Author Topic: The Keeb Thread  (Read 1133 times)

vladgd

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2020, 01:15:05 AM »
I 100% agree on the subjective statement, because, it is.

I found that I really liked the linear switches playing WoW classic. I don't know what brought it up, but when idling around and just moving my character through space, the linear action was just satisfying...for unknown reasons, but is just is.

I went into this thing wanting tactile feedback, and a year later...I kinda don't have that much motivation to try it (would totes try it if had access), which is good...for not throwing money away purposes...as..I tend to do with warhammer...junk food...alcohol...and hobbies I won't get into...


Spectere

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2020, 02:10:52 PM »
Yeah, as you mentioned before, getting access is the problem. I ended up going through several keyboards (thankfully was able to resell or gift most of them, aside from the two that broke or wore out) before I found a setup that I've been very happy with, and unfortunately that's good money that could have gone to a new PC, GPU, adult furry games, or whatever. Unfortunately, learning that gaming keyboards are generally pretty poor mechs was a very expensive mistake.

That said, even my current keyboard build was a bit of a shot in the dark. The only thing indicating that my current switches were good were people singing their praises on r/mk. Thankfully, it ultimately ended up being a good choice, but you never really know until you've fondled them for a bit and have some time to break them in. Even Logitech's cruddy Romer-G switches feel okay (sort of like MX Browns) when you only poke them for a few minutes, but after a few days of use they start to feel mushy. Even my Zealios switches needed a week or two of use before they kind of settled into a good place. They've always felt great to type on, but there was a noticeable "ping" sound when I would hit a key, likely from the spring vibrating. That ended up dulling out as I used it, and now I don't hear it at all (switching to thicker PBT keycaps and putting the keyboard on a large mouse mat further dampened the sound).
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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2020, 01:34:29 PM »
I never noticed any kind of wearing in effect on this keyboard, but that said I wasn't exactly looking for anything like that. Considering I played mania on laptops for years, I did develop a habit of bottoming out hard, but I've managed to mostly avoid hitting things too hard on this thing, with the exception of stuff like backspace, spacebar, and enter, which i tend to hit hard enough to really bottom out. I still bottom out most of the time, but not hard enough to really make too much noise when typing regularly.

I have to wonder what difference proper typing technique makes in all this. I do not have proper technique, and tend mostly to use 2 fingers on each hand, although I do occasionally use the others, especially if they're already on the right key. I can hit about 60wpm on typing tests, although to be honest I feel like the whole "copy this text" type test is flawed. Most of my typing is writing out my own thoughts, not copying someone else's text. Needing to pay attention to things like where a comma is, capitalization, and such while reading what I need to copy slows me the fuck down. When I'm writing something from my own mind I can type way faster than when I've gotta pay attention to details like that to copy something. That said, typos do really slow me down, especially if I make the same mistake like 3 times in a row before finally fixing the damn thing.

But yeah I do wonder if having proper typing technique and higher speeds affects how people perceive different switches as well.
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Spectere

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2020, 04:53:48 PM »
I think that does make some sort of difference. My typing technique is fairly close to "proper" (though I tend not to alternate between shift keys and space thumbs, though that doesn't slow me down thanks to my big Italian hands :P) and many of my habits seem to stem from me resting my fingers on the home row when I'm ready to type. I mean, I had a keyboard with linear switches (fairly stiff ones, too) for just under a year and even after all that time I never really got used to it.

I feel as though the "copy this text" test is about as useful as benchmarking a PC. It gives you a theoretical maximum, which can be useful in some occupations (mainly stuff like transcription). The main thing that I find flawed is the way many of those tests handle errors lead to a lot of confusing visual noise that you wouldn't get if you were to just copy a document straight from paper to Word. Some of them don't even let you use backspace to correct errors, so trying to correct your mistakes leads to even more errors and general uncertainty/anxiety/angst/tears. I haven't done a typing test in a while, but when I was in seventh grade I was top of my typing class by a wide margin (120+ wpm with 99% accuracy, since I more or less stumbled upon a semi-proper technique by accident and used computers a ton growing up). It feels like I've improved since then, but I don't really care enough about it to really find out. Like you said, I generally don't end up typing at full speed anyway unless I'm already damn sure about what I'm going to type.
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Spectere

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2020, 02:45:42 PM »
My Invyr Holy Pandas arrived today and I just got them installed in my GMMK TKL. I'm not going to attempt to give my first impressions just yet, seeing as I've only been using these for about 20-30 minutes, so instead I'll try to detail how they're different than my Zealios.

The Pandas have a smooth tactile bump, compared to the crisp, harder bump that the Zealios have. It's kind of tough for me to pinpoint exactly how they feel, but I'd say it's somewhere between MX Browns and MX Clears, leaning towards the latter. Zealios loosened up immediately after the bump, with the post-bump travel being initially light and gradually increasing. The Pandas are similar, though they feel firmer immediately after the bump.

One thing that's interesting about these switches is that if you push down on them slowly, the smooth bump almost makes them feel like a linear switch, while the crisp bump on the Zealios give you no illusions of what they are. When you're actually typing, however, the bump is noticeable but not overwhelming.

I'll give these things about a week before I attempt to offer my final opinions on them. That should give me enough time to try them out for the three most important things in life: typing, coding, and gaming.
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Spectere

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2020, 01:09:18 PM »
Eh, it's been close enough to a week. :)

So I'd have to say that the Pandas are probably all-rounders than the Zealios. The Zealios are amazing for typing, but the bump is less than ideal for gaming, while the Pandas still have a heavy feel but are a lot smoother in practice. They're interesting and unique, that much is for certain.

I did run into a couple of QC issues with the batch that I received. No chatter or anything like that, but the case seemed to be deformed enough on two of the switches that I simply couldn't mount them no matter how hard I tried. That's two switches out of 110 (I put in the order for this before I switched to TKL) so it wasn't a complete dealbreaker, and it further underlines why you should always order extras.

One reason I'm probably going to relegate the Pandas to home use is because they are definitely louder switches than the Zealios. They aren't clicky like a fresh set of MX Blues, but they make a pretty generous clack even when you bottom out fairly lightly. Kinda guessing it has a to do with the materials that the stems and switch bodies are made from, especially since I'm using the same board and caps. I will say that the sound is very satisfying without being obnoxious. When I used a keyboard with MX Blues as a daily driver, the high-pitched click would sometimes get on my nerves, but this setup produces a nice, well-rounded clack. Very lovely.

In other news, the rest of the parts for my custom keeb arrived yesterday, so I plan to start that build Soon™.
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Spectere

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2020, 05:37:21 PM »
I snagged my first artisan keycap, the Galaxy Chimera by Craftkey, and I think I'm in love:



I was kind of turned off to the idea of artisan caps because a lot of them aren't shaped like a keyboard key, so they tend to be rough and uncomfortable to press. This one is encased in resin, so while it's much smoother than my textured PBT caps, it at least has the same shape as the key that I'm replacing. I'm also very pleased that SA row 1 keys have the same basic profile as MT3 profile keys, so it doesn't feel out of place at all with the rest of my setup.
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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2020, 07:01:13 PM »
That looks cool as hell.
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Zephlar

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2020, 09:32:20 AM »
That's super cool. My wife has been watching a Youtube Channel lately where this Korean gal custom designs keys using resin/UV. Looks like it could be a lot of fun albeit a bit of a pain in the ass.

Spectere

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2020, 01:31:25 PM »
I did run into a couple of QC issues with the [Holy Pandas] that I received. No chatter or anything like that, but the case seemed to be deformed enough on two of the switches that I simply couldn't mount them no matter how hard I tried. That's two switches out of 110 (I put in the order for this before I switched to TKL) so it wasn't a complete dealbreaker, and it further underlines why you should always order extras.

Turns out, the issues didn't end there. I'm about two months in and I've run into three chattering switches (as opposed to the zero chattering switches from my previous Kailh Box Browns set and both sets of Zealios switches I've used), with another potential bad one rearing its ugly head. Swapping the switches with fresh ones eliminated the chatter, but if this keeps up I'm going to be out of spares before I hit the one year mark. Looks like I might be swapping the Zealios switches back in in the near future.

Edit: Two more chattering switches! Yeech. Current list of keys I've replaced, in order (mostly for my own reference):

2020-09-17: I, <space>, R
2020-09-24: E, L
« Last Edit: September 24, 2020, 11:36:54 PM by Spectere »
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Spectere

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2020, 03:38:57 AM »
I built something!



This goes a bit beyond socketing switches into sockets. This whole thing consists of the following parts:

  • DZ60 PCB
  • Susuwatari MT3 Keycaps (double-shot ABS)
  • Carbon fiber plate
  • Chonky aluminum case
  • Cherry-style stabilizers
  • Everglide Dark Jade key switches
The board included an ATmega32u4 (with the QMK firmware preinstalled), so I didn't have to fiddle with fitting a microcontroller in the case, and it included surface-mounted diodes, which cut the amount of stuff I had to hand-solder in half. It wasn't too difficult to put together, and it wasn't as tedious as I thought it would be. I was pleasantly surprised when I plugged it in and everything Just Worked™.

The hardest part for me now is getting used to the condensed layout. Fn+WASD are the direction keys (and I also included Fn+Q/E/R/F for PgUp/PgDn/Home/End for when I use Windows). The Shrug key is just the Fn key, so I can switch layers with either hand.

I can't overstate just how chonky the aluminum case is, either. This thing is heavy (which is a good thing, don't get me wrong).

As far as the overall feeling, I'd say the Jades feel somewhere between smoother Zealios and heavier Pandas. They have a nice, solid break like my Zealios switches, but have the smoothness of my Pandas (and hopefully their reliability isn't as bad *currently glaring at the growing pile of chattering Pandas on my desk*).

Sounds? Hm, I should probably record some sort of video, but that takes effort. I'd say it has a clackier sound than the GMMK+Zealios, but it's quieter and lower-pitched compared to the GMMK+Pandas (both using my PBT /dev/tty caps).

We'll see how the 60% layout works out in the long run, but so far so good. Being able to freely reconfigure the keyboard layout is definitely going to help, methinks.
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vladgd

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2020, 02:22:57 PM »
Besides travel, and collecting, what's the appeal of a 60% keyboard?

I don't have the largest hands for someone my size, but big for "average standards", and I don't see something like that being very comfortable as a daily driver.

I did notice 60% being quite popular while I was looking for a mech myself, but I just don't get the appeal, unless you're a tiny person in general. I could argue same goes for wallets, minimalist wallets seem to be way popular than a good quality leather bifold. (why a glorified paperclip is marketed as a "minimist wallet" is beyond me, but not for me I can't really comment)
« Last Edit: September 28, 2020, 02:25:04 PM by vladgd »

Spectere

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2020, 02:57:11 PM »
I kinda wondered that, too, which is why I went ahead and built this. I already had keycaps and switches, so it was just a matter of getting the case, plate, and PCB, which didn't end up costing all that much, and it proved to be a pretty fun (and ultimately useful) project.

After fiddling around with it, the main advantage I can see is the fact that you don't have to move far from the home row. I'm still breaking my existing muscle memory, but using Fn+WASD as cursor keys and Fn+numbers as function keys is starting to feel fluid and far more intuitive. When you really think about it, with a sane layer setup, 60% really isn't much of a step back from TKL. Just merge the function keys and number row, then put the arrows and navigation keys in an area that makes sense to you. I mostly use macOS now, so print screen, scroll lock, and pause/break are basically useless to me (in macOS, you use Cmd+Shift+3/4 for screengrabs). As long as you don't put your Fn key in a weird spot, nothing is far from reach.

I couldn't imagine jumping into a 60% layout without a flexible firmware, though. One of the reasons I decided to go the DZ60 route instead of ordering yet another GMMK is because it truly gives me the freedom to set this thing up however I want, giving me some wiggle room in terms of button layout (most DZ60-based layouts I've seen use a full-width right shift, for example) and giving me a dizzying amount of control over the way the keyboard actually works. Like, if I wanted to set this thing up so that LShift+RSuper+U+ESC types out ö, I could do that. I don't think it's much of a stretch to consider a compact, fixed layout damn near useless when it comes to keyboards.

I'm not sure I'd want to go smaller than 60%, though if I could get my hands on a cheap 40% PCB I'd be willing to try it. It's easy enough to 3D print a case for one if I just want to derp around with it for a bit. I've also developed a growing interest in split layouts. Not sure how aggressively I'm going to pursue that one, though. I think I spent enough on keyboard stuff this year, considering I'm on my fourth keyboard (shitty Logitech G910, GMMK, GMMK TKL, custom compact), sixth set of switches (Romer-G, Kailh Box Browns, Zealios 67g, more Zealios 67g, Holy Pandas, Everglide Dark Jade), and own four full sets of keycaps. At least I was able to give my old GMMK/Zealios set to my dad, and if it wouldn't make such a mess I would loooooove to shoot the G910. Repeatedly. With .44 Magnum FMJs.
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Bobbias

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2020, 06:00:50 PM »
https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/

WANT

But I'm poor atm. Fuck.

That said, I'd be interested in finding a 122 key keyboard, or something with extra function keys. Know where I should look (and what's out there for keyboards with extra keys. Not macro keys, but keys that actually send different scancodes)?
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Spectere

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Re: The Keeb Thread
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2020, 11:48:15 PM »
Unicomp makes a 122-key keyboard in both USB and PS/2 varieties. I imagine the quality isn't as good as those Model F clones (I've heard that Unicomp tends to hover around Model M levels of quality) but it's a lot cheaper, and you still get buckling springs: https://www.pckeyboard.com/page/product/UB40B5A

Aside from them, the only other keyboard I can think of off the top of my head that has extra keys are the full-sized Apple keyboards (scissor switch keyboards with F13-F19 and a sturdy aluminum base, but the modifier key layout isn't particularly Windows-friendly).
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