Hello! I’m currently buidling up my RK61 into a budget custom board, and I would like some feedback on which switches I should buy for my build, and a switch opener for them would be nice too! I currently am set on Gatereon Black Inks V2, but the Jelly Blacks from AKKO seem to be a nice, more wallet-friendly alternative. Should I get Gatereon Black Inks V2’s, or Jelly Blacks, or a different switch. (Gatereon Yellows are ruled out right now since they are ALL out of stock )
Thanks for reading!
Hello and welcome! Ink Blacks are definitely popular for good reason. The only word of caution I’ll offer there is that they’re a bit heavier with their spring weight. That may be to your preference, just something to consider. I’m sure you can find typing tests for them with the RK61 to see if that suits what you’re looking for. I’m not familiar with the Akko switches so I’ll leave those for others to offer their input. If you were able to find Gateron Yellows, would those be your first preference? Reason I ask is that I just checked Divinikey and they appear to have multiple variants in stock so you’re not out of luck if you want to go that route.
Hello and welcome!
I haven’t tried the Akko switches yet, but people seem to like them. As for Inks, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with those but they are pricy. Some other good linears you might want to consider: TTC Wilds or ACEs (both very smooth, Wilds sound deeper), Cobalts / Durock POMs, or Aqua King V3s. Those last ones are kinda iffy QC wise but do have a great sound.
It’s a really tough race between Inks and Wilds for me. Wilds are kinda loud IMO, but I also think they sound really good - and of course Inks are famous for sounding good, especially when modded.
As for your RK, you might try burger mounting or installing some of KBDfans’ silicone standoff covers. The latter are easy to install and will provide vibration dampening, cleaning up the sound and the feel - just don’t expect any flex or bounce.
“Burger mounting” is a little more challenging and might require longer screws than what your board came with, but that can significantly change the feel of a tray mount board. Basically, you sandwich the PCB (or sometimes plate) between two 5mm o-rings on the standoff screws - this basically puts the functional part of the keeb on suspension. You can kind of adjust the level of bounce with how tight the screws are but it’s easy for those o-rings to go rogue, and keeping enough threads in the keyboard while not over-tightening the o-rings can be a challenge with stock screws. Still - for the difference it can make it’s pretty cheap.
There are some gat yellows in stock on Divinikey. I would highly recommend milky cap yellows, they come pre-lubed from factory (albeit not the best prelube ever) and have a decently nice sound signature. Also they don’t break the bank, and you can use code keebworm or any other affiliate code to get 5% off.
Thanks @Deadeye! Could you send a link to a burger mount tutorial? That would be great! Also, as @ExcitingSky558 said, the Gat Milky Cap Yellows V2 seem to be a nice switch, almost seeming to be a “budget” Ink Black. Would you recommend these over Ink Black V2’s? Thanks for helping so much, really appreciated.
Yeah, it looks like the Gat Milky Cap Yellows V2’s look really nice, almost a budget Ink Black. I’m trying not to spend TOO much money, but still getting some nice value switches. I think I may go with Gat Cap Milky Yellows. I would like some help with finding a switch opener for Gat Cap Milky Yellows, could you send a link to some? Thank you so much!
Yeah, those look very nice. I’m probably gonna select them for my build as the price is $20.50 (without shipping) for 70 of them, where some the Ink Blacks V2’s from Divinkey cost $48.50, so I think I might go with the budget route.
Sure! It’s not exactly a full tutorial but you can see some pictures here.
Basically, you just put two 5mm silicone o-rings on each mounting screw - one below the PCB and one above. I also use plastic washers to help keep the o-rings from squishing through the mounting holes. Since the o-rings take up a few mm on their own, it might be worth tracking down some longer screws to make installation easier. Let me know if you have any questions!
@PopRing, @Deadeye is giving some great advice with the o-ring/burger mount mod for tray mount boards. I would highly recommend.
I don’t want to overwhelm you, but another fun mod that you can do (and much later in fact) is to do a custom silicone pour to act as a dampener in the bottom of your case. I poured silicone into my oldest keyboard! • XM87 TKL upgrade/mods - YouTube
Like I said, great thing about this is that you don’t have to do it right away. You can do it much later and it can really change things or refresh something that you already are enjoying. Best of luck in your build
Totally fair! Gateron Yellows are popular for a reason! Of the bunch that Divinikey have, I may suggest also looking at the Gateron Pro variants, leaning towards the milky versions. Again, I’d see if you can find any typing sound videos on YouTube as one source in your research.
For switch openers, do you think it’s something you’ll be doing regularly? If so, I’d spend the extra for a nice metal one. If you really don’t see yourself doing it much, I’d say save your budget and pick up a 3D printed one or maybe a cheap metal one from Amazon. Heck, I think I have a 3D printed one floating around here that you’re welcome to. Any opener is a massive step up from opening them manually though. Whichever route you go, your fingertips will thank you!
And for what it’s worth, both the Gateron Cap Yellows and and Gateron Pros come with lube applied from the factory. Doing it by hand will almost always do a better job but with a hotswap board this is something that can absolutely be done at a later point as well.
Hey, @Deadeye suggestion is what i would go with. I suggest doing each mod separately and use your keyboard for a bit.