Palm key always on

After a computer reboot this morning, the keyboard was being wonky. After a few minutes of puzzlement, the source of the wonkiness has been found: the right palm button is detected as permanently pressed (easily seen if I switch the LED scheme to be “alight when pressed”).

I’ve disconnected and reconnected the keyboard a few times, did the alcohol washing thing for the key, even did a firmware reset. Not to avail. The key is still alight and firing.

Update: since I’ve almost notices that upon connection, the right palm and left-most right-side thumb key (so the shift key) flash briefly.

So, uh… anybody has any idea what could be the problem, and if it can be fixed?

… asking for a friend very aware that the kickstarter for M100 ends in 12 hours. :sweat_smile:

Adding a note for myself for a last resort option: Guide: A second step to fixing key chatter

I just fixed my “V” key today. One of many keychatters due to the Matias leaf springs getting stuck contacting each other. That’s why anyone purchasing the M100 will get an improved experience. Cherry-based switches don’t seem to suffer the same drawbacks of aging.

Yeah, I’m no stranger to key chatter (looking at you, ‘b’ key), but so far it was nothing that a little bit of alcohol couldn’t fix. But it’s the first time that I have a key “stuck”.

The part I’m mostly wondering about is if it’s a switch or if it’s a board problem. Do you know if the LED lights up in reaction to the switch itself, or because the board tells it that the key is pressed?

It may be a failed switch. The LEDs do what the controller tells them to do. You can likely see if it is broken when you look at the right angle at the transparent top housing of the switch and compare what happens inside with another one. In a healthy switch you will see a contact closing, in a broken one the same contact won’t move much or at all and is likely constantly closed.

If the switch plate is broken due to metal fatigue, bending it back into place won’t help, it will just stay in the closed position again once struck. You will need to replace the switch then. :neutral_face:

1 Like

It may be a failed switch.[…] You can likely see if it is broken when you look at the right angle at the transparent top housing of the switch and compare what happens inside with another one.

Squinting at it and it’s mightily hard to tell. I kinda hope it’s the switch that is the issue, one way or the other. I can probably find a friend who can solder a new switch there, but if it’s a problem with the board, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish.

But before switching the switch, I should try to open it and clean it. I’ve read the link I posted in a previous comment, and it doesn’t sound too, too bad to do. But before I even try that, I’ll probably poke help@keyboard.io just to see if they have any wisdom to share on the symptoms my keyboard has.

And meanwhile, I might have ordered a M100, just in case… >.>

I actually use the “Stalker” plugin for debugging :laughing:

So if your switch is lit up in Stalker mode, that probably means the metals are now stuck together, and you will need to pop open the housing and unbend the metal.

I went from complete noob who took 30 minutes to pry one apart from a housing to being able to pop them open now in less than 5 seconds. The problem is bending the metal so the contacts are just right. It’s actually more fiddly than tuning a violin!

I recently ordered new compatible Alps switches from Outemu and I have a new chattering key I want to test it out with. I think at this point, I have easily worked on maybe 15-20 different switches with this manual way of metal-bending.

If there are any capable mechanical engineers, perhaps they can weigh in on how to modify the internals for more reliable contacts? I am at the point where I may be willing to start Frankensteining the switches.

I actually use the “Stalker” plugin for debugging

Me too. Best way to figure out if a key is active or not!

So if your switch is lit up in Stalker mode, that probably means the metals are now stuck together, and you will need to pop open the housing and unbend the metal. […] I went from complete noob who took 30 minutes to pry one apart from a housing to being able to pop them open now in less than 5 seconds.

I watched the videos and read the instructions and, yeah, that sounds like something terrifying and maddening the first time you do it, and then slip into easy once you get the hang of it (and lose the terror of open-keyboard surgery).

Well, wish me luck, I guess I’ll have to dive in!

1 Like

A word of warning: The Stalker plugin on the master branch of Kaleidoscope has changed its behaviour so that the corresponding LED no longer remains lit while a key is held. Instead, it triggers both when the key is pressed and when it’s released. There is a HardwareTestMode plugin that is intended for detecting faulty switches, and is a much better tool for this sort of debugging.

2 Likes

I believe I can change Stalker to keep the LED lit, but I don’t have access to my Model01 at the moment, so I’ll wait until I’m home, then I’ll test it out.

Thanks for the info! I guess that means I am still running the older plugin.

Good luck! The housing is a lot less fragile than we think. I spent so long the first time because I thought I would break something, and it just turned out, yes, sticking separators in to dislodge the clips, then wiggling the housing out is the way to do it.

A quick intermediate update for anybody curious: I contacted the Keyboardio peeps, and they confirm (well, as much as they do using their knowledge and a crystal ball) that I must have a bad switch. They also pointed me to the fastest and cheapest way to get replacement switches that doesn’t involve ordering a bag of 200: getting the sample kit of Matias directly: Switch Tester – Matias And oh my fast it was: I had the switches on my doorstep less than 24 hours after ordering them.

Since I’m not soldering myself, I made puppy eyes to a friend who does, and she’ll soon take my baby for the big operation. I have high hopes it’ll work. :crossed_fingers:

2 Likes