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Author Topic: mechanical keyboards as a hobby?  (Read 807 times)
xandra
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« on: February 07, 2023 @982.74 »

i've gotten into keyboards as a hobby since december and i was hoping to see some builds by other folks if anyone else is into this!

if you're not aware, you can customize keyboards by buying hot-swappable keyboard cases (or the individual pcb and a separate case), key switches, and keycaps to make the best-sounding and best-feeling keyboard for the user. right now, i'm really into thocky keyboards, but creamy keyboards tend to be the ones i build. lately, it seems like deeper-sounding keyboards are trendier, pushing back on the typical clacky mech keyboards that have dominated the space for the last decade (or more).

here are mine:

1. whiteout [photo]
case/board: akko pro 75%
switches: gateron milky yellows (lubed & filmed with krytox 205g0, krytox 105, durock switch films)
keycaps: POM jelly sugarcubes
mods: tape mod, cotton throughout case

2. softie [photo]
case/board: rk white 90%
switches: akko cream yellows (stock)
keycaps: hyekit marshmallows
mods: tape mod, cotton throughout case

3. pretty in pink [photo]
case/board: gmmk 2 96%
switches: glorious lynx (factory lubed)
keycaps: POM jelly lavenders
mods: none

4. ocean blues [photo]
case/board: dareu a98 96%
switches: novelkeys creams (lubed with krytox 205g0, krytox 105, 70g durock springs, & 520k polish)
keycaps: glorious pbt ocean gradients
mods: tape mod

post your keebs!
« Last Edit: February 07, 2023 @984.14 by xandra » Logged
Melooon
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2023 @109.85 »

Oh this is a beautiful collection :ozwomp:

Iv been away from the keyboard scene for a while; Iv never even heard thonks before!! Creamy's sound like tap dancing :grin:

I don't take keyboarding nearly as seriously as you; but I do totally appreciate a nice keyboard and I think particularly for us people who work with computers so much its important to have a tactile experience you really love.

I guess Iv had a few mechanical keyboards over the years .. I had a bunch of Razor ones but I gave most of them away to friends for various reasons (I never liked them very much)

These days I have:
My Main Keyboard is a Vortex Race 3 with its stock keycaps and it has Cherry Clear switches - those were an ordeal to get - I had to sneak it in from the US because they don't sell them in Europe. I really like this layout, it reminds me of 90s mac laptops - and I love the feel of the keys and the cleanness of having no bezel - its just a silver shelf and then blackness and then the keys just float above it! Oh I do like this keyboard!



I also sometimes use my 1988 IBM Model-M - but its very big and clunky, you can see it here (apparently cherry clear switches were also invented in 1988.. I guess thats my year!). I also have an old Macintosh keyboard that uses alpis switches; its ok but nothing to write home about. I guess you could also count the Atari 800, but its keyboard is not usable on modern systems.. its.. very 70s and mechanical! ... not in a good way, but interesting to experience!


And Finally I have a separate Razer Huntsman Mini with its Red (optical linear) switches - I use that for gaming because Cherry Clears are way too clunky for even casual games.

I find clicky keys sound great on their own, but when I actually need to use a keyboard seriously I perfer something quieter. A heavy key switch with a bump suits me because I tend to whack keys! Annnnddd I like the vintage rounded keycap style too that you seem th have on yours; although I definitely want keys that have letters printed on them :tongue:

2. softie is totaly my favourite of yours! It reminds me of some sort of vintage toy that I cant quite name.. but it has things that get pushed.. hmmm
« Last Edit: February 08, 2023 @114.40 by Melooon » Logged


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xandra
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2023 @964.32 »

i love your keyboard, melon! it looks like a whimsical toy. the colors are great :smile:

jealous that you have a model m! amazing keyboards, but very loud! xD but it has a very unique feel and sound that's incredibly nostalgic.
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Onio
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2023 @170.52 »

You guys have such cool keyboards! I always loved the idea of getting into mechanical keyboards, trying different switches, mix and matching custom made keycaps, picking out cables.. they look so nice. But I tried a mechanical keyboard once, and the volume of my keypresses gave me anxiety! I don't think I could use any mechanical keyboard just because of the volume! Sadge


Edit: I have spent the past few hours looking at silent switches and keyboard dampening. I have discovered hope.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2023 @292.56 by Onio » Logged

xandra
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2023 @862.09 »

But I tried a mechanical keyboard once, and the volume of my keypresses gave me anxiety! I don't think I could use any mechanical keyboard just because of the volume! Sadge


Edit: I have spent the past few hours looking at silent switches and keyboard dampening. I have discovered hope.

i'm so glad you came back and looked at silent switches! that was exactly what i was going to suggest. there's a whole subset of mech keyboards that are quiet, including dampened keyboards. that's a sound that a lot of people are going for. we're taking back the hobby for quiet folks too! xD
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2023 @906.56 »

I've yet to fully build a keyboard myself since I'm not in a place financially that I can actively pursue doing so, but it's on my never ending list of things I want to try out someday.

I bought my keyboard from Leopold with Cherry Browns and switched out the default caps for some Evangelion based caps I found on Etsy :4u:


* keyboard-min.jpg (496.28 kB, 4080x3072 - viewed 50 times.)
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xandra
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2023 @934.39 »

I've yet to fully build a keyboard myself since I'm not in a place financially that I can actively pursue doing so, but it's on my never ending list of things I want to try out someday.

I bought my keyboard from Leopold with Cherry Browns and switched out the default caps for some Evangelion based caps I found on Etsy :4u:

your keycaps are so cool! :cheesy: FWIW, budget keyboards are a huge part of the hobby if that's helpful at all! <3
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Onio
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2023 @95.44 »

i'm so glad you came back and looked at silent switches! that was exactly what i was going to suggest. there's a whole subset of mech keyboards that are quiet, including dampened keyboards. that's a sound that a lot of people are going for. we're taking back the hobby for quiet folks too! xD


If I could afford it, I would like a walnut wood case, insulate the bottom, Gamakay Phoenix switches, o rings and insulation in the larger keys, and some cute custom key caps here and there (like those koi in resin keys.) I might look for a used copy of a keyboard with key caps I like, save the plate, pcb, and keycaps, and save the money for those aforementioned details.

I also learned about the amazingness of the ceramic key cap sound!

Speaking of custom key caps, half of the key caps I saw on Etsy were just purchased in bulk on Alibaba :omg:k: Good old Etsy.








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xandra
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2023 @809.54 »

i LOVE wooden cases! i've only ever seen them in pre-order/group buy status, but i'd love for someone to start keeping an inventory of them so it can just be bought. they're also pretty pricey as you mentioned. :notgood:

also, speaking of custom keys, i got this lil' guy for my escape key:


* IMG_7387.jpeg (478.27 kB, 1536x2048 - viewed 47 times.)
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xandra
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2023 @855.34 »

a lil' update about one of the keebs:

got a spacebar that looks like a snowy mountain in resin! it's a bit bluer than i was intending, but it still looks pretty cool. jury is still out if it'll stay on whiteout or not since it's notably taller than the rest of the keycaps. it might end up on ocean blues. xD



a side view:

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