Omron B3K series

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Omron B3K series
Logitech Romer-G.jpg
Manufacturer Omron
Inventor Yasuhiro Tanoue, Mamiko Naka, Kazuhira Izawa, Masayuki Shinohara
Product name Logitech Romer-G,
Das Keyboard Gamma Zulu,
Creative Labs PRES
Introduced 2014
Switch type Tactile, Linear
Sense method Metal contact
Rated lifetime 70 - 100M
Actuation force 45 g
Pretravel 1.5 mm
Total travel 3.0, 3.2 or 3.5 mm
Switch mount Plate mount
Patents US20150043192 (2014)
(also as CN104347295A, CN204011170U, EP2835808A1)

Omron B3K is a series are mechanical keyboard switches designed for backlighting. Switches have been released in branded variants as Romer-G for Logitech, Gamma Zulu for Das Keyboard and PRES for Creative Labs.

Description

B3K switches facilitate LED backlighting via a light pipe leading to a surface-mounted LED. The design is said to focus the light more evenly through the legends on the keycap and minimise light leakage[1]. The patents describe various approaches to achieving the illumination, illustrated with light intensity plots.

The slider has four corner posts. Two of these each holds a sliding ramp, each holding one pair of metal contacts apart. The slider is supported by a large spring, which sits around the centre light guide. The switch provides redundant sensing in an SPST arrangement by using a pair of identical terminals, each bearing a stationary contact and a movable contact. The two lateral ends of each terminals are at 90° to each other, and collectively the terminals occupy all four sides within the switch, with the movable contact at one end of each terminal meeting the stationary contact at the opposite end of the other terminal.

Similar to Cherry MX, tactile variants have a bump on the sliding ramps. The patent depicts the tactile "pressing rib" design but does not explain the shape or mention tactility. The tactile variants have been compared in feel to the Cherry MX Brown switch by those who have tried it.[2][3]

Variants

Romer-G

Logitech Romer-G exist in both tactile damped (B3K-T13L), tactile ((B3K-T13L2) and a linear variant (B3K-L13L). The top housing bears the Logitech "G" logo on two opposite sides, and the Omron logo on a third side. The bottom housing bears the part number.

The earliest variant was the tactile damped B3K-T13L, which can also be identified by having a blue housing whereas the others are black. Damping is on both the down-stroke and up-stroke, by having a pair of plastic prongs on the slider (called "elastic touch piece" in the patent). These collide with features of the base (downstroke) and lid (upstroke) to absorb impacts. Specifically, the prong hits a raised area in the base on the way down, and ridges in the lid on the way up. The patent describes the product as a "silent type switch having small operation sound and return sound". The key travel for the damped switches is rated at 3.0 mm, but has been measured to between 3.06 and 3.17 mm in reality.

The Romer-G variants with black top housing (B3K-T13L2, B3K-L13L) lack the damping prongs, and have instead more key travel: rated at 3.2 mm.

Logitech had applied for the "ROMER G" trademark on 23rd June 2014.[4]

Das Keyboard Gamma-Zulu

The Das Keyboard Gamma-Zulu (B3K-T135M) are tactile and undamped with 3.5 mm key travel. The top housing is black, carrying the Omron logo and the Das Keyboard symbol on different sides.

They were manufactured by Omron for Das Keyboard (Metadot), starting with the Das Keyboard 5Q which was announced on a Kickstarter page in July 2016 with estimated delivery in Dec 2016.[5] When announced, the estimated lifetime of the switch has also been upped to 100 million actuations, compared to 70 million for the first Romer-G.

Creative Labs PRES

Creative PRES switches (Perceive-React-Execute Switches) were introduced with the Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 keyboard.

Observed variants

All variants have officially a pre-travel of 1.5 mm.

Brand Name Part # Colour
(Top/Slider)
Type Total Travel Actuation force Tactile force Total force Rated lifetime
Logitech Romer-G blue -- variants table.jpg Logitech Romer-G B3K-T13L Blue/Clear Tactile Damped 3.0 mm 45 gf 70 M
Logitech Romer-G black -- variants table.jpg B3K-T13L2 Black/Clear Tactile 3.2 mm 55 gf
B3K-L13L Black/Grey Linear 3.2 mm
Das Keyboard Gamma-Zulu B3K-T135M Black/Clear Tactile 3.5 mm 45 gf 55 gf 80 gf 100 M
Creative Labs PRES Transp/Clear Tactile 3.5 mm 70M

Gallery

Blue Logitech Romer-G (B3K-T13L)

Black Logitech Romer-G (B3K-T13L2)

Gamma Zulu


Keyboards

The first keyboard with B3K switches was the Logitech G910 Orion Spark, announced in September, 2014.[6]

Full-size

Tenkeyless

References

  1. Logitech — Romer-G Retrieved 2015-08-01.
  2. Deskthority — [Reviews] Logitech G910 Orion Spark Posted 2014-11-25. Retrieved 2015-08-01.
  3. Geekhack — Logitech G910 Orion Spark - mini review Posted 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2015-08-01.
  4. inovia.com — inovia | U.S. trademark search and registration Retrieved 2015-08-01.
  5. Kickstarter — Das Keyboard 5Q: The Cloud Connected Keyboard by Das Keyboard. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
  6. NAG Online — Logitech announces the G910 Orion gaming keyboard | NAG Online Dated 2014-09-17. Retrieved 2015-08-01.