Confessions Of A Keeb Noob

Sun 27 February 2022

I watched a DEFCON talk on custom keyboards while I was taking time off for Thanksgiving in hopes of figuring out why keyboard nerds are how they are. One of the presenters mentioned a company they frequent, so I decided to take a look - within 20 minutes I had spent $150 on a set of keycaps meant to evoke the TR-808. Since I now had a set of keycaps on the way, it only made sense to start looking for a keyboard to put them on since having keycaps with no keyboard is just dumb, right? [1]

After buying two more sets of keycaps I had the plan of attack for my first build - since I picked up a set of replica retro Apple keycaps I was going to build a keyboard that "would make Jony Ive nut". I settled on a low-profile 65% keyboard with an anodized aluminum case and faceplate and - since this was right before black friday - took advantage of various sales so it's not like I'm being irresponsible with my money, right? [2]

All the parts for the keyboard prior to assembly.

Once everything finally made it over from China, I had:

  • KBDFans low-profile 65% case and aluminum faceplate
  • DZ65 hot-swap PCB with case/PCB foam
  • 78g Zealios switches lubed by KBDFans
  • Durock V2 stabilizers

The assembled keyboard from above, showcasing the keycaps.

The assembled keyboard from the front, showcasing the case's low-profile nature.

The assembly process was pretty straightforward, the only major hiccup being I couldn't test the hot-swap ports without putting all the switches in, then I had to remove them all again so I could begin building the keyboard properly. All-in-all I don't have any complaints about the process, since no soldering was required the only reason the process took me as long as it did was my own sense of worry. Of course, now that I've knocked out my first build I've been thinking about what comes next, because you can totally use multiple custom keyboards, right? [3]

[1]The clown makeup is currently in front of me
[2]I am putting on the clown makeup
[3]My clown makeup is finished