Introduction to group buys

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The following is an incomplete list of all keycap group buys conducted thus far.

Round 1

This group buy has been organised by WhiteRice and took only a month from start to shipping. 78 standard kits plus some extras where ordered. Around 9000 keycaps in total.

It was a follow-up of some Korean group buy with some improvements like J-shape return.

The color-scheme follows as closely as possible the Dolch-color scheme of Cherry keycaps for the PAC.

Happened in 09-10/2010.

Keycaps where produced by Signature Plastics.

  • A–Z: centred, large font
  • All other keys are traditional off-centre.

Colors

Foreground / background:

  • WA (White) / GE (Gray)
  • WA (White) / GX (Very Dark Gray)
  • WA (White) / OAS (Orange)

SoWaRe

Korean attempt to clone the WYSE terminal keyboard style. Due to a mistake, the colors where off and let to a new style. See also Round 4 Retro style.

Round 2

Remained an interest check right after Round 1 ended. Did never come off.

Round 3

Follow up of Round 1 with more choices, organised by 7bit.

52,000 keycaps.

Started: 12/2010
Ended: 06/2011

Colors

Foreground / background:

  • WA (White) / GE (Gray)
  • WA (White) / GX (Very Dark Gray)
  • WA (White) / OAS (Orange)
  • WA (White) / RA (Red)
  • WA (White) / BO* (Blue) (only few keys, like Return and WASD with arrows)
  • NN (Black) / RA (Red) (only keyboard and LOD)
  • NN (Black) / YY (Yellow) (only awesonme face)

A lot of extras where available.

  • ) might have been BFL or BFJ.

Rebel Red Alert

Red on white with add-ons in red on grey and white on red. Very efficient group buy with only one base kit and very few extras, run by Uranium from OTD.kr. Sixty did the European distribution. [1] [2]

It consisted of 300 base kits and around 50,000 keycaps.

Colours

  • RA (Red) / WA (White)
  • RA (Red) / ?? (Gray)
  • WA (White) / RA (Red)

Colours of add-on kit

  • WFK (White) / RBV (Red)

Return key

  • WFK (White) / RA (Red)

RGB group buys

  • Red: RR
  • Green: VCS
  • Blue: BDH and BFP (rounds 1 and 2)
  • Yellow: YBP

Colour comparison results:

  • RR, BFN/BFP, VCS/VCJ for Cherry
  • RA, BO, and VCK for Unicomp

Round 4

Round 4 featured 4 different color-schemes and legendstyles. It was the first group buy to feature complete spherical kits.

The tools for making 6.25 and 7 units space barshad been created for this group buy and their costs covered by the prices for the key caps.

It ran from 07/2011 until 06/2012.

Colors

SPH (spherical SA-family)

Colors for the SPH style.

WV (Cream White) / BFP (Blue)
WV (Cream White) / GD (Gray)
WV (Cream White) / RA (Red)

GeekHack user VPX ran a spherical group buy before, but it lacked space bars Space bars in 6.25 and 7 units. Therefore, space bars in RDE (Violett) had been made available in this group buy, to suplement the already existing kits.

Round 3 (DCS cylindrical, center legends)

A re-run of Round 3 with even more options.


Bianco (DCS cylindrical, center legends)

Never emerged, except that test samples had been produced (lotos-flowers) in red, green, blue, violett and black on white.

NN (Black) / WA (White)
RA (Red) / WA (White)
VBQ (Green) / WA (White)
BDH (Blue) / WA (White)
RDE (Violett) / WA (White)

Retro (DCS cylindrical, off-center legends)

A re-run os SoWaRe, except that the lightblue on lightgray legends where difficult to read. It was very difficult to sort and was not really successful.

As an option, symbols from the Noir-style where available, with and without special red, green, blue colors.

Noir (DCS cylindrical, off-center legends)

Noir was special, because a new set of symbols had been designed for its modifier keys. Sadly, Signature Plastics messed the legends up and made them too thin.

WYSE supplement keys

WYSE ASCII SP colors

In the first group buy of WYSE supplement keys, the following color choices where made.

Although SP keeps records of what they produce, these records had been destroyed after 10 years. However, these are the currently available colors which have perfect or closest match to a NIB sample:

  • BBI (Very Dark Blue) for text
  • GSX (Light Gray) for alphanumeric keys
  • GTD (Dark Gray) for modifier and function keys
  • YY (Yellow) for cursor arrows
  • GA (Gray) for the case

Tai-Hao 2013

Two complementary group buys run by elton5354 in 2013.

QWERkeys classic video game series

A run of UV/dye sublimation printed keycaps featuring sprites from well-known arcade and computer games, on QWERkeys J series (Cherry profile) keycaps. This series was run by nubbinator and BunnyLake.

Penumbra

Solarized color style, run by Ryan Uber of GeekHack.

Colors

modifiers and function keys:

  • RR (Red) / BED (Darkblue)
  • GTL (Gray) / BED (Darkblue)
  • BFP (Blue) / BED (Darkblue)
  • OAS (Orange) / BED (Darkblue)
  • VBQ (Green) / BED (Darkblue)

alnum and punct keys:

  • GPA (Darkgray) / YCC (Cream-Yellow)


Round 5

Round 6

Round 7

References

  1. Rebel Red Alert on Deskthority.org
  2. Rebel Red Alert on otd.kr