Sticky keys - troubleshooting tips

I refitted a couple of days ago my Keychron Q2 keyboard with new keycaps and Keychron’s official acoustic upgrade kit. From the moment I installed the acoustic kit, problems started. Mainly, the “shift” and “backspace” keys became super sluggish and sticky. I thought that it was a problem of the stock stabilizers, so when my MT3 Serika keycaps arrived, I disassembled the whole keyboard and installed new stabilizers (the GSV2 Glorious stabilizers). When I reassembled the whole thing, I noticed that “shift” was functioning normally, but it was “enter” that was now sluggish, and “backspace” despite not being sticky, felt somehow wrong and slow.

So, what I did was to disassemble again the whole thing, remove an extra DIY layer of foam that I had added on the bottom of the case, make sure the screws of the stabs were not too tight, their wires straight, etc. The problem was ameliorated BUT not resolved. What is more infuriating is that I now feel all the other keys a bit weird too. I mean my ALPHAS, even the “spacebar”, all perfectly ok till my tinkering, now feel like slow and sound clacky (with the extra DIY layer of foam, their thockiness was just perfect)

I have read all available troubleshooting guides and tried all things suggested, but to no result. Can anyone help me, please? I feel like I am going to throw my keyboard in the trash and leave the hobby for good.

P.S. 1: The stabilizers are un-lubed since I do not care that much for the rattling, and I use Glorious Panda switches.
P.S. 2: I noticed that things are semi-ok when the stabilizers’ stems are not inserted in the keycaps. This means though that the problematic keycaps sit higher than all the rest.

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Welcome to one of the most frustrating parts of this hobby: stabilizer tuning.

While there isn’t a lot of love out there for Glorious’ stabilizers, you can get them to be at least passable, but you are going to have to put in some work.

Primarily, you will want to make sure that the wire is absolutely straight and lays completely flat. You will also want to make sure the bends in the wire are perfectly 90 degrees. This will ensure that the wire aligns the stabilizer stem with the keycap post, hopefully preventing the stabilizer stem from having too much contact with the stabilizer housing.

I know that you said that the stabilizers are unlubed, but at the very least, you will want a layer of lubrication for the plastic-on-plastic contact of the stabilizer stem and housing (which should help prevent sluggish stabilizer return) and some lube on the stabilizer wire where it is inserted into the stabilizer stem. This will help to reduce metal-on-plastic friction, as well as helping to dampen the wire ticking around in a dry stem.

Alexotos has a great video that touches on a lot of great tips about this in a tutorial that is easily approachable:

Thank you for your help and advice.

I was wondering if there is a simpler and cheaper way to resolve the issue. I do not mind putting the extra work on the stabilizers, but I would like to avoid if possible to buy all these extra stuff that I will never use again. I mean, I do not intend on buying/working on another keyboard in the foreseeable future.

Would buying new stabilizers (the Durock V2 for example) help, or would I need to tune those too? As I said, I do not mind the rattling or the sound as long as they function properly.

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Lube is one of those things that is going to be a necessity in custom keyboards as it will allow you to fine tune and customize tour experience.

An alternative to purchasing lube and tools is to either pay someone else to assemble and tune your switches, stabilizers, and case for you, or take a gamble on some “Almost Perfect” or “Pre-Modded” parts out on the market.

TX makes what they refer to a “Almost Perfect” stabilizers, in which they have improved their component tolerances over multiple revisions:

They are primarily known for their clip-in stabilizers, but have also recently jumped into the screw-in stabilizer game. TX also makes stabilizers for multiple PCB thicknesses, so you will want to pay attention to that when placing a set of their stabilizers and n your cart. (Your Keychron uses a 1.6mm PCB which is pretty standard and easy to find stabilizers for.)

Another company that makes “Pre-Modded” stabilizers is Wuque Studios. They also make stabilizers for both 1.6mm and 1.2mm thickness, but also make stabilizers that have two of the more popular stabilizer mods pre-installed at the factory in their V3 stabilizers:

Durock V2’s are great stabilizers, and a bit of an “Industry Standard” but will still require double checking your wires and adding some form of lubrication to get them to sound and feel great. They are great because of their consistency. They have been out for a while and folks know what they are getting when they pick them up.

At the end of the day, there is not going to be a simple, perfect, easy, out-of-the-box solution for stabilizer tuning. Spending more money isn’t always the option either. What makes this hobby fun for lots of folks is the ability to modify and fine tune the different parts to their boards to tailor them to their own preference. Don’t be afraid of taking things like your switches and stabilizers apart and really get an idea as to how they are working and literally what makes them “tick.” That’s half the fun in this hobby!

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