Keyboard Builders' Digest
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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Editorial

Behind the Scenes of Issue 66

Quick news, debate on the feasibility of GMK lead times, new vendors added, winning without even bidding.

dovenyi
Published February 21, 2022
Creators! Feel free to tip me off about your keyboard related projects to bring them to 120K readers.

Hello friends,

I'm still Tamas Dovenyi, this time with Issue #66 of my DIY keyboard focused newsletter and blog dubbed the Keyboard Builders' Digest. If you are new to this, you can read how this started out and what this is all about nowadays. If you like what you see, you can subscribe to the newsletter (free) and support this project.

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I was quite distressed when the majority of the week passed without a single project to feature.

You'd think that I had time for updating the split database – but that's not how it seems to work. Without cool projects to feature I kept looking for valuable content constantly, wasting even more time. Don't do this to me again. :D

It took some days until I finally remembered the old wisdom: When in doubt, look at what's going on in Japan. Thanks guys! :D So that's why Japanese projects are overrepresented in this issue.

Quick news/coming soon

GMK lead times

It's a real shame what's going on on Reddit these days. I'm not talking about the actual pest of mystery switch posts polluting the thread (after the age of cats and later the Monkeytype WPM show-off) – I'm talking about removing legit content.

Personally, I'm not into Cherry profile thus GMK sets. Tried them but never bought any so I'm an outsider with regards to this topic.

But I really enjoyed a write-up on how unfeasible the predicted lead times are, and especially enjoyed the reactions from _drop, Oblotzky and other designers and vendors – allowing us mere mortals a rare insight into how this "industry" works.

Anyway, the original monstre post, which went by the title "GMK reported estimated lead times are lies. The true estimate is rapidly approaching 3 years, and could potentially be up to 5. This is going to hit a crisis point." is unavailable now – "awaiting moderator approval" – sure, after being at the top of the Hot list for hours, collecting 2.8k upvotes, 650 comments and 60+ badges, and generating similarly popular responses from revered members of the community.

I try to recall the gist of the original post: Predicted GMK group buy lead times are unfeasible. It's not about capacity but the sheer amount of new sets combined with events in the resin industry resulting in increased prices of the raw material. Despite GMK announcing capacity increase, lead times are growing longer and will approach 3-5 years. Any GB runner who claims his set will be made in 1.5-2 years, lies. Designers should stop churning out new designs and start new GBs if they have undelivered projects. Buyers should vote with their wallets.

Something like this, only much longer, organized into bullet points and backed up with some data. As said, I enjoyed the train of thought but that part is inaccessible now.

As a response from the designer side to the original post by Mecxs, PWade3 posted his reaction, then u/SxMDesigns responded (deleted by the OP in the meantime). In addition, there were several other posts like this simple chart by HeightAboveGeoid using data from https://matrixzj.github.io/, a flow chart suggestion for designers and vendors, and many other posts.

As already told, I'm not into GMK, nor into group buys in general nowadays, but as an outsider, removing posts like the one above, an elaborated high-effort one backed up with data, is something to be concerned about – even though I'm sure there were some errors in the post.

Updates

New donors: Spencer Blackwood, Sean Gredy and Tong Lu. Thank you guys! And of course many thanks to all of my donors, especially regular ones. Your support makes this project justifiable.

New shops added: cytinfo.com.ar, mechvault.net, mintlodica.com

A bunch of splits added and tagged.

Winning without even bidding?

I've managed to win a keyboard auction without even bidding. That's what I call a real sign of serious keyboard-freakness.

Two weeks ago I bought my fifth(?) optical Datacoop (facepalm) on a local oline marketplace, just to access the contact data of the local seller who regularly lists some interesting stuff. E.g. more vintage boards I already own… :D I didn't really want or need those offered at the time but told him I'll take them if nobody else bids. Which is the actual scenario. So I'm richer with my second and third Tatung terminal keyboard.

While I still owe you a write-up on those Datacoops, I do have something about the Tatung.

Pic: My first Tatung – before cleaning.

My first Tatung – before cleaning.

I fact, it was my very first Deskthority post back in 2019 when I learned about the Taiwan/Republic of China calendar too. So probably, these "new" Tatungs aren't from 1973 either. :D

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Well, that's it for today.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your support.

Feel free to ask and comment in this issue's r/mk thread, and as always: keep learning and building.

Cheers, Tamás

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Published on Mon 21st Feb 2022. Featured in KBD #66.


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