Well I fell down the custom keyboard world.

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Cheers for the reply Dave. I was originally looking at about 100 to 150 for the board. Realised I'd have to raise that abit.

My main thing from this is I want a much smaller board than my k65 and k70. I like the look of all the oldskool coloured boards you get with a custom. Got my 1st home PC built in 1982 so I'm from the era of oldskool.

I like the idea of being able to chop and change the caps. Not sure I ever will but.......

What I don't want to do is buy another crap Corsair or buy something way to expensive and packed with parts wasted on a newbie.

The UK site you're referring to I think I found it last night doing the zoom65 essential GB that should ship may/June.

Thought I'd missed the GB you mentioned at £180 though I could be wrong.
 
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Cheers for the reply Dave. I was originally looking at about 100 to 150 for the board. Realised I'd have to raise that abit.

My main thing from this is I want a much smaller board than my k65 and k70. I like the look of all the oldskool coloured boards you get with a custom. Got my 1st home PC built in 1982 so I'm from the era of oldskool.

I like the idea of being able to chop and change the caps. Not sure I ever will but.......

What I don't want to do is buy another crap Corsair or buy something way to expensive and packed with parts wasted on a newbie.

The UK site you're referring to I think I found it last night doing the zoom65 essential GB that should ship may/June.

Thought I'd missed the GB you mentioned at £180 though I could be wrong.

Is it not Q3 they ship? July.
 
Soldato
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My mode65 arrived a few weeks ago and i love it, but i still like daily driving my Mr Suit but the Mode is so nice as a secondary i keep taking it to work and back lol.

QK65 should be here in a few months (fingers crossed) and i should be preordering a Sonnet on the 22nd April which is another big chunk of money. The rabbit hole goes very deep!

I put Anubis switches in initially but i found i didn't actually like how they felt compared to the Holy Pandas so switched them out to the oil king's and its perfect now for a linear board. Kinda wish i went with Ansi so i could get the half plate for a bouncy typing experience but not overly fussed as im happy with it.


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Bought a set of these https://en.zfrontier.com/products/in-stock-tomatocaps-pbt-bow Sadly postage was a bit expensive!

Even when it comes to BoW or WoB for ISO UK, it's a bit of a struggle. Artifact Bloom sets while reasonably priced, often have the Int addon OOS. There are a reasonable number of Chinese clones and prints to go through, but keycap quality, even with PBT is often a total mixed bag.

So I settled on these as a ISO UK friendly BoW set that also have a decent range of additionals, such as good support for the right hand side keys on a GMMK Pro. Little bit sad the artisan enter is only in the red-orange, I like the ANSI enter designs. ISO pain continues!

Patiently waiting for the Artifact Bloom Series Keycap Set: Back to Black to come back into stock to get a WoB set.

Standard key layout is a bit easier for ISO UK WoB/BoW, it's the bottom row and side on the GMMK Pro which adds a little more complexity/price!

Also considering changing my 65g Boba U4s to 55g two stages spring.
 
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Soldato
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Prototypist is dropping Kaban cases and its available now if any of you want 60-65 and 75-TKL high quality carrying cases.
 
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Can anyone help spec me? I need an additional mechanical for home and I am going to take my existing one to work and leave it there.

I was going to buy an off the shelf keyboard like a Ducky and when deciding what switches to go for I just get constant fear of settling for a switch which I inevitably may end up using for some time, without knowing what joys I could have typing on other ones! I therefore decided I kind of want hot swappable so that in time I can possibly change up to see if I have been missing out by just using Cherry MX Browns for the last 5-10 years. I picked browns originally back when that was the go to choice if you didn't want blues, and wanted to bias it more towards typing. I still want that bias, to be primarily fast and accurate for typing but I feel with browns a couple of things:

1: A lot of people on youtube claim that browns don't even have a tactile bump and that they are the worst of both worlds of blues and reds.
2: I have never understood the whole tactile bump thing supposedly being so that you can float the keys and not bottom them out. If I try to do that with my cherry MX browns I end up missing letters that do not register. I find I have to pretty much bottom out the keys on my browns so they end up being quite noisy I guess. I don't really care though at home, as it is just me in my office so I could even go with blues frankly, but I do find them a bit fatiguing to listen to for even me with some of the more obnoxious ones.

So I found the Glorious GMMK Barebones which looks good at £60 then you can add to it. Then I realised the full UK layout (a requirement for me) does not have a removable cable which is annoying. Only the TKL version does. Then I heard that Asus are/do a hot swappable one (not that I can find it for sale in UK?) but it only features their Roma switches and that it might be £200 ish.

So then I read things on youtube saying you can pretty much make a custom for under £200?

If this is the case then I want the below. Where/what to buy?

1: Removable USB cable. Ideally usb-c.
2: RGB lighting
3: Hot swappable switches
4: Full UK layout a must
5: Keys that are at least translucent enough to be actually backlit properly individually

Nice to have: I like the legs on the Ducky's that have two or three stage incline, not sure if you can get these elsewhere

Switches...no idea what to go for. Complete minefield. I type at about 70-80 wpm. Gaming is not a priority but I will also game a bit from time to time. I do NOT want anything harder to press than Cherry MX Browns that I have. If anything lighter slightly but more tactile and clicky and silent...is that posible? lol
 
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I had looked at the GMMK fullsize, but the GMMK 2 is about to be released in the UK in a 96% layout. It's got the detachable USB-C cable and a number pad. You lose Scroll Lock, Pause/Break, Home, End (although Home & End are added within the numpad) and the "Right Click" button on the right next to the right Control key. Available as bare bones, I've got some Gateron Yellow Pros ready to go into it once they arrive in store and some Aura Keycaps for RGB goodness!!

 
Soldato
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Can anyone help spec me? I need an additional mechanical for home and I am going to take my existing one to work and leave it there.

I was going to buy an off the shelf keyboard like a Ducky and when deciding what switches to go for I just get constant fear of settling for a switch which I inevitably may end up using for some time, without knowing what joys I could have typing on other ones! I therefore decided I kind of want hot swappable so that in time I can possibly change up to see if I have been missing out by just using Cherry MX Browns for the last 5-10 years. I picked browns originally back when that was the go to choice if you didn't want blues, and wanted to bias it more towards typing. I still want that bias, to be primarily fast and accurate for typing but I feel with browns a couple of things:

1: A lot of people on youtube claim that browns don't even have a tactile bump and that they are the worst of both worlds of blues and reds.
2: I have never understood the whole tactile bump thing supposedly being so that you can float the keys and not bottom them out. If I try to do that with my cherry MX browns I end up missing letters that do not register. I find I have to pretty much bottom out the keys on my browns so they end up being quite noisy I guess. I don't really care though at home, as it is just me in my office so I could even go with blues frankly, but I do find them a bit fatiguing to listen to for even me with some of the more obnoxious ones.

So I found the Glorious GMMK Barebones which looks good at £60 then you can add to it. Then I realised the full UK layout (a requirement for me) does not have a removable cable which is annoying. Only the TKL version does. Then I heard that Asus are/do a hot swappable one (not that I can find it for sale in UK?) but it only features their Roma switches and that it might be £200 ish.

So then I read things on youtube saying you can pretty much make a custom for under £200?

If this is the case then I want the below. Where/what to buy?

1: Removable USB cable. Ideally usb-c.
2: RGB lighting
3: Hot swappable switches
4: Full UK layout a must
5: Keys that are at least translucent enough to be actually backlit properly individually

Nice to have: I like the legs on the Ducky's that have two or three stage incline, not sure if you can get these elsewhere

Switches...no idea what to go for. Complete minefield. I type at about 70-80 wpm. Gaming is not a priority but I will also game a bit from time to time. I do NOT want anything harder to press than Cherry MX Browns that I have. If anything lighter slightly but more tactile and clicky and silent...is that posible? lol

I am guessing budget is top of your list by the price range you are trying to focus on.

I think you are going to find it difficult to find a full size (100%) custom UK ISO board that meets all your requirements. The closest you will find is probably in the 96% sized board space. Something like the Keychron K4 should tick most/if not all of your boxes.

1) Has removable USB cable (as it can run in wireless mode) - but you could replace with something a bit nicer in the future if you wanted too.
2) Has RGB Lighting but will probably have limited customization (compared with the likes of Razer, Corsair, Asus etc)
3) Has hotswap so you can remove the stock switches in it with something a little more bespoke later. (just be aware that with the LEDs being north facing you may find some interference with some keycaps and switches)
4) Is a 96% Full UK ISO board.
5) The keys aren't translucent but you could always spend some extra money on say a set of pudding key caps if you really wanted the RGB to shine through. and still be way under budget

It also comes with flip out legs for you.

There are more options available in the smaller size spaces such as TKL/75%/65% and then if you really need the numpad then you can get that as a separate add on in the future. (this seems the more common approach)
 
Soldato
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I had looked at the GMMK fullsize, but the GMMK 2 is about to be released in the UK in a 96% layout. It's got the detachable USB-C cable and a number pad. You lose Scroll Lock, Pause/Break, Home, End (although Home & End are added within the numpad) and the "Right Click" button on the right next to the right Control key. Available as bare bones, I've got some Gateron Yellow Pros ready to go into it once they arrive in store and some Aura Keycaps for RGB goodness!!


Cool. I have to have full UK layout though. I guess I could just get the GMMK fullsize and accept it does not have a detachable cable. Any input on my general waffle about switches? :)
 
Soldato
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I am guessing budget is top of your list by the price range you are trying to focus on.

I think you are going to find it difficult to find a full size (100%) custom UK ISO board that meets all your requirements. The closest you will find is probably in the 96% sized board space. Something like the Keychron K4 should tick most/if not all of your boxes.

1) Has removable USB cable (as it can run in wireless mode) - but you could replace with something a bit nicer in the future if you wanted too.
2) Has RGB Lighting but will probably have limited customization (compared with the likes of Razer, Corsair, Asus etc)
3) Has hotswap so you can remove the stock switches in it with something a little more bespoke later. (just be aware that with the LEDs being north facing you may find some interference with some keycaps and switches)
4) Is a 96% Full UK ISO board.
5) The keys aren't translucent but you could always spend some extra money on say a set of pudding key caps if you really wanted the RGB to shine through. and still be way under budget

It also comes with flip out legs for you.

There are more options available in the smaller size spaces such as TKL/75%/65% and then if you really need the numpad then you can get that as a separate add on in the future. (this seems the more common approach)

Really? Wow. I thought £200 would be enough. I kind of begrudge spending more than that tbh on a keyboard. Just to emphasize again that yes, I need full UK layout. I cba to discuss why but I don't want to focus a discussion around whether I can compromise on a 96%. It's a big no. Has to be full UK.
 
Soldato
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Really? Wow. I thought £200 would be enough. I kind of begrudge spending more than that tbh on a keyboard. Just to emphasize again that yes, I need full UK layout. I cba to discuss why but I don't want to focus a discussion around whether I can compromise on a 96%. It's a big no. Has to be full UK.

When it comes to the custom space it gets expensive very quickly even on a budget especially if you are trying for 100% board (which are rare in general I have found). Depending on the switches you are looking for you could be spending upwards of £70 just on switches and then keycaps will range from anywhere between £30 - £200+ depending on the manufacturer/quality and kits you purchase. Not to forget you will spend £15-£20 on stabilizers so even before you have got the usb cable/pcb/plate and case that is what £100 (on the low end)

Something that has come to mind is NZXT's Function keyboard kits their 100% board should hopefully give you everything that you need at a more reasonable price. But again as soon as you start customizing it the price goes up fast.

This should be a good start if you are looking at a more custom board but at the budget level. (I suspect more of the big boys will be offering products like this but it will take some time for them to be released)

As for everything in this space (you pay for what you get) I'm not saying you have to spend a vast amount to get a good keyboard but I personally would advise given you are using this as your main input device spend as much as you can get to get the best item you want. The last thing you want is to spend a bunch of money and compromise. (You just may find that your requirements will be more difficult to fulfill so there may be a price premium associated to it)

Like you I had to be full size UK ISO layout and honestly when I got my 1800 F-Rowless keyboard I honestly didn't notice the missing keys and even now I find myself hitting the function key to activate the F functions on full sized boards (developer by trade)

As for switches I guess it depends on what you like and require from it. Personally I am a linear person, up until I started this custom journey (nearly 12 months ago) I had only ever used Clicky switches in various (razer form) and I honestly couldn't go back. I got myself a little switch tester that allowed me to try out different switch types and versions to see what I preferred before I started looking at boards to purchase. From there it gives me an idea of what I want (plus I have purchased a number of switches purely based on looks as well)

If you are a tactile person then maybe a heavier spring (60g or more) will help with the response/bottoming out issues.

The great thing now is that there is a lot of choice so what works for me may not work for you and also you have to be mindful of how the switch will sound and feel like in the keyboard itself.

Again if you wanted 100% you could always go TKL + Numpad as an option that is effectively fullsize and may give you more options to choose from.


Happy to help out if you need any more info or potential suggestions.
 
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The world of ultra premium / high-end and fully customisable keyboards is not for me.

Personally, I'm happy to select a good Filco or Ducky keyboard and call it a day after that.

I'm currently running a Filco full-sized UK-layout keyboard, and have been very happy with it.

Before that I ran a Ducky (again, full-sized UK-layout), and was similarly impressed.

As to switch type, this comes down to personal choice, so I will hold-off on making any recommendations here.
 
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Soldato
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The world of ultra premium / high-end and fully customisable keyboards is not for me.

Personally, I'm happy to select a good Filco or Ducky keyboard and call it a day after that.

I'm currently running a Filco full-sized UK-layout keyboard, and have been very happy with it.

Before that I ran a Ducky (again, full-sized UK-layout), and was similarly impressed.

As to switch type, this comes down to personal choice, so I will hold-off on making any recommendations here.

Like everything in this hobby it is all down to preference which is great.

Honestly up until about this time last year I was in the same boat.

I would generally get Razer products and stick with them (up until recent quality issues that I had experienced). They have been fine for me and did everything I wanted and needed and I was fully invested in the Chroma ecosystem.

I only started in the full custom world purely to match my then newly built PC theme and getting an off the shelf keyboard didn't really match it or fit with the vision I had. Which is why I made the move into this rabbit hole of rectangles.

I have learnt so much in the short time I have been in this hobby and it has been a joy to find out things that seemingly one would not think about when it comes to such a device that honestly isn't usually thought about as aesthetically interesting as say a PC case, monitor or even a mouse. It simply exists.

I would never want to come across as someone that says go custom it is the only way, it isn't, the big manufacturers have made some fantastic products at affordable prices and not everyone is going spend as much as a decent home pc on their typing device.

Although I do think the hobby is starting to make the entry level into the custom world a lot easier and a lot simpler with seemingly a lot more hotswap boards coming in, I still feel it may be a stretch for most people to justify even say a £50 keyboard when you pick up a cheap oem membrane keyboards for what under £10

Yes the great switch debate is one that I never really knew or considered when picking a mechanical keyboard I just went with razer "clickies" and assumed all keyboards would sound the same but this journey has shown me that I am definitely a linear person compared to clickies or tactiles. But then I have also been picking switches not just purely on sound and reviews but also looks as well (as odd as it sounds this matters to me as much as the sound and feel of the switch)

I see some custom builds and they are as much art pieces as they are a functional device, again this has shown me that I am willing to pay a substantial amount of money on a potential keyboard to probably never use it but have it as a display piece.
 
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I did post in the Items Purchased thread but thought I'd add it here. Glorious GMMK 2 96% ISO layout, Glorious Pudding caps and Gateron Yellow Pros ready for building later on today! I'm quite excited - this is to replace a QPAD MK-90 that I've had about 8 years or so. Happy days!

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I did post in the Items Purchased thread but thought I'd add it here. Glorious GMMK 2 96% ISO layout, Glorious Pudding caps and Gateron Yellow Pros ready for building later on today! I'm quite excited - this is to replace a QPAD MK-90 that I've had about 8 years or so. Happy days!

FxVKLYs.jpg
What made you choose the yellows?
 
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What made you choose the yellows?
The MK-90 has got Kailh Reds and I sometimes found that when playing games my fingers resting on the WASD keys would press accidentally button. I thought a slightly heavier switch would hopefully alleviate that. I'll find out later once I've had a game on this new one. I chose Gaterons as they seem to be a decent enough linear for the money, plus these come pre-lubed so I didn't need to spend another £20 on lube/brushes/openers etc.

It's all together now and I'm typing this on it. It feels a million times nicer than my old board, just got to get used to the slightly different layout.
 
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The MK-90 has got Kailh Reds and I sometimes found that when playing games my fingers resting on the WASD keys would press accidentally button. I thought a slightly heavier switch would hopefully alleviate that. I'll find out later once I've had a game on this new one. I chose Gaterons as they seem to be a decent enough linear for the money, plus these come pre-lubed so I didn't need to spend another £20 on lube/brushes/openers etc.

It's all together now and I'm typing this on it. It feels a million times nicer than my old board, just got to get used to the slightly different layout.
Ahhh ok, are all the gateron pro switches pre-lubed?
 
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