[GB] Heavy metal keyboards (previously SKB2)

I just wanted to give a heads up that GB for SKB2 (now Heavy Metal Keyboard) is running.
It’s a very nice top mount isolated plate steel keyboard with affordable price.
I’m waiting for my black TKL :drooling_face:

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=106072.0

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I have a black HHKB 60% from round 1 and I still enjoy it quite a lot. It’s conceptually unique. I’m considering a beige TKL this round :thinking:

I joined for a 60% case but am not too excited about the prospect of a steel plate. Is there an overview about how different plate materials (especially plastics and composite materials like cf or fr4) affect sound and feel?

Based on your experience, should there be much difference between steel and brass plate for linear switches (Inks, Creams etc)?

There is definitely a difference, but there is also the factor of the case to consider. Honestly it would hard to say with certainty the sound profiles of the different plates due to the pretty unique housing. I’ll try to upload some typing sounds of my SKB60 R1 sometime this weekend (steel plate).

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my skb1 case is super pingy although I guess if I put some effort in adding some O rings to the mounting mechanism maybe that sound could be mitigated

What would you say is better for medium tactiles, like Clears? Steel or Brass plate?

If the case is pingy, could dampening foam work? Or is there an alternate TKL one would recommend? I like how you can get 60-95% with this GB.

dampening foam will probably work for the case, I do not have any thing to dampen the case at all in my build. My PCB crapped out on me so I haven’t really had much incentive to work on it.

Hmm, that’s a little discouraging.

i dig it.

i’m in for a beige HMKB 80 so far, but i think they might get me for a gray HMKB 80 as well before it’s all said and done. so many keycap colorway possibilities with those two colors of boards.

my main question (which appears to be the same question others are having), is whether to choose a steel or brass plate? i primarily use mx brown switches and definitely prefer tactile switches over linear. i don’t see myself using any linear switches with this board. are those two factors that should point me toward one plate or the other? definitely need some advice here.

i just recently got really into the mech board community (although i’ve been using mech boards for about 15+ years, ibm models ms, etc) so i hadn’t seen many TKL GBs until i saw this one. this will be my first DIY kit. i’ve been using ducky boards (love them) with mx browns (love them too). the only other switch i’ve tried were mx blacks and i hated them. i’m planning on jumping on hiney’s TKL GB and bliss’s TKL GB also.

hakko soldering station just came in the mail. better get going with my practice so i’m ready when these boards come. i have an old ducky zero D2108 with some soda stuck between the PCB and the plate of the board right around the arrow keys. desoldering that beast and cleaning the soda out is going to be my first challenge. i’ve heard that desoldering older boards like that ducky can be very challenging so i’m keeping my fingers crossed. :grimacing:

solder01

Otherside of the board…

solder02

Spent the night looking at anthony001’s builds of what I think are v1 skb.
One with sorbothane and one without.
I think it will answer your questions.

I will probably order the 75% myself.


:heart_eyes:

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Great first post, KMPLSV.

For someone who likes MX Browns, but doesn’t like MX Blacks, there are some other tactiles you might want to try: BOX Browns, Pro Purples, Zilents, Everglide Jade, and OUTEMU Sky. Save that for your custom builds, though.

I am not sure about the plate material, but hopefully someone will chime in. It seems to be a pertinent question with these boards.

Desoldering a well-built keyboard can be tricky, because they tend to use dual-side PCBs or larger amounts of solder, among other things. You might want to practice first with something cheaper.

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my advice for desoldering OEM boards, add a very small bit of fresh solder to each pad before you try to desolder it. Works like a charm.

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As promised, here is what the typing sounds of my SKB60 HHKB R1 sounds like.

Switches: Lubed Ergo Clears

So if you have doubts about the potential “hollowness” of the case, it’s still in your hands about what you can do about it to make it sound decent.

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Agreed on the part about making an effort to reduce the hollow sound of the case. Hopefully my comments did not discourage anyone from going in on the SKB2. I love the unique and industrial look of these cases. Just know that there is some work to get rid of any hollow or pingy noise e.g. foam between plate/pcb, making your own “gasket mount” solution using rubber O rings etc.

“TPE grommets are used to fully isolate the plate from the bolts and the enclosure, which results in a more enjoyable typing experience.”
I am not familiar with gasket mount, but wouldn’t the above provide similar benefit?

thank you for the suggestions. other switches that have been referred to me by a few people include: t1, koala, holy pandas, and unholy pandas. i’m going to do some research into them all, but at the moment it’s all greek to me. the t1 has been recommended the most by far.

i suppose my best bet would be to get all the specs of the mx brown and compare them to the specs of the switches being suggested. then again, who knows. maybe i’d end up liking a switch even if it isn’t close to the brown specs.

Thank you Huey.
Already ordered, one steel and one brass plate, not sure which one will sound better.
As for the “hollowness” - will add some form of sound dampening for sure.
But would imagine R2 will be less hollow due to design refinement…

I just ordered a 75% in beige to match my SA Godspeed with Ares mods.

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