geekhack Projects => Making Stuff Together! => Topic started by: Chemoletter on Sun, 02 May 2021, 06:02:45

Title: your suggestions please
Post by: Chemoletter on Sun, 02 May 2021, 06:02:45
hello, party people.

i need your advice once again.

after making this ( and being very unsatisfied with cherry mx blue, i decided to build something new again (that is to say - solder stuff to a premade pcb and design a sleek case). however, i have the biggest problem choosing the right pcb, caps and switch ( i'm done with cherry and am eager to try linear switches and another brand). i'd appreciate any suggestions from you, because i'm still a total beginner.

maybe the following constraints i have will help you, help me better:

- i'd like a TKL PCB (where to find, what do you reccomend?)
- my layout will be ISO german with the big ass enter key
- if possible no cherry switches (i'd appreciate suggestions for linear switch types)
- i'd like to fit doubleshot PBT caps, if possible illuminate them (should be possible i think i saw these on ready made boards)
- i have yet to experience that super smooth "thock"

could you point me in the right direction? i moved to switzerland, so nearby suppliers would be preferable but not a must.

thank you in advance

also: could you enlighten me as to what a layout is called that is TKL but HAS a full numberpad with the arrow keys included (like the cmstorm tkl)?
Title: Re: your suggestions please
Post by: Leslieann on Sun, 02 May 2021, 20:14:56
I believe what you're referring to is 90% or 96 key.
Check out the XD96 pcb ( and case (, it supports BAE/ISO.

This is probably one of the better boards in this payout (especially with BAE) you can get right now but beware ship times (check amazon they may have it and get it faster that way). Note that the XD96 doesn't have backlighting (it has underglow), others probably have backlighting, but no iso/bae. Also keep in mind any board with hotswap is locked into a layout. It's not like a soldered board where you can just move the switch.

Thock is not so much dependent on switch or keyboard, they help, but it's more about prep/modding/lube. You need to lube switches and stabs and then do clipping andbandaid mods. Most use Krytox 205g0, I like Finish Line Flouro Extreme, much cheaper and a touch thinner than Krytox 205, which helps with lighter springs.
I'm not sure what thick grease most are using now but many have been used Superlube Dielectric grease  (the silicone style) for years.You can get this and the Finish line from Amazon for about what you will spend just on the Krytox and have enough for dozens of boards. Use thick lube on metal to metal (stab wires and switch springs) and thinner lube on plastic to plastic. Done right, even cheaper plastic boards can thock.

As for switch, like said, it doesn't matter AS much, but beware some switches are known for noisy springs (Cherry and Kailh) and some may not be as good long term (Zeal?). Also keep in mind lighter springs make more noise. I tend to replace most of my springs anyhow, if you catch Novelkeys in a sale you can get them CHEAP and I've had good luck with them. Linear switches end up extremely similar once you lube them but Gaterons are often recommended and avoids the spring issues.

PBT is great ONLY if it's thick, all your work to achieve thock will be for nothing if you end up with some crappy thin pbt caps. PBT is a higher pitch and unless it's thick enough it ends up sounding like cheap kiddie toy keyboard. I heard so much about PBT, bought some caps and not knowing this got thin and it turned me off PBT for a long time. So double shot is nice, but thickness is more important. I use some relatively cheap HK Gaming thick pbt from Amazon, they work great.