Author Topic: How do I clean sticky ALPS switches?  (Read 2661 times)

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Offline lowpoly

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How do I clean sticky ALPS switches?
« on: Wed, 28 May 2008, 08:31:47 »
Hi,

I just bought an Acer 6312 on ebay. It has white acer-labeled sliders. The stem looks like alps so I guess these are re-branded alps sliders. I have to confirm that and plan to take pics. These are clicky btw.

I actually have another 6312 that I found on the street, someone hat thrown it out. Together with an Apple Design keyboard which I left behind, haha.

The one I found is in bad shape so I bought another one in better condition. That was the idea at least.

Turns out some of the keys of the new board are sticky as if the board has been drowned in orange juice. The sticky keys move back up but very, very slowly.

How can I clean these? I read a suggestion somewhere to put the whole board into the dish washer, just avoid the dry cycle. Would that work with alps switches? How about the electronics?

Or can the switches be opened without de-soldering them?

Thanks.

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Offline lowpoly

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How do I clean sticky ALPS switches?
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 28 May 2008, 15:40:07 »
I took the new one apart and realized that these are NOT alps sliders. They just seem to have the same or very similar stem/interface. I put alps key caps on the acer stems and it fit.

Under the sliders are 3 foils like in a membrane keyboard. But no rubber domes. Inside the switch is a small hammer like in a Model M. And a spring that doesn't buckle. And another springy piece of metal that does the click.

I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow. I'll also put it in the dish washer.

Miniguru thread at GH // The Apple M0110 Today

Offline ecru

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How do I clean sticky ALPS switches?
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 28 May 2008, 17:55:53 »
Would not recommend the dishwasher :eek:

Can you pull the sticky key assemblies apart, find where the problem is and clean them by hand?  Perhaps a toothbrush and warm soapy water, then rinse, then fully dry before reassembly?

Offline bigpook

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How do I clean sticky ALPS switches?
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 28 May 2008, 19:15:02 »
For whatever it is worth, I have put my HHKB lite through the dishwasher and have done the same for my wifes cheapo hp keyboard.

I wouldn't put my model m through it though.

Either way, you must let the keyboard completely dry out. For me that was 2 weeks.
YMMV
HHKB Pro 2 : Unicomp Spacesaver : IBM Model M : DasIII    

Offline lowpoly

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How do I clean sticky ALPS switches?
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 29 May 2008, 05:22:38 »
The dishwasher worked great. I disassembled the boards before and didn't put the PCBs and membranes in. I also avoided the dry cycle.

Even then, the otaku board from the street didn't get fully clean, as food etc. has accumulated under the keys. Definitely my last pick-up from the street.

Edit: Everything was dry after half a day and went together nicely.

Miniguru thread at GH // The Apple M0110 Today