Author Topic: Alps PCB and Plate choices  (Read 15607 times)

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Offline nguyenhimself

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Alps PCB and Plate choices
« on: Tue, 27 March 2018, 22:44:25 »
I'm preparing for a custom Alps build, and so far I believe the few options I have are:

- Alps64 by Hasu: PCB + Plate, and I love all the possible 60% cases, but honestly I (refer something bigger, as I love the design of the AEK's arrow keys.

- LFK68: PCB + Plate, I'll also need to get a VA68M case from Taobao. Probably going for this.

- LFK78: PCB + Plate + acrylic case, I LOVE the layout but am not really into the case design (visible screws are ugly), which is wasted on Alps switches anyway as they cannot have under-glow RGB.

Am I missing any other custom Alps PCB? Just exploring my options here.
« Last Edit: Tue, 27 March 2018, 23:51:43 by nguyenhimself »

Offline p_blaze

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 27 March 2018, 22:59:26 »
Clueboard pcb works with fc660 cases and has alps compat

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 27 March 2018, 23:49:23 »
Clueboard pcb works with fc660 cases and has alps compat

Hey that's actually my #1 layout! But I will still need two 2.25 Left Shift keys, right? That's one extra AEK keycap set I'd need to find 😐

Offline Kevadu

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 28 March 2018, 01:38:12 »
Clueboard pcb works with fc660 cases and has alps compat

You would (probably) still want a plate though.  I mean you could go plateless I guess...but the Alps Clueboard plates I am aware of were for a sandwich-style build, not a FC660 case.

That said I actually have an acrylic Alps plate that Clueboard sent me by mistake (I had ordered an MX one...).  Which is ironic seeing how their storefront didn't even list Alps plates anymore when I ordered my MX plate.   So I've been thinking about trying to scrounge up the parts for a full Alps acrylic Clueboard build as well...maybe that was their secret plan.

Hey that's actually my #1 layout! But I will still need two 2.25 Left Shift keys, right? That's one extra AEK keycap set I'd need to find 😐

Well you literally just missed this...

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 28 March 2018, 01:40:41 »
Hey that's actually my #1 layout! But I will still need two 2.25 Left Shift keys, right? That's one extra AEK keycap set I'd need to find 😐

Well you literally just missed this...

I did know about that GB, but honestly part of this project's goal is to use the AEK keycaps, which I reeeeally like (also why I've been lurking in that XDA Oblique IC thread a lot).


That said I actually have an acrylic Alps plate that Clueboard sent me by mistake (I had ordered an MX one...).  Which is ironic seeing how their storefront didn't even list Alps plates anymore when I ordered my MX plate.   So I've been thinking about trying to scrounge up the parts for a full Alps acrylic Clueboard build as well...maybe that was their secret plan.


They are still selling those Alps plates under 'Dents & Dings'.
« Last Edit: Wed, 28 March 2018, 01:53:39 by nguyenhimself »

Offline Kevadu

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 28 March 2018, 02:17:51 »
I did know about that GB, but honestly part of this project's goal is to use the AEK keycaps, which I reeeeally like (also why I've been lurking in that XDA Oblique IC thread a lot).

To each their own I guess.  I like the switches from old Apple boards but can't for the life of me understand what people see in those keycaps...

Quote
They are still selling those Alps plates under 'Dents & Dings'.

Not exactly.  Those are aluminum plates that are built for the same dimensions as an acrylic sandwich case build.  What I got sent was actually an acrylic Alps plate, which I didn't think they even still had and are not listed anywhere on their site.  And I actually prefer the acrylic plate for feel/noise reasons.

Anyway you could get one of those aluminum plates and use it with acrylic spacers for a hybrid acrylic/aluminum sandwich.  They still have acrylic pieces available (though colors can be limited).  But the original suggestion to put it in a FC660 case will not work as the outer dimensions of that plate are just too large.  I guess you could try to cut it down to size or something...the relative positions of the switches should be OK, it's just the boarder that's the problem.

Offline Sup

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 28 March 2018, 03:01:56 »
i was going to buy a 68 Key PCB for the Varmilo but then i saw how much the pcb alone is damn. But the 78 Key kit looks tempting to be honest but i bet i have to pay ****load of import cost over it >:( and need to find a new AEK II.
« Last Edit: Wed, 28 March 2018, 03:10:23 by Sup »
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Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 28 March 2018, 03:08:44 »
i was going to buy a 68 Key PCB for the Varmilo but then i saw how much the pcb alone is damn.

Yeah but then again it's not like you have a lot of choices for after-market Alps PCB 😣

One more option that I found is the Southpaw 65%, whose GB is close to shipping I believe 😐 Maybe there'll be some leftovers.
« Last Edit: Wed, 28 March 2018, 04:07:56 by nguyenhimself »

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 28 March 2018, 03:45:31 »
Am I missing any other custom Alps PCB?
If you're into TKLs, the XMMX supports ALPS.
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Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 28 March 2018, 20:37:54 »
Super good news: It seems that I've found exactly what I need (Alps PCB + plate, arrow keys) with the Katana60. The fact that it fits inside most 605 cases is also a plus.



I think this is what I'll be going forward with 🙂

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 09 April 2018, 09:51:09 »
Just in case this would be useful for someone else in the future: I recently found out that the VE.A also supports Alps


Offline Blaise170

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 09 April 2018, 09:59:12 »
I wish there was more choice for non-60% Alps builds. I tried using the V60 but I did not like the 60% layout at all. I much prefer TKL/75%/100%.
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Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 09 April 2018, 22:47:39 »
I wish there was more choice for non-60% Alps builds. I tried using the V60 but I did not like the 60% layout at all. I much prefer TKL/75%/100%.

Yeah same. My Alps journey would have been much simpler if I just get an Alps64 plus some 60% case, but 65% is the smallest I'm willing to type on.

So far, the Katana60 seems to be the most affordable and most interesting of the bunch.
« Last Edit: Mon, 09 April 2018, 23:02:08 by nguyenhimself »

Offline Hak Foo

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 09 April 2018, 23:53:37 »
You could look into the group buy for Omnkiey replacement PCBs.. There are supposedly a few left; you can build it as a 100% or a 110%, but you either have to get a custom plate or cut apart an old Northgate board
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Offline BlindAssassin111

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 10 April 2018, 00:02:51 »
You could look into the group buy for Omnkiey replacement PCBs.. There are supposedly a few left; you can build it as a 100% or a 110%, but you either have to get a custom plate or cut apart an old Northgate board

There are currently 4 left. And I do have the plate files for the board, just cutouts as I never designed a case to go along with it.

Offline reijikyosuke

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 10 April 2018, 00:29:08 »
found this, SMK65 with Tada68 Alu Case and SMK 2nd Gen Cherry Mount

https://imgur.com/gallery/RhIob

this pcb was actually the best thing that I've ever seen, ALPS and SMK Compatible. (But yes, keycap size like 1.75u R4 would be hard to find, except DCS profile one.)

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 10 April 2018, 01:00:15 »
found this, SMK65 with Tada68 Alu Case and SMK 2nd Gen Cherry Mount

https://imgur.com/gallery/RhIob

this pcb was actually the best thing that I've ever seen, ALPS and SMK Compatible. (But yes, keycap size like 1.75u R4 would be hard to find, except DCS profile one.)

Yeah I did find that on the LFKeyboards website (great guy), but I didn't see any 65% Alps plate being sold for that PCB, plus the need to get one extra Capslock keycap AND that $70 price tag...

Offline Blaise170

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 10 April 2018, 09:38:21 »
Yes I've seen the LFKeyboards site, but to get a PCB+plate+case the total was around $400 for me, which is just too much.
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Offline a_ak57

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 11 April 2018, 07:56:54 »
I have no idea what kind of extras are left for ALPS since it wasn't popular, but the Southpaw Extended 65 had ALPS support:

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=92344.0

Offline Blaise170

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 11 April 2018, 08:15:09 »
Checking out the site for NA, I would love something like the EEPW84 with Alps compatibility, but of course it's MX only.
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Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 14 April 2018, 11:32:18 »
The design and layout is not to my liking, but apparently, the CU75 and CU24 both support Alps switches with an Alps plate as a paid extra (provided it can get past MOQ 10 units).

Premium pricing, and the 75% layout means some extra effort required to find keycaps, but hey, more Alps options.


Offline _ODIN_

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 15 April 2018, 06:11:27 »
Super good news: It seems that I've found exactly what I need (Alps PCB + plate, arrow keys) with the Katana60. The fact that it fits inside most 605 cases is also a plus.

Show Image


I think this is what I'll be going forward with 🙂
will the standard aek keycaps fit on the katana ?

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 15 April 2018, 06:27:40 »
Yeah he made a specific layout to utilize all the keycaps in one AEK, though I suspect if you're willing to buy more than one set of AEK keycaps, you can also go for the MX layout (with the four bottom 1u keys)


Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 16 April 2018, 23:47:01 »
Decided to take a walk over at Making Stuff Together and found out this TOAD custom build by TalkingTree which also supports Alps switches. TalkingTree was kind enough to open-source all the PCB, plate, and case designs 🙂


Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 17 April 2018, 04:43:45 »
Decided to take a walk over at Making Stuff Together and found out this TOAD custom build by TalkingTree which also supports Alps switches. TalkingTree was kind enough to open-source all the PCB, plate, and case designs 🙂
Please do post pictures if you build one.
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Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 22 April 2018, 20:43:19 »
- Good news is, things are getting better, as we are getting more Alps-compatible boards.
- Bad news is, most of them are premium customs. Also, still 60% = still unusable for me 😐 

Case in point: The upcoming Duck Raven.




Offline Puddsy

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 22 April 2018, 20:47:53 »
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Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 22 April 2018, 20:54:51 »
kingsaver

Oh yeah, there's one on r/mechmarket right now, but I'm not planning to spend >1,000 on a single keyboard anytime soon 🙂

Offline Blaise170

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 23 April 2018, 09:16:57 »
I really don't understand why there aren't more standard size boards than this. I understand that the 60% layout is "cool" but I hate layering and refuse to buy another 60%.
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Offline ___q

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 23 April 2018, 10:07:27 »
In terms of PCBs, there is also the Alphas L3, which is an a.87-compatible tkl pcb, and as such fits many custom TKLs (not my picture, credits to E3E):



Availability is a bit tricky though, I don't know if they are regularly produced or if anyone has them "in stock".


kingsaver

Oh yeah, there's one on r/mechmarket right now, but I'm not planning to spend >1,000 on a single keyboard anytime soon 🙂

Even if you really want a kingsaver, you probably shouldn't pay 1k+ for it... that seller is surprisingly persistent with prices though.

Offline Blaise170

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 23 April 2018, 10:29:12 »
Kingsavers will probably not sell below $800 in the near future. Rarity combined with the lack of Alps TKLs readily available push up the price.
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Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #31 on: Fri, 27 April 2018, 06:00:30 »
I don't really care for split keyboards, but if that's your thing, the Let's Split does play nice with Alps switches.
Quote
Q8: Does the PCB support Alps switches?
A8: It sure does!


Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #32 on: Sat, 05 May 2018, 03:12:48 »
Again, not something that I'm particularly interested in, but apparently, both the OLKB Planck and Preonic PCBs support Alps switches.



Source.
« Last Edit: Tue, 08 May 2018, 09:01:40 by nguyenhimself »

Offline kultra

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #33 on: Tue, 08 May 2018, 07:50:17 »
keeb.io has PCBs ALPS compatible.

Offline vafan

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #34 on: Sun, 27 May 2018, 06:21:23 »
Did you finish your work?

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #35 on: Sun, 27 May 2018, 06:29:49 »
Did you finish your work?

I ultimately took the easy route and bought a Blue Alps64 board locally, though I also got a Katana60 PCB so I'm leaving that option open for maybe an Orange Alps build later (just not looking forward to having to hire someone to CNC my own Alps plate for that PCB).

Offline vafan

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #36 on: Tue, 29 May 2018, 04:13:03 »
Did you finish your work?

I ultimately took the easy route and bought a Blue Alps64 board locally, though I also got a Katana60 PCB so I'm leaving that option open for maybe an Orange Alps build later (just not looking forward to having to hire someone to CNC my own Alps plate for that PCB).

Haha, I'm going to buy LFK68. Looking for some linear switches right now.

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 29 May 2018, 06:43:51 »
Did you finish your work?

I ultimately took the easy route and bought a Blue Alps64 board locally, though I also got a Katana60 PCB so I'm leaving that option open for maybe an Orange Alps build later (just not looking forward to having to hire someone to CNC my own Alps plate for that PCB).

Haha, I'm going to buy LFK68. Looking for some linear switches right now.

I still think of the LFK68 with fondness, but the PCB and plate's prices are hard to swallow for me.

Online kakan

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #38 on: Wed, 30 May 2018, 05:44:29 »
How well does a 1mm plate hold Alps switches?

Offline ReDsNoTDeAd

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 06 June 2018, 02:14:14 »
So, lets talk caps.

We've got Harvested caps, Tai-Hao caps, the odd ones from PMK, that one wintery sounding set whos name escapes me, and thats about it.

But, i've reached out to Matias, as they seem to make non-standard alps blanks (ABS, but I'm asking someone to take some calipers to it and see the thickness, seems okay), which would enable 65% builds with ease. I'll post again when I get my reply, I'm just hoping to keep this thread alive because I just got 200+ alps switches and want to make some boards other than AEK64s.

Offline Blaise170

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #40 on: Wed, 06 June 2018, 09:18:19 »
Signature Plastics (PMK) also makes blanks, which may be cheaper than Matias.
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Offline ramblinrose

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 06 June 2018, 09:33:49 »
I'm still on the fence whether to do the va68m or a tkl build with my blue alps... leaning va68m as it be much cheaper, and I won't have to track down a few extra switches, the leading edge 2014 has 84.. 3 short for a tkl hah.

Offline ReDsNoTDeAd

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #42 on: Wed, 06 June 2018, 11:36:52 »
Signature Plastics (PMK) also makes blanks, which may be cheaper than Matias.

Do they sell in a set? Buying single/5 packs gets really expensive.

Also, can someone give me a rundown on acrylic vs stainless steel vs FR4 for alps plates? Wondering which I should be after for a SKCL Green build for a nice sound.

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #43 on: Tue, 28 August 2018, 08:37:51 »
Well, an orange Alps build is still at some point in the future for me, so I might as well keep this list (somewhat) updated for future references.

So far I've seen 3 new PCBs supporting Alps switches:

- The Lunar AEK, a high-end custom 75% PCB + aluminum case for Alps builds.
- The Tragicforce68, a drop-in replacement for the Magicforce68 but also has support for Alps.
- The AHKB, a split + HHKB Alps build by u/nachie. Possible GB at some point.

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #44 on: Sun, 09 September 2018, 21:34:09 »
OK, a few new stuffs. Both of the keyboards below have ended their GBs, but they should be quickly available on the after-market later on:

- CA66 R2.
- Fox Lab Leaf 80.

I believe today (10/10) is the last day to get this one:

- Duck Raven/Sidewinder.

« Last Edit: Sun, 09 September 2018, 23:34:07 by nguyenhimself »

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 12 September 2018, 00:50:10 »
- The ErgoTravel split keyboard supports both MX and Alps. The GB is almost finished now, but one can still complete the order form for left-overs.
- The Korean-made Salamander also supports Alps, but the small GB won't be starting at least until December or next January.



« Last Edit: Thu, 13 September 2018, 00:34:15 by nguyenhimself »

Offline Blaise170

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #46 on: Wed, 12 September 2018, 10:30:47 »
That Salamander looks incredible. I have no idea how one would go about buying it though.
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Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #47 on: Thu, 13 September 2018, 00:32:05 »
KPRepublic's new v3.0 PCB for the XD64 now supports both MX and Alps stems.

It's a very affordable custom with quite a number of layout and case options.




Offline Leslieann

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #48 on: Thu, 13 September 2018, 04:56:56 »
While not a pcb/plate combo, you can use the KBparadise V80 and stick it into a Tex TKL case or probably most anything that fits a Filco.

Also before you plan anything LFK, check inventory, a lot of stuff is out of stock.
« Last Edit: Thu, 13 September 2018, 05:00:15 by Leslieann »
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Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #49 on: Mon, 01 October 2018, 10:06:59 »
Not that interested in the TKL layout or the price, but hey, it definitely has Alps PCB and plate:

TGR Jane v2, whose GB just started.


Offline genesisx

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #50 on: Tue, 30 October 2018, 10:51:25 »
Got confirmation from XD64's tabao that they are doing internal testing on Alps plate with arrow key layout support, expected to hit the market within the coming month, I am so hyped right now  :eek:

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #51 on: Tue, 30 October 2018, 10:53:13 »
Yeeeeaah, they told me the plate would be ready this month, and so far still nothing.
But, at any rate, one can always cut their own plate anyway. The hard part (the PCB) is already there.

Offline nguyenhimself

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #52 on: Tue, 30 October 2018, 20:41:19 »
A few new stuffs from South Paw, though I don't think it'd be easy to gather all the required Alps keycaps for these:

- Zeta: A 48 key ergonomic ortho.

- HalfPi: A traditional 4x12 ortho.




Offline rpiguy9907

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Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #53 on: Tue, 28 July 2020, 23:12:51 »
XD87 and XD 96 also support Alps. Kprepublic is a go to for Alps support for me. Even their Daisy 40% and macro pads support Alps.

Offline shallot

  • Posts: 11
Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #54 on: Wed, 29 July 2020, 04:43:23 »
XD87 and XD 96 also support Alps. Kprepublic is a go to for Alps support for me. Even their Daisy 40% and macro pads support Alps.

What do you do about the plate on the XD87? The MX plate that they show looks to have some kind of lip on the top and bottom edges - this would be hard to get made by a service like laserboost

Offline mode

  • Posts: 285
Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #55 on: Wed, 29 July 2020, 06:21:07 »
The XD87 doesn't support DCS ISO enter either :(

Offline rpiguy9907

  • Posts: 59
Re: Alps PCB and Plate choices
« Reply #56 on: Thu, 30 July 2020, 10:33:29 »
You would have to have your own case cut out of stacked acrylic, etc. The plastic case for the XD87 is pretty hollow feeling anyway so it is better find other solutions.

I've long thought about a group buy for a decent XD87 compatible case, as it is one of the most affordable TKL PCBs available and has a hot swap version to boot.