Author Topic: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65% (Prototype built, new photos!)  (Read 13894 times)

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Online Sinapanis

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Alpha65

Hey guys! I would like to present to all of you a project that I have been working on for the past couple of months.
Because this is the first board that I have brought to the public eye, I decided to name it after the first letter in the Greek alphabet.











More pictures in the build log: https://imgur.com/a/bXkVIVn

Wolf art on the weight because I like wolves.
Fun fact: The idea that the alpha in a wolf pack is the strongest and commands submission from its pack is a misconception. The wolves in charge of packs are usually just the oldest and most experienced of the pack.


Details
  • Isolated Gasket Mount
  • Anodized 6063 Aluminum for the Top and Bottom Case
  • Sandblasted Brass Weight and Badge
  • 6.5 Degree Typing Angle
  • 16.5mm Front Typing Height
  • Centered USB-C connector
  • PCB Compatible With QMK
  • Pricing: most likely mid-$300's (tentative estimate)

I chose to go with a relatively low typing angle at 6.5 degrees and front lip height of 16.5mm for my own comfort. I have found that my preferred range for typing angles is between 5 degrees and 7.5 degrees.
Any lower feels awkward. Any higher results in strain on my wrists. Similarly, a typing height of over 20mm results in my wrists losing contact with my desk, forcing me to keep my hands floating. I find this tiring so I made the typing height as low as possible.

I have not yet decided on the material that I will use for the gaskets, but I have narrowed down my choices to two options:
  • Polyurethane (like Poron)
  • Silicone
I am currently leaning towards Polyurethane. I have decided to use Poron for the gaskets for its superior dampening qualities compared to silicone.


Supported Layouts



First and foremost, I designed the Alpha65 and its layout around what I find the most aesthetically pleasing and functionally suitable for my own use case. As such, it will feature a winkeyless bottom row.
The board will support standard and stepped Caps Lock as well as standard and split backspace options.
I am not yet entirely sure whether or not I will have a winkey version, but if I do, it will be a Tsangan-style bottom row. WinKey will be an option.
The reason that I will not be supporting more layouts is that I want to avoid having a swiss cheese PCB and plate. A (mostly) fixed layout should avoid crooked keys and provide a better typing experience.


Plate



The plate will be the standard 1.5mm thickness. I have placed relief cuts around the larger keys for a more consistent typing feel.
There will be a few choices for plate material:
  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • POM Plastic
Personally, POM is the material that I am most interested in trying out for this board.


Colors

A preliminary list of colors:
  • Dark Gray
  • Red
  • Blue Gray
  • Pink
I would like to stress that these colors are not final. There may be more colors or there may be fewer.


Prototype Pictures





FAQ

Q: Any ISO avail?
A: Not likely (almost certainly no)

Q:Will you support a WinKey top version?
A: It seems like a lot of people want this. This will probably happen. I have added a render of this up above if you want to see what it might look like.

Q: Can you switch the alpha symbol and the wolf art so that the wolf is on the badge and the alpha is on the weight?
A: This is not possible. The badge is too small for something as detailed as the wolf to be machined into it.

Q: Even blockers pls?
A: No

More Information and Updates

Discord Server Invite: https://discord.gg/qrd9Hrh

I am currently in the works to get prototypes made. I will provide updates when that happens. Prototypes made.

07/25/2019 - Added a render of WinKey top.
07/27/2019 - Added a FAQ section.
08/22/2019 - Manufacturer finished prototype cases.
08/27/2019 - Prototype PCB's are in.
09/27/2019 - Red Prototype built
« Last Edit: Sat, 28 September 2019, 17:23:23 by Sinapanis »
Boards: Alpha65, Matrix 8x v1.2 OG, Leaf60, TX60, Mech27 v2
Coming Soon: Rukia

Offline zekkin

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 08:27:08 »
Hey man, cool design.

One thing you might want to be careful of is that side profile/giant fillet -- it may be not practical to actually machine.
TGR-Alice | TGR-Jane v2 | TGR-Jane v2 CE | Kyuu Proto 005 | Seulgi | Nayeon | Seulgi v2 | 420.2 | hbcp | Nunu

Offline SolidCactus

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 08:28:40 »
I would be in if there was a WinKey edition! Very nice

Offline rrsurmeier

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 08:29:35 »
We need iso support.

Online Sinapanis

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 08:36:21 »
Hey man, cool design.

One thing you might want to be careful of is that side profile/giant fillet -- it may be not practical to actually machine.

Thanks! The manufacturer that I've been talking to has said that it shouldn't be an issue. So, hopefully it's ok.
Boards: Alpha65, Matrix 8x v1.2 OG, Leaf60, TX60, Mech27 v2
Coming Soon: Rukia

Offline kidpid

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 08:53:17 »
Interested in a WinKey version.

Offline trg1234

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 09:02:55 »
Very interested. The reason for the wolf art on the back made me laugh. :p also interested in winkey version
« Last Edit: Tue, 23 July 2019, 09:13:09 by trg1234 »

Offline KTM25

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 09:17:56 »
Very interested in this. Love the wolf design idea!

Offline toastyAU

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 09:40:52 »
Will be following this very closely! That blue grey makes me feel some kinda way wew.
Please run this gb not for a few months now I need time to save up

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Offline evorus5

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 09:47:16 »
Nice nice nice, any chance on Polycarb?



Offline tunadesu

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 09:50:31 »
Looks nice! I like the white pom plate on the black board with that little touch of gold on the badge

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 10:01:28 »
Complaints from ISO people coming in 3, 2, 1...

Offline Marutks

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 10:03:53 »
I am interested in winkey layout,   I use a mac and I need command key.

Offline skrunk

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 10:18:01 »
Definitely interested in that POM plate option!
Rubberdome Fanatic

Online Exfinite

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 10:20:38 »
Also interested in the board along with a POM plate!  :)
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Online ramblinrose

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 11:43:06 »
I think the top corner logo would look nice with a small version of the howling wolf. Might help unify the look between the bottom weight and top blocker. Nice to see POM plates too, my singa with a pom plate sounds so nice!

Offline probablyautistic

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 12:50:49 »
This looks great! Looking forward to seeing the group buy

Offline Marutks

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 14:29:13 »
Complaints from ISO people coming in 3, 2, 1...

LOL  I don't want ISO and I hate "universal" plates with huge cutouts to accomodate ISO enter.

Online Cresc3nt

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 16:02:43 »
Add in white please  :D. That red looks amazing in the render though and I've never been interested in red boards.

Online Sinapanis

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 17:13:39 »
We need iso support.

Sorry boys, probably no ISO avail.

Nice nice nice, any chance on Polycarb?

I want to keep the number of options for this board low so that I don't have to deal with the logistical nightmare of a Group Buy with a bunch of options.
HOWEVER, I will be open sourcing the plate files. So you can get a PC plate made if you want.

Add in white please  :D. That red looks amazing in the render though and I've never been interested in red boards.

I am by no means an expert, but I believe that white anodized aluminum is not actually possible to make. Sorry!

Interested in a WinKey version.

Seems like a bunch of people want winkey. I'll probably get around to making a winkey top later this week.
« Last Edit: Tue, 23 July 2019, 17:36:00 by Sinapanis »
Boards: Alpha65, Matrix 8x v1.2 OG, Leaf60, TX60, Mech27 v2
Coming Soon: Rukia

Offline Vadurr

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 20:15:32 »
OOOOOF. Any chance for a sick wolf logo option on the top where the 'a' is? O.O

Offline supernova

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 23:49:07 »
look nice

Offline DT.Heart

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 23 July 2019, 23:53:37 »
really nice. :)

Offline endler3117

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 24 July 2019, 00:18:40 »
this is dope i want 5..I'd love to see this get rolling

Offline papa

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 24 July 2019, 00:59:26 »
Fox lab leaf ?

Offline coffeeshopcoder

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 24 July 2019, 01:43:51 »
Very nice ! Interested in winkey - thumbs up on tsangan.
Two questions :

- are you planning on any leds on the side ( above  the curve on the bottom piece ) like fusion 60? Would be dope,

- is this going to be a limited gb ?

Offline JSaintS

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 24 July 2019, 02:42:10 »
That looks really nice ! Interested in the WK option :)

Edit: I like the board how it is, and I like the logo - my only change (except for the WK) would be to make the logo differently, as it is, I feel the inside of the alpha letter should be the same color as the board, if possible. If not, I'm happy with the way it looks :)
« Last Edit: Wed, 24 July 2019, 02:46:31 by JSaintS »

Offline papa

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #27 on: Wed, 24 July 2019, 09:27:30 »

Offline Vireca

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #28 on: Wed, 24 July 2019, 10:38:13 »
If you are going to have 2 blockers at least make the blockers equal. One bigger than other its really aesthetically ugly

Offline Rob27shred

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #29 on: Wed, 24 July 2019, 11:53:35 »
Very nice & right up my alley! The main layout is exactly how I am gonna be setting up my E6.5, WKL with split BS & stepped caps. The design with those fillets on the sides is very striking & attractive to me so I hope that can be done as rendered. The only change I'd make is to have the howling wolf symbol on the top of the case & the Greek alpha letter on the brass weight. Awesome work here sir!
E6.5 with Holy Pandas

Offline courtcodes

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #30 on: Wed, 24 July 2019, 15:14:29 »
And here I was thinking I'd already found my endgame 65% and then I see this...

Tooooo many awesome keebs being designed!

Online Sinapanis

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #31 on: Thu, 25 July 2019, 15:29:32 »
Very nice & right up my alley! The main layout is exactly how I am gonna be setting up my E6.5, WKL with split BS & stepped caps. The design with those fillets on the sides is very striking & attractive to me so I hope that can be done as rendered. The only change I'd make is to have the howling wolf symbol on the top of the case & the Greek alpha letter on the brass weight. Awesome work here sir!

OOOOOF. Any chance for a sick wolf logo option on the top where the 'a' is? O.O

This won't be happening. The badge is too small for something as detailed as the wolf art to be machined. I already had to make some changes to make it feasibly machinable on the weight.

In other news, I've made the winkey top in fusion360. I'll try to make some renders and post them later.
Boards: Alpha65, Matrix 8x v1.2 OG, Leaf60, TX60, Mech27 v2
Coming Soon: Rukia

Offline Ljit0

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 25 July 2019, 19:54:28 »
looks nice definitely in.

Offline Slimjim095

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 25 July 2019, 20:53:43 »
The side profile reminds me a lot of the leaf 60. You should try to be a little more creative with the side profiles. Otherwise itís a nice board and Iím interested.


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Online –REA–

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 26 July 2019, 03:37:23 »
The dark red version of this would look insane with GMK Sparta

Online Sinapanis

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #35 on: Sat, 27 July 2019, 15:07:39 »
Added an FAQ section for some of the questions that seemed to be popping up the most.
Boards: Alpha65, Matrix 8x v1.2 OG, Leaf60, TX60, Mech27 v2
Coming Soon: Rukia

Offline bobgr8

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 29 July 2019, 17:08:50 »
If you can price this below $300, it would be an insta buy, else I'm going for Polaris @265 shipped



Offline Ljit0

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 08 August 2019, 23:41:16 »
If you can price this below $300, it would be an insta buy, else I'm going for Polaris @265 shipped
If he goes with a good factory it would be literally impossible to make it below 300, even the designer of Polaris doesn't have faith that all the boards will come out well.

Offline Asai

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #38 on: Fri, 09 August 2019, 02:55:52 »
[...] even the designer of Polaris doesn't have faith that all the boards will come out well.
Really? Can't seem to find that part of him saying that (or am I just not attentive in the forums?)  :))

Offline SoraNoTenshi

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #39 on: Fri, 09 August 2019, 03:26:14 »
Interested for sure! :)


Online Sinapanis

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #40 on: Fri, 09 August 2019, 05:16:46 »
If you can price this below $300, it would be an insta buy, else I'm going for Polaris @265 shipped

Polaris is able to hit that price point because it leverages the high quantity price breaks that KBDFans is able to hit.

This board would likely be a limited quantity run to make it easier on myself. As such, it would be unlikely that the price would be below $300.
I am VERY TENTATIVELY estimating a price in the mid-300's.
Boards: Alpha65, Matrix 8x v1.2 OG, Leaf60, TX60, Mech27 v2
Coming Soon: Rukia

Offline SoraNoTenshi

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #41 on: Fri, 09 August 2019, 07:20:46 »
If you can price this below $300, it would be an insta buy, else I'm going for Polaris @265 shipped

Polaris is able to hit that price point because it leverages the high quantity price breaks that KBDFans is able to hit.

This board would likely be a limited quantity run to make it easier on myself. As such, it would be unlikely that the price would be below $300.
I am VERY TENTATIVELY estimating a price in the mid-300's.

Will there be any Proxies? Do you know something about that already ?

because shipping to eu + eu taxes would estimate the total price (if 350$) to about ~440$ which is not favourable... i guess.


Online Sinapanis

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #42 on: Mon, 12 August 2019, 06:18:39 »
If you can price this below $300, it would be an insta buy, else I'm going for Polaris @265 shipped

Polaris is able to hit that price point because it leverages the high quantity price breaks that KBDFans is able to hit.

This board would likely be a limited quantity run to make it easier on myself. As such, it would be unlikely that the price would be below $300.
I am VERY TENTATIVELY estimating a price in the mid-300's.

Will there be any Proxies? Do you know something about that already ?

because shipping to eu + eu taxes would estimate the total price (if 350$) to about ~440$ which is not favourable... i guess.

More likely than not, I will be fulfilling this by myself (assuming this goes to GB phase). Though, the GB would still be quite a ways off, so anything can happen.
Boards: Alpha65, Matrix 8x v1.2 OG, Leaf60, TX60, Mech27 v2
Coming Soon: Rukia

Offline SoraNoTenshi

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #43 on: Mon, 12 August 2019, 07:15:16 »
I see, thank you for the reply!!

I am none the less interested in this keyboard, it looks very appealing!


Offline Jetstream

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #44 on: Mon, 12 August 2019, 18:10:37 »
whoa! This looks real nice. Hope it goes into GB

Online Sinapanis

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 14 August 2019, 05:04:04 »
I have had a couple prototypes machined. I will wait until they get anodized before I post any pictures.
Boards: Alpha65, Matrix 8x v1.2 OG, Leaf60, TX60, Mech27 v2
Coming Soon: Rukia

Offline Zeldris23

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #46 on: Thu, 15 August 2019, 21:27:46 »
Im in on this, hopefully it goes to GB

Offline ilemondrop

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #47 on: Thu, 15 August 2019, 21:38:47 »
Super interested, I'm new so I've been looking for a clean 65% board for me to join. I like the thickness of the bezel, just enough to properly border and show off some colour.

Online Sinapanis

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #48 on: Thu, 22 August 2019, 05:41:23 »
My manu sent me some proto pics!




The pink is a tad darker than I had anticipated and the red has more of an orange hue than I wanted. Though this may also be affected by a combination of lighting and camera quality. I might ask him to anodize small blocks of alu for color matching and testing from now on.
Still, the machining and finishing looks good. I'll reserve ultimate judgement for when I have the boards in my hands.

Note: That blue board is not an Alpha65 prototype. It seems to be the dude's own board. Thus, it is also not indicative of what the blue gray might look like.
« Last Edit: Thu, 22 August 2019, 05:50:43 by Sinapanis »
Boards: Alpha65, Matrix 8x v1.2 OG, Leaf60, TX60, Mech27 v2
Coming Soon: Rukia

Offline lush_bunny

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Re: [IC] Alpha65 - Gasket Mounted 65%
« Reply #49 on: Thu, 22 August 2019, 05:48:31 »
My manu sent me some proto pics!

Show Image

Show Image


The pink is a tad darker than I had anticipated and the red has more of an orange hue than I wanted. Though this may also be affected by a combination of lighting and camera quality. I might ask him to anodize small blocks of alu for color matching and testing from now on.
Still, the machining and finishing looks good. I'll reserve ultimate judgement for when I have the boards in my hands.

Note: That blue board is not a prototype. It seems to be the dude's own board. Thus, it is also not indicative of what the blue gray might look like.

Love seeing progress on this. Iím eyeing the dark red board, so I hope the manu gets the colors you envisioned next time.