Author Topic: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions  (Read 39534 times)

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Offline saxophone

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #400 on: Sun, 19 March 2017, 05:48:16 »
@tp4: there's no mention of anything like that on the manual that came with the board.

If it's possible to implement calibration or adjusting actuation for individual switch then please make it available. I need this.

Oh and also forgot to mention, the thickness of the slider varies on the board as well. Scotch tape trick was actually not enough for some of the keys so I had to resort to using the thicker electrical tape to deal with it. Picture of the board:


/OT: The keycaps that came with the board are the same type as the ones used on the KANANIC DKD so I'm now able to do this:

Good stuff, as I was originally missing the "-_" keycap for the DKD set.
« Last Edit: Sun, 19 March 2017, 08:25:09 by saxophone »

Offline ander

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #401 on: Sun, 19 March 2017, 20:09:48 »
XMIT, I look forward to seeing you tonight on Top Clack... For those who haven't watched here is the link: https://www.twitch.tv/topclack

I sure wanted to see this, but it says it's "offline" now. Anyone know where it can still be viewed?


I look forward to a version of these boards that you don't have to open up and "fix" (lube, clip, re-spring, etc.) in order to make them feel right.

To be fair, XMIT isn't a big KB company with an entire QA department. He developed this board from scratch. When you do something this ambitious and detailed, there are bound to be a few issues. Fortunately, most of us enjoy tweaking boards and providing feedback. That's why GH's so great.


...The bamboo board also gets a lot of problems when exposed to moisture. This is my own fault since painting it = moisture but I'm writing this down for anyone who wants to try same stuff...

Yikes, you painted your board?? I think the natural bamboo's so beautiful, I can't imagine why anyone would want to hide it—but whatever blows your skirt up, as they say.

For what it's worth: When painting any new wood surface—especially if you're using a water-based paint, rather than shellac or an oil-based finish—it's wise to apply a wood sealer first. I'm guessing that would've prevented the problems you described. Here's a useful page about it.


Lastly, I suggest scrapping the selling the board pre-assembled and instead simply sell the board as kits... People who'd care about hall effect are most probably at enthusiast anyways. They'll probably want to fiddle with the board themselves so paying for pre-assembled pieces seems like waste of money to me...

If you offer boards in kit form only, it's an inescapable fact that you're addressing a considerably smaller market. This was a start-up project, where a lot of capital went into gearing up for the boards before the first prototype was made. XMIT could confirm it—but I think that with something like this, done by an individual working with a manufacturer, it wouldn't have been viable to offer kits only.

Offline dante

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #402 on: Sun, 19 March 2017, 20:27:29 »
XMIT, I look forward to seeing you tonight on Top Clack... For those who haven't watched here is the link: https://www.twitch.tv/topclack

I sure wanted to see this, but it says it's "offline" now. Anyone know where it can still be viewed?

https://www.twitch.tv/topclack/videos/all

OR you can see it via manofinterests youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTJRSH0vGvD0qzxj2TnoKXA/videos

Offline ander

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #403 on: Sun, 19 March 2017, 20:41:46 »
https://www.twitch.tv/topclack/videos/all
  OR you can see it via manofinterests youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTJRSH0vGvD0qzxj2TnoKXA/videos

Thanks! 1.5 hour of keyboard-geek goodness (although, dudes, you really need to antialias your headshots on your black title screen, LOL). After knowing José so long, it's fun to see and hear him as a real person.

I've been so busy, my XMIT HE board has been sitting unboxed on our kitchen counter for the last few days. The anticipation was fun, but today I resolved to finally sit down and open 'er up.


163417-0


163419-1


I'm surprised no one's mentioned XMIT's elegant box. That was a very nice touch! The foam corners secure the board very well, and there were air pillows around the box itself... So while I'm sorry to hear that some people found damage, it seems like reasonable precaution was taken. (In addition to being shipped to New Jersey, like all the rest, mine was then sent clear across to Canada's west coast.)

So, here I am, typing on HE switches! In one word: fantastic. The initial comparison with MX Reds is inevitable, but these feel more substantial. There's a certain feeling of authority to them, like the difference between Topres and RDs.


163421-2


I was a bit dubious about the bamboo case—but I wanted a 104 with 70g springs, and that was the deal. I'm glad, because the bamboo's gorgeous. With the snow-white keys, it looks so artistic, like something that'd be at home in an art gallery.

I opted for a set of 50g springs, but I doubt I'll bother with them, as the 70s feel great. The switches themselves are so smooth, I'm not finding it an effort at all to type quickly and accurately.

I have to agree with some others here that the spacebar is unusually noisy. It's tolerable, but has anyone found a way to quieten it?

And whoa, this is an RGB!


163423-3


163425-4


163427-5


163429-6


I was so captivated with the switches, I didn't notice that in the feature list. I have a couple of backlighted boards, but I sheepishly admit this is the first RGB I've owned.  :?)

While the animation effects are fun, I'll just be using one of the static single-colour modes. Given that these LEDs can produce millions of colours, it'd be great to be able to specify some. Is there currently no way to do that? (Does this require "programming"?) Any idea when that'll be possible?

I'd also suggest that when cycling through the animations, it seems unnecessary to turn off the LEDs between each of them... Why not just go from one to the next? Not dramatic enough?

To sum up: Despite the rattly spacebar, I'm quite pleased with XMIT's creation. It's thrilling to be using such legendary—and until now, possible only under the geekiest conditions—switch technology.

We've all been using MKs of one kind or another, any one of which was likely to last till we got too old to type anymore. But now this... There's no stopping us! Buh ha ha!! Okay, I'll restrain myself now and imitate a civilized person.
« Last Edit: Sun, 19 March 2017, 22:30:15 by ander »

Offline Skull_Angel

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #404 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 05:57:06 »
I ended up completely disassembling my board yesterday to pop in the new springs and I think I can answer a few of the issues that have popped up here.

Keys sticking may not have anything to do with hitting keys off-center at times - There is a glue used to help hold the magnets in place on MOST of the sliders, and it seems to stay tacky rather then fully drying; on some of them, the glue seems to fall out, stick to the board, and "grab" the switch when bottomed out. I found this happened to four keys on my board.

Keys actuating at different heights - The sliders are not all uniform; many of the sliders have slightly different shape, I'm not sure if this is a die issue or injection (more likely) issue. While this is an issue, the bigger issue is that the magnet placement in the sliders doesn't seem to be uniform.

My board came in decent condition with the only gripe being the quality of the case (I'll need to shave the edges to get them to sit flush and repaint the backing, lots of scratches and paint globs, lol). I will be keeping it to support this project, but am more so looking forward to seeing improvements made.

I'll probably be keeping this one as a museum piece for now

XMIT - when you get them to increase the quality of the sliders, could you give us the option to buy them?

Offline zslane

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #405 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 12:16:03 »
To be fair, XMIT isn't a big KB company with an entire QA department. He developed this board from scratch. When you do something this ambitious and detailed, there are bound to be a few issues. Fortunately, most of us enjoy tweaking boards and providing feedback. That's why GH's so great.

Oh, I understand all of that, and I think XMIT is doing yoeman's work putting all this together. The fact that anyone is working so diligently to revive Hall Effect keyboards is worthy of celebration.

It's just that I am not into tweaking, hacking, or (re-)building keyboards. Swapping keycaps (and installing silencing rings on TMX sliders when I'm desperate enough) is where I draw the line. If a keyboard isn't a mature, mostly problem-free product that has all the essential specs I need right out of the box, then I'm not going to get too excited about it, much less purchase it. I'm not really into investing in other people's R&D. Don't get me wrong, such investment is a worthy thing, it's just not my thing.

Therefore, I will wait for these HE boards to become more polished, and to come in the configuration I am looking forward without me having to open it up and "tweak", "hack", or "mod" it in any way (aside from deploying my favorite MX-stemmed keycaps). At the end of the day, I just want to type on it, I don't want to (re-)build it.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #406 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 12:18:35 »
To be fair, XMIT isn't a big KB company with an entire QA department. He developed this board from scratch. When you do something this ambitious and detailed, there are bound to be a few issues. Fortunately, most of us enjoy tweaking boards and providing feedback. That's why GH's so great.

Oh, I understand all of that, and I think XMIT is doing yoeman's work putting all this together. The fact that anyone is working so diligently to revive Hall Effect keyboards is worthy of celebration.

It's just that I am not into tweaking, hacking, or (re-)building keyboards. Swapping keycaps (and installing silencing rings on TMX sliders when I'm desperate enough) is where I draw the line. If a keyboard isn't a mature, mostly problem-free product that has all the essential specs I need right out of the box, then I'm not going to get too excited about it, much less purchase it. I'm not really into investing in other people's R&D. Don't get me wrong, such investment is a worthy thing, it's just not my thing.

Therefore, I will wait for these HE boards to become more polished, and to come in the configuration I am looking forward without me having to open it up and "tweak", "hack", or "mod" it in any way (aside from deploying my favorite MX-stemmed keycaps). At the end of the day, I just want to type on it, I don't want to (re-)build it.


What ?

Xmit didn't develop anything..  He and Massdrop got on the phone with the vendor in china (who developed and produced the board)

Bought a bunch

and Sold it to you guys for a profit..

This is an off the shelf resale..   Kind of like ebay flipping.



hahahaha..

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #407 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 12:24:17 »
@tp4: there's no mention of anything like that on the manual that came with the board.

If it's possible to implement calibration or adjusting actuation for individual switch then please make it available. I need this.



Well, We don't know the part number on the sensor they used..  So if it's not an analogue circuit then it can't be tuned..

My guess is that it's not.. but don't know.. it might be..  Gotta ask xmit....

Or IDK..  Xmit could give us the company's phone number and we can call um up and ask them..

There are more than enough sifos on this forum to call china up.. hahahaha



But, I'd imagine it's kind of like a drug-dealer situation where,  XMIT/ Massdrop want to remain exclusive flippers of this company's keyboard for as long as possible.. without giving away their sources,  because if they gave away the source,  then they can't remain as middlemen..

At least that's my impression of this business structure so far.

Offline dante

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #408 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 12:52:40 »
Per the topclack interview we know XMIT doesn't want to get rid of the current manufacturers but I got really excited when it was suggested it may theoretically be possible to move manufacturing to the states.

I don't know if it would be in Unicomp's wheel house or if Signature Plastics can create backlit caps for it; but it would be extremely cool to get this board made as much as possible in the US.
« Last Edit: Mon, 20 March 2017, 12:54:42 by dante »

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #409 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 13:11:31 »
Per the topclack interview we know XMIT doesn't want to get rid of the current manufacturers but I got really excited when it was suggested it may theoretically be possible to move manufacturing to the states.

I don't know if it would be in Unicomp's wheel house or if Signature Plastics can create backlit caps for it; but it would be extremely cool to get this board made as much as possible in the US.

This keyboard is a low tech electronic product.. where the margin is typically too low to support US manufacturing/ labor..


The way the currency is pegged.  we get roughly a ..3 to 1 on production..

If you were to spend usd $1 in the us, you can produce something of usd $3 quality in china..


This keyboard sold through 1x middlemen (xmit/massdrop), @ $100 probably cost around $15-30 to produce if their factory is already producing in ~2000+ quantities.. (they most likely are)


So..  if you moved manufacturing to the USA,  just to match what is already being sold, this keyboard would cost you $100 to make....


And you'll probably be paying $200 for it because that's how marketing utilizes -Made in USA-.


If you took $200 and spent that in china,  you'd make a fking iphone..   

All aluminum Chassis.. 0.01mm precision milling.. Japanese sensors.. Samsung custom keyboard controller.


--Just sayin''






Offline saxophone

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #410 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 13:47:03 »
Following Skull_Angels mention I've managed to remove the magnets from the slides, and can now "calibrate" the keys to actuate at the distance I want them to by altering the height of the magnets. Going to take some time but it's all good now.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #411 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 14:03:08 »
Following Skull_Angels mention I've managed to remove the magnets from the slides, and can now "calibrate" the keys to actuate at the distance I want them to by altering the height of the magnets. Going to take some time but it's all good now.


does a depth rod from a (digi cal) fit into the slot for where the magnet is clasped.

it'd be interesting if you can determine the precise difference between distance and actuation.

Offline Neo.X

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #412 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 14:10:54 »

Keys actuating at different heights - The sliders are not all uniform; many of the sliders have slightly different shape, I'm not sure if this is a die issue or injection (more likely) issue. While this is an issue, the bigger issue is that the magnet placement in the sliders doesn't seem to be uniform.



Thank you, Skull_Angel. I think that's the issue for me, no wonder typing on this keyboard feels a little bit weird and uncomfortable.

I do hope that XMIT will offer purchasing for just improved slider and spring in the future.

All those keyboards will be lost in time....

Offline saxophone

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #413 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 16:32:00 »
Well, time to spend some more hours on this. My personal favorite keyboard right now is using gat reds where I've spend time adjusting the leaves in each switch so that they uniformly actuate at 0.5-1mm. This is going to take quite some time with hall effect board. The results should be good however.

Offline digi

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #414 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 16:34:01 »
does a depth rod from a (digi cal) fit into the slot for where the magnet is clasped.

I should really know the answer to that :P

Offline Skull_Angel

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #415 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 16:34:58 »
Following Skull_Angels mention I've managed to remove the magnets from the slides, and can now "calibrate" the keys to actuate at the distance I want them to by altering the height of the magnets. Going to take some time but it's all good now.


does a depth rod from a (digi cal) fit into the slot for where the magnet is clasped.

it'd be interesting if you can determine the precise difference between distance and actuation.

I think it should fit, the issue is cleaning out the tacky glue on most of them first. It's almost more like a soft plastic plug that's dipped in something and stuffed in there for some sliders.

Edit: curious, has anyone tested actuation latency?
« Last Edit: Mon, 20 March 2017, 16:43:23 by Skull_Angel »

Offline ander

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #416 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 17:40:19 »
Speaking of XMIT's cool box, I don't think anyone remarked on the lid's magnetic catches, either. That's class. The fit's so close, at first I thought I had to slide an inner box out sideways. Okay, I admit it, I actually tried to do that. Fortunately there's no photo documentation.  :?)


Keys sticking may not have anything to do with hitting keys off-center at times - There is a glue used to help hold the magnets in place on MOST of the sliders, and it seems to stay tacky rather then fully drying... Keys actuating at different heights - The sliders are not all uniform; many of the sliders have slightly different shape, I'm not sure if this is a die issue or injection (more likely) issue. While this is an issue, the bigger issue is that the magnet placement in the sliders doesn't seem to be uniform.

Considering how carefully and accurately my board seems to have been made, I'm amazed to hear about these irregularities. I can only guess that some of you got boards from earlier production runs.

I've used my share of MKs, and  speaking for myself, I can't feel any irregularities in how this board actuates. I realize some of you guys have considerably more experience, though, and may be more sensitive (i.e. perceptive) to such things.

Just curious: Did you actually feel these variances? Or did you need to examine the parts to determine them?

Or maybe you used weights? That's fair game, of course, since GH is as much about technology and measurement as it is esthetics.


My board came in decent condition with the only gripe being the quality of the case... I'll probably be keeping this one as a museum piece for now...

LOL, that doesn't seem far away from the truth. It's remarkable to realize these are the first HE boards in—what, 20 years?—and maybe even the first ever that weren't produced for specific (and often, secret) proprietary applications.


But, I'd imagine it's kind of like a drug-dealer situation where,  XMIT/ Massdrop want to remain exclusive flippers of this company's keyboard for as long as possible.. without giving away their sources,  because if they gave away the source,  then they can't remain as middlemen...

Maybe you're not being serious—but geez, I think we need to cut XMIT a bit of slack. This was a huge undertaking for one person, working with a manufacturer halfway around the world. Most of us would never imagine taking on something like this.

And it's not like he bought a bunch of existing boards and resold them. As he's meticulously described here, this idea existed in quite a rudimentary form when he got started. So the "drug dealer" analogy seems pretty inappropriate. (Well, okay, MKs are a type of drug habit—but besides that.)


...If you moved manufacturing to the USA,  just to match what is already being sold, this keyboard would cost you $100 to make. And you'll probably be paying $200 for it because that's how marketing utilizes -Made in USA-.

Indeed, it's amazing what Unicomp has managed to do with their US-made buckling spring boards. People site little flaws in them, but if U. tried to make them to IBM's standards, they'd need to charge three times as much to stay afloat.


Well, time to spend some more hours on this. My personal favorite keyboard right now is using gat reds where I've spend time adjusting the leaves in each switch so that they uniformly actuate at 0.5-1mm. This is going to take quite some time with hall effect board. The results should be good however.

It's amazing (maybe even pathological, LOL) that you guys are this good. And XMIT must've been prepared for his boards to be gone over here with fine-tooth combs. Still, I don't envy any product developer who throws his boards to the techno-wolves like this.  :?)

Offline Skull_Angel

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #417 on: Tue, 21 March 2017, 00:13:44 »
Speaking of XMIT's cool box, I don't think anyone remarked on the lid's magnetic catches, either. That's class. The fit's so close, at first I thought I had to slide an inner box out sideways. Okay, I admit it, I actually tried to do that. Fortunately there's no photo documentation.  :?)


Keys sticking may not have anything to do with hitting keys off-center at times - There is a glue used to help hold the magnets in place on MOST of the sliders, and it seems to stay tacky rather then fully drying... Keys actuating at different heights - The sliders are not all uniform; many of the sliders have slightly different shape, I'm not sure if this is a die issue or injection (more likely) issue. While this is an issue, the bigger issue is that the magnet placement in the sliders doesn't seem to be uniform.

Considering how carefully and accurately my board seems to have been made, I'm amazed to hear about these irregularities. I can only guess that some of you got boards from earlier production runs.

I've used my share of MKs, and  speaking for myself, I can't feel any irregularities in how this board actuates. I realize some of you guys have considerably more experience, though, and may be more sensitive (i.e. perceptive) to such things.

Just curious: Did you actually feel these variances? Or did you need to examine the parts to determine them?

Or maybe you used weights? That's fair game, of course, since GH is as much about technology and measurement as it is esthetics.


My board came in decent condition with the only gripe being the quality of the case... I'll probably be keeping this one as a museum piece for now...

LOL, that doesn't seem far away from the truth. It's remarkable to realize these are the first HE boards in—what, 20 years?—and maybe even the first ever that weren't produced for specific (and often, secret) proprietary applications.


But, I'd imagine it's kind of like a drug-dealer situation where,  XMIT/ Massdrop want to remain exclusive flippers of this company's keyboard for as long as possible.. without giving away their sources,  because if they gave away the source,  then they can't remain as middlemen...

Maybe you're not being serious—but geez, I think we need to cut XMIT a bit of slack. This was a huge undertaking for one person, working with a manufacturer halfway around the world. Most of us would never imagine taking on something like this.

And it's not like he bought a bunch of existing boards and resold them. As he's meticulously described here, this idea existed in quite a rudimentary form when he got started. So the "drug dealer" analogy seems pretty inappropriate. (Well, okay, MKs are a type of drug habit—but besides that.)


...If you moved manufacturing to the USA,  just to match what is already being sold, this keyboard would cost you $100 to make. And you'll probably be paying $200 for it because that's how marketing utilizes -Made in USA-.

Indeed, it's amazing what Unicomp has managed to do with their US-made buckling spring boards. People site little flaws in them, but if U. tried to make them to IBM's standards, they'd need to charge three times as much to stay afloat.


Well, time to spend some more hours on this. My personal favorite keyboard right now is using gat reds where I've spend time adjusting the leaves in each switch so that they uniformly actuate at 0.5-1mm. This is going to take quite some time with hall effect board. The results should be good however.

It's amazing (maybe even pathological, LOL) that you guys are this good. And XMIT must've been prepared for his boards to be gone over here with fine-tooth combs. Still, I don't envy any product developer who throws his boards to the techno-wolves like this.  :?)

I wouldn't doubt if the company reused older sliders that they thought seemed to be good. I first noticed it before swapping the springs; I'd been using the board for a bit over a week and typing "felt" funny, so I decided to swap the springs to see if a heavier actuation force would remedy it.

Being the way I am, I completely disassembled the board to check things out while putting in the new springs and found what looked like glue blobs on a few of the sensors on the PCB; well I found out those blobs came from inside of the sliders, so I ****ed around and examined all of them. About a quarter of the sliders didn't have glue, but the magnets seemed to be fit quite snug and looked quite uniform. The other three-quarters of the sliders were filled with glue that ranged from well placed to somewhat globbed on; while it likely skewed visual inspection, I could tell some of the magnets weren't seated properly and used a 1.5mm flat head to snug them down.

The overall feel is a bit better now, but it does feel off a bit still. This coupled with the greater level of key wobble compared to Cherry/Gateron MX is just enough to make me want to move back to my Varmilo w/ Gat blacks. I'm not saying it's a bad board, I do definitely see the potential, I just hope it really shows that level before a majority of people give it a bad rap for QC.

Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #418 on: Tue, 21 March 2017, 00:47:40 »
Wobble!  That's the word I'm looking for.  There does seem to be a bit of... a feel not quite as stable as my Cherry MX reds Ducky board going on there.  I'm not quite sure I'd call it wobble but the switches don't quite feel as stable as the MX reds do.

Offline opensecret

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #419 on: Thu, 23 March 2017, 21:41:20 »
Wobble!  That's the word I'm looking for.  There does seem to be a bit of... a feel not quite as stable as my Cherry MX reds Ducky board going on there.  I'm not quite sure I'd call it wobble but the switches don't quite feel as stable as the MX reds do.
There is a bit more wobble on the XMIT board compared to other boards.  Couple that with the higher-pitched pingy sound (particularly on the space bar)compared to other boards, and the overall fit and finish doesn't feel as if it's in the same league with the best keyboards out there. 

But that's no surprise.  I wasn't expecting perfection on a first-time effort where XMIT was in Texas trying to work with a vendor in China.  I'm glad he made the effort and glad I bought one (50g black acrylic 104).  I've been using the board a lot in the last week or so.  It looks good and I enjoy typing on it.
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Offline ander

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #420 on: Thu, 23 March 2017, 22:37:32 »
The way the currency is pegged.  we get roughly a ..3 to 1 on production... If you were to spend usd $1 in the us, you can produce something of usd $3 quality in china...

Well, if you really want to get into that...

Exchange rates don't mean much in themselves; they're just numbers. The amount of labour you get for a certain amount of money depends on the standard of living people in a particular place are willing to settle for.

In the U.S., most lower-income people live pretty well. They expect to have things like a car, central heating, and three meals a day—it's considered standard.

In China, the average skilled factory worker makes much, much less than the equivalent of U.S. minimum wages. They have a bicycle, not a car; no central heating (often no heating at all, just heavy clothes); and usually one meal a day, maybe a piece of fruit later. What's average there, we'd consider poverty here.

Business owners won't voluntarily give their workers more money. The workers must organize and demand it. Ironically, in the PRC—presumably founded on the principle of equality for all—any such organizing is quickly put down. It's more important for the Chinese government to keep offering bargain rates to international customers, to keep the foreign money flowing in.

Ever since the Reagan administration gave Western companies the green flag to export their jobs en masse, China has received a massive influx of foreign capital. It's used much of this money to conduct the biggest military buildup in modern history. It continues to violently suppress people's demands for free elections, routinely imprisons people for any reason, and has more government corruption than any other major country.

It may seem hypocritical to buy (and rave about) a keyboard made there. But with brave little Unicomp being the sole exception, you can't buy a new MK that made in the U.S. (or almost any other kind of product, for that matter). I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't know.


Wobble!  That's the word I'm looking for.  There does seem to be a bit of... a feel not quite as stable as my Cherry MX reds Ducky board going on there.  I'm not quite sure I'd call it wobble but the switches don't quite feel as stable as the MX reds do.

I've been using my XMIT board since it arrived, and it feels no less steady than my Cherry MX boards. There's a tiny bit of lateral key play, but when I press a key down, it goes down, not sideways at all. When I'm typing, I don't notice any looseness.

I also haven't had any problem with any keys sticking when pressed off-center. Even keys like Backspace and Enter work fine when pressed on their outer edges.

Well, I guess it depends on how much of a perfectionist one is...

I have noticed a couple of odd things about this board's backlighting:

When I resume my Win 8.1 notebook from Sleep mode, the backlighting comes on even when I'd turned it off (Fn+Space). The board remembers which lighting mode it was last in, so shouldn't it be able to remember that lighting was off? Was this an oversight?

And sometimes I return to find the keyboard lit up even though Windows is still in Sleep mode. None of my other backlighted boards do this. (And yes, I've opened this board's settings and cleared "Allow this device to wake the computer"—even though it's not actually "waking" it.) Ideas?

Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #421 on: Fri, 24 March 2017, 00:15:00 »
Wobble!  That's the word I'm looking for.  There does seem to be a bit of... a feel not quite as stable as my Cherry MX reds Ducky board going on there.  I'm not quite sure I'd call it wobble but the switches don't quite feel as stable as the MX reds do.

I've been using my XMIT board since it arrived, and it feels no less steady than my Cherry MX boards. There's a tiny bit of lateral key play, but when I press a key down, it goes down, not sideways at all. When I'm typing, I don't notice any looseness.

I also haven't had any problem with any keys sticking when pressed off-center. Even keys like Backspace and Enter work fine when pressed on their outer edges.

Well, I guess it depends on how much of a perfectionist one is...

I have noticed a couple of odd things about this board's backlighting:

When I resume my Win 8.1 notebook from Sleep mode, the backlighting comes on even when I'd turned it off (Fn+Space). The board remembers which lighting mode it was last in, so shouldn't it be able to remember that lighting was off? Was this an oversight?

And sometimes I return to find the keyboard lit up even though Windows is still in Sleep mode. None of my other backlighted boards do this. (And yes, I've opened this board's settings and cleared "Allow this device to wake the computer"—even though it's not actually "waking" it.) Ideas?

The SA caps do seem to have a bit more wiggle to them on the XMIT board than I was expecting.  I could wiggle them a bit left to right on my board.  I recall them being a little more stable on my Ducky.  I intend to swap out the SA caps for GMK caps or at least DSA caps on the XMIT board and see what difference that makes.  I've also got two other SA sets that will come in later this year so I can always give those a test as well.

As for getting stuck, with SA caps, I really couldn't use the XMIT board for work as the \| key would frequently get stuck down with the cap \| cap catching on the ]} cap when trying to come up.  Not exactly great when I'm trying to run commands and pipe those to other commands from a shell.  SA caps and this board don't seem to work well together so far, though I currently only have a single SA set to work with.

At some later point I'll probably also swap the 50g springs for 70g springs and see if that makes a difference. 

For the backlighting, I've found that it will get enabled if you tap a key on the keyboard even if the PC is asleep at the time.  I was a bit surprised by this but it's generally not a huge deal for me.  I honestly haven't looked further into it as I generally don't hit the keyboard keys with the computer off; typically if I hit the keys on the keyboard, the computer is either on or about to be turned on.  Hopefully XMIT's got some more info on that.

Offline opensecret

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #422 on: Fri, 24 March 2017, 10:29:06 »
It may seem hypocritical to buy (and rave about) a keyboard made there. But with brave little Unicomp being the sole exception, you can't buy a new MK that made in the U.S. (or almost any other kind of product, for that matter). I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't know.


Manufacturing is still by far the largest segment of the US economy, and the US makes more stuff now than at almost any time in history.  Manufacturing output peaked in 2007, dropped sharply in the recession, then started to rise again, and is almost back to the peak.  What's been declining is manufacturing jobs.  Factories are producing more stuff with fewer (often better-educated) workers.  China is #1 in manufacturing output, but the US is #2, and China's labor cost advantage has been eroding because wages in China have been rising much faster than in the US (not because of unions, which are mostly powerless there, but because of supply and demand).
IBM Model M |Matias Mini Quiet Pro|Plum 84EC-S|RealForce 103U-UW & 87U-UW|Omnikey Ultra T| 2 Omnikey Ultras| WASD V2| Xmit Hall Effect|

Offline zslane

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #423 on: Fri, 24 March 2017, 12:04:52 »
As for getting stuck, with SA caps, I really couldn't use the XMIT board for work as the \| key would frequently get stuck down with the cap \| cap catching on the ]} cap when trying to come up.

That's rather alarming to a fan of SA like I am.

Offline Minnie2

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #424 on: Fri, 24 March 2017, 22:58:00 »
Greeeet job though :thumb:
    A Bro Caps Fan

Just wanted to make sure everyone sees that information. A lot of people missed it ;)

Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #425 on: Fri, 24 March 2017, 23:58:08 »
As for getting stuck, with SA caps, I really couldn't use the XMIT board for work as the \| key would frequently get stuck down with the cap \| cap catching on the ]} cap when trying to come up.

That's rather alarming to a fan of SA like I am.

Good news there.  I was looking into that more this evening and it does appear to be a problem specific to that switch.  Not sure what exactly the problem was but after taking apart and putting back in, it appears to be working much better.

Added good news, the extra switches thrown in with the keyboard seem to be working well and the caps that were falling off had no problems on a couple of the extras I tested out. 

I still need to swap out the 50g springs for the 70g ones but not sure when I'll feel like sitting down and at least getting that done. 

Offline happylacquer

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #426 on: Thu, 06 April 2017, 19:41:03 »
Thinking about getting a used one that was damaged in shipping and came with a replacement space bar piece. What's the chance it would take more than that to get the board working again?

Offline dwolvin

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #427 on: Fri, 07 April 2017, 18:27:57 »
No way for us to guess- does the seller say the space bar is all that was wrong?  Are they willing to test it, or let you?

Offline Erikdayo

  • Posts: 72
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #428 on: Fri, 07 April 2017, 21:00:10 »
No way for us to guess- does the seller say the space bar is all that was wrong?  Are they willing to test it, or let you?
Yes. That's all that is wrong. And as I've said, it's documented in this thread. :p

Offline dwolvin

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #429 on: Mon, 10 April 2017, 00:40:48 »
Ah- then it's worth trying!  I like mine, TKL in black with the 50g springs.  I need to swap some of them to the 70g sometime (these are a little light for me), but I really like this keyboard!

So grabbing a tactile later though!

Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #430 on: Mon, 10 April 2017, 01:21:50 »
Finally swapped the SA caps off mine for DSA to try out.  Haven't managed to get it tested.  I'll probably throw it on the desktop tomorrow and see how those are compared to SA.  After that, I'll consider if I want to spend the time at some point this week to swap in the 70g springs as well.

Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #431 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 00:41:15 »
Alright, putting DSA through its paces.  The lighter caps do seem to help with the 50g springs a small bit.  I think I still want a little more heft in the springs.  There's a bit of responsiveness missing in the 50g springs.  I've got a 70g spring in the \| key from sticking issues there previously and that's not too bad though I've yet to try an entire keyboard with them.  I don't overly feel like swapping them out for the full keyboard but I'll probably end up doing that at some point.

I also want to give GMK a go on here, though with my only GMK set in use on my main board right now, I'm not tremendously inclined to do a swap.  I'll probably do it eventually, though.  I've got a yellow Skeletor Esc key on and that's pretty nice feel-wise.

Offline dwolvin

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #432 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 19:08:23 »
Yea- I want to swap springs to the 70g, but have been lazy.  Plus, ME:A and D3 season 10 have sucked up a bit of my time.

Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #433 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 23:45:50 »
Seems like 50g springs should be more a rare option than a standard, something like Gateron Yellows.  I'm curious to see where the 70g land as I'm a fan of MX reds but found blacks a bit too heavy. 

Offline Skull_Angel

  • Posts: 401
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #434 on: Wed, 12 April 2017, 18:04:51 »
Seems like 50g springs should be more a rare option than a standard, something like Gateron Yellows.  I'm curious to see where the 70g land as I'm a fan of MX reds but found blacks a bit too heavy. 

Imo, the 70g springs feel like Cherry MX Red with less rebound.

Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #435 on: Sat, 15 April 2017, 01:43:17 »
Seems like 50g springs should be more a rare option than a standard, something like Gateron Yellows.  I'm curious to see where the 70g land as I'm a fan of MX reds but found blacks a bit too heavy. 

Imo, the 70g springs feel like Cherry MX Red with less rebound.

Less rebound as in not rebounding as quickly?  I admit the 50g springs feel like they return a bit slower than MX reds.  Not overly feeling like putting the 70g springs on just yet so I'm back on my MX reds for now but I do want to give the 70g springs a go in the future.

Offline Skull_Angel

  • Posts: 401
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #436 on: Sat, 15 April 2017, 05:04:03 »
Seems like 50g springs should be more a rare option than a standard, something like Gateron Yellows.  I'm curious to see where the 70g land as I'm a fan of MX reds but found blacks a bit too heavy. 

Imo, the 70g springs feel like Cherry MX Red with less rebound.

Less rebound as in not rebounding as quickly?  I admit the 50g springs feel like they return a bit slower than MX reds.  Not overly feeling like putting the 70g springs on just yet so I'm back on my MX reds for now but I do want to give the 70g springs a go in the future.

Yes. Rather than feeling like they push your fingers off, they seem to trail behind. It's not bad, just a different typing experience

Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #437 on: Sun, 16 April 2017, 02:42:02 »
Seems like 50g springs should be more a rare option than a standard, something like Gateron Yellows.  I'm curious to see where the 70g land as I'm a fan of MX reds but found blacks a bit too heavy. 

Imo, the 70g springs feel like Cherry MX Red with less rebound.

Less rebound as in not rebounding as quickly?  I admit the 50g springs feel like they return a bit slower than MX reds.  Not overly feeling like putting the 70g springs on just yet so I'm back on my MX reds for now but I do want to give the 70g springs a go in the future.

Yes. Rather than feeling like they push your fingers off, they seem to trail behind. It's not bad, just a different typing experience

That will be interesting then.  I like the snappiness of my MX reds board so I was hoping to get that out of the 70g springs as the 50s aren't managing it.  Almost wondering if heavier springs are needed for that on hall effect switches due to the nature of the switches.  Sounds like some more experimentation there is needed.

Offline Skull_Angel

  • Posts: 401
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #438 on: Sun, 16 April 2017, 05:40:39 »
Seems like 50g springs should be more a rare option than a standard, something like Gateron Yellows.  I'm curious to see where the 70g land as I'm a fan of MX reds but found blacks a bit too heavy. 

Imo, the 70g springs feel like Cherry MX Red with less rebound.

Less rebound as in not rebounding as quickly?  I admit the 50g springs feel like they return a bit slower than MX reds.  Not overly feeling like putting the 70g springs on just yet so I'm back on my MX reds for now but I do want to give the 70g springs a go in the future.

Yes. Rather than feeling like they push your fingers off, they seem to trail behind. It's not bad, just a different typing experience

That will be interesting then.  I like the snappiness of my MX reds board so I was hoping to get that out of the 70g springs as the 50s aren't managing it.  Almost wondering if heavier springs are needed for that on hall effect switches due to the nature of the switches.  Sounds like some more experimentation there is needed.

It's not the switch, the spring's properties (gauge, length, number of coils) cause them to act differently.

Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #439 on: Mon, 17 April 2017, 00:11:52 »
Seems like 50g springs should be more a rare option than a standard, something like Gateron Yellows.  I'm curious to see where the 70g land as I'm a fan of MX reds but found blacks a bit too heavy. 

Imo, the 70g springs feel like Cherry MX Red with less rebound.

Less rebound as in not rebounding as quickly?  I admit the 50g springs feel like they return a bit slower than MX reds.  Not overly feeling like putting the 70g springs on just yet so I'm back on my MX reds for now but I do want to give the 70g springs a go in the future.

Yes. Rather than feeling like they push your fingers off, they seem to trail behind. It's not bad, just a different typing experience

That will be interesting then.  I like the snappiness of my MX reds board so I was hoping to get that out of the 70g springs as the 50s aren't managing it.  Almost wondering if heavier springs are needed for that on hall effect switches due to the nature of the switches.  Sounds like some more experimentation there is needed.

It's not the switch, the spring's properties (gauge, length, number of coils) cause them to act differently.

Right.  I'm thinking different springs might be in order if the 70g springs don't work out well for me.

Offline parablol

  • Posts: 10
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #440 on: Sun, 12 November 2017, 20:03:12 »
I wish there was an Atreus with these switches.

Offline ander

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #441 on: Tue, 14 November 2017, 01:49:48 »
The second edition XMIT Hall Effect boards are now live on Massdrop, with lots of requested improvements!

(Wish I could afford one right now... The 120-key Sun layout looks amazing!)
« Last Edit: Tue, 14 November 2017, 03:34:37 by ander »

Offline dante

  • Posts: 2551
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #442 on: Tue, 14 November 2017, 13:44:11 »
Somewhere someone is laughing over their bowl of rice "dropping the soap again eh?"

Offline ander

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #443 on: Wed, 15 November 2017, 06:53:17 »
Somewhere someone is laughing over their bowl of rice "dropping the soap again eh?"

As the zeppelins converge on the raccoon's bar mitzvah, my eggplant cries out for a dawning of neutrality.

Offline dante

  • Posts: 2551
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #444 on: Wed, 15 November 2017, 11:36:52 »
Somewhere someone is laughing over their bowl of rice "dropping the soap again eh?"

As the zeppelins converge on the raccoon's bar mitzvah, my eggplant cries out for a dawning of neutrality.

My sexuality will not be compromised by your blatant disregard for the house of pancakes.

Offline rich1051414

  • Posts: 141
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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #445 on: Wed, 15 November 2017, 11:55:18 »
Pancake fetishes aside, what are our hopes in getting just the switches, to drop in our original linear boards?
AEK Orange AlpsSiig Minitouch with Orange Alps, Chicony 5192 Futaba MA, Whitefox 60% Zealios 67g, Realforce 87U 55g Topre, CoolerMaster Quickfire Rapid TKL Cherry MX Blue, Eagletec Falcon Z-77 Mod-M, NEC APC-H412 NEC Blue Ovals, Unicomp Model-M Spacesaver, XMIT Hall Effect, WASD Code Cherry MX Clear, KBDFans75 Lubed Gateron Greens, Azio MGK L80 Kailh Brown

Offline davkol

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #446 on: Wed, 15 November 2017, 12:12:52 »
These work differently from your regular mechanical-contact switches, i.e., they're not drop-in replacements.

Offline rich1051414

  • Posts: 141
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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #447 on: Wed, 15 November 2017, 15:04:29 »
These work differently from your regular mechanical-contact switches, i.e., they're not drop-in replacements.

I know how they work, I own the original o.O

Yes, the switches can be drop in replaced. They are designed that way.

The 'switches' just aren't switches at all, just spring, top, and slider. The new ones also have a click leaf. I was hoping to just be able to buy the new switches, to drop in the originals, which were linear.
AEK Orange AlpsSiig Minitouch with Orange Alps, Chicony 5192 Futaba MA, Whitefox 60% Zealios 67g, Realforce 87U 55g Topre, CoolerMaster Quickfire Rapid TKL Cherry MX Blue, Eagletec Falcon Z-77 Mod-M, NEC APC-H412 NEC Blue Ovals, Unicomp Model-M Spacesaver, XMIT Hall Effect, WASD Code Cherry MX Clear, KBDFans75 Lubed Gateron Greens, Azio MGK L80 Kailh Brown

Offline davkol

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #448 on: Wed, 15 November 2017, 15:11:20 »
Mea culpa, I missed that you wanted to put them into the 1st-round Hall effect board.