C&K is a global manufacturer of switches and connectors. C&K stands for Coolidge & Kincaid, after the founders Charles A Coolidge Jr and Marshall Kincaid who formed the business on the 21st of January 1957. The original business was magnetic core memory; they did not reposition themselves as a switch manufacturer until the 1960s.
In 2000, they were acquired by ITT. A mere seven years later, ITT divested its switch business as C&K Components; this new company also contained two other ITT switch divisions: Rudolf Schadow from Germany and Jeanrenaud of France. The company is now referred to as C&K Switches or simply C&K.
C&K K101 was advertised in Computer Design magazine in April 1982. K101 is a momentary type with a 25 million cycle rated lifetime, at 0.4 VA maximum (24 V AC/DC). The advertisement notes that “Applications include keyboard and trigger switch, multiple keyboard installations, and data input.” There is no illustration of the product, and no other record of the existence of such a switch. Whether K101 is a conventional full-travel keyboard switch is not known.
KBD was a short-lived series of C&K-branded Cherry MX clone switches. KBD was available in the standard black, brown, blue and red types. KBD was announced by Analog IC Tips in May 2015. The last buy time for KBD was the 9th of July 2020, with the last delivery and discontinuation on the 9th of October 2020. Presently, these switches have yet to be discovered in a keyboard.
KBD series was rated for 50 million cycles at 10 mA at 12 V DC.
KBD switches have the C&K logo moulded into the top where a Cherry MX switch would have the Cherry logo.
Only four models were ever listed:
|KBDBKN6AULFT||Linear actuation||Black||60±20 gf|
|KBDRDN4AULFT||Linear actuation||Red||45±20 gf|
|KBDBUC6AULFT||Click pressure point||Blue||60±20 gf|
|KBDBWC5AULFT||Click pressure point||Brown||55±20 gf|
Both the blue and brown types were listed as “Click pressure point” with no indication of one having click feedback and the other tactile-only feedback. The datasheet indicates that the part numbers indicate the colour (BK, RD, BU and BW respectively) rather than the switch type, and the forces are listed in order as N6, N4, C6 and C5.
All material was scanned by Bitsavers unless otherwise noted.