Are you tired of using the same old boring keyboard with mushy key switches? Do you want to experience the satisfying clicks and clacks of a mechanical keyboard but don’t want to break the bank? Look no further! In this blog post, we’ll show you how to build a cheap mechanical keyboard that not only looks great but also feels amazing to type on. So grab your tools and let’s get started!
There are a few different ways that you can go about building a cheap mechanical keyboard. The most popular method is to use Cherry MX switches. These are widely available and relatively inexpensive. Another option is to use Kailh switches. These are less common, but still widely available and relatively inexpensive. Finally, you could use Gateron or Outemu switches. These are less common still but can be found for a reasonable price if you look around.
- Cherry MX switches are the most popular type of switch for mechanical keyboards. They come in a variety of colors, each of which corresponds to a different actuation force. The most popular Cherry MX switch is the red switch, which has a linear actuation force. This means that there is no tactile feedback when the key is pressed, making it ideal for gaming. However, some people prefer the tactile feedback of a tact switch, which requires a higher actuation force.
- Kailh switches are less common than Cherry MX switches, but they are still widely available. They come in a variety of colors as well, each of which corresponds to a different actuation force. Like Cherry MX switches, Kailh switches come in both linear and tact varieties. Some people prefer Kailh switches because they have a shorter travel distance than Cherry MX switches. This can make them feel more responsive when typing or gaming.
- Gateron and Outemu switches are the least common types of switch used in mechanical keyboards
If you want to build a cheap mechanical keyboard, you’ll need a few tools. First, you’ll need a soldering iron and some solder. You can find these at any hardware store. Second, you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver. Third, you’ll need a wire cutter or stripper. Fourth, you’ll need a
keycap puller. These are available at most online mechanical keyboard stores. Finally, you’ll need a small file or knife to trim the excess plastic from your keycaps.
Step One: Solder the Switches
If you’re new to soldering, don’t worry–it’s not as difficult as it looks. In this section, we’ll walk you through the process of soldering your switches to the PCB.
- First, you’ll need to gather your tools and materials. For this project, you’ll need a soldering iron, solder, flux, wire cutters, and a small Phillips head screwdriver. You can find all of these items at your local hardware store or online.
- Next, you’ll need to prepare your work area. Make sure you have a clean, flat surface to work on and clear off any clutter that might get in the way. Once your work area is prepared, plug in your soldering iron and let it heat up.
- Now it’s time to start soldering! Hold the switch in place with one hand, and apply solder to the two contact points on the PCB with the other hand. Then touch the tip of the soldering iron to the solder until it melts and flows onto the contact points. Hold the iron in place for a few seconds to ensure a good connection. Repeat this process for all of the switches. Once all of the switches are soldered in place, carefully inspect each connection to make sure there are no shorts or open circuits. If everything looks good, congrats–you’ve completed step one!
Step Two: Solder the Diodes
Solder the diodes to the PCB. Make sure that the cathode (the short leg) of each diode is soldered to the square pad on the PCB. It doesn’t matter which way around you solder the anode (long leg) of the diodes. Once you have soldered all of the diodes, trim the excess wire from each leg.
Step Three: Mount the Keycaps
- 1. Place the keycaps on the key switches. Make sure that the larger keys, such as the spacebar, are placed on the stabilizer bars.
2. Using a Phillips head screwdriver, tighten the screws that hold the keycaps in place. Do not overtighten the screws; doing so may strip them or break the keycaps.
3. Once all of the keycaps are mounted, test each key switch to make sure it is functioning properly. Pressing a key should result in a corresponding character appearing on your screen.
Step Four: Flash the Firmware
Now that you have your PCB, it’s time to flash the firmware. This is the software that will run on your keyboard and allow you to configure the keys and other settings. There are a few different ways to flash the firmware, but we’ll be using QMK Toolbox. QMK Toolbox is a graphical interface for flashing firmware to your keyboard. Download QMK Toolbox from the official website and install it on your computer. Then open it up and select your PCB from the drop-down menu. Next, click on the “Firmware” tab and select the firmware file you downloaded earlier. Finally, click on the “Flash” button to start the process. The process will take a few minutes, and when it’s done your keyboard will be ready to use!
If you want to build a cheap mechanical keyboard, you’ll need to find a good keyboard layout, buy some quality key switches, and find a case that fits your needs. You can also save money by buying used parts or finding deals on sites like eBay. With a little patience and effort, you can easily build a great keyboard without spending a lot of money. But if you’re just looking for a solid keyboard that will last for years, you can find something within your budget.
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