Author Topic: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions  (Read 39392 times)

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Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #300 on: Thu, 16 February 2017, 18:18:20 »
Thanks for the update!  They look good, are you going to post more picks here or the other thread?

For now check the Google photos link. I'm lazy (and/or overworked) and won't have a chance to post photos in the thread in the next few days. But feel free to post photos from the album if you want. :thumb:

Offline dante

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #301 on: Fri, 17 February 2017, 12:40:44 »
XMIT

In your earlier photos you had pics of a fullsize that was entirely encased in wood - not bamboo.  It also had decorations engraved into it.

Can you talk about that?

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #302 on: Fri, 17 February 2017, 12:54:30 »
XMIT

In your earlier photos you had pics of a fullsize that was entirely encased in wood - not bamboo.  It also had decorations engraved into it.

Can you talk about that?

That was a demo board that the manufacturer sent photos over of as an example of what they can do. Those aren't being offered at the moment but perhaps in the future we'll offer something using that milling technique.

Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #303 on: Thu, 23 February 2017, 19:53:57 »
Latest from MassDrop was that the shipment was due today.  Hopefully they start shipping to us soon.

Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #304 on: Fri, 24 February 2017, 12:16:53 »
Aaaaaaand MassDrop still hasn't received the keyboards.  Waiting continues :(

Offline Skull_Angel

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #305 on: Sat, 25 February 2017, 02:48:33 »
I popped back on this site out of a whim and just now realized the XMIT here is the one that created the Massdrop for the hall effect keyboard!!

Good on you man, I've been waiting on this thing since I heard about you dabbling in hall effect switches (I think it was shortly after I joined).

I had to double check my order after reading about the actuation force in this thread, to see if I had ordered the 70g springs. It doesn't specify, but it doesn't look like I did. If you have any extra sets, I'd be willing to buy them from you.

Again, good job getting what looks to be a superior product out!

Offline happylacquer

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #306 on: Sat, 25 February 2017, 02:55:27 »
Is this board available on taobao?

Offline Skull_Angel

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #307 on: Sat, 25 February 2017, 03:25:36 »
Is this board available on taobao?

From what I understand, you can only get one of XMIT's boards through his Massdrops right now, unless you buy one from classifieds when they're available.

Offline happylacquer

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #308 on: Sat, 25 February 2017, 03:38:43 »
Is this board available on taobao?

From what I understand, you can only get one of XMIT's boards through his Massdrops right now, unless you buy one from classifieds when they're available.

Hmm, I am kind of surprised if the makers don't have their own taobao store.

Offline Skull_Angel

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #309 on: Sat, 25 February 2017, 03:51:46 »
Is this board available on taobao?

From what I understand, you can only get one of XMIT's boards through his Massdrops right now, unless you buy one from classifieds when they're available.

Hmm, I am kind of surprised if the makers don't have their own taobao store.

There's a post earlier in the thread detailing where XMIT found them, iirc. They're not of the same quality and likely not updated to XMIT's specs.

Offline happylacquer

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #310 on: Sat, 25 February 2017, 03:53:09 »
Is this board available on taobao?

From what I understand, you can only get one of XMIT's boards through his Massdrops right now, unless you buy one from classifieds when they're available.

Hmm, I am kind of surprised if the makers don't have their own taobao store.

There's a post earlier in the thread detailing where XMIT found them, iirc. They're not of the same quality and likely not updated to XMIT's specs.

Aha, that's probably the deal breaker right there. If they're not the exact ones XMIT is selling, not sure i'd want to bother.

I just hate massdrop so, so much. only had bad experiences with them and kinda dont want to order anything thru them again.

Offline Skull_Angel

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #311 on: Sat, 25 February 2017, 03:57:33 »
Is this board available on taobao?

From what I understand, you can only get one of XMIT's boards through his Massdrops right now, unless you buy one from classifieds when they're available.

Hmm, I am kind of surprised if the makers don't have their own taobao store.

There's a post earlier in the thread detailing where XMIT found them, iirc. They're not of the same quality and likely not updated to XMIT's specs.

Aha, that's probably the deal breaker right there. If they're not the exact ones XMIT is selling, not sure i'd want to bother.

I just hate massdrop so, so much. only had bad experiences with them and kinda dont want to order anything thru them again.

Understandable. I don't doubt a few will pop up in the classifieds section in the following weeks, keep an eye open.

Offline schoolbus

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #312 on: Sat, 25 February 2017, 08:05:56 »
Is this board available on taobao?

From what I understand, you can only get one of XMIT's boards through his Massdrops right now, unless you buy one from classifieds when they're available.

Hmm, I am kind of surprised if the makers don't have their own taobao store.

There's a post earlier in the thread detailing where XMIT found them, iirc. They're not of the same quality and likely not updated to XMIT's specs.

Aha, that's probably the deal breaker right there. If they're not the exact ones XMIT is selling, not sure i'd want to bother.

I just hate massdrop so, so much. only had bad experiences with them and kinda dont want to order anything thru them again.

Understandable. I don't doubt a few will pop up in the classifieds section in the following weeks, keep an eye open.

Yeah, I ordered one but not entirely sure if I'm going to keep it. Like many, since ordering I've accumulated a few other keyboards and don't know how this one will fit in my rotation/collection, but we'll see how it is.
Visit the Typing Test and try!

Offline ander

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #313 on: Sun, 26 February 2017, 03:25:29 »
...I ordered one but not entirely sure if I'm going to keep it. Like many, since ordering I've accumulated a few other keyboards and don't know how this one will fit in my rotation/collection, but we'll see how it is.

Hey, we can hear you, you know.  :?)

Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #314 on: Mon, 27 February 2017, 12:37:52 »
I think most that jumped in on this order are still waiting to try the boards out before making any decisions one way or another.  I'm just sitting here wondering when MassDrop's going to get it shipped out to me.

Offline dwolvin

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #315 on: Tue, 28 February 2017, 20:27:53 »
Right?  I'm being sooo patient.  Honest.  Not hating my current keyboard at all...

Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #316 on: Wed, 01 March 2017, 01:00:30 »
Looks like keyboards have finally arrived.  No word on shipping date other than "soon" right now.

Quote
Hi everyone - Your keyboards have arrived in the United States and will be shipping soon, but we wanted to take a moment to fully explain why shipping was held up for a few days.

Early last week XMIT received his final production keyboard a few days ahead of the warehouse and found some odd behavior with key rollover that we wanted to properly figure out before shipping everyone their keyboard. The short of it is that NKRO is limited to about 5 keys per row, but please read on for more technical details from XMIT followed by the current status.

---

These Hall effect keyboards were designed from the beginning with the aim to be fully compatible with NKRO. Hall switches are inherently analog sensors, not physical switches, so an NKRO design is simple enough. Indeed, earlier prototypes of the board were NKRO capable without any issues.

In this offering, we made some substantial changes to the board design. One was to move to an entirely different microcontroller to enable firmware programming and keyboard remapping. Another was to change the sensing technique to enable multiple key actuation heights. There were some other changes but these are the two important ones for this discussion.
The Hall sensors on the board are connected to pull up resistors to enable analog sensing. Banks of switches are connected together in rows for convenience. When the typist presses a key switch, a magnet moves closer to the Hall sensor, changing the output voltage.
The issue arises when multiple switches on the same row are pressed. In this situation, the multiple resistors will source more current, potentially causing interference for other switches in the row that prevent sensing. Empirically, weíve discovered that pressing up to five switches per row is okay, but more than that tends to confuse the keyboard controller. Replacing the resistors - all of them - helps to alleviate the issue but this is a tedious rework. Adding an additional transistor per switch fixes the issue for good but requires a new board design.

-----

While NKRO was not explicitly advertised we believe there may have been discussion of it being included somewhere along the way in the design process and want to be 100% transparent about what we know. After several rounds of conversation between XMIT, Massdrop and the manufacturers, along with additional feedback from several community members, we have decided to go ahead with fulfillment.

Thanks everyone for reading and we truly appreciate your patience and understanding. These should start shipping out by this week. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to Community Support through the Transaction page.

Offline ander

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #317 on: Wed, 01 March 2017, 02:21:06 »
Well, I just got a nice postcard from XMIT, from some unnamed private island in the Caribbean... LOL, Just kidding.

Offline chyros

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #318 on: Wed, 01 March 2017, 04:30:43 »
I'm in the process of making a video about it, they've actually gone through another update.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline Data

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #319 on: Wed, 01 March 2017, 06:24:50 »
Doesn't seem like a big deal.  I don't do chording so I'm good with like 3KRO.  :P

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #320 on: Wed, 01 March 2017, 07:27:47 »
The boards arrived at Massdrop's distribution facility but I ordered a stop shipment while we sorted out this exact rollover issue. We decided that since it was a per row limitation it wasn't a complete deal breaker. I'll have more to say about it later as I'm working on the fix. I was being quiet while we figured out our next step.

The middle part of Massdrop's recent update is directly from me with minimal editing.

Offline Skull_Angel

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #321 on: Wed, 01 March 2017, 18:30:47 »
Thanks for the update. I don't game with both hands, so doesn't bother me much, but I understand wanting it to encompass everything you feel it should.

Offline dwolvin

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #322 on: Wed, 01 March 2017, 21:25:28 »
Sweet!  I can't see 5 key rollover being that big of a deal, but thanks for the continued work Xmit!

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #323 on: Wed, 01 March 2017, 22:15:17 »
Well, I just got a nice postcard from XMIT, from some unnamed private island in the Caribbean... LOL, Just kidding.

Well, I /am/ Puerto Rican...  :eek: :))

Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #324 on: Wed, 01 March 2017, 23:20:53 »
XMIT, FYI I just got notice from MassDrop that my board is shipping out.  Hopefully that's expected.

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #325 on: Thu, 02 March 2017, 05:52:43 »
XMIT, FYI I just got notice from MassDrop that my board is shipping out.  Hopefully that's expected.

Sure is! The stop ship is lifted which means fulfillment is underway. Thanks for the update!

Offline hking0036

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #326 on: Thu, 02 March 2017, 06:05:42 »
Will be looking forward to opinions in the days to come. Any ideas for when R2 is going to happen, or is that indeterminate for now? Someone mentioned that there was a tactile variant in the works, but I haven't read all the way through here, is that true? Sounds interesting, but I don't know if that sort of ruins the point of a Hall Effect switch's durability. Maybe my understanding just isn't very thorough.
« Last Edit: Thu, 02 March 2017, 06:24:43 by hking0036 »
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Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #327 on: Thu, 02 March 2017, 06:20:11 »
Hi hking0036! Round 2 will come "when it's done", it is at least a few months out. The clicky and tactile variants won't alter reliability at all. The tactile mechanism will be pretty durable, and even so, those would wear out long before the sensors would!

Offline hking0036

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #328 on: Thu, 02 March 2017, 06:25:38 »
Hi hking0036! Round 2 will come "when it's done", it is at least a few months out. The clicky and tactile variants won't alter reliability at all. The tactile mechanism will be pretty durable, and even so, those would wear out long before the sensors would!
Thanks. I had a friend looking at them but he missed the first round and I think he's interested in picking one up so that'd be cool. I think the reason a tactile hall effect board throws me for a loop is just that I associate it with honeywells.
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Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #329 on: Thu, 02 March 2017, 10:43:59 »
XMIT, FYI I just got notice from MassDrop that my board is shipping out.  Hopefully that's expected.

Sure is! The stop ship is lifted which means fulfillment is underway. Thanks for the update!

Excellent.  I saw the email from MassDrop and raised an eyebrow in concern initially.  Good news for everyone that's been awaiting this board, then!

Offline dante

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #330 on: Thu, 02 March 2017, 20:39:42 »
Hi hking0036! Round 2 will come "when it's done", it is at least a few months out. The clicky and tactile variants won't alter reliability at all. The tactile mechanism will be pretty durable, and even so, those would wear out long before the sensors would!

Are you able to say at this point if Round 2 will be fully silenced?

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #331 on: Thu, 02 March 2017, 20:57:37 »
Are you able to say at this point if Round 2 will be fully silenced?

I can say I don't know, we still have some development to do with full silencing.

Offline ander

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #332 on: Fri, 03 March 2017, 16:35:52 »
Well, I just got a nice postcard from XMIT, from some unnamed private island in the Caribbean... LOL, Just kidding.

Well, I /am/ Puerto Rican...  :eek: :))

Ack, that's right, J.! Lo siento me olvidť.

For what it's worth, I've been to San Juan, and it's definitely neither private nor unnamed. Quite wonderful, though. (You've never tasted pineapple juice until you've tasted it there... That alone is worth the trip.)

Offline ander

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #333 on: Mon, 06 March 2017, 01:38:11 »
Did the rest of you get this notice I got on Friday? Since no one's mentioned it here yet, I thought a copy 'n' paste was in order:

Quote
Here it comes...

Your XMIT Hall Effect Mechanical Keyboard has shipped with tracking number [###] and it should be arriving soon!

Your package is being shipped via DHL Global Mail. Please note that there may be a short delay between when our fulfillment center ships your package, and when the package begins to return tracking information. If the tracking page shows "No results" for your tracking number, please try again in a day or two. Rest assured, your package is on its way.

And indeed, my tracking says "En Route". Woo hoo!

Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #334 on: Mon, 06 March 2017, 13:39:52 »
Did the rest of you get this notice I got on Friday? Since no one's mentioned it here yet, I thought a copy 'n' paste was in order:

Quote
Here it comes...

Your XMIT Hall Effect Mechanical Keyboard has shipped with tracking number [###] and it should be arriving soon!

Your package is being shipped via DHL Global Mail. Please note that there may be a short delay between when our fulfillment center ships your package, and when the package begins to return tracking information. If the tracking page shows "No results" for your tracking number, please try again in a day or two. Rest assured, your package is on its way.

And indeed, my tracking says "En Route". Woo hoo!

Not exactly sure when they started shipping or how shipping is sorted but I got word on March 1st for my board.  It should be arriving this week.  I believe at least some people already have their boards.  Thought I saw a post on /r/MK on it.

Offline Erikdayo

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #335 on: Mon, 06 March 2017, 19:11:14 »
Received mine, but I don't have much to say at the moment. The right stabilizer for my spacebar arrived busted though, and the keyboard was very loose in the box. Given how oversized the box is I imagine they used the same ones for TKL and 60%. I can see why it was damaged just banging around in there.

Any way to fix a broken stab on this keyboard without taking apart the whole thing? I've never done any mods on keyboards other than tube and swapping keycaps.

I do like the feel of the keys. They definitely feel lighter than 70g. XMIT was certainly right in saying the 70g are closer to Reds than they are something like Blacks. outside of the stabilized keys they're also more quiet than my POK3R with reds. Not sure if I'm using the right term, but the keycaps aren't cut (or sanded?) very well. there's some extra plastic on a lot of the keys on the bottom.

Basically, I really like these switches. The keycaps could be better, but I had always planned to swap them. And I need to learn how to swap the stabs on this keyboard. I don't see any extra stabs in the box so I hope I'm not out of luck.

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #336 on: Mon, 06 March 2017, 20:59:07 »
Thanks Erikdayo for this feedback. I've added it to the list of notes that I will communicate with the factory.

Hrm, that stabilizer mount is frustrating. To remove it you'll need to remove the space bar, open the board, remove the clear plastic housing for the space bar's switch by spreading two plastics tabs apart, and then remove the stabilizer clip by pressing the tab at the front edge toward the back with a small screwdriver while rotating the clip up and back.

If it's completely busted shoot me a PM with a photo, I have a small cache of spares.

As for the key caps themselves - that's called "flashing", and it's what happens when molds aren't super precise and there are tiny bits of thing plastic left on the part.

Offline opensecret

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #337 on: Tue, 07 March 2017, 10:40:33 »
Received mine, but I don't have much to say at the moment. The right stabilizer for my spacebar arrived busted though, and the keyboard was very loose in the box. Given how oversized the box is I imagine they used the same ones for TKL and 60%. I can see why it was damaged just banging around in there.

I do like the feel of the keys. They definitely feel lighter than 70g. XMIT was certainly right in saying the 70g are closer to Reds than they are something like Blacks. outside of the stabilized keys they're also more quiet than my POK3R with reds. Not sure if I'm using the right term, but the keycaps aren't cut (or sanded?) very well. there's some extra plastic on a lot of the keys on the bottom.

Basically, I really like these switches. The keycaps could be better, but I had always planned to swap them. And I need to learn how to swap the stabs on this keyboard. I don't see any extra stabs in the box so I hope I'm not out of luck.

The broken stabilizer and keycap flashing would be frustrating Ė you may have been among the less fortunate buyers.  My 104 arrived very well packed and in excellent shape. Iíve rearranged a few caps, and didnít notice any spare plastic.

My experience is similar to yours on the noise.  Overall, the switches are quieter than I expected.  The primary exception is the spacebar, which has a high-pitched, tinny noise that I find a little distracting.  Some of the other stabilized keys have a slightly higher pitch, but not particularly noticeable.  Some of the keys on the bottom row have a lower-pitched sound, a little like a Topre thock. 

Like you, Iím enjoying the typing experience so far.  The 50g model feels similar to Cherry reds, but with a softer landing.
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Offline Erikdayo

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #338 on: Tue, 07 March 2017, 15:58:04 »
Received mine, but I don't have much to say at the moment. The right stabilizer for my spacebar arrived busted though, and the keyboard was very loose in the box. Given how oversized the box is I imagine they used the same ones for TKL and 60%. I can see why it was damaged just banging around in there.

I do like the feel of the keys. They definitely feel lighter than 70g. XMIT was certainly right in saying the 70g are closer to Reds than they are something like Blacks. outside of the stabilized keys they're also more quiet than my POK3R with reds. Not sure if I'm using the right term, but the keycaps aren't cut (or sanded?) very well. there's some extra plastic on a lot of the keys on the bottom.

Basically, I really like these switches. The keycaps could be better, but I had always planned to swap them. And I need to learn how to swap the stabs on this keyboard. I don't see any extra stabs in the box so I hope I'm not out of luck.

The broken stabilizer and keycap flashing would be frustrating Ė you may have been among the less fortunate buyers.  My 104 arrived very well packed and in excellent shape. Iíve rearranged a few caps, and didnít notice any spare plastic.

My experience is similar to yours on the noise.  Overall, the switches are quieter than I expected.  The primary exception is the spacebar, which has a high-pitched, tinny noise that I find a little distracting.  Some of the other stabilized keys have a slightly higher pitch, but not particularly noticeable.  Some of the keys on the bottom row have a lower-pitched sound, a little like a Topre thock. 

Like you, Iím enjoying the typing experience so far.  The 50g model feels similar to Cherry reds, but with a softer landing.
It's okay. XMIT is sending me another stab so I'm happy. I do kind of wish I had given the 50g a shot, but I preferred the bamboo over black. I tend to like white cases/bases instead of black. Bamboo was a good compromise and it's more unique looking. Maybe next time there's an order for these I'll try the 50g. I wonder how the upstroke sound compares. The upstroke, while probably not louder than my Cherry MX boards has the illusion of being louder due to having a softer downstroke.

I figured I'd see if a little lube on the stabs would help with the sound of the larger keys, but I'll be waiting until I get the replacement stab.  :thumb:

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #339 on: Tue, 07 March 2017, 16:02:01 »
You're the first broken stabilizer that I've heard about, "congrats". Hopefully this one arrives to you intact.

Offline Theseus718

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #340 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 09:45:19 »
@XMIT I hope to catch one in the next batch! I'd like to mod two analog switches into my Orbweaver, and I have a few questions I couldn't find answers for if you know them:

1. Is there anywhere I could buy just the switches? 

2. How similar is the height and width to Cherry MX switches?

3. How many millimeters is the magnet's diameter on the slider, and how far (if at all) does the magnet protrude from the case when the switch is fully pressed?

4. Would the magnet line up to the PCB's stem hole in PCB-mounted Cherrys?

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #341 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 09:50:09 »
The switches are not available in a standalone package, the current design integrates into a custom PCB. In theory there could be something that is mechanically compatible with Cherry MX but it would require quite a lot of PCB rework. These switches require power and ground as well as sense lines. It's much more like Topre than Cherry MX in this regard.

Given that, I'm not sure how meaningful the answers to the rest of your questions are, but I'll try. The switches are just about the same size as a Cherry MX switch, I don't have precise numbers handy. Since these are built around a PCB the magnet doesn't protrude at all, the entire assembly sits atop the PCB. The magnet would be centered over the PCB hole but not go through.

If I were to offer a discrete switch component - which is a long way away - I would likely design it so that the entire mechanism sits on top of the PCB, and that little through hole is where I expose the power and ground connectors. But given that all of this would require tiny custom PCBs and tooling for a new part I don't see it happening any time soon. The "unified PCB" approach for full boards is so cost effective that doing discrete switches would be a huge step backward.

Thanks for your interest, great questions! :)

Offline chyros

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #342 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 10:54:11 »
The switches are not available in a standalone package, the current design integrates into a custom PCB. In theory there could be something that is mechanically compatible with Cherry MX but it would require quite a lot of PCB rework. These switches require power and ground as well as sense lines. It's much more like Topre than Cherry MX in this regard.

Given that, I'm not sure how meaningful the answers to the rest of your questions are, but I'll try. The switches are just about the same size as a Cherry MX switch, I don't have precise numbers handy. Since these are built around a PCB the magnet doesn't protrude at all, the entire assembly sits atop the PCB. The magnet would be centered over the PCB hole but not go through.

If I were to offer a discrete switch component - which is a long way away - I would likely design it so that the entire mechanism sits on top of the PCB, and that little through hole is where I expose the power and ground connectors. But given that all of this would require tiny custom PCBs and tooling for a new part I don't see it happening any time soon. The "unified PCB" approach for full boards is so cost effective that doing discrete switches would be a huge step backward.

Thanks for your interest, great questions! :)
I actually really like the clip-in design. Much easier to customise springs and replace than if the switches had to be desoldered. Of course you have to be careful with tolerances as I'm assuming the Hall effect sensing assembly is extremely sensitive to changes.
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Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #343 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 11:14:59 »
I actually really like the clip-in design. Much easier to customise springs and replace than if the switches had to be desoldered. Of course you have to be careful with tolerances as I'm assuming the Hall effect sensing assembly is extremely sensitive to changes.

It's not /that/ sensitive. We're talking magnetic flux here from a tiny but really strong neodymium magnet. That being said, there is really only one way to clip in the switch housing (well I guess you could rotate it 180 degrees but the maximum height is constant).

Offline chyros

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #344 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 11:32:42 »
I actually really like the clip-in design. Much easier to customise springs and replace than if the switches had to be desoldered. Of course you have to be careful with tolerances as I'm assuming the Hall effect sensing assembly is extremely sensitive to changes.

It's not /that/ sensitive. We're talking magnetic flux here from a tiny but really strong neodymium magnet. That being said, there is really only one way to clip in the switch housing (well I guess you could rotate it 180 degrees but the maximum height is constant).
Fair enough. Is it electrically sensitive though? I was using it for a bit with the case torn off (doing a teardown) resting it on a cloth and the F4 key started actuating sporadically.
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Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #345 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 11:41:28 »
Fair enough. Is it electrically sensitive though? I was using it for a bit with the case torn off (doing a teardown) resting it on a cloth and the F4 key started actuating sporadically.

Maybe? Are you sure there wasn't a magnetic screwdriver nearby? The way the boards work, the Hall sensor pulls down a line or feeds into a FET, so it's possible that the cloth was slightly conductive or capacitive in some way.

Offline Malachor

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #346 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 15:32:33 »
@XMIT I hope to catch one in the next batch! I'd like to mod two analog switches into my Orbweaver, and I have a few questions I couldn't find answers for if you know them:

1. Is there anywhere I could buy just the switches? 

2. How similar is the height and width to Cherry MX switches?

3. How many millimeters is the magnet's diameter on the slider, and how far (if at all) does the magnet protrude from the case when the switch is fully pressed?

4. Would the magnet line up to the PCB's stem hole in PCB-mounted Cherrys?
Have you seen this topic where Matt_ makes a numpad with some hall effect sensors using modified cherry switches?

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #347 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 16:00:22 »
No, I had not! That's great! That's almost exactly what I think I independently came up with (though maybe I read this before?) and why I was so excited for this Hall board in the first place.

I might use a similar idea for retrofitting another board I have with new Hall sensors...

Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #348 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 17:17:59 »
Now I want to try a Freestyle 2 with hall effect switches.

Offline chyros

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #349 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 19:53:10 »
Fair enough. Is it electrically sensitive though? I was using it for a bit with the case torn off (doing a teardown) resting it on a cloth and the F4 key started actuating sporadically.

Maybe? Are you sure there wasn't a magnetic screwdriver nearby? The way the boards work, the Hall sensor pulls down a line or feeds into a FET, so it's possible that the cloth was slightly conductive or capacitive in some way.
I do have a magnetic screwdriver, but I can't recall if it was there at the time. Is the keyboard that sensitive to external magnetic fields?
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