Originally Posted by nubbinator
They're time intensive and can be marginally more expensive than other Cherry boards (mine was actually cheaper since I got my switches dirt cheap), but nowhere near the cost of a Topre keyboard unless you buy everything brand spanking new, don't sell off the desoldered switches, and decide to swap out the key caps. My Ergo Clear board ran me a grand total of $100 for everything including the keyboard, switches, springs, stickers, lube, and paints for painting the housing and plate. Even if I made a custom cable for it and bought a PBT set, it would still come in less than a Topre board.
I also never ran into any of those issues you mentioned. If it doesn't rebound after actuation, you try different stems. Some are just picky about the housing. And if you have good lube like Krytox, you don't usually even have to worry about that. IMO, if you're not willing to void the warranty, it's not worth getting the keyboard in the first place. None of my keyboards are stock and every single one has had the warranty voided, it's half the fun of getting a mech.
All that said, I was just making a subjective statement that I can't stand 55g Topre switches since they're too light for me. As such, I'll just stick with what I like in Cherry until Topre comes out with something heavier or there's a mod to make them heavier.
I'd love to know how you got all that for $100, unless you weren't actually paying for half that stuff to begin with.
I know you can pull some nice things out of the trash sometimes, but that goes for anything. I can get a free lamborghini if someone parks it on my street with the keys in the ignition and a "Free" sign on the windshield. Wouldn't say that lambos are cheap because of it.
In more realistic scenarios, the cost of a half decent mechanical board itself is already over $100. Another 15-30 for the extra switches. Lets say you resell the leftovers of the switch conversion at half the price of new switches, so that already puts you at $107.5-115.
And that's all assuming you already own the lube, solder, soldering iron, and desoldering kit. If you don't already have those, that already costs another $100 or so.
Still no cosmetic changes or mods other than the ergo clears themselves.
If someone is to go out and buy everything needed to make a good Ergo Clear board without any of the necessary items to begin with, they're looking at around $200-250 plus time, labor, and voided warranty That puts it right next to the Realforce 104U, which requires no time or labor, carries a 1 year warranty, and has "superior" topre switches and probably superior keycaps as well unless you're going to spend even more to get replacement caps for your ergo clear board
I'm not saying its a bad idea to make ergo clear boards, or that it can't be done cheaper in some cases. I'm just saying that for a lot of users, probably even the majority
of users, buying topres to begin with is a better deal than making an ergo clear board. This is why it makes a lot of sense that a lot of topre boards fit into the ergo-clear weight range. It probably makes them a lot more sales than if they were more similar to easily available (and cheaper) standard cherry mx or ALPS switches.