Author Topic: New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay  (Read 5410 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline dw_junon

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 96
    • http://www.9999hp.net/
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« on: Sun, 27 January 2008, 13:48:19 »
I notice some interest in Cherries ruled by an axis of tea, so perhaps this might be of interest:

http://search.ebay.com/330078651280

I have no affiliation or experience with the seller at all.  Seller is in Germany, but invites inquiries for shipping to other countries.  Language may be an issue, though as it happens every time I've sent an e-mail in my broken German I get back a perfect English response...

These are advertised as unused, based on the part number given have the lower force "G" actuator, with a diode and with mounting pins, so could be quite good for building a 'board with a diode-based matrix, or could be simply be used a source for the 1337 swapping technique as previously linked on this board.

At time of typing 140 of them are available, so there's enough to do one whole keyboard and then some.

Also, there is an abundance of older Cherry switches (see also here for larger pictures of a similar switch).  Again, no affiliation or prior experience.  These are reminiscent of the early MX switch documented by Sandy, though may be an earlier design still.
ARC/Chicony KB-5181 XT/AT blue ALPS? 101 US FCC ID E8H51KKB-5181 AST ASTKB102 AT capacitive rubber dome 102 UK ISO
Cherry G80-2100 AT black Cherry 126 key German ISO unique Compaq Enhanced III PS/2 unknown rubber dome 102 UK ISO
Datacomp DFK102ARA03 AT 102 blue ALPS? US/Arabic FCC ID blank, S/N 37880001 Dell AT102W PS/2 Black ALPS 105 UK ISO x2
Fujitsu KFB4725-102 AT membrane rubber dome with spring 105 UK ISO Hewlett Packard C1405A AT rubber dome 102 UK ISO
IBM 0989705 XT/AT no LEDs Model M 102 US/Arabic   IBM 1388076 Industrial AT Model M 102 UK ISO
IBM 1389260 3179/3180 Display Station Model M 122 US 3270 x2 IBM 1391406 PS/2 Model M 102 UK ISO x2
IBM 1397003 PS/2 Model M "Host Connect" emulator 122 German ISO IBM 71G4643 PS/2 Model M Quiet Touch "Ouch!    Rubber spring" 102 UK ISO x2
IBM 5640987 3178 Display Station Model C2 capacitive buckling spring 87 key US 3270 IBM 556-712-01 RT PC rubber dome [same as 2nd PCjr kbd?] 101 US
IBM 6450225 PC/AT capacitive buckling spring 84 key UK PC/AT Lexmark 8125460 Model M2 102 UK ISO
NMB RT-102 117456-002 AT Hi-Tek black, clicky 102 UK ISO Olivetti ANK 2462 M24 Personal Computer keyboard 2 clicky Olivetti spring module 102 UK unique
Ortek MCK-142Pro AT white ALPS 142 key UK Sun 540-1006-03 Type unknown linear(?) keyswitch 2 87 key SunType2
Wang 724 725-3771-UK salmon ALPS 110 key UK Wang724 Making this list hasn\'t half scared me...
[/I]

Offline Astra Diesel

  • Posts: 39
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 27 January 2008, 21:13:45 »
great find.

I know that blue cherry switches (sliders?) are clicky and tactile with least resistance. How do the brown cherries differ?

BTW, are brown cherries as rare as blue cherry switch keyboards?

Online iMav

  • geekhack creator/founder
  • Location: Valley City, ND
  • "Τα εργαλεία σας είναι σημαντικά."
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 27 January 2008, 21:24:26 »
Quote from: Astra Diesel;2640
BTW, are brown cherries as rare as blue cherry switch keyboards?

I don't think the blue Cherry switch keyboards are all that rare (both the Das 2 and Scorpius M10 are easily obtainable)...it's just that finding a spacersaver-type keyboard with those switches is difficult.

Offline xsphat

  • Posts: 2371
  • Location: 'Sconi FTW
  • Enlightened
    • Dan Newman, Writer
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 27 January 2008, 21:30:22 »
True, but brown ones are nonexistent in the US market.

Offline Nonmouse

  • Posts: 296
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 28 January 2008, 12:38:07 »
Quote from: xsphat;2645
True, but brown ones are nonexistent in the US market.


Not true- the MX-8100 POS boards I have are both full-diode brown-stem Cherries, for the US market.

Offline Astra Diesel

  • Posts: 39
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 28 January 2008, 12:45:55 »
What is the difference between blue cherry switch keyboards and brown ones?

Does one feel more tactile than the other, what makes them special in its own ways?

Offline Nonmouse

  • Posts: 296
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 28 January 2008, 13:11:55 »
Quote from: Astra Diesel;2647
What is the difference between blue cherry switch keyboards and brown ones?

Does one feel more tactile than the other, what makes them special in its own ways?


Yeah, the blue keys are significantly more tactile, and also have an audible "click!".  The brown keys are basically a lighter tactile feel version of the white stem keys.  The progression goes blue- Tactile feel, audible click, white- tactile feel, brown- reduced tactile feel, black- linear.

This website has everything you ever wanted to know about the differences, and then some.  The flash animation of the blue slider is kinda nifty, too.

Offline xsphat

  • Posts: 2371
  • Location: 'Sconi FTW
  • Enlightened
    • Dan Newman, Writer
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 28 January 2008, 19:12:18 »
Quote from: Nonmouse;2646
Not true- the MX-8100 POS boards I have are both full-diode brown-stem Cherries, for the US market.


Man, that keyboard is a tank! I thought the Model M was big. How do you like it?

Offline Nonmouse

  • Posts: 296
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 28 January 2008, 21:03:58 »
Quote from: xsphat;2653
Man, that keyboard is a tank! I thought the Model M was big. How do you like it?

I haven't actually used it all that much- I'm mostly using my notebook these days, and it doesn't have a ps/2 port.  I'm waiting on a ps/2-USB adapter, and I'll probably start using it regularly.

Surprisingly, I believe it's actually slightly smaller than a Model M (it's smaller than my Alps-switched Wang keyboard, which I believe is the exact same size as the Model M).

It's 18.5" x 8.5" x 2", and weighs around 4 to 5ish pounds, I think (my scale only goes up to 600 grams, and I don't have a bathroom scale)—again, a little lighter than the Wang k/b, and lighter feeling than I recall Model M's being.  And this despite having 120 keys, a trackpad and a magnetic strip reader built in, 59 re-programmable keys and 41 relegendable keys.  They pull it off by having the keys run closer to the edge on each side—there's only about 1/4" of plastic edging the sides—and moving the keypad slightly (an extra 1/2") further out, and squeezing the trackpad in where the arrow keys normally sit.  Those are moved up and merged with the system keys.

From when I have used it, I like it—the keys are a little more stable than my (white) Alps keyboard, with a little less force required.  They are clicky, though quieter than the Alps, but virtually all the noise is from bottoming out and rebounding—but there is a very faint click when the keys engage, even if they're depressed slowly enough to completely avoid bottoming out.  They're much less tactile than the Alps, but it is noticeable, and the action throughout the full range of travel feels smoother than on the Alps switches—on those keys, it feels (to me, at least) almost like with each keystroke the force builds up until the key trips, and then suddenly falls off quite a bit.  It's actually easier for me to avoid fully bottoming out the Cherry switches than the Alps ones, even though the tactile and auditory cues are both more subtle.

I'll post a more thorough review after I get the adapters (should be here tomorrow) and use it more intensively.

Offline xsphat

  • Posts: 2371
  • Location: 'Sconi FTW
  • Enlightened
    • Dan Newman, Writer
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 28 January 2008, 22:27:16 »
The pictures on the site makes those 'boards like yours look like a landing strip.

I think your description of the Alps switch is very good, and I am getting a board with brown switches soon. I have to try them.

Offline dw_junon

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 96
    • http://www.9999hp.net/
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 29 January 2008, 18:09:03 »
You can get standard Cherry switches new without too much trouble, in the US at least.  For example MX1A-E1NW, "blue" click tactile, no diode, with pins: in stock at Digi-Key, Mouser and Newark, all of whom even let you order just one if you really wanted.  At that sort of quantity, it's about a dollar a go.

Alternatively, lots of places seem to offer them in packs of 250, usually to order.  Don't get excited, I mailed PCSuperDeals and it turns out that price is per switch.  Damn...

Obviously, this should work for other common part numbers...  After mere casual browsing I couldn't find anyone with the switches with LEDs, mind.

Quote from: Nonmouse
I haven't actually used it all that much- I'm mostly using my notebook these days, and it doesn't have a ps/2 port. I'm waiting on a ps/2-USB adapter, and I'll probably start using it regularly.

Surprisingly, I believe it's actually slightly smaller than a Model M (it's smaller than my Alps-switched Wang keyboard, which I believe is the exact same size as the Model M).


I'd never given those Cherry POS keyboards a thought before, but honestly they seem quite appealing now, I'll see if one shows up over here.

Also, is that a Wang 724 [P/N 725-3770] by any chance?  I'm quite fond of my UK 725-3771, used it so often for a while I got used to the navigation key block and it threw me on 105s occasionally.  The speaker, the curved keys, the generous shift, enter and backspace, the coincidental-bonus Alt+F4 key... little things can make great fun.
ARC/Chicony KB-5181 XT/AT blue ALPS? 101 US FCC ID E8H51KKB-5181 AST ASTKB102 AT capacitive rubber dome 102 UK ISO
Cherry G80-2100 AT black Cherry 126 key German ISO unique Compaq Enhanced III PS/2 unknown rubber dome 102 UK ISO
Datacomp DFK102ARA03 AT 102 blue ALPS? US/Arabic FCC ID blank, S/N 37880001 Dell AT102W PS/2 Black ALPS 105 UK ISO x2
Fujitsu KFB4725-102 AT membrane rubber dome with spring 105 UK ISO Hewlett Packard C1405A AT rubber dome 102 UK ISO
IBM 0989705 XT/AT no LEDs Model M 102 US/Arabic   IBM 1388076 Industrial AT Model M 102 UK ISO
IBM 1389260 3179/3180 Display Station Model M 122 US 3270 x2 IBM 1391406 PS/2 Model M 102 UK ISO x2
IBM 1397003 PS/2 Model M "Host Connect" emulator 122 German ISO IBM 71G4643 PS/2 Model M Quiet Touch "Ouch!    Rubber spring" 102 UK ISO x2
IBM 5640987 3178 Display Station Model C2 capacitive buckling spring 87 key US 3270 IBM 556-712-01 RT PC rubber dome [same as 2nd PCjr kbd?] 101 US
IBM 6450225 PC/AT capacitive buckling spring 84 key UK PC/AT Lexmark 8125460 Model M2 102 UK ISO
NMB RT-102 117456-002 AT Hi-Tek black, clicky 102 UK ISO Olivetti ANK 2462 M24 Personal Computer keyboard 2 clicky Olivetti spring module 102 UK unique
Ortek MCK-142Pro AT white ALPS 142 key UK Sun 540-1006-03 Type unknown linear(?) keyswitch 2 87 key SunType2
Wang 724 725-3771-UK salmon ALPS 110 key UK Wang724 Making this list hasn\'t half scared me...
[/I]

Offline Nonmouse

  • Posts: 296
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 29 January 2008, 23:52:16 »
Quote from: dw_junon;2667

I'd never given those Cherry POS keyboards a thought before, but honestly they seem quite appealing now, I'll see if one shows up over here.

Also, is that a Wang 724 [P/N 725-3770] by any chance?  I'm quite fond of my UK 725-3771, used it so often for a while I got used to the navigation key block and it threw me on 105s occasionally.  The speaker, the curved keys, the generous shift, enter and backspace, the coincidental-bonus Alt+F4 key... little things can make great fun.


Yeah, it's a pretty nice k/b.  The only thing I don't really like is that the case is held together with plastic snap clips rather than screws.  At least there are enough of them to hold it together securely, and the plastic is heavy and pliable enough that they can be undone without breaking them off.  The build quality is very high throughout- not surprising, considering they list for $250-$400! new.  Each switch has a separate diode, so I'm fairly confident it will have n-key rollover, though I haven't tested it yet.  I've got a bunch of pics that I'll put up on flickr tomorrow.

Oh, and I looked it up on Cherry's website- it's 4.3 pounds (1950 grams), so, considerably lighter than a Model M, but still heavy enough not to slide around, though the rubber pads on the bottom are a little skimpy.

I'm not sure what model number the Wang board is- the part number is 725-7951-US (WAK-1101S, it looks like, searching on Google).  It's also a nice board, though it's the hideous industrial beige.  A bit heavier than the Cherry board, and the keys are a little sloppier, heavier and a lot louder.  No speaker on mine- pretty much the 'plain jane' 100 key version.

Offline fkeidjn

  • Posts: 237
New Cherry "brown" switches on eBay
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 03 February 2008, 20:29:59 »
Kinesis Keypad - Filco FKBN104M/EB - Unitek space-saver - Acer 6511-TW - Apple Extended II (M3501) - Scorpius M10 - Cherry G80-1800, AT - SGI Granite - vintage Fujitsu - IBM Model M, 101 and mini - Model F, 84-key AT - Dell AT101W - Northgate 101