Author Topic: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era  (Read 23359 times)

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Offline HaaTa

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First, I’ll get the important questions out of the way for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts who are familiar with Beam Spring switches.

Specs

  • Beam Spring click mechanism
  • Hall Effect sensing  (Over a billion press lifespan)
  • Cherry MX-mount stems  (engineered to be safe for all keycap brands)
  • Plate — 14mm x 14mm square cutout
  • SMD LED support (Dual LED support possible)
  • Dust Resistant Housing
  • Contactless PCB Mounting
Unfortunately, Silo switches are not compatible with Cherry MX-style PCBs. I’ll explain more below — hopefully the innovation of contactless sensing makes up for having to buy a new keyboard.



What is a Beam Spring Switch?

Way back in the early 1970s, IBM needed a more configurable replacement for the IBM Selectric typewriter. At the time, Selectrics were often used as “mechanical” keyboards for IBM Selectric typewriter#Use as a computer terminal:



IBM Mag Card II



Datel 30 Terminal

Using a Selectric as a keyboard is rather cumbersome compared to discrete switches, but what about that “Selectric Feel”? This is rather difficult as the Selectric uses an active mechanism known as a whiffletree (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Selectric.ogv) to achieve its legendary tactility. It’s also the reason that Selectric keys don’t work at all unless the typewriter is powered on.



(Inside of an IBM Mag Card II)

IBM’s solution was the Beam Spring switch (https://deskthority.net/wiki/Beam_spring).



(Credit bhtooefr)

A beam spring is a strip of sheet metal held under tension at two ends, forming a slight bow. When exerting force downwards into the bow, the beam will push out the tension points on either side until there is enough tension force to buckle the beam in the other direction. This buckle is what creates that pleasant tactile feel and sharp audible feedback. On the rebound, a coil spring resets the beam spring to its unbuckled condition.

Really though, you should just watch ChryrosRan22 give a proper explanation of the process:

Why a Beam Spring Switch?

Beam Spring keyboards have always held a special status within the keyboard community. Their remarkable clicks, retro aesthetics, amazingly thick keycaps, and build quality (costing thousands of dollars when new) are a throwback to an era before planned obsolescence. Extreme rarity and incompatibility with modern computers, unless extensive DIY restoration mods are performed, makes owning an original a point of pride for collectors. Most importantly, Beam Spring keyboards are near-universally praised for their feel. This is mostly due to their Selectric-inspired performance, offering an experience unlike any other switch mechanism.

But why do Beam Spring switches feel so amazing?



https://plot.ly/~haata/638/input-club-silo-beam-prototype/

(Silo Beam Prototype Force Curve)



https://plot.ly/~haata/454/ibm-beamspring-non-angled-nib/

(New Old Stock IBM Beam Spring)

There are two key force properties that define a beam spring switch.

The first (1)  - Force increases, but tapers off similar to a parabolic force curve.

The second (2) - Once the force is no longer increasing (maximum resistance of the beam) the force is suddenly inverted and any stored energy is released (partially in the form of sound). This results in a sudden force falloff during the press, providing a characteristically sharp but natural feeling tactile event.





When pressing a generic linear switch (Kailh Red) you anticipate that pressing harder will result in more movement. This does not provide any activation-related feedback for typists, requiring you to observe a result on your screen for confirmation. Standard tactile switches (Kailh Brown) also have an unnatural-feeling force distribution, though they do offer tangible feedback. Most tactile switches use rapidly increasing obstructive force to create a tactile event, which will essentially jam a key into your fingertips. This can sometimes obscure resulting force decreases that would otherwise contribute to good switch feel. It also requires the use of additional tactile leaves or elements, which cause unwanted friction — reducing smoothness.

Beam Springs help the press feel softer and more refined by using a tactile force dropoff. As the force is decreasing at the tactile event, rather than increasing, the switch will seem easier to press. We paired this natural feel with our signature bottom-out resistant ramp at the end of the press to offer the best of parabolic and linear force curves. No tactile leaf is necessary in this design, so smoothness is increased.

Plus it’s impossible to forget about that click! Beam springs are known for being exceptionally distinctive and satisfying. Here’s a comparison sound test of 4 different switches (in order): Kailh BOX White, Silo Beam, Kailh Blue, Kailh BOX Navy


Silo Beam Switches

Silo switches are the culmination of two different projects Input Club has been working on for a number of years. The first, designing an analog Hall Effect keyboard switch. The second, how to modernize a Beam Spring switch and mold it into Cherry MX-like dimensions.

I’ll be writing another article solely on analog switches in the near future, so stay tuned by joining the mailing list for these projects - Keystone Mechanical Keyboard Waitlist!

Compacting a Beam Spring mechanism into something similar to a Cherry MX switch has a lot of challenges.

First, IBM Beam Spring switches are huge by modern switch standards. By making the switch tall IBM was able to stack two different springs (coil spring and a beam spring) and allow room for the capacitive fly plate to move up and down. The activation mechanism is attached directly to the tactile/click mechanism — reliability increases as a result. As a counterpoint, Kailh BOX White switches may not have their click aligned to switch activation, as the click bar has nothing to do with the contact leaf that turns the switch on and off. Contact switches also lack an adjustable activation point, which creates limitations for typists with different preferences.

For Silo switches, the click has been separated from the sensing technique as well (magnetic sensing). Unlike contact-based switches, however, Silo switches have adjustable activation and deactivation points via their Hall Effect sensor field strength data (magnet distance from sensor). This means you’re not limited to a set position when riding the activation point. Using the linked graph for the Beam Spring Prototype as an example (Beam Spring Graph), if activation was set at 2.2 mm and deactivation at 0.8 mm you would have to press / release 1.4 mm x 2 = 2.8 mm to do a double tap. This creates significant flexibility for typists vs. a contact switch — which is stuck at a single activation point that may not match your typing style. Contactless sensing also eliminates contact leaves, resulting in more room for a beam spring and its resulting clicky goodness.



Next — keycaps! In our opinion, Cherry MX keycap mounts aren’t an optimal design. They are the keycap standard, though, so we’re working around them in our projects so you can keep using fancy keycap sets with our keyboards. The main challenge of integrating a beam spring switch is actually having enough room to place the beam and tensioner somewhere inside the confines of a Cherry MX-sized housing. The keycap mount plays a role in this, as it must fit inside the switch when pressed.



When designing keyboards, It’s impossible to forget the most important feature of any modern keyboard:  backlit RGB LEDs . Joking aside, any modern switch that doesn’t consider backlighting isn’t a complete work. I became a keyboard enthusiast and designer (specifically while learning Colemak) because I was frustrated that I couldn’t type well in the dark. Silo switches will support dual LEDs (North and South orientation). Silo switches will also support switch rotation (180 degrees), so this was doubly necessary. If you’re one of those people with absurdly thick keycaps (which can impact switch housings in certain orientations) you’ll be able to hotswap-rotate your switches any which way you’d like (the pictured prototype doesn’t have this feature yet, but we should have the next round of samples soon).

Why can’t I use these on my existing board?

Standard MX type keyswitches are either soldered or socketed into keyboards. More specifically, they are contact based, and the contact mechanism is intrinsically tied to the feel of the keyswitch. As part of us wanting to improve on existing technology, the Silo switches are contactless, using Hall Effect sensors that require entirely different circuit board designs.



There are a couple of advantages to this approach:

  • All clicky and tactile mechanisms are decoupled from the activation point. This magnetic analog system allows you to customize activation points.
  • Linear mechanisms are extremely simple, and they do not need physical contacts like MX-type switches. This results in an extra smooth feel due to reduced surface friction.
  • Contacts, being mechanical in nature, will eventually be subject to certain types of failures. Oxidation, stress cracking, and friction-related wear are a few examples. Hall Effect sensing, on the other hand, has been rated into billions of actuations (Honeywell Hall Effect Design Manual) for linear switches due to their contactless design.
  • Swapping switches is extremely simple, and can be done any number of times. For contact based switches, there’s either tedious desoldering/resoldering involved, or usage of sockets. While sockets were a major improvement on the status quo, they would eventually fail if someone tried to swap switches hundreds of times.
The end result? A switch that is fundamentally incompatible with existing keyboards.

Where can I get them!?

The first mechanical keyboard showcasing Silo Beam switches will be the Input Club Keystone. It will also offer tactile (Silo Command) and linear (Silo Control) variants. More details about Command and Control switches will be available in the future.

PCB and firmware design will be our task for the next few months. Analog Hall Effect sensing is a groundbreaking concept, so it will take our team some time to design a home for these switches. It will also take other companies (and us) time to iterate on the design and create Silo-compatible keyboards in smaller form factors.

If you really want to try Beam Spring switches right now, it might be somewhat tricky. Beam Spring keyboards are hard to find, very expensive, always used (your keyfeel won’t necessarily reflect the NOS curve above), and typically in need of significant refurbishment. They require a custom after-market keyboard controller and possibly a new PCB as well (xwhatsit https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=58138.0 or Common Sense (https://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=13988) to use with USB. Most Beam Spring keyboards have odd keyboard layouts not really designed for modern computing, and weigh something like a couple of bricks. Your best bet may be to head to a local keyboard meetup — someone may have one you can try.

IBM Beam Springs

(ChyrosRan22)

(ChyrosRan22)

(Mattias Schoeffl)

IBM Beam Spring Restoration

https://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?t=19775#start_here (darkcruix)

(Wodan)

Please join the Waitlist for the Input Club Keystone Keyboard

Input Club and Kono rely on your support in order to work on super cool projects like these. This is something that I thought was pretty much impossible from a manufacturing perspective even a couple years ago. I’m super thankful for your support!

https://kono.store/products/keystone-analog-mechanical-keyboard

— Jacob / HaaTa

« Last Edit: Thu, 18 April 2019, 16:01:10 by HaaTa »
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Offline Jae-3soteric

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 15:43:04 »
Wow. Lots of information here and these switches look very, very interesting. Can’t wait to give them a try!


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Offline Kevadu

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 16:13:06 »
My reaction in a nutshell:

At first: IwannitIwannitIwannitIwannit!!!!!

After looking at the keyboard: Wait...full-sized...oh...nevermind then...

Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 16:14:31 »
A bold move, will be watching with interest.

Offer a tenkeyless version though if you want better buy-in.
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Offline Photekq

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 16:24:45 »
Awesome. Interested to see if they can hold a candle to the OG. Fullsize for the debut keyboard is a strange move though.
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Offline kekstee

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 16:27:13 »
huh, curious to see how this will feel :) Although I would have hoped for a less extreme force curve.

Offline HaaTa

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 16:39:32 »
Yeah, the force curves will be much more subdued on the final version. We will be posting updates as we get closer to the final version.
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Offline tron

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 16:57:16 »
Wow this design looks very promising. Hopefully you can get prototype switches and a maybe a full board in Chyrosran’s hands for feedback. I’d love to compare a Keystone to a fully restored IBM board.

Offline mounds

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 20:12:58 »
Watching withinterest  ;) 
 
Glad it went from 'hey we are making a hall effect board guys' to 'hey we are making a hall effect AND beamspring board guys' lol.
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Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 21:08:38 »
Yeah, the force curves will be much more subdued on the final version. We will be posting updates as we get closer to the final version.
This looks very promising. I want to echo the calls for a TKL version.

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned is that the tactile "cliff" drop off spot in the prototype force curve happens quite a bit higher than O.G. beamspring.

One thing I enjoy so much about beamspring and model F keyboards is the longer key travel before actuation. It's unlike any switch available, and makes them much more of a typist's keyboards.

Because you are going to let the gamer types set the actuation as high as they want, please consider making the tactile actuation point lower to match up with beamspring. If you do that, and make the force curve very close to beamspring, then it'll be a switch that can truly be called a "modern beamspring switch."

Offline Loligagger

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 23:18:19 »
Looks quite promising. Would love to use these switches on their own so I could use it in a dactyl-manuform, but I suppose I'll be waiting quite a while for that to happen.

Offline romevi

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 23:22:53 »
Holy wow.   :eek:

Offline Puddsy

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 23:26:43 »
i am very interested in this project

andrew told me a while ago you were working on something cool that i'd never guess

guess this was it, and he was right

EDIT: oh **** it's contactless? this changes the game
« Last Edit: Thu, 18 April 2019, 23:30:48 by Puddsy »
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Offline chyros

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 00:23:45 »
This just looks absolutely awesome. Can't wait to try these out :D .
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Offline appaboy

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 00:28:06 »
Really wish it did not have the clear top housing. That's most of the time just a huge sound problem for me. But I do like this switch innovation. Even if I do think the force curve looks bad to type on. I have read that it's getting more subdued though, which makes me even more excited
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Offline chyros

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 02:03:50 »
Really wish it did not have the clear top housing. That's most of the time just a huge sound problem for me. But I do like this switch innovation. Even if I do think the force curve looks bad to type on. I have read that it's getting more subdued though, which makes me even more excited
Dude, look at hwo ****ing SMOOTH it looks, too! :D
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 07:18:56 »
Downside with hot-swappable switches is that they mount only in perfect plate holes. It is not possible to have a universal parts for different layouts: only one.
But maybe the underlying PCB could be universal, unlike keyboards with Kailh sockets.

The force curve of the beam spring switches is definitely interesting: it reminds me of Cherry MX Clear but sharper. Not sure if the low starting force is desirable though.
Good also that tactile non-clicky switches are being offered, but I had been hoping for more of non-clicky switch with tactility approaching that of the clicky.
And what about sound damping? This switch is not compatible with O-rings or silencing clips.

I am also disappointed that the switch has a clear top with for backlighting with LIGHT BLEEDING EVERYWHERE instead of proper light pipes from PCB to the top of the keycap.
Now that you had had the opportunity to design things right from the beginning.

BTW. The switch housing would also benefit from getting undercuts for grabbing it with a switch-pulling tool.
It looks like all walls are smooth and sloping, which would make it difficult to grab with anything.
That would leave the stem, and you wouldn't want that to be crimpled by pliers.
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 April 2019, 09:15:50 by Findecanor »
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Offline Telstar

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 08:09:33 »
A bold move, will be watching with interest.

Offer a tenkeyless version though if you want better buy-in.

Yes, this. A TKL will sell 3x a full board.

Offline Telstar

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 08:15:00 »
Yeah, the force curves will be much more subdued on the final version. We will be posting updates as we get closer to the final version.

I have never tried the original beam switches, but the buckling springs are still my favorite.
Among more recent designs I like jades and your halo clear (with 72g springs). Those force curves are my favourite. PS yes, I bottom out.

Offline rajendra82

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #20 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 19:34:37 »
Great idea, and nice looking force curve. Since this is still very early in developement, I plan to stick to a conventional keyboard for now. I can't but happen to notice the similarity in the force curve trend and amplitude with what my fingers tell me are my two favorite clicky switches, the Box Jade and Navy.
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 April 2019, 22:58:59 by rajendra82 »

Offline zslane

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 20 April 2019, 11:34:43 »
Looking forward to this. I'm glad to see full size ANSI be first out of the gate. That's my main style of board. I'd also like to see a 60% bluetooth board come out eventually. But I have zero need for a TKL, so feel free to take your time on that one. I also don't care much about the backlighting as I never use it even when I use a board that has it.

Offline Acereconkeys

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 20 April 2019, 13:01:47 »
Echoing other comments in kindly requesting a TKL Variant instead of a full size.
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Offline Stratus Autra

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 20 April 2019, 18:08:08 »
Will any loose switches be available?

Offline zslane

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 21 April 2019, 11:49:53 »
I'm curious what would loose switches be good for, apart from being spares for switches that might be (or go) "bad". If I'm not mistaken, these switches won't work with any keyboard except the Keystone.

Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 21 April 2019, 11:53:07 »
If this ends up being really epic, I might want a single loose switch to make a keychain out of. It would be fun to compare it directly against my beamspring, F bucking spring, and M buckling spring keychains.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 21 April 2019, 12:23:10 »
It would be nice to have access to datasheets, so that people in the community could design other keyboards with support for the switch. Not just a boring full-size US-ANSI keyboard...
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Offline HaaTa

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 21 April 2019, 13:17:47 »
The switches aren't 100% finalized yet, so no datasheets have been drawn up.

I will say that any keyboard using these switches will likely need something better than a atmega32u4.
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Offline The Arthur

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 22 April 2019, 06:06:51 »
I might be the odd one out here, preferring full-size above TKL.


I'll buy full-size, but I'll get two if you make a 1800 layout  :thumb:



BTW any chance for ISO layout? Have someone who might want that.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 22 April 2019, 07:05:09 »
Don't count on it. Have you seen any Input.Club keyboard in ISO layout? :rolleyes:

The WhiteFox/NightFox is capable of ISO and ANSI, and there were options on Massdrop back in its first run(s) but has only been available in "TrueFox" (Unix) layout since.
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Offline Telstar

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 22 April 2019, 09:48:10 »
Don't count on it. Have you seen any Input.Club keyboard in ISO layout? :rolleyes:

The WhiteFox/NightFox is capable of ISO and ANSI, and there were options on Massdrop back in its first run(s) but has only been available in "TrueFox" (Unix) layout since.

Well, they should. Double layout PCB isn't that hard to design, especially when you are doing it from the ground up.

Offline FoxWolf1

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 22 April 2019, 09:58:58 »
Neat! I like that it's going to be available in full-size, and not just the usual TKL/60%.

Here's hoping we can someday get a TrackPoint version (or dual trackpoint-- one in the usual position near HGB, and another just below the Page Down key for when you're using the numpad). That'd be pretty close to my ideal keyboard, assuming good implementation of its various attributes.
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Offline Delirious

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 22 April 2019, 11:03:38 »
You have a warehouse with more than 600 keyboards and you can’t type in the dark because you have to look down at your keyboard layout? You love typing so much you changed from qwerty to colemark but you still can’t touch type? In one other interview you even said Topre Realforce was your “current” go to board because the lack of unnecessary features so you could go at it and just type to maximum content.

Let’s face it, the whole RGB/transparent top thing is just some marketing BS and I would love to believe someone else ghost writes that for you. It appeals to more customers, and I wish you all at Input Club the best.

I am interested in trying out the switches still, only when this gets to the stage where you could buy the switches as parts to fit in other custom cases and pcb’s.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 22 April 2019, 11:11:02 »
Double layout PCB isn't that hard to design, especially when you are doing it from the ground up.
You can not count on that being possible with every type of switch, but from what we know about it, things do look like it would be possible.

Apparently, XMIT and HaaTa have consulted for each other on their respective Hall effect keyboard projects, and XMIT wrote on Deskthority that "With some effort these could be made into retrofits for existing XMIT boards. Though, I can't promise the actuation would be at the right place."

The sensor in XMIT keyboard / Ace Pad Tech is at least small enough to allow some universal layout options ... unless it would be sensitive to interference from another sensor or other components nearby.
We should know for sure once the datasheets have been published.

One drawback is known now however: There can't be universal plates. The Silo switch prototype in the pictures does not attach to the PCB at all, so each mounting hole would need to connect on all sides.

Let’s face it, the whole RGB/transparent top thing is just some marketing BS and I would love to believe someone else ghost writes that for you.
RGB backlighting on a standalone wired keyboard is not so much for typing as it is for gaming.
When a single character has a very specific function, and you don't touch-type to reach it, then having it mapped to a distinct colour can be useful for helping to find it and reach it quickly.

I agree that for everything else, backlighting on a desktop keyboard is crap: much inferior to having just a little ambient light.
« Last Edit: Mon, 22 April 2019, 11:19:34 by Findecanor »
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
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Offline dallman5

  • Posts: 427
  • Location: DC, USA
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 22 April 2019, 11:26:30 »
First off I want to say these sound awesome and I'm certainly very interested!

Is there a plan for releasing multiple weight variants at some point in time? I understand your stance on resisting bottoming-out out and I never viewed this as an issue with your previous custom switches since springs could be swapped with no issue. However, with these that doesn't seem to be the case, and as a point of personal preference (and I would imagine I'm not the only one who holds this view) 70g+ for the bottom out weight is too heavy for me. Not only that, it's also significantly heavier than an actual beamspring switch which doesn't even go over 50g according to your own force curve. Personally, I'd like to see something lower like 55-65g as that's been a very popular spring weight range in the enthusiast community for a very long time.

Since it seems the first version is full-size, I likely won't be joining in this round anyway. +1 for TKL in the next round!
LF: OG Cherry APL (lasered), Artisans

Current collection:
More
Norbatouch (Galaxy Blue) | Mira SE (Lunar Grey, WKL) | HHKB Pro 1 (KB300BN) | Noxary X60 (Grey, HHKB) | KBDFans 5 Degree (Silver) | AEK64 (Grey) | Norbaforce (Tactical Black, WKL)) | Realforce 86U (White) | TGR 910 RE (Polycarbonate) | LZ-SQ (Black) | LZ-CLS (Grey, WKL) | Duck Orion v1 (Silver, WK)) | Nissho KB106DE | HHKB Pro 1 (KB300B) | LZ CLS-S (Blue, Poker) | Realforce 87U 10th Anniversary) | Realforce 104UK | TGR Alice (Grey on Pink) | Singa (Blue, WKL)  | Quantrik QXP (Blue Grey, WKL) | LZ-GH v2 (Black, WK) | KMAC Happy (Red, Poker)) | IBM Model M SSK (APL) | TGR 910 SE (Pink on Blue) | GSKT-00 (Silver, Poker) | OTD Koala (Silver, WKL) | Realforce R2 PFU Edition (Ivory) | IBM 3279 Beamspring (APL) | TGR Tris (Blue) | LZ-GH v2 (Blue, WKL)) | TGR Jane v2 (Blue-grey, WKL) | LZ-MP (Shine Grey, WKL)  | TGR x Singa Unikorn (Purple) | Justsystems x Realforce 108UG) | IBM Model F Unsaver (APL) | TGR Jane V2 CE (Multicolor, WKL) | Realforce 87U (Blank Black) | Lin Montage (Light Blue, WKL) | GSKT-00 AEK R2 (Grey, HHKB) | Leopold FC660C (Blank Black) | Duck Viper v3 (Grey on Black) | Rama Works M6-C RWxRW | LZ-GH v1 (Black, WKL) | Gok 7v (Grey) | biso x beaming Kei (SS, HHKB) | zacheadams x bisoromi little z | Matrix Noah (Silver/Grey, WKL) | Lin Whale (Pink, WKL) | TGR Alice (Polycarbonate) | Rama Kara (Noct) | Lin Whale75 (Burgundy, F13) | Realforce 89 (Ivory) | Hand Engineering Haus (Bluegrey) | Haytco CAKE60_R1 (Pantone 4167C) | LZ-XE (Grey, WKL) | Noxary X60 V2 (Grey, WK) | Daji Ochocuatro (Grey, WKL) | HHKB Hybird Type-S 25th Anniversary (Snow) | LZ-REs (Grey, WKL) | Matrix 8xv 3.0 (Blue-Black/Deep Grey, WKL) | Realforce 23UB | Biso RS60 (Black, WK) | TGR x MXF Koala (Grey/Black, WKL)

Italics = Incoming, Black = Gone

Offline Delirious

  • Posts: 322
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 22 April 2019, 11:35:53 »
Let’s face it, the whole RGB/transparent top thing is just some marketing BS and I would love to believe someone else ghost writes that for you.
RGB backlighting on a standalone wired keyboard is not so much for typing as it is for gaming.
When a single character has a very specific function, and you don't touch-type to reach it, then having it mapped to a distinct colour can be useful for helping to find it and reach it quickly.

I agree that for everything else, backlighting on a desktop keyboard is crap: much inferior to having just a little ambient light.

I don’t know what games require you to look down but all the trendy games I play require very small windows of reaction time. By the time I look down on my keyboard to find the button for build mode in Fortnite someone could headshot me. By the time I look down on my keyboard to find the type to chat key my hero gets ganked in LoL. Starcraft? Don’t even think about looking away from the screen.

If anything gamers require less of backlighting and more of a less-straining and responsive keyboard


Offline HaaTa

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 22 April 2019, 12:12:56 »
You have a warehouse with more than 600 keyboards and you can’t type in the dark because you have to look down at your keyboard layout? You love typing so much you changed from qwerty to colemark but you still can’t touch type? In one other interview you even said Topre Realforce was your “current” go to board because the lack of unnecessary features so you could go at it and just type to maximum content.

Let’s face it, the whole RGB/transparent top thing is just some marketing BS and I would love to believe someone else ghost writes that for you. It appeals to more customers, and I wish you all at Input Club the best.

I am interested in trying out the switches still, only when this gets to the stage where you could buy the switches as parts to fit in other custom cases and pcb’s.


First of all, thanks for reading so many articles about Input Club, you've quoted well!

So, for a little story (I write all my technical articles, though I do have editing help).

Way back in 2009 (damn, 10 years...), I had an internship in Japan (Epson) and I brought 2 keyboards with me: a Cherry G81-1800 and a Unicomp Model M (black, sparkly keycaps and no legends/otaku as it was later named by the community). While it's somewhat known that I brought keyboards with me to Japan because I was certain I wouldn't be able to find decent keyboards in Japan (which is hilarious thinking back). At the time I wasn't able to touch type. I had a sort of look for a second then type for a minute style similar to how one plays piano (looking at the sheet music, then looking down to make sure your hands are in the right place). I thought I could force myself to learn touch typing by removing all the letters.
Sadly, that didn't work for me at all...
So, I started searching for another way to touch type (which I found http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/? through GeekHack and eventually settled on Colemak).

It's very likely that if I had a backlit mechanical keyboard I probably wouldn't have found GeekHack as early as I did (while they did exist, they were not common, https://flic.kr/s/aHskqYqEwJ)

Here's my setup (I brought my desktop with me in my luggage; 3x 10k RPM raptors on the floor haha):
2010-01-01 19.26.08
I even have GeekHack open (Opera web browser with tree view for tabs). The left monitor is actually the TV that came with my Leopalace apartment, lol.


Also, I'm likely going to have some sort of devkit design ready by the time Keystone starts shipping.
Kiibohd

ALWAYS looking for cool and interesting switches
I take requests for making keyboard converters (i.e. *old keyboard* to USB).

Offline Kashtan

  • Posts: 2
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 02 July 2019, 05:56:51 »
In description on site about switches almost missing info about beamspring, and all talked about hall effect.
This definitions are different in their nature.
I understand this a attempt have got best from both worlds, but beamspring too much little, hall too more.
« Last Edit: Tue, 02 July 2019, 05:59:57 by Kashtan »

Offline romevi

  • Formerly romevi
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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #38 on: Tue, 16 July 2019, 08:22:06 »
Just got the email that the Kickstarter is happening soon. Great!

But it keeps mentioning Hall Effect. Are these not modern beamspring switches?

Offline SneakyRobb

  • Posts: 42
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #39 on: Tue, 16 July 2019, 09:18:40 »
Seems like a good project
« Last Edit: Thu, 25 July 2019, 14:23:34 by SneakyRobb »

Offline diqkiq

  • Posts: 145
  • Location: San Diego
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #40 on: Tue, 16 July 2019, 09:28:13 »
According to the kickstarter campaign, the beamspring switch is an add on that will come later. The keyboard comes with switches that are hall effect only.

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Filco Majestouch TKL, Noppoo Choc Mini, Realforce 87 55g, Model M TKL, Ducky Shine 3 TKL, KC60, Planck.

Offline SneakyRobb

  • Posts: 42
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #41 on: Tue, 16 July 2019, 09:36:18 »
According to the kickstarter campaign, the beamspring switch is an add on that will come later. The keyboard comes with switches that are hall effect only.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Ah interesting. Well hopefully they can pull it off.

Offline ErgoMacros

  • Posts: 313
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #42 on: Tue, 16 July 2019, 13:00:35 »
Kickstarter is open, 29 days to go. They've already reached 2x their goal:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lekashman/keystone-the-future-of-mechanical-keyboards

Delivery planned for Feb 2020 and July 2020.
Today's quote: '...“but then the customer successfully broke that.”

Offline diqkiq

  • Posts: 145
  • Location: San Diego
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #43 on: Wed, 24 July 2019, 14:45:54 »
Does anyone see in the Kickstarter campaign where the talk about the case? Is it aluminum or plastic?

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Filco Majestouch TKL, Noppoo Choc Mini, Realforce 87 55g, Model M TKL, Ducky Shine 3 TKL, KC60, Planck.

Offline zslane

  • Posts: 2284
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #44 on: Thu, 25 July 2019, 14:13:10 »
The Kickstarter does not specify, but I can assure you that it will be plastic.

It will be left to aftermarket designers like Ryan Norbauer to provide aluminum replacements.

Offline diqkiq

  • Posts: 145
  • Location: San Diego
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #45 on: Sat, 27 July 2019, 20:56:55 »
Makes sense. They did mention they would work with designers for the cases

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Filco Majestouch TKL, Noppoo Choc Mini, Realforce 87 55g, Model M TKL, Ducky Shine 3 TKL, KC60, Planck.

Offline cspirou

  • Posts: 39
  • Location: France
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #46 on: Sun, 01 September 2019, 14:07:28 »
I am very interested in these switches. Are there any guidelines for designing the PCBs? Are there KiCAD or Eagle files available for a minimal example like a macropad?

Offline HaaTa

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Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #47 on: Sun, 01 September 2019, 15:37:59 »
I am very interested in these switches. Are there any guidelines for designing the PCBs? Are there KiCAD or Eagle files available for a minimal example like a macropad?

Not yet, we'll have something available closer to the shipping date (still finalizing a few component details after testing the prototypes).
The examples will use a SAM4S MCU. Some of the early prototypes used the 48-pin ATSAM4S2A though the examples will probably use the the 64-pin LQFP.
Kiibohd

ALWAYS looking for cool and interesting switches
I take requests for making keyboard converters (i.e. *old keyboard* to USB).

Offline cspirou

  • Posts: 39
  • Location: France
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #48 on: Sun, 01 September 2019, 17:37:58 »
Not yet, we'll have something available closer to the shipping date (still finalizing a few component details after testing the prototypes).
The examples will use a SAM4S MCU. Some of the early prototypes used the 48-pin ATSAM4S2A though the examples will probably use the the 64-pin LQFP.

Thanks! The analog nature gives me some ideas for MIDI interfaces
« Last Edit: Mon, 02 September 2019, 00:11:50 by cspirou »

Offline Zekromtor

  • Posts: 241
    • My Setup
Re: The Silo Beam Switch - Beam Spring switches for the modern era
« Reply #49 on: Mon, 13 January 2020, 23:55:57 »
I am very interested in these switches. Are there any guidelines for designing the PCBs? Are there KiCAD or Eagle files available for a minimal example like a macropad?

I second this. These switches make a lot of sense. Give us a blueprint on how to make a custom board with it, and you've got a winner.