Author Topic: Hello from Dallas  (Read 609 times)

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Offline Scragg

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Hello from Dallas
« on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 09:36:07 »
Not sure why the post title format norm in here is such but w/e.

Alright so I have been a keyboard enthusiast for a "few" years. And by that I mean over the past 10 years or so I have spent thousands of dollars on cheap, retail mechanical keyboards. Only recently have I discovered the finer points of the hobby, such as custom switches and building your own keyboard. I knew they existed before. But I lacked the funds to participate so I avoided them altogether. However last year I went through a pretty substantial career change and now I can afford to buy as many thock boxes as my heart desires (within reason)

so far my collection includes

Keychron hotwap k6 - gateron browns lubed with krytox 205g0
Keychron hotswap k2 - gateron browns lubed with superlube
mattias tactile pro with ALPS (noisy bastard, but feels ok, but really not that nice compared to the other boards)
HHKB Professional Classic - sliders and rails lubed with krytox 205g0 (this stuff was expensive so im going to find every available use for it ok)
various "gaming" keyboards that are currently on their final day of bids on ebay.

I have a couple of keycap sets on the way and such. I really cant figure out if I like my hhkb with the default black printed keycaps, or if i want to go with something more colorful.

overall I guess I'm one of you guys at heart, I just dont have my endgame yet I havent figured out what switches I like. I love the HHKB layout but the switches leave something to be desired for me. The sound is FANTASTIC, it gives me a good feeling every time i hear a keystroke. But while i do love the layout and the sound, I would prefer a mechanical switch because that is what I am used to. That could change, I could end up loving the Topre switches more and more as time goes on.

for now, my endgame would be
RAMA M60A Black with brass back plate,
not 100 on the switches but it would either be creams or browns - i am pretty big on that soft tactile bump.

Anyway, thanks for time to read my introduction post! I will be around here and there.


Online Maledicted

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Re: Hello from Dallas
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 23 May 2020, 16:29:49 »
Hi Scragg. Welcome to Geekhack.

You spent thousands on cheap retail boards?  :eek: I don't know if I have even done that, and I continue to buy them.

I have always heard good things about Keychron. You put Alps switches into a Matias, or it is so old that it has actual late Alps switches in it? I don't do the whole lube thing since I'm a clicky guy, but I couldn't imagine a decent clicky feeling worse than even the pleasant Gateron brown myself. What Matias labels as tactile is actually clicky. I'm not sure why they feel the need to ignore the standard terminology. I'll have a new Matias tomorrow myself, so I can compare it to a wide range of switches soon enough.

I continue to buy up Corsair K65s and K70s from time to time, since I love them more than most non-gamer boards. lol

I also have my first Topre board coming, and I actually really like the muted look of their black printed caps myself.

I think the idea, itself, of an endgame is hotly debated here. Some search for the ultimate configuration, others say that there is no ultimate configuration and that you'll wander forever. I suppose that may come down to personality. I know I'll keep trying new switches out of curiosity, but I'm also weird and prefer ancient keyboards with dead switch types like this IBM F107 I'm using at this very moment.

Topre does sound nice, Niz switches too. What does or does not make a keyboard mechanical is also sort of a grey area. Anything that has a moving mechanism at all is technically mechanical, including regular rubber domes, and you certainly won't take any heat here for liking Topre regardless.

Novelkeys creams are linears. You specifically want a soft tactile bump? I wonder what you mean by soft. No fan of clicking noises at all? You may want to branch out further than just browns then. There are lots of boutique tactiles that don't follow the MX naming conventions at all that people quite like.

Offline Scragg

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Re: Hello from Dallas
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 27 May 2020, 00:38:32 »
Hey Maliedicted, thanks for the response...

 - yes over the years before i found out that people were making custom keyboards I have probably spent at least a couple thousand trying to find the perfect keyboard.
    - I really enjoyed blue switches feel though the clicking noise was unbearable once the initial "ooh mechanical keyboard cool" feeling wore off (that was about 10 years ago)
    - i've had most versions of the razer black widow including TKL editions most of these died by usage or by liquid that i at the time did not know how to fix
    - I have tried most configurations of logitech keyboards - gaming office and otherwise
    - corsair never really caught my eye however
   
 - my matthias is very very clicky and no i bought that one stock. I did not put the ALPs tactile switches in it myself. Though I did discover that on matthias keyboards if you take them apart and put them back together, take care how tightly you screw the case together.... If you tighten it too much it will cause issues with the USB connector.

- congrats on your topre board! I hope you like the switches as much as I have come to the past few days. I even like them for gaming somewhat which is surprising for me. I thought they would be too mushy and heavy.

- yeah endgame is controversial. but I want just the right sound... and maybe a few different types before im satisfied. though I feel like ill never be able to get away from the HHKB layout again, even when i want to type on my gateron brown keyboard just for some comparison, i had to write another AutoHotkeyScript to swap some stuff around that was throwing me off after exclusive use of the HHKB layout lol.

- I personally think that the right sound of a keyboard is arguably more important than the keyswitch feel. Although, a terrible/cheap feeling switch would probably be something I would avoid from now on. (*cough* logitech romer-g)
    - a thick metal case with just the right type of keycaps and back plate is probably what im going to be looking for next. i would really like to get a polaris, but it looks like those are very popular and rare. Its pretty hard to find any HHKB kits right now... even the ridiculously expensive full brass kit lol.

- and yeah creams are linear, but im more concerned with the sound and bounceback that they appear to have VS the actual tactility. what i mean by a very soft tactile bump is no noise but a bit of a "slip" that you can feel on the interior of the slip as you push it down, just barely enough that you would know that the switch has been actuated. Its not that i dont like clicking. some of my favorite boards in the past have been very clicky, the problem is that I use keyboards mainly at work now in an open office full of programmers trying to focus. so.... as you would probably guess, i get a lot of dirty looks if i dont pay attention and type to heavily on a "clicky keyboard" thus my liking of tactile switches that i can feel the "slip" in thats a decent replacement for a click to me.
    - ideally ill build a board that would have a bit of a noise but me more of a soft "pat" like a plastic raindrop on a metal block like "pitterpatterpitterpatter"... if that makes sense verses a very plastic sounding "CLACK CLiCK" like the difference between tapping your nails on a desk calmly and clicking a pen rapidly and nervously. I dont know how to describe what I am looking for... but one day i will find it!

Good luck with your Topre board. I would like to suggest that if you decide to lube it that it would probably be best to not use 205g0 and if you do only lube the sliders just the little teensyest bit. i had to redo mine today after completely removing the previous lube that I applied (which was a process of several hours during a long meeting)

good luck!

Offline jamster

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Re: Hello from Dallas
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 27 May 2020, 01:23:02 »
Welcome to Geekhack :)

Saw a Keychron (K6) key for the first time over the weekend, they look like pretty nicely made boards. The folded metal case with discrete bolts was a nice change from the usual designs.

I firmly prefer the Topre approach- even my daily driver work board has switches that have been modified to get as close to the Topre feel as is possible with the MX switch.
Current: Realforce 87u 55, KUL-ES87 Ergo Clear 65, RC930-87 55.
Just sitting around: 1986 IBM Model M, 198? IBM Model M UK, BTC 5100C.
Previously owned: Raptor K1 1800 Zealio 65, Northgate Omnikey 101, IBM Thinkpad USB (old style).
Incoming: Kickstarter Atreus.

Online Maledicted

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Re: Hello from Dallas
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 27 May 2020, 11:16:09 »
Hey Maliedicted, thanks for the response...

 - yes over the years before i found out that people were making custom keyboards I have probably spent at least a couple thousand trying to find the perfect keyboard.
    - I really enjoyed blue switches feel though the clicking noise was unbearable once the initial "ooh mechanical keyboard cool" feeling wore off (that was about 10 years ago)

Yes, the novelty of MX blues fades, especially if you have something like Matias switches now.

    - i've had most versions of the razer black widow including TKL editions most of these died by usage or by liquid that i at the time did not know how to fix

I never did like Razer myself. I just felt the buttons, and the weight, of an 80 dollar mouse a friend had, which felt like a $3-5 Amazon bargain, and looked away entirely. Maybe that was hasty, however.

    - I have tried most configurations of logitech keyboards - gaming office and otherwise

Logitech makes great peripherals. I think mechanicals are in their ... periphery, however.

    - corsair never really caught my eye however

To each their own. I like the industrial look and beefy exposed plate.

- my matthias is very very clicky and no i bought that one stock. I did not put the ALPs tactile switches in it myself. Though I did discover that on matthias keyboards if you take them apart and put them back together, take care how tightly you screw the case together.... If you tighten it too much it will cause issues with the USB connector.

Yes, Matias' clicky switches (they call them tactiles) are some of the most tactile switches still in production today. They're not actually Alps switches anymore though, although they still follow the pattern of later simplified Alps switches. They're apparently made by Outemu. I'm typing on one of their mini tactile pros at this very moment. Being much closer to the original SKCM blue Alps switches I love, I may actually prefer them to my previous favorites in the Kailh box thick click family, like jades, myself. I'm curious to hear if you consider Matias, too, to be plastic-sounding. That description only makes me think of MX clickies, and their clones.

- congrats on your topre board! I hope you like the switches as much as I have come to the past few days. I even like them for gaming somewhat which is surprising for me. I thought they would be too mushy and heavy.

Thank you very much, although I won't even have it for another few days to get an impression yet. I'm a clicky guy, so I imagine it will not be a primary keyboard, but I need to experience that switch type.

- yeah endgame is controversial. but I want just the right sound... and maybe a few different types before im satisfied. though I feel like ill never be able to get away from the HHKB layout again, even when i want to type on my gateron brown keyboard just for some comparison, i had to write another AutoHotkeyScript to swap some stuff around that was throwing me off after exclusive use of the HHKB layout lol.

What sort of sound would you like? Gateron browns were actually what I would think of when you describe your ideal tactility, as most other options I have felt either feel terrible and/or have basically no tactility (MX brown), or have even more tactility than some clickies, like Kailh box royals. It doesn't sound like you want something crisp either, moreso rounded.  I'm no tactile guy though, so you may want to post your preferences in the Keyboards section of the forum, and I imagine some tactile gurus will chime in.

- I personally think that the right sound of a keyboard is arguably more important than the keyswitch feel. Although, a terrible/cheap feeling switch would probably be something I would avoid from now on. (*cough* logitech romer-g)
    - a thick metal case with just the right type of keycaps and back plate is probably what im going to be looking for next. i would really like to get a polaris, but it looks like those are very popular and rare. Its pretty hard to find any HHKB kits right now... even the ridiculously expensive full brass kit lol.

I'm the opposite. I care way more about the tactile event than the sound, although good sound is nice too. I'm lucky enough to get both in most of my favorite switches, whether that's relatively bassy or high-pitched and musical. I must say, I only have Romer-gs in a tester, and I think I like the linears in there less than MX reds, and MX reds are already kind of the bare minimum of acceptable scratchiness for me.

Heavy Metal Keyboards has an HHKB option, and they're all pretty affordable compared to a lot of the madness I have seen.

- and yeah creams are linear, but im more concerned with the sound and bounceback that they appear to have VS the actual tactility. what i mean by a very soft tactile bump is no noise but a bit of a "slip" that you can feel on the interior of the slip as you push it down, just barely enough that you would know that the switch has been actuated. Its not that i dont like clicking. some of my favorite boards in the past have been very clicky, the problem is that I use keyboards mainly at work now in an open office full of programmers trying to focus. so.... as you would probably guess, i get a lot of dirty looks if i dont pay attention and type to heavily on a "clicky keyboard" thus my liking of tactile switches that i can feel the "slip" in thats a decent replacement for a click to me.
    - ideally ill build a board that would have a bit of a noise but me more of a soft "pat" like a plastic raindrop on a metal block like "pitterpatterpitterpatter"... if that makes sense verses a very plastic sounding "CLACK CLiCK" like the difference between tapping your nails on a desk calmly and clicking a pen rapidly and nervously. I dont know how to describe what I am looking for... but one day i will find it!

I don't think there's any way to make a lot of the keyboards that I usually type on at work quieter. I use capacitive buckling springs at work quite often. Nobody seems to mind. lol. A lot of people actually love it.

Yeah, it sounds like you may just want to stick with Topre, although I'll have to try them for myself still. Have you looked at dampened switches? I hear that Matias' "quiet click" (dampened tactiles) switches are both wonderfully tactile like the clickies, but still very quiet. I imagine that tactility is still sharp/crisp though as well, like their Alps forefathers. I also read that the chatter issues possible with Matias switches are more common in the "quiet clicks" The Matias clickies are already similar to taping nails on this desk.


Good luck with your Topre board. I would like to suggest that if you decide to lube it that it would probably be best to not use 205g0 and if you do only lube the sliders just the little teensyest bit. i had to redo mine today after completely removing the previous lube that I applied (which was a process of several hours during a long meeting)

good luck!

I imagine that I will not be lubing it, but who knows? Like I said, I'm a clicky guy and don't care very much about sound. I don't even normally lubricate rattly stabilizers.

Good luck on your quest for your preferred combination of tactility and sound.
« Last Edit: Thu, 28 May 2020, 13:28:07 by Maledicted »

Offline Scragg

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Re: Hello from Dallas
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 11:58:34 »
```Heavy Metal Keyboards has an HHKB option, and they're all pretty affordable compared to a lot of the madness I have seen.```

dude. thanks so much for pointing them out, I actually got in on the GB. thats like exactly what i was looking for!

Online Maledicted

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Re: Hello from Dallas
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 13:30:26 »
```Heavy Metal Keyboards has an HHKB option, and they're all pretty affordable compared to a lot of the madness I have seen.```

dude. thanks so much for pointing them out, I actually got in on the GB. thats like exactly what i was looking for!

You're welcome. I hope you enjoy it.