Hua-Jie AK series

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Hua-Jie AK series
Manufacturer Hua-Jie
Product code AK-*
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

Hua-Jie AK series is a series of four-tab clone switches manufactured by Himake and sold through their parent company Hua-Jie.

Description

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.

Mould numbering

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

Specifications

Current

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

Discontinued

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.

Catalogue entries

Keyboards

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.

Confirmed

Unconfirmed

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.

Variants

The following tables list confirmed and hypothetical AK series variants.

AK-CN2/DN2

Movable contact Static contact Leaf Mould numbering Years Designation Confirmation
Alps.tw Type OA2 -- movable contact.svg Alps.tw Type OA2 (A) -- stationary contact.svg Alps.tw Type OA2 (A) -- click leaf.svg S:#A## alps.tw Type OA2 variant A
(Simplified Alps Type IV)
Unconfirmed
Alps.tw Type OA2 -- movable contact.svg Alps.tw Type OA2 (B) -- click leaf.svg S:## —1992— alps.tw Type OA2 variant B Unconfirmed
Alps.tw Type OA2 -- movable contact.svg Large Wide steel Alps Simplified Alps Type III Unconfirmed
Alps.tw Type OA2 -- movable contact.svg Large Wide steel Unnumbered Alps alps.tw Type OA1 Unconfirmed
Two finger Large Alps.tw Type OA4 -- click leaf.svg S:##
S:#A#
alps.tw Type OA4 Unconfirmed
Alps.tw Type OA2 -- movable contact.svg Large Alps clone internals -- generic PBS leaf.svg S:#A## alps.tw Type T4 Unconfirmed
Two finger Large Alps clone internals -- generic PBS leaf.svg S:##
NW:#,SE:#
S:#A##
—1993— alps.tw Type T1 Design confirmed by Hua-Jie (see gallery)

AK-C5/D5

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.

Gallery

AK-CN2 (2)

Depicted below are February 2013 sample switches received directly from Hua-Jie.

AK-DN2 (2)

AN-DN2 (2) is identical, with the exception that the click leaf is omitted.