Monday, 18 May 2020
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Hi Everyone,

This weekend I made an experiment and installed 3rd party keycaps on my Keymouse track. I was never a fan of the original keycaps, and they're made of ABS plastics which gets shiny fast. I really don't like that feeling so I decided to install PBT keycaps, which are made from more durable material which doesn't get shiny for many years.

Because there's very limited space between switches on the Keymouse, I had to do some surgery and sanding on some of the keycaps.
You can see the result in the pictures.

Most of the keycaps are Cherry profile, and I positioned the angled rows in the top and bottom row for easy reachability.
Especially useful are the angled keycaps for the numbers row, it's now much easier to reach them. I ended up inverting them to get a more steeper angle, looks kinda off but it's much more comfortable.

Some of the modifier keys and the home row keys are SDA profile, just for fun and to differentiate them a bit.

The only downside for now is that the click button between the keys is a bit harder to click, but that can be fixed with an extension.
1 year ago
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#2273
Cool, good to know! Thankfully my keycaps are a bit angled so the existing post-button is good enough for my use. Btw the green button looks nice :D
1 year ago
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#2272
I ended up making an extension for the left click using some sculpey clay. Using Y on the yellow layer for left click just wasn't cutting it.

I originally used crayola model magic clay, but it does not dry hard enough. With a 2oz pack of sculpey (less than $2 at walmart), I made about 20 pieces with 1/10 of the package and got a few that fit perfectly, plus sculpey clay dries in just 15 minutes in the oven. Hopefully this helps anyone out there looking to replace their keys without losing functionality.

Also, note: I used the device for a full year before switching to blank keys, I can't imagine trying to use blank keys from the get-go. But as Kresimir said, PBT keycaps have a much more pleasant feel to them.
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1 year ago
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#2268
I would love to get one 3d printed, it would seriously only need to be like 2mm longer. I can't find it in the 3d print files though :(
1 year ago
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#2264
I chose keycaps with a tilt so that the click button is actually on proper level with the adjecent keycaps, not needing an extension.
But if you need an extension, you can make another 3d printent keycap button or just make one out of wood and paint it black and insert it from the back.
Or just stick/glue something on top of it :)

In any case, PBT keycaps are great! Still no shininess of the key tops
1 year ago
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#2260
I ended up assigning the "y" key on the yellow layer to function as left click and removed the stick between y, u, h, and j completely. Here is an image of the completed right-hand piece. I only had to sand down the edge of the alt key under the "/?" key, as it was getting stuck on the housing. I originally sanded down the ones around the stick but it was still so far below the keys that I decided to just remove the stick and put in fresh keys.

But I'm really happy with how this feels and looks, I plan to do the left hand in mint green soon. For anyone interested, I purchased the keys from here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XJPTXLQ/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_0xtGFbGY3S7H0

Each set comes with 7 of the slightly wider keys, which fit perfectly (each side of the keymouse track uses 5). And the regular keys are slanted at different angles so it takes some trial and error to get them just right.
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1 year ago
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#2258
I just did this with my right-hand device and will probably do the left side soon. I don't like the glossy feel of the original keycaps. How would you go about extending the mouse button (between the y, u, h, & k keys)? That's my only issue.
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2 years ago
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#2122
Sure, mainly I had to cut the edges of keycaps bordering the click button, that stick that's inbetween the keys, used for the mouse click.

Other that that, I had to file the keycaps in the thumb cluster a bit. Most other kepcaps fit nicely. Very small gap between them but they don't interfere with each other.

Still using this layout, quite happy with it. Gonna do the same to the left keymouse track when I find the time.
2 years ago
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#2117

Because there's very limited space between switches on the Keymouse, I had to do some surgery and sanding on some of the keycaps.
You can see the result in the pictures.


That's awesome!
Could you elaborate on the surgery you did?
I see some filing for the click button. Did you do something besides that?
2 years ago
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#2100
Yeah, I'd agree it was the right choice to keep everyhing as compact as possible. Just glad that regular keycaps still can fit. albeit with a bit of modification :)

After a few days, I have to say I'm quite happy with the way this turned out.
If there are going to be further iterations on the design, I'd urge to consider increasing the curvature of the keys. Having come from Kinesis Advantage keyboard, that's the one thing I miss. Unless you have long fingers, it's hard to reach the numbers row on the track version. And this inverted/angled keycap solution helped a lot with reachability.
2 years ago
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#2098
Looking good. We put a lot of thought into doing full size key caps originally, but decided to do smaller since we figured reaching more keys with less hand movement would be good. I do like the idea of multiple variations so that users can do either way.
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