Author Topic: first take  (Read 912 times)

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Offline AJPlus

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first take
« on: Sat, 06 March 2021, 05:34:54 »
Ordering my first kit from kbd fans

the tofu kit and WINMIX SA PBT 9009 keycaps set

hopefully, it turns out well

Offline Maledicted

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Re: first take
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 08 March 2021, 08:46:33 »
Hi AJPlus. Welcome to Geekhack.

I'm not big on caps, but that set looks nice. What sort of switches did you get? Which have you tried?

Offline AJPlus

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Re: first take
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 10 March 2021, 04:21:08 »
Tbh I have only really tried MX switches, of those black is my favourite. I was thinking gateron blacks, but if you have any suggestions I would appreciate it.

Still a little lost on how to get hold of things, also is that your board in your footer? looks awesome

Offline Bjerrk

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Re: first take
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 10 March 2021, 04:46:15 »
Still a little lost on how to get hold of things, also is that your board in your footer? looks awesome
The one in the profile picture/first in the signature certainly looks like a New Model F (Model F77). I'm typing this on one as well. It has capacitive buckling springs, so another beast entirely.

The keycaps you've chosen look great! Very classy in a retro kind of way. 
« Last Edit: Wed, 10 March 2021, 04:47:51 by Bjerrk »

Offline AJPlus

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Re: first take
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 10 March 2021, 05:40:06 »
Oh cool it has a very distinctive look, I like it

Thanks that is exactly what I was going for, I'm a huge fan of Nintendo's early design language and it shows lool

Offline Maledicted

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Re: first take
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 10 March 2021, 09:12:49 »
Tbh I have only really tried MX switches, of those black is my favourite. I was thinking gateron blacks, but if you have any suggestions I would appreciate it.

Still a little lost on how to get hold of things, also is that your board in your footer? looks awesome

I'm not big on linears myself, so others would probably be better at helping if you posted in the Keyboards section about it. It has been a while since I have compared MX black with Gateron black, but in general, Gateron switches seem pretty nice and smooth to me for your average no-frills MX clone. I would certainly take anything in their line over the MX equivalent and have pondered endlessly whether or not I should stop being lazy and swap the MX reds in my Corsair K70 with Gateron yellow for gaming duty. If you're looking for extreme smoothness, even without lubrication (which I don't do myself) you may want to look into optical switches as well. They have no contacts to rub against each other, so they're said to be very smooth right out of the gate.

Yes, if you mean the one in my profile picture, it is an industrial gray Model F77 reproduction. It is the brainchild of our very own Ellipse. As Bjerrk mentioned, capacitive buckling spring is in no way comparable to anything in the MX family. They're smooth, crisp (but often pingy) clicky switches straight out of the early 80s. It is a very simple (outside of the capacitive part) mechanism in which there are two capacitive pads on the PCB. A coil spring inside of a plastic barrel is depressed by the cap until the spring buckles, kicking out a flipper that changes the capacitance between those two pads to register a key press. This makes for a deceptively small tactile event, as the spring pressure builds sharply just before it buckles cleanly. I stole a side-by-side GIF image of it next to MX blue:



Ellipse sells the cases as spares for $100 if you like it, you could try to design an MX-compatible plate for it and try your hand at handwiring a keyboard matrix or something. I know I have been thinking of trying to make an Alps plate for it, but I have never even done the research necessary to start. They're really thick zinc, and the powder coating is quite nice.

Offline AJPlus

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Re: first take
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 14 March 2021, 10:04:30 »
oh wow, that's super informative, I really appreciate you breaking it all down like that for me. I have heard that optical switches are like the cream of the crop, but that there's a simplistic beauty to linears.

Depending on how my first crack at clipping and lubing goes I may switch to them hahah

It's really cool the mechanical trickery they use to pull off different tactilities within switches.

I'm a fan of *thickness* so I think I will have a look

Now the next step is just finding all this stuff to try out, could you suggest any other vintage/retro cases?


Offline Maledicted

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Re: first take
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 16 March 2021, 13:44:16 »
Now the next step is just finding all this stuff to try out, could you suggest any other vintage/retro cases?

I don't really look at too many kit/LEGO things myself, so I probably wouldn't be the best person to ask for options for retro-inspired cases. There were a lot of keyboards in the 1980s and 90s that used Cherry switches (or clones) though, if you wanted to get one and swap modern switches of your choice into them. Caveats in doing so would include possible cap compatibility problems with modern sets and a wild array of protocols originally used. People seem to like Wyse boards a lot, and most of those can be converted relatively easily to USB.

Even for the period, IBM's 4704 boards were constructed unusually well, so your pickings for something MX-compatible, easily convertible to USB and made with a nice thick metal case are probably pretty thin.

I liked the Heavy Metal Keyboards GB, being literally the only one I have seen that I had enough interest in to invest in myself, but it has been closed for some time now, unfortunately. There may be extras once everything ships.

There are certain TKLs that fit these cases, which are very thick, but they don't look particularly vintage to me. I have one with two more on the way for some of my V80s with Matias switches.

Offline AJPlus

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Re: first take
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 02 April 2021, 06:06:11 »
Hmmm I see, that's helpful nonetheless, perhaps I'll take a look at some retro boards on eBay then try converting them.

The heavy metal keyboards are cool I'm just not personally a fan of the folded look, but some of the chunky new builds look great, I just wish everything wasn't so sparatic.

Maybe I can help with that  :cool:

Offline Maledicted

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Re: first take
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 06 April 2021, 10:39:31 »
Hmmm I see, that's helpful nonetheless, perhaps I'll take a look at some retro boards on eBay then try converting them.

The heavy metal keyboards are cool I'm just not personally a fan of the folded look, but some of the chunky new builds look great, I just wish everything wasn't so sparatic.

Maybe I can help with that  :cool:

If you try some of the better retro switches, you may find that you'll loose interest in MX entirely.  ;)

New ideas are always great. If you're thinking of designing anything yourself, you probably want to start here. Good luck.