Author Topic: Leaf80 - Bolt modded Alps Plate Spring TKL  (Read 741 times)

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Offline Delirious

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Leaf80 - Bolt modded Alps Plate Spring TKL
« on: Fri, 05 July 2019, 13:58:05 »

This is a duplicate post from Deskthority, even though it doesnt contain gmk or mx but I figure "custom kit" is good enough to qualify a post here in geekhack, maybe a good resource for someone.

-My first exposure with Alps Plate Springs came from Mattr and his build, I was in search of some good PBT set and Mattr suggested buying the P70/75 machine. Initially bought for just the caps, I fell in love with APS and decided to keep it as is, matching Mattr's to the teeth.
-Second exposure came from E3E, who has an appetite II pcb and he is still trying to find a case for it. Poor man.
-Third exposure came from the man himself, Hasu, with his resource about APS
-Fourth exposure came from Wingpad and his Saiph, this is the first APS tkl ever.
-Fifth exposure came from Snackthecat and his build.

Big special thanks to both Wingpad and Snack, Windpad gave me the pcb file, Snack then refined the pcb into what it is today, versatile in layouts and types of SKCP.

Finally, everything works out perfectly when Fox lab did their groupbuy for the Leaf80 tkl. APS operate with leaf jacket system and the Leaf80 is a perfect housing for it, both in aesthetic and namesake.
« Last Edit: Fri, 05 July 2019, 13:59:55 by Delirious »

Offline Delirious

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Re: Leaf80 - Bolt modded Alps Plate Spring TKL
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 05 July 2019, 13:59:17 »
The Switches
- 3 types of APS: plate mount, battleship pcb mount, square pcb mount
- All have the same weighting of 45g
- All have the same internal parts
- Pcb mount types have extra pins for stabilizing and alignment

I am just repeating myself but Snackthecat did a great job documenting them, please refer to his build log for more info.

1. Layout supports:
- 1.75u Rshift
- AEK top row
- AEK + WKL bottom row
- 3 positions of capslock

2. Switch types supports:
In order to support pcb mount APS, 10 extra holes are added for bolt modding, and this is also the focus of this build. Both Wingpad's and Snack's builds utilize plate mount APS, Leaf80 is built entirely with pcb mount APS. Please see picture below for the holes in question.

3. Building with battleship pcb mount APS:
At this point I am fully committed with powder lubing so the snow flakes you see in these pictures are just PTFE powder, nothing extra harmful.

The further-spaced pins are just stabilizers so I solder only 1 of the 2, because too much effort

I use M2x8mm screws and nuts, the holes on the pcb could fit up to M3 screws. For spacer I use 3mm LED spacer in nylon.

The Plate

The plate was cut by Sendcutsend, they do amazing work if you live in mainland US.
-1.2mm thickness
- stainless steel
- hand drilling for countersunk screw holes.
- plate purposes: to mount stabilizers and top.
Plate is not for switch alignments and mounting, plate is for case alignment. Think of this as reversed-tray mount: instead of mounting to the bottom tray, you mount it to the plate, then the plate mounts to the top case.
Except for a few dog bone switch cutouts for extra alignment, all the cutouts are larger than the actual switches so the plate could be taken off easily.
Due to the mounting system of the Leaf80, this is the most amount of metal I could take away, if I take away anymore metal, flex will come into play and I dont want that.

Big thank to robotical for letting me borrow  his stationary drill to countersunk the plate screws.


Stabilizer problems:
PCB mount APS have taller bottom housings than the plate mount siblings, and they interfere with stabilizer bars.


At this point I had 3 choices:
1. Use plate mount on long keys
2. Bend my own stabilizers with a u-shape in the middle, like cherry costar stabs
3. Shave the extruding parts on pcb mount APS

And I picked the third option because lazy

« Last Edit: Fri, 05 July 2019, 14:01:36 by Delirious »

Offline Delirious

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Re: Leaf80 - Bolt modded Alps Plate Spring TKL
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 05 July 2019, 14:03:34 »
The Diffuser
Most ppl use diffuser for RGB underglow, diffuser actually has another use: adding extra spacing. Because of the bolt mod I want extra gap inside, also bigger gap is nicer for clicky switches anyway. Big thank to senter for providing the Leaf80 file design so I could derive the spacer from it.
The inner checker pattern is to refrain it from breaking during transport.
I have the choice between plastic and wood and of course I have to go with wood because it fits the main theme. I stained the wood with dark oil, don't remember what it is because I did it at my buddy's house and I just grabbed whatever available.

Using uniformed 2-piece cap right now, they are alright, will switch back to regular alps caps later.

The Family
- P70 in g81-1000HAU case (Square pcb mount)
- P70 unmodded (Square pcb mount)
- IBM 5576 (plate mount)
- Leaf80 (Battleship pcb mount)


Special thanks
- Snackthecat: the pcb designer, thank you for catering all my crazy needs. This pcb is fully compatible with modern custom kits, all rights reserve by Snack also, so if you guys want a gb of this pcb, he is the man to talk to.
- Wingpad: the original designer, super busy with life atm but he was cool enough to pass the file on, so I can look for the next guy
- Senter: super chill, just sent me the Leaf80 design without hesitation
- Robotical: let me borrow the drill

Offline Applet

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  • Location: Sweden
Re: Leaf80 - Bolt modded Alps Plate Spring TKL
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 12 July 2019, 03:14:02 »
Really cool! I love these kinds of builds  :eek: :thumb:

Offline Puree

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Re: Leaf80 - Bolt modded Alps Plate Spring TKL
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 12 July 2019, 03:32:03 »
Very nice work, thank you for sharing  ;)

Offline Applet

  • Posts: 186
  • Location: Sweden
Re: Leaf80 - Bolt modded Alps Plate Spring TKL
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 12 July 2019, 04:41:19 »
I'd love a typing test video ;D

Online LightningXI

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Re: Leaf80 - Bolt modded Alps Plate Spring TKL
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 13 July 2019, 06:11:55 »
Such an elaborate and cool build log. I really should do projects like these. So awesome.
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