[GB] [IC] Alps modifier kit: We Are The 65%

This is wonderful - when the post first went up there was so little response that I thought maybe I was wrong about people really wanting a 65-friendly set of modifiers. But it's starting to look like it could be viable.
Scarpia
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Unread post27 Nov 2016, 11:53

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this is super cool. always need more alps mods for all the og sets. Im definitely in.
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Unread post27 Nov 2016, 14:57

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would hop on this for sure.
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Unread post27 Nov 2016, 15:57

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Any chance of a stepped caps lock? I know that the AT101 and the SGI Granite boards use it.
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 04:11

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drevyek wrote:Any chance of a stepped caps lock? I know that the AT101 and the SGI Granite boards use it.

That's a good idea -- only question: are there any common slider/mount positions for stepped capslock keys on vintage boards? If the mounting point is pretty standardized then it makes sense, but if they're all over the place then it's a question of which one(s) we choose to support :-/
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 08:25

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In my experience, the mounting position is all over the place; it doesn't differ by much, but I've found out the hard way that when it comes to Alps, not all stepped caps locks are the same.
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 08:31

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The stem is also a problem with the ISO-return key. You could look at the Alps64 PCB, i think it supports two different stepped caps and two different ISO enter, if I remember correctly. I also found that out the hard way
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 09:35

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The Bigfoot boards use the same step- in line with the tab. So if you intend to target those baords (SGI, AT101), that's at least one to cover.

I'm hesitant to say any more, however, as I simply don't know how bonkers Alps/etc ended up going over the years. I can imagine a 1u and 1.25u style as well (because why the heck not). They certainly went nuts with their enters (looking at you NeXT, Apple, and Zenith)
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 09:50

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Well, this kit will be SP-standard anyway(?), and I guess the set cater to people who want to use old alphas on new alps boards? (like Alps64, V60 and the Infinity)
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 11:18

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Applet wrote:Well, this kit will be SP-standard anyway(?), and I guess the set cater to people who want to use old alphas on new alps boards? (like Alps64, V60 and the Infinity)

That's the main idea yes, but if there were a standard stepped capslock (which sadly doesn't seem to be the case) then I could see the idea in adding one more keycap to let people use the kit to add a splash of color to their vintage boards (also, plate/PCB reuse would be nice).

But we'd need one keycap which could fit, let's say, all the vintage Dells and SGIs (at minimum) to make it really worth it.
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 11:30

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infodroid wrote:If the goal is to encourage experimentation with keyboard layouts on Alps boards then what would really help is having a go-to Alps DSA profile set. We might almost have this with the Light Cycle set next year.

I have given DSA some thought as well, and if only LightCycle had been designed with black or dark gray alpha legends, I would have gotten at least a few sets. Having colored legends on the alphas makes it less than optimal as a "go-to Alps DSA profile set" since it won't mix-and-match with future GBs unless the colorway somehow looks good with the LightCycle legend color.

What I'd love to see is a go-to DSA set with a neutral color for the alphas, since that would allow the community to run GBs for DSA Alps modifier and 'expansion' kits, adding support for ortholinears, NorDeUK kits, Apple mods, split space bars, Ergodox kits, etc., all with a minimal number of keys and full forwards compatibility with new colored modifier kits.

The Light Cycle kit is a great initiative, but it comes with a color palette lock-in for all future expansion, and that's an awful shame.
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 14:45

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Scarpia wrote:What I'd love to see is a go-to DSA set with a neutral color for the alphas, since that would allow the community to run GBs for DSA Alps modifier and 'expansion'

I'd love to see a DSA Alps dolch or granite set produced for that exact purpose.

That said, I was all over Lightcycle but knew it would always be a standalone set.
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 17:32

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Scarpia wrote:What I'd love to see is a go-to DSA set with a neutral color for the alphas, since that would allow the community to run GBs for DSA Alps modifier and 'expansion' kits, adding support for ortholinears, NorDeUK kits, Apple mods, split space bars, Ergodox kits, etc., all with a minimal number of keys and full forwards compatibility with new colored modifier kits.

The Light Cycle kit is a great initiative, but it comes with a color palette lock-in for all future expansion, and that's an awful shame.

I don't fully understand why the Light Cycle would result in palette lock-in, but any other DSA sets wouldn't result in palette lock-in.

Sure the blue legends are not as universal to keysets as white legends are. But with the number of colors that SP has available, I don't think there is such a thing as a neutral color keyset. As an example, even in a group buy like Round 6 with fixed color options, SPH-grey doesn't match the regular Round 5/6 grey, and the shades of white in the legend are even different, which causes confusion for many newcomers.

So if the DSA Alps set was in Granite colors for example, then a future modifier/expansion kit would have to match Granite's very specific tones of grey and white. It can't just use any of the dozen other shades of SP beige and SP cream in the hope of matching future "neutral sets". And it probably won't really match a future Dolch set.

Image
Last edited by infodroid on 28 Nov 2016, 19:19, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 19:06

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Scarpia wrote:
Applet wrote:Well, this kit will be SP-standard anyway(?), and I guess the set cater to people who want to use old alphas on new alps boards? (like Alps64, V60 and the Infinity)

That's the main idea yes, but if there were a standard stepped capslock (which sadly doesn't seem to be the case) then I could see the idea in adding one more keycap to let people use the kit to add a splash of color to their vintage boards (also, plate/PCB reuse would be nice).

But we'd need one keycap which could fit, let's say, all the vintage Dells and SGIs (at minimum) to make it really worth it.

The plate on the SGI and the AT101 is the same- inline with the tab above it:
Spoiler:
Image


Both are Bigfoot boards- the same case/plate/layout, different colours, switches, and caps.
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 19:12

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infodroid wrote:
Spoiler:
Scarpia wrote:What I'd love to see is a go-to DSA set with a neutral color for the alphas, since that would allow the community to run GBs for DSA Alps modifier and 'expansion' kits, adding support for ortholinears, NorDeUK kits, Apple mods, split space bars, Ergodox kits, etc., all with a minimal number of keys and full forwards compatibility with new colored modifier kits.

The Light Cycle kit is a great initiative, but it comes with a color palette lock-in for all future expansion, and that's an awful shame.

I don't fully understand why the Light Cycle would result in palette lock-in, but any other DSA sets wouldn't result in palette lock-in.

Sure the blue legends are not as universal to keysets as white legends are. But with the number of colors that SP has available, I don't think there is such a thing as a neutral color keyset. As an example, even in a group buy like Round 6 with fixed color options, SPH-grey doesn't match the regular Round 5/6 grey, and the shades of white in the legend are even different, which causes confusion for many newcomers.

So if the DSA Alps set was in Granite colors for example, then a future modifier/expansion kit would have to match Granite's very specific tones of grey and white. It can't just use any of the dozen other shades of SP beige and SP cream in the hope of matching future "neutral sets". And it probably won't really match a future Dolch set.

Image

There's really 50+ shades of grey at SP.
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 19:41

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drevyek wrote:The Bigfoot boards use the same step- in line with the tab. So if you intend to target those baords (SGI, AT101), that's at least one to cover.

I'm hesitant to say any more, however, as I simply don't know how bonkers Alps/etc ended up going over the years. I can imagine a 1u and 1.25u style as well (because why the heck not). They certainly went nuts with their enters (looking at you NeXT, Apple, and Zenith)

A 1.5u stepped Caps Lock would be a reasonable target. I'd go so far as to say it's practically the standard since almost all Alps keyboards with a stepped Caps Lock were Alps Bigfoots, AFAIK. There are exceptions, but they are pretty rare.
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 19:45

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Just reading though a bit more thoroughly, there's a lot of questions on winkeyless. I'd love to also see that supported too. Me advocating for it is a bit selfishly motivated (my 60% is winkeyless via a SGI plate) but I do know it's a relatively popular style. Good 7u spacebars aren't the easiest to find otherwise.
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Unread post28 Nov 2016, 23:40

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Anything ever happen with this? I would definitely be down for a set or two and I know several others who would be as well.
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Unread post17 Jan 2017, 05:57

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At this point I haven't see enough interest to go beyond IC; I will probably do another push for this in 2017, but I'm holding off to see what, if anything, will happen with the LightCycle GB.
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Unread post17 Jan 2017, 12:01

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I suggest X post in GH in /r/mk in order to make it really happen.
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I'm definitely in if this is happening!
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Unread post18 Jan 2017, 13:27

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Hi, just registered after finding this thread, came over from GH / r/MK.

I'm fully in for this project. As a relatively-recent Alps convert, I've been searching high and low for Alps-compatible caps and sets.

The basic modifier kit would be plenty for me as I use predominantly 60% - though I might experiment with 65% builds too.

Anyway, I'd be willing to chip in for the order if needs be, I'd be happy to commit to a couple of sets for myself and a few more to make up the numbers / distribute around the UK.

Sorry if this seems random, I've lurked for a while but only registered after finding this thread in the hope of offering some support and help get the ball rolling :)

Chris.
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Unread post23 Jan 2017, 22:33

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lack of interest is always the biggest issue with any Alps keycap group buy. Just isn't enough compatible keyboards, really.
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Unread post24 Jan 2017, 02:57

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MoQ is 50 units? I definitely think we could reach that. I'd be in for 2 sets, and would go for as many as 5 if needs be to reach MoQ.
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Unread post24 Jan 2017, 03:12

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vivalarevolución wrote:lack of interest is always the biggest issue with any Alps keycap group buy. Just isn't enough compatible keyboards, really.

Have faith, we can make it happen!

I agree with some earlier comments though, what we also need IMO is a base Alpha set that would encourage people to put out more custom mods sets, as I can see why people might be put off by the prospect of having to hunt down old boards to scavenge their alphas, when you can just go out and buy any number of Cherry MX sets.

I don't know how people feel about DSA in general, but Signature make these basic kits of dye-sub PBT DSA caps: http://pimpmykeyboard.com/dsa-sublimated-keycap-sets/ I wonder if they're able to produce Alps version of these?

If we could have a batch of white and/or grey DSA Alps alphas in the market I think people would be more inclined to release and buy mods sets..
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Unread post24 Jan 2017, 10:04

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I'm in. Especially not in DCS: DSA, XDA, SA, whatever.
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Unread post24 Jan 2017, 15:29

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From discussions elsewhere in the forum it seems SP can do DSA in PBT with ALPS mounts, but cannot print legends on them—they are missing an appropriate jig, apparently. But they are reported as having said that in a couple of months they will be able to, so that could open up a lot of possibilities.
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Unread post09 Feb 2017, 16:41

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