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Discussion Starter #1
<div style="text-align:center;"><span style="font-size:26px;"><strong>[Official]</strong> <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>Mechanical Keyboard Guide</strong></span></span></div>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong>Fact:</strong> Nearly all keyboards sold bundled with computers or at retail stores use rubber domes under their keys. This is the same technology used in cheap TV remotes. They're made to be as cheap as possible to manufacture in order to maximize profits. Yes, this even includes "high end" keyboards. So why settle for something that is made as cheap as possible?</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong>So why should you get a mechanical keyboard?</strong></p>
<p> </p>
<p>There are a few advantages offered by mechanical keyboards over your typical rubber dome keyboard.</p>
<p> </p>
<ul><li><em>The feel:</em> With a rubber dome keyboard you've got to press the key all the way down to the bottom to get it to register. This wastes a lot of energy and causes fatigue, as most of your effort is spent pushing against a solid piece of plastic. Mechanical keyswitches are designed so that they register <span style="text-decoration:underline;">before</span> you bottom out, so you only need to apply as much force as is necessary to actuate it, not wasting any.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<ul><li><em>The choice: </em>Mechanical keyboards are available with many different types of switches. Each different type of switch, whether it be one of the many Cherry MX options, Topre or Buckling Spring (among others) have unique characteristics that set them apart. As such, there are a multitude of options for you to choose from, to make your typing experience that much easier.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<ul><li><em>The durability: </em>Modern mechanical switches such as Cherry MX varieties and Topre switches are built to withstand millions of keypresses, this combined with the modularity of switches like Cherry MX varieties mean that mechanical keyboards can last you far longer than their rubber dome counterparts. </li>
</ul><p> </p>
<ul><li><em>The <a href="http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/customizability" style="color:rgb(102,0,153);" target="_blank">customizability</a>:</em> Due to the use of discrete switches with a common stem, mechanical keyboards are great for customizing, whether it be changing the keycaps, modifying switches, or even putting in a whole new set of different switches into the board. This allows the user to tailor their keyboard to make it perfect for them, if they're willing to put in the work.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong>Index</strong>:</p>
<p> </p>
<ul><li><a href="#user_heading1">Terminology</a> and <a href="#user_heading1b">Inputs</a></li>
</ul><p> </p>
<ul><li><a href="#user_heading2">Common Switch Types</a></li>
</ul><p> </p>
<ul><li><a href="#user_heading3">Keycap Plastic and Shape</a></li>
</ul><p> </p>
<ul><li><a href="#user_heading4">Keycap Printing Methods</a></li>
</ul><p> </p>
<ul><li><a href="#user_heading5">Frequently Asked Questions</a> and <a href="#user_heading5b">Recommended Mechanical Keyboards</a></li>
</ul><p> </p>
<ul><li><a href="#user_heading6">Keycap Layouts</a> and <a href="#user_heading6b">Where To Buy Keycaps</a></li>
</ul><p> </p>
<ul><li><a href="#user_heading7">Maintenance and Removing Keycaps</a></li>
</ul><p> </p>
<ul><li><a href="#user_heading8">Miscellaneous Resources</a></li>
</ul><p> </p>
<ul><li><a href="#user_heading9">Credits and Thanks</a></li>
</ul>
 

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Discussion Starter #2
<p><span style="font-size:20px;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong><a id="user_heading1">Terminology</a></strong></span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>First, check out the <a href="http://www.overclock.net/t/1495858/keyboard-glossary">Keyboard Glossary</a> for basic terms, these will be used in this guide and throughout the section and will help you make sense of the information presented.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Key Matrix</strong></span></p>
<p>Modern keyboards use a matrix to detect when keys are pressed. This is required so each individual key (of which there may be over 100) doesn't need to be connected to the board controller separately.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong style="font-style:normal;">Ghosting</strong></span></p>
<p>The event when two keys on the board are pressed, and a third key that you didn't press is triggered. This is <em>very rarely</em> seen on even the cheapest modern boards, because manufacturers have the habit of limiting the rollover so that ghost keys are always blocked.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Key Blocking</strong></span></p>
<p>The event when maximum key rollover is reached and the computer doesn't register certain keys that are pressed. This occurs due to the way the keyboard checks which keys are pressed. To fix the ghosting issue, many boards are set to not register the input of a given key if the input is received at the same time as certain other keys. This can be problematic if you actually want all those keys to register at the same time.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>This can be a little hard to comprehend, so consider this example:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Imagine the keys Q, W and E are set up on the board so that if you press Q and W then E might is triggered due to ghosting. Now imagine to combat this, a block is in place so if you press Q and W, E prevented from registering. Now imagine you're playing a game e.g. League of Legends where you may need to use Q, W and E at the same time, but due to key blocking, you can't use all 3 keys. To fix this issue, many board manufacturers use a matrix optimised for gaming, this prevents common key combinations such as Q, W and E from having any troubles with ghosting or key blocking.</p>
<p><br><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Key Rollover (#KRO & NKRO)</strong></span><br>
NKRO is the ideal rollover for a keyboard, no ghosting or key blocking issues and any number of key combinations can be used at the same time. This property is similar to what some peripherals manufacturers incorrectly market as "anti-ghosting", even though Logitech and Razer only apply it to the WASD cluster.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Note that despite the precise definition, there are two different versions of NKRO, <em>true</em> NKRO and <em>simulated</em> NKRO.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As a general rule, if you're looking for <em>true</em> NKRO, then PS/2 is the interface for you. Due to the ways PS/2 and USB handle input, USB is only really capable of <em>simulated</em> NKRO by implementing various tricks e.g. having the computer register it as multiple devices. While this can let you functionally have NKRO in most situations, in some scenarios such as on particular operating systems, you may run into issues. </p>
<p><br>
For many cheaper keyboards use #KRO (where # = any integer), where you can press # keys before experiencing key blocking.<br><br>
Many USB mechanical Keyboards are labelled as 6KRO, this is generally enough for most users. USB keyboards with 6KRO also allow for a maximum of 4 modifier keys to be used with those 6 normal keys. These modifiers include CTRL, ALT, Shift, & Super (Windows, Command, or Meta Key). Sometimes this also includes the FN key present on select keyboards.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As for what #KRO you'll need, realistically you will never need more than 10KRO (10 fingers and all that), however some people may prefer NKRO for completeness' sake.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Key Bouncing</strong></span><br>
All types of key switches, including rubber domes, can do this. When you press a key, the switch "bounces" on and off very quickly as it sets into place. This causes keys to register multiple times for each press. Because of this, keyboards need to implement some sort of debouncing delay, so that once you press a key, the controller waits a certain amount of time before registering a keypress. As an example, Cherry MX switches need 5ms of debouncing time, while rubber domes need longer (exactly how long depends on their quality).</p>
<p> </p>
<p><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Polling Rates and Response Times</strong></span><br>
While it is very useful for mice, it's just about meaningless for keyboards. Let's assume for a minute that all switches have the 5ms debouncing time of Cherry MX switches (which is being very generous). Even if you had super human speed and reflexes, every single key would be delayed by at least that much. So really, any polling rate over 200Hz (at best) is absolutely useless, and nothing but market hype. It may even be a bit detrimental, because you'd be wasting CPU time polling the keyboard unneededly. And unlike USB keyboards, PS/2 boards aren't polled at all. They simply send the signal to the PC whenever they are ready to, which causes a hardware interrupt, forcing the CPU to register that keystroke.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><a id="user_heading1b">Inputs</a></span></strong></span></p>
<p><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong style="font-style:normal;">PS/2</strong></span></p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Advantages:</span></p>
<ul><li>Supports full NKRO.</li>
<li>PS/2 keyboards aren't polled, but are completely interrupt based.</li>
<li>Impossible for it to be delayed by the USB bus being used by other devices.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Disadvantages:</span></p>
<ul><li>PS/2 is not natively designed to be hot-swappable, in some situations unplugging and replugging a PS/2 device into the computer will render it unusable until the system is restarted. This is not always the case however, if the system drivers recognize the device then this will not be an issue.</li>
<li>PS/2 connectors aren't as durable as some more modern connectors, as such they can be damaged from repeated unplugging/ replugging and suffer from bent or broken pins.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>USB</strong></span></p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Advantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>Easily hot-swappable due to the design of USB.</li>
<li>Much more popular interface in modern devices than PS/2</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Disadvantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>Not as compatible with NKRO</li>
<li>Sometimes has issues with BIOS or waking up from sleep</li>
</ul>
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<p><span style="font-size:20px;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong><a id="user_heading2">Common Switch Types</a></strong></span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Introduction</strong></span></p>
<p>Whilst a difference in properties of a switch may seem trivial to some, to those who use computers extensively as part of a hobby or a career, finding a keyboard perfect for you can make those long hours of typing or gaming much more comfortable, and a big part of how the keyboard performs is the switches or technology it uses.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The question is often asked "<em>which switch is the best for gaming/ typing/ programming etc</em>", the answer is simple: <strong style="font-style:normal;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">There isn't one.</span></strong></p>
<p> </p>
<p>There is no switch perfect for a given task for everyone, only personal favourites and subjective recommendations.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Sometimes actuation forces is expressed in grams (g), however the gram is actually a measurement of mass, not force, we should really express the force in Newtons (N), but since we know:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>1kg  ~ 9.81N ~ 10N</p>
<p> </p>
<p>=> 1g ~ 0.01N</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We don't want to be using decimals all the time, so instead we use the approximation: 1g = 1 centinewton (cN), a centinewton being 0.01N.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As a reference point your average rubber dome keyboard requires between 55cN and 60cN of force to actuate.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong><span style="font-size:16px;">Common Switch Types</span></strong></p>
<p> </p>
<p style="text-align:center;">
<strong style="line-height:1.231;"><strong> </strong></strong></p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>This is not a comprehensive list, there are many other less common varieties of Cherry MX, Alps and Topre switches, aswell as rarer switch types not covered here.</p>
<blockquote><p> </p></blockquote>
<blockquote><p>Below is a chart which shows relative popularity of each of the fairly common switch types. </p></blockquote>
<blockquote><p> </p></blockquote>
<blockquote><p>The data for this chart is collected from submissions of the membership form for the Mechanical Keyboard Club and updates automatically</p></blockquote>
<blockquote><p> </p></blockquote>
<blockquote><p><img alt="oimg?key=0Ar7Zy65BadsOdFpsdHpqa3F1dnFRR2Y4aVVLVE56RHc&oid=9&zx=nkykfwt5yxbh" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/oimg?key=0Ar7Zy65BadsOdFpsdHpqa3F1dnFRR2Y4aVVLVE56RHc&oid=9&zx=nkykfwt5yxbh"></p></blockquote>
<p><strong style="font-size:16px;font-style:normal;">Switch Testers</strong></p>
<p>Looking for a way to try some of these switches before buying a board? Consider getting a switch sampler of some Cherry MX switches such as those from:</p>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Qwerkeys QWER8 V2</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">
<p><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2040615/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2040615" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2040615/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 311px"></a></p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.qwerkeys.co.uk/shop/switch-testers/qwer8-v2-mx-switch-testing-kit/" target="_blank"><strong>Link</strong></a></p>
<p><strong>Price: </strong>£19.95</p>
<p><strong>Comes with:</strong></p>
<ul><li>Cherry MX Red</li>
<li>Cherry MX Black</li>
<li>Cherry MX Brown</li>
<li>Cherry MX Blue</li>
<li>Cherry MX White</li>
<li>Cherry MX Green</li>
<li>Cherry MX Clear</li>
<li>Cherry MX Linear Grey/ Cherry MX Clicky Grey (depending on stock)</li>
<li>Mounting plate</li>
<li>8x Transparent keycaps</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><strong>Advantages:</strong></p>
<ul><li>Looks good as a show piece.</li>
<li>Large selection of switches.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><strong>Disadvantages:</strong></p>
<ul><li>More expensive than some of the other samplers.</li>
<li>Lack of global availability.</li>
</ul></div>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Max Keyboard</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">
<p><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1868897/width/500/height/1000"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="1868897" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1868897/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 333px"></a></p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.maxkeyboard.com/max-keyboard-keycap-cherry-mx-switch-o-ring-sampler-kit.html" target="_blank"><strong>Link</strong></a></p>
<p><strong>Price:</strong> $12</p>
<p><strong>Comes with:</strong></p>
<ul><li>Cherry MX Red</li>
<li>Cherry MX Black</li>
<li>Cherry MX Brown</li>
<li>Cherry MX Blue</li>
<li>Mounting PCB board</li>
<li>4x Transparent keycaps</li>
<li>4x O-rings (black)</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><strong>Advantages:</strong></p>
<ul><li>15% coupon off a Max Keyboard board as of Jan 2014.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><strong>Disadvantages:</strong></p>
<ul><li>Not as many switches as the Qwerkeys sampler.</li>
</ul></div>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Max Keyboard Pro</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">
<p><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2082906/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2082906" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2082906/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 333px"></a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.maxkeyboard.com/max-keyboard-keycap-cherry-mx-switch-o-ring-pro-sampler-tester-kit.html" target="_blank"><strong>Link</strong></a></p>
<p><strong>Price: </strong>$20</p>
<p><strong>Comes with:</strong></p>
<ul><li>Cherry MX Red</li>
<li>Cherry MX Black</li>
<li>Cherry MX Brown</li>
<li>Cherry MX Blue</li>
<li>Cherry MX Green</li>
<li>Cherry MX Clear</li>
<li>Cherry MX Tactile Grey</li>
<li>Cherry MX White</li>
<li>Red acrylic base</li>
<li>9x Transparent keycaps</li>
<li>8x O-rings (black)</li>
<li>4x Clear rubber feet</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><strong>Advantages:</strong></p>
<ul><li>15% coupon off a Max Keyboard board as of July 2014.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><strong>Disadvantages:</strong></p>
<ul><li>Shipping costs may be high for non-US customers.</li>
</ul></div>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>WASD Keyboard Switch Sampler</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">
<p><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2318960/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2318960" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2318960/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 492px; height: 276px"></a></p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/sampler-kit/wasd-sampler-kit.html" target="_blank"><strong>Link</strong></a></p>
<p><strong>Price:</strong> $12</p>
<p><strong>Comes with:</strong></p>
<ul><li>Cherry MX Red</li>
<li>Cherry MX Black</li>
<li>Cherry MX Brown</li>
<li>Cherry MX Blue</li>
<li>Cherry MX Clear</li>
<li>Cherry MX Green</li>
<li>11x coloured keycaps (Black, White, Light Grey, Dark Grey, Red, Green, Light Blue, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Lilac)</li>
<li>5x O-rings (Red)</li>
<li>5x O-rings (Blue)</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><strong>Advantages:</strong></p>
<ul><li>15% coupon off a Max Keyboard board as of Jan 2014.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><strong>Disadvantages:</strong></p>
<ul><li>No mounting plate or PCB.</li>
</ul></div>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Deck</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">
<p><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1870591/width/500/height/1000"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="1870591" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1870591/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 333px"></a></p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.mechkb.com/deck-cherry-sampler" target="_blank"><strong>Link</strong></a></p>
<p><strong>Price:</strong> $6</p>
<p><strong>Comes with:</strong></p>
<ul><li>Cherry MX Red with green LED</li>
<li>Cherry MX Black with white LED</li>
<li>Cherry MX Brown with orange LED</li>
<li>Cherry MX Blue with blue LED</li>
<li>4x backlighting compatible keycaps (D, E, C, K)</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><strong>Advantages:</strong></p>
<ul><li>LED backlit! (powered by USB)</li>
<li>Great value for the money</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><strong>Disadvantages:</strong></p>
<ul><li>More switches would be good</li>
</ul></div>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Cooler Master</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">
<p style="font-size:13px;line-height:normal;padding-bottom:0px;"><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1868889/width/500/height/1000"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="1868889" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1868889/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 373px"></a></p>
<p> </p>
<p style="font-size:13px;line-height:normal;padding-bottom:0px;"><strong>Link: <a href="http://www.cmstore-usa.com/mechanical-key-switch-demo-board/" target="_blank">NA</a>, <a href="http://www.cmstore.eu/cm-storm/keyboards/mechanical-key-switch-tester/" target="_blank">EU</a></strong></p>
<p style="font-size:13px;line-height:normal;padding-bottom:0px;"><strong>Price: </strong>$12</p>
<p style="font-size:13px;line-height:normal;padding-bottom:0px;"><strong>Comes with:</strong></p>
<ul style="font-size:13px;line-height:normal;list-style-type:disc;margin-left:38px;"><li style="padding-top:4px;">Cherry MX Red</li>
<li style="padding-top:4px;">Cherry MX Black</li>
<li style="padding-top:4px;">Cherry MX Brown</li>
<li style="padding-top:4px;">Cherry MX Blue</li>
<li style="padding-top:4px;">Cherry MX Clear</li>
<li style="padding-top:4px;">Cherry MX Green</li>
<li style="padding-top:4px;">Mounting PCB board</li>
<li style="padding-top:4px;">6x Transparent keycaps</li>
<li style="padding-top:4px;">Outer casing</li>
</ul><p style="font-size:13px;line-height:normal;padding-bottom:0px;"> </p>
<p style="font-size:13px;line-height:normal;padding-bottom:0px;"><strong>Advantages:</strong></p>
<ul style="font-size:13px;line-height:normal;list-style-type:disc;margin-left:38px;"><li style="padding-top:4px;">$15/ <span style="color:rgb(34,34,34);letter-spacing:0px;margin:0px;padding:0px;">€13.95</span> coupon off a Cooler Master mechanical keyboard as of Jan 2014.</li>
</ul><p style="font-size:13px;line-height:normal;padding-bottom:0px;"> </p>
<p style="font-size:13px;line-height:normal;padding-bottom:0px;"><strong>Disadvantages:</strong></p>
<ul style="font-size:13px;line-height:normal;list-style-type:disc;margin-left:38px;"><li style="padding-top:4px;">Would be nice to see an MX White aswell.</li>
</ul></div>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>WASD 6-Key Cherry MX Switch Tester</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">
<p><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2318966/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2318966" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2318966/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 225px"></a></p>
<p> </p>
<strong><a href="http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/sampler-kit/wasd-6-key-cherry-mx-switch-tester.html" target="_blank">Link</a><br>
Price: $15</strong>
<p><strong>Comes with:</strong></p>
<ul><li>Cherry MX Red</li>
<li>Cherry MX Black</li>
<li>Cherry MX Brown</li>
<li>Cherry MX Blue</li>
<li>Cherry MX Clear</li>
<li>Cherry MX Green</li>
<li>Steel mounting bracket</li>
<li>6x Transparent keycaps</li>
<li>6x Red O-rings</li>
<li>6x Blue O-rings</li>
</ul><br><strong>Advantages:</strong>
<ul><li>Good selection of switches.</li>
<li>Two different kinds of O-rings.<br>
 </li>
</ul><p><strong>Disadvantages:</strong></p>
<ul><li>Would be nice to see an MX White aswell.</li>
</ul></div>
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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11,951 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
<p><span style="font-size:20px;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong><a id="user_heading3">Keycap Plastic and Shape</a></strong></span></span><br>
 </p>
<p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Plastics</strong></span></p>
<blockquote><p>The two most common keycap plastics are ABS and PBT. Each has their own price to performance ratio; though in a general sense, PBT keycaps are generally a better buy. Here's some of the reasons why:</p></blockquote>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>PBT</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Advantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>Heat resistant up to 150*C (although they are sensitive to hot water above 60*C).</li>
<li>Resistant to solvents.</li>
<li>Mechanically strong.</li>
<li>Does not <a href="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=3859&pictureid=22314" target="_blank">shine</a> as fast.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Disadvantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>More expensive than ABS.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polybutylene_terephthalate" target="_blank">More information.</a></p>
</div>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>ABS</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Advantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>Low cost.</li>
<li>Lightweight.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Disadvantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>Solvents will "melt" the keys.</li>
<li>Keys develop <a href="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=3859&pictureid=22314" target="_blank">s</a>hine faster.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylonitrile_butadiene_styrene" target="_blank">More information.</a></p>
</div>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Keycap shine</strong></span></p>
<p>Over time, the oils in your fingertips will wear away at the surface of your keycaps and turn the slightly textured surface smooth. The keycaps develop a shine under lighting as seen below, some people use this as a guide to know when to get new keycaps.</p>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>A new keycap (left) and a "shiny" keycap (right).</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden"><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1856248/width/350/height/700"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="1856248" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1856248/width/350/height/700/flags/LL" style="; width: 350px; height: 373px"></a><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1856250/width/350/height/700"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="1856250" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1856250/width/350/height/700/flags/LL" style="; width: 350px; height: 376px"></a></div>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Keytop Shapes</strong></span></p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Cylindrical</span>: Almost all keyboards today use this shape. This is often referred to as sculpted design. The shape is meant to cradle the finger tip.</p>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Example.</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden"><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=3859&pictureid=27765" style=""></div>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Flat</span>: Frequently found on laptops and "laptop style" keyboards. These are also found on Point Of Sale (POS) keyboards because of the replaceable legends.</p>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Example.</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden"><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=3859&pictureid=22317" style=""></div>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Spherical</span>: This shape is normally found on vintage keyboards and type writers.</p>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Example.</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden"><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=3859&pictureid=27768" style="border-width:0px;"></div>
 
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<p><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><span style="font-size:20px;"><a id="user_heading4">Keycap Printing Methods</a></span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:16px;">Pad Printing</span></strong><br>
This is the type of printing you'll find on 99% of keyboards. It is the cheapest method possible, short of leaving the keys blank. Pad Printed letters are kind of like stickers, or decals, and you can feel the letter raised above the key surface.<br><br><em>Example: (Microsoft Ergo Keyboard)</em><br><br><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=3859&pictureid=27767" style=""><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Advantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>Low Cost</li>
<li>Easy to use multiple colours</li>
<li>Any face of the key can be pad printed</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Disadvantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>You can feel the lettering</li>
<li>Wears out quickly</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Laser Etching and Laser Engraving</strong></span><br>
Laser etched keycaps are produced by using lasers to mark a design into the surface of the keycap. The process traditionally worked best on light colored keys because light keycap colour contrasts with the dark colour of the burnt plastic, and darker coloured keycaps usually had coloured infill to provide better contrast in the etching. However, recent developments in laser etching has meant that darker keycaps can now have lighter coloured etching without the need for any infill.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Laser engraving is similar to etching, but deep grooves are cut into the plastic. This type of keycap is preferred by many enthusiasts as it allows you to see the character on the keycap if you want to, but without the high-contrast look of other types of printing, giving the board most of the sleek look of blank keycaps, but without the impracticality if you can't find a character.</p>
<p><br><em>Example: (Dell AT101W)</em><br><br><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=3859&pictureid=27766" style=""><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Advantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>Doesn't wear out easily</li>
<li>Not as expensive as some competing printing methods</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Disadvantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>You can feel the lettering</li>
<li>Edge of the character not particularly crisp, slightly blurrier than some comparable printing techniques.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Dye Sublimation</strong></span><br>
Dye Sublimation produces much nicer keys than either of the other two printing methods. A dye is set into the plastic, and seeps a tiny bit into it. As such, even as the plastic is worn down from use, the character is still clear.<br><br><em>Example:</em><br><br><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=3859&pictureid=22313" style=""><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Advantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>Doesn't wear out</li>
<li>Can't feel the lettering</li>
<li>Can print multiple colors on a single key</li>
<li>Can be used on any face of the key</li>
<li>High Visibility</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Disadvantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>High cost compared to some other printing choices</li>
<li>Can only print letters that are darker than the plastic (no white lettering on black plastic, for example)</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Double-Shot Injection Molding</strong></span><br>
With this method, the keycap actually consists of two pieces. The first piece is the outside of the keycap with the letter basically cut out of it, and the second piece is placed inside it with the lettering embossed to fit into the top piece. You can see it in this diagram:<br><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=2267&pictureid=13189" style=""><br>
This method of printing results in the highest quality keycaps possible. The edges of the letters are perfectly sharp, and it achieves the highest contrast, clearest lettering possible. Unfortunately, because of the very high price, they are relatively uncommon as stock keycaps, meaning you may only be able to source them direct from custom keycap companies or via group buys elsewhere. It's easy to check if a keycap is double-shot or not, just look underneath and you'll be able to see two distinct piece of plastic if it's double-shot<br><br><em>Example: Old OCN Keycap</em></p>
<p><br><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=3859&pictureid=22310" style=""><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Advantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>Doesn't wear out, ever</li>
<li>Perfect edges</li>
<li>Highest contrast and visibility</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Disadvantages</span>:</p>
<ul><li>Very high cost compared to other printing types</li>
<li>Limited to two colours per key</li>
<li>On worn keys you can sometimes feel the edge where the plastics meet</li>
</ul>
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong><span style="font-size:20px;"><a id="user_heading5">Frequently Asked Questions</a></span></strong></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;">Before you post in the Keyboards section, take a look in the <a href="http://www.overclock.net/t/1495860/frequently-asked-questions"><strong>Frequently Asked Questions thread</strong></a> to see if it has already been answered.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong><a id="user_heading5b">Recommended Mechanical Keyboards</a></strong></span></span><br>
 </p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;">For a list of boards recommended by users of OCN, please see <strong><a href="http://www.overclock.net/t/1369214/recommended-mechanical-keyboards">this thread</a></strong>.</span></p>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong><span style="font-size:20px;"><a id="user_heading6">Keycap Layouts</a></span></strong></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Keycap sets come in a variety of layouts, it's important to know what keycap layout your board has so you can buy the appropriate set of keycaps.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>There are two main ways in which a keyboard layout can vary which will affect which keycap sets you can use, these are the location specific layout and the manufacturer/ date layout.</p>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Location Specific Layouts</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">
<p>This covers differences in the layout of boards such as the size of the enter and shift keys. The two most well-known location specific layouts are ANSI and ISO.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ANSI</span>:</p>
<ul><li>Popular in the US and some areas in Europe</li>
<li>Larger Left Shift than ISO</li>
<li>Smaller Enter than ISO</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ISO</span>:</p>
<ul><li>Popular in most European countries</li>
<li>Small Left Shift</li>
<li>Large Enter key</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p>Aswell as these two, there are country specific layouts which may take elements from ANSI and ISO e.g. the Japanese keyboard layout which has the large Enter key of ISO and the large Left Shift from ANSI.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>There are also language variants for the layouts, will keep the same key layout, but use different characters. Some examples are QWERTZ and AZERTY which are used in Germany and France respectively (among other places).</p>
</div>
<p> </p>
<p>This covers differences in layouts due to manufacturers adapting the more traditional layouts.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>First note that in terms of keycap sizes, we use the alphanumeric keys as a reference point and say they have a size of 1x.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The most popular layout currently is where all of the modifier keys on the bottom row have the same size of 1.25x and the spacebar is 6.25x. If you are planning on replacing your keycaps, it's a good idea to buy a board with this bottom row layout, you will find it much easier to find aftermarket keycap sets in this layout.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong><a id="user_heading6b">Where To Buy Keycaps</a></strong></span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;">The following are places to buy either single novelty keycaps or keycap sets:</span></p>
<ul><li><a href="http://www.capcrafter.com/products/" target="_blank">capcrafter</a></li>
<li><a href="http://elitekeyboards.com/products.php?sub=access" target="_blank">EliteKeyboards</a></li>
<li><a href="http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?campid=5337413396&toolid=10001&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fusr%2Fgeek_feng" target="_blank">geek_feng</a></li>
<li><a href="http://imsto.cn/index.php?route=product/category&path=59" target="_blank">Imsto</a></li>
<li><a href="http://www.keypop.net/products" target="_blank">KeyPop</a></li>
<li><a href="http://www.massdrop.com" target="_blank">Massdrop </a>(occasionally)</li>
<li><a href="http://www.maxkeyboard.com/keyboard-parts/key-cap.html" target="_blank">Max Keyboard</a></li>
<li><span style="font-size:12px;"><a href="http://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_list&c=40" target="_blank">Mechanicalkeyboards.com</a></span></li>
<li><a href="http://www.originativeco.com/" target="_blank">Originative</a></li>
<li><span style="font-size:12px;"><a href="http://www.pexonpcs.co.uk/Hyper-Fuse-Keycaps-_p_26.html" target="_blank">pexonpcs</a></span></li>
<li><a href="http://www.pimpmykeyboard.com/marketplace.php" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:12px;">PimpMyKeyboard</span></a></li>
<li><a href="http://www.qwerkeys.co.uk/" target="_blank">Qwerkeys</a></li>
<li><a href="http://keycapsdirect.com/marketplace.php" target="_blank">Signature Plastics/ Keycaps Direct</a></li>
<li><a href="http://aikb.taobao.com/" target="_blank">taobao</a></li>
<li><a href="http://techkeys.us/" target="_blank">techkeys</a></li>
<li><a href="http://www.vendio.com/stores/E-sports-Gaming-equipments/category/cateogry1-name/catId=3982960" target="_blank">Vendio</a></li>
<li><a href="http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/" target="_blank">WASDKeyboard</a></li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p>Ducky also offer ABS and PBT sets from various stores globally.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong><a id="user_heading7">Maintenance and Removing Keycaps</a></strong></span></span></p>
<p><br>
Every once in a while you may want to clean your keyboard. There are many ways of doing this, and can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours depending on how much dirt you're trying to get out of it and exactly what needs to be cleaned. If you've just spilled a can of Pepsi on your board and don't know what to do, you've come to the right place.<br><br>
A good PC tool for keyboard and general PC cleaning is the <a href="http://digs.by/fbvRrD" target="_blank">DataVac</a> as it can replace canned air and compressors.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Before you try to clean the board, we suggest removing the keycaps. The safe and reliable way to do this is to invest in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=overclockdotnet-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FWASD-Keyboards-Wire-Keycap-Puller%2Fdp%2FB00AZCGF7K" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">wire keycap puller</a>, they are much easier to use on various keycap sizes than the plastic ring pullers and <strong>a lot </strong>less likely to damage a switch than using a screwdriver or coin.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>First, remove the small keycaps such as the alphanumeric ones. To do this simply grab two diagonal corners of the keycap with the wire keycap puller and pull directly up whilst holding the board down.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Then, to remove larger keycaps with <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Cherry</span> stabilisers, use the same technique as with the smaller keycaps. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>To remove larger keycaps with <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Costar</span> stabilisers (wire stabilisers hooking onto the keycap), hook the keycap puller under one side, then <strong>very carefully </strong>lift straight up, the keycap should now be free to wobble about (if not repeat the process on the other side). Once the keycap is free to wobble around, push it to one side and try to lift one side of the keycap off the metal hook as seen below.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Quick Cleaning</strong></span><br><span style="font-size:12px;">Keyboards can get dirty pretty quickly. I mean, let's be honest here; it's not like most of us actually wash our hands every single time we're about to sit down at the PC. And on top of that there's always dust and hair that can fall in-between the keys. So it's always good to give your board a quick cleaning every week or two.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<ol><li><span style="font-size:12px;">Use canned air (or an air compressor if you don't care for convenience) to blow off any loose dust or dirt.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-size:12px;">Wipe the keytops and casing down with a clean cloth, dampened with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Pay extra attention to any keys that you might be using the most frequently, such as WASD. </span><span style="font-size:12px;">Note: On Filcos, use water instead of Alcohol. Filcos have a special coating on them that gets ruined if you use it.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-size:12px;">If you're a heavy smoker and the casing seems to be yellowing, wipe it down with Windex.</span></li>
</ol><p><br><span style="font-size:12px;">Doing these things on a regular basis will keep your board looking great.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Deep Cleaning</strong></span><br><span style="font-size:12px;">If you've just gotten a used keyboard off of ebay that looks like it was used at a mechanic shop, or just spilled your drink right into it, your board needs a deep cleaning. If you do ever spill anything into it, make sure you clean it <strong>immediately</strong>. The longer you wait, the worse the cleanup is going to be - and may end up being next to impossible.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li><span style="font-size:12px;">Take the keycaps off of the switches.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-size:12px;">Open up the casing and take the PCB/membranes out. Each keyboard is different, but normally there's a combination of both screws underneath the board and tabs on the sides holding the top and bottom pieces together.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-size:12px;">If you don't have a dishwasher or prefer not to use it, put both the keycaps and casing in a bath of warm water and dish soap, and let them soak for at least a good 30 minutes.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-size:12px;">The process for cleaning off the circuitry varies depending on what sort of switches you have:</span>
<ul><li><span style="font-size:12px;">Cherry, Alps, and other similar switches: Place the entire PCB+switch assembly into a container of distilled water. Shake the board around vigorously so that the water can clean out the inside of the switches as well. To dry it out, shake it until you no longer hear any water stuck inside the switches. Then set it either on it's side or upside down to dry. Using a blow dryer to dry it is safe as long as you don't stick to one spot for too long, and canned air can help get the water out of the switches very quickly.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-size:12px;">Membrane boards, including rubber domes and Buckling Springs:</span> <span style="font-size:12px;">Separate the layers of membranes, and wipe them down with a damp cloth (distilled water <span style="text-decoration:underline;">only</span>), and then again with a dry cloth. If the layers are fastened together, dip them into distilled water and flex and shake them around until they are as clean as they can get, then flap them around to get the water out. You may also be able to slip a cloth or paper towel in between them to dry them, but remember to check for any lint that gets stuck. Rubber domes should only be rinsed using distilled water at or close to room temperature (give or take a few degrees) - anything too hot or too cold can permanently alter their feel. The springs, hammers, steel plate, and plastic cover of Buckling Springs shouldn't need more than a quick rinse or wipe-down, but you can always use soap or isopropyl alcohol on them if they need it.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-size:12px;">Rubber Dome on PCB, such as Topre: Rinse the domes in distilled water at or close to room temperature, rubbing with your fingers if anything is stuck badly to them. If it's a Topre capacitive board, the springs can be cleaned the same way or with a light concentration of dish soap or isopropyl alcohol. Wipe the PCB down with a cloth dampened with distilled water.</span></li>
</ul></li>
<li><span style="font-size:12px;">Whatever sort of internals your keyboard has, put them aside to dry at <em>least</em> overnight. If there were any ICs or other surface-mount electrical components that you had to get wet, a good way to speed up the process significantly is to use canned air to blow the water out from under them.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-size:12px;">By the time you're done with the internals, the casing and keycaps should be ready. When taking them out of the dishwasher or soap bath, take them out and dry them with a towel one by one. If there is still any amount of dirt on them, rub them down with isopropyl alcohol and/or Windex. Isopropyl normally works better, but Windex gets certain things out without any effort that the dish soap may not have caught in a still bath, such as cigarette smoke residue.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-size:12px;">Once you're absolutely positive that everything's dry, put it all back together.</span></li>
</ol>
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<p><span style="font-size:20px;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong><a id="user_heading8">Miscellaneous Resources</a></strong></span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Keyboard Customization Guides</strong></span><br><a href="http://www.overclock.net/computer-peripherals/551389-keyboard-dye-customization-guide.html" target="_blank">Dye Your Old White/Grey Keyboard</a><br><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Switch Technologies</strong></span><br><a href="http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fpark16.wakwak.com%2F~ex4%2Fkb%2Ftech_cherry_mx.htm&sl=auto&tl=en" target="_blank">Qwerter's Clinic Cherry MX Info</a><br><a href="http://www.microsoft.com/appliedsciences/AntiGhosting.mspx" target="_blank">NKRO on Microsoft Sidewinder x4 - Resistance method</a><br><a href="http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=All+About+Scissor+Switches" target="_blank">All About Scissor Switches</a><br><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Programming</strong></span><br><a href="http://www.overclock.net/computer-peripherals/729397-sharpkeys-awesome-gives-you-global-media.html" target="_blank">SharpKeys</a> - Basic Keyboard Programming<br><a href="http://www.autohotkey.com/" target="_blank">Autohotkey</a> - Advanced Keyboard Programming<br><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Interfaces and Protocols</strong></span><br><a href="http://www.beyondlogic.org/keyboard/keybrd.htm" target="_blank">Interfacing the AT and PS/2 Keyboards</a><br><a href="http://www.computer-engineering.org/ps2keyboard/" target="_blank">PS/2 Keyboard Interface</a><br><a href="http://www.computer-engineering.org/ps2protocol/" target="_blank">PS/2 Keyboard Protocol</a><br><a href="http://www.computer-engineering.org/ps2keyboard/scancodes1.html" target="_blank">XT Scancodes</a><br><a href="http://www.computer-engineering.org/ps2keyboard/scancodes2.html" target="_blank">AT, PS/2, and USB Scancodes</a><br><a href="http://www.beyondlogic.org/usbnutshell/usb1.htm" target="_blank">USB in a Nutshell</a><br><br><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Switch Matrix and Actuation Design</strong></span></p>
<p> </p>
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Diagrams and explanation</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden"><br>
Keyboards use a matrix of wires, in rows and columns. Each key is a switch that connects a row to a column, where each key has it's own unique position, or address, in the matrix.<br><br>
This is a very simple 4-key matrix. You won't ever see something this simple in a keyboard, but for our purposes it's more than enough.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=2267&pictureid=17906" style=""><br><br>
To detect keypresses, the keyboard will scan column by column and check to see which rows have been activated. In the image below, when the keyboard activates C1, R1 goes hot and therefore it knows that <em>A</em> has been pressed. When it activates C2, neither R1 nor R2 go hot so it knows that <em>B</em> and <em>D</em> haven't been pressed.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=2267&pictureid=17907" style=""><br><br>
Multiple key presses work in the same way. In this image you can see that when C1 is activated, R1 goes hot, giving the letter <em>A</em>. Then when C2 is activated, R2 goes hot, giving the letter <em>D</em>.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=2267&pictureid=17908" style=""><br><br>
But the problem in this matrix shows up as soon as you press three keys at once. In this image <em>A</em>, <em>B</em>, and <em>D</em> are pressed. The <em>B</em> and <em>D</em> switches short R1 with R2 because they are both closed; so when C1 is activated, both R1 and R2 go hot and the keyboard thinks that <em>C</em> has been pressed, and sends it to the PC even though you didn't really press it. This is what's called a "<em>ghost</em>" key.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=2267&pictureid=17909" style=""><br><br>
There are two methods used to prevent ghosting. The first and cheaper option is for the controller to block that third keypress that causes the ghost key. So after pressing <em>A</em> and <em>D</em>, it ignores both <em>B</em> and <em>C</em> because pressing either one will cause the other to ghost. This gives this board 2-key rollover, because only 2 keys can be pressed at once.<br><br>
The other option is to install a switching diode in series with each switch. The diodes only allow the current to flow in one direction, so the rows no longer get shorted to each other. In the image below you'll see the <em>A</em>, <em>B</em>, and <em>D</em> keys pressed again, but this time there are diodes to control the flow. Notice how R2 no longer goes hot when C1 is activated.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://www.overclock.net/picture.php?albumid=2267&pictureid=17910" style=""><br><br>
This method allows for each and every key on the board to be detected independently, giving it <em>n</em>-key rollover (NKRO). It's called <em>n</em>-key because <em>n</em> is a variable, representing the number of keys on the keyboard.</div>
 

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<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong><span style="font-size:20px;"><a id="user_heading9">Credits and Thanks</a></span></strong></span></p>
<p><br>
Original Guide Created by <em><em><a href="http://www.overclock.net/member.php?u=58914" target="_blank">Manyak</a>.</em></em></p>
<p><br>
Frequent Updates done by <a href="http://www.overclock.net/u/255905/paradigm84">Paradigm84</a>.</p>
<p><br>
Alps Section & Input on Buckling Springs thanks to <a href="http://www.overclock.net/12658631-post11360.html" target="_blank">ch_123</a>.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Animated Pictures of Cherry MX Switches in action are thanks to <a href="http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?t=14802" target="_blank">Lethal Squirrel on Geekhack</a>.</p>
<p><br>
Animated Picture of the Buckling Spring Switch thanks to <a href="http://park16.wakwak.com/~ex4/kb/tech_bucklingspring.htm" target="_blank">Qwerter's Clinic</a>.</p>
<p><br>
Pictures of Keycaps thanks to <a href="http://www.overclock.net/member.php?u=61219" target="_blank">Ripster</a>.</p>
 
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Do any of you know if wireless mechanical keyboards are in production and where I could get one if they are?
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>thecool85</strong> <a href="showthread.php?s=5f012238fa36186cbb85825ea8d4fba8&p=6069350#post6069350"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="http://static.overclock.net//img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do any of you know if wireless mechanical keyboards are in production and where I could get one if they are?</div>
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Filco makes two bluetooth models - one with Cherry Browns, one with Blacks.<br><br><a href="http://www.diatec.co.jp/en/list.php?cate_c=1&subcate_sq=5" target="_blank">http://www.diatec.co.jp/en/list.php?...1&subcate_sq=5</a>
 

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Well I just found out that there is a brand new distributor for Filco keyboards here in the states, as of less than a month ago. Currently he only carries the models with browns and blacks, with or without n-key rollover, but he is looking for anyone with interest in a model with Cherry blues, which Filco doesn't even offer but would custom make for him if there's enough people who want them.<br><br>
The website is:<br><a href="http://www.elitekeyboards.com/" target="_blank">http://www.elitekeyboards.com/</a>
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Manyak</strong> <a href="showthread.php?s=5f012238fa36186cbb85825ea8d4fba8&p=6069427#post6069427"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="http://static.overclock.net//img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Filco makes two bluetooth models - one with Cherry Browns, one with Blacks.<br><br><a href="http://www.diatec.co.jp/en/list.php?cate_c=1&subcate_sq=5" target="_blank">http://www.diatec.co.jp/en/list.php?...1&subcate_sq=5</a></div>
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Thanks, I'll check it out.
 

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He is a good guy! I got some purple key caps from him <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Oh and model Ms are great!.<br>
Here are some pics <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v331/laurie47/cherrytwocopy.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v331/laurie47/spacesaver345.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v331/laurie47/HH2copy-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v331/laurie47/dell2.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v331/laurie47/realforce.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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hey laurie, you have any idea where to get one of those plastic covers for the model m? Not the silicone ones unicomp makes, but the original one.
 

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I don't think they make one to fit the model M I could be wrong.<br>
There is one that fits over a filco. But it sits over the whole thing.<br>
My one in the pic there on the Realforce was from Korea. Made by Bird electronics.<br>
I might make some myself if I ever get round to it!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>laurie</strong> <a href="showthread.php?s=5f012238fa36186cbb85825ea8d4fba8&p=6070792#post6070792"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="http://static.overclock.net//img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think they make one to fit the model M I could be wrong.<br>
There is one that fits over a filco. But it sits over the whole thing.<br>
My one in the pic there on the Realforce was from Korea. Made by Bird electronics.<br>
I might make some myself if I ever get round to it!</div>
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Oh no I don't mean a cover like that (though I can make some for you out of acrylic if you want by the way, I'd just need the dimensions).<br><br>
I mean like this, its the original one that used to ship with the keyboards back in the day:<br><img alt="" src="http://www.clickykeyboard.com/_ebay/l6731/l6731-008.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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Oh I see. No I dont know where to get them.<br>
You make stuff with acrylic too! Cool.<br>
I do like the one on my realforce. You cant tell from the picture I took I dont think but it is actually made from 3 pieces of acrylic. They are mitred and glued. Its open ended which is odd I think.<br>
I would not be able to do the mitre but I would bevel the edges. Might give it a go.<br>
May I ask what you do with acrylic <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>laurie</strong> <a href="showthread.php?s=5f012238fa36186cbb85825ea8d4fba8&p=6071045#post6071045"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="http://static.overclock.net//img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh I see. No I dont know where to get them.<br>
You make stuff with acrylic too! Cool.<br>
I do like the one on my realforce. You cant tell from the picture I took I dont think but it is actually made from 3 pieces of acrylic. They are mitred and glued. Its open ended which is odd I think.<br>
I would not be able to do the mitre but I would bevel the edges. Might give it a go.<br>
May I ask what you do with acrylic <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"></div>
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Click on project wraith in my sig <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
I never finished it though, I went on a long vacation then moved as soon as I got back.<br><br>
And once I get my new rig a few months from now I'll be making a cool looking res for it.
 
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