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How I Lost Interest Towards Mechanical Keyboards

May 12, 2024
This is a photo from when I picked up my first

mechanical

keyboard in 2013, when

mechanical

keyboards

were still relatively unknown, but were slowly starting to emerge in the competitive gaming scene on YouTube as well as live streams, it was the non-backlit version. of the Razer Black Widow which back then had genuine Cherry MX Blue switches and it was my first time using a mechanical keyboard and I definitely enjoyed it, however one day I dropped something really heavy and one of the keys stopped working but Luckily it was still covered under warranty, although since Razer was no longer making

keyboards

with genuine Cherry MX switches, the store I bought it from said they couldn't hide it and as a replacement they offered the 2014 Black Widow that Razer itself had. kale switches, but since I had already done a lot more research on mechanical keyboards at that point, I asked them if they could give me a different keyboard for about the same price and they agreed that the keyboard I ordered was The Cooler Master.
how i lost interest towards mechanical keyboards
Quickfire aftermarket keys and have them. be perfectly compatible with this keyboard, the reason why this was so important was because at that time almost all gaming keyboards aka mechanical keyboards available had irregular bottom rows for which it was really difficult to find PPT key sets compatible at reasonable prices. which means that if you bought a set of standard aftermarket keycaps, chances are it will end up looking like this, where the bottom row still has the old keycaps because the new ones you just bought don't support such irregular layouts, the The reason you might want to buy aftermarket keycaps is to first of all customize the look and feel of the keyboard, but also the other part that was a big deal for me was the fact that the keycaps on almost all gaming keyboards at that time they were manufactured. made of cheap ABS plastic, which means that over time the keys will start to shine and look oily, which is something I personally don't like;
how i lost interest towards mechanical keyboards

More Interesting Facts About,

how i lost interest towards mechanical keyboards...

However, keycaps made of PBT plastic do not have that problem because they are much more durable. and in general, PBT keycaps are also much thicker, have a rougher texture, and generally feel higher quality, which means they can also change the overall feel and sound of the keyboard, which is something that I wanted to try it for myself and now that I was about to receive the Quickfire , but since the keyboard was new anyway, I wasn't really in a hurry to change the keycaps anyway and apart from the general iso layout, I quite like the keyboard and it was also my first experience using the MX Browns, which I don't really remember I do like the Dynamics Blues more, but at least it was

interest

ing to try them at this point.
how i lost interest towards mechanical keyboards
I started to get really

interest

ed in mechanical keyboards. I was doing almost daily research on the various keys and key switches out there and one thing I discovered were old spring-loaded keyboards that seemed to click catastrophically. to the point that they were considered by some to be by far the most tactile keyboards out there and I definitely wanted to try them, sadly, even though they were quite expensive, especially considering that ordering them here will result in shipping and toll charges almost doubling the price. price of the keyboard itself, so I made a post on the Internet in Estonia asking if anyone had any old keyboards out there and someone offered me an old IBM M2 model for just 5 euros, which was really epic.
how i lost interest towards mechanical keyboards
I was a little worried that it might actually be. broken as apparently it is common for the M2 variant to have problems with capacitors and when I finally received it, when I plugged its PS2 connector into my computer, it didn't work, but it turned out that all I had to do was just reboot. my computer apparently that's what you have to do with these old PS2 connectors, after which it started working perfectly fine and I had a fully working IBM spring keyboard and it was definitely an incredibly complicated keyboard when typing fast with each click that appeared. to the extent that it felt like little explosions at your fingertips, which made it a really different experience compared to the Cherry MX space switches and it was definitely a really amazing feeling keyboard, although this one of course, it wasn't a Cherry MX based keyboard, it was still my First experience with PBT keycaps and I wanted to clean them so I decided to put them through their paces and boil them which should have been fine because PBT has a very high melting point but unfortunately the Legends printed on daisa were slightly damaged from that and one of the keys must have hit the bottom of the pot or something because it got this scorching mark in a specific spot, so yeah, I don't really recommend boiling the key right away.
I also somehow managed to destroy the keiki spring and the domed key. It still worked, it wasn't really demanding anymore, while the PPT keys and pocket spring switches were definitely an interesting experience. Overall, the rest of the keyboard wasn't really super solid, since unlike the tank, which is the original M model, the M2 variant. It's really light and I'm not going to lie, it feels a little cheap and it was also probably the loudest keyboard I've ever used, which I personally don't mind, but it was definitely annoying for the people around me. I also found myself searching for the refrigerator.
The master keyboard and occasionally was a little easier to use compared to the rocking keyboard, especially during gaming and such, and it also felt a little more solid if I were to make a tier list of all the gamers I've covered so far. Now, I would consider the M2 to be a light a or a strong b, as despite its buckled spring switches, its case honestly just kept it from being a full keyboard in a sense, but to be honest, I think it's still worth it. . year 8 because of how epic the spring switches were and I put the Cooler Master Quickfire . and finally the knife that I put on the seat here not necessarily because I didn't enjoy it but because it had an uneven bottom roll at this point there was actually something else that started to pique my interest as well, namely the topra keyboards, the interesting thing about topra It's the fact that they're actually not mechanical at all in the sense that their capacitive electro and touch use rubber domes.
However, many keyboard enthusiasts at the time considered Topra to be on a completely different level compared to Cherry. mx based switches to the point that it became the end game for many of them as they pretty much never wanted to go back to Cherry mx based switches once they tried topra, this mixed in with the sound unique topra and the unique sound of topra. The keyboards themselves really made me want to try them out myself. At first I wanted the Leopold FC 660c, but eventually I became more and more intrigued by the famous hkb, which is actually probably one of the most controversial keyboards out there due to its unorthodox nature.
The design and plastic casing are a great example of love it or hate it; However, as Doper keyboards are once again quite expensive, I had to sell both the Cooler Master and the IBM M2 model, for which I was able to buy one second-hand. hhkb Pro 1 from 2004, which is actually quite a rare variant and cost me around 180 dollars, but when it finally arrived, I unexpectedly had to pay 145 euros in tolls since the seller shipped it from Korea and even though I asked them to they will lower the value. from the package, unfortunately they forgot to do it, but it was the first time I was able to try a Topper keyboard anyway.
I remember at First Sight, when I took it out of the box, I was shocked at how small it was in real life. I guess I had seen so many videos of the hskb that it somehow gave me the false impression that it will be much bigger. Also, this was early 2015 so I honestly think I might have been the only person in Estonia who had a Topra keyboard because I had searched almost every keyboard forum and couldn't find a single Estonian in any context, but just someone who owns a topra keyboard years later I found some Estonians, but when I was more active Anyway, I might have been one of the few people in Estonia who liked this hobby.
I definitely liked the Topra keyboard. It was quite interesting in the sense that, even though the switches were technically relatively light, that activity was still incredibly pronounced, but somehow it also felt very fluid at the same time, which made for an incredibly satisfying typing experience. I also don't remember having any problems getting used to the hkb layout, as even the arrow key cluster was extremely easy to use thanks to the well-placed function key. The box on this particular hskb wasn't perfectly solid as it was a little easy and squeaky so to combat this I put these pieces of paper between the box and honestly it felt good and despite being so sticky, it did not.
It doesn't feel cheap like the M2 did as it really felt like the use of plastic was more by design than a cost saving measure but of course despite having already tried late game level changes such as buckling of springs and topra, there were still so many. As much as I was curious, for example, back then, the only quote-unquote acceptable Cherry MX spatial switches on the market were genuine Cherry MX switches from Cherry itself. Clones, like scaling and auto mode, existed even back then, but at that time they hadn't. I didn't invent anything new or innovate in any way so essentially they were just low quality versions of the common Cherry MX switches and that's it, however a new switch manufacturer called Gatoran had slowly started to establish itself on the keyboard scene and they were the only ones to bring anything.
The actual innovation of the existing Cherry mx based switches not only introduced two new types of switches, but more importantly, skaters and switches straight out of the box were considered much smoother than Cherry switches , especially when it came to the linear ones like Gator and Black, which now rivaled the incredibly rare Cherry MX vintage blacks that were previously considered the kings of smoothness. I had never tried linear switches before and knew that some people considered the vintage or Gator blacks and the blacks to be the only Cherry MX space switch that they liked as much. like topra so I definitely wanted to try them out too, at the same time there was also another keyboard at launch called poker tree which featured 60 PBT layout keys as well as a metal case right out of the box and came at a completely reasonable price even in Europe making it an extremely solid high quality keyboard at an unbeatable price so my plan was to buy the poker tree with Cherry MX blues and then change them to Gator and black by first desoldering the blues and then soldering in the gatorans, but before I could do any of that I had to sell my hskp to be able to pay for what I did and after a really long and painful weight I finally received both the poker and the catering blacks.
My first impression was surprise at how poor they were. the click of the MX Blues felt compared to what I remembered. I hadn't used MX blues for years at this point, so maybe I just remembered them wrong or maybe I took the BBT keys from the poker dampened to the touch, but either way I was going to change them for Gator and blacks anyway, I didn't know that It was going to be a really long and painful experience as it was my first time soldering and it took me quite a while to find an easy way to do it.
In fact, I even broke some contact pads that I had to fix with very thin wiring and that process was complicated to the point that I was surprised when it actually worked, but at one point I also managed to short out the entire keyboard, rendering it incapable. to turn on, but luckily after removing some random wires that had fallen on one of the connectors it started working again and I finally had a fully functioning poker tree with Gator and black switches. I also put some LEDs in the corners just because I knew BCB supported them so I wanted to test them overall.
The keyboard itself was super solid and also sounded verygood, especially with the new switches, but I kind of felt like the Gator in black wasn't as smooth as I expected. They were definitely smoother than Cherry switches. They had this problem where they would get stuck slightly due to friction or shaking which ironically made them feel a little rough in those settings, not only that but unfortunately the blacks were too heavy for me and since the most deep You press harder, they honestly feel a little mushy, so at least for me it wasn't my favorite experience and to make matters even worse, I now know I will never buy a keyboard with this type of 60 design again.
The reason is that the position of the function key combined with the traditional arrow cluster made it extremely difficult to use the arrow keys, as well as the other keys hidden beneath the function layer. In fact, I find it really ironic since this type of 60 layout is incomparably more common and less controversial compared to the hskp layout, however, for me this traditional 60 layout was really painful to use, while the hskb layout felt completely natural and very nice, the easiest way to fix it would be to just reduce the shift to the right a little and add a little function key next to it like in the hskb, speaking of the hskb, in fact I started to miss it so much that I ended up regretting selling it , especially considering that Rarity of the Pro 1 made its prices go up quite a bit and slowly started to become a collector's item, so this time I bought the hskbe Pro 2 and finally sold the poker tree since I ended up using the hskb most of the time anyway, but of course when I was selling the poker I offered to change the Escape key from an MX Blue to a crocodile and black that I had left intact before and during the soldering process somehow I managed to press the number one key with the soldering iron, which left a fairly large gap. fusion mark on it, so as compensation I decided to send the buyer an extra USB cable, so at this point I was just using the hskb, which I was quite happy with, but I also started to wonder if I had to design my own distribution of keyboard, what would it be like if you were curious to find the answer to this?
So I tried using some layout editing software and finally ended up with a layout 65 like this. Today this exact design is quite common, but I believe there were others similar to it at the time. like the real daring fc660c or the extremely expensive and hard to get 75, there was nothing pre-made that was exactly the same and available to buy, however, I found this company called Auto linear Keyboards, known primarily for making the 40 keyboard known as the board that also sold a plate called a neutrino that had the exact design. The problem I was looking for was that not only the blade and the other related parts were really difficult to get, but also the fact that the plate was designed. to be used to manually wire a keyboard, which is basically the hardest way to make a custom keyboard; essentially it means it has no PCB, so you have to connect everything to a small microcontroller yourself, plus editing and flashing. custom firmware that corresponds to how I personally connected it, but I had no choice, so I decided to find all the necessary parts, which ended up being so difficult that I felt like I was trying to put together the five parts of Exodia or something, but eventually , after hundreds of hours over several years, I finally built the neutrino and was actually very pleased with it.
The entire history of this keyboard is so long that I won't cover it in this video, but for now. I can say that it ended up becoming an extremely solid and sturdy compact keyboard that feels much better than any of the other Cherry MX boards I've used and since I put so much time and effort into this keyboard, I finally decided that I should drive it every day above of everything else, that's why once again I sold my hskb and that was again a big mistake because I ended up regretting it like before, so a year and a half later I bought another hskb and I think The moral of the story is that you should never sell your hkb.
This was now my third hskb and I also think it is the most interesting one so far. It's actually another Pro 1 model, but this time it's from 2003, which makes it even rarer than the previous one I had and the funny thing is that it only cost me 120 euros, which at least at that time was incredibly cheap. The reason it was so cheap was first because one of the keys was missing a spring, but the real reason. Why was it because the previous owner had spray painted the hskb three times and I really wouldn't call any of the paint coats in the final white coat perfect?
They also sprayed on the back label, which I finally tried to clean by simply scraping off the paint. but I didn't know it also removed the model information which I find really unfortunate, ironically although this hskb is the nicest build hskbe I've ever owned as the terrible paint job actually made the case non-greek at all, so it ended up being just more. solid I've also been thinking about restoring this hskb as close to its original condition as possible by removing the paint somehow for years now, but I honestly haven't bothered since from afar the black and white aesthetic isn't that bad either and The keyboard feels amazing regardless at this point I was using my homemade keyboard at the office and the HSKP at home and I stopped doing any kind of research on mechanical keyboards for about two years after which I wanted to try a full keyboard.
Compact size keyboard with a compact layout, so I bought the iqunix f96 Knight with Cherry MX Blues once again. The reason I chose MX blues again was because there weren't many other options anyway and I was feeling a bit nostalgic for some oldies. school squeaky Cherry switches and I must admit that despite having an hskb and my home keyboard with Box Royals, I also enjoyed the MX Blues to the point that I used the f96 for about a year as well, but when I finally tried the hskp again Once again I realized that of everything I've tried, nothing comes close to how much I like hskb.
I almost feel bad because I've now been using it almost exclusively for over a year during which I haven't even touched any of my other keyboards and needless to say at this point I've

lost

almost all interest in buying research or customization keyboards because I really feel like there's nothing left for me as at the end of the day I'll most likely just enjoy the hskb more than any fully custom Cherry mx based endgame board. I came up with the only thing I want to try are premium linear loop switches, like tangerines, with their spring swapped for very long, lightweight springs that give them a flatter Force curve, but honestly, I'm afraid to even undertake a trip to try it, as not only will it be very expensive, but looping the switches takes an incredible amount of time and I suspect it doesn't end up being that way.
It even matters because I most likely like my terribly painted 20 year old discount hkb better and I don't know, maybe after having sold and bought this keyboard three times, maybe just maybe it's a sign that this keyboard It really is my end game. board and with that kind of mindset, I've done almost non-existent research on keyboards for over 5 years despite being incredibly passionate about them in the past while making this video, although I did catch up quite a bit. and it's crazy how much this landscape has changed nowadays, there are apparently thousands of different cherry mx based switches and in general custom mechanical keyboards have become incredibly popular despite being incredibly misunderstood just a few years before , personally, although I have no plans in this regard. sell my hskb or buy new keyboards, but i feel a little sad that i gave up my manual purchase keyboard simply because i prefer to use the hskb for topra switches.
It's also a keyboard that will obviously never sell and I put so much time and passion into it that I wish it was at least in parallel with the hskb, so maybe I should come out of my keyboard retirement one last time to find the Cherry base switch Perfect MX that can match Topra, yes. There's even a bit because currently if you go back to the tier list the hskb is on a tier of its own so those were my adventures with the keyboard so far and while there's obviously a lot more than what I covered in this video, I'm going to make a follow up video in a completely different format where I'll go over every keyboard I currently have as well as clean and fix them because they're actually all broken right now so until then I hope to see you in that foreign video

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