Futaba linear switch

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Futaba linear switch
Futaba linear complicated vs simplified.jpg
Manufacturer Futaba
Family Futaba linear switch
Switch type Linear
Sense method Metal leaf
Keycap mount Custom cruciform
Switch mount Plate mount

Futaba linear switch is a provisional term for a family of linear plate-mount switches typically with cylindrical shells. The term is in contrast with the later Futaba clicky switch.


Futaba linear switches typically have a cylindrical shape with truncated sides, with a square top above the plate; the plate holes are circular. The legs are threaded at the top and screw into place. The upper shell encloses the entire switch, and takes a base plug that is retained by the legs. The switches are plate mounted.

There is also a small, sealed, square variant that has the same general type of contact mechanism as the other variants.

The number of parts between Futaba switches varies. Complicated linear comprises sixteen parts, whereas the simplified variant consists of nine. For further information, see parts per switch list.

Futaba linear switches have a lower travel than many other switches; travel ranges from around 2.7 to 3 mm across the switch range.



This is the most common variant. Found in black with a red base cap, in white with a red base cap, all black, and all white. The black version with a red base cap has been reported to have the part number MD-4PCS.[1]

The switch has a non-uniform cruciform slider approximately 4.0 mm by 4.7 mm, with 1.2 mm wide arms, taking a 4 mm deep keycap stem. The distance between the plate and PCB is 12.7 mm.

The switch comprises 15 parts in total.


The simplified variant of the switch is physically compatible with the complicated variant, but with only 9 parts.

The switch actuates at mid travel, at around 60 cN.

Latching action

Latching action variety.

Low-profile type

The low-profile variant is similar to the large variants. Differences include the plate retention clips being attached to the base plug instead of the main shell, and the pins being offset towards the front of the switch.

Keycap mount compatibility is maintained with the larger switches.

Low-profile sealed type

The small square type has similar internals as the other variants, but the shell is square and the switch is sealed.


External links


  1. (Wayback Machine) Electronic Surplus — MD-4PCS - Switch, P/B. NO Keyboard. Package of 20. Archived 2012-01-17. Retrieved 2015-07-26.