Author Topic: dealing with RSI, my super light switch research  (Read 4164 times)

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Offline lexko

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  • Posts: 1
dealing with RSI, my super light switch research
« on: Mon, 05 October 2020, 11:56:11 »
Between this site and r/MechanicalKeyboards, I picked up so much helpful information on my quest to find (or mod) the lightest switches possible.

I wrote up my research (link below) and wanted to share it for other people going down the same path.

The summary is this:

For my particular RSI (and something others may want to consider), it's not just about spring weight, but also key travel. My quest was to find the best combo of light press and short travel.

* For MX style switches, I had the best results with kailh speed silver with a 35g spring (25g actuation) and o-rings.
* The switch combo I wanted to love even more was gateron clear with 30g spring (20g actuation) and o-rings.

The kailh speed silver would not properly reset with 30g springs when I tried, and the 35g spring that is strong enough to reset the switch is just a bit too heavy for my hands over time.
But, for my particular RSI symptoms, the longer actuation distance (2.2mm) on the gateron clears with 30g springs leads to even more irritation than using the 35g springs with the kailh speed silvers.

So... I kept looking.
So far I have had the best experience with kailh chocs with 12g springs. There is a quality to these switches that gives them *just the right amount of snap* before the key starts to move. I wouldn't describe it anywhere near a brown switch, but you can actually brush your fingers lightly over the keys without accidental keypresses.

Where I want to go from here:
I just found out about gateron optical yellow switches that actuate at 1.1mm . I hope to try those in combination with even lighter springs. The 4.0mm travel of the switch may still present the same RSI irritation issue as the gateron clears. But I just read about the trampoline mod. That may be the perfect combo.

Further down the rabbit hole...

The full article is here on medium (this is not a paywall article)
https://medium.com/@alexjacobs/how-to-set-up-a-mechanical-keyboard-with-super-light-touch-switches-not-paywall-58ecf2702311

Offline mike654

  • Posts: 1
Re: dealing with RSI, my super light switch research
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 10 October 2020, 09:52:04 »
Just FYI, when I worked in Japan I used a Fujitsu Libretouch keyboard which has swappable membranes for each key in different weights (which you can also cut a little with a scissor to make even lighter). I think from my experience that is the lightest and in some sense smoothest travel keyboard I have ever tried and helped with my RSI (it also has a Japanese layout with short spacebar which I prefer as I can fit some more thumb modifiers).

https://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/2007/0628/fujitsuc.htm
« Last Edit: Sat, 10 October 2020, 09:54:16 by mike654 »

Offline Crabby

  • Posts: 24
Re: dealing with RSI, my super light switch research
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 21 October 2020, 20:12:44 »
Have you looked at the Steelseries Apex Pro hall effect keyboards? Extremely light and can be set at an actuation of .4mm

Offline Learis

  • Posts: 81
Re: dealing with RSI, my super light switch research
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 25 October 2020, 01:15:25 »
In the review section I talk about my experience with gateron ink yellows with sprit 30 springs (20g actuation). It may be up your alley since the ink yellows have less travel at 3.4mm. Even though their actuation distance is unlisted, it feels significantly less than the standard 2mm, probably somewhere between 1.5 and 1.1mm.

I personally could not use it because of how hyper sensitive it was to where I made too many accidental mistakes. The less actuation distance is the killer moreso than the superlight springs I think. But it did feel literally effortless so you might want to give it a try :) The springs even work for stabilizer keys like shift, but I doubt they would work for the spacebar (I never tried though so maybe they would...)

Edit: I actually read your post on medium prior to everything I did. It was full of a lot of good information that led me to do my own experiments. Thanks and good luck to you.
« Last Edit: Sun, 25 October 2020, 01:20:03 by Learis »
Mend and Defend

Offline lebambi

  • Posts: 1
  • Location: Ontario, Canada
Re: dealing with RSI, my super light switch research
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 25 October 2020, 04:47:50 »
I'm researching building a 40% for my girlfriend that is kinder on her hands, and your article/research really saved me a lot of time. I appreciate the effort and post, dude.
Bboy | MK Newb | VEN-->CAD

Offline Sintpinty

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Re: dealing with RSI, my super light switch research
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 26 October 2020, 17:04:25 »
Between this site and r/MechanicalKeyboards, I picked up so much helpful information on my quest to find (or mod) the lightest switches possible.

I wrote up my research (link below) and wanted to share it for other people going down the same path.

The summary is this:

For my particular RSI (and something others may want to consider), it's not just about spring weight, but also key travel. My quest was to find the best combo of light press and short travel.

* For MX style switches, I had the best results with kailh speed silver with a 35g spring (25g actuation) and o-rings.
* The switch combo I wanted to love even more was gateron clear with 30g spring (20g actuation) and o-rings.

The kailh speed silver would not properly reset with 30g springs when I tried, and the 35g spring that is strong enough to reset the switch is just a bit too heavy for my hands over time.
But, for my particular RSI symptoms, the longer actuation distance (2.2mm) on the gateron clears with 30g springs leads to even more irritation than using the 35g springs with the kailh speed silvers.

So... I kept looking.
So far I have had the best experience with kailh chocs with 12g springs. There is a quality to these switches that gives them *just the right amount of snap* before the key starts to move. I wouldn't describe it anywhere near a brown switch, but you can actually brush your fingers lightly over the keys without accidental keypresses.

Where I want to go from here:
I just found out about gateron optical yellow switches that actuate at 1.1mm . I hope to try those in combination with even lighter springs. The 4.0mm travel of the switch may still present the same RSI irritation issue as the gateron clears. But I just read about the trampoline mod. That may be the perfect combo.

Further down the rabbit hole...

The full article is here on medium (this is not a paywall article)
https://medium.com/@alexjacobs/how-to-set-up-a-mechanical-keyboard-with-super-light-touch-switches-not-paywall-58ecf2702311


interesting article

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: dealing with RSI, my super light switch research
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 01 November 2020, 14:42:34 »
Nice bro

Will definitely look into 12g choc switches
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Offline treeleaf64

  • Posts: 1032
  • Location: In the depths of the forest
Re: dealing with RSI, my super light switch research
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 01 November 2020, 14:43:17 »
Oh, forgot to ask, how do these feel compared to laptop keyboard? I reallly reallllyy reallllyyyy do not want something that feels like a laptop when you type on it.
Leader of Gateron gang
May display immature behavior

Treeleaf's Youtube Channel!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAVQHinK0K-AjLlbc7MZjfA?view_as=subscriber

Offline Sucts19

  • Posts: 1
Re: dealing with RSI, my super light switch research
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 30 November 2020, 09:52:42 »
Thank you for sharing your research. I also had to do this, but did not have time and turned to https://edubirdie.com/research-proposal-writing-service, because at first I was very confused about where to start. Now I am reading the paper from proposal writing service and it sounds interesting, but I need to clarify some details of which I still do not understand, and it is so good that I found this thread.

Offline ddrfraser1

  • Posts: 428
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Re: dealing with RSI, my super light switch research
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 30 November 2020, 11:50:49 »
Have you looked at the Steelseries Apex Pro hall effect keyboards? Extremely light and can be set at an actuation of .4mm

Can confirm this is an excellent keyboard with the smoothest switches you can find. Period.

Offline econeuler

  • Posts: 97
  • Location: Sweden
Re: dealing with RSI, my super light switch research
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 08 December 2020, 07:44:00 »
Nice article! I have also thought of switching to lighter linears, not due to rsi, but due to overall ergonomics. I have run quite heavy tactiles since I started building keyboards, but now when I try to focus more on ergo I feel that they are too heavy for longer sessions. I will try some gat clears again, and spring swap some 45-55g springs into other linears etc.
Regarding RSI, you mention split keyboard in the article, which I use myself, and I've heard people benefiting from them. But I also thought about an alternative keymap. When I switched to Colemak dhm I read about people saying that the switch made a huge difference for them.

Offline cheater

  • Posts: 66
  • Location: EU
Re: dealing with RSI, my super light switch research
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 24 December 2020, 09:55:13 »
Between this site and r/MechanicalKeyboards, I picked up so much helpful information on my quest to find (or mod) the lightest switches possible.

I wrote up my research (link below) and wanted to share it for other people going down the same path.

The summary is this:

For my particular RSI (and something others may want to consider), it's not just about spring weight, but also key travel. My quest was to find the best combo of light press and short travel.

* For MX style switches, I had the best results with kailh speed silver with a 35g spring (25g actuation) and o-rings.
* The switch combo I wanted to love even more was gateron clear with 30g spring (20g actuation) and o-rings.

The kailh speed silver would not properly reset with 30g springs when I tried, and the 35g spring that is strong enough to reset the switch is just a bit too heavy for my hands over time.
But, for my particular RSI symptoms, the longer actuation distance (2.2mm) on the gateron clears with 30g springs leads to even more irritation than using the 35g springs with the kailh speed silvers.

So... I kept looking.
So far I have had the best experience with kailh chocs with 12g springs. There is a quality to these switches that gives them *just the right amount of snap* before the key starts to move. I wouldn't describe it anywhere near a brown switch, but you can actually brush your fingers lightly over the keys without accidental keypresses.

Where I want to go from here:
I just found out about gateron optical yellow switches that actuate at 1.1mm . I hope to try those in combination with even lighter springs. The 4.0mm travel of the switch may still present the same RSI irritation issue as the gateron clears. But I just read about the trampoline mod. That may be the perfect combo.

Further down the rabbit hole...

The full article is here on medium (this is not a paywall article)
https://medium.com/@alexjacobs/how-to-set-up-a-mechanical-keyboard-with-super-light-touch-switches-not-paywall-58ecf2702311

if i were you i'd start trying out laptop keyboards, there are some really good keyboards in dell and hp laptops. replacement modules can be had cheaply and abundantly and they are all usb, just gotta figure out the header and get the connector.