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Alps Rubber Dampers

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I need some ideas.  I am looking to fabricate something that will mimic the functionality of the rubber dampers on some Alps switches:

Ever since I got my Evolution, the loud clacking sound of the keys bottoming out and returning to the top has been quite annoying as it the sound seems to overpower the tactile click that I want to hear.  That, and with the steel construction of the 'board, the clacking resonates making it that much more annoying.  I know I can harvest the bumpers from, say, an Apple II Extended kb, but I would like to fabricate them, because I would like to add them to several 'boards, and buying a second keyboard to harvest rubber bumpers would get expensive and unnecessary.  If you have any ideas on how I can do this, please let me know.

hey I was thinking about this too; on my smk85 the spacebar has a horrendous 'gunshot' return-to-top clack (I took care of bottoming clack with - what else - velcro strip on the top of the switch casing). The rubber bumpers are pretty ingenious. How I wish we could buy them by the handful. would Northgate repairs have them?

If cant buy them, how about:
-piece of crayola model magic, black (easy to shape, when dry it firms up nicely but remains totally flexible).
-elmers glue (into the notch on the plunger; would have to only 'close up' the two openings of the notch)
-piece of sponge squished into the notch

Model magic may work surprisingly well, I've worked with it before. It has the right qualities. Roll a thin strip on a table top, then cut off 1/4" pieces and squish them into the notch. Shape as necessary (its very easy to shape). It dries overnight but best thing about it is that it remains flexible when dry.

You could try a neoprene mouse mat cut into little strips.


--- Quote ---How I wish we could buy them by the handful. would Northgate repairs have them?
--- End quote ---

It's funny you should ask. I e-mailed Bob at Northgate Repair, and he had never heard of them.  I sent a reply with the link in the original post (which I should have done the first time), and I am still waiting for a response back.

I like the sponge and mouspad ideas.  I will give them a try as soon as I get my Dells in (I am not going to experiment on the Northgate :P ).  I wonder about the Model Magic.  I will have to try the scroll lock or something on the Dell.  I have a bad feeling about putting clay in the switch even if it's dry.

Another option is to attack this problem by modifying the case rather than the plunger.
Look at the pic here. The "clack" on bottom and top is produced by the plunger hitting the "tabs" at the bottom and top of the case.  Could put a layer of something over those tabs. (whether thats elmers glue (which is relatively thick and flexible when dry) or electrical tape or duct tape etc.

(Incidentally while any solution would eventually wear out (even the original rubber dampers do disintegrate apparently), I dont think our solutions would wear out so fast that it would be a problem. The plastic forces here are relatively light I think).


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