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View Full Discussion Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions that can hopefully answer whatever you may be curious about.
Will I be able to buy the Halo True and Halo Clear switches outside of this drop?
Yes, there is a separate drop for the switches in the works.
Will the K-Type be shipped as a kit?
The K-Type will only be shipped fully assembled. A new feature we included with the K-Type are the hot-swap switch inserts. These are special connectors to the circuit board that allow you to remove or replace the switches without a soldering iron. We chose to add this to the K-Type so it would be a new type of kit, customizable by anyone regardless of their soldering skills.
We decreased the complexity of the K-Type in order to bring the price down. Adding a barebones kit would require more expensive and complex packaging as the design would need to hold more than just a single keyboard. We were able to fit a lot of really awesome features into the K-Type specifically because we reduced the complexity of packaging and shipping.
Is the K-Type compatible with other Cherry MX compatible switches (Cherry, Zealio, Gateron, Outemu, etc)?
Yes the K-Type is compatible with other Cherry MX compatible switches but please be aware that the switches included with your keyboard have a special light pipe that is designed to output maximum brightness. The LEDs on the K-Type are mounted on the circuit board, and if you put an opaque switch with a black housing over the LED the in-switch LEDs will not light up (the under-lighting will still be unobstructed).
Do I need PLATE mount Cherry MX style switches or PCB mount style switches?
The K-Type is only compatible with plate mount Cherry MX style switches. If you only have access to PCB mount switches you can still use them but you need to clip the two alignment pins on the bottom of the switch in order for them to fit in the K-Type properly.
Image Credit - www.wasdkeyboards.com
How do I program my keyboard with different layouts and/or lighting ?
We host a configurator on our website at https://input.club/configurator/ . The K-Type will have two configurator settings, one to control the key layout and another to allow customization of the LEDs. Configuring the keyboard is point and click, though you can also make changes via the command line.
Do you offer other layouts for the K-Type, such as European or Japanese layouts?
The K-Type only supports the ANSI ten key-less layout. Some of our other keyboards have had multiple layouts but using RGB lighting and hot-swap sockets limits the layout available per PCB to one.
There are two USB Type C ports, what can they do?
The two ports are for better cable management but the extra port can charge a device that is attached to it. The second port allows for future connectivity to Input Club devices (such as the Infinity ErgoDox).
Does the K-Type have USB pass-through or a hub?
No, the K-Type does not support USB pass-through and is not a hub. We chose USB Type-C for its structural reliability and because it is the connector type of the future. The K-Type is still using the normal USB specifications so it will work with any USB port.
Does “K-Type” stand for anything?
K is for Keyboards and keyboards are for typing.
Is there a plan to release a Bluetooth / Wireless version?
The power drain from the LEDs on the K-Type make this not likely to happen on any timeline.
Will I be able to buy the Halo True and Halo Clear switches outside of this drop?
Yes, there is a separate drop for the switches in the works.
Would it be too late to add a line across the space bar for light pass through as it is currently blank..? It would be pretty cool and I would definitely get it.
Can we order additional switches, without the board? Separate drop?
I believe they will fulfill the switch demand for producing the K-Type first before dropping the exclusive switches seperately.
FYI, if it had bluetooth+wired it'd be an autobuy for me.
EVEN WITH the the massive power drain, I'd still enjoy it. And, you know, mod in a pair of 2000mah batteries like I did for my anne.
With built-in batteries, preferably Li-Ion/Po because of energy density size, shipping and import costs would "explode", especially if they are samsung batteries...
Yep a lot of people want a bluetooth keyboard. The problem with doing a bluetooth k-type is space. The case is jam packed and it is designed to be as small as possible so there is no room for a battery.
So just invent a smaller battery? Jeeez excuses ;P
If he did that he wouldn't be making keyboards anymore. Lots of companies out there paying big bucks for smaller batteries :P
"Will I be able to buy the Halo True and Halo Clear switches outside of this drop?" This question is being answered twice in the FAQ as of this moment, 1 in the very first question and 1 in the very last. @OverKill please consolidate the answer to just 1 question at the very top so all can see :)
why not make it a tiny bit thicker, or maybe just a tiny bit longer in the back?
Would love to see K-Type technology trickle down to other Input Club boards. A reimagined Infinity 60 petcent with hot swap switches and a daisy chained numpad would be amazing.
That question is asked a lot ;)
According to the faq at the top, it is in the works. At least for the half true and clear.
Since a seperate drop is in works for the switches, any chance we could order extra switches with the board, as for my country i would be paying 20$ extra just for having it arrive in different packages, which isn't exactly negligible when talking switches.
Pretty please :)
Can we get some images of the black board withthe LED lights turned off?
..aaaand that's why I'm an idiot. Thanks for responding!
nothing is stopping you from attaching a raspberry pi zero w underneath
Ya, he added that after I asked. Didn't mention the other switch types though so not getting my hopes up. Wanted to get speed switches with the light bar in case I didn't like the Halo True switches.
where is it manufactured?
Is it set to NKRO by default?
Any chance of chaning to 6KRO for default setting(on low-level)?
Please consider if you guys can share a breakdown of the orders by switch choice near the end of the drop. I believe it would make a very informative case study for future keyboard drops as well as a great topic of conversation for the community. Cheers!
Will the online configurator support complex macros without having to build custom firmware? The lack of multi key inputs for the fn layer keys really kills the functionality.
Step 1. Make battery
Step 2. Make battery smaller.
Step 3. Profit
Anything that's only 3 steps can't be that hard. ;-)
Yes. I'm in the middle of that support right now actually :)
Can you have a non-windows modifier key? For us linux/unix folk?
And for us folk who think it's insanely ridiculous that so many companies willingly put *literally a competing company logo* on their product and never made any sense whatsoever that that was a key :D
Then again, I'm replacing the caps, so eh
How does the K-Type stand up to spills and sweat?
I see that the Halo True and Halo Clear switches are planned to be available outside this drop, but what about the custom speed switches? The speed Copper, Gold or Silver?
Worse than a rubberdome keyboard (because of the extra rubber layer the spillage has to overcome) and worse than a mechanical keyboard that has a plastic cover on top of the plate mounted switches... but better than those keyboards which has a fixed cabling port hindering you to quickly unplug it from the electric usb source before the spill causes a short-circuit fault.
But you can buy the new kailh box switches which are IP56 classified against dust and streams of water, it works underwater, but your keyboard pcb probably wont :)
The K-Type is manufactured in China.
NKRO is on by default but you can change it to 6kro (aka boot mode) anytime you need. I believe this is currently supported in the configurator. @jbondeson can clarify
At this time we don't have plans to add one.
Like any other keyboard. Try not to spill things on it cause it will probably make it stop working :). Sweat doesn't bother it though.
Mechanical keyboards don't have a plastic cover on top of the plate. They have a plastic bezel around the outside which doesn't provide any more protection against spills than the K-Type.
You forget Step 2B: Get bag with $$$ on it.
Even though I consider 200 $ to be expensive for a keyboard, I'm extremely interested and willing to buy it. But I'm guessing you're not shipping from within Europe, right? I've looked up how much I'd have to pay customs: it's 79$ for Belgium (34$ customs handling + 45$ taxes). While if shipped from within the EU this would be 0$. That extra 79$ is killing it for me.
Have you used a calculator somewhere in the internet? According to the TARIC HTS Category 84713000 of the EU, computer keyboards have 0% duty tax and 21% VAT/import turnover tax in belgium. I guess the $34 customs handling fees you have to pay when you are not capable of doing the customs paperwork yourself?
Thank you for your help, where do you get that information? I used a basic customs calculator based on value alone. I didn't know that keyboards have no duty tax? Are you certain about that?
Yes, because Belgium is still part of the EU the last time i heard. There are individual duty taxes for different types of items, and for computer keyboards it is 0% for every member country in the European Union. Of course you can call or send a query to your belgian customs bureau and ask them about the HTS category i gave you earlier or the sub category 8471606090.
I was mixing up duty versus VAT a bit in my last message. But it would still be 45$ VAT and potentially 34$ handling fees which you say can be avoided but I wouldn't know how. As far as i can tell it's a fee that's automatically charged if the designated delivery postal service is Bpost (34$), ~12$ for other services (DHL, UPS, FedEx) which I can't choose but is directly or indirectly chosen by the sender of the package. But it's also possible that it's included in the shipping cost charged (Massdrop asks me 12$ extra for shipping).
If it's "only" an extra 45$ for VAT that I'll have to pay it's more doable. It would total 257$ that way (200 + 12 + 45). If there is one, an extra 34$ customs handling fee would also get taxed = + 7$ totaling 41$. 257 + 41 would make a 298$ keyboard xD. In perspective 257 is already 1/4th of what I've paid for university this semester. At the same time worth it and not worth it xD.
Again thanks for the help btw.
I usually deny any of the postal service to do the customs paperwork for me because they usually dont know what they are doing and do it wrong resulting in a wrong duty tax category or charging me fees for doing paperwork I can do myself or by going to the customs bureau.
I mean have they ever charged every non-EU delivery worth under €24 where no duty tax and no import turnover tax are viable or every little postcard? The handling fees are solely their price for doing the paperwork for you. Of course I am not really sure how Bpost works in Belgium as I live in Germany, but wanting 34$ for every non eu package is a bit of ripoff...
We can scratch the customs handling. It seems like Massdrop uses DHL and UPS for shipping, therefore it's 12$ handling (which isn't a big deal) which might possibly already be included in the price (the 12$ that is asked for shipping). Therefore the expectation is that I'll have to pay about 45-57€ extra.
Edit: but they also mention: "For lighter and less expensive drops, our vendors sometimes use a shipping service that does not include tracking information. This is done to provide additional savings to our members." Which could still mean a "basic" postal service that hands things over to Bpost and without tracking, it's also not possible to handle customs yourself as far as I've read.
I'm used to companies either shipping with "false" declared values below the minimum VAT value i.e. 20$ (no charges for items with a value below 22€), something which most Asian companies automatically do xD. And those who don't mostly ask for all-in shipping (including VAT and anything else customs related) during check-out. Therefore it's a rarity that I even have to think about customs.
The handling fee is called BROKERAGE FEE. Dhl/Ups/any major shippers will process the customs paperwork for you and pre-pay the customs tax/+VAT for you (otherwise the customs bureau will never let the package leave the import airport). For "lending" you their money, they want extra cash in the form of handling fees on top of the customs tax/+VAT with the package on your doorstep. You can avoid it by denying the dhl customs clearance service and do it yourself IF you know the gasoline price to drive up to the customs bureau is less than the dhl fee.
One buyer on Massdrop was severely burned by this extra costs and is now compensating his/her grief on denouncing massdrop as fraud company, even though it was and still is her duty to know her countries inner works on importing foreign stuff.
I asked this outside this thread, but didn't get an "official" answer. Is it possible to control the lighting effect of the keyboard from the host computer? This would be useful for alerting the user of notifications, for example. MattV suggested that it should be possible through the debug console but I'm hoping for a more elegant solution.
As far as the information I've read goes this isn't possible in Belgium. Even the information about avoiding the 34$ bpost would charge is dubious at best, further reading contradicts it. There seem to be options for companies to handle customs themselves but this doesn't appear to be true for "normal" people. If the sender doesn't provide the necessary information for customs (which is usually done) then the buyer can submit the all the necessary documents to customs but this doesn't seem to affect the handling / brokerage fee.
9 years ago when I had gotten my first computer I ordered a way too expensive graphics card (800$, 520€ back then) from the US when the dollar was worth little, expecting just 21% taxes. The handling of the customs documents was done directly by seller (not by bpost - I'm certain of it because of communications with customs who had a beef with the declared value at first). The 520€ cost fell into the category of 75€ (115$ at that time - april 2008) customs handling. 115$ customs handling + 21% taxes on the handling = 139$, plus 21% on the item itself 168$, which totals 307$ plus an extra 12$ "payment fee" for the delivery man collecting the money (I had to pay 210€ in total). The customs handling fee was still asked since the item was still stored and handed over to customs by bpost. Which seems to be unavoidable, even if you handle the paperwork yourself, you still have to pay for "customs handling" (bpost storing it and physically offering it to customs). "Oddly" enough I haven't ordered anything else from the US ever since xD. I can't remember ever paying any extra fees on anything from Asia, like 90% of the time they just declare it as worth less than it really is xD or else it has been with pre-paid customs duties.
Now the "customs handling" fees bpost charges are: 15€ for items worth between 22-150€ and 30€ (34$) for more expensive items.
Only way to avoid it is to recieve the item as a "gift", which private people might be willing to send as (the chinese are very talented at doing it, as you stated) however a company in the western world can't, so unless MD makes a warehouse in the EU that handles every item going into the EU they can't do anything.
For some countries avoiding a fee is impossible, as a dane i have to pay 20$ on more or less anything from outside the EU, and this is merely for them looking at the papers telling them what the item is worth, along with the import tax to be added.
Then it is worth trying to save 34$ in the future by calling the belgium customs bureau and ask if you are really forced to pay bpost ransom for a service you never requested instead of doing it yourself.
Care to share the sites where contradictions are presented?
In my experience the "gifting" days are over, gifts still require taxes (as taxes are based on the value of the item - not mattering if it's a gift or not). In the past I'd also sometimes receive items marked as a "gift" but not anymore in the past ~2 years, probably due to customs increasingly often opening the "gifts" to check their contents and value. As far as I'm aware there's not even a "gift" customs declaration anymore (I could be wrong). Anything from China and other Asian countries I've received past ~2 years has simply been with a declared value / paperwork with declared value, one that's magically always below the minimum for taxes xD. Even a freaking 5 gram item fitting in an enveloppe worth 1.5$ had it's value marked on the letter.
A few months ago I had kinda "accidentally" ordered a fairly expensive item (not as expensive as this keyboard though xD) from Asia from a company where I had ordered cheap things before, having forgotten to think about taxes for more expensive items. I got worried after ordering when "oh shit I forgot about taxes" popped up in my head as I didn't expect such a large company to ship with a false declared value like small ones tend to do. Then I received the item...which had suddenly become a whole lot cheaper if you know what I mean.
Researched extra for you:
You have the right for self-clearance, page 4 point 5, every postal company who tells you otherwise are liars, because they can make easy money with easy paperwork. The rest you can read at your leisure, I am too tired now at 2am :D
"5. In Belgium, it is the principle of complete liberty of choice of a customs office for the completion of the formalities which is prevalent.This is applied in harbours and airports as well as inland, as close to the customer as possible. In both cases, a service provider (customs agent) can be called in to make the declaration."
Bpost is doing that for your convenience for only $34.
Thanks for the help but as far as my understand goes that seems to be a wrong interpretation. Yes we can submit (declare) the necessary information to customs but the shipping company seems to still ask money since they still physically handle and store the package.
"23. From 1.1.2008 on, the existing authorisation procedure has been supplemented with a certifi cation system based on security. Clients are certifi ed on process integrity, logistics, accounting, organisation and the staff employed. The level of certifi cation qualifi es the way in which clients are checked by the customs service.."
From the PDF what I quoted is similar to some other things I've been reading:
From another source (translated to English, "customs freight forwarding agent" might not be a perfect translation):
"...for import and export uit's necessary to turn to a customs freight forwarding agent to complete the necessary documents. As of 15 september 2007 this service is inevitable as the formalities can only be done through a computer program, which essentially made customs freight forwarding agents a must. The freight forwarding agent must be informed about the nature and intention of the transport to be able to submit the right document."
Access to the computer program seems to further require a license.
From a different source (again translated):
"A customs freight forwarding agents is essentially a tax adviser for the import and export of goods. The declarations made by customs freight forwarding agents are in fact tax declarations. To be allowed to create these for the client you need a license and therefore be 'accepted' as customs freight forwarding agent"
Thus as far as I can tell it's a "nope" on "really" declaring it yourself. Yes you can basically handle it yourself by providing the customs all documents and the shipping company doing nothing but storage and physically presenting it to customs, you seem to still have to pay up.
I don't know about spills, but the terrific doubleshot PBT keycaps are likely to withstand sweat and much more.
Yeah those asians have no shame, then again they are basically immune to any prosecution for doing so :P
It's a open source programmable keyboard, meaning you can change the function of the keyboard including the lights. Input Club indicated that you can put matrix or snake games on it. Assuming that there is a source for such notification like you've said. Then it should theoretically work but then again, how the keyboard receives that notification make things a little bit harder, you'd need a program for that. This is all just my guess, let me know what you've figured ou.. I'm also interested.
How about adding a bluetooth module via this KLL interface which seems largely unused otherwise? Feasible?
Right, well that looks like a great gadget. So all the input club need to do is add a USB-C cable to it, and find a way to attach it to the existing keyboard, say make it long and thin, so it can be attached to the back, or used as a riser like the das keyboard ruler.
what would be excellent is a BT conversion kit with a charger / btmodule that solders into the expansion pins, and a slightly tilted bottom case that includes space for lipo cells.
Has this passed FCC Certification?
I'd like to know this too.
Are you able to control the lighting via serial over usb or some other protocol?
Even if I have to write my own software to do it, as long as the feature exists in the firmware.
That would be a @HaaTa question. But AFAIK he's working on an API but it does use the debug console to control the keyboard. FYI - Debug console = USB serial
Thats a @haata question. He should show up now :)
I don't know about a conversion kit or charger you'd have to check in to it. As for the case; there isn't really an easy way to make an angled case for it without quite a bit of work because of the way it is made.
Speaking of which, what's the default map for the keys? Will a Windows user who never ventures beyond conventional scenarios get what they need from the default setting or is configuring from scratch always required? I ask because I should be traveling through Canada in three months and, depending on when the K-Type arrives, might not have the right hardware for configuring it (i.e., I might be carrying only a tablet and a hub).
I'm keeping my rig light but visually striking because the last time I traveled to Montreal to do a music performance with a metal sculptor, we got detained at the border for hours because his sets looked vaguely like weaponry(!).
I'm guessing the K-Type will look cool onstage next to my Nord. Someone should make a Dave Smith-level synth that looks like the K-Type, only with RGB pots and sliders.
You might want to *not* mention "pots" (even RGB) when passing through any border ^^
And here I thought avoiding the word knobs would be the better choice!
I think one would be able to add an external battery source but then would have to have a bluetooth controller for the keyboard. Which is the pain.
Can't join the mass drop because there is no shipping avaliable for Brazil. Please, add Brazil as one of the many countries options for shipping. We do like awersome mechanical keyboards too. :(
the angle bit is just a place for batteries and maybe a pcb to go, it could even all mount to a pod that goes _under_ the original case, adding a small bit of thickness ( and possibly tilt ), and requiring only a small hole to be drilled to pass a ribbon cable through ( and solder onto the MCU pinout holes on the pcb)
Just the idea that you could make a kit --of any shape really, that mounted to the keyboard, such that the end result was still a single device, no dongle-- is really appealing to me, and would add potential value to its respective KB
why not send them directly from china to us living in Europe?
i'm considering this board as my birthday gift selling my FC660M mx-clears to help pay for it.
Only problem is i live in EU so i can expect a hefty $75 customs fine as i call it. Already done the research and this is not my first groupbuy from Massdrop that pesky yellow sticker stating stating it's not a EU package really sucks..
As a Kickstart backer lots of projects from the US that chip from china help EU customers buy stating a lower price because it's just not fair to us having to pay so much more. ah well
Same thing happened to me with a couple of Kickstart campaigns from laptop stand true titanium pens true headphones everyone of them a US based company that fabricates in china. I always explain to them what the EU is doing to us and in my case The Netherlands asking 21%+ a minimum of 11% on top so $75 for this keyboard.
i always ask myself at what point does Massdrop say F.....ck the EU these products are development samples and the prices reflect that so this keyboard is $25 hahahha
Even my Leopold FC660C (topre) cost me $25 ...of course The Netherlands wanted to screw me and added the shipping fee on top of the total value so i had to pay an additional $20.. way better then the $80 i would have payed..This because i explaind to the seller what we pay here. and like me he thought this was unfair. Paying tax is good helping the community and such but this is frankly ridiculous
in the same boot here.. thinking it over.. going to sell a board to pay for it still the extra $80 sucks..btw i live in The Netherlands.
Who knows, this may turn into another Whitefox phenomenon
WhiteFox is requested by over 12,000 people but it hasn't run yet because of not coming to an agreement with Massdrop, as best I understand it. So, basically, WhiteFoxes are worth way more than what you bought em for right now.
Whitefox is constantly in demand with very little supply (currently). Demand > Supply = (good) price in secondary market, as what GAMMOO mentioned
First and last point in the FAQ are about getting the Halo True and Halo Clear switches outside of this drop.
Since today a drop for the "normal" Kaihua Kailh Speed Switches in Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper is available but I missing the Halo True and Halo Clears.
When can we expect the drop for the True/Clears ?
Some of us are concerned the diffuser looks like crap. You can see all the individual LEDs. Will that be updated on final product?
Any chance you are going to sell a K-Type without switches nor keycaps in the future? I would like to mount my own keycaps and switches and use it like sort of a diy kit. Moreover that would be great for international buyers since we would not have to pay import taxes on components that are available locally.