Author Topic: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL  (Read 22220 times)

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Offline flying1911

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[IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:36:07 »
Hello Geekhackers,

We’re Mechlovin’, a team of two Mech enthusiasts based in Vietnam and specialised in providing PCB & Plate solutions. Since our first Group buy back in last October, we have successfully run many others, while working with reputable members of the community in collaboration projects.

This is the IC post for our first attempt at making a keyboard. The board, named Mechlovin’ Session 1, is intended as an amalgamation of our ups and downs as a team, and also my own personal experiences in this wonderful community.

Please follow us on Discord for the latest updates: https://discord.gg/K45RwTC

07.24 UPDATE - SOUND TEST VIDEO


07.17 UPDATE

The case has been anodised and built with Vintage Blacks. Notes on the possible changes in design can be found here: https://imgur.com/a/5mWl4xi?

Overall, things are looking good, design wise. We'll make some adjustments and continue to listen to community feedback before ordering the final prototype.

A typing video is coming soon. The typing feel is just as we expected: soft, bouncy, not as stable as boards with plates. The sound is GREAT, even without dampening.

NOTE: the machining for the 1st prototype was done locally, and it's pretty poor. At least we know the design works well. We expect to have the 2nd prototype in hand next month, and it should be a much closer presentation of the final product.

THE OVERALL DESIGN

We’re going back to basic with the overall shape of the board. It’s our first board and we feel it’s honest to who we are right now as a team. The overall design elements of the board is similar to those found on the Jane CE (my absolute personal favourite, and one that I was so so lucky to get hold of thanks to a great friend) and the preceding kustoms. There have been novel and exciting designs introduced, but this is the one we can always go back to.









THE MOUNTING SYSTEM & INTERNAL WEIGHT

We decided to go with the PCB top mounting mechanism, and the thinking process was straightforward. Personally for me, the best board I’ve ever typed on is the PCB - top mounted Jer J80 (A-06), and I have for a long time wanted to replicate that typing feel on a more compact and modern form factor. Also, since we’re essentially PCB solution providers, the direct PCB mounting system, without a plate obstructing the view is a fitting way to showcase our capabilities.





There’s a large internal brass weight, which in our experience, helps considerably improve the overall acoustic. We are likely to include a sound dampener with the standard kit, as during my time using the Jer 80, I found having a dampener under the PCB pretty much transformed the whole typing experience.

THE FREAKIN’ BLINDER AND THE LOGO

Our first ever Group buy was the Hannah 910, a PCB solution, obviously for the TGR 910. Apart from all the nice things that introduced Team Mechlovin’ to the community, the most memorable thing about that GB was probably the friendly complaints we received about the Blocker LED cluster being TOO BRIGHT out of the box. Basically, my genius of a partner, and hardware designer went over the top and put NINE LEDs on that 1u blocker position alone; and I, during QC, was inconsiderate enough to not lower their brightness before delivery.



We’re bringing back this “feature” to the Session 1’s PCB in a more refined manner, as a way to remind us of how we started, and how bad we can be. The LEDs are placed above the arrow cluster, shining up the logo, which is a simplification of S1 (Session 1) in circuit board style.



See the LEDs in action on the Session 1: https://imgur.com/05Cq0XO

THE PROGRESS

We’ve received the first raw aluminum prototype from a local manufacturer and testing how the board works in real life. Basically everything seems to be working fine. Next steps:
- Send the board to be anodised
- Get it assembled for glamour shots and typing tests

Based on our findings and community input, we may introduce minor changes into the design before ordering the second prototype and start thinking about putting a Group buy together. Here’s what we currently have in mind in terms of a GB:
- GB Date: September/ October 2020
- Standard Kit inclusion: Top & Bottom cases, brass weight, stainless steel badge, PCB, and a cool certificate we’re working on.
- Extras: PCB (1.6mm & 1.2mm options, or even 1mm!?!); Carrying bag (may incorporate this into the standard kit)
- Price: $450-ish, excluding Paypal fee and shipping.
- Payment method: Paypal
- Quantity available: 69 in total, and each board will have an engraved serial number on its badge (we’re childish, sorry, but it’s the only way). This is our first ever keyboard GB, and it’s likely that we will split it into several small runs to stay on the safe side of things.



CHARITY WORK

This is a personal thing for me, and I’m glad that I have my partner on board with the idea. During my time working as an Operations Manager at an international school, I had the opportunity to work with BLUE DRAGON Children’s Foundation, an organisation that’s specialised in helping children in crisis throughout Vietnam, including ones affected by poverty, disabilities, homelessness, drugs and human trafficking. Though I haven’t been in that capacity for a while now, I still keep regular contact with former colleagues who continue to play active roles in supporting the foundation, and we feel it would just be nice to offer a helping hand especially in these difficult times. Find out about the Foundation here: https://www.bluedragon.org/who-we-are/

We would like to donate a certain percentage of the proceeds from this GB to help the children in need. Also, depending on how well the board is received by the community after the first run, we might organise a charity auction for a one-off unit, in which the proceeds will be donated in full.

CREDIT

- If I could, I would give all the credit to my trusted partner. I'm the one who does the talking, and often ends up with way more credit then I deserve. He's the real deal.
- BIG THANKS to Bruce from Ori.Club who helps realise our team's vision and ideas into a workable design. Follow his exciting IC for the Ori 87 here: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=106031.0
- And all the thanks I could give to our friends in this community, both Vietnamese and international. You know who you are!

That is it for now. To say we’re excited about this project is a massive understatement, and we will be giving regular updates in the utmost detail possible in this thread. Our apology for the long read, here’s a TL;DR:

WE MAKE (GOOD) BOARDS
YOU GIVE US MONIES
TO MAKE US RICH
AND HELP AT-RISK TINIES

 
Thank you!
« Last Edit: Thu, 23 July 2020, 22:21:38 by flying1911 »
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Offline yoot

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:38:04 »
Awesome board and I love what you are doing with the charity. Hope I can get one!

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk


Offline finalarcadia

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:39:47 »
Sup looks nice, I want it

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Offline xIHA

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:41:00 »
This is awesome we need more pcb mounted custom keyboards
Jane v2 | OTD 456gt | LZ Physix | xIHEx (One off comission) | Duck kingsaver | G80-1838HPU

Offline IOVERCALLHISTIOCYTES

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:41:35 »
you should raffle the first 68 and auction #69 because this crowd is thirsty

Offline xIHA

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:42:06 »
This is awesome we need more pcb mounted keyboards.
Jane v2 | OTD 456gt | LZ Physix | xIHEx (One off comission) | Duck kingsaver | G80-1838HPU

Offline gnhuy91

  • Posts: 129
Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:42:06 »
Great opening for a great board! Will definitely join.

Offline yoot

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:42:13 »
you should raffle the first 68 and auction #69 because this crowd is thirsty
If it's fcfs then just risk it all and get the last spot

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Offline Captain Shwah

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:43:21 »
love it
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Offline Ensaum

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:44:22 »
I like this  :thumb:

Offline PikaJoyce

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:44:47 »
Appreciate the charity work and this board!!!!

Offline Ensaum

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:46:44 »
Can you show the side profile and bottom on the case? Also, what usb interface will you be using?
« Last Edit: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:54:30 by Ensaum »

Offline self

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:47:59 »
Hope this will happen!
May you please share pictures of the bottom and side profiles?

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Offline flying1911

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 12:59:35 »
Updated the main post with more pictures of the side profile and bottom of the board. The current prototype uses Mini-USB, but we'll probably switch to USB-C in the final version. We'll also be playing with different fiberglass materials and PCB thickness as part of our research.
TGR Jane V2 | TGR Jane CE | TGR Jane V2 CE | LZ-MP | LZ-CLS | KMAC 2 | Haus | Cherry G81-3100 SAV | IBM Model M SSK

Offline eniigma

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 13:01:50 »
Looks really nice! Gl guys!  :thumb:

Offline catamscott

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 13:17:36 »
this is so nice, will be absolutely be trying my best to get in on this. super interested to see what the verdict is regarding different pcb materials and thicknesses!

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 13:20:45 »
good ~
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Offline Ensaum

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 13:21:36 »
Just had a thought. I don't know how feasible this will be, but it might work since you are making your own pcbs. It'd probably be a good idea to make dedicated iso and ansi versions of the pcb that you can select from when ordering. We are going to have to rely on the switch pin holes for alignment without a plate and that enter cluster is looking a bit like swiss cheese right now.

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 13:36:22 »
I haven’t been able to acquire a board with a top mounted PCB only yet, so I’m glad there will be another offering.  The case looks classic and I’m sure it will be a hit. 

Does the logo feature have a diffuser behind it?

What about a light blocking plastic insert to surround the logo LEDs to stop light bleed to the navigation and arrow clusters?  Maybe a simple pressure fit plastic box that slides into the top and rests against the PCB
« Last Edit: Tue, 07 July 2020, 13:37:56 by pixelpusher »

Offline Mcnos

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 13:39:22 »
Looks great friend

Offline Boy_314

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 13:47:13 »
pcb top mount oh yessss

Offline Lenux

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 13:58:36 »
Really nice ! Love the work !

GL !

Offline Kasterborous

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 14:00:48 »
Quantity: 69

N i c e

Offline TieuNgu

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 15:18:40 »
the things I would do to receive that 69/69 board.

Offline Kokaloo

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 16:38:24 »
oh nice a less cost friendly idb80

Offline badboy731

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 18:37:15 »
Huge fan of PCB mounted boards so this is great to see! Rooting for you guys!
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Offline Nevermore012

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 18:55:36 »
honestly, the board looks good, but it reminds me to Lin montage, sorry if I may wrong  :-X

Offline finalarcadia

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #27 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 19:05:53 »
Three humble suggestions if I may, to make an already great board even better.  :thumb:

1. bigger weight/badge on the bottom
2. remove the 2 small circles on the logo for a cleaner look
3. separate ISO PCB; As someone mentioned, wouldn't want crooked switches

Offline catamscott

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #28 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 19:17:15 »
honestly, the board looks good, but it reminds me to Lin montage, sorry if I may wrong  :-X

the montage is a nice board, but it definitely wasn't the first to have that side profile. earliest i know of is 456gt, may very well be on an earlier board but i'm not too familiar with all the old kustoms.

Offline flying1911

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 21:07:58 »
Thank you all for your encouragement and suggestions. To address some of them:

- The design does have a cutout for an acrylic diffuser. We'll have more pictures after the case has been anodised and the diffuser laser-cut.

- We'll definitely give the idea of fixed layout PCBs a thought. We're also thinking about offering different PCB thickness and colour options, and will need to consider the feasibility of having a potentially large number of PCB variations.

- The logo is pretty much a fixed item now. We understand it may not suit everyone's liking, but it's a subjective matter, so for it's best to stick to what we like.

- We'll see how the whole board turns out after anodisation before considering whether to enlarge the badge.
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Offline flying1911

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #30 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 21:08:50 »
Oh did I say the case angle is 6.9 degrees?  :cool:
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Offline badboy731

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #31 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 22:39:32 »
Hey the discord link wont let me join? Says something about the server is too full?
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Offline packman86

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #32 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 22:55:14 »
Oh did I say the case angle is 6.9 degrees?  :cool:

nice
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Offline myflowsocold

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #33 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 23:08:15 »
yes. absolutely in
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Offline flying1911

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #34 on: Wed, 08 July 2020, 02:49:04 »
Hey the discord link wont let me join? Says something about the server is too full?
I'll look into it, but could you check if you've reached the limit of the number of servers you can join (100)?
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Offline badboy731

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #35 on: Wed, 08 July 2020, 02:58:50 »
First time I learned there was a limit! I joined! thanks lol
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Offline hottrout

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #36 on: Wed, 08 July 2020, 11:00:51 »
Nice finish
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Offline alper_maestro

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 09 July 2020, 05:36:26 »
No Hot-swap option?

Offline audax989

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #38 on: Thu, 09 July 2020, 08:43:43 »
No Hot-swap option?

might be difficult to do hotswap on a pcb mount board due to possible flexing.

would there be relief cuts on the pcb?

Offline ephemeral25

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #39 on: Thu, 09 July 2020, 09:30:08 »
I thought I was done for 2020 but then I saw this project  :thumb:

I really like the plateless gasket. This is some serious next level touch feelings.

No Hot-swap option?

might be difficult to do hotswap on a pcb mount board due to possible flexing.

would there be relief cuts on the pcb?

Mhmm don't think it is relevant to offer HS due to the flex. This would be a disaster
« Last Edit: Thu, 09 July 2020, 09:32:20 by ephemeral25 »
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Offline JCraftCables

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #40 on: Thu, 09 July 2020, 10:20:29 »
Very nice board! A daring but true-to-your-belief move of going with a PCB mounted style. Where are you getting your PCB from?

Offline flying1911

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #41 on: Thu, 09 July 2020, 12:30:56 »
We will not be offering a hot-swap option for the board, simply because it is PCB-mounted. Without a plate, the switches wouldn't be held nicely in place.

Relief cuts may be added and tested on one of the prototype versions.

The case will be sent to be anodised (in silver) tomorrow, then we'll get on with the building and typing tests some time next week.
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Offline flying1911

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #42 on: Thu, 09 July 2020, 12:32:58 »
Very nice board! A daring but true-to-your-belief move of going with a PCB mounted style. Where are you getting your PCB from?

Thank you! We design and (for the most part) produce our own PCBs.
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Offline HowRoark

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #43 on: Thu, 09 July 2020, 13:00:31 »
Awesome, looking forward to it.

Offline Lulzthax_

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #44 on: Thu, 09 July 2020, 17:36:20 »
Awesome board by an awesome dude. GL with GB friend, I am sure it will turn out amazing just like the countless pcbs I have received from you :)

Offline Jaxxstatic

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #45 on: Thu, 09 July 2020, 17:56:19 »
Trustworthy guys putting out a tried-and-true design. Easy yes from me.

Offline cadrev

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #46 on: Thu, 09 July 2020, 21:38:08 »
Looks great, how does the plateless setup compare to a gasket mount in terms of typing experience?

Offline flying1911

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Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #47 on: Sun, 12 July 2020, 01:25:17 »
Awesome board by an awesome dude. GL with GB friend, I am sure it will turn out amazing just like the countless pcbs I have received from you :)
Thanks man for the encouraging words. We need to tread this lightly since this is our first board and the stakes seem much higher than making PCBs.
Trustworthy guys putting out a tried-and-true design. Easy yes from me.
You're the man!
Looks great, how does the plateless setup compare to a gasket mount in terms of typing experience?
We'll find out once the case comes back from the anodising factory and we get to build it, though based on my past experience with the Jer J80, which is PCB top-mounted and some gasket-mounted boards including the OTD 356 Mini and Keycult No.2 Rev.1, I found that the gasket mounting system did provide a more consistent and stable typing feel, but the experience on the J80 was more "full-bodied" with a thockier sound.
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Offline GaNeBaL

  • Posts: 73
  • Location: Toronto
Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #48 on: Sun, 12 July 2020, 07:08:11 »
me likey
Obsessed with 60%

Offline tommyhongg

  • Posts: 57
  • Location: California, United States
Re: [IC] Mechlovin' Session 1 - A PCB-Mounted Classic Custom TKL
« Reply #49 on: Sun, 12 July 2020, 07:27:39 »
Very interesting, I'm excited to try out this mounting style if I have a chance. Also gotta support my fellow Vietnamese  :thumb:
« Last Edit: Sun, 12 July 2020, 07:33:21 by tommyhongg »