Poll

Matias keycaps you would buy...

Dye sub legends on Thick PBT
217 (25.1%)
Laser legends on Thick PBT
65 (7.5%)
Laser legends on Thick ABS
14 (1.6%)
Backlit ABS
22 (2.5%)
Doubleshot ABS
89 (10.3%)
Black legends on White caps
60 (6.9%)
Red legends on White caps
37 (4.3%)
Blue legends on White caps
50 (5.8%)
White legends on Black caps
55 (6.4%)
White legends on Red caps
28 (3.2%)
White legends on Blue caps
35 (4%)
Other colours (specified in the comment field)
29 (3.4%)
Blanks (no legends)
101 (11.7%)
Black legends on Grey caps
41 (4.7%)
White legends on Grey caps
22 (2.5%)

Total Members Voted: 278

Author Topic: Keycaps  (Read 98844 times)

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Offline ctm

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #500 on: Thu, 22 December 2016, 08:36:23 »
Sigh. One year ago at this time, I was thinking I will get Alps PBT very soon.
TMK Alps64 w/ Matias Quiet Switches in KBP V60 case.
CM Storm QRF w/ Frosty Flake controller, Cherry MX Blue Switches and TMK firmware.
Infinity60 with Matias Quiet Switches w/ TMK.

Coming:
Ellipse Model F F62.

Offline pyfgcrl

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #501 on: Thu, 22 December 2016, 09:49:08 »
Sigh. One year ago at this time, I was thinking I will get Alps PBT very soon.
Any updates for us, Edgar?

Offline dante

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #502 on: Thu, 22 December 2016, 10:18:00 »
Sigh. One year ago at this time, I was thinking I will get Alps PBT very soon.
Any updates for us, Edgar?

He's here!
« Last Edit: Mon, 26 December 2016, 22:19:28 by dante »

Offline Matias

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #503 on: Mon, 26 December 2016, 12:28:13 »

Sorry this has taken a lot longer than it should have.  An explanation is in order...

We got lost in the weeds of the problem of printing white legends on black PBT.  It's a lot harder than I thought it would be.  We have a process worked out, but our main factory's laser machine is not up to the task, so they are buying another one.

We also had some mechanical issues to deal with, getting ALPS to play nice with Cherry stabilizer mounts commonly used for spacebars.  We've designed and tooled up a hybrid clip (photos attached). These will fit onto any ALPS keycap and allow you to use Cherry-style mounts (with appropriate balance bar).  I've posted photos of prototypes before, but these are now in production.

(Sorry the photos are not better.  They were taken on a hotel sink basin in China -- flew back the day before yesterday.)

We've already started transitioning to our own keycap tooling, and PBT will follow.

Our experience selling normal ABS caps has been that most people buy blanks.  I don't know if that will be the case with PBT.  Would love to hear people's opinions on that.


156151-0

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Offline pyfgcrl

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #504 on: Mon, 26 December 2016, 12:39:53 »
Our experience selling normal ABS caps has been that most people buy blanks.  I don't know if that will be the case with PBT.  Would love to hear people's opinions on that.
First of all, thanks for the update, Edgar!

Glad to hear things are starting to roll forward.

I have a Tactile Pro FK302 (white keys) and two Laptop Pro FK303QBT (black keys).

I use DSK exclusively, and no one ever gives any love to us Dvorak users. As you know, the sculpted layout on the FK302 does not lend itself to repositioning those keys; I would rather have sculpted DSK layout similar to what the existing QWERTY keys provide with appropriate option legends in the right place, but I'm not sure I will get my key dreams fulfilled    :(

I would only be purchasing blanks if that was the last option.

Offline Matias

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #505 on: Mon, 26 December 2016, 13:05:46 »

Thanks for posting, pyfgcrl...

Dvorak keycaps will definitely be offered.  We've been focusing our efforts on black caps -- but white (which is much easier) will also be available.


Offline pyfgcrl

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #506 on: Mon, 26 December 2016, 13:07:53 »
Dvorak keycaps will definitely be offered.
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! :D

Offline ctm

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #507 on: Mon, 26 December 2016, 13:28:01 »
I would love blank caps. One great thing about white blank caps is that they can be dyed, which means custom Alps keycap can become a real thing!
TMK Alps64 w/ Matias Quiet Switches in KBP V60 case.
CM Storm QRF w/ Frosty Flake controller, Cherry MX Blue Switches and TMK firmware.
Infinity60 with Matias Quiet Switches w/ TMK.

Coming:
Ellipse Model F F62.

Offline Hak Foo

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #508 on: Mon, 26 December 2016, 13:43:13 »
I tried throwing money at my monitor, but J shouldn't have used coins.  Now I need a new monitor,
Home: Tactile Pro 4 PC
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Offline MandrewDavis

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #509 on: Tue, 27 December 2016, 10:18:23 »
I would not purchase pad-printed PBT, but blanks or dye-sub caps(maybe too much to ask) are an insta-buy. Would be fun to pick a layout that isn't centered around the caps themselves.
« Last Edit: Tue, 27 December 2016, 12:03:57 by MandrewDavis »

Offline zombimuncha

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #510 on: Tue, 27 December 2016, 13:51:19 »
Sorry this has taken a lot longer than it should have.  An explanation is in order...
Apology accepted :-)

our main factory's laser machine is not up to the task, so they are buying another one.
How long do you expect that to take? And after that you have more testing to do?

We've designed and tooled up a hybrid clip (photos attached). These will fit onto any ALPS keycap and allow you to use Cherry-style mounts (with appropriate balance bar).  I've posted photos of prototypes before, but these are now in production.
Cool. So if I'm planning a custom hand-wired Alps-based monstrosity I should use Costar style stabs, so as to have the most flexibility in choice of keycaps.
Does this also mean that for future Alps keyboards you'll be using exclusively the Cherry/Costar style stabs? Are you hoping to kill off the old Alps-style stabs?

We've already started transitioning to our own keycap tooling, and PBT will follow.
Not sure I fully grok. Does this mean you're *already* making new ABS sets with the new thicker tooling? And keyboardco has these in stock when??!?!?

Our experience selling normal ABS caps has been that most people buy blanks.  I don't know if that will be the case with PBT.  Would love to hear people's opinions on that.
I like legends.

Offline ctm

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #511 on: Tue, 27 December 2016, 19:04:48 »
Our experience selling normal ABS caps has been that most people buy blanks.  I don't know if that will be the case with PBT.  Would love to hear people's opinions on that.
Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.
TMK Alps64 w/ Matias Quiet Switches in KBP V60 case.
CM Storm QRF w/ Frosty Flake controller, Cherry MX Blue Switches and TMK firmware.
Infinity60 with Matias Quiet Switches w/ TMK.

Coming:
Ellipse Model F F62.

Offline menuhin

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #512 on: Tue, 27 December 2016, 19:15:21 »
I know more effort has been in printed PBT, and PBT is nice material for keycap, I appreciate that.

Just out of curiosity: have you ever considered POM caps?
Wishlist: 1) 1+ hotswap board for MX and 1+ for Alps; 2) Alps 64; 3) Planck & Homebrew PCB 40% staggered; 4) RS78/84 & VE.A; 5) ErgoDox
More
Wishful-list: 1) HASU BT battery lasts a year; 2) ABS Shine-proof/PBT DoubleShot spherical; 3) We order from keyboard-layout-editor.com; 4) Endgame
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IBM KPD8923 Trackpoint
Choc mini Gateron black
PLUM 84 'Topre-clone' 55g Korean dome
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Offline Matias

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #513 on: Wed, 28 December 2016, 17:25:58 »
Just out of curiosity: have you ever considered POM caps?

POM has a much higher shrinkage ratio than PBT and ABS, so would require another set of tooling.  With ABS and PBT, we can use one tooling to support both.




Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.

Yes, for the laser-etched PBT caps, there is a UV layer applied to prevent staining and scratching.

The blank PBT caps are just straight PBT (no UV).




I would love blank caps. One great thing about white blank caps is that they can be dyed, which means custom Alps keycap can become a real thing!

Yes, true.




I would not purchase pad-printed PBT, but blanks or dye-sub caps(maybe too much to ask) are an insta-buy. Would be fun to pick a layout that isn't centered around the caps themselves.

We'll likely be working with Massdrop to organize dye-sub group buys.  PBT blanks and laser-etched caps would be available from us directly.




Sorry this has taken a lot longer than it should have.  An explanation is in order...

Apology accepted :-)

Thanks.  :-)




our main factory's laser machine is not up to the task, so they are buying another one.

How long do you expect that to take? And after that you have more testing to do?

A few months to get the new machine.  We've already done quite a lot of testing.




We've designed and tooled up a hybrid clip (photos attached). These will fit onto any ALPS keycap and allow you to use Cherry-style mounts (with appropriate balance bar).  I've posted photos of prototypes before, but these are now in production.

Cool. So if I'm planning a custom hand-wired Alps-based monstrosity I should use Costar style stabs, so as to have the most flexibility in choice of keycaps.
Does this also mean that for future Alps keyboards you'll be using exclusively the Cherry/Costar style stabs? Are you hoping to kill off the old Alps-style stabs?

The Costar style stabs we made for spacebars only.  You could use them for other keys, but that would require non-standard balance bar wires.

We are still using ALPS stabs for the 2u to 2.75u keys.  The provides the most flexibility of keycap choice.




We've already started transitioning to our own keycap tooling, and PBT will follow.

Not sure I fully grok. Does this mean you're *already* making new ABS sets with the new thicker tooling? And keyboardco has these in stock when??!?!?

Not yet, but will be starting soon.




Our experience selling normal ABS caps has been that most people buy blanks.  I don't know if that will be the case with PBT.  Would love to hear people's opinions on that.

I like legends.

Me too.


Offline klennkellon

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #514 on: Wed, 28 December 2016, 18:47:51 »
IMO any PBT for me is good. I would prefer dye-sub but I can settle with lasered or blanks as long as it's nice and dry PBT.
Packard Bell KCLEA907L Alps SKCL Brown

KBParadise V80 Matias QC

IBM Model M 1391401

Keycool 87 PBT

Cherry are good Alps is just nicer

Offline ctm

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #515 on: Wed, 28 December 2016, 20:43:59 »
Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.
Yes, for the laser-etched PBT caps, there is a UV layer applied to prevent staining and scratching.

The blank PBT caps are just straight PBT (no UV).
Sounds great! I have seen long opposed of laser etech legends because their vulnerability to stain. If this is no longer a problem, I would really love to have white on black caps. For me, though black on black or blank looks more geeky, printed ones are still more practical.

Will the UV layer change the texture and feel of PBT though?
TMK Alps64 w/ Matias Quiet Switches in KBP V60 case.
CM Storm QRF w/ Frosty Flake controller, Cherry MX Blue Switches and TMK firmware.
Infinity60 with Matias Quiet Switches w/ TMK.

Coming:
Ellipse Model F F62.

Offline Loonie

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #516 on: Wed, 28 December 2016, 23:29:52 »
I'm using a heavily customized layout so blanks are the best for me!

Offline Matias

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #517 on: Thu, 29 December 2016, 06:04:48 »
Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.

Yes, for the laser-etched PBT caps, there is a UV layer applied to prevent staining and scratching.

The blank PBT caps are just straight PBT (no UV).

Sounds great! I have seen long opposed of laser etech legends because their vulnerability to stain. If this is no longer a problem, I would really love to have white on black caps. For me, though black on black or blank looks more geeky, printed ones are still more practical.

Will the UV layer change the texture and feel of PBT though?

Traditionally, PBT caps have always had a UV layer.  PBT is highly resistant to sun damage (preserving its colour over time) but it is porous and prone to scratching/staining (hence the UV layer).

If you're using PBT blanks without UV, the porousness makes them feel really nice and dry.  This porousness also makes White PBT more vulnerable to staining -- which of course can be an advantage, if your plan is to stain them or dye-sub them.

ABS is the flipside to PBT, in terms of strengths/weaknesses.  ABS is highly resistant to scratching and staining, but is vulnerable to sun damage.


Offline ctm

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #518 on: Thu, 29 December 2016, 12:54:27 »
Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.

Yes, for the laser-etched PBT caps, there is a UV layer applied to prevent staining and scratching.

The blank PBT caps are just straight PBT (no UV).

Sounds great! I have seen long opposed of laser etech legends because their vulnerability to stain. If this is no longer a problem, I would really love to have white on black caps. For me, though black on black or blank looks more geeky, printed ones are still more practical.

Will the UV layer change the texture and feel of PBT though?

Traditionally, PBT caps have always had a UV layer.  PBT is highly resistant to sun damage (preserving its colour over time) but it is porous and prone to scratching/staining (hence the UV layer).

If you're using PBT blanks without UV, the porousness makes them feel really nice and dry.  This porousness also makes White PBT more vulnerable to staining -- which of course can be an advantage, if your plan is to stain them or dye-sub them.

ABS is the flipside to PBT, in terms of strengths/weaknesses.  ABS is highly resistant to scratching and staining, but is vulnerable to sun damage.
With the UV layer, does the cap still feel dry? How much different is it from ABS? I am not very sure about the scratch resistant part. From what I have heard of, PBT is much more resilient to shining than ABS. Isn't keycap shine the result of wearing down the keycap? If PBT is more resilient to wearing down, why is it less resilient to scratch?
TMK Alps64 w/ Matias Quiet Switches in KBP V60 case.
CM Storm QRF w/ Frosty Flake controller, Cherry MX Blue Switches and TMK firmware.
Infinity60 with Matias Quiet Switches w/ TMK.

Coming:
Ellipse Model F F62.

Offline Matias

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #519 on: Thu, 29 December 2016, 13:25:13 »
Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.

Yes, for the laser-etched PBT caps, there is a UV layer applied to prevent staining and scratching.

The blank PBT caps are just straight PBT (no UV).

Sounds great! I have seen long opposed of laser etech legends because their vulnerability to stain. If this is no longer a problem, I would really love to have white on black caps. For me, though black on black or blank looks more geeky, printed ones are still more practical.

Will the UV layer change the texture and feel of PBT though?

Traditionally, PBT caps have always had a UV layer.  PBT is highly resistant to sun damage (preserving its colour over time) but it is porous and prone to scratching/staining (hence the UV layer).

If you're using PBT blanks without UV, the porousness makes them feel really nice and dry.  This porousness also makes White PBT more vulnerable to staining -- which of course can be an advantage, if your plan is to stain them or dye-sub them.

ABS is the flipside to PBT, in terms of strengths/weaknesses.  ABS is highly resistant to scratching and staining, but is vulnerable to sun damage.

With the UV layer, does the cap still feel dry? How much different is it from ABS? I am not very sure about the scratch resistant part. From what I have heard of, PBT is much more resilient to shining than ABS. Isn't keycap shine the result of wearing down the keycap? If PBT is more resilient to wearing down, why is it less resilient to scratch?

Yes, matte UV is still dry but not as dry as direct PBT, but still dryer than ABS.

PBT is a harder material than ABS, so it won't turn shiny.  ABS is softer.  It's kind of like the difference between bone and cartilage.  ABS is like cartilage, more likely to bend than break.  PBT is more like bone; it's stiffer but will break when stressed.

Hope that helps.


Offline infodroid

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #520 on: Mon, 02 January 2017, 11:59:00 »
Our experience selling normal ABS caps has been that most people buy blanks.  I don't know if that will be the case with PBT.  Would love to hear people's opinions on that.

I prefer the feel of PBT and I like legends on keycaps.

I will probably pick up one of each new Alps keycap sets that has legends.

I don't mind laser etched keycaps, the grooves don't bother me that much and I have no issues with staining.

But if the sets only differ in the printing method and are otherwise identical, then I would go for the dye-sub set as my first choice.

Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.

What are you doing to your keycaps that they become stained? Have you tried soaking them in fizzy denture cleaning solution?

I have been using a KBP V60-MTS as my daily driver for over a year now. There is no sign of staining on the white laser legends. There are a few dark patches of dirt or dust, but these are easily removed with soap and water and rubbing with a fine cloth.

Offline zombimuncha

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #521 on: Mon, 02 January 2017, 14:00:17 »
Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.

What are you doing to your keycaps that they become stained? Have you tried soaking them in fizzy denture cleaning solution?

I have been using a KBP V60-MTS as my daily driver for over a year now. There is no sign of staining on the white laser legends. There are a few dark patches of dirt or dust, but these are easily removed with soap and water and rubbing with a fine cloth.

FWIW, the lasered caps on my Quiet Pro got slightly stained fairly quickly. Same with the orig caps on the V80-MTS, which appear to be exactly the same except for the legend font. It's weird because I bought the MQP used, so someone used it before me but the legends didn't stain, but with my grubby fingers all over them they stained up rapidly. I guess it reacts differently to different peoples sweat chemistry. And btw, soap and/or denture tabs didn't remove the stains.

So yeah, Imma wait for mah dyesubs. Or thick ABS.
« Last Edit: Mon, 02 January 2017, 14:01:55 by zombimuncha »

Offline Hak Foo

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #522 on: Mon, 02 January 2017, 14:01:53 »
The lasered caps on my Ducky 1008XM wore *horribly*.  The whole board was sort of a fiasco quality-wise, but the caps... the lettering rubbed off over time, leaving at best a groove in the cap where it was.  The Matias lasered caps held up better, but I replaced them with some SGI dyesubs pretty quickly.
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Offline ctm

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #523 on: Mon, 02 January 2017, 17:15:11 »
What are you doing to your keycaps that they become stained? Have you tried soaking them in fizzy denture cleaning solution?

I have been using a KBP V60-MTS as my daily driver for over a year now. There is no sign of staining on the white laser legends. There are a few dark patches of dirt or dust, but these are easily removed with soap and water and rubbing with a fine cloth.
Just regular typing. I have sweaty hands though. Legends on keys that are frequently used shows have an uneven stain that makes them appear lighter than white (especially compared to pure white legends on side of keycaps). It's not obvious in every light condition but kind of bothers me a bit. I have tried soap water, dish washing liquid, laundry detergent, denture tab and even ultrasonic cleaner but no luck.
TMK Alps64 w/ Matias Quiet Switches in KBP V60 case.
CM Storm QRF w/ Frosty Flake controller, Cherry MX Blue Switches and TMK firmware.
Infinity60 with Matias Quiet Switches w/ TMK.

Coming:
Ellipse Model F F62.

Offline dante

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #524 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 10:46:51 »
The lasered caps on my Ducky 1008XM wore *horribly*.  The whole board was sort of a fiasco quality-wise

To be fair to the Ducky XM when it was released in 2011-2012 it retailed for $50 which was unheard of.  If I recall correctly the next cheapest keyboard was a $100 Leopold FC200R.

Since then Chinese manufacturers have figured out how to improve the quality on a budget.

Offline Nootz

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #525 on: Thu, 26 January 2017, 06:09:23 »
I noticed you've just put up sets of blank ABS Planck keycaps for sale, is there a possibility of a PBT variant?
I'm hoping it wouldn't be too hard, since it's just a bunch of 1U caps with a 2U thrown in...

Offline MandrewDavis

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #526 on: Thu, 26 January 2017, 14:16:03 »
I noticed you've just put up sets of blank ABS Planck keycaps for sale, is there a possibility of a PBT variant?
I'm hoping it wouldn't be too hard, since it's just a bunch of 1U caps with a 2U thrown in...

Lol

Offline gentlegiant1972

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #527 on: Sun, 29 January 2017, 01:46:54 »
I noticed you've just put up sets of blank ABS Planck keycaps for sale, is there a possibility of a PBT variant?
I'm hoping it wouldn't be too hard, since it's just a bunch of 1U caps with a 2U thrown in...

It would be nice to have a planck specific option, but if there's a full 104 key option then you can use that to fill a Planck pretty easily.

Offline ctm

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #528 on: Tue, 31 January 2017, 12:59:41 »
Are the new caps going to have letter at lower left corner of the keycap like current Matias boards, or upper left like more common boards? I prefer upper left.
TMK Alps64 w/ Matias Quiet Switches in KBP V60 case.
CM Storm QRF w/ Frosty Flake controller, Cherry MX Blue Switches and TMK firmware.
Infinity60 with Matias Quiet Switches w/ TMK.

Coming:
Ellipse Model F F62.

Offline zombimuncha

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #529 on: Tue, 31 January 2017, 13:22:54 »
Are the new caps going to have letter at lower left corner of the keycap like current Matias boards, or upper left like more common boards? I prefer upper left.

I'm guessing the lasered ones will be the same as the existing legend, and the dyesubs will be whatever meets MOQ(s).

Offline csmertx

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Re: Keycaps
« Reply #530 on: Tue, 31 January 2017, 15:15:59 »
Whoa, a poll for pbt. I like where this is going :)