Hello Munky,

If you have been having any issue registering, or logging in please email kyle@themodzoo.com.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused!

Welcome to The Mod Zoo

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

project_log_header.jpg

Log Completed 9-19-17

Welcome, munkys! 

It's be a grueling few months what with numerous setbacks with projects, and storms, but an EEL abides I guess.  Gotta keep on truckin'.

I've been tinkering with some things, and decided I'd distract myself temporarily from the big projects I should already be done with but can't seem to quite get there due to temperatures being unbearable, and lack of desire.  I guess a good way of describing trying to push yourself against your will to finish a project you don't want to work on:  it's kind of like having a bowel-movement -- you can't force it or you'll be in pain. :laugh:

I was able to snag one of the Team Wolf Zhuque "CIY" 87-key decks really cheap, and decided I'd do something with it to make it my own.  Out of box, it's a damn fine piece of keyboard for the price, with a few gripes.  Let's get to this!

These cheaaaaaap decks come in decent packaging...

bunkerboard_log01.jpg

CIY = Change It Yourself!  Basically, you can hot-swap new key switches into the deck without having to disassemble and desolder. Perfect as a switch-tester on the go!

bunkerboard_log02.jpg

Inside the box, they even have a layer of vellum paper to further protect the deck inside from dust, critters, or whatever.  Nice.

bunkerboard_log03.jpg

Let's get this deck out on the workbench and take a look at things.

bunkerboard_log04.jpg

I've seen uglier!

bunkerboard_log05.jpg

That logo though....  I can't stand excessive badging, to be honest.  I like subtlety when it comes to that kind of thing.

That logo has gotta go!

bunkerboard_log06.jpg

Not really a fan of Blues, but I guess they could be worse.  These are Gaote Blues.  Weird round opening on the switch top instead of the usual rectangular box shape of the stem meeting up with the housing. Doesn't matter; they're gone too, haha.

bunkerboard_log07.jpg

Caps are kinda meh too, but I've seen worse.

bunkerboard_log08.jpg

The Cherry-esque stabilizers (stabs) are interesting though.  I like how they snap onto the bar instead of having to fiddle with getting the bar inserted prior and pushing the caps on.  This makes more sense in an odd way.  I was going to replace them with Cherry stabs, but I may just keep them instead.  Kinda cool!

bunkerboard_log09.jpg

All caps pulled, and ready to further breakdown...

bunkerboard_log10.jpg

This key in particular is kind of a pain though....  The Windows key.  For some reason, the manufactuer decided the backlighting on it will stay on ALL THE TIME, even if you turn off the backlighting (like I do).  I don't get it, lol.  Easily fixed though.

bunkerboard_log11.jpg

SMD LEDs; surface-mount diodes.  If you're careful with your soldering iron, you can get it off with no damage.

bunkerboard_log12.jpg

bunkerboard_log13.jpg

One of the things I dislike about this deck is the backlighting.  I don't understand why a lot of these manufacturers decide that the 'rainbow' backlighting is acceptable.  Just....choose a color.  One color. That's it!  I don't need a couple rows of red, then blue, then yellow, etc.  Ugh, ugly!

bunkerboard_log14.jpg

If I really felt like going through the trouble, I'd just desolder all the SMDs and replace with a single color (such as orange or something), but it's not worth it to me.  I just rarely ever even look at it with backlighting.  Basically, this is a work-station keyboard.  In fact, I'm typing this log using it!

bunkerboard_log15.jpg

After removing all the switches using the CIY removal tool, a few screws through the top plate and some in the bottom held the hold thing together.  I'm going to make the permanent wire a removable one too.  I don't like permanently-attached cables!

bunkerboard_log16.jpg

PCB is held on to the top plate with a few screws...

bunkerboard_log17.jpg

Remove those, and you're ready to screw around with the deck some more.

bunkerboard_log18.jpg

Stabs installed on plate.  I contemplated removing these and going Cherry, but I think I'm going to keep them.  Have to strip these off though for what I'm doing...

bunkerboard_log19.jpg

There's the offending SMD LED.  You gotta GO, dude!

bunkerboard_log20.jpg

...and bye-bye!

bunkerboard_log21.jpg

Moving on, let's start working on that switch-plate and its offending logo.

bunkerboard_log22.jpg

I just attacked it with my mouse-sander, and was careful not to go too deep.  Just enough to get rid of the stamped, raised logo.

bunkerboard_log23.jpg

A few minutes later, it's brand-less!

bunkerboard_log24.jpg

I'm ditching the flip-down plastic feet that a majority of keyboards have in favor of some metal standoffs instead.  Just have to drill a couple of holes for them.

bunkerboard_log25.jpg

:laugh:  Hahahaha, yeaaaah.....  warranty stickers don't warn people like me off -- it attracts us like flies on munky-poo!

bunkerboard_log26.jpg

After drilling holes for standoffs, sanding down, prepping and spray-painting the bottom of the deck orange (I had it left over and had just enough to finish this piece, so why not?), I decided I'd continue with the theme I decided on.... a weathered, lived-in, fallout-shelter kind of thing.  I went back to my method I used on my CMC Field Server project....

bunkerboard_log27.jpg

...using a small amount of my favorite india ink mixed with rubbing alcohol, and blotted and rubbed on to give it some 'personality' and grime.

bunkerboard_log28.jpg

I also sprayed the top plate with a mixture of dark-grey etching primer and light misting of some black spray-paint, and already began weathering that up as well.  I want it to look and feel like it's seen some action.  The less-perfect it is, the more perfect it becomes to me!

bunkerboard_log29.jpg

Starting on the weathering for the base frame...  a simple paper-towel works great for this initial step.

bunkerboard_log30.jpg

bunkerboard_log31.jpg

To give it a more personalized touch, I decided I'd add something on the base since it has such a large area!  Heh....I said "large area".... :laugh:

bunkerboard_log32.jpg

Masking off...

bunkerboard_log33.jpg

...and ready for spray-job.

bunkerboard_log34.jpg

A couple light passes is all it takes.  Doesn't have to be blobbed on!

bunkerboard_log35.jpg

I let that set up for a few mins to give it some 'tack'.

bunkerboard_log36.jpg

...And peel the mask off carefully.

bunkerboard_log37.jpg

Done!  I let it cure for about 15 mins or so before attacking it some more. 

Always sign your work!  :happy:

bunkerboard_log38.jpg

Tried-n-true trusty 3M Scotchbrite pads work wonders.

bunkerboard_log39.jpg

And done.  Ready for the final weathering pass. 

Unfortunately, those openings there where the plastic flip-down legs used to be are going to show the white internal plastic frame when it's all put back together.  I could technically cover those over and hide it all, but it's really not a big deal.  I just don't care that much about it.  Just a work keyboard!  :)

bunkerboard_log40.jpg

Airbrushed some additional grime and build-up in some areas to give it some more lived-in feel.

bunkerboard_log41.jpg

..Same on top plate.  Need to finish up with that as well...

bunkerboard_log42.jpg

Not too much needed; just 'enough'.

bunkerboard_log43.jpg

I didn't snap pics of it when I did it as I was preoccupied with other things, but I powder-coated matte-clear sealed/top-coated the top and bottom pieces of the deck. It's now permanently weathered and will be really resilient to any further damage. But the best part of a weathered project is, you can beat on it with a hammer and you won't notice much beyond what you've already done to it, haha. 

I also snipped the stock USB cable and soldered it to a micro-USB Adafruit port and installed it inside the base of the deck. I had to use the rotary tool and needle-files to create a new recessed area on the back of the deck, and I used some epoxy putty to 'soft-install' it. I let it set for a day and cleaned it up a bit more using files, and finally painted over it with black acrylic paint to 'hide' it a bit more.  Ultimately, it doesn't matter much as it's on the back side of the deck.

I highly suggest reading this individual's guide.  A lot of great info there.  I did my own little 'spin' on it but that's a great way of doing it!

bunkerboard_log44.jpg

After re-assembling everything, and doing some other additional touch-ups on screws, etc., I was able to begin popping in new switches.  I opted for the new Kailh Speed Coppers since I had a bag of them on launch, and they're SMD-compatible.  They're interesting switches for sure.  I'm more of a linear dude, but these feel really nice. The shorter actuation takes some getting used to, but they're nice. And that's coming from someone who hates Cherry Browns.

bunkerboard_log45.jpg

That's about it for the log.  I installed a keycap set that I snagged from overseas.  A cheapy, "Carbon-esque" Cherry-profile set that fit theme to me.  Nice caps for the price though.  Nice and thick.

So without further delay, I present the final pics!

FINAL PHOTOS

bunkerboard_final01.jpg

bunkerboard_final02.jpg

bunkerboard_final03.jpg

bunkerboard_final04.jpg

bunkerboard_final05.jpg

bunkerboard_final06.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice.  I might have to try Black Cat India ink sometime.  To date I've only bought Speedball, but black Cat was the other option I was choosing between.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah that stuff goes a looooooong way too.  I've had that bottle for over 15 yrs, lol.  Used to need it for Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph pens, but since I don't really use them much at all anymore....  hahah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use it for ebonizing wood.  Haven't used it much yet, so I have quite a bit lol  Or I should say "ebonizing wood" since technically it's not truly ebonizing wood, but faking it better :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:eeek:EEL taking advantage of hurricane downtime! Kick backside! Lovely work, as always.

WTF? That's not even a proper rainbow sequence.  I bet they did the colors to sucker people into thinking it had RGB. 

*Insert large eel joke here*    That went badly as soon as I typed 'insert'. You should have done the background in yellow and added "Don't type on me" underneath the eel. 

I want a munkey button too. Since it's Kyle's avatar now. I could use it as a macro key that typed @Kylevdm. The forum is broke? -Spank the munkey button!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha, yup!  Trying to get somewhere on something, but it just doesn't seem to work out every time.  Thanks man!

Yeah I LOLed as soon as I saw the LEDs.  Not really my thing and figured I'd just leave them off anyway so it doesn't bug me too much, but the glaring always-on Windows key is ridiculous.  I think they should offer a non-LED model and drop the price even more, haha.  They'd sell a poop-ton of them.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EEL, you've inspired me to try my hand at this.  Picked up the same TKL, the matching full board, and some browns.  I might wind up with some questions for you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do wonder why they have to be ultra-brights. What ever happened the those OLD leds that were $1 for a thousand that didn't burn your retinas? We don't need qwerty shining on the ceiling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hahaha, but then again....I still have awful memories of the old Sunbeam Rheobus fan controllers from the early 2000's I used to love using in projects.  They had 5mm dual-color LEDs on them that were so bloody bright I wouldn't fault small aircraft if they tried to land on my street!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that the ol' eye-laser HD led? I still get spasms in my right eye thinking about a case I had with one. I put tape over it it was so bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/2/2017 at 10:06 AM, Mosquito said:

Or the power/hdd activity LEDs that Lian-Li used to use :wacko:

 

On 10/4/2017 at 0:11 PM, Cheapskate said:

Is that the ol' eye-laser HD led? I still get spasms in my right eye thinking about a case I had with one. I put tape over it it was so bad.

Oh yeah, hahaha, landing aircraft whenever you turn on your rig.  I know it well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now