Author Topic: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches  (Read 14401 times)

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Offline tweakedmind

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Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 14:43:00 »
Hi,

Is there anyone here who has used a keyboard with Cherry mx blues for more than 1 year?

I have used a Cherry G80-3000 LSCDE-2 with mx blues for the last 3 years. But about every 7 months I had to replace it with a new keyboard.
It began to fail to register keystrokes or was registering multiple keystrokes for a single keystroke on some keys, especially those I use the most (“{“ (7), “[“ ( 8 ), “]” (9), “}” (0) and the dot key, because I do a lot of programming (it’s an German ISO layout)).

I have to add that I am quite a heavy smoker, especially when I am at the PC. So in the course of time quite a lot cigarette ash was falling into the board, which is probably not that good for it.
I was using the boards for about 6 to 10 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anyway, I would have expected it to last much longer.

Besides the malfunction, I also noticed that the board I’ve used for 7 months feels very different to a new one. The switches on the old board feel not as smooth as the on the new one.
They feel quite rough and the tactility and the “clickiness” has decreased by a fair amount.

Cherry states that the mx switches have a lifespan of 50 million keystrokes.
So let’s assume I type an average of 100 keystrokes per minute (I do 60% coding and 40% texts and when I am coding of course I have a lot of breaks for thinking rather than typing).
That makes a total of 17.5 million keystrokes per year (100 per Minute * 60 minutes * 8 hours * 365 days). I guess it will actually be much less, because of course I don’t type all the time.
So the switches should last for about 2.8 years according to the Cherry specs. However my boards where failing after 7 months (which is about 10.5 million keystrokes at maximum).

So what’s going on here?

Do the switches last that short of a timespan because it’s a G80-3000 (~ $100)?
I mean are cherry mx blue switches on a relatively cheap board any different than the ones on a more expensive board like for example a Filco board?

What’s your experience with mx blues? How long did they last for you?

I would especially be interested to hear what other smokers have experienced...

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 15:25:59 »
Is it intermittent right now.. or does that block completely not respond.

Offline rowdy

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 15:28:03 »
My second Ducky Shine with MX blue has had almost constant use at work for more than a year.

Nothing wrong with it.

In fact, it has improved slightly.  At the start there were a couple of switches that did not click at all, or not all the time.  Now most of them do.
"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

NEC APC-H4100E | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED red | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED green | Link 900243-08 | CM QFR MX black | KeyCool 87 white MX reds | HHKB 2 Pro | Model M 02-Mar-1993 | Model M 29-Nov-1995 | CM Trigger (broken) | CM QFS MX green | Ducky DK9087 Shine 3 TKL Yellow Edition MX black | Lexmark SSK 21-Apr-1994 | IBM SSK 13-Oct-1987 | CODE TKL MX clear | Model M 122 01-Jun-1988

Ị̸͚̯̲́ͤ̃͑̇̑ͯ̊̂͟ͅs̞͚̩͉̝̪̲͗͊ͪ̽̚̚ ̭̦͖͕̑́͌ͬͩ͟t̷̻͔̙̑͟h̹̠̼͋ͤ͋i̤̜̣̦̱̫͈͔̞ͭ͑ͥ̌̔s̬͔͎̍̈ͥͫ̐̾ͣ̔̇͘ͅ ̩̘̼͆̐̕e̞̰͓̲̺̎͐̏ͬ̓̅̾͠͝ͅv̶̰͕̱̞̥̍ͣ̄̕e͕͙͖̬̜͓͎̤̊ͭ͐͝ṇ̰͎̱̤̟̭ͫ͌̌͢͠ͅ ̳̥̦ͮ̐ͤ̎̊ͣ͡͡n̤̜̙̺̪̒͜e̶̻̦̿ͮ̂̀c̝̘̝͖̠̖͐ͨͪ̈̐͌ͩ̀e̷̥͇̋ͦs̢̡̤ͤͤͯ͜s͈̠̉̑͘a̱͕̗͖̳̥̺ͬͦͧ͆̌̑͡r̶̟̖̈͘ỷ̮̦̩͙͔ͫ̾ͬ̔ͬͮ̌?̵̘͇͔͙ͥͪ͞ͅ

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 15:29:42 »
My second Ducky Shine with MX blue has had almost constant use at work for more than a year.

Nothing wrong with it.

In fact, it has improved slightly.  At the start there were a couple of switches that did not click at all, or not all the time.  Now most of them do.

we should put it in the book somewhere that MX Blue may need break-in before full-click-potential..

Offline rowdy

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 15:39:23 »
My second Ducky Shine with MX blue has had almost constant use at work for more than a year.

Nothing wrong with it.

In fact, it has improved slightly.  At the start there were a couple of switches that did not click at all, or not all the time.  Now most of them do.

we should put it in the book somewhere that MX Blue may need break-in before full-click-potential..

My first recent modern mechanical keyboard is another Ducky Shine with MX blue.  It worked perfectly from day 1, but doesn't get anything like daily use (at home) these days.
"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

NEC APC-H4100E | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED red | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED green | Link 900243-08 | CM QFR MX black | KeyCool 87 white MX reds | HHKB 2 Pro | Model M 02-Mar-1993 | Model M 29-Nov-1995 | CM Trigger (broken) | CM QFS MX green | Ducky DK9087 Shine 3 TKL Yellow Edition MX black | Lexmark SSK 21-Apr-1994 | IBM SSK 13-Oct-1987 | CODE TKL MX clear | Model M 122 01-Jun-1988

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Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 15:53:47 »
I have MX keyboard going back into late 80's with blues. It's totally fine. MX last a very long time when they are cared for. I think you answered your own problem, it is being caused by smoking. Switch is probably full of smoking related crud deposits which gum it up.
I am smoker myself, but I stopped smoking indoors at all some time ago.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 16:06:19 »
Get a rubber dome keyboard. It will laugh at cigarette ashes.
Were our leaders just stupid? Well, maybe. But there’s a deeper explanation of the profoundly self-destructive behavior of Trump and his allies: They were all members of America’s cult of selfishness. You see, the modern US right is committed to the proposition that greed is good, that we’re all better off when individuals engage in the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest. In their vision, unrestricted profit maximization by businesses and unregulated consumer choice is the recipe for a good society.
Support for this proposition is, if anything, more emotional than intellectual. I’ve long been struck by the intensity of right-wing anger against relatively trivial regulations, like bans on phosphates in detergent and efficiency standards for light bulbs. It’s the principle of the thing: Many on the right are enraged at any suggestion that their actions should take other people’s welfare into account. This rage is sometimes portrayed as love of freedom. But people who insist on the right to pollute are notably unbothered by, say, federal agents tear-gassing peaceful protesters. What they call “freedom” is actually absence of responsibility.
Rational policy in a pandemic, however, is all about taking responsibility. The main reason you shouldn’t go to a bar and should wear a mask isn’t self-protection, although that’s part of it; the point is that congregating in noisy, crowded spaces or exhaling droplets into shared air puts others at risk. And that’s the kind of thing America’s right just hates, hates to hear. Anger at any suggestion of social responsibility also helps explain the looming fiscal catastrophe.  – Paul Krugman 2020-07-28 NYT

Offline tweakedmind

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 17:12:48 »
Is it intermittent right now.. or does that block completely not respond.

It's not happening on every keystroke, but very often.
Only a couple of keys are affected, the rests work as usual.

Offline tweakedmind

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 17:14:19 »
we should put it in the book somewhere that MX Blue may need break-in before full-click-potential..

To me it did not feel like the blues need any break-in. Actually they felt the best when the board was brand new.

Offline Zeal

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 17:21:35 »
Get a rubber dome keyboard. It will laugh at cigarette ashes.

That's nasty :-\ Did the person really fill up bottles of Gatorade with piss?...
        "Bird have wing, bird will fly. Henry had wings.  Henry now fly." -Sent

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 17:37:29 »
That's nasty

About a year or 2 ago somebody posted "best home offices" here, satire of course. Other photos were almost as bad.

Were our leaders just stupid? Well, maybe. But there’s a deeper explanation of the profoundly self-destructive behavior of Trump and his allies: They were all members of America’s cult of selfishness. You see, the modern US right is committed to the proposition that greed is good, that we’re all better off when individuals engage in the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest. In their vision, unrestricted profit maximization by businesses and unregulated consumer choice is the recipe for a good society.
Support for this proposition is, if anything, more emotional than intellectual. I’ve long been struck by the intensity of right-wing anger against relatively trivial regulations, like bans on phosphates in detergent and efficiency standards for light bulbs. It’s the principle of the thing: Many on the right are enraged at any suggestion that their actions should take other people’s welfare into account. This rage is sometimes portrayed as love of freedom. But people who insist on the right to pollute are notably unbothered by, say, federal agents tear-gassing peaceful protesters. What they call “freedom” is actually absence of responsibility.
Rational policy in a pandemic, however, is all about taking responsibility. The main reason you shouldn’t go to a bar and should wear a mask isn’t self-protection, although that’s part of it; the point is that congregating in noisy, crowded spaces or exhaling droplets into shared air puts others at risk. And that’s the kind of thing America’s right just hates, hates to hear. Anger at any suggestion of social responsibility also helps explain the looming fiscal catastrophe.  – Paul Krugman 2020-07-28 NYT

Offline tweakedmind

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 17:37:57 »
I think you answered your own problem, it is being caused by smoking. Switch is probably full of smoking related crud deposits which gum it up.
I am smoker myself, but I stopped smoking indoors at all some time ago.

It seems it's not directly ash particles which are causing it.
When I opened the affected switches they looked pretty normal to me and there was nothing unusual inside. At least nothing visible to the naked eye.

Maybe a thin layer of nicotine or tar has built up on the inside.
I have a whiteboard in the same room. When it's completely cleaned it takes about 3 months till it isn't "white" anymore :)
I read nicotine and tar in cigarette smoke is pretty aggressive.

Why, oh, why is smoking a habit that is so hard to get rid of!?
If there are any underage here:
If you want to completely ruin your health, your wallet and your wall paper I have the perfect solution for you: Start smoking!
I deeply regret that I ever started smoking...

Get a rubber dome keyboard. It will laugh at cigarette ashes.

Funny you’d say that. I just got a Topre RealForce (see http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=53168), because after researching for quite some time I figured out that this might be the only decent board that can survive in my environment (besides the IBM Model M / Unicomp, which I do not like).
I hope some other smokers will reply. I’m still curious if other smokers do have the same problem with mx switches...

Get a rubber dome keyboard. It will laugh at cigarette ashes.

That's nasty :-\ Did the person really fill up bottles of Gatorade with piss?...
I guess so. The desk looks like the guy was living in front of the PC and never left, not even to pee.
By the way: What happened to the guy? Looks like he died right there...

Offline tweakedmind

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 17:51:28 »
About a year or 2 ago somebody posted "best home offices" here, satire of course. Other photos were almost as bad.

Do you have a link? Couldn't find the thread...

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 19:55:12 »
Do you have a link?

Do not be jealous. Not everyone is able to have luxury like this.

http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=53249.new#new
Were our leaders just stupid? Well, maybe. But there’s a deeper explanation of the profoundly self-destructive behavior of Trump and his allies: They were all members of America’s cult of selfishness. You see, the modern US right is committed to the proposition that greed is good, that we’re all better off when individuals engage in the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest. In their vision, unrestricted profit maximization by businesses and unregulated consumer choice is the recipe for a good society.
Support for this proposition is, if anything, more emotional than intellectual. I’ve long been struck by the intensity of right-wing anger against relatively trivial regulations, like bans on phosphates in detergent and efficiency standards for light bulbs. It’s the principle of the thing: Many on the right are enraged at any suggestion that their actions should take other people’s welfare into account. This rage is sometimes portrayed as love of freedom. But people who insist on the right to pollute are notably unbothered by, say, federal agents tear-gassing peaceful protesters. What they call “freedom” is actually absence of responsibility.
Rational policy in a pandemic, however, is all about taking responsibility. The main reason you shouldn’t go to a bar and should wear a mask isn’t self-protection, although that’s part of it; the point is that congregating in noisy, crowded spaces or exhaling droplets into shared air puts others at risk. And that’s the kind of thing America’s right just hates, hates to hear. Anger at any suggestion of social responsibility also helps explain the looming fiscal catastrophe.  – Paul Krugman 2020-07-28 NYT

Offline Wildcard

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 20:04:41 »
Do you have a link?

Do not be jealous. Not everyone is able to have luxury like this.

http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=53249.new#new


You forgot to mention the contest. Fellow GHers, one of these offices belongs to Microsoft Windows. If you're able to guess correctly, and you're using Windows 98-2000, you could win a Microsoft ergonomic keyboard, in beige!



Offline tweakedmind

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 20:33:04 »
Do not be jealous. Not everyone is able to have luxury like this.
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=53249.new#new

Oh my gosh. That is revolting. I really feel bad for people living like this.
These pictures make me want to tidy up my office immediately, even tough it is not remotely as messed up like them...

Seeing this makes me really feel ashamed for my privileged ass with it's decadent first world problems...
I just spend $300 on a Topre keyboard. That's enough of money for other people in the world to live for months, if not more. I feel bad now  :(

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 20:48:13 »
That's enough of money for other people in the world to live for months, if not more.

Easy! Quit smoking and donate your cigarette money to poor people.

The price of your habit would support a whole life in a 3rd world country, and add 10%-20% to yours!
Were our leaders just stupid? Well, maybe. But there’s a deeper explanation of the profoundly self-destructive behavior of Trump and his allies: They were all members of America’s cult of selfishness. You see, the modern US right is committed to the proposition that greed is good, that we’re all better off when individuals engage in the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest. In their vision, unrestricted profit maximization by businesses and unregulated consumer choice is the recipe for a good society.
Support for this proposition is, if anything, more emotional than intellectual. I’ve long been struck by the intensity of right-wing anger against relatively trivial regulations, like bans on phosphates in detergent and efficiency standards for light bulbs. It’s the principle of the thing: Many on the right are enraged at any suggestion that their actions should take other people’s welfare into account. This rage is sometimes portrayed as love of freedom. But people who insist on the right to pollute are notably unbothered by, say, federal agents tear-gassing peaceful protesters. What they call “freedom” is actually absence of responsibility.
Rational policy in a pandemic, however, is all about taking responsibility. The main reason you shouldn’t go to a bar and should wear a mask isn’t self-protection, although that’s part of it; the point is that congregating in noisy, crowded spaces or exhaling droplets into shared air puts others at risk. And that’s the kind of thing America’s right just hates, hates to hear. Anger at any suggestion of social responsibility also helps explain the looming fiscal catastrophe.  – Paul Krugman 2020-07-28 NYT

Offline tweakedmind

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 20:59:42 »
Easy! Quit smoking and donate your cigarette money to poor people.
The price of your habit would support a whole life in a 3rd world country, and add 10%-20% to yours!

That's so very right! I just wish I could quit smoking. But those damn cigarettes always get the better of me...
I was so stupid thinking smoking was "cool" as a kid. Now it's nothing than a burden...

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 21:06:43 »
I just wish I could quit smoking.

I think that you have to substitute something.

Chewing gum and snack food to satisfy your mouth and muscles, then exercise later to burn the calories off and flood your body with endorphins for satisfaction.

Then figure out what to do with the extra decade that you will live.
Were our leaders just stupid? Well, maybe. But there’s a deeper explanation of the profoundly self-destructive behavior of Trump and his allies: They were all members of America’s cult of selfishness. You see, the modern US right is committed to the proposition that greed is good, that we’re all better off when individuals engage in the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest. In their vision, unrestricted profit maximization by businesses and unregulated consumer choice is the recipe for a good society.
Support for this proposition is, if anything, more emotional than intellectual. I’ve long been struck by the intensity of right-wing anger against relatively trivial regulations, like bans on phosphates in detergent and efficiency standards for light bulbs. It’s the principle of the thing: Many on the right are enraged at any suggestion that their actions should take other people’s welfare into account. This rage is sometimes portrayed as love of freedom. But people who insist on the right to pollute are notably unbothered by, say, federal agents tear-gassing peaceful protesters. What they call “freedom” is actually absence of responsibility.
Rational policy in a pandemic, however, is all about taking responsibility. The main reason you shouldn’t go to a bar and should wear a mask isn’t self-protection, although that’s part of it; the point is that congregating in noisy, crowded spaces or exhaling droplets into shared air puts others at risk. And that’s the kind of thing America’s right just hates, hates to hear. Anger at any suggestion of social responsibility also helps explain the looming fiscal catastrophe.  – Paul Krugman 2020-07-28 NYT

Offline rowdy

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 21:16:46 »
I just wish I could quit smoking.

I think that you have to substitute something.

Chewing gum and snack food to satisfy your mouth and muscles, then exercise later to burn the calories off and flood your body with endorphins for satisfaction.

Then figure out what to do with the extra decade that you will live.


I read somewhere that if you can go to a sauna for a few days while you are trying to give up smoking, it will help you sweat the nicotine out of your system.
"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

NEC APC-H4100E | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED red | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED green | Link 900243-08 | CM QFR MX black | KeyCool 87 white MX reds | HHKB 2 Pro | Model M 02-Mar-1993 | Model M 29-Nov-1995 | CM Trigger (broken) | CM QFS MX green | Ducky DK9087 Shine 3 TKL Yellow Edition MX black | Lexmark SSK 21-Apr-1994 | IBM SSK 13-Oct-1987 | CODE TKL MX clear | Model M 122 01-Jun-1988

Ị̸͚̯̲́ͤ̃͑̇̑ͯ̊̂͟ͅs̞͚̩͉̝̪̲͗͊ͪ̽̚̚ ̭̦͖͕̑́͌ͬͩ͟t̷̻͔̙̑͟h̹̠̼͋ͤ͋i̤̜̣̦̱̫͈͔̞ͭ͑ͥ̌̔s̬͔͎̍̈ͥͫ̐̾ͣ̔̇͘ͅ ̩̘̼͆̐̕e̞̰͓̲̺̎͐̏ͬ̓̅̾͠͝ͅv̶̰͕̱̞̥̍ͣ̄̕e͕͙͖̬̜͓͎̤̊ͭ͐͝ṇ̰͎̱̤̟̭ͫ͌̌͢͠ͅ ̳̥̦ͮ̐ͤ̎̊ͣ͡͡n̤̜̙̺̪̒͜e̶̻̦̿ͮ̂̀c̝̘̝͖̠̖͐ͨͪ̈̐͌ͩ̀e̷̥͇̋ͦs̢̡̤ͤͤͯ͜s͈̠̉̑͘a̱͕̗͖̳̥̺ͬͦͧ͆̌̑͡r̶̟̖̈͘ỷ̮̦̩͙͔ͫ̾ͬ̔ͬͮ̌?̵̘͇͔͙ͥͪ͞ͅ

Offline ricercar

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 21:21:17 »
Cherry MX Blues fail on me after a year as daily-driver. Browns don't seem to. YMMV.
I trolled Geekhack and all I got was an eponymous SPOS.

Offline tweakedmind

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 21:28:54 »
I think that you have to substitute something.
Chewing gum and snack food to satisfy your mouth and muscles, then exercise later to burn the calories off and flood your body with endorphins for satisfaction.

Thank you for cheering me up! I am already trying electronic cigarettes. They evaporate a chemical called propylene glycol (also used in medical inhalers) together with some flavors and nicotine.
Still not as good as not inhaling anything, but pure air. But way better for your health than actual cigarettes.

But I haven't been able yet to make the switch. There is something about cigarettes, that I just can't get over yet.
I guess those additives added to cigarettes (hate those tobacco companies for that) and the nicotine really make my brain always want more of it.

Then figure out what to do with the extra decade that you will live.

I don't care so much for the extra decade. When it's over, it's over :)
But smoking is hurting my health right now. I am short on breath sometimes and not nearly as fit as I've used to be.

I read somewhere that if you can go to a sauna for a few days while you are trying to give up smoking, it will help you sweat the nicotine out of your system.

Thanks for the advice! Seems reasonable to me. But I think the real challenge is the behavioral change. It's all in your brain.
I think the physical aspect is hard, but not as hard as get rid of the smoking habit.

Anyway, I keep trying with the electronic cigarettes and hopefully soon I will be a former smoker.
And maybe those mx blue switches will stop failing then too :)

Offline tweakedmind

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 21:40:58 »
Cherry MX Blues fail on me after a year as daily-driver. Browns don't seem to. YMMV.

So maybe it isn't just the smoke and cigarette ash why mine failed so quickly.

How many hours a day do you type on your blues?
When they do fail, in which way do they fail?

BTW: What keyboard are you using?
I still wonder if all mx blue switches are the same or if there are multiple versions (maybe "better" mx blues on more expensive boards?).

Maybe I should give the browns a try.

I am still not feeling as comfortable on the Topre as I used to do on the mx blues.
The Topre switches (45g) feel too heavy for my fingers, so I mistype quite a bit.
I had the same problem with the Unicomp Model M (though with that board I also had problems because of the high profile keys).

Offline bondonin

  • Posts: 24
Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 21:44:08 »
Get a rubber dome keyboard. It will laugh at cigarette ashes.

That looks like a staged pic. This link otoh is a real beat up keyboard that has done cigarette holder duty.
http://geeknation.com/ask-the-doc-bacteria-keyboard-toilet-seat/

Offline katushkin

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 02:40:27 »
I was in your position once. Although I didn't type quite as much.

I bought a Razer Black Widow (MX Blues) in mid 2011. I am a smoker, and like you I smoked heavily at my desk, but this was mainly for gaming. I would still average a good 6-8 hours gaming a night, so there was a lot of key presses. After about a year I noticed two of my keys start ****ing around. My H and my D keys both started either producing double characters or sending no signal at all. It steadily got worse for a few months, where eventually it got to the point where I had to buy a new board.

When I swapped over, I cleaned out my BW and found it actually wasn't that dirty, probably because I tended to use compressed air as soon as I got ash on it (which was hardly ever). After using my new board for a long while, in the last three months or so, I have started using my BW again, and although it pisses off my co-workers no end, it is as good as new.

So I don't really know how smoking will be effecting the switches. The ash surely would land in the gaps between the switches seeing as the opening is protected by the keycaps. Maybe I haven't typed on my board enough to **** it up yet, but I'm pretty sure it will last for quite a while longer.
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Offline ynrozturk

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 07:24:15 »
Had my Razer BW Tournament Edition for over a year now, I'm at around 3 million keystrokes with it, and no problems so far. I clean it once a month by removing all the keys and whatnot.
IBM Model F | IMB Model M | Poker II MX Brown | Poker II MX Clear | Filco TKL MX Brown | Bastardized Razer Blackwidow TE MX Blue | Logitech G602 |  Cyborg R.A.T. 7 | | Logitech MX518 | Icemat  | Artisan Hien

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 09:25:37 »
The ash surely would land in the gaps between the switches seeing as the opening is protected by the keycaps.

I think the the airborne sticky tar-like residue may be the larger problem. It staggers the imagination to look at a single filter after a single cigarette has been sucked through it.
Were our leaders just stupid? Well, maybe. But there’s a deeper explanation of the profoundly self-destructive behavior of Trump and his allies: They were all members of America’s cult of selfishness. You see, the modern US right is committed to the proposition that greed is good, that we’re all better off when individuals engage in the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest. In their vision, unrestricted profit maximization by businesses and unregulated consumer choice is the recipe for a good society.
Support for this proposition is, if anything, more emotional than intellectual. I’ve long been struck by the intensity of right-wing anger against relatively trivial regulations, like bans on phosphates in detergent and efficiency standards for light bulbs. It’s the principle of the thing: Many on the right are enraged at any suggestion that their actions should take other people’s welfare into account. This rage is sometimes portrayed as love of freedom. But people who insist on the right to pollute are notably unbothered by, say, federal agents tear-gassing peaceful protesters. What they call “freedom” is actually absence of responsibility.
Rational policy in a pandemic, however, is all about taking responsibility. The main reason you shouldn’t go to a bar and should wear a mask isn’t self-protection, although that’s part of it; the point is that congregating in noisy, crowded spaces or exhaling droplets into shared air puts others at risk. And that’s the kind of thing America’s right just hates, hates to hear. Anger at any suggestion of social responsibility also helps explain the looming fiscal catastrophe.  – Paul Krugman 2020-07-28 NYT

Offline katushkin

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #27 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 11:16:05 »
The ash surely would land in the gaps between the switches seeing as the opening is protected by the keycaps.

I think the the airborne sticky tar-like residue may be the larger problem. It staggers the imagination to look at a single filter after a single cigarette has been sucked through it.

Ah ok, I was just going on him saying he dropped ash on it a lot, but that makes sense too.
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Offline regack

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #28 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 11:36:32 »
The ash surely would land in the gaps between the switches seeing as the opening is protected by the keycaps.

I think the the airborne sticky tar-like residue may be the larger problem. It staggers the imagination to look at a single filter after a single cigarette has been sucked through it.


I remember moving some friends who were moderate smokers out of their apartment after a year.  The walls were mostly white behind the pictures when we took them down... and pretty much yellow to tan everywhere else. 

I imagine its a combination of things, tar residue gumming up the switch internals a bit, maybe the pH of the smoke is causing mild corrosion on the PCB... I remember reading an article about smog in China affecting computer internals due to corrosion.  Could be those things (not the smog in China) causing intermittent switch problems. 

You should dissect the next keyboard that fails and check the PCB.   I'd be curious to know if it's more commonly used keys that are failing more than others or is it random.   

Offline Howler

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #29 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 12:56:10 »
Cherry states that the mx switches have a lifespan of 50 million keystrokes.
So let’s assume I type an average of 100 keystrokes per minute (I do 60% coding and 40% texts and when I am coding of course I have a lot of breaks for thinking rather than typing).
That makes a total of 17.5 million keystrokes per year (100 per Minute * 60 minutes * 8 hours * 365 days). I guess it will actually be much less, because of course I don’t type all the time.
So the switches should last for about 2.8 years according to the Cherry specs. However my boards where failing after 7 months (which is about 10.5 million keystrokes at maximum).

2.8 years is a little pessimistic for these switches (even with that typing volume). The 17.5 million keystrokes is total keystrokes, not per key. So each key would only get a fraction of that. According to http://andong.azurewebsites.net/dvorak/, using the c# language spec (nice mix of code and english), the space is the most used key, at 13.98%.  This means that the most used key will get ~2,376,600 keystrokes per year. This gives an average of ~21 years before the first key starts to fail.

I believe that if you are seeing keys fail that quickly, there has to be something getting in them to cause such a failure; be it nicotine, tar, or something else.

I wonder if you could flush the keys with high percentage isopropyl alcohol to remove any residue? http://www.daskeyboard.com/blog/how-to-recover-from-a-beverage-spill-on-your-keyboard/

Offline tweakedmind

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #30 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 19:33:26 »
I wonder if you could flush the keys with high percentage isopropyl alcohol to remove any residue? http://www.daskeyboard.com/blog/how-to-recover-from-a-beverage-spill-on-your-keyboard/

Unfortunately no. I will send the board back to the retailer (amazon) for service or a refund.
Fortunately here in Germany we have a 2 year warranty by law.
So I don't want to make any experiments with the board.

Now I will see how it goes with the Topre RelaForce.
If I get used to it, I'l stick with it and the mx blues issue will not be an issue for me anymore.
If I can't adopt to the Topre, I guess I have to either stop smoking, buy a new board every couple of months or find another kind of board.

Right now the Topre switches still feel too stiff/hard to me. I hope what others say about that it breaks-in is true.
Maybe an uniform 30g Topre board would be better for me.
The board I have is variable weighted (most keys are 45g, some 30g and one (ESCAPE) is 55gm) and the 30g keys feel much better to me than the 45g.
But uniform 30g Topres are very, very hard to get in Europe (Especially with a ISO / German layout). I haven't found any retailer yet, which lists them.

I wish there was a perfect board out somewhere, but I guess I will have to live with some issues, no matter which board I will use.
« Last Edit: Fri, 10 January 2014, 19:42:09 by tweakedmind »

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #31 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 20:41:12 »

Fortunately here in Germany we have a 2 year warranty by law.


Many items have a useful life of less than 2 years. How do they determine what a "reasonable" expectancy should be?
Were our leaders just stupid? Well, maybe. But there’s a deeper explanation of the profoundly self-destructive behavior of Trump and his allies: They were all members of America’s cult of selfishness. You see, the modern US right is committed to the proposition that greed is good, that we’re all better off when individuals engage in the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest. In their vision, unrestricted profit maximization by businesses and unregulated consumer choice is the recipe for a good society.
Support for this proposition is, if anything, more emotional than intellectual. I’ve long been struck by the intensity of right-wing anger against relatively trivial regulations, like bans on phosphates in detergent and efficiency standards for light bulbs. It’s the principle of the thing: Many on the right are enraged at any suggestion that their actions should take other people’s welfare into account. This rage is sometimes portrayed as love of freedom. But people who insist on the right to pollute are notably unbothered by, say, federal agents tear-gassing peaceful protesters. What they call “freedom” is actually absence of responsibility.
Rational policy in a pandemic, however, is all about taking responsibility. The main reason you shouldn’t go to a bar and should wear a mask isn’t self-protection, although that’s part of it; the point is that congregating in noisy, crowded spaces or exhaling droplets into shared air puts others at risk. And that’s the kind of thing America’s right just hates, hates to hear. Anger at any suggestion of social responsibility also helps explain the looming fiscal catastrophe.  – Paul Krugman 2020-07-28 NYT

Offline tweakedmind

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #32 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 23:11:08 »
Many items have a useful life of less than 2 years. How do they determine what a "reasonable" expectancy should be?

I am a human being, so by definition I am not a lawyer.
But as far as I know, there are exceptions to the 2 year warranty, for example batteries.
Basically all expendable items are excluded.

Actually it’s not just a German law, but one for the whole European Union instead.

By the way, the law is called “Gewährleistung”. AFAIK there is no really precise English translation, since it has some important differences compared to a warranty.
For example, the seller is always liable by this law, not the manufacturer. And a seller cannot modify the conditions and terms of the warranty. It’s entirely determined by the law itself.
And there is a reversal of evidence after the first 6 months. That means during the first 6 months the seller has to prove that the good was not faulty in the beginning and that the fault was instead induced by yourself.
After the 6 months you have to prove that the good was faulty from the beginning (or at least had faults that eventually causes it to fail) and that you haven’t done anything wrong with it. But most retailers will replace or repair a faulty unit during the 2 years without too much of a hassle.

I think 2 years is actually quite a low lifetime expectation for consumer goods. Back in the 80s/90s most goods lasted for way longer than that. But nowadays manufacturers use the principle of planned obsolescence to f*** us all and force us to buy new stuff every couple of years.

I heard even the most expensive TVs will die after about 2 to 4 years nowadays. Which is freaking horrible considering that a high class TV can easily cost more than $2000.

Funny story: Years ago I bought an electric toothbrush, a Braun Oral-B Triumph 5000 to be precise. After about 2.5 years the built-in (non-user replaceable) rechargeable battery had lost almost 80% of its capacity. So in the beginning a single charge was enough for 2 weeks of daily usage, but in the end it lasted only 1 or 2 days. I paid about $200 for it (it was a kit with 2 toothbrushes), so I did not want to buy a new one, just because the battery was bad. I was looking in the Internet for a way to repair the damn thing and finally found an ebay auction where they sold a replacement battery and instructions to replace it. It cost about 10$ per battery, so a total of $20. Replacing the battery was not a very easy process, but doable by someone who can use a soldering iron. What really made me angry was the fact, that the replacement battery had a much higher capacity than the original (about 3 times as much). Now with the replacement battery inside a single charge lasts about 2 months (!). Why did Braun not use the higher capacity batteries to begin with? And why did they make it so hard to replace the battery? It was very clear that the battery would only last a couple of years at most, so making the battery non-user replaceable means the planned that the user will throw it away after quite a short time and buy a new one (maybe again one from Braun!?).

Just a couple of weeks ago I had a similar experience with a Samsung PC Display. The display had started to flicker every time you switched it on. It got worse every day. So I searched for information about the fault on the internet and finally found repair instructions. It turned out that it was just 2 faulty capacitors worth a couple of cents. I ordered replacements and replaced the faulty ones and now the display is working as if it was new. So instead of buying a new display I spent about $2 for replacement parts. So f*** you Samsung!

By the way: When I opened it I was shocked what I was seeing. There was quite a big motherboard inside the display, but 80% of it was empty. But although there was so much empty space on it, they placed the capacitors right next to the main transistors and the converter coils. So to me it seems like they deliberately placed the capacitors to the hottest spot they could find on the whole motherboard, so that they will die shortly after the warranty is over.

I wish more people would actually try to repair broken things rather than throw them away and buy new stuff. I think every household should have a soldering iron.
But manufacturers make it harder and harder to repair things.

Gosh, I hate the modern capitalism.

On the other side, people are not willing to spend a reasonable amount of money for quality. All I hear is "I want it cheaper".
So to some extend it's the consumers own fault. If I can choose I almost always tend to buy the middle priced or high priced goods. Someone told me a long time ago "Buy cheap and you buy twice".
But please don't get me wrong: Nothing is wrong buying cheap if you can't afford something better. What really makes me angry is seeing wealthy people not willing to pay for quality although they could easily afford it.

Planed obsolescence, the NSA affair and all those things just tell me one thing: This world is going south!
« Last Edit: Fri, 10 January 2014, 23:25:06 by tweakedmind »

Offline Grendel

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #33 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 01:12:11 »
If I can't adopt to the Topre, I guess I have to either stop smoking, buy a new board every couple of months or find another kind of board.

Back in the day when I was still smoking I used an IBM M for years w/o issues. These boards are immune to smoke since the membrane switches are sealed towards the cap and have almost no air displacement when actuated (unlike MX or Topre mechanisms.) Buckling springs are quite different to MX or Topre switches in terms of feel tho. At least they are readily available w/ German layout. ;)
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Offline TheSoulhunter

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #34 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 04:40:19 »
If you gonna trow the board away, mind desoldering and sending me some of the failing switches?
I'd like to investigate... Keyboard science FTW ;)

EDIT: Never mind, just noticed the "send the board back to the retailer" part, doh!
« Last Edit: Sat, 11 January 2014, 04:43:43 by TheSoulhunter »

Offline ijprest

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #35 on: Sun, 12 January 2014, 20:38:11 »
I'm starting to wonder about the reliability of blue switches as well. 

I've had a WASD v2 w/blue switches since August.

One key (down arrow) was failing pretty much from the beginning (within a week or two), with the symptoms you describe: occasional missed keypresses, and occasional double keypresses.  I replaced it.  I disassembled the malfunctioning switch, and there was nothing obviously wrong with it; no visible damage or debris.  But I hooked it up to a Teensy and it was definitely screwing up at the switch level... it was 'bouncing' well out of range for a Cherry MX switch (based on their spec-sheet).

I *did* notice that it was more likely to mis-fire if I hit the key at an angle... as I was often doing due to the key's position on the keyboard.

After a few months, I noticed my 'A' key was doing the same thing.  I haven't broken out the soldering iron to replace it yet... been living with it.  It has been a couple of months and it's not getting better, so this isn't a 'break-in' thing.  Just recently, I've noticed a couple of mis-fires with my '.' (period) key... not sure about this one yet; it might be going as well.

I'm a non smoker, and I haven't spilled anything on the KB.

Offline lilky

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 13 January 2014, 12:15:57 »
It's gotta be some external factor because I have 3 blue keyboards, the oldest of which I've been using for 4 years now, and I haven't encountered any problems.

Offline tweakedmind

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #37 on: Mon, 13 January 2014, 22:18:58 »
I disassembled the malfunctioning switch, and there was nothing obviously wrong with it; no visible damage or debris.

Same happened to me.
I remember when my first board failed I took the affected switch apart and I found absolutely nothing unusual too.
I am still curious what's causing it to fail...

Offline tweakedmind

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 13 January 2014, 22:20:07 »
It's gotta be some external factor because I have 3 blue keyboards, the oldest of which I've been using for 4 years now, and I haven't encountered any problems.

Maybe Cherry has changed their switches at some point.
I also remember that older cherry boards did not die this fast.
I started to have this issue about 2.5 years ago.
Besides the switch problem, I also noticed that the overall build quality of cherry boards has been decreased a lot since the mid 2000s.
Unfortunately Cherry is not longer what it used to be.

Offline Green456

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Re: Durability of Cherry MX Blue Switches
« Reply #39 on: Thu, 25 June 2020, 20:27:17 »
I think you answered your own problem, it is being caused by smoking. Switch is probably full of smoking related crud deposits which gum it up.
I am smoker myself, but I stopped smoking indoors at all some time ago.

It seems it's not directly ash particles which are causing it.
When I opened the affected switches they looked pretty normal to me and there was nothing unusual inside. At least nothing visible to the naked eye.

Maybe a thin layer of nicotine or tar has built up on the inside.
I have a whiteboard in the same room. When it's completely cleaned it takes about 3 months till it isn't "white" anymore :)
I read nicotine and tar in cigarette smoke is pretty aggressive.

Why, oh, why is smoking a habit that is so hard to get rid of!?
If there are any underage here:
If you want to completely ruin your health, your wallet and your wall paper I have the perfect solution for you: Start smoking!
I deeply regret that I ever started smoking...

Get a rubber dome keyboard. It will laugh at cigarette ashes.

Funny you’d say that. I just got a Topre RealForce (see http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=53168), because after researching for quite some time I figured out that this might be the only decent board that can survive in my environment (besides the IBM Model M / Unicomp, which I do not like).
I hope some other smokers will reply. I’m still curious if other smokers do have the same problem with mx switches...

Get a rubber dome keyboard. It will laugh at cigarette ashes.

That's nasty :-\ Did the person really fill up bottles of Gatorade with piss?...
I guess so. The desk looks like the guy was living in front of the PC and never left, not even to pee.
By the way: What happened to the guy? Looks like he died right there...

I know I'm late to the party. But I was laughing hard when reading this thread. I am an ex-indoor smoker. And yes, I had exactly the same experience as you.

After 2-3 months my first Ducky Shine 4 with MX Blues (a true beauty) started with some keys chattering. I used alcohol to clean it, but it usually did not last for long. To really clean it, you would have to tear the switches apart, lube them, put it all together again.

So next I bought a Ducky Shine 5 RGB with MX Browns. Another extremely good keyboard and I thought I was maybe unlucky with the first one. But again after 2-3 months I got some keys with keyboard chatter. I found another thread somewhere of a smoker who had the suspicion it could be related to smoking.

Then I picked a Realforce RGB next, kind of expensive, but due to the design the smoke cannot enter the membranes. :) And it is an excellent keyboard as well in my opinion. Problem solved for the last 3 years now. My first good keyboard that survived beyond the 2 years of warranty!!

So maybe the best course of action is to smoke outside, it will also reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke unless you want to spend the whole day outside. :) Or even better, stop smoking completely, which is a future goal for me. I stopped smoking indoor recently, so I might give Ducky another shot when I am tired of the Realforce one.

Just for fun, I hooked them up both today. They were not in use and have been on a shelve in the room where I heavily smoked for at least 1.5 years. Almost half of the keys of both keyboards did not work anymore. Before it was just a bunch of keys, but enough to stop using it. I would say most likely it is the smoke, but my alcohol mistreatment with a syringe could have made it even worse. Then I searched the internets and found this thread. :)
« Last Edit: Thu, 25 June 2020, 20:43:23 by Green456 »