130 Widgets

Semi-random thoughts and tales of tinkering

Keyboard play, part 1

I’ve always had a love of tactile keyboards. For the past six or seven years I have loved using a WASD Code 87-key keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches. Despite also having an example of the same keyboard with Cherry Clear switches, I clearly prefer the lighter spring weight of the Cherry Browns. This was enough for me, until two years ago when I was able to order an aluminum outer case for the same keyboard. I replaced the ABS plastic case with the much-heavier aluminum, and immediately preferred the added heft. Even though my beloved Model M keyboards were made of plastic, I always preferred their heft. They don’t move around on the desk, and they just feel solid.

Building and customizing keyboards has become quite a popular hobby in the past few years, and it seemed to me to be mostly focusing on unique key caps and lighting. This didn’t appeal to me, because half of my love of the Code is, while their keys are backlit, it is an extremely clean, utilitarian design.

Enter hot-swappable (no soldering required) switches. With the right keyboard, I can now tinker with how the switches themselves feel and sound, without the trouble of soldering.

This will be fun.