Author Topic: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log  (Read 113822 times)

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Offline Lastpilot

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GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« on: Sun, 09 November 2014, 21:25:09 »
GON NS NerD Crystal TKL

















Introduction: It was love at first sight when GON posted the first pictures of an all-polycarbonate board. I knew I had to have it, but at the same time I knew I had to make it special.

I love transparent things and I love white electronics. My desks are both frosted white glass. My mousepad is frosted glass. The only artisan caps I desire are the transparent variety. My monitors are all white. My speakers are white. My phone is white. It all makes sense to get this board. This is the board that I always knew I needed. And it finally exists. <3

Mission: Build a board thats as transparent as possible. Pretty much everything but the PCB and springs. Crystal clear, xray board, ice board, ghost board, whatever you want to call it. I want to take the GON "Crystal" to the next level. I knew that if I could do this, then I would really have a dream keyboard underneath my hands. And let me tell you as I am typing this. This keyboard is a dream.

________________________________________________________________________

Preparation

Now if I'm gonna buy a $400+ kit, you better be damn sure that I will have its components planned. I knew I wanted things to be as transparent as possible, but at the same time avoid cheap materials like ABS plastic or acrylic. First thing is first though, gotta make sure that these components are actually attainable before placing an order at GON's website.

Screws: If you've ever seen a GON keyboard, you will know why having matching flathead screws is important. The entire design is almost dependent on it. So I wanted mine to match. I wanted them to look seamless. I needed flathead polycorbonate flathead screws. I searched for days. They were not easy to find. Metric, flathead and polycarb? Go fish. Luckily knowing GON and his superb customer service, I reached out to him. He made it happen. Thanks GON.



Keycaps: One of the first things I think about when I start planning a board. I always think "Hmm this board is beautiful. What kind of caps would complete this?" When I saw the Crystal GON, I almost instantly thought of the White Jelly POM set. I remembered reading that he was still sorting them out, but I reached out to him anyway. He was kind enough to sort and sell me a complete set just for me. If you're reading this, thank you Feng.



I also felt that this was the perfect home for my Spirit Blue Brobot v2, that I fought so hard to get.


Lubrication: Victorinox multi-tool knife oil for springs and GH "thick" formula krytox mixture for housing and stems. My usual stuff.

Springs: 62g gold springs. I love my regular 62's on my LZ, but for variation sake, I wanted something just a drop heavier. Thanks to VesperSAINT's advice, I got the gold springs and they are perfect.

Switches: Oooooh~ Now here is the tricky part of this board. Getting all-clear switch housings. Only one place to find that in North America. The recently released Corsair RGB lineup. So I grit my teeth and drive out to Best Buy and fork over $150+ dollars. For switches. I bought a brand new board (Corsair K65 RGB), perfectly fine, and even in some opinions, a very fine board. All so that I could effectively disassemble it and dismantle the switches. Yes, I _could_ have ordered from 7bit and waited for his group buy to ship. But the RGB switches were still "coming soon" on his thread and he was on vacation. Possibly two of the worst words you can think of when trying to buy something from GH or DT users. Soon and vacation. lololol.

So yeah, anyway I hope to reassemble the k65 with black housings and hopefully get around $60 back. But in the mean time you're probably wondering "Was it worth it?". And the answer is yes. It was worth it. The reason behind this is that I wanted to rely only on the SMD LED's that was a new feature for the NerD board. In the same fashion as the K65 RGB, the GON transmits the light directly from the PCB through the clear switch housings and onto the keycaps. SMD's on the front of the board are a new and rare thing these days, even for crazy korean custom keyboards. Time to make use of it.




________________________________________________________________________

Order Date: September 10th, 2014
Ship Date: October 31, 2014
Arrival Date: November 3rd, 2014







It's November 3rd but for all I know, it's Christmas Day. This is the day that the GON DIY kit arrives.

________________________________________________________________________

Inspection

-All items ordered are accounted for and inspected. I actually had to "shower" the housings as they still had some polycarb dust on them from the factory. Careful rinsing and towel drying. I even use a fresh towel because that's how much I love this board that I haven't even built yet.
-Having never seen any pictures of the polycarbonate screws before, I'm delighted as I pull out the tiny bag containing them. They look nice. I'm happy.
-GON included some extra gold smd led's. A good gesture.
-I take pictures and post them in the "What did you get in the mail today?" thread. Usually when an awesome thing happens to someone they call someone and tell them about it. Besides my girlfriend all I have are you guys, so it means alot when I can share my appreciation for boards with you. Very happy to post my stuff here. "Happiness, only real when shared."

________________________________________________________________________

Assembly

Day 1
I take a deep breath. As much as I want to build the board the second I get it, I have to accept the fact that it will take days to complete. It's 5:30 in the evening. Even if I try staying up until 4, there is a very slim chance of finishing the board, as well as an exponentially larger chance that I will make mistakes. Accept it. It will take days. Excitement is good, but don't let it control you.

I spend the night dissassembling the clears that came with the kit. The stems are all I need.


Day 2
Lubrication. A tricky business indeed. On my LZ, I did not have the luxury of a needle to apply lube, so this was at least better than using a paintbrush.

The first step is to create a standard. Create a desirable lubed switch which you can model the feel after. And follow that method which you used. After doing 8 switches (it took so long because this is the first time using a needle applicator), I find the "model switch". Patient zero. I now set up a temporary lube station; or a place to hold switches as I methodically apply each step to all switches at once. In this case I use the PCB.




Each switch is tested for both feel and sound after assembly. I have to hold the switch in the _exact same_ manner to test sound characteristics. If you hold a switch even slightly differently, it will affect the sound that the switch makes when you press it. I learned this after a lot of trial and error so please remember that. I tend to use a lot of lube per switch, so sometimes I have to dab out some of the lube with a clean brush. Excessive lubing is characterized by the "popping" sound that may come from a lubed switch. The sound can be either subtle or very apparent, but you'll know when its there.

Day 3
Double check switches and solder some diodes and resistors.

Each switch is checked for feel and sound once again. Maybe only 8 or 10 have to be adjusted, but at least I have peace of mind in switch consistency. After all, what's the point in modding switches if you can't fully enjoy them?


Pictures of diodes:




Day 4
I'm sick. Turns out to be a bad cold. I wonder if getting my flu shot would have helped. Oh well. I feel terrible but at least I can get something done at home. If I don't get too sick I may finish the board. First thing in the morning: more SMD work.


Work on the board goes into the night. I realize I didn't order enough LED's to cover the bottom of the board. Stupid mistake. LED's ordered, but I know it will be a while.

<pictures pending>

After dinner I find myself following along BlueBär's http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lH7VvxlGwY"[/youtube]]video on clipping stabs. It's a lot easier then I thought. Before my GON kit even arrived, I had already purchased a metal nail filer specifically for this reason. Everything goes perfectly. Nice!!!

Stabs are lubed and tested on the board.


Switches are soldered in and caps are put on.
<final soldering picture pending>


Switches feel amazing. Worth every minute of testing.

Board is tested. It's like decorating your Christmas tree and seeing it light up for the first time. Amazing feeling.

Just one problem: a few SMD led's on the front are not functioning. It looks like they did not get enough solder. That's what I get for trying to make them beautiful. It will take a complete desoldering to gain access to the front SMD LED's, since the switches are mounted to the plate covering the LED's.

I go to sleep. I'll fix it the next morning.

Day 5
I wake up to desolder my board. While the board is complete and functions perfectly, I know that I cannot accept having a few LED's inactive. The morning is spent finalizing the board.








Typing Video:



________________________________________________________________________

Conclusion

I've built an amazing board that I am super proud of. A more detailed review will be coming later, but that will do for now. The all-polycarb structure actually absorbs a significant amount of sound to the point where anyone can easily tell that the board is much quieter than my LZ. The POM caps allow for nice light distribuition as well as a great feel and sound. And the board itself is just so beautiful, durable, and unique.

If you have any questions about this keyboard, please feel free to ask me here.

P.S. Some of the build pictures are on an SD card that I may have left at my office...so that's why you see the <pictures pending> note.

Thanks for reading!!!
-Last

Changelog:
11/11/14 - Added lube station pictures
11/16/14 - Added typing video
« Last Edit: Thu, 20 August 2015, 08:40:19 by Lastpilot »

Offline swathe

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 09 November 2014, 21:35:41 »
Awesome and though I'd be too scared of owning a white board that looks god damn amazing!

You've done a great job  :thumb:
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Offline yicaoyimu

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 09 November 2014, 21:39:27 »
The end product looks so awesome! You really put a lot effort into building this. After reading your build log, I think I will go for RGB switches too, for my KMAC build with NerD PCB and PC plate. Thanks for sharing!  :thumb:
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Offline nubbinator

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 09 November 2014, 21:40:54 »
Damn, that attention to detail.  It all paid off too.  I almost wish it had a subtle blue LED glow to give it a full ice palace look, but it's stunning as it is.

Offline appleonama

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 09 November 2014, 22:01:13 »
Thats amazing Im glad you posted this. My eyes have been set on a gon crystal after I saw GL1CHES Gon.



Offline strict

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 09 November 2014, 22:06:52 »
Absolutely extraordinary build you've done here! The attention to detail and the level of commitment (ie. gutting a k65) should be an inspiration for just about anyone. I've been day dreaming about picking up a Gon but was pretty set on an aluminum housing, however seeing this really opened my mind to the possibilities of a polycarb one.

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Offline Lastpilot

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 09 November 2014, 22:16:14 »
Thank you everyone <3

Damn, that attention to detail.  It all paid off too.  I almost wish it had a subtle blue LED glow to give it a full ice palace look, but it's stunning as it is.

Thank you Nubbinator! Hehehe, yeah the side LED's on the bottom of the PCB give off a much a cooler white which looks sort of blue, so there will be a nice effect once I finish those up. :]

The end product looks so awesome! You really put a lot effort into building this. After reading your build log, I think I will go for RGB switches too, for my KMAC build with NerD PCB and PC plate. Thanks for sharing!  :thumb:
Thank you! Yes, just know that the while RGB bottom housings aren't perfectly clear (maybe 50% opaque?), they have a special opening at the bottom to allow light in.  If you have any questions about the switches, feel free to PM me.

Awesome and though I'd be too scared of owning a white board that looks god damn amazing!

You've done a great job  :thumb:

I appreciate it man. If you love something, chances are that you are going to do a great job at it! :]

Thats amazing Im glad you posted this. My eyes have been set on a gon crystal after I saw GL1CHES Gon.
Ohhhh~ yeah? I haven't seen his yet but I really do love my Crystal.

Absolutely extraordinary build you've done here! The attention to detail and the level of commitment (ie. gutting a k65) should be an inspiration for just about anyone. I've been day dreaming about picking up a Gon but was pretty set on an aluminum housing, however seeing this really opened my mind to the possibilities of a polycarb one.

Wow, I'm very glad you enjoyed it. Yes, the alu vs all-polycarb choice can be a hard one. After owning both I may be able to answer any questions you have about them. I will go over the differences in more detail in my future review thread, but for now please feel free to PM me any questions you might have. :]

Offline whentheclouds

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 09 November 2014, 22:49:35 »
what do you think of the POM caps?

Offline t2russo

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 09 November 2014, 23:44:05 »
Outstanding.  I love the dedication to the theme, as far from my usual tastes as it may be.  The custom polycarb screws really seal the deal. 

You've set a very high bar. 

Offline hrinfinity

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 00:16:22 »
This is absolutely stunning! Nice work on the write up and the pictures. I've only been using my aluminum GON for a few months, but I'd really like to try out the all-polycarbonate.

The visible logo on the PCB is probably my favorite part :)
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Offline VesperSAINT

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 04:09:09 »
Dood... this is officially the cleanest looking keyboard that has ever graced my eyes since I started my keyboard journey. The amount of time, dedication, and planning that you put into it has created something absolutely unique and beautiful! I know the feels of being able to finalize a keyboard that you've planned and dreamed of having, because I felt the same way when I finished my White RGBY Filco, which was the first custom/modded keyboard I ever built (yeah, it's not a Korean custom but it required a lot of planning, time, work, and even luck to build). BUT I'll stop now because I think I'm getting a lil' too excited and emotionally invested in a keyboard that isn't even mine...LOL!!! ...................... (give it to me)

Seriously, this has to be one of my favorite keyboards to date ~<3 The theme is a huuuuge part of it but also amount of heart put into it is what makes it so special :D It's so personal, and I love it even more for that reason ~<3

The moments I experienced as I looked through and read this post:

GON NS NerD Crystal TKL
Show Image





Show Image






Show Image





Show Image

Show Image





Thanks to VesperSAINT...




Also,


Offline StylinGreymon

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 04:21:44 »
Best Gon I've ever seen.
Hell, at the moment, I can't think of a single keyboard that looks better than this.

Just glorious.
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Offline Karura

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 05:04:54 »
Your efforts have paid off. I am truly amazed :)

Just a question, if the GON uses SMD LEDs on the back for the housing, and the switch themselves come with SMD LEDs, how does it work?

I might be confused, do RGB switches come with LEDs in them?

If not, does that mean you have LEDs soldered (SMD) on both front and back of the PCB?

Either way, I really wish I could type on your keyboards, it seems really good.

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Offline infiniti

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 05:58:12 »
Very nice and clean!  Thanks for sharing, Lastpilot! :thumb:

Offline strict

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 07:17:17 »
Your efforts have paid off. I am truly amazed :)

Just a question, if the GON uses SMD LEDs on the back for the housing, and the switch themselves come with SMD LEDs, how does it work?

I might be confused, do RGB switches come with LEDs in them?

If not, does that mean you have LEDs soldered (SMD) on both front and back of the PCB?

Either way, I really wish I could type on your keyboards, it seems really good.

You're correct, the LEDs for the switches are surface mount on the front of the PCB and the side LEDs are surface mount on the back. This page shows how Gon himself actually solders the SMDs for the side lighting to help throw light in the right direction for the housing. The RGB clear housings are designed to be used with SMD and I believe they actually have a diffusion lense of some sort on the bottom to help with illumination.

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Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 07:24:21 »
So that's why you asked me about the RGB Cherry housings....That board is sick. And now I want to type on it. Thanks for posting this build log too! :D.

I'm proud of you bro, getting people to build and mod their own gear is the GH dream ^__^.

Offline LechnerDE

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 07:44:44 »
Wow, really impressive!!

Thank you very much for this detailed write up  :thumb:

I love all the little details in your build :)

Offline HoffmanMyster

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 10:53:50 »

Forget about the keyboard, this response is hilarious.  :)) :P

Just kidding, this keyboard is fantastic.  I'm really happy that it came out like you hoped it would!  And now you need to mail it to me for "inspection".  kthnx

Offline pasph

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 11:03:25 »
Really stunning!
Can you post a pics with side led light on only, on-pcb led light on only and one with both?
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Offline Karura

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 11:06:37 »
Your efforts have paid off. I am truly amazed :)

Just a question, if the GON uses SMD LEDs on the back for the housing, and the switch themselves come with SMD LEDs, how does it work?

I might be confused, do RGB switches come with LEDs in them?

If not, does that mean you have LEDs soldered (SMD) on both front and back of the PCB?

Either way, I really wish I could type on your keyboards, it seems really good.

You're correct, the LEDs for the switches are surface mount on the front of the PCB and the side LEDs are surface mount on the back. This page shows how Gon himself actually solders the SMDs for the side lighting to help throw light in the right direction for the housing. The RGB clear housings are designed to be used with SMD and I believe they actually have a diffusion lense of some sort on the bottom to help with illumination.

Thanks for replying.

Do you know if the LEDs are normal 2-lead LEDs?

I know the switches say they're RGB (as in Corsair RGB) but I don't think GON's PCB supports RGB LEDs. I could be wrong, I'm just wondering cause I just ordered a NerD60 from GON and it would be awesome if I could do the same thing with RGB LEDs :P

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Offline yicaoyimu

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 11:10:51 »
Thanks for replying.

Do you know if the LEDs are normal 2-lead LEDs?

I know the switches say they're RGB (as in Corsair RGB) but I don't think GON's PCB supports RGB LEDs. I could be wrong, I'm just wondering cause I just ordered a NerD60 from GON and it would be awesome if I could do the same thing with RGB LEDs :P

NerD 2.0 PCB supports on-PCB SMD LED. They are similar to Cosair RGB in the sense that the LED glows under the switch through the clear switch housing, but you cannot set them to be any color like RGB LEDs. They are in a fixed color, as the normal in-switch LED.
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Offline Karura

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 11:13:33 »
Thanks for replying.

Do you know if the LEDs are normal 2-lead LEDs?

I know the switches say they're RGB (as in Corsair RGB) but I don't think GON's PCB supports RGB LEDs. I could be wrong, I'm just wondering cause I just ordered a NerD60 from GON and it would be awesome if I could do the same thing with RGB LEDs :P

NerD 2.0 PCB supports on-PCB SMD LED. They are similar to Cosair RGB in the sense that the LED glows under the switch through the clear switch housing, but you cannot set them to be any color like RGB LEDs. They are in a fixed color, as the normal in-switch LED.

Awesome to know! One last question before I keep derailing this thread.

Do those switches support normal 2-lead LEDs? Not sure if they have the room for it :D

This is really good information, really appreciate it :)

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Offline yicaoyimu

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #22 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 11:23:03 »
Thanks for replying.

Do you know if the LEDs are normal 2-lead LEDs?

I know the switches say they're RGB (as in Corsair RGB) but I don't think GON's PCB supports RGB LEDs. I could be wrong, I'm just wondering cause I just ordered a NerD60 from GON and it would be awesome if I could do the same thing with RGB LEDs :P

NerD 2.0 PCB supports on-PCB SMD LED. They are similar to Cosair RGB in the sense that the LED glows under the switch through the clear switch housing, but you cannot set them to be any color like RGB LEDs. They are in a fixed color, as the normal in-switch LED.

Awesome to know! One last question before I keep derailing this thread.

Do those switches support normal 2-lead LEDs? Not sure if they have the room for it :D

This is really good information, really appreciate it :)

I don't think they support the normal 2-lead LEDs. Based on what I can tell from pictures of RGB switches, there are no holes on the switch top for 2-lead LED. Maybe Lastpilot can confirm on this.
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Offline 0100010

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 11:29:25 »
Looks amazing - like a bride in a wedding dress.
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Offline Lastpilot

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #24 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 16:15:26 »
WOW. First off let me just say that the reactions to this build have been a huge surprise to me and I am truly flattered that you have enjoyed my story and this keyboard. I never expected this level of excitement and it is a very special emotion when you know others feel the same way you do about your own investment in a unique hobby such as this one. It really does warm my heart and I really love Geekhack so much because of how much we can all relate to each other. We are all pushing to express ourselves through this hobby, and I am honored to be recognized as one of them.

It almost feels strange because while I did execute my theme and the PCB bears the NerD logo the I designed, the keyboard design belongs purely to GON.

I feel that much of this praise belongs to him as he really pioneered what it means to put in the investment into polycarbonate cnc-machined cases. He took a relatively unknown and unpopular (at least in the keyboard world) material and he gambled on it. He invested time, money and effort to give us a great product in hopes that we would recognize it without the product line cannibalizing his own aluminum/polycarb housings. The keyboard costs as much as an aluminum board, but it is not as heavy or as durable. GON was counting on aestheticists to purchase this board. All I did was buy a kit with a few components switched out and assembled it! Cheers to GON!

______________________________________________________________

what do you think of the POM caps?

I enjoy them very much. They have a very textured matte feel, similar to PBT. However while PBT tends to be a bit oleophobic, POM does not. If you have oily or sweaty hands the POM caps will make it very apparent. That is my only complaint.

I will be posting typing samples and sound comparison videos this Saturday in the Keyboards forum.  ;)

...



Dude yes. Yes yes yes yes. ILU2 <3

Best Gon I've ever seen.
Hell, at the moment, I can't think of a single keyboard that looks better than this.

Just glorious.
Wow, that is very high praise, it really means a lot to me. Thank you! It will be at Keycon Chicago next year.  ;)

Your efforts have paid off. I am truly amazed :)

Just a question, if the GON uses SMD LEDs on the back for the housing, and the switch themselves come with SMD LEDs, how does it work?

I might be confused, do RGB switches come with LEDs in them?

If not, does that mean you have LEDs soldered (SMD) on both front and back of the PCB?

Either way, I really wish I could type on your keyboards, it seems really good.
Okay, I think strict answered your question already, but the RGB switches do NOT come with any LED's in them. In fact, they do not have holes for regular LED's. While this board does support regular LED's, I am not using any, I am only using SMD LEDs.

Thank you for the kind words.

Very nice and clean!  Thanks for sharing, Lastpilot! :thumb:

Thank you for reading, infiniti! Also, as a fellow early-user ducky fan I salute you. *salute*

So that's why you asked me about the RGB Cherry housings....That board is sick. And now I want to type on it. Thanks for posting this build log too! :D.

I'm proud of you bro, getting people to build and mod their own gear is the GH dream ^__^.

Senpai noticed meeeeee. Yessss!! Thank you! You've always been a huge support, and a true GH role model.

Wow, really impressive!!

Thank you very much for this detailed write up  :thumb:

I love all the little details in your build :)

Thank you so much for reading! It was a pleasure to write it and I am very glad people have enjoyed it this much.

Lol this is so crazy, these replies all been great surprises. I seriously did not expect this kind of reaction!!

Forget about the keyboard, this response is hilarious.  :)) :P

Just kidding, this keyboard is fantastic.  I'm really happy that it came out like you hoped it would!  And now you need to mail it to me for "inspection".  kthnx




Thank you Hoffman, I really didn't mean to leave you out, lmao. I'm sorry I really am. lololol but it was funny seeing your reaction. AHAHAHAHAHA.

You've also been a big influence in me becoming a builder. I think the only reason I know about the Hakko 808 was because I remember you buying it and was like wow, it must be good then. This guy only buys good things. lololol.

I think I was also in contact with you during one of my build days and you asked me "you have a lube station?" I forget if I replied to you but I used my PCB instead. I actually would have totally not thought of doing the lube steps to all the switches at once had you not asked me that, so thank you! It really does make a big difference.

Glad you like the build! You'll be able to type on the board in Chicago next year. LOL you'll also get to see how consistent the lube job is compared to my LZ....unless I redo my LZ before then. Bwahahahahaha.
Really stunning!
Can you post a pics with side led light on only, on-pcb led light on only and one with both?

Yes, I can take that picture as soon as the rest of the LED's arrive at my place. For now you can see the first half of the side LED's lit up in one of the pictures. :] I can't wait to complete it.

Looks amazing - like a bride in a wedding dress.

Thank you! I guess I am definitely under-dressed for this occassion lololol.
« Last Edit: Mon, 10 November 2014, 16:28:14 by Lastpilot »

Offline HoffmanMyster

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #25 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 16:20:11 »
MFW Lastpilot quotes everyone in this thread except me.   :(

Offline Lastpilot

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #26 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 16:21:26 »
MFW Lastpilot quotes everyone in this thread except me.   :(
LOLOL I'm so sorry!!!!!!! It's coming!!!! I'm gonna edit it in there...

Offline VesperSAINT

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 16:39:13 »

Forget about the keyboard, this response is hilarious.  :)) :P

Just kidding, this keyboard is fantastic.  I'm really happy that it came out like you hoped it would!  And now you need to mail it to me for "inspection".  kthnx

*damnit, none of the gifs I add to this section will work! LOL! I literally tried 3... are you doing this Mr. Mod?! Lel*

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNDDDD! WHY MUST YOU ALWAYS TRY TO TAKE MY KEYBOARDS?! I thought we already talked about this. You've already owned a GON before so you won't need to see it... I must experience it. NOT YOU! NO! I need my GON cherry popped... *blush*

...
Show Image

Show Image

Show Image

Dude yes. Yes yes yes yes. ILU2 <3


« Last Edit: Mon, 10 November 2014, 16:45:25 by VesperSAINT »

Offline HoffmanMyster

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 17:21:02 »

Forget about the keyboard, this response is hilarious.  :)) :P

Just kidding, this keyboard is fantastic.  I'm really happy that it came out like you hoped it would!  And now you need to mail it to me for "inspection".  kthnx

*damnit, none of the gifs I add to this section will work! LOL! I literally tried 3... are you doing this Mr. Mod?! Lel*

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNDDDD! WHY MUST YOU ALWAYS TRY TO TAKE MY KEYBOARDS?! I thought we already talked about this. You've already owned a GON before so you won't need to see it... I must experience it. NOT YOU! NO! I need my GON cherry popped... *blush*

B-but...but this one's different...   :-[

Offline Lastpilot

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 17:23:28 »
Dood... this is officially the cleanest looking keyboard that has ever graced my eyes since I started my keyboard journey. The amount of time, dedication, and planning that you put into it has created something absolutely unique and beautiful! I know the feels of being able to finalize a keyboard that you've planned and dreamed of having, because I felt the same way when I finished my White RGBY Filco, which was the first custom/modded keyboard I ever built (yeah, it's not a Korean custom but it required a lot of planning, time, work, and even luck to build). BUT I'll stop now because I think I'm getting a lil' too excited and emotionally invested in a keyboard that isn't even mine...LOL!!! ...................... (give it to me)

So many feels from reading your post here. It's funny because even though your Filco is your first modded board, it is definitely my favorite of your collection.

And yes, I totally agree with you, it is an amazing emotion to finish a custom job and have it meet your expectations.

Learning and tinkering are such huge parts of Geekhack, but I think it also takes a certain bravery to take on projects. I might be ranting a little bit here, but I think the risks we take as builders are totally understated. We really put ourselves in vulnerable positions where we can fail and many times we do. I've not only invested a lot in this project, but also my assembly tools as well. I'm basically putting a bet on myself that I can and that I will build awesome keyboards that will be worth that investment. I am also betting that the community will continually help make those keyboard kits and great keycap sets become available.

But when these risks payoff they really do payoff. Once you build an amazing keyboard you have it forever.

I think as GH builders we kind of only show our successes, but at least for me there is a lot of trial and error involved. And gobs and gobs of time. And like you said it even takes some luck. But we all came here as learners and I think that is what keeps us going. We do it because we love keyboards. <3

Offline FreeCopy

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 18:49:10 »
This thing is ridiculous. Absolutely beautiful build!

One of my favorite aspects about reading through others build logs is the little tips and tricks that get passed on from their experiences.

Thanks for posting this. Inspirational build.
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Offline VesperSAINT

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 19:17:03 »
Dood... this is officially the cleanest looking keyboard that has ever graced my eyes since I started my keyboard journey. The amount of time, dedication, and planning that you put into it has created something absolutely unique and beautiful! I know the feels of being able to finalize a keyboard that you've planned and dreamed of having, because I felt the same way when I finished my White RGBY Filco, which was the first custom/modded keyboard I ever built (yeah, it's not a Korean custom but it required a lot of planning, time, work, and even luck to build). BUT I'll stop now because I think I'm getting a lil' too excited and emotionally invested in a keyboard that isn't even mine...LOL!!! ...................... (give it to me)

So many feels from reading your post here. It's funny because even though your Filco is your first modded board, it is definitely my favorite of your collection.

And yes, I totally agree with you, it is an amazing emotion to finish a custom job and have it meet your expectations.

Learning and tinkering are such huge parts of Geekhack, but I think it also takes a certain bravery to take on projects. I might be ranting a little bit here, but I think the risks we take as builders are totally understated. We really put ourselves in vulnerable positions where we can fail and many times we do. I've not only invested a lot in this project, but also my assembly tools as well. I'm basically putting a bet on myself that I can and that I will build awesome keyboards that will be worth that investment. I am also betting that the community will continually help make those keyboard kits and great keycap sets become available.

But when these risks payoff they really do payoff. Once you build an amazing keyboard you have it forever.

I think as GH builders we kind of only show our successes, but at least for me there is a lot of trial and error involved. And gobs and gobs of time. And like you said it even takes some luck. But we all came here as learners and I think that is what keeps us going. We do it because we love keyboards. <3



uguu~~ <333

I'm so glad you mentioned the "bravery" and "risk" part of modding. In my post, I had originally had a paragraph about that in it, but decided to get rid of it because I didn't want to interrupt the thread. I 100% agree with you about the risk, fear, and bravery it takes to mod and make your dream keyboard. I didn't (still don't LOL) have a lot of disposable money when I made my Filco, and I was all-in when I made the investment into the gear & tools, switches, springs, and other materials for my Filco. It was actually a really scary moment because if I failed, I would have thrown ALL my disposable income away. I also had no extensive experience with soldering before this, and ZERO experience desoldering (used the Radio Shack desoldering pump LOL). Luckily, I had a lot of people (real life engineering friends and GH friends) help me, and I practiced a lot on trash PCBs. Even with all that practice though, I still won't forget how nervous I was right before desoldering the first switch on my Filco PCB... It was as Samuel L. Jackson once said in Jurassic Park, "Hold onto your butts..." Luckily though, once you get started, the rest is history. A man with a mission cannot be stopped! It's do or die, baby! I'll never forget the moment when I finalized my Filco, hooked it up, and did my first typing test... It was something I had only read and dreamed about for months (ergo clears were really entering its hype period then, I think).

The thing is, I look at all your previous keyboards and progression, and it's not surprising you've actually made this GON because you've always had a specific theme in mind for each board, or you wanted backlit/transparent. This GON was bound to happen, but the progression/journey to this is what makes it super special, I think :D And to see it actually finished and made... <3

Anyhow, I'll stop ranting. Whoever is brave enough to take on a modding project, you've got my respect no matter what the outcome is because it takes a lot to do it. If it happens to match my taste, then you got my adoration as a bonus HUE. It just so happens, Lastpilot's was an absolute success and entirely in my flavor  :-* :-* :-* (so send it to me already...)

Just realized how mushy this post is... *BLUSH* maybe too personal for public viewing ~


« Last Edit: Mon, 10 November 2014, 19:18:59 by VesperSAINT »

Offline HoffmanMyster

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 19:28:54 »

Dood... this is officially the cleanest looking keyboard that has ever graced my eyes since I started my keyboard journey. The amount of time, dedication, and planning that you put into it has created something absolutely unique and beautiful! I know the feels of being able to finalize a keyboard that you've planned and dreamed of having, because I felt the same way when I finished my White RGBY Filco, which was the first custom/modded keyboard I ever built (yeah, it's not a Korean custom but it required a lot of planning, time, work, and even luck to build). BUT I'll stop now because I think I'm getting a lil' too excited and emotionally invested in a keyboard that isn't even mine...LOL!!! ...................... (give it to me)

So many feels from reading your post here. It's funny because even though your Filco is your first modded board, it is definitely my favorite of your collection.

And yes, I totally agree with you, it is an amazing emotion to finish a custom job and have it meet your expectations.

Learning and tinkering are such huge parts of Geekhack, but I think it also takes a certain bravery to take on projects. I might be ranting a little bit here, but I think the risks we take as builders are totally understated. We really put ourselves in vulnerable positions where we can fail and many times we do. I've not only invested a lot in this project, but also my assembly tools as well. I'm basically putting a bet on myself that I can and that I will build awesome keyboards that will be worth that investment. I am also betting that the community will continually help make those keyboard kits and great keycap sets become available.

But when these risks payoff they really do payoff. Once you build an amazing keyboard you have it forever.

I think as GH builders we kind of only show our successes, but at least for me there is a lot of trial and error involved. And gobs and gobs of time. And like you said it even takes some luck. But we all came here as learners and I think that is what keeps us going. We do it because we love keyboards. <3

Show Image


uguu~~ <333

I'm so glad you mentioned the "bravery" and "risk" part of modding. In my post, I had originally had a paragraph about that in it, but decided to get rid of it because I didn't want to interrupt the thread. I 100% agree with you about the risk, fear, and bravery it takes to mod and make your dream keyboard. I didn't (still don't LOL) have a lot of disposable money when I made my Filco, and I was all-in when I made the investment into the gear & tools, switches, springs, and other materials for my Filco. It was actually a really scary moment because if I failed, I would have thrown ALL my disposable income away. I also had no extensive experience with soldering before this, and ZERO experience desoldering (used the Radio Shack desoldering pump LOL). Luckily, I had a lot of people (real life engineering friends and GH friends) help me, and I practiced a lot on trash PCBs. Even with all that practice though, I still won't forget how nervous I was right before desoldering the first switch on my Filco PCB... It was as Samuel L. Jackson once said in Jurassic Park, "Hold onto your butts..." Luckily though, once you get started, the rest is history. A man with a mission cannot be stopped! It's do or die, baby! I'll never forget the moment when I finalized my Filco, hooked it up, and did my first typing test... It was something I had only read and dreamed about for months (ergo clears were really entering its hype period then, I think).

The thing is, I look at all your previous keyboards and progression, and it's not surprising you've actually made this GON because you've always had a specific theme in mind for each board, or you wanted backlit/transparent. This GON was bound to happen, but the progression/journey to this is what makes it super special, I think :D And to see it actually finished and made... <3

Anyhow, I'll stop ranting. Whoever is brave enough to take on a modding project, you've got my respect no matter what the outcome is because it takes a lot to do it. If it happens to match my taste, then you got my adoration as a bonus HUE. It just so happens, Lastpilot's was an absolute success and entirely in my flavor  :-* :-* :-* (so send it to me already...)

Just realized how mushy this post is... *BLUSH* maybe too personal for public viewing ~

Show Image


Eeeekk so adorable! You two should really get a room before I try to join in.  ;)

Offline VesperSAINT

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 19:35:45 »
Eeeekk so adorable! You two should really get a room before I try to join in.  ;)

"try"? It was an open invitation...


Offline ComradeSniper

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 10 November 2014, 20:56:56 »
Wow! Such a clean, beautiful board, and I loved the build log. It really does make it so much more amazing seeing all the dedication you put into it.  :D Grats dude!

Offline admiralvorian

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #35 on: Tue, 11 November 2014, 19:08:58 »


dude, this is amazing.
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Offline dashing_girlboy

  • Posts: 41
Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #36 on: Sun, 16 November 2014, 01:45:27 »
I guess you used a soldering iron for the smd soldering. what are your experiences on that?

Offline Lastpilot

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #37 on: Sun, 16 November 2014, 10:55:29 »
Wow! Such a clean, beautiful board, and I loved the build log. It really does make it so much more amazing seeing all the dedication you put into it.  :D Grats dude!
Thank you ComradeSniper! Yep, a lot of effort and money, but so so so so worth it.

Show Image


dude, this is amazing.
Thanks admiralvorian!

I guess you used a soldering iron for the smd soldering. what are your experiences on that?

Great question! Funny how I kind of just skipped over that.

-Practice: This was my first SMD experience, so the first few resistors and LED's I did had to be re-soldered. It is definitely harder than your standard through-hole soldering. I tried it a few different ways, but I quickly learned that the popular "pad-component-pad" method was best. Basically, put a little solder on the pad, apply the component while reheating the recent solder, THEN move on to soldering the companion pad. This allows the component to flatten out before the 2nd pad is applied and give you the best result for your SMD components. You will need steady hands so I recommend avoiding any caffeine intake before attempting SMD soldering.

-Tools: I use the standard flat-head wedged soldering tip that came with my Edsyn 951sxe. Getting the component between the flat edge of your soldering iron and a some other flat-edge tool (I use my tweezers) will allow you to straighten the SMD component while soldering it. You will definitely need a dependable pair of tweezers to apply and straighten SMD components. I use the Edsyn blunt nose tweezers and I like them because they have square tip which I use as a straight and flat edge to align components as I just mentioned.

Hope that helps!

________________________________________

Side-note: Updating thread now to include the typing video I did yesterday.


Offline mogo

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 24 November 2014, 13:07:30 »
This is without a doubt the cleanest, prettiest, most envy-inducing board I have seen to date. It doesn't help that I've been brainstorming a very similar build for a few weeks and you're right, you really don't wanna make a move on anything until you have every component planned out exactly! I'm chomping at the bit to build a board based on transparent components, UV LEDs, and GID materials. This build log is beyond inspirational and I hope you don't mind if I check in with questions to you here and there. Great stuff, Lastpilot. Legendary stuff, in fact.

Offline codyeatworld

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #39 on: Mon, 24 November 2014, 21:15:17 »
Down right gorgeous. Easily my favorite build to date.
I didn't know his new pcbs had smd leds up top now either.

Could it handle more leds on the bottom? (to make the polycarb layer glow)
Edit: I read the thread earlier but just noticed you said you forgot to order enough leds for the bottom. Can't wait to see it when they come it.

It looks right at home on your desk too! :)
« Last Edit: Mon, 24 November 2014, 21:18:36 by codyeatworld »




Offline yuktsi

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #40 on: Wed, 26 November 2014, 09:31:38 »
you should get some of those cnc acrylic feet from LZ
email: yuktsi@ttggrr.cc

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Offline dante

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 26 November 2014, 11:13:56 »
If Matias was set out to use Polycarbonate he should have looked at this for inspiration rather than late 90's Mac keyboards.

Offline 0100010

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #42 on: Wed, 26 November 2014, 17:16:31 »
Every time I see this thread I have to click on it just to admire your board.  You had a vision of what you wanted, and set out to get it.  What puts it over the top for me is buying the donor board just to get the clear switch housings, swapping in the stems, and those polycarbonate screws.
  Quoting me causes a posting error that you need to ignore.

Offline daerid

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #43 on: Sat, 06 December 2014, 01:33:13 »
I have to agree. Probably the best looking board I've ever seen (not to mention one of the best sounding). Surprised you didn't go with the polycarbonate transparent keycaps tho!

Offline mogo

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #44 on: Sat, 06 December 2014, 02:00:29 »
The white LEDs might be annoying through transparent keycaps. The jelly POM whites match his white glass desk nicely. :)

Offline GenKaan

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #45 on: Thu, 05 February 2015, 13:43:22 »
Sorry for being late but wow, that keyboard is stunning. Work of art :)
|| @Home:: Shine 3 TKL (Mx Red / Deep Space)  || @Work:: G2Pro (Mx Clear / Dye Sub PBT) ||
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Offline csnickba

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #46 on: Thu, 05 February 2015, 13:48:38 »
Absolutely stunning build. Great job man, I've never wanted a keyboard more in my life. *drools*

Offline baldgye

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #47 on: Thu, 05 February 2015, 14:01:26 »
Dood... this is officially the cleanest looking keyboard that has ever graced my eyes since I started my keyboard journey. The amount of time, dedication, and planning that you put into it has created something absolutely unique and beautiful! I know the feels of being able to finalize a keyboard that you've planned and dreamed of having, because I felt the same way when I finished my White RGBY Filco, which was the first custom/modded keyboard I ever built (yeah, it's not a Korean custom but it required a lot of planning, time, work, and even luck to build). BUT I'll stop now because I think I'm getting a lil' too excited and emotionally invested in a keyboard that isn't even mine...LOL!!! ...................... (give it to me)

Seriously, this has to be one of my favorite keyboards to date ~<3 The theme is a huuuuge part of it but also amount of heart put into it is what makes it so special :D It's so personal, and I love it even more for that reason ~<3

The moments I experienced as I looked through and read this post:

GON NS NerD Crystal TKL
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Show Image



Show Image



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Show Image


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Show Image

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Thanks to VesperSAINT...

Show Image



Also,

Show Image


x2

Offline VesperSAINT

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #48 on: Thu, 05 February 2015, 14:53:54 »
I'm glad people are still coming to this keyboard and praising it~ It deserves all the praise :D


Offline metalliqaz

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Re: GON NS NerD Crystal TKL - Detailed Build Log
« Reply #49 on: Thu, 05 February 2015, 15:01:42 »
Nice