I first got really interested in Mechanical Keyboards sometime at the end of 2019 and started out my hobby by buying a slightly pricey off-the-shelf tenkeyless board. It only ever went up from there as browsing endless pictures and videos of custom keyboard builds made me want to make something more special. You can watch the full build montage here:
There were a couple of requirements I had when it came to picking out the parts for my build:
- The keyboard had to be 60%. My experience with both tenkeyless and 65% had given a huge preference for 60%. The compact size, but still enough ample room for other function keys was very appealing
- I needed dedicated arrow keys. None of this "the shift and ctrl could function as pseudo arrow keys if you switch to a different layer". I like to play video games. Some of those video games require arrow keys instead of WASD. I needed dedicated arrow keys.
- Had to be wireless. Love the idea of a compact wireless keyboard.
- Wanted a minimalistic look. I never found a printed keycap set I really liked. Blanks seemed like the way to go. Plus, I'm a pretty good touch typist.
- Had to have tactile switches. Linear just feels like membrane but in a different package and clicky can be too loud at times. Tactile is just the perfect amount of noise and Zealios was my top pick.
With that, my search led to the GK64S PCB. The GK64 was already a popular 60% keyboard layout with dedicated arrow keys. The
S variant added bluetooth support. Here is the rest of my parts list along with associated price:
- GK64S PCB - $57.24
- Aluminum Case - $46.11
- Aluminum Plate - $20.11
- Durock Stabilizers - $14.04
- Zealios v2 62g Switches - $82.11
- JST Connector - $1.59
- 3500mAh LiPo Battery - $12.81
- Magnetic Power Cable - $7.84
- SA Blank Keycap Set - $90
- Custom SA Color Keycaps - $10.78
And... although I'm not sure you would count this, the artisan keycaps were $200 in total for the spacebar, shift, and escape key. Although to be fair I could probably sell them right now on the second hand market for a decent markup and I bought them way before I started this build. Anyway, this came out to a pretty expensive keyboard. Totally worth it tho.