Alps SKCM White

From Deskthority wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Alps SKCM White
Northgate OmniKey 101-white complicated Alps.jpg
Manufacturer Alps Electric
Family Alps SKCL/SKCM series
Product code SKCMAQ
SKCMCQ?
Supersedes Alps SKCM Blue
Switch type Clicky
Sense method Metal leaf
Actuation force 70 gf
Keycap mount Alps mount
Switch mount Plate mount

Alps SKCM White, or complicated white Alps, is a clicky switch in the Alps SKCL/SKCM series.

Description

Complicated white Alps is the most common Alps switch found; it was widely used in Far East-made keyboards in the late 80s and early 90s. The 1994 Alps catalogue refers to it as SKCMAQ; an un-dated Alps datasheet describes a switch that appears to be identical except for lacking slits, which is given part number SKCMCQ. It is possible that the change from 'A' to 'C' indicates the redesigned switch with the slits removed, as the same datasheet depicts SKCLAR with the 'A' in the part number, and with slits.

The majority of complicated white Alps switches are branded "ALPS", but the earliest examples are reported to be unbranded. In most cases, they use the same mould numbering as other common generation Alps SKCL/SKCM switches, but in some cases, a simplified form of mould numbering has been found, with what often resembles hand-carved numbers, and a slightly distorted Alps logo. However, these do appear to be genuine Alps switches. Interestingly, these varieties of switches do not follow the standard practice of having the switchplate at the rear of the switch; in the same keyboard, the switches can be found with the branding and numbering both ways up.

White Alps is typically found to be less favourable than its predecessor, Alps SKCM Blue, with blue widely held to have a better feel; although feel is both subjective and dependent on switch condition, the consensus of opinion across recent years all points in favour of blue Alps being superior in feel and even sound, with a lighter tactile force and smoother action. The transition from blue to white Alps is the best-known example of the evolution of the SKCL/SKCM series. Curiously, it appears that the very first white Alps switches retained the dry lubricant and return spring material of blue Alps, indicating that the blue–white transition was not a clean break but itself a series of transitions; here, the older dry-lubricated version is held to be superior.[1]

Variants

Known variants include:

Switchplate Alps logo Slits
Unknown No logo With slits ("pine")
White, short Logo With slits
White, short Logo No slits ("bamboo")

Keyboards

Gallery

Variants

White Alps has seen by far the greatest number of variations across any Alps switch, often contradictory. The implication appears to be that Alps had several switch factories that were not altering or replacing their tooling in the same manner. One indicator of this this is the crossover between the removal of slits, and the introduction of the current Alps logo (bold face) in place of the previous logo (medium face).

Scrawly

"Scrawly" switches have hand-carved mould numbering. These switches were presumably sourced from a contract manufacturer such as Forward Electronics, either as overflow capacity or for cost reduction. Internally, they are the same as regular Alps switches. The bamboo version has the slits filled in.

Specifications

References

  1. Deskthority — Alps Appreciation
  2. Atelier Silencium — alps keyswitch (Japanese only) Dated 2014-03-02. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  3. Sandy — DTK Grafika
  4. klei's Backspace — DTK SPK-101 (Korean only) Dated 2005-07-13. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  5. Deskthority — Ortek MCK-142Pro(Alps), Alcatel MFII(Acers), Chicony KB-5582
  6. Deskthority — S.A.M. SK-102-2N