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Clare, Pendar and General Instrument



CP Clare, Pendar, Clare-Pendar and General Instrument have together a complex and still poorly-understood history. See history for some outdated notes.



The North American and European products had some crossover in the form of the low-profile reed switches, but were otherwise separate. US-made switches were sometimes branded CP Clare, Clare-Pendar or GI, but are often found branded only as “ASM MEXICO”. The latter obscures which of the various brands the switches were marketed. It is not clear why the branding was removed, as it seems that this occurred prior to the sell-off of the switch manufacturing.

Series Branding Type
SF/SG/SH/SI/SK Clare, Pendar Reed (high-profile)
SFL/SGL/SIL Clare, Pendar Reed (low-profile)
S700 “ASM MEXICO” Low-profile foam and foil with hysteresis; the sliders are marked “ASM MEXICO” while the PCB bears the series name and “General Instrument Computer Products Division”
S820 Clare-Pendar Reed (tall); a later design has been found marked both “CLARE-PENDAR” and “ASM MEXICO”
S830 Clare-Pendar, G.I. Reed (tall)
S840 “ASM MEXICO” Metal contact
S880 None; “ASM MEXICO” Reed (short)
S890 CP Clare, “ASM MEXICO” Foam and foil
S950 General Instrument These are a derivative of Alps KCC/SKCC series, and may have been manufactured by Alps on behalf of General Instrument.

The modifications chart also mentions S860 series but Electro-Mech have no documentation on this.

Unknown types

Furieux Furet, who made just one post to Deskthority in July 2019, found an unidentified switch in a “Pendar” keyboard. There is only one photograph. As the person who wrote the post is located in France, the suggestion is that this is a French-made keyboard. The switch—with its pair of safety-pin–shaped external springs—looks like it may be foam pad capacitive.



Some North American–made products have “97564” moulded into them or stamped on them, which at least one supplier has since mistaken for a manufacturer part number. This is in fact the CAGE (Commercial and Government Entity) code. Depending where you look, this number has been applied to: