Author Topic: I want to foam mod my gmmk. And I have foam questions  (Read 2182 times)

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Offline problemxyz

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 24
  • Location: Belgium
I want to foam mod my gmmk. And I have foam questions
« on: Sat, 09 January 2021, 14:15:01 »
I want to foam mod my GMMK. Even thinking of dampening both the space between the the case and the PCB as well as between plate and PCB.

  • Is it worth putting in foam that is a little less thick than the space between the components?
  • Is it a bad idea to use felt in terms of contact with the PCB board in case it does touch?
  • Anyone who happens to know the depth measurements of the space between the plate and pcb? I don't have a caliper on me unfortunately.

Also, Im looking for a way to make the chrome edge black without having to sand it down and spray paint it. I live in an appartment with no garden or nothing. Plus it's too cold now to do it outside anyways should you suggest to do it in a park.



« Last Edit: Sat, 09 January 2021, 14:22:17 by problemxyz »
No?

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3680
Re: I want to foam mod my gmmk. And I have foam questions
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 09 January 2021, 21:49:04 »
The GMMK already has foam in the base, I wouldn't say it's good, but it already has it.
Most who do this use foam shelf liner, which is probably the best, cheap, easy to get option, I use that in my Filco.

As for between the plate and PCB...
The GMK has bent tabs holding the pcb to the plate (along with screws), these can only be done so many times before they will break. Also, have you considered how you will cut all those little squares? I started to plan on doing it and as soon as I realized I was going to have to cut out a hole for every switch I said "NOPE". Unless you have a cnc foam cutter that's going to be a pain in the neck for something that will do so little. An easier option is just do thin strips of foam (multiple layers) between each row and forget the columns, though beware, it may interfere with the hot swap if it's too wide or slips out of place.

Regarding paint
You could spray it outside then hang it in your bathroom with the fan on to dry. Another option is to go the opposite, sand off the paint for an all silver finish. Not sure if I'd recommend this as that will reeflect a heck of a lot of light into your face, especially on a low profile keyboard.
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Offline Learis

  • Posts: 81
Re: I want to foam mod my gmmk. And I have foam questions
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 10 January 2021, 01:12:10 »
If you wish to go down the rabbit hole of making your own foam insert, it can be done. I've done it. But I have never done it with your keyboard. There's unfortunately no easy way I know of to do this; only the long way. The main affordable kind of foam that is recommended is neoprene. You can find different widths of neoprene foam on amazon for relatively cheap. Also there's shelf liners that have neoprene feeling foam too. The foam should be just slightly thicker than the space between the pcb and the plate so that once they screw back together, the foam is comfortably contacting them to properly dampen them. You can get  one of the loose tape measures that the tailors use and just get a rough estimate of the gap between the plate and the pcb by sticking it down an empty switch hole and seeing how far it goes in like milimeters. Foam can compress so it's okay if your foam is perhaps 25-30% thicker. Worst case scenario though, you might even have to do the entire process twice with two different width foams if you can't find the perfect width foam for it.

So... the way I did it is with a cutting mat and an exacto knife. Securely tape down your plate onto the foam so it doesn't move. As long as the plate never moves on the foam, you can just use it as a stencil and cut out the squares with it attached. There's a special blade for an exacto knife that has a flat edge that allows you to just punch down with it; easier for punching out the switch holes in the foam. You also have to make markings or at least a mental note of the locations for the screw holes and anything else that juts out from the pcb to the plate, and cut out those things as well in the foam. Lastly cut out the border of the entire plate. Then you're ready to sandwich the foam between the plate and the pcb.

This whole process is extremely tedious and you have to be precise otherwise things won't line up. I've done it. I would only recommend it as a last result if you're still experiencing ping after having lubed your switches. I'm not gonna sugarcoat it; unless you have patience and approach this methodically, it will be extremely annoying to do. I wouldn't recommend it for most people; just not worth the trouble.
« Last Edit: Sun, 10 January 2021, 01:20:50 by Learis »
Mend and Defend

Offline problemxyz

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 24
  • Location: Belgium
Re: I want to foam mod my gmmk. And I have foam questions
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 13 January 2021, 01:24:33 »

If you wish to go down the rabbit hole of making your own foam insert, it can be done. I've done it. But I have never done it with your keyboard. There's unfortunately no easy way I know of to do this; only the long way. The main affordable kind of foam that is recommended is neoprene. You can find different widths of neoprene foam on amazon for relatively cheap. Also there's shelf liners that have neoprene feeling foam too. The foam should be just slightly thicker than the space between the pcb and the plate so that once they screw back together, the foam is comfortably contacting them to properly dampen them. You can get  one of the loose tape measures that the tailors use and just get a rough estimate of the gap between the plate and the pcb by sticking it down an empty switch hole and seeing how far it goes in like milimeters. Foam can compress so it's okay if your foam is perhaps 25-30% thicker. Worst case scenario though, you might even have to do the entire process twice with two different width foams if you can't find the perfect width foam for it.

So... the way I did it is with a cutting mat and an exacto knife. Securely tape down your plate onto the foam so it doesn't move. As long as the plate never moves on the foam, you can just use it as a stencil and cut out the squares with it attached. There's a special blade for an exacto knife that has a flat edge that allows you to just punch down with it; easier for punching out the switch holes in the foam. You also have to make markings or at least a mental note of the locations for the screw holes and anything else that juts out from the pcb to the plate, and cut out those things as well in the foam. Lastly cut out the border of the entire plate. Then you're ready to sandwich the foam between the plate and the pcb.

This whole process is extremely tedious and you have to be precise otherwise things won't line up. I've done it. I would only recommend it as a last result if you're still experiencing ping after having lubed your switches. I'm not gonna sugarcoat it; unless you have patience and approach this methodically, it will be extremely annoying to do. I wouldn't recommend it for most people; just not worth the trouble.
Ive seen neoprene in many places as an affordable choice. But im toying with the idea of using more dense rubber material, measuring the widths of the rows and colums and cutting strips. I still have some double sided adhesive laying around so I could go that way.
Here in Belgium they sell those rubber mats to dampen vibrations from washing machines. Im reasoning that the density could quiten the sound overall a bit. Which btw its not reducing ping that im after rather than just db reduction. Especially the bottomout fests that are my current box oranges that Im otherwise quite liking.
But then id have to measure those gaps wich should get able to get around to when I find those measuring tools (which I do have somewhere).
But yeah on the other hand it should be something that Ill probably do when I can reserve time and have patience and all. More like a bonus than necessity. Good call.
 


The GMMK already has foam in the base, I wouldn't say it's good, but it already has it.
Most who do this use foam shelf liner, which is probably the best, cheap, easy to get option, I use that in my Filco.

As for between the plate and PCB...
The GMK has bent tabs holding the pcb to the plate (along with screws), these can only be done so many times before they will break. Also, have you considered how you will cut all those little squares? I started to plan on doing it and as soon as I realized I was going to have to cut out a hole for every switch I said "NOPE". Unless you have a cnc foam cutter that's going to be a pain in the neck for something that will do so little. An easier option is just do thin strips of foam (multiple layers) between each row and forget the columns, though beware, it may interfere with the hot swap if it's too wide or slips out of place.

The thing is my GMMK is older and doesnt have any foam of its own. I already added packing foam to the bottom and not sure how much that helped. And I actually didn put the tabs back for exactly that reason because I knew I was going to open up the board again at some point. Getting your ideas and writing out is helping my thinking here though. I guess its worth experimenting with the bottom case first (try shelf liner this time) before I would dive into the space between the plate and the pcb.

The GMMK already has foam in the base, I wouldn't say it's good, but it already has it.
Most who do this use foam shelf liner, which is probably the best, cheap, easy to get option, I use that in my Filco.

As for between the plate and PCB...
The GMK has bent tabs holding the pcb to the plate (along with screws), these can only be done so many times before they will break. Also, have you considered how you will cut all those little squares? I started to plan on doing it and as soon as I realized I was going to have to cut out a hole for every switch I said "NOPE". Unless you have a cnc foam cutter that's going to be a pain in the neck for something that will do so little. An easier option is just do thin strips of foam (multiple layers) between each row and forget the columns, though beware, it may interfere with the hot swap if it's too wide or slips out of place.

Regarding paint
You could spray it outside then hang it in your bathroom with the fan on to dry. Another option is to go the opposite, sand off the paint for an all silver finish. Not sure if I'd recommend this as that will reeflect a heck of a lot of light into your face, especially on a low profile keyboard.
Great idea on just stripping the paint altogether.

Or maybe its just time to move on from the GMMK

No?