Author Topic: topre slider / silencing research  (Read 7122 times)

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Offline sth

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topre slider / silencing research
« on: Thu, 18 May 2017, 04:05:59 »
Topre Slider Comparison

Or, What's REALLY The Deciding Factor In Silencing Topre Switches

by sth

To date, the common understanding of Topre silenced sliders has been that slider length is the primary factor in determining overall keyswitch travel distance. The reduction in travel when performing silencing modifications to stock/standard Topre stems is often referenced as evidence of this (such as with O-Rings or Hypersphere rings).

While the slider length and silencing ring thickness combined are certainly related to the total travel length, those factors alone would not account for the differences in travel when applying silencing modifications to other slider types. There are actually two additional very important aspects of slider design that determine the overall travel distance, and they are somewhat less apparent than slider length alone.

It is important to understand the whole picture when planning a Topre silencing mod or stem-swap -- and arguably interesting to those wanting to obtain a deeper understanding of the design details of their Topre keyboards. Thesefactors are what provide factory-silenced Topre boards with a comparable travel distance to non-silenced boards, without extensive and expensive factory production modification to the PCB position, rubber dome design, case design and/or barrel mounts of non-silenced keyboards.

Please note that the scope of this research does not currently account for Topre Hi-Pro design switches.


Illustration of additional differences


Fig 1 - Stock Topre left, silenced Realforce right - photo dgneo

On the left is a stock HHKB/Realforce slider. Note the effectively flat bottom surface - this is where the slider comes into contact with the rubber dome. On the right is a silent Realforce slider, which has approximately 1mm of relief molded into the bottom. We can observe a similar molding detail in the HHKB Type-S slider below:



Fig 2 - Stock Topre left, Type-S right - photo

The second factor, which has somewhat more to do with accommodating the slider position in conjunction with the relief design, is illustrated here:



Fig 3 - silenced Realforce left, stock Topre right - photo Bro Caps

The purple slider's base appears to be nominally thinner than on non-silenced sliders.When combined with the height of the O-ring, this would account for a similar overall base height. Because of the nature of the foam O-ring, an exact measurement cannot be obtained (and therefore neither can a precise and predictable "resting" position) - but the difference here is in the sub-sub-millimeter range and is likely undetectable by humans.


Initial Conclusions

Without the relief present in a silenced slider, the effective bottom of the slider is approximately 1mm lower, thereby pressing the rubber dome down more than is expected. This provides a solid explanation of why aftermarket silencing techniques, regardless of manufacture or material, will always reduce travel once installed, and theoretically could cause actuation issues on those Topre boards where actuation is higher than normal (as is possible with actuation-point-adjustable boards). It certainly affects the tactility of the rubber dome, something the relief-design sliders were engineered to circumvent.

From these observations, we can conclude that, when combined with the difference in slider position due to silencing ring installation (whether stock or aftermarket), the bottom-side relief (currently present only in factory-silenced sliders) is a deciding factor in the "resting" position of the the slider itself (this aspect is determined by the silencing ring) as well as compression on the rubber dome (which is affected by the relief).


Modification notes

We can conclude that adding silencing rings to a standard slider will unavoidably affect the travel. I was also curious to know if this was the case with the newly-released JTK MX sliders. Unfortunately at the time of this writing, the JTK sliders do not appear to have the same relief design as factory-silenced sliders.




Fig 4 - JTK sliders installed on Realforce - photo xondat

The same is true of Novatouch sliders:



Fig 5 - Novatouch slider bottoms - photo dorkvader

I am currently planning on investigating the differences between other available Topre-compatible sliders. I hope to include the following, pending determination that they are non-trivially different from existing designs that have been considered in this research:
  • eBay-sourced "clear"/offwite sliders - these include preinstalled O-rings, and I am curious to know whether the manufacturer took into account the bottom-relief design of Type-S and silenced Realforce sliders
  • Legacy Topre designs including Sony NEWS/BKE keyboards - my prediction is that these are roughly equivalent to non-silenced stock Topre sliders
  • Leopold FC660C sliders
  • TypeHeaven sliders
Next Steps

Obtaining accurate measurements of the various Topre slider types is going to help us in quantifying these results. Additionally, I am working on acquiring as many variants of available Topre stems as possible in order to provide my own photographs in a standard setting.

There is also a question of the difference between silent RF sliders and Type-S sliders. As shown in figs. 1 and 2, while the overall design is nearly identical, there are slight differences in some of the molding details that may affect user perception. Further study is needed into not only the design differences but also other factors including the type of plastic and O-ring material characteristics.

I would really like to start looking into alternative silencing methods in combination with existing O-ring-ready sliders- namely, how would alternative materials affect the sound and feel, given the same nominal thickness of the silencing material as stock O-rings.Possible avenues of inquiry include:
  • Hypersphere rings
  • Dental bands
  • High-durometer O-rings
  • Ironed landing pads
Concluding notes

If you have any information related to this that might shed more light on silencing options, please let me know. I can be reached on GH, DT and keyboardcommunity.slack.com via the username "sth" as well as on reddit as "guinanseyebrows".
Thanks to the following Topre freaks:
  • nsmechkb (for kickstarting my research)
  • Bro, xondat and dgneo (for providing research-specific photographic documentation)
  • Dorkvader and Hordak (for their existing photographs used while researching and for illustrative purposes)
  • Otesanek, fendent, rm-rf, firebort and anyone else involved in the discussion on #keyboards


the most up to date version of this document can be found at nvsbl.org/kb/topresliders.html
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Offline rm-rf

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 18 May 2017, 05:07:07 »
thank you for this excellent documentation!
so once you have those other steps complete, there is another factor also...
different dome type replacements, and their height variances.
ie: modified sony domes, or the hansung domes.

Offline sth

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 18 May 2017, 05:13:22 »
thank you for this excellent documentation!
so once you have those other steps complete, there is another factor also...
different dome type replacements, and their height variances.
ie: modified sony domes, or the hansung domes.


yes! i will be talking to you about this. we need measurements!
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Offline DaBubbs

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 18 May 2017, 09:23:25 »
Awesome work... thanks!

I will add, I am in the middle of using a silenced RF 104U to swap the purple sliders into my RF 87U to silence it. I noticed when doing my research that EK says on their website that the silenced 104U has a travel distance of 3.8mm instead of 4mm that the RF 87U has. I am guessing that the depression that you see on the purple sliders (plus maybe a little height reduction that the ring creates), result in 0.2mm of lost travel.

Just a thought.

And here is where I saw it:
RF 104U description: https://elitekeyboards.com/products.php?sub=topre_keyboards,rf104&pid=xf01ts
RF 87U description: https://elitekeyboards.com/products.php?sub=topre_keyboards,rftenkeyless&pid=rf_se08t0
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Offline nya

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 18 May 2017, 09:43:35 »
Nice work!  :thumb: Can't wait to see what comes of comparing the HHKB vs RF silenced sliders.

Offline sth

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 18 May 2017, 16:22:11 »
Awesome work... thanks!

I will add, I am in the middle of using a silenced RF 104U to swap the purple sliders into my RF 87U to silence it. I noticed when doing my research that EK says on their website that the silenced 104U has a travel distance of 3.8mm instead of 4mm that the RF 87U has. I am guessing that the depression that you see on the purple sliders (plus maybe a little height reduction that the ring creates), result in 0.2mm of lost travel.

Just a thought.

And here is where I saw it:
RF 104U description: https://elitekeyboards.com/products.php?sub=topre_keyboards,rf104&pid=xf01ts
RF 87U description: https://elitekeyboards.com/products.php?sub=topre_keyboards,rftenkeyless&pid=rf_se08t0

oh awesome! thank you. hopefully i can get around to getting measurement tables set up soon.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 18 May 2017, 21:35:57 »
Without the proper spacing of the newer sliders,  there are significant drawbacks to off brand orings.


Firstly,  There is such thing as  --Compression Set--   , essentially the inability to return to original expansion/shape, as a percentage


In this case it influences not only the RINGs,  but also the DOMEs.



For the rings,  if you put in diy rings or non-duration tested rings like hypersphere,   then the silencing will only become less and less effective over time.

The reason they extended the slider for the S-edition is to prevent Precompression of the ring AND the dome.



Precompression causes compression set in the rings,  I don't know what the Official silencing rings are made of,  but lets assume it's silicone rubber.


Even the best silicone rubber has 10 to 20% compression set if constantly compressed 


So , if the spacing is incorrect,  the ring receives precompression.. and the DOMEs also receive precompression.. 


10-20% is extremely significant because it will greatly influence the way the switch feels.




Assuming the producer calibrated the collapse / resistance of TOPRE,  and that's what people LIKE-about-it..    then any diy mod without compensating for distance is at odds with the sought after thock-feel..

Offline child

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 19 May 2017, 12:28:14 »
sth, thank you for your insightful explanation  :thumb:

I own a Novatouch modded with ironed landing pads from EK.

When it comes to the sound, it is very nice. The mod caused the "plasticky" sound of the stems go away. Someone compared the sound to rain drops and I like this comparison - especially with the towel underneath it sound like gentle drops of rain. I can't wait for my R2 Norbauer case which hopefully will make the sound even nicer :)

However, the lost of key travel is significant - not that I feel the distance is shorter, but initial key resistance is less prominent. I think you can see it if you take a Topre force curve and remove initial 0.5mm or so. When I first typed on my keyboard after I reassembled it after adding landing pads I was hugely disappointed by this issue. However, I got used to this very quickly. If it wasn't for an hour or so of my time I could probably remove the landing pads again to be able to compare the feel again.

This key travel change is not exactly the same on all keys - if I try hard, I can feel the difference (only when looking for it, not when typing). I can attribute to the landing pads not being ironed evenly - if I knew it would be important I'd pay more attention to that (and also flatten them more).

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 19 May 2017, 12:40:01 »
sth, thank you for your insightful explanation  :thumb:

I own a Novatouch modded with ironed landing pads from EK.

When it comes to the sound, it is very nice. The mod caused the "plasticky" sound of the stems go away. Someone compared the sound to rain drops and I like this comparison - especially with the towel underneath it sound like gentle drops of rain. I can't wait for my R2 Norbauer case which hopefully will make the sound even nicer :)

However, the lost of key travel is significant - not that I feel the distance is shorter, but initial key resistance is less prominent. I think you can see it if you take a Topre force curve and remove initial 0.5mm or so. When I first typed on my keyboard after I reassembled it after adding landing pads I was hugely disappointed by this issue. However, I got used to this very quickly. If it wasn't for an hour or so of my time I could probably remove the landing pads again to be able to compare the feel again.

This key travel change is not exactly the same on all keys - if I try hard, I can feel the difference (only when looking for it, not when typing). I can attribute to the landing pads not being ironed evenly - if I knew it would be important I'd pay more attention to that (and also flatten them more).

Yea this is precisely the problem

The Topre-Experience is tuned for a very specific offset distance..  There's a tolerance,  but it's almost always within 0.05mms by design when it comes to injection molding..    Adding aftermarket overpriced rings does offer some dampening, but it's wholly inadequate..


Even if you go the compensation route by adding spacers to the board screw shafts, you can't always find the right spacer to bring back the designed offset..

And the spacer route may greatly reduce the rigidity of the frame because now they're not touching as closely.



It seems you've taken to --intellectually-- overcoming the issue by accepting the result of your mod as is..  But what was the point of all the money and effort spent, if you didn't get what you wanted.. and instead have to Convince yourself that -this is ok--.. hahaha


Offline DALExSNAIL

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 19 May 2017, 12:50:44 »
Without the proper spacing of the newer sliders,  there are significant drawbacks to off brand orings.


Firstly,  There is such thing as  --Compression Set--   , essentially the inability to return to original expansion/shape, as a percentage


In this case it influences not only the RINGs,  but also the DOMEs.



For the rings,  if you put in diy rings or non-duration tested rings like hypersphere,   then the silencing will only become less and less effective over time.

The reason they extended the slider for the S-edition is to prevent Precompression of the ring AND the dome.



Precompression causes compression set in the rings,  I don't know what the Official silencing rings are made of,  but lets assume it's silicone rubber.


Even the best silicone rubber has 10 to 20% compression set if constantly compressed 


So , if the spacing is incorrect,  the ring receives precompression.. and the DOMEs also receive precompression.. 


10-20% is extremely significant because it will greatly influence the way the switch feels.




Assuming the producer calibrated the collapse / resistance of TOPRE,  and that's what people LIKE-about-it..    then any diy mod without compensating for distance is at odds with the sought after thock-feel..


Yea this is precisely the problem

The Topre-Experience is tuned for a very specific offset distance..  There's a tolerance,  but it's almost always within 0.05mms by design when it comes to injection molding..    Adding aftermarket overpriced rings does offer some dampening, but it's wholly inadequate..


Even if you go the compensation route by adding spacers to the board screw shafts, you can't always find the right spacer to bring back the designed offset..

And the spacer route may greatly reduce the rigidity of the frame because now they're not touching as closely.



It seems you've taken to --intellectually-- overcoming the issue by accepting the result of your mod as is..  But what was the point of all the money and effort spent, if you didn't get what you wanted.. and instead have to Convince yourself that -this is ok--.. hahaha



Offline DALExSNAIL

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Offline child

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 19 May 2017, 15:04:49 »
It seems you've taken to --intellectually-- overcoming the issue by accepting the result of your mod as is..  But what was the point of all the money and effort spent, if you didn't get what you wanted.. and instead have to Convince yourself that -this is ok--.. hahaha

I accepted the mod result because it brings very important advantage - it makes the keyboard very quiet, thus allowing me to type while my wife sleeps in the same room  ;)
By no means I consider the mod perfect and I will be more than happy if someone finds a way to keep the keyboard silenced while retaining original key travel distance.

Offline DaBubbs

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 19 May 2017, 15:07:30 »
It seems you've taken to --intellectually-- overcoming the issue by accepting the result of your mod as is..  But what was the point of all the money and effort spent, if you didn't get what you wanted.. and instead have to Convince yourself that -this is ok--.. hahaha

I accepted the mod result because it brings very important advantage - it makes the keyboard very quiet, thus allowing me to type while my wife sleeps in the same room  ;)
By no means I consider the mod perfect and I will be more than happy if someone finds a way to keep the keyboard silenced while retaining original key travel distance.
The only way I know is to harvest and use silenced stems from a factory silenced KB. Like stems from an HHKB Type-S or purple silenced sliders from a silent Realforce.

Then you are guaranteed not to lose any key travel.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 19 May 2017, 15:26:13 »
It seems you've taken to --intellectually-- overcoming the issue by accepting the result of your mod as is..  But what was the point of all the money and effort spent, if you didn't get what you wanted.. and instead have to Convince yourself that -this is ok--.. hahaha

I accepted the mod result because it brings very important advantage - it makes the keyboard very quiet, thus allowing me to type while my wife sleeps in the same room  ;)
By no means I consider the mod perfect and I will be more than happy if someone finds a way to keep the keyboard silenced while retaining original key travel distance.

There is the spacer method.


Take some printer paper, each sheet is 0.1mm


Whatever the thickness your ring is,  offset that by the amount of sheets of paper..

Cut a little square with all the sheets layed together,  use a power drill to drill a hole in the center of the square. make enough squares for the amount of screws the board is held together by  then put that where the keyboard screws come together.. 

This will offset the height of the chassis..

Offline DaBubbs

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 19 May 2017, 17:23:19 »
It seems you've taken to --intellectually-- overcoming the issue by accepting the result of your mod as is..  But what was the point of all the money and effort spent, if you didn't get what you wanted.. and instead have to Convince yourself that -this is ok--.. hahaha

I accepted the mod result because it brings very important advantage - it makes the keyboard very quiet, thus allowing me to type while my wife sleeps in the same room  ;)
By no means I consider the mod perfect and I will be more than happy if someone finds a way to keep the keyboard silenced while retaining original key travel distance.

There is the spacer method.


Take some printer paper, each sheet is 0.1mm


Whatever the thickness your ring is,  offset that by the amount of sheets of paper..

Cut a little square with all the sheets layed together,  use a power drill to drill a hole in the center of the square. make enough squares for the amount of screws the board is held together by  then put that where the keyboard screws come together.. 

This will offset the height of the chassis..
I've heard that only works on the HHKB. Any other keyboards that works for?
When you are dead, you don't know that you are dead. It is difficult only for the others.
It is the same when you are stupid.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 19 May 2017, 17:35:29 »
It seems you've taken to --intellectually-- overcoming the issue by accepting the result of your mod as is..  But what was the point of all the money and effort spent, if you didn't get what you wanted.. and instead have to Convince yourself that -this is ok--.. hahaha

I accepted the mod result because it brings very important advantage - it makes the keyboard very quiet, thus allowing me to type while my wife sleeps in the same room  ;)
By no means I consider the mod perfect and I will be more than happy if someone finds a way to keep the keyboard silenced while retaining original key travel distance.

There is the spacer method.


Take some printer paper, each sheet is 0.1mm


Whatever the thickness your ring is,  offset that by the amount of sheets of paper..

Cut a little square with all the sheets layed together,  use a power drill to drill a hole in the center of the square. make enough squares for the amount of screws the board is held together by  then put that where the keyboard screws come together.. 

This will offset the height of the chassis..
I've heard that only works on the HHKB. Any other keyboards that works for?


This will work for realforce,  but because of how many places you're going to need to shim... it's a REAL pain..

it's more straightforward to shim the screws with lots of clearance, but when we need to shim the low clearance screws, it's very difficult to get in there.

which is why hypersphere is not only overpriced, but arguably to actually do it right and get the right offset distance, it's also extremely labor intensive..  paying for the s-version is by far more worthwhile if that's what you're after to begin with.

If you already have the regular version,  sell it, and buy the s-version..   

The mod is very cumbersome unless you're willing to accept precompression / loss of travel/ and potentially warped domes over time.



--- Instead of paper shim, double sided tape would work as well if you're ok with working with gloves on.

Offline MUMU

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 29 May 2017, 15:35:07 »
Did someone know if they fix the "whistle" probleme on hhkb type-s (trying to decide between stock or type s for a first hhkb  ;D)

Online kmba

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 30 May 2017, 09:48:07 »
Insulating washers work better for spacing mod on hhkb than the paper fix described above. They're available in the perfect size already for use with hhkb and hyperspheres. I used tiny pieces of double sided tape to apply them to the screw standoffs (others have used light glue). Assembling the case after installation was a fraction more difficult due to the added gap, but worked out fine. Overall very pleased with the mod and return of full tactility on my hhkb.
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Online MajorKoos

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 18 July 2017, 08:39:17 »
Insulating washers work better for spacing mod on hhkb than the paper fix described above. They're available in the perfect size already for use with hhkb and hyperspheres. I used tiny pieces of double sided tape to apply them to the screw standoffs (others have used light glue). Assembling the case after installation was a fraction more difficult due to the added gap, but worked out fine. Overall very pleased with the mod and return of full tactility on my hhkb.

That's a great idea.  I have a pair of NT's I'd like to test this on - one with the ironed landing pad mod and the other with Hypershpere rings (I prefer the landing pads).  As a point of reference, what thickness washer did you opt for?

Offline Justintoxicated

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 18 July 2017, 15:29:45 »
Dental Bands on the FC660C work like a charm.  An cheap but amazing modification.  I don't think this works on realforce boards though.

Offline clorex

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 19 July 2017, 15:07:31 »
Dental Bands on the FC660C work like a charm.  An cheap but amazing modification.  I don't think this works on realforce boards though.

Why not?

Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 20 July 2017, 00:34:23 »
Ive been thinking of silencing and lubing my 980c this is good info

Offline Macsmasher

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #23 on: Fri, 21 July 2017, 14:32:27 »
It seems you've taken to --intellectually-- overcoming the issue by accepting the result of your mod as is..  But what was the point of all the money and effort spent, if you didn't get what you wanted.. and instead have to Convince yourself that -this is ok--.. hahaha

I accepted the mod result because it brings very important advantage - it makes the keyboard very quiet, thus allowing me to type while my wife sleeps in the same room  ;)
By no means I consider the mod perfect and I will be more than happy if someone finds a way to keep the keyboard silenced while retaining original key travel distance.
The only way I know is to harvest and use silenced stems from a factory silenced KB. Like stems from an HHKB Type-S or purple silenced sliders from a silent Realforce.

Then you are guaranteed not to lose any key travel.


Key travel is identical between a RF 87U standard and silent. However, key travel is different between the HHKB and HHKB Type-S. I seem to recall standard is 4mm and Type-S is 3.9mm. Just check out the Fujitsu specs.

Offline teraflame

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 21 July 2017, 15:13:10 »
KBDfans has new rings.

Rubber in domes

Online romevi

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 21 July 2017, 15:17:24 »
KBDfans has new rings.


Saw those earlier today. Might order some just to see how they are. Eventually, I'd like to get original purple silent sliders.

Offline Hordak

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 02 September 2017, 13:52:01 »
There is the spacer method.


Take some printer paper, each sheet is 0.1mm


Whatever the thickness your ring is,  offset that by the amount of sheets of paper..

Cut a little square with all the sheets layed together,  use a power drill to drill a hole in the center of the square. make enough squares for the amount of screws the board is held together by  then put that where the keyboard screws come together.. 

This will offset the height of the chassis..
Is there a picture somewhere for this? I don't get it.

Online kmba

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 02 September 2017, 23:24:23 »
There is the spacer method.


Take some printer paper, each sheet is 0.1mm


Whatever the thickness your ring is,  offset that by the amount of sheets of paper..

Cut a little square with all the sheets layed together,  use a power drill to drill a hole in the center of the square. make enough squares for the amount of screws the board is held together by  then put that where the keyboard screws come together.. 

This will offset the height of the chassis..
Is there a picture somewhere for this? I don't get it.

I used fiber washers, like this guide shows.  http://imgur.com/a/DLuOw

Works well, but is quite the PITA to perform.
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Offline Hordak

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 03 September 2017, 00:36:10 »
I used fiber washers, like this guide shows.  http://imgur.com/a/DLuOw

Works well, but is quite the PITA to perform.

Oh, awesome. Thank you tameone.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 03 September 2017, 18:49:47 »
I used fiber washers, like this guide shows.  http://imgur.com/a/DLuOw

Works well, but is quite the PITA to perform.

Oh, awesome. Thank you tameone.

you don't need to do that  or (buy anything)..

just take some paper,  layer it, and cut a hole in it..  it will work just as well.


it doesn't even have to be a (hole),  just a slit,  or even the screw straight through the paper with no cutting will work.

Offline Hordak

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 04 September 2017, 11:36:47 »
Yes tp4, but I am too lazy :) They are only $3 on ebay; seems like the cleaner solution to me and you get 50 pieces.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 04 September 2017, 11:38:41 »
Yes tp4, but I am too lazy :) They are only $3 on ebay; seems like the cleaner solution to me and you get 50 pieces.

my point is,  the paper gives you 0.1mm gradations so you can get it very perfectly spaced,  the spacers you buy, they could give you 999 pieces,  but unless they're the right thickness.  it's all m00t no, the problem here is, we do not know precisely what thickness we need,  so there's some experimentation that needs to be done , and you can't do that with the spacers either ?


If anything,  at least experiment with the paper,  each layer is 0.1mm,   then when you figure out how many layers is good,   then find spacers that fit that specification,  although i don't see why the paper wouldn't work just as well, hahahaha

Offline Hordak

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 04 September 2017, 11:43:26 »
According to the guide posted by tameone, it should work out just fine with the 0.5mm washers. I'll rather try that before starting to fiddle with paper because... laaazy

Offline smithyithy

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 15 March 2018, 11:36:15 »
It seems you've taken to --intellectually-- overcoming the issue by accepting the result of your mod as is..  But what was the point of all the money and effort spent, if you didn't get what you wanted.. and instead have to Convince yourself that -this is ok--.. hahaha

I accepted the mod result because it brings very important advantage - it makes the keyboard very quiet, thus allowing me to type while my wife sleeps in the same room  ;)
By no means I consider the mod perfect and I will be more than happy if someone finds a way to keep the keyboard silenced while retaining original key travel distance.
The only way I know is to harvest and use silenced stems from a factory silenced KB. Like stems from an HHKB Type-S or purple silenced sliders from a silent Realforce.

Then you are guaranteed not to lose any key travel.

Just wanted to bump this and seek some clarification on the above...

I'll be getting HHKB Pro 2 soon, and would like to silence it, but having read the thread above, want to avoid the potential drawbacks such as pre-compression (will be installing BKE Redux so doubly important!)

I would also quite like the purple Realforce sliders for aesthetics.. So is the method of swapping in some silenced RF sliders still the best method of silencing without sacrificing any key travel / causing pre-compression?

Are there any others things to consider when swapping in those kinda sliders??
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Offline sth

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #34 on: Thu, 15 March 2018, 18:51:25 »
It seems you've taken to --intellectually-- overcoming the issue by accepting the result of your mod as is..  But what was the point of all the money and effort spent, if you didn't get what you wanted.. and instead have to Convince yourself that -this is ok--.. hahaha

I accepted the mod result because it brings very important advantage - it makes the keyboard very quiet, thus allowing me to type while my wife sleeps in the same room  ;)
By no means I consider the mod perfect and I will be more than happy if someone finds a way to keep the keyboard silenced while retaining original key travel distance.
The only way I know is to harvest and use silenced stems from a factory silenced KB. Like stems from an HHKB Type-S or purple silenced sliders from a silent Realforce.

Then you are guaranteed not to lose any key travel.

Just wanted to bump this and seek some clarification on the above...

I'll be getting HHKB Pro 2 soon, and would like to silence it, but having read the thread above, want to avoid the potential drawbacks such as pre-compression (will be installing BKE Redux so doubly important!)

I would also quite like the purple Realforce sliders for aesthetics.. So is the method of swapping in some silenced RF sliders still the best method of silencing without sacrificing any key travel / causing pre-compression?

Are there any others things to consider when swapping in those kinda sliders??

yeah purple rf sliders will be your best bet if you don't want to just buy a type-S. i really do have to wonder if there is a substantial difference between that and a stock type-S because the sliders are both designed the same way. some people claim to feel a difference though.

i hear really good things about the thin kbdfans rings but i haven't tried them out personally so I hesitate to recommend them.
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Offline smithyithy

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #35 on: Fri, 16 March 2018, 05:12:07 »
Yep the KBDfans could be an easier / cheaper option for sure. I've had very good experience with their other products so I'd be hopeful..

I need to weigh up the costs really, if I'm buying from Japan then the Type-S is going to cost around 50 more. I wonder if it'd cost me more than that to buy, harvest and sell a silenced RF.

If the cost difference is minor then I'd consider it worthwhile as it's also offset by having those nice purple sliders..

Things to consider for sure..
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Offline sth

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #36 on: Fri, 16 March 2018, 22:34:12 »
Yep the KBDfans could be an easier / cheaper option for sure. I've had very good experience with their other products so I'd be hopeful..

I need to weigh up the costs really, if I'm buying from Japan then the Type-S is going to cost around 50 more. I wonder if it'd cost me more than that to buy, harvest and sell a silenced RF.

If the cost difference is minor then I'd consider it worthwhile as it's also offset by having those nice purple sliders..

Things to consider for sure..

just buy a used type S. they're all over the place.
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Offline sodiumjoe

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #37 on: Fri, 16 March 2018, 23:47:50 »
I'm interested to hear how the keyclack silencing rings affect tactility as well. I might pick some up and try them in combination with bke redux domes which I already have.

Online kmba

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #38 on: Sat, 17 March 2018, 06:58:45 »
Here's my newest take after trying hyperspheres, keyclack rings, purple sliders, bke domes, tactility restoration mod, etc.

1) stock sliders and domes with hyperspheres definitely reduces tactility, but produces good silencing. The balance wasn't good for me, so I tried the tactility restoration mod with fiber washers. However, that didn't last long either. The case doesn't go together tightly any more, some caps bottomed out slightly, and overall it just made the board feel more cheaply built. I ditched it.

2) Stock sliders with bke domes and hyperspheres. I had the light domes, and even they are tactile enough that you don't miss anything when using hyperspheres.. still plenty of tactility left. The snappy nature of the domes reduced the silencing capability of the hyperspheres tho, but it was still livable when lubed also. I did end up taking the domes out tho because of a major flaw in the domes shape. Bke domes crest at a lower point. Stock domes are more round. Stock domes compress springs by pressings on the very top of the spring with the underside of the apex of the dome. Bke domes due to the shape press on the side of the springs about 25% of the way down with the side of the dome. This leads to spring binding and grinding and an impossible to remove noise that drove me crazy. What's the point of trying to silence a board if every switch press grinds worse than the last?

3) stock domes and sliders with keyclack silencing rings. These are very thin. So thin that you won't notice a loss in tactility. However, due to the thickness they don't silence as well as hyperspheres or rf purple slider rings (which are virtually identical thickness wise to HS rings). I'd say they're on order of 50% as effective.  So if you care more about tactility and want a little silencing, go for these. They're slightly better than kbd fans rings because there's more surface area.

4) purple sliders. Ahhhhh.  Finally. No compromises. All the tactility with the best silencing rings available. Smooth, super quiet. Nothing can match them. Quest is over.  Use em with 45, 50(Leopold) or 55g domes for the best experience you can get.

Cya.
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Offline smithyithy

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #39 on: Sat, 17 March 2018, 17:50:10 »
Awesome info dude, really useful  :thumb:

I have to weigh up the options now and see what's gonna be best.

For my HHKB, BKE Heavy domes are a definite. They're honestly the only Topre-esque domes I really gel with. So that crisp tactility has to remain as best as possible. After that, silencing is the second priority, I need to find the balance between adding some silencing ability without sacrificing much, if any, of that tactility.

My least concern, if you can call it that, is MX conversion. I did initially want to do it and run a GMK set on the board, but I think part of the fun of building the HHKB will be hunting down custom Topre-stem blanks and mod sets, so I intend to leave them as Topre.
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Offline sodiumjoe

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #40 on: Sun, 18 March 2018, 00:50:47 »

2) Stock sliders with bke domes and hyperspheres. I had the light domes, and even they are tactile enough that you don't miss anything when using hyperspheres.. still plenty of tactility left. The snappy nature of the domes reduced the silencing capability of the hyperspheres tho, but it was still livable when lubed also. I did end up taking the domes out tho because of a major flaw in the domes shape. Bke domes crest at a lower point. Stock domes are more round. Stock domes compress springs by pressings on the very top of the spring with the underside of the apex of the dome. Bke domes due to the shape press on the side of the springs about 25% of the way down with the side of the dome. This leads to spring binding and grinding and an impossible to remove noise that drove me crazy. What's the point of trying to silence a board if every switch press grinds worse than the last?

I think you might want to try re-seating the springs in the domes. I had this happen in a few of my switches when I installed the BKE domes, and it's kind of a pain in the ass to get them all in perfectly, but I now have a board with no spring grinding.

I currently have type-s sliders swapped into my fc660c with BKE domes. I really like it, but I do wish it were quieter. When keyclack's R2 silencing rings launch, I'm planning to try experimenting with those on top of the type-s sliders, to see if I can find a balance between tactility and noise that I'm happy with.

Offline sth

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #41 on: Sun, 18 March 2018, 03:40:10 »
Here's my newest take after trying hyperspheres, keyclack rings, purple sliders, bke domes, tactility restoration mod, etc.

1) stock sliders and domes with hyperspheres definitely reduces tactility, but produces good silencing. The balance wasn't good for me, so I tried the tactility restoration mod with fiber washers. However, that didn't last long either. The case doesn't go together tightly any more, some caps bottomed out slightly, and overall it just made the board feel more cheaply built. I ditched it.

2) Stock sliders with bke domes and hyperspheres. I had the light domes, and even they are tactile enough that you don't miss anything when using hyperspheres.. still plenty of tactility left. The snappy nature of the domes reduced the silencing capability of the hyperspheres tho, but it was still livable when lubed also. I did end up taking the domes out tho because of a major flaw in the domes shape. Bke domes crest at a lower point. Stock domes are more round. Stock domes compress springs by pressings on the very top of the spring with the underside of the apex of the dome. Bke domes due to the shape press on the side of the springs about 25% of the way down with the side of the dome. This leads to spring binding and grinding and an impossible to remove noise that drove me crazy. What's the point of trying to silence a board if every switch press grinds worse than the last?

3) stock domes and sliders with keyclack silencing rings. These are very thin. So thin that you won't notice a loss in tactility. However, due to the thickness they don't silence as well as hyperspheres or rf purple slider rings (which are virtually identical thickness wise to HS rings). I'd say they're on order of 50% as effective.  So if you care more about tactility and want a little silencing, go for these. They're slightly better than kbd fans rings because there's more surface area.

4) purple sliders. Ahhhhh.  Finally. No compromises. All the tactility with the best silencing rings available. Smooth, super quiet. Nothing can match them. Quest is over.  Use em with 45, 50(Leopold) or 55g domes for the best experience you can get.

Cya.

good info. are you able to compare Type S and RF sliders?
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Offline ReadmeDotTxt

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #42 on: Mon, 19 March 2018, 01:01:36 »
I believe they more recent models of the Type-S have the dimensions as silenced RFs. They are just not purple.

Offline smithyithy

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #43 on: Mon, 19 March 2018, 04:22:31 »
I believe they more recent models of the Type-S have the dimensions as silenced RFs. They are just not purple.

That seems to be the general consensus that I've seen too.

I would like to try an RF slider next to a Type-S slider in an HHKB, just to check for any perceivable difference in smoothness.

If there's nothing in it then the only selling point for RF is to have purple sliders..
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Online kmba

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #44 on: Mon, 19 March 2018, 05:18:08 »

2) Stock sliders with bke domes and hyperspheres. I had the light domes, and even they are tactile enough that you don't miss anything when using hyperspheres.. still plenty of tactility left. The snappy nature of the domes reduced the silencing capability of the hyperspheres tho, but it was still livable when lubed also. I did end up taking the domes out tho because of a major flaw in the domes shape. Bke domes crest at a lower point. Stock domes are more round. Stock domes compress springs by pressings on the very top of the spring with the underside of the apex of the dome. Bke domes due to the shape press on the side of the springs about 25% of the way down with the side of the dome. This leads to spring binding and grinding and an impossible to remove noise that drove me crazy. What's the point of trying to silence a board if every switch press grinds worse than the last?

I think you might want to try re-seating the springs in the domes. I had this happen in a few of my switches when I installed the BKE domes, and it's kind of a pain in the ass to get them all in perfectly, but I now have a board with no spring grinding.

I currently have type-s sliders swapped into my fc660c with BKE domes. I really like it, but I do wish it were quieter. When keyclack's R2 silencing rings launch, I'm planning to try experimenting with those on top of the type-s sliders, to see if I can find a balance between tactility and noise that I'm happy with.

I reset the domes 3 times.  I played with domes and springs externally on my desk as well for a long time.  Under no circumstance was I able to eliminate spring noise to my liking.  As soon as I went back to stock domes the sound was 100% gone.
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Offline child

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #45 on: Mon, 19 March 2018, 11:52:12 »
2) Stock sliders with bke domes and hyperspheres. I had the light domes, and even they are tactile enough that you don't miss anything when using hyperspheres.. still plenty of tactility left. The snappy nature of the domes reduced the silencing capability of the hyperspheres tho, but it was still livable when lubed also. I did end up taking the domes out tho because of a major flaw in the domes shape. Bke domes crest at a lower point. Stock domes are more round. Stock domes compress springs by pressings on the very top of the spring with the underside of the apex of the dome. Bke domes due to the shape press on the side of the springs about 25% of the way down with the side of the dome. This leads to spring binding and grinding and an impossible to remove noise that drove me crazy. What's the point of trying to silence a board if every switch press grinds worse than the last?

Finally someone confirms it's not just me. I really liked your detailed explanation on why this is happening. I also use BKE domes (both light and heavy), but only of a limit number of keys (about 8 ). Literally all of them produce noise, which is a shame, but feel-wise they are really nice. Reseating is not the solution - I tried that a few times. Also I can hear the spring having too much space, thus producing additional noise. I guess I have no other option but to remove them and forget about them :(

Offline spiceBar

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #46 on: Wed, 11 April 2018, 18:40:18 »
The ironed landing pads method works and there is actually no precompression happening, because there is just enough play in the unmodified Topre switches. It's small, but you can get landing pads ironed to this thickness.

As the poster who tried the method said, it is important to iron the landing pads to make them as flat as possible, something he realized only after the keyboard was reassembled.

When I was working on the method, initially, I made the same mistake.

You need to have the iron hot enough and to apply enough pressure for enough time, so the landing pads end up approximately as flat as a piece of paper. They end up well below 0.5mm (0.02in), I would say they end up around 0.1 or 0.2mm thick (0.004 to 0.008in). It's something you cannot get with O-rings or dental bands.

I own several Topre board that I have modded with the ironed landing pads methods, and I can tell you that all of them are quieter than the HHKB type S that I also own. There is no precompression or reduction of travel. The tactility is unchanged. The "Thock" is the same. The only difference is that there is no "Click" when you release the key, or at least that this annoying clicking sound is reduced to the point that you can type silently.

I'm sure there is no change in tactility because, just for the experiment, I have already modded only parts of a keyboard, so I could effectively compare the effect with and without the landing pads. But the key is to iron the landing pads correctly, that is, as flat as possible.

Offline bizzy11

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #47 on: Fri, 13 April 2018, 17:18:07 »
Damn I wish I could try the Type S or Realforce sliders before splurging on them lol. Hopefully the KBDfans rings are good enough...
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Offline Laser

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #48 on: Fri, 01 June 2018, 09:38:50 »
So, (after reading the detailed description of the 1st post) - I don't see anywhere the *other* solution left (apart from shortening the slider legs, which is the other half of the mod - keeping the travel distance): would it be possible to make the dome-touching base of each slider 1mm thinner? I.e. dig into it with some large shallow bit, or polish it, or even file it? Or with some heat-based method? The slider would then touch the dome from a higher position - like the type-s does, even with the ring on, so that the tactility would be preserved.
« Last Edit: Fri, 01 June 2018, 09:40:25 by Laser »

Online OfTheWild

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Re: topre slider / silencing research
« Reply #49 on: Fri, 01 June 2018, 16:48:02 »
So, (after reading the detailed description of the 1st post) - I don't see anywhere the *other* solution left (apart from shortening the slider legs, which is the other half of the mod - keeping the travel distance): would it be possible to make the dome-touching base of each slider 1mm thinner? I.e. dig into it with some large shallow bit, or polish it, or even file it? Or with some heat-based method? The slider would then touch the dome from a higher position - like the type-s does, even with the ring on, so that the tactility would be preserved.

you can do like i did and separate the pcb from the plate by adding a bunch of these mobo washers on each screw hole:
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/519M-GFa9UL._SX342_.jpg
« Last Edit: Fri, 01 June 2018, 16:55:03 by OfTheWild »
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