[GB] SKB75 / SKB65 / SKB60 (Standard, WKL, HHKB, YAS, Ortholinear)

UPDATE (regarding your orders):
lately not many new orders are coming in. But a lot of you want to change the order and switch to another version or add one. Sounds simple but takes time as well.

This still applies:
If you have already filled out the form and later want to change your version or add one, then please just fill it out again but with the complete order. So if you had ordered an HHKB version for example and you want a second one, then please don't add another order with ONE HHKB. Instead fill out the form with TWO HHKB orders. I can spot double entries and I will just delete your older form entries and just keep the last/youngest submission.
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Unread post14 May 2018, 22:34

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UPDATE (regarding PLATE-B):

the worst performing kit so far is SKB60-Standard with plate-B with only 6 orders. This kit is only necessary if you plan to go for a layout with the arrow-cluster squeezed into the standard 60%. The layout with lots of 1U keys in bottom right, possible with Banana or DZ60 PCB for example. I combined this layout with the YAS layouts into PLATE-B. But there are far more YAS orders and I feel it would be nice to give the YAS a nicer plate and therefore drop support for the before mentioned layout completely. So sorry for the six ones who ordered the "SKB60-Standard with plate-B" kit. I'll PM them soon and ask if they want to switch or drop out.

For all YAS orders this means, that you will become a dedicated YAS-only plate.

This is how it looks now:
Image

Here are the other updated plate/layout illustrations.

Sorry for the dropped layout but only six orders don't justify it.
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Unread post14 May 2018, 22:34

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PlastikSchnittstelle wrote:UPDATE (regarding PLATE-B):

the worst performing kit so far is SKB60-Standard with plate-B with only 6 orders.

I'm not going to tell you how to run your GB, but I just want to mention that 1) this GB has not been properly advertised on Reddit yet, so there are some possible extra orders there, and 2) many wait until the end of the GB to join, so rate of new buyers usually picks up the last day and the last hours.

So there might be enough demand for a separate 60% + arrows plate in the end. Perhaps this could be added as a new plate, separate from YAS, with the possibility of switching to a regular 60% if it doesn't reach MOQ?
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Unread post15 May 2018, 07:15

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Yes, the official reddit post which I still haven't done, I'm aware of that. I was asked a few times on GH already when I will finally post there as well to get more orders and by that maybe reach an even lower price point. This is what I wrote regarding this:
Yes, you recall that right and I still intend to make an official R/MK post. A few reasons why I still didn't.
Let me explain.
The powedercoating on the plates of the samples was much too thick and the bead blasting was kind of sloppy (some spots not really blasted). My contact at the firm was on holiday so I couldn't clear that out right away. This is no big deal, but before I collect any money from you I want to make sure that this will not happen in the final production.
Also I had some requests via PM for a 65% version. As many of you know this was ruled out during IC phase. 60% and 75% had just more votes, though 65% had much as well. For me the biggest reason against 65% was that at the time 65% PCBs alone were hard to get. This has changed a bit since. Now you can get them from Sentraq, Keyclack and KBDfans. So maybe I'm preparing to add this option as well (just adding the option is of course no guarantee it will happen since a minimum of 20 orders would be required).
Also I don't want to add another stack of renderings. I will make just one or two where all the versions join happily together, something like a nice family picture. And I still need more time for that.

So in short, I'm still working to insure quality, maybe add another version, last nice rendering. When that is done - then I will do R/MK to give it a last push.

Until then I'm totally comfortable if this GB goes a bit unnoticed - the numbers are already better then expected.

This also means, that the payment phase will have to be pushed back by two weeks I think (so not starting before mid-may).
I hope you're all fine with that.

This still applies, thought the SKB65 version has been added in the meantime (but still haven't found the time to make renderings for it). The important point is that I have to wait until I hold new parts in my hands that prove to me all details are fine. Only then I will make the reddit post.

Timeline:
- get new parts
- if fine, then reddit
- then payment

I will not start collecting your money before I can assure everything works out as expected. Even if that means pushing back payment phase another two weeks - which I don't hope for.

regarding the dropped layout. maybe I'll offer to give it it's own dedicated plate if it reaches MOQ 10. but the problem here is not making the plate, it is all the communication and changing of orders that goes along with that - takes an awful lot of time.
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Unread post15 May 2018, 09:27

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UPDATE (renderings):

finally I had the time to make new renderings. Now showing all the different SKB versions, including the 65%.
Here is one:

Image

The rest is on imgur again.
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Unread post18 May 2018, 22:43

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UPDATE (one more sample / timeline):

hey, there are well over 100 orders now - so why haven't I still started the payment phase?
There are still some details I want to make sure that they will be fine throughout the production. To sort this out I will get another sample. A sample of the SKB75 this time. I'll still have it this month, will make another build and document it for you. With the pictures of the build I will finally also officially make a reddit GB post and by then I will have a new quote which will enable me to give you a new price point that is in reach. Then I'm comfortable to start the payment phase and soon after give the OK for the production.
So I guess payment will start earliest by the end of this month.

Thanks for your patience, we're almost there ;)
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Unread post18 May 2018, 22:43

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UPDATE (regarding shipping):

Many of you asked if I could offer a cheaper shipping alternative. To the USA I only offered 40€ shipping so far. I chose this option because I wanted tracked shipping. I just spent some more time checking out the DHL options and it turns out I missed something. The cheapest international (includes USA) option is 16€ and does not include tracking and insurance. BUT you can add tracking and insurance (only up to 50€ though) for additional 4€ to it. So this means 20€ is available as well now. This option allows up to 2kg. This means I can pack two SKBs and one or maybe even two extra plates in the package. The ∼40€ option allows for up to 5kg, that would mean at least five SKBs and extra plates. I made a table showing the available options. All prices include 1€ extra for packaging cost:

Destination Option 1 Option 2
Germany 6€
tracking
weight up to 2kg
insured up to 500€
7€
tracking
weight up to 5kg
insured up to 500€
Europe
(including the UK)
15€
tracking
weight up to 2kg
insured up to 500€
17€
tracking
weight up to 5kg
insured up to 500€
International
(most countries including USA)
21€
tracking
weight up to 2kg
insured up to 50€
38€
tracking
weight up to 5kg
insured up to 500€
International
(some countries like Australia and Japan)
21€
tracking
weight up to 2kg
insured up to 50€
47€
tracking
weight up to 5kg
insured up to 500€


Information updated in the start post as well.

I will check out US proxy shipping, but only after I have the last sample ready, but still before payment of course.
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Unread post20 May 2018, 20:39

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To all who ordered the HHKB version.
What do you think about this?
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Unread post28 May 2018, 09:44

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UPDATE (order list):

many of you made some changes to their order lately, thanks for sticking to the method I asked you for. Here is an updated list of all the orders so far. This time not as picture file. It's a PDF, so now you can just hit "Ctrl+F" or "⌘+F" to find your name quickly.

PDF attached.
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Unread post28 May 2018, 09:50

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UPDATED ORDER LIST

sorry, made some mistakes when copying the google form data to excel. this one should be correct.
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Unread post29 May 2018, 13:32

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UPDATE (final sample and invoicing):

Yesterday I talked to the manufacturer. The final sample is still not made (SKB75). I will have it by the end of next week, hopefully. The quote for the higher quantity, I will also only get next week.

I can't start sending out invoices until I have both the final sample and the new quote.
The final sample is so important because with it will be decided if a slight design change will be made or not. Nothing drastic but I want to show it before invoicing.
Only with the final quote I can determine the final price for roughly 150 units. We are just about 20 units away from this at the moment. The reddit GB post I want to do as soon as I have the final sample should help us get there.

A US proxy is also something I wanted to look into. Need to decide about that as well before invoicing can start. A proxy would mean a lot of extra communication, planning and time. That's why I hope the new and cheaper shipping options I told you about here are satisfactory for you. If so, we could get along without proxy. Need some opinions about that.

Orders are still taken for these reasons, obviously.

This is really bugging me out but at the moment I can't do nothing about it, but be patient.

Btw, almost none of you who ordered the HHKB version really cares about the 6U suggestion, right?
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Unread post31 May 2018, 13:50

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PlastikSchnittstelle wrote:
Yesterday I talked to the manufacturer. The final sample is still not made (SKB75). I will have it by the end of next week, hopefully. The quote for the higher quantity, I will also only get next week.


Don't stress about an extra week or two - almost all of us on here knew what we were getting into by hopping on a group buy in an obscure keyboard enthusiast forum. I'm sure that I speak for all when I say that we would rather have it right than fast. If it takes an extra 2 weeks for you to be happy with where it's at, then so be it. You've been extremely thorough and transparent during the whole process and I've certainly appreciated it, so thank you for that.

PlastikSchnittstelle wrote:
A US proxy is also something I wanted to look into. Need to decide about that as well before invoicing can start. A proxy would mean a lot of extra communication, planning and time. That's why I hope the new and cheaper shipping options I told you about here are satisfactory for you. If so, we could get along without proxy. Need some opinions about that.


The new shipping prices seem very reasonable to me, and if not using a proxy means less overall stress on the project, I'm ok with that. I doubt I would use one at all with current pricing for shipping with tracking.
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Unread post31 May 2018, 15:30

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PlastikSchnittstelle wrote:UPDATE (final sample and invoicing):

A US proxy is also something I wanted to look into. Need to decide about that as well before invoicing can start. A proxy would mean a lot of extra communication, planning and time. That's why I hope the new and cheaper shipping options I told you about here are satisfactory for you. If so, we could get along without proxy. Need some opinions about that.

If you are still looking for a US proxy, I may be able to help. I'm not sure what exactly is involved as I haven't done it before, but shoot me a message and we can talk about it.

As for the cheaper shipping, I really hope if you do end up offering it that the tracked via DHL is still offered because the last time I had an order that was untracked/uninsured DHL shipping from Germany, it was a nightmare that was never resolved. I'll pay another 20 Euro to make sure I don't have to go through that again.
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Unread post31 May 2018, 17:53

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Ampt wrote:Don't stress about an extra week or two - almost all of us on here knew what we were getting into by hopping on a group buy in an obscure keyboard enthusiast forum. I'm sure that I speak for all when I say that we would rather have it right than fast. If it takes an extra 2 weeks for you to be happy with where it's at, then so be it. You've been extremely thorough and transparent during the whole process and I've certainly appreciated it, so thank you for that.
The new shipping prices seem very reasonable to me, and if not using a proxy means less overall stress on the project, I'm ok with that. I doubt I would use one at all with current pricing for shipping with tracking.

Thanks for your feedback, good to hear, that calms me down.
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Unread post31 May 2018, 20:15

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nuclear_wizard wrote:If you are still looking for a US proxy, I may be able to help. I'm not sure what exactly is involved as I haven't done it before, but shoot me a message and we can talk about it.

As for the cheaper shipping, I really hope if you do end up offering it that the tracked via DHL is still offered because the last time I had an order that was untracked/uninsured DHL shipping from Germany, it was a nightmare that was never resolved. I'll pay another 20 Euro to make sure I don't have to go through that again.

Thanks for your offer. I'd be happy if everyone would be fine without proxy. I'll wait for some more feedback until I decide.
The new 21€ option to the USA is of course with tracking (mentioned in the table). Compared to the 38€ option it just allows for only 2kg instead of 5kg and is only insured with up to 50€ instead of 500€. I wouldn't want to ship without tracking. I'll see if I can get a rebate for sending so many packages. So maybe it's possible to get it down to 20 or even 19€.
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Unread post31 May 2018, 20:17

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Ampt wrote:Don't stress about an extra week or two - almost all of us on here knew what we were getting into by hopping on a group buy in an obscure keyboard enthusiast forum. I'm sure that I speak for all when I say that we would rather have it right than fast. If it takes an extra 2 weeks for you to be happy with where it's at, then so be it. You've been extremely thorough and transparent during the whole process and I've certainly appreciated it, so thank you for that.

Amen, Sir, praise the Lord (and this GB)!
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Unread post01 Jun 2018, 09:11

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IMPORTANT:

OK, there is a decision that has to be made before I can send out invoices. As you know, I pointed out several times how important the black plate is to me.
Quick recap:
Powder coating is not an option, because a thin layer can't be easily be achieved on a surface that has this many holes close together. The layer turns out to be too thick so the switches don't snap in nicely.
Black galvanizing was supposed to be the solution, but it turns out it has a drawback. It is not possible to galvanize stainless steel - this is only possible with "normal" steel.
I did research for other possibilities to make stainless steel black. There are solutions but they are not possible with the current prices.

I know most here expect the plate to be stainless steel, so I feel I can't just do this without letting you know.

So I need to know what is more important to you:
a) black plate / standard steel
b) bare plate / stainless steel

Again, sorry for the wait, we are very close.
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Unread post12 Jun 2018, 11:28

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Update regarding invoices:

When? probably next week.

Once invoices go out I will make a raffle. Five extra SKBs will be given away for the first 100 who payed. So many will have quite a good chance of getting an extra one. Once determined who the lucky ones are, they can choose any SKB version they want.
Hansichen and Zuology will get an extra SKB. Hansichen, because he was the first who ordered and Zuology because he was a great help. Just let me know which version you want to add.
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Unread post12 Jun 2018, 11:30

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I vote for the black plate version.
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Unread post12 Jun 2018, 11:48

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PlastikSchnittstelle wrote:So I need to know what is more important to you:
a) black plate / standard steel
b) bare plate / stainless steel

Again, sorry for the wait, we are very close.

I'd rather have a stainless plate.
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Unread post12 Jun 2018, 11:56

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O, I am totally unsure. Would the plate be visible? Would my plate become rusty over time? Do I care to spray it with a matte black? Questions over qeustions. Can you give a price comparision? I would rather go with the more luxurary version if I can afford it...
The idea with the lottery for fast payments is absolutely fantastic, btw.
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about a) vs b)

The steel is not exposed to heavy weather conditions but inside a keyboard on a desk. Even normal steel will last for generations without the slightest trace of rust. Though the reflections of the shiny stainless steel is something you would notice every single day. So for me steel/black is the way to go, I just felt I had to let everyone know.
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Unread post12 Jun 2018, 12:08

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I'm curious about the exact alloys used here. Galvanized steel should in theory:
- look nicer since it doesn't shine through
- be less harsh on the fingers since it's likely a bit softer

Kind of the more interesting option in my mind.
Also remember that this is a bit of an open design, the plate might shine through in more places than just between the keys.
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Unread post12 Jun 2018, 12:20

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I’m interested in how both feel. Galvanised steel sounds interesting to me, though.
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Unread post12 Jun 2018, 12:22

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kekstee wrote:Also remember that this is a bit of an open design, the plate might shine through in more places than just between the keys.

Serious question from an ignorant hick: what would be the problem of having a stainless plate and then spraying it with black (or any "dark enough") matte paint?
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Unread post12 Jun 2018, 12:23

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The same issue as it is with powdercoating in the first place, a decent layer of paint will change the cutout size in unpredictable ways.
(I've done that when restoring old plates, it always kind of sucks)
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Unread post12 Jun 2018, 12:27

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I spray painted my SGI Granite’s plate, and by the time I got a coat of primer and enough layers of base coat for it to stick well, it was quite tight for switches. I think I ended up popping out some paint when I put a couple of switches in.
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Unread post12 Jun 2018, 12:40

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When you start painting it yourself, you loose the look and feel of the production quality. Painting it yourself makes it more like a home made mod with unknown outcome.
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Unread post12 Jun 2018, 12:47

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My vote is for the black version
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Unread post12 Jun 2018, 13:26

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I too vote for black!
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