[GB] Round 7 / ALGOL-style / Deadline 2017-05-31

I've done some copy and pasting from the chat. You're probably right zslane, something is most likely getting lost in translation.

[2:35 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: I've been talking with their rep
[2:35 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: for like 4 hours
[2:36 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: They are willing to do diferent color ways
[2:36 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: of their base 119/127 set
[2:36 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: If you want anything else
[2:36 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: You get fucked hard
[2:37 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: I got quoted 60,000 Yuan + MOQ of 500 for 12 extra keys
[2:37 AM] END: novelties or just random keys?
[2:37 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: Random keys.
[2:37 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: So if you want Orthlinear or any other exotic style

...

[2:44 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: Give me a sentence to ask
[2:44 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: And I will ask my translator to forward it on
[2:45 AM] END: @Ryu | M65 Soon :tm: "can you do custom novelty legends, such as this; http://i.imgur.com/A8vmvfY.png. if so, how much do they cost per legend?"
[2:47 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: @END
[2:48 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: They said it requires a new mold
[2:48 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: :/
[2:48 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: I am going to ask for a quote on one (1) new mold
[2:49 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: So we can go off that.
[2:49 AM] Jubileus | MaxKey SA Shill: So they're willing to create new molds? Thats nice
[2:49 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: Yeah
[2:49 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: but it's a metric fuckton
[2:54 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: 60000RMB per custom legend key mold
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Unread post14 Mar 2017, 20:04

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As far as I know while someone ask Maxkeys to add Minila support(it was a popular keyboard in China), they said they need to spend about 100,000 CNY on the mold. And because they have spend lot of money(maybe over 1,000,000 CNY) and 1 year on this project. They want to get money back asap. The market of the highend keycaps was too small for big players. If we need the pretty keysets like R7, we still need to wait SP until someday :cry:
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I made a mistake, the price is 40% than SP. :oops: Yes, they are not good enough as I told, but they repairing quickly, and they can sort the keycaps, not a mess need 7bit to sort, and for Chinese people, they can post the keycaps directly, no import tax and shipment, they are expensive, for the foreigners, the government would subsidy them, so the price maybe lower, maybe nearly 30%! :o
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astro wrote:As far as I know while someone ask Maxkeys to add Minila support(it was a popular keyboard in China), they said they need to spend about 100,000 CNY on the mold. And because they have spend lot of money(maybe over 1,000,000 CNY) and 1 year on this project. They want to get money back asap. The market of the highend keycaps was too small for big players. If we need the pretty keysets like R7, we still need to wait SP until someday :cry:

over 1,000,000 CNY :shock:
How much is that?

This makes sense if that is the case they want to get their money / load back asap.
But adding Minila support need "100,000 CNY on the mold"? That sounds - I don't know what is happening. 'OEM' HiPro hybrid maybe?

Now I wonder where all those spherical keycap molds from the older days have gone? If they are such kind of valuable gems.
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There is a HUGE difference between making a new MOLD as in a new keycap compared to a new LEGEND/INSERT

Just to give you an idea ... GMK has taken years to get their 6u spare bar mold repaired and SP is still too lazy to make a DSA ISO Enter mold because the DCS ISO Enter is "good enough" ...

Same with the frequently requested 1.25u GMK mold in the R5 bottom row profile.

So always differentiate between the costs for a new legend and a whole new mold.
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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 08:51

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Gray Jian wrote:I made a mistake, the price is 40% than SP. :oops: Yes, they are not good enough as I told, but they repairing quickly, and they can sort the keycaps, not a mess need 7bit to sort, and for Chinese people, they can post the keycaps directly, no import tax and shipment, they are expensive, for the foreigners, the government would subsidy them, so the price maybe lower, maybe nearly 30%! :o

At which MOQ is the price only 40% of SP?
:roll:

Also: If they take my design and produce and sell them theirselves, I will not design the legends anymore.
:o

About keycaps sorting: Who coveres the shipping costs if something goes wrong? There are too many options and too many traps.
:shock:

My hope for the future: Everybody lets the Chinese manufacturer produce their keys and I have 0 waiting time for SP production.
:evilgeek:
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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 09:27

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OK, zslane and Wodan, you couldn't have known that I already knew about the differences between a 'legend plate/insert' and a whole new custom mold for a new key size and/or shape and the huge difference in cost between them. I understand that it might be necessary to explain that to other people, but two times shortly after one another, really? Anyhow, I thought the numbers sounded weird and outrageously high for a few extra keys, especially when they are 'supposed' to be cheaper than SP, so I thought that I should report on my findings when MaxKey was brought up in this thread.

When the MaxKey's representative was, supposedly, shown this http://i.imgur.com/A8vmvfY.png he/she said that it requires a new mold. Now, mind you, I didn't read the original Chinese conversation, and even if I would've, I can't read Chinese. Most of this conversation went unpublished in the channel that I was in, and most of those snippets of it that got published in the channel went through a translator before Ryu reported back, so all of my findings are third-hand sources, second-hand at best.

Let's suppose that the rep wasn't misunderstanding anything, then something probably got lost in translation along the way to me. However, if the MaxKey rep thought that they needed a new mold, and not a new legend plate, for a bunch of 1u, 1.25u and 1.50u novelties, and then went on to quote a price for a new mold, shouldn't that give some kind of indication of the states of things at MaxKey?
7bit wrote:[...]
My hope for the future: Everybody lets the Chinese manufacturer produce their keys and I have 0 waiting time for SP production.
:evilgeek:

Sounds like a plan! Now, how to convince everybody else...
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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 10:17

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I know a tiny bit of Chinese. Not much, but enough to know things often get lost in translation. From what I've gathered, mold (as in injection mold) is called 制模. But I think the direct translation would be something like 'make pattern' or 'make die' ('die' as in 'die casting'). 制 just means 'make' or 'manifacture' in general – 'Made in China' is written 中国制 in Chinese.

I have no idea what the technical term for 'legend plate' is in Chinese, but if a word can be translated as more or less 'pattern for making x' I can see how there might be a mix-up. I think the word 模 is also used when describing the copper plates used in printing – which probably makes for even more confusion, seeing as that is rather similar to the plates used when makign double-shot keys. I'm nowhere near fluent Chinese, so grains of salt and all of that. But those are my 0.02$.

It would be neat if a Chinese manifacturer was willing to pick this up, but with a GB this complicated one would probably need some kind of liason that speaks both English and Chinese more or less fluently (preferably the right dialect as well, e.g. Cantonese if it's a company based in Hong Kong). Just look at all the problems with SP, and then imagine that same process but with an added layer of misunderstandings and translation shenanigans. The keys would be done by the late 2040s, at best. :-D
Last edited by caligo on 15 Mar 2017, 12:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 11:36

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…in other words, our only hope is that 7bit can somehow make 7bot speak Chinese. How hard can it be?
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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 11:40

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7bit wrote:
Gray Jian wrote:I made a mistake, the price is 40% than SP. :oops: Yes, they are not good enough as I told, but they repairing quickly, and they can sort the keycaps, not a mess need 7bit to sort, and for Chinese people, they can post the keycaps directly, no import tax and shipment, they are expensive, for the foreigners, the government would subsidy them, so the price maybe lower, maybe nearly 30%! :o

At which MOQ is the price only 40% of SP?
:roll:

Also: If they take my design and produce and sell them theirselves, I will not design the legends anymore.
:o

About keycaps sorting: Who coveres the shipping costs if something goes wrong? There are too many options and too many traps.
:shock:

My hope for the future: Everybody lets the Chinese manufacturer produce their keys and I have 0 waiting time for SP production.
:evilgeek:

Yes, you're right, nothing can stop them selling your design, even you have a contract, and if you decide let the Chinese produce Round 7, I will clearall my Round 7 items immediately. I did this just want SP know one thing: what are your most valuable asset? Not the molds, not the color card, not the machine, your most valuable asset are the talented authors just like 7bit. You should treat them well, protect their design, not have an eye out for any opportunity to make money. Yes, they need you produce the keycaps, but they protect you from competition too. You and the authors form a symbiont circle. Don't destroy it.
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Gray Jian wrote:
Spoiler:
7bit wrote:
Gray Jian wrote:I made a mistake, the price is 40% than SP. :oops: Yes, they are not good enough as I told, but they repairing quickly, and they can sort the keycaps, not a mess need 7bit to sort, and for Chinese people, they can post the keycaps directly, no import tax and shipment, they are expensive, for the foreigners, the government would subsidy them, so the price maybe lower, maybe nearly 30%! :o

At which MOQ is the price only 40% of SP?
:roll:

Also: If they take my design and produce and sell them theirselves, I will not design the legends anymore.
:o

About keycaps sorting: Who coveres the shipping costs if something goes wrong? There are too many options and too many traps.
:shock:

My hope for the future: Everybody lets the Chinese manufacturer produce their keys and I have 0 waiting time for SP production.
:evilgeek:


Yes, you're right, nothing can stop them selling your design, even you have a contract, and if you decide let the Chinese produce Round 7, I will clearall my Round 7 items immediately. I did this just want SP know one thing: what are your most valuable asset? Not the molds, not the color card, not the machine, your most valuable asset are the talented authors just like 7bit. You should treat them well, protect their design, not have an eye out for any opportunity to make money. Yes, they need you produce the keycaps, but they protect you from competition too. You and the authors form a symbiont circle. Don't destroy it.

+1

Spoiler:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


I will feel really disgusted if anyone take 7bit's ideas and sell them branded as something like '6bit' or '8bit', and then being worshiped by buyers newly into the hobby on the other half of the world.

The Asians are smart and hard-working (at least Terence Tao is obviously more 'sane' than Grigory Perelman), I hope they're not good at only copying things and ideas in general. Perhaps we should wait till the Chinese invent some unique and smart merchandise and then the Europeans and Americans can copy them, produce them, and sell them in 50% of their selling price.

By the way, if they said a new 'mold' when that novelties (http://i.imgur.com/A8vmvfY.png), it can be that they don't have the mold for the bottom row 1.5u modifiers - it's not in their set, do they have it?

zslane explained quite clearly about the differences between a keycap mold and a legend plate quite some months ago on 7bit's threads.
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Menuhin wrote:[...]
By the way, if they said a new 'mold' when that novelties (http://i.imgur.com/A8vmvfY.png), it can be that they don't have the mold for the bottom row 1.5u modifiers - it's not in their set, do they have it?
[...]

I thought of that possibility too, but it seems that they have it:

Image
Image
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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 13:56

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Crap, then it sounds like a thread during the chat.

Perhaps the one talking business on MaxKey's side is not a tech person in the group, and therefore knew only to defend a certain bottomline in the negotiation.
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Could very well be that way, because when you look at the first pic I posted there clearly are some novelties. I suppose it wasn't the most technically minded person who handled the communication from MaxKey's side, like you said.
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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 14:44

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I agree that designers are the lifeblood of the custom keycap hobby. And without their enthusiastic participation, a keycap family is dead in the water. As attractive as Chinese pricing may be, the monumental headaches that come with trying to work with them is a severe disincentive for designers.

Guys like Matt3o and XMIT are the rare, brave few who are willing to cultivate direct one-on-one relationships with Chinese manufacturers. Most of us who simply like designing keysets, and want as easy and streamlined a process as possible, will not be dealing with MaxKeys (or any Chinese manufacturer) any time soon. And for those naive designers who think they'll be doing themselves and every one of their buyers a favor by trying to go through such a vendor, I predict that the ensuing nightmares will teach everyone a painful and valuable lesson.
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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 17:24

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We can't know if it will be a nightmare. Maybe they do a good job. My main concern is:
- Color: will the colors match what we have right now?
- MOQ: This has not yet been cleared.
- Prices: SP can have lower prices too, just order more!
- New legends: SP finally has produced perfect quality. All my new legends came out the way I wanted them. Not sure how the process with MaxKeys would work.

What I do not like with the MaxKeys sets I've seen, is that they try to resemble SP's original font, including oddities. Why not make something genuine?
:?
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Image
Deep dish F and J are not deep enough. The rest looks like SP keys, including SHIF T and too wide text legends on some keys.
:o

Also:
F1 F2 ... FIO FII FI2
instead of
F1 F2 ... F10 F11 F12
:roll:

I've copied key caps legends myself, but if you compare the Space Cadet legends to my own version you will find some differences and in my opinion improvements because I made sure legends have the same overall size and recurring elements match each other.
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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 17:46

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oknytt wrote: ... lost in translation.
...
[2:36 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: If you want anything else
[2:36 AM] Ryu | M65 Soon :tm:: You get fucked hard
...

oknytt wrote:... it wasn't the most technically minded person who handled the communication ...

Yeah, the non-tech people sometimes may not understand all the details, but just know where they can have it hard. :lol:
zslane wrote: ... the monumental headaches ...
Guys like Matt3o and XMIT are the rare, brave few who are willing to cultivate direct one-on-one relationships with Chinese manufacturers ...

The monumental headaches of being ...
It's probably going to be some adventure with lots of patience.
Those two fit because XMIT is I believe is Chinese / Asian, and Matt3o I believe has some of his far ancestor Marco Polo in his blood; otherwise, in the far east culture where relationship is more powerful and more important than law, it doesn't necessarily work with the blunt and squared, yet certainty-seeking approach.
It's more about how to make them like a relationship and how to win their trust. When forced or annoyed, it is also possible for them to create huge traps in a lawful way to tackle 'relationship' that they don't like.
7bit wrote:We can't know if it will be a nightmare. Maybe they do a good job. My main concern is:
- Color: will the colors match what we have right now?
- MOQ: This has not yet been cleared.
- Prices: SP can have lower prices too, just order more!
- New legends: SP finally has produced perfect quality. All my new legends came out the way I wanted them. Not sure how the process with MaxKeys would work.

What I do not like with the MaxKeys sets I've seen, is that they try to resemble SP's original font, including oddities. Why not make something genuine?
:?

Agree with most of the points made by 7bit.
They haven't just tried to replicate (not 100%) the SA profile, but also its font.

I am happy that they didn't use Comic San or some Spaceship font though...

Spoiler:
Some people in the far east may think this font looks super cool.
Image

And they can design some other cool fonts too.
Image

When asked to design, or simply to decide upon some Chinese characters - perhaps not just in the English speaking countries.
Image
https://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/rid...translated

Perhaps it is also not as simple for the Chinese to understand the aesthetics standard of fonts for native Latin alphabet users, let alone to design them.
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lol, XMIT didn't look very Chinese when I saw him.

7bit is right, the kerning issues alone could be a pain to get fixed, and we have no idea what their tooling looks like.

BUT the first brave soul to successfully have this factory custom tool a set that isn't a carbon copy of these MAXKEY sets is going to be a legend. There are a significant number of bilingual members of the community--they are already helping people out with TaoBao orders via Discord. I'm sure we'll see something come up soon.
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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 21:54

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Well, if MaxKeys bought a Gorton pantograph machine to engrave legend plates for the two-shot process, then they'll have the same fonts that SP started with. They won't have any of SP's improvements, which led to the "Gorton Modified" name they use internally, but all the kerning issues will be identical. There's nothing magical or proprietary about the Gorton pantograph or its stock font blocks.

BTW: XMIT is Hispanic and Matt3o is Italian.
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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 21:56

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zslane wrote:Well, if MaxKeys bought a Gorton pantograph machine to engrave legend plates for the two-shot process, then they'll have the same fonts that SP started with. They won't have any of SP's improvements, which led to the "Gorton Modified" name they use internally, but all the kerning issues will be identical. There's nothing magical or proprietary about the Gorton pantograph or its stock font blocks.

BTW: XMIT is Hispanic and Matt3o is Italian.

Sorry to have misunderstood.
XMIT and Matt3o are both brave souls! 8-)
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That they copied SHIF T is just hilarious! Lol!
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Unread post16 Mar 2017, 23:42

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They didn't "copy" it per se. That's simply the spacing (kerning) you get from the stock Gorton type blocks. Anyone else using the same machine would get the same results.
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Unread post16 Mar 2017, 23:58

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Aha.
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Unread post17 Mar 2017, 08:49

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From perusing reddit and geek hack, it looks like Originative have worked with MaxKeys to fix the kerning issues, and have started a group buy for the single colour sets they were selling the last few months (with a markup). Keyclack / Jchan has also been working with them, and is doing an orange and cyan legend dolch style set with them. Either of these vendors are probably good people to reach out to since they've obviously been communicating with the Maxkeys crew to sort out these GBs.
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I suspect jchan will be our Marco Polo.
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Unread post17 Mar 2017, 15:39

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7bit wrote:We can't know if it will be a nightmare. Maybe they do a good job. My main concern is:
- Color: will the colors match what we have right now?
- MOQ: This has not yet been cleared.
- Prices: SP can have lower prices too, just order more!
- New legends: SP finally has produced perfect quality. All my new legends came out the way I wanted them. Not sure how the process with MaxKeys would work.

What I do not like with the MaxKeys sets I've seen, is that they try to resemble SP's original font, including oddities. Why not make something genuine?
:?

Are you in current conversations with SP? Or is their answer pretty much no at this point, and you're hoping that once you have the funds in place, they'll be more amenable to change their position?
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Unread post17 Mar 2017, 21:29

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Sorry for the weird question, but a while back there were problems with funds from Round 7 being used to pay off Round 6. If I order Round 7 now, will I get it (waiting is fine)?
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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 19:00

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At the moment, it's not even clear if R7 will ever happen. And I think it's safe to assume 7bit is yet to recover from that 17'000$ (or whatever the amount was) liquidity crisis, seeing as R6 phase 2 was finally paid only a few days ago. I still haven't seen any refund of my excess funds, for example.
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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 19:28

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My understanding is that any funds collected now for remaining Round 5/6 leftovers (or any other in-stock merchandise he sells for that matter) will be used to refund Round 7 payments, though the order in which 7bit issues these refunds is anyone's guess. If by some miracle Round 7 were to happen after all, I would expect 7bit to simply start over with regard to taking orders and collecting payments.
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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 20:34

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