DIY mechanical keyboard kits

Alt_3

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Nov 10, 2018
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Hey everyone.

I'm interested in importing mechanical keyboard components for 60% boards and packaging them as customisable kits. I have a few questions to guage market interest if anyone is keen on helping out :)

1. How much would you be willing to pay for a DIY kit?
2. What switches would you prefer? Cherry, Gateron or Khail ?
3. What are your thoughts on wood cases?
4. Would you want RGB or LED lighting?
5. How much would you pay for a braided cable?
6. Do you find the aspect of soldering the switches in and putting it all together fun and enticing or scary and daunting?
7. Any other additional comments or ideas are welcome!
 

Johnatan56

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Aug 23, 2013
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1. As little as possible while getting quality. The price for this is quite varied.
2. Cherry
3. Depends on the weight, I like a heavy metal base as it stops the keyboard from shifting. (EDIT: Sorry, misread as base. Wood case might be interesting, would depend on quality, it would have to fit snugly for the keyboard to help against bumps.)
4. Yes, one of the few/only components I want RGB lighting (via LED...).
5. As little as possible. Not really into braided as I have never had a problem with keyboard cables. Again, depends on price, higher end/premium I would care. Should definitely be done with wood.
6. I would like to do as little work as possible. Also, where am I supposed to get soldering equipment from?
7. Are you sure you really have a large enough target market in South Africa for this? The mech keyboard market is already quite small.
 
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Alt_3

New Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2018
Messages
5
1. As little as possible while getting quality. The price for this is quite varied.
2. Cherry
3. Depends on the weight, I like a heavy metal base as it stops the keyboard from shifting.
4. Yes, one of the few/only components I want RGB lighting (via LED...).
5. As little as possible. Not really into braided as I have never had a problem with keyboard cables. Again, depends on price, higher end/premium I would care. Should definitely be done with wood.
6. I would like to do as little work as possible. Also, where am I supposed to get soldering equipment from?
7. Are you sure you really have a large enough target market in South Africa for this? The mech keyboard market is already quite small.
Thanks so much for the response, appreciate the feedback! The price point I've been aiming for is 1500 or under, but it's so tight trying to get all the components in under that. I'm pretty unsure about the market for it in SA. I think it's there, but definitely feel it's all about how much the kit costs in the end.
 

RedViking

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Feb 23, 2012
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Why DIY if you can buy a finished product? Am I missing something?
 

Alt_3

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Nov 10, 2018
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Why DIY if you can buy a finished product? Am I missing something?
Hoping to appeal to the custom market. Get to pick your own case, key caps, switches etc. Then the whole feeling of putting it together yourself, booting up some strange software and programming in the key layers. Do you think it would be best to market it as an assembled unit rather than a DIY vibe? Is it just me that gets a kick from soldering **** together?
 

Johnatan56

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Aug 23, 2013
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Hoping to appeal to the custom market. Get to pick your own case, key caps, switches etc. Then the whole feeling of putting it together yourself, booting up some strange software and programming in the key layers. Do you think it would be best to market it as an assembled unit rather than a DIY vibe? Is it just me that gets a kick from soldering **** together?
I would enjoy doing it, but would need someone to help guide me the first time. Also, most who buy it buy it so they can use it, not to spend time putting it together. A keyboard is a work item, I bought mine to reduce finger fatigue as I spend a lot of time typing.

Are you sure you can get good mechanical keyboards at under R1500? Just considering the current pricing and with the rand/dollar constantly messing up, I really don't see any e.g. Cherry brown at that price unless they're stock from back R12/dollar.
 

RedViking

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Feb 23, 2012
Messages
21,145
Hoping to appeal to the custom market. Get to pick your own case, key caps, switches etc. Then the whole feeling of putting it together yourself, booting up some strange software and programming in the key layers. Do you think it would be best to market it as an assembled unit rather than a DIY vibe? Is it just me that gets a kick from soldering **** together?
Interesting. I didn't realise there is a hobby like this. Lol. Maybe just sell the finished keyboard and you can add your own key caps...
 

Alt_3

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Nov 10, 2018
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I would enjoy doing it, but would need someone to help guide me the first time. Also, most who buy it buy it so they can use it, not to spend time putting it together. A keyboard is a work item, I bought mine to reduce finger fatigue as I spend a lot of time typing.
You guys make an excellent point! Pretty certain I could make a comprehensive video and step by step instructions sheet. What would your thoughts be on having it as a DIY number to begin with and for an extra 50 bucks I'll solder it all together and send it as a built unit?
 

Johnatan56

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You guys make an excellent point! Pretty certain I could make a comprehensive video and step by step instructions sheet. What would your thoughts be on having it as a DIY number to begin with and for an extra 50 bucks I'll solder it all together and send it as a built unit?
Again, depends on final price and quality.
 

Alt_3

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Nov 10, 2018
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You're 100% right. I actually bought one of these as my 2nd mechanical. Can get them off Takealot for 800-1000. Like really solid keyboards. However there is an appeal to customising your own one, but it's really not for everyone. This is definitely a question i have to be able to solidly answer with the marketing of the kit. Thanks for the input!
 

Daruk

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Jul 18, 2008
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You're 100% right. I actually bought one of these as my 2nd mechanical. Can get them off Takealot for 800-1000. Like really solid keyboards. However there is an appeal to customising your own one, but it's really not for everyone. This is definitely a question i have to be able to solidly answer with the marketing of the kit. Thanks for the input!
I got one of those specifically for the switches. Can’t get over how expensive they can be!
 
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