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Varmilo Bluetooth Gateron problems :(

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I want to reach out and see if I am just unlucky or if there is a systemic problem going on.
My first Varmilo VB87M keyboard was basically DOA with, IIRC, the letter O key flaky. Often, it would not register a click yet at other times, it would send 2, 3, or more letters. This was the Bluetooth model from the ~ Feb 2013 drop with Gateron blues. My first one was returned.
Now, I am on my second VB87M, and a few months later, it was experiencing similar problems (missed or double keys), but the problems showed up not immediately, but over time and now with many keys -- most are common like the spacebar and the letter S while others are not like the letter Z. Now, it is unusable, and I am on my 3rd.
I'm trying to figure out if this is a Varmilo PCB problem, a problem with Gateron switches, or some freak combination with the Bluetooth or maybe just a bad batch since my second one was also from the Feb 2013 drop.
At the time of the first failure, I did a lot of research, and there were a couple other users with a similar problem. One, I believe, in Singapore, her dad disassembled and cleaned the switch which suggests it was a switch problem. But, I have read another user who reported a similar problem with Cherry switches.
I have many of these keyboards but most are infrequently used such as on my Chromebook, a laptop, other development machines, home media center, etc. I have a fortune spent on these keyboards (including non-Bluetooth versions) and aluminum cases and fancy keycaps. It's not acceptable for these keyboards to only last a few months (regular use) when the keys are rated for 50 million cycles. Unfortunately, I have not used my other keyboards as much as the one on my main machine.
Please post your experiences (similar or no problems) and what model/switch/drop yours came from.
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budley
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WickedVT
9
Oct 4, 2019
Just found this post from a google search. I bought my V87MR through here in 2016. A couple keys are being super flaky now - in partiular the C key (as you can see). Sometimes it works, usually takes a little hammering on it and then suddenly it's spitting out characters, and other times it does nothing. Infuriating to say the least.
starmann
0
Jul 18, 2019
They pretty much suck. Mine was completely useless DOA. An expensive ultra-heavy paperweight is what it boils down to. Thank goodness I ordered a massdrop CTRL keyboard around the same time because I could not wait any longer for my Varmillo (POS)
Lattie
25
May 18, 2017
Same problem here. Mine is VB87M Gateron Clear. I'm also researching on this and trying things I can do. Let me report if I find something. Thank you for heading up.
budley
59
May 20, 2017
From talking/emailing a rep from Varmilo, they no longer warranty keyboards made with Gateron switches. She reported the same complaints/experiences I have been having from other users. My third Gateron keyboard is flaking out now. :( Same problem: multiple or no keystrokes registered.
It's too bad, too since I now have a couple Cherry MX Blue keyboards (Varmilo so apples-to-apples comparison), and the Gaterons are far better feeling IMO. (I was typing on an IBM Model M for decades.)
I think it is telling, also, that Massdrop isn't offering Gaterons on the latest VA87M drop.
budley
59
Apr 24, 2017
I don't know if this is the case with all keyboards since I have read someone had the same problem with Cherry switches, but a rep at Varmilo told me that they will no longer warranty keyboards with Gateron switches because of exactly these problems. I was tempted to even buy a bag of spare Gaterons and solder them in, but it really depends on how bad the failures are. The current one I'm typing on seems to be holding up... so far.
Ronayke
3
Apr 24, 2017
I have the same problem with 3 keys on my keyboard (VB87M with Gateron brown). Did someone already sort out what the exact problem is? I'm thinking of replacing the Gateron browns with Cherry MX Browns...
JedWhitaker
4
Feb 14, 2017
Hey Budley, I've also experience this same issue now across two boards, both with Gateron Blues. I thought it was maybe the bluetooth receiver at first so I replaced that and the issues persist.
Massdrop quickly replaced my last one, but at this point I'm kind of done dealing with it. IDK if it is the Gateron switches or what, but I'd like a keyboard that works. I love the Gateron Blues more than Cherry Blues, but if they are the culprit then I'd like a refund or somethingelse personally.
budley
59
May 20, 2017
Yes, I now have a Cherry MX Blue Varmilo, and I agree. The feel of the Gateron Blues is much better.