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Keeboard Appreciator Thread

Thermite

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i'm tired of having a doodoo 15$ keyboard from china. if i spend money on a good keyboard is it actually worth it?
I don't currently have one, but i certainly believe so. Very satisfying to game on one
 
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grap

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I have one of these:

large_X8-USPDBYA1_4.jpg


I don't know how to tinker with keyboards (or with anything), I picked really loud switches and it sounds fucking annoying, and it looks loud and obnoxious on my desk. Also I don't game. But I like using it anyway.
 

Collision

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most fucked up shit I've found in 40-odd year old keyboards:
- a significant amount of rice, probably someone's dinner in the 80s
- a wasp
- a multitude of spiders
- large quantity of toenail clippings
- unidentified orange sludge
Delicious!
i'm tired of having a doodoo 15$ keyboard from china. if i spend money on a good keyboard is it actually worth it?
I think it's worth it (at least up to around $100) if you spend a lot of time at your computer. I think the build quality of mechanical keyboards tends to be better but you're not going to have a religious experience or anything. I would avoid anything too gamer-chic because of lot that stuff is over priced junk. It's also really fun to have loud switches that bother people. It's like eating a bag of chips really loudly except it's harder for people to tell you to cut it out.
 
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handoferis

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Build quality of some store bought mechs will be better than typical trash but anything in the $40-70 range will just be creaky plastic Chinese junk.

The significantly more premium ones are built pretty well, but at that point you're approaching prices for a custom anyway so you might as well build exactly what you want.

Option 3, which is obviously my preferred thing, is to buy an old keyboard which are typically built like fucking tanks. If you want a reasonably modern layout, Dell AT101W, Apple Extended Keyboard 1 or 2, Wang 724 (not 725) are all good choices. AT101W (or AT101 if you don't want windows keys) are PS/2 and you can either plug them right in or convert them with a little cable off Amazon, while AEK1/2 are ADB boards and will require a tiny project board in order to get running. You might need to clean up the switches a bit if the board looks dirty but this is pretty easy to do. (And if you chose to go this route obvs I would render any assistance I could)
 
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Andy Kaufman

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prime pre-event DNA right there.

most fucked up shit I've found in 40-odd year old keyboards:
- a significant amount of rice, probably someone's dinner in the 80s
- a wasp
- a multitude of spiders
- large quantity of toenail clippings
- unidentified orange sludge
this sounds like an ingredient list for a magic potion tbh
 
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elia925-6

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Not a keyboard, but my father had one of the oldest digitizers in existence used for his job. If i find a photo of it, i will upload it here
 
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grap

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I have over 50 keyboards, most all of them from the early 90s or earlier...

I'm not ready to take the plunge just yet, but this is something I might like to do someday.

An eBay search for "vintage keyboards" gives me a somewhat bewildering assortment of options. Did you figure out which ones you like mostly yourself, or is there a website/resource related to keyboard restoration you would recommend? I did see your recommendations in this post and a later one, but I'm curious about how one would come to know which old boards are worth the investment.
 

handoferis

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I'm not ready to take the plunge just yet, but this is something I might like to do someday.

An eBay search for "vintage keyboards" gives me a somewhat bewildering assortment of options. Did you figure out which ones you like mostly yourself, or is there a website/resource related to keyboard restoration you would recommend? I did see your recommendations in this post and a later one, but I'm curious about how one would come to know which old boards are worth the investment.
The wiki at https://deskthority.net/wiki is pretty good as a beginner resource. The forum is kind of ok for restoration information but is mostly autistic screeching these days - anything that has any of the following can be desirable:
- Alps SKCM/SKCL/SKCC/SKFL
- IBM membrane/capacitive buckling spring
- Hi-Tek Series 725 ("Space Invaders")
- SMK 2nd Generation ("Monterey")
- Various Cherry MXes if you're that way inclined
- NEC Blue/Cream/Black Ovals (warning: buy clean, these are impossible to open)

Things to avoid:
Mitsumi KPQ/KKQ
Key-Tronic of any description (even if you turn out to like these cursed switches, the foam rots away)
Micro Switch (no good for a beginner, real hell on earth to get working over USB - my Micro Switch SW board has languished in the project pile for over a year)

There's a bunch of other stuff out there that's cool, but that's the vast majority of stuff you'll see that can be had for a reasonable price. If you see a keyboard on eBay 9x out of 10 you can google the model number and someone will be talking about it. After a few years of doing this I've become pretty good at spotting interesting undocumented stuff solely off keycap sculpt, legend font, shit like that. Keyboards just give off vibes. You also get a feel for what's just a beige office dome (hint: usually the bottom case has a huge recess in it, or lots and lots of screws). Ebay sellers are notorious for reporting any keyboard they get as being amazing, so worth checking any model numbers you can.
 
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grap

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The wiki at https://deskthority.net/wiki is pretty good as a beginner resource. The forum is kind of ok for restoration information but is mostly autistic screeching these days - anything that has any of the following can be desirable:
- Alps SKCM/SKCL/SKCC/SKFL
- IBM membrane/capacitive buckling spring
- Hi-Tek Series 725 ("Space Invaders")
- SMK 2nd Generation ("Monterey")
- Various Cherry MXes if you're that way inclined
- NEC Blue/Cream/Black Ovals (warning: buy clean, these are impossible to open)

Things to avoid:
Mitsumi KPQ/KKQ
Key-Tronic of any description (even if you turn out to like these cursed switches, the foam rots away)
Micro Switch (no good for a beginner, real hell on earth to get working over USB - my Micro Switch SW board has languished in the project pile for over a year)

There's a bunch of other stuff out there that's cool, but that's the vast majority of stuff you'll see that can be had for a reasonable price. If you see a keyboard on eBay 9x out of 10 you can google the model number and someone will be talking about it. After a few years of doing this I've become pretty good at spotting interesting undocumented stuff solely off keycap sculpt, legend font, shit like that. Keyboards just give off vibes. You also get a feel for what's just a beige office dome (hint: usually the bottom case has a huge recess in it, or lots and lots of screws). Ebay sellers are notorious for reporting any keyboard they get as being amazing, so worth checking any model numbers you can.

Thank you so much, this is very helpful!
 

handoferis

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Thank you so much, this is very helpful!
Oh, one more thing - don't buy anything from tifasa on eBay, all these keyboards are stored under the pyramid and will arrive full of sand.
 
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skelegorg

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if you have a micro center or other computer store near you they have a ton of keyboards that are just sitting out you can type on and get a feel for different switches
 
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TheOneAndOnlyX

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I'm rocking a split board with U4Ts. Great experience. I'd probably be rocking a Unicomp Model M and/or something with Alps switches if it didn't cost a ton for something I wouldn't frequently use (carpal tunnel).

Also, this is my first real post. Hi!
 

TheOneAndOnlyX

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They're a clever scheme to extract money out of gamer lol.
But seriously:
While bad membrane keyboards do indeed feel mushy and inconsistent, that doesn't have to be the case. My Logitech has very clear breaking points.
A lot of gamers claim that mechanical keyboards are "more precise" but that's something that will only come into play when you're already in the top 0.001% of the leaderboard. Before then, a mechanical keyboard will not make a difference for an average player.

For typing it's even less important. All comes down to a matter of preference and how you enjoy the haptics.
I personally dislike the clattering of mechanical keyboards but for me that input device also is just a tool so I'd never spend more than 20 bucks on it. For some it's a fashion statement or they like to tinker with it so it makes sense to get a mechanical one.

All comes down to personal preference but I consider them to be borderline scams.
Good membranes or Topres are so much better than a lot of gamer keebs.

I bought a cool thing on eBay today:

View attachment 37553

old teletext page editing keyboard. top tier features: long Q key, what the actual fuck
Haha. This thing is sweet! I love seeing "embedded" boards like this - have you ever seen the stuff that Blackmagic Design makes? Weytec also makes some baller shit

Is there any way to test out one of these keyboards before buying them? I'd like to upgrade from my decade-old Microsoft membrane keyboard at some point, but I've never used a mechanical keyboard before and have a lot of questions. What's the difference between all the different colored switches? How loud are they? Does a mechanical keyboard actually help you type faster?
Switch testers are available on Amazon for more mainstream (read: MX) switches. Best Buy has a few mechs on display near me, and my local Micro Center has a ton.

I have the exact same model (in QWERTZ ofc). Got in for 10€ during a sale on Amazon and have been using it every day for hours for working from home (includes coding and writing mails/documents) and gaming and I had no issues so far.
61EzLA3gnyL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

I also struggle to find use for any keyboard that doesn't have a numblock since that's a pretty important feature for me, same with the end/pos1(home on QWERTY) keys.
Also fuck these laptop keyboards that have the Fn key on the very left on the bottom row. That place is hard wired into my brain for CTRL and it messes up the most hotkey combinations for me:
2292499-n0.jpg
You can remap that in the BIOS IIRC - from a mechanical perspective, I actually kind of like the modern ThinkPad keyboards
 

handoferis

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have you ever seen the stuff that Blackmagic Design makes?
my god, the only time i've ever seen a rotary encoder on a keyboard and been like "makes sense, actually, go on"
 
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TheOneAndOnlyX

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my god, the only time i've ever seen a rotary encoder on a keyboard and been like "makes sense, actually, go on"
I take it you're not the kind of person who likes media controls on their keyboard?
 

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