Author Topic: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard  (Read 5220 times)

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Offline ddrfraser1

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Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« on: Wed, 15 April 2020, 22:35:20 »
I bought this thing about a year ago for like 17 bucks off eBay. At the time I thought it looked cool but I was pretty disappointed by the quality of the switches and the keycaps so it was a no brainer that I would eventually do a pretty big mod job on it. I took Covid for me to finally get around to it. Most of the ideas for this I got off Walker's keyboard science.



First thing I did was give it come extra weight with some tire balance weights. This is one of the best idea's I got off Walker. Honestly, I do it to almost all of my plastic keyboards now. It just makes them feel and sound sooo good.



Next, I had to figure out what switches to put in them. I'm not usually a fan of linear switches but I felt like this build called for it. It originally had Cherry MX Reds which are some of my least favorites. They are scratchy and far too light. So I wanted to put good linear switch in it but didn't want to waste my best switches in it since I consider this to be a kind of crappy board.

SO, I figured, I've got the leftovers from building my Holy Pandas, why not use those? So, I give you the... Trash Halos? They are actually a halfway decent switch to type on. I think the leftover springs I had were 62g. After lubing them with Krytox 1514 VPF oil they actually felt pretty great. Don't get me wrong, they're nothing like tealios. If you listen closely, you can still feel some scratchiness but as you're typing they're about as smooth as you could reasonablly ask. Maybe 85 to 90% as good as tealios?



Next, I thought why not glitz it up with a bit of gold spray paint to make the plate pop? I love the look of a good brass plate. Actually turned out quite well. I thought about spray painting the case too, mostly cause I hated the logo, But I couldn't think of anything that would look good.



Here's the part that was new for me. I can't remember what Walter used but I had gasket maker laying around and put it between the switches between two sheets of plastic wrap. This is the part I was most skeptical about. How much difference could it really make? But I figured I'd go for it. In the end, I think it helped a lot with the sound and feel. The board has a super nice popping sound I don't think I've heard before unless I'm watching Taeha type. Then I squished the PCB on it and let it dry with a few clamps on it.




While that dried, I stuck a layer of drawer liner in and picked out my keycaps.



I knew I needed something to go with the (in my opinion) ugly DSI logo and perhaps the "bloody mess of carnage" that was drying between my new, erm, trash halos.

For me there was only one choice...



Hey, wait, this is actually starting to look kind of cool...



Dang! Did not expect that!



Ok, so this thing looks, sounds and feels pretty sweet. Hmm, maybe I should have actually put some good switches in it... :'(




Ok, now that I've used it a while, these switches actually feel pretty... um, great! I'm very surprised. Not quite lubed tealio level but pretty dang close.
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 June 2020, 12:49:38 by ddrfraser1 »

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 16 April 2020, 10:43:48 »
That's a really cool build. I almost bought one of those old DSI boards myself. Forgive my ignorance, what's the deal with the Saran Wrap and gasket maker? Some kind of sound dampening?

Getting one of those boards would give me a good excuse to get those caps, since I have been eying them up. I really should stop thinking about it.

Offline ddrfraser1

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 16 April 2020, 11:03:21 »
Lol, I'm sure there are better keyboards to put these in than the DSI. I imagine they'll find a home better board one day.

The idea with the gasket maker is to simply fill as much space in the keyboard as possible. The cling film obviously stops it from mucking up the switches and the rest of the board. This has the result of dampening the sound more effectively and making the board feel higher quality by increasing the weight. Got the idea from Walker's keyboard science. All in all, this thing feels surprisingly solid.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 16 April 2020, 11:31:14 »
Lol, I'm sure there are better keyboards to put these in than the DSI. I imagine they'll find a home better board one day.

The idea with the gasket maker is to simply fill as much space in the keyboard as possible. The cling film obviously stops it from mucking up the switches and the rest of the board. This has the result of dampening the sound more effectively and making the board feel higher quality by increasing the weight. Got the idea from Walker's keyboard science. All in all, this thing feels surprisingly solid.

There aren't too many red and black themed boards though, not ones that don't look terrible anyway. I like that board. It is way wider than it should be, but it has a nice industrial look to it, and I love dedicated media keys.

Nice. I'm a clicky guy myself, so I don't really follow all of that dampening stuff.

Offline ddrfraser1

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 16 April 2020, 12:34:07 »
Lol, I'm sure there are better keyboards to put these in than the DSI. I imagine they'll find a home better board one day.

The idea with the gasket maker is to simply fill as much space in the keyboard as possible. The cling film obviously stops it from mucking up the switches and the rest of the board. This has the result of dampening the sound more effectively and making the board feel higher quality by increasing the weight. Got the idea from Walker's keyboard science. All in all, this thing feels surprisingly solid.

There aren't too many red and black themed boards though, not ones that don't look terrible anyway. I like that board. It is way wider than it should be, but it has a nice industrial look to it, and I love dedicated media keys.

Nice. I'm a clicky guy myself, so I don't really follow all of that dampening stuff.

Right. I usually am too but I like to experiment :)

Offline ddrfraser1

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 16 April 2020, 20:33:44 »

Offline Sintpinty

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 16 April 2020, 21:29:26 »
I owned a dsi when I was growing up , had so many good memories on that console

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 17 April 2020, 17:08:31 »
What is the rollover like? The 4-5 key rollover on some boards is annoying but 2KRO is unusable

I mean sure I could handwire it with amoebas, but it'd still need decent caps to be worth the effort

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 19 April 2020, 18:33:39 »
What is the rollover like? The 4-5 key rollover on some boards is annoying but 2KRO is unusable

I mean sure I could handwire it with amoebas, but it'd still need decent caps to be worth the effort

In what use case is 2KRO unusable? Some odd/complex hotkeys? Gaming? I haven't had any problems with it myself, though I do all of my gaming with NKRO, and have for many years.

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 24 April 2020, 02:16:54 »
Mostly gaming, I haven't spent a lot of time with 2KRO, but I had a Tipro board with it that would beep when the inputs exceeded its rollover. There's a real chance the 2KRO applied to all keys even the some of the modifiers, so it was pretty awful.

Online econeuler

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 07 May 2020, 08:38:11 »
Nice build! Is that a "known" trick to use gasket maker or how did you come up with that?  :)

Offline ddrfraser1

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 19 June 2020, 12:42:04 »
Nice build! Is that a "known" trick to use gasket maker or how did you come up with that?  :)

I saw some korean guy use it to tighten up topre housings fitting to the plate and thought I might work well here.

Online econeuler

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 22 June 2020, 14:30:19 »
Nice build! Is that a "known" trick to use gasket maker or how did you come up with that?  :)

I saw some korean guy use it to tighten up topre housings fitting to the plate and thought I might work well here.

Ah I see!

Offline ddrfraser1

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 08:15:21 »
What is the rollover like? The 4-5 key rollover on some boards is annoying but 2KRO is unusable

I mean sure I could handwire it with amoebas, but it'd still need decent caps to be worth the effort

I actually have no clue. I rarely pay attention to these things. I imagine it's the same as a cherry corp board... not that that really helps.  ;D

Offline JCraftCables

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 03 July 2020, 02:28:57 »
That's a great deal of effort on a cheap board. Any sound tests? :P

Offline ddrfraser1

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Re: Took a crack at the DSI keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 04 July 2020, 20:14:36 »
That's a great deal of effort on a cheap board. Any sound tests? :P

Look up  ;D