Author Topic: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17  (Read 2263 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Rayndalf

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 292
Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 19:48:10 »
https://www.ebay.com/itm/274306010375
There better not be a nonmechanical version of this number pad...
I'd be all over this but I picked two up on mechmarket a bit ago for around this price. Warning, the switches under the 2u keys weren't rotated, so the 2u keycaps had stretched/broken stems, but despite that they've been solid.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1261
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 29 May 2020, 14:15:40 »
If it had literally any other switch in it, that would be tempting. I suppose that it still is regardless with those USB ports on the sides. It almost seems like they should actually pay somebody to go through the trouble of desoldering those browns and putting something that feels better than a rubber dome in it though, instead of charging them.

Offline Rayndalf

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 292
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 29 May 2020, 14:41:22 »
I prefer browns to rubber domes by a margin (white Alps and MX blues can be better or much worse) if nothing else browns are consistently mediocre.

I recently swapped one of the hand clusters in my Kinesis Advantage from ~1994 to one from 1999(?). The newer browns are actually a little rounder and smoother but also slightly heavier, but the difference isn't noticeable in use. Browns (vintage or not) are just boring switches. I actually like them, but I can't blame anyone else for not liking them, they're really boring.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1261
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 29 May 2020, 15:18:04 »
I prefer browns to rubber domes by a margin (white Alps and MX blues can be better or much worse) if nothing else browns are consistently mediocre.

I might be inclined to agree with you on browns, if I had ever felt some that were lubricated. I imagine that could tip the balance. You've felt white Alps and MX blues that were worse than stock browns? Were the Alps just really dirty?

I recently swapped one of the hand clusters in my Kinesis Advantage from ~1994 to one from 1999(?). The newer browns are actually a little rounder and smoother but also slightly heavier, but the difference isn't noticeable in use. Browns (vintage or not) are just boring switches. I actually like them, but I can't blame anyone else for not liking them, they're really boring.

I don't like how scratchy they feel. I haven't felt one in which I could distinguish any tactile event at all when pressed normally, just varying levels of grit. If I press them slowly, I can ever-so-slightly feel a bump of some kind. That, again, though is without any lube. To each their own, of course. Thank you for sharing, by the way, the prospect is tempting me at that price, and I don't even normally use a number pad.

Offline Rayndalf

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 292
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 29 May 2020, 20:28:20 »
I have yet to find a "vintage" board (Early to mid 90's) with MX blues where less than 20% of the switches don't click consistently. Blues get absolutely wrecked with age, dust, and wear. When I got my first switch tester I genuinely thought I hated clicky switches, but I've tried some other designs which which are crisp and very entertaining.

My first white Alps experience was a no name numpad (mid 2000s manufacture probably). The switches feel light and wobbly and had a really annoying ping. I later acquired the keyboard from a Zenith TurbosPort 386 with white Alps that has been a joy in terms of layout and switch feel (nicer PBT keycaps, a solid case, and possibly a different version of the switches or made earlier in the tooling's life with better QC). With a little lubrication I'm sure I'd like them even more, but the keyboard already features diodes (which don't interfere with switch removal but...) I really don't want to risk damaging a perfectly usable little 70(?)%.

Brown tactility is bizarre, they're tactile when you press slow, and almost like a defective blue when you press fast (the bump seems to make more sound than tactility, but the Kinesis Advantage is a hollow case with plastic plates, and thin doubleshot DCS which makes things worse). If nothing else the "bump" in browns makes it easier to partial depress the switch before actuation or "spam" it without letting the switch fully reset.

I'm waiting on some Phoenix stems to rebuild my weird numpad, I think clickies are ideal for number crunching.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1261
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 30 May 2020, 23:49:03 »
Interesting. I wouldn't know myself. I haven't had any MX blue boards that old. I can't say that would surprise me. Now that I have tried way better clickies, I could never go back to MX blue. It seems surprising to me that they function as reliably/consistently as they do considering the feel and sound of the click and rattle that they make.

Ah, mid 2000s would have to be simplified Alps, I would think. I haven't felt an Alps switch from that period myself. I do have a brand new Matias board now though, and I actually like those switches very nearly as much as some old complicated Alps. \_(ツ)_/

Wow. I hadn't even heard of that keyboard, that's cool as heck. I always had Zenith tvs growing up, so I love their keyboards. I have a beige label Z-150, ZKB-2, and ZKB-2R (recently arrived) so far. I'm pretty sure that all 3 need some refurbishment/TLC though.

I think clickies are ideal for every situation, but I have an obvious bias in that regard. lol

Offline Rayndalf

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 292
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 31 May 2020, 05:22:12 »
I realized I was mistaken, the TurbosPort used white Alps which that were traditional linears while the numpad (and an ergo board I found later) had white Alps that had an quiet but audible click. Both see 'pingy', but the clicky ones feel infuriatingly hollow.

I suspect Matias switches have less worn out tooling or better QC than the later switches Alps made. I don't subscribe to the "older = better" mantra, but Alps seemed to continue to cut cost to remain competitive (while Cherry remained about as bad as it always was to maintain testing and certifications for industrial applications).

I'll upload a picture of the keyboard tomorrow. A complete TurbosPort 386 sold on ebay recently for maybe $70, so if you keep an eye out you could basically get the computer for free.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1261
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 01 June 2020, 11:42:28 »
I realized I was mistaken, the TurbosPort used white Alps which that were traditional linears while the numpad (and an ergo board I found later) had white Alps that had an quiet but audible click. Both see 'pingy', but the clicky ones feel infuriatingly hollow.

Hollow, huh? You're making me curious.

I suspect Matias switches have less worn out tooling or better QC than the later switches Alps made. I don't subscribe to the "older = better" mantra, but Alps seemed to continue to cut cost to remain competitive (while Cherry remained about as bad as it always was to maintain testing and certifications for industrial applications).

Actually, from what I read, and based on random listings for the switches online, it seems like Outemu, of all people, makes Matias' switches. I do actually quite like Outemu blues vs MX, but that's normally about it from that manufacturer. I imagine Matias must set their own standards though.

I'll upload a picture of the keyboard tomorrow. A complete TurbosPort 386 sold on ebay recently for maybe $70, so if you keep an eye out you could basically get the computer for free.

That would be cool. I don't know that I really need even more computers that I'll never use lying around, that's still tempting though. The board looks great.

Offline funkmon

  • Posts: 250
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 01 June 2020, 19:23:39 »
Hey, I yoinked that thing for a cheap offer price.

Thanks for posting this. Lol. I just apprehended an IBM keypad which I think is great other than the part where it's basically using laptop switches, and it's PS2. Also other than the part where numpads are turrible. I figure though, eventually I'll pick up some kind of keyboard without a number pad that I really like and I'll want to have one of these available, even if it's Cherry MX Poop.

As for Matias switches, I have heard the same thing! They changed manufacturers to Outemu or something a while back when they did their new switch design, and, even though I think it might be unpopular here, I think Outemu makes the best Blue clone and the quality is right up there. Very pleased with Outemu as a manufacturer of the Alps switches.

What I'm wondering now, of course, is how the Fukka switches are. I understand they're essentially identical to SKBM White, but I'm worried to buy a board with them, since SKBM Whites aren't great. I consider the Matias switches to be basically as good as great condition complicated white alps, so I don't see myself moving away from them for a while if I'm buying a modern Alps board.

Offline Rayndalf

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 292
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 02 June 2020, 23:52:05 »
I took the Zenith apart anyway, heres a link to the photos http://imgur.com/a/o7ng3lL

The right numpad can even make a 60% board fully featured, especially when your main board is a kinesis advantage (so the arrow keys are placed in easy reach, but not with respect to the numberpad). I find clickies less than ideal for gaming, but for number crunching... I have some pheonix stems samples on the way.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1261
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 03 June 2020, 12:32:40 »
I took the Zenith apart anyway, heres a link to the photos http://imgur.com/a/o7ng3lL

The right numpad can even make a 60% board fully featured, especially when your main board is a kinesis advantage (so the arrow keys are placed in easy reach, but not with respect to the numberpad). I find clickies less than ideal for gaming, but for number crunching... I have some pheonix stems samples on the way.

That's all really cool. Thanks for sharing. You're making me want one of those number pads with the navigation cluster now, even though I know that my use cases for it would be limited currently. That Zenith board is cool as all heck.
« Last Edit: Wed, 03 June 2020, 19:19:21 by Maledicted »

Offline Rayndalf

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 292
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 03 June 2020, 17:04:39 »
TurbosPorts aren't really in high demand, but ~$115 seems a bit steep (given one is a bit yellowed and the other has some cable rot). For all I know they're worth it for the keycaps alone.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/133425154294
https://www.ebay.com/itm/124160016356
I'd make a post with either of these, but I don't really want to be the guy responsible for wrecking the market.

Qtronix keypads seem a bit harder to find. The black models are still stocked on Amazon for $125, but its worth looking for an older model with doubleshot keycaps. Somebody on deskthority found one with aristotle switches which is a little ironic considering I'm going to switch swap (and hopefully handwire) mine with phoenix switches. I'd have never guessed someone would bother recreating the aristotle switch while nice doubleshot keycaps still elude us. 
https://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=10722&start=

Offline funkmon

  • Posts: 250
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 17:37:31 »
Hey, this came in the mail and I decided to try it out with a board I have with brown switches in it. I actually like this. What the **** is wrong with me?

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1261
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 19:23:20 »
Hey, this came in the mail and I decided to try it out with a board I have with brown switches in it. I actually like this. What the **** is wrong with me?

MY guess is that you're a space alien. \_(ツ)_/

Offline Rayndalf

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 292
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 19:40:40 »
Browns can actually be good. Cherry switches seem to go between pretty good and God awful depending on how recently they cleaned up the tooling.

Their newest retool/redesign was a few years ago, so even 'retool' blacks might be due for some tool refreshening. Cherry makes a lot of switches and prioritizes operational life (with certification) over switch feel, but \_(ツ)_/

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1261
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Goldtouch MX brown(?) Numberpad $17
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 19:56:43 »
Browns can actually be good. Cherry switches seem to go between pretty good and God awful depending on how recently they cleaned up the tooling.

Their newest retool/redesign was a few years ago, so even 'retool' blacks might be due for some tool refreshening. Cherry makes a lot of switches and prioritizes operational life (with certification) over switch feel, but \_(ツ)_/

True. If I ever find any MX browns I don't hate, I'll be sure to adjust my opinion.