This thread is easy. Ask a quick and simple question and get a quick answer! Yes you can ask about keycaps here, anything keyboard related goes!
Post your questions and we'll answer them! Thanks for making this thread great! TABLE OF CONTENTS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Keyboards Keycaps ModificationsStabilizers The Ideal Setup for Simple Questions, Simple Answers:
Overall I like jdcarpeís
explanation on how this thread should ideally run. I don't want to limit the discussion but this wasn't the original intent of this thread and I wouldn't want the discussion to be lost within this thread. If you could make a spinoff and just reference your post in this thread, that would be the *ideal* situation. But remember, this will always be a place where questions can be asked and hopefully I can provide an answer (or more likely, someone much smarter than me will help out
This post is not directed at anyone in particular. If you think it sounds like your situation, maybe it applies to a specific case you have in mind, but trust me, this post is for general guidelines, and is in no way intended to point out anyone as being wrong or inconsiderate.If you can't find your answer, I'll hunt it down for you. Just PM me Good luck and happy knowledge gathering.
Q: Should I post my question here in the Simple Questions Simple Answers thread, or make a new thread to address my problem or situation?
A: If your question is brief, specific, and you reasonably believe that it could be answered in one reply post, please post your question here, and someone will try to help you as soon as possible with an answer and/or explanation of where to find further information. Links to other posts/threads will be provided when possible.
If you think that the response to your question will be likely to require several posts, with the possibility of interaction between yourself and the responder being necessary to come to an conclusion, you would probably be doing the community a favor by starting a new thread regarding your topic. A new thread will give others the opportunity to explore the same issues that you are experiencing in regard to the keyboard, switch, or other issue, organized cohesively into one place.
Also, if what you thought was a simple question turned into a lengthy discussion, please create a new thread regarding that topic, and post a link and direct others to join the discussion in that thread.
These few guidelines should make the organization of information by topic much more defined, and accessible to other members who may be having the same question, problem, or issue you may be experiencing.
Thanks for helping to make this topic the place to turn for questions and answers!
If you'd like to provide feedback, please check out this thread here
and leave your comments there. Please keep this thread for its original intent. Thanks! Now for a few rules:
- This is not a sale/trade/free stuff thread. Please use the Classifieds or PMs to handle that kind of business.
- Please try and ask yes/no questions or questions that can be answered in a single post or two
- Please don't ask about prices, we have a thread for that already. This is to avoid people dodging the classifieds rules and posting here
- Please try and quote the question you're answering. This thread is now big enough that multiple questions and answers are being asked at once and it can get confusing.
- Please try to limit the discussions here, we have countless other threads and places to discuss. I'd like to keep this thread true to its title. Sorry if I stifle the discussion from time to time
- Please don't bump your question. I know I'm usually fast with answers (or someone else is fast), but if you don't get an answer in an hour, just be patient. I might actually be doing researching/digging and you might not even know. I think the longest someone waited for an answer is 3-4 days. Just wait or PM me.
- Please don't post memes or gifs in this thread
- Please keep this keyboard (keyboards, keycaps, springs, mods, soldering, etc) related.
- Please donít bicker in this thread. I will have it cleaned up if I feel itís needed.
Q = Question
A = Answer Q: Where can I buy new wire stabilizers?WASDKeyboards
Btw, they only have 6.25x costar spacebar wire and 2x costar wires. Cherry wires in 6.25x, 7x, and costar in 7x are not available, which I know people do look for occasionally.Q: What keyboard is this? (Borrowed from reaper's review thread)
Frequently Asked Questions: Up to FAQ
- How do you search GeekHack more efficiently? Up to FAQ
The native GeekHack search function isnít working that well in my opinion. You can search using Google. Input the following search -
So you put site:geekhack.org then the search parameters. You can use all the tools of Google search on this search too. This will also work on other site such as Deskthority.net.
Also, Moose gave me this pro-tip: If you want to see if this thread has an answer you already asked, then you can try searching once you have this thread open. In other words, if you're browsing in the Keyboards sub-forum and search, the search will look for things in the Keyboards sub-forum. So if you search "LEDs" while in this thread, then you'll find posts about LEDs.
Q: I need help with X. Is there a list that will help me find assembly/CAD/help services?
Up to FAQ
Domoaligato created The Professional Services Thread
. You can see who does assembly services, modding, CAD, etc. Q: Adding this here since it's been asked multiple times: Up to FAQ
Are we still doing simple questions simple answers? if so:
What is this sticker mod i am seeing on some keyboards? Like putting stickers under the switches or something? What does this do? And what does lubing the spring do? It seems like lube on a spring would do nothing?
The stickers go between the top and bottom halves off the switch housing. It reduces movement of the switch housing itself, which eliminates any wobble of the switch.
Lubing the sliders of the stem makes the switches feel smoother, and reduces or eliminates any "grittiness" feel of the switches. Lubing the springs reduces or eliminates any squeaking sound coming from the spring movement inside the switch.
I personally think stickers are a bit of a gimmick and I've heard the argument both ways. A video made by Photoelectric
shows the wobble that housing can have and what the stickers can try to fix. Also check out this explanation
from nubbinator. Q: X switch is best for gaming. Is that true? Up to FAQ
There is no switch that was made that was "optimized for gaming". No switch is "better" than any other for gaming. There's only personal preference. You might feel comfortable playing on X switch and not Y switch. And that's fine. Q: Is there a Cherry MX spring actuation force reference guide? Up to FAQ
This picture is borrowed from Ripster. The Cherry actuation forces are (*XX). Rkinze also has a fantastic article which has both actuation and bottom out forces
. The discrepancy in rkinze's data can be found here
. Ripster also has a great album
showing switches disassembled so you can see the springs inside with closeup of the springs so you can do comparisons. Q: Where is a template for making my own keycap/keyboard layouts? (This gets asked in the IRC probably weekly)
Matt30 made this Color Generator application
that allows you to pick color combos. For a blank layout of a keyboard, to color in, you can check out Kaporkle's thread
. Next, ne0phyte has a layout generator here
. Finally, ijprest has this wonderful Keyboard Layout Generator
with the proper SP and GMK color chip callouts. The SP ABS Color Codes can be found in Krogenar's thread
. Q: What caps are better? PBT? ABS? Thick? Thin? Up to FAQ
which is better? thick pbt or abs gmk?
That's like asking which is better, Ferrari or Lamborghini?
They're both awesome.
Itís all personal preference. Answer also works for ďWhat is the best switchĒ? Q: Where do I get one of those keyboard pixel signature thingys? (Looks like: . This was borrowed from inlikeflynn)
The thread is called keyboard pixel art things
. Your keyboard is probably listed in that thread but you'll have to search around for it. Q: Can I remove switches/switch tops without desoldering? Up to FAQ
Not unless you have a custom plate with specialized cutouts that allow this. The_Beast and WFD have made plates like this. In other words, stock plates will require soldering/desoldering, custom plates may have a cutout that allow you to open the tops without desoldering. If the board is PCB mounted, you will not have to solder/desolder. Confirmed by jdcarpe Q: Where can I learn more about soldering? Up to FAQ
Tjaustin and jdcarpe started this thread
which I think is a great guide on soldering/soldering equipment. Also, this guide/comic
is often linked when people ask "How do I learn to solder?" Q: Can I play video games on a RealForce/HHKB? Up to FAQ
Yes, it shouldn't hinder your abilities in any manner. I follow the StarCraft 2 professional scene and I know for a fact that TT1 and MC both have used RealForce keyboards in competition. Q: jdcarpe ordered me to add this to the OP. I blame him.
Q: Are there switch opening tools? I heard The_Beast was selling some? Up to FAQ
Does anyone know what size screws the Poker/Pure case uses?
CPTBadAss, please put this info in the OP:
Poker/Pure cases use M2-4mm (0.4mm pitch) machine screws to mount the PCB to the case. McMaster-Carr part # 92000A011
made some a while back in a round 1 of the tools. Some alternatives were pitched by Larken
. Also photekq has suggested that a small flathead screwdriver will do the trick as well. Q: What's part number for PCB/Plate-mount stabilizers? Up to FAQ
Q: Where can I buy stabilizers/stabilizer wire? Up to FAQ
Does anyone know the part number for PCB mounted Costar or Cherry stabilizers?
There is no such thing as "PCB Mounted" Costar stabilizers. All Costar stabilizers attach to the plate.
Cherry "Plate Mounted" stabilizers are parts: G99-0224 (1x2, 1x2.25, 1x2.75), G99-0379 (1x7), and G99-0226 (1x8, 1x9, 1x10).
These Cherry part numbers are "without frame". Without frame means no plate or PCB, I've personally confirmed it by ordering these parts from Mouser.: G99-0742 (1x2, 1x2.25, 1x2.75), G99-0745 (1x7), and G99-0744 (1x8, 1x9, 1x10).
This is the link from Cherry: http://www.cherrycorp.com/english/switches/key/mx.htm
For Costar stabilizers, you can go to WASDKeyboards. For Cherry, check out Ortholinear Keyboards
. You can also bend your own. Litster's video
may be helpful. The wire diameter for Costar is 3/64" music wire found at hobby shops and he uses a Du-Bro EZ Bender tool. And I believe the Cherry wire diameter is 1/16". Q: What's the basic difference between the Korean weight springs and stock Cherry springs? Up to FAQ
Korean springs are measured at bottom out force while Cherry springs are measured at actuation.
Basically a 60g-ish korean spring = same as springs in blues, reds, browns.
Obviously Photekq's answer is oversimplifying
the springs but that is the basic premise. For a more indepth look at springs and their spring rate, acutation force estimate, and bottom out averages, please take a look at rkinze's Cherry MX Spring Measurements thread
. Q: What font does SP use on their caps prior to the Geekhack Cherry legend fundraiser? What is the stock SP font? Up to FAQ
Okay, I'd like to clear this up once and for all. Maybe this needs to go into a wiki or FAQ. I don't work for Signature Plastics, but I researched this and found this page on SP's web site. Q: Is there a list of 60%/75%/Compact Keyboards? Up to FAQ
The history of Signature Plastics began in 1973 with a company named Comptec. Comptec began injection molding and quickly became a leading manufacturer of two-shot molded plastic parts for customers world wide servicing the computer, telecommunication, electronic, automotive, medical and consumer products markets.
Signature Plastics was established in 2001 following a management buyout of assets and customer base of Comptec Inc. The products developed and technologies perfected during the formative Comptec years laid the foundation for Signature Plastics' continued success today resulting in over thirty years of plastic molding expertise.
- Comptec created the WYSE font and made all the original keycaps for the WYSE keyboards you can still find in the marketplace.
- Signature Plastics did not make the original WYSE keycaps. Comptec did. It appears the tooling they use now is newer tooling, and not the original tooling.
- Signature Plastics's default legend font is the WYSE font they acquired from Comptec.
Yes, the most updated lists are the Keychatter Buyers guide
and the /r/mechanicalkeyboards wiki
. mashby also created this great list
. Q: I want to get LEDs, where are some sources? Up to FAQ
I personally ordered 2x3x4 mm square LEDs from this eBay vendor
. I have also heard that some people really like SuperBrightLEDs
. And of course, Mouser
carries them. For more info on square vs round LEDs, check out this post by Photekq
. Q: I want to see what X caps look like on a backlit board? Up to FAQ
Check out the pictures that Jocelyn (1
) and I posted
. Q: I'm looking for old Cherry boards and rebranded boards on eBay. What should I look for? Up to FAQ
Check out this post from Ivan
. Also check out the DT Wiki and their Cherry Article Numbers post. Q: Why do some switches cost more than others? Up to FAQ
Pricing depends on Cherry and the pricing tiers that Carter (CM Representative on GH) gave out (cheapest to most expensive) can be found here
. Q: I want to reprogram my Poker 2 to do X? Where is some info on that? Up to FAQHere
is some generic info on the Poker 2 including the original manual in Chinese. A translated manual can be found here
. WhiteFireDragon has a great review with lots of helpful info here
. Q: Can I add LEDs to my Poker 2? Up to FAQ
Check out this post here
. Q: I want to bend my own Cherry stabilizer wire. Is there any info on this? Up to FAQ
Check out this post here
. Q: The Costar inserts in my modifiers are loose. How do I fix this? Up to FAQ
Don't know what a Costar insert is? Check out this picture
borrowed from Brann Mitchell's review on a Rosewill RK9000
. Then look at these pictures from Photoelectric
. You don't need to use teflon tape; regular tape, plastic bags, and paper all work. You can also check out the this post from rowdy
and this thread from missalaire and Smallfry
. Q: What are the dimensions for a hole in a plate that will accept a Cherry MX housing? Up to FAQ
See the picture below, provided by jdcarpe
. Dimensions are in inches. The spacing between each switch is 19.05mm or .75 inches from center to center, as verfied by Damorgue
. Q: What affects the finish of a keycap/stem/plastic more: the material or the finish? Up to FAQ
See this post
from BLJ, who is the SP plastics guru. Q: I don't know which way my diodes/LEDs go. Does the polarity matter? Up to FAQ
Check out this post here
. Also this picture
and this picture
explain the polarity on LEDs. Longer leg is positive, shorter leg is negative. Finally, this explanation from Samwisekoi
is very straightforward. Q: Is there a beginner's guide to modding my keyboard? Up to FAQ
BlueBar created this great guide
which I highly recommend. This is geared more towards MX switches. There is also an entire thread on soldering
, where you can learn everything ever about soldering. Jwaz also linked the EEVblog video on basic soldering equipment
and WhiteFireDragon's YouTube channel here
. I found this WFD video
extremely helpful. Q: Can I modify my Alps keyboard like the MX keyboards? Up to FAQ
Yes, check out this post here
. Q: Where can I find the sheet that people use to check their keycap layouts? Up to FAQinlikeflynn
posted a 11x17" and 8x11" file, which looks like the "official GeekHack one"
(Laminated sheets were once sold in a GH Pack sold by Techkeys as shown in mashby's post). Samwisekoi also posted one he made for a sheet of 8x11" and A4 here
. Mr. Chunky also has a .pdf. Q: What lube should I use for stabilizers? Up to FAQ
The_Beast recommends Superlube and says that WASDKeyboard uses the same. WFD uses GPL-205 grease. He also has a video on how to lube the stabilizers here
. Q: I want to use the GeekHack logo. How do I get the logo? Up to FAQ
Krogenar started the GeekHack Logo Thread
. There's many designs listed there. The GH Wiki also has two logo styles
. If you want to use them, please exercise professional courtesy and inform mkawa and Krogenar that you are using the logos. You technically don't need their permission but mkawa, Krog, and mod/admin crew appreciate it. Q: I'm looking for my first mechanical keyboard. What would you (CPTBadAss) recommend? Up to FAQ
I personally (CPTBadAss) would recommend you pick the size and switches you like first. Check out this link
for more info on switches. For beginners, I recommend Cherry MX. Then do you want full size, TKL, or 60%? Those are the most common options. For fullsize, I recommend CoolerMaster QuickFire Storm or XT. For TKL, CoolerMaster QuickFire Rapid. And for 60%, I suggest Poker II or Poker X. You can also check out this buying guide from the reddit /r/mechanicalkeyboards Wiki
. Q: Is there a list of vendors where I can buy keycaps from? Up to FAQ
Yes, see this thread
made by Quardah. It's pretty comprehensive. Q: What is the actual measurement of a 6x or 6u spacebar? Up to FAQ
Check out this post
from Damorgue for a more detailed explanation. 1x = 1u = 1 unit = 19.05mm. Remember that this distance is from key center to key center. See jacobolus' post
for more info. Q: What is a Moogle kit? What is a Tsangan kit? Up to FAQ
Check out this post from jdcarpe
, this post from Photekq
, and my follow up post
. You'll need to read those posts before this reference picture from dubsgalore
makes sense. Another good reference for a Tsangan kit is Mr. Chunky's Keycap Layout Guide
. A full moogle set could look something like this WYSE moogle from eth0s
. A full Tsangan kit would look something like this thread from Hashbaz
and the keyboard would look like this board from MMB
. Q: Is there a list of Cherry switch part numbers? Up to FAQ
Check this post from Spamray out
. The Deskthority wiki
and Cherry's website
also has the part numbers. Q: Is there a quick primer on what mechanical keyboards are and a basic explanation of the different types out there? Up to FAQ
Check out this entry from the GH wiki
. You can then check out the links in Lastpilotís Switch Review Directory
. Q: What is a Click Clack keycap (or a Clack/CC)? Up to FAQ
Check out the Clack Info Thread
and Clack Wiki article
. You can also check out the Post your Clacks thread
and ClackFactory's 4Grabs thread
. Q: The switches in my keyboard feel different than the same switches in another keyboard. Why? Up to FAQ
Check out this post
. Q: Is there any information on o-rings/soft-landing pads/dampeners? Up to FAQ
Check out this writeup
. And Iíve also posted a review here
. Q: Is there any information on how different switches sound? Up to FAQ
Check out Mr. Interface's website.
Click on sim on the right and you can test out how keyboards sound. Just start typing. You can find a similar Model M simulation from Webwit here
. Mr. Interface's site also has pictures and YouTube reviews all his keyboards. Mr. Interface is a Deskthority member who organizes switch try or "Try before you buy" stuff
on Deskthority. Just a heads up, Mr. Interface's website can be very taxing on your browser. Q: Is there a glossary for common abbreviations? Up to FAQ
Check out this thread. Q: Is there a guide on the different keycap set colors? Up to FAQ
Check out this thread. Q: I need to find more info on a keyboard/switch. Are there some sources I can look through? Up to FAQ
Check out this list listed in the DT wiki.
. There's a lot of information on vintage switches in particular. Also the Deskthority Wiki is my personal go to for information. Q: Is there a post about the different keycap material types?Up to FAQ
Check out this post in the DT wiki. Q: What is a price estimate if I want to build my own custom keyboard? Up to FAQThis post is a start
but I highly suggested checking out Making Stuff Together to see what others have done. Q: I found a G81-XXXX keyboard for sale. Can I use them with MX switches? Up to FAQ
G81-XXXX keyboards have MY switches. However, MY and MX switches have the same mount so you can use the caps interchangably. I use this DT Wiki article "Cherry Article Numbers"
to determine what the keycaps are for both G81-XXXX and G80-XXXX keyboards. Q: How do I restore a vintage keyboard?[/iurl][/size]This video from The 8-Bit Guy
and BlueBšr's video
do a really good job describing how to clean keyboards. The 8-Bit Guy's keyboard also shows how to retro-bright.[/list]