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North-facing switches in 2021? Really?
Considering that every single one of their other boards are south facing, means that they must be targeting a specific crowd that likes RGB backlighting of some kind since it just doesn't make sense in comparison to their other boards, nor would it make sense for them to sell it to non-rgb lovers since majority of competitor 65% boards out there are south facing switches now.
But aside from that issue, at least the stabs are good. (Or at the least, they have the potential to be good) Which other competitor 65% boards seem to struggle to add to their boards, so great on IDOBAO for doing.
At this price range though, unless you really want an alu 65% hotswap board that compliments rgb backlighting for translucent keycaps, it is hard to recommend this board as the north facing switches will interfere with a lot of cherry-profile keycap sets. Be warned.
What does this mean exactly? Does this cause certain switches not to fit in the PCB ( and if so, which ones?)
North facing switches interfere with specifically Cherry-Profile keycaps, which alot of people use Cherry-Profile keycaps from brands like GMK and HK Gaming for example.
What the interference does is, on the downstroke, Cherry Profile keycaps have this inner pillar, south of the keycap mold, that will strike the upper part of the switch, since it is facing the wrong orientation, causing it to make an unusual sound. This issue specifically affects row 3 keycaps, and causes inconsistency in sound and feel.
North facing switches are designed to compliment translucent keycaps since the translucent part of the legend is usually on the north part of the keycap, as well as most translucent keycaps tend to be in OEM profile, which doesn't get affected no matter the orientation.
You can still use this kind of board as switch orientation does not affect any other keycap profile like SA, OEM, XDA, etc. But Cherry profile is among the most popular profiles to use among users, so this kind of age-old problem is always something to keep tabs on
I would like to add that not all Cherry profiles are affected by this, at least not my ePBT sets since those have thinner side walls. Haven't tested HK gaming, JTK, or other PBT sets like NK Vaporwave though.
Yeah you're right, not all cherry profile sets are affected by this, but ePbt sets should be, since their molds all have the inner pillar at the south part of their keycap molds. Should be more prevalent in r3, but its definitely there. Unless ePbt changed molds for certain sets, which I kinda doubt, but I could be wrong
Dye-sub ePBT are thicker than their double shot PBT. I'll double check on that, but the ePBT I tested were double shot.
This is some good ass informative info right here, props to you and i agree tho safer to get south facing at this point wanted to get it but the north facing LED is a real turn off at this point
Whether its dye-sub or double shot does not make a difference, same with the wall thickness due to them sharing the same exact mold. Cherry profile keycap molds, specifically in row 3 (r3) are all short enough where the inner support pillar that bridges the stem to the back of the keycap, is low enough to hit the upper part of a switch, if it is in north orientation. Since most manufacturers share similar molds to cherry's og molds, they will most likely have that exact inner pillar that interferes with north facing switches.
This little nub is what I am referring to
Alright I'll retest. I have GMK, JTK, Infinikey, ePBT in double and dye-sub, AliExpress PBT double shot and dye-subs, HK Gaming dye-subs.
I know for sure GMK does have that issue. Btw what paper did you use? I used that thin gift wrapping paper, forgot what it's called.
It's just a bit bizarre to see north-facing boards like this promoted specifically with GMK keysets, in the product photos.
What other boards would you recommend at this price range?
While this board does have its faults, its still a bargain for 120$ for a hotswap alu 65%. But at the same price range you can get:
- NK65 entry from Novelkeys for 95$ (which has a restock coming up soon), comes with a carrying case, coiled cable, south facing switches, but has plate mount stabs.
- The KBD67 lite for 100$ usd, is gasket mounted (for this price point is pretty nuts), south facing switches, pcb/screw in stabs (probably the highest quality board in this list)
- Zeeyoo65 for 65$ usd (although this one has the same north facing switch issue that the ID67 has, as well as plate-mount stabs, so you're giving up ALOT for a lower overall price).
Thanks for your answer, much appreciated!
Awesome thank you. I have one more question...I bought the mito cyberpunk keycaps and if I’m not mistaken they’re mt3 profile so would they have the same problem as cherry profile keycaps if I bought this board?
No problem! And Mt3 keycaps on the ID67 will be no problem at all! MT3 has a similar height profile to SA, and is no where near the short height of row3 Cherry profile caps, so you're perfectly fine.
Also the window on windowed Cherry MX keycaps are at the bottom.
Hey there, I know this is a little late, but I myself am looking to get a new keycap set for my Drop CTRL, and based off your tests, which ones have the interference issue?
My post was a bit old, but this is the issue (BTW I was wrong for something I wasn't even aware of).
The interference issue comes from North facing LEDs/RGBs and Cherry profile keycaps, specifically R2-R4. The interference is a clack you hear, it sorta sounds like its from the switch, but after you listen to keys from other rows, like R1, you see (well hear) that the sound is not from the switch, but from the keycap hitting the switch housing.
You can avoid this by using switches with long poles. This may have been my mistake. I was using Holy Pandas and Creams on my keyboards that I tested with and I didn't even think about the bottoming out. Long pole switches, like the ones I mentioned, including some of the newer ones like Boba U4Ts, Velvets, and others have a couple mm of clearance from top of stem to top of housing. Compared to something like an Alpaca, Tangerine, Cherry MX Black, etc with regular stem poles, these actually sit flat when you bottom them out. You only get interference with these types of switches and with North facing LEDs/RGBs.
Another interesting switch that also avoids the interference issue is the Gateron Ink Yellow switches and Box switches as those have rails that travel shorter distances or the housing is shaped in a way that prevents it from contacting the keycaps. BTW, South facing LED/RGB switches do not have this issue and this issue is only present with Cherry profile. None of these issues are present with OEM or taller profiles.
I see, for me, I'm using Boba U4 silents which bottom out all the way, so does that mean all Vendors of Cherry prof such as EPBT, HK gaming, JTK, are off the list too? or is it only GMK.
Dang, I know I said I would test, but I am afraid I only tested with GMK and ePBT and both had that issue. I have not tested with JTK, but I will assume that JTK will be the same as double-shot ePBT and GMK (similar thickness). I have not tested HK Gaming though and do not remember NK PBT or other PBT sets (like the GMK clones).
Someone once showed me a vid or picture of the problem, or the part that causes the interference. The interference is caused by the ribs on the keycaps, specifically the ribs that support the stem ring/cylinder. The ribs hit the switch housing. So check the ribs out on your keycaps. I know some have some aggressive ribs and others have shallow ribs.
Alrighty, thank you for letting me know!