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View Full Discussion I just joined the last drop. I would like it to be led backlit and I have questions about what to buy before it comes. I ordered the Cherry blue and DCS caps. I know the FAQ says 3mm flangeless but I hear that square ones have a better viewing angle because they are more diffuse and fit equally well. I think what will work are 100 2x3x4 leds like this http://bit.ly/1WHX0ax.
Do I need resistors? How do the resistors connect? What resistors would I get? The main thing that I don't understand is if I need resistors or not.
I've also seen "sip sockets" for convenience so that I can swap out leds without desoldering. Will sip sockets work? Will these work? http://ebay.to/1U6qNU3 (2.54mm Round Female Header)
You won't need resistors (there is no where to put them on the PCB anyway) and it doesn't look like those sip sockets will fit.
This board has a LED controller that handles everything (including resistance).
I don't recommend SIP sockets. I added them to my Round 1 Infinity Dox, and they were honestly more trouble than they were worth. I ended up desoldering them, and if I want to change backlight colors, I will simply desolder the LEDs and replace them with new ones.
Ok, thanks! Just the leds then.
Thank you! Those leds should work, right?
I think so. I have never used 2x3x4 LEDs, and I know that some keycaps can potentially jam into the keycaps. Lots of people do use them with no problems though (I presume).
I've used 3mm flangeless on my board, but I know that ZealPC recommends using 1.8mm to be extra sure you never run into the caps.
Could you expand on "more trouble than they were worth"? I was thinking of using them myself (unless I decide not to do anything with LEDs), not just to support switching LED color (that's not a big deal for me) but to support disassembly of the key if needed, without needing to desolder the LED first.
Or won't using SIP sockets matter in that case?
I was thinking of using SIP sockets too, what's the problem with them?
DISCLAIMER: I have only put SIP sockets on my Plancks so far. I still haven't built my Ergodoxes yet.
I am not really sure what 'laeen' is talking about. SIP sockets fitting are a function of the switch you are using. Provided that the PCB has through holes for LEDs, using SIP sockets should be fine. There is some hassle in trimming the LED legs and then opening each switch to place them, but I think it's worth it since you can easily hot swap LEDs out. Just putting the LEDs through the switches is easier for trimming since you just trim up to the solder joint.
On the other hand, I have had a few LEDs fall out in transit, but since the keyboards are in cases, nothing was lost. I also just carry a few pre trimmed LEDs in my backpack. That being said, I will be using SIP sockets in all of my custom keyboards. Even if I don't put LEDs in them right away, I will still invest the $10-20 for each of my boards..
I have white 2x3x4 LEDs on my ICED from round 2. They work well.
Here are a couple photos of what they look like:
Awesome, thank you for the pictures! Do you have an opinion on the SIP sockets? Right now I think I'll still try to use them. I can imagine myself changing the colors when I first get it until I have something that I like. I like that all I would have to do to change an led is take the keycap off.
I've never used SIP sockets before. I would be concerned about the LEDs falling out when the keyboard is being transported. But if you don't plan on moving it around a lot, having the SIP sockets can certainly provide a lot more flexibility, such as changing LED colors to match a different keycap set.
Where did you get your keycaps from?
I currently have the Granite DSA set that I bought from MassDrop over two different rounds, on the Infinity ErgoDox.
Ok, thanks. I'll let you know how it goes!
I thought the same thing.
First of all, adding SIP sockets is easily going to triple your build time. The sockets that I used weren't quite long enough to fit through the PCB, so alignment is difficult. Also, they barely fit into the (MX) switches, so you don't always get the switch casing fully seated. Then, when you go to pull a keycap, you frequently pull the switch apart.
The "advantages" don't really work out either. Since alignment is an issue, some of the LEDs end up too lose and fall out every time you turn the board more than 90 degrees away from horizontal. Then you get to pull half your caps and fish it out with tweezers. Other LEDs are too tight, so you have to struggle to get them out. Once you do get them all out, you're left with a pile of LEDs for which you don't know the polarity because you clipped the leads. This makes re-using them impractical.
Finally, you better hope that you never need to touch the board again. I had to replace a PCB due to a QC problem that was encountered on the first round, so I got to go through the build problems twice.
YMMV. I know SIP sockets have a (small) following, but IMO you are better off investing in desoldering tools and just desoldering LEDs as needed.