Thanks for telling us. I’ve been looking at kprepublic sets for awhile, but there isn’t much info on the quality of them. Glad I found this before buying some.
@donutcat I’ve noticed that ePBT have had issues with warped PBT spacebars lately, and I think it has to do with the molds they’re using.
On the underside of the PBT spacebars I own that are straight, they have extensive underside ribbing to prevent the plastic from warping. The ePBT ones have similar ribbing, but it’s divided into small segments and I don’t think this is nearly as effective.
I noticed that KBD Fans mentioned that they were going to work on a new mold to deal with this issue on the bottom of this page: https://kbdfans.cn/collections/cherry-profile/products/gbenjoypbt-grayscale-keycaps-set
They say they will “make a special mold to correct it”. Might be something to ask about before going into production.
I thought that the new warping issue to sets run through kbdfans recently was due to them being white (or near white) which is a new color/composition for Gateron (assuming their factory is still making the blanks for ePBT). Apparently different colors need different cooling configurations to keep them from warping and from what I gathered, the white plastic was cooling too quickly. I would bet that the new molds have to do with cooling rather than any structural differences in the keycaps.
This still a thing?
Received the updated samples from ePBT a few days ago. When I have a chance I’ll go over them and check that everything is up to snuff before continuing on.
Got a chance to open the set up and see what’s what:
Good news: It looks good. Alignment seems quite good with many of the special characters being much improved.
Bad news: Long keys are pretty warped. In the very small amount of time I’ve had to check in on stuff I had seen some mention of recent ePBT stuff having more warping due to changing colors. When I get in touch I’ll try to see if there’s any info about working on that before the set is ready to run.
Unrelated: I really need to get a display board for full sets so I don’t have to try and line up keys manually. PCB for a standardized full set display board ?
lol. do it.
I really wanted to get this set b/c i love royal alpha but I wanted white mods, and I only own the green mods from the GMK set.
However, I still don’t have much confidence in ePBT creating good stabilized keys. I had a set of ePBT from 4 years ago that was great. But in the past few years, I have ordered 2 sets from KBDfans and both had the same issue. The larger keys were a bit warped, but the big issue was that they don’t work on cherry stabilizers (or zeal).
I thought it was just bad luck, but I’ve found the same thing on my more recent ePBT slate set too. And those larger keys look good. No warping at all. But because the plastic shrinks, you can see the keycaps are about 1.5mm shorter than their GMK equivalents. This is a big issue b/c it also effects the distance between the stabilizer inserts. Too close together means stabilizers bind.
Can you mount the space bar or other larger keys on a board and see if the key returns after press?
My thoughts exactly
Typing on an ePBT set right now. Love it so much. I really wish they could figure out this issue…
Finally had the time to get the set onto a board. Consistency and alignment are much better across the board than the first batch. I’m pretty happy with the current look of the set.
I did put what long keys I could on stabs to see how bad the warping would affect them. The long spacebars seem fine, a couple of the 2u-2.75u seem a little sticky, I couldn’t test the 3u. I’ll talk with them and see if the warping was just this sample being rushed out and if for the GB QA for warping will be a bit more stringent.
So, back to working on this and I’ve hit a point where feedback is needed. Lots of people are wanting some accent keys keys for the set. After talking with Gok about his experience with reverse subs from ePBT, his statement was that it’s not as sharp as the normal subbing and the color has some inconsistency in it. So here’s a strawpoll to see where people’s opinions lie for this https://www.strawpoll.me/18401714. I’ll let this run for awhile and see where it sits before moving forward.
Small update, getting quotes for base kits both with and without some reverse subbed keys added in to see how significant the difference is. This should also be when I get my quotes for what KBDFans’ pricing will be for the GB process since I’ve elected to go through them due to my current situation.
Thanks for the update
So it’s been a hot minute since the last update; stuff just kinda got buried under work to do and things that needed more of my attention. I’m back in touch with Wei and we’re knocking out the final details right now. What I can tell you right now is we are looking to go forward with a couple reverse-subbed accent keys as long as the samples for them look good.
Of note is I’m also currently in a situation concerning the “international kit”: ePBT’s MOQ is 200, so I’m almost sure an international kit wouldn’t hit that, but on the other hand it’s a lot of keys to tuck into the base kit. I’m not wanting to ditch it completely but I’m sure keeping “unnecessary keys” in the base is of concern for people. Something I have to think on.
I’ll just leave this here. Also, I’m getting the splitting up of the kit and the issue of MOQ for the Intl kit taken care of as well. Hoping we might finally have this ready to get going here shortly.
The reverse ones look pretty good!
Great to see more updates. Keep 'em coming.
Back in touch with Wei, confirmed that the little spacebars will be convex. Just making sure that the small typo with the Intl kit 9 key is fixed up and then we’re basically ready for business.