Birchtree
By Matt Birchler
I've been writing here since 2010! Back when personal blogs were all the rage. Kids, ask your parents.

My Dumb Hobby

My Dumb Hobby

This is my keyboard, the Keychron Q1, and I've been using it for about a year, but it's changed a good deal from the product I originally got in the mail. I've gone more and more down the rabbit hole of mechanical keyboards, and the Q1 was a great keyboard for me because it is built to be taken apart and fiddled with. Obviously I could just use a Magic Keyboard and be just as "productive" but this is as much about having fun as it is about anything else.

Change 1: New Key Caps

These are the DSA Milkshake key caps with the addons set , and in my opinion they look absolutely incredible. I smile every time I see this keyboard. These were stupid-easy to add, as you can pull off the key caps with your fingers if you want and just press these on.

Change 2: New Switches

I got the Q1 with Gateron browns, but I wanted something different, and I got the Magic Girl Classic switches which I was able to get onto the keyboard pretty easily. This was definitely more work, and this is what my desk looked like while I was working on this:

This took 30-45 minutes total, which wasn't bad at all, and the Q1 ships with a switch removal tool, so taking the old keys out was tedious but doable. I like how these sound and look (even if I can't see them day-to-day), but they do take a bit more pressure to depress than the browns they replaced, so I definitely see myself looking for something else one day.

Note that the Keychron Q1 is hot-swappable, which means you don't need to solder the switches to the board. Always look for "hot-swappable" when mechanical keyboard shopping if there's any chance at all that you'll want to change switches one day.

Also, I didn't lube the switches, which would make them a bit smoother to use, but they're really good with the factory lube, so I think I can put that off for a while.

Change 3: More foam!

The Q1 has some foam already in the case to reduce echos, but there's still more echo than I'd like, so I cut down a thin piece of foam to fit below the electrical board (PCB). This is the same idea as what it ships with, buy my piece is a bit thicker and softer and seems to absorb more sound.

Change 4: Tape? Tape.

I had no idea this was a thing, but another way to reduce echo is to tape the bottom of the PCB with something like painter's tape, which will not get permanently stuck to the board.

I did 3 layers of tape, but you can do as much as you'd like depending on how much space you have to work with. If my foam was a little thicker I could have skipped this step, but this worked for me.

I Love This Stuff

In another month or two I'll think of something else I can do to it, and it will just keep improving. This keyboard has cost me far more than anyone needs to spend on a keyboard, but that's okay, it's a hobby! Some people fix up cars when they could just buy a Camry, and other people fiddle with keyboards when they could just use a $20 from Dell.

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Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love.

Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love. You can also check out my side projects, Quick Reviews and Quick BIN Lookup.