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View Full Discussion Hello friend, welcome to another keycap adventure!
Earlier this year, I built a keyboard with SA caps resembling the very old Space Cadet keyboard (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-cadet_keyboard). Once I was finished, I marveled at it and soon realized that this was a colorway that needed to exist in the world of Cherry keycaps. I sat down to work on this design, and after some help from @t0mb3ry and other community members, I am now proud to present to you the GMK Space Cadet keycap set!
As any GMK group buy, we start with a Base Kit that covers most of the popular keyboard layouts. From 60% to Winkeyless TKL, to HHKB and good old 1800 layouts, you should be able to find every key needed to fit your board. If you have doubts, please do not hesitate to ask about it.
Furthermore I am excited to introduce assembly legends, as previously seen on SA Oblivion and recently SA Green Screen, to make the modifiers on Ergodox, 40% and Ortholinear more exciting than if they were just blanks. Especially with the busy alphas, I felt the modifiers just had to have something just as interesting on them. Both the Assembly (for Ergodox) and 40bit (for 40% and Ortholinear boards) kits are independent from the Base Kit, so you don't have to buy multiple kits to fit your niche keyboard.
To pay closer tribute to the original Space Cadet design by Tom Knight, the True Cadet kit allows you to decorate the bottom rows of your keyboard with black legend modifiers, along with the blue spacebars to wrap your alphas in all blue.
The Symbols kit features the iconic roman numerals and hand signals in various row profiles. You can decorate extra media keys, have them on the right-side column of your 65% keyboard, use as Home/End/PageUp/PageDown of your TKL, use them for arrows or fill the vertical macro rows of your VE.A. The possibilities are endless!
If you are not so much a fan of the text-only modifiers, and prefer the look of old G80-1800 Cherry keyboards, pick up the Cherry Icon kit. A perfect fit for this historic profile.
Next up are the Blue Alphas. Sometimes you might grow tired of having alphas and modifiers in different colors. But with these alphas, you can have your entire keyboard in a gorgeous tone of deeply saturated blue.
Spacekeys - those that need them should know what they are for! Split spacebars have become very common among custom keyboards, don't miss them if you have one in your collection.
For my fellow Europeans, we have a NorDeUK kit that covers the most popular layouts of this continent. Due to this kit often struggling with minimum order quantities, I am only going to offer it in gray, as the performance of the blue alphas is still unknown.
And lastly, to fulfill the request of the niche group inside this niche hobby, we have a Colevrak kit. It covers both Colemak and Dvorak layouts, but it does come at a price this time, so let me elaborate. As you may notice, this kit has much more keys than usual, this is due to the sublegends of the keyset. In order for those sublegends to remain in the right place, not only do I have to provide keys in the right row, but also in the correct horizontal position inside that row. So we end up with about double the usual amount of keys, and also have 40 new legend plates that need to be created in the factory. The R3 1.75u Backspace key was left out on purpose, the Space Cadet Rub Out keys from the Base Kit go here.
Here is an example of the sublegend issue that this Colevrak kit solves:
And a full preview for Colemak and Dvorak:
As for packaging, the incredible @outragedpudding has designed a tray wrapping that still makes me excited whenever I look at it. This packaging is going to be used for the Base Kit only.
And yes, we are working on other collaborations for this keyset, including a desk mat featuring the box art!
As for colors, I already received samples from GMK! The blue is matched to BFP from Signature Plastics, which 7bit used in Round6 for the SPH kits. The gray is the same as well, which was also already used last year for GMK Oblivion's gray alphas. The legend color is from the production of GMK Camping, a off-white with slightly creamy warmth to it. For the True Cadet's black legends, I am simply using CR from GMK's standard color ring.
I think I've talked enough for now. Please share your thoughts on this project, ask any question you like and I will try to have an answer for you! It's always a pleasure to chat with you all.
I love what you're doing with the standalone kits! When you have just 48 keys, nothing feels dumber than spending $150 on a kit that has almost a hundred keys you don't use, and then spending another $70 just to get the modifiers you need. I wish all keycap sets had this option.
Congrats on the group buy. Looks amazing. Will definitely be joining.
Just a quick question - if I want the 40s modifiers + a base set, do I end up with 2x alphas? Just trying to be clear.
Every key that is shown in the kit images is included in that kit. Anything else would be very misleading.
That's a GMK problem. You'll notice other keycap manufacturers will usually allow you to break it down into smaller sets.
No. He's saying that this way is better. :P
Usually they break them down into sets that are smaller, but end up costing way more in the long run.
I also use a planck-ish 48 key keyboard. With most of the drops on SP stuff, I would have to buy a "base" set which includes a whole bunch of junk I don't need (often they're even full TKL), (>1u mods, space bars, numbers, F keys, etc), and then spend an additional $45 or so to buy an "ortho" set to fill in the edges.
Additionally, the ortho/planck sets usually don't work with many people's key layouts, so I would usually try and just get some blanks instead, but blank packs usually only have a couple keys per row. (I need 12 keys bottom row, and 2 of the other 3) Sometimes an ergodox set covers most of it, but they usually cost more than the ortho set, and include a whole bunch of 1.5u keys I don't need.
TL;DR This method is good, because I pay roughly the same $100 to fill my 48 key board as you would your TKL. With others, I would end up spending 50% more for 50% less keys.
Oh, the 40bit kits. Yeah, I guess that's great for you guys. I have a 60%, and I have rarely seen a keyset that covers only what I need. I usually end up with a TKL set, with a decent amount of leftovers.
Yep, leftovers are fine, I am just happy when I can outfit my 50 keys for the same money as the TKL guys, instead of spending even more.
The standalone sets work fine on SP stuff too. I bought a couple of sets of Nantucket Selectric SA, which were ideal IMO. The Planck kit was standalone. Included alphas, and blanks for the edges so non-default layout users are happy. It was pretty cheap too. :)
I'm not sure why all of the other SP sets aren't broken up this way. (I'm pretty sure it sold well)
This set is the closest I've seen since. It seems a bit on the $$$ side, but by the time I've added up all the stuff I need for the average SA kit, I'm well over that $100 mark anyway.