Author Topic: Best SP DCS Keysets?  (Read 6915 times)

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Offline filcomanfilthy

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Best SP DCS Keysets?
« on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 19:49:55 »
I am looking for a list of all DCS Keysets that can currently be bought somewhere on the interweb/ as well as a place to track the keysets. Anything Helps. Thanks :D
Filthy

Offline Sifo

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Re: Best SP DCS Keysets?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 19:59:52 »
dcs died in popularity but https://pimpmykeyboard.com/ would be the best place to look for current stuff
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Offline filcomanfilthy

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Re: Best SP DCS Keysets?
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 20:04:36 »
Any idea why? It looks almost the same as the Cherry Profile.
Filthy

Offline Sifo

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Re: Best SP DCS Keysets?
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 20:09:36 »
looks the same doesn't mean feel the same, not close in quality and due to thinner walls sound ****tier to most
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Best SP DCS Keysets?
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 20:40:06 »
While close to Cherry profile in height, there are differences. The biggest is that the bottom row profile - including the Space bar - is slanted more. People did not like the sharp front edge. Users started to reverse the space bar to make it more comfortable to press with the thumb.

People wanted original Cherry keycaps more... to combine with their vintage sets, if not getting replicas made of older sets. They even got replicas of Cherry legends made from Signature Plastics.
When GMK started offering new keys from Cherry's original moulds, that took over the market for those who wanted double-shot ABS in that profile. Also, other manufacturers started offering Cherry profile in thick PBT.

Another detail is that DCS is not compatible with silencing mods such as O-rings and clips.

Matt3o used to run the keycap set database web site "keypuller.com", but it went down between Nov 2016 and Apr 2017, replaced with "I'm finally working on a complete rewrite of the keycaps database. Hold tight!" but a year later the domain was gone completely.
« Last Edit: Sat, 20 April 2019, 02:13:45 by Findecanor »
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Offline Tactile

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Re: Best SP DCS Keysets?
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 20 April 2019, 00:15:35 »
I bought the Midnight set about four years ago. Things might have changed since then but I was disappointed. They are very thin and there are sprue marks on the front faces of a couple of caps. They fit and work, and not bad looking, but GMK are much nicer keycaps.

[EDIT]
Just to be clear, my complaints only apply to the DCS profile set I bought. I'm not talking about all caps from Signature plastics. I have since purchased the Ice Cap set in dye sub PBT and Nuclear Data, which is double-shot ABS. Both of these two sets are superb and Nuclear Data is one of my all time favorites.
[/EDIT]
« Last Edit: Sat, 20 April 2019, 00:29:25 by Tactile »

Offline rowdy

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Re: Best SP DCS Keysets?
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 22 April 2019, 22:05:09 »
keypop.net and techkeys.us used to be two of the biggest DCS resellers for a while.

KeyPop has mostly Tai Hao and JTK now, but TechKeys still has a set or two of DCS.
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But thatís incorrect. Itís in HHKBís slogan, but when Americaís cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

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Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Best SP DCS Keysets?
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 05 May 2019, 11:38:39 »
This is a fascinating discussion for me.

I had been trying to replace the fading keycaps on my Filco Majestouch 2 back in August, which is what brought me into keyboard modding.

I went through a long process [DSA, SP Filco doubleshots, Chinese PBT] until I chanced upon some old DCS-profile keycaps from a Wyse terminal board.

The Wyse keycaps are thick double-shot ABS, and were made by the predecessor company of Signature Plastics.

Unlike modern SP DCS keycaps, the Wyse double-shots are actually thick, probably around 1.5mm, comparable to what is called 'thick PBT' from China.

The Wyse keycaps have provided the most comfortable typing experience on MX Browns on the Majestouch.

With MX Browns, you don't necessarily want thick PBT. It can further reduce the tactility of Browns, make them feel even more like scratchy reds. And you don't necessarily want OEM or tall profiles, because they emphasize the wobbliness of Cherry MX.

So thick ABS DCS is actually a great combination. What's different about DCS as compared to Cherry is that DCS feels a little more 'dished' or 'scooped' in the way it is contoured. Kind of like how MT3 profile is a little more rounded or sculpted when compared to SA profile.

It 'cups' the fingertips a little more.

When I placed DCS beside some Cherry-profiled keycaps that I have, the DCS seemed to be a little taller at the edges, but dished deeper, such that they appeared shorter.

This means that DCS is comfortable to type on, feeling a little less harsh or mechanistic compared to Cherry-profile. But because Cherry is less-indented, it is probably easier to rapidly switch between rows on Cherry-profile. [I notice my Varmilo keycaps are great for this, although they are SS2 profile].

So Cherry profile is probably slightly faster, and DCS is probably slightly more comfortable. That's my experience.

Also of note, and hard to come across over the internet, is that Wyse DCS sounds objectively better to me than GMK on a Filco with MX Browns.

GMK keycaps makes a chittery noise, almost insectile. Certainly high-pitched and plasticy. On the other hand, Wyse DCS are lower-pitched, producing a deeper 'clack' [really a medium noise as compared to thick PBT]. And they 'flutter' when pressed rapidly, especially on the numpad.

So Wyse DCS have a nicer sound than Cherry-profiled ABS like GMK. In general, DCS has greater sculpting than Cherry. It may be more comfortable for individual fingers, although perhaps not as fast as Cherry-profile.

So where do you get the good DCS keycaps? Others on this thread have pointed to DCS Midnight, on SP's website. I'm told that those are thin keycaps, unlike the old Wyse. Supposedly, they are less satisfying.

There is a set of DCS Midnight on sale here in Ontario for $70 CDN. They might even come with the limited-edition midnight modifiers. DCS Midnight is a visually-striking set, if nothing else. But it's thin ABS.

Getting the Wyse keycaps can't be that hard. They were pulled off by the hundreds by people farming vintage Blacks from the Wyse terminals. I have seen them for sale on Reddit's mechmarket, and you can find them at meetups.

But even if you do get them, you need a 'Moogle Kit' to adapt them to a modern board, and those are rare. [Search this forum for details on the Moogle Kit]. I was lucky enough to snag an additional set of Wyse keycaps plus two Moogle Kits from a U.S. citizen on mechmarket.

I now have two relatively complete sets. I am currently typing this message on vintage beige Wyse keycaps and some beige modifiers from a Moogle Kit. I also have a vintage gray/blue set and accompanying Moogle Kit. [A full vintage Wyse set plus two Moogle Kits will run you about 100 USD].

So that's your best bet for good DCS. These keycaps have not been surpassed in typing experience on light tactiles on my board.*

The only problem, as indicated elsewhere, is that DCS has a very steep bottom row. I am using an ePBT 9009 spacebar instead of DCS, because it is angled too high otherwise.


*It also reminds me that the alleged 'snobbery' on this board and especially Deskthority for vintage keycaps and switches is completely justified. It seems as if a number of manufacturers reached the top of their game in the 1980s and 1990s and were never surpassed, even by today's 'custom' producers.
« Last Edit: Sun, 05 May 2019, 11:41:36 by HungerMechanic »

Offline rowdy

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Re: Best SP DCS Keysets?
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 06 May 2019, 22:05:33 »
Wyse keycaps are good.  I have some similar ones from a Link terminal (that keyboard has MX blacks in it).

Although you are unlikely to find a full set to suit a modern keyboard layout.
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But thatís incorrect. Itís in HHKBís slogan, but when Americaís cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

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Offline tex_live_utility

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Re: Best SP DCS Keysets?
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 08 May 2019, 14:36:01 »
I bought the Midnight set about four years ago. Things might have changed since then but I was disappointed. They are very thin and there are sprue marks on the front faces of a couple of caps. They fit and work, and not bad looking, but GMK are much nicer keycaps.

Sounds about right for DCS. Good profile shape, but the thinness is a valid turn-off for many.
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Best SP DCS Keysets?
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 08 May 2019, 14:48:07 »
Unlike modern SP DCS keycaps, the Wyse double-shots are actually thick, probably around 1.5mm, comparable to what is called 'thick PBT' from China.
...
Getting the Wyse keycaps can't be that hard. They were pulled off by the hundreds by people farming vintage Blacks from the Wyse terminals. I have seen them for sale on Reddit's mechmarket, and you can find them at meetups.
Most vintage Wyse keycaps found are actually thin, exactly like newly made DCS keycaps. :(

The Wyse PCE exists in versions with AT or PS/2 plug. It may be a little large but the Wyse keyboards are well built. If you find a PCE with that plug, just use it.
For the others, there is Soarer's adapter.
« Last Edit: Wed, 08 May 2019, 14:55:47 by Findecanor »
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Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Best SP DCS Keysets?
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 08 May 2019, 18:39:25 »
Yes. Wyse switched to a thinner ABS, which I guess became standard for Signature Plastics.

But the earlier Wyse keycaps were thick:

Quote

Variations

Wyse WY85 keyboards have been spotted with either thick double-shot keycaps, or with thin double-shot keycaps (similar to the keys on the Wyse PCE keyboard, believed to have been made by Signature Plastics).

https://deskthority.net/wiki/Wyse_85

I think my Wyse keycaps are from a Wyse 85 terminal.