The Off Topic: PC peripherals, custom Keyboards, Mice etc

Here is a place to showcase and discuss custom keyboards, mice, and other PC peripherals =)

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@PaisleyUnderground this work for you :wink:

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MX Cherry Blue > all switches.

That is all. Carry on.

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Finally. Thank you Tyler. Sraf

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Kono store is a great place to start looking… for entry level boards especially hot-swappable… Drop is another one…

Also, be careful about diving into custom keyboards… it is pricey… and it gets crazy quick ha!

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LOL, thanks Tyler.

In that case, I’ll copy a paragraph from my post in the Off Topic.

I’m about to embark on a newbie journey to build a couple of custom keyboards - one for my son, who is a semi-pro gamer, and one for myself, with no gaming skills and no intention to game. I also have no soldering skills, so I’ll probably buy something that is hot swappable.

My first step was to buy a switch tester, so I could try out some different Cherry MX keys to understand the differences. It just arrived today, so my journey is going to halt for a while, so I can try the tester out.

I would appreciate some advice on which sites and/or keyboards I should consider. The sites that I’ve looked at so far are Drop.com, Wasd and MechanicalKeyboards.com . Just saw Tyler’s recommendation of Kono too.

This switch tester is amazing because I can immediately try out a Cherry Blue and know that it is way too clicky for my wife, who will constantly complain about me typing loudly. But my son may like it for his gaming.

Noted. It is really for a Christmas present for my son, who tends to destroy the $50 “gaming” keyboards we get from Best Buy, so I wanted to get him something sturdier. And while I’m at it, maybe get something a little more basic for me.

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Well right now there are some big drops to happen. Iron180 is about to drop. Premium board. A great priced board right now is the mark65. Also Novelkey just released the Nk65 RFP edition. That’s 190 and includes all the switches and keycaps. Also for full size Austin model is beautiful. They’re about to have raffle for the last few which are in stock and ready to ship if you don’t want to wait https://www.driftmechanics.com/post/austin-r2-extras-raffle-details

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If she loves you, she will put up with it. Blue > all

(LOL, jk jk…)

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To make the topic match its title, not long ago I bought an ergonomic mouse because of wrist pain following a particularly mouse-heavy task. I’ve previously purchased or tried ergo mice and hated them. However, this one stuck with me:

The wrist and hand sit diagonally rather than rotated flat. The pinky/bottom of the hand rests on the table and facilitates precision. There are several other mice that look like this one, but they proved to be too short for my fingers. This one works with various hand sizes.

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I have seen some people using it, I think one music producer was using it. From first sight it looks really awkward, but I am sure it’s really comfortable after getting used to. I like the idea of it.

Also there are the ones that have a ball which you don’t move, which is something on a whole different level.

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I’ve got about 5 or so sets (currently) of the above combination, and have been using it for maybe 30 years. When you find something you like, you stick with it. Like favorite underwear. Wait, that comparison’s just wrong, especially the stick with it part.

The keyboard is made for touch typists, and has the best feel since the early WICO or Apple II keyboards, and may even be better than the IBM Selectric Mark II typewriter. I have sets for all computers at home and work.

I find the trackball to be very comfortable, and requires little wrist movement. It’s done with the palm of the hand. It adapts well to LINUX also if you prefer 3 button mouse control.

I note that now Logitech has an illuminated mechanical. I also have one or two of the Logitech illuminated wireless keyboards, that get occasional use, like if I want to use one with a tablet.

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I’ve used the M570 for years. I’ve been turning screwdrivers since I was a little kid, when I started doing mouse-heavy tasks, my wrist didn’t like it at all. So this has been the solution. Works great once you get used to it.

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Logi makes nice stuff. I tried one like that - probably the predecessor model, and one from some other company. I guess I’m just used to that old Trackman design. I used to type, word process, edit a lot so had to take care of those wrists.

My first high-end keyboard (DASKeyboard/2011) has MX cherry blues. Got those on purpose to recreate those wonderful early IBM keyboards of the '80s. Only problem is that the clicking drives even me crazy. Years ago I was tossed off client conference calls for not remembering to mute the phone (so everybody heard me clicking away). I type very fast & the clicking sounds like bursts of machine gun fire.

I since moved up to high quality illuminated keyboards (Code 87 TKL with MX cherry clear switches). Illuminated keys completely solve my “can’t see the keys” (in low light of office) issue. And those clears have become the holy grail of typing for me: no click; even better, the relatively high actuation force means I “bottom out” less often, and feel more bounce/spring in the keys, which somehow pleases me greatly. I learned on an ancient Underwood mechanical where you practically had to hammer each key down to strike a character. Hard key action has always felt normal to me…

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Wow, some of those customizable keyboards are crazy expensive! I looked at the kb’s that @dRnRcR listed and one was over $800. But I guess someone who’s happy with $10 earbuds might have the same reaction if I told them how much my headphones cost.

I’m looking for the keyboard equivalent of a Modi/Magni or JDS Atom stack, i.e. good quality within a $100-200 budget.

I’ve done a bit more research into keyboard sizes (full size with numeric keypad, TKL without keypad, 65% compact design) and I think the TKL size is the right one for me. I’d like it to be hot-swappable because I can see myself tinkering with switches in the future, and have no intention of learning how to solder (until I have a good reason for learning, like building a Bottlehead Crack!). I like the hot-swappable concept, because I might turn this into a project and buy the bare bones case, switches and keys separately and build it myself.

So far, I’ve come up with 2: Drop CTRL and GMMK. Does anyone hate or love either of those, or can you suggest any more to add to my list?

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My wife, who has patiently watched all my boxes arrive over the last several months, even though she doesn’t understand why you would want more than 1 amp or set of headphones or cables, has put her foot down and told me she will throw my new obsession/keyboard in the trash if it’s too clicky.

LOL, my son said the same thing. He is a hard-core gamer (one of the few people to benefit from Covid because he’s taking a year off before going to college) and says that other players are always complaining about his clicky Razer keyboard.

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@PaisleyUnderground try this one. You ll have to wait for it but it’s worth it.

Also if you want something right away the ducky one2
Mini is popular and good quality.

The best option imo is the Novelkey one. I live in a house with audio and 3 keyboard enthusiasts. I know the pain. Ask @DarthPool

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Thanks @dRnRcR. They look good but I think I’d like a TLK size keyboard since I don’t need something as compact as the NovelKeys or Ducky One2 mini. I’d also like hot swapping capability, to give me something to play with.

From what I can see, that limits me to the GMMK or Drop CTRL, which is quite a bit more expensive, but looks to made of slightly better parts than the GMMK. Do either of those have a bad rep?

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No they’re both ok. What you want then is hot swap which they both are. The Novelkey one is hotswap too but I understand is the format is too small. They re great options for a taste of the mech keyboards world.

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@PaisleyUnderground I have the Drop ctrl… it was my first foray into mech keyboards outside of gaming keyboards ha! I also have the clone from Novelkeys… both are great…but can be finicky with certain things… but, overall a great entry point for custom keyboards

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