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Show us your Mechanical Keyboards and Mods.

Blumlein 88

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@Blumlein 88 meh new Logitech is like that, old Logitech plain simple mauses and keyboards had a three year warranty and lasted and lasted. I like the rthings approach with a 3D model and grip estimates. Would never use "MMO" mouse, bought a "compact" keyboard (not really a TKL as it's around 80%) with deticated macros (which I also use rarely). I am left handed so it's ambidextrous and not much buttons for me.

This ambi mouse might do pretty well. The extra buttons wouldn't cause any trouble. I've not looked at the rthings listings. Looks like a good way to find good mice using the 3d comparisons. I like gaming mice for the variable DPI and because they are built for many more clicks than most other cheap mice.
 

ZolaIII

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I am avare of that, aiming at one which comes with exchangeable switches (Orman three pin and five pin compatible) that comes with spare reserve switches and Teflon feets.
 

jae

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Restored and bolt-modded 3 years ago. There was over 31 years of dirt and grime on it, wish I had before pics.

MVIMG_20180602_235617.jpg
 
OP
_thelaughingman

_thelaughingman

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Latest mod update.
Took out the stock gray keys and put in black keys from a red dragon keyboard.
Added 0.4 mm o-rings to prevent keys from bottoming out. Sounds quite, but very tactile.
IMG_0940.jpeg
 

bloodshoteyed

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I like the white-on-black!

I am vastly ignorant about keyboard manufacturing, but remember reading some time ago that as the last manufacturer of the classic, buckling spring keyboards, Unicomp had keyboard machine tooling (what are they called: jigs? molds? whatever...) had been aging after several decades of use, with loosening tolerances, and that IBM-PC-style keyboard fans hoped they would dig up the capital to replace them. Do you know if they ever did so?

Unicomp started out as as a bunch of ex- Lexmark employees who bought off the original toolings which were well worn by the time they got them and the quality has been going down ever since (not only the keycap printing process, but everything else, too)

i wanted the 122, got one to try (in 2017) and returned it after a day
 

Neddy

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I use the Logi MX 2S - it has a push to free-scroll wheel, which is a god send with long spreadsheets or lists (of music).
Only use 1/4 of all the buttons/features on it, tho. Still working well after 3+ years.

MX Ergo for a trackball at the listening position in the music room - wireless, so no cords, works well (including buttons for volume control for the time being). But not really great either, no 'ballistics' on the ball (may try to get a heavier one), and seems a bit twitchy in it's accuracy. But the best of three I tried (Kensington and one other), by far.

Nothing like at all like the quality/sturdiness of the ones with Very Large (2 and 3") and Heavy balls I used Back In the Day for use with early digital Blink Comparators in astronomy, or the similar custom ones a company I worked for made up - sad, these things are sooo cheap and flimsy; a solid heavy trackball is tons more useful than a mouse, but a cheap flimsy one is far less so.
 

dasdoing

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Logi MX 2S

I had one. Some of these have a problem with a stuck thumb button that makes the mouse pretty useless. Happened to mine. Fortunatly was still in garantee. They had no Master 2S, so they sent me a MX Master 3. they actualy sent me 2 lol (logistic error)
 

JanesJr1

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Restored and bolt-modded 3 years ago. There was over 31 years of dirt and grime on it, wish I had before pics.

View attachment 192614
Did you do the work? Nice!

Just looking at the keyboard in your photo, next to my (otherwise very good) ThinkPad laptop keyboard, I am reminded what a fantastically sensible layout we gave up when we compressed our keyboards into mobile/laptop format. I mean, I'm used to typing hundreds of numbers using my laptop's horizontal row of keycaps. Or I can use my laptop's compressed up/dn/rt/left keys right at least most of the time. Or now and then can toggle correctly between numbered F-keys and their alter-ego volume/brightness/etc/etc functions.

But it is So.Much.Easier on my desktop IBM PC keyboard. It just looks straight up, logical, organized, uncomplicated. It has a WYSIWYG functional personality. With a mouse, unbeatable. Yeah, I had to reassign the right CTRL key to be a Windows key, but that's small beer.

It's nice to see that some of the modern mechanical keyboards throw back to the classic layout, and maybe throw in a volume dial or backlighting as well.
 

digitalfrost

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I'm not too familiar with mechanical keyboards... which model is pictured here? I really like this one.
I have no idea which board this is, I just used it to illustrate the chaos theory keycap set. So the keycaps are separate. That specific type of board is called a 60%, you'll find lots of options if you google "60% keyboard". I could recommend the Ducky One 2 SF.

The keycaps are sold out and I have no idea if you can ever buy them again. Welcome to the fun world of keyboard customization.

e: Board seems to be https://www.pulsar.gg/products/ansi-pcmk-60
 

ElNino

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I have no idea which board this is, I just used it to illustrate the chaos theory keycap set. So the keycaps are separate. That specific type of board is called a 60%, you'll find lots of options if you google "60% keyboard". I could recommend the Ducky One 2 SF.

The keycaps are sold out and I have no idea if you can ever buy them again. Welcome to the fun world of keyboard customization.

e: Board seems to be https://www.pulsar.gg/products/ansi-pcmk-60

Thanks... this is a hole I'll probably regret diving into :) I did some searching and I think it might be a "KBDFans KBD67". Not sure if that's considered good or not.
 

jae

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Keychron Q1 QMK Did you do the work? Nice!

Just looking at the keyboard in your photo, next to my (otherwise very good) ThinkPad laptop keyboard, I am reminded what a fantastically sensible layout we gave up when we compressed our keyboards into mobile/laptop format. I mean, I'm used to typing hundreds of numbers using my laptop's horizontal row of keycaps. Or I can use my laptop's compressed up/dn/rt/left keys right at least most of the time. Or now and then can toggle correctly between numbered F-keys and their alter-ego volume/brightness/etc/etc functions.

But it is So.Much.Easier on my desktop IBM PC keyboard. It just looks straight up, logical, organized, uncomplicated. It has a WYSIWYG functional personality. With a mouse, unbeatable. Yeah, I had to reassign the right CTRL key to be a Windows key, but that's small beer.

It's nice to see that some of the modern mechanical keyboards throw back to the classic layout, and maybe throw in a volume dial or backlighting as well.
Yeah, I did it all myself. My memory is not that great these days but I don't remember it being particularly difficult. The bottom opened with an odd sized socket driver which I didn't seem to have on hand. I took all the labels and logos off carefully with a blowdryer and craft blade. I just disassembled everything, let all the plastic soak in some detergent and gave it (lots) of scrubbing with a coarse brush. There were times it was sitting in a humid garage for a few years so there was a lot of caked on stuff. The membranes and PCB were gently cleaned with some DI water and alcohol and everything was reassembled after the mod. I did the mod by hand with a thin tap as I did not have any sort of drill press and didn't want to risk breaking things since the bracket that needed to be modded was already quite brittle.

I have been using thinkpads for a long time and they are definitely the best you can use in terms of laptop keyboards. Lenovo recently released a wireless desktop version that would make laptop users feel quite at home. At only $99 it's probably a way better option than any of the Apple branded keyboards if someone likes lower travel, flat keyboards.
ncoTwYaCnR9dbgknqrYFwS-1024-80.jpg.webp


There are also interesting "spiritual successors" from an Taiwanese company called tex:
2020-05-16_122712_600x600.png
28555511828_446f9ec145_k_600x600.jpg
36147947895_4439c4646d_k_600x600.jpg


As I am away overseas from home I have not used my Model M for a while, so I've been considering buying the newer Mini M from unicomp as I miss the "pings":
MG_M_M%20v2.jpg


There is also a guy making "brand new" custom model F keyboards which are even more robust than the Model M in terms of the chassis (metal) but the form factor is not for everyone: https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/

Or alternatively I might get the Keychron Q1 QMK or GMMK Pro, both of these have knobs which I like, although I've never been a massive fan of cherry-style switches. I am waiting to see if they release a wireless version of these, then I might pick it up as a "travel" keyboard. I never much understood the point of super small keyboards like 60% and 65% etc, 75% as virtually the same footprint and weight but you get a full row of function keys and more navigation keys, so much more functionality for a small loss in dimension. I think the sweet spot for a chopped down keyboard is definitely 75% like the keychron and gmmk models I mentioned previously, anything smaller just becomes annoying and at much larger you might as well just be using a full keyboard.
 

jae

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Thanks... this is a hole I'll probably regret diving into :) I did some searching and I think it might be a "KBDFans KBD67". Not sure if that's considered good or not.
That one is great too, I almost considered doing a build in that one myself. Very similar to the two I mentioned above.
 

Blumlein 88

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Yeah, I did it all myself. My memory is not that great these days but I don't remember it being particularly difficult. The bottom opened with an odd sized socket driver which I didn't seem to have on hand. I took all the labels and logos off carefully with a blowdryer and craft blade. I just disassembled everything, let all the plastic soak in some detergent and gave it (lots) of scrubbing with a coarse brush. There were times it was sitting in a humid garage for a few years so there was a lot of caked on stuff. The membranes and PCB were gently cleaned with some DI water and alcohol and everything was reassembled after the mod. I did the mod by hand with a thin tap as I did not have any sort of drill press and didn't want to risk breaking things since the bracket that needed to be modded was already quite brittle.

I have been using thinkpads for a long time and they are definitely the best you can use in terms of laptop keyboards. Lenovo recently released a wireless desktop version that would make laptop users feel quite at home. At only $99 it's probably a way better option than any of the Apple branded keyboards if someone likes lower travel, flat keyboards.
ncoTwYaCnR9dbgknqrYFwS-1024-80.jpg.webp


There are also interesting "spiritual successors" from an Taiwanese company called tex:
2020-05-16_122712_600x600.png
28555511828_446f9ec145_k_600x600.jpg
36147947895_4439c4646d_k_600x600.jpg


As I am away overseas from home I have not used my Model M for a while, so I've been considering buying the newer Mini M from unicomp as I miss the "pings":
MG_M_M%20v2.jpg


There is also a guy making "brand new" custom model F keyboards which are even more robust than the Model M in terms of the chassis (metal) but the form factor is not for everyone: https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/

Or alternatively I might get the Keychron Q1 QMK or GMMK Pro, both of these have knobs which I like, although I've never been a massive fan of cherry-style switches. I am waiting to see if they release a wireless version of these, then I might pick it up as a "travel" keyboard. I never much understood the point of super small keyboards like 60% and 65% etc, 75% as virtually the same footprint and weight but you get a full row of function keys and more navigation keys, so much more functionality for a small loss in dimension. I think the sweet spot for a chopped down keyboard is definitely 75% like the keychron and gmmk models I mentioned previously, anything smaller just becomes annoying and at much larger you might as well just be using a full keyboard.
I loved the little red button. Now most laptops with that worked in a crappy manner. Thinkpads worked great with that little red button. Didn't use the trackpad or a mouse with those little red buttons for the mouse. They were just right in their actuation.
 

jae

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Restored and bolt-modded 3 years ago. There was over 31 years of dirt and grime on it, wish I had before pics.

View attachment 192614
One interesting story about this keyboard, it saved me from great harm (or worse) as a child. My neighbour had a poorly-trained pitbull that was supposed to be a guard dog, who thought I was attacking their owner when we were horsing around and playing some rough tag as children. The dog latched around my calf from behind and started shaking around violently. Fortuitously, the old 486 and this keyboard that was replaced with a shiny new Dell P3 system was sitting in the garage and was within reach. This nearly 6 pound keyboard and all its ABS/PVC glory was put to swift use. You can still see the gouches in the chassis which I tried my best to smooth out: right edge of IBM logo, top margin above F3, right of the minus key on keypad, and left of F9. There are some more on the back. They don't look that bad but it is definitely less conspicuous in person.
 

JanesJr1

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Yeah, I did it all myself. My memory is not that great these days but I don't remember it being particularly difficult. The bottom opened with an odd sized socket driver which I didn't seem to have on hand. I took all the labels and logos off carefully with a blowdryer and craft blade. I just disassembled everything, let all the plastic soak in some detergent and gave it (lots) of scrubbing with a coarse brush. There were times it was sitting in a humid garage for a few years so there was a lot of caked on stuff. The membranes and PCB were gently cleaned with some DI water and alcohol and everything was reassembled after the mod. I did the mod by hand with a thin tap as I did not have any sort of drill press and didn't want to risk breaking things since the bracket that needed to be modded was already quite brittle.

I have been using thinkpads for a long time and they are definitely the best you can use in terms of laptop keyboards. Lenovo recently released a wireless desktop version that would make laptop users feel quite at home. At only $99 it's probably a way better option than any of the Apple branded keyboards if someone likes lower travel, flat keyboards.

There are also interesting "spiritual successors" from an Taiwanese company called tex:
2020-05-16_122712_600x600.png
28555511828_446f9ec145_k_600x600.jpg
36147947895_4439c4646d_k_600x600.jpg


As I am away overseas from home I have not used my Model M for a while, so I've been considering buying the newer Mini M from unicomp as I miss the "pings":
MG_M_M%20v2.jpg


There is also a guy making "brand new" custom model F keyboards which are even more robust than the Model M in terms of the chassis (metal) but the form factor is not for everyone: https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/

Or alternatively I might get the Keychron Q1 QMK or GMMK Pro, both of these have knobs which I like, although I've never been a massive fan of cherry-style switches. I am waiting to see if they release a wireless version of these, then I might pick it up as a "travel" keyboard. I never much understood the point of super small keyboards like 60% and 65% etc, 75% as virtually the same footprint and weight but you get a full row of function keys and more navigation keys, so much more functionality for a small loss in dimension. I think the sweet spot for a chopped down keyboard is definitely 75% like the keychron and gmmk models I mentioned previously, anything smaller just becomes annoying and at much larger you might as well just be using a full keyboard.
I do appreciate the thinkpad laptop keyboards. But I have owned two of the Thinkpad freestanding, desktop keyboards -- wired versions first with the old keyboard layout (up to T520 era) and the new one (T530 and later). I was disappointed with construction and with high-impact keystrokes that discouraged long typing sessions. I once again hoped for better with the newer, wireless version, but waited until I had a chance to try it before buying it, and was again disappointed. Their only virtue was access to trackpoint for fans of the pointing stick (I am one), but they feel cheesy, bounce your fingers back toward you as you type, and pretty quickly start to fall apart.

I understand the collectors' interest in the model F, but I am not a big fan of the layout.

But I'm curious about the "tex" keyboards. In the picture, they kind of look like mechanical keyboards. Are they your units in the pictures? Do you like them?
 
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