Digital.Complex: Sades One-Hand Mini Gaming Keyboard - Digital.Complex

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Sades One-Hand Mini Gaming Keyboard https://amzn.to/37avBJe

#1 User is offline   aotsukisho 

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 11:55 AM

I bought a Sades one-hand mini gaming keyboard/keypad a couple of years ago, and am still impressed with its impressive value for such a low price. It comes with BSUN Blue switches, which are knockoff Cherry MX Blues. A friend of mine gave me a set of Kalin switches, and figured that this was a good project board to put them in as I am not a particular fan of MX Red-style linear switches for day to day typing.

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Here's the keyboard as I was using it. The keys are swapped off of another MX Blue clone based keyboard, I was seeing how cheap you can go with mechanical keyboards and still have them work fine. This particular one is an AUKEY 104-key Blue Switch gaming keyboard, but seems to be discontinued. The equivalent current model is AUKEY 104-key Blue Switch RGB Gaming Keyboard. Anyway, the backlight LEDs on this keyboard were extremely dim so I bought a cheap keycap set where the sides of the keys were translucent white to allow more of the LED light to show, which worked out very well. Because the Sades keyboard LEDs were sufficiently bright, they light up even on the mostly-opaque Aukey keycaps.

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Removing the keycaps again, and there are 9 screws that need to be removed in order to pull off the top plate

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Looking at the underside of the pcb, it looks like the switches are soldered straight to the board and there are standoffs on the bottom plastic chassis to provide support for keystroke impact. Probably the cheapest solution with the more complex injection molding and simple cutting aluminum sheet, hence the low cost.

Also if you look close, a lot of the screw bosses are split, meaning the wood screws used are too big (or the bosses were designed too small). The screws are M2.5x8mm countersunk head.

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Removing the USB cable plug, there are five locations where the plate has standoff keys that go through the pcb. Four of them (orange) are twisted to lock the pcb in place, the fifth (blue) seems just to be to stabilize it poking through a keyed hole.

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The plate free from the pcb. There are stabilizing bars on the shift key and the half-size space bar.

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Top view of the pcb, seeing the SMD LEDs underneath the key. Taking measurements the LED chips are 3.25mm wide and 2.77mm tall, with an overwall width including solder tabs of 5.44mm.

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Left is the Kalin switch, right is the BSun. I noticed that the Kalin switches have stabilizing pegs on them that I will need to snap off to solder to this pcb as it was designed for the pegless Bsun switches.

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The top looks identical, aside from the material of the case. I noticed that there seems to be a cutout for a component LED, with the leads passing through the slit. I will look into how easy that will be to solder, as 3mm or even 5mm if it fits will be much brighter than SMD chip LEDs.

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View from the side shows that the outside of the switches are very similar.

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Switches seat just fine on the pcb. I guess the swap is a go

Seeing as how the construction of this keyboard requires complete disassembly in order to access the LEDs I figured I would change the LEDs at the same time. I do like the brightness however the faux RGB having each row a different color is not the aesthetic I want. We shall see what I end up getting, stay tuned

Again, if you're interested in picking up one of these keyboards for yourself, they are on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/37avBJe
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