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Cherry MX Black switches for only $.19 is cheap. Limited time only!

It's also free world wide shipping (from the Netherlands) and 15% off on the first order for new customers.

arrow.com/en/products/mx1a-11n

I almost bought some even though I don't use Cherry switches to begin with. :thaenkin:

@hund that looks really interesting, compared prices and same switches costs 4 times more ($.80) from other vendors so this have to be a great deal. I think i will get a batch. I have been wanting to build a "split", minimal keyboard (40%ish), with "straight" key layout. Currently i have nothing (not even the lingo), what more do i need to achieve this.

@bud KBDfans.cn sells Cherry for about $.40 and Gaterons for about $.20. :)

It's called a ortholinear layout, the more common layout is called staggered. Have you checked www.keeb.io? The most common split 40% ortho is the Let's Split, but I don't think he has it though.

@bud It is! :) They seem to be out on the cases though.

@hund do you know if there is a site where i can make "prototype" keylayaouts, or if there are some archive with different layouts? Im trying to figure out how to fit f.i: TAB,Q,W,E,R,T + Y,U,I,O,P,[,] (top row) on 12 keys. I don't use control or escape (use caps for those, and alt keys and such can be moved), but i don't want to make any compromises with the "default" US layout i get on a nordic keyboard.

@hund maybe i should go with 70%. I guess you have tried them all, what's your stand on 40% (i write a lot of scripts, and don't want to have "normal" special chars (@[]\/ etc) under some strange fn key layer. Arrow keys and F keys are however bloat i can go without.

@bud It's very personal. :) The smallest I've tried is 40%, it was too small for me. I prefer 60% since you don't hide any common keys under a secondary layer.

Check out the size chart I made before: linuxrocks.online/@hund/100023. :)

It sounds like a 60% keyboard would be a good fit for you. It's by far the most popular size and it's very easy to find parts.

@hund great chart man! But im thinking an even more unorthodox layout since it is split, i want to have space and backspace accessible by both thumbs. As i mentioned i use caps for control and esc, and think i want to combine alt+win. I am also one who actually use right shift and the menu key... I want all three modifiers on both sides for pinky. so it would be nice to have some simple way to plot different layouts, I guess i can spend some hours in Inkscape.. yeah, i do that..

@hund keyboard-layout-editor.com/ <- this is what i was looking for. Also after some research i have not found any solid proof of ergonomic benefits for a ortholiear layout, but it looks cool.

@bud It's a matter of personal preferences. :) I'm not aware of any layout that would fit your criteria though. But it's easy to design one yourself and then handwire it if you're handy and don't have a life. :P

@hund ok the layout exist now (more keys can be added to the tilted sections (normal alt, menu f.i), what are the steps i need to take to make this keyboard a real thing?

@hund the super keys will be magic stuff enabled with xscape, (they act as normal unless held, then they are super), capslocks are control+esc, don't know if I should replace normal backspace with something...

@bud You can do all of that with the QMK firmware which you flash to the controller making it permanent, no need to software or anything to be running for it to work.

@bud What about the DZ60 PCB with split a spacebar and an extra key in the middle. You could have the two halves to act like space when tapped and when held they could activate one or two unique layers with other keys? Or the middle one could active a third one even.

kbdfans.cn/collections/60/prod

@hund this is also an interesting layout. I remember trying using space as $mod in i3 (with some xscape trickery), but didn't like it due to a small lag when typing space. Even without lag, one should be careful to use non-modifier keys as modifiers, tab & \|, are keys that are never held down or "often" used. Space might be held down (for navigating, scrolling or autofire). But i really want a split keyboard to be able to tilt it for maximum ergonomics.

@bud With QMK it doesn't lag as it will always prioritize the first function first.

But what about this then?

keeb.io/collections/frontpage/

@bud But if you want that design, the easiest is probably to order a custom made plates to a skeleton case from Laserboost (or 3D-print it which is probably cheaper) and then handwire it with a pro micro controller.

@hund i have a background as a CNC-operator and have some strings i can pull to get the hard hard parts done. But I have no idea how to get a custom cut PCB and the electronics... I will bing pro micro controller. also Laserboost, brilliant business, would love to work there.

@bud If you handwire you don't need a PCB. You just put wires from the switches to a pro micro, via a wired matrix and some diodes. I haven't created my own layout from scratch with QMK, but it shouldn't be rocket science. There's several guides out there.

@hund and i have zero soldering XP, but i can do stuff, i use arch btw ;)

@hund

What switches do you prefer? I'm working on figuring out the components that I want and haven't decided on switches yet. So many opposing opinions out there.

@redandgreen14 What opposing opinions have you heard? I could probably settle them all for you. As with most hobbies, there's unfortunately a lot of elitism, e-penis competitions and biased opinions. :)

What kind of switches do you like? Linears, tactiles or tactiles with audible feedback (also called clicky switches)?

@hund Hahaha. Well said. I think most of it is what you say.

I just don't know which of the manufacurers are good or not. Obviously, many people favor Cherry's. But I've been reading some things that Cherry QC has been dropping.

Tactile are top on my list. I haven't used any clicky since the 1990's and suspect that my partner may not like them. I just got my own office, so it wouldn't be a problem there.

Also heavier springs as I have a tendency to bottom out in typing.

@redandgreen14 Your own office? That's fancy, I wish I had that as well. :)

Cherry is in the middle, both in terms of quality and price. They cost ≈$.40. I'm into linears and I like Gateron which is smoother and cost only ≈$.20, while my favourite is Tealios which cost ≈$.80. They're 4 times more expensive than Gateron, but not even close to 4 times better. Cherry sound better than both though. So it's not always easy.

For tactiles I would recommend Zealio (tactile version of Tealio). […]

@hund Thanks for the detailed response! Yes, the two I have been considering most are Zealio Purple 67g as my first choice. My second I had been considering Cherry Browns.

As far as Gateron and Kailh, it seems people either love them or hate them, no middle. Personally, I would prefer saving money a little longer and buying something higher quality that I know I will like and will last.

@redandgreen14 I would say that Gateron makes great linears and meh tactile and bad clicky ones. Kailh BOX with their clickbar makes them the best clicky and their linears and tactile are possibly better than Gateron.

I would say that both Gateron and Kailh is averall better than Cherry, but that Cherry has a few things they're better at. So there's no obvious winner, it all comes down to personal preferences.

But the best tactiles is Zealio hands down. :)

@redandgreen14 Zealios cost the same as Tealio. But they're very tactile! Some say that they make Cherry MX Brown feel like linears with dirt in the housing.

They also come in a heavy version with 78g springs. MX Brown is comparable to maybe 60-62g springs. They're also available with 62g, 65g and 67g.

But if that's too pricey, then I would recommend Cherry MX IG you want something average or Gaterons if you're economical. They all have their pros and cons.

And if you find any switch […]

@redandgreen14 […] too light, you can always buy springs and replace them yourself. It's a bit of work if you don't have good tools for it though. :)

I paid about $16 for my gold plated 60g bouncy springs from SPRiT. They're a bit lighter than the springs in Cherry MX Red. I have weak hands. :D

There's also Kailh switches, which I would recommend above Gateron, which is better and still cheap, but they have issues with cracking the stems on keycaps.

I hope it helped. :)

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