Jump to page content


I seek the following parts and information, or at least, I did at the time of writing. One or more items may have since been acquired, although this is unlikely as these are all highly obscure. The size of this list reflects the vast amount of information still in need of recovery. The amount of knowledge previously deemed lost and irrecoverable, that has since been found, indicates that much of the following information should still be out there somewhere.

Switches and other parts

New old stock (NOS) is generally desired because it allows parts to be photographed (either by myself in typically lousy fashion, or by others) in factory condition instead of used condition with damage from soldering. If used, they must be as close to new condition as possible. Part numbers are not required—most NOS parts are sold without part numbers—but switches in any condition (including broken) are acceptable if they come with an authentic part number.

Switches below marked as acceptable in used condition do not need to look as-new; they are for part number collection and implementation analysis where condition is not important, and even minor damage is not a concern so long as the switch mechanism functions sufficient for understanding.


  • Fujitsu classic reed types (FES-1, FES-5, FES-8, FES-9)
  • Fujitsu Hall effect (FES-8, FES-9 if it exists)
  • FES-360-511 with confirmed part number
  • FES-360 switches (except FES-360-511) with part numbers
  • FES-370 switches


  • MR reed switches


  • Linear ITW low-profile ferrite core switches (never observed, but implied to exist)
  • Keycaps for the low-profile ferrite core switches for compatibility testing


  • Any keyboard switches, including used


  • Series 3100 mechanical switches
  • “Vintage linear” switches, likely Series 6300
  • Elastic contact switches (series name as-of-yet not observed)

Mechanical Enterprises

  • Mercutronic types (including M-5)
  • T-5 models with part numbers
  • Gold V-bar models (LFW and LM series)
  • T-15 switches with orange elastic
  • DN series switches

Micro Switch

  • 1SW300 Series switches (known but not understood or observed)
  • SW Series secretarial shift (this may be 1SW300)
  • KB series reed types not in collection


  • Mitsumi clicky miniature mechanical (including used; for destructive disassembly)
  • Mitsumi switches with part numbers


All of the following can be used.

  • B3G switches
  • “Alps-style” switches
  • Hall effect switches, B2A/B2C/B2H
  • Tactile and alternate action B2R reed switches
  • Low profile reed, if it exists


  • RC 72 switches
  • RS 74 C switches
  • RS 74 M alternate action


  • Siemens original STB 11/STB 21 keycaps, for compatibility testing


For “catalogue”, also read “datasheet” or “price list”, as even a price list with part numbers is still useful. Even patents are useful, as J-PlatPat seems to be quite low on 1970s patents.


  • Keyboard and switch catalogues before 1993


  • Cherry-Mikroschalter keyboard and switch catalogues before 1982


  • Switch catalogues


  • Datanetics DC-70 catalogue (or from TEC, who bought that product range)


  • Switch catalogues


  • RMD 973 catalogues

FR Electronics

  • Switch catalogues (RSM reed switch series)


  • All keyboard switch catalogues (older than the ones on their site)
  • Keyboard catalogues for leaf spring keyboards, to try to get clarification on FES-300/301/301S series names


  • Keyboard and switch catalogues (MR, MD, MA, ML etc)


  • Any details on the Series 725 switch types (although chances are they only have non-schematic part numbers that we will be unable to use in naming)


  • Keyboard switch catalogues


  • DC-50 and DC-60 catalogues from after the acquisition of Datanetics
  • ETL18 catalogue pages or datasheets


  • Keyboard switch catalogues (e.g. JKS-91)


  • Any details at all, as even the company name is not verified (although it is a real Japanese place name and the switches are Japanese-made)


  • Switch catalogues


  • Keyboard switch catalogues


  • Keyboard and switch catalogues

Mechanical Enterprises

  • Keyboard and switch catalogues (none known to date)

Micro Switch

  • RW Series keyboard catalogues
  • KB reed switch catalogues (the reed types are not documented alongside the non-reed KB switches)
  • SW Series switch catalogues
  • SD Series switch catalogues
  • SC Series catalogues


  • Mitsumi keyboard and switch catalogues before 1998


  • Switch catalogues


  • Catalogues for their mechanical switches, e.g. Series 400 (there are several similar styles)


  • Keyboard and switch catalogues


  • PED switch catalogue


  • Philips switch catalogues


  • 1970s and 1980s RAFI catalogues


  • Parts list for the teleprinter that uses the Style D Cherry M7 switches (either a TX-20 variant, or similar model; the TX-20 parts list only lists Clare reed switches)


  • Keyboard switch catalogues


  • SMK switch catalogues


What does “WEAB” stand for in Mechanical Enterprises switches?

Who made the “Katano” switches? Japanese is only semi-phonetic, so the manufacturer could be 交野 (from 交野市: Katano City, Osaka) or カタノ (spelt phonetically), if that is indeed the correct name, or any other word or phrase that is pronounced that way.

Who did Strong Man, Nan Tan Computer and Ortek buy their Alps clone switches from?

What are the “KBB” keyboards that Apple’s internal documentation claims Alps made for them?