Hua-Jie AK series
|Switch type||Clicky, linear, linear integrated LED, latching action|
|Sense method||Metal leaf|
|Actuation force||60±15 gf, 70±15 gf, others|
|Keycap mount||Alps mount|
|Switch mount||Plate mount|
AK series switches originated with Himake prior to their acquisition by Hua-Jie. There are three fully confirmed designs of switch, along with catalogue entries for variants that are not confirmed to have ever been seen. The current production switches are AK-CN2 (2) and AK-DN2 (2), which are clicky and linear respectively, and both have an ivory slider; samples of these variants are depicted below. Himake provided a photo of the now-discontinued AK-CN2, which does not match any switch thus far encountered, and the mould numbering is not shown. However, the switch is nearly identical to the switches found in Monterey keyboards, and the name Hua-Jie was cited by Monterey in private correspondence. The switches found in the Monterey K110 are therefore likely to be AK-CN2 switches.
Using the mould numbering as a guide, numerous unidentified switch types are candidates to be members of the AK series. The catalogue specifications describe "contact blade" as being "big" and "small"; the meaning of this description is unknown, but it would form one explanation for some of the different switches discovered. AK-CN2 is described as "Contact blade: big" and AK-CN2 switches do have full-size contacts. The official depiction of AK-CN2 below has the stationary contact of an alps.tw Type OA4 but the phosphor bronze click leaf of a T1, which helps tie OA4 into the AK series, and suggests a gradual evolution of the design through a number of changes to the metal parts.
Hua-Jie switches do not carry any identifying marks.
Multiple mould numbering forms have been found to date. The only 100% confirmed variety is that of current production switches. The three varieties found in Monterey keyboards appear to be other varieties used. The mould numbering ties in with a number of other unidentified switches, suggesting that they are all Himake/Hue-Jie product variants. Some are likely to reflect evolution of the AK-CN2/DN2 line (and possibly older product ranges) while some are likely to represent AK-C5/D5.
- NE:#,SW:# — 2013 production samples of AK-CN2 (2) and AK-DN2 (2)
- S:## — found in Monterey keyboards
- S:#A## — found in Monterey keyboards
- NW:#,SE:# — found in Monterey keyboards
Current Hua-Jie switches have an all-over "gilded" rear contact plate. The internal parts are identical in overall design to Xiang Min KSB series switches, although careful scrutinisation has shown that the metal parts are slightly different from those used by Xiang Min. In particular, there are notches in the stationary contact in Xiang Min switches that are absent in Hua-Jie switches.
|Part number||Type||Slider colour||Force||Contact blade||Cycles|
|AK-CN2 (2)||Clicky||Ivory||60±15 gf||—||5 M|
|AK-DN2 (2)||Linear||Ivory||60±15 gf||—||5 M|
|Part number||Type||Slider colour||Force||Contact blade||Cycles||Notes|
|AK-CN2||Clicky||Ivory||60±15 gf||Big||10 M||Replaced by AK-CN2 (2)|
|AK-DN2||Clicky||Green||70±15 gf||Big||10 M||Replaced by AK-DN2 (2)|
|AK-CN2H1||Clicky||?||145 gf||?||10 M|
|AK-DN2H1||?||?||145 gf||?||10 M|
|AK-C5||Clicky||White||60±15 gf||Small||5 M||Superseded by AK-CN2 (2)|
|AK-D5||Clicky||Orange||70±15 gf||Small||5 M||Superseded by AK-DN2 (2)|
|AK-LE||Linear with LED||Yellow||70±15 gf||Big||10 M|
|AK-LK||Latching action||White||130±20 gf||Big||1 M|
The exact nature of the "D" switches is unclear. Xiang Min consider AK-DN2 and KSB-N to be equivalent, yet KSB-N is linear. However, all Himake specifications clearly state that all the "D" switches are heavier versions of the "C" switches, rather than being the linear versions. The linear alps.tw Type T8 is anomalous, and linear Alps clones are extremely rare.
- AK-CN2 and AK-DN2 (unknown Himake catalogue)
- AK-C5 and AK-D5 (unknown Himake catalogue)
- AK-LE (unknown Himake catalogue)
- AK-LK (unknown Himake catalogue)
- AK series (different unknown Himake catalogue)
- AK series (2009 Himake catalogue)
Monterey cited Hua-Jie as their Alps clone source, and one presumes this includes the K110. Some other keyboards use what appears to be the same switch.
Many keyboards have been found with switches that correspond to those found in the Monterey K110. A list of these can be found under Alps.tw Type T1; listing entries will be moved to this page as and when confirmation of manufacture by Himake/Hua-Jie is obtained, or further evidence is obtained to verify that all switches matching the T1 specification are AK-CN2.
The following tables list confirmed and hypothetical AK series variants.
|Movable contact||Static contact||Leaf||Mould numbering||Years||Designation||Confirmation|
|S:#A##|| alps.tw Type OA2 variant A
(Simplified Alps Type IV)
|S:##||—1992—||alps.tw Type OA2 variant B||Unconfirmed|
|Large||Wide steel||Alps||Simplified Alps Type III||Unconfirmed|
|Large||Wide steel||Unnumbered Alps||alps.tw Type OA1||Unconfirmed|
|Two finger||Large|| S:##
|alps.tw Type OA4||Unconfirmed|
|Large||S:#A##||alps.tw Type T4||Unconfirmed|
|Two finger||Large|| S:##
|—1993—||alps.tw Type T1||Design confirmed by Hua-Jie (see gallery)|
The physical characteristics of AK-C5 and AK-D2 remain a mystery. There are at least two switches that have characteristics that would be a match: alps.tw Type T5 and alps.tw Type T8. Himake were not able to offer any information on C5 and D5, and they did not recognise T5 and T8.
Depicted below are February 2013 sample switches received directly from Hua-Jie.
AN-DN2 (2) is identical, with the exception that the click leaf is omitted.