Author Topic: Alps Appreciation Thread  (Read 1598554 times)

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Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #50 on: Thu, 11 July 2013, 09:54:16 »
Only problem i see with ALPS boards is the lack of novelty caps, or rather really small amount compared to MX and Topre.

That's not a problem, it just means you'll have fewer distractions from the great typing experience!

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #51 on: Thu, 11 July 2013, 09:58:55 »
Novelty caps distract you? Interesting.
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Offline DamnDan

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #52 on: Thu, 11 July 2013, 10:17:46 »
Only problem i see with ALPS boards is the lack of novelty caps, or rather really small amount compared to MX and Topre.

That's not a problem, it just means you'll have fewer distractions from the great typing experience!

Well, that might be true ;) but what i dream about is having a red line of keys going from "tilde" to numpad "-". But you are right, typing experience was never sooo goood :)

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #53 on: Thu, 11 July 2013, 10:20:21 »
DamnDan, did you know that BunnyLake will make you a custom Alps keycap/keycap set? Check it out in his vendor forum. I've apparently got a cap coming from him and I've got a few Alps novelties as well :D
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Offline GLaDOS

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #54 on: Thu, 11 July 2013, 12:14:31 »
I just want a set of beige ISO blank caps.  I've currently got a mix of beige and blank on here and it doesn't look good.

Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #55 on: Thu, 11 July 2013, 12:43:05 »
Novelty caps distract you? Interesting.

Just trying to make him feel better about the lack of Alps caps. But who knows? If enough interest can be generated in an Alps revival, maybe cap makers will follow.

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #56 on: Thu, 11 July 2013, 12:46:29 »
Ooo gotcha. I got lucky and I have a few Alps novelties coming. My Tofu101 board has an Orange on Black Alps GH cap. It's amazing :D
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Offline Sifo

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #57 on: Sat, 13 July 2013, 20:55:11 »


Here's a reference for lubing alps switches, courtesy of finkl over at KBD.
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Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #58 on: Sun, 14 July 2013, 01:33:16 »
Lubing Alps? Sacrilege! Then again, I don't like the damped and linear varieties.

Offline hasu

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #59 on: Sun, 14 July 2013, 07:50:23 »
It is very difficult or impossible to get Alps board in good shape here.

Without lubing every old Alps boards I got didn't works decently except for NIB one.
Alps tends to go rotten quickly comparing with Cherry? Fortunately lubing Alps is not difficult and it works well with good care.
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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #60 on: Sun, 14 July 2013, 08:29:33 »
Alps tends to go rotten quickly comparing with Cherry?

I don't know. I have gotten old worn Alps that looked terrible but felt great, and virtually new ones that were awful. It is not just age or wear.
But what’s wrong with inequality, anyway? Answers to this question are rarely satisfying, but they do serve as a political litmus test about the kind of inequality that matters. A Marxist might concern herself with how economic inequality divides society into classes, allowing capitalists to wield wealth as a weapon, disempower workers, and extract their labor. The humanitarian position tends to prioritize sufficiency of resources and basic rights; feminists, environmentalists, and advocates for the undocumented, the disabled, and minorities would say social inequalities matter, too, and that part of the problem with economic inequality is that it reinforces them.
New research has shown us that economic, social, racial, and gender inequality are inextricably linked—and that the effect of high inequality is to create even more inequality. Many other economists have shown that high levels of inequality hurt democracy because, among other things, they allow rich people and corporations to buy the support of politicians.
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Offline GLaDOS

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #61 on: Sun, 14 July 2013, 08:42:04 »
My ALPS are from 1996 and are still in -- as far as I can tell -- great condition.

Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #62 on: Sun, 14 July 2013, 09:37:44 »
I just got a Chicony 5160AT with blue sliders. Must be from circa 1985. Keyboard is yellowed as a mutha, but the switches feel awesome.

Offline MTManiac

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #63 on: Mon, 26 August 2013, 15:14:05 »
I wanted to try out alps switches vs cherry and picked up two chicony boards, one with complicated white one with monterey blue
I am not a fan of the layout and was hoping there was an easy way to make a TKL or smaller form factor keyboard with alps switches.
The ones Sifo posted a while back were sick looking, and finding a case and pcb would be all I need since I can harvest switches.

Offline Grimey

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #64 on: Mon, 26 August 2013, 19:30:21 »
I wanted to try out alps switches vs cherry and picked up two chicony boards, one with complicated white one with monterey blue
I am not a fan of the layout and was hoping there was an easy way to make a TKL or smaller form factor keyboard with alps switches.
The ones Sifo posted a while back were sick looking, and finding a case and pcb would be all I need since I can harvest switches.

The difficulty is annoying one sided in your quest.  Getting a TKL ANSI pcb for ALPS switches is appears to me to be exponentially more difficult that getting switches. 

That said I will always appreciated my ALPS, I just sit patiently with bags of switches for one of the projects to take off.
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Offline Niomosy

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #65 on: Mon, 26 August 2013, 20:22:21 »
Not the greatest picture but here's my SGI Granite.


Offline rowdy

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #66 on: Mon, 26 August 2013, 20:45:41 »
Not the greatest picture but here's my SGI Granite.

Show Image


That's interesting - white and gray (whatever), but the function keys are all white.

There was a discussion about this somewhere here recently.
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But that’s incorrect. It’s in HHKB’s slogan, but when America’s cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

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Offline Hak Foo

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #67 on: Mon, 26 August 2013, 22:20:28 »
I wanted to try out alps switches vs cherry and picked up two chicony boards, one with complicated white one with monterey blue
I am not a fan of the layout and was hoping there was an easy way to make a TKL or smaller form factor keyboard with alps switches.
The ones Sifo posted a while back were sick looking, and finding a case and pcb would be all I need since I can harvest switches.

The difficulty is annoying one sided in your quest.  Getting a TKL ANSI pcb for ALPS switches is appears to me to be exponentially more difficult that getting switches. 

That said I will always appreciated my ALPS, I just sit patiently with bags of switches for one of the projects to take off.

Can you find someone with a Ducky 1087XM that's willing to scrap it?

I'm thinking of doing some switch-swaps on my 1008XM because it otherwise fits my needs for a modern board.
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Offline Burz

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #68 on: Mon, 26 August 2013, 23:21:53 »
Favorite ALPS switches:

1. Blue CM
2. Matias Quiet
3. Fukka Clicky (haven't tried Matias clicky yet)
4. Monterery blue
5. Black CM

Compared with other switch types, I'd say that buckling spring are about 2.5 and the more popular Cherry MX are about on par with #5. As for RD, I've never tried Topre but I'd rate ThinkPad RD somewhere in the middle of that list (though the new keycaps are A+ in my opinion... very easy to hit quickly and properly).

After just a couple weeks, I love my Mini Quiet Pro; It's spoiling me. It and its siblings (Mini Tactile Pro and Laptop Pro) are the only compact ALPS keyboards you can buy new today, and they've got great switches.
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Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #69 on: Mon, 26 August 2013, 23:32:17 »
I wanted to try out alps switches vs cherry and picked up two chicony boards, one with complicated white one with monterey blue
I am not a fan of the layout and was hoping there was an easy way to make a TKL or smaller form factor keyboard with alps switches.
The ones Sifo posted a while back were sick looking, and finding a case and pcb would be all I need since I can harvest switches.

The difficulty is annoying one sided in your quest.  Getting a TKL ANSI pcb for ALPS switches is appears to me to be exponentially more difficult that getting switches. 

That said I will always appreciated my ALPS, I just sit patiently with bags of switches for one of the projects to take off.

Can you find someone with a Ducky 1087XM that's willing to scrap it?

I'm thinking of doing some switch-swaps on my 1008XM because it otherwise fits my needs for a modern board.

Careful--I've read that Alps XM switches are not pin compatible with original/Fuhua/Matias Alps. XM are supposed to be their own breed. Plus, all reviews are that the Ducky Alps board are ducking awful.
I got hold of a couple of Dell AT101Ws, and an Abs M1 for my own future switch transplant boards. Neither is TKL, but the M1 is a modern 104 chassis, at least, and the Dell boards are nice quality, key caps excepted.

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #70 on: Mon, 26 August 2013, 23:54:54 »
Show Image


Here's a reference for lubing alps switches, courtesy of finkl over at KBD.

So I saw this post and I realized I had no idea how to actually open up an Alps switch so I did a little digging. For anyone curious as to how to open the switches to be able to lube them, thought I'd post some info:

« Last Edit: Tue, 27 August 2013, 00:40:16 by CPTBadAss »
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Offline nappi11

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #71 on: Tue, 27 August 2013, 09:19:16 »
I've opened my blues with two screwdrivers and pliers this far. I insert the screwdrivers as shown in ripsters guide, pinch them a bit and grab the slider with the pliers and pull up. I've found out this as the easiest way to open the switch. There is a risk of making some scratches to the slider, but one just needs to be careful.
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Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #72 on: Tue, 27 August 2013, 09:35:51 »
Alps fan here. 

Love Orange Alps and Monterey Blue.  Never tried Blue Alps but all I have heard are good things.

I just purchased some Matias clicky.  We'll see how those work out.

Alps weened me off Cherry switches.  I prefer the higher actuation point.  Actually the only Cherry board that I will buy are ergo boards.  Buckling spring, Topre, and Alps for everything else.
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Offline Grimey

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #73 on: Tue, 27 August 2013, 11:03:32 »
I wanted to try out alps switches vs cherry and picked up two chicony boards, one with complicated white one with monterey blue
I am not a fan of the layout and was hoping there was an easy way to make a TKL or smaller form factor keyboard with alps switches.
The ones Sifo posted a while back were sick looking, and finding a case and pcb would be all I need since I can harvest switches.

The difficulty is annoying one sided in your quest.  Getting a TKL ANSI pcb for ALPS switches is appears to me to be exponentially more difficult that getting switches. 

That said I will always appreciated my ALPS, I just sit patiently with bags of switches for one of the projects to take off.

Can you find someone with a Ducky 1087XM that's willing to scrap it?

I'm thinking of doing some switch-swaps on my 1008XM because it otherwise fits my needs for a modern board.

Careful--I've read that Alps XM switches are not pin compatible with original/Fuhua/Matias Alps. XM are supposed to be their own breed. Plus, all reviews are that the Ducky Alps board are ducking awful.
I got hold of a couple of Dell AT101Ws, and an Abs M1 for my own future switch transplant boards. Neither is TKL, but the M1 is a modern 104 chassis, at least, and the Dell boards are nice quality, key caps excepted.

The swapping worked fine for me.  I have a Dell AT101W with green XM switches from as Ducky, and a Ducky 1008XM with black ALPS switches from said AT101W.

I also have a 1087XM board sitting around, I just really would prefer a gh-60 ALPS variant for layout options and size than the typical TKL.
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Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #74 on: Tue, 27 August 2013, 15:05:59 »
I wanted to try out alps switches vs cherry and picked up two chicony boards, one with complicated white one with monterey blue
I am not a fan of the layout and was hoping there was an easy way to make a TKL or smaller form factor keyboard with alps switches.
The ones Sifo posted a while back were sick looking, and finding a case and pcb would be all I need since I can harvest switches.

The difficulty is annoying one sided in your quest.  Getting a TKL ANSI pcb for ALPS switches is appears to me to be exponentially more difficult that getting switches. 

That said I will always appreciated my ALPS, I just sit patiently with bags of switches for one of the projects to take off.

Can you find someone with a Ducky 1087XM that's willing to scrap it?

I'm thinking of doing some switch-swaps on my 1008XM because it otherwise fits my needs for a modern board.

Careful--I've read that Alps XM switches are not pin compatible with original/Fuhua/Matias Alps. XM are supposed to be their own breed. Plus, all reviews are that the Ducky Alps board are ducking awful.
I got hold of a couple of Dell AT101Ws, and an Abs M1 for my own future switch transplant boards. Neither is TKL, but the M1 is a modern 104 chassis, at least, and the Dell boards are nice quality, key caps excepted.

The swapping worked fine for me.  I have a Dell AT101W with green XM switches from as Ducky, and a Ducky 1008XM with black ALPS switches from said AT101W.

I also have a 1087XM board sitting around, I just really would prefer a gh-60 ALPS variant for layout options and size than the typical TKL.

Thanks for the correction. I'm really glad that's the case.

Offline Binge

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #75 on: Tue, 27 August 2013, 15:19:16 »
alps fan here.  Alps wobble... only issue with them.  Fix it and I marry alps.
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Offline N8N

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #76 on: Tue, 27 August 2013, 16:16:35 »
I'm using an SGI Granite board with cream Alps at work (silent tactical Alps), and while the switches could be lighter for me, it has a very nice feel and is nicely silent.

This.  I don't like the AT101W because I can't help but bottom out on it, but with the dampers on the creams I can bottom out all day without stress or noise.  Love my Granite, if I had to sell all but one of my keyboards, it'd be in the final three. (the other two being a Wyse terminal with blacks and a Filco with clears and imsto PBTs.)
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Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #77 on: Tue, 27 August 2013, 16:52:36 »
After just a couple weeks, I love my Mini Quiet Pro; It's spoiling me. It and its siblings (Mini Tactile Pro and Laptop Pro) are the only compact ALPS keyboards you can buy new today, and they've got great switches.

Speaking of new compact ALPS, I just paid for a "new old stock" SIIG MiniTouch on eBay, which solved my Mini Quiet Pro vs. whatever dilemma.  Otherwise, yeah, one is pretty much limited to Matias if they want a new, compact (or any size) ALPS board.

I'm hoping the Monterey Blues are just as solid as regular ALPS, since I'm probably never going to find a new MiniTouch again (unless the seller has more up his sleeve), and I plan to use it plenty.

Offline Niomosy

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #78 on: Tue, 27 August 2013, 17:11:54 »
Not the greatest picture but here's my SGI Granite.

Show Image



That's interesting - white and gray (whatever), but the function keys are all white.

There was a discussion about this somewhere here recently.

Really?  That's the normal color combination I've seen for SGI granite keyboards.  Deskthority and Ripster had that same color combination up on their SGI granite info pages.

It's the combo I vaguely remember from supporting a load of SGI's back in the 90s as well.

Offline N8N

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #79 on: Tue, 27 August 2013, 17:25:18 »
Not the greatest picture but here's my SGI Granite.

Show Image



That's interesting - white and gray (whatever), but the function keys are all white.

There was a discussion about this somewhere here recently.

Really?  That's the normal color combination I've seen for SGI granite keyboards.  Deskthority and Ripster had that same color combination up on their SGI granite info pages.

It's the combo I vaguely remember from supporting a load of SGI's back in the 90s as well.

I think the point was that the Model M (which pretty much defined the standard 101 key layout, and was subsequently modified for the 104-key layout) had the function keys alternating in blocks of four.  So it's odd that the Granite used such a bog-standard layout but deviated from the standard color scheme.  But those keycaps are nice aren't they?
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Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #80 on: Tue, 27 August 2013, 18:36:44 »
Careful--I've read that Alps XM switches are not pin compatible with original/Fuhua/Matias Alps. XM are supposed to be their own breed.

"Own breed"? I am not sure anyone will solve the Alps Vortex. I did come across a patent for an Alps clone switch last night, but, frigging typical, it told me nothing — it's too late in time to be of any use (1991) and it's not even assigned to a company!

The "Common Alps Clone" design has been sold by various companies since the 80s, including Xiang Min (XM), HiMAKE (now part of the Hua-Jie Group), and Taiwan Tai-Hao. By far and above the most common Alps clone is the HiMAKE/Hua-Jie AK-CN2. They also sold AK-C2/D2, which has been superseded by AK-CN2 (2), which is internally identical to the Xiang Min KSB-C, the clicky switch that Diatec and Ducky use. (Ducky also used KSB-N in the linear Ducky 1000-series keyboards.)

They're all pin compatible with original Alps/Fuhua switches. The Alps-style switches that are keycap compatible but not pin compatible include Taiwan Tai-Hao Aruz, KPT/TEC, Omron B3G-S, Omron Alps-style and SMK second generation Alps mount ("Monterey", if clicky).
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Offline bueller

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #81 on: Sat, 07 September 2013, 23:29:15 »
Just picked up another typewriter with Alps SS profile caps, got enough to do another lowpoly board now :)



It's a good width!  If it's half-width it's too narrow, and full-width is too wide. 

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Offline daerid

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #82 on: Sun, 08 September 2013, 00:11:23 »
It sucks because Cherry MX Is actually my least favorite switch design of the 3 common ones. My dream board is a 55g Topre ErgoDox, but I'm unlikely to see one in my lifetime. Barely underneath that would be a Black Linear Alps ErgoDox (I kinda like the ErgoDox form factor), followed by Stock Clears

RealForce 87UB55 | CODE Clears 104 | CODE Clears 87 | Infinity w/ Clears | Unicomp Ultra Classic
Previous boards: RealForce 45g 87UB | HHKB 2 PRO | Leopold FC660C | Filco MJ2 87 (Browns and Blacks) | CM QFR (Blues and Reds) | Filco MJ2  Linear-R | Poker (Reds, Browns, Blacks, Ergo Clears) | Dell AT101W | Matias TP3
Other: G403 | G Pro | Rival 700 | Castor | G502 | G602 | G600 | MX Master | Zowie EC1 CL  | Sensei | IE 3.0 | Kinzu 2 | Perf MX | Imperator | G500 | Apple Magic Mouse

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Offline daerid

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #83 on: Sun, 08 September 2013, 00:12:02 »
I wish Matias would respond to my thread in their vendor forum regarding their new switches in an MX pin out.

RealForce 87UB55 | CODE Clears 104 | CODE Clears 87 | Infinity w/ Clears | Unicomp Ultra Classic
Previous boards: RealForce 45g 87UB | HHKB 2 PRO | Leopold FC660C | Filco MJ2 87 (Browns and Blacks) | CM QFR (Blues and Reds) | Filco MJ2  Linear-R | Poker (Reds, Browns, Blacks, Ergo Clears) | Dell AT101W | Matias TP3
Other: G403 | G Pro | Rival 700 | Castor | G502 | G602 | G600 | MX Master | Zowie EC1 CL  | Sensei | IE 3.0 | Kinzu 2 | Perf MX | Imperator | G500 | Apple Magic Mouse

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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #84 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 06:02:18 »
Does anyone know more comprehensively which old canon typewriters used alps switches? I can’t find any good resources online.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #85 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 08:10:02 »
Recently, I acquired an Apple Extended Keyboard with the intent of adding it to my personal collection.

I have had 3-4 of them in the past, all with some defect, usually one or more dead keys. Now that I have a bag of orange Alps switches, I figured that I could repair one if I needed to get it back to proper condition.

I tested this one (it was dirty and yellowed, but I needed to see whether it was OK electrically) and all worked properly.

When I took it apart, I realized that it has pink Alps. I used to be confused between orange and salmon, since the orange is not particularly bright and I have bought actual salmon that was very colorful (I suppose that wild salmon tends toward red while farmed salmon tends to orange).

Anyway, here it is, open and still dirty, with blue and orange switches for comparison, with and without flash, since lighting always seems hard for me.

My dilemma is whether to clean it up, put it back together and keep it, clean it and sell it, or to harvest the switches and keep them or sell them.

If anybody is interested in buying the complete board or the switches, please send me a private message in the next couple of days. I will think about it through the weekend and decide by the beginning of the week.
But what’s wrong with inequality, anyway? Answers to this question are rarely satisfying, but they do serve as a political litmus test about the kind of inequality that matters. A Marxist might concern herself with how economic inequality divides society into classes, allowing capitalists to wield wealth as a weapon, disempower workers, and extract their labor. The humanitarian position tends to prioritize sufficiency of resources and basic rights; feminists, environmentalists, and advocates for the undocumented, the disabled, and minorities would say social inequalities matter, too, and that part of the problem with economic inequality is that it reinforces them.
New research has shown us that economic, social, racial, and gender inequality are inextricably linked—and that the effect of high inequality is to create even more inequality. Many other economists have shown that high levels of inequality hurt democracy because, among other things, they allow rich people and corporations to buy the support of politicians.
- Atossa Araxia Abrahamian 2018

Offline terrpn

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #86 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 12:01:42 »
Recently, I acquired an Apple Extended Keyboard with the intent of adding it to my personal collection.

I have had 3-4 of them in the past, all with some defect, usually one or more dead keys. Now that I have a bag of orange Alps switches, I figured that I could repair one if I needed to get it back to proper condition.

I tested this one (it was dirty and yellowed, but I needed to see whether it was OK electrically) and all worked properly.

When I took it apart, I realized that it has pink Alps. I used to be confused between orange and salmon, since the orange is not particularly bright and I have bought actual salmon that was very colorful (I suppose that wild salmon tends toward red while farmed salmon tends to orange).

Anyway, here it is, open and still dirty, with blue and orange switches for comparison, with and without flash, since lighting always seems hard for me.

My dilemma is whether to clean it up, put it back together and keep it, clean it and sell it, or to harvest the switches and keep them or sell them.

If anybody is interested in buying the complete board or the switches, please send me a private message in the next couple of days. I will think about it through the weekend and decide by the beginning of the week.

i actually prefer and am very fond of the aek, aek II's, etc.

you can still pick up fairly reasonable and are real tanks.

if i did not already own a salmon alps i would offer to buy- maybe somebody else that does not have a salmon alps would like?

seeing all the various alps you have why not mod into a hybrid alps board?

orange, salmon, blue and cream? how cool would that be...........

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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #87 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 22:00:30 »
Recently, I acquired an Apple Extended Keyboard with the intent of adding it to my personal collection. [...] When I took it apart, I realized that it has pink Alps. I used to be confused between orange and salmon, since the orange is not particularly bright and I have bought actual salmon that was very colorful.
I’m pretty sure the kind you have there is what gets called “salmon” (and I agree that’s a confusing name).

How does the feel compare to orange alps switches? I like the orange ones in some M0116/AEKs much better than the “cream” kind found in the AEK2. And since you seem to have a number of different types there, how does the feel compare to the blue ones?
« Last Edit: Fri, 10 January 2014, 22:02:37 by jacobolus »

Offline tuxsavvy

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #88 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 22:10:23 »
Northgate Omnikey 101:


SiiG Minitouch (with Chinese legends): No photos yet...

APC Clicker F-21 (ok it is not exactly proper Alps but it looks like Alps and also this photo was before it was refurbished) :p :


Which Alps keyboards have you loved over the years?
None! I have tried very little Alps based. Maybe the Northgate Omnikey 101 would come close to feeling nice but she is broken (sadly).

Which ones do you use on a regular basis?
APC Clicker F-21... because SiiG Minitouch is somewhat on a permanent borrow basis and Northgate Omnikey 101 needs repairs.

Which ones do you recommend for the community?
Depending on size. Definitely would not really recommend APC Clicker because the feel as described by some members on the deskthority forums as inconsistent feel. Some keys would feel stiff and other keys would feel soft. It is not like Realforce's variable weight, it is much worse than that. Even after lubing the switches (via leaf springs) the feel is still inconsistent.
« Last Edit: Sat, 11 January 2014, 03:48:35 by tuxsavvy »
HHKB Pro JP Type-S | Northgate Omnikey 101 | APC/"Clicker" F-21 (GOG3YL) | Cherry G80-5000 HAMDE

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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #89 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 18:51:05 »
How does the feel compare to orange alps switches? I like the orange ones in some M0116/AEKs much better than the “cream” kind found in the AEK2. And since you seem to have a number of different types there, how does the feel compare to the blue ones?

I do not use these regularly, from a cursory test there seems to be little difference between orange and pink. Currently I only have loose orange switches from a non-working AEK, and have not used a working orange AEK in a couple of years. I can't really tell you without doing a side-by-side comparison. Both types have their champions.

The dampened creams are very different. I like them pretty well, for what they are, but I like the "undampened" style better and prefer tactile switches overall.

Blue Alps are clicky and tactile, but lighter and smoother than whites. All the good Alps boards (with the exception of a very few early Northgates) are white, but they are just too heavy for me.
But what’s wrong with inequality, anyway? Answers to this question are rarely satisfying, but they do serve as a political litmus test about the kind of inequality that matters. A Marxist might concern herself with how economic inequality divides society into classes, allowing capitalists to wield wealth as a weapon, disempower workers, and extract their labor. The humanitarian position tends to prioritize sufficiency of resources and basic rights; feminists, environmentalists, and advocates for the undocumented, the disabled, and minorities would say social inequalities matter, too, and that part of the problem with economic inequality is that it reinforces them.
New research has shown us that economic, social, racial, and gender inequality are inextricably linked—and that the effect of high inequality is to create even more inequality. Many other economists have shown that high levels of inequality hurt democracy because, among other things, they allow rich people and corporations to buy the support of politicians.
- Atossa Araxia Abrahamian 2018

Offline ricercar

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #90 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 19:36:42 »
I found a SiiG SunTouch, a MiniTouch wired for Sun boxes with some sort of blue ALPs (doesn't feel like my Chicony Montereys). It has a DIN5 connector, which is not apparently AT, since it doesn't convert to PS2 with my normal AT-PS2 adapter.

Can anyone say whether this might be XT or did Sun boxes use a special DIN5 connector? Bottom line: is there a converter somewhere for SunTouch to USB, or is this likely to be useful only for harvesting the switches and keycaps?
« Last Edit: Sat, 11 January 2014, 19:41:36 by ricercar »
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Offline hasu

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #91 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 20:31:56 »
hmm, I've never seen DIN5 sun connector, Type4/5 has usually mini DIN8. Type3 has DSUB.

If it is Sun(Type3/4/5) it will works with my converter. If you have Teensy around try it.
Type3/4/5 has same SUN serial protocol at least. I don't know about Type1/2.
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Offline lilky

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #92 on: Sun, 12 January 2014, 16:42:12 »
Never tried an alps board before but I really want to...what switch would you guys recommend to start off with?

Offline nubbinator

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #93 on: Sun, 12 January 2014, 19:03:34 »
It looks like Monterey Blues to me.  Looks just like the ones I had on my Chicony with them.  Nice switches, but the Chicony was so flimsy that it made them feel like crap.  Is the Siig a sturdier board?

What converter are you using?  If it's a passive converter, that might be your problem, otherwise chances are it's XT.

Never tried an alps board before but I really want to...what switch would you guys recommend to start off with?

Depends on what kinds of switches you like.  I've only tried three, Creams, Whites, and Blacks, but of the three, Creams were my preferred.  I've heard good things about Blue and Green Alps though.  There needs to be an Alps switch try, but it's so hard to find different Alps it feels like.

Offline Puddsy

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #94 on: Sun, 12 January 2014, 19:05:16 »
I personally have a thing for any clicky ALPS switch.
QFR | MJ2 TKL | "Schumiboard" | "Bulgogiboard" (Keycon 104) | MIRA SE | Weaven (MOD-M) | TGR Alice (68g vints) | MEME | Keycult No 1 (when it ships) | Southpaw Fullsize (when it ships) | I mostly use the Alice, but the Mira gets some use

has puddsy gotten an award for person most involved with things hes not involved in at all, yet?

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #95 on: Sun, 12 January 2014, 19:09:45 »
Never tried an alps board before but I really want to.

The best are the hardest to find, and vice versa.

The 2 keyboards that are common and cheap are the Dell AT101 (black, tactile) and the Apple Extended Keyboard II (dampened cream, tactile but attenuated). These can be bought on ebay for $10-20 + shipping or found at salvage stores, yard sales, or thrift stores from time to time.

The Dell does not enjoy a very high reputation, but a good fresh one can be pretty nice. I have had several, and recently I got one that was horrible, far worse than ever before, and so don't give up immediately.

The Apple AEK2 is well thought-of by many people, but will require an ADB adapter which will cost $20 on ebay. They are also very prone to yellowing.

The first Apple Extended Keyboard has orange or pink aka salmon Alps which are more tactile and nicer, in my opinion.

I have never had any of the more exotic Alps such as yellow or green, and you are less likely to find them, anyway.

The clicky ones are what I like. White is relatively easy to find (look for a Focus 2001), but too stiff for my tastes. Blue reigns supreme but is not available in any modern board (except for a very few early Northgate Omnikeys) and will likely be pricey.
« Last Edit: Sun, 12 January 2014, 19:12:24 by fohat.digs »
But what’s wrong with inequality, anyway? Answers to this question are rarely satisfying, but they do serve as a political litmus test about the kind of inequality that matters. A Marxist might concern herself with how economic inequality divides society into classes, allowing capitalists to wield wealth as a weapon, disempower workers, and extract their labor. The humanitarian position tends to prioritize sufficiency of resources and basic rights; feminists, environmentalists, and advocates for the undocumented, the disabled, and minorities would say social inequalities matter, too, and that part of the problem with economic inequality is that it reinforces them.
New research has shown us that economic, social, racial, and gender inequality are inextricably linked—and that the effect of high inequality is to create even more inequality. Many other economists have shown that high levels of inequality hurt democracy because, among other things, they allow rich people and corporations to buy the support of politicians.
- Atossa Araxia Abrahamian 2018

Offline tuxsavvy

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #96 on: Sun, 12 January 2014, 19:21:21 »
Never tried an alps board before but I really want to...what switch would you guys recommend to start off with?

Definitely not APC Clicker based keyboards. I somewhat have noted most (if not all) of the APC Clicker that are floating out there on the Deskthority wiki. Cheap, yes they are (if you paid anything around or over USD$50 for one you are getting ripped off) but they are not the best examples of Alps switches. APC Clicker feel is definitely inconsistent and so it is hard to make very good use of fast(er) typing speeds and cleaning them can be a real pain along with some of the maintanenance that goes along with them.

Despite having touched very few Alps switches, I think the Northgate Omnikey series are formidable. At least for the majority of them the switches are more discrete than APC membrane, uses proper PCB backend (and not membrane sheet) therefore the feel maybe more consistent.

If you are looking for a more modern Alps keyboard. Matias produces some mechanical keyboards with Matias based (which is essentially similar to Alps) switches. I have no idea what typing on Matias switches would be like but at least there will be a vendor/manufacturer backing your keyboard should you have issues with Matias mechanical keyboards.
HHKB Pro JP Type-S | Northgate Omnikey 101 | APC/"Clicker" F-21 (GOG3YL) | Cherry G80-5000 HAMDE

僕の日本語が下手です。我的中文也一樣爛。

Offline lilky

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #97 on: Mon, 13 January 2014, 12:17:44 »
Never tried an alps board before but I really want to.

The best are the hardest to find, and vice versa.

The 2 keyboards that are common and cheap are the Dell AT101 (black, tactile) and the Apple Extended Keyboard II (dampened cream, tactile but attenuated). These can be bought on ebay for $10-20 + shipping or found at salvage stores, yard sales, or thrift stores from time to time.

The Dell does not enjoy a very high reputation, but a good fresh one can be pretty nice. I have had several, and recently I got one that was horrible, far worse than ever before, and so don't give up immediately.

The Apple AEK2 is well thought-of by many people, but will require an ADB adapter which will cost $20 on ebay. They are also very prone to yellowing.

The first Apple Extended Keyboard has orange or pink aka salmon Alps which are more tactile and nicer, in my opinion.

I have never had any of the more exotic Alps such as yellow or green, and you are less likely to find them, anyway.

The clicky ones are what I like. White is relatively easy to find (look for a Focus 2001), but too stiff for my tastes. Blue reigns supreme but is not available in any modern board (except for a very few early Northgate Omnikeys) and will likely be pricey.


Oh wow, so many types of switches! It's a whole new world out here separate from MX or Topre...

Well, I guess I know what I'll be doing this year for mechanical keyboards...

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #98 on: Mon, 13 January 2014, 13:31:01 »

Oh wow, so many types of switches! It's a whole new world out here separate from MX or Topre.


Alps lovers think that Cherries feel cheap and plasitcky.

Cherry lovers think that Alps feel wobbly.

For me, one of the most endearing traits of Alps is their high actuation point.
But what’s wrong with inequality, anyway? Answers to this question are rarely satisfying, but they do serve as a political litmus test about the kind of inequality that matters. A Marxist might concern herself with how economic inequality divides society into classes, allowing capitalists to wield wealth as a weapon, disempower workers, and extract their labor. The humanitarian position tends to prioritize sufficiency of resources and basic rights; feminists, environmentalists, and advocates for the undocumented, the disabled, and minorities would say social inequalities matter, too, and that part of the problem with economic inequality is that it reinforces them.
New research has shown us that economic, social, racial, and gender inequality are inextricably linked—and that the effect of high inequality is to create even more inequality. Many other economists have shown that high levels of inequality hurt democracy because, among other things, they allow rich people and corporations to buy the support of politicians.
- Atossa Araxia Abrahamian 2018

Offline terrpn

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Re: Alps Appreciation Thread
« Reply #99 on: Mon, 13 January 2014, 15:46:58 »

Oh wow, so many types of switches! It's a whole new world out here separate from MX or Topre.


Alps lovers think that Cherries feel cheap and plasitcky.

Cherry lovers think that Alps feel wobbly.

For me, one of the most endearing traits of Alps is their high actuation point.


exactly........

i love'em all, but for some reason am still more fond of alps- to each his/her own

alps are not real sexy like mx- keycaps, cases, alps no longer available (complicated unless you want simplified matias), those who prefer a smaller footprint i get it

am hopeful the IC on alps keycaps makes it over to a GB, but that one is still hanging- so we'll just wait and see

i'm not real technical- am more of a user, when you can go out and buy orange, salmon (pink), cream, white mechanical boards all day long if you shop for around 25 bux for those who are starting out that want the switch more than the bling it's a no brainer

of course i respect those who agree to disagree, but i know what works for me


More

Luga G80-1865/MX Reds + Dolch G80-1813/MX Blues + G80-3700HQAUS + DK9008G2 Pro/MX Browns Thick PBT + DK9008G2 Pro/MX Clears Thick PBT +  QFR TKL/Ghetto Greens + Cherry G80-1800/MX Blues + IBM Model M SSK Bolt Modded + IBM Model M + IBM Model F + IBM AT F + Cherry G80-1000 (HAD)/MX Vintage Blacks + Razer BWU/MX Blues + Leading Edge DC2214/Blue Alps + Compaq MX11800/Browns + Chicony 5181/Monterey Blues + Chicony 5161/MX Black Cherry Clone + Focus 2001/White Alps + Chicony 5191/White Futabas + Olivetti ANK27-101 + Dell (Old Logo) AT101/Black Alps + NMB RT8255C+/Black Space Invaders + Unitek K260/Green Alps + Apple M0116/Orange Alps + AEK II M3501/Cream Alps + AEK M0115/Orange Alps + NEC  APC412/Blue Sliders + NEC APC410/Blue Sliders + Omnikey /White Alps + Wang/Yellow Alps (Omrons) + Laser/White SMK + Fame/Blue Aruz + AEK II M3501/Salmon Alps + Zenith ZKB-2R/Green Alps + Wang 724/Orange Alps + DK1087/Green Alps + Zenith ZKB-2/Yellow Alps + Dell Old Logo AT101/Salmon-Pink Alps + Leading Edge AK1012/White SMK's + Magitronic SK-1030/White (Linear) Futaba's + Packard Bell/White (Clicky) Futaba's + Datacomp DFK101/White  Alps + SGI AT101/Dampened White Alps + NMB AQ6RT-72511/Grey Space Invaders (Hi-Tek) + Datacomp/Blue Alps + Phillips 2812/White Space Invaders (Linear) + Dah Yang K251/Vintage MX Blues + Chicony 5161/DS Caps/Vintage MX Blue + Archie-NMB AQ659ZRT-725/Black Space Invader (Tactile) + IBM Model M 71G4644 (RD) Bolt Modded with Soarers Converter + IBM Model M Silver Label 1390131 + Cherry G80-1501/Vintage MX Clears + Focus FK8000/Linear Futabas + Gateway 2000 Anykey Programmable/Maxi-Switch + Dell GY13PVAT101/Dye Sub Caps/Salmon Alps + Chicony 5161/White Alps + AST K0B101/Slider over RD + Qtronix QX-32H + Everex/NMB RT8255CW+ Black Space Invaders-Split Erase + Tandon/NMB AQ659ZRT-101A/Beige Space Invaders + Cherry G80-11903 MNRUS/MX Blacks + Apple IIGS A9M0330/SMK Whites + WYSE PCE/MX Blacks + Chicony 5160AXT/Clicky Futaba + Cherry G80-0528/Vintage MX Blacks + Dell AT101/Linear (Modded) Black Alps