Author Topic: Key Cap Sources?  (Read 11470 times)

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Offline siouxscout

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Key Cap Sources?
« on: Thu, 07 July 2011, 14:22:34 »
Where are some places you guys get your key caps? I know the group buys is one, but whats other ones?

I'd like to change out the ones on my Cherry MX board.

Only one I'm considering right now is this one,
http://cgi.ebay.com/Red-color-37-Keycaps-Cherry-MX-Series-keyboard-B-/250843680874?_trksid=p4340.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%252BC%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA%252BUA%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D15%26pmod%3D260806979982%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D1180144979008997975
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Offline digitalleftovers

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Key Cap Sources?
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 07 July 2011, 14:37:34 »
send a PM to Imsto.  He is a member here, and I believe he is also an admin at KBC forums.  He does frequent group buys of keys from China, such as the ones listed in that ebay link.  He can get any color of the rainbow, plus titanium.  However, full sets are usually only available in black and white, hence the enormous desire to run group buys for custom colors.
Keyboards:
Filco 104 MX Brown (Otaku) - FKBN104M/NPEK 黒い空
Ducky TKL MX Brown/Blue 80% (White) - 1087-F 白の空
KBC Poker MX Red with PBT Key Caps - PFCN6000


"Consumers use touch screens.  Producers use keyboards."

Offline siouxscout

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Key Cap Sources?
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 07 July 2011, 17:08:25 »
A full set in titanium would be nice, but crazy expensive.

They should make aluminum ones!
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Offline reaper

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« Reply #3 on: Thu, 07 July 2011, 22:10:09 »
Don't forget to also check the Marketplace here.  You never know what's gonna show up next.

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Offline aggiejy

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Key Cap Sources?
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 07 July 2011, 23:15:35 »
One day I'm going to open up a lil' keycap store.  There's a shortage of easy-to-buy caps.  But the cheapest way will likely always be group buys here or elsewhere.

Offline Input Nirvana

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Key Cap Sources?
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 07 July 2011, 23:32:36 »
I just posted about this. A link to the wiki, or an abbreviated wiki of keycap sources would be great.
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Offline theferenc

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« Reply #6 on: Thu, 07 July 2011, 23:35:03 »
And don't forget there exist other types, such as Topre, ALPS, and IBM (both caps and full keys).

If anyone knows where to get these types of key caps, that would be useful information, as well. I really should just order a set of of the APL keys from Unicomp...
HHKB Pro 2 -- Custom UNIX layout Unicomp Customizer 101 -- IBM Model M 1391401 (modded to UNIX layout) -- IBM 1397000 (also UNIX layout) -- SSK in UNIX layout -- Model F 122 key in UNIX layout (Soarer USB "native")
 
CST L-TracX trackball -- Kensington Expert Mouse trackball

Offline digitalleftovers

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« Reply #7 on: Thu, 07 July 2011, 23:42:47 »
Quote from: theferenc;375888
And don't forget there exist other types, such as Topre, ALPS, and IBM (both caps and full keys).

If anyone knows where to get these types of key caps, that would be useful information, as well. I really should just order a set of of the APL keys from Unicomp...

I heard that you can ask Unicomp for a set of black blanks (IBM compatible).  They look really rough, but then again, a soft-touch finish would look a little out of place on a unicomp or model M.
Keyboards:
Filco 104 MX Brown (Otaku) - FKBN104M/NPEK 黒い空
Ducky TKL MX Brown/Blue 80% (White) - 1087-F 白の空
KBC Poker MX Red with PBT Key Caps - PFCN6000


"Consumers use touch screens.  Producers use keyboards."

Offline digitalleftovers

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Key Cap Sources?
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 07 July 2011, 23:46:59 »
Oh! For the adventurous folk, there are these Devlin caps (not to be confused with "delrin").  

Wiki Link Here

They are the thick ones on the left:


As far as I know, they only come in one profile, blank, and spherical, but they are definitely different.  This is the company that makes the blank RGB cherry keys that are sold in europe (that replace shift, ctrl, and alt).
« Last Edit: Thu, 07 July 2011, 23:49:32 by digitalleftovers »
Keyboards:
Filco 104 MX Brown (Otaku) - FKBN104M/NPEK 黒い空
Ducky TKL MX Brown/Blue 80% (White) - 1087-F 白の空
KBC Poker MX Red with PBT Key Caps - PFCN6000


"Consumers use touch screens.  Producers use keyboards."

Offline theferenc

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Key Cap Sources?
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 08 July 2011, 13:45:48 »
I was more suggesting for an eventual wiki on the topic, if that is the route selected. I know this forum is heavily Cherry MX, which is the only reason I mentioned it. There are a few of us out there that rarely, if ever, use MX based keyboards.
HHKB Pro 2 -- Custom UNIX layout Unicomp Customizer 101 -- IBM Model M 1391401 (modded to UNIX layout) -- IBM 1397000 (also UNIX layout) -- SSK in UNIX layout -- Model F 122 key in UNIX layout (Soarer USB "native")
 
CST L-TracX trackball -- Kensington Expert Mouse trackball

Offline digitalleftovers

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« Reply #10 on: Fri, 08 July 2011, 13:56:19 »
Quote from: theferenc;376313
I was more suggesting for an eventual wiki on the topic, if that is the route selected. I know this forum is heavily Cherry MX, which is the only reason I mentioned it. There are a few of us out there that rarely, if ever, use MX based keyboards.

I totally agree.  No switch should be left behind!  I might take a crack at it this weekend.  There is enough scattered through the key cap pages alone to at least start a cap vendor page (Fentek, Unicomp, KBC, SP...).
Keyboards:
Filco 104 MX Brown (Otaku) - FKBN104M/NPEK 黒い空
Ducky TKL MX Brown/Blue 80% (White) - 1087-F 白の空
KBC Poker MX Red with PBT Key Caps - PFCN6000


"Consumers use touch screens.  Producers use keyboards."

Offline Pylon

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« Reply #11 on: Fri, 08 July 2011, 15:24:23 »
Hmm, what about certain NMB RT-series rubber domes with dedicated sliders? Those are very decent as far as rubber domes go and have interchangeable caps with their own stem. I would like to see a Wiki on those.

P.S. The best caps for those seem to be the ones on the Apple Design Keyboards.

Offline digitalleftovers

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« Reply #12 on: Fri, 08 July 2011, 15:32:45 »
Quote from: Pylon;376366
Hmm, what about certain NMB RT-series rubber domes with dedicated sliders? Those are very decent as far as rubber domes go and have interchangeable caps with their own stem. I would like to see a Wiki on those.

P.S. The best caps for those seem to be the ones on the Apple Design Keyboards.

that raises a good point, actually.  I have a friend that uncapped his logitech board to clean it once.  So, there are rubber domes with easily replaced keys, but I've never seen keys FOR rubber domes for sale.  Perhaps we could list some donor boards...
Keyboards:
Filco 104 MX Brown (Otaku) - FKBN104M/NPEK 黒い空
Ducky TKL MX Brown/Blue 80% (White) - 1087-F 白の空
KBC Poker MX Red with PBT Key Caps - PFCN6000


"Consumers use touch screens.  Producers use keyboards."

Offline IvanIvanovich

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Key Cap Sources?
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 08 July 2011, 16:37:12 »
I have an old btc rubberdomes that has mx compatible pbt caps. No idea the model number though, the label fell off. It's one of the compact ones with a choc mini like layout.

edit: only the non-stab'd keys are compatible. The stab'd keys have long posts that go down into the plastic body. Also the fkeys row is not mx, but has something that looks like a reduced sized alps for some reason...
« Last Edit: Fri, 08 July 2011, 16:48:41 by lysol »

Offline prd

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Key Cap Sources?
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 09 July 2011, 14:48:28 »
Quote from: digitalleftovers;375890
I heard that you can ask Unicomp for a set of black blanks (IBM compatible).  They look really rough, but then again, a soft-touch finish would look a little out of place on a unicomp or model M.

I've bought one of those sets. No rough. They're actually quite ok.

Offline prd

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« Reply #15 on: Sat, 09 July 2011, 14:52:08 »
You can also get white caps, colored caps, blank white&gray sets from Unicomp. But, if I remember correctly, you have to make a large order. I bought around 400-500 caps at that time.

Offline IvanIvanovich

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« Reply #16 on: Sat, 09 July 2011, 15:47:37 »
Does anyone know a source for these?

Offline Pylon

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« Reply #17 on: Sat, 09 July 2011, 18:00:08 »
Read the bottom right corner. Most likely them.

Offline theferenc

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« Reply #18 on: Sat, 09 July 2011, 21:47:56 »
Unicomps minimum order is $10. If you're getting standard keys, that's all you have to order. If it's a special printing job, I do think the MOQ is quite a bit higher than a single set.
HHKB Pro 2 -- Custom UNIX layout Unicomp Customizer 101 -- IBM Model M 1391401 (modded to UNIX layout) -- IBM 1397000 (also UNIX layout) -- SSK in UNIX layout -- Model F 122 key in UNIX layout (Soarer USB "native")
 
CST L-TracX trackball -- Kensington Expert Mouse trackball

Offline demik

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« Reply #19 on: Sun, 10 July 2011, 04:19:31 »
they quoted me 20 for the APL set for my spacesaver, 2.50 for red esc key
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Offline theferenc

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« Reply #20 on: Sun, 10 July 2011, 13:22:17 »
If that's the only red key you want, go for it. If you want anything else in red, just get some red dye, and make them yourself. It's pretty easy.

Wish they made an industrial case for the 122 keys. That plus the APL keys would be awesome on my 1397000.
HHKB Pro 2 -- Custom UNIX layout Unicomp Customizer 101 -- IBM Model M 1391401 (modded to UNIX layout) -- IBM 1397000 (also UNIX layout) -- SSK in UNIX layout -- Model F 122 key in UNIX layout (Soarer USB "native")
 
CST L-TracX trackball -- Kensington Expert Mouse trackball

Offline Pylon

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« Reply #21 on: Sun, 10 July 2011, 13:37:24 »
Can't you just paint the case gray? Though the Industrial gray is pretty hard to color match from what I've heard, but I don't see why it has to be exact.

Offline theferenc

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« Reply #22 on: Sun, 10 July 2011, 14:15:11 »
Not willing to paint it. I would dye it, possibly, but paint would flake, strip, etc. Getting the masks exactly right would also be a challenge.
HHKB Pro 2 -- Custom UNIX layout Unicomp Customizer 101 -- IBM Model M 1391401 (modded to UNIX layout) -- IBM 1397000 (also UNIX layout) -- SSK in UNIX layout -- Model F 122 key in UNIX layout (Soarer USB "native")
 
CST L-TracX trackball -- Kensington Expert Mouse trackball

Offline IvanIvanovich

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« Reply #23 on: Sun, 10 July 2011, 14:25:21 »
VHT penetrating vinyl dye is the answer for large pieces like keyboard bodies. The colors are fairly basic though. It comes in aerosol form so you don't have to worry about warping. It is nasty stuff though, a respirator is necessary. I used some recently to make my MX Revolution mouse body white. Its stong enough dye to make black / dark grey things white, then you can make it some other color after that. I've also used it in the past on some cheap rubberdomes and plastic computer case parts.

Offline N8N

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« Reply #24 on: Sun, 10 July 2011, 14:32:23 »
I don't know if this would work or not, but I've used SEM brand spray vinyl dye (it's what Eastwood sells) to dye various NOS but incorrect color interior parts for old cars with great success.  Not sure if it'd work well on a keyboard case, but it'd be the first thing I'd try.  The second would probably be Krylon "Fusion" paint which I've never used but is supposedly specially formulated to adhere to plastic.
Filco Majestouch-2 with Cherry Corp. doubleshot keys - Leopold Tenkeyless Tactile Force with Wyse doubleshots - Silicon Graphics 9500900 - WASD V1 - IBM Model M 52G9658 - Noppoo Choc Pro with Cherry lasered PBT keycaps - Wyse 900866-01 - Cherry G80-8200LPBUS/07 - Dell AT101W - several Cherry G81s (future doubleshot donors) (order of current preference) (dang I have too many keyboards, I really only need two)

Offline IvanIvanovich

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« Reply #25 on: Sun, 10 July 2011, 16:00:46 »
VHT is the only one I know of that still does penetrating actual dye. All the other ones I've seen including SEM are basically plastic friendly paint like fusion. They are more durable than regular spray paint, but are still prone to scratching and chipping.

Offline N8N

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« Reply #26 on: Sun, 10 July 2011, 16:14:51 »
I've not used this VHT stuff, so I have no experience with it... but I can say that I've used SEM on vinyl seat covers and have not experienced any premature wear, so it is in fact quite durable when used properly (use the prep spray!)
Filco Majestouch-2 with Cherry Corp. doubleshot keys - Leopold Tenkeyless Tactile Force with Wyse doubleshots - Silicon Graphics 9500900 - WASD V1 - IBM Model M 52G9658 - Noppoo Choc Pro with Cherry lasered PBT keycaps - Wyse 900866-01 - Cherry G80-8200LPBUS/07 - Dell AT101W - several Cherry G81s (future doubleshot donors) (order of current preference) (dang I have too many keyboards, I really only need two)

Offline sordna

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« Reply #27 on: Sun, 10 July 2011, 20:32:39 »
Quote from: lysol;377608
VHT penetrating vinyl dye is the answer for large pieces like keyboard bodies. The colors are fairly basic though. It comes in aerosol form so you don't have to worry about warping. It is nasty stuff though, a respirator is necessary. I used some recently to make my MX Revolution mouse body white. Its stong enough dye to make black / dark grey things white, then you can make it some other color after that. I've also used it in the past on some cheap rubberdomes and plastic computer case parts.

Sounds awesome, could you post some photos of the stuff you dyed ?
Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 LF with Cherry MX Red switches / Extra keys mod / O-ring dampening mod / Dvorak layout. ErgoDox with buzzer and LED mod.
Also: Kinesis Advantage Classic, Kinesis Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline theferenc

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« Reply #28 on: Sun, 10 July 2011, 20:36:11 »
Thanks for that, lysol. I may have to look into that after I move. I've looked at the Fusion paint before, and while people have used it to decent success, I'm just not sure how I feel about painting a keyboard case.

But if it works on old automative vynil, it would likely survive on my keyboard. My main concern is the bottom, below the space back. My hands are often there, and I'm one of those people that pits the Apple laptop palmrests. So I would imagine the paint wouldn't last long under my hands.
HHKB Pro 2 -- Custom UNIX layout Unicomp Customizer 101 -- IBM Model M 1391401 (modded to UNIX layout) -- IBM 1397000 (also UNIX layout) -- SSK in UNIX layout -- Model F 122 key in UNIX layout (Soarer USB "native")
 
CST L-TracX trackball -- Kensington Expert Mouse trackball

Offline Oqsy

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« Reply #29 on: Sun, 10 July 2011, 21:49:33 »
Stay away from Fusion. It is the poorest quality spray I've used. I suggest Rustoleum "Industrial"... Or maybe it was "Professional". Either way, 2 years on a model m case and no problems at all.
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Offline IvanIvanovich

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« Reply #30 on: Sun, 10 July 2011, 21:51:01 »
Sure. I'll try to get some pics when I find a digital camera, but I only have my mouse left. All old rubberdomes died a long time ago. I also don't keep cases for very long. I might have an IBM CRT somewhere left. I'd say try it on a $5 rubberdomes first to see if its satisfactory. A can can easily do 4-5 keyboards at least.

Offline demik

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« Reply #31 on: Mon, 11 July 2011, 01:09:35 »
Quote from: theferenc;377558
If that's the only red key you want, go for it. If you want anything else in red, just get some red dye, and make them yourself. It's pretty easy.

Wish they made an industrial case for the 122 keys. That plus the APL keys would be awesome on my 1397000.

 yeah that's basically the only red key i want.

im more interested in the APL set, i like how they look lol
No, he’s not around. How that sound to ya? Jot it down.

Offline aggiejy

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Key Cap Sources?
« Reply #32 on: Tue, 19 July 2011, 09:52:56 »
Speaking of Key Cap Sources... check out the RGB Cherry MX group buy here:

http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?20058-FINAL-Doubleshot-RGB-Set-from-SP-(Orders-Payments-Deadline)

Deadline is next Monday morning, with hopeful shipping in September.

Offline hashbaz

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« Reply #33 on: Sun, 24 July 2011, 20:24:16 »
I'm interested in trying out the RIT dye mod on a Filco.  What's the best place to get a set of white PBT caps with legends?

Also, anyone know offhand what Unicomp charges for a 104 replacement set? Annoying that this information requires an email...

Quote from: demik;377351
they quoted me 20 for the APL set for my spacesaver, 2.50 for red esc key

Sorry, what's APL?

Offline hashbaz

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« Reply #34 on: Sun, 24 July 2011, 21:08:04 »
Interestingly, my next ten minutes of random thread browsing answered these questions for me.  For those playing along at home:

Quote from: hashbaz;386458
Also, anyone know offhand what Unicomp charges for a 104 replacement set? Annoying that this information requires an email...


Price fluctuates over time and depends on what else is in your order.  $15-$25.

Quote from: hashbaz;386458
Sorry, what's APL?


APL as in A Programming Language.  APL keys include extra legends for use when coding in APL.

I would still love to know the best/cheapest source of white Filco-compatible PBTs with legends.  +1 for the keycap source wiki others have suggested.

Offline lyk503

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Key Cap Sources?
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 25 July 2011, 03:49:57 »
Jeeze they should make it easier to find keycaps. -_-

Offline bruceadams1

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« Reply #36 on: Mon, 25 July 2011, 15:46:25 »
superb post found...

Offline lyk503

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« Reply #37 on: Tue, 26 July 2011, 15:52:43 »
Quote from: ripster
This is sure an easy to follow thread.
Sure, but relative to everything else, key caps are pretty hard to come by. I can't just go online and search for a blue backspace key with white lettering, to buy individually (Is there such a place to buy individual keys?) . I'm just left with buying whole sets of keys, and most of them are otaku style, with no letters/symbols... And the one's that are available are the one's that I don't really want (more black keys w/ white letters, white keys with black letters, etc.) There are also group buys, which are scarce, and the cycle takes a long time to finish.

Offline hashbaz

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« Reply #38 on: Tue, 26 July 2011, 15:58:12 »
http://www.wasdkeyboards.com just opened up shop selling, among other things, individual ABS keycaps in several colors.

Unicomp sells individual keys for their boards, with custom colors available.