Author Topic: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch  (Read 6959 times)

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Offline 2ter

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help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« on: Wed, 07 August 2013, 11:19:40 »
hello everyone,

last weekend i found this keyboard at a local flea market.
Now i'm wondering what this thing is, since i couldn't find any information on the switch nor searching for the serial number.

the keyboard:




the caps:




the switch and stabilizers:




the serial number?




dankeschön.

Offline daerid

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 07 August 2013, 11:23:48 »
They look like Cherry MX blacks, but obviously aren't ("Pro World"? dafuq?). And they're clicky?

Probably some cheap chinese knock off

Offline oTurtlez

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 07 August 2013, 11:27:29 »
They look like Cherry MX blacks, but obviously aren't ("Pro World"? dafuq?). And they're clicky?

Probably some cheap chinese knock off

Remind me of those yellow chinese MX clones. Square stem vs rectangle. Weird.

EDIT: On a side note, I want those clear stabs :p
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Offline esoomenona

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 07 August 2013, 11:37:26 »
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=46706.0

I started this new thread for questions such as this. Would you be so kind as to post this question in there and close this thread? I want to get that thread rolling accordingly! Thanks a lot, if so.

Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 08 August 2013, 16:38:44 »
Those keycaps are horrible!

I can't find any reference to "Proworld" switches, and they're obviously fakes. Not sure why the LED recess is completely missing from the front, either.
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Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 08 August 2013, 16:41:29 »
PS are you able to confirm for the record that they are in fact Cherry MX compatible?
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Offline 2ter

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 31 August 2013, 17:22:37 »
this weekend i finally got myself a cherry-board.
sadly the caps aren't compatible becouse the proworld cross stems are slightly thinner than the cherry ones.

searching for focus fk-3001 pics online i came across pictures of the fk-555 wich seems to have the same case as my mystery board.
http://sandy55.fc2web.com/keyboard/fk555.html

Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 31 August 2013, 18:01:21 »
The FK-555 is almost the same as yours, but not quite. The raised area around the LEDs is a sloped ramp on the FK-555, and a wholly raised area on yours. The pencil shelf also appears to be a different cross section.

You just need to open the case and see what branding is on the PCBs and chips. The case may also contain mouldings that indicate the date of manufacture.
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Offline Obakemono

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 31 August 2013, 19:33:56 »

Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 31 August 2013, 19:38:13 »
I wrote that page based solely on what's written in this topic :)

I've never seen those switches anywhere else.
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Offline Obakemono

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 31 August 2013, 19:42:30 »
I wrote that page based solely on what's written in this topic :)

I've never seen those switches anywhere else.

xDD Jajajajajajaja ok  :p

Sorry, google crawlers are pretty damn fast xD

Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 31 August 2013, 19:45:05 »
I wrote it over three weeks ago :)
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Offline AndyCapets

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 31 August 2013, 19:50:56 »
Indeed that's a Chinese clone, it's worth nothing I guess.
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Offline Obakemono

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 31 August 2013, 19:51:17 »
I wrote it over three weeks ago :)

Didn't realized this thread was that old xD

Anyway just did a quick search in chinese (based just on my japanese knowledge, so nothing to be trusted 100%) but i couldn't find nothing

Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 01 September 2013, 16:45:50 »
I've seen this one before, but it had 'ATTI' MX clones in it. Keycaps are real Cherry compatible, they are just a tight fit since they haven't been on and off a few times like most used sets.

Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 01 September 2013, 17:03:49 »
I've been told that Chinese and Taiwanese companies have no concept of brand loyalty, and are given to renaming themselves without any thought to how it might reflect on them.

There are companies where this appears not to be true; for example, it appears that most Alps clone keyboards used switches from Himake, now part of the Hua-Jie Group. That includes keyboards from Strong Man, Focus, Monterey, Ortek and many other companies. The switches are identical inside and out including the number stamping on the moulds.

However, there are a lot of companies that just appeared and then seemingly vanished, or seemed to rebrand. For example, KPT (from Keypot) switches and TEC switches are obviously from the same factory, but they seem to have changed name. I don't know whether a Chinese person could dig into any records and see whether "TEC" became Keypot or vice versa. There are also more switches that seem awfully similar, but are unbranded. This is the sort of shenanigans they were thinking of.

If your ATTI clones look the same as the ProWorld ones with the exception of the branding, it wouldn't surprise me if that's another company name change.

This is alps.tw's collection of MX clones:

http://kbtalking.cool3c.com/article/18452

None of them look anything like 2ters — his omit the LED recess, which is really unusual. One thing I do notice about all his clones, is that the stems have little spurs on the ends of the side ramps. Photos 8 and 9 depict the Yali/Aristotle ("亞驪企業有限公司") switch; the other switches have enough similarities that they may all be Aristotle, or it may be like Alps clones, where the cloners clone other cloners.

Cherry MX clones are too rare for anyone to get a handle on them like we do with Alps clones. The only commonly found one is the Aristotle, and I got the manufacturer of those from Chicony. Aristotle themselves confirmed that they no longer sell them.

It's like the Alps vortex all over again :)
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Offline 2ter

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 01 September 2013, 18:31:41 »
thanks for all the information.
i opened the keyboard up again but not much to find on the inside. no markings in the plastic top-shell, and there's only PD-14c-1 written on the pcb.
i also found this old thread: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=11248.msg214759#msg214759 about a similar keyboard with the same shell manufactured by podworld?

i have put a cherry mx keycap onto the keyboard but it was so loose it fell off when i put the keyboard upside down.
« Last Edit: Sun, 01 September 2013, 18:46:15 by 2ter »

Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 01 September 2013, 19:06:46 »
The top of the keyboard is indeed virtually identical. Yours has a sheet metal base, like an old Nan Tan keyboard, though. Yours also has a recess for the function key legend label; my Nan Tan has a similar recess but it runs right across the keyboard instead of just under the function keys.

Podworld are only known to date for using yellow KPT-style switches. What's curious is that topic you linked, has yellow KPT-style switches that appear to be marked with something like "O T" instead of the usual "KPT" (KPT) or unbranded ("TEC" (but written on the bottom only) or anonymous). The problem is that you can rarely read the branding off forum photos. This is where we enter Vortex Territory, i.e. true Far East business practices. So much cloning, so much confusion. That topic links to another with the brown anonymous switches, but with pink sliders this time. Also Podworld. I suspect the switches are all the same factory, but it's not provable.

This would be the first time that the name has been associated with Cherry MX clones, though. Then again, we know that Far East companies love nothing better than completely retooling for a completely incompatible switch :) New plate, new PCB … no-one in the West would ever dream of doing that, far too expensive. Hell, we can't even get mod-friendly plates for the WASD v2!
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Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 01 September 2013, 19:09:52 »
RE keycap — interesting, so the switches and keycaps are both working to a slightly different specification?

Also, Robin from Cherry UK mentioned that some company was ordering only the levelling kits (stabilisers), suggesting that this was something they hadn't cloned. I wonder if those Cherry stabilisers are in fact real?
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Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 14 December 2013, 19:04:36 »
Found another one:

http://kbtalking.cool3c.com/article/20583

"KEY WORLD" MX clone switches this time, with a different design. Gotta love Far East rebranding .....

Would be interesting if yours had the same TTI branding on the PCB.
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Offline rowdy

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 14 December 2013, 19:40:45 »
No LED holes :))
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Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 14 December 2013, 19:45:37 »
Yeah the cloners often didn't bother making room for a jumper, diode or LED.

This clone is a lot closer:

http://kbtalking.cool3c.com/article/66009

This appears to be on of alps.tw's quizzes, as he's covered over the branding. Looking forward to seeing who made it.
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Offline 2ter

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 16 June 2015, 14:45:27 »
so, today i finally decidet to unsolder one of the proworld switches.
now i know why these have such a crisp click. its because those switches don't have neighter diodes nor jumpers or leds.
instead they feature an alps like click plate.



i'll take better pics when i can find my camera.

Offline hwood34

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 16 June 2015, 14:49:51 »
so, today i finally decidet to unsolder one of the proworld switches.
now i know why these have such a crisp click. its because those switches don't have neighter diodes nor jumpers or leds.
instead they feature an alps like click plate.

Show Image


i'll take better pics when i can find my camera.
That's really funky
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Offline chyros

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 16 June 2015, 15:59:40 »
so, today i finally decidet to unsolder one of the proworld switches.
now i know why these have such a crisp click. its because those switches don't have neighter diodes nor jumpers or leds.
instead they feature an alps like click plate.

xD

Because blatantly stealing from one manufacturer is nowhere near cheeky enough!

I'm guessing the slider doesn't feature the standard Cherry integrated jacket for tactility, then?
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Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 16 June 2015, 23:09:24 »
Yeah, you should do detailed pics of that. They must have put it together in a way nobody else has to pull that off.
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Offline FoxWolf1

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 16 June 2015, 23:40:17 »
That's actually pretty cool. So is the click sound less erm...plasticky...than that of, say, an MX Blue?

I enjoyed my time with MX Blue (RIP DAS Ultimate, you served well for your almost two years of life in my possession) much more than my time with ALPS-style XM clicky switches, but I still have to say that the click itself of an MX Blue isn't as nice as that of a clicky ALPS-style switch (to say nothing of the buckling spring, which I have yet to see excelled in the precision or character of its click),
« Last Edit: Wed, 17 June 2015, 17:23:52 by FoxWolf1 »
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Offline chyros

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #27 on: Wed, 17 June 2015, 05:37:40 »
Could you do a typing demo of these switches maybe? :)
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Offline 2ter

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 18 June 2015, 17:45:19 »
better pics as promised:









cherry mx in the back for comparision.
i desoldered all the switches so no typing demo for now.
the sound reminds me of a frog klicker, and it feels like popping bubble wrap.

Offline Blaise170

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 18 June 2015, 19:17:27 »
OP has delivered... Two years later.  :))
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Offline terrycherry

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #30 on: Wed, 27 January 2016, 14:46:36 »
Great found!
I hope to see the photo of PCB front and back side.
It could be easily to identify what it made from.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #31 on: Wed, 27 January 2016, 15:18:44 »
Can you rehost your facebook picture from Reply #22 somewhere else? The image link is now broken.

Also, wow that’s funky.

That keyboard looks overall pretty nice. Solid metal back, sturdy plastic top. Nicer than the majority of Cherry MX keyboards from the same era. :-)

Offline terrycherry

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Re: help identifying clicky keyboard and switch
« Reply #32 on: Wed, 27 January 2016, 15:48:01 »
Yes. That metal back case with this layout always made by Taiwan, Hong Kong or China(original from Taiwan company) manufacturer!