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Drop + OLKB Preonic Keyboard MX Kit V3
$150

Drop + OLKB Preonic Keyboard MX Kit V3

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$150
Case Color:
Purple
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Product Highlights:
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Acute Keycap Set
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Review Highlights:
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My absolute favorite
Easily my favorite keyboard form factor of all time. It has everything I need and nothing I don't use (and layers for things I want but don't use often). It's small enough to slip into my carry-on bag for work trips, or just in my backpack for when I'm going to chill at a coffee shop. Construction-wise, the Preonic Rev. 3 is built like a tank. Make sure you save the tiny pamphlet in the box, it has the assembly instructions. Personally, I go for the ultra-secure plate method. This uses the provided bolts and spacers to make the plate firm within the case. The plate is a hefty stainless steel plate with a tight tolerance. It will take some force to push the switches in. BE WARNED! The hotswap brackets for the switches can come off if you push too hard. I have made 4 of these model and have never had the issue, but it has been known to happen. The recommended method is to put a few switches in the plate, then line them up with the PCB, then place the remaining switches in place by putting your finger on the back of the PCB to hold the black hotswap in place while you use medium force to push the switch into the plate. This reduces the risk of popping off a hotswap. The board is programmed with QMK, but make sure when flashing it that you use the Rev 3 firmware. Rev 2 used a different micro controller and the firmware and layouts aren't compatible. I would love to do a write-up on QMK, but it's a bit complicated to set up and there are a million different things you can do with it. If you have questions, you can always ask on the OLKB subreddit (reddit/r/OLKB). Search first! Your question has probably already been asked and answered, but if you're really not sure just make a new post. People will usually help, but it's not super active so it may take a day or two to get a response. Included is a picture of my collection, which is just about a year old. I have quite a few more now...
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Would recommend to a friend.
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This is my first orhtolinear, and three days in I'm really liking it. I'm still in the process of figuring out where I want keys to be, and am _really_ liking the MOD_T setup (i.e. left-shift on hold, enter on tap, etc). From what I can see, it looks like there is a little solder on the USB-C connector, though that piece still makes me a little nervous. I got a magnetic cable set ( https://amzn.to/2Eup4dR ) so there isn't any strain on the connector. Since I pack this from work to home and back, it's great for the convenience factor alone.
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Q&A Highlights:
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Do I need to assemble this myself?
Yes, but no soldering required to get a basic keyboard with switches.
LED ready--meaning LEDs need to be soldered to the board (yes/no)?
The board comes with presoldered addressable LEDs around the edge of the board, other than that there is a cutout under each switch where you could put LEDs but there is nothing else other than the hole. If you wanted per switch LEDs you'd have to wire them separately.
See all 125 questions
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morosophos
3
Jan 17, 2020
what is the limit of the number of writes to the on-board ROM? i.e. how many times you can flash the firmware before the device turns into a brick?
OrangeShadow
198
Mar 11, 2020
From what I could find out the Preonic uses the STM32F303 microcontroller. According to the datasheet, the flash has minimum endurance of 10k write cycles (page 82).
morosophos
3
Mar 11, 2020
OrangeShadowThanks!!!11
freqmod
5
Feb 4, 2021
morosophoswe used similar technology in a testing system, we had some boards that started failing, they had been running for around 5 years with writing to them 10s of times a day.
Ishmar
0
Nov 7, 2021
OrangeShadowhi there, new bee here. Sorry if my question sounds stupid. The life cycle you mentioned here is counted 1 time everytime you change the setting and write to the board's ROM, is this correct? So can i assume that, for a normal user like me, we won't reach that 10K limit before finding our best comfortable combination, then hopefully no more writing to ROM? Thanks in advance for the answers. Cheers
OrangeShadow
198
Nov 7, 2021
IshmarThat's basically correct. If you changed your mind and flashed your board 5 times a day, every single day, the internal flash might start failing after about 5.5 years :) I've had my Preonic for about 3 years now and I bet I haven't flashed it more than 30 times.
Ishmar
0
Nov 8, 2021
OrangeShadowthanks for confirming.
Do I need to assemble this myself?
jooks
53
Nov 12, 2019
Yes, but no soldering required to get a basic keyboard with switches.
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wilippolis
11
Dec 2, 2019
Is the acrylic case frosted?
bsastor
778
Dec 10, 2019
Yes.
Praire
3
Feb 10, 2021
LED ready--meaning LEDs need to be soldered to the board (yes/no)?
b0bbyfillet
12
Feb 20, 2021
The board comes with presoldered addressable LEDs around the edge of the board, other than that there is a cutout under each switch where you could put LEDs but there is nothing else other than the hole. If you wanted per switch LEDs you'd have to wire them separately.
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Jrezky
103
Dec 15, 2019
Is this compatible with low profile MX switches like cherry low profiles or kailh choc?
Mario.Paul
337
Dec 19, 2019
Nope
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