I managed to get into the Alpha sale for the Lootkeys Project. This is a keycap project by Whizzard. There were a couple of different designs available, and I opted for the Ice Cube and an Abductor but I only managed to win an ice cube. These turned out to be the more popular designs available in the sale and were also available in larger numbers

What I received was much more exciting than I had anticipated. The packaging this single keycap came in was grandeur. Like no other keycap I have ever received. The first thing you will notice is the customised packaging. My box was labelled with my very own name. This is one of the things that set’s Lootkeys apart.

The next thing that will be abundant when you open the box is the unusual packing material. I’m not sure if Whizzard went to the trouble to make this himself but I wouldn’t say it is standard.

Buried in the center of the black and gold, I then found the box which contained my keycap. Alongside this I found my Lootkeys Keycard. This details the keycap and my Lootscore. Which I believe will be used in the future as a loyalty scheme or reward scheme of some sorts. However, at this point it is undecided. I also like that the card comes with the keycaps inception date.
The Lootkeys sticker on the front is a casual reminder of what you are doing. This is not a regular unpacking experience, this is a Lootkeys experience.

Inside the box was a bag. Yet another thing to open. I hope I am conveying that this was fun to open and I was quite excited throughout the unboxing. I found myself smiling all the way through.

Inside the burlap type bag was a plastic bag containing a box which housed my single keycap.

The Keycap

The keycap itself is something I was looking forward to before I was distracted by the packaging. From the photos on Whizzards design thread I expected a very nice keycap. I found his designs to be interesting and a little different. In some cases ambitious. My particular favourite was the camp fire.
The thickness of it is fine. Much thicker than your average stock keycap this is a good thing. The underside is also infilled which gives it a little extra weight and the stem additional support. Having the underside infilled also gives a nice aesthetic when you look at it from the outside, contributing to the ice cube like nature as it appears to be air caught in the ice.

I have trouble getting any close up photos that are in focus enough to show off the texture. The texture is fine and feels nice in whatever resin that has been used.
There are no makers marks or signature marking the keycap, which I can’t say is in any detrimental to the keycap. But, I am a big fan of marks and symbols.

There is some roughness on the back side where I think some imperfections have been removed. Overall this has just become part of the keycaps finish. The colour is great and does look like ice. I can’t quite tell whether it is all translucent blue or is part colourless resin.

The fit is perfect and I have had no trouble. I was actually surprised at how similar it fit to a stock keycap.

The keycap is very well made with a very nice design. Although it may appear to be a simple blank, it does have a very nice look. This is obviously one of Whizzard’s simpler designs but they don’t make themselves and a clear amount of work has been put into each keycap.
It seems what Whizzard is trying to do with this, is create an experience. Which is why I think Lootkeys Project is an apt name. There is a whole idea going with these keycaps. You can tell by the effort that has gone into the packaging. This is something than be thought of as trivial, but it truly does make a difference. All of this is contributing to the whole, making it a project. I like this keycap and am looking forward to what else Whizzard makes.

The future of the Lootkeys Project

I was trepidatious about showing the incredible packaging as I was not sure whether this would be kept up and set a high bar for the future. However, I was assured this is a core concept of Whizzards, and packaging and presentation will not be something he neglects. Whizzard is continuing to make keycaps but seems very meticulous in what is sold.


Typed on HHKB Pro 2

Community

Geekhack Fund-raiser

To keep geekhack running a fund-raiser has been started. The fund-raiser is taking the form of a giveaway where you can get an item for however much you donate. This is currently for CONUS as shipping costs would make this less of a fundraiser.
There do seem to be some interesting items available. Currently on offer are Cherry t-shirts and Cherry window stickers. However, not all items and t-shirt designs are being shown so you will not know exactly what you are getting. My favourite item shown is the Cherry branded beer stein.

Boardmakers

This is the best keyboard podcast there is. It is interesting to hear all about the keyboard production and thoughts behind all the designs.
This week’s episode features livingspeedbump of Keychatter.

Keyboards

Scalaria Orders Haven Ended

This shouldn’t be too helpful news as this is the end of the sale period. But for those who partook. They will now be on their way to production. As this is a community project, I find these particularly interesting and worth keeping an eye on.

https://reddit.com/r/blahlicus

TextBlade Getting Closer to Shipping

Because of the rocky entirety of the TextBlade project, I am not entirely confident that this will be fulfilled. It is an interesting project which is why I think it is worth following.
The reasons for the delays are almost all speculative. As updates are a bit far and between.

TGR-Jane

This image is a render

This is a custom keyboard currently in the Groupbuy phase. I thought this was something I should mention as it is of very high quality and only 20 will be made. It’s winkeyless (no winkeys) very aluminium and comes with a fancy brass weight. This is one of my favourite things about this keyboard. Although this is becoming a common thing to do, I always think it looks great. At around $420 this is an expensive keyboard but looks to be of excellent quality. Unfortunately this is out of my price range, but I think this will be a great keyboard for any collection. It is one of the nicest customs I have seen in a long time.

Keycaps

New Alps Keycaps

This is a rare sight, because this is the first of its kind on this scale. Massdrop is offering Alps keycap sets in black, dolch and olivette colour schemes.
I believe this was foreshadowed by the v60’s listed on mechanicalkeyboards.com. Although these are the mx variants, it showed that KBP is interested in producing the dolch colour scheme. Perhaps this groupbuy will help gauge the communities interest in more interesting Alps keycaps.


Typed on SSK

I was away last week and I regret not writing the week in keyboards for that week. This week I will cover everything for this week, and the week I missed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Keyboards

Smart68

This is a project that has been going for a long time and has not had a lot of movement. I believe that some made it out into the wild back in its inception. However, this was in the Chinese market and a long time ago. Feng on geekhack, who I know for running geekkeys and various groupbuys, has reinvigorated the project and a groupbuy is expected in August.

What makes the smart68 different is the ability to change switches without a need for soldering. The carbon fiber plate is also another selling point. However, I do not know of the benefits of this material. A recent groupbuy for carbon fibre plates has been successful but I have not seen them out in the wild.

Geekhack reference post

No BeamSprings

This was something that slipped under my radar until recently. A while ago Cindy on deskthority looked like she was getting an interesting collection of keyboards that might have been beamsprings. For those who don’t know, the beamspring could be considered the next level up from the model M and M. Rarer, the beamsprings are highly sought after and rarely sold. This seemed like it would be an interesting lot of keyboards and there was a good amount of interest. The important part is the deal has fallen through and it is possible the community will not see these resurfacing. If they do it could be for a higher price.

AUNK

This is another 60% design that I took too because of the design philosophy behind it. From what I understand this project is creating a more universal keyboard that supports as many language variants as possible.

AUNK stands for Awesome United Nations Keyboard. This project isn’t being rushed and the pcb is being designed to a high standard.

More information

KC60 Delayed By a Week

This is not terrible but I am sure some will find this frustrating. Through the drop the maximum quantity was increased and I wonder if they overstepped in how many they thought they could make.

Atomic PCB Kits Up for Pre-Sale

For now you are able to pre-order the PCB in a kit. Some prototypes are available but in limited quantities. I was hoping to get one of these but I’ll see what will happen. However, after the last episode of board makers I have become quite taken with the philosophy behind the planck.

Keyboardio

This kickstarted keeps going and is currently at $652,001. I am not a huge fan of this keyboard but do find it interesting that this particular project is getting this amount of backing.

A New Model F

This is another project that I had not seen until recently. This is something that I think requires its own post because it is so interesting. This type of keyboard is interesting as no one has been able to make custom buckling spring keyboards viable. The project is to recreate the kishsaver faithfully but allowing for more people to get them. The kishsaver is the Model F which is close to a 60% layout.

It is a complicated project that is interesting to watch develop. The price of $350 might be a bit steep for those wanting to get into buckling springs. Another project to mention is the new model M which I had confused this with.

New Vendor ‘KBDcraft’

This is another Korean maker with some nice designs. But with promise of other products and services to come. The debut designs are a cherry g80-1800 and a HHKB style keyboard. Both designs are interesting in their own right but I found the g80-1800 in particular to be quite stunning. Whereas the HHKB design is the exact thing I want, apart from the logo on the front.

This new website is part run by or just partnered with Leeku who has created 1800 pcb’s in the past.

Realforce on Massdrop

This is something that I though mentioning as this is the first Topre board on Massdrop. The HHKB has always been in the voting stage but nothing has ever happened. I’m not sure what this might mean for the future. But it is nice to see. It is not the greatest drop as there are only limited units available and there is one price tier. The drop also comes with 4 matt3o PBT spacebars.

I can’t say that I’m not tempted by this. However, I am not interested in the variable weight and not brave enough for the 55g. I also prefer the grey. All in all this will be good for some but not for others.
The drop is priced at $215 + shipping

Keycaps

Xenics PBT Doubleshot

This comes from ripster who always seems to be on top of all new manufacturers. Not a lot of information other than they are PBT doubleshot and from a Korean company Xenics. Again these keycaps are plagued with a not so nice font.

Photos of the Adler Keycaps

This was an interesting GB that did quite well. Being GMK, only good things are expected. I expect these photos will be comforting to all who participated.


Typed on SSK