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mechanical keyboard

Nephlock’s GMK Metropolis R2 Available

GMK Metropolis by Nephlock is one of the most visually arresting keycap sets I’ve seen, with bold colors on a dark blue base and symbology for transit enthusiasts. Unfortunately, Metropolis has been one of the most expensive keycap sets to get on the second-hand market, because it is so popular. Finally, in about a year, new copies of GMK Metropolis will be shipping again after people who purchase it before April 30th, 2021, receive their sets. GMK, the company that makes these keycaps, really needs the pandemic to be over.

If you find the colors to be a bit much, but enjoy the mass-transit symbology, there is a more subdued base kit with teal highlights called Midnight:

Midnight

The regular Metropolis base kit is $120 USD, Midnight is slightly cheaper at $110 presumably because the kit is a little smaller and uses fewer colors. As with all of these Group Buys there’s a risk of delays if the 

GMK Metropolis is available with more options, matching deskmats, and more, until the 30th of April at Novelkeys for North America, Desk Hero for Canada, proto[Typist] in the UK, Oblotzky Industries for the EU, Daily Clack in Australia, zFrontier in Asia, and monokei in South East Asia. You can read a bit more about the set in this thread from Nephlock on Geekhack.

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mechanical keyboard

A Keyboard Fit for A Fool

The Clueboard keyboard company has sadly somewhat shut down, but one of the silliest things they built every year was a keyboard for April Fools’ Day. The layout in the past few years has been a variation on the theme of too many keys in what the Clueboard folks call a 2×1800 layout, which has two sets of numpad keys, two arrow keys, and more F-keys than you will ever be able to sort out without advance notice. There are 129 keys on this board. In the past it has added rotary knobs and an etch-a-sketch mode where you could shake the keyboard in order to reset a drawing made with the knobs. This year’s version is the Clueboard 2×1800 LED Sign Edition (2021) and it has, as the name suggests, a programmable LED array. This is the most keyboard you could buy and it would probably take someone a few hours to solder in the 256 LEDs on their own. Oh, and of course this keyboard also has the rotary encoders, a speaker, a built-in breadboard for future expansion, 6 GPIO pins, and all of the 129 keys from the previous years models.

At $150 including almost everything you need to build the world’s silliest mechanical keyboard, this Clueboard 2×1800 LED Sign Edition (2021) seems like it is certainly one thing to do with your money and time but you’ll also need to get stabilizers and switches and keycaps, which is gonna be difficult with two sets of arrow keys and number pads to cover. The product page mentions that a 3D-printed case is on the way but it might just be files for you to print your own and that’s probably gonna be tough with a keyboard this size. It is also important to note that the final PCB will have a black solder mask and a white silkscreen with some other aesthetic differences to the prototype photo.

You’ll also need to decide quickly, as the sale ends on April 6th. Unlike most mechanical keyboard group buys this one is expected to ship relatively quickly in mid-May.

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mechanical keyboard

A TKL Model M from Unicomp: The Mini M

The most beloved mechanical keyboard among some is IBM’s Model M keyboard, it popularized the buckling spring switch for the utmost tactility and sound. Now, Unicomp is making a Mini M in a familiar design that sacrifices the number pad in order to use less desk space than the original Model M. Unicomp also swapped out the detachable PS2 cable for a new detachable USB wire.

This Mini M is only available in black, and there are two keycap color options (All Gray or White & Gray) however the buckling spring switches most likely aren’t compatible with most custom keycap sets. Those custom keycap sets are designed to work with Cherry MX-compatible switches that have a different mounting mechanism for keycaps.

The Mini M is available now from Unicomp for $121.

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mechanical keyboard video games

Hello, again

The developers behind a previous Hello keyboard that went wrong for various reasons are working on a new iteration in the same spirit. This is the Hello, again inspired by the classic Apple M0110 keyboard layout.

Find out more about their project at this link. It’s currently in “interest check” status where people who are interested can submit feedback before Hello, again goes into the group buy phase.

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mechanical keyboard

ePBT RamenStop From Plop

ePBT RamenStop is “a two-toned Katakana set themed around small ramen shops” in the group buy phase from the designer Plop from now until February 22nd via the Kono store and looks absolutely awesome. Estimated delivery is in 6-8 months and the set starts at $75 for the base kit.