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Selecting a new Mechanical Keyboard for work...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I own a Black Widow Ultimate on my gaming rig and I love it, the feel and use of a mechanical keyboard is fantastic. However I am now deployed to Afghanistan and I did not want to bring my expensive keyboard in a duffel bag where it probably would have been broken in transport. So I have been stuck using this Dell SK-8115 keyboard that has been here for several years. Aside from me pulling off every key and cleaning it with tech wipes, dust off and q-tips because it was utterly disgusting its starting to really become a pain to type with. Some keys still stick and others you have to pound on to get them to type correctly and its becoming a real annoyance.

I really liked the feel of my black widow ultimate and thought about having it shipped out here, however its really loud and I do not need all those extra features. Can anyone suggest to me a decently priced simple(no gaming buttons/back lighting) mechanical keyboard that would be quieter but have a similar feel to my black widow?

Few stipulations:
I would like to spend no more than $100 unless there is a really good reason for going over.
Must be from a retailer who ships to APO addresses, NewEgg, Amazon, etc.
Low noise would be preferred as I work around several other people, however if its unavoidable they will have to deal with it.
Dose not need anything special, well lit office, wont be used for games at all.
No preference on switch type, I still dont understand the differences between the switches. Most look like they all work the exact same with a few exceptions.

Any help selecting a new keyboard would be greatly appreciated.
    
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post #2 of 11
Do you want something real durable since you are in Afghanistan? If so, I would recommend Deck, easily the most durable keyboard I have ever used, but they are pricey. If you don't need anything overly durable, but still quality and with a lower cost then I'd recommend looking at a Rosewill RK-9000 for a full size board or a CM Storm QFR for tenkeyless.

For low noise I recommend linear switches, they lack the click of tactile switches like blues. Adding o-rings to the caps can also help reduce the noise of bottoming out.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HWI View Post

Do you want something real durable since you are in Afghanistan? If so, I would recommend Deck, easily the most durable keyboard I have ever used, but they are pricey. If you don't need anything overly durable, but still quality and with a lower cost then I'd recommend looking at a Rosewill RK-9000 for a full size board or a CM Storm QFR for tenkeyless.

For low noise I recommend linear switches, they lack the click of tactile switches like blues. Adding o-rings to the caps can also help reduce the noise of bottoming out.

Not too worried about its durability, it will sit in the office for the most part. Everything here gets real dusty but I dont mind cleaning it every week or two, helps to pass some time. I like the CM Storm QFR, I dont really use the numpad all that often. It comes with a choice of Blue, Brown or Black switches. So Cherry MX Black Switches, linear switch with lower noise, the mechanical keyboard guide says they are great for gaming but can be an annoyance for regular typing. Cherry MX Brown Switches are tactile and a middle ground between gaming and typing but would be louder I assume? Cherry MX Blue Switches are supposed to be excellent for typing but they are tactile and clicky, I am guessing these are going to be really loud from what you where saying. Is it possible to add o-rings to the Browns or Blues and how hard would it be to add them?
    
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post #4 of 11
Are you able to obtain a TG3 BL82? Should cost around $50, and seems like it would suit your needs well:
-It's compact.
-It's designed for use in police cars and the like, so it's built tough and comes with a particle/splash guard that protects the switches.
-MX Black, so it should be fairly quiet.
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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ventacon View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by HWI View Post

Do you want something real durable since you are in Afghanistan? If so, I would recommend Deck, easily the most durable keyboard I have ever used, but they are pricey. If you don't need anything overly durable, but still quality and with a lower cost then I'd recommend looking at a Rosewill RK-9000 for a full size board or a CM Storm QFR for tenkeyless.

For low noise I recommend linear switches, they lack the click of tactile switches like blues. Adding o-rings to the caps can also help reduce the noise of bottoming out.

Not too worried about its durability, it will sit in the office for the most part. Everything here gets real dusty but I dont mind cleaning it every week or two, helps to pass some time. I like the CM Storm QFR, I dont really use the numpad all that often. It comes with a choice of Blue, Brown or Black switches. So Cherry MX Black Switches, linear switch with lower noise, the mechanical keyboard guide says they are great for gaming but can be an annoyance for regular typing. Cherry MX Brown Switches are tactile and a middle ground between gaming and typing but would be louder I assume? Cherry MX Blue Switches are supposed to be excellent for typing but they are tactile and clicky, I am guessing these are going to be really loud from what you where saying. Is it possible to add o-rings to the Browns or Blues and how hard would it be to add them?
The CM Storm QFR is also available with red switches, which is a light linear switch.

Black switches are quiet. As far as their weight being an issue for typing, that is really a personal preference thing. Personally, I find them too heavy for everything, I do not like to game or type with them.

Browns are not a bad choice, they are tactile and so they have a click to them, but it is far quieter than blues.

O-rings can be added to any Cherry MX keyboard, they simply go on the keycap stems.

The blue switches are the loudest, by far.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxWolf1 View Post

Are you able to obtain a TG3 BL82? Should cost around $50, and seems like it would suit your needs well:
-It's compact.
-It's designed for use in police cars and the like, so it's built tough and comes with a particle/splash guard that protects the switches.
-MX Black, so it should be fairly quiet.

Globaltek Outlet is the only place I found them, $50 isnt too bad at all. They ship USPS so they should do APO shipping without a problem. I will look into that one more, it might be a little more compact than I am looking for but they do have splash guard on them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HWI View Post

The CM Storm QFR is also available with red switches, which is a light linear switch.

Black switches are quiet. As far as their weight being an issue for typing, that is really a personal preference thing. Personally, I find them too heavy for everything, I do not like to game or type with them.

Browns are not a bad choice, they are tactile and so they have a click to them, but it is far quieter than blues.

O-rings can be added to any Cherry MX keyboard, they simply go on the keycap stems.

The blue switches are the loudest, by far.

Amazon has the Cherry MX Blue CM Storm QFR for $15 cheaper than Black and Brown switch versions, the Red switches are $10 more. It seem I can snag pack of 125 O-Rings for $9, however I cant view YouTube on government computer so finding out the sound dampening difference is a bit more difficult. People have mentioned significant reduction in noise in both the Browns and the Blues, to what extent I am unsure.

$64.99 - Keyboard
http://www.amazon.com/Storm-QuickFire-Rapid-Mechanical-SGK-4000-GKCL1-US/dp/B0068INSUM/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1360803737&sr=1-1&keywords=CM+Storm+QuickFire+Rapid

$8.25 - O-Rings
http://www.amazon.com/008-Buna-N-O-Ring-Durometer-Round/dp/B0051XWXCE/ref=pd_sim_e_1
    
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post #7 of 11
In my experience 40A durometer o-rings dampen sound a little better than 50A, just an fyi.
O-rings dampening noise come into effect when bottoming out. The majority of the noise coming from a blue switch is the switch itself, not bottoming out, so o-rings will not make a keyboard with blues much quieter. They will definitely help with browns because the tactile click in the browns is not nearly as loud as that in blues and they are easy to bottom out due to their low weight.

If I am not mistaken, the TG3 BL82 and the Deck 82 are actually the same keyboard, just different branding, so that will definitely serve you well in the durability department. They use black switches, so they'll be pretty quiet with a much smaller chance of bottoming out when compared to other switches.
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Alright so I am looking at just pulling the trigger on CM Storm QFR with Cherry MX Reds, I have the money to spend and after reading a lot it seems like the Red Switches would be the best. Now I am a little confused on the O-Rings, which would reduce the noise the best 40A-R or 40A-L?

http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/cherry-mx-rubber-switch-dampeners.html

I am not sure if I can use this website as it takes several minutes to load each page but I cant seem to find 40A series O-Rings anywhere else, Amazon seems to only carry 50A type.
    
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post #9 of 11
IMO, the 40A-R are the best at reducing noise.
Maybe try a different browser if it's giving you loading issues, loads quickly in Chrome for me.
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Pretty sure its the internet out here, I tried IE and Firefox and it takes around 7 minutes to load a single page from the sight. Anyways I pulled the trigger on the CM Storm QF Rapid with Red Switches, I am having a friend buy the Blue and Red O-Rings from WASD Keyboards and ship them to me. I will try them out and see which ones I like the best and hopefully it works out perfectly for my needs. Thank you for your input and help, it was much appreciated.
    
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