[Help Needed]

[Help needed]
I am new to the world of custom mechanical keyboards and am planning on my first one.
After going through a lot of options and choices, I decided on Kprepublic XD84 for my first build.
Here are all the parts (using AliExpress since it’s the best option for me to get everything):

Case: XD84 Aluminum Chasis V2 (with stalinite diffuser, in black)

PCB: XD84 Pro (it’s the second version of their PCB with more underglow PCB LEDs and Type C support and stuff)

Plate: XD84 compatible Alu plate in black or dark grey(any reason I should go Brass?)

Stabilizers: Everglide Black Transparent gold plated screw-in stabs (will be lubed and bandaid modded)

For now, this is all that’s decided.
I know I am going for Gateron switches (will be getting tester to check which, I am thinking of Blacks), I will be getting some films to lube+film the switches. Lube is the Krytox GLP205+GLP105 combo kit from Kprepublic.

I am going for a black (and mostly industrial gunmetal sort of Grey) build with some gold accents that I am going to get through an artisan metal keycap in gold by Zomo and although it may seem overboard, I plan on using golden film with my Gateron Blacks. This is in lieu of my planned pc setup.

Here are the things I am confused about:

Q1: Is there any reason to change any parts?

Q2: How do I know which space bar size and other modifier size stabs I need?

Q3: I am thinking of Gateron Blacks… I game as well as type a lot for college. I have a Logitech G512 with RomerG Tactiles right now. Am I making a bad decision or something? I don’t really need the tactile bump (I think) and I am on no way a good typist, I generally look at the keyboard while typing… (don’t rip me apart).

Q4: I have been planning on the DSA Dolch Keycap sets from Kprepublic themselves… They are PBT and Dye-Subbed.
Are these good keycap sets?
I think my current keyboard is cherry or OEM profile so, would DSA give me issues? I think I would like it more, but I have no way of testing that without getting a set.

Q5. If I wanted to add under keycap RGB to the keyboard that could be modified, could I? How would one go about doing that if it is possible? If I just wanted to add LEDs for Capslock etc, how would I do that?
The switches on the Kprepublic shop page are listed as 5-pin or 3-pin and as RGB or SMD. What is this?

Q6. I heard the PCB is not QMK compatible, what is that and what’s the other option on this?

I really would appreciate all the help I can get… New to this and really wanna have a blast soldering and putting together my own stuff. Same reason I for into PC building (new in that too… This board will be part of the setup that I make after my first PC build that I really want to make special even if on a mid tier budget)

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For some strange reason I can’t post links here so here’s my reddit thread as well if you want to check stuff with the links?r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/gte9ih/need_help_i_hope_i_can_post_help_threads/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

You will have to add the reddit . com in the start.

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Welcome to KT @Kasuka3497! So I think I can help you out a bit here & answer some of your questions.

  1. No I really can’t see any good reason to change up any of your parts. They’ll all work together & will make for a solid build in that price range.

  2. The stabilizers sizes you’ll need is up to the layout you pick, as that board has quite a few different bottom row configurations & layout options. If you want the layout shown in the pic on the XD84 pro kit page you’ll need 3 - 2u stabs (L shift, Enter, & Backspace), then a 6.25u stab for the spacebar.

  3. Gaterons are very solid switches, some think they even better than Cherry nowadays. The Gat blacks are a good choice IMO, but getting a test with all the regular Gateron switch variants before buying the switches for your build would help you make a much more informed decision on them. So much of this hobby comes down to your personal preferences TBH.

  4. It is a decent keycap set, not super high quality but more than good enough & also should be pretty thick caps. The big issues of concern I would have ordering that set is how well the dye-subbing will be done & how much or not the longer stabilized keys will be warped. Longer keys tend to warp when cooling when made with PBT, this happens with even the highest end PBT sets. As for how you will feel about DSA coming from OEM profile, it’s hard to say, again that steers into the personal preference realm. So I would see if you can find a couple cheap DSA blanks to get with your switch tester so you can try out the profile before buying the set. Also the PCB has north facing switches which are known to interfere with thicker Cherry profile caps.Also make sure to get the “All in one 145 key” version of that set to have all the keys you’ll need to cover the XD84 layout.

  5. No this is not possible with PCBs that were not designed from the ground up to have per key RGB & this one was not. You can add single color LEDs in the switches, but not RGB ones as they require 4 pins & the plate only has spaces for 2 pin LEDs. So you could have LEDs for caps & whatever other switches you’d want. To install in switch LEDs you’ll put them in last after the switch has been installed & soldered in as the slip through a cutout on the front of the housing then get soldered in just like the switches.

As for the switch options 5 pin is switches that have 2 extra plastic fixing pins on the bottom housing. Originally they were made for plateless KBs, but are still used by enthusiasts on builds with plates because the fixing pins help big time with switch alignment one PCBs that have spots for them (most do & if not the extra legs can just be snipped off). 3 pin switches are made for KBs that were designed from the ground up with a plate & have a fixed layout (mostly prebuilt mechs like Leopold, Varmilo, Ducky, etc.). They do not need the PCB fixing pins because the plate will be cut specifically for that fixed layout & will hold all the switches exactly where they need to be.

RGB switches are just switches that have an all clear housing to allow RGB light through them, mostly used on PCBs that have flush mounted SMD RGB LEDs. SMD switches are switches that have a hole cut in the bottom housing to allow a non flush mounted SMD RGB LED to be used for per key lighting on the PCB (this is becoming rarer now, but most low end hot swappable PCB feature the non flush mount SMD RGB LEDs (SMD stands for Surface Mount Diode & is used as way to describe all surface mount parts like SMD resistors or SMD LEDs even though that is a bit of a misnomer). What I would suggest for your build is just normal 5 pin Gateron switches (clear or milky top, black or milky bottom). You’ll want the fixing pins for help where the PCB is not like swiss cheese on first build IMHO & you will not have SMD LEDs on the PCB so the RGB & SMD housings would just be extra cost for no reason.

  1. This is unfortunate as QMK is the most well know & one of the easiest ways to program a custom KB, but there is no other choice but to use KP’s TKG tools to program this PCB unless you have a deep knowledge of programming microcontrollers. It shouldn’t be an issue though as I have not heard anything bad about TKG tools & plenty of newcomers have successfully navigated using it as KPrepublic’s boards are very popular starter options.

All in all I think you should just fine with your selected parts as long as you are somewhat mechanically inclined for the build itself & somewhat handy with computers for the programming. It really doesn’t take deep knowledge on either side to accomplish a finished build TBH. If you need any further help feel free to post it on this thread or even PM me on here. Welcome to the community & I hope to see you around even after you get this build done!


Thank you so much for the answer! That was very detailed and helpful!
I would gladly stick around and help anywhere and learn more about this hobby🙂
Maybe down the line a few years after this build, I might even join a more higher tier GB or start a custom project.

I do have a few more question though?
1- The PCB seems to have some sort of interface for CapsLock lights… Could you explain that a bit more please?

2- I recently found MaxKeys SA profile Keycaps. Are those a better choice? They seem to be very well made and seem perfect for my mid tier build.


No problem! I’m running to the store right now but I’ll answer those other questions when I get back if nobody else pops before then bud.


Yoinking this question from ya, Rob.

So, you can have an optional LED that triggers when capslock is turned on or off - as someone who just plain never uses capslock, I wouldn’t go for it, but it’s 100% your call.

As for the Maxkeys keycaps, while I personally am not a huge fan of their shape, I know a lot of people who are - and they’re a popular option for a reason! They’re quite good for the price - big, chunky thick caps. I personally adore DSA, but its probably a better idea for you to get a doubleshot ABS keycap set instead of a PBT one, simply for the sake of not having to deal with warped keys on your first keyboard outing, because boy does DSA - and especially cheap DSA - have a warping problem. Good luck with your build!


Thank you
@Lesbian @Rob27shred

I will pick at your brains later on as I come across any new questions!


Thanks @Lesbian! i figured someone would catch it before I got back! @Kasuka3497 feel to PM me anytime man!