Jul 4, 201611244 views

My Take on the Jailhouse Blues Switch Mod

I have been interested in the Jailhouse Blues mod for quite a while now, but didn't have a really good way to implement it so it just sat on the back burner. If you don't know what the Jailhouse Blues mod is, check out this thread on geekhack - https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=38091.0
My biggest issue was that to do the mod you had to wrap wire around or cut o-rings and I was worried about inconsistent feel between switches. Don't ask me why it took so long, but I finally got the idea to look for smaller o-rings that didn't require cutting. I did some searching on eBay and found a couple that looked like they might work. I got both sizes thinking one would work and the other wouldn't. I ended up using them together.
Step 1: Disassemble the keyswitch. We need an o-ring of each size to do the mod the way I did it.
Step 2: Separate the white clicker piece from the stem.
Step 3: Place the smaller o-ring onto the stem and push it all they way down.
Step 4: Push the larger o-ring onto the stem and pull the excess to one side.
Now we need to push the clicker piece back onto the stem. I like to put the side of the clicker piece with the little hooks (right hand side in picture below) over the part of the o-ring sticking out.
Step 5: Push the white clicker piece onto the stem.
The stem laying down with the o-ring bulging upwards in-between the clicker and the stem. This is what keeps the switch from clicking. It also reduced travel slightly and makes the switch feel slightly heavier.
Step 6: Put the stem in the switch top.
Step 7: Push the switch halves back together.
Here is a sound comparison between a stock switch and a modded switch.
I'm really happy with how this mod turned out and how easy it was to do and get a consistent result. I've been typing on these modded switches for the last day and a half and I really like them.

Here is a typing video with the modded switches.
fabricez, ibibass, and 22 others

It seems like it makes the switch feel more like an Alps without the off center issues the Alps has. Sounds a lot like them too.
Yeah that's a good description I hadn't thought of. Recently I've started lubing the side rails of the switches and I'm really enjoying that setup.
evangs you mention that you may be working on a 2nd option that allows full switch travel. But what about another option that reduces travel as much as possible? Or is it as reduced as it can be already?
that's an interesting idea. due to the way the switch works I could reduce the travel by using a harder rubber for the spacer, outside of that there isn't much more on that front. I'm pretty happy with this version of the spacer and don't have plans at this time to make the full travel one.
I hope you'll consider doing a harder rubber version next time if it reduces even more travel.
I wouldn't mind paying more money for this option!
evangs, perhaps I'm slow but can you do a Youtube video of the modification as opposed to these slides?
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Some more might be incoming, running promotion for you at my community, referrer logs should show. Some (a lot of) folks still having emotional problems to shop international. Brought quiet a bunch of people to MD, one only so far has ordered something by now :)
I got the shipping options fixed on the site so now the 3 dollar options shows up!
Are you going to be selling full sets of these, or is this just to serve as a "how-to?" Because I would buy at least a full set, this looks like exactly what I wanted from a switch. Assuming it's basically "blues but without the click." Love my blues -- don't like the noise around others.
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*bows with a smile*
I plan to keep them stocked. they feel is nice tactility, slightly reduced travel. they will work in backlit keyboards. they go inside the switch so it really shouldn't affect any visual elements.
what happen if the o ring replaced with spring?
I don't know, you should try it!
Production samples are legit! These are going to be so good
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just waiting for the first batch to arrive, should be first week or so of December
Great, can't wait. Hope they're feeling nice :)
Production samples are on the way to me and provided they are good, full production run will be underway!
Wouldn't a tactile, non-clicky switch be the same thing without modding? Doesn't this defeat the purpose of a tactile, clicky switch?
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it actually feels quite a bit different from the current offerings.
You're not crazy, lol. This is the kind of thing you have to try before it makes sense. These modded switches are some of my favorites.
I would be interested in a group buy for some! look pretty cool!
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I would be quick to jump on a group-buy for these. Any caveats or noticeable differences when using Gaterons?
It works just fine in both cherry and gateron switches. As far as a group buy, I have decided to skip that and go straight to production which is already underway. Once I have the spacers I will be breaking them into kits of 120 and selling them through my webstore. I should have the first batch towards the end of this year!
How about a couple of photos? One of the spacer out and one with a switch with a spacer inserted. Thanks
Cool post. Imma try it out
Let me know how it goes for you!
A concern is that since the larger ring is being stretched beyond it's natural resting state that there may be premature failure (cracking/breaking). Further, since the bulge is created only one side, isn't there still a possibility of hang up?
Has anyone tried this by making a 3d-printed clip with 4 tines that would wrap and grab around the stem pieces? A clip made with a relative soft material could fill-in much of the gap and provide a symmetrical solution.
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Will do, I'll make a post when I get them in.
alright, so I got my prototype spacers in tonight and they are perfect! They work incredibly well and fit just right. The next step is figuring out how to make them available. I have contacted a few companies and received quotes. I'm curious if there would be enough interest for a group buy.
I typed on my Jailhouse board all day at work and then switched back to my fealios board. I really like this switch mod. The Zealios felt incredibly mushy after a day on Jailhouse. I really like the reduced travel and the tactility of the switch. I would definitely recommend this mod.
Would this mod only be done on clicky switches? I see that this mod has become quite popular on blues. Would a similar mod have benefit if done to greens?
To my knowledge this mod reduces sound and travel correct?
that is correct, sound and travel are reduced, this mod will only work on clicky switches with the white piece on the stem (blue, green). I will be trying this mod on greens in the future.
Got a link for where to purchase those size of o-rings? Their website doesn't seem to have anything listed as 2.5x1mm or 2x1mm