Author Topic: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log  (Read 77888 times)

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Online exitfire401

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Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 00:31:44 »
Origins
The idea for this build originated when Zeal posted a video of the color changing RGB LEDs that sprit had available for a period of time. I saw those in addition to the clear acrylic plate and knew that I wanted to do a disco board. This idea was perpetuated even more when I saw the clear housings of the new gaterons.

So, I ordered the Simply 60 kit from Zeal as well as a set of blue gaterons from Taobao. The blue gaterons are exceptionally smooth, and I would compare them more to my blue alps than cherry blues. However, I had bigger and better plans for these clear housings. I really wanted everything to be clear and gold on this board. I originally planned on getting a set of gateron clears and swapping out the internal leafs to cherry. Unfortunately, I was late to the show and the clears were sold out by the time I went to order. So, I settled on ordering the blue gaterons and swapping the internals with some cherry clears.

Step 1


The first step consisted of disassembling my Gaterons. Each switch needed to be opened, the copper leafs needed to be popped out of the housing and sorted, and all of the springs and stems needed to be sorted. One this was done, I did the same with the cherry clears that I ordered for the swaps.

Step 2





As many of you know, there is a small defect with the Gateron molds. This being that the pegs for the PCB mount are just barely too thick to fit into a PCB properly. This means that you can either a) cut off the PCB legs or b) sand them down to fit properly. I went with option b because I prefer the added stability of the PCB mount legs. This was by far the most tedious and time consuming part of the process. Luckily, I had the entire season of House of Cards to get through, so that helped me feel less like blowing my brains out through the entire process. Testing the fitment was very important in this whole process because the housings are so close to being correct as it is, that I wanted them to still fit and be stable without wobble.

Step 3


Sip Sockets...After this board and my TX1800, I can safely say that I will never be using these damn things again. The convenience and ability to swap LEDs and switch components whenever I want is nice, but removing these things is a complete pain in the ass...I spent an evening watching a Red Wings game and separating all of the ones for this board from the plastic that they came in. Overall, I'm very happy with them.

Step 4




My favorite part! The lubing and assembly of switches! I completely forgot to take pictures of the piles of cherry internals and the swapping into the gateron housings. For springs in this build, I decided to go with 62g Sprit Gold springs. Along with those are the genuine Cherry gold leafs and clear sliders. For springs, I use a very thin application of Krytox GPL 105 oil on the top and bottom of the spring. For sliders, I use a 50/50 mix of GPL 105 and GPL 205 on the sides of the slider where it makes contact with the housing. On clears, this was my favorite combination of krytox that I tried and this is the third board that I've used the mixture on. The last image is before the switch tops went on, but with everything lubed and in place.

Step 5



The next step was putting the switch tops on and soldering the SIP sockets in place. Once that was done, I installed the board into it's case and cut the LEDs to size. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of that process either. When cutting the LEDs to size, I noted the positive and negative side, then cut diagonally so that the positive lead was slightly longer than the negative and then inserted the LED into the socket and that was it. Overall, the process took about 4 months because I was dilly-dallying on purchasing some items. Of course, I waited to purchase the Cherry clears and they went out of stock for a while. As soon as they came back, I purchased them immediately to get them swapped out asap. I also had about a 2 month wait for the TEX acrylic case from Massdrop after I ordered the Simple 60 kit. Ordered the case in January and it arrived in late March. The last setback was the LED and SIP group buy. I understand that life happens, and I was in no hurry to finish this board (though I definitely wanted to finish it before I move in two weeks). I'm ridiculously happy with the way everything turned out, and in all, I think the board cost me no more than $160. I'm definitely happier with this than I would have been with another poker build.

The last step for this build was going to be a white jelly POM keyset and soldering the color shifting LEDs onto the bottom of the PCB. I attempted a couple of the LEDs on the bottom of the PCB, however, they're too thick for the case. I intend to find the 2x3x4mm ones that Sprit has, as I tested that one, and it fit on the bottom just fine. As for the keyset, I'm actually going to forgo one. Once I finished the board, I was ridiculously happy with how it came out and just found myself watching the colors shift. As a result, I will be mounting this board behind my PC on the wall and plugging it into one of the USB ports on my BenQ XL2420t to power the LEDs. It's a truly mesmerizing board.

Step 6?

ENJOY!
http://i.imgur.com/8fXM5mP.webm

Special Thanks to:
Zeal for running the Simply 60 buy and sparking the concept(and kickstarting my addiction to strawberry kit-kats...seriously dude, I was fat enough before I ordered this kit...)
Nuclearsandwich for running the SIP and LED buy. Without you, this board would not be anywhere near possible. I've had 3-4 of the RGB LEDs have bad color cycles so far, and resoldering that many times would definitely ruin the PCB.
Kevin Spacey for being the best Francis Underwood he can be
and last, but certainly not least, my Fiancee for allowing me to continue to drop cash into this hobby. Without her approval, this project would have stayed in the concept phase.
« Last Edit: Sun, 26 April 2015, 00:35:25 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

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Offline byker

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 00:42:01 »
Nice board man! Looks really good, and its always nice to see a build log!  :thumb:

Offline joey

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 03:27:56 »
I love the all white/opaque look..  I hope someone makes some white/opaque stabs and you can swap them in!

Do the LEDs cycle randomly? (They're not in sync)

Offline wlhlm

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 04:42:29 »
Nice build. I have a similar idea in mind for a "60% Crystal board" with Clear Gaterons, Frosted Plate from sprit and a Tex Clear case. I'm still looking for a white PCB that supports LEDs on the back as well as a jelly POM set.

As for the Gateron pegs, I think it's intentional so that they snap in place when mounting and harder to pull out again. They fitted in all PCBs I got after applying some force and sit very securely.
« Last Edit: Sun, 26 April 2015, 04:46:01 by wlhlm »

Offline Sed8op8

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 05:24:32 »
Very nice man! Also did I hear you say that you are not going to use it as keyboard....haha man this is great. If when my funds replenish i can't find a sweet 60% kit to build this looks like a good alternative. Also since I found out you can order acrylic cases straight from tex! I have been looking for these everywhere! Bravo exitfire I must say I'm a little bummed your not going to use it as a keyboard haha
« Last Edit: Sun, 26 April 2015, 09:24:41 by Sed8op8 »
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Offline Mooksie

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 09:21:28 »
Is it hard to swap out the leafs? I kind of want to do that for safety sake as I heard the gateron leafs can corrode easily.
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Offline sprit

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 09:45:59 »
« Last Edit: Sun, 26 April 2015, 09:47:56 by sprit »

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 10:03:26 »
Is it hard to swap out the leafs? I kind of want to do that for safety sake as I heard the gateron leafs can corrode easily.
I mean Cherry MX can corrode as well. Having the ability to corrode and corroding easily are two different things. One thread with a warning about corrosion doesn't mean they corrode easily. Only that they're able to corrode.






I didn't know the pegs on the Gaterons didn't fit PCBs. Is that only with Zeals PCB?
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Online exitfire401

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 10:07:09 »
Nice board man! Looks really good, and its always nice to see a build log!  :thumb:

Thanks! I had a blast with this build and I really wanted to share it because I felt like the concept was original enough.

I love the all white/opaque look..  I hope someone makes some white/opaque stabs and you can swap them in!

Do the LEDs cycle randomly? (They're not in sync)

Same here on the stabs...they're the only thing that stand out right now =(. And Yes, they start off in sync and slowly go out of sync. It's really entertaining to watch.

Nice build. I have a similar idea in mind for a "60% Crystal board" with Clear Gaterons, Frosted Plate from sprit and a Tex Clear case. I'm still looking for a white PCB that supports LEDs on the back as well as a jelly POM set.

As for the Gateron pegs, I think it's intentional so that they snap in place when mounting and harder to pull out again. They fitted in all PCBs I got after applying some force and sit very securely.

That's what I thought too, but the batch I had wouldn't fit at all into the sprit PCB. My fingers still hurt from test fitting them...and it's been about a month since then.

Very nice man! Also did I hear you say that you are not going to use it as keyboard....haha man this is great. If when my funds replenish i can't find a sweet 60% kit to build this looks like a good alternative. Also since I found out you can order acrylic cases straight from tex! I have been looking for these everywhere! Bravo exitfire I must say I'm a little bummed your not going to use it as a keyboard haha

I was only partially kidding about not using it haha. It will spend a majority of its life as a display board though. I love the fact that it has ergo clears, and I haven't had them in so long that I'll probably throw a random keyset on it to use it every now and then. Also, I had no idea you could get them straight from TEX! That's awesome!

Is it hard to swap out the leafs? I kind of want to do that for safety sake as I heard the gateron leafs can corrode easily.

The Gateron ones slip right out of the housing when you apply minimal force to the bottom of the leaf. The cherry leafs require a bit of force to get out. The thicker leaf pushes right out, but the actual activating part of the leaf is stuck into the housing fairly well and requires some tweezers and force to get out. I only ruined 5-6 leafs from the Cherrys while the gaterons were all fine. The gateron ones are a little bit thicker than the cherry leafs though, so you'll have a little wiggle in the cherry leafs before you solder them in the gateron housings, and you'll have a little bit of trouble pushing the gateron leafs into a cherry housing. And yes, the gateron leafs are susceptible to corrosion. Out of the 100 blue switches I ordered, I had about 10 of them that were corroded before they even got to me.

Let's disco!   :thumb:     
 
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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

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Offline nova779

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 10:46:25 »
This is a beautiful build, looks really tedious but like the end result is worth it

Online exitfire401

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 10:49:12 »
I didn't know the pegs on the Gaterons didn't fit PCBs. Is that only with Zeals PCB?

Not sure. Maybe I just got a bad batch, but the only spots I could get mine to fit in were the stabilized spots.

This is a beautiful build, looks really tedious but like the end result is worth it

It was definitely tedious, but I'm ridiculously proud of the end result!  :thumb:
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

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 14:15:46 »
Hey exit, how long did this take? I'll have to do it to my Lightsaver and GON as soon as I get home this summer.
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Online exitfire401

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 14:42:49 »
Hey exit, how long did this take? I'll have to do it to my Lightsaver and GON as soon as I get home this summer.

Build took about a week in my spare time (of which I had basically none) so I'm sure those could both be knocked out in an afternoon.
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

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 15:07:38 »
Such a beautiful board, nice to see this finally done.

Too bad there aren't white/clear housings for Cherry stabs. If you aren't using the board for typing, it might be worth 3D printing some stabs that just hold the wires, even if the tolerances aren't tight enough to actually make them useful.
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Online exitfire401

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 18:20:33 »
Such a beautiful board, nice to see this finally done.

Too bad there aren't white/clear housings for Cherry stabs. If you aren't using the board for typing, it might be worth 3D printing some stabs that just hold the wires, even if the tolerances aren't tight enough to actually make them useful.

Oooohhhh, that's something I hadn't thought of...gonna look into having this done through a friend.  :eek:
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

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Offline Eszett

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 18:37:56 »
How compatible are those Gaterons to Cherry MX switches, is each part of a Gateron switch exchangeable with a part of a MX switch?
« Last Edit: Sun, 26 April 2015, 19:05:20 by Eszett »

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 18:50:28 »
I like the idea of color changing LEDs, and I ask you, is it possible to use them for advanced light effects as that they light up in "waves" originating from the key just pressed?

Unfortunately, I don't believe so. That would be amazing though!
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

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Offline Eszett

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 19:06:30 »
Unfortunately, I don't believe so. That would be amazing though!
Alright. Another question: apart from that "PCB legs compatibility issues" you described, is each part of Gaterons exchangeable with parts of Cherry MX switches? Or are there other incompatibilities too?

« Last Edit: Sun, 26 April 2015, 19:16:54 by Eszett »

Online exitfire401

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 19:19:05 »
Unfortunately, I don't believe so. That would be amazing though!
Alright. Another question: apart from that "PCB legs compatibility issues" you described, is each part of Gaterons exchangeable with parts of Cherry MX switches? Or are there other incompatibilities too?

No incompatibilities whatsoever. Everything fits in the same slots on each switch. Gateron leafs are just a little more difficult to get into a cherry housing because they're slightly thicker, but if you're patient, it's not an issue.
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

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Offline Eszett

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 19:32:47 »
Hi exitfire401! I ask because Dreamre wrote: «For all those who may be thinking to put cherry stems into Gateron switches, the actuation point is much earlier. Which may lead to mis clicking.» Did you experience that too? (Although I don’t exactly understand what Dreamre means with “misclicking”).
« Last Edit: Sun, 26 April 2015, 19:35:13 by Eszett »

Online exitfire401

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 19:35:04 »
Hi exitfire401! Yes, but Dreamre wrote: «For all those who may be thinking to put cherry stems into Gateron switches, the actuation point is much earlier. Which may lead to mis clicking.» Do you affirm or deny that?

I Can neither confirm or deny because my switches have all cherry stems with cherry leafs. Gateron leafs with cherry stems definitely could pose that problem.
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

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Offline Eszett

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 19:37:41 »
I see. So it’s probably best to use both leafs and stems from the same producer. As you did.

Online exitfire401

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Re: Exitfire's Simply 60 Build Log
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 26 April 2015, 19:44:24 »
I see. So it’s probably best to use both leafs and stems from the same producer. As you did.

That's what I would suggest. I can try some switches out to see, but it would be a couple of weeks before I was able to as I'm in the middle of moving and almost everything is packed away currently =(
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 |