Author Topic: Will the Phantom PCB ever come back into stock at mechanicalkeyboards.com?  (Read 441 times)

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Offline iiRein

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1
Hello. I've been waiting for around 3-4 months for this PCB to come back into stock, and I want to make sure I'm wasting my time waiting if it's discontinued or something. I'm new to this whole custom keyboard scene, so sorry if this was made with a lack of information. If anyone has any info on when or if this will come back in stock, that will be great. (Or if there are any alternatives to it)

https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=536

Thanks.

Offline Sup

  • * Exquisite Elder
  • Posts: 1074
  • Don't be a ****, never give up
This PCB is discontinued for a long time.
current
Filco Zero -  NOS Yellow Alps | Canoe R1 Gateron Red | AEK II JP Cream dampend |Filco Majestouch 2 Tex case Gateron Yellow | HHKB Pro 1 2003 Rev AO Serial 000171 | HHKB Pro 1 2003 Rev A1s|DZ60 OG Panda's with Fei spring and stem. | Sentraq S65_Plus OG Invyr Panda's | A17 Gateron Black TX 65G 3204 | Lubrigrante Wildcard Cherry MX silent blacks 3204 58.5G Springs | Rukia Everglide Tourmaline Blue 58.5G Springs | MGA Standard Greetech brown |
Coming soon
Rest in peace Billy Herrington(William Glen Harold Herrington) 1969-2018
Rest in peace Byron Daniel 1989-2020

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1552
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Hello. I've been waiting for around 3-4 months for this PCB to come back into stock, and I want to make sure I'm wasting my time waiting if it's discontinued or something. I'm new to this whole custom keyboard scene, so sorry if this was made with a lack of information. If anyone has any info on when or if this will come back in stock, that will be great. (Or if there are any alternatives to it)

https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=536

Thanks.

I have seen other cheap and relatively mass market TKL PCBs around, not that I look often. The first that comes to mind is the XD87. Was there something specific about the one you linked that you wanted?

Have you tried contacting the website's support?

Offline alertArchitect

  • Posts: 45
  • Location: The Void, KY, United States
I have seen other cheap and relatively mass market TKL PCBs around, not that I look often. The first that comes to mind is the XD87. Was there something specific about the one you linked that you wanted?

Have you tried contacting the website's support?

Actually have a recommendation for this, especially if this is OP's first build. I bought and used the Drop CTRL PCB for my first build, and it's basically a kit. Get the PCB, the case, etc from Drop and slot it all together. Are there better options? Sure, but not that I found for TKL that's relatively cheap and mass market compared to other TKL boards. Seems like a good compromise for budget and ease of purchase.

Also, given that it's one of Drop's flagship boards, don't expect it to go away any time soon. Which is good, because you'll be able to get replacement parts rather easily if you need to. Honestly kinda factored into me getting it for my first custom board.

The only downsides are that there's no way to get screw-in stabs, so you can only use plate-mounted ones, and while it is hotswappable (a plus for a first build, lets you more easily swap and try new switches without needing to desolder), it only supports 3-pin switches, so if you have 5-pins you'd need to basically mutilate them to get them to fit, which is not fun if you have to do it for 87 switches and then later get a 5-pin supporting PCB that allows for more stability in your switches, but all of them are now 3-pins because you had to cut off 2 of the pins, thus losing you a bit of stability. Both relatively minor complaints, but things that matter to an enthusiast. Perfectly fine for a first board though.

Another recommendation would be to find a good TKL kit, as it would help you get what you want out of your board. But, no matter what you do, enjoy yourself, have fun, and be careful not to let there be too much Wallet Hack! ;D

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3508
The Phantom was a one time group buy from 8 years ago, odds of a restock or another group buy are slim to none at this point as it would probably need quite a lot of work to be attractive today.

There are some alternatives,
Drop, not sure why people buy it in parts when you can buy it as a barebones kit.
Idobao has a nice TKL and compact TKL
GMMK has the new pro which is also a pretty nice looking TKL
WASD also offers a nice aluminum TKL, personally I think it's one of the better looking ones however it's not barebones and it is soldered.
I believe LFK also offers a blank TKL pcb.
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Offline skunk workz

  • Posts: 1
I'd reach out to them and ask.

I'm pretty sure it was in stock a few months ago, as I was thinking about building a second one with the new(er) stainless steel 7bit plate that they have. I built mine with acrylic in 2016, and have never been happy with the case (and it's got cracks and chips in the acrylic).

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3508
They didn't produce them they simply bought up the remaining inventory.

I highly doubt they have the rights much less the demand to do another order.
Novelkeys NK65 Aluminum w/62g Zilents/39g springs
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Offline Findecanor

  • Posts: 4689
  • Location: Koriko
The Phantom was a one time group buy from 8 years ago
The design is open-hardware. Edit: The PCB is copyrighted but available for anyone who wants to make it.
There were several group-orders of PCBs and plates after the original run.
MechanicalKeyboards.com got their own PCBs and plates made, and available for some time.
The original run's PCBs were black. MechanicalKeyboards.com's PCBs were white.

It was made to fit inside a Filco Majestouch TKL case. Later plates were updated to fit inside other Costar-manufactured keyboards' cases such as the (now long discontinued) CM Storm Quickfire Rapid's.
There have also been aluminium cases for Filco/Phantom innards.

, odds of a restock or another group buy are slim to none at this point as it would probably need quite a lot of work to be attractive today.
Yeah, I agree that the PCB would need to be updated a bit to compete with current offerings, but you can't really compare it to keyboards that are not programmable as that was one of the main points of the Phantom.
Also, it uses a Teensy 2.0 and PJRC has only promised that that will be available until September this year.

Edit: I was incorrect about the license. The PCB is not open hardware but bpiphany will allow anyone who wants to to make a run. Plates are open though.
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 February 2021, 07:45:28 by Findecanor »
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
-- Arthur Miller

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3508
Yeah, I agree that the PCB would need to be updated a bit to compete with current offerings, but you can't really compare it to keyboards that are not programmable as that was one of the main points of the Phantom.
I forgot there as more than one run.

When it came out, it was fantastic and kickstarted a lot of what we have now, but it's not hard to find programmables today like it was back then. Today many boards offer at least some programmability and QMK can be found on sub $200 and sometimes even $100 boards. I have lots of respect for it, even tried to buy one recently, but I'm not sure there's a point to doing it today even if you updated it.

Maybe it did it's job too well by blowing open the market.
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Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1552
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
I believe LFK also offers a blank TKL pcb.

Is LFK even still in business? I tried contacting about Alps offerings a few days ago and have heard nothing back. They don't look to have posted on Reddit at all ... in response to people complaining about how long it was taking to receive their orders, for months. Most items on the website are not purchasable, including the TKL PCB.

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3508
Re: Will the Phantom PCB ever come back into stock at mechanicalkeyboards.com?
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 19 February 2021, 21:09:26 »
I believe LFK also offers a blank TKL pcb.

Is LFK even still in business? I tried contacting about Alps offerings a few days ago and have heard nothing back. They don't look to have posted on Reddit at all ... in response to people complaining about how long it was taking to receive their orders, for months. Most items on the website are not purchasable, including the TKL PCB.
No idea, they certainly seem to not be operating as they used to.
Novelkeys NK65 Aluminum w/62g Zilents/39g springs
More
62g Zilents/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, pic
| Filco MJ2 L.E. Vortex Case, Jailhouse Blues, heavily customized
More
Vortex case squared up/blasted finish removed/custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, foam sound dampened, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs, 40g actuation
| GMMK TKL
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w/ Kailh Purple Pros/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 Magnetic cable
| 3d printed 65% w/LCD and hot swap
More
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| Magicforce 68
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| YMDK75 Jail Housed Gateron Blues
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J-spacers, YMDK Thick PBT, O-rings, SIP sockets
| KBT Race S L.E.
More
Ergo Clears, custom WASD caps
| Das Pro
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| GH60
More
Cherry Blacks, custom 3d printed case
| Logitech Illumininated | IBM Model M (x2)