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Clare-Pendar Series S880



Clare-Pendar Series S880 is the low-profile alternative to S820 series. It is almost identical internally and externally to the European-made SFL, SIL and SGL counterparts.

YouTube video Cherry KFN3 keyboard review (Cherry solid-state capacitive, shamrock-type) depicts an excerpt from Electronic Design 11 from the 24th of May 1979, in which Series S880 is given as “just introduced” by “C.P. Clare Co.” which gives some indication of their age.

(The video does not indicate how to access these back-issues of Electronic Design magazine, but the screenshot suggests that it is not from the Internet Archive, where only a few issues are posted.)

These switches are rare, and almost exclusively unbranded. The Harris EKA-8970 keyboard uses a single S88010 alternate action switch, which in this case dates all the way back to the series introduction, being stamped “7939” (week 39, 1979). Even back then, the switches were not branded. The “97564” is the CAGE code that passed from manufacturer to manufacturer as switch production changed ownership. The switches sold by Electronic Surplus (SKU 1626) are marked only “ASM MEXICO”, and these appear to have been retooled, as the shell design no longer matches that of either the 1979 example or the 1986 catalogue.

There is a YouTube video Clare-Pendar Series S880 Switch | Rare Vintage Mechanical Keyboard Sound Test | ASMR demonstrating a keyboard with General Instrument–branded S880 switches, although the owner has chosen not to provide a proper depiction of the keyboard itself. The alternate action switch under Caps Lock has both General Instrument and C P Clare branding.



The 1986 catalogue page was kindly scanned in by Electro-Mech Components, who took over part of the Pendar range.

See also