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HHKB JP 5.5u Spacebar mod?


Hi all! I purchased an HHKB JP off MechMarket some months ago, I love the thing to bits and I particularly love Topre, I am a sucker for both arrow and ISO enter keys so I had no problems with that, the 1u backspace key was surprisingly easy to get used to, unfortunately I cannot say the same about the dreaded 2.5u spacebar, I have to reach my thumb in a really awkward way and I am getting tired of it.

I researched across Geekhack, Reddit, zFrontier and Bilibili and found out some people replace the spacebar and the two Katakana and Hiragana (or whatever they are) keys next to it with a 4.5u Nissho spacebar, but I just can't get my hands on something like that, so I started looking for alternatives. So far I can tell, the only 4.5u spacebars readily available for purchase are these white XDA profile ones, problem is I hate XDA and my HHKB is beautiful and perfect CHARCOAL!

I was just going to give up and buy a regular HHKB... until for some reason I decided to look on AliExpress for about 2 hours, until I found... something? A seller is currently selling some awkwardly sized black PBT spacebars and shift keys for old keyboards from Corsair and the like, the spacebars that caught my eye were the 5.5u and 6.5u ones (I've already ordered a 5.5u one).

So, what if instead of replacing the keys next to the spacebar, we could go one step ahead and replace two more? By removing the conic springs inside the domes (or getting a Hasu controller) of the keys to be replaced by spacebar real state we make it so that they do not register any input and by replacing the stock Topre sliders for something like DES MX sliders, turn the "Kana" and left Alt keys into stabilizers for the longer spacebar!

The first problem that I could think of is that the spacebar might be too heavy for regular use, I have 45g stock Topre domes on my baby, but what if I replace those with BKE ultra light or make any other modification to make them as light as possible without compromising switch feel too much?

What do you think? Any other road blocks you can think of? I'd like to hear anything that could help me with this project! ;D

Photo of my precious!


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