SP SS Profile Keycaps w/ Futaba ML

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Mattr567

17 Jul 2017, 23:58

Got this about 2 years ago from Dads shop, was part of a large machine used to test things with cars. Lots of oily hands have touched this ;)

The switches are Futaba ML (wiki/Futaba_ML_series) which seem pretty uncommon. They are rather squeaky and scratchy, although also quite dirty :roll:

From talking with other members the caps seem to be SP's old SS profile keycaps. They ALMOST fit Alps SKCC but are too tight. The plate has this 'brushed' effect which is rather interesting. Neat "ketchup and mustard" colorway as well :P

IC's indicate a 1989/1990 production. Pics:

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Last edited by Mattr567 on 18 Jul 2017, 00:15, edited 3 times in total.

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E3E

18 Jul 2017, 00:01

Yep, and I feel like this is the first time we've really seen this in the wild. I was searching many threads to see if any boards with SS had been documented, and there was a lot of speculation toward the profile (and SA) itself, but nothing on any keyboards with the cap profile.

It's very cool to see an entire board with the original sculpted high profile spherical keyset from SP. I sent them a message asking them if they still manufacture this profile and, if so, if it's available with MX stems (for the greater good I guess, as I'm an Alps guy, so... :P).

For those that aren't aware: It's my understanding that SA was originally uniform, with the acronym standing for "Spherical, All Rows," and that the row profiles were added as demand for aftermarket sets grew, which makes me feel that SS isn't made anymore.

Regarding SA, that's why it started out as all R3 and had so many profile issues with correct mods for ages, IIRC.

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hansichen

18 Jul 2017, 09:02

These caps are still produced, I got a T cap from a grab bag and I've always asked myself which profile it is. The lower walls of the cap are rather thin but the top of the cap is textured and feels pretty nice. Sadly the cap doesn't fit my mx blacks or gateron brown switches which both should have normal mx stems. In contrast it fits on white my switches. But I guess that the problem with mx switches was the reason why they have dropped the profile

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Daniel Beardsmore

18 Jul 2017, 09:30

The official line is that SS was retired, and likely some time ago now:

https://pimpmykeyboard.zendesk.com/hc/e ... p-Families

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hansichen

18 Jul 2017, 10:54

Thanks for the info daniel, as they were part of earlier grab bags they probably produced them until the 2010s. I wish we would have some more details about it as it looks like a neat profile

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Daniel Beardsmore

18 Jul 2017, 19:14

Maybe Melissa will be able to clarify this.

Rimrul

18 Jul 2017, 21:10

To me it sounds like they discontinued them early on (mid-90s-ish), but kept ocasionally making them for big industrial customers and/or old long-term contracts.

User avatar
E3E

18 Jul 2017, 21:52

Daniel Beardsmore wrote: Maybe Melissa will be able to clarify this.
I already sent SP an email. Waiting to hear back.

Also, do we have any other examples of this profile with photo documentation?

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

18 Jul 2017, 22:43

My understanding is that the SS molds are in poor condition and that SP is not able to make key caps. I feel like this has come up before.

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E3E

19 Jul 2017, 01:36

XMIT wrote: My understanding is that the SS molds are in poor condition and that SP is not able to make key caps. I feel like this has come up before.
There was a lot of fuss about SS being the better profile or something years ago in forum discussions but it was always mysterious as there was no real documentation of the profile aside from SP's profile list. Melissa gave info regarding the profiles and, as you can see, we have info on it being discontinued.

I asked them again just to what's said, but I've not gotten a response back.

I'm more curious about any boards that are known to have SS (or even DSS) aside from this one.

robotsokk

20 Jul 2017, 07:53

Wow, what a lovely find -- thanks for sharing. Are you considering cleaning up the caps and refurbishing the switches/using in a new board, to get a chance to use those keycaps on a working board and see how you like typing on them for an extended period of time?

Shame that it sounds like these wouldn't fit many (most?) stems on MX-compatible switches. I've only done some cursory poking around, and haven't seen any mention of how far off the dimensions are (between Futaba ML keycap mounts and Cherry MX mounts).

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Daniel Beardsmore

20 Jul 2017, 09:33

Getting official data is hard. I've just updated [wiki]Cross mount clearinghouse[/wiki] with the official details for Futaba MD and ML series and GRI KBR.

Cherry have never knowingly published any details on the MX keystem, only the keycap, so we have no like-for-like measurements for MX. Measuring these dimensions with calipers is very difficult as the readings fluctuate, but the measurements I'd already listed for Futaba linear switches were pretty close.

For the MX keycap, all four cross arm slots are given as 1.17±0.02 mm, but the cross arms measure around 1.25–1.30 mm and 1.05–1.10 mm with one pair being significantly thicker. Someone knowledgeable on making plastic parts press together may be able to enlighten us on these curious dimensions.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

20 Jul 2017, 11:02

Mattr567 wrote: Got this about 2 years ago from Dads shop, was part of a large machine used to test things with cars. Lots of oily hands have touched this ;)
Love the colors and love the grease. :P Those keycaps are sweet. :o

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