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Simple Questions, Simple Answers (FAQ in the OP)

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user 18:

--- Quote from: ShangWang on Fri, 22 October 2021, 11:55:20 ---
--- Quote from: user 18 on Fri, 22 October 2021, 11:52:44 ---
Personally, I don't hear much of a difference between the right shift and anything else. If you're hearing a difference, it may just be down to differences in manufacturing tolerances for the keycap and inserts which slightly changes which parts touch when the cap bottoms out.


--- End quote ---

I think it's because the right shift key inserts are kind of "half-way" inserted but I can't push it any further. The keycap is also slightly longer than all the other keycaps so maybe that has some play into how it sounds compared to others, but other than that maybe how it was manufactured yeah.

--- End quote ---

That could definitely be the cause. If you prefer that sound, you could play around with adding some spacer material to see if you can get the same effect on some other keys.

I think I recall reading a long time ago about someone 3D printing inserts that they found to be better in some way than the standard ones, but I don't remember any of the details. If you have access to a 3D printer and want to go down a bit of a rabbit hole, that's maybe something to consider.

ShangWang:

--- Quote from: user 18 on Fri, 22 October 2021, 12:00:03 ---
That could definitely be the cause. If you prefer that sound, you could play around with adding some spacer material to see if you can get the same effect on some other keys.

I think I recall reading a long time ago about someone 3D printing inserts that they found to be better in some way than the standard ones, but I don't remember any of the details. If you have access to a 3D printer and want to go down a bit of a rabbit hole, that's maybe something to consider.

--- End quote ---

Thanks, I don't think it's worth going there and I don't have a 3D printer, I kind of like the sound but the only thing that bothers me is sounds better than all my other keys haha.
I don't use the key at all anyway so it's not a big deal, thanks again for the help.

Volny:

--- Quote from: user 18 on Fri, 22 October 2021, 11:52:44 ---

--- Quote from: Volny on Fri, 22 October 2021, 00:45:02 ---What is the lightest switch (ignoring springs for the moment) that you know of? Yes, most of the weight will come from the spring, but housing, stem, and leaf also come into play. I've compared a bunch of different linear switches using the same 45g spring, and Gateron Silent Clears were the lightest I've found so far. Anyone know of anything even lighter?

My use case for these is for POS (Point of Sale) style 2u keycaps that are mounted on 2 adjacent switches (which effectively doubles the spring weight, making even light switches feel heavy).

--- End quote ---

... I'm not aware of any significant differences in design, and would guess that the differences you're observing are more likely to be from variation within the manufacturing tolerances than a systematic difference between the different switch designs.

--- End quote ---

I imagine there could be a few relevant factors, at least theoretically. For example, housing material or leaf design. Also leaf material: a leaf made from a thinner or flimsier metal would probably provide less resistance. Perhaps this is why I've found the gateron to be the lightest, since gateron switches IMO usually feel a bit cheaply made.

The thing that has puzzled me is that the gateron silent clear, which has consistently been the lightest in my tests, has also been one of the scratchiest, which I would have thought would make it feel heavier. Hmm, maybe I can try combining a gateron leaf with a smooth UHMWPE housing...

user 18:

--- Quote from: Volny on Sat, 23 October 2021, 19:52:34 ---I imagine there could be a few relevant factors, at least theoretically. For example, housing material or leaf design. Also leaf material: a leaf made from a thinner or flimsier metal would probably provide less resistance.
--- End quote ---

Yes, but I'm not aware of any such purposeful differences existing within a particular manufacturer's switches, and I'd expect if there were purposeful differences, there would be some marketing copy about just how fantastic those differences are  :)) . For housings, for example, there will be variations between moulds, batches of plastic, etc., and these variations may be greater for a manufacturer with less stringent quality control standards. I'd be happy to be proven wrong on this point!

When you're testing the gateron silent clears, are all your test switches bought at the same time, from the same retailer, or have you bought switches over a period of time, from different retailers? If, say, you just bought a single 10-pack, it's entirely possible that the particular batch you got is closer to out-of-spec than the other switches you've tried in a way that happens to be favourable for your application.

This may be related to one of the reasons 'vintage' MX Blacks were so sought after -- the older switches had smooth sliders, while the newer switches used a different material, and were considerably more scratchy. More recently, there's been another retooling, and apparently the modern MX blacks are a bit better. But these transitions weren't like flipping a switch, they took place over time, and various supply chains and parts of the world got the new stuff to consumers at different times, over a course of years.


--- Quote ---The thing that has puzzled me is that the gateron silent clear, which has consistently been the lightest in my tests, has also been one of the scratchiest, which I would have thought would make it feel heavier. Hmm, maybe I can try combining a gateron leaf with a smooth UHMWPE housing...

--- End quote ---

The sense of touch is very...sensitive -- for lack of a better word. The amount of extra friction from the scratchy feeling is likely negligible on the scales you're measuring (grams of force -- centinewtons), but you can feel the consequences. How are you measuring how heavy a particular switch is?

You could maybe get beneficial results by lubing the contact points of your slider/housing -- if properly done, this could further reduce friction, as well as helping the scratchy feeling.

Volny:

--- Quote from: user 18 on Mon, 25 October 2021, 01:18:07 ---
--- Quote from: Volny on Sat, 23 October 2021, 19:52:34 ---I imagine there could be a few relevant factors, at least theoretically. For example, housing material or leaf design. Also leaf material: a leaf made from a thinner or flimsier metal would probably provide less resistance.
--- End quote ---

Yes, but I'm not aware of any such purposeful differences existing within a particular manufacturer's switches, and I'd expect if there were purposeful differences, there would be some marketing copy about just how fantastic those differences are  :)) .

--- End quote ---

Why would there be any? Ultra light frankenswitches like what I'm talking about are an utter irrelevance to 99% of the marketplace. My use case (POS mount 2u keycaps that require 2 switches per keycap, to be used in a regular keyboard, not a POS system) is niche to the point of being basically an outlier.

On the contrary. Since my previous post, I've taken a few leaves out of various switches, and they appear to have confirmed my original suspicion: gateron silent clears are lighter simply because they're cheap and crappy. The leaves seem to be thinner and flimsier than other brands' leaves. This works in my favour in this instance, but it's hardly something Gateron should be boasting about in their ads ;)

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