Massdrop x Zslane Mercury Rocketeer Keyboard
Massdrop x Zslane Mercury Rocketeer Keyboard
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Product Description
Like putting on an old record or driving a stick shift, there’s nothing quite like typing on a typewriter. With their heavy actuations, old-school colorways, and audible clicks and clacks, mechanical keyboards come close—and with the Mercury Rocketeer they’ve inched even closer Read More

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JohnRCooper
838
Zslane
Jul 12, 2018
Stickied
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Nearly two years ago there was a Deskthority thread discussing Tom Hanks' typewriter collection, and his collection inspired me to whip up an SA keycap set for 60% keyboards based on my favorite vintage manual typewriter, the Hermes Rocket. The Hermes Rocket, along with the numerous other "ultralight" typewriters of the mid-20th century, was the laptop of its day, used by novelists and journalists all over the world. This was to be the keyset to draw out your inner Hemmingway.
I knew from the start, however, that it wouldn't have much appeal without a matching themed case to go with it, and I originally thought that a flat aluminum case in seafoam green would do the trick. But the more I thought about it the more I felt that something more ambitious was needed, and I worked up some 3D renders of what I would want the case to look like. Little did I know how good MassDrop was at turning concepts into reality!
What you see here is everything I hoped this tribute keyboard would become, and I hope keyboard enthusiasts and vintage typewriter enthusiasts alike will be as excited as I am to have this baby on their desktops!
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Jul 12, 2018
bullmoos211
7
Aug 7, 2019
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Is there a reason the button where a right super key would normally be is NOT able to input anything besides FN or the super itself? Same issue with RGB controls. If you change their location, only the on/off function works. Lastly, the menu key assignment doesn't work anywhere. Otherwise, the QMK is functional, but these particular functions don't work at all if altered.
(Edited)
Aug 7, 2019
Ohjay
8
Aug 14, 2019
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And to follow up on my last comment. Customer support refused to improve the $25 partial refund, which is laughable since it does not even cover the devaluation of the keyboard. They did offer to send another replacement but refused to fix the reason why the damage is happening (the switch-puller chipping the finish), even though they initially said they had taken steps to prevent this. After weeks of back and forth I have simply given up and opted for a full refund. It sucks to have to wait a year for something and then have nothing to show for it due to the lack of sensibility of Drop. I'll let me wallet speak for me, and never buy anything here again.
Aug 14, 2019
JohnRCooper
838
Zslane
Jul 24, 2019
Stickied
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Designer Input - A Message from Zslane Hey everyone, I just want to add some clarity for the folks who’ve received their Rocketeers and have questions about the final look. The subject of color production in manufacturing is a tricky one, especially as it pertains to "matching" a pre-visualization. The Mercury Rocketeer features three shades of green, and in all three cases, the exact choice of color was restricted by what the manufacturing partners could be enjoined to produce for us. The Final Look I'm sure the biggest question on everyone's mind is, why doesn't the final product look exactly like the renders? Rephrasing the question as, "Why don't the renders look more like the final product?", helps reframe the subject in a way that hints at the problem. Pre-visualizing a product that does not yet exist, and for which there is no way to anticipate all the manufacturing challenges that lie ahead of it, is always a mixture of "artist conceptualization" with a dash of wishful thinking. Take keycaps for instance. There are no official RGB values for Signature Plastic's colors (they don't even have them themselves), and so I base my keycap renders on RGB values derived from photographs of their color chips which I found online, and which were supposedly color calibrated to somebody's idea of "accuracy". These values are little more than reasonable guesses, but I feel they suffice for getting the critical character of a keycap set across accurately enough. Then there's the outer case. The RGB value I chose for the outer case renders was, at best, a general target for what the physical product color would hopefully be. But not knowing ahead of time that I would be asked to select a Pantone color, I simply picked RGB values I liked, and which I hoped we'd be able to get close to in production. The Keycaps For the keycaps, I chose the existing green colors VAF and VCO from Signature Plastics' ABS color swatches. I deemed these to be the closest to what I wanted for the keyboard given that we were not going to request custom colors to be mixed for us due to the added expense that would entail. The Case When it came time to select the paint color for the outer case--long after the run was over and just before the cases were about to go into actual production--I was asked to pick a Pantone color code that best represented what I had in mind for the product. None of the Pantone colors were exactly what I wanted, but I chose what I felt was the best compromise between the hue, saturation, and brightness levels of the colors available to me. While the color I chose is perhaps a bit lighter than what we might consider "perfect," I nevertheless judged it superior to the next best choice, which would have been too dark and saturated, too blue, or both. Lighting & Rendering And then there's the issue of the lighting setup used in the rendering application. Do I light my renders with the CG equivalent to incandescent lighting, natural lighting, or fluorescent lighting? I chose to go with a lighting setup akin to a reasonably neutral studio lighting environment. But that won't look the same as, say, a room lit by ambient natural light (at some arbitrary time of day). But even with highly accurate RGB values and perfect lighting setup (whatever that might be), there are a whole host of other reasons why an image rendered from my computer will look different to each and every person who sees it on a monitor other than mine. Differences in monitor LEDs, differences in monitor settings and calibration presets (if applied), not to mention the impact of the lighting in the viewer's room and the differences in how each person perceives color, all play a major role in guaranteeing that no two people see the same rendered (or photographed/scanned) image the same way. This is the nature of pre-visualizing with CGI. What we get is a usually a reasonable, but far from perfect (or perfectly accurate), representation of what the final physical product will look like. We appreciate you taking the time to read this. We hope to provide additional clarity on these processes moving forward. In addition, we will be more vigilant with informing the community when a project is utilizing renders in place of production units for the product page. Thanks, Zslane (John R Cooper)
Jul 24, 2019
Dgordon
303
Jul 29, 2019
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"While the color I chose is perhaps a bit lighter than what we might consider "perfect," I nevertheless judged it superior to the next best choice, which would have been too dark and saturated, too blue, or both." I'm not sure I understand this part. There is a pantone for every shade imaginable. Are you saying the manufacturer only let you use a few different shades?
Jul 29, 2019
JohnRCooper
838
Zslane
Jul 29, 2019
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Not every Pantone library is suitable for paint on metal. I entered the RGB values that I used for my renders into the Pantone website search bot, and it showed me the closest available colors they had across all of their libraries. The closest match was not available by the paint vendor so I had to choose the next closest color I deemed acceptable.
Jul 29, 2019
ericaward
11
Sep 7, 2019
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@JohnRCooper It is possible to purchase a replacement PCB? One of my Kailh hotswaps delaminated from the PCB (user error during switch mount, I guess?) and Drop's Samantha K directed me to ask you. If not, no worries, I'll work out some solution of sawing/drilling/usb-breakouts for a 60% PCB (e.g. DZ60? any advice here is welcome). Thanks!
Sep 7, 2019
JohnRCooper
838
Zslane
Sep 7, 2019
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Hi there. Unfortunately I'm just the designer and not part of the engineering team nor an employee of Drop. It would be up to their customer support team to handle a PCB that has become defective. Please send them an e-mail and open a support ticket with them. Cheers!
Sep 7, 2019
BUZDOLAPCI
3
Sep 7, 2019
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Does this drop come with the zinc rocketeer keycap or not?
Sep 7, 2019
Peaceblaster
1
Aug 24, 2019
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Just ordered despite all the negative reviews. I feel like people were mainly upset about the colors being off, and I guess it's a lot easier to be that disappointed after waiting months, or even a year. I'm personally quite hopeful, and suuupppeerrrr excited for the Halo True switches, in addition to a generally gorgeous keyboard.
Aug 24, 2019
Tofagerl
114
Aug 13, 2019
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Well, I love my new keyboard! It's by far the prettiest keyboard I own, and pretty damn close to the prettiest thing in my apartment, dogs excluded. Was able to figure out how to port my existing QMK-keymap to it, and besides not liking the switches it came with (pretty much picked at random), which I can obviously fix myself, this is close to the perfect MX keyboard. The only thing that could have been improved is if they somehow got Topre switches in it, which won't happen :)
Aug 13, 2019
Bcart34
5
Aug 11, 2019
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Honestly I'm extremely impressed with the keyboard and think it looks gorgeous. I saw it for the first time maybe a few days ago though and came in with zero expectations and I did not wait an entire year. I only will wait a week at most when I buy things, really don't get into that whole group buy thing because chances are the item will show up again when company needs to sell canceled ones, and I don't have patience to spend close to 300$ and wait a year. F that noise. Very excited to receive this keyboard though, at first i didn't like it but it seriously grows on you until you eventually give in. I think this is one of the most beautiful keyboards I've ever seen now.
Aug 11, 2019
dramsey
5
Aug 5, 2019
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So, I got my shipping notice on August 1st, the day after I ordered it. Good, validates the "in stock and ships in 1 day" claim. However, as of this morning, August 5, the tracking number still goes to a USPS page that says "Your package is on its way to a USPS facility..." and there's no further information. So...has this actually shipped?
Aug 5, 2019
dramsey
5
Aug 16, 2019
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Well, although USPS still has no shipping updates past August 1, the keyboard arrived today, and I must say that it was worth the wait. The finish on my example is impeccable, and the feel is terrific. The copper base plate adds a nice touch of bling, and the included accessories are great. The braided USB cable is very nice, and my only complaint is that it's a little too short for me, and I'll have to use a USB extension cable (right now I simply have the keyboard plugged into a front USB port). Oh, yeah: it would be nice if the instructions for the FN key assignments noted which key is actually "FN". (second to the right of the space bar, if you're wondering).
Aug 16, 2019
cmhamm
9
Aug 17, 2019
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Mine showed that it shipped on August 4th, and I got it today, so 12 days. I, too, didn't realize that these were shipping from China. I got what looked like a USPS tracking number, and I do think that the USPS was involved, but the USPS tracking website never went beyond the pre-shipment notification. I'm not terribly disappointed that it took 12 days to ship from China, but I do think that Drop could have done a better job of setting the proper expectations. At any rate, it came today, and I took a couple hours to lube it up. I'm typing on it now, and I'm extremely pleased. I know that a lot of people were unhappy with the colors, and maybe it doesn't match the old render all that well, but I never had those expectations. As far as I'm concerned, it's great. I would recommend to a friend.
(Edited)
Aug 17, 2019
sweetlySarcastic
3
Aug 2, 2019
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Can you buy just the key caps?
Aug 2, 2019
Ledjon
1
Aug 7, 2019
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How often do those happen?
Aug 7, 2019
MightyJabba
252
Aug 7, 2019
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Every few months, I guess, but it can be tricky to get specific things even if you know they will be for sale because quantities are limited and lots of people are trying
Aug 7, 2019
808dreamin
40
Jul 31, 2019
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What a cool looking keyboard, but oh my, the reviews of this are abysmal. For $250, I expect quality that surpasses Logitech keyboards, and it's clear this is falling far short of that.
Jul 31, 2019
cmhamm
9
Aug 17, 2019
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I ordered it despite the negative reviews, and I have to say, I'm extremely pleased. I never saw the old renders before I ordered, so I don't think the color is terrible. I suppose if I were expecting something different, I might be upset. But as far as quality, I ordered with the Halo True switches, and I'm pretty happy.
Aug 17, 2019
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