How I learned to love building a mechanical keyboard
⌨ CandyBar Premium Round 2 in Pop Rocks
🌙 DSA Astrolokeys
🍊 C³Equalz X TKC Tangerine Switches
⬜️ Everglide Stabilizer Set
If you’ve ever wondered if the mechanical keyboard hobby is worth the heartache, I’m here to tell you that it’s like any other tech-tinkering thing you pour your heart and soul into over the course of a three-day weekend. You won’t finish what you started in a mere three days. You’ll realize you’ve merely begun the journey, and where you’re aiming to go requires a long road ahead of trial and error.
Folks, I’ve erred. There’s a short happening on the number pad, and I know the culprit is how I screwed the board down underneath the “0” key. It’s not something I’ll be able to address for a while, though, because not only are we back in the workweek, but I’d used up all my patience in the initial build.
The stabilizers were the most challenging part of putting this thing together. I didn’t understand the idea of laying things out beforehand, and that tripped me up the entirety of the way. I’d never seen a keyboard’s PCB before. I had no idea what to Google for help along the way. The guides I did find felt tailored to a more initiated audience.
My little annoyance with the keyboard is that space you see around the purple moon/Enter key. That’s unintentional, but the Astrolokeys basics set only comes with one keycap that will fit there, and it’s already acting as my left shift button (the purple key with the yellow star). I’m going to attempt to find another 1.75u keycap within the Astrolokeys set to fill that space. If I’m unsuccessful, then perhaps I’ll swap out the set for something else.
I finished putting together the keyboard late Sunday night. It’s beautiful, even with the part of the lavender aluminum chassis peeking through that I never intended to see. After typing on it for a bit, I also realized that I’d like to iterate on the layout a bit more. I want to place the arrow keys more traditionally (In a “T” shape, rather than a backward “L”). I also want to shorten the “0” key and remap the number pad to access symbols with the shift key. When I get to that, I hope to fix the short that’s affecting that general area.