Kaihua Kailh click bar switches.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

10 Apr 2017, 17:19

I received a sample of a new switch "coming soon" from Kailh. I took some high quality photos and videos and wanted to share them here with you! Thoughts and suggestions welcome!
DSC_1222.jpg
Kailh click - switch slider. Note click arm on left side.
DSC_1222.jpg (288.06 KiB) Viewed 2577 times
DSC_1227.jpg
Kailh click - switch internals. Click bar clearly visible.
DSC_1227.jpg (831.15 KiB) Viewed 2577 times
Yes, I know this should go on the Wiki. Permission granted to put it there, maybe I'll get around to doing this myself. :oops:

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Chyros

10 Apr 2017, 19:22

Ah, so this basically uses the clicker from their new low-profile switches. Very interesting, I really liked those switches. How did you acquire this?

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

10 Apr 2017, 19:32

Chyros wrote: How did you acquire this?
A gift from a friend at Massdrop.

I shot the video using my Nikon D7000 with a Tamron 90mm macro lens at 1:1 (full magnification). It gives a working range of a few inches, plenty for photographing a switch. I'm really pleased with how it came out.

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Orpheo

10 Apr 2017, 19:35

Thanks for the video, it is indeed wonderful macro shot. Could be better if you close the aperture more to increase DOF.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

10 Apr 2017, 19:38

Orpheo wrote: Thanks for the video, it is indeed wonderful macro shot. Could be better if you close the aperture more to increase DOF.
I was already at f/16. The photo of the switch was at f/32. You don't get much depth of field at point-blank range with a macro lens. When shooting video your aperture speed needs to be at least 1/24s which limits things. Bright lights help.

EDIT: At f/64 - as small as this lens goes - I get a depth of field of at least 18mm, enough for a switch. I'll try that next time.

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Stabilized

10 Apr 2017, 21:17

Thanks for taking the time to video and photograph it, I agree that you got some really good shots!

So how does the click spring change the feel of the switch?

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Daniel Beardsmore

10 Apr 2017, 22:13

How curious. So we know that the upstroke and downstroke feel different, yet this guarantees an upstroke click, something few switches offer so precisely.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

10 Apr 2017, 22:28

Stabilized wrote: So how does the click spring change the feel of the switch?
It adds a nice snap. It adds force before the click, and decreases force a little just after. The switch is otherwise linear.

This is a really clever mechanism for adding a click and tactile feedback to a linear switch.

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Chyros

10 Apr 2017, 23:19

I really like this mechanism, I find it much more satisfying to use than a click jacket.

I was a little disappointed by how little we've seen of the ML switches they put out, but I'd love to review a fullsize of these :D .

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cookie

11 Apr 2017, 13:11

Chyros wrote: I really like this mechanism, I find it much more satisfying to use than a click jacket.

I was a little disappointed by how little we've seen of the ML switches they put out, but I'd love to review a fullsize of these :D .
Lack of caps and boards to mount made them naturally disappear from the mech community.

I have mixed feelings about Kailh switches. I remember them producing this hideous Razer switches with the "full of shit" marketing campaign. I simply can't have that in my keyboard.

andrewjoy

11 Apr 2017, 14:09

I would like to try them out , i hope they feel more like alps with a thunk rather than a crappy plastic twang .

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E3E

12 Apr 2017, 00:57

andrewjoy wrote: I would like to try them out , i hope they feel more like alps with a thunk rather than a crappy plastic twang .
The only thing that's really changed is the click mechanism and some minor changes on the stem, so I doubt that these switches will have the characteristic Alps "thunk." There's still a lot of a difference between them. The click does sound a lot better than the typical mechanism though.

Also, I'm assuming that this mechanism still allows usage of LEDs thanks to how slim the torsion spring is.

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Chyros

12 Apr 2017, 08:02

E3E wrote: Also, I'm assuming that this mechanism still allows usage of LEDs thanks to how slim the torsion spring is.
It IS conductive though :p .

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Daniel Beardsmore

12 Apr 2017, 09:10

I don't think he had a short circuit in mind though.

andrewjoy

12 Apr 2017, 10:48

E3E wrote:
andrewjoy wrote: I would like to try them out , i hope they feel more like alps with a thunk rather than a crappy plastic twang .
The only thing that's really changed is the click mechanism and some minor changes on the stem, so I doubt that these switches will have the characteristic Alps "thunk." There's still a lot of a difference between them. The click does sound a lot better than the typical mechanism though.

Also, I'm assuming that this mechanism still allows usage of LEDs thanks to how slim the torsion spring is.

Its not so much the bottoming out sound i actually think that sounds quite good on stiffer cherries when they have thick caps on, not as good as some vintage complicated orange alps or green alps but better than say a AT101 simplified blacks .

The click on cherries sounds terrible , it sounds like somone snapping plastic, now if that is more the alps click sound that a nice deep sound i could rock some :), tactility of cherry switches its also a bit wank , lets hope this is an improvement.

Cherry just stick to making MX blacks and improve the quality of the plastic so they are smooth , its what your good at :).

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E3E

15 Apr 2017, 12:40

Chyros wrote:
E3E wrote: Also, I'm assuming that this mechanism still allows usage of LEDs thanks to how slim the torsion spring is.
It IS conductive though :p .
I was thinking that, but given enough separation, it wouldn't interfere. The little spring doesn't move very far. The LED might be fine.

Now that I check again, yeah. The top has an LED cut out, so it's probably designed with that in mind, as I had thought. I missed that part when I originally watched this.

Heh, short circuits... It'd be its own backlight mode without any programming needed!

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Daniel Beardsmore

15 Apr 2017, 13:05

If the spring touched the LED legs it would short the current and stop the LED lighting up.

It could be an excuse to bring back braided LEDs:

Image

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

15 Apr 2017, 13:22

This design works best with surface mount LEDs.

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Daniel Beardsmore

15 Apr 2017, 13:51

I'm not sure I trust SMD LEDs … they're a long way down. The Matias approach just ends up with the light coming out from underneath the keycap: you just see a glowing switch. At least with Kailh the LED would be above the PCB.

Photos of these newfangled LED implementations suggest that they never seem to deliver.

I'd like to see the Romer-G implementation up close, as that seems to work nicely (although in early photos it had seemed not to) — and looking at the patent they took it very seriously. Those are damped, too, I discovered.

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E3E

15 Apr 2017, 15:15

Daniel Beardsmore wrote: If the spring touched the LED legs it would short the current and stop the LED lighting up.

It could be an excuse to bring back braided LEDs:

Image
The top of the switch appears to be designed for LEDs. The spring wouldn't be touching it at rest either, so if it did cause a short, it'd be a momentary short and cause flicker when the spring is pushed forward, which is what I was joking about regarding LED modes without programming.

If this version reflects the production model, then it was obviously designed with in-switch LEDs in mind.

Those braided LEDs are pretty snazzy. :P

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Daniel Beardsmore

15 Apr 2017, 15:24

Ah, I see from the video that the spring stays out of the way. I was arranging to order some Kailh speed switches, and I've just realised that it's these, so I'll have some to play with in a month or so.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/5pcs-Ka ... 25942.html

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E3E

15 Apr 2017, 15:29

These are definitely some of the most exciting MX clone switches I've seen in a while, but I'm still stubbornly entrenched in Alps land. It's also because I don't want to bleed out more money than I already am, oh god.

I'm happy to see Kailh starting to get away from being synonymous with Razer and being scapegoated for all the things people dislike about Razer anymore. The hate Kailh got because of that always bothered me a bit.

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Daniel Beardsmore

15 Apr 2017, 15:44

Kailh make MX clones, and cloning is never that exciting. However, they're one of very few companies actually innovating and that's good to see. One day I may get to try their mini switches: if they can perfect what Cherry were going for with ML, that would be excellent, as ML is full of potential. In fact, isn't this new switch, the same click system as their mini switches? I assume the issue with ML and similar switches is the short guide shaft for the slider allowing for greater tilt — the way to tell would be to compare the standard (ML1A) and robust (ML1B) types to see if the robust type with its taller guide shaft is less prone to binding. The robust type is however EOL, and very rare — I have some loose, used examples, but I've seen very few keyboards with them in, maybe just one (the Tandberg Data one that someone's got).

Cherry's click system is plastic on plastic, while Alps is metal on plastic, so this click spring design is closer to Alps. It's an interesting idea, that should have less if any of the MX rattle.

I'm curious to hear the pitch compared with blue and/or white Alps side by side in the same environment.

andrewjoy

15 Apr 2017, 16:33

Daniel Beardsmore wrote:
Cherry's click system is plastic on plastic, while Alps is metal on plastic, so this click spring design is closer to Alps. It's an interesting idea, that should have less if any of the MX rattle.
Thats what i hope for , a more alps like click

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Stabilized

15 May 2017, 16:47

XMIT, can you confirm if these are the same switches?
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/kaihua-box ... guest_open

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Chyros

15 May 2017, 17:54

andrewjoy wrote:
Daniel Beardsmore wrote:
Cherry's click system is plastic on plastic, while Alps is metal on plastic, so this click spring design is closer to Alps. It's an interesting idea, that should have less if any of the MX rattle.
Thats what i hope for , a more alps like click
The pitch on the ML switches is extremely high, even higher than Cherries, but it's a much more defined sound, and IMO more satisfying. Although I don't have a board with them in of course.

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zslane

15 May 2017, 18:52

It may be a clever design, but I really don't care for the high pitched (and very loud) click of the Kailh Thick Gold (née "bronze") speed switch. I like their regular Gold speed switch far better because it has a softer, more subtle click that won't rattle your teeth. If I wanted a more substantial click, I'd go with the Kailh Box White switch instead; it sounds much better than the Thick Gold switch, IMO. The pitch and timbre of its click is more satisfying and less obnoxious than the Thick Gold, at least to my ears.

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Daniel Beardsmore

15 May 2017, 20:19

"Box White"?

ah, the different type on Massdrop.

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zslane

17 May 2017, 02:20

After more side-by-side comparisons, I've concluded that the Box White is basically the same as the Thick Gold except it isn't a speed switch and it has the "splash-resistant" box slider. The slight difference in timbre is probably due to the extra plastic of the box slider. But they are the same in that they both click with a loud, high-pitched snap, and they both click on the way down as well as on the way back up. I'm sure all the clicky switch fans out there will love that, as they make twice as much cacophonous noise as an MX blue or green.

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Daniel Beardsmore

17 May 2017, 09:13

I guess it's no huge surprise that the "box" types aren't on their website, so I can't get the series name for them:

http://www.kailh.com/gb/products.asp?Ca ... d=86&rel=1

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