Will we see revival of buckling springs in the near future?


#1

Matias revived Alps switches. Ace Pad Tech revived the hall effect switches and even added a clicky version which was positively reviewed. Optical switches also have been revived and is used by Wooting One and even by Razer’s recent Huntsman keyboard. Is it perhaps possible to see a revival of buckling springs or will it always be a pipe dream? Would Kailh or Gateron with Novelkeys and Input Club be capable of such a task if reviving buckling springs became a goal?


#2

There was an attempt


#3

I think the main issue withbuckling spring is the internal mechanisms for the various types. I’m only familiar with the model F and model M variants of bukling spring, but model M’s have one whole barrel plate, so that has to be one single mold of plastic, and IIRC that’s why unicomp hasn’t done an SSK yet. they don’t have the mold for that case or barrel plate, so that makes it difficult. If it were to be done like the model F’s were, it might be able to be done by another company in different configurations as each barrel is per key, but the hammer on those is conductive and you need a PCB that can do that with exposed contacts on it.

I think it’s possible, but it would be difficult and take a very dedicated fan or company to invest the time and money to comeup with.

I think if anyone’s gonna do it, conductive hammers and individual barrels like the model F boards have, that would have the best chance and best scalability for different boards.


#4

What happened to it? There seems to be no update. Too little interest?


#5

If it were indeed done by a company would costs be too high and make it very expensive?


#6

Geekhack thread for the Kickstarter didn’t get much traction and the Kickstarter failed (only 14% of goal) – don’t know if it even got cross-posted to Deskthority …


#7

Seems like it would be far too expensive for such a niche product


#8

I think that depends on the company. One of the reasons it takes a while to get novelties or different things in doubleshot is because of making the molds. From what I understand, making pastic molds for some of these things costs a lot of money, but if it were for one shape, like the model F barrels, and some sort of cap that has an MX stem, it might not be too bad. But either way, there’s upfront costs and whatever company takes it on needs to be convinced that they’ll get an ROI that’s good or have to be passionate about it to spend money and not necessarily make it back(unlikely).

Even with the model F barrel type, you’d need to design parts and make molds for the hammers, stems, and barrels, that’s assuming you used some sort of MX compatible stemtop so that you can use regular caps. And the hammers would need to be conductive material which might create its own set of issues.


#9

I thought buckling springs were kind of popular within the community. I’m new to mech boards and mech board community so I know nothing but my first mechanical keyboard was the M2 for Aptiva. I was still a kid back then. Sadly my family have lost the keyboard. Would be nice to have a revival of buckling springs. After that, I just sort of wondered why most keyboards started feeling mushy. Got back to mech boards and I’m loving the BOX Navies.


#10

There’s also the Brand New Model F Keyboard project which is very much a true revival – prices competitive with kustoms …


#11

I consider this site’s keyboards vaporware until proven wrong. It’s been 3 years, I believe, since the first announcement.

EDIT: yep, 3 years. The first post on Deskthority is from 1st July, 2015.


#12

My problem with them was always that. it might be a limited print run, but if they pay for someone to make molds for the parts, those molds won’t go anywhere after the fact. So, at some point, even the company that made the parts or the keyboard company will do another print run. So why not make it more accessible to people and try to lower the prices?

Edit: and also, I don’t know if anyone has a gotten one yet, so it could be vaporware indeed. I feel like there was something I remember seeing, but I don’t know if that’s the original Kishaver or not.


#13

I just recently found out about Unicomp Ultra Classic USB and wow buckling spring switches actually have been revived for years now. They have an online store where I can buy and it costs 85 bucks. Apparently, they don’t sell much and aren’t popular so how the hell is that? But wow I’ve got to get myself one of these. Does anybody here know of these or tried one of these? Are they any good?


#14

Most people that I have heard of that have tried both unicomp and Model M’s say the unicomp boards feel a bit cheaper. I haven’t tried a unicomp board, but if you just want buckling spring, Unicomp is the inexpensive way to go.

Edit: I have purchased caps from unicomp for my Model F. They are fairly good and while not exactly maching colorwise to the F, they’re close enough.


#15

Well there is Unicomp for new Model Ms made from the last tooling Lexmark used before they stopped making them. They are supposedly not quite as good as a real Model M, but damn close from what I’ve heard. Something worth looking into at least. Then there is the people who are making re-pro Model Fs , but I really don’t know much about that project & the little I have heard wasn’t good. I’d say caveat emptor with that project TBH. What I’m getting at though is there is some revivals of buckling spring & capacitive buckling spring boards in the works or already available.

As far a Matias is concerned, I guess you could call them a revival of ALPS type switches. Although they use the simplified ALPS SKBL/SKBM series design which is considered by many to be a good bit inferior to complicated ALPS SKCL/SKCM series. So while they are a viable alternative I would definitely try to get my hands on some true SKCL/SKCM ALPS before going with Matias switches.


#16

THEY ARE ACTUALLY ALMOST DONE.

He actually just held a mini meetup in NorCal and brought some of his latest samples. I will also be uploading a short video of that meetup, but he has said that he’s looking to start shipping them before the end of the year. He’s gotten the color matching of the keycaps to the original spot on and just actually just about finalized his springs.


#17

That’s something I’ll want to see. :slight_smile:


#18

I’m no buckling spring expert, but it seemed like all the veterans/experts of the IBM Model F series there acknowledged that the feeling had been perfectly preserved too. The only reason the springs haven’t been finalized was due to the fact that the sound was off but Joe mentioned that he has finally found a variation that preserves the same feel with sound


#19

I’m not gonna lie, if a full size or TKL layout were offered, I would have pulled the trigger. For buckling springs I want battlestation keyboards. :stuck_out_tongue:


#20

I have more faith in that project than Unicomp’s SSK or Matias PBT caps or 60%. :expressionless: