Author Topic: Low Profile Keyswitches, PBBs, and Caps  (Read 1528 times)

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Offline Hblcats

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Low Profile Keyswitches, PBBs, and Caps
« on: Thu, 14 June 2018, 19:49:07 »
Hi!

I was thinking of putting together a low profile keyboard, and was wondering what the best switches, PCB and compatible Keycaps were.

Does anyone know what brands are the best, and if there are QMK compatible PCBs that work with Low Profile? I havenít yet touched upon this type of key, and my only experience with them is something similar to Apple MacBook keycaps, which I personally find very comfortable.

Thanks!

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Low Profile Keyswitches, PBBs, and Caps
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 15 June 2018, 05:53:33 »
The only one I have seen so far is Kailh Choc switches and only one PCB: the Iris, but which is a split "ergonomic" keyboard. No stabilisers for keys larger than 1.75 units wide.
Luckily, there have been a lot of interest in low-profile switches and Cherry, Kailh and a couple of others are coming out low-profile discrete mechanical switches.

You won't find scissor switches / rubber domes, or scissor switch / metal dome (like Apple Macbook) at all. Those are built as one keyboard as a whole and not with discrete components.
Kailh has announced a scissor switch with mechanical action as a discrete component.
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
-- Arthur Miller

Offline Hblcats

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Re: Low Profile Keyswitches, PBBs, and Caps
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 15 June 2018, 10:37:56 »
Thanks. I looked into it a bit more and there is a PCB called the Meira which could work!

Offline Kevadu

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Re: Low Profile Keyswitches, PBBs, and Caps
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 15 June 2018, 10:43:24 »
I have been interested in this as well but I have found the options to  be quite limited.  Novelkeys sells Kailh's low-profile switches and compatible keycaps (though the latter are pretty basic) but compatible PCBs and cases are a problem.  There are actually a few out there but I haven't seen a single 'normal' one.  No 60% or TKLs or anything.  They're all things like the split one Findecanor mentioned or ortholinear 40% boards or just a macropad or something.

There are also smaller things like stabilizers.  The preassembled boards I have seen with Kailh low-profile switches actually have switches with modified top housings for the stabilized keys so the wire can run through a channel on the switch itself.  It's actually a pretty clever system because it ensures that the stabilizer wire is always properly aligned with the switch.  I have found these stabilized keys to be almost indistinguishable in feel from  non-stabilized keys and completely silent.  I think I actually prefer this system to anything in the MX-compatible world.  But I digress.  The point is I haven't seen switches with this modified housing for sale on their own, nor the stabilizer wires or keycap inserts.  This may be related to why all the available PCBs arenof the type that have uniform key sizes and thus don't need stabilizers.

Offline Hblcats

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Re: Low Profile Keyswitches, PBBs, and Caps
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 16 June 2018, 21:26:46 »
Thanks for the new info. Stabilizers didnít even cross my mind yet.

Offline jcoffin1981

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Re: Low Profile Keyswitches, PBBs, and Caps
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 16 June 2018, 21:40:56 »
Leopold makes some cool low-profile keycaps. They are really high quality and similar to Cherry low profiles. They come blank and printed.
KPB V60 Gateron Browns and Leopold Keycaps.  Poker 3 with Gateron Browns and Poker keycaps.  Poker 3 with Cherry MX Browns, ABS keycaps and white LED's.

Leopold FC660M- my new favorite, right out of the box.