Mar 7, 20172781 views

The Giant Classic Beige Alps Set

So, I've been wanting to do an Alps set for a long time, but with the intention of covering new and vintage boards (with a strong emphasis on the vintage side). There are really a ton of great Alps boards out there, with pretty decent layouts that make for excellent daily drivers, but finding new caps for them is impossible for the most part. This isn't a set made to add "flair" but functionality, a classic colored set to replace old grungy or broken or missing caps. Modern boards like a few ortholinear and 40% boards that are hard to get keys for are also going to be covered (currently working on an Ergodox kit).
This is definitely a work-in-progress still. There are a lot of boards to dig through, of my own and online, trying to find and cover as many keyboards as possible. NOTHING HERE IS FINAL. Kits aren't final, how the kits are split isn't final, and colors aren't final. For those of you not familiar with forum interest checks, this is me telling you to give me your feedback! If you have some keys you'd like to see added please provide images of the boards in question though.
I am still in the process of making sure I can secure a manufacturer with all of these molds, but this will be an OEM profile set more than likely, which also helps keep pricing lower as well.
[Base Kit]

[Terminal - AT - XT - NeXT - etc.]
[Semi-Modern Compatibility - More Commonly Needed Keys]
[Ortholinear - 40% Compatibility]
[Color Pack]
Things still in progress:
  • ErgoDox Kit
  • ISO (?)
  • Add NeXT Coverage (ADDED)
  • Getting full list of cap sizes available (spacebars, odd stepped keys, enter keys, etc). More may be added after I can get confirmation of what I have to work with.
MrCake, Holypanda, and 43 others

what's the update/progress on this? :)
I love this idea. ***If this happens, please make a bigass enter addon with a 1u backspace and 1u backslash.*** The beige color scheme would be perfect. I would also love to see a granite color scheme too. Count me in!
@livingspeedbump any news on this project?
I'm really glad you are taking on Alps keycaps as a project. Alps/Alps clones don't seem to get the love they deserve. Everything you are working on is looking great to me. Thick PBT would be fantastic, if you could find someone to do it. And if you're going for vintage colors, then PBT wouldn't be too limiting color-wise.
I'd also be curious about how you're thinking about handling stabilizers. I've seen some Alps caps with Cherry-mount stabilizers (Signature Plastics), and others with Alps-mount. Obviously Alps would be preferred, especially for compatibility with older vintage keyboards.
Very interested.
Not sure what kbd I'd put with them, probably 40% or 60% perhaps ortho or split kbd layout, with some tactile ALPS-compatible like Matias Quiet Clicky.
So, probably alphas and maybe ortho set for modifiers, plus probably a colur set. If necessary it would not bother me to get the existing larger-than-needed base set, if having too many subset combinations blew out your ic/gb pricing (but others may be more price-sensitive.)
(actually, would probably refurb/ rennovate whatever old kbd I could get my hands on, maybe 1990s Dell, *plus* do a 40% possibly-split/ possibly-ortho)
Note, some 80s/90s boards had 2 columns of 5 or 6 Left function keys. It may be useful to include an L1-L12 for these.
e.g. L1-L10 aka Front, Stop, Cut, Copy, Paste, etc on Sun Type2/3/5; though that example may not have been ALPS (Topre maybe?)
Alternatively at least to help cover them one could use 1/3 a blank alphas key set, though wasteful (or ~1/2 a set of blank numpad keys?)
Count me in for 3-5 of these, but only if you can do ISO support! Also, did I miss it or is there no 1u backspace key for R1 except in the ortholinear kit? Semi-modern definitely needs to have one... I sincerely hope this will become real one day.
It would be very nice to have a high quality Beige/Gray "reference set" for Alps boards, including the newer Matias/Fuhua TKL's. I would order a couple TKL sets if they were a very good traditional color scheme + high contrast and very sharp legends. There have been a few attempts on various forums to deliver a solid beige/gray Alps set but they always seem to die off.
matias ergo pro kit would be baller but i doubt very many people have them.
My ergodox is naked and very much hoping this becomes a thing!
I'm not TOO picky when it comes to colour, so I'm cool with what you've got so far. I've got a Matias board coming and it's got standard ABS keycaps.... which I'm not liking the sound of... (excuse the pun). So to have a replacement PBT version would be the dream.
So good luck, I really hope this becomes a thing. Would back this in a heartbeat.
PS; the board I'm talking about is the V60 that's currently on MD, which basically just uses the standard key layout anyway, so compatibility wise it should be just fine
The colour kit only needs a key or two to become an ISO kit, why not make it colour/iso kit?
It would be easy to make the keys universal by labeling the keys win/com (or just OS) and alt/opt; either side by side or vertically. OR, use icons instead of legends on modifiers, so the keys are more universal
Otherwise, definitely need a mac kit, given how many alps users will be coming from Matias boards, I'd put the command & option keys into the base kit tbh. If going with separate mac kit, I'd look at how matias boards are laid out. The ones for old Apple boards should go into the compatibility kit.
I'd love to be able to replace keycaps on my Matias boards. But that would mean at least to have Mac legends.
Awesome idea, BUT, you really need to break up the base kit - Alphas, modifiers/60%, TKL, numpad. Look at the split on the recent Miami DSA drop; only half the people buying alphas got the TKL modifiers, even fewer got the numpad. A lot of alps boards are the KBP V60 (60%) and V80 (TKL); forcing people to get keys they don't need is wasteful and comes across as a bit exploitative - despite not being the organisers intention at all.
PS. I would also suggest a colour & novelties sub-kits; for those who want to inject awesome into their boards ;-) They always seem to sell well and I think you'll have a real winner here.
PPS. If you are going with double shots over dye-sub, I suggest of taking the advantage of being able to go with light lettering over dark background.
PPPS. (last one, promise) Matt3o open sourced his high-pro profile, signature plastics has the molds for it already - if you want a REAL feeding frenzy, organise an Alps Hi-Pro drop.
Great suggestions. However, the diversity of odd keycaps needed for classic alps keyboards means that getting some keys that I don't need in order to be able to fill certain Alps keyboards such as my Northgate Omnikey Ultra would OK with me.
Big ass enter key and various size space bars as a part of this set would make this IC (hopefully becomes a groupbuy) pretty unique for rejuvenating old Alps keyboards. I would love to see the Alps HI-Pro format but pretty sure that would only work for V60 or V80 (and possibly Dell AT101) but not the older classic Alps boards due to odd enter key/spacebar etc unless Signature Plastic has molds for these.
Yep, the compatibility kit should be a decent size for alps boards? But the base kit getting split into three, Base (alphas+mods), TKL (Function + nav cluster) and Numpad (numpad); would be lot more appealing... This will help people with things like 60%, standalone numpad boards, etc. If you have a wide range of layouts to cater to, increasing granularity of the kits will help everyone out.
PS. I'd suggest the ever popular "night kit," (basically just the alphas, f5-8 and light coloured numpad keys) in the dark grey colour way of your mods, or if you really want to push out the boat, white/black on red of the colour kit. It would go down a treat with members looking for a more aggressive look, plus, appeal to people who picked up a beige vintage set already and are looking for something bit more unique for their board.
PBT please! That would be amazing.
I'm assuming the first R4 in the compatibility pack is AEK layout?
It looks like the 40% pack covers it, but just to be sure, those blank "spaces" in it are a 2.25 and a 2.75 right? Those are the sizes it looks like more split space boards will be running so this kit adds support for them as well if you're aiming for MAXIMUM COVERAGE!!! :D
Looks like a really cool set. About damn time the Alps peeps get some loving! Good luck with this, hope it goes off smoothly for everyone involved.
I haven't been as excited for a keyset in a while as I am about this one!!
I'm in!
I would love to see off white colors and shades of orange similar to SA 1965 or GMK Carbon. Also, my FK2001 has row 1 wake, sleep and power keys.
Good work.
A 1u backspace could fit well with the "semi-modern" kit. There's boards with a Big Ass Enter and a 1u backspace so I figured that needed to be added aswell :)
Would these be ABS or PBT?
Good idea, especially if AT101 support can be sub-270$ unlike with the current DSA Light Cycle group buy. The numpad area of the base kit mockup has twice the same R1 keycaps.
Load 4 more comments
Taihao is PBT if that is what you are talking about.
But these sets are too off the wall for someone like SP to produce, it would just cost a fortune.
The Tai Hao one morte_rictusgrin linked above, and I got, is thin double shot ABS.
I personally like XT layout, but I absolutely hate the F keys layout. The numpad's orientation is bottom up with, 0-3 are row 4 while 7-9 are row 3. For some reason IBM decided to reverse the orientation for the F row. I rather have extra blanks keys for that instead.
Will this be PBT dye sub?
A great set and you are doing good work.
Having a separate Alphas set color matched to the mods would give a neat Apple M0110 feel to the smaller 40-60% boards leaving a contrasting Base set for the big boy boards. How cool would a blocked corner JD45 look!
Load 1 more comment
I understand and appreciate reducing the cost as I won't spend close to $100 on a single key set. The JD45 was an just an example, I'd like the darker grey alphas for my Plancks.
This will be $100+ for sure. You can't do custom sets for less
Looks great. If my Omnikey Ultra (I replaced the Alp white with Matias quiet switches) could be fully covered, including the multidirectional arrows, that would be much appreciated!
edit: Never mind. I see you have the Omni key and the 1.5 u insert & del caps covered in the AT/XT/Next set.
What stab mounts would these use, regular cherry stabs or alps stabs?
Looks great and seems to carry a lot of compatibility already. Any chance of R1 F13-F24 for boards such as the IBM 5556 ? Not the original legends, but still would be useful for coverage for it and similar boards.
Load 2 more comments
Yeah i need to add the extended F row, but relegendables aren't happening for this buy specifically for sure sadly.
Totally had that in mind as well, and figured that at least having row correct caps would be better than nothing. Unfortunately I've already got a friend milling me a case for MX or I'd be tempted to hold out for clicky Alps.