Author Topic: Flexible Layout Hot-swap?  (Read 332 times)

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Offline geauxflying

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Flexible Layout Hot-swap?
« on: Tue, 22 June 2021, 13:59:27 »
I've read a couple of places that hot-swap boards require a fixed layout. Is it any more difficult to unsolder sockets and move switches and stabs around to change the layout than it would be to unsolder switches? (I've never worked with hotswap switches before). It seems like some of the sockets may be able to be soldered in and just not used, or do stabilizers just get in the way?


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Re: Flexible Layout Hot-swap?
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 22 June 2021, 14:16:16 »
The general point of hotswap is so that people don't need to solder and I would say trying to desolder and solder sockets is pain and no human should ever need to do it out of repairing a ripped socket

Online Findecanor

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Re: Flexible Layout Hot-swap?
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 22 June 2021, 14:20:38 »
It's largely because of how Kailh had designed their sockets. They need larger holes in the PCB than for simple switch pins, and the soldering pads are surface-mount to the left and right side of those holes, not north and south of them.
That makes it more difficult to design a PCB with horizontally overlapping footprints for sockets.

Now there are a few keyboard PCBs that support multiple layouts with sockets, but they tend to have one variation's socket north of the centre, and the other socket rotated 180į, south of the centre.
I've also seen experiments with sockets rotated 90į...

Desoldering comes with a larger risk of messing up, and surface-mount pads are more difficult to desolder than through-hole switch pins. And the whole point of sockets is to avoid soldering yourself anyway...

An alternative to Kailh sockets are Mill-Max or Holtite sockets - each of which is only small enough to fit inside a pin-hole in a PCB. But the PCB needs to be have been designed with closer tolerances so that the holes are just the right size for the socket to fit. The sockets are also not as durable.
(Not that Kailh-style sockets don't have their own durability issues... Some enterprising switch company could better design a better socket instead of just copying Kailh like how Gateron and Glorious did)
« Last Edit: Tue, 22 June 2021, 14:28:57 by Findecanor »
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Offline geauxflying

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Re: Flexible Layout Hot-swap?
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 24 June 2021, 22:03:36 »
Thanks this is what I was looking for. And yeah I ordered mill max sockets to learn I canít seem to get my Kailh box pink switches into them. And my board isnít compatible with Kailh sockets so this whole idea might be dead.