I’ve re-written this page a few times, but I think these are the main things that I consider when making a mechanical keyboard in 2022. At least currently, in the start of 2022.
Linear Switches with Long poles, and double or triple stage springs
These are some of the best typing feelings I’ve ever had on a keyboard. I do like tactiles because of the bump that’s really near to actuation, so I know how much I’ve hit. But I love long pole linears because I bottom out when I type all the time, and having that pole just has this very obvious feedback when it hits my fingers.
The double or triple stage spring gives me this sense of snappy bounce back, especially when typing fast. It makes the top out extremely satisfying.
No more o-ring mounts, but having more fillers and foams
I used to use the o-ring mount on my screws for all my boards, kinda padding it down. But after use for the past year, I think I’m preferring the sound of the foams a lot more than just that isolated rubberized effect.
I also think appropriate filling of the space would work out best, in order to fill a boxy sounding keyboard. The PE Foam mod helps to bounce the sound pitch back so you do get high pitch sounds coming back to your ears, and kinda blocks away the lower pitch boxier sounds from coming to your ears. It might not fill as well, but I think it does its job extremely well.
Using Macros on VIA or QMK
I had no idea how much I was going to appreciate this, but I’ve started to prep my U80 to have a great range of macros so that I can really just have a single button press for my daily actions.
There are some days where I feel I drag myself to work, and doing this really helps me to just press a button to get started. Should have gotten into this way earlier.
More than JWK
I think I’ve resolved for myself to try more switches this year that are not JWK switches. Currently I’m staring at way too many JWK alpaca molds, and the sound similar, but with that tint of difference. Like Yeezy 350 recolors. Just a little bit, but it’s enough to still get you hooked.
Brands that I’m looking at are KTT, TTC, Tecsee, and of course my favourite 43 Studio (even though they rely heavily on JWK for manufacturing).
Long Term Use of Topre Sliders (Update 15 Feb)
I realised that I’ve been updating my HHKB Videos, but without much context. I am tracking the sounds of how my HHKB sounds from month to month, and how much wearing do the sliders need before they get to that super smooth point.
Currently the biggest change that I’ve placed in is the silicone mat, which makes the whole board sound super slick. It sounds like it was lubed without any lubing. My DesKeys O Rings are not currently in, but I might change for that over time.
Brands I’m watching out for
Wuque Studios: They’re really making a lot of interesting things. I think they’re changing what to expect and how often to expect it. Definitely quite an interesting brand
43 Studios: I just really like the things they come up with, especially for their switches. It feels like they’re getting a good hold of what JWK does well, and making JWK and ThicThock to produce good things for them. Definitely referring to the OP Blacks in this, and I’m probably going to get some of the other recolors just for the fun of it.
Ramaworks: With Kate leaving Ramaworks, there were some changes for the big brand. One of the key things was the lack of Wilba Tech PCBs within their builds. The M60 B is released with an M60 B PCB, and not a WT PCB. Fully laden with as many flex cuts as they could have possibly made, on first glance it looks really different from what Wilba would have done. I might get one to test this out, but seeing the shipping schedules for all other keyboards, I’ll probably get this in 2024 or 2025.
HIBI: Also because of the breakup, Kate started HIBI with some other peeps. This is the new range of metal artisans that are getting popular. I’ve not gotten my hands on any, not being that big on artisans, but I’ve also yet to see any discontentment. Excited to see how these things go.
I’ll probably update this a bit more often, and I’ll also have a few other key pages up here soon.
Why Mechanical Keyboards (WIP)
Mechanical Keyboard Glossary of Terms (WIP)
Starting out on Mechanical Keyboards (WIP)