HELP - First time building a keyboard

I’m hoping to build my first mechanical keyboard and I have some outlandish ideas that should, in theory, work.
Im loooking at the Let’s Split PCB and soldering some U4Tx’s onto it, but I have loads of questions.

  1. Can I use a 5-pin switch to solder to a PCB?
  2. Are there any problems that could arise by using electrical tape for the tape mod?
  3. Do I need a case?
  4. If no to Q3 then can I make a silicone base plate for a thin, dense, sound-absorbing layer on top of electrical tape?
  5. If no to Q3 then can I use switch foam to surround the 5mm gap from the PCB to the middle section of the switch to dampen sound?
  6. Instead of using switch pads could I paint the base of the switches with silicone?
  7. Do I need expensive microcontrollers or can I get some USB Pro Micro ATMEGA32U4 from AliExpress?
  8. Will any SMD 1N4148W from AliExpress work?
  9. Do keycaps make an acoustic difference?
  10. If yes to Q9 then could I fill keycaps with silicone for a deeper sound?

I know these questions are a lot but I don’t think any number of YouTube reviews can compare to peoples experiences.
Thanks for your help

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  1. YES, it’s preferable.
  2. MAYBE, It may be to thick and not usually lose the grip of the surface you put it on. And it may give a different sound. Also rarely used for sandwich-builds.
  3. NO, the base-kit usually gives you what I refer to as a sandwich-build.
    But the bottom plate can be switched to whatever you want to, so
  4. YES
  5. YES.
  6. I don’t see why not, but I would not recommend it.
  7. NO, you can use those microcontrollers to.
  8. Probably, but I can’t guarantee.
  9. Yes they do, material and thickness to.
  10. I would not recommend that, but if you get some cheap ones you could try.

And it sounds like your bild is going to have a lot of. dampening, I would recommend you add one thing at a time so you know if you want/need it and to recognize what the mod does.

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  1. Just to clarify, I’m only getting the PCBs, sp I was thinking of using the foam as a top plate and the silicone as a bottom plate. Is this posible?
    Thank you for your help so far

I guess it would work, but it won’t be as rigid and clean looking as with a plate.
Keeping it clean/cleaning it will probably be bothersome to. :thinking:

  1. Not using 5-pin switches may result with crooked switches (and thus crooked looking keycaps).]
  2. You don’t have to, but ideally you’d want to, it’s not guaranteed to sit flush and not wobble without a case, also since you’re concered about acoustics, it might sound worse without a case (more contact points with the table, and rigid points rather than soft feet).
  3. Yes.
  4. I’m not sure how much it will help without a plate and a case, but you can try.
  5. If you’re refering to the PE foam mod, it will not achieve the same result as it’s will not be PE, same goes using EV/Poron switch pads, it will however affect the sound, probably will mute it a bit.
    Sure you can, the hard part would be to make it consistent so switches won’t sit in a different height.
  6. I don’t know if they fit in that slot but cheap microcontrollers works well, I used dirt cheap ATMEGA32U4 controllers and QMK worked fine on them, though I can’t say they’ll last as high quality components.
  7. I don’t see why they won’t work, I made a hand wired build from the cheapest diodes available on AE and it works well, but like 7 I can’t say they’ll live as long as high quality components.
    (Though when I think about it, it’s always assumed vendors use quality components, I personally don’t recall vendors touch this subject, they may very well be using the same cheap components that might be “good enough to last”, but I’m just speculating).
  8. It would probably work but it’s very tedious and has a higher chance of just resulting in a muted sound rather than feeling full, if you want deep or “full” keycaps take a look at the higher profiles such as SA or ASA, and choose a thick set.

Don’t know enough about the rest, skipped some question because formatting.

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