Massdrop Profile: Meet Yanbo Wu!

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Our Massdrop Profile series introduces you to the people behind the communities you love. They’re responsible for sourcing products, communicating with members, and making our site an awesome place to hang out. You might recognize them from Discussions you follow—they’re the smiling avatars next to those tiny Massdrop logos—and now you can get to know the personalities behind the handles.
This time, we’re talking to Yanbo Wu, who leads the Mech Keys team at Massdrop. First, we’ll let you read a little about his background and passions. Then, we’ll turn the mic over for a community Q&A. Submit your questions in the comment section, and stay tuned for the answers in a follow-up post.
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What do you do at Massdrop? I’m responsible for the Mechanical Keyboards Community. That means I’m talking to vendors to find the products the community wants. I also coordinate manufacturing for our custom products (Whitefox, Infinity ErgoDox, etc). Finally, I talk to the community on a daily basis. We set up custom keycap set drops, talk about keyboards, and make sure everyone’s issues are being addressed.
When did you start getting into the mech keys community? What got you interested? I actually only got into mechanical keyboards after I was hired by Massdrop. I’ve had a lot of experience previously with mass production and project management. Also, being bilingual, it helped smooth out a lot of the communication issues with our overseas vendors. After a few weeks on the job, I was hooked. Now, I check Geekhack, Reddit, and Deskthority, and I’ve even got quite a few of my friends hooked.
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Tell us about your keyboard setup. How does the one at home differ from the one at work? At home, I’m using the Varmilo VA68M with Granite keycaps. Gateron Brown switches! At work I’m currently using the Varmilo VA87MR with Danger Zone, Jellykeys space bar, and Gateron Red switches. But my work setup is constantly changing.
What’s the biggest investment you’ve made while building your setup? Probably the Varmilo VA68M. But the VE.A is calling my name...
What’s a small addition that can make a big difference to your board? I’ve been thinking about getting a board with tactile Cherry MX Grays. I really enjoy the tactile feedback of those switches.
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What did you do before working at Massdrop? I worked as a project manager for various vendors that made consumer electronics for large-scale retailers.

What’s your favorite thing about working here? The people are all very passionate about what they do, and everyone genuinely cares about the community. Also, Kunal and Alex.

Which mechanical keyboard companies are you excited about today? I’m more excited by the community and all the cool home-brew projects I’ve seen. People are very creative, and something like hand-wiring a whole keyboard is pretty amazing to see.
Bonus question: Favorite burrito?
It's pretty hard to pick a favorite burrito when there are so many to pick from. But California burritos (carne asada, French fries, cheese, salsa, and guacamole) have always hit the spot for me.
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Wondering what it’s like to solder a PCB? Not sure which switches to pair with your board? Leave your questions for Yanbo in the comment section—or just drop a quick “Hello!” We’ll have his answers for you in an upcoming Q&A post.
Hit the "Follow" button to get notified about future articles from this account.
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tinytoots
46
Jul 12, 2019
Hi Yanbo, do you have any news about dropping the ctrl high-profile keyboard black version ? Thank you!
Dr.David_Bowman
1
Sep 5, 2018
Regarding the Latest - Massdrop x OLKB Planck Light Mechanical Keyboard - $149.99 - May I Please kindly ask if this Keyboard comes with Homing Keys ? And May I please kindly ask if I can assemble it myself ? How and Where to buy this Kit - "Un-Assembled" ? Dr. David Bowman
Dr.David_Bowman
1
May 28, 2018
A very good day to you Sir, I hope you are doing Great Sir,
Please kindly take a look at the attached picture for my Fightboard Design This Fightboard will be used for Fighting Games like Street Fighter II + IV + V If Possible please use Low-Profile Laptop Mechanical Keycaps just like on the OLKB Planck Light Mechanical Keyboard If Possible I would like to have N-Key-Roll-Over as well for all Keys This Fightboard will be used in conjunction with an input processing device called the ConsoleTuner Titan 2 https://www.consoletuner.com The Keys - "QWERT" + "AZ" + "GB" will all have MACROS assigned to them using the Titan 2 Input Processing Device These MACROS Keys will execute a Character's Moves when any the MACRO Key is pressed These Charater Moves include - normal moves + super combos etc When used with the Titan 2, These MACRO Keys can be pressed in conjunction with the Directional Keys to perform a Character's normal moves or super combos etc The Titan 2 Input Device is a VERY Flexible Input Processing Device Please kindly take note that the Keys - "S" "D" "F" Should be using the "F" or "J" Physical Keys Because the "F" and "J" Keys have a little physical notch on the top of the Key This will be a Tactile Marker for the user of the Fightboard So that any user will know exactly which keys they are pressing without looking at their hands and the Fightboard. By touching on the Keys and feeling the S D F Tactile Marker Notches, A user should know which Keys they are Touching or Pressing.
Key Assignments S = Light Punch D = Medium Punch F = Hard Punch X = Light Kick C = Medium Kick V = Hard Kick
The Design of this Fightboard should follow the physical design of the - Massdrop - OLKB Planck Light Mechanical Keyboard
Basically you take the - Massdrop - OLKB Planck Light Mechanical Keyboard - And you make it look like this Fightboard
I would like to kindly ask - "How much it will cost to produce just 1 or 2 of this Fightboard for my own personal use" ?

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Massdrop is not in the market of producing or developing prototypes or products just for peoples personal use. It would have to be popular enough it would be viable to do as a drop and reach an MOQ that would be set by the manufacturer.
You could easily 3D print and handwire this and use a Teensy as the controller though for personal use. Would be quite simple.
Tashagnar
18
May 19, 2018
@YanboWu any news on a replacement pcb for the m10a
rui.pires
18
Jun 12, 2017
@YanboWu , any chance there are schematics for that sweet ergodox wood case ? I have an original ergodox and would love to make one of those that would hold it :)
Barkerisonfire
0
Jun 5, 2017
What are the chances of being able to buy anything left over from DSA Overcast from Yanbo's closet sale?
Looking for the Orange ISO and Ergodox kits...I doubt they were that popular...
Thanks,
_megapixel
388
Mar 24, 2017
living the dream.
dvorcol
5256
Oct 27, 2018
Not everyone can do what we do. I wouldn’t do nothin’ else.
TheSkeleton
2971
Nov 14, 2016
if you've ever bought something from mech keyboards on massdrop you know who Yanbo is you get to see his face once month to update you on the construction and shipping of anything keyboards that's not a bad thing btw Yanbo is great and a very hard worker.
chaozhiwang
0
Nov 13, 2016
hello ,when will the ergodox layout configuration come back? i want to change my layout.....
If you are talking about the original Ergodox configurator, we are still working on it. There are some security issues with it and our team is working on fixing them. I cannot give you a good estimate right now, but I will follow up with them.
We have the configurator in code review and it'll be back up end of this week.
As a vendor, i think i can say Yanbo is a very nice guy and very smart. Always trying to help.Only respect for you, my friend.
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