YouTuber Builds Enormous, Functional Mechanical Keyboard

Many people are into mechanical keyboards these days, including YouTuber Glarses. A few years ago, peripheral maker Razer went to CES with an enormous 64x scale mechanical keyboard, and Glarses became enamored with it (and I can relate). When Razer refused to sell the board, which still sits in its Singapore HQ, Glarses decided to build his own. What followed was an expensive and fascinating project, which you can follow in video form on YouTube.

Glarses intended to build his massive board to show off at a tradeshow, but a bout with COVID left him just a week to do the build. The heart of Glarses’ massive keyboard project is the Novelkeys Big Switch, the same component used in the Razer build. Thankfully, you can buy these in bulk. These scaled-up switches are 64 times larger than a conventional keyboard switch, manufactured by Kailh and based on the company’s click bar design. That means the Pale Blue switches used in this build have a metal bar in the housing that clicks on the press and return.

The Razer build included RGB lighting, which Glarses did not attempt. However, he did one-up Razer by disassembling and lubricating every switch. Doing this in a normal-sized keyboard build is a pretty big pain, but doing so with Big Switches is something else entirely. Having disassembled one of these, I can attest to how hard it is to pry them open. That was just the start of the problems. After soldering the switches (with a huge amount of solder), Glarses found the space switch didn’t work, so it needed to be desoldered. Desoldering a normal switch is one of the most frustrating things in the world, so I can only imagine what it’s like at 64x scale.

Glarses had an aluminum case, 3D printed stabilizers, and 3D printed modifier keycaps manufactured, but these parts didn’t all fit together properly. It took a lot of time with a Dremel to get the 3D-printed parts to fit, and the spacebar stabilizer presented a particularly vexing problem. In a normal board, most longer keys have wires and plastic supports known collectively as stabilizers, which keep the keys from tipping to the side. Glarses opted only to use a stabilizer for space as it’s the largest. However, the key cap was too heavy to return the switch after being pressed.

The solution was to cram an extra half of a spring in the space switch to give it more oomph. It worked! But that also misaligned the stabilizers, a problem Glarses did not manage to solve before it was time to transport the board to the event. Luckily, a few minutes with a hot glue gun and some cardboard got the spacebar working.

In the end, Glarses barely made it under the wire with a few small compromises. The total cost of the build was about £12,000 ($14,400). You can watch the build come to life in the video above.

Now read:

  • How I Spent $700 Building a ‘Life Aquatic’ Mechanical Keyboard
  • Cherry Will Produce Pre-Modded MX Ergo Clear Keyboard Switches
  • Twitch Streamer Commissions Custom $3,500 Mechanical Keyboard

Source link

      Shopping cart