Uneven keyswitch force

(Sam Varner) #1

I’ve noticed extra resistance pressing on the more angled surfaces of the keycaps. For example, bottom row keys don’t go down smoothly unless I hit near the top edge, or push forward a little as I press down. The more scooped keys seem to bind a little if I hit too far up on the angled sides. The relatively flat home row keys are okay, and the rounded Fn key goes down easily no matter where I press. It’s the same with neighboring keycaps removed, so it’s not interference. Has anyone else noticed this? Anyone know a way to make it better?

(Joseph Ferano) #2

Yes, I’m experiencing the same thing. Overall, I would say the typing experience is not on par with my ergodox ez with green mx switches. This keyboard feels sluggish and uneven. It makes sense as to why it’s happening; certain buttons probably get bent at an angle that’s not natural for the switch, whenever I don’t hit from straight above but rather at a slanted angle near the key’s corners.

The odd thing is that it seems like this angled keypress is taken into account in the keycap design; the keys at the outer columns (`, pgup, pgdown, =, ', -), they have this nice curl to them that should in theory allow for an easier keypress when hit from a slanted angle. However, the switch doesn’t seem like it can handle it. I’ve had several instances where I’ve pressed the key but the resistance was too much and the key didn’t activate. I’d have to get used to coming at the key with a more downward angle.

The design isn’t bad though, don’t get me wrong. the zxc and ,./ keys all feel way easier to tap and 1 and 0 are also easier to get to. Are there any idea for revising the switches? Would this be covered in part by the return policy, if newer keyboards were to get better switches? Is there a lighter switch that doesn’t run into this issue?

(Sam Varner) #3

I’ve ordered the “quiet linear” switches mentioned in this post Just 35 gf compared to 60 gf for the standard quiet and clicky keys. I’ll post my impressions when I get them swapped out.

(Joseph Ferano) #4

Yeah, I believe these are the clicky 60gf keys, as I’m sure that’s what I asked for. Let me know how it goes. As of right now, this is rather unpleasant. I’m seriously considering going back to my ergodox with mx greens.

(Jesse) #5

Indeed, you are both using the Matias Loud Click switches.

@JosephFerano - They do indeed have a significantly higher actuation force than Cherry MX Greens and I suspect that’s a big part of what you’re running into. The intent behind the exaggerated slope on the outside edge of the board wasn’t that you push the key “out” to actuate it, so much as that it act as a guard rail to stop your finger from straying too far. It might be the case that as you get a little more comfortable with the layout, your fingers will adjust to the key positions. Of course, keyboards are a very personal thing and it may be the case that the layout just isn’t your thing.

Our friends at input.club have a very useful switch guide to help understand what you’re seeing.

The Green switches on your ErgoDox:

The Matias Click switches in your Model 01:

The Matias Quiet Click switches in other Model 01s:

The red-stem Matias Linear switches that @samv is looking at swapping in:

(Joseph Ferano) #6

Thanks for the reply Jesse, I appreciate the response. This is an amazing keyboard, y’all did an amazing job, but the keyboard just does not feel comfortable for me. I’m probably going back to my ergodox. Is there anything we can do, regarding a possible return/exchange or a modification to help with my experience. I feel bad cause I was one of the very first kickstarter backers, but right now my typing experience just isn’t there.

(Jesse) #7

The warranty covers replacement or repair if your keyboard breaks. If it was defective, we could replace the keyboard with another Model 01-L, but it really sounds like the issue is that the design just doesn’t work for you.

We’re can’t offer refunds or returns, once you’ve used your keyboard. (That’s pretty standard for Kickstarter projects, really.)

What we can do is confirm that if you want to sell your Model 01 onward to somebody else, we’ll transfer the warranty to them.

(Gaye) #8

Some of m y keysa re starting to skip. Mostly my space bar

(Jesse) #9

Hi Gaye,

That’s likely unrelated to what the folks on this thread are seeing. Can you shoot us email at help@keyboard.io so we can get this fixed for you?

(Sam Varner) #10

Tl;dr The quiet linear keyswitches gave me the two things I was looking for: lower actuation force and more tolerance of off-center presses. I’m now a happy backer :joy:

I proudly joined the ranks of the Keyboardio warranty voiders by replacing my clicky keyswitches with the Matias quiet liner switches. The process is tedious, but not difficult: Remove the caps, snap apart a switch on the keyboard, snap apart a new switch, pull out the contacts, snap the new switch into the keyboard, and repeat. (Big thanks to Keyboardio and Matias for honoring the Maker’s Bill of Rights.) A thin plastic shim, such as a gift card, is useful for snapping the switches apart. I used my thumbnail for most of them and it got pretty sore. A shim also lets you remove a switch with the neighboring keycaps still on. When you snap a new switch on you may need to press on the tabs with something hard to get them to snap into place. For some keys, tabs that aren’t fully snapped can rub against the keycap.

I had just a couple of minor snags. The A key didn’t work after changing. I removed the new switch and tried again, but no luck. I tried a new switch and it was fine. Also, the 8-key’s switch took some effort to get off. After it finally came loose, I could see that the base looked a little melted compared to the others. I don’t know if that’s a manufacturing defect in the switch, or if it got too hot during assembly. The new keyswitch snapped on easily, but when I plugged the keyboard in, the 8 key was stuck on. I opened it up and found the that the contacts were bent. That would be my fault; when I changed the right-side keys I removed all of the old switches before installing the new ones. I must’ve accidentally bent the unprotected contacts. I gently bent them back and now it works fine. It’s probably best to replace just a column or two at a time to avoid damaging contacts.

I left the clicky switches in the modifier keys: shift, alt, cmd, ctrl, and fn. The extra force isn’t a problem for my thumbs; off-center presses aren’t a problem with the rounded keycaps; and the tactile and audio feedback is useful for non-printing keys.

I’ve found the linear keys pretty easy to get used to. The lack of tactile feedback is unfortunate, but it hasn’t been a big problem for me. Bottoming out on the linear keys feels softer than bottoming out on the clickys, possibly because of the little bumpers on the linear plungers. Most importantly, key force is consistent even when my aim is a little off.

Thanks Jesse and Kaia for your continued attention to everything.

(Daniel Cavanagh) #11

Sorry to drag up an old thread, but I believe I have the same issue as described here. And I believe it is not just due to a mismatch between the higher acutation force and my expectations, but rather a problem with the switches themselves. I’ve given it a few months to adjust and try break them in, but it’s getting to the point where I need to fix the issue

Each key is different, so some are smooth and feel great and some are really sticky. Some are fine when pressed the ‘right’ way (ie. the middle of the key at the correct angle, otherwise they catch for a time and snap free after enough force, feeling very heavy) and some are just sticky in general (ie. acutation force is higher than others). I believe it is the switches themselves cause I think I can feel a difference without the caps on. Whatever the reason, because they are all different, I often get one key catching and then press the next key out of order, which really kills my rhythm!

I’m definitely happy to try anything here. I can do different types of testing and provide evidence; change the key switches to the quiet ones like OP did; ship the keyboard back for a time so you can get a feel yourself of the issue; etc. I’d prefer to solve this issue for others as well, not just workaround it and forget about it, so will invest time if needed

I love the keyboard BTW. Pretty much no complaints other than this

Cheers :slight_smile:

(Daniel Cavanagh) #12

Any ideas, @jesse? I don’t expect an immediate resolution by any means, but I’d like to know it’s in the queue or something. Cheers!

(Jesse) #13

@danielcavanagh - Sorry, this isn’t a place we monitor for ‘official’ support. One way to check whether the switches are actually requiring different amounts of force is to use a stack of coins on top of a switch with the keycap removed.

https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/wiki/ripometer_guide will explain the details of doing so.

In general, we’re not very happy with Matias’ new loud-click switches, though they say that they believe that what we’re seeing is user perception and not a real switch to switch difference. Because we don’t really have a good answer, we’re likely to discontinue new sales of the loud-click Model 01.

I’ve got some new lubricants to try queued up, though I don’t know if they’ll make much difference.

(Daniel Cavanagh) #14

Ahh ok. Good to know. I have actually been wondering if somewhere in the depths of China someone could have done the dodgy and switched them out for inferior copies…

Anyway, since you aren’t going to continue offering them, I won’t bother doing any testing. And anyway, I know with 100% certainty that they are responding differently cause I can feel a massive difference

With that in mind, would you recommend switching the innards to the quiet click or the linear quiet? I don’t rate my soldering skills so I won’t go as far as swapping the switches entirely

(Daniel Cavanagh) #15

And apologies for using the wrong medium for support! Thanks, mate