Crushing housing when removing Alpacas from hot swap board

Not sure if this is the correct place to post this question. I have a Tofu60 that I was looking to install some Alpacas in. Well I had an issue with board and needed to disable and remove all the Alpacas. When pulling the switches out I crushed a bunch of the houses and they would not fit securely back into the plate. Is this an issue with all hot swap boards? Or is it just that the switch houses are rather soft? I didn’t have issues with the Gateron yellows that were previously in it. Could it be an issue with 5 pin switches compared to 3 pin? Let me know thanks.


JWKs is just so slightly bigger than Gateron Yellow that the plate becomes to tight.

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This is anecdotal but what switch remover are you using? I’ve found that narrower ones can want to not fully get under the switch and crush the top housing as a result. Like @skepp said, I’ve run into this mostly with Durock switches so it could be a combination of things.


This is what I’m using.

So I should buy a different plate? Or you think I will have the same issue?

It’s annoying and I’ve experienced it on many occasions. Darn switch housing is too big and the switch puller just breaks the flimsy housing.

I got a seq2 Rama switch puller with my M65-B that works so much better in these situations.

For me, it’s Panda and BSUN housings that tend to get crushed during removal. Switch side opposite contact-leaf is weaker and caves in when too much force is applied with switch puller.

I’ve been able to mitigate crushed switches by squeezing the puller just enough to depress the two clips and then wiggling the switch out instead of directly pulling on it. There may still be crushed 1-2 switches, but most of them come out in good shape.

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I was squeezing and pulling straight up. Might have been squeezing a little too hard.

That was my guess too. I made the same mistake when I pulled switches out the first time.

I’m not sure what crushing the housing means, but I have broken many of the tabs that get secured to the plate in Glorious Pandas and some gaterons. And after many accidents I realized that the trick is to barely press the part where the RGB shines through, you have to press the opposite side (where the leaves are), and pull that part first, because the tabs won’t bend much on this side and that is where the pins are secured to the hotswap things.

So, press both tabs, but not much, the force will be applied primarily in the tab near the leaves, and pull that side first, then wiggle the switch a bit to get the other side up too. Hope that helps you.

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I’ll second the Rama SEQ2 puller. My regular puller had a heck of a time extracting Alpaca housings from the super tight aluminum KARA plate. I ended up crushing one. The Rama puller was much easier and required less effort. I think they’ve got the measurements just right on that one.

By the way, I have 3 of the original Rama pullers and they are trash. I hate them with a passion. But the new version is 100% improved.

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It sounds like you might be crushing a tad too hard. Certain plates may certainly be tough, thumb-painstakingly so, but usually once you have enough force on the north and south clips, it should just take a bit more force to lift the switch out.

An alternative method that makes some people cringe, is using a small thin rod (maybe a screwdriver) and pushing them out from the bottom (if pulling from the top is giving too much resistance. This method also might take a decent amount of force and you have to be careful. I personally have done this for years in certain situations where I’ve had difficult switches on certain difficult plates. While I have done this for years, I don’t typically recommend it as dangers can include:

  • stabbing yourself
  • stabbing your PCB
  • thrusting a switch across the room
  • slamming finger flesh against sharp switch pins
  • the realization you are using force when instead you should probably use finesse

I think I’m going to try a different puller and use the wiggle method once I get some new Alpacas. Thanks for the help everyone.