Hotswap socket that works with tweezers but not a switch

anyone had a hotswap socket that works with tweezers but not a switch? from the top it’s the numlock key on the left, I have tried three different switches.


This is from the Zoom 98 keyboard through CannonKeys, Someone on the CK discord thought it might be that the tweezer is wider/bigger, which makes sense.


Ah yes, sounds like the old “hot dog down a hallway” issue :wink:

Most likely the two leaves inside the hotswap holes have been bent too far and no longer contact the switch pin when inserted.

A quick fix is to slightly bend the switch pins before inserting, so that they go in a a slight angle. Alternatively, some people have slightly twisted the switch pin with luck.

The proper fix is to get the leaves inside the hotswap socket back in their original position.

You’ll need magnification, a good light, and a sharp pushing tool (I use one side of some sharp tweezers)

The leaves are on the North and South position of the hole. They are normally touching or almost touching in the middle of the hole. Repeated insertions or extra wide switch pins can cause them to stretch open too far and not be able to return to their previously closed position.

So go from behind the hole and push those small leaves back towards the front of the PCB with a small tool. That should fix the problem permanently.

Lots of snickering :face_with_hand_over_mouth: while typing this one out.


thought it might be that the tweezer is wider/bigger

I can see that, possibly literally. I don’t see the terminals from the top view on one of the numlock socket’s holes. @pixelpusher has given you the best options.

As an aside, Kailh hotswap sockets strike me as just barely fit for their intended purpose; they’re pretty fragile. The “OMG I hate my life” 3-pin-only pseudo-millmax sockets seem to hold up to cheap PCB manufacturing better, though they are definitely unpleasant to use and the level of force that’s needed comes with its own risks.


Being diplomatic I’ll say they have gotten better over time. The ones on the few hotswap PCBs I actually use are the newer ones & they seem a bit better than the original ones. Overall though I agree with your take, they’re still kinda on the edge of being fit for their purpose. That’s actually the biggest reason I avoid HS, more parts = more points for failure IMO. Mill-max sockets are the ideal solution if you really want HS for a board, but if someone is not confident enough to solder switches in the first place, it would be a fool’s errand for them to try to solder in mill-max sockets! :laughing:


thanks for all the advice! I will try to do some magnifier work on this board over the weekend. Hopefully I can get it done. I also put in a support request to CannonKeys. Haven’t seen one like this in the years I’ve been building, though I don’t build as much as most of all ya’ll.

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Thanks so much for the advice! I wasn’t able to see the issue properly with my naked eye, but thanks to the iPhone’s magnifier app and some very small tweezers I was finally able to “fix” the leaves from the first photo to the second which was enough to get the numlock key to function in via!