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abrahamstechnology

29 Dec 2018, 22:19

This thread is outdated, please go to the Round 2 thread
viewtopic.php?f=50&t=20865
Last edited by abrahamstechnology on 26 Jan 2019, 20:46, edited 4 times in total.

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abrahamstechnology

30 Dec 2018, 18:19

Anyone interested?

Polecat

31 Dec 2018, 00:46

abrahamstechnology wrote: Anyone interested?
Sure, I'll try a set. PM sent.

Folks wouid be all over them if they had a catchy slider color. Like blue Alps versus early whites, I couldn't tell the two apart if I was blindfolded, but a keyboard with blues brings five to ten times the price of the same board with whites.

Hak Foo

31 Dec 2018, 03:20

YGPM.

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Elrick

31 Dec 2018, 06:34

Polecat wrote: Folks wouid be all over them if they had a catchy slider color. Like blue Alps versus early whites,
How about that weird colour I've seen done in RED showing a clicky alps switch on another old keyboard, somewhere on this forum site (too lazy to find it again, too much to deal with at the moment).

I think the existing colour is appropriate because certain people here would have a stroke, if they received a 'Blue Coloured' shaft but it wasn't their authenticated SKCM design from the mid 1980's.

Just be aware of that fact, when dealing with certain people here on DT.

Polecat

31 Dec 2018, 07:10

Elrick wrote:
How about that weird colour I've seen done in RED showing a clicky alps switch on another old keyboard, somewhere on this forum site (too lazy to find it again, too much to deal with at the moment).

I think the existing colour is appropriate because certain people here would have a stroke, if they received a 'Blue Coloured' shaft but it wasn't their authenticated SKCM design from the mid 1980's.

Just be aware of that fact, when dealing with certain people here on DT.
The OP with the red Alps sliders went stealth after the first round of questions; that was probably a hoax.

I think we need a poll about slider colors, but would we get honest answers? Would that be like having a poll asking people if they are stupid? Smart people know they're smart, but stupid people, well...

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Elrick

31 Dec 2018, 07:18

Polecat wrote: I think we need a poll about slider colors, but would we get honest answers?
Definitely not because everyone involved here would have ulterior motives, concerning this question.
Polecat wrote: Would that be like having a poll asking people if they are stupid? Smart people know they're smart, but stupid people, well...
Yep us stupids, have to stick together..... wait on...... :?

Hak Foo

01 Jan 2019, 00:06

I think part of the issue with Alps-and-clones is the anonymity. So many variants look alike but vary widely in feel/sound/quality. I wouldn't be surprised in the original era of this stuff, that was by design-- shops like Tai-Hao, Xiang Min, and a thousand lost to history were probably selling them as "it's a click-type switch that fits the PCB you already designed, but 1TWD per unit cheaper than Alps." They probably didn't want a big logo on there which screams to the world that your OEM customer has cut corners.

A few things changed:

* The buyers for mechanical keyboards are different now than in 1992. End users care about specifics and will notice and have a fit if you swap in an alternative for the sake of shaving costs.

* Clone makers have met and exceeded the originals, so there are legitimate reasons to select a different brand. Gateron and Kailh make switches as good if not better than Cherry, but added many new flavours; Matias at least promised tighter tolerances and longer lifespan than the original Alps datasheets.

For the 2019 market, I can see trying to present a switch that's got a brandable factor that speaks directly to end users. Matias has their clear cases; Kailh has box stems. Why wouldn't Hua-Jie want to say something like "look for our switches with the trademark #808080 stem"

Polecat

01 Jan 2019, 02:05

Hak Foo wrote: I think part of the issue with Alps-and-clones is the anonymity. So many variants look alike but vary widely in feel/sound/quality. I wouldn't be surprised in the original era of this stuff, that was by design-- shops like Tai-Hao, Xiang Min, and a thousand lost to history were probably selling them as "it's a click-type switch that fits the PCB you already designed, but 1TWD per unit cheaper than Alps." They probably didn't want a big logo on there which screams to the world that your OEM customer has cut corners.

A few things changed:

* The buyers for mechanical keyboards are different now than in 1992. End users care about specifics and will notice and have a fit if you swap in an alternative for the sake of shaving costs.

* Clone makers have met and exceeded the originals, so there are legitimate reasons to select a different brand. Gateron and Kailh make switches as good if not better than Cherry, but added many new flavours; Matias at least promised tighter tolerances and longer lifespan than the original Alps datasheets.

For the 2019 market, I can see trying to present a switch that's got a brandable factor that speaks directly to end users. Matias has their clear cases; Kailh has box stems. Why wouldn't Hua-Jie want to say something like "look for our switches with the trademark #808080 stem"
Well said. I became aware of Alps switch keyboards in the late '80s when the Northgates were first sold separately. A buddy gave me a Leading Edge DC-2014 and told me it used the same switches, and I used that until I upgraded to a 286, which of course the 2014 was not compatible with, but by that time I had found a used Northgate. That was well into the period when PC clone parts became widely available to hobbyists, but long after the days when a "hacker" (early computer hobbyist) built their own stuff from scratch. The typical hobbyist by that time didn't solder anything at all, and certainly wasn't going to build their own keyboard or swap out one switch type for another in an existing one. Alps switches were mentioned by name in some advertising, as were the terms "clicky" and "tactile", but nobody was talking about slider color or simple versus complicated. By the time the Alps clone switches came out most folks were using throwaway membrane keyboards, which the clones had to compete with price-wise, and anything that wasn't an extended AT layout had been tossed in the trash. I was in the business, and I must have personally crammed ten thousand keyboards in the dumpster because we couldn't give them away and none of the recyclers would take them, even for free. I wish I knew where they were buried!

Fast forward thirty years, Now we are thankfully restoring the older keyboards, at least the ones that look and feel good, and building new versions. The desire for quality is driving at least a small corner of the market to provide decent switches; something that only a very few of us cared about for most of the past three decades. I really don't expect anyone to tool up and reissue complicated SKCM switches just yet, but perhaps in another ten or twenty years the demand to do that will be there, or something as good or better will be created in its place.

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Hypersphere

01 Jan 2019, 14:18

@abrahamstechnology: Thanks for creating this project. Looks interesting. Some questions:

+ Are you willing to sell just a few switches for folks to test before buying lots of 50 or 100?

+ Do you have any AK-DN2 (70g clicky) and/or AK-LE (70g tactile) to sell for testing?

+ What did you mean by "the rest will be put into requested keyboards"? Are you perhaps willing to install these switches into Alps keyboards furnished to you for the cost of the switches plus labor, solder, shipping and handling?

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abrahamstechnology

01 Jan 2019, 21:02

Hypersphere wrote: @abrahamstechnology: Thanks for creating this project. Looks interesting. Some questions:

+ Are you willing to sell just a few switches for folks to test before buying lots of 50 or 100?

+ Do you have any AK-DN2 (70g clicky) and/or AK-LE (70g tactile) to sell for testing?

+ What did you mean by "the rest will be put into requested keyboards"? Are you perhaps willing to install these switches into Alps keyboards furnished to you for the cost of the switches plus labor, solder, shipping and handling?
1. Yes, $0.50 each plus $5 USD shipping.
2. Not this time, perhaps next time.
3. Some users requested me to outfit Dell AT101Ws with these switches.

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Elrick

01 Jan 2019, 23:42

abrahamstechnology wrote: 3. Some users requested me to outfit Dell AT101Ws with these switches.
YES they have, thank you ;) .

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St0ckz

01 Jan 2019, 23:49

I would like to give em a go but I really don't wanna deal with buying them from a website you need to enquire to :P

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abrahamstechnology

02 Jan 2019, 00:35

St0ckz wrote: I would like to give em a go but I really don't wanna deal with buying them from a website you need to enquire to :P
I agree, it's a pain.

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fohat
Elder Messenger

02 Jan 2019, 01:46

I was thinking about getting 100 of them. Are you saying that I wouldn't just order them from you?

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abrahamstechnology

02 Jan 2019, 01:47

fohat wrote: I was thinking about getting 100 of them. Are you saying that I wouldn't just order them from you?
No, I just don't have enough money to ship outside of the USA.

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Hypersphere

02 Jan 2019, 22:30

PM sent to buy a small batch for testing.

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abrahamstechnology

03 Jan 2019, 04:14

***IMPORTANT UPDATE! HUA-JIE JUST INFORMED ME THE MINIMUM ORDER QUANTITY IS 2,000 NOT 1,000! ALSO THERE IS A 6-9 WEEK LEAD TIME! THUS, I AM TURNING THIS INTO A GROUP BUY SORRY FOR THE INCONVINIENCE***

Hak Foo

03 Jan 2019, 07:04

If this is going to go to a group buy, we should probably know:

1) How far off we are from MOQ,
2) Does this change pricing
3) When does the buy close if we don't hit MOQ?

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abrahamstechnology

03 Jan 2019, 19:29

Hak Foo wrote: If this is going to go to a group buy, we should probably know:

1) How far off we are from MOQ,
2) Does this change pricing
3) When does the buy close if we don't hit MOQ?
1) Around 1,500 pieces as of today
2) No
3) 2 weeks

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abrahamstechnology

04 Jan 2019, 05:30

I know many of you here are keen on breaking the Matias monopoly-- here's your chance!

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Elrick

04 Jan 2019, 05:38

abrahamstechnology wrote: I know many of you here are keen on breaking the Matias monopoly-- here's your chance!
You bet.

I'm on board here, really looking forward to something new and better than Matias.

For the eternal Glory of the Alps Empire, may it last a 1000 years ;) .

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Muirium
µ

04 Jan 2019, 05:40

Or maybe even 1000 key presses…

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Hypersphere

04 Jan 2019, 14:54

abrahamstechnology wrote: ***IMPORTANT UPDATE! HUA-JIE JUST INFORMED ME THE MINIMUM ORDER QUANTITY IS 2,000 NOT 1,000! ALSO THERE IS A 6-9 WEEK LEAD TIME! THUS, I AM TURNING THIS INTO A GROUP BUY SORRY FOR THE INCONVINIENCE***
Please count me in for 110 switches (enough for an AT 101 type board plus some extras).

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abrahamstechnology

04 Jan 2019, 18:00

Hypersphere wrote:
abrahamstechnology wrote: ***IMPORTANT UPDATE! HUA-JIE JUST INFORMED ME THE MINIMUM ORDER QUANTITY IS 2,000 NOT 1,000! ALSO THERE IS A 6-9 WEEK LEAD TIME! THUS, I AM TURNING THIS INTO A GROUP BUY SORRY FOR THE INCONVINIENCE***
Please count me in for 110 switches (enough for an AT 101 type board plus some extras).
Sure thing, PM me!

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abrahamstechnology

05 Jan 2019, 19:39

Bump!

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abrahamstechnology

06 Jan 2019, 21:35

Get a free 3D printed plate with orders of 100 or more! https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=82916.0

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abrahamstechnology

07 Jan 2019, 17:46

I only need about $150 more of orders to make this happen.

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Hypersphere

10 Jan 2019, 19:06

Okay, I am going to place my order!

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abrahamstechnology

14 Jan 2019, 17:25

If I don't get $100 more of orders in the next few days, I will be forced to cancel and refund everyone. Last chance!

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