[IC] Kailh Box PCB Mount Bottom Housings


#1

Form link https://goo.gl/forms/YTLPDC74Vt0fmYJG2

Crossposting this here for visibility

Quick and dirty IC to figure out if this is even worth the effort of doing the math on. I’ve talked a little with Mike from Novelkeys about it and Kailh would do it if the mold was paid for, but it just costs a lot.

PCB mount bottoms would give benefits like

  • Less twisting when soldering
  • More secure fit to the PCB
  • Able to be used plateless or with half-plates

The option in the form for full switches or bottoms only is for the hypothetical funding period only. If this were fully funded then the usual Box switches would just be available with PCB mount bottoms.

Currently the response is overwhelmingly positive, with <5% of 125 responses saying no. I’ll definitely be looking to start talking more with Mike about it to see where we need to go next with this response. Responses in the form and here are still more than welcome though!


#2

As I’ve said previously, I support the idea and hope it happens. I’d be much more inclined to using BOX switches if it does.


#3

I’ve talked to Kailh quite a bit about this. Here is what I can say. It is happening, but it wont be soon. When it does happen, it wont be every switch to start. Thats really all the info I have at this time.


#4

That’s some good news! The lack of pcb mounting has left some of my universal boards unable to use Box switches.

Now if only I can nail down the lubing process… haven’t been able to get one that is up to par with Gateron switches when lubed, but the compartmentalized leaf mechanism makes me think it should be possible to get them smoother.


#5

Do you know yet if the bottoms will be interchangeable? Would be good for using universal plates if you can at least swap one or two out


#6

I’m not sure exactly what you are asking.

But all Kailh’s BOX bottom housing is the same (minus that of the Royal leaf). Hope that answers it!


#7

Ah sorry wasn’t clear. I mean would the PCB mount housing only be adding the PCB mount pins and not changing any other aspects of the design. Then at least people who wanted to could swap out the new bases for the plate mount if they wanted to.

You answered the question though!


#8

Already submitted the google form, but i want to show my interest in the comments as well. GL with this great idea Donut!


#9

What kind of lube have you tried?


#10

Put my two cents on the form & submitted it. Personally I really like this ideal as it would open up the possibility of using BOX switches in pretty much any board designed to use MX switches. Although while I think this would be a great addition to the BOX design, what about making some changes to the housings so they can be opened while installed in a plate? That would be something I would love to see if it is feasible without an entire redesign of the housings. :metal:


#11

Unfortunately something like that would require a pretty substantial redesign due to the connection method that Kailh currently uses, but the changes would need to be to the top housing and not the bottom. You could technically make plate cutouts that would allow the side clips to slide past, but from what I can see looking at switches currently there’s no good way to unlatch them from the top, which is what would necessitate the top housing redesign.


#12

Yeah looking at some loose BOX switches closer after I posted that gave me the same conclusion. It would have to be a substantial redesign of the top housing probably requiring new molds to achieve that. I was thinking maybe just by adding slits to the top housing & using a plate with big enough cutouts would work. Although from the looks of it, there just isn’t a good place to do that at that wouldn’t weaken the top housing with Kahils. Of course I’m no engineer so who knows maybe someone will come up with a clever way to do it that does not require a substantial redesign!


#13

I’m a big fan of box switches so i think this is a great idea :ok_hand:


#14

+1


#15

If I may ask a related question: why aren’t PCB mounted options more popular? The manufacturers seem to not care about using rattling stabs and rice paper thin lasered keycaps: why not save some more and toss the plate out as well?

Any ideas?


#16

Plates are usually core structures of the cases in OEM boards and it’s usually easier to sandwich/top mount a plate and leave the PCB alone than it is to tray mount in most OEM designs.


#17

“The more you know!” :+1:t2:


#18

Kumo kickstarter shows some kailh switches with pcb-mount housings :eyes:


#19

Apparently non BOX switches have always had an option of PCB mount. But when I originally talked to my contact, I think we had a misunderstanding. I was told that wasnt an option, but found out about a month ago that they have always had it. Ha. I will slowly be switching over all my stock to PCB mount switches besides the BOX switches.


#20

Nice, I’ve always been a fan of having rather than not having! Personally I like to use PCB mount switches even with a plate if the PCB allows for it, makes lining the switches up properly so much easier IMO. :metal: