Alps Appreciation

User avatar
Polecat

28 Dec 2020, 01:22

Lynx_Carpathica wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 00:59
We'll just have to sit around and wait for NeK to find out what is closest to the stuff Alps used back then. I'm almost afraid to buy SKCM Blue boards and switches, in fear that I can't pay 200€s for one, and getting a really crap one for 30€s or so...if that's possible. Same goes for oragne alps too. Are Salmon alps lubed, or are made of the exact same plastic as White alps, just with a different slider color? And also, from what I can tell, even the tactile leaves are more rounded on blue alps from what I can see than on white ones. I wonder how would blue alps feel with white stems. How much does the slider ad to the keyfeel, and how much the tactile leaf.
All good questions of course. Another one of my hare-brained ideas is that salmon Alps happened because the later plastic did not take the orange dye as well as the earlier stuff. That's probably wrong, but I threw it out there just in case. Also maybe worth noting that some blue Alps sliders are a lot more inconsistent in color than others. I don't remember that being mentioned about any other color.

(Ahem) Which white stems? Were they all the same, or was that another change? I need to check to see if any of my early white SKCM switches with unbranded housings were factory lubed? Or my blues for that matter, as I haven't opened more than two or three ever.

User avatar
Lynx_Carpathica

28 Dec 2020, 01:34

Well, It's your turn to shine. One thing for sure, theese unbranded early complicated white sliders feel slippery. That said, it has a short white swithplate, unbranded shiny top housing, and a slider that feels slippery. It's probably POM.

Please check out those early white alps. Sadly, I can't do any testing since I only have an SKCM White, and Ivory board as of right now. The chicony, and the almost new-ish AEK II with ivory switches. And a bunch of switches that I scavanged from a few other boards.

User avatar
Polecat

28 Dec 2020, 04:00

There were also some late pine white (slits) switches with no Alps branding on the upper OR lower housings, from 1992-1993, with short white switchplates. We've talked about these before, but I'm not sure if anyone knows the real story about why they exist. I've found them in several Datacomp keyboards, with 1x mold numbers on the upper right and blank circles (no numbers) on the upper and lower left. Alps was making bamboo switches by then, with late style mold markings, and marked ALPS on the upper housings and with an oval Alps logo on the lowers. But these unbranded switches had early style (small) mold numbers and sound and feel like early pine SKCM. Did Datacomp or someone else (Forward/Fuhua?) buy the early SKCM tooling and continue making early style SKCM switches after Alps went to bamboo? These switches are hinted at in the wiki, and shown in a couple photos, but they're called "simplified" and "incorrectly molded" or something like that. I don't believe for a minute that these were unbranded by accident, but we're all just guessing at this point. Again these have slits, and SKCM-style switchplates, but no Alps identification whatsoever.

User avatar
Lynx_Carpathica

30 Dec 2020, 00:44

Can I do anything about the upstroke click of white alps? It's louder on the upstroke than the downstroke. And it can be quite annoying too.

User avatar
mcmaxmcmc

30 Dec 2020, 00:57

Lynx_Carpathica wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 00:44
Can I do anything about the upstroke click of white alps? It's louder on the upstroke than the downstroke. And it can be quite annoying too.
Disassemble the switch and look at the click leaf.

See the two side tabs? The ones near the bottom tab? Bend those outward so that they're making a slightly obtuse angle to the main part of the leaf.

That should do it. :)

User avatar
Lynx_Carpathica

30 Dec 2020, 20:25

mcmaxmcmc wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 00:57
Lynx_Carpathica wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 00:44
Can I do anything about the upstroke click of white alps? It's louder on the upstroke than the downstroke. And it can be quite annoying too.
Disassemble the switch and look at the click leaf.

See the two side tabs? The ones near the bottom tab? Bend those outward so that they're making a slightly obtuse angle to the main part of the leaf.

That should do it. :)
You, my friend, are a god. It works very well. :) Wonder if it works with tactile switches as well.

User avatar
mcmaxmcmc

30 Dec 2020, 22:28

Lynx_Carpathica wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 20:25
mcmaxmcmc wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 00:57
Lynx_Carpathica wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 00:44
Can I do anything about the upstroke click of white alps? It's louder on the upstroke than the downstroke. And it can be quite annoying too.
Disassemble the switch and look at the click leaf.

See the two side tabs? The ones near the bottom tab? Bend those outward so that they're making a slightly obtuse angle to the main part of the leaf.

That should do it. :)
You, my friend, are a god. It works very well. :) Wonder if it works with tactile switches as well.
I'm glad it worked!

I should do that to my blue Alps switches too, hahaha

User avatar
hellothere

01 Jan 2021, 18:47

Polecat wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 01:15
I know what you mean about the bent switch legs. What I do on those is 1) heat with the soldering iron (ancient Weller station with 800 degree tip) and add some fresh 60/40 Kester 44 rosin core solder. 2) heat again while carefully bending the leg straight with a small stainless flat blade screwdriver. Solder won't stick to stainless, so that's important. 3) Heat again and suck the solder away with your favorite solder sucker. 4) Wiggle the switch legs to make sure theyr'e free of the pads before trying to remove the switch. 5) Very important to use a hotter tip (600-700 degree is not enough) so you can get in and out quickly, before the heat lifts the pad or damages the switch. 6) Fifty years of practice helps. Yes, I'm old.
I forgot to thank you for this. So, thanks!

Just to confirm, we're talking 800 degrees F, right?

User avatar
Polecat

01 Jan 2021, 20:13

Yes, standard degrees, not metric. Weller specs the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, with a number 6, 7, or 8 on the back end of the tip, for 600, 700, or 800 degrees. The tip actually determines the temperature, because it contains a magnet which when it reaches its Curie temperature becomes a non-magnet, and that trips a switch inside the iron, turning the heating element on and off. No fancy electronics or sensors to go bad, which is probably why mine is still working forty years later (and you can still buy the tips).

User avatar
mcmaxmcmc

01 Jan 2021, 21:21

mcmaxmcmc wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 00:57
Lynx_Carpathica wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 00:44
Can I do anything about the upstroke click of white alps? It's louder on the upstroke than the downstroke. And it can be quite annoying too.
Disassemble the switch and look at the click leaf.

See the two side tabs? The ones near the bottom tab? Bend those outward so that they're making a slightly obtuse angle to the main part of the leaf.

That should do it. :)
Okay, I did some more experimentation, and it's rather crucial information, so I figure I should reply.

You want to bend those side tabs as close to right angle as you can, and be rather careful with it. Tampering the leaf even at those tabs can change the sound and feel of those switches a lot. Bending it too much causes friction along the tabs and housing, causing more energy to be absorbed by it when it snaps back and clicks, causing it to be more muted.

User avatar
Lynx_Carpathica

01 Jan 2021, 23:34

mcmaxmcmc wrote:
01 Jan 2021, 21:21
mcmaxmcmc wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 00:57
Lynx_Carpathica wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 00:44
Can I do anything about the upstroke click of white alps? It's louder on the upstroke than the downstroke. And it can be quite annoying too.
Disassemble the switch and look at the click leaf.

See the two side tabs? The ones near the bottom tab? Bend those outward so that they're making a slightly obtuse angle to the main part of the leaf.

That should do it. :)
Okay, I did some more experimentation, and it's rather crucial information, so I figure I should reply.

You want to bend those side tabs as close to right angle as you can, and be rather careful with it. Tampering the leaf even at those tabs can change the sound and feel of those switches a lot. Bending it too much causes friction along the tabs and housing, causing more energy to be absorbed by it when it snaps back and clicks, causing it to be more muted.
Indeed, I noticed it. But also, Clicky SKCM switches are not that loud to begin with as far as I can tell.

User avatar
NeK

02 Jan 2021, 05:34

Polecat wrote:
01 Jan 2021, 20:13
The tip actually determines the temperature, because it contains a magnet which when it reaches its Curie temperature becomes a non-magnet, and that trips a switch inside the iron, turning the heating element on and off. No fancy electronics or sensors to go bad, which is probably why mine is still working forty years later (and you can still buy the tips).
Simply fascinating. Using fundamental particle behavior in the microscopic realm to control a macroscopic mechanism (on or off). Can't get more simpler, than that. Brilliant

User avatar
Lynx_Carpathica

02 Jan 2021, 20:26

I want to contact Alps and ask about the blueprints, and specifics about the switch for clone manufacturing. How can I ask politely, in a way that is not shameless? Like... I could ask for a Lincense or something like that, and then plan on starting a kickstarter campaing or something. Can someone help me formulating the email? (Sadly, my english is quite broken)

I was planning on something similar about SKCM Lime switches, or something, but the only way I can see it going forward is to make a clone of complicated Alps.

Also, I am looking for a person who can help me with this... I have absolutelly zero experiences. My idea would be to ask a clone manufacturer, for example Khail. Send them the blueprints,and ask for the price per switch, minimum order, etc. And then create the kickstarter campaing. Still.. Looking for help about this. But I want to make this a reality.

ntv242ver2

02 Jan 2021, 22:27

Lynx_Carpathica wrote:
02 Jan 2021, 20:26
I want to contact Alps and ask about the blueprints, and specifics about the switch for clone manufacturing. How can I ask politely, in a way that is not shameless? Like... I could ask for a Lincense or something like that, and then plan on starting a kickstarter campaing or something. Can someone help me formulating the email? (Sadly, my english is quite broken)

I was planning on something similar about SKCM Lime switches, or something, but the only way I can see it going forward is to make a clone of complicated Alps.

Also, I am looking for a person who can help me with this... I have absolutelly zero experiences. My idea would be to ask a clone manufacturer, for example Khail. Send them the blueprints,and ask for the price per switch, minimum order, etc. And then create the kickstarter campaing. Still.. Looking for help about this. But I want to make this a reality.
Just my 2 cents here, but you prob can ask Outemu. They manufacture for Matias. The rest, well good luck

User avatar
Lynx_Carpathica

03 Jan 2021, 00:09

ntv242ver2 wrote:
02 Jan 2021, 22:27
Just my 2 cents here, but you prob can ask Outemu. They manufacture for Matias. The rest, well good luck
We'll see. But I still have to compose an appealing email.

Edit: I have restored my AEK II. I have tried it, and I just can't wait the teensy 2.0 to arrive... It'll be most likely my daily driver untill I can tame the SKCM Whites with the NeKtar after we found what it really is.

User avatar
Lynx_Carpathica

04 Jan 2021, 18:29

Hi. Can anyone with an AEKII test something for me? My teensy isn't here yet from Ali, but if it doesn't work, I won't wait for it, just simply strip off the switches and swap them with my chicony, and use the chicony mainly.

what I need are:
-CTRL+Space+Q
-CTRL+Space+W
-CTRL+Space+E
-CTRL+Space+R
Can anyone check if it works on there please?

User avatar
Lynx_Carpathica

07 Jan 2021, 23:20

Hi there
I just wanted to share this here too, maybe I'll be able to get it written in the wiki :lol: . I found factory lube on an SKCM Ivory in an AEK II.
-Datecode inside slider/top housing: 5C/26N, 9C/18A
-FCC ID: BCGM3501
-Ser NO:AL1080RLM3501Z
-Bottom-right text in the sticker: 825-2031-A
-Date code: '89
-ISO Layout

https://youtu.be/1KYG02YA_Ac

User avatar
hellothere

08 Jan 2021, 01:48

Lynx_Carpathica wrote:
04 Jan 2021, 18:29
Hi. Can anyone with an AEKII test something for me? My teensy isn't here yet from Ali, but if it doesn't work, I won't wait for it, just simply strip off the switches and swap them with my chicony, and use the chicony mainly.

what I need are:
-CTRL+Space+Q
-CTRL+Space+W
-CTRL+Space+E
-CTRL+Space+R
Can anyone check if it works on there please?
I use a Drakware adapter on all my Apple keebs. Sorry I can't help. What are these combos supposed to do?

User avatar
Lynx_Carpathica

08 Jan 2021, 09:34

Yes theese are the keycombinations that should work. I have heard that the AEK II haas a terrible matrix.

User avatar
hellothere

08 Jan 2021, 22:31

Polecat wrote: I know what you mean about the bent switch legs. What I do on those is 1) heat with the soldering iron (ancient Weller station with 800 degree tip) and add some fresh 60/40 Kester 44 rosin core solder. 2) heat again while carefully bending the leg straight with a small stainless flat blade screwdriver. Solder won't stick to stainless, so that's important. 3) Heat again and suck the solder away with your favorite solder sucker. 4) Wiggle the switch legs to make sure theyr'e free of the pads before trying to remove the switch. 5) Very important to use a hotter tip (600-700 degree is not enough) so you can get in and out quickly, before the heat lifts the pad or damages the switch. 6) Fifty years of practice helps. Yes, I'm old.
I'm actually shocked at how well this worked. First try, too. Substituting my soldering rig (goes to 896F / 480C) and I haven't practiced for 50 years :D.

User avatar
Lynx_Carpathica

02 Feb 2021, 20:32

hi there
I got an M0118 and theese Salmon switches are only barely tactile, rather close to being linear, close to MX Blue or dare I say, browns. I've asked the same on the desktority discord, but I want to ask you guys too what are your oppinion on the thing. I know that for a fact that I overtactilized my AEK II. Theese are Waaay more tactile even than my early pine white alps, wich click leaves are untouched by me, and are quite tactile. My question is: how tactile should it feel compared to early white alps?

headphone_jack

08 Feb 2021, 23:00

s-l1600.jpg
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Bought this Chicony 5161 on eBay just a few minutes ago. I didn't even realize these could be ANSI. Definitely Alps, I can see the switches through the PCB. No markings on the PCB though, strangely enough. Seller says "the post looks green" although they didn't have a cap puller to confirm. I'm thinking either blue alps or green alps. Anyone else had a similar board?

ntv242ver2

09 Feb 2021, 00:15

Lynx_Carpathica wrote:
02 Feb 2021, 20:32
hi there
I got an M0118 and theese Salmon switches are only barely tactile, rather close to being linear, close to MX Blue or dare I say, browns. I've asked the same on the desktority discord, but I want to ask you guys too what are your oppinion on the thing. I know that for a fact that I overtactilized my AEK II. Theese are Waaay more tactile even than my early pine white alps, wich click leaves are untouched by me, and are quite tactile. My question is: how tactile should it feel compared to early white alps?
In my exp salmon should be quite tactile and heavy, much more than mx brown can ever produce. So this should be a matter of preference i reckon.

User avatar
Polecat

09 Feb 2021, 04:00

headphone_jack wrote:
08 Feb 2021, 23:00
s-l1600.jpg
Bought this Chicony 5161 on eBay just a few minutes ago. I didn't even realize these could be ANSI. Definitely Alps, I can see the switches through the PCB. No markings on the PCB though, strangely enough. Seller says "the post looks green" although they didn't have a cap puller to confirm. I'm thinking either blue alps or green alps. Anyone else had a similar board?
The ANSI 5161 models with green Alps have been mentioned here a couple times in the past. Neat find, not very common, probably a very early example.

headphone_jack

09 Feb 2021, 05:31

Polecat wrote:
09 Feb 2021, 04:00
headphone_jack wrote:
08 Feb 2021, 23:00
s-l1600.jpg
Bought this Chicony 5161 on eBay just a few minutes ago. I didn't even realize these could be ANSI. Definitely Alps, I can see the switches through the PCB. No markings on the PCB though, strangely enough. Seller says "the post looks green" although they didn't have a cap puller to confirm. I'm thinking either blue alps or green alps. Anyone else had a similar board?
The ANSI 5161 models with green Alps have been mentioned here a couple times in the past. Neat find, not very common, probably a very early example.
Very good price too. Was just under $80 shipped. Might make a project out of it, who knows.

mode1ace

09 Feb 2021, 12:51

I’ve finally got a no compromise good result with nexus sliders.

MT3 works night and day better with them than SA, I just swapped SA Dasher for MT3 Dasher and it’s wonderful. it had some binding with SA, that’s completely solved.

The board uses SKCM orange with modified original housings.
A8051E6D-8E03-4D2F-918C-15AFF2F49219.jpeg
A8051E6D-8E03-4D2F-918C-15AFF2F49219.jpeg (3.12 MiB) Viewed 377 times

User avatar
doomsday_device

22 Feb 2021, 21:24

black fk3002 (also calculator is working but not pictured)
Attachments
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kelvinhall05

22 Feb 2021, 21:31

doomsday_device wrote:
22 Feb 2021, 21:24
black fk3002 (also calculator is working but not pictured)
Nice, white Alps too, best switches

User avatar
doomsday_device

22 Feb 2021, 21:32

kelvinhall05 wrote:
22 Feb 2021, 21:31
doomsday_device wrote:
22 Feb 2021, 21:24
black fk3002 (also calculator is working but not pictured)
Nice, white Alps too, best switches
they are so good that i linearized them :D

User avatar
Chyros

22 Feb 2021, 23:06

doomsday_device wrote:
22 Feb 2021, 21:24
black fk3002 (also calculator is working but not pictured)
Noice, that looks delicious :D .

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