(Wasn’t that sure about what to drop here but here it goes…)
Name is Luis, working for a couple of years on the IT service business and I’m currently on a weird location setup, basically splitting 70% of the time in Austria while the remaining 30% are in Poland.
Whenever work isn’t consuming my time (and my brains…) I’m pretty much into history, sci-fi and cooking. I’m somehow dependent on music.I can pretty much listen from Jazz to Post-Punk. Since the family was too small, we decided to adopt a Boston Terrier dog and it’s has been an amazing experience with this 4 legged dude.
Now the real thing:
I’ve been into mechanical keyboards for the last 4 to 5 years (introduced via a G80 Compaq) and it started to get a bit more serious for the last 2 years, where I basically ended up buying cheap boards so that I could further on decide to go full custom.
Now this full custom experience has been quite a trip. Ended up knowing that some of my colleagues have nice boards, mostly based on 65%/70% formats, with various switch setups (never imagined it could be such a complex thing), with several types of cases, etc. My preferred type of switch would definitely be tactile - just got extremely used to it throughout the years.
Around February, I ended up making up my mind (and ended up being divided between MX and Topre) so I decided to give it a go to the first choice. Aaand… Then things went sideways as the part availability basically went from “in stock” to “out of stock”. I put this plan on hold (exactly since I didn’t receive any restock message from any of the websites I usually check) and decided to give it a go now. Only by this time I noticed/found that the majority of the parts/components end up being shipped from Asia. (rookie, I know…)
Considering I’m a fully fledged newb on the matter, decided to join so that I can learn more about the topic, know people who might share similar opinions/likes/etc.
Hello and welcome!
That’s funny - I’ve been into the hobby about the same amount of time, and just ordered my first real custom a week or so ago.
Oh, the “out of stock” experience. I had that just minutes ago, actually. Opened my inbox to see 5 consecutive emails from NovelKeys that the NK65v2 is back in stock, sent about an hour ago. I say why not, I’ll grab one. Go to the site, still in stock. Put it in my cart, go to check out, initiate the payment aaaand… your cart has been updated; this item is out of stock.
I have such mixed feelings about all the people coming into the hobby from the tech videos. That’s basically what turned DeviantArt into the hellscape it is now; a spot on TV. On one hand, the popularity is causing community favorite items to evaporate the moment they go live, with a fair portion being scalpers and resellers. On the other hand, this is giving some of our favorite outlets enough success to grow and develop better products and stuff just keeps getting more awesome.
Hopefully the custom keeb industry will find something resembling a healthy equilibrium - kind of like the bicycle industry. There are some humongous companies that own a bazillion brands, yes - but they aren’t pushing-out the craftspeople like the car industry did. I’d love to see NovelKeys and similar outfits be able to grow to meet demand without sacrificing what makes them awesome.
On that note, while there are certain items that ride a rocket-boosted hype train, there are plenty of really good ones that fly under the radar, too - and this is a great place to find out about them.
Yeah, unfortunately a lot of parts are either out of stock many places, or have long waits for shipping. What are you looking at to assemble together?
Thanks for your interest.
This part shortage already made me think twice and ponder if I shouldn’t just start looking for open source pcb which would offer some compatibility with the most common case manufacturers. Put this on stand-by mode since I time managing research on this is quite complex.
On an ideal scenario, I’d pretty much go for any robust 65/70% solution which could provide screw-in stabilizers fitted with some Zilents for which keycaps would be bought based on the possible layouts. Also worth mentioning, ideally I would go for a high-profile case, preferably aluminum.
Welcome! It’s awesome that you’ve gotten the chance to feel out what you like – my recommendation would be to save for the board of your dreams instead of working your way up to it as it will save you a ton of money. Granted, most of us keep buying the board/switch/keycap set of our dreams on a regular basis, lol. Hopefully, the supply woes will start to clear up in the next 6 months providing the world doesn’t plunge into the toilet again. Regardless, welcome to the community which is more close knit than the other big message boards, and you’ll find friendly, helpful people to share your experiences with.
@Deadeye , I basically see myself on your first paragraph. I frankly had no idea that joining the custom keyboard bandwagon would or could be like this.
From the new hobbyists arriving via tech videos, totally agree with your point. The way I see it is that there are products, created by purists, with a purist target group, end up falling down on the enthusiast bucket exactly because person XYZ either appraised the product or basically gets some sponsorship out of it.
Also, the way products are placed nowadays, makes it so hard to follow the trail and find all those hidden gems under the radar as you mentioned!
This one may or may not fit your preferred style with it’s large windowed forehead, but there’s two days left on this group buy for a 65% that’s very robust indeed. It looks like this, and comes in a few colors:
Just curious - have you gotten to try Zilents first hand yet?
Thanks for sharing!
Some time ago I considered one of his keyboards (as in CTFKB), however his non-through hole component version disappeared from github.
As for the Zilents, yes had the chance to try them (light blue if I recall correctly). Enjoyed how soft/smooth the feeling was, when compared with the Browns I’ve been using. Also, the friction reduction felt significant to me. (hope I was able to pass on the message on the feel).
(oh wait…) And after reading myself, I realize it’s about time to buy a switch tester, get a case,plate and pcb first and then try how a some more tactile switches might feel.
Hi and welcome. I too just joined the community with the intention of building a custom keyboard, but find it frustrating with the supply of parts. Perhaps things will improve soon, but with I doubt it will be anytime soon. At least it’s a good reason to save up for something nice.
Did not know about this buy… ugh… its calling me!