Author Topic: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem  (Read 43399 times)

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Offline konradb

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Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 16:34:30 »
Hey, so I recently got myself some Gateron Inks. Just after lubing 10 switches I have noticed that many of them have loose leafs. Some leafs were that loose, that they fell out. I have recorded the video.

Not a valid vimeo URL
I asked at discord and someone said that I should just close the switch and it will be fine. I did this, but there was still just a bit of play on the leaf part that sticks out.

After soldering down the switches, I have inconsistent sound experience, just what I have expected. Sometimes few of my switches make like cracking noise. It's not always, but it bugs me a lot.
I tried pushing the switch and wiggling around - second video. You can hear that some of the switches makes popping noise. These are the ones that make weird noises while typing.

Not a valid vimeo URL
Another video shoving weird noises.

Not a valid vimeo URL
I couldn't cherry pick good switches, that don't have leaf play, because in my bach 60% of them were wiggly.

Anyone experienced the same thing?
« Last Edit: Thu, 05 September 2019, 17:09:33 by konradb »

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 16:36:18 »
Oh wow, that's wild. I should check my batch to see if this is an issue.

If you got these from a vendor, you should contact them to see if there's any information.

Offline konradb

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 16:43:45 »
I tried contacting KBDFans but their English.. I think they didn't understand me.

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 22:46:42 »
that wiggle creak is what my switches with loose tops do.  My novelkeys creams did that.  Did you try putting in switch films to see if it helped?  Just trying to rule out other things going on.

Offline konradb

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 12:17:11 »
So I did film the switches today. I don't think it helped but now I'm more into saying that is not the leaf problem.
Switches right now requires more force to push down and wiggle to make noise, and now this noise is more plastic one, like from the film itself.
I couldn't get it to make this noise when switch was out of the plate. Probably the housing is making this noise when squeezed by the plate.

I want to remind that it's not the noise it makes when pushed heavily on the switch that bugs me. It's that is makes cracking noise, like breaking small plastic leafs when typing.
It's like that on switches that weren't pushed in a while. When I push it it cracks, and is okay for some time. Then it does it again.

Damn, they sound so good when they don't crack, but then they do and everything is ruined.
I didn't have this problem with any other switch. Have anyone experienced this with inks? They are hyped right now, there must be tons of people using them. I don't believe it's only my batch.

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 16:18:52 »
So I did film the switches today. I don't think it helped but now I'm more into saying that is not the leaf problem.
Switches right now requires more force to push down and wiggle to make noise, and now this noise is more plastic one, like from the film itself.
I couldn't get it to make this noise when switch was out of the plate. Probably the housing is making this noise when squeezed by the plate.

I want to remind that it's not the noise it makes when pushed heavily on the switch that bugs me. It's that is makes cracking noise, like breaking small plastic leafs when typing.
It's like that on switches that weren't pushed in a while. When I push it it cracks, and is okay for some time. Then it does it again.

Damn, they sound so good when they don't crack, but then they do and everything is ruined.
I didn't have this problem with any other switch. Have anyone experienced this with inks? They are hyped right now, there must be tons of people using them. I don't believe it's only my batch.

I don't have any black inks a board right now, but I have a few hotswap boards I can throw them on later.   My creams were the same way, man.  There was NO WAY i could put them in a board with that sound.  And yet, I didn't hear anyone else mention it.  I guess some people aren't as picky. But if it bothers you, it bothers you, right?

Offline konradb

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 16:25:57 »
After noticing that there is no way back. I'd rather have less smooth switch than deal with this.
When switch cracks my blood pressure raises.  :'(

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 18:10:46 »
I think it is the leaves causing this issue TBH. The more you describe it. it kinda sounds to me like some of the leaves with the legs on them fell down into the switch when you had the PCB turned over for soldering & they got soldered in that way. If that is the case & some are sitting higher than they should be, they should slightly catch the top of the stem causing the clicking/cracking.popping noise. At least that would be my guess from the video you showed of the loose one, the sound tests, & your  descriptions. If this is the the problem the good news it is fixable, the bad news is it'll be a pain in the ass to do so. You'd have to de solder all the switches then pull the leaves up tight with a pair of tweezers & solder one leg in to keep it held in it's proper position. When you look at the back of your PCB do the legs of the switch leaves seems to be a little higher & lower than each other?

Offline dubious

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 18:17:01 »
Once the switches are soldered on, the leaves (leafs?) themselves shouldn't be moving relative to the PCB. You might be hearing the switch housing scraping, or rubbing against the leaves that aren't attached to the housing. They're probably not moving much if it's plate mounted, but it could be enough to make a sound. Especially when you press it hard and flex the plate/pcb, and there's some tension from the switches being mounted to the plate and leaves soldered to the PCB.

edit: rob made good point about the leaf posts moving when you were soldering. Might want to check the bottom of the pcb
« Last Edit: Fri, 06 September 2019, 18:19:58 by dubious »

Offline konradb

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 18:21:43 »
I think it is the leaves causing this issue TBH. The more you describe it. it kinda sounds to me like some of the leaves with the legs on them fell down into the switch when you had the PCB turned over for soldering & they got soldered in that way. If that is the case & some are sitting higher than they should be, they should slightly catch the top of the stem causing the clicking/cracking.popping noise. At least that would be my guess from the video you showed of the loose one, the sound tests, & your  descriptions. If this is the the problem the good news it is fixable, the bad news is it'll be a pain in the ass to do so. You'd have to de solder all the switches then pull the leaves up tight with a pair of tweezers & solder one leg in to keep it held in it's proper position. When you look at the back of your PCB do the legs of the switch leaves seems to be a little higher & lower than each other?



I thought that would be the case before first time I have soldered. I have tried to pull each pin up before soldering, but were that loose that they didn't want to stay up. It would be a pain in the ass to solder and keep the tweezers pulling the pins. There were too many switches like that so I gave up on these, just pulled up once - if stayed up, then it stayed up.

At the second soldering I decided to not do that. I feel like now there is less cracking than before, but still noticeable. I wonder if this might somehow wear off..

For me it's a design/production flaw. I don't recommend.

//edit
I have added new video showing the cracking after switch film. I didn't type on the keyboard for ~30minutes. You can see that when I push down the switch - it cracks, but on the next presses it doesn't. Like there is too much tension on the housing, but the housing isn't fitted good enough. I wonder if the switch films helped or made it worse.. I need to try out tomorrow, when switches rest for few hours.

Not a valid vimeo URL
« Last Edit: Fri, 06 September 2019, 18:36:14 by konradb »

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 18:47:39 »
I think it is the leaves causing this issue TBH. The more you describe it. it kinda sounds to me like some of the leaves with the legs on them fell down into the switch when you had the PCB turned over for soldering & they got soldered in that way. If that is the case & some are sitting higher than they should be, they should slightly catch the top of the stem causing the clicking/cracking.popping noise. At least that would be my guess from the video you showed of the loose one, the sound tests, & your  descriptions. If this is the the problem the good news it is fixable, the bad news is it'll be a pain in the ass to do so. You'd have to de solder all the switches then pull the leaves up tight with a pair of tweezers & solder one leg in to keep it held in it's proper position. When you look at the back of your PCB do the legs of the switch leaves seems to be a little higher & lower than each other?



I thought that would be the case before first time I have soldered. I have tried to pull each pin up before soldering, but were that loose that they didn't want to stay up. It would be a pain in the ass to solder and keep the tweezers pulling the pins. There were too many switches like that so I gave up on these, just pulled up once - if stayed up, then it stayed up.

At the second soldering I decided to not do that. I feel like now there is less cracking than before, but still noticeable. I wonder if this might somehow wear off..

For me it's a design/production flaw. I don't recommend.

//edit
I have added new video showing the cracking after switch film. I didn't type on the keyboard for ~30minutes. You can see that when I push down the switch - it cracks, but on the next presses it doesn't. Like there is too much tension on the housing, but the housing isn't fitted good enough. I wonder if the switch films helped or made it worse.. I need to try out tomorrow, when switches rest for few hours.

Not a valid vimeo URL

Yeah I see what you mean, if it was the leaves catching it would probably do it more consistently rather than just the first few keypresses. Switch films can cause a similar problem if not installed in the right position, the back if the slider can catch the edge of the film & cause a clicking noise. Again though it would be more consistent & wouldn't have started till you installed the films. How tightly did the switches fit in your particular plate, another thing it sounds like is the top housing is somehow becoming separated from the bottom housing when the board is not in use. Then clipping back onto each other when the first few key presses are done. That's a long shot though as I've never really heard of such a problem even when using super thick plates where you have to glue the switch in to keep it in place. Hopefully it will work it's way out after some breaking in, but I would say you are right & this is a design flaw with this batch of Inks.

Offline konradb

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 19:03:03 »
I don't know exact measurements of the plate (Leopold FC660M) but the switches did require some force to pop in with both legs (these catching elements).
The switch films are not catching the stem for sure, I tested each one after closing.

Ehh, once again my freaking hearing needs to drive me nuts. Hearing my desk lamp screeching, AC plugs buzzing, street lamps hissing wasn't enough.

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 19:18:25 »
I don't know exact measurements of the plate (Leopold FC660M) but the switches did require some force to pop in with both legs (these catching elements).
The switch films are not catching the stem for sure, I tested each one after closing.

Ehh, once again my freaking hearing needs to drive me nuts. Hearing my desk lamp screeching, AC plugs buzzing, street lamps hissing wasn't enough.

Sorry to hear that man, that must be pretty rough having such sensitive hearing. Have you asked your doc about tinnitus? Electrical sounding screeching, buzzing, hissing are common symptoms. Anyways back to your board, I doubt the plate is giving you any issues as it being tight fitting & not having cutouts for switchtop opening should keep everything together snugly. I switch swapped my 660M as well & didn't have any issues with the V1 Zealios housings I used even though they were a tight fit. I would contact the vendor you got them from & send them your videos/sound tests. At the very least they might send you a replacement batch of Inks? Worth a shot at least IMO.

Offline konradb

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 07 September 2019, 02:37:11 »
Quote
the switches No issues
- KBDFans  :thumb:

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 07 September 2019, 07:48:28 »
Quote
the switches No issues
- KBDFans  :thumb:

Seriously!? Wow, I would just stop buying through KBDfans after that response. I know I personally have since the Stealios fiasco. I think they are operating in the gray areas a lot to keep their prices low & riding on community goodwill when they get caught, not a good look IMO.

Offline JerkChicken456

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 11 September 2019, 11:42:56 »
hmm thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention and i hope you find a fix.  I got the new gat inks from kbdfans as well... i haven't even cracked the bag open but I'm gunna have to check mine  :'(

Offline konradb

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 11 September 2019, 12:06:08 »
Small presentation of the wobble when switch is closed. Itís not much, but the contact point of the leafs is small as well. On some switches, when you pull the pin, it drops on its own.

https://m.imgur.com/Wq7Ydzu

Offline Abstand

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 03 October 2019, 16:43:01 »
Interesting that you are having problems with the last batch of Gateron Inks. I actually had tons of issues with the 140 I bought from them in that same batch. My issue was pretty different though. Instead of the cracking sound, I would experience a "wobbling/bumpy" downstroke on a lot of my switches, very hard to describe but its almost as if there was a small hint of tactility on them. This proved to be extremely annoying and I ended up abandoning gateron inks altogether. A real shame too, as they feel and sound great apart from the issues.

I contacted NovelKeys about this and they told me that they had gotten a number of reports about this and that they would reach out to Gateron about it. I asked if I could send them back or get a partial refund and they told me there was nothing they could do since I opened the switches (I lubed them). Apparently opening the switch voids any kind of warranty or chance for return/refund.

Offline mizzoperator

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 04 October 2019, 08:10:39 »
I'm not surprised that this is happening with Gateron Inks.
Now you can feel like you're typing on Fun Snaps! Complete with the weird cracking and bumpy feeling!
You have my sincere condolences, though. That blows. Hopefully, you've gotten back with the vender by now.
Linears are for linear people. No offense if you use linears.
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Offline konradb

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 06 October 2019, 10:24:02 »
I'll update this topic, because I see that more and more people are aware of this. Let's summarize the info.

Walkers video:

This beautifully shows another problem with the new batch - the housing wobble. I wonder if that's not the source of my cracklilng noises.


Quote
Tyrone Brackle
1 day ago
I've talked with mike about this and he's said gateron knows about it and apparently they dont think it's a problem. Personally I wont be buying any more inks until this isn't a problem.

From my side, KBDFans don't see issue as well.

I assume the only thing I can do is to not buy that switch. If more people know about this problem, they will not buy these switches. Maybe then Gateron will do something about this.
« Last Edit: Sun, 06 October 2019, 10:26:21 by konradb »

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 06 October 2019, 12:03:00 »
I have a batch of inks from when they were first released with no issues, so I guess Iím lucky there.

I do see how Gateron might not be concerned though. With normal usage, a loose leaf pin shouldnít make much difference once soldered into the board, right?  I mean, it couldnít move after that.  They probably donít worry about what could happen to the switch after it is taken apart.  Thatís not itís intended function (Playing devilís advocate here. Of course I mod all of my switches like you guys).

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 06 October 2019, 15:50:12 »
I have a batch of inks from when they were first released with no issues, so I guess I’m lucky there.

I do see how Gateron might not be concerned though. With normal usage, a loose leaf pin shouldn’t make much difference once soldered into the board, right?  I mean, it couldn’t move after that.  They probably don’t worry about what could happen to the switch after it is taken apart.  That’s not it’s intended function (Playing devil’s advocate here. Of course I mod all of my switches like you guys).


I get where you are coming from with that line of thinking, but this is definitely an issue & can affect even those who do not open or mod their switches. The leaves should not be loose at all. Anytime I've ever messed around with removing or swapping leaves in MX switches they were always held very tightly in place in the housings. If they are not they can move when just installing them into a board, which can lead to chattering, weird feel, weird sound, or the switch just flat out not working. So honestly I think it's more of a defect in these batches than an issue & Gateron should be concerned that this happening.

Offline walie

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 06 October 2019, 16:27:09 »
Also given the popularity of hotswap nowadays, the force of inserting the switch into the socket can push the leaf into the housing.

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 06 October 2019, 17:37:09 »
Also given the popularity of hotswap nowadays, the force of inserting the switch into the socket can push the leaf into the housing.


Yeah I hadn't even thought of that since I don't have a hot swap board, but you are correct these could be a real nightmare with a HS board!

Offline jgasb

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 08 October 2019, 01:36:56 »
I just received a batch of 68 black INKS from KBDFans and have opened 2 switches.  Both switches have really loose leaves. I'm new to building keyboards, so that's kind of a bad start.
But I didn't notice any looseness in the leaf's leg before opening the switch.
Should I just not open the rest of the switches and have a keyboard full of unlubed inks or go all in with lube? Would make me quite bummed if all the switches would end up with weird noises.
As you guys addressed, it seems like getting a refund from KBDFans is a lost battle before even trying.

Offline cokolwieq

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 11 October 2019, 05:44:49 »
@konradb Can you check if there's crackling if you change the keycap of that crackling switch to another keycap from switch that doesn't crackle? For example my D key with Gateron Black Inks crackle when I wobble it when bottoming out, but If I swap the keycap for F one, it doesn't happen.

I've discovered it on my hotswap keyboard, every switch crackles when it's on D key spot. So in my case it isn't faulty switches, but some problem with keycap/switch compatibility.

Offline porschepotty

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 08 November 2019, 12:35:02 »
Just when I was about to order Gateron Ink Blacks myself, and was planning to put them on a hotswap. I'm thinking of getting NK Creams instead but I love the sound of the Ink Blacks more.

Offline DoctorNunu

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 10 November 2019, 06:41:19 »
Had this same problem, 90% of my switches had loose leaves and required some force to push them down. The switch tops were loose as hell so I had to film them all. Even with switch films they sound inconsistent, my first batch of the inks (back when they were just released) was so much better. Never ordering inks again, they are simply not worth the price tag with the amount of trouble they give you..

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 10 November 2019, 15:44:37 »
has anyone looked into whether or not the reds are loose too?  You could always spring swap into the reds if they don't have the same issues.

Offline walie

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 11 November 2019, 17:54:03 »
There are reports of Zealios switches also having this problem. Especially the new Aqua Zilent switches.

Looks to be a wide scale Gateron issue, wonder if they care about fixing it.

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 11 November 2019, 18:02:47 »
There are reports of Zealios switches also having this problem. Especially the new Aqua Zilent switches.

Looks to be a wide scale Gateron issue, wonder if they care about fixing it.

I just spent 4 hours lubing my aqua zilents with no issues FWIW


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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #31 on: Sun, 17 November 2019, 20:11:27 »
There are reports of Zealios switches also having this problem. Especially the new Aqua Zilent switches.

Looks to be a wide scale Gateron issue, wonder if they care about fixing it.

I just spent 4 hours lubing my aqua zilents with no issues FWIW

Was going to pre order them but then i remembered "no pre-orders "from PCMR.

Might get some for my future GK61 i'm getting

Offline Tom_Kazansky

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #32 on: Fri, 22 November 2019, 00:41:50 »
is the new material of the Ink switches so smooth that it even make the leaves loose?
just kidding  :))

I get where you are coming from with that line of thinking, but this is definitely an issue & can affect even those who do not open or mod their switches. The leaves should not be loose at all. Anytime I've ever messed around with removing or swapping leaves in MX switches they were always held very tightly in place in the housings. If they are not they can move when just installing them into a board, which can lead to chattering, weird feel, weird sound, or the switch just flat out not working. So honestly I think it's more of a defect in these batches than an issue & Gateron should be concerned that this happening.

this is exactly what I fear would happen, even though I'm tempted to try Gateron Ink Blue  :'(

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #33 on: Fri, 22 November 2019, 07:56:46 »
is the new material of the Ink switches so smooth that it even make the leaves loose?
just kidding  :))

I get where you are coming from with that line of thinking, but this is definitely an issue & can affect even those who do not open or mod their switches. The leaves should not be loose at all. Anytime I've ever messed around with removing or swapping leaves in MX switches they were always held very tightly in place in the housings. If they are not they can move when just installing them into a board, which can lead to chattering, weird feel, weird sound, or the switch just flat out not working. So honestly I think it's more of a defect in these batches than an issue & Gateron should be concerned that this happening.

this is exactly what I fear would happen, even though I'm tempted to try Gateron Ink Blue  :'(

I'd be really interested in a switch that had the red ink housing, and an mx stem or something like that. I either call them "Spiderman switches' or Pegasus.

Edit: Here they are: https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/dsan8g/your_scientists_were_so_preoccupied_with_whether/

Offline DoctorNunu

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #34 on: Sat, 23 November 2019, 15:41:57 »
I have a gateron Ink black from the first batch they made (when they were just called Gateron Inks) and everything about it is just so much better. No loose leaf, tight fitting housing and the overall feel is just better. Something tells me that they launched the product initially with great quality to get users to spread the word, and then simply lowering the quality and selling them for the same price. I certainly hope this is not the case..

It's sad that it turned out like this, the OG switches were really good..

Offline zF4TE

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #35 on: Fri, 29 November 2019, 08:11:50 »
A dab of superglue will do the job for now



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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #36 on: Fri, 29 November 2019, 09:05:13 »
I have a gateron Ink black from the first batch they made (when they were just called Gateron Inks) and everything about it is just so much better. No loose leaf, tight fitting housing and the overall feel is just better. Something tells me that they launched the product initially with great quality to get users to spread the word, and then simply lowering the quality and selling them for the same price. I certainly hope this is not the case..

It's sad that it turned out like this, the OG switches were really good..

According to Mike from NovelKeys, they are working on fixing the issues & retooled Inks should be hitting the market soon. Although hearing from you that the first batch has much better QC then currently available ones does raise some questions & concerns. Even if they were pumping them out 24/7 I doubt the molds could wear to the point where parts are no longer fitting properly that quick. :-\

Offline MMKB

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Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #37 on: Mon, 30 December 2019, 13:08:18 »
I have a gateron Ink black from the first batch they made (when they were just called Gateron Inks) and everything about it is just so much better. No loose leaf, tight fitting housing and the overall feel is just better. Something tells me that they launched the product initially with great quality to get users to spread the word, and then simply lowering the quality and selling them for the same price. I certainly hope this is not the case..

It's sad that it turned out like this, the OG switches were really good..

According to Mike from NovelKeys, they are working on fixing the issues & retooled Inks should be hitting the market soon. Although hearing from you that the first batch has much better QC then currently available ones does raise some questions & concerns. Even if they were pumping them out 24/7 I doubt the molds could wear to the point where parts are no longer fitting properly that quick. :-\

Still waiting for the retooled Inks. The loose leaves in my bag of Inks have cost me quite some time to reposition them.
        

Offline pixelpusher

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  • Location: Tennessee - USA
Re: Gateron Ink, Loose Leaf Problem
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 30 December 2019, 13:13:50 »
I just had this happen on a Laseron (laser themed Gaterons) switch, by the way.   :eek:   Let's hope it was a random problem.