Author Topic: ALPS Custom Springs Tests - 13 ALPS Tasters (Reserved)  (Read 4611 times)

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Offline sprit

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ALPS Custom Springs Tests - 13 ALPS Tasters (Reserved)
« on: Tue, 30 August 2016, 04:07:01 »
Moderation Note: Sprit has failed to successfully deliver/communicate on group buys in a satisfactory manner on multiple occasions in the past.  Order forms are removed per the moderator team. Sprit has been assigned a member group that removes his post editing permissions, and he will not be allowed to start any future group buys or advertise on geekhack in any manner.

ALPS Custom Springs Tests  -  13 ALPS Tasters




Alps Springs GB  -  Aug 30   https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55888.0


-  Hearing opinions  :  by the end of July    [IC]   https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=71357.0   (Done!)
-  Final Sample production by Aug 20,  I am funding the sampling fee $1,200 plus Gold plating costs.  (Done!)
-  Express Ship to Testers (2-3 days)    [Test]  https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55888.msg2239559#msg2239559   (Undergoing, a bit Delayed)
-  Test Reports by 13 Testers   :   Simultaneously on a Day between Sept 11 - Sept 15    Anytime When You are Ready ! [Testers]   https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55888.msg2239559#msg2239559     
-  E2E , duynguyenle , tjweir , SJHL , Magna224,  nateth,  itzmeluigi,  jswill,  Spaceman1200,  Jbondeson,  Hasu,  JDCarpe,  Nubbinator,  Jacobolus  have accepted to Test.  Happy to have You ! 

-  Open Group Buy on Aug 30 - Sept 18.   You can Pay before or After the Production.
-  For the Smooth & Safer GB  :  I will invoice 30 persons at a time,  When all shipped,  I will invoice the next 30 persons,  This might save my burdens and lead time to deliver
-  Candidates to produce  -  Actuation force  40cN, 45cN, 50cN, 55cN, 60cN, 65cN, 70cN, 85cN, 100cN, 125cN, etc

-  Mass Production   :  Sept 5 - Sept 20 (New Schedule)
-  Inspection  &  Shipping    :  Sept 22 - Sept 30
-  Special GB Price  -  $6 /100pcs Standard,   $10/100pcs Gold,    FREE Shipping Worldwide over $30 Buy!
-  Order   >   <<SNIP>>



References

-   Alps Appreciation Thread                       https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45456.0
-   Interest Check  [IC]                                https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=71357.0     
-   Apple Extended Keyboard II  Mods         https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=49407.0     
-   Mini Keyboards                                       https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=49405.0   
-   Wang Skull Returns                                https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=49408.0   
-   My References  :   Apple Model 0110, AEK, AEK II, IIgs,  Alps Metal SW,  Dell AT101,  SGI,  Wang 725,  NorthGate Blue,  OmniKey,  NCR Alps,  Focus 2001,  Zenith Green Tree,  LeadingEdge 2014, 3014,  NeXT Black by Steve Jobs    https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55888.msg2211254#msg2211254     https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55888.msg2213940#msg2213940


Apple Extended Keyboard II  in 1990  &  NeXT Black in 1986
146823-0
« Last Edit: Sat, 24 December 2016, 00:25:49 by infiniti »

Offline sprit

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Re: Alps Custom Springs Reviews - By 13 Testers (Reserved)
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 30 August 2016, 04:07:38 »
Reserved 1  -  The TEST Elements   (Under Discussion)

146794-0
« Last Edit: Tue, 30 August 2016, 18:39:17 by sprit »

Offline sprit

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Re: Alps Custom Springs Reviews - By 13 Testers (Reserved)
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 30 August 2016, 04:07:48 »
Reserved 2  -  The Test Process







« Last Edit: Tue, 30 August 2016, 20:20:36 by sprit »

Offline sprit

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Re: Alps Custom Springs Tests - By 13 ALPS Tasters (Reserved)
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 30 August 2016, 20:19:56 »
Reserved
« Last Edit: Sun, 11 September 2016, 06:52:53 by sprit »

Offline sprit

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Re: ALPS Custom Springs Tests - 13 ALPS Tasters (Reserved)
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 31 August 2016, 22:28:23 »
Test Samples Shipped

147065-0 
« Last Edit: Sun, 11 September 2016, 06:49:12 by sprit »

Offline sprit

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Re: ALPS Custom Springs Tests - 13 ALPS Tasters (Reserved)
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 11 September 2016, 06:51:37 »
Dear  ALPS  Testers!

Be Cruel, Brutal on Criticism for All of Us please! 
The Test Reports  :  Between Sept 11 - 15,  Anytime You ready! 
« Last Edit: Sun, 11 September 2016, 06:53:39 by sprit »

Offline hasu

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Re: ALPS Custom Springs Tests - 13 ALPS Tasters (Reserved)
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 11 September 2016, 19:31:46 »
Thanks for your work, sprit!

Tried them in some Green and Orange switches. Had no problem at all, quality of the springs are great.
I got A, B, C, D, E and gold plated C.  I don't know how they are rated in terems of weight, but diffrence of adjacent ones is very slight, it is difficult to me to discriminate them in particular, in tactile switches. Someone including myself might want broader variety in weight, or lighter and heavier springs.

TMK products:HHKB Alt  ⌨ConvertersAlps64FC660C AltFC980C Alt

Offline duynguyenle

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Re: ALPS Custom Springs Tests - 13 ALPS Tasters (Reserved)
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 14 September 2016, 18:10:08 »
Hi all,

I also received 5 samples labeled A to E, with a second pack of sample C with gold plating. I tried them all in a Dell with black switches and an AEK (M0115) with orange switches. Overall, springs are very smooth, and they all squeak less than the stock black springs on my Dell, however, as Hasu pointed out, the differences in weight were very subtle, I had to take out all the tactile leaves in my switches in order to get a feel for the differences between spring weight.

My spring samples has the weights as follows: B > C > A > E > D (this is somewhat subjective, and my sample E and D feel extremely similar). I didn't feel much discernable differences in weight between sample C and sample C with gold plating. The heaviest sample I got (sample B) is about the same weight as the stock spring on the SKCM Black switches, and a hair lighter than the orange switches on my AEK (without tactile leaf). With the tactile leaf in the switch, I can just about tell the difference between the heaviest sample and the lightest sample, and it was very tricky to tell the differences between the other samples.

I would echo hasu's opinion that a wider range of spring weighting should be offered. I would love to see some heavier springs to use on spacebar and mods.

That said, all samples feel very consistent and they are definitely a step up from the stock springs, I think this would especially be relevant to older complicated Alps keyboards, and I will be sure to pick up a few packs for my Alps boards. All thanks to sprit for letting me test these spring samples  :thumb:
| QFR            | Leeku 1800    | Raptor K1      | Dolch Pac

Offline jbondeson

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Re: ALPS Custom Springs Tests - 13 ALPS Tasters (Reserved)
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 15 September 2016, 08:47:33 »
Switches tested:
   1) Matias Quiet Click
   2) SKCM Cream Damped
   3) SKCM Salmon
   4) SKCM Orange
   5) SKCL Green (also an SKCL Yellow)
   6) SKCM White



Springs Tested:
   A [Steel]
   B [Steel]
   C [Steel]
   C [Gold]
   D [Steel]
   E [Steel]



Tested On:
   * Steel Plate (Alps Party)
   * v60 Case
   * No PCB
   * All six switches with each of the six springs and an unmodded
   * Cleaned switches, but not re-lubed
   * Apple AEKII PBT Caps mounted on all switches (same profile for same switch)

My Preferences
   I prefer a large tactile element that does not take a large amount of force (i.e. ergo clear).
   For alps switches my normal preference goes like so (linear are in their own bucket):
      1. Blue
      1a. Orange
      2. White (if very clean)
      3. Quiet Click
      4. Cream Damped
      5. Salmon

   Salmons have always been an interesting one for me as I have never found them to be terribly
   consistent and my first thought is to simply replace the spring and tactile leaf with ones
   from a QC to get a much better switch overall.

Findings :
  I'm going to organize this first by switch (indicating my favorite combos for each) and then by
  spring giving a brief rundown on my thoughts.

Matias Quiet Click
   Favorite: "D [Steel]"
      The combination of the really light D spring and the super-crisp QC tactile leaf make this
      an amazing combination. Of all the combinations this is surprisingly my favorite. I want to
      try and remix the QC leaf into a Cream Damped and see if I love it even more with the extra
      stability from the complicated alps switch plate.
   Runner Up: "C [Gold]"
      A little stiffer but overall snappier than the D, the C [Gold] gives the QC a nice refined feel.

SKCM Cream Damped
   Favorite: "C [Gold]"
      With the SKCM Cream Damped's much less aggressive tactile leaf the slightly heavier switches felt
      more at home. The C spring gives it some good bounce.
   Runner Up: "B [Steel]"
      A little stiffer than the C this works very well also.

SKCM Salmon
   Favorite: "C [Gold]"
      Pretty similar to creams in most respects (just undampened). These would probably see the most
      improvement from some aftermarket lubricant, and that's what they're going to see at a later
      time to get a better feel.
   Runner Up: "B [Steel]"
      Same as above.

SKCM Orange
   Favorite: "B [Steel]"
      Oranges definitely have one of the lightest tactile leaves for alps switches giving them a
      much more subtle tactile point (especially when compared to QCs). The B springs give it a nice
      clean stroke that's not too light (which can destroy the tactile element).
   Runner Up: "C [Gold]"
      This should sound familiar but the C springs are right in that sweet spot that lets them work with
      most of the switches.

SKCL Green
   Favorite: "A [Steel]"
      Naturally on the linear switches it's all about the springs. And for my money I'd say that the
      stiffer feel of the A spring gives Green's a nice slot in between an MX Red and an MX Black.
   Runner Up: "B [Steel]"
      A little lighter than A, the B spring still provides enough resistance to not feel out of place.

SKCM White
   Favorite: "C [Gold]"
      Lightens the switch up to a point where the White's feel downright Blue in feel. With a little
      addition of lubricant and this becomes an amazing clicky switch for a fraction of the cost.
   Runner Up: "B [Steel]"
      More of the same from previous reports, but the B switch has a great feel in the clicky switches
      as well. The interesting note is that the B spring seems to fill out the sound a little bit more
      (likely due to the extra force needed).

A [Steel]
   I believe the stiffest of the springs I tested, they definitely work well in linears, but otherwise
   I preferred the lighter springs.

B [Steel]
   A little more in the middle these seem to work well with the less aggressive tactile leaves.

C [Steel]
   Since these were all blinded I actually don't know for sure if this is actually the same spring as
   C [Gold] or not. It's really similar if not the same. Could be completely within the realm of variance
   but it does feel a touch heavier in action than C [Gold]

C [Gold]
   This was probably my favorite overall spring. It's at a weight that just seems to work for most things.
   The only time I wouldn't at least give it a look would be for linears I feel it would be too light. If
   this was indeed the same weight as C [Steel] it would be fun to do some double-blinds on this to see if
   I really can tell the difference between the two.

D [Steel]
   Perfect for the very aggressive Quiet Clicks, otherwise a little too light in most of the other switches.

E [Steel]
   Not a bad spring, I just never thought it was my favorite on any switch.

Final Thoughts:
   At no point did I ever think "Huh, the originals are better". The reality is even for the switches that
   have been preserved almost perfectly, they've been in these keyboards for 20+ years and they just aren't
   as smooth as these newer springs.

   I'll definitely be ordering a number of D's and C's and B's!
« Last Edit: Thu, 15 September 2016, 08:51:11 by jbondeson »

Offline sprit

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Re: ALPS Custom Springs Tests - 13 ALPS Tasters (Reserved)
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 18 September 2016, 07:30:07 »
Thanks for your work, sprit!
Tried them in some Green and Orange switches. Had no problem at all, quality of the springs are great.
I got A, B, C, D, E and gold plated C.  I don't know how they are rated in terms of weight, but difference of adjacent ones is very slight, it is difficult to me to discriminate them in particular, in tactile switches. Someone including myself might want broader variety in weight, or lighter and heavier springs.
Hi!  Thanks for the Report,  Hasu!  :)
You can test whatever possible within Your resources, We will be appreciate that!
What are Your favorite springs?


Offline sprit

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Re: ALPS Custom Springs Tests - 13 ALPS Tasters (Reserved)
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 18 September 2016, 07:33:19 »
The Schedule extended - Due to the Unexpected Mail Delivery Delay

Test Reports by 13 Testers   : Anytime When You are Ready !

Offline sprit

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Re: ALPS Custom Springs Tests - 13 ALPS Tasters (Reserved)
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 09 October 2016, 04:06:49 »
Switches tested:
   1) Matias Quiet Click
   2) SKCM Cream Damped
   3) SKCM Salmon
   4) SKCM Orange
   5) SKCL Green (also an SKCL Yellow)
   6) SKCM White

Show Image


Springs Tested:
   A [Steel]
   B [Steel]
   C [Steel]
   C [Gold]
   D [Steel]
   E [Steel]

Show Image


Tested On:
   * Steel Plate (Alps Party)
   * v60 Case
   * No PCB
   * All six switches with each of the six springs and an unmodded
   * Cleaned switches, but not re-lubed
   * Apple AEKII PBT Caps mounted on all switches (same profile for same switch)

My Preferences
   I prefer a large tactile element that does not take a large amount of force (i.e. ergo clear).
   For alps switches my normal preference goes like so (linear are in their own bucket):
      1. Blue
      1a. Orange
      2. White (if very clean)
      3. Quiet Click
      4. Cream Damped
      5. Salmon

   Salmons have always been an interesting one for me as I have never found them to be terribly
   consistent and my first thought is to simply replace the spring and tactile leaf with ones
   from a QC to get a much better switch overall.

Findings :
  I'm going to organize this first by switch (indicating my favorite combos for each) and then by
  spring giving a brief rundown on my thoughts.

Matias Quiet Click
   Favorite: "D [Steel]"
      The combination of the really light D spring and the super-crisp QC tactile leaf make this
      an amazing combination. Of all the combinations this is surprisingly my favorite. I want to
      try and remix the QC leaf into a Cream Damped and see if I love it even more with the extra
      stability from the complicated alps switch plate.
   Runner Up: "C [Gold]"
      A little stiffer but overall snappier than the D, the C [Gold] gives the QC a nice refined feel.

SKCM Cream Damped
   Favorite: "C [Gold]"
      With the SKCM Cream Damped's much less aggressive tactile leaf the slightly heavier switches felt
      more at home. The C spring gives it some good bounce.
   Runner Up: "B [Steel]"
      A little stiffer than the C this works very well also.

SKCM Salmon
   Favorite: "C [Gold]"
      Pretty similar to creams in most respects (just undampened). These would probably see the most
      improvement from some aftermarket lubricant, and that's what they're going to see at a later
      time to get a better feel.
   Runner Up: "B [Steel]"
      Same as above.

SKCM Orange
   Favorite: "B [Steel]"
      Oranges definitely have one of the lightest tactile leaves for alps switches giving them a
      much more subtle tactile point (especially when compared to QCs). The B springs give it a nice
      clean stroke that's not too light (which can destroy the tactile element).
   Runner Up: "C [Gold]"
      This should sound familiar but the C springs are right in that sweet spot that lets them work with
      most of the switches.

SKCL Green
   Favorite: "A [Steel]"
      Naturally on the linear switches it's all about the springs. And for my money I'd say that the
      stiffer feel of the A spring gives Green's a nice slot in between an MX Red and an MX Black.
   Runner Up: "B [Steel]"
      A little lighter than A, the B spring still provides enough resistance to not feel out of place.

SKCM White
   Favorite: "C [Gold]"
      Lightens the switch up to a point where the White's feel downright Blue in feel. With a little
      addition of lubricant and this becomes an amazing clicky switch for a fraction of the cost.
   Runner Up: "B [Steel]"
      More of the same from previous reports, but the B switch has a great feel in the clicky switches
      as well. The interesting note is that the B spring seems to fill out the sound a little bit more
      (likely due to the extra force needed).

A [Steel]
   I believe the stiffest of the springs I tested, they definitely work well in linears, but otherwise
   I preferred the lighter springs.

B [Steel]
   A little more in the middle these seem to work well with the less aggressive tactile leaves.

C [Steel]
   Since these were all blinded I actually don't know for sure if this is actually the same spring as
   C [Gold] or not. It's really similar if not the same. Could be completely within the realm of variance
   but it does feel a touch heavier in action than C [Gold]

C [Gold]
   This was probably my favorite overall spring. It's at a weight that just seems to work for most things.
   The only time I wouldn't at least give it a look would be for linears I feel it would be too light. If
   this was indeed the same weight as C [Steel] it would be fun to do some double-blinds on this to see if
   I really can tell the difference between the two.

D [Steel]
   Perfect for the very aggressive Quiet Clicks, otherwise a little too light in most of the other switches.

E [Steel]
   Not a bad spring, I just never thought it was my favorite on any switch.

Final Thoughts:
   At no point did I ever think "Huh, the originals are better". The reality is even for the switches that
   have been preserved almost perfectly, they've been in these keyboards for 20+ years and they just aren't
   as smooth as these newer springs.

   I'll definitely be ordering a number of D's and C's and B's!

Much Appreciate for your highly detailed Review! 

Offline nateth

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  • Location: South Carolina
Re: ALPS Custom Springs Tests - 13 ALPS Tasters (Reserved)
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 16 October 2016, 14:58:01 »
My apologies for the general radio silence. I was caught up with some family and workplace business/drama.

I initially tested the springs on Matias click switches, but I had a hard time with keypress consistency due to the nature of Matias switches. I hadn't realized the build quality allowed for wide tolerances between parts. Which made me realize the value in certain Alps vintage switches. I had an Alps Blue board once that was in great condition, but I sold it because I didn't really care for how weak the springs were compared to Matias switches.

So I decided to use cream dampened switches I had, and I also decided it was time to tear apart the i-Rocks K76M Blue with the MX stems. I honestly felt like the switches were similar to Alps blue (probably by design), and I wanted a more aggressive snap. Also, the i-Rocks switches have a four pronged "pseudo complicated" design that gives it a much more consistent keypress.

Spring Weight listed from heaviest to lightest:
(all springs steel colored unless noted.)
A
B
C & C Gold Plated (equvalent weight)
D
E
i-Rocks Stock

In the i-Rocks switches springs A & B had such strong resistance that the switch internals would get crunchy. C was consistent between steel and gold variants, but I felt that the tactile nature of the click was reduced due to the heavier weight of the C weight.

D & E provided a weaker, but stable weight that allowed the i-Rocks snap to absolutely shine through. These SPRiT springs + the i-Rocks blue switches make the absolute best clicky switch on the planet IMHO. I found E to be very similar to but better than D.

I intend on editing this post to show some photos tomorrow and also to review cream dampened switches with the same springs. I'll also test Matias click switches since I've gotten a better feel for the difference in spring weights on consistent switches.
« Last Edit: Sun, 16 October 2016, 15:00:51 by nateth »