Author Topic: DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches  (Read 6608 times)

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Offline iMav

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« on: Wed, 29 August 2007, 02:19:07 »
Happened upon these today from DSI:

SMK-88 Compact Mac Keyboard - Also known as the "Mac mini keyboard".  Description says it uses Cherry mechanical switches.  So, this might be decent.

SMK85 Compact Keyboard - The tech specs says that this uses "Strongman" mechanical switches.  Anyone ever hear of those?

SUN 88 Compact Mechanical Switch Keyboard - This one claims to be geared to the Sun workstations.  If so, where's the "Stop" key?  :)  Mechanical switches, but no mention of what brand/type they are.

Offline iMav

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 02 September 2007, 07:35:19 »
I guess "SMK" stands for "Strong Man Keyboards".  Their main site is HERE.  They appear to be the OEM for the keyboards that DSI sells.  

I see both Alps and Cherry switch keyboards available from them.  (from what I've read, the SMK-88 keyboard I am interested in knowing more about uses Cherry key switches)

Offline iMav

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 04 September 2007, 07:27:52 »
AHA!!  Found the SMK-88 Compact Mac keyboard available for sale.

RIGHT HERE!!

"Featuring Cherry Mechanical Switch technology"  :)

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #3 on: Tue, 04 September 2007, 10:02:52 »
It looks sweet. I am glad they are still making it.

Offline iMav

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« Reply #4 on: Tue, 04 September 2007, 10:53:22 »
Got another email back from the DSI dude.  These use the linear Cherry switches.  From what I've read, I think I'd like them the least.  As I understand it, these are the three types of Cherry switches available:

 - Linear Keyswitches (black-colored stems)
 - Light Tactile Keyswitches (brown-colored stems)
 - Tactile Keyswitches (blue-colored stems)

Do the ML4100's use the linear switches as well?

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #5 on: Tue, 04 September 2007, 11:07:11 »
iMav, go for the strongmans:

High Audible Tactile Keyswitches are feature a much louder 'click' sound, but do not typically require any more force to actuate. An example of a high audible tactile keyswitch is the Strongman Switch.

From one of Whiskey's links, http://www.ergocanada.com/ergo/keyboards/mechanical_vs_membrane_keyswitches.html

Offline iMav

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 04 September 2007, 11:25:53 »
Quote from: xsphat
iMav, go for the strongmans:

Yeah, I read about the strongman switches.  But the keyboards aren't customizable.  You simply GET the linear switches...no choice in the matter with that keyboard.  :)

The SMK85 has the High Audible Strongman Switches...so maybe that would be a better option.  (not thrilled with the keyboard layout though)

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #7 on: Tue, 04 September 2007, 11:27:56 »
Quote from: iMav
Do the ML4100's use the linear switches as well?


The stems on my MLs are black, and they may be the linear switches you are talking about. I do like them though. There is no click when you register the keystroke, and the force seems equal throughout, but it does feel nice to type on.

Lets see here, I just busted out the Apple with Alps switches to check this out and these have a light click when you register the keystroke. And the pressure seems to increase slightly as the key gets depressed farther. A better switch to be sure. The character is generated 3/4 of the way through the stroke, about the same as the Cherry.

(It's nice to be able to pull out keyboards with different mechanisms according to mood and for reference)

Damn, I think I'll use this one for a bit. As I've said before, I like the Alps switches the best overall.

Offline iMav

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 04 September 2007, 12:43:43 »
This should be of interest to xsphat.

From the ErgoCanada online store regarding the SMK85 compact keyboard:

Mechanical Keyswitches (Strongman Audible Tactile) on USB Model, Mechanical Keyswitches (Alps Low Audible Linear) on PS/2 Model

I think this is the first compact, numpad-less keyboard I've come across with Alps keyswitches.

Offline iMav

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 04 September 2007, 13:05:44 »
More on the SMK85 Compact Keyboard...

Looks like the old PS/2 version (with the Alps key switches) was made in decent color schemes (as opposed to the silver and black of the new USB version))

Traditional beige
All black

xsphat, you were looking for another keyboard to add to you impending purchase.  Considering your love of both Alps keyswitches and compact designs...I can't think of a better keyboard for you to add to your collection!   :wink:

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #10 on: Tue, 04 September 2007, 19:16:01 »
That beige one looks kind of tempting, I must say.

Offline iMav

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 12 September 2007, 12:18:55 »
Speaking of DS International . . .

I have to say they are probably THE best keyboard vendor I have dealt with so far.  Easy to reach on the phone as well as very responsive via email.  Karl and Justin, especially, have been terrific in looking through old stock and digging up keybards that don't exist at all on their online store...  :)

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #12 on: Wed, 12 September 2007, 12:22:31 »
Did you pick one up for yourself?

Offline iMav

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 12 September 2007, 12:35:11 »
Quote from: xsphat
Did you pick one up for yourself?

I've purchased three keyboards from them recently...At least one of them will remain in my possession.   :wink:

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #14 on: Wed, 12 September 2007, 12:38:05 »
Alps or Cherry?

Someday I'd like to try out those MX blue Cherry sliders.

Offline iMav

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 12 September 2007, 13:17:56 »
Quote from: xsphat
Alps or Cherry?

Someday I'd like to try out those MX blue Cherry sliders.

I don't believe any of their current products have Alps switches.  Nor do any of their current products use the blue Cherry switches.  

But, amazingly, of the keyboards I purchased from them...two have the blue Cherry switches and one has the black Alps switches.   :lol:

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #16 on: Wed, 12 September 2007, 13:33:06 »
So what do they use now?

Offline iMav

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« Reply #17 on: Wed, 12 September 2007, 13:46:44 »
Quote from: xsphat
So what do they use now?

From what I gather from talking with them, they now exclusively use the linear (black-colored) Cherry keyswitches.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #18 on: Wed, 12 September 2007, 13:49:47 »
I wonder how those compare to my ML black switches ... that I like. I use my Cherry at work in place of the white Apple membrane crap they gave me.

DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 12 September 2007, 19:17:32 »
Quote from: xsphat
I wonder how those compare to my ML black switches ... that I like. I use my Cherry at work in place of the white Apple membrane crap they gave me.


Probably the same, except longer travel.

DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 12 September 2007, 20:30:39 »
Quote from: iMav
Quote from: xsphat
Alps or Cherry?

Someday I'd like to try out those MX blue Cherry sliders.

I don't believe any of their current products have Alps switches.  Nor do any of their current products use the blue Cherry switches.  

But, amazingly, of the keyboards I purchased from them...two have the blue Cherry switches and one has the black Alps switches.   :lol:


BTW, how consistent are these manufacturers in general? For example, according to this site:

http://www.kbdmania.net/board/view.php?id=photo&page=1&sn1=&divpage=1&sn=off&ss=on&sc=on&select_arrange=hit&desc=desc&no=1476

the Northgate Evolution uses Alps green sliders (linear according to the wiki). But mine has white (very clicky) sliders.

Offline iMav

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« Reply #21 on: Wed, 12 September 2007, 22:49:37 »
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
BTW, how consistent are these manufacturers in general? For example, according to this site, the Northgate Evolution uses Alps green sliders (linear according to the wiki). But mine has white (very clicky) sliders.

I think the manufacturers change specs based on a lot of things.  Availability, price, and even customer feedback.

DSI, for example...used to use Alps sliders in their SMK-85 keyboards.  Now they use Cherry switches pretty much across the board.  That decision is likely price and availability driven.  And, as I mentioned previously...in the old SMK-88, they used to use the blue-stemmed Cherry switches (the tactile feel, extra clicky ones).  But, due to customer complaints, the new version uses the black-stemmed Cherry switches (linear).

DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 12 September 2007, 23:28:52 »
Quote from: iMav
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
BTW, how consistent are these manufacturers in general? For example, according to this site, the Northgate Evolution uses Alps green sliders (linear according to the wiki). But mine has white (very clicky) sliders.

I think the manufacturers change specs based on a lot of things.  Availability, price, and even customer feedback.

DSI, for example...used to use Alps sliders in their SMK-85 keyboards.  Now they use Cherry switches pretty much across the board.  That decision is likely price and availability driven.  And, as I mentioned previously...in the old SMK-88, they used to use the blue-stemmed Cherry switches (the tactile feel, extra clicky ones).  But, due to customer complaints, the new version uses the black-stemmed Cherry switches (linear).


What were they complaining about? Noise? BTW, it seems that MX Linear is pretty much the default mechanical switch out there.

Offline iMav

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« Reply #23 on: Thu, 13 September 2007, 00:06:06 »
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
What were they complaining about? Noise? BTW, it seems that MX Linear is pretty much the default mechanical switch out there.

Yes.  Karl from DSI told me that the overwhelming complaint from the customers was that the keyboards were too loud.  :)

Now...even though the linear switches seem to be the most-popular (even within Cherry's own line of keyboards) there is at least one affordable keyboard out there that consistently uses the blue-stemmed Cherry switches.  The iOne Scorpius M10.

Barry Little (of Barry's Rigs and Reviews) was able to confirm for me that the M10 he reviewed here uses the blue-stemmed Cherry switches.  Bill DeLapp from CyberGuys also confirms that the M10's they have in stock use the blue-stemmed Cherry switches as well.

Oh!  And Karl from DSI reports they still have two left of the original SMK-88 compact Mac keyboards.   :wink:

Offline ashort

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #24 on: Mon, 17 September 2007, 07:29:50 »
Quote from: iMav
I guess "SMK" stands for "Strong Man Keyboards".  Their main site is HERE.  They appear to be the OEM for the keyboards that DSI sells.  

I see both Alps and Cherry switch keyboards available from them.  (from what I've read, the SMK-88 keyboard I am interested in knowing more about uses Cherry key switches)


Eek... http://www.strong-man.com.tw/index_products.htm

If you are going to mis-spell a word, "perfect" is not the one to bone up.

I know they are translating but...COME ON!  I'm gonna check into this Mac alternative.
Andrew
{ KBC Poker - brown | Filco Majestouch - brown | Dell AT101W | Cherry G84-4100 }

DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #25 on: Mon, 17 September 2007, 07:52:27 »
Quote from: ashort
Quote from: iMav
I guess "SMK" stands for "Strong Man Keyboards".  Their main site is HERE.  They appear to be the OEM for the keyboards that DSI sells.  

I see both Alps and Cherry switch keyboards available from them.  (from what I've read, the SMK-88 keyboard I am interested in knowing more about uses Cherry key switches)


Eek... http://www.strong-man.com.tw/index_products.htm

If you are going to mis-spell a word, "perfect" is not the one to bone up.

I know they are translating but...COME ON!  I'm gonna check into this Mac alternative.


That appears to be the OEM for Matias Tactile Pro.

http://damieng.com/blog/2007/09/11/in-search-of-the-perfect-keyboard#comments

Offline Nonmouse

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 23 April 2010, 13:07:23 »
Quote from: warakawa;175035
Security concerns

In 2005, the possibility of Huawei's bid on British telecommunications company Marconi has triggered a request from Conservative party to UK government to "consider the implications for Britain's defense security".[42]. Marconi was later acquired by Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson.

In 2008 Military Report to the Congress,[43] Pentagon stated that Huawei "maintains close ties" to Chinese People Liberation Army (PLA). In the same year, the proposed merger of US-based communications company 3COM Corp by Huawei met with US Congress investigation[44]and subsequent determination by Director of National Intelligence that "3Com-Huawei merger would undermine U.S. national security".

In March 2009, Alex Allan, the Chairman of Joint Intelligence Committee, has briefed members of UK government about the "threat", allegedely imposed by Huawei's equipment in British national telecom network BT.[45]

In September 2009, Australian security agency ASIO started investigating the alleged links between local Huawei employees and Chinese military.[46].

In October 2009, Indian Department of Telecommunications reportedly requested national telecom operators to "self-regulate" the use of Chinese-made equipment (including ZTE and Huawei), quoting security concerns.[47] Earlier, in 2005, Huawei was blocked from supplying equipment to India's national network BSNL. [48] In 2010, Indian security intelligence (CBI) insisted on canceling the rest of the Huawei contra


Are you just posting random C&Ped crap to random old threads?  Why?

Offline kishy

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #27 on: Fri, 23 April 2010, 13:14:32 »
Quote from: Nonmouse;175071
Are you just posting random C&Ped crap to random old threads?  Why?


Don't bother. I hear the banhammer whooshing through the air...
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Offline quadibloc

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DS International compact keyboards with mechanical switches
« Reply #28 on: Fri, 23 April 2010, 14:11:59 »
I did notice that while the page about the compact PC keyboard mentioned ALPS switches, when I clicked on the link for the PDF specs, it said Cherry. So it may well be that the switches used change due to availability.

Quote from: Nonmouse;175071
Are you just posting random C&Ped crap to random old threads?  Why?
I've done some checking. Dih Shin International is an American company, founded by George Tsai, a USAF veteran. It does have manufacturing facilities both in Taiwan and in mainland China, however.
« Last Edit: Fri, 23 April 2010, 14:25:17 by quadibloc »

Offline elbowglue

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« Reply #29 on: Fri, 23 April 2010, 15:22:16 »
What the **** is this ****?  How is this related to the DS International compact keyboard with mechanical switches?

Quote from: warakawa;175035
Security concerns

In 2005, the possibility of Huawei's bid on British telecommunications company Marconi has triggered a request from Conservative party to UK government to "consider the implications for Britain's defense security".[42]. Marconi was later acquired by Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson.

In 2008 Military Report to the Congress,[43] Pentagon stated that Huawei "maintains close ties" to Chinese People Liberation Army (PLA). In the same year, the proposed merger of US-based communications company 3COM Corp by Huawei met with US Congress investigation[44]and subsequent determination by Director of National Intelligence that "3Com-Huawei merger would undermine U.S. national security".

In March 2009, Alex Allan, the Chairman of Joint Intelligence Committee, has briefed members of UK government about the "threat", allegedely imposed by Huawei's equipment in British national telecom network BT.[45]

In September 2009, Australian security agency ASIO started investigating the alleged links between local Huawei employees and Chinese military.[46].

In October 2009, Indian Department of Telecommunications reportedly requested national telecom operators to "self-regulate" the use of Chinese-made equipment (including ZTE and Huawei), quoting security concerns.[47] Earlier, in 2005, Huawei was blocked from supplying equipment to India's national network BSNL. [48] In 2010, Indian security intelligence (CBI) insisted on canceling the rest of the Huawei contra
My keyboards: Filco Cherry Blue Tenkeyless(daily home), Compaq MX11800 (modded to blacks), Compaq "MX 84u",  Wellington\'s Dampened Endurapro, Pinkalicious Filco Blue Cherry, Chicony KB-5191, Chicony KB-5181, Desko MOS 5023 UP "elbowglue" spos (modded to blues), Siig Minitouch (monterey blue), SMK-88 (blue cherries), Ricercar SPOS
Smallest to biggest keyboards in inches (Length X Height) - Length is most important for a midline mouse position

KBC Poker: 11.6 x 3.9 - HHKB: 11.6 x 4.3 - Siig Minitouch (Geekhack Space Saver): 11.6 x 6 - Deck/Tg3 82: 12 x 6 - Noppoo Choc Mini 12.4 x 5.3 - Compaq "MX 84u": 13.1 x 7.5 - Filco Tenkeyless: 14 x 5.3 - Cherry "ricercar spos" G86-62410EUAGSA: 14 x 7.75 - Topre Realforce 86u: 14.4 x 6.65 - Desko "elbowglue spos" MOS 5023 UP: 14.5 x 8.4 - IBM Model M Spacesaver: 15.3 x 7 - G80-1800: 15.9 x 7.1 - Adesso MKB-125B: 16 x 7.3 - Compaq Mx11800, Cherry G80-11900: 16.25 x 7.5 - Filco Standard: 17.3 x 5.4 - Unicomp Endurapro: 17.9 x 7.1 - Adesso MKB-135B: 18.3 x 6.0 - Cherry G80-3000: 18.5 x 7.6 - IBM Model M, Unicomp Customizer: 19.3 x 8.27

Offline ricercar

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« Reply #30 on: Fri, 23 April 2010, 16:58:53 »
Hey, isn't there  Paul Simon tune begins that way? Diamonds on the soles of her shoes}

waka-waka, waka-waka, waka-waka, waka-waka ...
I trolled Geekhack and all I got was an eponymous SPOS.

Offline itlnstln

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« Reply #31 on: Fri, 23 April 2010, 17:01:21 »
You're thinking of Fozzie Bear, "Wakka, Wakka, Wakka!"


Offline Rajagra

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« Reply #32 on: Fri, 23 April 2010, 17:29:33 »
Quote from: ricercar;175179
Hey, isn't there  Paul Simon tune begins that way? Diamonds on the soles of her shoes}

waka-waka, waka-waka, waka-waka, waka-waka ...



Offline quadibloc

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« Reply #33 on: Fri, 23 April 2010, 18:00:48 »
Quote from: ashort;57349
If you are going to mis-spell a word, "perfect" is not the one to bone up.
The page is now no longer valid, so I'm not sure what you may be referring to.

But this reminds me of the dimension traveller (or "demon") Aahz from Perv who kept being called a "pervert" when he should have been addressed as a "pervect".

The cartoon adaptation of the late Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures is now appearing online, at the rate of three pages a week, at

http://www.airshipentertainment.com/mythcomic.php
« Last Edit: Fri, 23 April 2010, 20:27:18 by quadibloc »