Gateron part number schema
Gateron switches use a curious part number schema, that seems to be partially redundant. The format (as used by KS-1 to KS-9) is as follows:
Although some of the information below (in particular, some of the X codes) were provided by Gateron, I do not have a complete schema. I have also only covered the switch series in my collection (along with KS-1, for which the schema is available online).
Approximate interpretations of these positions are given in the table below:
This is always “KS”, for keyboard switch.
2: Series number
This schema has been confirmed to apply to all of the following series:
|1||KS-1||The original (now discontinued) Gateron switch type; details of these are very scarce, but both black and translucent versions were made.|
|3||KS-3||This is the standard Gateron type; these support through-hole monochrome LEDs.|
|8||KS-8||This series supports through-hole RGB LEDs, using all four holes in the base (two for LED and two for jumper) to fit a four-leg LED.|
|9||KS-9||These switches have a recess to allow the switch to sit over an SMD LED.|
The variant field is optional.
Colour is encoded separately, which is strange, as one would have thought that—with weight given separately—you would only need to encode the slider design, and not the colour. That is, all the linear types should share the same slider. This position may simply be used to ensure that the correct pigment is selected in the factory, for visual identification.
|10||10 mA maximum, 12 V DC maximum|
|B||SPST-NO (single pole single throw normally open)|
The choice of “B” is bizarre, because in electrical terminology SPST-NO is denoted “Form A” or (in Cherry’s nomenclature) “1A”.
Force is given in grams force as three digits, with a leading zero as required.
The standard forces are: 035 (35 gf), 045 (45 gf), 055 (55 gf), 060 (60 gf), 070 (70 gf) and 080 (80 gf).
This position has the same meaning as it would in Cherry MX part numbers:
|J||Jumper (wire bridge)|
|W||With fixing pins (combination plate and PCB mount)|
|N||No fixing pins (plate mount only)|
Each switch series may have more than one design. The individual designs have their own codes independent of the series name.
Switch types with dustproof covers fitted are denoted with “Y”, and all other types with “X”.
|Value||Meaning||Known to apply to|
|X||Black shell||KS-1, KS-3|
|Y||Black shell, dustproof cover fitted||KS-1|
|X1||Translucent shell||KS-1, KS-3|
|Y1||Translucent shell, dustproof cover fitted||KS-1|
|X5||Clear top, black base||KS-8|
|X6||Black shell, unbranded||KS-3|
|X14||Clear top, ivory base||KS-9|
|X38||Clear top, translucent base||KS-8|