I recently moved from the apartment that I lived in for the past decade into a new home and in those years I amassed quite the collection of keyboards. So when it came time to move, I had to bring them all with me. And believe me when I say that there are a lot of them. I’d like to start selling some of them off, especially because many I’ve been hanging onto for way too long and they deserve to go to someone who is actually going to do something useful with them.
One that immediately caught my attention is this very old Micro Switch SW keyboard. It’s something that I found on my trip to a recycling center a few years back. I didn’t know too much about the keyboard but tried to ask around and see if anyone could give me any details on it.
What’s nice about moving into a home is I now have a back yard with plenty of natural light to take cool photos, so I took advantage of that right away and snapped a few shots. As I mentioned before, I don’t know much about the board but it has a sticker on it that says “Super Keyboard only $29.75 ea.” which I got a kick out of. It’s in decent shape, considering I pulled it out of a heap of e-waste.
The switches are the earliest Micro Switch variety: SW.
It is missing a few caps but replacements aren’t too hard to come by.
As for identifying marks, each switch is labeled:
It’s a bit hard to see in the picture but the label on the side says…
Cat. List. K5 0326-S2SW3
Ser. No. 006
The low serial number probably indicates that this was a sample or other type of one-off small run that was done for a client.
As for the PCB, you can see that it was all manually routed, with curvy traces all over the place.
Other markings on the back of the PCB indicate that the board was manufactured by Micro Switch in Freeport, IL.
On the top right of the PCB it’s labeled with a number: SW-10033 
I made a photogrammetry scan of this keyboard in 2020. Back around that time, someone left a few comments in which I vaguely remember him/her mentioning it is somewhat unique. Unfortunately they deleted their account so those comments are gone now and I don’t remember the details of our exchange.
Here’s that 3D model on Sketchfab.
I thought it would be nice, before selling the board, to make a typing video. I figure, might as well try to capture the essence of the keyboard as much as possible while I’m at all this. Unfortunately for me the spacebar was getting stuck when pressed and wouldn’t return back up. It seemed just barely stuck on something.
When I looked closely, it appeared that the switch slider for the spacebar had some grime on it. I figured that might be the culprit. So I did my best to clean it off, leaving the spacebar in place since I was afraid to remove the stabilizer wire which was held in by 50+ year old plastic clips.
But that didn’t solve the problem at all. So I worked up the nerve to remove the stabilizer wire, which runs through two prongs on attached to the spacebar and keeps it in place.
Once I removed the key, I found that one of the two prongs was bent, probably because it had gotten smashed up against a bunch of other keyboards at the recycling center.
Then I used a set of needle-nose and regular pliers wrapped in electrical tape to straighten out the bent one as best I could.
Then I sprayed a touch of DuPont Dry Film Lubricant to the two prongs for good measure. I did not lube the switch.
The spray leaves a thin coat of white film and my hope was that it would reduce any remaining friction between the prong and the housing it goes in and out of.
I of course gave these parts a good wipe down to get all the dirt off first. There was quite a bit of junk, both on the prongs and in the housing that the prong slides in and out of.
After all these steps, the spacebar works quite nicely now!
Finally after cleaning, straigtening, and lubing the pieces, I was able to make my typing video.
I tried to capture a few variations to give a good idea of what it sounds like in person. I’m not the best at making these but I think the sound came through good enough.
Some of the interesting information that was shared with me…
The keyboard appears to be from 1969, according to the date marking on the label. The Deskthority wiki says that the SW series started in 1968 so it seems that this could be a possibility.
Micro Switch Advertisement
Another user shared this nifty advertisement which appears to showcase this keyboard module (or a similar variation).
And that’s about it. I had a blast taking the pictures and tickering around with this thing. I hope the new owner enjoys it just as much or hopefully even more.