So I installed one of WASD's O-Ring kits
on one of my mechanicals tonight. I used the 40A-L kit. I have not done a lot of typing on it yet (pretty much just this post), but I have to say, they do seem to work as advertised. The tactile character and "tick" of the Cherry blue switches at their actuation point is not affected, but the loud "clack" of the keys bottoming out is gone. The larger keys (spacebar, Enter, etc.) still make a bit of a "clack" if you release them quickly, but overall the keyboard is much quieter.
A few other thoughts and observations...
- Installing these things is pretty tedious since you've got to remove each keycap, slip the o-ring over the stem, put the cap back on, and depress it fully and firmly several times to properly seat the o-ring.
- I suggest pulling all of the caps off first (or at least doing them a row at a time) instead of singly. This will give you a chance to clean under the keycaps. Have some compressed air, tweezers, and Q-Tips handy. There was an incredible amount of "board chow" and hair (both mine and our dog's...) around the switch mechanisms. Yuck. (And how does dog hair get in there anyway, she doesn't climb on the desk like a cat does?)
- Use a keycap puller tool
. Trying to pry the keycaps off with a screwdriver is a sure-fire way to damage some of your keycaps. The puller will work on all of the keys except for the spacebar; the spacebar can easily be removed by hand after the Alt keys on either side of it have been pulled.
- The larger keys (spacebar, Enter, etc.) have wire stabilizers under them to keep them level even when they are pressed off-center. You need to pull the cap off the switch stem carefully, then gently unhook the wire stabilizer from the keycap using needlenose pliers before removing the keycap the rest of the way.
- The o-rings should work on most makes and models of Cherry-based keyboards, not just WASD's own line of keyboards. (Mine is a Rosewill RK-9000.)
- I'm thinking that this mod may actually help reduce typing fatigue as well as reducing noise. I do tend to bottom the keys out sometimes, so the "soft landing" is probably better for my fingers.
- I will probably swap this keyboard for its twin at work on Monday (my co-workers will appreciate the noise reduction), then do the other one the next time I feel like spending an hour doing something mindless.
The years just pass like trains. I wave, but they don't slow down.
-- Steven Wilson