A guest of mine spilt coffee/tea over my QPAD MK-85 backlit mechanical keyboard & failed to mention it till next day.
I drained the keyboard & left it upside down overnight to dry. Following day all seemed well until i discovered the right cursor arrow key no longer sensed key press even though the LED still lit up fine.
I stripped the keyboard out of casing & cleaned the PCB with alcohol cleaning solution (propan-2-ol) & poured solution down the faulty keyswitch but neither have helped to fix it.
Before i go & strip the rest of the key caps & dip it into distilled water is there anything else i can try ?
Can i use boiled kettle water that has been cooled down ?
Is there a chance the keyswitch has become permanently faulty & non repairable ? If so can i get a replacement keyswitch (red cherry with led) ?
please help..pulling my hair here when it should be the guests.
Since your guest didn't tell you he/she spilled a beverage into the keyboard, and it remained on and plugged in for quite some time, I would assume at this point there's nothing you could do. In most cases, you can just unplug the keyboard and thoroughly dry it and leave it unplugged for at least a few hours and it should work just fine.
I thought with the switches being mechanical there would be not much chance of them getting damaged by spills.
So do you think I would be wasting time washing it in distilled water ?
Any ideas or pointers on how i can get a replacement keyswitch ?
i think it would be easier to just buy a new keyboard
[H=3]AAACKK! I spilled coke/beer/wine/Johnnie Walker/Or Worse! On My Keyboard and it's DEAD![/H]
Probably the number one cause of keyboard failure are liquid spills.
First piece of advice IS:
What you DON'T want to do is listen to some idiot on the internet tell you to put your new Filco into the dishwasher because he/she vaguely remembers seeing a post about that. I recommend you go from least instrusive to more drastic measures over time. The first rule is like a doctor, do no harm!
DISCONNECT THE ****ING KEYBOARD. Although rare I have seen backlit keyboard controllers fried by liquids (higher power draw).
If it is water then set the keyboard on it's side with a low heat source (not Texas summer pavement hot or you'll warp the plastic).
Here is a good tip from absyrd.
Originally Posted by absyrd;592544
I'd contribute a classic and safe way of drying out such electronics after spills and after doing proper cleaning as you have described... put them right over a central air or heating vent (known to create indoor "desert climates" even in humid areas) or very close to any radiator, baseboard heating unit.
I've done this with numerous cell phones dropped into bar toilets or drinking glasses, pc components like mobos I've spilled drinks into, etc. It is a slow and safe way as opposed to accident-prone oven, hair dryer, and so-on solutions.
DO NOT USE A HAIRDRYER!!!
You can also try a desiccant like silica beads. It's only $10-15 in the kitty litter section.
Wait 2-3 days then plug it in. See Rule 1.
If that doesn't work try opening up the keyboard and wiping down the PCB and checking any internal connectors for water/liquid contamination.
If MOST of the switches work use contact cleaner on the switches that don't work. Just a TINY bit of contact cleaner to start. Then spam the key. See more on contact cleaner Keyboard Science testing in the Gallons of Spooge thread.
If THAT doesn't work it's time for more drastic measures like a full keyboard solvent bath. Just tap water is probably fine since your keyboard is already filled with gunk that will mix with the H2O anyway. You can use a gallon of distilled water as a final rinse if you want to.
If the keys are sticky feeling afterwards because the lube was dissolved by the solvent see Lube Keyboard Science testing in the Gallons of Spooge thread.
Or use a more powerful solvent like 99% Isopropyl or Ethanol. If you use Ethanol MAKE SURE it doesn't have denatruring additives like Acetone. This varies by country so it's MUCH safer to use Isopropyl.
SLX brand for example has Methanol/Ethanol but the methyl ketone denaturing ingredient is not good for plastics (MSDS PDF here).
Note that for IBM Buckling Springs and Rubber Domes you might have to clean the membranes as well. I do NOT recommend dousing IBM Model M's and rubber domes with distilled water (source1, source2). For Rubber domes it's simply a matter of some screws. For IBM Model Ms it's a nut/bolt mod, not a trivial operation.
IF all of that doesn't work do NOT be a douchebag and RMA it, raising the cost for everybody else and possibly even having your keyboard resold as "refurbished". I can assure you that spills are not covered by the manufacturer/reseller warranty. Somewhere a Bunny will commit suicide if you do that.
If THAT doesn't work try the deep cleaning methods under "Sticky Switch Fix" above.
[H=3]Cherry MX That Does Not Click or Register Key strokes[/H]
Cherry Blue MX is a bit fussy. If the switch USED to click then this is because of some contaminant in the switch. First try blowing with compressed air or spamming the key like you're on 4Chan.
If that doesn't work you can use contact cleaner, disassemble the switch and tweak the metal crosspoints, or replace the switch (see spill fixes section).
If the switch doesn't work AT ALL (use a key tester program like Aquakeytest - see the NKRO Wiki) you MIGHT have a cold solder connection (causing the switch to not register even though it used to). See the Replace The Switch instructions above.
[H=3]Spacebar Does Not Feel Right[/H]
Other times you may have a spacebar that is unusually balky. This COULD be because the key loosened from the stabilizers during shipping. See the Cherry MX Key Pulling and Swapping Guide and try pulling the key and reinserting.
Here is a more complete debugging guide courtesy of WASD Keyboards.
1. Take the key off
2. Check the switch itself. The action should be smooth like your other keys. (Take off another key and test that switch directly to compare if needed.)
a. IF the switch is bad, RMA it.
3. The inserts should be pointing towards the top of the keyboard with the spacebar facing down, but like RColinTaylor said, probably not the issue.
4. Look at the black clips that hold the stabilizer bar. There is one on each end. You'll see two black tabs that stick out perpendicular to the base plate. I bet one of these clips is slightly warped and the space between the tabs is closer on one, or even both sides. This would case the tabs to "grab" onto the inserts instead of just guiding them up and down. Just bend the tabs apart and hold it in the position for a few seconds. Repeat if necessary. This should open up the gap and allow the key to travel freely. Not critical, but you can grease it as well.
[H=3]Pulled The Stem Right Out Of The Switch?[/h]
Sometimes when you pull a Cherry MX key on a plate mounted switch, especially with Cherry Blues, you might accidentally can pull the entire stem OUT of the switch. Sometimes this breaks the retaining tab. Although you can pop it back in and it'll probably work fine I'd recommend replacing the switch or it'll happen again for sure next time you pull the key.
If the tab is NOT broken simply reinsert the switch following the instructions here. Link.
On a non-plate mounted keyboard (i.e. PCB mounted keyboard) you MIGHT pull the switch apart like this.
If so you most likely didn't break anything. Just reassemble the switch with the spring inserted in the center indent and orient the slider so the legs face the copper metal switch and reinsert the top until it snaps back.
[h=3]Sticky Keys Due To Molding Defect[/H]
Sometimes you will have a "Sticky" Cherry MX key. Assuming it is brand new and you haven't spilled coke on it then the most likely culprit is contaminants or a molding defect. The most common place is where the LED is inserted into the Cherry MX, the rounded portion of the cutout just below the stem.
Cherry MX should look like this.
If this is the case you can take a Xacto (sharp hobby knife) and shave off the offending burr.
[h=3] In A FIT Of Keyboard Rage I Snapped A Cherry MX Stem Clean Off![/h]
Cherry MX keys can break if you stick them in a backpack unprotected (example) or have a fit of keyboard rage (example), or even when key pulling (example). Remember - when pulling keys wiggle it like Beyonce wiggling her butt while putting a ring on it!
For a plate mounted switch you will need to buy another switch (see buying links above) and then desolder and replace (see mods section below).
For a PCB mounted switch you can just replace the stem. See the Mods section below.
If the key stem is stuck in the key try taking a small 1/16" drill bit and drilling it out to reuse the key.
I suspect the switch housing is PBT, making it fairly brittle. Source.
[h=2] Repairing A IBM Buckling Spring[/h]
If you have a key switch that doesn't work (especially if it is a new keyboard shipped by UPS monkeys) FIRST try tilting the keyboard front lip up (prop on a book or something) and reinsert.
YOU MAY HAVE TO DO THIS UP TO 10 TIMES!
Also be super careful when reassembling Type 1 simplifieds. They actuation mechanism is very easy to damage even with correct upper case orientation. It's very easy to crush or bend them such that they don't work.
Q. How can I tell an Type II switch from a Type I without opening up the switch?
If you remove the key, you can tell between these two switch types without having to further open up the switch guts. You'll need a flashlight to peer at the left-right mounting tabs. See pics linked below. The left-right mounting tabs will be slightly different. The XM's tabs are "ridges" and the Type I's tabs are "flat".
You can see that difference here: http://geekhack.org/showpost.php?p=109390&postcount=1
If you do open up the guts (and as an alternate photo shoot), you'll see this difference: http://geekhack.org/showpost.php?p=116887&postcount=93
Q. Help, my alps switch seems to be stuck after I modded it!