Vacuuming out Alps Switches?


26 Sep 2020, 05:03

Hey everyone, first post here- long time reader of the wonderful insights and amazing boards posted.

I've been pondering an idea for quick- not 100% restoration- of some alps orange/salmon boards. I'm interested in not taking evey switch apart to save time. I have a fairly powerful handheld vaccumm & im working on making a very small nozzle for the end of it that could sit right over the center stem/ hole in a switch and (hopefully) suction all of the dust out. Very high air pressure would flow through the switch I believe. (I would remove/ clean back plate/pcb before vaccuming switrches to prevent pulling more dirt in.)

My worry is: 1) Removing all the dried lube. These are ~7/10 switrhes could I be makiing them worse? 2) This idea just being otherwise dumb =)

Background: I have been trying to restore a small collection of Apple M0116's - giving them to family memebrs as presents. As much as I'd like to do a 100% perfect job, my free time is limited. Looking for a way to efficiently clean out switches without having to open each one.

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26 Sep 2020, 11:03

I think it won't work. Even if you can physically make the device, most dirt will be firmly stuck to the plastic and no amount of air will unstuck it without scrubbing, specially in the confined and intricate innards of a switch. Also you can end up killing your vacuum cleaner, as those usually rely on the sucked air for motor cooling and with such a small nozzle it cloud overheat and die in no time.


26 Sep 2020, 22:22

inmbolmie wrote:
26 Sep 2020, 11:03
most dirt will be firmly stuck... killing your vacuum cleaner
I do appreciate the thoughts. Regarding messing up the vaccum- I'm now using a nozzle has enough relief holes drilled in to prevent overheat. Thanks for the thought! :D

I guess the main thing is- with people reccomedning compressed air (blown into the bottom housing)...would vaccum directly at the hole of the slider accomplish relatively similar results- but for the slider & other parts as well.

I can believe as you say that a lot of dirt/dust could be too firmly stuck- I guess the question is how much will move.If I was going for a full resto- I would obviously open these up. But I'm hoping this will take the switches from maybe a 7/10 to an 8 with minimal effort. Will try with the modification suggested and report back.

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