Funky Frankenswitches

I’ve had some Gateron milky housings hanging around and I’ve been making franken-switches out of them.

My latest creation is what I’m calling a Gateron milky silent sky.

  • Gateron (Yellow) milky housing
  • Gazzew silent tactile “sky” stem
  • Sprit 68g Complex springs
  • Lubed with 3204 all around, except stem legs

It’s a really nice budget way to get a silent tactile with less tactility than with Boba housings or similar. I personally appreciate the slight resistance when I’m typing.

Here’s what it sounds like.

Side note: I am really starting to love 3204 lube for both tactile and linear switches.

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3204 is a good all a rounder. I have been liking it on big bump tactiles, your HPs, T1s, Koalas, etc. Lubing the legs doesn’t really seem to effect the bump too much since it is so large.

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This sounds like something I might want to build.

How are the 68 Complex springs as opposed to the regular kind? I have experience with 68 Stainless springs.

They’re nice! They feel like a slower-curved longer spring. Definitely not linear, but not fully progressive either. After being on 70g Creams and 78g Progressives for a few weeks they feel really light haha.

Here’s the image I keep on hand to remind me:

image

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Follow-up thoughts on these switches.

  • They have a significant pre-travel before the tactile bump. If you put your finger on the stem, it can easily be pressed down I’m guessing 1-1.5mm before being caught by the tactile bump. This is likely due to a mismatch in length in the Gat milky housing.
  • They have a good amount of stem wobble. This doesn’t bother me too much.

I really wanted to make a batch of silent sky tactiles because I love these stems, but these housings are far from ideal. Overall, I don’t mind these defects, and I don’t regret making the batch of 60 :smiley: But I figured I’d include these notes for completeness.

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Cookies n’ Cream

  • NK Box Cream housing & spring :icecream:
  • Kailh Silent Box Brown stem :chocolate_bar:
  • More quiet, deeper sound - virtually no ping :sound:
  • More moderate tactility, like reg. Box Brown :brown_heart:

Like a mild Silent Box Brown, but better.


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Like I mentioned to @skepp in another thread, I’d tried this before even mounting the Box Creams in a tester board. (How could I resist?)

What we have here is a subtle but significant improvement over the standard Silent Box Brown, with a couple possible exceptions, one of which can be compensated for. If you want RGB, chances are this isn’t the switch for you - but a modest amount of light will make it through. If you prefer the stronger tactility of the Silent Box Brown, you can swap-in the leaf.

As detailed here with the simple stem-swap, this switch has tactility similar to a standard Box Brown with the dampening of the Silent version, and the sound and feel benefits of the POM housing. Thanks to the spring, it doesn’t ping like many of its boxy cousins do. Now there’s some change I can get behind.

From what I can tell, another benefit of all the newer round stems (silent or otherwise) is that they don’t appear to suffer as much from the inconsistent resting position issue that most of the square ones tend to. Like other Box switches with the newer tapered housing, these have North-facing Cherry compatibility.

Sooner or later, I’ll definitely be replacing the standard Silent Box Browns I’m using at work with these - but I’ll have to buy more Box Creams first because I like using the regular ones at home too much!

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Do you know how it would compare to a krelbo switch? I have a bunch of silent stems i intended on putting in creams, but I wouldnt mind saving some money. I’m primarily looking for a quiet switch thats still audibly thocky, a la topre or niz

These probably aren’t the funkiest frankenswitches out there but I was have been looking for the ideal home for a JWK Moyu stem (since I really like the feel) and happened to have some V1 JWK RARAs sitting in a drawer. I like the RARA ok when I first got them but never ended up putting them in a board.

Anyways, I put the Moyu stem in the RARA housing and I think it feels GREAT! It’s hard to tell with JWKs but I’d guess that the leaf and bottom housing shape is pretty much identical but it seems the RARA’s material is different. The sound is much better than the stock Moyu.

I am planning on putting them in a board that should arrive in the next few weeks so I’ll let you know how it actually turns out (maybe I’ll torture you all with a typing sounds video as well).

Thanks for listening!

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Black Ink U4

  • Gat Black Ink housing & spring
  • Gazzew U4 silent tactile stem
  • Lube everything (I used 205g0 & 106)
  • Round, wide, moderate-weight bump :egg:
  • Smooth travel & firm spring weight :mechanical_arm:
  • Silicone-soft top & bottom-out :cloud:

A no-nonsense name for a no-nonsense, office-friendly switch for the heavy-handed typist or programmer.


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Any switch you put a Gazzew U4 stem into is going to be pretty quiet and have a big bump, so no surprise those features are present here. The Black Ink housing lends some smoothness, and its leaf offers a more subdued bump compared to the Boba; while the spring gives a firm resistance from top to bottom.

Since these are generally destined for silent builds, I recommend lubing the spring - and everything else, including the tactile legs and leaf surface that contacts them. The trade-off doesn’t really sacrifice much - the switch retains a pretty strong bump, and gains that last bit of smoothness to make it feel truly premium.

Mix these with something like a gasket or burger mount with a soft (or no) plate and you’ll have quite the bouncy experience on your hands.

In terms of the switch photographed above, I put these together for one of our resident programmers who hates noisy keyboards and also happens to be very heavy-handed when typing. These switches would wear me out pretty quickly, but I think they’ll suit his hammer-fingers just fine while saving a bit more of his office-mate’s sanity.

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I’ve had some issues with Gat housings / leafs chattering and mis-firing when paired with a tactile stem. Is that not an issue with Inks?

Thanks! I’ll hang up and listen.

I haven’t had that issue with any Inks yet.

V1’s might be susceptible to that if you use a different top housing that doesn’t have the little tabs to hold the leaf down (like a Panda top).

It was with stock tops but it’s been a while since I tried. I think the first time I did it was with stock yellows and then more recently with Laserons for sure.

I’m definitely keen on looking into this. I have some regular Gat Yellows I haven’t experimented with yet - did it happen with pretty much any tactile stem? As for chatter - would that be like a rattly noise from the switch or are we talking electrical chatter like bouncing / extra keypresses?

The latter: extra key presses / phantom key presses. If I recall correctly just putting my finger on the key could cause a whole string of keypresses.

Interesting. I have had this kind of chatter happen with some combinations.

The linear Yellow Ink stems do that in many (but not all) regular housings, for example - put that stem in an Ink Black, Cream, Kailh Pro, or Halo housing and it’s just like you described, basically unusable. Same stem in an Ink Blue or Outemu Ice housing works just fine - I guess it has to do with how far back a given leaf is pushed by a given stem when in the resting position.

I know I tested the Black Ink U4 as functional (and I believe at least one other denizen here uses them), but now I’m curious about how often / in what cases this issue shows up. I’ll definitely try the Gat Yellows with a few tactile stems and see if I run into any issues - this is just the sort of thing I’d like to include in a database, or build a specific database for.

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Any recommendations on Frankenswitches that result in zero to little W/E stem wobble? Maybe on par with Alpaca V2 or Durock POM linears?

Most of my tester switches are on-loan at the moment, but off-hand I remember the Deadpool being super stable. I’ll have something more specific for you when I get it back.

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A quick update; I put together a whole bunch of tactiles using KS-3 Gateron housings, all yellows:

I’ll be testing all of these tonight and will report back with my findings. The stems, from left to right:

  • Halo
  • T1 / Koala / Kiwi
  • TTC Brown
  • Gateron Brown
  • Kailh Speed Copper
  • U4T
  • Ink Kangaroo
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Look forward to hearing the results! Awesome arrangement, the tactiles look like a bunch of bullies.

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Insert brazzers logo

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