This hobby has probably just a small number of enthusiasts, and is much smaller than we think

Don’t you thing that this hobby is so much less popular than people think? I mean… I looked at tkl keyboards. There are a couple of group buys running, maybe one of two for the PCBs, but you have no cases and no pcb readily available, except some low quality cases and pcbs on some obscure chinese site. Does this mean that the numbers are hugely inflated and that this hobby is very niche? Not to dismiss the quality and to diminish the preparation of people involved in anyway.
There is probably only GON that has TKL articles ready to be delivered, and switch couture (a couple of months of wait probably), and nothing else. Well, if you have suggestions for a medium - high quality pcb and cases, I’ll listen.

I don’t know what you mean by small and what you think is the hyped and real numbers are. I also don’t understand why ‘large’ number of enthusiasts is needed. We have enough to sustain a market that provides us with goods we are interested in and let us sell or trade.

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Look at DROP’s numbers, and then tell me that this hobby is teensy-weensy.

My dude, there were 150 places opened on a GB I have been interested in on 29th May.
By 3rd June, hardly less than 10 are left.

There’s not AS MUCH interest in this.
But you could say there’s enough people interested to rival those that are as dedicated to PCs as any keeb enthusiast is about keebs

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TKL custom boards have been less popular than 60% boards for a long time, in the last few years less popular than 65% and probably 75%, and less popular than Alice style layout in the past year or so. TKLs also tend to be more expensive than other boards because of the size. I think @Lesbian makes a great point, look at massdrop sales numbers, or like didn’t gmk Dracula sell over 3k base sets? Just because you can’t buy exactly what you want right now doesn’t automatically relate to popularity/size. There was just a thread on here recently about wasd offering aluminum cases for their boards, would something like that work for you? Why are you set on needing a tkl? I think a mistake a lot of people make with their first custom board is assuming a 60/65/75% couldn’t work for them.

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Also, doesn’t 1UP make TKLs?

Another thing to take into account is that most of the people who like TKLs are ones that like their TKLs, whether they’re aftermarket cases and resoldered off-the-shelf PCBs, or $500+ customs. The TKL market is the high-high end market, and easily-standardized 60%s are much, much easier to sell.

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I mean… I was thinking I couldn’t live without at least 75% and here I am happy about how I can make a 50% ortho work😂

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Haha, perfect example.

I think the physical size difference actually scares a lot of people, but when it comes down to it most people really don’t use/need all those keys. Look at all the idiotic layouts that end up on laptops, most of those don’t have number pads or the everything from the cluster above the arrows and people get along just fine.

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I mean… I have never used the insert key, page up and down, home or return and a lot of keys like these.
I could be missing out on a lot but I actually never have used them😂

Custom TKLs are not particularly popular, but I don’t see how that translates to the hobby as a whole. It’s still a niche kind of thing and probably always will be, but all signs point to it being more popular than ever.

I felt the same way initially but then started to look at it like i look at suits. You can get really decent ready made off the shelf products if you need something fast. In this case Filcos or Leopold. But if you want something custom it takes more time. You give the maker feedback and time, and in the end you get a product that hopefully fits you better than the ready made products.

If you’re willing to spend more, you can commission a keycult and won’t have to worry about missing a group buy. So there are a few options available: ready made, wait for a group buy you like or commission a board.

TLDR:

If you need a tkl right now, buy a Filco, Leopold or Realforce.

If you can wait, wait for a tkl group buy you’ll like.

If you have the money, commission a keycult.

It’s not large at all since there’s no supply of high quality keyboards. Everything is custom made, there’s no continuous stream of goods, so it’s not nearly enough. This movement is minuscole.
Are there many high quality keyboards being made and being consistently offered? No, there is none. There are just spot productions to satisfy the perversion of the niche.

It’s small. Drop numbers are ridicolous. Look for example at the number of keyboards. They sell 2 thousands of them. Imagine that the “factory” that engineers the product earns 10 bucks for each product. That’s a very little number for anything. That’s why for example gmmk or other brands make such a small number of products, that’s why the innovation is lacking.

LOL I don’t think that we share the same reality. My favourite program is vim, and yet I use them often.

Not particularly popular? Half of current group buys include a tkl, after years of ridicuoloud 60, 65, 62% perversions, people are starting to reason. This happens also because the tkl “shows” more material than a 60% , it’s nicer.

Well for my purposes those keys don’t really mean much. I game, I type our assignments… At most I will edit simple videos for YT.

Like it was pointed out, this hobby is about CUSTOM stuff. It’s not about supply keyboards. You can find plenty of them and they are very widely used.
If you want a good example, go to techsource YT channel and watch some Setup Wars.
There’s so many people with keyboards like the Anne Pro 2.
Custom keyboards are a niche hobby… Because many will get one for quite a long long time. I would get a GB semi-premium board and use it for a solid amount of years before I even invest in another board.
I would probably get keycaps and try different switches on more budget friendly boards instead until something seems like an upgrade for my main expensive board.

Are you actually here to talk or just trying to stir shit up? “ridiculous perversions”? This is toxic language. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s bad.

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I’ve looked at how this market has evolved in the past years, and I saw no improvement.

Designs are still basic, all cnc, no investment. Only short term goals. Earn as much as possible and then disappear for good.

Only the chinese guys like kprebpublic and kbdfans are trying to make bigger numbers, but the market is small, so there are only a few products available on their website. They make a short run and then stop the production and start to sell another low quality perversion instead of refining an existing product. And that’s because the numbers are small for an industrial production.

PCB still suck. Everyone is making a different pcb, designing it from scratch instead of improving existing software and gui interfaces. Nobody cares about offering you a product that lasts. The first and last great project was the GH60, after that, all the great minds stopped thinking and started to offer technology and products designed by cavemans.

I agree.
It’s a hobby like anything.
You could argue martial arts is a limited hobby because hardly anyone would progress into the upper levels of the art dedicatedly, but there are those that do and they are enough of an influence that martial arts are still surviving even now.
In the end, such specific hobbies will always be niche hobbies that a dedicated population will attend to ever.

You could even argue the same for the PC Master race.

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