Dominique visits Matt’s workshop and picks Matt’s brain.

They talk about switches, how they work, the types of mechanical switches, and why Matt has so many of them…

What is a switch?

A switch is a device that either allows or stops the flow of electricity. Normally, the electricity is trying to get from one point to another point. If you had a wire, electricity will continue to flow. But if you break the wire, then the electricity won’t flow; and a switch is a piece that allows you to join the wires together.

What are some of the switches that Matt has lying around his workshop?

Toggle switch

This switch is mainly used to turn something on or off. Toggle switches also were used to program computers in the 70’s.

Push-button

A simple switch used commonly in arcade games.

PCB mounted tactile switch

These are the switches you would normally mount on a PCB.

Mechanical switches

These switches have been designed with specifications suitable for typing.

How does electricity flow through a mechanical switch?

Electricity flows through the crosspoint contact. When you press a key, the two metal components get in contact with each other, thus registers a key press.

Why do some mechanical switches have a white or transparent bottom and some have a black bottom?

Manufactures have created different solutions to allow light to come out through switches.

For example, this transparent mechanical switch has got a cut in the side of the shell so that you can put an LED underneath it and light will shine up through the top.

If it’s got a solid black base, then you’d have to put the LED on the top.

What are the types of mechanical switches that can fit with the Raise?

All mechanical switches that have this center pin and then have the two pins offset can fit in the Raise.

What are the three types of switches?

These three basically come down to the feel of the switch. Different people love different types of switches and it’s a very personal choice.

You also get different springiness, so this will affect the amount of force you need to make the switch press. You could have a very light touch or a heavier touch.

Linear

With a linear switch, it takes a linear amount of force as you actuate and de-actuate it. It has a smooth smooth press all the way down.

Tactile

With the tactile, as you press it, you feel a bump in during the key press. But if you press it fast, you don’t notice it much.

The hump at the wing of the stem causes that little bump.

Clicky

There are two pieces of the stem in the clicky switch – the blue piece and the white piece. When actuated, the white plastic piece pops out of the way. As the white bit hits the bottom, that’s what makes the sound.

We hope you enjoyed this update! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write them below!

Again, within the week we will be posting another update regarding the developments from China and the schedule of the production process. So stay tuned!

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