Can You Build Your OWN Mechanical Keyboard?? August 30, 2018 – Posted in: Videos

Transcript

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