Author Topic: Greetings from Rhubarb Pi 🍥  (Read 1295 times)

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Offline rhubarbpi

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Greetings from Rhubarb Pi 🍥
« on: Sun, 14 June 2020, 16:00:42 »


Greetings, geek hack community!

I wanted to introduce myself before I start creating other topics:
Iím a web developer & electronic producer (http://ahoritaa.bandcamp.com)who fell in love with mechanicals 2 years back.

I currently rock a Unicomp Model M, Ducky One 2 (with Blues), Filco Convertible TKL Space City edition
(Also with Blues).

Also a huge fan of @chyrosran22, his reviews propelled me into the deeper keyboard waters!

Cheers everyone & look forward to communicating with everyone! 🍧
*daily drivers*
Apple IIgs (Alps Orange/Japan w/ tinkerBOY converter! :D)
Unicomp Ultra Classic Model M (Buckling Springs)
Matias Tactile Pro (Matias Click)

Offline Maledicted

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  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Greetings from Rhubarb Pi 🍥
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 24 June 2020, 14:38:06 »
Hi Rhubarbpi. Welcome to Geekhack.

Very cool. I was a web assistant for a year or so for an adhesives company, years ago. That was a really boring job, mostly product photography, editing of those pictures, and data entry into a CMS, but at least I got to play with the HTML from time to time when my boss couldn't get something to look the way he wanted with his Dreamweaver training wheels.

I hear good things about Ducky and Filco. Never owned any of their boards. How do you like the Unicomp? I hear good things about their latest iteration of the Model M. I think I actually like MX blues more than membrane buckling spring myself, and I'm no longer a big fan of MX blues either. I would recommend some fantastic clickies to look at, but I imagine Chyros' videos (who is an active member on here, actually) has probably already steered you towards box thick clicks, capacitive buckling spring, Alps, etc, and maybe Matias. I'm typing this from a Matias Mini "tactile" pro, but I was using an Alps SKCM white Nan Tan from the 1980s just yesterday.

I'm sorry about the delayed welcome, I haven't gone through these in a while now.

Offline rhubarbpi

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Re: Greetings from Rhubarb Pi 🍥
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 24 June 2020, 15:16:43 »
Hi Rhubarbpi. Welcome to Geekhack.

Very cool. I was a web assistant for a year or so for an adhesives company, years ago. That was a really boring job, mostly product photography, editing of those pictures, and data entry into a CMS, but at least I got to play with the HTML from time to time when my boss couldn't get something to look the way he wanted with his Dreamweaver training wheels.

I hear good things about Ducky and Filco. Never owned any of their boards. How do you like the Unicomp? I hear good things about their latest iteration of the Model M. I think I actually like MX blues more than membrane buckling spring myself, and I'm no longer a big fan of MX blues either. I would recommend some fantastic clickies to look at, but I imagine Chyros' videos (who is an active member on here, actually) has probably already steered you towards box thick clicks, capacitive buckling spring, Alps, etc, and maybe Matias. I'm typing this from a Matias Mini "tactile" pro, but I was using an Alps SKCM white Nan Tan from the 1980s just yesterday.

I'm sorry about the delayed welcome, I haven't gone through these in a while now.

Unicomp makes a fantastic iteration of the Model M - they have a brand new version called the "New Model M" that supposedly has some chassis upgrades.  While the weighting on the Model M is quite heavy, the tactile response is crisp and kind of "lifts you up" as you type.  I switch between the Unicomp and Matias every other day.  I type faster on the Matias, and by far these Matias Clicks (and I suppose Alps style switches in general) are my absolute favorites sound wise.  That being said, I'm seeing some strange build quality issues with the Matias that I'm currently testing ie 0 on the numpad is sticking, alphas sometime feel sticky / sound scratchy. 

The Ducky and Filco's are built extremely well.  However, the MK Typist with Kailh Box Whites, to me, sounds and feels superior to the MX Blues present in the rest of my boards.  I have reached that point in my mechanical keyboard evolution that MX Blues no longer cut it for me.  So the possibility of getting another Ducky & Filco is probably fairly low.

I'm currently searching for a *super clean* NMB board with clicky Space Invaders & a Fujitsu Leaf Spring board.  Of course I'm looking for a clean Apple Extended Keyboard (with Alps Oranges), but my god is it tough to find one without it being snatched up  :thumb:
*daily drivers*
Apple IIgs (Alps Orange/Japan w/ tinkerBOY converter! :D)
Unicomp Ultra Classic Model M (Buckling Springs)
Matias Tactile Pro (Matias Click)

Offline rhubarbpi

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Re: Greetings from Rhubarb Pi 🍥
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 24 June 2020, 15:20:22 »
ALSO - the MX style switches I AM interested in are Kailh Box Navys.
I had a 60% KB Paradise with Kailh Box Jades, and while I loved the switches, I hated the 60% (I need full size boards with numpads lol) and got rid of them.
I feel the Navys may suit me better than Jades simply because the actuation is heavier - plus they sound awesome!  :thumb:
*daily drivers*
Apple IIgs (Alps Orange/Japan w/ tinkerBOY converter! :D)
Unicomp Ultra Classic Model M (Buckling Springs)
Matias Tactile Pro (Matias Click)

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1261
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Greetings from Rhubarb Pi 🍥
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 24 June 2020, 15:53:52 »
Hi Rhubarbpi. Welcome to Geekhack.

Very cool. I was a web assistant for a year or so for an adhesives company, years ago. That was a really boring job, mostly product photography, editing of those pictures, and data entry into a CMS, but at least I got to play with the HTML from time to time when my boss couldn't get something to look the way he wanted with his Dreamweaver training wheels.

I hear good things about Ducky and Filco. Never owned any of their boards. How do you like the Unicomp? I hear good things about their latest iteration of the Model M. I think I actually like MX blues more than membrane buckling spring myself, and I'm no longer a big fan of MX blues either. I would recommend some fantastic clickies to look at, but I imagine Chyros' videos (who is an active member on here, actually) has probably already steered you towards box thick clicks, capacitive buckling spring, Alps, etc, and maybe Matias. I'm typing this from a Matias Mini "tactile" pro, but I was using an Alps SKCM white Nan Tan from the 1980s just yesterday.

I'm sorry about the delayed welcome, I haven't gone through these in a while now.

Unicomp makes a fantastic iteration of the Model M - they have a brand new version called the "New Model M" that supposedly has some chassis upgrades.  While the weighting on the Model M is quite heavy, the tactile response is crisp and kind of "lifts you up" as you type.  I switch between the Unicomp and Matias every other day.  I type faster on the Matias, and by far these Matias Clicks (and I suppose Alps style switches in general) are my absolute favorites sound wise.  That being said, I'm seeing some strange build quality issues with the Matias that I'm currently testing ie 0 on the numpad is sticking, alphas sometime feel sticky / sound scratchy. 

The Ducky and Filco's are built extremely well.  However, the MK Typist with Kailh Box Whites, to me, sounds and feels superior to the MX Blues present in the rest of my boards.  I have reached that point in my mechanical keyboard evolution that MX Blues no longer cut it for me.  So the possibility of getting another Ducky & Filco is probably fairly low.

I'm currently searching for a *super clean* NMB board with clicky Space Invaders & a Fujitsu Leaf Spring board.  Of course I'm looking for a clean Apple Extended Keyboard (with Alps Oranges), but my god is it tough to find one without it being snatched up  :thumb:

That is the version I meant by their latest iteration. I don't own anything Unicomp, but I may change that once the Mini M comes out. Oh, I know buckling spring pretty well. I own 4 or 5 1980s Model Ms and various Models F are in my daily rotations. Yes, Matias clikies sound absolutely wonderful. I may even agree on them sounding the best of them all, though I do quite enjoy sing-songy high-pitched clickies too, because I'm strange. Sticking as far as staying down, or registering more than once with a single press? (chatter) Key chatter is a long-existing potential problem with Matias switches, unfortunately. I haven't encountered it yet on any of my Matias boards, but I imagine I'll be able to fix it if/when I do. Alphas as in alphanumeric keys in particular? I can't say I have experienced that. Has the board gotten really dirty? The Alps design is very, very susceptible to dust and dirt. I try to keep my Alps and Matias boards covered with a towel when not packed up or in use, and try to keep them from unnecessary buildup of debris. I'm not sure really how similar Matias is to the old genuine Alps switches in this regard though.

If you have the clicky switches, I imagine you've either got a Mac version of one of their boards, or you've modified a PC variant. If you're stuck with a Mac Mini board and don't routinely use the operating system for which it was meant, you may be happy to hear that I recently discovered that the controller can be quickly modified to the PC layout with a few 100 ohm resistors.

Yeah, I consider MX blues to kind of be the Honda Civic of keyboard switches. It isn't fancy, it isn't pretty, it isn't luxury. It just gets the job done without any problems. For me, it just barely qualifies as something usable these days, although not without regret. Box whites sound and feel great, although they're a bit light, and I would prefer a bit bigger tactile bump.

I want one of those black clicky space invaders boards myself. I have seen plenty of them but kept passing them up. I have passed up plenty of relatively cheap AEKs as well, unfortunately. Keep looking, you'll find both. I have seen Fujitsu leaf spring boards as well, although not nearly as commonly.

Box navies are wonderful. They're higher pitched than the box jades and pinks, but there's something magical about their spring and tactile event balance. If you're used to a Model M, I imagine the weighting will be just fine for you too. They do sound wonderful in their own way, you can almost hear the crispness of the click.

Offline rhubarbpi

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  • Posts: 17
Re: Greetings from Rhubarb Pi 🍥
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 25 June 2020, 11:18:12 »
Hi Rhubarbpi. Welcome to Geekhack.

Very cool. I was a web assistant for a year or so for an adhesives company, years ago. That was a really boring job, mostly product photography, editing of those pictures, and data entry into a CMS, but at least I got to play with the HTML from time to time when my boss couldn't get something to look the way he wanted with his Dreamweaver training wheels.

I hear good things about Ducky and Filco. Never owned any of their boards. How do you like the Unicomp? I hear good things about their latest iteration of the Model M. I think I actually like MX blues more than membrane buckling spring myself, and I'm no longer a big fan of MX blues either. I would recommend some fantastic clickies to look at, but I imagine Chyros' videos (who is an active member on here, actually) has probably already steered you towards box thick clicks, capacitive buckling spring, Alps, etc, and maybe Matias. I'm typing this from a Matias Mini "tactile" pro, but I was using an Alps SKCM white Nan Tan from the 1980s just yesterday.

I'm sorry about the delayed welcome, I haven't gone through these in a while now.

Unicomp makes a fantastic iteration of the Model M - they have a brand new version called the "New Model M" that supposedly has some chassis upgrades.  While the weighting on the Model M is quite heavy, the tactile response is crisp and kind of "lifts you up" as you type.  I switch between the Unicomp and Matias every other day.  I type faster on the Matias, and by far these Matias Clicks (and I suppose Alps style switches in general) are my absolute favorites sound wise.  That being said, I'm seeing some strange build quality issues with the Matias that I'm currently testing ie 0 on the numpad is sticking, alphas sometime feel sticky / sound scratchy. 

The Ducky and Filco's are built extremely well.  However, the MK Typist with Kailh Box Whites, to me, sounds and feels superior to the MX Blues present in the rest of my boards.  I have reached that point in my mechanical keyboard evolution that MX Blues no longer cut it for me.  So the possibility of getting another Ducky & Filco is probably fairly low.

I'm currently searching for a *super clean* NMB board with clicky Space Invaders & a Fujitsu Leaf Spring board.  Of course I'm looking for a clean Apple Extended Keyboard (with Alps Oranges), but my god is it tough to find one without it being snatched up  :thumb:

That is the version I meant by their latest iteration. I don't own anything Unicomp, but I may change that once the Mini M comes out. Oh, I know buckling spring pretty well. I own 4 or 5 1980s Model Ms and various Models F are in my daily rotations. Yes, Matias clikies sound absolutely wonderful. I may even agree on them sounding the best of them all, though I do quite enjoy sing-songy high-pitched clickies too, because I'm strange. Sticking as far as staying down, or registering more than once with a single press? (chatter) Key chatter is a long-existing potential problem with Matias switches, unfortunately. I haven't encountered it yet on any of my Matias boards, but I imagine I'll be able to fix it if/when I do. Alphas as in alphanumeric keys in particular? I can't say I have experienced that. Has the board gotten really dirty? The Alps design is very, very susceptible to dust and dirt. I try to keep my Alps and Matias boards covered with a towel when not packed up or in use, and try to keep them from unnecessary buildup of debris. I'm not sure really how similar Matias is to the old genuine Alps switches in this regard though.

If you have the clicky switches, I imagine you've either got a Mac version of one of their boards, or you've modified a PC variant. If you're stuck with a Mac Mini board and don't routinely use the operating system for which it was meant, you may be happy to hear that I recently discovered that the controller can be quickly modified to the PC layout with a few 100 ohm resistors.

Yeah, I consider MX blues to kind of be the Honda Civic of keyboard switches. It isn't fancy, it isn't pretty, it isn't luxury. It just gets the job done without any problems. For me, it just barely qualifies as something usable these days, although not without regret. Box whites sound and feel great, although they're a bit light, and I would prefer a bit bigger tactile bump.

I want one of those black clicky space invaders boards myself. I have seen plenty of them but kept passing them up. I have passed up plenty of relatively cheap AEKs as well, unfortunately. Keep looking, you'll find both. I have seen Fujitsu leaf spring boards as well, although not nearly as commonly.

Box navies are wonderful. They're higher pitched than the box jades and pinks, but there's something magical about their spring and tactile event balance. If you're used to a Model M, I imagine the weighting will be just fine for you too. They do sound wonderful in their own way, you can almost hear the crispness of the click.

With the Matias, I refer to alphas as the main alphabetical key legends. I think honestly what has been happening is this board is brand new, and perhaps been sitting on a shelf for a while before I got it.  I kind of went to every key and pressed down without it connected, and after I did this, I'm not experiencing the same issues anymore, despite the 0 on the numpad sticking sometimes.

I do use the Matias on a PC, but my only gripe overall is that I can't control the volume on my laptop.
Otherwise, it works mostly as expected.

Box Navies will be the project I work with on a hot-swappable board, as I'm not too keen on soldering.
Also very interested in the Zealio Alps style switch project that they seem to be working on  :thumb:







*daily drivers*
Apple IIgs (Alps Orange/Japan w/ tinkerBOY converter! :D)
Unicomp Ultra Classic Model M (Buckling Springs)
Matias Tactile Pro (Matias Click)

Offline Maledicted

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  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Greetings from Rhubarb Pi 🍥
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 25 June 2020, 11:53:38 »
With the Matias, I refer to alphas as the main alphabetical key legends. I think honestly what has been happening is this board is brand new, and perhaps been sitting on a shelf for a while before I got it.  I kind of went to every key and pressed down without it connected, and after I did this, I'm not experiencing the same issues anymore, despite the 0 on the numpad sticking sometimes.

I think my first Mini "Tactile" Pro did the same. I noticed occasional chatter right out of the box, and contacted Matias about it, but it cleared up within the first few hours of use, so I didn't count that. I own 3 of their boards now already (besides the parts one Matias kindly let me purchase), with another on the way, and a bit on one of the ergo models (mostly just to feel the linear switches in a board), and I haven't noticed chatter on any of them since.

I do use the Matias on a PC, but my only gripe overall is that I can't control the volume on my laptop.
Otherwise, it works mostly as expected.

The volume keys on the Mac mapping don't function? should be fn + F10-F12. That's actually my favorite part about soldering the resistors in to change the layout. fn being right next to the arrow keys seems intentional in the design with volume up and down being arrow up and down, etc. It seems so natural to me short of having one of those rollers for volume control like on a Corsair, etc.

I also use the Windows and alt keys a lot, so having those pointlessly reversed started to irritate me pretty quickly.

Box Navies will be the project I work with on a hot-swappable board, as I'm not too keen on soldering.
Also very interested in the Zealio Alps style switch project that they seem to be working on  :thumb:

Have those switches been described in any detail yet? I would love to compare them to the real deal. I have at least one board with some perfect SKCM blue Alps. If somebody finally ever perfectly recreates that feel and sound, that may be all I'll buy from then on.

Offline rhubarbpi

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  • Posts: 17
Re: Greetings from Rhubarb Pi 🍥
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 28 June 2020, 00:35:29 »
With the Matias, I refer to alphas as the main alphabetical key legends. I think honestly what has been happening is this board is brand new, and perhaps been sitting on a shelf for a while before I got it.  I kind of went to every key and pressed down without it connected, and after I did this, I'm not experiencing the same issues anymore, despite the 0 on the numpad sticking sometimes.

I think my first Mini "Tactile" Pro did the same. I noticed occasional chatter right out of the box, and contacted Matias about it, but it cleared up within the first few hours of use, so I didn't count that. I own 3 of their boards now already (besides the parts one Matias kindly let me purchase), with another on the way, and a bit on one of the ergo models (mostly just to feel the linear switches in a board), and I haven't noticed chatter on any of them since.

I do use the Matias on a PC, but my only gripe overall is that I can't control the volume on my laptop.
Otherwise, it works mostly as expected.

The volume keys on the Mac mapping don't function? should be fn + F10-F12. That's actually my favorite part about soldering the resistors in to change the layout. fn being right next to the arrow keys seems intentional in the design with volume up and down being arrow up and down, etc. It seems so natural to me short of having one of those rollers for volume control like on a Corsair, etc.

I also use the Windows and alt keys a lot, so having those pointlessly reversed started to irritate me pretty quickly.

Box Navies will be the project I work with on a hot-swappable board, as I'm not too keen on soldering.
Also very interested in the Zealio Alps style switch project that they seem to be working on  :thumb:

Have those switches been described in any detail yet? I would love to compare them to the real deal. I have at least one board with some perfect SKCM blue Alps. If somebody finally ever perfectly recreates that feel and sound, that may be all I'll buy from then on.

At this point, the Matias board is now functioning properly across the board.  I type about 10-15 WPM faster on it than pretty much anything else, though with the Model M - *after about 30 minutes* - my hands adjust I start typing equally as fast.  I feel it takes a moment to get back used to the "give back" tactile spring response & stiffer keyfeel.

All I've seen on the Zealio switch is the Instagram post where they share the sound of the protoype - which DOES sound very very SKCM Blue like:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7CRBr2nw3R/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

That being said, I have not yet found a Alps SKCM Blue board, at least not yet.
The ones I have seen I have been pretty rich price wise.   

*daily drivers*
Apple IIgs (Alps Orange/Japan w/ tinkerBOY converter! :D)
Unicomp Ultra Classic Model M (Buckling Springs)
Matias Tactile Pro (Matias Click)

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1261
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Greetings from Rhubarb Pi 🍥
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 28 June 2020, 01:47:00 »
At this point, the Matias board is now functioning properly across the board.  I type about 10-15 WPM faster on it than pretty much anything else, though with the Model M - *after about 30 minutes* - my hands adjust I start typing equally as fast.  I feel it takes a moment to get back used to the "give back" tactile spring response & stiffer keyfeel.

All I've seen on the Zealio switch is the Instagram post where they share the sound of the protoype - which DOES sound very very SKCM Blue like:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7CRBr2nw3R/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

That being said, I have not yet found a Alps SKCM Blue board, at least not yet.
The ones I have seen I have been pretty rich price wise.

Yeah, Model Ms are stiff. I don't particularly like the way that they feel myself, although that's not because of the weighting.

They've definitely got the click leaf right as far as I can tell, from a side view of it moving. I'll be interested to get some of those to try, for sure.

Yeah, SKCM blue Alps in good shape can be hard to find at prices that aren't crazy. I got lucky and found a Leading Edge DC-2014 with perfect switches for about $140 shipped. Another didn't cost me much more ... but those switches need some major help.