geekhack Projects > Making Stuff Together!

budget gaming keyboard makeover (planning)


so i've this stupid and also pretty genious idea. i'm saving for a keyboard right now so i though that akko 5075s/b plus is kinda boring. so i want to get this keyboard for 80pln (17$)-150pln (30$) used and make it a different keyboard. this is just your standard gaming keyboard with non detachable cable, i like it because it has pretty good value. the project will be divided into few phases because i'm on a budget.
phase 0:
buy a keyboard: this one with gateron red/brown switches preferably red
phase 1 "changes part 1":
-desolder the switches
-add millmax hotswap socket because its not a hotswap board
-add lubed by myself akko cs switches
phase 2 "looks":
im looking for a space themed keyboard but that might change
-paint bottom case
-paint the logo
-add new keycaps
phase 3 "changes part 2":
-usb-c mod, replace the non detachable cable with usb-c.
-thinking of changing the mounting style but idk if it will be safe
-new plate if possible in my budget
phase 4 "extras":
-get a wrist rest and paint the plastic part of it
-make/buy a aviator cable matching the theme
phase 5: "mods":
-modding the keyboard

Fill all the empty spaces with foam, eva foam is very affordable, you can cut it using a cutter, put it between pcb and plate using the plate for marking the holes with a pencil. That will improve its sound and perceived quality.

By the time you buy the keyboard and millmax sockets  and shipping you could just buy a budget hot swap board (blank GMMK, Red Dragon, etc).
This way there's no risk of a bad solder/desolder and it's a LOT less hassle.

Side note...
Unless you are meticulous about cleaning them, don't use desoldered switches in millmax or hot swaps, it will damage them. You should also expect to damage a couple trying to desolder and clean them.

maybe ill look into these and i wont reuse desoldered switches ill just sell these


--- Quote from: PlayBox on Wed, 03 August 2022, 11:12:21 ---maybe ill look into these and i wont reuse desoldered switches ill just sell these

--- End quote ---

I've desoldered a few boards,
If you don't have a desoldering station it's a pretty long process and you risk damaging switches. Unfortunately these are several hundred dollars but you can do a board in 20 minutes. A bulb desoldering iron is your second best. While still a bit tedious its not terrible, just be careful as they're not temp controlled. You can still damage switches and the pcb. These are about $40, but you will burn through at least one tip in the process (another $10). You will also want some leaded solder to thin out the lead free garbage. With experience you can do a board in a bout an hour.

A temp controlled iron and a good desolder pump or braid should be your last option. As before you will also need some lead solder to thin out the lead free stuff. It's very easy to damage switches and the pcb if you aren't careful even with temp control. Cheap pumps and braid SUCKS, seriously, the difference is shocking, do NOT trust Amazon ratings for these, the game is rigged. A temp controlled iron is close to $100. Expect a few hours with this method depending on how good your braid or pump is.

Anything below this is an utter nightmare to do, will take HOURS and you have a very high risk of damaging not just the switches but also the pcb. An experienced person can get away with it but anyone with the experience to do it probably has better tools.

Basically, if you have to buy any of this you could just buy a better board from the start and save yourself the hassle.

Good luck!


[0] Message Index

Go to full version