Help Ducky design the next special edition

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

13 Feb 2015, 12:55

So I've been asked to help Ducky making sense of their next special edition keyboard.

For unknown reasons they want to release a variable-switch board (switch color varies along the board). As far as I understand this is what they have in mind so far

Image

I really can't see the rationale behind this board, but if you really had to make something like this, how would you make it?

Let me start the dance with an alternative I laid out very quickly. I'll post more in the coming days but please let's try to give a sense to this thing and it might become a real board.

Image

User avatar
scottc

13 Feb 2015, 13:22

The layout seems completely random to me as proposed by Ducky. I don't know if MX has enough stock configurations in spring weights across their "families" (linear, tactile, clicky) to really make this comfortable or feasible. If there were more spring configurations in a simple family, for example if they used Korean custom springs (not a realistic goal, but for argument's sake), then it would be interesting to have a layout approximating a variable-weight Topre board except made of MX clears (or blues, or linears).

User avatar
Khers

13 Feb 2015, 13:36

That board sort of only makes sense as a switch tester to me. I don't understand why you'd like to change tactility and clickiness between different keys. Spring weight would be more reasonable...

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

13 Feb 2015, 13:39

I know it doesn't make sense, but if you really had to make it, how would it be?

User avatar
HzFaq

13 Feb 2015, 13:42

You can do a reasonable variable weighting with linear greys/blacks/reds. I've done variable weighting mods before using clear/red/black springs and linear stems and it's alright, nothing amazing. My weighting layout is in the attachment more or less, I can't remember why I had reds/blacks/clears instead of red/clears/blacks but there we go, the later is the way I'd go now if I were to do it again.

I guess on the F row having light-medium-heavy switches as you go along (F1-F4 blues, F5-F8 greens, F9-F12 whites or something) could be kind of nice. Having the columns/rows on the numpad getting heavier/lighter could be kind of cool...as we've got a linear variable weighted alpha section and clicky F keys maybe make the numpad tactile.

I'm not going to disagree with the others who have said that it's a pretty nutty concept though...
Attachments
poker.jpg
poker.jpg (99.08 KiB) Viewed 4621 times

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

13 Feb 2015, 13:54

HzFaq wrote: […] I'm not going to disagree with the others who have said that it's a pretty nutty concept though...
+1

They could as well populate their board at random with different switches and advertise
"your unique keyboard - no one else has the same" :lol:

Findecanor

13 Feb 2015, 14:26

How about this:

Blue on the alphanumerics: but like on a typewriter only the alphanumeric keys should click.
Browns on the modifiers: Shift, Alt, Win, Fn, Control. I first thought that linear would be best, but I think that tactility is underrated on these. You would also want some resistance on the upstroke so that you feel when you release it.
Clear on Space: Must have a heavier switch on the space bar, but Tactile Grey might be too hard.
Clear on Return and Esc. Because they are "heavy" operations. Maybe even so far as Tactile Grey on Esc.
Tactile Grey on Caps Lock, Num Lock, Scroll Lock: Heavy switch to prevent accidental presses. Maybe even Green here. (Suboptimal if you like me map Caps Lock to something else, but anyway...)

Arrow and nav keys: Clear or Brown.
Tab, Backspace, Insert, Delete: Clear or Brown.
Function keys, and Prt Src/Scroll Lock/Pause could be have green or blue in different groups.

The idea is to mimic the sound and feel of a typewriter - as a consistent theme, not have different switches for the sake of having different switches. If you remember mechanical typewriters, only alphanumeric keys caused key arms to strike the ribbon and paper.
Preferably, there should also be O-rings on the alphanumeric keys so that you get the Click but without the Clack.
Also, no linear switches. No heavy switches on the alphanumeric keys - keep it ergonomic.

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

13 Feb 2015, 14:33

I like Findecanor's proposal, I'll try to lay that out

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

13 Feb 2015, 14:57

Findecanor wrote: […] If you remember mechanical typewriters, only alphanumeric keys caused key arms to strike the ribbon and paper.
The only non-alphanumeric keys on mechanical typewriters were Space, Shift and Backspace, more sophisticated models sometimes had a Tab key. All those just caused the carriage to move.

By the way, at the end of the line, the writer pushed the carriage back into its initial position, using a lever that at the same time caused the paper to go up one line - this was quite noisy.
So perhaps the switch of the Enter key should be particularly stiff and clicky :mrgreen:

User avatar
Muirium
µ

13 Feb 2015, 15:01

Ducky's done spectrum boards like this for a long time now. What's your input? Simply which colour switches should go where? What about the LEDs? I think they made them differ for each switch flavour before as well.

My advice for Ducky: a keyboard is not a switch tester. If you want to make one of those too, then do it in a numpad. Easier to sell a second keyboard to someone who's found their favourite that way! Especially a TKL.

Findecanor

13 Feb 2015, 19:14

kbdfr wrote:
Findecanor wrote: […] If you remember mechanical typewriters, only alphanumeric keys caused key arms to strike the ribbon and paper.
The only non-alphanumeric keys on mechanical typewriters were Space, Shift and Backspace, more sophisticated models sometimes had a Tab key. All those just caused the carriage to move.
Don't forget Shift Lock. Unlike Caps Lock on PC keyboards, it was latching and released when you pressed Shift.

When keys were in a row above the numeric row these were often variants of the Tab key, and as I remember, often very stiff but tactile.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

13 Feb 2015, 19:16

AH HA!!!! How about MXLOCK, Ducky. The one MX switch we want but cannot buy. Make it happen!

User avatar
scottc

13 Feb 2015, 21:23

Muirium wrote: AH HA!!!! How about MXLOCK, Ducky. The one MX switch we want but cannot buy. Make it happen!
Hmm, you know what would help Ducky to reach the MOQ?

Yep. That's right. Full MXLOCK keyboards. I believe in you, Ducky...

User avatar
Madhias
BS TORPE

13 Feb 2015, 21:26

It would work if there is a theme, like clicky or linear or tactile, and those options with variations. For example strong switches on F-Row, light switches on alphas. But i would not buy a board like that, and would have much more fun doing it myself. They could make an option to choose for yourself when ordering, but that would be too expensive (switch top removal plate?).

Actually i modified my Filco with various switches. I used MX Whites on the alphas, and MX Greens on the mods, and MX Clears on keys like the arrows cluster, page up and down, and backspace. I wanted to make a rather silent clicky board. Unfortunately there is nearly no difference between the Greens and Whites, so it is a 'normal' clicky keyboard, but with silent tactile switches on keys you probably press often in a short interval.
Spoiler:
Image

User avatar
Muirium
µ

13 Feb 2015, 21:37

Madhias wrote: switch top removal plate?
That's what we want!

Ducky makes nice solid boards. (And unlike Filco etc., they use the good kind of stabilisers!) But to really stand out from the pack, a simple change to their plate design would allow amazing moddability to every switch on the board. Do it! Be the first manufacturer to do what we've been up to all along!

User avatar
Madhias
BS TORPE

13 Feb 2015, 21:41

Yep, it would be great, since it is then so easy to change everything how you like it.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

13 Feb 2015, 22:06

Ducky: So, what did you guys at DT settle on for the new Special Edition?
Matteo: Um. You may not like this.
Ducky: Oh?
Matteo: Well, no one gave two shits about how you mix the switches. That's not what they want in a keyboard. They have other suggestions instead.
Ducky: Riiiiiiight? Like?
Matteo: Custom controller. Left hand function column. Split ergo. Bluetooth. Doubleshots. This is DT, what do you expect!
Ducky: How about those hot new Kaiilh switches everyone's talking about?
Matteo: …
Ducky: Hello?

User avatar
facetsesame
Mad Dasher

13 Feb 2015, 22:23

matt3o wrote: if you really had to make something like this, how would you make it?
If I was a manufacturer, I'd like to keep the colours consistent across the board.
However, to achieve this I would order a random mix of switches with custom sliders all dyed the same colour.

More seriously, I like Findecanor's suggestions a lot. Clicky alphas, non clicky mods, and heavier switches where size and function are important. If I had to add quirks, I'd include tactile greys on F1 and Insert.

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

15 Feb 2015, 09:44

Muirium wrote: Ducky: So, what did you guys at DT settle on for the new Special Edition?
Matteo: Um. You may not like this.
Ducky: Oh?
Matteo: Well, no one gave two shits about how you mix the switches. That's not what they want in a keyboard. They have other suggestions instead.
Ducky: Riiiiiiight? Like?
Matteo: Custom controller. Left hand function column. Split ergo. Bluetooth. Doubleshots. This is DT, what do you expect!
Ducky: How about those hot new Kaiilh switches everyone's talking about?
Matteo: …
Ducky: Hello?
were you there too?! :lol:

noobie94

15 Feb 2015, 09:58

matt3o wrote:
Muirium wrote: Ducky: How about those hot new Kaiilh switches everyone's talking about?
Matteo: …
Ducky: Hello?
:lol: :D :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

you serious Ducky? :roll:

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

15 Feb 2015, 10:39

some more non-sense. I mixed some of the suggestions

Image

User avatar
7bit

15 Feb 2015, 10:43

Ideally, the modifiers should be harder to push than the regular keys, so I would do it the other way round.
:-)

However, you should tell them to not use Cherry MX switches at all, because all they do is pushing up prices and MOQ for me.
:evilgeek:

User avatar
Sev

15 Feb 2015, 10:50

I have a crazy idea :o

Lets use one switch for the full keyboard :o

User avatar
Muirium
µ

15 Feb 2015, 11:11

Nutter!

Ducky would be my favourite company in keyboarding if they brought back (or modernised) the beamspring switch. They'd sell a couple of hundred mammoth keyboards (mostly to us on DT… depending on price) which I'm guessing is a few orders of magnitude short of their interest!

Actually, I still like Ducky plenty. Well priced high build quality boards. But they could use a bit more creativity in the switch department — and that doesn't mean using multi-colours, we mean go beyond MX — and going Bluetooth pretty quick: like everyone, damnit!

User avatar
Muirium
µ

16 Feb 2015, 16:47

They always have a way to turn off backlights. Really, all the decision comes down to is would you rather spend more on LEDs or more on caps. We side heavily to one answer!

Post Reply

Return to “Keyboards”