Swapping out keyswitch mechanisms


#1

I was not very into how the keyswitches on the Matias Quiet Click felt and stopped using my Model 01 for a while because of it. I complained to Jesse and he suggested that I could replace the keyswitch mechanisms in my keyboard to use the Matias Quiet Linear switches (https://matias.store/products/matias-quiet-linear-switch-box-of-200). So I decided to give it a go and it worked pretty well! If you don’t like the bump in the actuation like me, I’d recommend swapping them out. Here are some photos of the process: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNeasApG4VSd6TB8oTOOWNyGS_ObiqpN3OR6Kv1EMFGPYIRraAJXsAYCJVti4edmw?key=dVRjeVhEYUF4TVpDVTVzM01UMTgyWGxYcDdGbzhR.


Comparing KeyboardIO M01 and Ergodox EZ
Uneven keyswitch force with loud-click switches
Mechanical switches and actuation forces
(Ben Gemperline) #2

What is the difference between the regular quiet keyswitches that are on all of the PVT units (the gray switches pictured) and this new one (orange)? What particularly didn’t you like about the default ones? I’m curious to see what the difference is. Is this the same as the “clicky” keyswitch option that was offered?

Did you destroy any of the keyswitches while swapping them out? Was it difficult to do? I am assuming you didn’t de-solder the complete switches and just swapped out the spring mechanism bit, is that correct?


#3

This is the main difference. The top one is the original, the bottom is the one I replaced it with. When you press a key down, that metal spring rubs against one edge of the switch. The bump on the top one creates a point in the stroke that requires more force to get through. Some might like this because that can train your fingers on where the actuation point is. I didn’t like it so much because it just requires too much force for my hands. It is not the same as the “clicky” ones. These are very quiet as well. The big difference is the lack of a “bump” in the keystroke and a lot less force required to actuate the switch. I personally prefer a little bit of a bump actually. I really like Cherry MX Brown keyswitches. The difference between these two types is well illustrated here.

I didn’t destroy any keyswitches. It is a little tricky to do because there is a metal bit you have to be really careful not to mess up or bend too much when you pull the old keyswitch apart. Yes I just replaced the spring mechanism. It took a lot of time, but I find that kind of work meditative and enjoyable :slight_smile:.


(Ben Gemperline) #4

That is super cool! Thanks for the explanation! I might try putting the linear switches in place of my 4 thumb keys on each side. I actually like the extra bit of force on the main keyboard, so I don’t press the keys without meaning to, but I use the thumb-based modifier keys enough that it may be a great experience.


(Jesse) #5

The other change is the springs. The springs in the linear switches supply much less resistance than the springs in the quiet click switches.

@chughes87 It’s worth trying a few switches with the clickleaf from the quiet click switches and the springs from the linear switches. That MAY get you a light feeling switch with the bump.

EDIT: I should probably mention that OPENING UP THE SWITCHES AND REPLACING PARTS OF THEM WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY. …but don’t let that stop you.


#6

@jesse Thanks for the tip!


#7

Update: I’ve found that a number of the switches I replaced are a little buggy in that they will actuate multiple times within a single stroke if I do a full stroke. This mostly hasn’t been a big problem because I don’t get close to doing full strokes often. But it does happen. I’m hoping to address this issue somehow. I might try a full switch replacement by desoldering/resoldering.


#8

Update Update: I got a soldering iron and did a full swap of the switches that were finicky with linear switches that I never opened up. Now all of my keyswitches are behaving properly and life is good :). I only had to do this for three switches.


(tiltowaitt) #9

I’ve been considering replacing my switches with linears since … well, since long before the Model 01 even started shipping! I have the clicky switches right now, which I like, but I’ve really gotten used to linears with my Kinesis.

I only just got my Model 01 yesterday, so I’m going to wait and see what I decide to do. What’s more time-consuming: taking the switches apart or de/soldering?


#10

Definitely de/soldering will take longer. Unless you are much more skilled than I am with desoldering. I ended up taking the switches apart and pulling on the metal bits that were soldered on the board while applying heat to the solder joint to get the pins out. I just had a wick for desoldering and that didn’t seem to ever remove all of the solder until I got the pin out. So if you go with desoldering all of them with that method, you will disassemble each one AND desolder them. If you’re careful, taking them apart wont break them and it will take much less time.


(tiltowaitt) #11

Any chance you still have leftover linear switches?


(kajsa.anderson) #12

Turns out I worried for nothing - haven’t noticed any problems (yet) with the force on the quiet-click switches.

@tiltowaitt - when I talked to @chughes87 about the extra switches a while back, he had decided to hang onto them for another project he’s got going.


(Jesse) #13

As a note, Matias will sell you a bag of 'em for a reasonable price.


(tiltowaitt) #14

Yeah, it’s not a huge issue. $50/200, IIRC. If I wind up buying some, I’ll probably offer the leftovers here.


(ScottB) #15

Is it possible to keep the stiffer springs and just replace the other parts?


#16

I don’t see why not. I think I may have done that accidentally for some of my switches lol


(Daniel Compton) #17

I’m also used to a Kinesis Advantage with Cherry MX Browns, would swapping out the Mattias quiet springs with linear Mattias springs be the closest spring weighting that I would get to MX browns?


Short circuit issue after keyswitch swap