Kailh Cherry ML Inspired low profile switches

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scottc

28 Nov 2016, 17:44

matt3o wrote: so far the switches are called PG1350
wow, so catchy :D

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scottc

02 Dec 2016, 13:03

Alright, I just got my samples! First impressions: I'm honestly impressed. The linear and tactile switches are quite good - nothing incredible, but remember the absolutely tiny footprint of them. The clicky switches, on the other hand, are really nice. I'll post a more thorough review later or over the weekend if I get some time. :) I plan to take them to the London keyboard meetup tomorrow too!

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Chyros

02 Dec 2016, 14:46

I got some samples as well, I'm definitely impressed so far as well, and like you, especially with the clicky one, which has a very interesting clicker mechanism. I'll be doing a video about these switches sometime next week probably.

Eh, Scott - it's on Sunday, not tomorrow! xD

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scottc

02 Dec 2016, 14:49

Ooh, that saves a possible embarrassing encounter tomorrow... thanks... :lol:

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scottc

05 Dec 2016, 19:47

I brought these to the London meetup this weekend and people seemed pretty impressed by them. Almost everyone who tried them had similar initial impressions as me: that they were all quite nice given the small form-factor, but the clicky switch was the most popular. I particularly like the pronounced tactility of it, but also liked the linear switch a lot too. I found it surprisingly smooth and satisfying. I could definitely imagine using these in a portable keyboard in a laptop or convertible tablet case.

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suka
frobiac

05 Dec 2016, 20:21

Got some samples in the mail today, thanks Matt3o!
IMG_20161205_193652908-1080x1920.jpg
They fit!
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First impressions are really good, as others aready mentioned especially the clicky white one provides a very crisp audible feedback. But the tactile brown one also feels quite nice, whereas the red one seems rather dull in comparison (but not at all by itself). When mounted in identical frames I'd put the regular Cherry ML somewhere between brown and red with regard to tactile feedback and perceived activation point.

But even though I haven't had complains of stuck ML switches during regular use in my boards it seems virtually impossible to get these new incarnations to produce any significant unwanted rubbing of the stems, even when hit at the outsidemost edge of the cap corners! The clear case top is also a very interesting detail...

Two observations I made: The clicky white switch has an additional wire protuding next to the led cutout which looks to be the end of the clicky wire? Also, this is the only one of the three that is absolutely silent when shaken, the others sound like some small piece of metal is moving around freely inside. I haven't investigated this yet by opening the switches, but this metal "ringing" can also be observed when hitting the switch in fast succession: Not very noticable, but gives it a very "cheap" sound when you're aware of it.

EDIT: After opening the switches it is apparent that the rattling does indeed come from the little u-shaped wires in both red and brown switches at the led side - after removal they're absolutely silent in this regard. It is not apparent to me what function the wire is supposed to fulfill as there is no obvious mechanism to it. The only thing I can imagine is additional support when pulling off tightly fitting keycaps, so the tiny ridges on the stem do not have to bear the full force...

Otherwise the design of the switch is very well documented in the datasheet: The four little hooks attach nicely into cutouts within a frame, making the switches ideal candidates for usage in 3D-printed frames compared to the original ML switches where press-fitting was always a thin line between loose fit and non-operation due to a compressed case.

I'm looking forward to see these switches hit the market, hopefully not just in full boards but also individually. Finally an extremely low profile flat custom board looks feasible with usable switches :D
IMG_20161205_193546896_HDR-1920x1080.jpg
... and the caps too!
IMG_20161205_193546896_HDR-1920x1080.jpg (246.81 KiB) Viewed 2400 times

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scottc

05 Dec 2016, 20:38

Oh wow, those little keycaps and holders are adorable suka! Do the switches feel much different mounted on them with keycaps?

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suka
frobiac

05 Dec 2016, 20:57

I find it much easier to compare them when the surface area at your fingertip is larger and the stem edges don't distract. But I'd say the individual differences are about as noticable as without. As I mentioned it is the very uniform feeling even when hit off-center that is much more apparent now compared to the original MLs (the brown can indeed feel a tiny bit scratchy when hit at a corner it seems, but nothing very noticable)
The rebound on the way back up with these very light caps is quite interesting, by the way: it is a little like a second tactile feedback, maybe due to the very limited travel to actuation.

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

05 Dec 2016, 21:46

suka wrote: It is not apparent to me what function the wire is supposed to fulfill
I believe it's there to prevent wobbling (especially when hitting the keycap not exactly in the center)

Kurplop

06 Dec 2016, 16:35

Let us know when we can get them in quantities. I sense a new custom keyboard in the wind.

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ohaimark
Kingpin

06 Dec 2016, 16:38

It would be sexy to put these new switches in a thin cast magnesium case... Possibly with a steel backplate, if they have plate mount switches. Powdercoat it all black.

-sighs-

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

06 Dec 2016, 17:57

Kurplop wrote: Let us know when we can get them in quantities. I sense a new custom keyboard in the wind.
your senses are right, my friend.

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Scarpia

06 Dec 2016, 18:05

I got mine today -- these are NICE!

The clicky switch has a surprisingly nice sound and feel - no small feat for such a tiny switch! It absolutely exceeded my expectations; I am already picturing a custom built laptop with a clicky mechanical keyboard somewhere in my future.

The linear is another pleasant surprise -- it is very light (which I prefer in linears), it has what feels like a truly linear increase in force (being an Alps guy I may be a bit easy to impress here, but still) and only a very slight sense of friction against the housing.

As for the brown tactile -- I am divided here. On the one hand, it's no Topre and it's no Alps SKCM brown. But it's ...fine. Specifically, it does not have that horrendous vague double-bump that Cherry tactile switches (and their clones) have. For me, this alone means it's genuinely as good or better than any tactile Cherry MX variant I've tried.

In short, the tactile keyfeel of the brown is kind of Alps-like, which is a very good thing, but obviously with a shorter travel and with a sharp tactile bump (which may be audible when mounted in a keyboard) on the upstroke. I'd have liked the downstroke bump to be as pronounced, but it's more subtle/gradual.

Thanks matt3o for letting us try these - and I too would like a ping once they become available in bulk :)

jacobolus

07 Dec 2016, 00:24

If these are mounted edge to edge, I bet they could be used to make a pretty nice keyboard for young children.

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PollandAkuma

07 Dec 2016, 01:02

A sample of these were at the UK mech meetup, and the clicky was really popular! I don't think I'd be able to get used the small distance though... I wish laptop keyboards used these!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Chyros

10 Dec 2016, 14:55

These switches made a perfect candidate for my new switch teardown series, so here you go! Hope you enjoy! :)

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drevyek

10 Dec 2016, 20:29

Just saw Chyros' video- I was having the hardest time imagining exactly how they worked.

The clicky variant reminds immediately of Alps, and their method of tactility (which I think you were heavily alluding to in your video, Chyros). Interesting how they have the two different methods of tactility- a Cherry-like method (Brown) and the Alps-like (white).

Also interesting s the colour choice. I had thought it peculiar that they didn't go for the blue coloured sliders on the clicky, but Kaihl may be alluding to Alps-style click in more ways than the mechanism.

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

10 Dec 2016, 21:23

... or maybe cherry mx white

variable

11 Dec 2016, 01:12

Has their been any mention of a release date? I'm eagerly awaiting any quality low profile keyswitches and caps

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Chyros

11 Dec 2016, 01:37

Tbh if there has ever been a "clicky" colour it must be blue xD .

Also, I didn't necessarily allude to Alps-like tactility with the clcky switches. In truth, the way they do it in these switches is unique. Definitely a lot better than cheap "notched slider" tactility and "plastic jacket" clicky noise, tha's for sure.

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PollandAkuma

11 Dec 2016, 08:02

Devlin does ML style caps :)

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

11 Dec 2016, 08:28

it is already possible to buy these switches, but I'm waiting for the final keycaps to make an order. As of now you would end up with a keyboard without keycaps

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

11 Dec 2016, 08:56

Thanks for the video Chyros. Made me realize these switches are basically Cherry M8 with a lid.

The clicker design is innovative and charming though.

Factory lubes switches are also very suspicious to me. I'd pick a dry switch over a lubed switch any time, hopefully they find a better solution in a later revision.

variable

11 Dec 2016, 20:34

matt3o wrote: it is already possible to buy these switches, but I'm waiting for the final keycaps to make an order. As of now you would end up with a keyboard without keycaps
Do you buy them direct from Kailh?

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Chyros

11 Dec 2016, 21:48

Wodan wrote: Factory lubes switches are also very suspicious to me. I'd pick a dry switch over a lubed switch any time, hopefully they find a better solution in a later revision.
I disagree, have you FELT Cherry ML before? :p

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

11 Dec 2016, 22:13

variable wrote: Do you buy them direct from Kailh?
possibly, yes

geostation

12 Dec 2016, 10:52

hoping these go mainstream. i would kill for low profile mech. that way i can get rid og the annoying wrist rest. one less moving part in my setup

variable

12 Dec 2016, 18:47

matt3o wrote:
variable wrote: Do you buy them direct from Kailh?
possibly, yes
Ah so answer is 'nobody knows yet, wait and see'?

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

12 Dec 2016, 19:12

the bottom line is: I won't be buying them if the keycaps suck! So before getting too excited let's see how the keycaps turn out.

Kurplop

12 Dec 2016, 22:41

matt3o wrote: the bottom line is: I won't be buying them if the keycaps suck! So before getting too excited let's see how the keycaps turn out.
But I want them now. :(

Is there any way for us to buy, say 100 of each now, or aren't they ready for general distribution?

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