Author Topic: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches  (Read 18752 times)

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Offline DrHubblePhD

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Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« on: Wed, 18 February 2015, 16:03:13 »
Everything I say below should be taken with a grain of salt knowing that I did consume a strawberry Kit Kat provided to me by ZealPC before writing this review. That Kit Kat may have contained compounds associated with mind control and brainwashing.  :p

I should also mention that I received my order very quickly  :thumb: I was willing to pay the extra price to get them immediately rather than waiting for a group buy to go through. Not that you shouldn't invest in both  :))

This will also be a short review by my standards.

Gateron clear switches:

The sample switch that was provided to me was lubed with a 62g spring. I can say definitively that it was the smoothest switch that I have ever felt. While I cant say that I have tried vintage blacks, I am certain that these would stack up. Moreover, the switch seemed to have no issues fitting into existing plates or accepting replacement parts (except for that whole cherry MX lock 2.0 thing). This includes the instillation of pre removed SIP sockets and LEDs. I did install the switch into one of my boards to test out its actuation and while I was informed that my sample switch had a slightly offset actuation (Zeal's quality control), it seemed to be satisfactory by my comparison. I am not one for linear switches but I can say that if you are looking for something smooth as silk and not impossible to find, Gaterons may be perfect for you! :thumb:

Sorry for the grainy photo, this is a highly cropped 5d photo


Gateron clear switch tops:

I was most excited to receive these after a very poor experience with Abostudios clear switch tops. When I first tried to install the Abostudio switch tops into my OTD PCB I had a lot of trouble getting them to fit into the plate. Moreover when I tried to remove a keycap from a switch with an Abostudios top, the top came up with the switch. No such problem with Gateron switch tops! Not only were the Gateron switch tops much sturdier and more ridged, they were much tighter on the switch. Although it took a bit of extra effort to get the top to fit onto the cherry switch bottom, when it was on, it was on, and wasn't coming off. An excellent side effect of this though was 0 wobble or movement in the switch top, so I felt more justified than usual saving hours of my time by not installing switch stickers! Moreover I had no issues installing the Gateron clear housings into the OTD PCB shown below  :thumb: I should mention as a disclaimer that these switch tops are not the same "milky white" color as the Gateron switches, so don't expect the same effect.




For those wondering where you can obtain either of these products you can either wait until ZealPC has them back in stock or you can join the group buy currently happening. (links below)

Group buy courtesy of Hwood
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=68943.0

ZealPC

Clear Tops:
http://zealpc.net/products/gateron-clear-switch-tops

Group buy for switch tops:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=68356.0

Gateron Clear switches:
http://zealpc.net/products/gateron-clear-switches

Big thanks to ZealPC for hooking me up with a clear switch sample, and providing early access to these awesome components!
« Last Edit: Fri, 20 February 2015, 09:08:08 by DrHubblePhD »

Offline Zeal

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 18 February 2015, 16:21:21 »
Thanks for the review, Dr. :)
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Offline Dihedral

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 19 February 2015, 02:17:22 »
Good review, thanks

Offline GenKaan

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 19 February 2015, 04:39:54 »
Really dig the more clear design, nice review
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Offline meow a cat

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 19 February 2015, 07:18:00 »
Nice review, thanks Hubble!

I'm curious to know what the 35g springs feel like.

Boards:
Silver 84-key KMAC LE, 62g lubed & stickered ergo-clears, GON NerD PCB, polycarbonate plate,MX lock/Phosphorglow IBM Model M SSK 1391472/White HHKB Pro 2, Hasu controller/WKL Phantom, 50g vintage blacks, MX lock
Leeku G80-1800 (build in progress)

Offline DrHubblePhD

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 19 February 2015, 07:50:07 »
Nice review, thanks Hubble!

I'm curious to know what the 35g springs feel like.

Thankfully Zeal did send me a 35g spring, it was kinda what you would expect. Far too light for my taste, but I suppose if you are used to MX Reds then you might still enjoy it.

Offline meow a cat

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 19 February 2015, 08:35:00 »
Nice review, thanks Hubble!

I'm curious to know what the 35g springs feel like.

Thankfully Zeal did send me a 35g spring, it was kinda what you would expect. Far too light for my taste, but I suppose if you are used to MX Reds then you might still enjoy it.

I don't mind reds, but I usually type on blacks. Lately I've been enjoying lighter springs though.

Is the 35g spring noticeably lighter than MX red (if you have a red for comparison)?

Boards:
Silver 84-key KMAC LE, 62g lubed & stickered ergo-clears, GON NerD PCB, polycarbonate plate,MX lock/Phosphorglow IBM Model M SSK 1391472/White HHKB Pro 2, Hasu controller/WKL Phantom, 50g vintage blacks, MX lock
Leeku G80-1800 (build in progress)

Offline hwood34

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 19 February 2015, 22:29:12 »
najs job m8
IV KWK Info Thread & KBK Info Thread IV (out of date)

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Offline DrHubblePhD

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 19 February 2015, 22:47:19 »
Sorry haven't been very courteous, thanks for your appreciation guys  :thumb:

I did compare it an unlubed standard mx red, it seems to me that the mx red is a bit heavier but with significantly more roughness.

Offline rpeterclark

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 20 February 2015, 21:15:01 »
About the clear tops, have you tried them with 2x3x4 LEDs in the switches? I'm finding that LEDs installed with these tops are having clearance issues with caps that do not have  issues with Cherry tops. I've tried them with both cheapo Vortex PBT caps and GMK caps, both having a slight rubbing against the LED. I think the Gateron tops are slightly thicker under the LEDs than Cherry tops.

Im eager to hear if anyone else finds this to be the case.

Offline Zeal

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 21 February 2015, 00:05:59 »
2x3x4mm LEDs have always rubbed against the side of middle row Cherry profile keycaps on Cherry switches l. I haven't tested OEM as I never use them.

That's why you see many Korean builds sand the 2x3x4mm LEDs at roughly 45° angle.
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Offline rpeterclark

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 21 February 2015, 07:11:07 »
That's why you see many Korean builds sand the 2x3x4mm LEDs at roughly 45° angle.

Ah, interesting! I'm going to give that try.

Offline jorgenslee

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 21 February 2015, 09:52:16 »
Does the clear switch tops propagates well the lights that comes from the led?

Offline rpeterclark

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 21 February 2015, 20:38:34 »
That's why you see many Korean builds sand the 2x3x4mm LEDs at roughly 45° angle.

Ah, interesting! I'm going to give that try.

I sanded my LED tops at a slight angle (with a Dremel), it solved the clearance issues with regular keycaps, and plus it looks pretty awesome! So that's great!

I was reassembling my keyboard, feeling pretty good about myself, but things turned sad when I tried to put my Warmaster keycap back on. The artisan keycap just doesn't play nice with they Gateron clear tops. It sticks, rubbing against the top. I don't have any other artisan keycaps to try so I don't know if it's just Hotkeys or if there's issues with other artisan caps.

I made a short extreme-potato quality video so that no one thinks I am exaggerating.


These switch tops are great in every other way, they look nice, tight fit, nice material, but they definitely have clearance issues. I'm eager to see how other people find them once the various group buys and what not go through.

Offline Zeal

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 21 February 2015, 20:56:40 »
I tested a BB and CC and didn't have clearance issues. Tested a Raven and it does rub a bit on the housing on Gaterons, but doesn't get stuck. I think Martin's stems are ever so slightly wider than regular keycap stems.
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Offline VanGhost

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 23 February 2015, 09:09:17 »
Sorry but the OP is a little unclear. Did the clear switch tops make the Gaterons switches tighter/less wobbly or did it help cherry switches or both?

Offline Karura

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 02 March 2015, 03:52:39 »
That's why you see many Korean builds sand the 2x3x4mm LEDs at roughly 45� angle.

Ah, interesting! I'm going to give that try.

I sanded my LED tops at a slight angle (with a Dremel), it solved the clearance issues with regular keycaps, and plus it looks pretty awesome! So that's great!

I was reassembling my keyboard, feeling pretty good about myself, but things turned sad when I tried to put my Warmaster keycap back on. The artisan keycap just doesn't play nice with they Gateron clear tops. It sticks, rubbing against the top. I don't have any other artisan keycaps to try so I don't know if it's just Hotkeys or if there's issues with other artisan caps.

I made a short extreme-potato quality video so that no one thinks I am exaggerating.


These switch tops are great in every other way, they look nice, tight fit, nice material, but they definitely have clearance issues. I'm eager to see how other people find them once the various group buys and what not go through.
Could you try the Warmaster on a stock cherry switch top? I'm just curious if its the gaterons that don't fit, or if it's the keycap being too fat.

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Offline rpeterclark

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 02 March 2015, 06:06:09 »
That's why you see many Korean builds sand the 2x3x4mm LEDs at roughly 45� angle.

Ah, interesting! I'm going to give that try.

I sanded my LED tops at a slight angle (with a Dremel), it solved the clearance issues with regular keycaps, and plus it looks pretty awesome! So that's great!

I was reassembling my keyboard, feeling pretty good about myself, but things turned sad when I tried to put my Warmaster keycap back on. The artisan keycap just doesn't play nice with they Gateron clear tops. It sticks, rubbing against the top. I don't have any other artisan keycaps to try so I don't know if it's just Hotkeys or if there's issues with other artisan caps.

I made a short extreme-potato quality video so that no one thinks I am exaggerating.


These switch tops are great in every other way, they look nice, tight fit, nice material, but they definitely have clearance issues. I'm eager to see how other people find them once the various group buys and what not go through.
Could you try the Warmaster on a stock cherry switch top? I'm just curious if its the gaterons that don't fit, or if it's the keycap being too fat.

The Warmaster fits on a Cherry top. The video shows me switching between a Cherry top,  where it works fine, and a Gateron clear switch top, where it sticks. I have not tried the Warmaster on a Gateron switch. Others have reported no problem at all. I guess we won't really know if it's a common issue until more people have the Gateron clear switch tops.

Offline TheSoulhunter

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Re: Gateron Clear Switch Tops and Clear Switches
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 06 March 2015, 18:25:47 »
Someone knows the material used for the stem? POM perhaps?