Author Topic: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?  (Read 7102 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ander

  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1088
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Go. Be. Type.
Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 02:28:45 »
I was wondering: Have there ever been switches that were clicky but not tactile?

There must be people who'd like to hear their switches actuate, but prefer a linear touch. Maybe there already is something like that—but if not, I'm puzzled why switch makers haven't given it a go.
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice

Offline Hak Foo

  • Posts: 1258
  • Make America Clicky Again!
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 02:37:43 »
Thought: some old Zenith boards had Green Alps (Linear) but a speaker to emit a beep when a key was struck.
Home: Tactile Pro 4 PC
Work: Customizer 104
Spare: Quickfire XT, Greens, Retro DSA

Offline ander

  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1088
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Go. Be. Type.
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 02:47:42 »
True... You could have whatever kind of digitized typing sounds you wanted, these days. I always thought it'd be fun to use a bunch of sounds from kung-fu movie fight scenes.
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice

Offline zcmy

  • Posts: 71
  • Location: True North.
  • I really should be working... not "working"
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 02:51:30 »
I was wondering: Have there ever been switches that were clicky but not tactile?

There must be people who'd like to hear their switches actuate, but prefer a linear touch. Maybe there already is something like that—but if not, I'm puzzled why switch makers haven't given it a go.

I don't think it's possible to have a linear switch with a click in the middle but not tactile..at least I haven't seen any designs out in the wild that could possible do that.

Offline Scivive

  • Posts: 9
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 05:10:13 »
Kinesis advantage also has beeps

Offline suicidal_orange

  • * Global Moderator
  • Posts: 4362
  • Location: England
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 05:19:54 »
I was wondering: Have there ever been switches that were clicky but not tactile?

There must be people who'd like to hear their switches actuate, but prefer a linear touch. Maybe there already is something like that—but if not, I'm puzzled why switch makers haven't given it a go.

I don't think it's possible to have a linear switch with a click in the middle but not tactile..at least I haven't seen any designs out in the wild that could possible do that.

It could be done with a pivot - short end gets hit by the stem going down causing the long end (which is bent so the centre of gravity pulls it back down) to hit the stem/housing making the click.

Making a near frictionless pivot and a strong yet light weight hammer so it doesn't break or add tactility would be a feat of engineering though...
120/100g linear Zealio R1  
GMK Hyperfuse
'Split everything' perfection  
MX Clear
SA Hack'd by Geeks     
EasyAVR mod

Offline chyros

  • a.k.a. Thomas
  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 3396
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Hello and welcome.
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 05:36:52 »
Magnetic reed switches are the closest to a mechanically clicky linear design. The switches are contactless with an orthogonal force to the mechanism that makes the sound so the keyfeel is uninterrupted. The level of noise differs from brand to brand though.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline klennkellon

  • Posts: 1278
  • Location: Southern California
  • I like bottoming out
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 10:36:29 »
It could be possible but it doesn't really exist.

Old zeniths with linear green ALPS have electronic clickers in them whenever the key is activated but some people find the noise irritating.

Offline QuincyJones

  • Posts: 270
  • Location: The Greatest Of Them All, England
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 11:02:53 »
Kinesis advantage also has beeps
It's true - at first I thought I'd find this super irritating and disable it, but it's actually really nice!
SENT FROM MY TRKA-100-ULTRA-PRO-1R WITH FLASHY MULTI-COLOURED LEDS FOR MEGA ULTRA COOLNESS
(please like me)

       

Offline jcoffin1981

  • Posts: 786
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 04 July 2016, 23:01:28 »
Even though a click would give you auditory feedback, but no tactile feedback from change in resistance, the click would still incidentally give tactile feedback.  This has piqued my interest, but after about five keystrokes I knew that "clicky" switches were not for me.
KPB V60 Gateron Browns and Leopold Keycaps.  Poker 3 with Gateron Browns and Poker keycaps.  Poker 3 with Cherry MX Browns, ABS keycaps and white LED's.

Leopold FC660M- my new favorite, right out of the box.

Offline Findecanor

  • Posts: 4810
  • Location: Koriko
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 02:02:17 »
There are some vintage keyboards with linear switches and a separate clicker mechanism with a solenoid.

Can also be done in software.
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
-- Arthur Miller

Offline Coreda

  • Posts: 741
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 02:08:12 »
Can also be done in software.

This is really weird. The keys on my MX Reds make more noise than the sound effects when turned down to a reasonable level, and as such there can be heard two differently timed clicks. Probably works better for near-silent boards like clicklet.

Offline jacobolus

  • Posts: 3661
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 02:57:22 »
You want cyan/blue Omron B3G-S switches. Not quite linear, but reasonably close.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=83228.0
« Last Edit: Tue, 05 July 2016, 03:01:44 by jacobolus »

Offline zcmy

  • Posts: 71
  • Location: True North.
  • I really should be working... not "working"
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 03:21:12 »
You want cyan/blue Omron B3G-S switches. Not quite linear, but reasonably close.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=83228.0

Huh, are there any modern boards with that switch?

Offline chyros

  • a.k.a. Thomas
  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 3396
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Hello and welcome.
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 03:27:11 »
You want cyan/blue Omron B3G-S switches. Not quite linear, but reasonably close.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=83228.0

Huh, are there any modern boards with that switch?
No. Not sure there are any Omron compatible modern PCBs, either.

It's true, though, they really feel almost linear travel-wise.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline zcmy

  • Posts: 71
  • Location: True North.
  • I really should be working... not "working"
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 03:35:05 »
You want cyan/blue Omron B3G-S switches. Not quite linear, but reasonably close.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=83228.0

Huh, are there any modern boards with that switch?
No. Not sure there are any Omron compatible modern PCBs, either.

It's true, though, they really feel almost linear travel-wise.

Hmm.. could one of the Logitech's Mech KBs been Omron compatible? I'm grasping at straws right now since i dunno what the contact points look like on older Omron switches.

Offline chyros

  • a.k.a. Thomas
  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 3396
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Hello and welcome.
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 04:38:56 »
You want cyan/blue Omron B3G-S switches. Not quite linear, but reasonably close.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=83228.0

Huh, are there any modern boards with that switch?
No. Not sure there are any Omron compatible modern PCBs, either.

It's true, though, they really feel almost linear travel-wise.

Hmm.. could one of the Logitech's Mech KBs been Omron compatible? I'm grasping at straws right now since i dunno what the contact points look like on older Omron switches.
Three-pin linear, outer-coupled. To my knowledge only Omrons and clones used it.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline y11971alex

  • Posts: 402
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
  • Looking for Toronto meetup
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 09:41:37 »
If the electrical signal of the switch triggers the click (as in the beeper) then the click is independent of the actuation itself.  On the other hand, if the clicking mechanism is under the switch, then it conceivably could be activated by the button press without any lateral movement.
Keyboards owned: IBM Selectric | 3278 | 3101 | 5251 | Model F XT | AT | 122 (6110344) | Model M 1390120 | 1390131 | 1391472 | 1392464 (DisplayWriter SSK) | 1395100 (SSK) | Honeywell RD IBM 09F4230 | Leading Edge DC-2014 (Blue Alps) | Chicony 5891 (Monterey Blue) | E&E-101 (KPT Blue) | BTC 5100 | 5100C | 5369 | DEC VT100 (Hi-tek Linear) | Burroughs TP109 (Hall) | Realforce 87 (55g)

Keyboards wanted: IBM Model F 104 (Unsaver) | Model M 1391401

Offline chyros

  • a.k.a. Thomas
  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 3396
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Hello and welcome.
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 09:45:46 »
If the electrical signal of the switch triggers the click (as in the beeper) then the click is independent of the actuation itself.  On the other hand, if the clicking mechanism is under the switch, then it conceivably could be activated by the button press without any lateral movement.
Perfectly lateral movement shouldn't interrupt keyfeel as the vector force product is zero.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline katushkin

  • Too Keycool for School
  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3666
  • Location: Birmingham - Not Alabama
  • Just the guy
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 12:06:20 »
MX Whites are pretty linear... Still have a bit of a tactile bump but you don't feel it that much IMO.

Probably the closest you can get to a linear clicky switch without having to find something completely random.
Can we get them to build the Alps ten feet higher and get Cherry to pay for it?
Katushkin's Clearout | Twitter | Steam | Instagram| Discord - Katushkin | Nick#5643

Offline Findecanor

  • Posts: 4810
  • Location: Koriko
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 12:10:56 »
Clicky Adomax Flaretech switches have also been reported to feel almost linear. They are not out yet. We'll have to wait for Wooting to deliver.
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
-- Arthur Miller

Offline Aricil

  • Posts: 63
  • Location: Charlotte, NC
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 12:48:16 »
No, and I often wonder why not.  I mean, I personally like the clicky sound as well as the tactility, but I could see it being advantageous. Sometimes it's hard to double tap or side strafe in CS GO cuz've hysteresis. Now, I'm not at a high enough level for it to actually matter, but I could see why at the pro level some people wouldn't want to use blues. If you could have the sound without that happening then that'd be really cool. But, as it stands, I think the click part of the switch is actually a part of the tactile part if I'm not mistaken. It seems like you'd have to completely redesign the switch to be able to do this.
Professional amateur.

Offline Aricil

  • Posts: 63
  • Location: Charlotte, NC
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 12:55:16 »
Magnetic reed switches are the closest to a mechanically clicky linear design. The switches are contactless with an orthogonal force to the mechanism that makes the sound so the keyfeel is uninterrupted. The level of noise differs from brand to brand though.

Are those those switches that are actuated from light and are good for like something ridiculous like billions of keypresses? I've been reading about some crazy switches lately and many of them were discontinued for some reason or another.
Professional amateur.

Offline Melvang

  • Exquisite Lord of Bumfluff
  • * Maker
  • Posts: 4388
  • Location: Waterloo, IA
  • Melvang's Desktop Customs
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 15:56:26 »
It could be done using an Xwhatsit controller with a solenoid on your linear with of choice.  There was someone here that did a proof of concept using an Xwhatsit controller on MX switches.
OG Kishsaver, Razer Orbweaver clears and reds with blue LEDs, and Razer Naga Epic.   "Great minds crawl in the same sewer"  Uncle Rich
Order Form for MDC Mouse Pad
Contact Form for questions

IBM F Revival Services Now with VIDEO

Offline chyros

  • a.k.a. Thomas
  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 3396
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Hello and welcome.
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 17:35:38 »
Magnetic reed switches are the closest to a mechanically clicky linear design. The switches are contactless with an orthogonal force to the mechanism that makes the sound so the keyfeel is uninterrupted. The level of noise differs from brand to brand though.

Are those those switches that are actuated from light and are good for like something ridiculous like billions of keypresses? I've been reading about some crazy switches lately and many of them were discontinued for some reason or another.
I made a video about them recently. Have a gander :) .

Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline czarek

  • Posts: 627
  • Location: Poland
  • Keep the momentum going!
    • FalbaTech
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 06 July 2016, 09:53:13 »
To me electric typewriters come to mind. Some of them were using linear switches, and you can obviously hear click when character is printed :)
My little ErgoDox / GH60 factory: http://falbatech.pl

Offline tacnificent

  • Posts: 42
  • Location: CA
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 06 July 2016, 10:09:07 »
I made a video about them recently. Have a gander :) .

Pretty interesting. Thanks  :thumb:

Offline ander

  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1088
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Go. Be. Type.
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 07 July 2016, 04:05:38 »
Even though a click would give you auditory feedback, but no tactile feedback from change in resistance, the click would still incidentally give tactile feedback...

I truly don't understand that, but I'm getting quite a buzz from reading it over and over.


No. Not sure there are any Omron compatible modern PCBs, either...

Omron—isn't that a great name? It sounds like the Cookie Monster devouring a cookie: "Omron, omron!" I wonder if that had anything to do with the name's origin? Stranger things have happened. Much stranger.



Magnetic reed switches are the closest to a mechanically clicky linear design. The switches are contactless with an orthogonal force to the mechanism that makes the sound so the keyfeel is uninterrupted. The level of noise differs from brand to brand though.

Are those those switches that are actuated from light and are good for like something ridiculous like billions of keypresses?

Yes. Theoretically they'll keep working until the sun explodes or you don't pay your utility bill, whichever happens first.


I made a video about them recently. Have a gander :) ...

Chyros's video reviews are great because you can learn an awful lot about keyboards while also experiencing the sensation of standing along a golf course fairway on a sunny spring day, listening to someone narrating a tournament in quietly resonant tones. This is also as close to being outside as many of us get.
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice

Offline ander

  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1088
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Go. Be. Type.
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 07 July 2016, 04:08:39 »
Hey, I just thought of something else that's clicky and not tactile: My wife. She's often clicking her tongue at me in disapproval, and she won't let me touch her.
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice

Offline chyros

  • a.k.a. Thomas
  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 3396
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Hello and welcome.
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 07 July 2016, 05:06:28 »
No. Not sure there are any Omron compatible modern PCBs, either...

Omron—isn't that a great name? It sounds like the Cookie Monster devouring a cookie: "Omron, omron!" I wonder if that had anything to do with the name's origin? Stranger things have happened. Much stranger.
Did you see my FK-727 video by any chance? xD
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline Aricil

  • Posts: 63
  • Location: Charlotte, NC
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 07 July 2016, 16:56:07 »
To me electric typewriters come to mind. Some of them were using linear switches, and you can obviously hear click when character is printed :)

Omg, you're that guy! That's awesome you replied to me, haha. I've watched a lotta your videos already and am a subscriber. Just watched a few about modding some old tactile black alps into linear earlier today. Small world.
Professional amateur.

Online Rob27shred

  • Posts: 1200
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Insane in the Membrane! 👻
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #31 on: Thu, 07 July 2016, 19:36:32 »
Magnetic reed switches are the closest to a mechanically clicky linear design. The switches are contactless with an orthogonal force to the mechanism that makes the sound so the keyfeel is uninterrupted. The level of noise differs from brand to brand though.

Are those those switches that are actuated from light and are good for like something ridiculous like billions of keypresses? I've been reading about some crazy switches lately and many of them were discontinued for some reason or another.
I made a video about them recently. Have a gander :) .

Awesome video as always!  :thumb: I subscribed to your channel awhile back when I 1st started to really research the different types of mech switches & found it to be very informative. Glad to see your fellow geek hacker & keep up the good work with the channel! :)


Offline Altis

  • Posts: 959
  • Location: Canada
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 11 July 2016, 16:53:28 »
Clicky Hi Tek Space Invaders have almost no tactility at all. The click is made by a follower arm that follows a channel. You can take just that piece out and you have the linear NMB switches.

I'd say that's the closest thing. They effectively feel linear to me, though if you pay close attention, there is a small sensation as the click happens.
WhiteFox (Gateron Brown) -- Realforce 87U 45g -- Realforce 104UG (Hi Pro 45g) -- Realforce 108US 30g JIS -- HHKB Pro 2 -- IBM Model M ('90) -- IBM Model M SSK ('87) -- NMB RT-101 & RT-8255C+ (Hi-Tek Space Invaders) -- Keytrak (Blue Alps) -- Chicony KB-5181 (Monterey Blue Alps) -- KPT-102 (KPT Alps) -- G80-1800 (MX Blue) -- KUL ES-87 (62/65g Purple Zealios) -- CM QFR (MX Red) -- Apple Aluminum BT -- Realforce 23u Numpad

Offline vivalarevolución

  • Posts: 2146
  • Location: Naptown, Indiana, USA
  • Keep it real b/c any other way is too stressful
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #33 on: Tue, 12 July 2016, 09:15:08 »
I know this might seem nuts, but buckling spring feels linear to me.  The key has no tactile bump to overcome, just the resistance of the spring, and then the hammer moves when the spring buckles. 
Wish I had some gif or quote for this space, but I got nothing

Offline jacobolus

  • Posts: 3661
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #34 on: Tue, 12 July 2016, 14:34:21 »
Clicky Hi Tek Space Invaders have almost no tactility at all. The click is made by a follower arm that follows a channel. You can take just that piece out and you have the linear NMB switches.

I'd say that's the closest thing. They effectively feel linear to me, though if you pay close attention, there is a small sensation as the click happens.
Clicky space invaders have distinct tactile snap, with a build-up of resistance and then sudden reduction. It’s not as pronounced as on clicky Alps switches, but you can definitely feel it, and “almost no tactility at all” is in my opinion a highly misleading summary.

I know this might seem nuts, but buckling spring feels linear to me.  The key has no tactile bump to overcome, just the resistance of the spring, and then the hammer moves when the spring buckles.
Yes, you’re nuts. Buckling spring switches have the sharpest and among the most substantial force drops after the click point of any switch I’ve ever tried.

Those are “linear” in the same way that Niagara Falls is a tranquil flat river.
« Last Edit: Tue, 12 July 2016, 14:37:05 by jacobolus »

Offline emdude

  • Posts: 366
  • Location: US
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #35 on: Tue, 12 July 2016, 14:36:33 »
I know this might seem nuts, but buckling spring feels linear to me.  The key has no tactile bump to overcome, just the resistance of the spring, and then the hammer moves when the spring buckles.

I agree, especially if you press a key deliberately.  I think it's dependent on how used the springs are though.
Current drivers: IBM Model M SSK

Offline chyros

  • a.k.a. Thomas
  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 3396
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Hello and welcome.
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #36 on: Tue, 12 July 2016, 16:20:06 »
On a side note, the switches with THE sharpest tactility I've ever found, quite convincingly, is the red-and-black LARB Alps clone. I'd love to make a custom with them in, they feel extremely intriguing. And they have the proper steel click leaf, too.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline Altis

  • Posts: 959
  • Location: Canada
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 12 July 2016, 17:04:54 »
Clicky Hi Tek Space Invaders have almost no tactility at all. The click is made by a follower arm that follows a channel. You can take just that piece out and you have the linear NMB switches.

I'd say that's the closest thing. They effectively feel linear to me, though if you pay close attention, there is a small sensation as the click happens.
Clicky space invaders have distinct tactile snap, with a build-up of resistance and then sudden reduction. It’s not as pronounced as on clicky Alps switches, but you can definitely feel it, and “almost no tactility at all” is in my opinion a highly misleading summary.

I have 3 NMB boards with clicky hi teks, one of which is brand new still, and all 3 of them actually feel quite linear unless you press very slowly to notice where the arm changes direction. Since the arm changing direction doesn't actually really affect the travel of the stem or contact leafs, it doesn't make for much resistance when it clicks. Note that there is a Clicky Tactile switch they offer as well that has the distinct tactile feel, but the clicky ones were never meant to be tactile and ultimately fail to do so.

Let me put it like this, anyone looking for a tactile switch would be very disappointed with the clicky [only] variant of Space Invaders.

I can't think of a more linear switch that also clicks.
WhiteFox (Gateron Brown) -- Realforce 87U 45g -- Realforce 104UG (Hi Pro 45g) -- Realforce 108US 30g JIS -- HHKB Pro 2 -- IBM Model M ('90) -- IBM Model M SSK ('87) -- NMB RT-101 & RT-8255C+ (Hi-Tek Space Invaders) -- Keytrak (Blue Alps) -- Chicony KB-5181 (Monterey Blue Alps) -- KPT-102 (KPT Alps) -- G80-1800 (MX Blue) -- KUL ES-87 (62/65g Purple Zealios) -- CM QFR (MX Red) -- Apple Aluminum BT -- Realforce 23u Numpad

Offline chyros

  • a.k.a. Thomas
  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 3396
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Hello and welcome.
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #38 on: Tue, 12 July 2016, 18:27:47 »
Clicky Hi Tek Space Invaders have almost no tactility at all. The click is made by a follower arm that follows a channel. You can take just that piece out and you have the linear NMB switches.

I'd say that's the closest thing. They effectively feel linear to me, though if you pay close attention, there is a small sensation as the click happens.
Clicky space invaders have distinct tactile snap, with a build-up of resistance and then sudden reduction. It’s not as pronounced as on clicky Alps switches, but you can definitely feel it, and “almost no tactility at all” is in my opinion a highly misleading summary.

I have 3 NMB boards with clicky hi teks, one of which is brand new still, and all 3 of them actually feel quite linear unless you press very slowly to notice where the arm changes direction. Since the arm changing direction doesn't actually really affect the travel of the stem or contact leafs, it doesn't make for much resistance when it clicks. Note that there is a Clicky Tactile switch they offer as well that has the distinct tactile feel, but the clicky ones were never meant to be tactile and ultimately fail to do so.

Let me put it like this, anyone looking for a tactile switch would be very disappointed with the clicky [only] variant of Space Invaders.

I can't think of a more linear switch that also clicks.
Just tried them side-by-side for this question, cyan Omnoms are definitely a LOT more linear than (black) clicky Space Invaders. That said, the angle at which you press space Invaders switches seems to make a big difference.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline jacobolus

  • Posts: 3661
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 13 July 2016, 01:47:40 »
I have 3 NMB boards with clicky hi teks, one of which is brand new still, and all 3 of them actually feel quite linear unless you press very slowly to notice where the arm changes direction. Since the arm changing direction doesn't actually really affect the travel of the stem or contact leafs, it doesn't make for much resistance when it clicks.

I put some earplugs in and am trying linear and clicky space invader switches side by side. I think they feel substantially different. YMMV.

If you compare the space invader switches to buckling springs or tactile Alps switches, then sure, they’re not that tactile. As chyros says, clicky blue/cyan Omron B3G-S switches are quite a bit less tactile than clicky black space invaders though.
« Last Edit: Wed, 13 July 2016, 02:31:32 by jacobolus »

Offline y11971alex

  • Posts: 402
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
  • Looking for Toronto meetup
Re: Clicky, not tactile—is that a thing?
« Reply #40 on: Sat, 16 July 2016, 21:12:40 »
Today, I got my hands on the newest Blackwidow X, and I have to say that the tactile bump is so discreet that I genuinely didn't notice it until I tested the switch extensively through the window on the packaging.   It emits an extremely high-pitched click during the key travel, which is even less smooth than Cherry MX, so, as far as key feel goes, it has preciously little going for it. 

I guess it's my closest shot on "clicky but linear" I have. 
Keyboards owned: IBM Selectric | 3278 | 3101 | 5251 | Model F XT | AT | 122 (6110344) | Model M 1390120 | 1390131 | 1391472 | 1392464 (DisplayWriter SSK) | 1395100 (SSK) | Honeywell RD IBM 09F4230 | Leading Edge DC-2014 (Blue Alps) | Chicony 5891 (Monterey Blue) | E&E-101 (KPT Blue) | BTC 5100 | 5100C | 5369 | DEC VT100 (Hi-tek Linear) | Burroughs TP109 (Hall) | Realforce 87 (55g)

Keyboards wanted: IBM Model F 104 (Unsaver) | Model M 1391401