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Build Log - MGK64

Introduction

...More fool me, thinking that I could write this up in the meager five hours I had last night. 766710897515167744.png?v=1

 

I mean...

 

Hey there! Welcome to yet another ‘Chew keeb build log, featuring Den-Fi’s GK64! 🥰

 

20210115_210651.jpg

Den-Fi's GK64

Received: October 15, 2020.

 

Running trend with my build logs (Hoshī, R2-968) seems to be that the object goes through a full disassembly and reassembly, lol. Same-ish thing here -- bought some new parts specifically for the GK64, and I'm swapping them in! Been itching to fiddle with this board for a while now. 619039042423750657.gif

 


 

Name

Meaning of "MGK64" is twofold:

  • GK64: A reference to the keyboard's model, of course.
  • MGK: Shortened from 万華鏡 (まんげきょう, or "mangekyou"), meaning "kaleidoscope."

Merge the two together, out pops "MGK64." Sorta like me mushing my real name together to get "Eschew." 😉

 

To me, the GK64 represents active change and experimentation -- very unlike the Eighty #391, which I want to perfect as my "endgame" keeb, and unlike the R2-968, which has very restricted upgrade paths. Like a kaleidoscope, the GK64 would be something that changes its patterns every once in a while. Switches, keycaps, cases -- so on and so forth. Thankfully, it’s small enough that a few mods here and there won’t absolutely murder my wallet, and it being a compact keeb means there’ll be plenty of compatible parts available*.

 

*Theoretically.

(We'll get to that, later. 😆)

 

万華鏡 is also a reference to Lunatic Kaleidoscope by GET IN THE RING:

Spoiler

Cosmic Horoscope: 0:00 - 4:42. Lunatic Kaleidoscope: 4:43 - 9:33.

Song Lyrics (First Chorus):

Quote

Forever mine, tonight!

私の心 煤けた万華鏡 | My heart is a soot-stained kaleidoscope.

(覗き込んでほら 目を回して) | (Peep in and look—be astounded!)

(どうしてかな満たされない) | (I wonder why I’m not satisfied.)

涙が渇いても (染めるSunset) | Though my tears dry, (A colored sunset.)

明日が形変えても (揺れるVision) | Though tomorrow morphs, (My vision shakes.)

時代が巡っても (踊るInjure) | Though the times change, (The injuries dance.)

今はまだ (あなた) 私 (とても) 眠れないのね | Not yet, (you) and I (really) can't sleep.

Based off a translation by Releska.

 

So, there. Kaleidoscope 万華鏡 (まんげきょう, or "mangekyou") + GK64 MGK64.

 

Also brainstormed some other names, but those were scrapped in favor of MGK64:

  • Argo/Delias: Ship of Theseus themes. I'm aware that the Argo was Jason's ship, and that Theseus's ship doesn't have an explicitly stated name.
  • GK64-1616: 1616 ⇒ いろいろ ⇒ 色色 ⇒ "Various Colors."
  • GK64-X: "X" for "Experiment." GK64x is an actual product, however.
  • 変わるもの: "Thing that Changes." ...But it's a mouthful, and not everyone cares about Japanese, or is a weeb like I am. 769979590663208993.png

 


 

Pre-Build Log Parts List

Component Selection Price
PCB GK64 PCB  
Case Wooden Case  
Mounting Plate Aluminum Mounting Plate  
Switches

Halo Clear Switches

Kailh BOX Navy Switches

Kailh BOX Jade Switches

Kailh BOX Glazed Green Switches

 
Stabilizers Plate-Mounted Stabilizers  
Keycaps

Classic Dye-Sublimation Cherry-Profile Keycaps

 
Cable USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cable  
     
  Grand Total  
  (Shipping and Taxes Excluded)  

 

Current Parts List

Component Selection Price
PCB GK64 PCB  
Case

Tofu60 Aluminum Case (Black)

"3 Layers" Aluminum Case

$88.00

$64.80

Mounting Plate Fiberglass Mounting Plate $14.30
Switches

Modded Silent L7 (TS-150g) Switches

(Durock L7 Switches - Housings)

(Gazzew/Outemu Silent Linear Stems)

(Two Stage Long Springs (150g))

 

Modded Silent Ink Black (150g) Switches

(Gateron Silent Ink Black Switches)

(Stainless Steel Springs (150g))

 

Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches

(Kailh BOX Black Switches - Stems + Top Housings)

(Hako Royal Clear Switches - Bottom Housings)

(Kailh BOX Ancient Gray Switches - Springs)

 

Zealio V2 Switches

Halo Clear Switches

$60.45 + $23.25 + $9.30

$85.00 + $9.30

$30.00 + $53.00 + $34.95

Stabilizers Plate-Mounted Stabilizers  
Keycaps

KAT Alpha PBT KAT-Profile Keycaps

Fog White PBT OEM-Profile Keycaps

Classic Dye-Sublimation Cherry-Profile Keycaps

/dev/tty MT3-Profile Keycaps (Bleached)

$47.00

$19.00

 

$55.00

Cable USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cable  
     
  Grand Total $593.35
  (Shipping and Taxes Excluded)  
 
Parts Update History
Spoiler
  • [10/15/2020]: Switch Reveal - Kailh BOX Glazed Green + Kailh BOX Jade Switches
  • [11/17/2020]: #KeebWeebClub Update 1 - Kailh BOX Jade + Kailh BOX Navy Switches
  • [01/07/2021]: #KeebWeebClub Update 2 - Halo Clear Switches
  • [01/16/2021]: MGK64 Build Log - "3 Layers" Aluminum Case + Fiberglass Mounting Plate + Zealio V2 Switches
  • [03/05/2021]Monochrome - Kailh BOX Jade + Kailh BOX Navy Switches + KAT Alpha Keycaps
  • [03/22/2021]Extra Sound Samples - Kailh BOX Jade + Kailh BOX Navy + Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + KAT Alpha + OEM Fog White Keycaps
  • [03/30/2021]Sound Dampeners - Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + KAT Alpha + OEM Fog White Keycaps + Shelf Liner
  • [05/01/2021]Case, Stem, Spring Swaps! - Tofu60 Aluminum Case + Durock L7 Switches + Gateron Silent Ink Black Switches
  • [09/29/2021]: Smooth Criminal - XDA Gentleman Keycaps + Durock Lavender Switches

 


 

Disassembly and Reassembly

Y'know, 'Chew very briefly thought about streaming the process.

 

...Friggin' thank goodness I didn't, LMAO. Disassembly was smooth 'cos I've done it once before, but the reassembly took me a ridiculously dumb and ridiculously excessive amount of time. 748522849928609872.png?v=1

 

Disassembly Process

Easy peasy. 👌

  • Keycaps
  • Switches
  • Plate-Mounted Stabilizers
  • Case
  • PCB + Mounting Plate

Drink (responsibly!) every time I say "screw." 662170920521302023.gif?v=1

 

20210115_211902.jpg20210115_212909.jpg

GK64 - Keycaps + Switches Removed

[Tapioca noises!] bobaparrot.gif

 

20210115_213615.jpg20210115_213842.jpg

GK64 - Plate-Mounted Stabilizer Removal

Plate-mounted stabilizers have this clip thing that needs to be pushed before the stabilizer housing can be removed from the plate.

[Grunting noises as I struggle with the spacebar stabilizer.] 685675911512719401.png?v=1

 

20210115_215701.jpg

GK64 - Plate-Mounted Stabilizers Removed

...Stupid spacebar stabilizer. 'Chew definitely prefers screw-ins.

Stabilizers. Screw-in stabilizers. Of course. 743509290047766589.gif?v=1

 

20210115_215933.jpg

GK64 - Case Removal

Unscrewing the screws holding the mounting plate to the case.

Random tangent: Screwdriver is a drink, yes? Wonder if it's any good. 757314353501438014.png?v=1

 

20210115_220447.jpg

GK64 - Wooden Case Removed

TIL 1ed507569d97d69aa36ebd7dc1011177.svg emoji is a thing.

[Immature giggling.]

 

20210115_220726.jpg

GK64 - PCB + Mounting Plate Backside

At this point, the PCB and plate are still a unit held together by the six screws pictured above.

 

20210115_220829.jpg

GK64 PCB - Mounting Plate Removal

[Screwy noises.]

😏

 

20210115_221924.jpg

GK64 PCB - Mounting Plate Removed

Aaand... BOOM! The GK64's all disassembled!

Now to tack it with the new mounting plate and case! 619039042423750657.gif

 

Reassembly Process

Don't be a dumb-dumb like 'Chew. I'd suggest reassembling the GK64 in this order:

  • Mounting Plate + Plate-Mounted Stabilizers + Corner Switches
  • GK64 PCB + Mounting Plate
  • GK64 PCB-Plate Sandwich + All Switches
  • GK64 PCB-Plate-Switches Sandwich + Case

More like re-(767122981687132230.gif?v=1)-ssembly... There was definitely a lot of backtracking and butt-clenching involved when I was doing it. 🤣 

 

20210115_222533.jpg20210115_222449.jpg

Mounting Plate Comparison - Aluminum + Fiberglass

Left: Frontside. Right: Backside.

 

20210115_225853.jpg

Mounting Plate + Plate-Mounted Stabilizer

Correct alignment is with the stabilizer's wire on the same side as the smaller notches in the mounting plate's stabilizer cutout.

It's literally that toddler shape-sorting toy -- stabilizer only goes in one way, so match the stabilizer's housing's physical profile to the cutout.

 

 20210115_230122.jpg20210115_230313.jpg

Mounting Plate + Plate-Mounted Stabilizer

Insert the stabilizer in at an angle, and slide the stabilizer wire under the mounting plate. Finish installing the stabilizers by pushing down on the stabilizer housing until it lies flush against the mounting plate.

Think, M.2 SSDs.

 

20210115_225132.jpg

Zealio V2 Switch

Purdy purple! 748522849807106088.png

Time to break out the switches!

 

20210115_231138.jpg

Mounting Plate + Plate-Mounted Stabilizers + Corner Switches

One, two, skip a few...

This was the part where 'Chew was being dumb and jumped the gun. Apparently a few hours passed before I got to this stage. 748522849928609872.png?v=1

...A lot of backtracking was involved.

 

20210115_232633.jpg

GK64 PCB + Mounting Plate

Once the holes are aligned with the switch's pins, push it in real good.

Fiberglass plate can be a bit finnicky -- there's no screws holding the plate to the PCB, so the plate can get loose under the switch. Just apply a bit o' patience. 😅

 

20210115_235144.jpg

GK64 PCB + Mounting Plate + Aluminum Case

Dooooooooon't be a dumb-dumb like 'Chew and don't do the above.

I'd recommend installing the rest of the switches into the PCB firstBefore screwing the PCB into the case.

 

20210116_004009.jpg

GK64 - Switches Installed

This is usually the point where I test all the keys with Keyboard Checker. Easier to straighten out bent switch pins at this stage of the reassembly. 👍

 

20210116_071320.jpg

GK64 + /dev/tty MT3-Profile Keycaps

Switches good? Next, keycaps! ALMOST DONE!

ALMOST--

 

20210116_071420.jpg

GK64 - Left Shift Key

Excuse me what is that.

...Pain.

Suffering.

Why. Why is it 2U, FFS. 748540861545185361.png

 

20210116_073059.jpg

GK64 + /dev/tty MT3-Profile Keycaps...?

788506153867804732.png

(╯ಠДಠ)╯彡┻━┻

 

20210116_185031.jpg

GK64 + Classic Keycaps

...Okay. Okay.

This is far less offensive than the other... thing... just now.

 

20210116_185634.jpg

GK64 - Acrylic Diffuser

Lit!

Makes excellent use of the GK64 PCB's lighting. 🥰

 

RGB_1.gifRGB_2.gifRGB_3.gif

GK64 - Acrylic Diffuser

parrot.gifparrot.gifparrot.gif

 


 

Sound Samples

Also, for the KAT Alpha sound samples (plus the future ones), I used a different recording setup; audio quality will probably sound markedly different compared to previous sound samples.

 

Legacy Sound Samples

Sound samples recorded with the phone. Expect terrible audio quality. 662170920521302023.gif?v=1

Note that for the MGK64, I did change the mounting plate and case, which will probably affect acoustics.

Spoiler

GK64 - Kailh BOX Glazed Green Switches

 

GK64 - Kailh BOX Jade (Alphanumeric) + Kailh BOX Navy (Modifiers + Spacebar) Switches

 

GK64 - Halo Clear Switches

 

MGK64 - Zealio V2 (Alphanumeric + Modifiers) + Halo Clear (Spacebar) Switches

 

 

Current-ish Sound Samples

Sound samples recorded with the Antlion Mod Mic. Expect less-terrible audio quality. 662170920521302023.gif?v=1

Spoiler

MGK64 + "3 Layers" Aluminum Case

Spoiler

MGK64 - Kailh BOX Jade (Alphanumeric) + Kailh BOX Navy (Modifiers) Switches + KAT Alpha Keycaps

 

MGK64 - Kailh BOX Jade (Alphanumeric) + Kailh BOX Navy (Modifiers) Switches + OEM Fog White Keycaps

 

MGK64 - Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + KAT Alpha Keycaps

 

MGK64 - Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + OEM Fog White Keycaps

 

MGK64 - Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + KAT Alpha Keycaps + Shelf Liner

 

MGK64 - Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + OEM Fog White Keycaps + Shelf Liner

 

 

MGK64 + Tofu60 Aluminum Case

Spoiler

MGK64 - Durock L7 (67g) Switches

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent L7 (67g) Switches

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent L7 (150g) Switches

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent L7 (TS-150g) Switches

 

MGK64 - Gateron Silent Ink Black Switches

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent Ink Black (150g) Switches

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent Ink Black (TS-150g) Switches

 

MGK64 - Durock Lavender Switches

 

 

 

unknown.png

Time: 30 Seconds.

Taken: January 16, 2021.

 


 

Post-Build Opinions

Dang, I don't have tea to sip. Wellp, this bottle of wine should do instead. 🤣

 

Question: Would you recommend the GK64 as a starter custom keyboard to get into the hobby?

Answer: Uh............... No.

 

It pains me to write this, because I received the board as a lovely, lovely gift from Den, and I will always treasure it as such. But I do have thoughts about the physical product now that I've intimately touched groped fondled examined it, and I felt obligated to share them. Would be especially useful for those tempted to buy a GK64 (or other GK variants, like the GK87S).

 

I will agree that it’s cheap, and I will agree that the Bluetooth variants are nifty. But (767122981687132230.gif?v=1) the thing about custom keebs that I love is that they're customizable. Tired of the current board and feeling whimsical? A quick parts switcheroo, and a custom will change how it looks, feels, and sounds. The moment the manufacturer decides to use some proprietary, non-standard layout, or decides to sacrifice customizability for cost-savings, I lose interest very quickly, and I feel that’s what happened with the GK64.

 

20210115_222312.jpg20210115_222207.jpg

GK64 - PCB + Default Mounting Plate

 

  • GK64 PCB - 2U Left Shift Key: Hands-down, this is the strangest oddity on the board. Most keebs and keycap sets offer 2.25U Left Shift options. The GK64 has no alternative physical layouts and is stuck with it's nonconventional 2U Left Shift, which many keycap sets -- like the /dev/tty MT3-Profile Keycaps above -- do not accommodate. Adding to the issue, this specific key is the only one on the PCB that does not accept PCB-mounted and screw-in stabilizers -- the Left Shift will only use a plate-mounted stabilizer. All other stabilizer keys have holes cut out for screw-in and PCB-mounted stabs. Just... wat. 788508110318338079.png?v=1 The 2U Left Shift being compatible with only plate-mounted stabs leads to my next gripe.
  • GK64 Mounting Plate: Mounting plates are sorta tied with stabilizers; plates compatible with plate-mounted stabs will have irregular cutouts that should accommodate the stabilizer housings, while plates for PCB-mounted and screw-in stabs are just regular squares. Rectangles. Shapes. (I'm drunk? 🥂) The most ubiquitous aftermarket mounting plates are those for PCB-mounted/screw-in stabs, and most aren't compatible with the GK64's odd 2U Left Shift. KPrepublic thankfully carries a variety of GK64-compatible mounting plates, but TBH the selection isn't impressive (very thankful I found the fiberglass mounting plate at all, lol). Oh, and I couldn't use the default aluminum mounting plate in the aftermarket case because the mounting holes are off, and I didn't have the tools to mod the mounting plate to fit. Plus, the astute and OCD-sensitive might notice that the switch cutouts on the default plate aren't perfectly horizontal; this actually does affect how the switches and keycaps are aligned on the board. More strikes against the GK64. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

How-e-ver!

 

My standards are different from other people’s standards. Maybe that curious newbie wanting to delve into custom keebs only wants the board to be hot-swappable, have RGB lighting, and have a bit of convenient wireless functionality. In that case, the GK64xs is an easy recommend. But for people like me, always on the lookout for newer, more interesting keebs, switches, keycap sets, and other thangs, cutting corners on compatibility leaves a sour (749691031242407986.png?v=1) taste in my mouth. Eventually, I’m going to hit a brick wall if I try to customize it any further. 769979590663208993.png?v=1

 

Haven't put in the effort to search for alternatives to the GK64 (I... blame the drink? 🍷), but I believe there are more customizable options with better aftermarket compatibility out there. The DZ60 comes to mind, usually available from KBDfans. 🤔

 


 

Closing Comments

Why did I think drinking while writing was a good idea. Hopefully I can words and sense make. 😶

 

Much thankies for taking an interest in the build log and reading this far! The GK64 is a humble board, but if you found it entertaining or interesting, all the better! 😁👍

Extra special thankies to @Den-Fi! For the GK64, and for letting me experience and experiment and learn with it. Disassembling the keeb was such a simple thing, but studying it in-person significantly expanded my existing knowledge on custom keebs. 748522851337764904.gif?v=1

 

Taking this keeb with me to the grave, thanks. No one touch it without muh permission, pls.

Except Den. Den has all the permissions. 775941861465391124.gif?v=1

...Y'all think I'm joking? 799661980259975178.png?v=1

 

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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23 minutes ago, Eschew said:

Y'know, 'Chew very briefly thought about streaming the process.

...Friggin' thank goodness I didn't, LMAO

😔

My PCs: Desky | Beddie | Miney | Benchie

Things I need help with: (nothing at the moment)

Spoiler

none atm

I hate Intel's pricing, Ryzen's weird quirks, Nvidia's pricing, and Radeon GPUs in general

Spoiler

Products I like:

Spoiler

Sony Xperia Z1 / Z2 / 10 ii, Asus Strix 970 / 1070, Samsung SSD, WD HDD, Corsair PSUs (AX, RM, CX(grey)), GeForce GPU, NZXT N450/S340, be quiet! Coolers, G.Skill Trident RAM, Logitech M525, Logitech G440, Razer Deathadder Elite

Products I hate:

Spoiler

Xperia Z3, XiaoMi 5c, Radeon GPUs, Razer Audio Products, any bloatwares

Companies I absolutely adore: (and hope it stays that way)

Spoiler

be quiet! - sent me AM4 mounting for my DRP3 even though it's way past the timeframe stated, no questions asked

Corsair - very good RMA experience, absolutely recommend

Companies I hate:

Spoiler

Nvidia, Intel, Apple, TMT (Thundermatch, a retailer)

Personal Blacklisted Companies:

Spoiler

Acer: shit tier quality products, shit tier customer service thus far, they "tried" to solve my issue but they arent really doing anything but delaying and delaying. (on-going case since July)

Gigabyte: horrible customer service (gigabyte had literally 0 customer service, asked me to go to retailer with NO WAY to email them about a question) but at least they fixed my shit in ONE MONTH (would probably take me 1 hour to fix if they let me email them)

XiaoMi Phones: built like a tank but the software is buggy as all hell

Seagate HDD: had too many dead seagate drives

Kingston SSD: 300V controller swap thingy

Razer (except their mouse)

Remember, just because I had good/bad experiences with these companies/product, doesn't mean you will have similar experiences too. I would still recommend these products if they made sense for your needs, but I'll add a disclaimer of my experience if it's relevant. Feel free to DM me asking why they are where they are.

 

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Bwahahaha, yes. It is truly the "well why did they do that?" of keebs. Still miffed about not being able to use the bamboo case because of the standoff layout lol.

On the topic of clarity and coherency, sippy 'chew makes a lot more sense than sober mostly-everyone else. 🤣

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  • 1 month later...

MGK64 Update - Monochrome

Very exciting package arrived at my doorstep today! New keycaps!

 

20210304_180434.jpg20210304_180749.jpg

KAT Alpha + OEM Fog White Keycaps!

Not one, but two new keycap sets! 🥰

 

Yes, yes, 'Chew likes her blank keycaps, yada yada yada...

 

WELL, EXCUUUSE ME.

This is exciting because I can finally move on to a full set of blank keycaps! Freaking meant to do this two months ago, but... Stupid 2U Shift. Grrr. 788506153867804732.png?v=1

 

And legends. Hrnnng... 808590945716535307.png?v=1

The main thing about legends is more that I don't want to wear them down, and less that I feel like obstinately upholding some snobby, elitist, anti-conformist attitude. Thooo I will admit I do gain a non-insignificant amount of satisfaction from the attention the blanks sometimes net me.

 

...That sounded borderline pretentious, didn't it? I blame Homestuck. 'Chew is very easily influenced by her current obsessions. 😆

 

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MGK64 - Zealio V2 (Alphanumeric + Modifiers) + Halo Clear (Spacebar) Switches

Hm... I don't think I ever wrote my thoughts on the Zealios?

I think I avoided saying anything 'cos I found them sorta... unremarkable. Halo Clears and Hako Royal Clears have a sharper tactile bump. 799080953913409566.gif?v=1

Also, Topres. Been spoiled by 'em, and I vastly prefer Topre tactility over whatever soft-ish bump a mechanical switch can offer. 😅

 

20210304_205400.jpg

MGK64 - Kailh BOX Jade (Alphanumeric + Arrows) + Kailh BOX Navy (Modifiers) Switches

I don't always go for clicky switches, but when I do, I go for Kailh BOX Jades/Navys. 662170920521302023.gif?v=1

Consistent crisp clicks. 👌

 

20210304_210851.jpg

KAT Alpha + OEM Fog White Comparison

R0 | R1 | R2 | R3 | R4

KAT has rounded sides and rounded corners that collect into a barely noticeable dip in the keycap's center.

OEM has standard straight sides and a cylindrical-like dip over the keycap's surface.

 

20210304_220411.jpg

MGK64 + KAT Alpha Keycaps

Goodness me.

Do y'all even understand the level of satisfaction and relief I am feeling right now.

Conquering that dumbo 2U Left Shift has been my greatest achievement this week. 😂

 

MGK64_-_KAT_RGB.gif

MGK64 + KAT Alpha Keycaps - RGB

748540861306110033.gif?v=1

 

Sound Samples: Kailh BOX Jade + Kailh BOX Navy Switches + KAT Alpha Keycaps

Sound samples for this set will sound markedly different compared to previous sound samples because I'm recording with the Antlion Mod Mic. headsetparrot.gif

 

Kailh BOX Jade + Kailh BOX Navy Switches + KAT Alpha Keycaps (Fast)

 

Kailh BOX Jade + Kailh BOX Navy Switches + KAT Alpha Keycaps (Slow)

 


 

The other lovely thing about blank keycaps is, with distracting legends and ostentatious colorways out of the way, there's more focus on the keycap's physical profile and material. Like culling one of the five senses to amplify the sensations received by the other four.

 

For first impressions, I'm quite liking the KAT Alpha keycaps. Comfortable under the fingers, and visually distinct with its curved sides and corners. Not the most accurate description, but they're kinda like a hybrid between MT3 and OEM?

 

unknown.png

MT3 vs. KAT vs. OEM Profile Comparison

KAT shares a few similarities with both MT3 and OEM.

 

Only oddity is the KAT Alpha's PBT material is considerably smoother compared to every other PBT keyset that I've touched (Eighty #391's EnjoyPBT Blank Black PBT Keycaps, R2-968's Default PBT Keycaps, MGK64's Classic Dye-Sublimated PBT Keycaps), to the point where I'm slightly 761980347188510751.png?v=1 whether it's actually ABS.

 

In terms of acoustics, currently, I can't get a firm grasp how the KAT profile affects sound. Mostly because my recording setup's changed since my last sound sample (Antlion Mod Mic vs. Samsung Galaxy S8+ Phone, lol). Comments might have to wait 'til I swap in those OEM Fog Whites.

 

But I'm not gonna play with the OEM Fog White keycaps juuust yet. Gimme some time to bask in my present victory over the 2U Left Shift, kek. 685696134584598638.png?v=1

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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  • 3 weeks later...

MGK64 Update - Extra Sound Samples

Recorded some extra sound samples with a couple'a setups for more-or-less consistent recordings that could be used in direct comparisons? IDK. 662170920521302023.gif?v=1

 

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MGK64

Left: KAT Alpha Keycaps. Right: OEM Fog White Keycaps.

 

MGK64_-_RGB.gif

MGK64 + OEM Fog White Keycaps - RGB

fastparrot.gif fastparrot.gif fastparrot.gif

 


 

MGK64 - KAT Alpha Keycaps + Kailh BOX Jade + Kailh BOX Navy Switches (Fast)

 

MGK64 - KAT Alpha Keycaps + Kailh BOX Jade + Kailh BOX Navy Switches (Slow)

 

MGK64 - KAT Alpha Keycaps + Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches (Fast)

 

MGK64 - KAT Alpha Keycaps + Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches (Slow)

 


 

MGK64 - OEM Fog White Keycaps + Kailh BOX Jade + Kailh BOX Navy Switches (Fast)

 

MGK64 - OEM Fog White Keycaps + Kailh BOX Jade + Kailh BOX Navy Switches (Slow)

 

MGK64 - OEM Fog White Keycaps + Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches (Fast)

 

MGK64 - OEM Fog White Keycaps + Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches (Slow)

 


 

Not quite done with the sound tests just yet. Wanna see if stuffing some shelf liners into the case would help with sound dampening, particularly for MGK64's linear setups. 🤔

 


 

Bonus!

Almost forgot!

 

unknown.png

Updated Personal Best! 😁

Time: 30 Seconds.

Taken: March 22, 2021.

Keeb: MGK64.

This one happened while I was recording the MGK64 + OEM Fog Whites + Kailh BOX Jades/Navys! 748540861306110033.gif?v=1

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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4 hours ago, Eschew said:

Bonus!

Almost forgot!

 

unknown.png

Updated Personal Best! 😁

Time: 30 Seconds.

Taken: March 22, 2021.

Keeb: MGK64.

This one happened while I was recording the MGK64 + OEM Fog Whites + Kailh BOX Jades/Navys! 748540861306110033.gif?v=1

And here I am at 80WPM and 97% accuracy feeling good about myself...

PC:

Spoiler

CPU: Ryzen 7 2700x | CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 Black | Motherboard: MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX | RAM: 2x16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000MHz CL16 | Storage: Crucial MX500 500GB m.2, Crucial MX500 1TB 2.5" | GPU: Gigabyte RX 5700XT | Case: NZXT H510 | PSU: Corsair RM550x

788,303 PPD F@H

 

Peripherals:

Spoiler

Keyboard: Logitech G513 GX Browns | Mouse: Logitech G Pro Wireless | Monitors: Samsung TU7100 43" 4K HDR, 2 xAcer 28" 4K | Heaphones: Sony Platinum Wireless | Mic: Blue Yeti Nano

 

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MGK64 Update - Sound Dampeners

Bought some shelf liners that were on discount, and thought to experiment how well they'd function as keeb sound dampeners. 👀

 

20210322_185235.jpg

Solid Grip EasyLiner Shelf Liner (Amazon Link)

Bought two 'cos I needed to use up Amazon credits and I wanted free shipping over $25. 788506153867804732.png?v=1

Uh, 2 × 20" × 6’ rolls are more than enough for one keeb. Or, like, twenty. 😆

I wanna say it's around 3mm (≈0.1") thick? Perfect fit for my use case. 👍

 

20210323_192704.jpg

MGK64 - Plate + PCB Disassembled

Look, Ma, no screws! 😆

Reminder that the only things holding this fiberglass plate to the PCB are the switches' pins.

Also means that there's a gap waiting to be filled, between the plate and the PCB.

 

20210323_192820.jpg

MGK64 - PCB

Screws secure the PCB to the case.

There be a gap here too. 👀

 

20210323_193007.jpg

MGK64 - Aluminum Case (Bottom)

Small indents are for the bumpons that I didn't attach to the case.

...'Chew very dislikes adhesives. 😅

'sides, I get a weird satisfaction from being able to slide my keebs smoothly across the deskmat, lol.

 

20210323_193710.jpg

MGK64 - PCB + Case (Bottom)

Unscrewing the screws on the case's bottom removes the top/perimeter-half of the case.

Bottom half of the case is composed of the aluminum butt and a slab of acrylic (appears brown 'cos the wrap hasn't been peeled off, lol).

PCB is still attached to the case's bottom with screws.

 

20210323_195809.jpg

MGK64 - PCB + Kailh Hot-Swap Sockets

Zooooooooom. 748523241848438794.png?v=1

Ah, just checking how the LEDs are attached to the PCB and whether they'll still be able to shine through the case's acrylic.

Spoiler: The foam is very opaque and eats up the RGB. 662170920521302023.gif?v=1

 

20210323_200603.jpg

Shelf Liner - Cutting to Size

Top half of the aluminum case is extremely handy for accurate measurements. 😁

 

20210323_202017.jpg

Disassembled Case (Bottom) + Cut Shelf Liner

With the shelf liner cut down to an approximate size, it's time to mark and punch out those screw holes.

Acrylic slab with it's pre-cut holes helped lots. 👍 CBA to measure dots, and to inevitably measure them imprecisely, lol.

 

20210323_212934.jpg

Reassembled Case (Bottom) + Cut Shelf Liner

Looks a bit jank. Edges aren't quite as straight as I'd like, but, eh...

Not everyone has a CNC router or a guillotine paper trimmer lying around, m'kay?! 😆

 

20210323_213705.jpg

MGK64 - PCB + Shelf Liner + Case (Bottom) Sandwich

Fits surprisingly well?

Shelf liner has enough squishiness to accomodate and mold around the PCB's soldered parts, like the Kailh hot-swap sockets. 👌

 

20210324_212027.jpg

Fiberglass Plate + Cut Shelf Liner

Aim here is to cut out some shelf liner to fit between the plate and the PCB.

That means holes. Many, many holes. 😩

 

20210325_230320.jpg

Fiberglass Plate + Switches + Cut Shelf Liner

...This one pic took way too many hours.

788506153867804732.png?v=1

 

20210325_231529.jpg

MGK64 - Reassembled!

Can see the shelf liner peeking out from the space bar's gaps. 👀

 


 

Sound Samples: Shelf Liner(s) + Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + KAT Alpha Keycaps + OEM Fog White Keycaps

For the sound tests below, I went with linears (Modded BOX Heavy Blacks) 'cos I wanted to hear bottoming out sounds. Clicky switches would be extremely distracting and probably would drown out any minute acoustical differences between the sound samples, especially with how fast I type.

 

Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + KAT Alpha Keycaps + Bottom Shelf Liner Only (Fast)

 

Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + KAT Alpha Keycaps + Bottom Shelf Liner Only (Slow)

 

Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + KAT Alpha Keycaps + Top and Bottom Shelf Liner (Fast)

 

Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + KAT Alpha Keycaps + Top and Bottom Shelf Liner (Slow)

 


 

Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + OEM Fog White Keycaps + Bottom Shelf Liner Only (Fast)

 

Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + OEM Fog White Keycaps + Bottom Shelf Liner Only (Slow)

 

Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + OEM Fog White Keycaps + Top and Bottom Shelf Liner (Fast)

 

Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches + OEM Fog White Keycaps + Top and Bottom Shelf Liner (Slow)

 


 

...788506153867804732.png?v=1

'kay, I can't really tell the difference between MGK64 w/o Shelf Liner, MGK64 w/ Bottom Shelf Liner, and MGK64 w/Both Shelf Liners. Confound it. But keystrokes do sound a teeny weeny bit less echo-y with more shelf liners, I think? Er, if there is another audible difference, my ears don't pick 'em up. 747753854061510707.png?v=1

 

Though, I can sort of tell between KAT Alpha keycaps and OEM Fog White keycaps. If I'ma be honest, I kiiinda prefer the OEM Fog White's thockity thocks? Spacebar with the KAT Alphas is hmm... just a tad bit irksome. 👀

 

InB4 anyone suggests squeezing more shelf liners between the keeb sandwich -- there's definitely no more room for another 0.3mm thicc layer in both the plate-to-PCB and PCB-to-case gaps. I could try open cell foam instead of closed cell foam, but there's none o' that just lying around, waiting to be used, here. 🤔

 

Ah well. Results weren't as groundbreaking or shocking as I'd hoped, but hey, I can say that I've tried it now. 😅

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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  • 1 month later...

MGK64 Update - Case, Stem, Spring Swaps!

...'Chew grossly underestimated how long it would take to fiddle around with keeb parts swaps. 728662541575651358.png?v=1

  • Suggestion: Sound samples with Gazzew/Outemu Silent Linear Stems are absurdly quiet! 😁👍 Would recommend listening to them in a quiet environment.

 

20210428_183643.jpg

MGK64 + KBDfans Tofu60 Aluminum Case (Black)

Can't ever go wrong with matte black. 😘👌

Case is weighty, has a nice and solid heft.

 

20210428_185019.jpg

MGK64 - "3 Layers" Aluminum Case

The main reason I bought a new case. USB Type-C port is skewed towards the right.

OCD eye twitches aside, the case's unaligned hole has seriously gotten in the way of connecting any USB-C cables to the keeb.

...Only the heatshrink-wrapped connector on the Eighty #391's custom cable (Eighty #391 Update) would fit, and only very loosely.

Bugged me enough that I considered taking a dremel to the case's hole. 685675911512719401.png?v=1

 

20210428_190256.jpg

MGK64 - Disassembled

Yoink!

I mean, literally Yoink!, because the plate isn't actually screwed down to the case. 😆

 

20210428_201422.jpg20210428_201157.jpg

"3 Layers" Aluminum + Tofu60 Aluminum Cases

Both are tray mounted cases? According to the Cheatsheet. 👀

 

20210428_204036.jpg

Tofu60 Aluminum Case + Shelf Liner

Hehe, sandwiching the shelf liner between the case and the PCB left PCB butt (767122981687132230.gif?v=1) impressions innit. 662170920521302023.gif?v=1

Tofu60 also has an indent spanning the top half of the case. Filled it in with shelf-liner (not pictured).

 

20210428_204836.jpg

MGK64 PCB + Tofu60 Aluminum Case

Snug fit! 🥰

Ahaha, actually, am always a bit nervous when it comes to PCB-case compatibility. 619039042725740563.gif?v=1

 

20210428_205949.jpg

MGK64 - Tofu60 USB Type-C Port

Freaking. Yes. Perfect. 822526074629390417.png?v=1

I can finally get rid of those dumb USB Type-C cable nightmares. 😩

Also, confirmed my hypothesis -- that it's the case that's skewed, not the PCB.

 

20210429_223934.jpg

MGK64 - OEM Fog White Keycaps

693141953055031338.gif?v=1

Heh, Minimalism™.

 

20210427_200607.jpg

Gazzew Silent Linear Stem | Durock L7 Stem | Gateron Silent Ink Black Stem | Gateron Ink Black Stem

Only way to get me to spend more money to switches is ⬛, plus some new experience (e.g. silent stems, housing material).

Gazzew/Outemu Silent Linears were an exception I deliberated over for a looong ass (767122981687132230.gif?v=1) time. 😂

Durock L7s was tacked on to Silent Linear Stem purchase, I heard the stems worked better with Durock/JWK housings? 🤔

 

20210427_201303.jpg

Two Stage Long Spring (150g) | Stainless Steel Spring (150g)

Gold-Plated SPRiT Spring (150g) | Durock L7 Spring (67g)

Gateron Silent Ink Black Spring | Gateron Silent Ink Spring

Yes, linears are great, but have you tried heavy linears? 685696134609633290.png?v=1

'Chew ah, has an addiction problem...

Can't get into a long-term relationship with a switch unless it's heavy A F. 809976035310960710.gif?v=1

 

20210429_214630.jpg

Switch Modding - Modded Silent L7 Switches

Help!!!

How do I systematically name my modded switches?!

817971671557210174.png?v=1⁉️

 


 

20210428_205512.jpg

MGK64 + Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches

Kailh BOX Black Stems + Top Housings

Hako Royal Clear Bottom Housings

Kailh BOX Ancient Gray Springs

 

MGK64 - Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches (Fast)

 

MGK64 - Modded BOX Heavy Black Switches (Slow)

 


 

20210428_222522.jpg

MGK64 + Durock L7 (67g) Switches

Stock Durock L7 (67g) Switches

 

MGK64 - Durock L7 (67g) Switches (Fast)

 

MGK64 - Durock L7 (67g) Switches (Slow)

 


 

20210429_231750.jpg

MGK64 + Modded Silent L7 Switches

Durock L7 Housings

Gazzew/Outemu Silent Linear Stems

Durock L7 (67g) + Kebo Stainless Steel (150g) + Flashquark Two Stage Long (150g) Springs

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent L7 (67g) Switches (Fast)

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent L7 (67g) Switches (Slow)

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent L7 (150g) Switches (Fast)

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent L7 (150g) Switches (Slow)

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent L7 (TS-150g) Switches (Fast)

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent L7 (TS-150g) Switches (Slow)

 


 

20210428_225451.jpg

MGK64 + Gateron/Modded Silent Ink Black Switches

Stock Gateron Silent Ink Black Switches

Gateron Silent Ink Black Stems + Housings

Kebo Stainless Steel (150g) + Flashquark Two Stage Long (150g) Springs

 

MGK64 - Gateron Silent Ink Black Switches (Fast)

 

MGK64 - Gateron Silent Ink Black Switches (Slow)

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent Ink Black (150g) Switches (Fast)

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent Ink Black (150g) Switches (Slow)

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent Ink Black (TS-150g) Switches (Fast)

 

MGK64 - Modded Silent Ink Black (TS-150g) Switches (Slow)

 


 

Additional Comments 829521327836758047.png?v=1

  • L7 Switch Top Wobble: Noticed that Durock L7 housings don't sit as tightly together as Gateron Inks. Will definitely be throwing in those Deskeys Switch Films I currently have in my Gateron Ink Blacks (in Eighty #391) to alleviate the L7 switch's housing wobble.
  • L7 Housing + Gazzew/Outemu Silent Linear Stem Wobble: Again, not as tight as Gateron Inks. Tolerances between the Durock/JWK housings and Gazzew stems are... a bit wobbly, but adequate, for me, at least. Less noticeable once keycaps are on.
  • Silent Stems: Cushioning those stems with rubber dampers makes a significant difference. Keystrokes are very muted, especially on the upstroke! Also, sound samples above suggest the Gazzew/Outemu Silent Stems are waaay more quiet than the Gateron Silent Ink Blacks, regardless of spring weight. Personal preference, I prefer the sound of the Silent L7s over Silent Ink Blacks.
  • Two Stage Long Springs: To my fingers, the difference between the Two Stage Long Springs (TS-150g) and regular Stainless Steel Springs (150g) are somewhat marginal? TS-150g feels a bit heavier than regular 150g, and the upstroke with TS-150g is slightly more aggressive. Theoretically, with the TS-150g, keystrokes should gradually feel more resistant as they draw closer towards the bottom, buuut... something something 150g and I can't detect that minute sensation. 757314353266688168.png?v=1
  • Lubrication: Ah, hmm... Something's felt very off while typing with both the Silent L7s and the Silent Ink Blacks, and I'm wondering whether it's 'cos they aren't lubed. I intentionally did not lube them before this write-up, 'cos I wanted first impressions -- especially for the Modded Silent L7s -- and wanted to only touch up a switch + stem + spring combination I felt confidently comfortable with. Gotta ration that lube, y'know? 😆

Will finish modding the rest of those Silent L7s (TS-150g), then pop 'em into muh baby, muh daily driver (Eighty #391)! 788501181335863395.gif?v=1

For the Gat Silent Inks, I think I'll swap 'em into a certain other keeb... 👀

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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  • 4 months later...

MGK64 Update - Smooth Criminal

I tried thinking of a clever title but my brain kinda be lethargic. b5b3228dca689fa8fbe65b4581286c1baec644de.gif?v=9

 

20210928_193236.jpg

MGK64 + Durock Lavender Linears

I got these back in mid-June, from Den.

I’M SORRY I TOOK THIS LONG. I HAVE NO EXCUSES. 😭

 

20210928_200055.jpg

MGK64 + Gentleman Blank XDA Keycaps

$26.90 from KPrepublic (Aliexpress). Received them early-September.

KPrepublic’s email marketing worked, heh.

 

Lavender Linears + Gentleman Keycaps = Smooth Criminal.

Or something.

 


 

MGK64 - Durock Lavender Switches + XDA Keycaps (Fast)

 

MGK64 - Durock Lavender Switches + XDA Keycaps (Slow)

 


 

65g?

 

Toooooooooo light. The switches are waaay too light for my tastes.

It’s so light, it’s a little bit fatiguing to type on?! 🤣

(This is a 'Chew thing – I’m fairly certain 65g won’t be an issue for other people.)

 

Other than its almost featherlight weight (to my fingers), the Lavenders are a’ight. No need for any filming, IMO. Perhaps could use some lube (re-lubing?). Definitely needs a spring swap, if I’d even consider daily driving these. 😅

 

The transparent housing works very well with RGB. aad36f75288c656ea9228e1b6d72ede901de49f3.gif?v=9

 

Hm. Though, for $0.70-ish per switch, unless the colorway is particularly attractive to someone’s tastes, I’d maaaybe suggest picking Tangies or Gateron Inks over the Lavenders.

 

As they are currently, I like 'em well enough. They’re just, visually distinct, but fairly mundane / decently “safe” in feel.

 

The Blank XDA keycaps, I think, uh, I ordered them intending to use them with the NIU40.

…That I also received a lifetime ago and haven’t played around with yet. 35dda28bcce33e6e3793f69a60d96019269ae449.png?v=9

But hey! Finally some color in my keyboards, lol.

 

Very happy that I bought the black Tofu60 case. Matte black on matte black is always so satisfying. 🥰

 

Now, it’d be really great if someone, somewhere, decided to make some blank black, OEM / XDA / non-Cherry profile, PBT keycaps with lime green modifiers.

I’d totally buy it in a heartbeat.

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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