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tools for extracting alps switches

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Trying to figure out how to remove the ALPS key in order to get at the switch in the first place? See here:

Trying to open the ALPS switch using just 2 screwdrivers? Thats the slower method, see here for that:

Below are more attempts to get creative to find better/quicker ways to extract alps switches. Look at this:

It should look scary. This is used to extract teeth at the dentists. But if you think about it, the alps switch is about that size (and could use something as sturdy to yank it out). (ouch! but effective, no?).
Its called an "extracting forceps" (ebay, about $10).

Used in conjunction with a "splinter forceps" to initially get the two side-tabs apart. Note how the tips are so wide. It may be possible to just use these by themselves:

Will try them out soon as they arrive.

UPDATE... tried them all (see discussion tab if you like) but here's the conclusion and the best way:

UPDATE... video of the "2 screwdrivers" method, if you dont have a splinter forceps handy.

update: the splinter forceps works *marvelously* for extracting alps switches in one shot, in a single motion. I'll post a video clip soon. Much better than the plastic golf thingie (and more durable too). And much faster than the 'two screwdrivers' method.

Video to follow; i'm just waiting for the dental extraction thingie and a different tweezer thingie to arrive, then I'll post video of all of them. *This* is the $10 solution for conveniently opening up alps-style switches. :)

(This makes me think... why couldnt this be done with regular tweezers? It probably can. Altho the pointy tweezers ('forceps') above might be easier for the initial insertion between the tabs.)

I also got a magnet to try sandy's 'magnetized reinsertion' trick to keep the spring from bouncing away while reinserting. will post video of that too. (Currently I'm using the spot-of-grease-so-the-spring-'sticks' method).

update: So out of three new tools I bought in an attempt to find an easier alps-extraction tool, only one of them really worked well (the other two didnt work at all).

So the winner is: Splinter forceps.

The other two didnt work at all (the tweezers kept slipping out, no grip; the dental "extracting forceps" (ouch!) was too thick, didnt get in between the tabs, though if you open the tabs via other means like 2 screwdrivers or something, then they work fine to actually pull the switch out, but thats a two-step process and I'm looking for a one-step solution).

I'll post some video when I get a chance, but basically if you go on ebay and buy a splinter forceps like the kind pictured above, you cant miss. You can insert these in between the tabs and yank the switch out all in a single stroke. A single motion.

The splinter forceps work because their tips are very wide and quite grippy, and yet thin enough to slide easily between the tabs and the switch.

Do they scratch the plastic at all?


--- Quote from: Chloe;23963 ---Do they scratch the plastic at all?
--- End quote ---

hi chloe -- the splinter forceps would only scratch the plastic if you 'slip' while pulling upwards. Otherwise I think the mark it leaves on the plastic would really be minimal (although on the alps switches the plastic is quite soft and takes a mark quite easily). However, the splinter forceps is a big improvement over a lot of other methods like the '2 screwdriver method' that I used to use (which used to leave big marks).

I think ideally maybe we need to find something that is like the splinter forceps but made out of plastic (but strong enough to take the "strong squeeze" that is required to yank the switch out once the tabs are open).

The problem I had with the plastic golf tool is that it broke within a week of my using it. For me anyway, it kept slipping out and didnt grip the keyswitch very well when I tried to pull teh switch out; and as a result I had to grip the plastic very hard, and that meant it was doomed to break sooner or later.

So thats one of the reasons I like the splinter forceps, I can squeeze as hard as I like because its made out of metal.  And you can squeeze it hard and then wiggle it a little and the switch comes out easily. So in my trials so far I havent marred the plastic in any major way. I'm sure if I look closely there may be faint marks on it from the gripping.

[I suppose you could also put some electrical tape around the tips, if you wanted to be extra safe]


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