Modding my MK Disco w/ Zelios (Project Nu Disco)
Hi guys! I recently took a few days off of work and decided to get started on a little project that I've been meaning to start for a few months now: replacing the KBT brown switches in my MK Disco with 65G Zealios.
I managed to get all of the more difficult parts of the project done - desoldering all of the original switches (ughhh) and stripping the black backplate and giving it a brushed finish.
The hardest part by far was desoldering the switches, because unlike most standard keyboard PCBs the Disco has a double-sided PCB with traces connecting on both sides. Why is this a problem? If you don't take the time to really make sure that each lead is completely desoldered you risk damaging the plated through-hole / trace on the other side of the board when trying to take a component off. I found that I had to no only use a solder sucker but also go back to most leads again with some wick to make sure the holes were completely desoldered. This is more of an issue with the RGB LEDs, since the holes are so small and fragile. I learned this the hard way when I lifted a trace while removing an RGB LED on another board. This is where having a legitimate desoldering tool like a Hakko FR-300 or something similar is very handy - but, since I don't do this often and that tool is around $250, I did things the hard way. I actually tore-off a pad on the top side of the board that connects to an LED, but fortunately that pad didn't connect to a trace. I tested it afterward just to be safe and it still worked (really dodged a bullet there).
Stripping the paint off of the steel backplate:
After giving the backplate a brushed finish using sandpaper:
All thats left is soldering on the Zealio switches and the new RGB LEDs (the waterclears available from ZealPC)!!!