What the heck. Leaky switches?

So I took apart a hotswap board today to try out some new switches as well as the new Novelkeys stabilizers.


What the heck?! Where did this oil come from? Notice how it’s mostly around the edges? Here’s the thing, lately I’ve been testing new switches on just the alphas. But you know what’s been on the num row and modifies for months?.. bobas.

Are bobas leaking oil???

I’ve never seen anything like this. I don’t use oil lube and it’s not dielectric.

Before the bobas I had gateron caps switches in it. Someone’s leaky


The answer is gateron cap switches; they got da hole


True, but that would be under the pcb. This was on the top

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Capillary action? Leading for the LED slot? Leaking from the sides of the switch if loose? :thinking:


Never ever, ever never seen this before. There’s definitely a concerning amount of leakage. It’s almost like the switches got real hot, to the point it increased the lubes viscosity allowing it to actually “slosh” around the switch housing. So bizarre!


Yeah tbh I haven’t seen this either; kinda wild. Clean it with distilled water and or isopropyl alchohol (should be okay I think?) and then make one side with gat caps and the other side with bobas.

While you’ll drive yourself crazy using bobas on one side and caps on the other, it’ll let us get to the bottom of this :mag:


Ha. Good idea.

Interesting. I can definitely confirm that Caps leak oil, at very least faster than Bobas. I haven’t seen it at all with my Bobas yet but that doesn’t mean they don’t do it - I’ll take a close look at the containers I have them stored in when I get home - I think I have 4 separate batches in three containers so it might be a decent sample size, ha.


Happy to report it all cleaned up well with Isopropyl. I’m currently testing some other switches and stabilizers, but I’ll try to investigate this sometime down the road. I’m thinking the caps switches are a bit sus, but who knows :man_shrugging:t3:

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Manufacturer: How much lube do you want in the switch?
Keyboard enthusiast: Yes


The subtle difference between lubrication and dampening is not well understood.

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Can a PCB handle this kind of leakage?

I am seriously considering a build of [lubed] Gateron CAP Golden Brown V2 on an NCR-80. This would be a PCB-mount keyboard, so direct to PCB.

Other than aesthetics, and the NCR-80 is kind of a ‘work-board’ not a show-board anyway, is this prohibitive?

[Also, Gateron CAP Brown is said to wobble more than normal on a PCB-mount, but still works.]

I still never figured out what happened here. I will say I think it’s related to lube and using a 5mm thick plate. If any lube spills out from a switch (still not sure how it would), it gets pressed under the plate and can spread all over the pcb in time.

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To my eye the switch areas are the cleanest spots on the pcb. The oil has gotta be from the stab lube, or a spill/something in the air accumulating there like kitchen grease.