Four interesting Alps switches

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snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

28 Jul 2019, 03:47

First of all, let me say I'm not sure if this are keyboard switches. The metal one in particular seems quite weird (I'll explain why later).

I saw them pop up on ebay and my curiosity got the best of me so I bought them. Cool little addition to my small switch collection I figure.

I've got the rest of my evening set aside to take them apart and photograph them. Anything in particular you guys want to see?

Perhaps these are already documented. In my cursory look through the wiki I wasn't able to find them.

Here are some pictures of each one.

Switch #1
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Switch #2
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Switch #3
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Switch #4
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snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

28 Jul 2019, 04:52

I thought this would be a novel way to show these.

Switch #1
Image

Switch #2
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Switch #3
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Switch #4
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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

28 Jul 2019, 04:59

Woah!! Is this time lapse? Very well done and super cool!

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snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

28 Jul 2019, 05:13

//gainsborough wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 04:59
Woah!! Is this time lapse? Very well done and super cool!
Thanks! Yes, I put them on a turntable and took a bunch of photos to make those gifs.

Also, these things are so hipster. Like, what is this mechanism?!

Image

Lbibass

28 Jul 2019, 05:18

snacksthecat wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 05:13
//gainsborough wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 04:59
Woah!! Is this time lapse? Very well done and super cool!
Thanks! Yes, I put them on a turntable and took a bunch of photos to make those gifs.

Also, these things are so hipster. Like, what is this mechanism?!

Image
It looks almost like a capacitive Shitsumi Miniature Mechanical! Very funky.

Findecanor

28 Jul 2019, 06:46

snacksthecat wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 05:13
Also, these things are so hipster. Like, what is this mechanism?!
I suppose the gold spring is supposed to slider against the contacts and close the circuit...
Or does the spring roll?

How is the key feel? I can't imagine that sliding contacts would be any good.
Lbibass wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 05:18
It looks almost like a capacitive Shitsumi Miniature Mechanical! Very funky.
I would not shit on Mitsumi. I have got only one of their standard Mechanical tactile switches that use the same tactile mechanism as the miniature switches, but it feels very nice.
Last edited by Findecanor on 28 Jul 2019, 10:42, edited 1 time in total.

samuelcable

28 Jul 2019, 06:50

i assume these types of switches are for push buttons in like cars , or other industrial applications rather than keyswitches for keyboards. very cool stuff, i love those spinning gifs

brainandforce

28 Jul 2019, 07:31

Findecanor wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 06:46
Lbibass wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 05:18
It looks almost like a capacitive Shitsumi Miniature Mechanical! Very funky.
I would not shit on Mitsumi. I have got only one of their standard Mechanical tactile switches, but it feels very nice.
That's the catch with Mitsumi miniature mechanical. They feel amazing as loose switches, but when you actually use them in a keyboard, they bind like you accidentally got your Krytox mixed up with Krazy Glue and decided to go ahead with lubing them anyway.

In the eternal words of Chyros: "The keyfeel of these is absolute, perfect, crystalline FUCKNESS."

User avatar
Chyros

28 Jul 2019, 11:05

brainandforce wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 07:31
Findecanor wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 06:46
Lbibass wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 05:18
It looks almost like a capacitive Shitsumi Miniature Mechanical! Very funky.
I would not shit on Mitsumi. I have got only one of their standard Mechanical tactile switches, but it feels very nice.
That's the catch with Mitsumi miniature mechanical. They feel amazing as loose switches, but when you actually use them in a keyboard, they bind like you accidentally got your Krytox mixed up with Krazy Glue and decided to go ahead with lubing them anyway.

In the eternal words of Chyros: "The keyfeel of these is absolute, perfect, crystalline FUCKNESS."
On top of that, don't confuse their standard (and actually considerably rarer) switches with the miniature ones. The tall ones are OK. The miniature ones are an eldritch abomination.

And yeah, they definitely feel very different as loose switches.

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Muirium
µ

28 Jul 2019, 13:12

Someone once told me they’re perfectly fine once lubed. I’d believe that when I see it. But I already gave my fairy cursed board away for your enjoyment!

The super shitty flexy case and literally every other aspect of the thing besides the switches did not exactly instil a sense of being likely.

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zrrion

28 Jul 2019, 16:04

So you're the one who beat me in getting those pop. Glad to see they went to someone who is documenting them.

User avatar
snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

28 Jul 2019, 20:33

Findecanor wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 06:46
How is the key feel? I can't imagine that sliding contacts would be any good.
They feel okay. But the travel is so short on these that most of the scratchiness doesn't have a chance to come out.
zrrion wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 16:04
So you're the one who beat me in getting those pop. Glad to see they went to someone who is documenting them.
I'm the rascal! There's actually another set of these up right now. That set doesn't include the metal-slider one but I think mine is missing some parts anyways (no spring and no contact leaf). Or, once I'm done playing with these, you can have them for a more reasonable price if you're really interested.
samuelcable wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 06:50
i assume these types of switches are for push buttons in like cars , or other industrial applications rather than keyswitches for keyboards.
Yeah, the more I look at these I'm more and more convinced of the same.

lsoelxi a few months back posted a 1993 Alps switch catalog. First of all, it's amazing to look through. Unfortunately I didn't see anything resembling these switches in the catalog, despite the variety of different switches it has. Probably these pre-date that catalog.

Have any other similar catalogs surfaced ever? I'd be really interested to look through those as well if they exist. Bitsavers is surprisingly sparse, only containing a patent for achieving n-key rollover.

samuelcable

29 Jul 2019, 01:28

snacksthecat wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 20:33
Findecanor wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 06:46
How is the key feel? I can't imagine that sliding contacts would be any good.
They feel okay. But the travel is so short on these that most of the scratchiness doesn't have a chance to come out.
zrrion wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 16:04
So you're the one who beat me in getting those pop. Glad to see they went to someone who is documenting them.
I'm the rascal! There's actually another set of these up right now. That set doesn't include the metal-slider one but I think mine is missing some parts anyways (no spring and no contact leaf). Or, once I'm done playing with these, you can have them for a more reasonable price if you're really interested.
samuelcable wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 06:50
i assume these types of switches are for push buttons in like cars , or other industrial applications rather than keyswitches for keyboards.
Yeah, the more I look at these I'm more and more convinced of the same.

lsoelxi a few months back posted a 1993 Alps switch catalog. First of all, it's amazing to look through. Unfortunately I didn't see anything resembling these switches in the catalog, despite the variety of different switches it has. Probably these pre-date that catalog.

Have any other similar catalogs surfaced ever? I'd be really interested to look through those as well if they exist. Bitsavers is surprisingly sparse, only containing a patent for achieving n-key rollover.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Alps-power-pus ... Swx9lcJuBs

this one for example is for some sort of audio equipment as a push button, the spring reminds me of some of the ones you found....

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