Switch Mod Concept


#1

I’m not sure if anyone has done this, but I found some smaller o-rings that will fit inside the Kailh Box switches. I wanted to remove most of the bottom out, so the o-ring prevents almost all key travel after the actuation point.

If, for some reason this ruins the switches or doesn’t work as intended, I’ll update this thread once I finish modding and soldering. :joy:

The only issue I had was the Kailh sealed contact mechanism falls off occasionally, so if you press a finger down against it while pushing your o-ring into place, it prevents that.

I use two tweezers to fit the o-ring. One aligns it to the small switch post and the other presses it around the post. The shape of the box stem at the bottom means the plastic bottom of the switch presses against the o-ring where it would normally bottom out.

Overall they feel a bit like jailhouse switches. I did try modding a Novelia, but the Box Royals feel better once modded.

If you can find different o-ring durometer ratings and thicknesses, you can soften the bottom out or change the distance.

I bought these specific o-rings a long time ago, so if I can find the specifications on them, I’ll add them to the thread.

Pics below to illustrate:


#2

Hmm this is interesting. This reminds me of the trampoline mod; except for box switches.

You mentioned they feel a bit like jailhouse switches which is interesting. Do they have a ‘mush’ bottom out feeling?

How does it feel with the reduced travel distance? that seems like a pretty beefy o-ring relative to travel distance so I’d suspect that makes quite the difference.

Although the closer I look at this picture:
image

Have you tested if the switch will fully actuate? As in does the slider move down far enough into the o-ring to push the little nub?


#3

Visually, it looks like it aligns just under the activation point. I’ll test them later in a hotswap PCB to double check before soldering. The o-rings will compress slightly with enough force, but as-is it feels like a switch that has almost no travel below the actuation point.

Edit

It did work, but it’s so close the actuation point that you can accidentally not fully actuate a key if you hit it too quickly. I suppose I’ll unmod these and convert them back to regular Box Royals. I think some o-rings that are less thick would be much better.

Meanwhile I put some Novelias with Krytox lubricant in the hotswap PCB and it’s quite nice. I can’t decide though if the spring weight is too heavy. Unmodded Box Royals may be the way preferrable for me.


#4

I’ll add these close-ups of the depressed switch. It just clears the actuation point without any force on the o-ring.


#5

I’m noting this twice in the thread, but the o-rings were a little too thick to actuate reliably (pressing a key too quickly wouldn’t always actuate).

I’ll see if I can find some thinner o-rings and do some more testing. That said, it may be too similar to jailhouse modding to be of any interest to people.

Next time I’ll mod a Novelpad instead and only do twenty switches to test — sigh


#6

This mod reminds me of this thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/8bt5xv/modification_silencing_kailh_box_switches_with/

I used this method in several BOX-stule switches to some success. IIRC, I’ve tried this in Brown, Burnt Orange, Royal, and Hako Royal Clear. They all reduced bottom-out noise quite well and didn’t really affect the key feel any more than the traditional MX-style O-ring method, with the noticeable exception of the Hako Royal Clear. It really made that switch feel a lot heavier and clunkier, for lack of a better word. The Hako Royal Clears also felt inconsistent from switch to switch with this mod, while the Kailh and NovelKeys switches were fine.


#7

Out of curiousity - do you have a link to the o-rings you used? Mine were just the slightest bit off.


#8

Yeah, I used these: https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-4mmx1mm-Nitrile-Resistant-Grommets/dp/B01MTNJ7FI

Note that I did not wrap the o-rings around the post, but instead off to the side away from the actuation nub inside the housing. The video in the linked thread should show the positioning of the o-ring.


#9

@keyboardbelle did you find out the thickness of o-ring you used? I’ve got some with the u/Kr9er method and they work okay, but the switch contact noise is loud enough on its own to not call it a silenced switch.


#10

I hand measured and they seem about 1.8mm without compression and then 1.5mm slightly compressed. 1mm may be the right thickness to work, but I’m not 100% sure on this.

Edit - I bought some new o-rings that should be about 1mm thick. I will report back with actual measurements and see how hard it is to accidentally not actuate the switch.