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[Instock] Unikeys X HMX Purple Dawn Linear Switch/Designed by Unikeys

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Short Story Behind the Scene

Dear friends, this is Dashan from Unikeys. Today, I would like to share something special with all of you, and I hope you will like what we are bringing to the table! The first ever Unikeys-designed custom keyboard switch, the Purple Dawn Linear switch is going live in a few days, and I couldn't wait any longer to share the details and stories behind this switch with you all!

The Purple Dawn switch project was created in May 2023. The drive behind the project was to design and create a switch that is high quality, durable, and comes with great sound and feel. I kind of wanted it to be "perfect" since it was my first ever switch design project. I had high hopes for it, and I bear the perfectionism idea of wanting it to have minimal stem wobble, smooth travel, clean bottom-out feedback, great sounding (either thocky or clacky), and no spring and leaf noises. However, reality stands in the way, and it is just like how every other ordinary story goes; We contacted quite a few manufacturers such as BSUN, Keygeek, Aflion, etc, and the samples were all suboptimal. I am not trying to flame at any of the manufacturers as I am fully aware that nothing on this planet could ever be perfect. The samples were not bad and up to standard, but there were always minor flaws that I had to say no to. This is also the reason why this project went on for almost a year.

The first batch of HMX samples came in around October 2023, and I was drawn to them immediately. They were not perfect at the moment because they came in with a 3.7mm total travel when I asked for 3.9mm and the coloring was a bit off. However, just like other HMX switches, they came with great smoothness, minimal stem wobble, great sound and feel, and all that HMX features you know. What's different about them was the materials being used were new to HMX; I was aware that most of the HMX options at the time had clacky and loud bottom-out sounds, so I was trying to create a switch with a more subtle but still clean bottom-out sound profile. Luckily, the UPE stem mold sets were just ready and it was supposed to give me what I wanted. The great news is the results were excellent, and the UPE stem goes great with the top and housing materials. Since October, we received two more batches of samples from HMX with minor modifications done to the switch, and by late Feb. 2024, we were finally confident enough to say this is the switch we'd want to sell to our customers. So here we are, the first Unikeys-designed switch is going to be manufactured by HMX.

The Sampling Stage
If my memory is correct, we got 2 batches of samples from BSUN, 4 batches of samples from Keygeek, 1 batch of samples from Aflion, 1 batch of samples from QTUO, and 3 batches of samples from HMX. Although we have settled with HMX as the manufacturer of the Purple Dawn switches, we definitely see potential in other manufacturers as well. Up to date, one more batch of samples from Huano, Keygeek, QTUO, and Aflion is on the way to us. I see the advantages and disadvantages of each of them, and we will continue working with these manufacturers until the samples meet our standards. When the time comes, we will make these switches available to our store, and you guys will have the opportunity to try out Unikeys-designed switches from all kinds of manus!

Samples from various manufacturers


Premiere Price:0.3USD per switch (This price will last for two weeks before it goes back to the regular price)
Regular Price: 0.35 USD per switch
Switch Specifications
Switch type: Linear
Designer: UNIKEYS
Manufacturer: HMX
Stem material: Modified UPE
Top Housings: PA12
Bottom Housing: P4
Operating Force: 55±5g
Bottom-out Force:  62.5±5g
Pre-travel: 2.0mm±0.3mm
Total Travel: 3.9±0.3mm
Spring: 22mm Single-Stage extended spring
Factory Lubed: Yes! on spring, stem feet, and stem sliders

The Purple Dawn Switch

One of the most important things to be noted in this section is that we made sure HMX adjusted their housing molds to ensure the syringe effect was fixed to a great extent on this switch. I love HMX switches, and I have them on almost every keyboard of mine. This means that I daily HMX switches and I basically use a different one each day. The biggest problem I have with them was that the older HMX switches such as early batches of macchiatos and macarons had serious syringe effects. The good news was that HMX has been working on fixing this issue since day one the problem was discovered. They made major modifications to their molding in October 2023 to fix this issue and newer batches of switches coming out after that had minimum issues with keystrokes. We made sure this is also the case for our beloved Purple Dawn switches.

Secondly, we are aware that some HMX switches have "inaccurate" total travel distance that is different from the specs that were advertised. I talked to Mr. Wu who is one of the owners and founders of HMX about this issue, and he told me that this was caused by the way HMX calculated manufacturing deviation. Especially in the case of stem pole bottom-out switches, HMX calculates deviations by taking the negative tolerance into account; This means if the switch has a total travel of 3.9mm and the tolerance is 0.2mm, the deviation range would be 3.9mm-3.7mm instead of 3.7-4.1mm. As such, we have seen many HMX switches that come with a speculated 3.9mm but actually have 3.7mm total travel. This is inevitable due to the existence of tolerance but precise molding will make the deviation less noticeable.

As I said earlier one of the early batches of samples came with a 3.7mm total travel, and we requested HMX to produce the final products using the 3.9mm stem molds and try their best to minimize the tolerance.

Purple Dawn switches is the first HMX switch that uses UPE as the stem material. It pairs very well with the PA12 top housing and P4 bottom housing; Both the PA12 top and UPE stem have very smooth surfaces so keystrokes come with barely any scratch at all. The P4 is one of the HMX materials that emit a deeper and thockier bottom-out sound, and this is the main reason why we go with a P4 bottom housing here. Although I do have to say HMX's definition of deep and thocky is still different from other manufacturers, I can only say the purple dawn switches are relatively deep and thocky when compared to other HMX options. However, this material combination does make the switch sound very pleasant.

The UPE has been a common switch material in this hobby for a long time. One of the known issues with them is that they are too soft and can easily be broken. We had the same concerns before seeing and learning about HMX's modified UPE stem; The good news here is the UPE they use is not purely UPE, and they slightly modified it to make it more strengthened and more durable. HMX has been testing the modified UPE material during the past year and the life-span test proves their statement to be true.

Form of SalesInstock at Unikeys:

Time of SalesApril 18th at 7:00 PM ET
Vendor List
Global: Unikeys
U.S: Novelkeys
SG and Malaysia: KTechs
Australia: Keebsncables

Reviews and Videos

the link is wrong, brings me to the HMX Clouds page lol


--- Quote from: mr_foggy on Sat, 13 April 2024, 05:26:57 ---the link is wrong, brings me to the HMX Clouds page lol

--- End quote ---

Don't know why this was published lol. The post wasn't ready :-[

Purple Dawn switches release date just moved up to today! They will go live on April 18th at 7:00 PM ET

Reviews and sound tests are updated


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