How to work out what's broken?

Hi all, I have a model 1 that I have been very happy with up to now.

It’s been left untouched in my attic for the last three months due to a broken collarbone and now that I am able to I’m back up there and using it, but sadly the 9 key is now very unhappy.

I have to press the key upwards of 20 times before it actually prints something. It’s the same if I try and get an open bracket character (shift 9), so I figure it’s a physical failure rather than a s/w one.

My question is, any suggestions on how to fix it? I can take the keyboard apart, I’m not scared of a screwdriver, but I really want to be sure that I’m not going to break it all before I go down that route.


I’d say start with cleaning under the keycaps.

Yep, an excellent idea and something I hadn’t done.

I removed the wooden facia from the keyboard, prised the 9 and 0 caps off, gave them a thorough clean around with a cotton bud, gave the rest of the keyboard the same treatment because you know how dirty keyboards can get and put it back to get
her again. Sadly it’s still broken.


Is this a quiet or loud Model01?

Err, pass? It was from the first or second batch that was made so whichever came first.

It’s a model 01-Q, if that helps any.

I recently had a similar issue with the D key being on infinite repeat part of the time, not responding at others. While cleaning, I found that a dog hair had worked its way inside the switch in the space between the switch casing and the stem that holds the keycap. I found that pretty amazing, had hoped you were facing a similar issue.
Try contacting

Q is for Quiet. The loud ones sometimes had keys that were very firm so I was wondering if that was related.

I am facing the exact same problem with one of the keys - and yes, it seems to me that indeed, dirt can make its way into the key switch casing.

So - any chance of fixing that, or would the key have to be replaced?

Maybe @jesse could shed some light on this, before everyone writes an email.


Sorry for the delay in my reply. Infinite repeat typically means a mechanical failure of the switch due to metal fatigue. If you’re still within your one year warranty and send it to us, we’ll repair it and cover return shipping.

If your warranty has expired, we’ll charge for return shipping, but not for the repair.

If you’d rather we send you replacement switches for you to solder in yourself, we’ll send them for free if you’re in warranty or for the cost of shipping if you’re out of warranty. (Outside the US, it may be cheaper to buy the switches locally than to pay for shipping from California.)

No matter what, the easiest way to get started is to drop us email at