Author Topic: MechKeys.CA ALUTKL Kit Build and Review  (Read 1656 times)

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Offline bmmcwhirt

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MechKeys.CA ALUTKL Kit Build and Review
« on: Fri, 10 February 2017, 11:00:34 »
I recently purchased a tenkeyless ALUTKL sandwich style kit from www.mechkeys.ca.

This is a build log and review. All components were bought with my own money and no compensation has been provided. The opinions here are my own and are only my opinions based on my experiences.

Parts:
Building a ALUTKL keyboard.

PARTS

 ALUTKL sandwich style keyboard kit fromwww.mechkeys.ca
 Gateron blue switches from www.switchtop.com
 2x3x4 blue LEDs from www.switchtop.com
 Clear PCB stabilizers from www.zealpc.com

Out of the box the circuit board is a clean design with nice solder mask and very good sized solder pads. There was one resistor and one diode on the board that I had to do some solder touchup work on and I added some solder to the USB port supports. The board is designed for multiple layouts so there are switch location options for things like offset modifier keys.

This is a ps2avrU(ps2avrGB)[https://github.com/showjean/ps2avrU] board and has 24 RGB accent leds on the bottom of the board. It's a programmable keyboard and the software is easy to use.

The design uses PCB mounted stabilizers and a set are included but they are standard black. I opted to use clear stabilizers for the look I wanted and found some at ZealPC. These stabilizers are very good and screw down. because of that they are a tiny bit larger than the standard ones and I had to do some filing and cut out some of the translucent layer for them to fit properly.

This particular board will take PCB mount switches even though it's plate mount. I test fitted both Cherry MX and Gateron switches. Both were nice and snug making it very easy to so solder many of them at a time without them falling out. I opted to go with Gateron Blue from SwitchTop. I could not tell the difference between then and the Cherry MX Blue myself and they were less expensive.

The board also supports single color LEDs on each switch and I opted for blue 2x3x4mm leds also from SwitchTop.

Soldering was quick and easy with the large solder pads and flux cleaned off the solder mask super easy.

Everything fit together well and overall I'm very pleased with the kit and all the parts. I talked with MechKeys several times before ordering and while waiting to receive the board. They were very helpful and fast to respond when I had questions about what parts would and would not work. It was much like talking to a close friend. I had no contact with ZealPC or SwitchTop as I ordered from their online storefront and had no questions about the parts I was ordering. Shipping from everywhere was very fast but I did have to wait a while on the ALUTKL to transfer from Canada to the USA.

Currently I have cheap abs caps on here as I type as I have plans to get in on the Lightcycle buy and put them on here later this year.

Here is a video of the build: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoRZva_7gFk

And a photo of the completed board is attached.
« Last Edit: Fri, 10 February 2017, 11:02:57 by bmmcwhirt »