New POK3R Firmware

This firmware update brings volume keys and changes to the arrow keys. I think the more notable addition is the support for LED’s soldered on outside of the factory. This could possible be a cheaper option of getting a POK3R with backlighting.

Planck MassDrop Ended

The Drop ended at 755 planck’s ordered, this was quite a success. I am interested to see how so many people will be adapting to their plancks in the future, as I had always thought of the 40% layout a bit too far for many users.

This is also a good time to mention another episodes of Board Makers. Lots of discussion about the new midi output this week. Again this is a very nice podcast to listen to if you like keyboards.

New Items on mechanicalkeyboards.com

mechanicalkeyboards.com has come out with their own keyboard the MK84 which comes Gateron or Greetech switch options, blue or white backlight options and white or black case. I’m not a fan of the 84 key layout. But this is a nice keyboard to see available, as I’m sure it suits many peoples needs.

Something I haven’t seen them offer before is the FaceW PCB which is a nice 60% PCB if you are looking to put together your own.

Another small item is a mk.com switch opening tool. Nothing hugely interesting but it may save you a lot of trouble if you are into switch modding.

Blahlicus

Everything has shipped. For those invested in this I’m sure most of you know. All Phase 2 Blahlicus keyboards have shipped. I am most interested in seeing the Diverge II’s in the wild.

New Type Heaven Colours

I am quite happy about Topre doing things. This and the new keyset by Matt3o they are making some good moves for the keyboard community. The typeheaven is a ‘cheaper’ introduction into Topre. These new colour options make it a little more tempting to see what it is like in comparison to a HHKB.

TYPE HEAVEN Colorful Limited Edition coming soon!

Posted by Topre REALFORCE Keyboards on Thursday, 27 August 2015

I think the colours are interesting but the black keycaps ruin the whole aesthetic. A matched keyset colourway could go a long way in improving the image of the typeheaven.

Zeal’s Macro Shot’s

This is not really news but I wast intrigued by what I saw. Zeal has taken so me macro photos of Gateron and Cherry sliders and they really do speak for themselves. The smoothness you get with Gateron’s is not unfounded and there is a real difference in the sliders.

LG’s New Keyboard

It’s not mechanical but a keyboard nonetheless. The key feature here is that it rolls up. It is certainly interesting and may be useful for those who need something incredibly portable to type on the move.

Ultimate Hacking Keyboard in the Wild

This really got me interested in what this keyboard could be. More split keyboards is a good thing and I look forward to its release.

A photo posted by György Horák (@repadyuri) on


Typed on HHKB Pro 2

There was quite a lot of happenings this month in keycaps. Least of all the keycap convergence of August the 28th. I hope to cover all that happened.

BroCaps

A small sale was held 26th. This completely passed me by like usual, as it was not one held on [CTRL]ALT I only managed to catch the notification about winners being announced. The sale was for textured MX escapes.

As well as this sale, Bro has been teasing the upcoming designs throughout the month. The designs shown were the new Reaper:

Although it is intricately designed and shows talent in sculpting, I still prefer the original Reaper.

The other design shown is a new one. The Cherokey:

Shown with a very nice cross section, that shows just how well made Brocaps are made. To stay up-to-date with Bro I suggest following him on Twitter, as this seems to be where the most new photos are posted.

The Keycap Convergence

I tried to come up with a decent sounding name for the sudden event of keycap sales on the 28th. This was the best I came up with.

KatzenKinder Revive Sale

This was the first official KatzenKinder sale in a while. Small sales were sporadically placed on mechmarket but this was a mega sale with a new design. Previously unnamed, the new design is now Monkey King. KatzenKinder Artisan Keycaps Monkey King

Binge

Binge Artisans: skulthulu slo-fi Binge also had a sale on the 28th. This took place on his site and was titled “50 Shades of Green” and for obvious reasons featured a menagerie of different green caps. The excitement quickly overran the site which resulted in tumultuous checkout. Despite the troubles, the site did become usable and everything quickly sold out. Needless to say I did not get any. This was a good sale and the keycaps look awesome, Binge is certainly a maker to admire.

After the sale, Binge also released photos of the exclusive Zealio themed bingecaps.

Exclusive Zealio Slo-fi artisan keycap

To get a chance of winning this keycap you have to purchase some zealios. This is a good GB to support even without the Binge incentive as it is a keyboard community first.

HKP

REd and white HOT keys project G2 Artisan cap Although not a rushed sale it also began on the 28th. Included in this sale are:

  • Warmasters
  • Ravens
  • G2’s

From this sale the red G2 with white eyes is my favourite. These really are nicely made and the colours look fantastic. I might finally have to give in to see if the photos do them justice.
This was the August sale so it ended today the 1st of September. I missed the boat on this one.

Doom Caps

The fourth member in the keycap convergence mega event. The sale included:

  • Fn + Esc set’s
  • MF DOOMS
  • Doombringers
  • High Profile’s
  • Filigree Spacebars

It is cool to see some more custom spacebars and Doom Cap’s patterns are like no other’s. Some caps are still available so get some while you can.

KeyKollectiv

Keykollectiv blue artisan modifier set I am referring to KeyKollectiv as a Kollectiv as they are definitely onto bigger things. KeyKollectiv came out of nowhere and completely stepped up their keycap operation. They offered complete modifier sets for the HHKB, Realforce and FC660C. There was an incredible amount of choice on offer. You were able to buy a single colour set or customise your own and choose as many colours as possible. Because of the large scale, these are all made to order. This is more similar to how Martin of HKP runs his sales. Again because of how large scale this was, it was limited to 15 orders, so if you didn’t get in just wait for the future.
A bonus boombox keycap is also being included in this sale.

Krytone

The Krap sales this time are hosted on mechanicalkeyboards.co.id which is a new keycap and keyboard retailer. The initial launch of Krap on mechanicalkeyboards.co.id featured an exclusive white and red colourway. mechanicalkeyboards.co.id exclusive krap artisan I thought the red and white looked stunning and I am ashamed to have missed out. This sold out quite quickly and new colours are available. See here for what’s currently left.

War of Betrayal

WoB artisan keycaps

Whilst the mega sale happened you also had the opportunity to get some WoB caps. I believe this is the second sale featuring two new designs. This sale started on the 23rd and should run for one week, but the sale form is still up. So I suggest getting in while you can. These are another example of very high quality and they come in some packaging that I would very much enjoy.

Retro

From the interesting design of Goblin Goyle last month, retro created an almost successful cast of the design. Find it here. I think the colour works really well here, even if the underside is not perfect.

Retro then announced the retrobrite series: These look incredibly nice and I would love to purchase them as they are.

Zorberema

Zorberema of ZorbCaps had their first successful sale on August the 22nd. It featured two designs: the templar and the demonic templar. I think these have a nice hand finished look, and I’m also a fan of how the designs and colourways are very limited. I like where this is going and am interested in the future.

They also showed another new design “Golem”. I like this design but prefer some harsher colour contrast.

Gen.s

The Gen.s groupbuy has ended so sorry if you missed out. This was for the very attractive looking gem keycaps as well as the daft punk themed keycaps.

Adamski

I was going to include this in last month’s edition, but it was a late acquisition, so I thought it would get better exposure this month. This is the Terminator: I really like the look of Adamski’s caps. The texture seems to perfectly capture the style and everything it’s trying to convey. I just think these caps work really well.

WinterWinds

Previously known for the great beer caps. WinterWinds has now created a quite awesome fist cap. The red one is certainly my favourite here. Although they said, the thumb sticks out too much which hinders the cap from depressing. So the future ones will be better.
Keep it up WinterWinds I like what you’re doing.

V0idtek

I haven’t seen much from V0idtek recently, but it appears I have missed a couple of new designs. The first of which is the “Doom Guy” keycap which is something I haven’t quite seen done before in keycap form. I’m not a huge fan of doom, but this is an impressive keycap.

The next is a “Radioactive Barrel”. This looks great on a backlit keycap.

As well as new designs there are more skull colours. My favourite of which is the Deep Indigo.

Kappa

A small update to KappaKapps. The Lejon:

Flehrad

Flehrad is someone who keeps creating new designs. I become more impressed with each one. I think the most interesting is this ship: As I have never seen such an interesting ensemble keycap set. It all seems to work very well together and especially good with backlighting. I suggest you have a look at some of their other designs as there is some definite progress from last month. Just a bit too many to list through. Keep up the good work.

UpvotesGoHere

Another new person, with a valiant attempt at keycap casting. You might not be too impressed now, but we will see what happens next month.

Temence

This is another newcomer with a duo keycap project. Between the user Temence and Moshimalloe they are Marshmallow and Mischief. But do note this project is currently on hold. Some promising sculpts were shown. I look forward to what this project may become.

Late Addition

Nubbinator

I managed to forget Nubbinator. The first event I missed was a sale. The pay-what-you-want Shadow Stalker and Fn sale. This was an interesting sale due to the fact it was a pay-what-you-want (minimum of $10) and there were some truly outlandish colour combinations. The design of the Fn I find interesting as it does not look like a standard Topre Fn. Not only the texture, which is admirable for the quality, but it has much harsher corners than you see on a stock Topre cap.
Interesting photos have also been posted in the “Post your Nubs Thread”. This photo in particular shows some very colourful Fn’s with a lot of different colours.


Typed on HHKB Pro 2

These keycaps are by HandyKaps. They are a relatively new maker who appeared a couple of weeks ago. When photos of these caps were posted on /r/mk, I was immediately interested in how they were made and how they would feel. So I was very excited when /u/hanahlol (alt account) contacted me. What I got were two HHKB arrow cluster sets. In bronze and steel variations. Like with CMYKeys I wanted to type on these a bit to see how they will fit into an everyday board. Since I only have one HHKB and only one arrow cluster I placed the sets on either side of the board.

Unboxing

These caps came in a perfectly sized, golden, bubble lined box. This was not a mega package, but perfectly pleasing to me.

Colour

Colour is not really the right title as they have a more of a visual texture that really makes them stand out. The steel looks by far the best, in terms of looking metal. Although I don’t want to discount the bronze, as it is of course a great metal. With a bit more shine to the bronze I think they would look even better. From this section I just wanted to get across, they look grand amongst a regular keyset.

Feel

These feel great. How they are made I’m still a little confused on. They are resin with a mix of metal powder and then they are polished to give the exterior the metal look. So they are part metal and part resin. I’m not sure if there is a bit of a placebo going on here but they do feel metallic, but they have a very gentle metallic feel to them. I would be interested to seeing how they compare to fully metal Scarface keycaps.
The steel ones especially have a brushed metal look on the sides of the caps. One thing I was not sure about is how metal caps would feel. These are somewhere in-between as they are not fully metal and not totally resin. I would love to type on a whole set of these. Currently I just have the feeling on my outer fingers and it is a strange sensation when typing. Not bad strange, but very nice This has lead me to be quite impressed with these caps. When using them in arrowkey position, they feel great. It is a bit of a different typing context, but you will feel the metallic nature especially when you have two or three fingers resting on them. This is the same for if you are in WASD position.

Sculpt and Cast

These keycaps are made fairly well. From the front you will not see any imperfections, the metal finish looks great and the texture is also a great replication. Some cutting has been done round the bottom to neaten them up. But it does not look rough. Not a lot can go wrong here but these are fine in terms of quality. The steel ones here really show off the metallic texture on the sides. You can also see the awesome colour of both sets.

One point of interest is the stems. I have an interest in finding good Topre stems as the stem design is just a little tricky to get right. These caps have a simple stock stem but the rest of the cap has been infilled to the point where it slots over the HHKB’s plate. The circle depression is where the slider and outer slider housing goes. I have never seen anyone else do this, but it allows you to have a little extra weight to the keycap. If done correctly, there should not be any issues.

From what I can tell this has been executed quite well. One issue I have is the ‘up’ key feels slightly different. It might be that something is catching on the inside of the caps stem housing. This is my only issue so overall they do feel great. I have really enjoyed typing on them.

If anyone is looking for a nice cluster to add something to their HHKB these are a fine choice. They are currently unavailable but follow /u/handykaps and /u/hanahlol for more information on when you can get these. The use of metal powder is something I haven’t seen before and I think it makes for a very nice keycap with a very nice texture. This is a promising beginning and they will only get better with each cast and sculpt. Good work from HandyKaps and I will be interested at what the future brings.


Typed on HHKB Pro 2