Cherry MX Switch Breakout

Cherry MX Keyswitches are top-of-the-line mechanical keyboard switches. They’re satisfyingly “clicky”, reliable up to tens-of-millions of key presses, and a standard in gaming and programming keyboards across the globe. With the SparkFun Cherry MX Switch Breakout we have made the switches more easily adaptable to breadboard or perfboard-based projects. The Cherry MX Switch Breakout is a perfect prototyping tool for projects ranging from a single-key user-input to fully-custom 101-key keyboards.

In addition to breaking out the switch contacts to breadboard-compatible headers, the Cherry MX Switch Breakout also provides access to an optional switch-mounted LED. Plus, the pin break-outs are designed with keyboard matrix-ing in mind, so you can interconnect as many boards as you’d like into a row-column configuration, keeping the I/O-pin requirements as low as possible.

Note: If you are looking for a Cherry MX Switch to use with this breakout, we've got you covered! CLICK HERE!

  • Support for 3mm LED
  • Footprint for LED current-limiting resistor
  • Footprint for switch-isolating diode
  • Chain-able in row/column matrices
  • Designed to match standard key spacing and keyboard row offsets

Cherry MX Switch Breakout Product Help and Resources

Cherry MX Switch Breakout Hookup Guide

April 21, 2016

How to assemble and use the Cherry MX Switch Breakout, allowing you to turn a matrix of mechanical switches into a full-size keyboard!

Core Skill: Soldering

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1 Soldering

Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #714845 / about 8 years ago / 2

    is this just one breakout board for 2 dollars? Sounds very pricey to me when Techkeys sells something similar for 40cents each. Any way to get a price reduction, because if I need 80 boards i rather save the money and get it from techkeys.

  • Seebs / about 7 years ago / 1

    It'd be really neat to have two more holes, next to the LED holes, for a diode inserted inside the switch; so far as I know, all the cherry MX switches I've found have four holes in that row, with the outer two conventionally used for a diode. That would be more convenient than having the holes over on the edge of the switch, although both would also be good.

    (It'd also be neat to have a way to use the LED as the diode, but that's probably less practical.)

  • Member #918058 / about 7 years ago / 1

    wont one need transistors to drive LEDs in case you are connecting several of them to the microcontroller?

  • FlippinBits / about 7 years ago / 1

    Any 3D CAD or mechanical drawings for this PCB?

  • MRSHKO / about 8 years ago / 1

    You guys screwed up the jumper land pattern. The jumpers are all shorted with a trace. Please fix for next revision.

    I was able to cut the trace with an xacto knife.

    • CF / about 8 years ago / 1

      Nope, that's intentional. Check the Assembly Tips section of the hookup guide for more information on why we designed the board this way.

Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

Based on 5 ratings:

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1 of 1 found this helpful:

Works Great!

These breakout boards were a great help in making my custom keyboard. I didn't end up using the leds, but I popped a diode on, soldered them together and it's working great so far. They are handy little boards.

Works perfectly

Using them for a project emulating old console buttons on military-style machines. Work beautifully!

Works wonderfully

Easy to solder as key-switch snaps into adhesive required. I recommend soldering the headers first though.

Snap to work with

I'm building a combination 3x4 switch + 2x5 selectors + 1x3 mode switch keypad and this breakout allows me to build it (with LED indicators in the selector and mode switches) with ease.

Great breakout!