454th MX Blue G80-1000 ever made?

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

26 Aug 2017, 08:22

As part of my latest recycler haul I came across a very early G80-1000 HFD with very special stem hues and a super low serial (454)

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I have seen some discussions regarding early MX Blues around here lately and have seen various shades of MX Blue stems but this is my first board with such a variety of stem hues!

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Khers

26 Aug 2017, 08:56

That's almost Alps-levels of colour discrepancy! :o :shock: :mrgreen:

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

26 Aug 2017, 09:17

Let's make stems!

- What colour?

Blueish!

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Khers

26 Aug 2017, 09:20

I hear bluish wodios are the best! Especially when jailhoused!

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

26 Aug 2017, 09:42

If these are clones they might not sell so well in China, otherwise it's $$$ for the desoldering.

Come on Wodan, don't let me down now... :maverick:

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Daniel Beardsmore

26 Aug 2017, 12:23

At a guess, the date code on that is "A29", making it 1988. That's about right; I don't recall seeing MX Blue before around 1989. This is strange, because MX Blue is basically what was in the Cherry MX patent filed in 1983. So did Cherry take several years to get around to making the switch that they patented, or were the clicky switches indeed colourless before that date?

Note that the patent says nothing about audible feedback, which may explain why the clear types don't click. The objective according to the patent, and per all literature, is "movement differential" (hysteresis) so maybe blue represents a point where Cherry thought, you know what, let's make one that really does click, since people want that these days. (Note that Cherry did not knowingly make clicky switches in any prior series; tactile, yes, but clicky, no.)

I can't tell from the photos, but there is a suggestion that they're maybe closer to sky blue than regular blue. The photo needs a regular blue switch included to show what colour it appears under the lighting conditions in question.

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hansichen

26 Aug 2017, 12:31

Your info should be wrong Daniel, if you look at the scan of the G80-0520 flyer you'll see that the board did exist with "tactile click" switches which are today's mx blues. These boards are really rare and mx blacks were always the first choice but sometimes they used mx blues too. I have pictures of a G80-1800 prototype from an earlier time in 1988 which has really dark mx blue switches too. So maybe they changed the color sometime in ~1989. I'm not sure if we know the dates of the dark blue boards in the wiki but maybe we find some connections

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Daniel Beardsmore

26 Aug 2017, 13:03

Movement differential was the objective. My speculation is that Cherry didn't want the noise, and managed to muffle it. MX Blue may mark the point that they decided to make a variety that did emit sound, after which the deliberately quiet version with hysteresis was pigmented white to distinguish it.

The March 1988 part schema lists blue, white and clear separately, meaning that regardless of what the wiki says, pigmented white goes back as far as 1988. Pigmented white has movement differential, while blue and green have '"Click" movement differential. Click clear is either restricted to the years for which we have no documentation, or was never listed.

Quite simply, we need more data, and none of the people who've owned keyboards with the rare switches have ever documented them properly, so we're still guessing about things we should have known in detail for years. I toy with Cherry research, but I tend to give up because it's a waste of time because no-one hands over the data.

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scottc

26 Aug 2017, 13:57

Any chance you could get an exploded switch shot of this vs. a modern MX blue for comparison? Or even just stems, since the other parts are probably almost the same.

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

26 Aug 2017, 14:39

Will go full macro on those little mofos

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

02 Nov 2017, 11:21

Okay this really took way too long. Before desoldering I took another shot of the PCB with some efforts for a good white balance!
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Longer exposure:
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Any other shots you want to see of these switches?
Anyone interested in a few samples?

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

02 Nov 2017, 12:09

Nice, I'll take a sample.

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Daniel Beardsmore

02 Nov 2017, 19:46

Interesting, that has the yellowed plastic that I associate with the non-click switches (MX1A-A1nn).

If they are intentionally clicky switches, then it would suggest that the colourless ("white") plastic of the sliding colour goes yellow for some other reason, and that it's nothing to do with the grease used to make MX White not click. (I have a number of Omron B2R switches where the slider—which appears to be POM—has yellowed significantly, and I don't know how or why that has happened.)

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hoaryhag

03 Nov 2017, 00:10

Plastic can yellow as raw pellets in unopened gaylord bins. Some scientific mumbo jumbo linked. The differing blues on this board are likely parts that should have been discarded because the color wasn't fully changed from plastic white to the desired blue, or someone forgot to refill the color hopper. We made full sized cart dumpsters that would sometimes come out tie dyed due to the color we were changing from and to. Everyone oohed and aahed over them, and I'm sure a few got snuck out the back instead of going to the grinder. Industrial grade stuff is so much stronger than the consumer crap we buy. It's no wonder they had cameras installed soon thereafter.

http://www.ampacet.com/faqs/yellowing-a ... ite-pe-pp/

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Daniel Beardsmore

03 Nov 2017, 00:39

What I'm saying is, I see the yellowing with MX White, and I was guessing that it related to the grease applied to MX White to stop it clicking. I have some MX Dark Blue switches with similar yellowing to what you see in MX White, and those don't click either. However, that switch looks much more yellowed. (I also have old B2R switches that have not yellowed.)

I can't recall if you were the person I asked about mould numbering … whoever it was, never responded.

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hoaryhag

03 Nov 2017, 02:33

The simple answer on the yellowing is oxidation. Everything oxidizes and there are additives in plastic to prevent early yellowing due to oxidation, uv exposure, thermal breakdown, etc. We also don't know what environment the keyboard was used in. Was it exposed to fumes, dirty air, etc. I would look for evidence of lubrication on the switches rather than assuming lubrication caused the yellowing. It could be that the greased switches were protected from the air more and yellowed less. It could also be that the plastic used is different or didn't have the same additive or in the same quantity as when the other switches were produced. Cost of materials can be a prime motivator in how things are produced. For example, maybe they decide to use a less costly plastic that yellows more, because hey, no one will see the switches, or they go to a lighter colored blue stem because it takes less color. Of course it's all speculation.

As far as the mold numbering, I did address this in another thread where you posed that question. From what I remember you were mainly wanting to know why you find simple numbering along with more complex numbering in the same board. The simple answer is they went to a more complex mold numbering system once they had more molds in operation and more orders to fill. All in order to identify which cavities were producing defects, and when they were made. Overstock of older switches using the simpler numbering system would be mixed with the newer numbering system in an assembly line. Or, older molds were still in operation simultaneously with the newer molds and numbering system, and it all went to the same assembly line. I don't mean to be rambling or irritating. Really, it's all speculation. Even the company that produced them probably can't tell you everything. Where I worked we did not make parts nearly this small and our numbering simply signified a date code on a clock style wheel.

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

03 Nov 2017, 08:17

Thanks guys some very nice insights.

Beardsmore please PM me your address, this is the second set of switches I was going to send you some samples of.

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Daniel Beardsmore

03 Nov 2017, 09:53

It may be that the yellowing is a red herring. I've never seen any difference between the internal parts; the Dark Blue switches that I have look like they should click, but they simply don't. I don't see any grease. Someone pointed out that the sliding collar doesn't strike the shell, but rather is caught by the main slider, and it's that instant that you'd want to damp — which means that putting grease on the slider cam seems like it would not help..

You can see the grease here:

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=17221.0

However, you can see that my MX White switch is devoid of grease, and yet it still works as expected:

wiki/File:Cherry_MX_--_click_sliders.jpg


Wodan — I am not sure what I would do with the switches. I don't have any equipment that I could put to use on them. I'd not even manage a better photo than yours (I'd get better focus, but less detail and far worse dynamic range, so not an improvement). I do have one single old MX White switch, but it's still got wires soldered to it and one day I need to see if I can get those off, and without melting the switch in the process (which I've done before).

With Cherry I'm really after documentation.

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Daniel Beardsmore

25 Nov 2017, 00:45

OK, now that's curious.

Your click clear switch has no sprue recess on the keystem. Nor do the pale blue switches. And nor does grey MX Lock.

Where did the click clear come from?

The sprue recess is, oddly, north for movement differential and for clear and tactile grey, and south otherwise. Brown uses south, the same as linear switches.

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

27 Nov 2017, 11:22

Thanks for sharing your obversations! The MX clicky-clear is from that Nixdorf CT06 that happened to have "clicky" white (?) switches instead of nixies ...

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Daniel Beardsmore

27 Nov 2017, 22:36

Oh, one of those topics where I just ended up talking to myself. The one where you have an ultra-rare MX1A-B1DW. At least I can read some dates off the picture: 1987.

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