26 Nov 2020, 17:57

Muramasa wrote:
25 Nov 2020, 00:10
Do you think they're improving with use or time?
Yes. :P

Replying to Rayndalf, I'm not a fan of linear. I could probably determine if there was a difference between unlubed and lubed, but that's an awful lot of work to do for switches you don't care for.

I've finished "installing" the switches back into my new-to-me AEK II (let's call this one AEKb) and they don't feel as light as in my salmon Alps keyboard or even as light as my other AEK II (let's call this one AEKa) that was just lubed with Super Lube. However, AEKb was in a bit worse condition than AEKa when I started.

I have three keys on AEKb that are dead, so I need to replace those before I can do more testing.

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