I’ve had some Gateron blues sitting around for a year or so that I didn’t really feel like using but didn’t really feel like selling. So, I decided to mod them.
I bought some J-spacers from thevankeyboars and some 50g springs. The mod was a bit tedious, but I got it finished and I’m really pleased with the switch. I put them in one of my hotswap boards for the moment.
I modded all 100 of the switches that I had, and I ended up pruning out 8 or 9 due to irregularity in sound. Some of them had a tiny click still and some were extra noisy on the way back up. I’m not sure if it’s tolerance issues with the jspacers or if it’s the leaf spring or stem. Anyway, I ended up with almost all of them usable.
When you insert the spacers between the stem and the click jacket, you are essentially making a very long stem that sits right at the bump and actuation point. Also, the spring will be partially depressed at the top of the switch movement, making it feel significantly stiffer than normal. I highly recommend 50g springs for this mod.
What I have now feels very similar to a smoother cherry clear switch with reduced travel.
Cherry clears have a strong tactile bump and then get quite heavy. Heavy enough that it is fairly easy to type on them without bottoming out.
To me, these jailhouse modded blues feel similar except the pre travel before the bump is gone, and instead of the heavy spring after there is a dampened bottoming out almost like a topre bottoming out.
I should note that I tried the mod on some other clicky switches before deciding to go with Gateron. I tried Kailh blue, Kailh light green, and Cherry blue. The Kailh just didn’t feel good modded. The Cherry switches came in a close second to Gateron.
The cherry blues sounded better with jspacers, but they didn’t ever feel right on the way back up. For some reason the curve on the legs of the Gateron switches is better at coming back up over the bump smoothy.
Jailhouse mod is still a good mod if you like tactile switches and don’t mind reduced travel (but I highly recommend using a very light spring to make it feel right)