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.



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.


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.


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


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



Geekhack is back with new hosting and all seems good. The DOS ended and not a lot was said.
With the return of Geekhack, a long time moderator and site admin Mkawa has stepped down from those roles.

Board Makers

For those who don’t know this is a mechanical keyboard podcast This continues to be a very good podcast that I very much enjoy. For anyone in the mechanical keyboard hobby, this podcast will give you some insight and information into the whole keyboard process.
I was most excited for the Atomic PCB’s which are getting closer. There is a lot of shipping around involved but the coming weeks could be interesting for the Atomic.


Today I was surprised with a new wealth of ripster posts. This all happened very quickly today but I am happy to see ripsters guides making a comeback.

With the quiet announcement/discovery of the QuickFire Rapid XTi Ripster has a sample and has posted a gallery.
From the looks of things this looks to be a nice stock keyboard.


The Diverge II

Blahlicus is back with the second revision of the ErgoDox alternative the Diverge II. This is really a great project as it is making split keyboards more accessible than the ErgoDox did. It is cheaper and only uses 1u caps. You can preorder it with a surprising amount of custom options. You can choose the switches how assembled you want it, the colour of the case and the keycaps. Blahlicus is another rare member of the community who is offering something quite special.

The Last KBT Keyboards

I found this to be the most interesting and keyboard news this week as it is at least a new product. I believe this was teased a while back with the announcement of KBT making their own switches, and this is what they have done.

With two sources in Chinese I do not exactly feel informed on the specifics of the keyboard and the switches. The keyboard is called the ‘Next’ and features KBTs ‘Squirrel Axis Switches’. These switches both remind me of Gateron switches and project zealio at this point do not know if there is any connection.
The keyboard itself has 108 keys and blue led’s. The project page suggests something about the case being low profile and thin without being too heavy.

I also found it interesting that the project is being crowdfunded. The ‘kickstarter’ has rewards such as a big-ass enter key pillow and a keychain.


The HHKB Pro 2 is $15 off at the moment. This is not the greatest deal, but if you are in America you wont find it much cheaper at a retail location.

Mechanicalkeyboards.com Stocking FC660C

This has been quite the hard keyboard to get hold of lately, and mk.com is making that easier. If I hadn’t a HHKB, I would be seriously tempted by this.

Signs of the New PMK

PMK have just put up the deep space DSA set up in their store for purchase. This is all part of them stocking popular GB’s of keycaps which are always in demand. I am interested to see how well this works. This could be very beneficial for PMK and I do hope it works out because the community can only benefit from this.

The Last Brobot V2 Auction

This is most definitely artisan territory, but this is a limited engagement. A Topre and an MX brobot are up for auction on [CTRL]ALT. These are aluminium CNC milled brobots which will not go cheap. Although you only have a day, this will quickly go out of many peoples price range.

Hotkeys Sale

Just a heads up a sale is happening tomorrow on the 8th of July. This is featuring the new designs that were shown a while back in his design thread on geekhack. The best pictures are on his instagram

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Typed on Cherry MX 6.0

The Cherry Mx 6.0

The Cherry MX 6.0 is full-size backlit keyboard with media and function keys. The main selling point of this keyboard is the RealKey technology, which is supposed to reduce the latency of key presses to 01.00 ms. I will talk about this later.

What’s in the box?

I posted some unboxing photos of the keyboard earlier in the week to show off how nice the packaging was. What you get in the box is the keyboard and a wrist rest. Besides other packaging and a manual, you will not get anything else. An interesting thing about this keyboard is that it does not have a detachable cable. This is interesting as it appears to look like a detachable cable. I can almost assure you that it is not detachable, but even now after giving it some considerable force it still looks although it is detachable.
The packaging deserves its own section because of how nice it was. It’s a box within a box and then a keyboard in a sock. Everything is red and black which is in keeping with the colours on the keyboard. And although the packaging is trivial in most respects it adds to the whole package of the keyboard.

Unboxing Album

What does this keyboard have?

  • Backlighting
  • Backlighting controls
  • Media keys for play/pause, next and previous
  • Volume Controls
  • Detachable wrist rest
  • 6.5 foot cable
  • Fn lock
  • Win lock
  • Feet to tilt the keyboard

Build Quality

This keyboard is incredibly solid. This keyboard comes with an aluminium case with an almost half sanded finish. It is not as rough as some other aluminium cases and feels rather nice. Although this is nice, the shape of the actual case is a little odd. The sides for example are tapered outwards and not all on the same level. I would prefer if the whole case was the same as the front, a flat face that is at a slight angle. Another point to note is that it is not all aluminium case. The only aluminium part is the top part. If you turn the keyboard over, you will see the plastic. The aluminium only covers the top. I would have preferred a complete aluminium case which would have given this even more weight. As a full-size keyboard I do not see it as needing to be light so it can be easily carried.
The machining of the aluminium is fine and I cannot see any imperfections. One example of the quality is the Cherry logo on the front. As a Cherry keyboard, I think the overall quality is one of this keyboards strengths.
cherry logo on front The combination of the plate and the aluminium case make this a very good platform for reds. I do not feel any switch ping and I think this could be a very good red experience. Maybe Cherry knows how to get the best out of their own switches, as I think the typing experience on these switches is exquisite.

The model I have uses Cherry red switches that are no different from any other. They are mounted upside down in an aluminium plate that is painted black. The switches are only upside down to have the LED at the top. This gives it better coverage to fully illuminate the main legend. The backlighting is even and can go very bright, certainly enough to illuminate the whole keyboard.

Another important part of this keyboard is the wrist rest. It is detachable and locks to the front with a magnet. This is my least favourite part of the keyboard. Although I really like the design of the wrist rest, It does not work as well as I would have liked. What I don’t like is how much it is able to move. With normal usage you will notice it has a slight wobble and will move down slightly. If you press down on the wrist rest, you will hear the magnet disconnecting.
This keyboard also features a material that attracts more dust and dirt than piano black. If you get anything on the wrist rest it will stick and be very hard to get off. Anything like dust and glitter will be the bane of your existence if it gets anywhere near your wrist rest. Again I will mention how nice it looks although they seem to have compromised the usability for how it looks. It also features a nice aluminium Cherry logo at the bottom.
Where the wrist rest connects to the keyboard, I am noticing something black rubbing off onto the aluminium case. I think it is just plastic rubbing into the case. This can be seen on either side of the magnet slot. blackrub

On closer inspection, when the LED’s are active a faint buzzing can be heard when close to the keyboard.

The keyboard has feet on the back which give you the option to tilt the keyboard forward. Unusually the feet fold the opposite way to anything I have seen before. They fold outwards from the middle facing either side of the board.

Regarding the cable, it is wrapped similar to a pexon cable just not as colourful. This is nice and in keeping with the quality of the board. For the price I think this should be expected.


My disappointment is more surrounding the keycaps than anything else. They are fine not really any better. Reasonably thick, they are made to accommodate the illumination of the legends. This is where they fall short. After a couple of hours of typing on them, I think the feel degrades significantly. At the beginning they feel smooth but not like worn down ABS. After a while they feel sticky and unpleasant. I think in some way this is a similar situation to the novatouch. Very nice keyboard with nice ideas but shipped with not so great keycaps.


This keyboard does feature an Fn layer although it is slightly unexciting it does give you a couple of extra keys to play with. What you are given are backlighting controls in two different increments, volume controls and media keys. You also have access to a winlock-key.

The backlighting can be changed in either 1% increments or 10% and you are also given a key to turn it off and on. The 1% increments are very subtle and quite hard to notice. I almost didn’t think it was doing anything the first time I was using it. Although trivial, the on and off switch has a nice effect where the light fades out. Anything lower than 100% and you will not see the bottom legend on each keycap fully illuminated. Due to the LED positioning this will always happen.
From the gfy’s you can see the backlighting is all red apart from win Fn and Num. Fn is only blue when locked. The win key is unlocked when blue. Backspace also goes blue when on but I do not see this a lot.

Decreasing and Increasing by 10%

Decreasing by 1%

Backlight Off and On


Fn Lock

The volume keys worked out of the box on windows 8.1 and are standard XFAudio keys that can be configured in Linux based operating systems and osx. This goes the same for the other media keys play, prev and next.

One key that slightly confuses me is the win-lock. I was not aware of win being a problem but if it is this key has you covered. Be warned, that it does not only disable the windows key. It also disables the following:

  • Windows key
  • Alt + Tab
  • Ctrl + Alt + Del

This lead so some frustrating moments where I could not find out why I could not use alt tab. Changing the state of the win-lock changes the colour of the win led from red to blue.
Full NKRO over usb has been implemented and I have not encountered any problems with this or any ghosting.

The Fn lock is a great idea and is very useful for someone who rarely uses the function keys. Holding control and pressing Fn will turn it on permanently. This is saved to the keyboard, much like the win-lock state and backlighting states.

RealKey Technology

I found this very hard to come to a conclusion on. How I am judging whether it is useful or not is if I can feel its effects, and I can conclude that I cannot. Whether the analogue signal path is actually in effect is irrelevant if I cannot tell the difference. I was prepared to be amazed but I can say with some certainly that I do not care for this new technology. Or it is just not useful. I ensured that I gave this some serious use and played games and did a lot of typeracer and could not feel anything in effect.


I can’t help but say this is a nice keyboard. The aluminium case always helps and the main aspect of a keyboard is typing, on this keyboard it is excellent. The wrist rest is nice but down to personal preference. Aesthetics wise I think the keyboard looks much nicer without the rest. Backlighting is nice but not useful or adding much to the experience, again this can be down to personal preference. To me backlighting is a bit useless, and in this keyboard I am not sure what the point is. One application for backlighting is typing in the dark, but this is only useful to those who do not touch type and in any case why are you learning to touch type in the dark. For gamers they don’t need to look at their keyboard let alone in the dark. For these reasons I will just categorise the backlighting for aesthetic purposes and it does look nice combined with the keycaps, even though I don’t like how the keycaps feel. The real feature of RealKey technology is marketing as I am not finding any difference. But then again this is a good standard to set. If the response time can be this low then why not do it. I think this is almost a great keyboard, more switch choices are needed, but I don’t really see anybody needing the RealKey technology.

Typed on Cherry MX 6.0