Interest Check: Intro to Mechanical Keyboards


Ahhh, I missed this message somehow. If you plan to run it sometime in the
near future I’d be keen.



No worries! I had to reschedule for Thursday the 15th - mostly because I totally forgot about the holiday on Monday :confused:

@TomKeddie Also doing a quick TB order - hit me up on Slack!


Sure thing, just drop me a line!


Anyone have opinions on this Varmilo VB87M? Seems close to what I want: Bluetooth, TKL. Anyone know of any ergonomic options?


Got some old IBM mainframe terminal keyboards I’ll drop off should anyone want them…
Was going to convert one to BlueTooth but will realistically never get around to it and the garage is only so big…
They are friggin heavy (like 5-10 lbs each)…


Other than the double row of function keys at the top, those look like the same keyboards that came with the original IBM PC’s back in the early '80s. I used to love those keyboards.


I can certainly help take some or all of these :slight_smile:


I’ll try to bring them by on Tuesday…


I’d love one of these as well thanks @packetbob. Should be in Tuesday.


Cage match for keyboards…


yeah, please don’t take all of them. Those are a hot commodity :stuck_out_tongue: I’d love one too


I think these are Alps boards -
The good news is that the switches are still being made and should be able to be replaced if there are any issues.


@nottheoilrig - Varmilos get some pretty good reviews! Never tried one myself.


I may have been too soon with the searching - is this by change a model F terminal keyboard? The f keys are split apart in 3 sections on the Alps boards, but not on yours.

If so, switches aren’t as easy to find, but the proprietary connector to USB conversion is a great Arduino project!

Super cool boards!


I have left the 4 keyboards with Ryan…
He/You all can fight it out…


I’m here to help!

4 boards:

  • Model M 1394100 (taken by me, sorry!)
  • Model M 1394100 (needs cleaning)
  • Model F 6110668 (needs cleaning)
  • Model F 6110668 (the dirtiest)

Luckily we have an ultrasonic cleaner, which should make short work of the dust + dirt.

Note that the keycaps on these are two pieces in order to easily change the labels on them

Model M info -

Model F info -

Arduino project for Model F -

Arduino project for Model M -

There’s a lot more that can be done with these, and I’d love to help!


What do people think of the ErgoDox?

I’m thinking of ordering the following parts from Taobao:

I’d add some stabilizers, but that case doesn’t come with holes for them … at least in the pictures :disappointed:


I built an ergodox at VHS a few years back, parts from one of the early Massdrop runs.
Good keyboard, and I liked it, but I eventually moved to the (very similar, but contoured,) Kinesis Advantage when one popped up for a good deal. I still miss the split hand aspect of the ergodox. I had a stacked acrylic laser cut case, so it was pretty easy to modify, too - I laser cut stands to hold them at a tented angle.

They’re a pretty easy to solder project, and that taobao kit seems to have done the remotely challenging stuff.

I didn’t put stabilizers, and I don’t think it really needs or benefits much from them.


Awesome, thank you for this super helpful background!


It’s here! It’s here! My first ever Taobao order arrived today!!

The consolidated packing job is horrific: Like they first unwrapped everything, threw it in a glorified shopping bag and attached a waybill. Luckily the case and the PCB don’t appear to be damaged, and the switch pins are just bent a little. Next time I’ll use, not the Taobao official international logistics, like @TomKeddie said.

The big disappointment is that the shipment contained only 48 keycaps, not 76, as advertised. Hopefully I can get this sorted :disappointed:

Taobao order? Mech keyboards?