Author Topic: What does it mean to 'bottom out' a key?  (Read 10932 times)

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Offline Ranma13

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What does it mean to 'bottom out' a key?
« on: Sat, 19 December 2009, 03:35:03 »
What does it mean to bottom out a key? Does it mean that the keystroke reaches the bottom of the keyboard? Or does it mean that you hit the key too hard? If so, what constitutes as 'too hard'?
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Offline ricercar

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What does it mean to 'bottom out' a key?
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 19 December 2009, 03:48:06 »
You bottom out when you press the key to the fullest depth of its normal travel. This can be with a light touch or with the force of a maniac; it's still bottoming out.
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Offline Ranma13

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What does it mean to 'bottom out' a key?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 19 December 2009, 04:02:19 »
Oh interesting, I just tested it out on a Realforce 87U. I didn't know it before, but the moment you get past the initial resistance and depress the key slightly, it registers as a press. On my old dome keyboard it wouldn't do this until it got somewhere around the halfway point.

So I guess I'm bottoming out my keys. Is that a particularly bad thing?
Keyboards: Topre Realforce 87U variable-weight, Filco Majestouch Brown Cherry Otaku, Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate
Mice (trackball): CH DT225, IBM L40, CST LaserTRAC, Kensington Orbit
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Offline ch_123

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What does it mean to 'bottom out' a key?
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 19 December 2009, 05:23:25 »
Rubber dome keys require you to  bottom out to work, mechanical ones don't. Most would consider not bottoming out to be more comfortable and conducive to quicker typing, but some would dispute that.

Offline Rajagra

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What does it mean to 'bottom out' a key?
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 19 December 2009, 06:28:39 »
The problem with standard rubber domes is that you *have to* bottom out to get a keypress. In addition some make you do so *quite hard* because they are poor quality (or worn out.) The result is you are trained to whack the keys down hard without thinking about it, causing fatigue or even injury with extended use. Most people nowadays think that is the correct way to type; I would have a year ago before I learned better.

It's not just about whether you bottom out. It's how you do so when you do.

Even old fashioned typewriters were better than rubber dome keyboards, they worked best when you gave the keys enough momentum to print a character. If you tried to press the key slowly and then apply pressure at the end of the stroke, it simply wouldn't work.
« Last Edit: Sat, 19 December 2009, 06:32:55 by Rajagra »

Offline AndrewZorn

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What does it mean to 'bottom out' a key?
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 19 December 2009, 06:32:34 »
if nothing else, fully depressing each key wastes time and energy
and before LOL TOO LAZY TO EVEN TYPE LOL i am referring to increased typing speed and endurance
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Offline keyb_gr

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What does it mean to 'bottom out' a key?
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 19 December 2009, 07:33:16 »
Quote from: ch_123;143654
Rubber dome keys require you to  bottom out to work, mechanical ones don't.

And with semi-mechanical concepts (mechanics over membrane) it's sort of split - there are some that do not require bottoming out as they employ some lever mechanics (buckling spring, Cherry MY) and others that do (OKI).
Quote from: ch_123;143654
Most would consider not bottoming out to be more comfortable and conducive to quicker typing, but some would dispute that.

As a rule of thumb, less travel means higher speed, and switches actuating before they bottom out effectively reduce travel after some training. Switches that almost make you bottom out hard (like black Alps) slow things down and are felt to be uncomfortable on top of that.
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Offline microsoft windows

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What does it mean to 'bottom out' a key?
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 19 December 2009, 07:47:07 »
Quote from: AndrewZorn;143659
if nothing else, fully depressing each key wastes time and energy
and before LOL TOO LAZY TO EVEN TYPE LOL i am referring to increased typing speed and endurance


I can type pretty good on my Model M, and that thing's keys definitely require some force to actuate.
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Offline ch_123

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What does it mean to 'bottom out' a key?
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 19 December 2009, 08:02:02 »
It's quite easy to type on a Model M without bottoming out once you get used to it - the buckling springs are well designed in that regard.

Offline microsoft windows

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What does it mean to 'bottom out' a key?
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 19 December 2009, 08:09:50 »
That they are. I've also found them to have much smoother action than different key switches.
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Offline ricercar

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What does it mean to 'bottom out' a key?
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 19 December 2009, 14:11:31 »
The Kinesis Contour controller has an option to produce a speaker click. It's great training for pressing Cherry browns only as necessary, and no more. Great for developing a light muscle memory that's transferable to other Cherry brown keyboards.

I'm contemplating doing the audio click trick with a black Cherry board (or two) to see if I can stop bottoming out on the blacks.
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