key switch

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mechanical keyboard

A physical keyboard that uses an individual spring and switch for each key. Today, only premium keyboards are built with key switches; however, they were also used in the past, such as in the Model M keyboard from IBM, which used buckling spring switches. Mechanical keyboards are very much appreciated by fast typists because they have a springiness and feel that is not the same as the low-cost membrane keyboard accompanying most computers. They are also used by gamers (see gaming keyboard).

Types of Mechanical Switches
CHERRY key switches are commonly used today, while Alps and other types were used in the past. Buckling spring key switches cause the spring to buckle outwards rather than compress downwards, providing a unique tactile feedback. See premium keyboard and membrane keyboard.

Das Keyboard Uses CHERRY Switches
Das Keyboards use CHERRY MX Blue or Brown mechanical key switches like these. The Blue switches have a "clicky" sound when the key is sufficiently depressed, while the Brown have a soft tactile bump. (Image courtesy of Das Keyboard,

Buckling Spring Keyboard
Unicomp's keyboards use buckling spring key switches, popularized on IBM PC keyboards. Although the keys have a clicky sound, they also have a unique tactile feel that made IBM keyboards stand out.

Avant Stellar Keyboard
One of the finest keyboards ever made and lamentably discontinued, Avant Stellars were entirely programmable. They used Alps mechanical key switches.

Mechanical, Portable and Very Customizable
Four rows instead of six and 9" wide rather than 11", the PLANCK EZ was designed for portability. With the choice of user-changeable mechanical switches, all keys have a lower and upper layer that are activated by the keys next to the spacebar. For example, F1, F2, etc. can be on a different layer. (Image courtesy of ZSA Technology Labs, Inc.,
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key switch

In an electric circuit, an on-off switch which can be actuated only by the insertion of a key, 11.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The unit also includes a tap key to manually operate the code relay, a shunt key switch that quickly shunts the panel on the municipal loop, a standby testing mode to test the panel setup without coding on the municipal loop, and removable connector headers for easy installation.
The panels include an oil pressure gauge, engine temperature gauge, voltmeter, tachometer/hour meter, key switch and engine preheat with indicator lamp.
Auto-centering returns steering to straight ahead when the key switch is cycled off and on.
ATV's can be operated in fully automatic or ride-along manual modes by turning a key switch. Options on the vehicles will include automatic hitch and unhitch, and wire, non-wire, or laser guidance methods.
output terminal and fuse; a 120 V GFCI recptacle; a full power switch; a no-fuse breaker; a key switch; and voltmeter.
It includes all of the mounting hardware and can be ordered with a variety of key switches or without a key switch.
Operating modes include full automatic, remote hard line, remote radio, card reader, key switch, local guard push button controls, or via master and slave control panel.