Cherry MX Lock

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Cherry MX Lock
Cherry MX Lock -- infobox.jpg
Manufacturer Cherry
Family Cherry MX
Product code MX1A-31xx
Introduced 1980s
Discontinued 2015
Switch type Latching lock
Sense method Metal leaf

The Cherry MX Lock switch is a stiff, linear locking mechanical keyboard switch in the Cherry MX family.

Description

Cherry MX Lock is a latching action, or alternative action switch: when depressed, the switch remains locked into the down position, and the switch remains closed. When pressed a second time, it unlocks and returns to its fully up position. In order to make room for the locking wheel shaft, the LED recess is moved to the right of the switch.

Colour

The colour of the switch has changed with time. Hirose Cherry were using the all-black version in 1984, while the well-known two-tone grey/black shell dates has been found in a 1985 keyboard.[1] According to Cherry, the grey material went end-of-life, and the switch design was changed to an all-black shell and colourless slider at some point.[2] This is the version illustrated in the 2015 product PDF.[3] Although this has yet to be sighted in a keyboard, MechanicalKeyboards.co.id were selling this later version.[4]

Cherry are not aware of the all-black variant.

Operation

Cherry approached the locking mechanism differently to most companies. The MX Lock switch has a static axle on the side of the stem, onto which a small wheel is placed. The wheel travels within a shaft inside the upper shell; a lug within this shaft rotates the wheel as it passes, and when the wheel is rotated a certain amount, it catches on this lug and holds the stem down. The wheel has three arms, and each arm ends in a small notch, which is there to engage with the lug and hold the stem in position.

This appears to be the same design as used in Cherry M5/M6/M7, as seen under Cherry M6 alternate action; the patent for this mechanism was filed in 1972.

Key feel

Similar to the Cherry MX Black, but stays locked when pressed and unlocks when pressed again. Unlike some other latching switches, the MX Lock switch is completely linear with no audible or tactile indication.

Availability

The deadline for final orders for Cherry MX Lock was the 30th of September 2015; the switch is now discontinued. Supplies of the switch appear to be exhausted.

Keyboards

Gallery

Full disassembly

The following switch is from a small batch obtained from a Deskthority forum member, and is of unknown origin.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Deskthority — The Ohio lot: story time & photos
  2. Conversation with Cherry, 2016-07-14
  3. Cherry — CHERRY MX1A-3xxx
  4. MechanicalKeyboards.co.id — Cherry MX Lock Switch (Linear Locking - Plate Mount)