Author Topic: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?  (Read 1601 times)

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Offline sebk

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Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« on: Thu, 22 May 2014, 13:24:41 »
I've finally acquired an SSK and compared to my big model Ms the feel is noticeably different. It feels like the keypress is a significantly lighter. Having said that, the SSK has much more use than my other Ms. Is there such a thing as wear on the springs? I think it's unlikely since all keys feel the same on the SSK.

Are different springs used on SSKs? Is there a mod which makes the keys slightly easier to press? What else could be the reason for the difference in activation force in my SSK compared to the other Ms?

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Offline Puddsy

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 22 May 2014, 13:25:14 »
I've typed on both, they're the same to me.
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Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 22 May 2014, 13:27:17 »
Depending on the condition of your rivets in your M and SSK, it can change the feeling of your BS boards. Also bolt modding can change how your board feels.

My SSK pre and post bolt modded felt COMPLETELY different. And it feels different from this terminal M I have.

Offline esoomenona

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 22 May 2014, 13:27:33 »
Different years and different factories ended with different feeling actuation between multiple Model M boards. There is also the possibility one was bolt modded. Or one has broken rivets. Many things can change the feel.

Offline sebk

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 22 May 2014, 13:33:29 »
Interesting. I really like the feel of the SSK so if I could, I would try to replicate it on my big Ms. Most of the mods I've seen were concerned with noise though hence the question if there is a mod to achieve the slightly lighter touch...

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 22 May 2014, 13:36:06 »
Could always keep your SSK as-is then tune a bolt mod to your tastes.

Offline aref

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 22 May 2014, 18:54:59 »
Could always keep your SSK as-is then tune a bolt mod to your tastes.

Exactly. Bolt mods have to be tuned to the user's feel. CPTBadAss speaks the truth.

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 23 May 2014, 05:41:03 »
One big factor affecting the feel in the weight of the keyboard behind the keys.  An older Model M is going to have heftier components all around, and the keys will feel different than a newer model produced in the mid 90's or a Unicomp model, for example.  In general, I find that the heavier the Model M, the lighter the keys will feel because those keys are sitting on top heftier components, which gives you a more solid base to type on.

And with SSK's, there is a lot less weight in the keyboard, so I would not expect it to feel the same as a full-size Model M.

Also, as mentioned before, the condition of the rivets will have an effect on the feel of the keyboard.  Loose rivets will make it harder to actuate some keys.  Send that keyboard to an experienced bolt modder, or learn to do it yourself to preserve that Model M for the next generation.
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Offline sebk

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 23 May 2014, 08:44:26 »
Interesting. My "Big Ms" are in pretty good shape, one came still in the box that IBM had used to send it. It wasn't brand new but definitely had not seen much action. I have one M which is faulty so that will be my first Bolt Mod attempt for the upcoming holidays :)



Crazy how they simply but a stamp on the Box and sent it over from the UK. Now Amazon quadruple wraps everything. I guess Ms can handle it ;)
« Last Edit: Fri, 23 May 2014, 08:46:26 by sebk »

Offline 1391406

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 00:01:10 »
It's probably no different than the standard variation one finds amongst Model M's in general. Even my two Model F terminal boards (manufactured the same year) have different actuation levels.
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Offline katushkin

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 00:47:49 »
The Model M I've bought feels massively different to a terminal M we have at work. It's probably because I bought a ****ty old one that hasn't been looked after, and some of the keys are really hard to press :(
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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 08:39:59 »
It's probably no different than the standard variation one finds amongst Model M's in general.

Every M/F I have ever used (at least a couple of dozen) has been different. It is really kind of amazing and puzzling.
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Offline mkawa

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 08:48:51 »
as fohat says, the different model numbers and production batches of Ms and SSK Ms all have slightly different qualities in their switches, largely due to running changes in materials and build, but the short answer is that yes, SSKs have the same switch technology as Ms

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Offline berserkfan

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 10:45:20 »
Could always keep your SSK as-is then tune a bolt mod to your tastes.

Exactly. Bolt mods have to be tuned to the user's feel. CPTBadAss speaks the truth.

HOw do you do tuning? I mean, the whole board is either 'just tight enough' or not. You can't tighten or loosen too much or else kb won't work properly.
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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 11:14:15 »

How do you do tuning? I mean, the whole board is either 'just tight enough' or not.


Not true at all. Each bolt can be tightened or loosened individually.

It is quite common to have some or all of the board near-perfect, and one or more keys "off" or not working at all.

Like tuning an instrument, different areas are put into various states of tension and compression.
For the first time, the United States has been demoted to the status of "backsliding" democracy by a major global watchdog of such things. The International IDEA think tank made the change in its newest report, citing "declines in civil liberties" and other factors. The United States now joins troubled inching-towards-autocracy nations like Hungary and Poland — which, notably, have recently been celebrated by far-right pundits as potential models of what this nation should become.
We are still a democracy, but the things that make us a democracy are themselves under attack. International IDEA is blunt in pinning the blame where it belongs, calling Donald Trump's attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election "a historic turning point." The Guardian quotes International IDEA Secretary General Kevin Casas-Zamora as he notes that "the increasing tendency to contest credible election results, the efforts to suppress participation (in elections), and the runaway polarization" are among the "most concerning developments," and that Trump's attempted nullification of the election with false claims of fraud “was soon replicated, in different ways, in places as diverse as Myanmar, Peru and Israel."
- The Guardian 2021-11-22

Offline Hypersphere

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 11:34:23 »
I have several 101-M and SSK boards. Each one has a unique personality. Note that the deterioration of the plastic rivets is probably more a function of age than of use. Therefore, even a NIB Model M might benefit from a bolt mod. My least-favorite IBM board in terms of sound and feel is the 122-key Model M -- the aircraft carrier of the Model M fleet. The 122-key definitely needs a bolt mod.

Recently, I have been using IBM Model F keyboards, and I much prefer the capacitive buckling springs over the membrane buckling springs used in the Model M boards. The Model F boards include the "Kishsaver", XT, AT, and 122-key Model F. I am typing this on an XT, which has become my new daily driver. The Model F boards do not have rivets, although some people install a few bolts in the 122-key if they do a mod that involves separating the metal plates to change the layout.

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Re: Are SSK switches different to Full Size Ms?
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 20:09:04 »
Of my two Model M, one feels tight and mostly consistent across the board.  The other one feels loose and inconsistent across the board.  The loose one I know has lost at least a dozen rivets, and is probably hanging out for a bolt mod.  The other one I haven't dared to open yet, but there is nothing rattling around inside so I'm guessing it is mostly fine.
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