GH60, a personalized DIY mechanical keyboard, professional player’s choice (Part 1)
GH60 mechanical keyboard is a kind of keyboard which has about 60 keys, this keyboard is designed by keyboard enthusiasts from geekhack forum community. Gh60 is a DIY-oriented mechanical keyboard to meet all kinds of personal layout demands from the players, there are many layouts for gh60 keyboard, the most popular three are “poker”, “pure” and “HHKB” which are with 61 keys, 62 keys and 59 keys accordingly.
An outstanding advantage of GH60 keyboard is its prepared key-holes on the PCB for players to DIY their functional keys, players may make the keyboard layouts they like. As shown in Figure:
GH60 mechanical keyboard’s default layout is as following, this is a recommended layout which can be easily find the needed key caps.
This keyboard layout basically satisfies most users’office-demands, compare with 87-key keyboard it saves the F area and direction keys, F1~F12 is generated by Fn + 1~9,0 and other 3 keys, the direction keys are comparatively complicated and are realized by Fn + some combined keys.
Split “Shift” key into two keys may solve the direction keys problem, but a little defect is the new “RShift” key, its width is 1.75 normal size and is difficult to find the key cap. This is so called “pure” layout of GH 60 keyboard.
It’s good keyboard in general, even the “RShift” key cap is nonstandard. The greatest benefit of GH60 mechanical keyboard is that you can change the key positions according to your needs, it really a keyboard yourself.
Components of GH60 mechanical keyboard are very simple. Shell, key caps, cable, PCB, mechanical switches, positioning board, LED lamps and switch auxiliaries, positioning board is optional for some players. You need an electric iron and tin wire to weld the mechanical switches with keybord PCB if your PCB was not with pluggable sockets for switches.
Many materials can be used to make the shell of GH60 mechanical keyboard, most used materials include plastic, acrylic, wood and metal, different materials prices are different.
Plastic shell is cheaper and convenient to buy, but lack of personalization
Acrylic is quite fit for GH60 mechanical keyboard shell with high price performance, internal PCB is visible for the transparency and positioning board may be omitted. A possible disadvantage is that you need to buy a hexagon wrench to screw or unscrew it.
Wooden shell is relatively expensive and is with relatively high level of personalization.
Metal shells are with large range of prices from tens to hundreds USD dollars, they are high-end shells for GH60 mechanical keyboard with tactile feel, but they are relatively heavier than shells made of any other materials.
It must be said, different shells have nothing to do with the performance of GH60 mechanical keyboard, players may choose keyboard shell according to their hobby and their economic power. Some users may even design their own shell with their personalized demands, this is a kind of high class DIY personalization, high cost and much effort are needed to realize the shell.
(To be continued, see GH60, a DIY mechanical keyboard–part 2)