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flip-mode
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So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:42 pm

I caved. I picked up a Drevo Tyrfing 87 key board with off-brand brown switches for $40. I refuse to spend $100 on a keyboard, but I can do $40.

This thing is pretty OK. Not bad. I thought the brown switches were supposed to be quiet, and these probably are "quiet" compared to what they could be. I did not realize the mechanical keys still make a clack sound when they bottom out though, so this thing is quite a bit louder than I imagined it would be. I don't mind it, though. It's kind of satisfying. I don't know if I'd be comfortable bringing this thing into work though, in my open office environment.

It's backlit. I sure like that. This is my first backlit keyboard. It will do a couple different gimmicky things with the backlighting. I'll never use those. Ever. This kids are enchanted by that though.

It has no USB ports. I find that annoying but that's the trade off for a $40 mechanical keyboard. I only ever plugged my mouse into the keyboard USB ports anyway, but I do tend to shuffle my mouse from desktop to laptop from time to time.

The build quality is decent. It is heavier than my full size keyboard. I think I could use if for self defense in a pinch. It has a 6 foot cable, which is nice. They key font is kind of funky. I'm not crazy about it. But it isn't that much of an issue. The @, #, and & symbols look especially strange, but it's not a deal breaker.

I have no hesitation recommending this thing. It's a damn sight more affordable than the models that get all the attention. Typing on mechanical keys is possibly nicer than typing on rubber domes. But I still would not pay upwards of $75 or more dollars for the privilege.
 
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:44 pm

Embrace your inner Luddite and bask in the glory of 1391401.
Death is a side effect of birth.
 
whm1974
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:55 pm

flip-mode wrote:
I caved. I picked up a Drevo Tyrfing 87 key board with off-brand brown switches for $40. I refuse to spend $100 on a keyboard, but I can do $40.

I don't see why not considering that a good decent keyboard will last you almost forever or at least over many builds.
 
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:58 pm

flip-mode wrote:
I did not realize the mechanical keys still make a clack sound when they bottom out though, so this thing is quite a bit louder than I imagined it would be.

Best if you don't bottom out keys when you type - it can lead to repetitive stress injury, which (from personal experience) can be excruciating.

It's one of the reasons I love my Ducky Zero - I can actuate the keys with a slight application of pressure, without needing to bottom out.
 
flip-mode
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:06 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Embrace your inner Luddite and bask in the glory of 1391401.

I fully reject RGB backlighting, if that counts.

whm1974 wrote:
flip-mode wrote:
I caved. I picked up a Drevo Tyrfing 87 key board with off-brand brown switches for $40. I refuse to spend $100 on a keyboard, but I can do $40.
I don't see why not considering that a good decent keyboard will last you almost forever or at least over many builds.
Frankly, because it simply is not necessary. My previous Dell rubber dome "freeboard" lasted 8 years of daily use and through three builds before I traded it in for no reason in particular. The keys did feel just a slightly spongy by the time I replaced it, but they were not that bad - I actually have felt a truly spongy keyboard and the word sponge is perfectly descriptive to what it felt like. But with perfectly decent and durable keyboards being available for far less than $100, my inner cheapskate cannot abide by spending that sum when I can get something perfectly adequate for so much less. But, like I said, I can stretch and do $40.
 
flip-mode
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:07 pm

Chuckaluphagus wrote:
Best if you don't bottom out keys when you type - it can lead to repetitive stress injury, which (from personal experience) can be excruciating. It's one of the reasons I love my Ducky Zero - I can actuate the keys with a slight application of pressure, without needing to bottom out.

I'll try, but that will take more than a little practice to make a habit.
 
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:08 pm

flip-mode wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
Embrace your inner Luddite and bask in the glory of 1391401.
I fully reject RGB backlighting, if that counts.

To be a true follower of 1391401, one must also abhor the abomination of the "Windows key".
Death is a side effect of birth.
 
flip-mode
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:11 pm

Heh, that made me laugh.
 
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:28 pm

flip-mode wrote:
Chuckaluphagus wrote:
Best if you don't bottom out keys when you type - it can lead to repetitive stress injury, which (from personal experience) can be excruciating. It's one of the reasons I love my Ducky Zero - I can actuate the keys with a slight application of pressure, without needing to bottom out.

I'll try, but that will take more than a little practice to make a habit.


Get some o-rings.
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whm1974
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:41 pm

flip-mode wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
Embrace your inner Luddite and bask in the glory of 1391401.

I fully reject RGB backlighting, if that counts.

whm1974 wrote:
flip-mode wrote:
I caved. I picked up a Drevo Tyrfing 87 key board with off-brand brown switches for $40. I refuse to spend $100 on a keyboard, but I can do $40.

I don't see why not considering that a good decent keyboard will last you almost forever or at least over many builds.

Frankly, because it simply is not necessary. My previous Dell rubber dome "freeboard" lasted 8 years of daily use and through three builds before I traded it in for no reason in particular. The keys did feel just a slightly spongy by the time I replaced it, but they were not that bad - I actually have felt a truly spongy keyboard and the word sponge is perfectly descriptive to what it felt like. But with perfectly decent and durable keyboards being available for far less than $100, my inner cheapskate cannot abide by spending that sum when I can get something perfectly adequate for so much less. But, like I said, I can stretch and do $40.

By all means buy what you are willing to spend. I paid $50 for mine and I'm happy with it. However I'm still thinking about getting a Unicomp keyboard, or maybe even a Das Keyboard.
 
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:51 pm

whm1974 wrote:
By all means buy what you are willing to spend. I paid $50 for mine and I'm happy with it. However I'm still thinking about getting a Unicomp keyboard, or maybe even a Das Keyboard.


You confuse me so much dude. First, you said "buy that $100+ keyboard!" Then come to find out you only spent 50 on yours.

Do you make Cherry MX switches in your basement or something? Keycaps?
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:53 pm

DancinJack wrote:
flip-mode wrote:
Chuckaluphagus wrote:
Best if you don't bottom out keys when you type - it can lead to repetitive stress injury, which (from personal experience) can be excruciating. It's one of the reasons I love my Ducky Zero - I can actuate the keys with a slight application of pressure, without needing to bottom out.

I'll try, but that will take more than a little practice to make a habit.

Get some o-rings.

This.

I bottom my keys out, especially when typing fast. O-rings muffle the "clack", and provide a (slightly) cushioned landing that your finger joints will thank you for.
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:54 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
flip-mode wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
Embrace your inner Luddite and bask in the glory of 1391401.
I fully reject RGB backlighting, if that counts.

To be a true follower of 1391401, one must also abhor the abomination of the "Windows key".

I'm finding this increasingly hard to do. Since Windows 8 the Win+X key is more important than ever. :-?

And then there's the USB port...
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whm1974
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:58 pm

DancinJack wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
By all means buy what you are willing to spend. I paid $50 for mine and I'm happy with it. However I'm still thinking about getting a Unicomp keyboard, or maybe even a Das Keyboard.


You confuse me so much dude.  First, you said "buy that $100+ keyboard!"  Then come to find out you only spent 50 on yours.  

Do you make Cherry MX switches in your basement or something?  Keycaps?

Sorry. I brought my keyboard almost four years ago when I built my current rig. I didn't know about Unicomp back then, and barely anything about Das Keyboard. If I knew then what I know now, I would have brought one of those instead.
 
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:00 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
flip-mode wrote:
I fully reject RGB backlighting, if that counts.

To be a true follower of 1391401, one must also abhor the abomination of the "Windows key".

I'm finding this increasingly hard to do. Since Windows 8 the Win+X key is more important than ever. :-?

It's really just the Super key, which has been in use since before Microsoft started having keyboard manufacturers put a Windows logo on it. On my Ducky Zero, it's a cartoon duck. :D

And then there's the USB port...

There is a highly technical solution you could attempt:
Image
+
Image
 
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:02 pm

just brew it! wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
flip-mode wrote:
I'll try, but that will take more than a little practice to make a habit.

Get some o-rings.

This.

I bottom my keys out, especially when typing fast. O-rings muffle the "clack", and provide a (slightly) cushioned landing that your finger joints will thank you for.

I did this to a blue-switches keyboard and got away with using it at work in an "open" cube setup. Never got any complaints (a couple encouraging comments, though :lol: ).

I also notice that materials make a big difference. I'm on a Corsair K70 RGB (one of those rainbow-LED "monstrosities"), and the softer plastic keys and/or aluminum body make things relatively quiet compared to the hard plastic keyboards I used before.
On second thought, let's not go to TechReport. Tis a silly place.
 
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:05 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
flip-mode wrote:
I fully reject RGB backlighting, if that counts.

To be a true follower of 1391401, one must also abhor the abomination of the "Windows key".

I'm finding this increasingly hard to do. Since Windows 8 the Win+X key is more important than ever. :-?

It is very useful in Linux too, as a global hotkey modifier. I use it extensively and would find a "classic" Model M rather annoying to use as a result. (My Unicomp Model M clone had a Windows key.)

Chuckaluphagus wrote:
It's really just the Super key, which has been in use since before Microsoft started having keyboard manufacturers put a Windows logo on it. On my Ducky Zero, it's a cartoon duck. :D

Most PC keyboards made prior to 1994 did not have the key at all, regardless of how it was labeled.

On my RK-9000s the Windows key caps have been swapped for ones with a Tux the penguin logo. :wink:
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:07 pm

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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:12 pm

Chuckaluphagus wrote:
There is a highly technical solution you could attempt:

I am not talking about needing the USB hub. My Dell Ultrasharp already takes care of that. I meant the PS/2 requirement of the 1391401. Granted I'm aware of adapters, but I really don't want that one more dongle.
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:16 pm

whm1974 wrote:
Sorry. I brought my keyboard almost four years ago when I built my current rig. I didn't know about Unicomp back then, and barely anything about Das Keyboard. If I knew then what I know now, I would have brought one of those instead.


No need to apologize, it's just really weird to hear someone advocate spending 100+ bucks on a keyboard when they didn't do it, and the OP stated he doesn't want to either. I'm in the "paid more than a hundred for my keyboard" group too.
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:35 pm

DancinJack wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Sorry. I brought my keyboard almost four years ago when I built my current rig. I didn't know about Unicomp back then, and barely anything about Das Keyboard. If I knew then what I know now, I would have brought one of those instead.


No need to apologize, it's just really weird to hear someone advocate spending 100+ bucks on a keyboard when they didn't do it, and the OP stated he doesn't want to either.   I'm in the "paid more than a hundred for my keyboard" group too.

Now after using a fairly decent keyboard for awhile, I highly doubt that I will be happy or even comfortable using the "El Cheapo" keyboards that ships with most computers. I certainly will not buy another of those anymore. 
 
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:47 pm

You haven't lived* until you've built your own custom keyboard.

* = OK, you've probably lived. You're probably better off for not having done this, in fact.
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whm1974
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:58 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
You haven't lived* until you've built your own custom keyboard.

* = OK, you've probably lived. You're probably better off for not having done this, in fact.

OK I'm not going to spend up to $1000 on a custom keyboard, not to mention joining a group and wait months on special keysets to build said keyboard as well.
 
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:21 am

So which cherry switches do you guys prefer?
 
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:41 am

whm1974 wrote:
So which cherry switches do you guys prefer?

I went with the RK-9000R (Cherry reds) at home, and it clatters.  At work I scrounged a Scorpius something-or-another that a retired CAD tech left behind a few years back, and given my average typing speed it clickers like a model M that tripped and fell into a blender.  I can't say I prefer either, both work and they're merely different.
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:15 am

whm1974 wrote:
So which cherry switches do you guys prefer?


I have a rosewill rk-9000 reds and an ozone strike tenkeyless in browns, and I have to say I prefer the reds to the browns. The browns just feel like reds with a harsher stroke (because of the tactile bump). I much prefer the smoothness of the reds. However, I'm using the ozone because the extra free space from going tenkeyless is great for gaming.
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:30 am

Cherry MX brown switches are the best option on the market at the moment.  I use a first-generation Rosewill RK-9000 BR that I got on sale for somehwere in the $40-60 range.  As a touch typist, I don't miss the backlighting or color-cycling RGB strobe lighting found on some G4M3R keyboards, but I do appreciate the accuracy and reliability of mechanical key switches.  The new $85 RK-9300 BR includes backlighting and an aluminum chassis.

I absolutely avoid "tenkeyless" keyboards.  There are too many things that I do with the numpad every day to make it acceptable to chop off that part of the keyboard.  Do look for keyboards that have minimal bezels to save space on your desktop.

Whichever keyboard you choose, spend $10 on a good gel wrist wrest, another $10 on some O-rings and a keycap puller, and be sure that you've got your desk chair and arm rests set at the right elevation to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injury.
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:51 am

Chuckaluphagus wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
To be a true follower of 1391401, one must also abhor the abomination of the "Windows key".

I'm finding this increasingly hard to do.  Since Windows 8 the Win+X key is more important than ever. :-?

It's really just the Super key, which has been in use since before Microsoft started having keyboard manufacturers put a Windows logo on it.  On my Ducky Zero, it's a cartoon duck.  :D  

And then there's the USB port...

There is a highly technical solution you could attempt:
Image
+
Image

Tidier and probably no more expensive:
https://www.amazon.com/Desk-Port-Slot-C ... sk+usb+hub
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:05 am

+1 for MX Browns

Someone passed me the cherry MX key tester they bought and I agreed that the browns were the best of the tactile switches.

The reds and the blacks are linear with no feedback unless you bottom them out which is (IMO) bad for both typing AND gaming.
The blues are too noisy, have more moving parts so there's more friction and they'll wear out faster, and they have an unusually long travel making them hard to adjust to.
The browns are perfect. They're tactile but MUCH quieter and smoother than the blues, whilst still providing the short travel that makes them feel "normal" to use.

So I put my money where my mouth is and bought my first Das Keyboard with browns. I'm not changing to anything else unless they make a new type of switch. It's the lightest, quietest, shortest-travel tactile feedback mechanical switch out there, period.
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Re: So, mechanical keyboards

Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:47 am

My preference is for blues (with o-rings), hands down. To me the browns aren't tactile enough (which of course also rules out the non-tactile red and black switches).

I acknowledge that the blues may be less than optimal for gaming, due to the hysteresis (different actuate/release points), which allegedly makes rapid and accurate double-tapping more difficult.

I use the numpad, so I would not want to go completely tenkeyless; but I've toyed with the idea of going with a tenkeyless plus a separate numpad, located either to the right of the mouse (i.e. mouse between the main keyboard and numpad), or to the left of the main keyboard. The idea here is to reduce the distance you need to move your right hand to grab the mouse (which is used more frequently than the numpad). The main thing stopping me is cost (replacement of both existing keyboards plus two separate numpads), and lack of decent mechanical numpads on the market.

Chrispy_ wrote:
The blues are too noisy,

Obviously a judgement call (for both you and your co-workers). Coming from a buckling spring keyboard as I did, the noise did not seem excessive at all... just different. And with the o-rings they are quieter (though not by a lot) than buckling spring.

Chrispy_ wrote:
have more moving parts so there's more friction and they'll wear out faster,

IIRC Cherry rates them for the same number of actuation cycles as the other types. The limiting factor is probably the electrical contacts anyway, not the plunger/slider mechanism. Both of my blue RK-9000 'boards (one at work and one at home) are still going strong after 6 years, and the only issues I've had with them have been self-inflicted and unrelated to the switches.

Chrispy_ wrote:
and they have an unusually long travel making them hard to adjust to.

TBH I've never noticed that. Based on these charts (scroll down), it looks like the full travel (to bottoming out) on a blue is actually about 0.25mm less than on a brown, though the point at which the press registers is about 0.25mm more. While an 0.25mm difference is probably noticeable, it's hardly "unusually long" (it's about 1/100 of an inch).

Chrispy_ wrote:
The browns are perfect. They're tactile but MUCH quieter and smoother than the blues, whilst still providing the short travel that makes them feel "normal" to use.

I imagine for someone who is accustomed to laptop-style short stroke scissor-switch keyboards the (barely) shorter actuation distance of the browns could feel more "natural" than blues, and noise is obviously going to be an issue for some people and/or in some situations. But some of us consider the smoothness of the browns/blacks/reds to be a bug, not a feature. :wink:
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