Ducky One 2 TKL Disassembly

With my Filco mod reaching diminishing returns and my Holy Pandas on their way (finally!), I finally have the heart to disassemble their target board, a Ducky One 2 TKL. I was quite scared to mess it up, and was putting it off, since my digging told me that this is not an easy case to open (https://www.ptt.cc/bbs/Key_Mou_Pad/M.1517679344.A.83D.html, https://www.ptt.cc/bbs/Key_Mou_Pad/M.1515552566.A.31A.html, https://www.zfrontier.com/app/flow/16358).

You know the adage about creating the content you wish existed when you needed it? Here’s my attempt to contribute. The tag “guide” might be overstating the expertise since I did break 2 clips and bend others. However I do want to share my lessons and some pictures for anyone that might be interested in opening up this board.

Specifically I wanted to get a better idea for where the clip pairings are (horizontal positions to pry), and which the housing has the tooth / hole parts (which vertical direction to pry). As you can see the North/South sides are one way and the East/West sides the other. The last link above showed this already somewhat, but the pictures are overexposed, and I didn’t feel super well informed. Plus they are from the 100% keyboard whereas this is the TKL.

First off: Don’t forget to undo the 2 screws from the bottom. No brainer, right? But I seriously forgot this, was too eager to work on the housing. I loosened the North side (start from the center!) and was wondering why the East side was giving me such a hard time – only then I remembered the screws. Unscrewing literally allowed the loose corner of the top housing to almost pop open by itself.

Ironically, I still broke 2 tabs after that, probably because I then half-expected the West/South sides to also pop up more easily. They did not. Be patient and stay gentle til the end.

Anyways, here are detailed views of all sides:

North / West:

North / East

West:

East:

South side: (note: the pictures seem like repeating the North side and maybe a little confusing; I rotated the housing for easier handling)

South / East

South / center:

South / West:

I don’t know yet if they snap back tightly. But I’ll only find out when everything is finished – there’s no way I’d stress the plastic more and risk breaking more clips just to test it. As you can see, many are already bent and/or whitened.

I’ll report back when the mod is completed… in a month maybe?

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Waiting!

Damn, Ducky really doesn’t people getting in their plastic cases anymore! The last plastic Ducky board I opened was my MK Disco (Ducky OEMed those) a few years back & it had much less clips on it. It should go back together tightly if you only broke 2 of the tabs. IME you have to break a good bit of the tabs there are to have a case not to hold back together. Anyways GL with the rest of the process! Be sure to use more heat when desoldering the switches as prebuilts use lead free solder.

A picture of the full case with circles where the clips are might be helpful to other people in the future too.

Also dang yeah that’s a lot of clips

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I wonder if lubing the contact surfaces would help with the case creaks (literally my only complaint with my own Ducky board).

Good point, updated!

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Err… creaks? Fortunately I don’t have them… I think? Hope it’ wasn’t just hidden by the MX blues :sweat_smile: …and something I’ll only notice in the future :fearful:

I did notice that the top housing is slightly warped. Hoping it’s intentional to strengthen the grip or something.

Thanks! And yeah I learned the lesson about the solder temp on my previous prebuilt. Good thing I first practised all the procedures on that old board :slight_smile:

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It doesn’t really happen in use, especially with the newer case designs on the One2 vs the One - more when picking it up and such. Sometimes the top and bottom shell creak against each-other when handling - at least mine does, and I think it was BadSeedTech that mentioned it in his review of the One2. (One of his favorite boards, btw.)

Looking for advice.

So I’ve millmaxed the PCB, added foam in both the case and between the plate and PCB.

Holy Pandas don’t sound as satisfying as I hoped, especially compared to my 60% build with cheap parts (plastic case). It has the same foam treatment and sounds deeper.

So before I close up the Ducky case for good (for the sake of the clips), I’d like to ask around if anyone has ideas that I could try to improve the sound. Short of Sorbothane that I’m not gonna get.

To follow up on the reassembly fit: it’s fine. Where the clips are broken, it’s not tight, but fortunately enough intact clips are still present so it’s acceptable:

I actually needed to take out the thin foam on the south side AND trim off the mill max sockets (I’m using the longer 0305-2-15-80-47-80-10-0 ) for the upper frame to snap back completely.

@itchybun Thanks for the pics.

I have the full Ducky One 2, and I noticed that the PCB has the solder points for the LEDs.

My multimeter is broken so can’t test the contacts unfortunately, but it makes me wonder if one could solder LEDs to the PCB and flash the backlit versions’ firmware.

I’ve not tested it but seem to remember some redditor showing exactly such a mod.

Edit:

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