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Custom Mechanical Keyboard

Hey everyone,

 

I am looking into building my first fully custom keyboard. I am willing to do all the assembly as long as it doesn’t include soldering as my soldering skills are...not good to say the least. I’m looking for a full size keyboard with the numpad, USB-C connectivity if possible and Cherry Switches (have not decided on the switch yet). Hoping to find a heavy aluminum or metal base.

 

If you guys have any suggestions on sites to look at that could be a one stop shop that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for all of your help. As for budget I’m looking to spend about 5 or 6 hundred bucks max all in.

 

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Hey there. The only full-sized, hot-swappable keeb I know of is the Glorious GMMK.

Compatible with Cherry MX switches, has a num-pad (full-sized, yes), and an aluminum face plate, but the base is a sturdy plastic and it uses USB 2.0. Customizable on the Glorious's site that's linked above.

 

Additional Comments:

Spoiler
On 5/18/2020 at 12:08 AM, Eschew said:

Included with the GMMK are: a hot-swappable PCB, a sleek black aluminum faceplate bordered with chrome, 2 ABS keycaps, pre-installed stabilizers, a braided USB 2.0 cord (non-detachable for full size, detachable for TKL and compact), a 90° adapter, four extra rubber feet, one keycap puller, and one switch puller -- all included for $59.99, mind you (barebones, no switches or keycaps). Note that only plate-mounted switches will fit in the PCB, but you can convert PCB-mounted switches to plate-mounted ones by snipping off their plastic leg things.

 

GMMK Assembly (Timestamp: 6:00 - 22:25):

The video above showcases the main appeal of the GMMK -- the entire assembly process is tool-less.

 

If you'd like a more critical look at the GMMK, however:

The title is uninformative and clickbait-y, but the video raises a few good points (IMO), and you're getting the opinion of someone that's used the keyboard for a couple of months.

 

28 minutes ago, VarShayiskhun said:

As for budget I’m looking to spend about 5 or 6 hundred bucks max all in.

USD, I'm assuming?

正直に生きる、一度きりの人生だから

Keeb Weeb LinksCustom Mechanical Keyboards | #KeebWeebClub

'Chew Builds: Hoshī (PC) | Eighty #391 (Keeb) | R2-968 (Keeb) | MGK64 (Keeb)

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I've been kind of looking at doing the same. I dont think there is a great one stop shop, and standard full size layouts are much harder to find parts for. You might spend some time looking at the mechanical keyboards subreddit, and watch some videos from taekeyboards and taeha types to find some good vendors and find out what is being sold right now.

 

The overwhelming majority of stuff I am finding is being sold through group buys, which are frustrating to say the least. On the off chance you find something you like, the group buy is always over or the item is out of stock.

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51 minutes ago, Eschew said:

Hey there. The only full-sized, hot-swappable keeb I know of is the Glorious GMMK.

Compatible with Cherry MX switches, has a num-pad (full-sized, yes), and an aluminum face plate, but the base is a sturdy plastic and it uses USB 2.0. Customizable on the Glorious's site that's linked above.

 

Additional Comments:

  Hide contents

 

 

USD, I'm assuming?

Yes USD. I am open to a TKL as well. Just not a  60 percent board as I need the arrow keys at minimum

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With a budget of $500-$600, you might be better off looking at GBs, assuming you're fine with not getting your keyboard immediately. Same for keycaps. Just look at the Geekhack pages from time to time.

I also really not recommend getting Cherry MX switches at that point, as there are just so many actually decent options for clicky, tactile and linear switches. Unless you like scratchy linears that even bind on the keycaps sometimes, barely tactile and very scratchy tactiles, and rattly and horrible sounding clickies. In those cases, go for Cherry MX... Can't come with any recommendations without knowing at least some preferences.

 

If you want something that's available right now, you can check the KPRepublic XD96. You can also get Everglide stabilisers on KPRepublic as well, although you may want to look elsewhere for switches and keycaps. While it requires some soldering, it's just for the switches, and it's through hole soldering, so it's super easy. Even I managed to do it, despite basically having basically no soldering experience prior.

For keycaps, you could get a relatively inexpensive set, while you wait for your GB set to arrive. Or you could look at sites like KBDfans or KPRepublic for keycaps, if you find something you like there.

With customs there are very few full size keyboards, and even the XD96 is a 96 key layout

:)

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1 hour ago, VarShayiskhun said:

as long as it doesn’t include soldering as my soldering skills are...not good to say the least

This is going to severely limit your options. I built my first keyboard without having ever soldered before and it turned out just fine.  I just watched a couple youtoube videos which was sufficient enough to impart me the necessary skills.  

 

Also the're really aren't many fullsize custom options either. But if all you need is arrow keys then you can look into these form factors: 1800, 96%, TKL, 75% and 65%. A lot of people consider 75% to be a sweet spot between compactness and primary layer functionality. 

 

And as above, I'd stay away from Cherry switches, unless you want linear and are willing to heavily mod them (pre-wear, lube and spring swap). 

 

Do you know which class of switch you prefer, linear, tactile or clicky?

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https://keycaplendar.firebaseapp.com/?page=calendar

 

^ for tracking the upcoming and live keycap buys

 

there is one for keyboards, but I can't remember what the link is, if I find it I'll post it.

 

I know everyone is saying it, but it you want something awesome you're gonna have to wait for it. Tis the way this hobby works.

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