Author Topic: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log  (Read 47965 times)

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Offline retrochick

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Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« on: Sat, 06 June 2015, 21:09:37 »
SPRiT 60% Custom Build 
 
 
For me, shipping was a painless experience. SPRiT was patient, communicative, and super awesome to work with during this entire process. 

Everything arrived packaged neatly and generously wrapped with pink bubble wrap. Contents of my order:
  ☐ FaceW PCB 60% with pre-soldered diodes, resistors, and smds. 
  ☐ Model 2S acrylic case with the following: matte top plate, semi clear middle, clear bottom 
  ☐ Boomerang feet + model 1 feet 
  ☐ 70x white leds 
  ☐ RGB leds 
  ☐ 62g gold plated springs 
  ☐ 78g gold plated spring sampler 
  ☐ Gold plated stabilizer wire set 
  ☐ misc other items like screws, bumpons, stickers, etc. 
 
The case came pre-assemble to let you what it would look like once complete. Simple and clean, great design. 
 
Clipped stabs for extra stability and minimize the mushy feeling. I used wire clippers to clip the legs and then a knife to shave off the edges and make it flush with the sides. This was pretty easy, but be careful! Nothing  major here, just make sure you have a set of stabilizers you can reference (or take pictures before you take them apart) to make sure you're putting it back together correctly. I messed up twice here. 
 
Mounted plate to the PCB, inserted some stock clear switches with keycaps to see how placement/fitment for the keys would stabiizers would feel. Ran into a couple issues here. The spacebar felt unbearably mushy and was sticking. This was unacceptable to me. I tried swapping out my clipped stabilizers for unclipped ones. Same result except it felt even worse. I tried swapping out the wire, but unfortunately the way the plate is designed, it does not support the usual cherry spacebar stabilizer wire with the bump in the middle. I began to be dismayed, thinking that this was going to hold up my project indefinitely, until I could order replacement wires from either GON or SPRiT. As far as I know, they are the only vendors who sell this style of stabilizer wire. Note: Ivan now carries these stabilizer wires.

The following day, I returned to my project with renewed determination. I laid out a normal stab wire next to the gold one and noticed that upon closer inspection that my spacebar stab wire was bent out a little too much. I used a wooden block to stabilize the wire while I bent it with some pliers. After bending it back a few mm I tested the spacebar and viola! No mushy feeling! No sticking! It bounced back with an acceptable springiness - albeit it wasn't perfect in my eyes. But at least, the project could move forward! I could always order another stabilizer wire and put it in when it arrived. Thanks for SPRiT's plate design, I could remove the stabilizers from the plate hassle free. 
 
Since I could now move on, here's what I did next. 
Spring swap: swapped out stock vintage clear springs for gold plated62g SPRiT springs. Added a minimal amount of lube to the sides of the switch sliders. This was probably the most time-intensive part of the whole build. Each switch had to be opened, disassembled, spring swapped, lubed, and then put back together. My thumb and forefinger cramped up a few times - probably because I was holding the slider too tightly while applying the lube. After that, I decided it was enough work for one day and was going to tackle the soldering the next. It's important not to rush these things as that's when mistakes are made, and I didn't want to make a mistake while soldering the PCB! 
 
The next day came and it was Memorial Day weekend. Yay! Lots of free time to work on my keyboard. :) 
 
Time to solder! This was my first big soldering project - I'd desoldered plenty of boards before but never soldered anything large-scale. The process itself was actually really easy and fun. After I soldered each switch, I tested that it was working before moving onto the next row. 
 
Added LEDs. Only 3 ended up not working, so it was only bit of a pain to desolder the LEDs but I eventually got all LEDs to work. 
 
Clean up PCB with isopropyl alcohol 
 
Inserted PCB into case and added keycaps. 
 
Ran into another problem: the switch for the enter key leaned backwards a bit and wasn't seated completely flush to the plate. Therefore when I soldered it and put the keycap on, it rubbed against the '|\' key and so I had to desolder the switch and have someone else hold the switch firmly against the plate while I soldered it back on. 
 
Overall I love the feeling of the keyboard. There's something really nice-sounding about the switches and PBT keycaps mounted to an acrylic plate. The case itself feels solid and the bumpons add to the stability of the case while I type on it. 

Todo: remap FN layer to include media keys. Replace bottom row LEDs with color changing ones.

Typing video to come!

Commence photo dump:










Artisan for fun!


Ice, Ice, Baby


Also . . . stay tuned for some other goodies/easter eggs!


Cherry is love. Topre is life. ~raymogi

Offline retrochick

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 06 June 2015, 21:10:00 »
Reserved


Cherry is love. Topre is life. ~raymogi

Offline Eszett

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 07 June 2015, 04:27:50 »
With my 60% from SPRiT the spacebar stuck too. I replaced the spacebar stabilizator by another, then it was ok.
« Last Edit: Sun, 07 June 2015, 04:29:43 by Eszett »

Offline retrochick

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 07 June 2015, 10:46:45 »
Yeah I ended up having a wide stab wire but was able to bend it to fit. You can see a comparission of it here below:


Cherry is love. Topre is life. ~raymogi

Offline Eszett

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 07 June 2015, 16:24:44 »
Hi chick! In my case, the troublemaker was the plastic part of the stab, not the wire. I knew that because everything worked fine after swapping the plastic part, while I kept the wire. However, I could not figure out exactly _why_ the plastic part caused troubles. It had no visible flaws or defects. I just threw it away *shrug*
« Last Edit: Sun, 07 June 2015, 17:19:29 by Eszett »

Offline retrochick

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 08 June 2015, 00:13:07 »
Hi chick! In my case, the troublemaker was the plastic part of the stab, not the wire. I knew that because everything worked fine after swapping the plastic part, while I kept the wire. However, I could not figure out exactly _why_ the plastic part caused troubles. It had no visible flaws or defects. I just threw it away *shrug*
So strange! Where did your stabs come from? Did you replace plastic part with clipped ones as well?


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Offline Eszett

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 08 June 2015, 00:24:19 »
Hi Chick! The stabs came assembled with the keyboard from SPRiT. I didn't clip anything.

Offline sprit

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 11 June 2015, 16:58:05 »
With my 60% from SPRiT the spacebar stuck too. I replaced the spacebar stabilizator by another, then it was ok.

Hi   ;)   What was the Space bar caps when You had that problem?    SP ? 
« Last Edit: Thu, 11 June 2015, 16:59:41 by sprit »

Offline Eszett

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 11 June 2015, 20:43:52 »
@SPRiT The spacebar keycap was a Signature Plastics DSA spacebar from the Granite GB. However, I think the stabiliser caused the problem, since I had the same with other spacebars too (SP DCS).

Offline retrochick

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 14 June 2015, 13:25:33 »
My spacebar was from IMSTO.


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Offline Eszett

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 14 June 2015, 19:16:39 »
BTW, clipped my stabs and it feels alot better now. However, it is still abit mushy feel. Maybe due to the acrylic plate, maybe due to the Cherry stabs. I do not know. My Costar stabs on Filco Majestouch are much less sluggish and more crisp.

Conclusion: I have to do something about it. I am still not satisfied with the spacebar's switch/stabs feel.                             
« Last Edit: Sun, 14 June 2015, 19:18:49 by Eszett »

Offline retrochick

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 14 June 2015, 20:30:05 »
I was going to sand down the part of the acrylic plate that almost rubs against the stab wire. I think more clearance/room there should help. I had mounted the spacebar on the pcb without the acrylic plate and it felt really good, but once i put on the acrylic plate it felt a bit mushy. Luckily I was able to adjust the plate so that it didn't interfere with the spacebar too much.


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Offline Eszett

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 14 June 2015, 22:31:31 »
@retrochick: Sanding down the plate? Interesting idea, I have to think about that ...

I just noticed, that my DSA 7u Granite Set spacebar is not entirely flat, i.e. the ends are lifting up from the ground.  :o In short, it is junk. I replaced it by another 7u and now things feel better again.

So to recap. The exact reason of my "retarded spacebar" problem I do not know. But my procedure of amelioration was the following:
First, I replaced the stabs => the feel became abit less sluggish/mushy but still uncomfortable.
Then, I clipped the stabs => the feel became again less sluggish/mushy but still uncomfortable.
Next, I swapped the crooked spacebar => the feel became again less sluggish/mushy.
Now, the feel is acceptable. However, still abit mushy. Maybe I will sand the plate down, as you propose.
« Last Edit: Sun, 14 June 2015, 22:51:18 by Eszett »

Offline XMIT

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 23 June 2015, 21:24:46 »
Nice work! Not much to soldering at all, just takes practice. Looks great!

Though I was here to see if maybe you had put my Vintage Black switches to use. Was this the board or did you want them for something else? :)

Offline retrochick

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 23 June 2015, 23:13:45 »
Thanks XMIT! I'm planning on putting the Vintage Blacks on my QFR with Cherry MX Browns. I got around to cleaning the switches with the method you prescribed, now I just need to reassemble them with some Super Lube and begin the mod on the board. Super excited! I'll be sure to post a separate build log for that one.  :thumb:


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Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 24 June 2015, 07:10:28 »
Thanks for sharing you build. The board looks nice :D
Please check out TactileZine.com!

Offline XMIT

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 24 June 2015, 08:47:11 »
Okay, I'll watch out for that other thread. I hope the method I described worked reasonably well.

Offline retrochick

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 24 June 2015, 11:24:27 »
Thanks for sharing you build. The board looks nice :D
Thanks CPT! That means a lot, especially coming from you.  :) Your write-ups and guides have helped me immensely in my keyboard journey so it really means a lot.

Okay, I'll watch out for that other thread. I hope the method I described worked reasonably well.
The method definitely removed the grime and dirty really well, however it also stripped the switches of their factory lube, which is fine because I'll have some Krytox 104 on hand to re-lube :).


Cherry is love. Topre is life. ~raymogi

Offline XMIT

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Re: Retro's SPRiT custom 60% build log
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 24 June 2015, 12:58:06 »
Sure thing. For others following this thread: the procedure I recommended was to give the switches a bath in isoporpyl alcohol (91%) in a Ziploc bag, shake, wait, and drain from the bottom to sweep the dirt away. Repeat. Perform final rinse with RO or distilled water and air dry until no moisture remains.