Author Topic: Want to get up to speed on MX-Compatibles  (Read 802 times)

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Offline junkfist

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Want to get up to speed on MX-Compatibles
« on: Fri, 18 February 2022, 14:43:49 »
I am getting back into the hobby and I knew about Gateron switches but I didn't realize there are so many  other MX compatibles. I am a little overwhelmed with the amount of options currently available. Is there a wiki or some centralized resource to learn about the different kinds out there?

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Want to get up to speed on MX-Compatibles
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 18 February 2022, 16:17:24 »
When you say Gateron, do you just mean Cherry clones? I hear Gateron manufactures Zeal's switches, some of which are finally deviating from the MX design with their new Clickiez Switches. (MX compatible in terms of boards and caps, Alps tactile/click leaves). They may have some other oddball stuff with other partners, but I can't think of any offhand.

Kaihua (Kailh) has their box switches, which are also MX compatible but with a slightly revised MX tactile mechanism and a totally novel clickbar mechanism for their clicky switches. Box thick clicks are the best thing that's happened for clickies since the 1980s, unless you count simplified Alps clones from Matias, resurrected dead switches, etc.

There are plenty of fancy new wizbang electrocapacitive, optical and even hall effect switches (I'm very interested in Silo Beam switches). By their nature, they're incompatible with existing MX boards and often deviate from MX mechanisms. Some of these are analogue and allow for customization of the actuation point and even different outputs based on how far the switch is depressed (analogue movement within video games, multiple hotkeys assigned to a single switch without the need for layering, etc).

There are more MX clones than I care to know about, since MX clones are just doing Cherry's work better or worse. They're all essentially the same at the end of the day. Which brings us back to your initial reference to Gateron. Most mainstream switches made by mass market manufacturers like Gateron, Gaote (Outemu) and Kaihua (Kailh) are just clones of MX ... so they're not so much MX compatibles as they are straight up copies, maybe with slight variation.

As far as wikis go, there's the good old Deskthority wiki and at least the MechanicalKeyboards wiki on reddit. Most users on Deskthority don't care much for modern switches unless they're actually something novel and there are rumors that the creator and maintainer of the MechanicalKeyboards wiki is deceased.

Switches.mx was created to try to catalogue the characteristics/specs of as many switches as possible, mostly modern I believe. I forget who it was who posted on this forum that they were creating it, but their attention to detail is outstanding. It is not so much a wiki though as it is a database.

That's a start, I'm sure I'm missing something, and could have expanded on many things I mentioned. I have been off and on here with work being insane myself, so there may be things I'm unaware of that are actually innovative AND MX compatible.
« Last Edit: Fri, 18 February 2022, 16:19:08 by Maledicted »

Offline junkfist

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Re: Want to get up to speed on MX-Compatibles
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 18 February 2022, 17:57:59 »
That is a really helpful post. I appreciate your time writing that up, it helps navigating the sea of MX Compatibles much clearer.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Want to get up to speed on MX-Compatibles
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 21 February 2022, 08:31:41 »
That is a really helpful post. I appreciate your time writing that up, it helps navigating the sea of MX Compatibles much clearer.

No problem. What sort of switches have you tried, and what are you interested in?

Offline granola bar enthusiast

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Re: Want to get up to speed on MX-Compatibles
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 31 March 2022, 10:20:20 »
there are hundreds of thousands of mx-style switches out there but besides the basic mx clones (kailh, outemou, gateron, etc.) there are a lot of people designing their own. Last year the Holy Panda switches got a lot of popularity thanks to its high tactility and admirable sound but it also had its longer than average stem-pole causing a slight decrease in travel allowing it to have no interference with cherry profile keycaps on north-facing PCBs, a more consistent sound, and a harsher bottom out which many people liked on top of the highly tactile stem still used in frankenswitches now.

The most popular switch manufacturers at the moment are: Gateron with their smooth linears and absurdly named switches, JWK (also known for smooth linears), Kailh with their longer than average pole-length switches that are great for mix-and-matching switches due to all the same benefits gained with the holy panda's longer poles, Afflion (a relatively newer manu) that makes some great budget switches and personally I am joining their Blush linear group-buy (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=116469.0), and while I have only scratched the surface and there are FAR more manufacturers out there these are my personal favorites that have made some of the most influential switches.

Recently there have been two mods that have blown up in popularity: The PE foam mod, and the Tape mod. First off, the infamous PE foam mod is a layer of that thin white packaging foam that is put flat on the PCB under the switches and affects the sound from the cause, it tends to create a somewhat louder and more "marbly" sound that was what mainly popularized the Jelly Epoch. The Tape mod on the other hand is much easier to do and is a layer of masking/painter's tape that is put under the PCB just like case foam and makes the sound a bit more "poppy" and slightly louder.

There aren't many MX-style clicky switches out there that are made by smaller companies or just small groups of people as the community somewhat is against clickies but Zeal's new Clickiez switches are really high-quality clicky switches so if you love them I recommend trying the Clickiez out.

I'm sorry if you know the majority of the stuff and  I'm just an idiot
« Last Edit: Tue, 05 April 2022, 10:06:54 by granola bar enthusiast »

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Want to get up to speed on MX-Compatibles
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 31 March 2022, 12:11:07 »
There aren't many MX-style clicky switches out there that are made by smaller companies or just small groups of people as the community somewhat is against clickies but Zeal's new Clickiez switches are really high quality clicky switches so if you love them I recommend to try the Clickiez out.

It helps that click jackets are terrible and should be cleansed from the earth. More people would like clickies if they tried good ones.