Author Topic: Question on LED swapping  (Read 4500 times)

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Online rajendra82

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Question on LED swapping
« on: Wed, 27 March 2019, 09:54:52 »
Just got into mechanical keyboards and liking my regular keyboard so much, I have decided to buy another cheap one to play with as my project. The one I have found is a Cherry MX Blue switch board with backlighting via LEDs through the switch base. When I decide to swap one out for some other switch I will have to remove the LED. When I put the LED back, is my only option to install another LED through the new switch, or is it possible to change the LED to mount under the switch with a transparent base? In terms of compatibility, is one installation method better over another?

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« Last Edit: Wed, 27 March 2019, 09:57:12 by rajendra82 »

Online nevin

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Re: Question on LED swapping
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 27 March 2019, 10:24:06 »
There are SMD (surface mount) LEDs.

It would probably be a big task to change from standard LEDs (through hole) to SMD components, and no guarantee that it would be effective.

A better option is to use SIP sockets when you replace the LEDs. see this thread for good example. (it uses a rectangle LED in the example, but the important part is the SIP sockets)
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=51792
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Online rajendra82

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Re: Question on LED swapping
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 27 March 2019, 11:30:24 »
Thanks for replying. The SIP socket solution is for   changing LEDs on the fly while keeping the same switch base, but that's not what I am likely aiming for in my project. I care more about trying different switches more than changing the colors on the LED. I think I am likely going to resort to 1.8 mm LEDs as the box switches are meant to fit over them. That way I can swap out to a different box switch in the future while leaving the LED in place.

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« Last Edit: Wed, 27 March 2019, 11:58:30 by rajendra82 »

Online nevin

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Re: Question on LED swapping
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 27 March 2019, 13:22:47 »
SIPs work if you are just modding or swapping out everything except for the base/swithplate. (in cherry/gateron style housings). The bottom housings are all the same with those two, you can go from linear to tactile to clicky all with just changing out the stem & spring (if you want a different weighting).

What form factor are you looking for (40%, 60%, TKL, Full Size)? Some PCBs/kits have SMD LEDs AND hot swap sockets. both issues resolved.

Or if not going with hot swap sockets, go without plate, just PCB & switches lots easier to swap out individual switches without having to undo them all. plus there are a number of switches that can't be opened when in a plate even if the plate is made for switch top removal. (kalith, outemu, etc..)

I think if you get a cheap board to do what you want to do, you'll have more issues than starting out with a platform that's easy to swap out components, if that's the main goal. (i have a magicforce 68 and can vouch for that)
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Online rajendra82

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Re: Question on LED swapping
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 27 March 2019, 23:41:57 »
I am currently just trying to learn the modding process, so I am not investing a ton of money into it. Just buying a cheap off the shelf keyboard for now, and learn modding it.

Online nevin

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Re: Question on LED swapping
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 28 March 2019, 00:00:07 »
Cheers. Good luck on your journey.
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline rinkaan

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Re: Question on LED swapping
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 08 April 2019, 07:35:35 »
actually if u want to make one on the cheap, getting a kit online from taobao might be worth a shot. just get the PCB that already have RGB SMD LED already on it, which also comes in the how swappable switch (ie no soldering involved).
i think that helps u get to where u want (a cheap keyboard with SMD LED to allow for how swapping switches.)
if u solder and unsolder switches just to change them, u will find them a huge pain as each switch u need to desolder takes a fair bit of fiddling.

PCB only
https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.16.551370fayq8xGT&id=576501224972&ns=1&abbucket=11#detail

Gateron switches
https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.1-c.w5003-21137782284.5.6ef442c9Bmlhes&id=19228546170&scene=taobao_shop
buy the suitable for SMD mounted ones.

good luck and have fun!