Hello everyone! So after completing my new setup I started looking at other parts and components that I could upgrade next. I used to have a run of the mill, no name, amazon keyboard and then I upgraded to the Redragon K556 RGB keyboard and for the most part I was happy with it. I saw that it stated it came with brown Outemu switches and honestly, I had no idea what that meant.

The package arrived and I ripped it open to find an aluminum case, 104 key full-sized keyboard. I was used to keyboards with plastic cases and non-removable keycaps and switches but for some reason I really liked the feel of an aluminum case by comparison. This keyboard also came with built-in LED back-lit keys which can be controlled via a hotkey on the keyboard or a separate piece of software. While it was nice having this feature, it was limited to the prebuilt configurations that came with the keyboard itself.

After having this keyboard for a while, I decided to look into getting an upgrade, so I started researching. I have this tendency to jump from hobby to hobby, from project to project, at the drop of a hat. When I do find something that catches my attention, I go full research into whatever it is. For some reason it always seems to be an expensive hobby that catches my eye (I don’t think my wife appreciates that, but she is supportive lol). I have a core of revolving hobbies including, but not limited to,  

  1. Writing – it started in high school. We had an assignment to write in a journal every day. I never wrote in it until the day before it was due. Half of it was nonsense the other half was a bad attempt at writing lyrics. I used to be heavy into rap and hip hop. That writing tendency never left. It eventually evolved into poetry and short stories and kids’ books. I have a couple of novels I am currently working on but those require a lot more focus. I should really finish one.
  2. Electronics – anything from computers to home automation to gaming consoles.
  3. Vinyl collecting – it started with 3 and rapidly grew, sighs. This hobby comes and goes but once the itch starts, I scour the internet for vinyl that piques my interest. I believe I have a wide assortment so far. Collection includes vinyl from Deadmau5, Linkin Park, Pink Floyd, Zedd, Rezz, Tron Legacy soundtrack, Toxicity, Silent Hill 2 soundtrack, Aphex Twin, and the list goes on.
  4. Cars – I blame my dad ha-ha. I grew up around him having multiple cars, selling them, and acquiring other cars. The first car I had was a 1986 Buick Regal followed by a 1993 Honda Civic. Currently in my garage are a 1985 Buick Regal which I want it to be a father son project and a 2004 Infiniti G35 6MT.
  5. Gaming – Sooo I was able to get my hands on a PS5 on launch day. Very happy about that. I also have my PC which, apart from having a dated graphics card (thank you shortages) can handle most games out there. Sometimes I want to sit at my desk. Sometimes I want to lay on the couch and game. I gave my PS4 to my son once I acquired the PS5. I also have my PS3, PS2, PS1 (original and Psone), Nintendo Switch, Wii U, Gamecube, N64. I’m thinking at this point maybe collecting might be my hobby.
  6. Action Figures – this one started with a couple then grew into a room full of action figures when I had a whole room dedicated to a home office. I sold off half of my collection, but I feel like maybe I should sell a couple more at this point.
  7. Working out – this is farther in between than I’d care to admit. I should be doing this more than I do. I get into this rhythm where I work out for 4-5 days a week for months then I just stop.

Okay, sorry for the descriptive sidetrack into some of my hobbies but back on track. I’ll delve deeper into these at a future date.

So, I finished building my gaming/writing/entertainment setup and I was ecstatic. While cleaning up my old desk I found the box the keyboard had arrived in and opened it to find a little velvet bag with 2 switches each of brown, red, and blue. I handed them to my wife, and she clicked each one individually eventually going back to the blue ones.

“I like how this one sounds.”

I grabbed the blue ones and the switch removing tool that also came with the keyboard and sat down at my desk. I pulled off 2 keycaps and saw the brown switches staring back at me. I googled a video on switch removal. Looked easy enough. I’m not sure if these were a little harder to remove than usual or if I was just too rough? I was probably too rough. Well you live and you learn. Two broken switches later I had installed the blue switches.

*click click click

I enjoyed the feel and sound of every key press. So, I started looking into upgrading the switches in my current keyboard which in turn led me to different keycaps which in turn led me to custom coiled aviator cables. I was going deeper into this rabbit hole and I wasn’t sure when I’d come back out.

“Ooh that’s a pretty cable.”

Man, these are some nice cables. I had stumbled upon custom coiled cables that connect the keyboard to your computer. I went and checked my keyboard. Out of luck. My cable was not removable so I couldn’t get a pretty cable. Okay, well I can change the keycaps and the switches at least.

“I want that cable…”

Okay, I’ll look into a budget build for a mechanical keyboard and go from there. Easy enough. Nothing is ever easy ha-ha. The more I researched a budget build, the more information I found on what components go into a mechanical keyboard and all the different possibilities. Sighs. Another expensive hobby/project. After countless hours and days and weeks of research I ended up choosing what I wanted. It was little more than I wanted to spend but if you’re going to spend the money might as well do it right the first time.

“How much is that cable?! But it’s just a cable,”

That was my reaction after realizing the more affordable cables were all sold out and the cable configuration, I wanted was hovering around $60-$90 depending on where you bought it from. Another deep search later and I decided to make my own cables. I went ahead an ordered a DIY kit from CruzCtrl which arrived earlier this week. I sleeved my cables and have to solder the tip connections which then led me to buy a cheap soldering kit off Amazon. Still cheaper than buying one of the expensive pre-mades AND I learn a new skill. Win/win.

Now on to the actual components of the build. If you’ve stuck around this long into the post – thank you!

Laser Cable

This was the cable color combination that caught my eye and contributed to the build. Neon Pink paracord. Neon Blue Techflex sleeve. USB-A. USB-C. Ordered DIY kit from CruzCtrl

Tofu65 Aluminum 65% Gray Case

Went with a 65% case. Wanted aluminum. Added bonus - removable brass weight underneath.

65% Brass plate

I ended up going with brass over aluminum after hearing some sound clips and typing factors. We'll see when it arrives.

DZ65 RGB V2 hot swap RGB PCB

Hot-swap which mean no soldering, maybe on my next build. RGB LED for Per-key customization. Type-c USB for custom cables.

GMK Screw-in Stabilizers

Stabby stabs. GMK. Lube em. Clip em. Something about band-aids? I'll update when I build.

Kailh Box Jade Thick Switches

"a more pronounced and deeper click" Okay, I'm in...I'd like to formally apologize to my wife beforehand.

AKKO Gear Neon Keycaps ASA Profile

"The combination of purple, blue and red keys brings you back to the colorful midnight in the 80s" Yes, please.

Genesis - 5x4 Macro Pad Kit with Encoder

I wanted a separate pad for numbers and a couple of shortcuts...and a knob. Can't go wrong with a knob.

Cerakote GX16 Tungsten

I purchased this from StrikerCables. Quick response time and shipping. Excellent quality.

If I forgot anything I’m sorry. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you and have a great day!


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