Author Topic: Why do people hate hotswap?  (Read 5915 times)

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Offline Void225

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Why do people hate hotswap?
« on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 10:51:44 »
As far as I am concerned, hotswap is a FEATURE. but throughout the keyboard community, here and elsewhere, it seems like people consider it to be a detriment. I see tons of board I would love to have, but on every one people are listing LACK of hotswap as a feature. I am walking away from boards I would otherwise love to have because they are touting not having this as a good thing, and acting as if I have committed a crime when I even suggest having them as an improvement in my eyes. I've literally been harassed out of conversations on other sites for daring to suggest hotswap.

I can solder, I enjoy soldering, but it has one big issue: inflexibility. Get a bad switch, want to change a switch, or just want to play around? Disassemble everything and desolder. There goes an hour between disassembly (including pulling off at least some caps to access screws), actual solder work, and reassembly.  And lets not forget that there is always some risk to any solder work; it is always possible to screw up and ruin either the particular socket or the entire board when you start heating things.

With hotswap, it's minutes to change with almost 0 risk of damage. Experiment to your heart's content, or just easy maintenance if a switch breaks. I see hotswapping on almost any board as a 100% improvement in usability. Why does everyone treat this as a something to be avoided instead of lauded?

Offline Henrythewound

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 12:45:11 »
I like hotswap because I am still new and like the option to change switches sometime down the road if I choose to. I just added mill-max sockets to my last build to make it hotswappable. It seems one reason people dislike hotswap is because producing a swap board locks in the layout and takes that choice away from the builder.

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 13:00:41 »
I prefer it if available. If what you say is true some people are so anal hey thinks soldering makes a more reliable connection. Actually MX type boards have so many solder joints often one or more on any given PLATE/PCB are cold and will fail. Now 1+ hours to fix Vs. 3 minutes. Plus try new switches ETC. I actually feel solderless connections for this purpose are in fact more reliable. Due to the constant pressure/vibration applied to them. In 2020 I would also like to see a detachable USB "C" cable but 480mbps is fine. Make anything that regularly fails easier to replace. Not to mention many people cannot solder properly. Oh, controller IC in a DIP socket.

Those that critique these things are probably those that critique my Grammar as well. So pay them no mind. Now give them 10 minutes they will be here shortly. They cannot go undefended by themselves or without insult to myself. Anyways, I feel if there is a board you like that is solderless I would say most certainly get that one. Even if switches fail due to inferior quality it is not any issue to replace them. Keep in mind depending on the switch do not pay more than 10 cents to $2.50 each. people charging $35 per switch are financial rapists too. I am kind of disappointed no one else even answered your post either. It is your money. don't listen to them.

I am going to tell you, my second most expensive board that in fact would actually sell for a price is hot swap. My first expensive board, my grail is just because I dumped a ton of money into something I personally wanted but it would fetch but a pittance in WTS. I hope I have helped you, and no I am not good with Grammar. My bad. Meanwhile, go buy yourself a nice hot swap board. BTW, you see how long I have been here and can read all my posts to see what level of knowledge you feel I may or may not have. Plus what boards I own. then you can decide for yourself if you trust my advice since thus far I am your sole poster. This honestly upsets me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. IMO quite frankly you are correct, it is superior. which were you thinking of getting? I imagine a custom or kit since AFAIK there are none off the shelf? Good luck!(I mean that honestly)

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 13:01:00 »
I love hotswap boards... I have 7 of them.  But every single one has had an issue at some point.  Sometimes the hotswap arms come off the solder pads on the back (easy fix, just resolder).  Sometimes the contacts that grasp the switch pins get too bent out and no longer work (easy fix, just bend them back with some sharp tweezers).  I get chatter on some switches in hotswap boards.  Not sure if it's the looser connection or firmware.  Layouts are not ideal.  My favorite layout is 60% with 7u bottom row, split right shift, and full backspace.  Not possible on any existing hotswap boards.

Some cases have very low clearance under the PCB and cannot accommodate hotswap sockets.

Like pretty much anything in this world, there are pros and cons.  I would absolutely never recommend a hotswap board to someone without soldering equipment or know-how to troubleshoot.   Yes, quite ironic, right.  Hotswap socket comes off?... board useless.

What I do... use the hotswap board to extensively test out freshly lubed sets of switches.  Remove lube here, add lube there... solder them into something premium. 

« Last Edit: Fri, 21 February 2020, 13:03:05 by pixelpusher »

Offline Void225

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 14:04:41 »
My favorite layout is 60% with 7u bottom row, split right shift, and full backspace.  Not possible on any existing hotswap boards.

This is exactly why I made this post. I want a 75% broken layout, but every board like that makes a big deal about how of course they are not hotswap because they are "premium".

Offline Kavik

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 14:20:25 »
I've wondered this as well, but it seems Pixelpusher's answer covers it.

I somewhat enjoy soldering, but I hate that my initial choice of switches is locked in. Every board I have has different switches because each one was an experiment. The couple of times I've desoldered an entire board, I've ruined a pad. Desoldering isn't very hard, but when you do it to 120-208 pins, you're bound to screw one of them up. It's possible to buy a spare PCB and a spare plate, but that's expensive, and it's really not very convenient to switch out the PCB/Plate assembly in most keyboards.

Basically the only reason I joined the Rama U80-A GB was to have a nice TKL that I could try different stuff on, not because I particularly liked the design itself.
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 14:36:27 »
I do not yet own any hotswap boards, partly because I haven't really bought/built any of the fancy hipster boards to begin with. I see their utility in testing switch types, and especially mixed switch configurations between types and weightings. I very much want at least one for these purposes in the future, although it appears that box jades and navies will do it for me anyway, as far as modern switches are concerned. They're at least good enough to have 4+ boards configured with them and ready for use.

With these boards, I want them all to be bomb proof. With all 5 (so far) I used existing boards that at least had thick aluminum or steel plates, many of which had additional metal reinforcements to the casing of some kind, then 3 of the 5 even had either aviator jacks or 5-pin din jacks modded directly into the casing as well (one is a Unitek K-151L, which already came with beefy 5-pin cables). I desoldered the original useless (to me) switches and soldered the box switches in, because I want them to work for the next 20+ years without any repairs. I'm not sure what concern there would be for cold solder joints ... if you use good quality solder, and solder properly to begin with. I learned early on, with the unpredictability of solder-less original Xbox mod chips, that anything socketed can be toppled by either corrosion over time that eventually impedes electrical conduction, or whatever is connected shifting in its mount in use/transport.

If you know how to properly solder, and have a decent temperature-controlled iron/station and good tips, damaging components should be practically impossible. I can't think of a single time that I have damaged anything by way of heat when soldering, and I have done quite a bit of soldering, for quite a few years before I even got into modding keyboards.

That's it, just clearing the misconceptions/fallacies. Both have their obvious advantages/purposes, and soldering isn't for everyone (although keyboards are amongst the easiest places to start, that are still relevant). If I want something to last, however, and don't plan on ever swapping the switches, I go soldered all the way.

I've wondered this as well, but it seems Pixelpusher's answer covers it.

I somewhat enjoy soldering, but I hate that my initial choice of switches is locked in. Every board I have has different switches because each one was an experiment. The couple of times I've desoldered an entire board, I've ruined a pad. Desoldering isn't very hard, but when you do it to 120-208 pins, you're bound to screw one of them up. It's possible to buy a spare PCB and a spare plate, but that's expensive, and it's really not very convenient to switch out the PCB/Plate assembly in most keyboards.

Basically the only reason I joined the Rama U80-A GB was to have a nice TKL that I could try different stuff on, not because I particularly liked the design itself.

120-208, or 1,000, you should not be lifting pads with the proper technique. Keep any pressure when the solder is not 100% melted to a minimum, and make sure that all solder still fused with both the pins and the pads on the board simultaneously is removed before even attempting to pull the switch. Moderate temperature, you want just enough heat to do the job, and apply it only as long as is necessary. In 5 keyboards, I have lifted a single pad so far. That was with the K-151L, because the Taiwanese board is of the lowest quality I have ever yet seen in a keyboard, even down to the original soldering quality control. I don't think that pad even left the factory fastened at all to anything other than the trace itself.
« Last Edit: Fri, 21 February 2020, 14:46:15 by Maledicted »

Offline Sup

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 20:06:50 »
I don't hate it but it's gonna remove the craftsmanship from this hobby what makes me sad:(, also it removes the layout most enthusiast want.


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Offline mounds

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 20:44:05 »
Kailh sockets are flimsy, that's all imo.

Holtites and Millmax are ok in my book - way more user-friendly. PLUS the whole PCB doesn't look like swish cheese to support the goonish Kailh design.
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 22 February 2020, 01:17:13 »
I don't hate it but it's gonna remove the craftsmanship from this hobby what makes me sad:(, also it removes the layout most enthusiast want.
On the other hand, easier experimentation means people spending more money, which means will bring more designs/options.
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 22 February 2020, 05:15:27 »
I get chatter on some switches in hotswap boards.  Not sure if it's the looser connection or firmware.
I wonder if there could be a third reason: If switch pins could have been pushed into the switch from repeated insertions into sockets then the internals would be out of precise alignment.

... Just a hypothesis.
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Offline treeleaf64

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 22 February 2020, 09:02:51 »
I only use the default ANSI layout, so I don't mind hotswap. If I was building a keyboard over 300 dollars for myself, I would not use hotswap, just because things can break easily if you are not careful.

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 22 February 2020, 19:51:53 »
I think as long s you do not keep swapping them usually they are okay. Save for bad luck. I would say each socket lifetime 5 times maximum. It does make things much easier if a switch breaks or a LED blows. I have some very expensive Korean boards with hot swap. I kind of think it is peace of mind. Not a detriment like most of you. Mine all work fine many hours. Honestly solder is worse than a mechanical connection. More likely to fail and that is a lot of solder joints. I have had many soldered boards fail. It also depends on the quality of the board. usually hot swap are higher end boards. Well I like it. YMMV I Guess.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 03:38:57 »
Honestly solder is worse than a mechanical connection.
There is no way I can emphasize how wrong that is without getting banned.
 
I cannot tell you how many connectors I've bypassed in my life with hardwiring because the connector failed. In fact, writing this actually turned me against hot swap. I'm not saying they don't have their place, but once you settle on a switch, expect to be soldering at some point or plan on fighting lots of random issues thanks to all that repeated vibration from hammering the keys.


By the way, if your solder joints fail, you or whoever did them screwed up.
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Offline Harke

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 04:17:41 »
People mainly don't like hotswap because hotswap restricts the number of available layouts down to 1. Ease of building isn't a concern for people who are spending $200+ on a keyboard, so the cons outweigh the pros. If you have a hotswap PCB as a side option (Like RAMA does) that isn't a problem because you don't have to get it if you don't want it. Hotswap sockets have more components so there are more points of possible failure when compared to soldered joints or membranes. Pixelpusher also has some good points on the subject.

Offline Sup

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 13:52:15 »
Honestly solder is worse than a mechanical connection.
There is no way I can emphasize how wrong that is without getting banned.
 
I cannot tell you how many connectors I've bypassed in my life with hardwiring because the connector failed. In fact, writing this actually turned me against hot swap. I'm not saying they don't have their place, but once you settle on a switch, expect to be soldering at some point or plan on fighting lots of random issues thanks to all that repeated vibration from hammering the keys.


By the way, if your solder joints fail, you or whoever did them screwed up.

Yeah pretty much i never had my boards fail ever.
Https://Supkbd.nl

Filco Zero -  NOS Yellow Alps | Canoe R1 Gateron Red | AEK II JP Cream dampend |Filco Majestouch 2 Tex case Gateron Yellow | HHKB Pro 1 2003 Rev AO Serial 000171 | HHKB Pro 1 2003 Rev A1s|DZ60 OG Panda's with Fei spring and stem. | Sentraq S65_Plus OG Invyr Panda's | A17 Gateron Black TX 65G 3204 | Lubrigrante Wildcard Cherry MX silent blacks 3204 58.5G Springs |
Coming soon Rukia.

Rest in peace Billy

Offline rxc92

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 18:42:49 »
expensive Korean boards with hot swap.
 
 
Just like the several thousand dollar Topre board that you've never explained or photographed besides it happening to be 'far superior' to anything else, right? Completely fictional.

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 19:36:56 »
First of all I do not feel my custom RGB Topre is my best board by any stretch. I like it. Honestly I do not know about keyboards. I mean soldering. I was speaking with knowledge of high end audio The preferred connections are "cold welded" or rather clamped or compression screwed terminations on the conductors(wires). Audiophiles generally shun soldered terminations. That is where I got this knowledge. If I am completely wrong in regard to keyboards I apologize. Although my for real best board I am using right now is in fact hot swap. I have thousands of hours on it and no issue. However I have never pulled one switch. Just inserted them to build the kit. I crimped the "legs" after each switch was in. Which may have added to it's reliability but also may in fact may have made it impossible to swap. I do not care because I love these switches, I will not explain them because I will just get insulted again. This is actually my best board not the Topre. The Topre just cost a lot because I made them break the dies. Which is exactly why I will not publish it. Calling it fake does not hurt my feelings.

So I was wrong about soldering keyboards in most instances, I will admit that. I was applying a completely different hobby to it and figuring it was the same. Apparently not. My apologies for spreading misinformation. Mine works fine but I suppose it could fail. Although as said soldering depends on whom is doing it. All these Chinese boards often have multiple cold solder joints. It is a lottery. Even on a $250 Chinese board right down to a $20 one. I had a bunch of USA TG3 fail on me though. German cherry as well. So unless it is a Korean kit that is up to you, you are at the mercy of whoever soldered it. There are so many joints in an MX board you hope they are good but very often not. So honestly given this scenario I would say it is 50/50 lottery solder/swap. YMMV. Plus if the solder does fail it is a few hours Vs, a few minutes. Of course Topre does not have nearly as much of a problem. All I am going to say is I actually like these switches better than Topre but I am not going to explain them here. If you want to look into them though they are Drop Halo True. Come to your own conclusion but I would at least try them. Anyways, I am sorry I misspoke. I do not intend to be a jerk. I make mistakes, okay.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 22:41:26 »
Think of it another way, a hot swap is basically two cold joints in every spot.
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Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 02:27:03 »
I have no clue why the audio guy's insist on it. well, hey think the solder changes the sound. if you knew any they are pretty strange, They do things average people just would not even understand. so I am sure you are correct. Luckily no problems with my flagship bard because I would be really deflated then. although it only takes a few minutes at least. I wanted the whole board and this is the only it came. Otherwise it is once heck of a board. I can't tell you what it is because I do not even know who makes it. there were 24 bidders. I had to pay $3,250 to win the unassembled kit. I guess it is so expensive because for a 67 key it weighs 12.2 pounds and Titanium is light. I think the brass plate is adding all the weight. I am just saying if I had a choice I would have taken DIY solder because I know my soldering is good. I have a regulated temp controlled readout solder station from Hitachi. I have a desolderer and a vent hood too. I used to solder seriously. so, yes I too prefer it. I was honestly just defending this board. I had a motive. I apologize.

Offline bananasplit_00

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 03:46:44 »
I dont hate hotswap, but it locks the board to one layout and that layout is generally one i dont want to use(some kind of ANSI). Id rather solder if i get lots of layouts supported

Offline yui

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 04:08:39 »
I think both hot swap and soldered have their place, soldered is cheaper, allows for more options, can be more reliable if done properly (hs has the same number of solder joints, same problems but add contacts problems) and if one knows how to solder as fast/faster to fix cold joints.
HS shines when ones want to test switches or likes to change often enough that buying new boards becomes a problem, or when one does not know how to solder and does not want to learn (really it is not hard, watch EVVblog tutorial and buy a cheap board, when you have soldered the 404 joints (202 if no LEDs) you will know how to solder good enough).

and yeah in theory solder could make a difference in sound (bimetallic stuff, physics lessons are too far) but to get to that level, you need to not have any parasitic resistances anywhere else, and kb controllers are not that fussy about resistances.

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Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #22 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 04:54:51 »
HS shines when ones want to test switches or likes to change often enough that buying new boards becomes a problem

To my knowledge, all of these have a VERY short insertion lifespan, as few as 5 insertions.

Using it as a tester isn't going to last very long at that rate.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline yui

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 07:08:50 »
HS shines when ones want to test switches or likes to change often enough that buying new boards becomes a problem

To my knowledge, all of these have a VERY short insertion lifespan, as few as 5 insertions.

Using it as a tester isn't going to last very long at that rate.

Kailh sockets are rated at 100 insertions so should be plenty good enough for most peoples, and even at 5 it is plenty more than soldering, which is pretty much rated at one insertion.
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Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #24 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 07:36:47 »
My apologies for spreading misinformation.

This is a constructive conversation. I don't see any reason to apologize. Things like this are the point of a forum.

Plus if the solder does fail it is a few hours Vs, a few minutes.


I'm not sure how you solder, but fixing a bad solder job, on a keyboard, should take only a few minutes. It usually takes longer for the iron to heat up, and to get to the solder pads, than to fix any cold/broken joints.


and yeah in theory solder could make a difference in sound (bimetallic stuff, physics lessons are too far) but to get to that level, you need to not have any parasitic resistances anywhere else, and kb controllers are not that fussy about resistances.

Could it be any worse than oxidation that forms on the wire and/or terminal when clamped/screwed into place? Either way, I would rather it just work. I wonder if any of those audiophiles take a look inside of their components to see all of the solder joints that aren't visible, especially on the speaker/driver itself. I have never seen the guts of an audio device that that exclusively uses terminals for audio signals, but maybe they exist?


Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #25 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 09:35:01 »
Taking it apart could take me an hour because I am too careful.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #26 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 09:56:01 »
Taking it apart could take me an hour because I am too careful.

I'm used to ripping apart $150 Chromebooks. Most keyboards are pretty sturdy by comparison. I wouldn't think it would be too easy to accidentally damage one during disassembly, unless there are are some fiddly/stupid ribbon cables in terrible places.

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 13:27:09 »
For instance if you force open a Realforce the "clips" will snap off. Than the case and entire board is ruined. Same if you force open something screwed without unscrewing it. Of course this is common sense. Not knowing every board I like to take my time and make sure I did it right. Instead of the brute force approach. I might spend 20 minutes looking for one screw or latch. I do not force things. Of course I do not have too many $150 boards, My least expensive are maybe twice that, Some thousands, Not being a jerk I am just saying why I might be more careful. That is just me though. I would rip apart a Chromebook too. Those are a dime a dozen. I never even paid $150. I know people so I paid maybe $60. Just for friends.  Anyways I do not think you would tear into a 4 grand keyboard so fast either? I am not inept. I am very careful. I lay it on velvet and wear white gloves. I am talking about some Korean sold out boards.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 14:53:10 »
For instance if you force open a Realforce the "clips" will snap off. Than the case and entire board is ruined. Same if you force open something screwed without unscrewing it. Of course this is common sense. Not knowing every board I like to take my time and make sure I did it right. Instead of the brute force approach. I might spend 20 minutes looking for one screw or latch. I do not force things. Of course I do not have too many $150 boards, My least expensive are maybe twice that, Some thousands, Not being a jerk I am just saying why I might be more careful. That is just me though. I would rip apart a Chromebook too. Those are a dime a dozen. I never even paid $150. I know people so I paid maybe $60. Just for friends.  Anyways I do not think you would tear into a 4 grand keyboard so fast either? I am not inept. I am very careful. I lay it on velvet and wear white gloves. I am talking about some Korean sold out boards.

I would rip anything apart fast, although still carefully, because I have literally taken apart unknown thousands of electronic devices, from laptops, to desktops, to av receivers. There's only so many ways they can put them together. I can usually have just about anything I have never seen before stripped down in a few minutes, besides phones/tablets. Those things are the devil. That's pretty sad if something as overpriced as a Realforce would break so easily due to cheapo plastic clips. Not a problem on keyboards that cost less than half as much.

I work on $150 Chromebooks because it is my job. I would love to just be working on custom-built gaming rigs or something instead.

I have an $1,800 Colt waiting for me to pick up as we speak. I see value in that, not so much a keyboard that costs as much as a decent used car. I imagine they're not built half as well as a $400 new production Zinc Model F either. To each their own though.
« Last Edit: Mon, 24 February 2020, 15:18:39 by Maledicted »

Offline kchan88

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 15:11:19 »
I opted for a non-hotswap board because the particular board I bought required me to pick a fixed hotswap layout and I wanted the flexibility. Sure, I'd have to desolder a switch if I wanted to change it up, but that's not really an issue for me (other than possibly having to buy more switches).

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 15:21:17 »
Id rather have the car too given the choice. I guess you are just more skilled. I am afraid so I go slow. Yeah Topre it is easy to break those clips if you pull hard. You have to gently pull them forward a bit. I would not touch a phone. I simply could not do that. Building high end computers is a nice job. I do not think it pays a ton but it is fun. Some guys I will not mention screwed me on a very high end machine DOA, I did a chargeback and they never even responded! I am going to bring it to a computer store and see if they can fix it. If they can that was the deal of the century. I am very surprised they did not want it back. Right now I am just using a NUC but it is a nice one. I got it for nothing at CDW outlet. I try to get bargains. I did really steal a Korean kit a week ago. Kid only wanted $250 with shipping. Going rate was $1300. The Korean board prices are dumb. People keep driving them up.

Online Rob27shred

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 15:34:42 »
I think hotswap PCBs are an awesome thing for beginners so they can figure out their taste in switches without having to do multiple builds. Even for people like me who have been into MKBs for a few years it's nice to have a HS board to try out new switches. Although when it comes to my high end boards I'd much rather have it soldered than HS. I'm at the point where I got my tastes in switches fairly sussed out & know roughly what each switch type will feel like in a certain type of build. So I'd rather have a solid permanent connection between the switches & PCB with something like that. If it's just a low to middle end build I'm not super opposed to HS in them, I just feel like for the higher end a permanent connection is much better for the long run. HS sockets will wear out afterwhile from repeated switch insertion/removal & (in the case of the most used Kailh HS sockets) already come barely soldered onto the PCBs. So it's definitely not a feature & more of a detriment when it comes to high end boards that you do not want to be taking back apart after building them IMO. The same drawbacks apply to low/middle end builds, but with those they are usual simple tray mount builds which are easier to take apart & there is much less worry scratching a $100 case vs a $500 one.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 20:31:04 »
Kailh sockets are rated at 100 insertions so should be plenty good enough for most peoples, and even at 5 it is plenty more than soldering, which is pretty much rated at one insertion.
And those fit how many boards?
Also there are reports of them lasting as few as 5-10 before getting loose. Again, I'd still be concerned with long term due to vibration.


I'm not sure where you got the idea that solder is a one time thing, how do you think people harvest old switches. I've done multiple swaps on multiple boards.
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Offline treeleaf64

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 21:34:01 »
Kailh sockets are rated at 100 insertions so should be plenty good enough for most peoples, and even at 5 it is plenty more than soldering, which is pretty much rated at one insertion.
And those fit how many boards?
Also there are reports of them lasting as few as 5-10 before getting loose. Again, I'd still be concerned with long term due to vibration.


I'm not sure where you got the idea that solder is a one time thing, how do you think people harvest old switches. I've done multiple swaps on multiple boards.

Hotswap are just more convenient. Takes me a lot longer to solder and replace all the switches compared to hotswap.

Offline bwolmarans

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 21:48:17 »
I have a mid 300s hotswap board because I like my board, and I like to try different switches in different positions from time to time, not because I am experimenting to find the one single kind of switch I like forever. 
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Offline yui

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #35 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 01:11:24 »
Kailh sockets are rated at 100 insertions so should be plenty good enough for most peoples, and even at 5 it is plenty more than soldering, which is pretty much rated at one insertion.
And those fit how many boards?
Also there are reports of them lasting as few as 5-10 before getting loose. Again, I'd still be concerned with long term due to vibration.


I'm not sure where you got the idea that solder is a one time thing, how do you think people harvest old switches. I've done multiple swaps on multiple boards.

when i say a solder join is rated at one insersion i mean that after you solder your switch you have to take apart the board and remove the solder join if you want to change that switch, it is more involved that just swapping a switch in a socket where you may only need to replace after 10 switches if your sources are correct (i wonder if it has something to do with the shape of the switch pin also).
i did plenty of de-soldering when i learnt electronic, and i went through 3 solder pump, 5 soldering tips and tons of wick during that time, there is still a cost to it as well.
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Offline phinix

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #36 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 03:49:28 »
I really like hotswap.
Only one I had so far was GMMK board - however I had problem with it as every time I was Swapping caps, pulling a cap also pulled out a switch. Maybe it was this board related issue, I don't know.
I'm waiting for my hotswap Rama U80-A - will see if this is a "hidden" feature of hotswaps, or I just had bad luck with GMMK.
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Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 16:11:38 »
You guy's make me feel bad because by far my best Korean board is HS. Although after the build I have never swapped. Nor do I intend to. I love these switches. Maybe even more than Topre!

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #38 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 18:50:48 »
You guy's make me feel bad because by far my best Korean board is HS. Although after the build I have never swapped. Nor do I intend to. I love these switches. Maybe even more than Topre!

Hotswap isn't bad, necessarily. I would use it as a test board because I would not want solder and desolder switches onto a pcb. However, for a Korean board, I would use a through hole pcb, just because I do not want to change the switches once it is built.

Offline shadowku

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 26 February 2020, 12:23:56 »
I love hotswap boards... I have 7 of them.  But every single one has had an issue at some point.

This.

While I'm not against hot-swap, if I'm building out a board and I know exactly what switch I want, then I rather not have hot-swap. I appreciate hot-swap for boards that I'd use as a test board for different switches.

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Offline HighKey

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #40 on: Wed, 26 February 2020, 14:28:16 »
There is obviously no supportive data on how many solder cycles for a single switch a PCB can go through, but is there some rough estimate? I found an article on this that mentioned 6 cycles as a rule of thumb, but this was for surface mounts. That seems a little low number to me.

I also wonder if you can reuse a desoldered switch on a HS? Since it usually has some solder residue on its pins...

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 26 February 2020, 17:29:45 »
There is obviously no supportive data on how many solder cycles for a single switch a PCB can go through, but is there some rough estimate? I found an article on this that mentioned 6 cycles as a rule of thumb, but this was for surface mounts. That seems a little low number to me.

I also wonder if you can reuse a desoldered switch on a HS? Since it usually has some solder residue on its pins...

I have used desoldered switches with no problem, to answer your question :)

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #42 on: Wed, 26 February 2020, 17:34:31 »
There is obviously no supportive data on how many solder cycles for a single switch a PCB can go through, but is there some rough estimate? I found an article on this that mentioned 6 cycles as a rule of thumb, but this was for surface mounts. That seems a little low number to me.

I also wonder if you can reuse a desoldered switch on a HS? Since it usually has some solder residue on its pins...

Clean the excess solder off with some de-soldering braid or something if it ends up being on there too thick. A good electronic desoldering pump should take practically all of it off though.

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #43 on: Wed, 26 February 2020, 18:42:55 »
You guy's did not exactly make me feel any better LOL. This kit and I do not even know the maker cost me $3,250. I love it and it works fine. It has for almost 2 years nonstop. It is HS though. Why would they put HS as a "feature" on a flagship board? BTW, it is not an unknown maker. It was in Korean and I do not speak. I knew it was worth it because there were 24 other bidders and it took that much to win. I am not sure why it is featuring HS. Maybe in Korea that is something. No clue. I do agree a "proper" solder job is way better. The key word is proper. I only find proper in good DIY. Hardly on off the shelf. The only thing about this board is I use static white. It has a heavy green tint. See RGB is not perfect. If you want White get White. I am a very good touch typist. I lack self confidence. Therefore I must see the board. I prefer white. Anal about that too. Unfortunately also OCD. I am all screwed up. Try not to make me feel bad about my board please. Thank you

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #44 on: Wed, 26 February 2020, 20:23:06 »
You spent $3200 on a keyboard based on other people's bids and us ranting about hot swap is what's making you feel bad about the purchase?

I have no words, at least none that wouldn't get me banned for saying them.


By the way, soldering is not difficult, you can learn to do a "proper" solder job in about 5 minutes and doesn't require expensive equipment (or hardly any if you are desperate enough). I don't understand this irrational fear of solder joints, I get the time and effort complaints about swapping but the joints themselves is completely irrational in my mind. Not to mention, for a fraction of that you could pay someone to do a switch swap and lube multiple times over.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 26 February 2020, 22:53:10 »
U don't understand our long time friend -typo- Llann,   typo = mega rich..   He can buy 10x $3200 boards anytime.

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #46 on: Wed, 26 February 2020, 22:54:30 »
I completely understand. I actually have rather high end soldering equipment. I used to do it daily. I am/was very good at it and fast. Nothing wrong with soldering to me.

It just so happens my best board is HS. The only way I can change that is to have a custom plate made for it. I think you and I can both agree I have put enough money into it. Honestly given what is out there it is worth $1,000. Simply due to the build quality, save for HS. Although, Koreans might like that? It was not worth $3250 and $80 shipping. You know these Korean boards command crazy prices. If it is not your thing, so be it. I never did that before and never since. I normally drive a HHKB Pro S. Even though I have the fancy keyboard I had made at the end of the day it is still a Topre RGB at heart. So I grew tired of it. Plus I prefer mini keyboards again. Why would you want to insult me? I spent my own money. I did nothing wrong.

I am just upset that the consensus is that hot swap boards stink. Since my best board is in fact. I can't really complain though I have never had an issue. Most likely due to the fact that I have never swapped any. I have no idea why they would build such an expensive board that way. Unless like I mentioned perhaps in Korea it is appreciated. I do not know. There is obviously some reason this is listed as a "feature" on such an expensive board. For the record the monetary translation on the board is "only" $1800USD. Although I am not sure if anyone in the US ever got it for that. I am fully aware that it is absurd. I just happen to really like it regardless of price. Please do not say something so strong as to you would get banned. It is hardly worth that for you. I just really enjoy it. As to why it is HS I have no clue. I just really hope it does not fail but I have extra switches anyways. This is my favorite keyboard and I guess that is all that matters. It is not like it is failing on me.

Offline rxc92

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #47 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 00:09:34 »
Is typo just Donald Trump if he were actually too poor to afford a keyboard, and could only brag about nonexistent boards online?

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #48 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 02:20:15 »
Why would you want to insult me? I spent my own money. I did nothing wrong.

I am just upset that the consensus is that hot swap boards stink.

I don't think anyone said they stink, just that we question the long term reliability.


As for insulting you,
I didn't insult you, I merely questioned the wisdom of buying something so insanely priced (compared to even a high end custom), especially when you didn't even know what you were actually getting, for all you know you stepped into a money laundering scheme (which has happened) and overpaid. More than that, you yourself say it's absurd so why are you upset when someone else says it is.

It is your money, and you are free to do what you want with it, that doesn't mean we can't question the wisdom of it.
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Offline Sup

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #49 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 05:26:29 »
Is typo just Donald Trump if he were actually too poor to afford a keyboard, and could only brag about nonexistent boards online?

Yeah i don't think he has a board. Well since he said he bought a kit from a Korean for 200-300 dollars don't remember anymore but he said that it goes for 1k+ aftermarket.

If it goes for 1k aftermarket it's a board probably we all know somewhat otherwise it wouldn't have that aftermarket value. And he doesn't say the name he just says Korean keyboard what makes it suspiciously fake.

He will probably write a other essay about how he doesn't want to show it to protect his property from the scary Chinese cloners.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #50 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 09:11:57 »
Is typo just Donald Trump if he were actually too poor to afford a keyboard, and could only brag about nonexistent boards online?


No, donald trump can't write complete sentences. One would classify typo as computer bound eccentric.

Not unlike TP4, although Tp4 is also Costco bound, and recovering Popeyes bound.

However unlike Tp4 who is poor,  typo = money-ed

Online Rob27shred

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #51 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 09:22:18 »
Is typo just Donald Trump if he were actually too poor to afford a keyboard, and could only brag about nonexistent boards online?


No, donald trump can't write complete sentences. I would classify typo as computer bound eccentric.

Not unlike TP4, although Tp4 is also Costco bound, and recovering Popeyes bound.


But Trump does make a mean meme! Covfefe anyone? :p

Offline ideus

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #52 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 10:00:09 »
If you have a board with a plate, you can always try the switches before actually soldering them. If your preferred layout is not available, hand-wired is always an option. If what you want is a switch tester in full keyboard size, a hot-swapable PCB is for you. For some others, trying switches will end when you find something that you like, therefore, it may be a temporary endeavor, that in any case may lead you to put together some more boards. My experience has been trying a few switches, Cherry red, brown, black and clear, then I tried zealios, for the hype, and settled with ergo-clears. In the process I got a Poker and a 65 stock boards, then I tried 3 Nerd 60 PCBs and one 50 kit. Finally my own personal hand-wired. While I have been interested in some of the hot-swapables out there, none of them fits my needs in terms of layout, which for me is as important as the switches. For my upcoming hand-wired I will use Aliaz, after I tried Bronze using the same plate, with no soldering. I feel that I reached my holy-grail with Aliaz. I am sure there would be one or many more switches out there that I may like even more than Aliaz, but I do not feel inclined to test everything.
Bottom line: Hot-swap boards are not for everyone, as most other things. If you like them go for them and dismiss the critics. There would be haters always.

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #53 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 12:26:25 »
Serious question. I ordered some keycaps. Do I have to worry about pulling out the switches when I pull up the caps? If so I am not going to do it. Not looking for problems.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #54 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 12:46:30 »
Serious question. I ordered some keycaps. Do I have to worry about pulling out the switches when I pull up the caps? If so I am not going to do it. Not looking for problems.

With a hotswap board? Yeah. Some plates are tighter than others, some caps are tighter than others, and some switch stems are tighter than others. If it has no plate at all, I imagine the cap wouldn't budge at all when the switch plops right out. With most of my complicated Alps boards, it seems to me that it can take significantly more force for me to remove just the cap than it usually does for me to even pull switches from the tightest of plates. I don't own any hot swap boards, but I have done enough switch swaps to see this as very feasible when others report it.

Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #55 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 13:18:26 »
Hotswap boards sound nice until you lose a socket or break the contacts.

Offline ideus

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #56 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 13:40:39 »
Fact: A board is not a switch-tester.Fact: MK Switches are not made to be hot-swapped.
Key boards are made to type on, period. Anything else is beyond their original design intent. Do it under your own risk.

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #57 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 16:13:52 »
Fact: A board is not a switch-tester.Fact: MK Switches are not made to be hot-swapped.
Key boards are made to type on, period. Anything else is beyond their original design intent. Do it under your own risk.

Yes, no boards were "intended" to be switch testers. However, more keyboards are attuned to it than others. Warning: Use at your own risk.  :D

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #58 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 16:56:49 »
Serious question. I ordered some keycaps. Do I have to worry about pulling out the switches when I pull up the caps? If so I am not going to do it. Not looking for problems.
Absolutely, this is part of the concern about the low number of swaps.

Not just that but if it comes up with the cap it may not come up straight since you didn't release the clips holding the switch in place before lifting. This can damage the pins, the housing as well as the hot swap socket. And if it's one of the drop in holtites and you didn't solder it in place it could even damage the pcb.
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Offline GlennL42

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #59 on: Fri, 28 February 2020, 03:34:21 »
Think it's due to the combination of the fact that there is still room for improvement for HS socket and people with different mentality.

Firstly, One problem I found regarding hotswapping on most switches is that hotswap socket (Kailh socket in particular) have a tendancy of bending the switch leg if not inserted correctly, this is due to the fact that majority (if not all) of the modern MX base switches has a 'top' contact pin thinner than the 'low' contact pin, this lead to the thinner leg getting bend quite easily compared to the thicker one. E.g: my current daily driver with KBD6X has a few of it's Kailh socket expanded by bent pin, and it's all exclusively on the same side of the socket, due to the thin leg. While this is not the end of the world since the switches with bend leg will now sit flush with the expanded socket and will work normally, this is still admittedly a problem that is better fixed; don't know about other hotswap socket, they could have the same problem as well. Plus they are no way as secure as soldered switch and can be pulled out when trying to remove keycaps so there's that as well, combined with supposed limited number of swap it is perfectly understandable that someone would not want hotswap socket.

Which brings me to my second point, while people building a budget board may be more forgiving of this kind of problem, people who spend upward of a few grands on their KWEL KUSTOM may be less forgiving of the fact that their pcb is pretty much made with planned obsolescence or just lower lifespan, so my educated guess is that people hate hotswap mostly on higher-end board and stigmatizes them as 'bad' out of either sound reasoning of hotswap socket's limitation or frustration from their experience with hotswap socket.

TL;DR=HS socket is not perfect and I think people's perception towards them depends on the price range.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #60 on: Fri, 28 February 2020, 07:50:31 »
Think it's due to the combination of the fact that there is still room for improvement for HS socket and people with different mentality.

Firstly, One problem I found regarding hotswapping on most switches is that hotswap socket (Kailh socket in particular) have a tendancy of bending the switch leg if not inserted correctly, this is due to the fact that majority (if not all) of the modern MX base switches has a 'top' contact pin thinner than the 'low' contact pin, this lead to the thinner leg getting bend quite easily compared to the thicker one. E.g: my current daily driver with KBD6X has a few of it's Kailh socket expanded by bent pin, and it's all exclusively on the same side of the socket, due to the thin leg. While this is not the end of the world since the switches with bend leg will now sit flush with the expanded socket and will work normally, this is still admittedly a problem that is better fixed; don't know about other hotswap socket, they could have the same problem as well. Plus they are no way as secure as soldered switch and can be pulled out when trying to remove keycaps so there's that as well, combined with supposed limited number of swap it is perfectly understandable that someone would not want hotswap socket.

Which brings me to my second point, while people building a budget board may be more forgiving of this kind of problem, people who spend upward of a few grands on their KWEL KUSTOM may be less forgiving of the fact that their pcb is pretty much made with planned obsolescence or just lower lifespan, so my educated guess is that people hate hotswap mostly on higher-end board and stigmatizes them as 'bad' out of either sound reasoning of hotswap socket's limitation or frustration from their experience with hotswap socket.

TL;DR=HS socket is not perfect and I think people's perception towards them depends on the price range.

I think that hotswap sockets are a technological dead end, an almost entirely superfluous one for people who want to assemble LEGO keyboards, or just test switches and various combinations of switches. I don't know offhand how they might be improved, if at all. The gains would be minimal, and most, if not all, of the problems would still remain unless maybe the switches themselves were also redesigned to be installed more securely. Sockets are great for things like CPUS, RAM, etc, since they're usually put in place once and then secured there well, and aren't flexed, pulled on, tossed around otherwise. It also sure helps that they always use metals that are less likely to oxidize.

Keyboard switches are a much less ideal application for them.

I cobble together frankenboards after trolling online auction websites and thrift stores. I just want them to work every time I go to use them, without maintenance. I'm also cheap in general, so I'll find one hotswap board for less than it would cost for me to retrofit a frankenboard, or just stick with good old leaded solder.

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #61 on: Fri, 28 February 2020, 20:21:48 »
I pulled all caps. Went with a very nice PBT set. Not that it did not already have one. I just liked this one. Well actually, I chose from 8 different sets. You all might think it is butt ugly. it is a classic Japanese theme.
Anyways not one switch pulled out. Remember, I crimped the flags, as I intended to never swap them. So then I actually added a bit of solder to the protruding legs. As much as I could. Since I am setup for SMD. Later I tried to pull out the switches with the switch puller. I put a force gauge on the end of the switch puller. I tried 10 random switches. I quit at 100 pounds of force. Well, I guess it is safe to say it is now at least as strong as a fully soldered board and they are no longer swappable. Of course no one will believe me as usual but that is fine. I am also loving the heck out of my DIY wrist rest. Now I must brag of course. I had mentioned this elsewhere here recently. The local high end cabinet maker said he would charge absolute minimum $750 to reproduce it, probably $1,200 with the stain I used(Lucite). I wanted to love this board. Thought I could never type on it. Not my Topre It is a 67 key I bid $3,250. Korean. Figured it was too cramped. I have used it a week. Now I am hitting 174 WPM at 99% accuracy. Yes, that is very high. I could never hit near that on a full size board. So it paid off in spades. Go figure. I thought it was no good. Okay, start flaming me. Could you at least pick one topic at a time though? Thanks

Offline treeleaf64

  • Posts: 362
Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #62 on: Fri, 28 February 2020, 21:59:34 »
I pulled all caps. Went with a very nice PBT set. Not that it did not already have one. I just liked this one. Well actually, I chose from 8 different sets. You all might think it is butt ugly. it is a classic Japanese theme.
Anyways not one switch pulled out. Remember, I crimped the flags, as I intended to never swap them. So then I actually added a bit of solder to the protruding legs. As much as I could. Since I am setup for SMD. Later I tried to pull out the switches with the switch puller. I put a force gauge on the end of the switch puller. I tried 10 random switches. I quit at 100 pounds of force. Well, I guess it is safe to say it is now at least as strong as a fully soldered board and they are no longer swappable. Of course no one will believe me as usual but that is fine. I am also loving the heck out of my DIY wrist rest. Now I must brag of course. I had mentioned this elsewhere here recently. The local high end cabinet maker said he would charge absolute minimum $750 to reproduce it, probably $1,200 with the stain I used(Lucite). I wanted to love this board. Thought I could never type on it. Not my Topre It is a 67 key I bid $3,250. Korean. Figured it was too cramped. I have used it a week. Now I am hitting 174 WPM at 99% accuracy. Yes, that is very high. I could never hit near that on a full size board. So it paid off in spades. Go figure. I thought it was no good. Okay, start flaming me. Could you at least pick one topic at a time though? Thanks

Wow, 174 wpm? That is really good. No wonder you like to type long messages :)

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #63 on: Fri, 28 February 2020, 23:14:50 »
Well first of all I was amazed myself. At first I could not type whatsoever on this thing. Add to that on a full size I am about 140-ish WPM with some typo's. After a week on this I am so proficient even I am astounded. Yes, it is not like it took me long to write that :) 140 or so is not bad. A lot of people can sustain 160. Well, not a lot. Some. I was honestly pretty amazed. Now I am honestly not being a jerk as in the post above. I was actually humbled at what had transpired. It went from unusable in my hands to nearly unheard of. This very odd because I am not that fast on my HHKB's. Although I love these switches. Squirting in the solder was true. I figure anyone with an SMD rig could do so. So really don't fret about HS. Everything else I mentioned above was indeed factual. I just phrased it in such a manner as to be inflammatory. On purpose. Since people are ganging up on me. I wish those of you whom are doing so would just stop it already.

I will mention humbly, and not in a bragging manner I have honestly never seen a board this nicely built. I figure the kit was probably about a grand maybe. You know what happens to the Korean's sold out/out of production. I saw one for 10 grand once. Even I have limits. Although I just literally stole a TX87SE off this kid for $250 with shipping 1 week from Korea! So it balances out. I am going to build it a little later. Anyways without trying to forcibly brag. I am rather pleased with this even though I paid a price. Those are my true feelings without trying to be a jerk. I guess I would say this is now my best board and my daily driver. I will see how the TX is. MY Topre RGB you all hate me for is not even that great which I guess is the punchline. I apologize for the content of my last post even though it is all factual. Just the tone of it was not polite. I am happy with this Keeb. I really dig my new caps too. Do I have the right to be happy? Thank you for listening.






Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #64 on: Sat, 29 February 2020, 07:39:28 »
Remember, I crimped the flags, as I intended to never swap them. So then I actually added a bit of solder to the protruding legs.
*facepalm*
Your hot swap hasn't given you problems because you hard wired it!
You can't say it hasn't been problematic when you bypassed the feature entirely.


Which is the other major issue I have with hot swap.
Once you settle on a switch, how often do you change it?  Even with hot swap, that's still a lot of switches, stabs and caps to swap. It's an answer to a problem that really doesn't exist.



Yes, some of you probably do play with them enough but how many of them do you use it and if you can afford all those switches you can also afford a few extra boards or PCBs. More importantly you guys are a minority of a minority of a minority. For most people it's a bullet point on a sales brochure (website, whatever), few will use it more than once. It's a nice idea, just not a very practical one really.
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Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #65 on: Sat, 29 February 2020, 14:49:26 »
100% agree! It was just unfortunate such a nice board had this stupid "feature". I got them in there for good. In fact it might be even stronger than through hole but that is a complete guess. The only issue now is if I ever do need to desolder a switch it will be a bear, Luckily it is a stainless plate so it can take a lot of heat. I did have a question for you guys. About how long do in switch LEDS last in hours on lowest setting, guess? Thanks

Offline bwolmarans

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #66 on: Sat, 29 February 2020, 15:43:00 »
I can't speak for others, but putting switches in without soldering and typing away wouldn't be a good way for me to tell if I liked the switches or not.  I actually have to really use the keyboard, the keycaps, and the switches for several weeks to know if I like them or not, vs just thinking I like them only to find out a few weeks later I don't. 

If you have a board with a plate, you can always try the switches before actually soldering them. If your preferred layout is not available, hand-wired is always an option. If what you want is a switch tester in full keyboard size, a hot-swapable PCB is for you. For some others, trying switches will end when you find something that you like, therefore, it may be a temporary endeavor, that in any case may lead you to put together some more boards. My experience has been trying a few switches, Cherry red, brown, black and clear, then I tried zealios, for the hype, and settled with ergo-clears. In the process I got a Poker and a 65 stock boards, then I tried 3 Nerd 60 PCBs and one 50 kit. Finally my own personal hand-wired. While I have been interested in some of the hot-swapables out there, none of them fits my needs in terms of layout, which for me is as important as the switches. For my upcoming hand-wired I will use Aliaz, after I tried Bronze using the same plate, with no soldering. I feel that I reached my holy-grail with Aliaz. I am sure there would be one or many more switches out there that I may like even more than Aliaz, but I do not feel inclined to test everything.
Bottom line: Hot-swap boards are not for everyone, as most other things. If you like them go for them and dismiss the critics. There would be haters always.
~it's time to fly~

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #67 on: Wed, 04 March 2020, 16:37:47 »
I am also loving the heck out of my DIY wrist rest. Now I must brag of course. I had mentioned this elsewhere here recently. The local high end cabinet maker said he would charge absolute minimum $750 to reproduce it, probably $1,200 with the stain I used(Lucite).

You can go and buy a gallon of Lucite stain at Menards for $6. Why, in the name of God, would a cabinet maker charge $450 to brush 50 cents worth (or less) of it on a wrist wrest?

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #68 on: Wed, 04 March 2020, 20:43:30 »
There are different types of Lucite but no gallon is $6. He is using a certain automotive hard finish that is $150 an ounce. The rest is his labor. He is a master so he earned it. He was very impressed with the job I did and said he would charge $750+ for it. The difference is it took me a month. It would take him 2 days.

Offline walie

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #69 on: Wed, 04 March 2020, 22:19:32 »
There are different types of Lucite but no gallon is $6. He is using a certain automotive hard finish that is $150 an ounce. The rest is his labor. He is a master so he earned it. He was very impressed with the job I did and said he would charge $750+ for it. The difference is it took me a month. It would take him 2 days.

go on...surely you must be a man of culture. What other exotic materials do you think you have

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #70 on: Wed, 04 March 2020, 23:23:47 »
I have a little piece of the Moon! I really do.

Offline phinix

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #71 on: Thu, 05 March 2020, 04:08:05 »
You guy's make me feel bad because by far my best Korean board is HS. Although after the build I have never swapped. Nor do I intend to. I love these switches. Maybe even more than Topre!

I keep thinking that HS is great, but then every time I get this pcb, I actually never swap:)
I guess its good for re-sale purposes.

Oh, and... NOTHING is better than Topre!  >:D  :p
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Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #72 on: Thu, 05 March 2020, 20:31:16 »
Well I think a HS PCB would be very bad but perhaps not a plate. Not sure. I am going to for once sort of agree with Walie! I just made Pandas with a Halo True and Box Black springs. Wow, I like these even better! Darn I soldered the whole thing LOL. This will not be easy to desolder either. When I am sure I prefer the Panda, what the heck. It is just my time. I actually like these better than my HHKB's. I never thought I would say that Completely different. Although some folks like oranges. Others like apples. You can't just say Topre is the "best". Best, as in how exactly? If it is best for you than great. I was sure it was best for me until these new Kailh. Now my Pandas I like even better perhaps. Better enough to desolder it, not sure yet.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #73 on: Fri, 06 March 2020, 07:21:05 »
Well I think a HS PCB would be very bad but perhaps not a plate. Not sure. I am going to for once sort of agree with Walie! I just made Pandas with a Halo True and Box Black springs. Wow, I like these even better! Darn I soldered the whole thing LOL. This will not be easy to desolder either. When I am sure I prefer the Panda, what the heck. It is just my time. I actually like these better than my HHKB's. I never thought I would say that Completely different. Although some folks like oranges. Others like apples. You can't just say Topre is the "best". Best, as in how exactly? If it is best for you than great. I was sure it was best for me until these new Kailh. Now my Pandas I like even better perhaps. Better enough to desolder it, not sure yet.

Get a good electronic desoldering pump if you're going to do a lot of that stuff. Makes it pretty fast. I reserve my judgement of Topre for when I feel them, if that ever happens.

Offline typo

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #74 on: Fri, 06 March 2020, 13:09:12 »
I posted a pic and people called it fake. I took it down. Can't win.

Offline jacethesaltsculptor

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #75 on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 21:35:25 »
For the majority of people in my office who have a passing interest in keyboards, and want something mainstream enough, a hot swap board fits those needs. (E.G. the GMMK, and the Drop) and overwhelmingly after playing with my big ole switch tester at my workplace, they all bought those and stuck a variety of keys in each of their boards, where they plan to have the ability to switch in the future if they ever get the bug again.

I'm sure most of them won't, as even bringing up keyboards to some of them ends in a conversation like: "Yeah well, I don't plan on spending money on more keyboards" Even if the question I asked was what do they think of my Model M? It all seems to come across as a sales pitch. So for those who aren't too into them, but want a base to work off of. I think it works well.

I'm much deeper in, and can see myself soldering and doing some really cool things in the future. (After I finish my IBM Collection, which is getting quite full)

I see it as a neat feature, though I am dubious if all the Keyboard makers will keep making switches in the MX form factor forever. (E.G. Beam silo, and Hall Effect switches)

I also wonder as to future durability, though my current GMMK I'm typing on right now is doing pretty well. I think I'll need another half decade to say.

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Offline ArchDill

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #76 on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 22:11:58 »
I like having a hot-swap option. I keep a Tokyo60 just in case I really want to try some new switches. I do not use it much, but I have it haha

Offline subluxe

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #77 on: Thu, 26 March 2020, 02:47:05 »
For me it's layout flexibility personally. I love different layouts, and when you have hotswap those options just aren't available.

Offline NEArvyREAper

  • Posts: 2
Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #78 on: Fri, 27 March 2020, 17:56:14 »
HS shines when ones want to test switches or likes to change often enough that buying new boards becomes a problem

To my knowledge, all of these have a VERY short insertion lifespan, as few as 5 insertions.

Using it as a tester isn't going to last very long at that rate.

I would like to know what your Experience is with HS if you think they only have a 5 times use? Cause Ive had the same GK61 board for 8 months now and have used close to 15 different switches in it and no issues, and that's a cheap crappy HS board ( In my Opinion) Not saying it to make anyone mad. And I bought it for the simple fact it was cheap and got me into the hobby of building my own KB's now, Honestly its all the Purists who ruin a hobby for new people, Just because you like expensive and time consuming doesn't mean someone who is just coming into the hobby wants that right out the gate. Or they can't afford it. These keyboards are impossible to find as it is, Limited runs and group buys are great, But the lower end of the market has next to nothing for options. And surprising as it is, I've talked with a lot of people who are into these keyboards and they say to avoid the forums if you are new, cause people tend to be jerks or snobs about anything you are looking at because it is cheaper. or what ever their ego problems are, HS would open a lot on the market for people to get into this hobby. there will always be people who want the Solder only boards, but new people find that extremely daunting and turn around and buy something from one of the peripheral companies that mass produce stuff cause its easier.

Offline jseyfert3

  • Posts: 7
Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #79 on: Fri, 27 March 2020, 21:04:10 »
Later I tried to pull out the switches with the switch puller. I put a force gauge on the end of the switch puller. I tried 10 random switches. I quit at 100 pounds of force. Well, I guess it is safe to say it is now at least as strong as a fully soldered board and they are no longer swappable. Of course no one will believe me as usual but that is fine.
Yeah, it's quite hard to believe you didn't shatter the switch, the PCB, or the switch puller, or some combination thereof, with 100 lbs of force.

And now I have this bizarre image in my head of someone standing on top of a PCB to hold it down while they try to deadlift a switch off of it...
Unicomp Ultra Classic, black with gray keys. Currently here searching for my ideal portable and work keyboards.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #80 on: Fri, 27 March 2020, 22:21:02 »
I would like to know what your Experience is with HS if you think they only have a 5 times use? Cause Ive had the same GK61 board for 8 months now...
I said SOME are rated for 5 times, how long are yours rated (maybe now you guys will see it). I'm betting you never even looked into it until you saw something here.

8 whole months?  Is it even out of warranty yet?

Where did you talk to all these people? Reddit? Little secret, Reddit is just a forum. Discord? It doesn't matter what system you use, it's all pretty much the same, random people who's experience you know nothing about telling you their opinions.   


You can listen to experts (the people who make and test them), the people who bothered to read those spec sheets and know and work with electronics (like me) or you can listen to some random person online with a single post who tells you it will be great because his works just fine despite still not even out of warranty. Do you know why you can't trust forums, because of people like you with a single post count presenting their anecdotal evidence as proof.


Edit:
I just realized you aren't even using an MX hot swap.
« Last Edit: Fri, 27 March 2020, 22:36:33 by Leslieann »
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #81 on: Fri, 27 March 2020, 22:26:41 »
I put a force gauge on the end of the switch puller. I tried 10 random switches. I quit at 100 pounds of force. Well, I guess it is safe to say it is now at least as strong as a fully soldered board and they are no longer swappable. Of course no one will believe me as usual but that is fine.
Yeah, it's quite hard to believe you didn't shatter the switch, the PCB, or the switch puller, or some combination thereof, with 100 lbs of force.

He is NOT using hot swap, he bent the tabs over and soldered them into the hot swap.
They no longer hot swap, they are hard mounted.

A normal switch held in by just the little teeny plastic clips will typically not hold 100 pounds of force. It's surprising he didn't rip the switch apart, true, but that says nothing about hot swap?
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline typo

  • Posts: 1320
Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #82 on: Sat, 28 March 2020, 03:31:21 »
I actually pulled it with a winch. I cannot pull straight up 100# myself. You guys have to come to understand I am a maniac. I was truly expecting something to snap. Pretty impressive actually. Perhaps stronger than SMD. Who knows. What I did is heat the legs with solder and quickly push in socket. Continue heating until seated. However I was using very silver bearing solder at only 126 degrees. So not to melt the socket. Funny I took the time to do that then attempted to destroy it. Again, I am pretty out there. I imagine if I pulled a switch on the edge of the plate it would have cracked. So I picked "G". I grabbed the switch by the base with vice grips. So the switch did not open.

Anyways my Grail board is HS I only swapped once and never plan to swap again. I did bend out the pins for better contact and used caig contact enhancer. I am betting it lasts many years. 9 level in switch LED's on level 1 24/7 if you do the math last about 80 years. Lets just say 45 and It is highly likely I shall be deceased due to age. I certainly would not abuse this board. Forget what I paid. I would never get another. I realized I think I confused you guys though. The board I attempted to destroy was a KBDFANS certainly not my Rama Works(which I was just informed as to what it is). I just had the plate and 6 switches. No big investment there.

Offline NEArvyREAper

  • Posts: 2
Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #83 on: Sat, 28 March 2020, 12:17:48 »
I would like to know what your Experience is with HS if you think they only have a 5 times use? Cause Ive had the same GK61 board for 8 months now...
I said SOME are rated for 5 times, how long are yours rated (maybe now you guys will see it). I'm betting you never even looked into it until you saw something here.

8 whole months?  Is it even out of warranty yet?

Where did you talk to all these people? Reddit? Little secret, Reddit is just a forum. Discord? It doesn't matter what system you use, it's all pretty much the same, random people who's experience you know nothing about telling you their opinions.   


You can listen to experts (the people who make and test them), the people who bothered to read those spec sheets and know and work with electronics (like me) or you can listen to some random person online with a single post who tells you it will be great because his works just fine despite still not even out of warranty. Do you know why you can't trust forums, because of people like you with a single post count presenting their anecdotal evidence as proof.


Edit:
I just realized you aren't even using an MX hot swap.

And its people like you who think just because they have a bunch of posts, It instantly makes you credible,

It is MX hot swap, Just a Kailh socket, And they are rated up to 100 swaps,thank you very much, See you make an assumption and just look like an A$$ with an ego,
15 switches in 8 months is a lot for a new person, Plus all the different comparisons I've probably been through 50 swaps on some of those sockets, And no not Reddit, Or Discord, Friends who have been building their Keyboards for the past 5-10 years or build them for other people as well, Stop being a snob on a forum bud, it does't make you any more credible.  Share your experience, Leave it at that and move on, Chances are no one cares what you think past your own Experience.........

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #84 on: Sat, 28 March 2020, 18:28:56 »
And its people like you who think just because they have a bunch of posts, It instantly makes you credible,

Says the guy who had a single post bragging about 8 month old keyboard.


Note:
When I looked the only Gk61 I only saw the optical model, my bad.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 585
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Why do people hate hotswap?
« Reply #85 on: Mon, 30 March 2020, 13:31:01 »
HS shines when ones want to test switches or likes to change often enough that buying new boards becomes a problem

To my knowledge, all of these have a VERY short insertion lifespan, as few as 5 insertions.

Using it as a tester isn't going to last very long at that rate.

I would like to know what your Experience is with HS if you think they only have a 5 times use? Cause Ive had the same GK61 board for 8 months now and have used close to 15 different switches in it and no issues, and that's a cheap crappy HS board ( In my Opinion) Not saying it to make anyone mad. And I bought it for the simple fact it was cheap and got me into the hobby of building my own KB's now, Honestly its all the Purists who ruin a hobby for new people, Just because you like expensive and time consuming doesn't mean someone who is just coming into the hobby wants that right out the gate. Or they can't afford it. These keyboards are impossible to find as it is, Limited runs and group buys are great, But the lower end of the market has next to nothing for options. And surprising as it is, I've talked with a lot of people who are into these keyboards and they say to avoid the forums if you are new, cause people tend to be jerks or snobs about anything you are looking at because it is cheaper. or what ever their ego problems are, HS would open a lot on the market for people to get into this hobby. there will always be people who want the Solder only boards, but new people find that extremely daunting and turn around and buy something from one of the peripheral companies that mass produce stuff cause its easier.

Myself, and some others, actually don't care about the fancy group buy stuff. I don't yet own a hot swap board because they're actually more expensive than I usually go for, personally. I usually end up getting a second-hand board for close to nothing and desolder the switches and swap something else in. I think you may have misconstrued the intent of some posts in this thread. I don't think that anybody meant any malice towards hot swap boards, just the objective pros and cons involved in their use. I'll get one some day, as a test bed, otherwise, for daily drivers, I want my switches soldered. If you feel otherwise, that's fine. It doesn't have anything to do with snobbery.