There are literally
imperfect choices for mechanical keyboards out there and
You can customize them a little, add some o-rings here, change some key caps there, Luke actually did a guide.
Luke: "Welcome to the ultimate Mechanical keyboard guide"
but unless you have the know-how to actually build one yourself
You're at the mercy of those that do, or are you?
What if I told you it didn't have to be like that?
What if I told you that there are more options out there than you might have realized what if I told you that?
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Linus Singing: "Do you want to build a keyboard
use any switches that you like
It could be. ahh. ah."
Alright, so let's go over what we set out to accomplish here because when Anthony first came to me with this idea
he had like these grand visions of
microcontrollers and soldering diodes using 3d printed or laser-cut chassis and a bunch of other things that are really cool, but
This is our first rodeo so we decided to focus on getting one working first
So with that in mind then we narrowed our search to parts that can bolt together
Meaning though that we can expect to pay a premium looking at what's available there's a lot of ten keyless components out there
But then even more options for the smaller and simpler
60% layout so we settled on that starting at mechanicalkeyboards.com for some essential supplies
Cherry MX brown RGB key switches
three choices of beautiful
Anodized aluminum cases to put everything into and then a selection of Springs that we can use to actually
customize the feel of our switches
So this way we could make the caps lock key or the function key more difficult to press
Accidentally, and then we could even reduce the actuation force of keys like w,a,s,d
Or even the whole alphanumeric set to improve our speed while maintaining that satisfying tactile bump of the Cherry MX brown
Like the beauty here whoop is that the sky's the limit
for Customizability, but
while it's really fun to play around with a bag full of cherry MXs a
chassis and a bag of key switches a keyboard
Does not make so we are going to need to wire them up now some folks do this manually but a PCB
Preferably one that is well documented is much easier not to mention a lot tinier now
There are lots of options out there
but for our project we turned to banggood where we found not only this nice wooden case actually this thing's really nice and
Wrist rest but also Satan no seriously
We found the satan GH 60 a fully programmable keyboard PCB that seems to check all the essential boxes
It's got macro support and RGB variant
And it is widely used in the DIY community as a budget option
so with the power of satan and a plate to go over it we started to write
I said no soldering for this video
So we just really wanted to make that Satan joke so maybe we'll do a follow up later with the Dark Prince GH60
anyway after some more digging for a plug-and-play option we found this on a store called
Kbd fans the geek customized GK 64 from semi tech
This PCB is pre-built with hot swap terminals, so not only will we not need to solder anything ourselves,
we can much more easily pull our key switches if you want to adjust the springs or
Replace them altogether and it gets bonus points for using a detachable USB type-c connection and having multiple
RGB modes including
Check this out you guys this lit AF sound activated mode
courtesy of a little microphone built into the keyboard
Before you ask that microphone can't be used for sound input and for good reason
I mean imagine your clanmates if you put your headset
microphone right next to your cherry MX blues, right
Anyway, so while we were talking to way over at KBDfans,we also requested his stylish Tina chassis a
full set of key caps and
stabilizers and another plate to fit our GK 64 which finally completes then our
component checklist oh
And we also got these which I caught Anthony working on
And he assured me was productive, but I will let you guys be the judge
All this left now is to put it together and see how well it works um, okay, so let's assemble this thing
So we start with what ?screwing down the PCB? Yes, that was relatively straightforward
Where's the hole I can't do this so that seems to go on that way mm-hmm
What'd they do that on the doodad cool? This is fun?
All good in hood
But it doesn't even sit like evenly like it's bowed up in the middle
So you're sure it wouldn't be faster to clip these into here, and then put the whole thing down hmm
Yeah, it's probably better to do that. Okay, wait, but there's to know there's some wiggle room. Yeah exactly
Yeah, yeah here, let's grab. Let's grab the stiffer one for the spacebar yeah
Like a much stiffer one. Okay? Where's 100-meter grams cool? Oh?
Okay, cool. Yeah, let's try it
I dont think I'd recommend it
Wow, it's like. It's like yeah. It feels like it's pushing you away from the table. Okay progress. Let's do a quick light up test
huh all right so now we can put all the
key caps on!
oh,these aren't labeled
or Are they?
Well backspace isn't working. O isn't it working
How concerned out of ten should be beyond that about that?
Here we go and that is one bent ass pin right there
bent right over
Yeah, I would recommend buying some extras if you're gonna undertake a project like this so everything is tested all in all I'd say
It's gonna take some getting used to you got a super short shift over here your delete key is way down here
You don't have function keys obviously, but overall
Pretty pleased with the with the end product here. It's compact its programmable
It's super portable. We don't have the ability to RGB sync it with you know
Asus AURA or Razer synapse or anything
We could change out its case anytime we wanted we can make adjustments to the force of the individual keys
I mean, it's fantastic
So you might be sitting there thinking gee that sounds great linus does that mean I should do it, too?
Really depends on how much you value your time
And how much you value your money?
Not only did this involve about an hour's worth of work not accounting all the research of finding all the parts and ordering them our
bulk together approach means that our total cost
350 US dollars before shipping or taxes
I mean many people already bulk at the idea of a hundred dollar keyboard
So this is clearly a deep rabbit hole for the amateur the more adventurous among us could
Salvage from old keyboards or even build or 3d print their own cases
But there will always be caveats no matter who you are
You won't get a warranty by going totally custom, so if you care about that
So in the end then while this may not be
Hands-down the best mechanical keyboard ever certainly not for the price
Nor was it quite as down and dirty DIY as it could have been its uniquely ours and for some people
That's gonna be worth it
So let us know would you build your own keyboard in the comments below and let us know if you'd like to see more
DIY keyboard stuff in the future
Maybe next time I'll even let Anthony at the soldering iron
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