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Keyboard Hall of Fame

In a world where successfully eliciting a response from anyone—individual or business alike—is becoming an increasingly rare event, there are still a few people who not only respond, but who are truly helpful. These people have played a part in the quest to reconstruct an ever greater amount of knowledge from over 50 years of the computer keyboard industry, and demonstrate that not as much of this information is lost and taken to the grave (sometimes literally) as it might seem.

阿 梵

阿 梵 is my partner in Cherry research, and possibly the No. 1 Cherry switch collector in the world. His involvement has been invaluable in making a huge leap forward in understanding Cherry’s keyboard product range.

Cherry

Senior technical support engineer Ed Ferraton at Cherry Americas has provided a wide range of old documents including various drawings and charts. Additionally, he’s passed on a treasure trove of old sample switches that has allowed M8 series to be examined in far more detail.

Head of MX Technology & Partner Marketing Michael Schmid at Cherry GmbH has also located some old documents.

Electro-Mech

Terry Trumbull of Electro-Mech Components provided a large number of old Clare-Pendar catalogue pages, including those of S820, S880 and the then newly-discovered S950 series.

Hirose

Hirose were able to dig out some old datasheets for their MD, MJ, M8 and MX keyboard switches. Sadly the higher-ups refuse to allow any of these documents to be posted online, not even in a redacted form, and despite the fact that the technical details are well understood from all the German and American Cherry literature. This means that no-one else can verify my claims or study the documents independently, something that is extremely important in this field.

Honeywell

Honeywell technical support agent Theodor Petrache has been instrumental in recovering old Micro Switch SW, SN, SD and CT Series product charts, which has made it possible to understand their old product range in vastly more detail.

Marquardt

Olaf Fischer from Marquardt provided a collection of documents and details on Marquardt’s Series 6180 and 6184, as well as some sample parts from Series 6184.

Meryl Miller

Meryl Miller is a co-founder of Datanetics. He kept a lot of notes from not just his time there, but from after he left, as well as samples of Datanetics and samples from other manufacturers from a later job, as well as assorted Datanetics literature. Most of this, he has passed onto me; a few switches went to Jacob Alexander.

RAFI

Tanja Pilzecker arranged for me to receive a wide assortment of sample switch types from RAFI’s Full Travel Key Switch range (specifically RS 74 M, RS 76 M/MX and RS 76 C). For the first time, their product range could be explored and understood in great detail.

Smithsonian Libraries

Through Trina Brown and her volunteer Christine Windheuser at the National Museum of American History Library, I was able to obtain scans of two Micro Switch SW Series brochures. This is the first ever discovery of a Solid State Keyboards brochure, and there are details in there never encountered in any keyboards found to date.

Tai-Hao

Felly Du from Tai-Hao has provided answers to many questions over the years on their present and historical keyboard range, as well as supplied various samples of switches.

RIP

The following engineers sadly passed away before anyone was able to contact them.