For me, the three big issues with current Hotswap boards:
- Weakness of the SMD soldered joints on the sockets
- Lack of flexible layouts
- Lack of compatibility with after market tray mounted cases (b/c of collision with the sockets)
Finding a better way to secure the current Kailh sockets would be big improvement. I would hesitate to recommend a HS board to anyone that didn’t have the ability to resolder in a pinch.
I’m going to guess it’s fairly common for a beginning hotswap user to accidentally bend a pin upon insertion and try to force the switch into the socket with a good deal of pressure. If the solder joint is weak, you’re going to break the connection.
This is no issue to me whatsoever, b/c I can just resolder it and it’s still faster than soldering the entire board. However, if you have no soldering tools, you have an unusable board.
I have 3 hotswap boards. On the cheapest one (igk61), I’ve had to resolder 2 of the sockets. That was the first week I got the board (and before I got down a good technique for inserting the switches carefully). Since then, I’ve swapped out all of the switches probably 25-30 times. I’ve never had an issue since.
Never had any issues with my LFKeybaords 65% hotswap or my HS60 (granted the LEDs were messed up and now not working, but the SOCKETS all worked perfectly )