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# Tell me how many nickels it takes to depress the keys on your keyboard! - Page 11

The best notation would be, with the Logitech Wave as example, 12 +- 1 nickels. 1 nickel is not significant. Because if you measure three boards, and two take 13 coins and the other 12 coins, there might be less difference between one of the 13 coin boards and the 12 coin board, than between the two 13 coin boards. For example if the real gram forces needed are 65, 61, 59. Hence 1 nickel is not significant, and you will have to give it to me.
What a coincidence! You have 12 rep.

How did that happen?
 My System (13 items)
Keyboard
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I have begun the search for the perfect keyboard for my dream rig. I was originally thinking I liked my macbook pro keyboard (Q3 2008), but I now find the keys a bit too hard to push down. That being said, I measured (using assorted coins because I suck) the weight required to push down a key. I do not know what keyboard model I have, but from the wikipedia article on apple keyboards, it seems it might be the A1243.

I used: 7 Quarters, 2 Nickel, 1 Dimes, and 4 pennies. Finding the weight of each coin here: http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/circulatingCoins/
Q=5.670g, N=5.000g, D=2.268g, P=2.500g
The total comes to 61.958g for the peripheral keys (command, fn, alt, etc.) and about 1-2g more for the letter keys.

EDIT: The actual process was Holding the weight at the keys equilibrium position, and releasing it. At lighter weights, the key would not initiate, however if already down, it would not rise.

Making sure the center of mass of all my coins aligned with the center of the key was the biggest issue, but I tested the stack enough times to be sure this number is within 4g of the actual weight.

Well, the search continues for the perfect keyboard. 60g is too much for me, I'll look through the thread for anything lower.
Edited by RowiRimon - 12/9/10 at 10:12am
Nice, you found some things the others didn't yet. First, the variation in required weight when the weights aren't exactly centered. Second, a variation in required weight among different keys. Most people here have only measured one key, but one key could be slightly lighter or heavier than the average, up to a full nickel. That would make the nickel method two nickel insignificant.

With my own measuring, I of course weigh multiple keys, then calculate an average. Now two interesting things came to surface. One is that the effect of the centering issue is different for different switches. Some switches, there is hardly an effect, with others, it's very hard to get a fixed measurement. The biggest variation I detected was with the Topres. A Model F AT, you can press a key on the corner, and there's not much difference compared to pressing it on the center.

Second thing, the variation from key to key. Some manufacturers will for example state a switch is 60 +- 5 gram. Here, the IBMs are less consistent, and the Cherries Blues are very tight.
I've only just started looking into keyboards, so I'm new to all this talk about switches. After my finals are over(next week) I will definitely take some time to read up on all the variants. That's pretty cool with the Model F AT, but I am surprised by the variation between letter keys.

That prompted me to check some other letters. I am limited by my coins. Surprisingly, the mass I calculated is actually ALL the coins I have, lucky for me, but it doesn't allow me to check keys that won't go down without the smallest of taps. My other keys followed suit with my original K key, requiring a tad more weight than the 'cmd'. I will definitely revisit this once I get more nickels.

I would also like to embarrassingly change the calculated mass. I miscounted my dimes and nickels. It was actually 2 nickels and 1 dime, which comes out to 61.958g.
Now check this. You are not limited due to the wonderful nature of Gravity to just keyboards using this method for getting a rough benchmark (who cares Webwit about precision when the switches are rated +/-15 cn anyway!).

A Logitech G5 Clocks in a 70g.

A Evoluent Ergo at 45g

Why the difference when most microswitches are 70g? Leverage.

And with the formula for leverage M=Fd I conclude this physics lesson.

Next up, I will present a statistical refutation of Webwits argument using a n-variate stochastic model.

Oh, and by the way. SANWAs FTW!
 My System (13 items)
Keyboard
Lots of them
 My System (13 items)
Keyboard
Lots of them
Quote:
 Originally Posted by ripster who cares Webwit about precision when the switches are rated +/-15 cn anyway!
You don't know that, because you can't measure it with nickels. Also you need precision to get the average from which the switch deviates. With nickels on a single key, you might hit the one deviating most from the average, how do you know? It is exactly this deviation which makes nickel measuring even more worthless than it already was, while the gram method stands proudly and provides insight.
As Yogi Berra once said:

Quote:
 “A nickel isn't worth a dime today.”
or better yet...

Quote:
 “A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat”
Wimpy Topre Realforce 87U 55g spring demonstrates it's the Rubbah that makes the Lovah.
 My System (13 items)
Keyboard
Lots of them
 My System (13 items)
Keyboard
Lots of them
1992 IBM 1391401 14-15 nickels ~70-75g

PS btw Ripster these OCN kids just don't understand you like geekhack

-doober
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Khaotik55 Quarters are too big to test out letter keys without hitting other ones. Also, nickels are exactly 5 grams as to my knowledge, no other coin rounds out like that.
Pennies are 2.5g

So far 2 quarters, 3 nickels, and 1 dime will not depress my keyboard key. I have an IBM Model M13, its a mech keyboard with nipple mouse built in. It definitely takes some force to press these keys.
Edited by Mygaffer - 12/14/10 at 2:04am
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-3770k Gigabyte ga-z77x-up4 tb EVGA GTX 980 SC 32GB G.SKILL Trident X F3-1600C7Q-32GTX
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD Western Digtal 2TB RE4 Plextor 24x DL Burner ThermalTake Water 2.0 Extreme
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit Acer XB270HU 2560x1440, IPS-type panel, 144hz, ... EIZO FG2421 1920x1080 VA 120Hz QuickFire Cherry Blue