Author Topic: My Custom Race II Project  (Read 69617 times)

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Offline exitfire401

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My Custom Race II Project
« on: Sun, 27 April 2014, 22:51:14 »
How it all began


I knew that the aluminum Race cases were very rare due to only one run being made by IMSTO and only 11 cases being made. When I saw this one go up for sale, I knew I had to have it. I like the Race layout, and was very interested in updating the internals of the board. Luckily I got it from halverson at a very decent price.

The unexpected Race II


About a week after I purchased my Race, the announcement for the pre-order of the Race II was announced. I was excited because this iteration was bringing forth a new keycap coating as well as programability.

So I got to work


I purchased a 100 pack of clears from mechanicalkeyboards.com, some 85g gold springs from Sprit's group buy, and some clear switch tops and pink switch stickers from techkeys. I also picked up some Krytox 105+205 from Amazon and should have enough for future projects for a very long time to come. This was also my first ever soldering project, so I picked up a Hakko 888 soldering station. I cannot recommend this station enough, especially after going through 2 radioshack soldering irons in 2 days.

But wait! There's more!


I also got a plate cut from 16 ga. 6061 aluminum from Lakeshore Cutting Solutions out of Zeeland, MI. They did an amazing job on the plate, and the only issues were my fault. I had somebody make the plate file for me, and I forgot to tell them about the additional caps lock LED and that the measurement of the top row is a little bit off. As a result, I had to have the LED hole filed and had to remove the top horizontal row of the plate. Now, the top row of switched are supported on the sides by the very top of the plate, rather than being supported at the top and bottom like every other row. (This made no difference whatsoever once everything was assembled.)

Very green!


Seeing as the case was alreaady pink, and I did not want to pay to re-anodize it, I decided to go with a watermelon color theme. I love the way this green came out, and when the LEDs are shining on it, it looks amazing in the pink case. I got it anodized by Di-Anodic in Grand Rapids, MI. They did an amazing job, however I ended up having to pay their minimum pricing (it sucks, but it was the only way that it was going to get done in a reasonable time frame) I think this ended up being one of the most expensive parts of the project at $70.

Switch test fit


This was before I knew the top row measurements were off. Either way, I feel as though they still came out great!

Plate post top row modification


Just test fitting the switches one more time prior to the final soldering.

Leds are all in!


I wasn't a fan of how intense the original LEDs were, so I went with some from ebay. They are 2x3x4mm waterclear green and white LEDs. Overall, I only had 1 bad LED in the entire set of 200. I HIGHLY recommend these lights to anyone looking for some new or interesting colors. Had to modify the image a little because I didn't realize my fiance's school ID was in the image haha.

Finally all assembled!


All done. After everything was all said and done, the entire mod ended up costing me about $435 (not counting the soldering iron). I'm very pleased with the way everything came out, and for it being my first soldering job, I only messed up about 4 solder pads (which doesn't appear to be an issue because all LEDs and switches work).

All lit up


I love the slime green color of these LEDs. It's subtle enought to barely pick up during the day, and during the night, they don't blind me at the highest setting.

LED USB cable


I also got a LED USB cable from Zeal on Geekhack. This was a custom order based off of a pre-existing order he had made for somebody else. It is green/black sleeving with a clear sleeving over it and gold USB connectors as well as green LEDs throughout the cable. I would suggest anybody looking for that final touch for their board to get one from him. He does great work and deserves the work!


Boards: Kingsaver Complicated Blue Alps |Sprit 60% Transparent MX Clears in Gateron housings with 62g gold Sprit springs lubed and RGB color shifting LEDs | Ducky Shine Zone MX Black with Blue LEDs | Realforce 10AE Variable Silenced

B/S/T thread: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55351.0

Past projects: KBT Race 2 L.E.
Past Boards: Ducky Shine 2 | KBT Pure | LZ Aluminum Skin| HHKB | Realforce 23u |

Offline kaotikb

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Re: My Custom Race II Project
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 27 April 2014, 22:55:19 »
Great looking board. The LED cable is a nice touch.
Ducky 1087 (Green ALPS) |  CM QFR Stealth (MX Brown) | Unicomp Ultra Classic |Poker II (MX Brown)  | IBM 1391401 1991 | IBM 1391401 1989 | Ducky Shine 3 White Edition (MX Brown) | G80-3700(MX Black) | Corsair K70 (MX Brown) | Varmillo VA87MR (Gateron Red)

Pointing Devices:  Microsoft Trackball Optical (Ceramic bearings Installed)  | Sanwa MA-TB39BK (Larger Ceramic Bearings Installed) | Elecom M-XT2URBK | Kensington Slimblade | Logitech Trackman Wheel | Logitech Trackman Marble Plus

Offline exitfire401

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Re: My Custom Race II Project
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 27 April 2014, 22:56:05 »
Great looking board. The LED cable is a nice touch.

Thanks. For my first project, I'm very proud of it, and I felt like the LED cable was the cherry on top.
Boards: Kingsaver Complicated Blue Alps |Sprit 60% Transparent MX Clears in Gateron housings with 62g gold Sprit springs lubed and RGB color shifting LEDs | Ducky Shine Zone MX Black with Blue LEDs | Realforce 10AE Variable Silenced

B/S/T thread: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55351.0

Past projects: KBT Race 2 L.E.
Past Boards: Ducky Shine 2 | KBT Pure | LZ Aluminum Skin| HHKB | Realforce 23u |

Offline Defect

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Re: My Custom Race II Project
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 28 April 2014, 02:22:13 »
Nice looking board.  Have you considered getting pink mods and swapping the LED's on them?

Not pictured: KeyCool 84 [MX Red] | Focus 2001 [Complicated White Alps]
Endgame Board | Defect's Watermelon Board Build Doc

Offline exitfire401

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Re: My Custom Race II Project
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 28 April 2014, 02:25:33 »
Nice looking board.  Have you considered getting pink mods and swapping the LED's on them?

I have. However, finding as small of a right shift as this board has tends to be a problem. I'm sure at some point I'll get another cap set for it, and at that point, I'll evaluate switching the LEDs.
Boards: Kingsaver Complicated Blue Alps |Sprit 60% Transparent MX Clears in Gateron housings with 62g gold Sprit springs lubed and RGB color shifting LEDs | Ducky Shine Zone MX Black with Blue LEDs | Realforce 10AE Variable Silenced

B/S/T thread: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55351.0

Past projects: KBT Race 2 L.E.
Past Boards: Ducky Shine 2 | KBT Pure | LZ Aluminum Skin| HHKB | Realforce 23u |

Offline Defect

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Re: My Custom Race II Project
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 28 April 2014, 03:29:55 »
Nice looking board.  Have you considered getting pink mods and swapping the LED's on them?

I have. However, finding as small of a right shift as this board has tends to be a problem. I'm sure at some point I'll get another cap set for it, and at that point, I'll evaluate switching the LEDs.

Have similar problems with the Pure.  My sig is not entirely true because I am using a black short right shift atm lol.  Thinking of using WASDkeyboards for a single blank abs cap.  What do you think?

Not pictured: KeyCool 84 [MX Red] | Focus 2001 [Complicated White Alps]
Endgame Board | Defect's Watermelon Board Build Doc

Offline exitfire401

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Re: My Custom Race II Project
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 28 April 2014, 08:47:24 »
Nice looking board.  Have you considered getting pink mods and swapping the LED's on them?

I have. However, finding as small of a right shift as this board has tends to be a problem. I'm sure at some point I'll get another cap set for it, and at that point, I'll evaluate switching the LEDs.

Have similar problems with the Pure.  My sig is not entirely true because I am using a black short right shift atm lol.  Thinking of using WASDkeyboards for a single blank abs cap.  What do you think?

wasd caps are pretty good quality from everything I've heard, so that wouldn't be a bad idea at all.
« Last Edit: Mon, 28 April 2014, 09:08:23 by exitfire401 »
Boards: Kingsaver Complicated Blue Alps |Sprit 60% Transparent MX Clears in Gateron housings with 62g gold Sprit springs lubed and RGB color shifting LEDs | Ducky Shine Zone MX Black with Blue LEDs | Realforce 10AE Variable Silenced

B/S/T thread: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55351.0

Past projects: KBT Race 2 L.E.
Past Boards: Ducky Shine 2 | KBT Pure | LZ Aluminum Skin| HHKB | Realforce 23u |

Offline Razor Lotus

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Re: My Custom Race II Project
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 28 April 2014, 10:58:04 »
Wow nicely done! Looks great indeed :)

Much customization on an otherwise not so customizable board


Offline Halverson

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Re: My Custom Race II Project
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 28 April 2014, 12:51:05 »
Glad to see my baby in good hands :) She's looking beautiful!
I've got people to disappoint, I got mistakes to make.
How can you believe that I'm not a waste of space?
Oh I'm sorry to disappoint, I seldom save face.
But how can I speak your language
when I don't know my own....

Offline blackbox

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Re: My Custom Race II Project
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 28 April 2014, 13:39:46 »
Nice project! To bad the race 2 do not have dedicated f11 and f12 (probably dosent matter to you and I understand they (vortex) did it to save space).
Keyboards: Dell AT102W (matias standard clicky), Maltron two-hand 3D fully ergonomic keyboard (Vintage MX Black). CM QF XT (MX Grey) IBM model M

The LAN table!
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=62536.0

Offline exitfire401

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Re: My Custom Race II Project
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 28 April 2014, 16:41:32 »
Glad to see my baby in good hands :) She's looking beautiful!

Thanks again Halverson. I'm honored to have such a nice case!

Nice project! To bad the race 2 do not have dedicated f11 and f12 (probably dosent matter to you and I understand they (vortex) did it to save space).

Yeah, I don't use f11/f12 much, so it wasn't a deal breaker for me, and yeah, they did it to add the toggle and programming buttons, so I can't really complain when it was an overall improvement.
Boards: Kingsaver Complicated Blue Alps |Sprit 60% Transparent MX Clears in Gateron housings with 62g gold Sprit springs lubed and RGB color shifting LEDs | Ducky Shine Zone MX Black with Blue LEDs | Realforce 10AE Variable Silenced

B/S/T thread: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55351.0

Past projects: KBT Race 2 L.E.
Past Boards: Ducky Shine 2 | KBT Pure | LZ Aluminum Skin| HHKB | Realforce 23u |