Will we see more hot-swappable keyboards and are they good for the market?


Something like the Kumo? :eyes:

This list is missing a bunch of new boards coming out, too. @jackhumbert is offering hotswap on Planck Rev6 and I think is planning on using it on his future boards. @evangs is using it on the Kumo at least, and I think future minivan revisions will have it as well. I think the new Rama board is using them, too. The popularity is certainly growing!

I still prefer to solder my boards, personally, just because I like the feel of assembling it all myself, and popping switches into sockets just isn’t as satisfying. I certainly see the appeal though, and will own a few soon enough. I think it is a great thing for pulling more beginners into the customization side of the hobby. Not everyone has the sort of background that makes picking up a soldering kit easy, and that is ok. I definitely appreciate the ingenuity that people are showing in getting hot swap pcbs to support multiple layouts, though I would potentially like to see that extend even further for a more “enthusiast” audience. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I at least would be willing to solder my own sockets on if that is what it takes for some of the more niche layout support.

The only real worry that I have for the future of hot-swap is it killing off some of the less frequently used layout options or needing to commit to a single layout when you pick your pcb out. I don’t think we are even close to that becoming a serious concern though.


The only problem I would have with that as a beginner, I’m trying out switches, keyboard is that the price might be difficult for new people to swallow. Not that it is a bad price, for what you get, it’s nice, but I suspect a newer person would have some sticker shock there, especially for the size and form factor.


In the current climate with new switches/revisions popping up monthly it seems, having hot-swap sockets is a real boon. Not being forced to desolder a board when you want to test out a potentially game changing switch is amazing. No more storing a bag of switches in a dark corner until they fonally find a new home. I think a big reason people object to the hot-swap concept is because it becomes harder to justify the continual purchase of new boards seemingly to house specific switches, lol.


The mercury Rocketeer s hots wappable and has a pok3r layout I believe.


I’m not sure how much cheaper you can get a fully assembled board with a real case and hotswap can get. The GMMK is $110 and they have way more scale than Evan is gonna be able to get. If Evan can manage to sell a metric fuckload of Kumos then maybe the price can come down from the $150 range to $100 or $110 to compete more with the GMMK, but I’m just not sure he can go that big.


Personally I do like them. Lets me do weird shit like put a box navy on the caps lock. or have my modifiers be a heavier switch than the alphas, until I find the right combination. My preferences seem to change from time to time as well.

Also - I’m not sure if I’d call the K-Type a cheap Chinese board :scream::scream: I love this board (after the stabs were replaced and some dampening added). Might be just personal for me, it was my first board and got me in to the hobby.


I completely understand that and the price he has for what you get is great, but you kind of showed what I meant there in your answer. If the GMMK is $110 and I’m a newbie, I’d have to seriously think about that before comitting to something like a Kumo.

I’m not saying Evan’s pricing is too high or that it should be cheaper or trying to say anything negative about him. I’m just saying from the perspective of a newbie, something like a Kumo could look like it’s not worth it.

So I guess my real point is that it would be interesting to see something similar to a Contra but with hot swap sockets and assembled. Something meant to work as a keyboard but basically be a cheap,entry level tester, not just for switches, but for hot swapping also.

Maybe that’s not possible at a lower price point that the Kumo, but I would be curious to see if it is. And further, if someone like KBDfans did one, they would already have the ability to offer keycaps with it also.


Yeah, I agree with that. If you drop the case and go for some sort of skeleton build you could drop the price considerably, and even more so if you don’t bother including switches (since the intent is to swap them out anyway). You could probably get something like that down to $40 or so.

But again, the GMMK without switches and a real case is only $60…

I don’t know what the solution here is, and I would also be interested in seeing that, but it’s gonna be a hard problem to solve.


I am rather looking forward to more custom PCBs with hot swappable feature in the future. It would give us greater flexibility of changing out switches as an when we want to and not needing to learn the art of soldering and desoldering


Sorry about that, I was referring to Team Wolf’s Zhuque and their full size one for the 2 cheap hot-swappable keyboards not K-Type and GK64. K-Type isn’t cheap at all, it’s way pricier than GMMK. I thought K-Type wasn’t a Chinese keyboard since it’s by Input Club.


The K-type was designed by IC but made in China


Almost every computer-related hardware is made in China/Taiwan nowadays. GMMK is even made in China. The only OEM keyboards I know that aren’t made in China/Taiwan and aren’t old but currently in production are Topre and Unicomp. I believe even Filco and Leopold keyboards that don’t have Topre switches are made in Taiwan. I’m curious, are there any other modern/currently in production OEM keyboards that aren’t made in China/Taiwan aside from Topre and Unicomp? Is Kira also being made in China?


The Kira from I:C is definitely made in china… They had a few updates on the kickstarter about visiting the factories…

Made in China in not really a bad thing - not all of it is cheap. Iphones, Macs, I think some of the Norbauer cases are all really premium stuff thats made in china.


Right. Scale of the project is always going to be an issue.

I am also unsure of what kind of solution it would be. I will probably look into it when I get time, which is probably a while from now, lol. But I am interested in looking for one.