My pet peeves

Hi there! This is meant to be an opinion piece, no harm intended. I’m not out to set fire to sacred cows. Your choices are cool. You be you. I love all of you with certain exceptions. LOL.

Ok, here goes:

I want stabilizers that don’t suck without modding, black magic, band aids, or any other goddamn thing. Pop them in, they work, they don’t rattle, squeak, or bind.

I want a way to program QMK that’s super fucking easy and doesn’t require any programming experience, I get it, you’re smart, I’m not. Here’s to you. Now make something I can use without a brain melt-down.

I want a Topre mount to Cherry MX that’s easily available, doesn’t require I buy a 300 US dollar board to trash. And Mike Sickler, quit with the goddamned interminable GMK buys, and get on this. Love you bro. This is the one most singular opportunity I can think of, besides stabs that don’t suck.

That’s it. That’s really all I have. The rest I can put up with. I don’t mind opening up switches, lubing, Frankensteining, stickering, or whatever. Those are all options I can avail myself of if I care. (I don’t). But there are some things I can’t buy. And I wonder why that is.

This is a discussion thread. Let it rip. Thanks!

It’s a couple of days before I turn 55, I’m drinking bourbon and soda. Please excuse me. I only referenced Mike Sickler because he made available the only switch that matters to me, the Kailh Box Navy, and thus is right up there with Tesla, Musk, and freaking Wozniak. I don’t know that he can stretch himself far enough. I’m just asking.


I would actually love any kind of tool that would substantially accelerate lubing, but I don’t have a clear idea exactly what that would be - so it’s difficult to storm that castle just yet.

As a longtime C guy, I have to enter a “no contest” plea on your QMK charges, but I am in complete agreement on stabs and MX Topre mounts. Please, people, I want to give you money. Let me give you money. Help me give you money. Take it, all of it. My money. beaker’s money. Everyone’s money. We’re broke now, but we have Stabs. Not stabs. Stabs. Upper case. The ones that work.
Like the MX Topre Mounts that you’re making for us. beaker knows. We all know.


Aren’t DES making topre sliders?

@jshufelt , I have no idea, but bring it on. For the FSM’s sake, bring it.

Stabs are the broken bit in our world. You know it, I know it. Zeal, whoever, for crying out loud. There has to be a better solution.


@Lesbian. I hope so, and may the almighty architect of the universe be with them. There’s nothing good in this space that doesn’t require a whole bunch of money and waste.

RAMA is (supposedly) working on better stabs, but… well, it’s on RAMA time alright.

Now, all we need is for someone (other than a certain Nyan Rourbauer) to make a top plate for the HHKB so that we can swap out housings for best fit when we get good MX topre stuff.

(we need an option that isn’t machined out of gorgeous aluminum and costs $300, rather)


Yeah, I don’t even care about price. Just make the thing. It’ll filter down. I’m buying stuff day one.

It’s going to take some real eldtritch magic to get new and good stabs.

That is, unless we’re willing to go back into the dark ages and use Costar again. I’ve heard those are pretty alright enough.

Costar has its detractors for a reason. It’s not bad, it’s ok, but Cherry is probably better with certain caveats. I’m just saying, why do we put up with any of it?

Because Ripster has punished us for our hubris and our work is never finished, I guess. Although I will say I can’t see how to easily improve Cherry stabs, anyway. Perhaps reshaping the wire? Making the stab more full-bodied? Designing it like an actual goddamn switch with contact points instead of four dinky plastic trash piles and a wire that doesn’t properly fit?


I was an English Major who hung out with Comp Sci back in the early 80’s. Still good friends with people whom I don’t comprehend, but appreciate. I wish I did. Every time I go to a local meetup, I realize my deficiencies. Anyway, yeah. I like tools. I’m just kind of dumb in some regards.

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@Lesbian, first of all, why have a wire that can pop out? Why do I need to lube? And oh, boy, I do need to lube, that’s not a suggestion, it’s a requirement, non negotiable. Trimming stabs, I bought a wire clipper, no big deal, but why?

Screw in vs. clip? Yeah, I go for clip, but as for anything else, gold vs. base metal or whatever, who cares? There’s a bunch of rinky-dinking around. Design flaws that we all kind of deal with for no reason whatsoever. There must be a better way. I’m just saying.

I just can’t believe that the big boys of manufacturing have never said, “man, these stabs aren’t good, there’s got to be something we can do; oh wait, that’s gonna cost. Never mind.” There was a time when profit wasn’t necessarily a factor.

I’m not ever going to do a patent search. But, come on. I just can’t believe that what we have, currently, is as good as anyone may have already devised. Maybe it is. In which case, it’s an issue.

I’m hammered and going to bed I only hope to provoke discussion, Please feel free to contribute or don’t. Whatever peeves you is open game. Peace Bros and Brosettes.

My first mech keyboard was with costar stabs. They are rattly but an easy fix if you get some thick grease and some toothpicks. Then I bought the second keyboard to try linears. It had cherry stabs. I was so let down I can’t put it into words. Mushy pieces of crap that don’t even go all the way down. After googling for hours and checking some videos tried to clip them and trashed the keyboard as you have to desolder everything to put them back. On my first build I was smarter, of course, and clipped and lubed everything right away and made sure pressing in stabbed keys isn’t disgusting, but I still hate stabs with a passion. I can’t even recommend people a mechanical keyboard because of that, because once they will hit spacebar or shift they might feel like the have been ripped off.

COSTAR are REALLY good when properly tuned, that is in order not to have a mushy feeling.
Once tuning done they are very smooth with very little play.
…But changing keyset is a pain with these compared to Cherry :frowning:

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I really do think this is gonna be what we end up moving toward, but it’ll definitely take some real effort (and new molds, obviously) to get us there.

I’m actually looking for costar stabilizers for a hand-wire build, since they seem to be the only plate-mount stabs available - where do people buy them these days?

Switchtop and Sentraq carry them, and I think does too.

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Yes, taking much longer to swap out keycaps is the biggest issue with costar for me.

I’d get the ones they sell at wasdkeyboards.

The kind that bend up perpendicular to the plate have worked much better for me


I can’t help but think the reason stabilizers are so terrible generally speaking is that most people just don’t care about them, or at least don’t realize how terrible they actually are.

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