/Glossary of Mechanical Switch Terms
Glossary of Mechanical Switch Terms 2017-05-20T15:34:46+00:00

Glossary of Mechanical Switch Terms

  • Actuation
    • The point at which an electrical connection is made. In a membrane keyboard this is the same as the bottom-out.
  • Actuation Bounce (Chatter, contact bounce)
    • When the metal contacts strike together, their momentum and elasticity act together to cause them to bounce apart one or more times before making steady contact. The result is a rapidly pulsed electric current instead of a clean transition from zero to full current.
  • Actuation Force
    • The total amount of force required to reach the activation point of the switch.
  • Bottom-out
    • The point where the switch has achieved the maximum distance preventing any further movement. In general the bottom-out position is considered a bad point when typing as hitting it will likely introduce joint and finger fatigue and strain.
  • Force
    • Force is energy, that left unopposed, will change the direction of a given object.
  • Friction
    • Caused by the movement of the slider over various surfaces inside of the switch.
  • GF
    • Grams of force.
  • Hysteresis
    • A property of a system such that the press force value is not a strict function of the corresponding release force.
  • Spring Force
    • The amount of force required to compress linear springs. Most keyboards have this type of spring. The amount of force required to compress the spring goes up at the same rate over the distance of the whole spring.
  • Switch Bounce 
    • The point at which the slider can physically bounce from a sudden internal movement.
  • Tactile (Tactility)
    • Perceptible to the sense of touch. (The point at which a user knows the switch has been pressed and can begin to stop the finger from descending without an abrupt change.)
  • Tactile Peak
    • The highest peak of the tactile point.
  • Total Force
    • The total amount of force required to bottom out the switch
  • Travel
    • The total distance the slider can move within the switch.