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How do I change the switches on my hotswap keyboard?

asked 2018-02-08 14:57:58 -0500

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I wanted to change the switches out of my hot swap keyboard. How do I change them without damaging something?

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answered 2018-02-08 15:05:03 -0500

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Changing the switches on a hot-swap keyboard.

The keyboard has hotswap support via switch sockets allowing you to change out and replace the key switches with different ones as long as:

  • The switches have the same pin spacing - for example Alps switches are not compatible
  • The switches are plate mount. If you have PCB mount switches, you may, at your discretion, cut off the two small plastic pegs on the bottom of the switch to have them be the same as plate mount.
  • The switches are new and have never been soldered in to another keyboard. This is due to desoldered pins having a coat of solder on them which varies in thickness. This additional thickness may damage the sockets or detach the sockets from the circuit board due to the extra insertion force. If you are attempting to use desoldered switches, proceed at your own risk as this may void your warranty.

To replace the switches, use the following procedure:

  1. Remove the keycaps on the switches that you want to replace using the provided keycap puller.
  2. Using the provided switch removal tool, remove the switches from the switch plate by pushing the locking arms inward, then lifting the switch straight up.
  3. Ensure that the replacement switch has undamaged pins that are straight and not bent. Some switches have very soft pins that bend easily, so caution should be observed.
  4. Insert the new switch, positioning the switch pins to match the socket pins. Ensure that all sides of the switch are firmly on the plate.
  5. Put the keycaps back on the replaced switches.

NOTE: The sockets are rated for 100 insertion cycles. While the sockets themselves may be replaced as well, the procedure requires good soldering skills and may void your warranty.

TODO: Make video on switch removal

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answered 2018-04-17 22:43:00 -0500

oldcat gravatar image

you need a switch removal tool. I believe K type comes with one.

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Asked: 2018-02-08 14:57:58 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 17 '18