Thanks @milneraj@Deadeye and @dwarflemur for all the references on orange keycaps! I figured I should start a separate thread to keep it out of “What’s on your desk today thread”. Honestly, I do (currently) prefer the backlit varieties but have to say some of these referenced keycap sets are really nice looking. I probably should start to try some other keycap profiles.
Again, after my Northgate keyboard many, many years ago, most of my keyboards since have just been whatever was available and I never gave it much more thought than that (different “obsessions” I suppose, lol). In this new distraction, I’ve been trying to read up on all the profiles, switch types, customizations, nomenclature, acronyms, etc… There is a lot of great informational resources/reviews on this site–I’m glad I found it.
Oh, and to answer why I like the backlit keycaps, it’ usually dark when I start my day so I just like hitting a key to light up the keyboard (and get the pc out of hibernate). Much more pleasing than turning on even ambient lighting. I turn lights or open the blinds eventually but the soft keycap glow is nice and subdued to start the day.
While I continue to read up an familiarize myself with the myriad of options, please let me know if you find any other orange sets. It’s nice to know there are so many other orange options available! Thanks again.
Genuinely, I think there needs to be some premium backlit key options available, both for use-cases like yours, and for the heck of it.
I remember when the first MacBook to have backlit keys came out, that was considered a very premium feature. I think the first premium key MFR to even talk about doing it is RAMA with their uniquely polycarb legends; but I think it would make sense for Signature Plastics, whoever Drop uses, and even GMK to get in on it.
Right now the best backlit caps I can think of are the ones Ducky makes, and they are good - above average, even - but they aren’t great. They are strictly standard layout, and OEM only.
Agreed! I think it’s a little hard to handle the double shot process to allow both backlit and nice thick keycap walls. True that there aren’t premium/top end types of shine through keycaps. Some innovations in this space that I can think of:
Various pudding keycaps
PBT shine through upgrade kits from Razer, Corsair, Drop, Tai-hap, Ducky etc
G-Skill Crystal keycaps
Razer Phantom keycaps
Plus most of these keycaps are in a monochrome color scheme (white, black, shades of grey). I suppose other colors might mess up how RGB shine through looks - much less finding an Orange set of keycaps
Before asking my next inevitable question, “Ok, so how does one get a premium custom backlit set made?”, I think my next logical step is to try “one of each type” of profiles–but there are so many now! I believe it’s way to early for me to start talking custom without additional research and observation(s). How would I know that I would prefer OSA, DSA, KAT or anything else over OEM without getting some alternative sets to try out?
That said, I am fairly happy with this orange PBT set I’ve cobbled together but the CDO in me (it’s like OCD but the letters are in the proper order as they should be) keeps reminding me I have a few squared-corner keycaps vs. rounded on others.
Ultimately it would be nice to limit the light bleed too–maybe paint the plate and walls of the keycaps with black 3.0 paint, replace the milky white switch tops with black and any number of other things I haven’t even thought of yet.
Fun fact: GMK made a shine-through keycap that came with Camping R1 and it is genuinely the worst shine-through cap I’ve ever seen. To be fair to them, the GB runner wanted a solid legend with a translucent background which was a bad idea from the start, but it really just doesn’t work.
The typical answer is find a meetup to go to and try other people’s boards. If there aren’t any near you soon (which is likely considering Delta) you can try to find someone who lives in your city who would be willing to let you test out their boards.
At the end of the day, if you don’t live in an area that already has some hobbyists your only recourse is to buy them. At the very least, if you buy caps from a popular GB and don’t like them when they arrive it’s rare that you won’t be able to at least make your money back selling them on the aftermarket.
Yep, I typically would have been very interested in finding a meetup but even though I’m vaccinated, I only venture out when I have to and still mask up when I do. I haven’t stepped foot in my physical office in well over a year–thankfully I have a decent internet connection and a good VPN to work
I took a chance on the switches (and keycaps) based on internet appearances and videos alone. Thankfully both worked out pretty well. I’m starting to research alternative, inexpensive sets but again, my inner voice reminds me, “Never enough money to do right. Always enough money to do it twice.” I’m so conflicted. lol
Can’t remember if GMK also made the Dusk/Dawn novelty kits for Laser or if those were a different manu, but they were similar (opaque legend, translucent cap) and I recall people similarly disliking them.
FWIW I think the approach could work for a full set (good luck making that happen, though) and a bit more thought put into its execution, but… I can’t imagine anybody bothering enough to do it
I think this is just wishful thinking. I actually called Signature Plastics and spoke with a couple people. Very nice conversations but ultimately, they don’t have the dies currently to make this a reality. I mocked up a hypothetical set (even threw in a poor attempt at a Halloween theme) but in the end, it wasn’t even officially quoted. The glow in the dark may or may not have qualified as shine-through, the legends would have to be top left or centered middle and glow is only available in ABS (which may have been fine since it would be doubleshot but I would have preferred PBT–I think).