Author Topic: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard  (Read 764 times)

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Offline Puddsy

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LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« on: Wed, 15 March 2017, 00:28:39 »
I'm making this thread as a sort of log for my LZCE/GH60. I could keep this as a doc on my PC, but I'm big into the whole "public feedback" thing.

There will be pictures added later.

Typos and poor grammar courtesy of it being 1AM.

I've never built a keyboard from zero before, but I have 62g'd my QFR. I have fairly minimal soldering experience, but a keyboard is easy enough.

THE PROBLEM: I received an LZ-CE in a trade about 3 months ago. I got it with a KBT Pure with MX Reds as a hopeful holdover until I could find something better. I bought a GH60 that had an almost-perfect layout off classifieds for a good price, but it broke about a month later. I tried to fix it, but I ended up making the chattering issue worse.

Currently, the nicest 60% case I've ever used is sitting in my desk drawer at school. This is not ideal.

THE SOLUTION: I'm gonna build a GH60.

I don't know that much about building keyboards. I've never done it, and I've never really considered it until now.

I ordered:

From Techkeys: 1x GH60 Rev. C PCB in black, 1 sheet of Yellow switch stickers (Just for ****s)
From MK.com: 7x 10 pack of Cherry MX blacks, 1x set of switch tools
From Originative: 1x Set of 6.25x compatible stabs, 1x set of 100 24k gold 62g Springs

Here's the layout I'm going with.

I'm 99% sure the electronics lab at my college will have an LED and a resistor lying around for CAPS. If not, I'll take a ride to the local electronics store.

Weirdness worth mentioning:

I didn't buy lube to go with this. My budget was $125 and the cheapest lube I could find put me over by a few bucks if I wanted switch tools. I remember from my re-springing that a set of switch tools would've been a godsend. I stabbed myself with a screwdriver a few times. Wasn't fun.

Some of you might remember all my whining about how Originative is a massive ****pile and how I maintain a boycott. I still think Sherry charges too much, but at least he's shipping stuff now. So I ordered some #goldsprings and a set of stabs. Worst case, I'm out $20-odd. No biggie.

I'm using MX switches over Gaterons or Zealios. I picked them because I'm a firm believer in MX. I'm aware the other options aren't as **** as they were two years ago. Someone always mentions it when someone puts MXs in their board (or so it seems).

Pics to come. Ask questions if you've got any.

Thanks,
-TS
QFR (62g blacks) | MJ2 TKL | MJ2 Camo TKL | Realforce 87U 40g uniform (modded, stop PMing me about this) | DK1087XM (weird fake green ALPS) | KUL ES-87 | LZ-CE (click this for build thread)

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Offline Puddsy

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 15 March 2017, 00:47:39 »
Gonna reserve this post to add pics to later.

Also, a secondary reason I made this thread is to make sure I bought everything I'd need. One of my major worries about building a keyboard was that I'd forget something important.
QFR (62g blacks) | MJ2 TKL | MJ2 Camo TKL | Realforce 87U 40g uniform (modded, stop PMing me about this) | DK1087XM (weird fake green ALPS) | KUL ES-87 | LZ-CE (click this for build thread)

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Offline yuktsi

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 15 March 2017, 21:43:19 »
Orginative is doing quite well now. New cherry switches are bad, especially for the linear. Gateron is good, but their quality is not consistent. Actually I don't know what switches are good anymore =(
But yeah, LZ CE is a beautiful case, what colour is yours?
TGR Tris | TGR 910

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Offline digi

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 15 March 2017, 21:44:26 »
Orginative is doing quite well now. New cherry switches are bad, especially for the linear. Gateron is good, but their quality is not consistent. Actually I don't know what switches are good anymore =(
But yeah, LZ CE is a beautiful case, what colour is yours?

Cherry Silvers are #1 breh, don't get it twisted.
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Offline Puddsy

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 16 March 2017, 00:03:12 »
Orginative is doing quite well now. New cherry switches are bad, especially for the linear. Gateron is good, but their quality is not consistent. Actually I don't know what switches are good anymore =(
But yeah, LZ CE is a beautiful case, what colour is yours?

I'm gonna hunt around the electronics lab to see if they have lube. If not, I'll find the $8 or whatever in my budget to get a little. Might order a plate from sentraq too, I don't know how badly I want to desolder a ****ed GH60.

I would've gone with Gaterons if I trusted their QC more. I've heard that new Cherry switches are smooth now, something about a new mold.

I got one in Gold w/ black inserts. It was the only non-cash offer I got for my blue ice, and I'm really glad I took it. Best 60% case I've ever used. There are some picture floating around in my post history.

It doesn't have a lot of the problems I hear about in other 60% cases. There's no weird metal pinging, it doesn't slide around (I got some non-slip feet with it), and it's suuuper heavy. Much better than just getting a cast poker case off aliexpress or something.

Cherry Silvers are #1 breh, don't get it twisted.

I actually thought pretty hard about doing MX silvers. I was gonna buy a Ducky ONE and take it apart for donor switches, and then maybe do a little handwired project with the extras. Seems like more work than I feel like doing.

A whole bunch of weird switches popped up during my hiatus. Hard to keep up with them all.

EDIT: missed a word
« Last Edit: Thu, 16 March 2017, 00:07:29 by TacticalStache »
QFR (62g blacks) | MJ2 TKL | MJ2 Camo TKL | Realforce 87U 40g uniform (modded, stop PMing me about this) | DK1087XM (weird fake green ALPS) | KUL ES-87 | LZ-CE (click this for build thread)

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Offline Puddsy

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 17 March 2017, 15:30:04 »
I was gonna build it on Tuesday, but it looks like my PCB hasn't actually been shipped by Techkeys yet.

I'll bring the dead one back up to school and take it apart so I can show y'all what's wrong with it.
QFR (62g blacks) | MJ2 TKL | MJ2 Camo TKL | Realforce 87U 40g uniform (modded, stop PMing me about this) | DK1087XM (weird fake green ALPS) | KUL ES-87 | LZ-CE (click this for build thread)

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Offline Puddsy

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 19 March 2017, 12:11:06 »
bits are here



gonna spend this afternoon swapping springs methinks
QFR (62g blacks) | MJ2 TKL | MJ2 Camo TKL | Realforce 87U 40g uniform (modded, stop PMing me about this) | DK1087XM (weird fake green ALPS) | KUL ES-87 | LZ-CE (click this for build thread)

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Offline theillumedpanda

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 04:52:30 »
Have you at least tried Gateron switches before? I haven't encountered a real issue at all, except one switch being a bit more wobbly. On the other hand, all of my Cherry MX switches were a lot scratchier, so there ist that. But now to the more important part: have fun and please provide enough pictures.  :p

Offline Puddsy

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 11:13:38 »
Have you at least tried Gateron switches before? I haven't encountered a real issue at all, except one switch being a bit more wobbly. On the other hand, all of my Cherry MX switches were a lot scratchier, so there ist that. But now to the more important part: have fun and please provide enough pictures.  :p

Haven't tried them. I was planning on doing this with MX blacks from the start so

TODAY'S UPDATE:

PCB is at the Post Office, there's a little address snafu. I called them and they said it should be OK, so I should have it in hand later today or tomorrow morning.

I might desolder the old GH60 to harvest the switches and plate later tonight. Depends on how busy I am with homework today.
QFR (62g blacks) | MJ2 TKL | MJ2 Camo TKL | Realforce 87U 40g uniform (modded, stop PMing me about this) | DK1087XM (weird fake green ALPS) | KUL ES-87 | LZ-CE (click this for build thread)

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Offline theillumedpanda

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 11:19:46 »
Quote
Haven't tried them. I was planning on doing this with MX blacks from the start so
You definitely should do that. You're missing out on something.

Quote
TODAY'S UPDATE:

PCB is at the Post Office, there's a little address snafu. I called them and they said it should be OK, so I should have it in hand later today or tomorrow morning.

I might desolder the old GH60 to harvest the switches and plate later tonight. Depends on how busy I am with homework today.
Fingers crossed that the PCB will arrive soon :)

Offline digi

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 11:20:02 »
Who is this "Puddsy" guy?? He has the same post count and avatar as TacticalStache ^-^
RF55 87U

Offline Puddsy

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 11:35:04 »
Who is this "Puddsy" guy?? He has the same post count and avatar as TacticalStache ^-^

Dunno. Hear he likes triangles, though.

Quote
Haven't tried them. I was planning on doing this with MX blacks from the start so
You definitely should do that. You're missing out on something.

Quote
TODAY'S UPDATE:

PCB is at the Post Office, there's a little address snafu. I called them and they said it should be OK, so I should have it in hand later today or tomorrow morning.

I might desolder the old GH60 to harvest the switches and plate later tonight. Depends on how busy I am with homework today.
Fingers crossed that the PCB will arrive soon :)

TL;DR of my morning is that I should have it in the next 2-3 hours.
QFR (62g blacks) | MJ2 TKL | MJ2 Camo TKL | Realforce 87U 40g uniform (modded, stop PMing me about this) | DK1087XM (weird fake green ALPS) | KUL ES-87 | LZ-CE (click this for build thread)

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Offline Puddsy

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 14:54:01 »


All's well.

What's next (in order):

Take apart old GH60 to recycle plate for this project and switches for another project

Swap 62g springs and stickermod new MX blacks for this project

Assemble new GH60 and perform all firmware changes (Stll need to locate an LED. We've got resistors up the ass, but no 3mm or 1.8mm LEDs)

Convert MX clears from old GH60 to panda clears with the springs from MX blacks

Decide what to build next (probably a JD40 or planck)
QFR (62g blacks) | MJ2 TKL | MJ2 Camo TKL | Realforce 87U 40g uniform (modded, stop PMing me about this) | DK1087XM (weird fake green ALPS) | KUL ES-87 | LZ-CE (click this for build thread)

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Offline VGVisionary

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 17:25:33 »
Definitely following this! Could you post a full list of items for this build for noobs like myself though?

Offline Puddsy

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 17:26:21 »
Definitely following this! Could you post a full list of items for this build for noobs like myself though?

Sure. I'll do a list with links before I start building it.
QFR (62g blacks) | MJ2 TKL | MJ2 Camo TKL | Realforce 87U 40g uniform (modded, stop PMing me about this) | DK1087XM (weird fake green ALPS) | KUL ES-87 | LZ-CE (click this for build thread)

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Offline pr0ximity

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 18:25:15 »
I respect Cherry, I wouldn't build a high-quality board without them. I appreciate all the work Zeal et. al. have done to improve Gateron quality. But OG is still where it's at for the highest end.

Looking forward to your build!

Offline theillumedpanda

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 21 March 2017, 03:20:04 »
Definitely following this! Could you post a full list of items for this build for noobs like myself though?

Sure. I'll do a list with links before I start building it.
You could include that in your startpost because of better visibility. Have fun!

I respect Cherry, I wouldn't build a high-quality board without them. I appreciate all the work Zeal et. al. have done to improve Gateron quality. But OG is still where it's at for the highest end.
Which version of his Zealios have you tried? As far as I know, his first two or three rounds were quite to very wobbly and not that good. I'm currently using R4.5 and mine don't wobble whatsoever. I somewhat dislike Cherry switches because of their scratchiness. Yes, you can lube, but still not as smooth as Gaterons imo. It's all personal preference.

Offline Puddsy

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 21 March 2017, 16:30:58 »
Today's update:

Old GH60 isn't real cherry switches, can't believe it took me this long to notice. Went to desolder, noticed that they're not real clears, and decided it's not worth it just for the plate.

Gonna go back tomorrow or Thursday when my LEDs come in and solder/spring swap the new one.

Top right is real cherry, rest are something else.

QFR (62g blacks) | MJ2 TKL | MJ2 Camo TKL | Realforce 87U 40g uniform (modded, stop PMing me about this) | DK1087XM (weird fake green ALPS) | KUL ES-87 | LZ-CE (click this for build thread)

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Offline theillumedpanda

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 22 March 2017, 02:27:08 »
Did you buy a second hand GH60 or what's the story behind this?

Offline Puddsy

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Re: LZ-CE To-do List: An Idiot Builds a Keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 22 March 2017, 20:40:24 »
Did you buy a second hand GH60 or what's the story behind this?

yeh secondhand

worked fine, spacebar started chattering, i accidentally broke it more instead of fixing it

didn't notice that it wasn't cherry switches until i started to take it apart
QFR (62g blacks) | MJ2 TKL | MJ2 Camo TKL | Realforce 87U 40g uniform (modded, stop PMing me about this) | DK1087XM (weird fake green ALPS) | KUL ES-87 | LZ-CE (click this for build thread)

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