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Author Topic: Mechanical Keyboards  (Read 4858 times)

wraith808

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Mechanical Keyboards
« on: March 30, 2016, 01:56 PM »
Is anyone else overly interested in mechanical keyboards and buying/modding/making them?

I discovered that there was a difference quite by accident.  I've been using a logitech k811 to connect to my laptop while it's docked and still have the keyboard in front of me- just in case multiplicity isn't responding, or I don't want to switch screens (gaming and such).  I realized that the size felt better to me, after typing on it for a prolonged period.  And I never took the time to program my Orion Spark or indeed, any of my massive keyboards before it.  Nor did I really care about the lighting patterns.

I was going to begin with the infinity 60% on massdrop, but got cold feet, and instead started with a Poker 3 (MX Brown).  Shortly after that, I ordered a Poker 3 (MX Clear) for work, and haven't looked back!  I just got a Qisan 68-key (MX Brown) to replace that k811, and it's working great.  Still haven't decided if that's better than using the function layers to get to the additional keys.  Now I'm looking at trying a planck or preonic keyboard- but those have to have the switches soldered, and my soldering days were long ago, and not sure if I want to get to that point.  I'm also negotiating for a Race2 on Reddit.

If you're interested, and not already in on it, the best communities I've found are at deskthority and geekhack and reddit (mk and mechmarket).  I've bought all of my goodies from massdrop and amazon, though I did delve a bit into AliExpress and Store Uni.

Anyone else caught this particular bug?

mrHappy

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2016, 12:21 AM »
Luckily have not caught that bug, as such.
Have the same old filco tkl for years, and finally payed enough attention to actually get in a groupbuy (round 5) on deskthority so I'm set, at least until round 7 unless I'm not interested in those keys.

Only board I'm still interested in is a 60% iso, for which I unfortunately still would have to buy keys for since no one makes a DK version.
There are only 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who have friends.

wraith808

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2016, 12:07 PM »
Luckily have not caught that bug, as such.
Have the same old filco tkl for years, and finally payed enough attention to actually get in a groupbuy (round 5) on deskthority so I'm set, at least until round 7 unless I'm not interested in those keys.

Only board I'm still interested in is a 60% iso, for which I unfortunately still would have to buy keys for since no one makes a DK version.

How do the 'rounds' work on Deskthority?  I surmise that they're group buys, and the ones left over are from the minimum production run and cancellations, but I haven't actually seen it spelled out.

mrHappy

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2016, 01:08 PM »
basically that, at least that is also how I understand it.
It's definitely worth keeping an eye open and get in before the deadline of a group buy so you're certain to get what you want, that is unless there's not enough interest in one of the kits you've selected.
There are only 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who have friends.

Mark0

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2016, 03:38 PM »
I loved the original Model M of a IBM PS2 Mod. 80 I have spent some time with, and then a Trust -something- of some years after that was very similar.
I'm missing the feel of a mechanical keyboard from when I started typing to late hours with people around expecting to be able to sleep! :D

wraith808

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2016, 11:58 PM »
Since that first post, I've spent way too much on this new hobby.  I now have my plank, and jd45 besides.

But I just got back into soldering, and what I'm most proud of is the fact that I just built one from parts!

http://i.imgur.com/QUO1d2i.png
Mechanical Keyboards


http://i.imgur.com/moEnUeT.png
Mechanical Keyboards



Ath

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2016, 03:09 AM »
Looks like a solid piece of work, but where did the numeric keys go :o

tomos

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2016, 04:03 AM »
Looks like a solid piece of work, but where did the numeric keys go :o

I was wondering for a moment there how it was soo small lol

Looks great wraith --
how much soldering was involved?
Tom

cranioscopical

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2016, 06:17 AM »

 I just built one from parts!


It's  a good-looking item.  Are you about to enter space?

wraith808

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2016, 11:26 AM »
It's a 40% keyboard.  I've gotten into them for writing, as it focuses me.  I've actually considered making one of them my daily driver... you access the other keys in layers.

So the standard layout (which I tweaked a bit in the firmware)



Then the first function layer



And the second function layer



So, they're still accessible, and I get a keyboard that I can carry, and just like distraction free editors for writing, I consider this a distraction free keyboard for the same.

Looks like a solid piece of work, but where did the numeric keys go :o

I was wondering for a moment there how it was soo small lol

Looks great wraith --
how much soldering was involved?

I have a build log:

http://imgur.com/a/KQCt4

The only problem I had was in building the firmware.  I ended up using an online configurator to get the hex file to flash it.  I installed the toolchain, and mingw, and the programmer... but I was having problems with the references.  Still want to figure that out... but the soldering, it was just two contacts for 40+ switches.  The board already had the other components on it from the factory.


 I just built one from parts!


It's  a good-looking item.  Are you about to enter space?
-cranioscopical (June 26, 2016, 06:17 AM)

Ouch.  That really hurt :)

mrHappy

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2016, 01:40 PM »
Since that first post, I've spent way too much on this new hobby.  I now have my plank, and jd45 besides.

But I just got back into soldering, and what I'm most proud of is the fact that I just built one from parts!

http://i.imgur.com/QUO1d2i.png
Mechanical Keyboards


http://i.imgur.com/moEnUeT.png
Mechanical Keyboards


I would not be able to go under a 60% board, but that is pure porn.
There are only 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who have friends.

urlwolf

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2016, 09:27 AM »
I have lots of mechanical keyboards. My favorite switch is now Matias alps, but it used to be cherry blacks.

sri

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2016, 06:21 PM »
I will be receiving my Topre Realforce 87U White (Variable Weight) today.
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wraith808

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2016, 07:30 PM »
I will be receiving my Topre Realforce 87U White (Variable Weight) today.


Pretty pricey item... nice!

Now I'm to the point where I have way too much money into it.  I have so many keyboards that I need to build more computers LOL!

sri

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2016, 06:46 PM »
Got it in a deal for 166.60 USD.
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MilesAhead

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2016, 09:09 AM »



I am curious how much this baby weighs?

Edit:  I ask because it looks very cool.  I use an external USB keyboard and mouse with my Laptop.  I put up with wired keyboard and mouse because weight is a big factor when I have to drag all my stuff around in a suitcase.  I figure the batteries must weigh something in wireless gear.  Unless they use those small watch batteries.

If you used colored keys that made interesting patterns you might be able to sell custom keyboards as art.  Or at least get a high price per unit.. personalized to the customer.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 11:00 AM by MilesAhead »

wraith808

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2017, 04:04 PM »
I've been working more lately on keyboards- but forgetting to post them here!

First up is one I did for Halloween.

KBD75.jpgMechanical Keyboards

It's a 75% board- it has the arrow keys, and a column of keys to the right.  It also has the function key row.  But it's still pretty compact.  I updated it with a couple of Halloween themed artisans (a ghost and an orange gradient), mostly because my daughter got on me that a starburst and an anchor are not Halloween themed!

One of my daily drivers:

9 10 17 5 01 PM Office Lens.jpgMechanical Keyboards

It's a Clueboard Rev 2 off of Dent and Ding.  Silver Case and GMK Plum.  Interestingly enough, even though I got the parts cheap because of dent and ding, I can't tell that there is any imperfection!

My other daily driver is a Clueboard Rev 2 that I paid full price for with a gray case, and GMK Honeywell.

Clueboard 1 - Cropped-50%.jpgMechanical Keyboards

The one below that in that image is a Red Scarf Ver.B.  It was my daily driver, and I can't bring myself to break up with it.

2017-01-19 Red Scarf II+ with Hyperfuse-50%.pngMechanical Keyboards

« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 09:30 AM by wraith808 »

wraith808

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2017, 04:31 PM »
More keyboards:

Two that I put together just because I have a problem:

Sentraq S65-X - 1.jpgMechanical Keyboards

custom 75 .jpgMechanical Keyboards

The one on the bottom I took to work to replace this one:
7 17 17 1 13 PM Office Lens-50%.pngMechanical Keyboards


This one I did for my daughter:
Office Lens 20160724-173606.jpgMechanical Keyboards

And one I did for my wife:
Wife.jpgMechanical Keyboards


« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 04:47 PM by wraith808 »

wraith808

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2017, 04:48 PM »
And a family picture of all of my 40% boards:

40pctBoards-50%.pngMechanical Keyboards


The sad thing is I have more assembled and unassembled.  I'm hoping to move into my new office soon, and have shelves to put them on and display them to make me at least think that I don't have a problem.

Deozaan

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2017, 04:51 PM »
Quite the collection you've got there!

Approx. how much does one of those things cost to make?

wraith808

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Re: Mechanical Keyboards
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2017, 04:56 PM »
Quite the collection you've got there!

Approx. how much does one of those things cost to make?

It really depends.  In the 40% family picture, there's this one custom one - the kb45p (which is the one on the bottom left).  That's my cheapest one at about $100.  You can make them cheaper- I just had to get custom plates cut which drove up the price.  That purple one that I just made on a whim was about $102.  Both of those prices are without the keycaps.

The economy of scale and quality come into play quite a bit.  One-offs are inherently more, and if you can get a lot of people to join in, they're inherently less.  And mass market is definitely a lot less.  But for a keyboard in a reasonable range, of reasonable quality from a storefront, I'd say about $150 or so without the keycaps.

My wife and daughter's keyboards, I started with a standard keyboard I purchased from amazon, and just got the custom keycaps for the boards.  So those were a lot less, as they keycaps on those are from non-top line manufacturers.

My daily drivers (the two clueboards) were $180 just for the keycaps, and the boards themselves were $229 for the dent and ding board, and 260 for the non-dent and ding. 

Then I had to provide the switches; I tend to get them on massdrop in bulk when they have them, so they were just sitting around.  For 120 gateron brown switches (which is what I tend to run) it's about $25 from there.

My most expensive board is probably my JD45- that was a complete custom with custom case and bluetooth.  OR my ergodox, which I haven't put together yet: 276.98 for the kit, but not sure if I'm going to switch out the keycaps which would drive it up more.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 05:06 PM by wraith808 »