Optical keyboards

Starting a place to discuss if anyone has opinions or questions.

I own over 300 custom mechanical keyboards, but not a single one is optical. Weird, right? (also, no hall effect switch boards in the collection, fyi).

Personally looking for an opinion on something like this:
or this:

From that second product page and from the random YouTube videos I’ve seen, it appears to have the standard gh60 mounting points. Would just need a plate with plate mounted stabilizers, right? TX plate mounted stabilizers are pretty nice. I have them in my Adam keyboards and my EC Corsa kit.

Anyhooo… feel free to share your thoughts and feelings on optical keyboards.


I was quite amazed by optical switches when I first tried them. I had on hand a Razer Huntsman with linear optical switches.

For me, they were noticeably smoother than Gateron Black Inks (at that time a benchmark for smooth MX switches). I tried and didn’t really care about the programmable actuation point or the other gaming features.

Nowdays, considering that we have as smooth MX mechanical switches, (if not even smoother than some optical/HE options), some even at a low cost, I don’t really find any curiosity towards buying an optical/hall effect keyboard. The cons hand even more now: some are hard to mod, limited switches options, etc.


I got an $8 optical switch 60% keeb, and I managed to make it sound way deeper than my normal switches. I do find that the actuation varies a bit between switches; my spacebar actuates at like 0.1mm and the w key actuates at like 2.4mm.

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I think that in your first link the keyboard is using the same PCB as in your second link.

You may be able to transplant the PCB in a standard 60% case of your choice if you want.

Just the PCB will force you to purchase optical switches and find a plate that accepts plate mounted stabs.

This PCB is bog standard for optical switches.

I started an optical switches investigation long time ago.
I even collaborated with Gondolindrim on the research phase for this switch technology and our god Gondo found a super nice way to deal with those switches, having small latencies while not pumping out huge current (like it is done on the PCB you linked).
He is a busy man and did not released anything yet optical.

Was also busy with my other open source projects (Leyden Jar and Phoenix Project No 1) … until now.
I am resuming this effort and currently making a PCB for the Frog TKL (F12 version) using the technique that Gondo found.
I will keep you posted of my progress.



I’ve been watching this tread forever, and it does seem that he’s received Gateron Ink optical switches for testing. But I’m not sure where he is on the PCB. Having an option for the Frog would rock! Especially since I have 2 of them. :slightly_smiling_face: :frog:


They also have a Discord server, but it is not active for quite a long time.
The PCB designer more or less leaved the project for studies.

If you have an F12 frog and I can make it work you could be an early tester :wink:

Hmm… I have 2 F13 versions and the 8K frog that is F12 :sob:

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Well, maybe when I’’ l make a F13 version…

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It could work with the 8k, you’d either have empty space above & to the side of the arrows or you could get creative. I’ll have to look it up, but I seen someone make a removable blocker for the 4 switches that make the difference between an 8k or regular TKL on the F1-8K.

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Same reaction. Must be close to 6 figures in keyboards as a hobby. Before storage/shelving, shipping, import taxes or such. Humbling the scale some people can interact with this hobby at. :sweat_smile:

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That’s about right! Keep in mind that I’ve been buying and building keyboards for over a decade, so that money is spread out over time. Also, custom keyboards back then were quite humble compared to the huge price-tag items on today’s market :slight_smile:

I don’t even wanna count the number of keycap sets I own. I used to catalog them. I haven’t updated it in more than a year. It would be… a lot.