6th grader on Keebtalk

Hello! I am Josh, and currently 12. Fortunately, I got into mechanical keyboards during virtual school, where one of my classmates had a keyboard that went “click” every time he pressed a key, so during that time I purchased a Phantom 87 TKL, which I want to upgrade from, but currently can’t due to budget.

Here’s some things about me;

I enjoy a poppy/thocky sound profile

I like 60% and 65% layout

I don’t bother lubing switches and stabilizers, I find it relaxing :slight_smile:

I find a board covering the switches from view is more visually pleasing to me than floating key

Also a question I would like to add, does anyone have any recommendations on a future upgrade? My budget is around $100 -150 dollars max and would like to choose the parts myself, or do a “custom” as I’ve read online.

Thank you!


Welcome, Josh!

Glad to have you here. I think you’ll find KeebTalk a pretty friendly place, if occasionally foul-mouthed in the spirit of fun.

As for keeb recommendations, there are more and more options in that price range as time goes on.

On the extreme budget end, there’s the recent appearance of the Tester68 and its various vendor-specific variations like the KBM68 and the TES68. There’s a giveaway going on for that last one now, and there’s a recent post about it here on KeebTalk.

You might have to settle for cheap switches and caps at first if you go with this one, but it might be worth the higher cost and likely wait time; my favorite affordable custom right now is the KBD67 lite. It also has something of an upgrade path with other cases and the plate file available.

Going with a 60%, there are tons of options that stick to the GH60 standard - all kinds of cases, plates, and PCBs. Since they’re so modular, you can really ship-of-Theseus your way along, starting with a basic plastic tray and ending up with a gasket o-ring burger whatever-you-like.

One thing to keep in mind is the GK series has its own standoff pattern, as does the Anne Pro. Optical switch boards won’t be compatible with much other stuff.

Let me know if you have any specific questions; I could ramble all day.


Welcome buddy!

We have a community list of shops too. It makes for some great window shopping.


Thank you for the welcome! I think that I could spare a few bucks here and there, so I would stick to some more well-known kits, like the Gk61.

I do have a question, though. From what I’ve heard, it looks like the Gk61 sports “GH60” mounting point from this page here:

Is this just a marketing thing, or is it actually compatible with GH60 cases?



The PCB is compatible, yes! The plate and case that come with it aren’t cross-compatible like the board is, though.

IIRC, you need a pretty specific plate to retain the convenience of hot-swap, otherwise the switches themselves will be what holds the plate, which is fine - but it does make hot-swapping more time-consuming.

Unfortunately I don’t think those plates are labeled all that well - I bought two GK61 plates from the same vendor, one white and one black, and they actually had different screw patterns on them. The white one was only compatible with the GK case, while the black one was only compatible with GH60 cases. Both of them had mounting points to secure the PCB to the plate for hot-swap.


Thank you! It’s strange that they had different screw points on the same pcbs.


The points that attach the plate to the PCB were the same, but they attach to the case differently.

With one of them, you use the GH60 mounts and attach the PCB directly to the case with holes in the plate to access those screws, and with the other there aren’t any access holes for the PCB-to-case screws, but there are screw-holes for the GK61 case standoffs that attach directly to the plate.


Welcome to the site @Backspace ! As I’m sure you’ve already seen plenty of good & friendly advice here. I see @Deadeye is pointing you in the direction of the best bang for your buck options. Then @ajoflo provided you our vendors list so you can find what you need closest to you. So I don’t see much I could add to this particular discussion. Just wanted to welcome you & will be looking for pics of that build you guys seem to be planning, hopefully in the near future! :+1: :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes, welcome!

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Welcome! You’re already in excellent hands with everyone that’s giving you suggestions. Ask as many questions as you need and I hope you enjoy it here!

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Thank you everyone for the friendly welcomes!


First of all, welcome! :smiley:

The PCB shown here is the GK61x PCB. Which is a newer generation compared to the GK61 PCB (from what I know, the old GK61 PCB are no longer being produced). There are a few caveats to take note of when it comes to using the GK61X PCB:

  1. The PCB itself is GH60 compatible, which will allow you to fit it in most aftermarket 60% cases such as Tofu and 5 degree
  2. The stock aluminum plate comes with the split backspace module, this makes the plate non-compatible with aftermarket cases because there isn’t support for screwing down the spacebar module
  3. The GK61x PCB needs plate-mount stabs, so you’ll need to look for a GH60-compatible plate with plate mount stabs. There are some options on Taobao and Aliexpress

Welcome Josh, hope you have a fun time with this hobby.

I know you are looking for 60-65% boards, but also take a look at keeb.io they have lots of great, inexpensive kits. They mainly have split keyboard kits but their Quefrency has become quite popular in that size and can be used together or split apart.

Lots of good stuff over there.