C. P. Clare & Company
C. P. Clare & Comany, Pendar, Clare-Pendar, Clare, General Instrument and the separate Pendar Électronique in France have together a complex and still poorly-understood history. See history for the most recent reconstruction of this history. For products specific to General Instrument (in particular semiconductors) see the separate General Instrument section. This section only covers product ranges under official Clare or General Instrument ownership; see the Pendar section for the unrelated activities of the separate Pendar Électronique that followed a buyout of European production from General Instrument.
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 C.P. Clare, Clare-Pendar or GI, but S840 series in particular seems to have always been marked only as “ASM MEXICO” indicating assembly in Mexico.
|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 Electric on behalf of General Instrument (otherwise, Alps must have sold the plans to the tooling).|
The modifications chart also mentions S860 series but Electro-Mech have no documentation on this.
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. Pendar did specifically make capacitive keyboards in France, so this seems highly likely.
- Clare-Pendar K353 53-key teletypewriter keyboard (on sale for the thrifty price of only $3,500); the switches are not specified in the parts of the datasheet visible, but may be S820 (the depicted item is ca. 1973); there is also a model K453 according to the listing
Patents relevant to Clare/Pendar computer keyboards and switches.
|Clare Pendar Co||US 3771636 A||Space bar assembly||1971-04-02||1973-11-13||This is the characteristic Clare-Pendar space bar assembly with the interlocking bars|
|General Instrument Corporation||EP 0072784 A2||Keyswitch design||1982-08-10||1983-02-23||A design for a single-sided foam and foil PCB where the capacitor pads are through-hole soldered!|
|General Instrument Corporation||US 4450332 A||Keyswitch design||1982-08-25||1984-05-22||This appears to be for the foam and foil switch series mentioned earlier|
|General Instrument Corporation||US 4454562 A||Keyswitch with telescoping plunger||1982-09-15||1984-06-12|
|General Instrument Corporation||US 4453198 A||Linear feel keyswitch with hysteresis||1982-09-15||1984-06-05||That is a strange definition of “linear”|
|General Instrument Corporation||US 4433225 A||Keytop levelling mechanism||1983-02-22||1984-02-21||This may be the origin of scissor switches|
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:
- Clare-Pendar (moulded into S830 switches which are Clare-Pendar branded)
- General Instrument Corp., Computer Products Division (one of 16 separately-numbered General Instrument divisions listed on bjg-design.com)
- Pollak Corp (according to most sites); also listed in full as POLLAK CORP (TRANSPORTATION ELECTRONICS DIV)
- Electro-mech Components, Inc. (per AeroBase Group)