What Is a Hotswap Mechanical Keyboard? Types of Hotswap
What is a hot-swappable mechanical keyboard?
Hotswap (also known as Hot Swap) allows for quick switch swaps without removing the keyboard and without soldering, a critically acclaimed feature early adopted by the Kono Store and Input Club. Kailh, China's leading switch manufacturer, designs plug sockets that dominate the market, with acclaimed quality and design.
Generally speaking, there are currently three hot-swappable methods for mass-produced mechanical keyboards.
1.Sleeve hot swap
The pins of some high-tech shafts come with a sleeve, which can be pulled out with a relatively large force and separated from the pins (it is not just a hole for the pins, there are complex structures in it, and high-tech wavy pins are serrated Can fit closely), the sleeve is welded to the pad, and the shaft body can be installed and separated using the shaft puller. The advantage of the sleeve hot-swap is that it can be directly modified with the pcb of the welded keyboard, but the disadvantage is more fatal, only the thin pins similar to Gaote (Contant, early Huanuo °, early part of Kaihua shafts) body) is compatible with the sleeve, but the pins of other shafts other than the shafts I mentioned cannot be plugged in at all (many mechanical shaft pins are one thick and one thin). This hot-swap method is common in low-end mechanical keyboards. After all, the mass-produced shafts of Gaote are quite cheap.
2.Clip hot swap
It is very similar to the principle of the axle seat, and the reed inside is also clamped to the axle foot. However, it is not in the form of a shaft seat, but is directly welded to the pcb with an integral metal structure, which theoretically can avoid the risk of the shaft seat hot-swappable reed flying off and the shaft seat being knocked off.
3.Hot-swappable axle seat
There are a pair of elastic reeds in the hole on the front of the hot-swappable shaft seat. After the shaft feet are inserted, the two reeds can clamp the shaft feet to ensure that they will not fall off easily and ensure good conduction of electrical signals. In this way, basically all mechanical shafts of general specifications are compatible (for high-tech shafts, remember to pull out the sleeve, do not insert it with the sleeve). Due to structural design problems, incorrect and rough plugging methods will cause damage to the shaft seat. It may be that the reed is stabbed out, or the shaft seat may be ejected due to external force - it is separated from the pcb, usually With serious damage to pcb and pad. But you should not worry too much. When the shaft is inserted and unplugged, check whether the shaft feet are straight before proceeding to the next step. When inserting the shaft, start lightly. Now, Kaihua, Jia Dalong, ttc, Wolf Pie, and Haimu are all doing the axle seat.
By the way, the hot-swappable pcb of the axle seat and the welded pcb are not common. In other words, the pcb of the hot-swappable axle seat cannot be welded to the axle body and the pcb without welding the axle seat. In other words, if you are a soldered pcb, it is useless if you buy a shaft seat, you can't install it, and you can't modify it.
Should you buy a hot-swap keyboard?
If you have your favorite keyboard switches, don't change keyboard switches frequently and know how to solder, hot swapping may not be necessary. For players who like to change keyboard switches frequently and feel troublesome to solder and do not like toss, hot swapping is a very suitable choice.