Base - That’s the back. Sometimes the PCB sits in there (like the Universal kits), sometimes it just floats (like the skeleton kits).

Form Factors - Physical shape and size of the mechanical keyboard

Hot Swap PCB - Is a PCB that doesn’t need the switches soldered, switches can be added and removed without soldering. (see PCB for more)

Keycaps - The plastic piece that your finger touches.

Keys - Are the results of all the parts. People often use this to describe a single part, when they mean switches, keycaps or pcb traces.

Layouts - Layout of keys.

Lubing - You can lube your switches and stabilizers. Some benefits of lubing switches include smoother key stokes, custom sound profiles, and reduced ping. Benefits of lubing stabilizers include increased smoothness and decreased rattle on stabilized keys.

O-Ring dampener - An O-Ring that is installed on each keycap to cushion the bottom out between a keycap and switch top housing. This reduces the noise and shock of a key press. Can be tuned by different O-Ring thickness and hardness. Note this will not dampen the click sound of clicky switches.

PCB - The circuit board that links each key press to the USB. (see Programmable PCB or Hot Swap PCB for more)

Plate - Plate is the top. It’s the part with the switch cutouts. (see universal plates for more)

Various plate materials create different sound profiles:

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Carbon Fiber
  • Polycarb
  • Steel
  • Stainless Steel

Programmable PCB - This refers to a PCB that has a programmable chip on it. This way, each key can be remapped, programmed or made into a macro. If a PCB is QMK compatible, it is programmable.

Skeleton kit / Sandwich kit - Keyboard kits made of just two plates. 1upkeyboards is famous for this post-modern design.

Soldering - You must solder the keys on to the PCB? Solder the switches to the PCB, yes.

Tools needed:

  • Soldering Iron/Soldering station
  • Solder - recommended sizes (.5mm, .8mm, 1mm)
  • Desoldering pump (optional unless desoldering switches)
  • Desoldering gun (optional unless desoldering switches)
  • Solder wick (optional unless desoldering switches)
  • Fume extractor (recommended)

Stabilizers - Stabilize keycaps that are over 2u in length.

Comes in 2 types: Dependent on PCB.

  • Cherry - Clip in, Screw in, Plate Mount
  • Costar

Standoffs - The little pieces that go between the base (backplate) and the top plate.

Switches - These are the parts that go under the keycap and into the PCB. This is where you get to customize the feel of your keyboard. Here's a list of every switch ever made.

Switch led(backlighting) - RGB or single color led that illuminates key switch. Comes in 2 varieties: SMD led(surface mount) and regular LED(mounted on top of switch).

Switch mounting - Plate mounted and pcb mounted

  • Plate mounted - Switch is clipped into a plate. Switch does not need addition guide pins to locate switch on pcb. If switch has the additional guide pins and pcb does not have cutouts for them, pins can be clipped off.
  • PCB mounted - Switch is mounted to PCB with no plate. Switch needs 2 additional pins to locate on PCB.

Underglow - RGB or single color SMD led mounted under PCB.

Universal plates - This is a plate that’s cut out to support multiple layouts.

USB cables - USB cables can be customized many different ways. Options include:

  • Host/Device connectors - USB A, mini-USB, micro-USB, and Type-C. Solder and no solder kits available at 1UP.
  • Length - Total length of USB cable.
  • Cable color/design - Paracord sheath/sleeve with many colors and design options.
  • Double Sleeving - Second layer of sleeving that adds style and rigidity. 2 common types: Techflex and MDPC-X.
  • Heat shrink - Insulates connector ends and color customizable.
  • Detachable connectors - Allows for quick swapping of USB 'ends'. Aviator and LEMO styles.
  • Coils - Purely cosmetic and adds old school look to cable.
  • knowledge_base/glossary.txt
  • Last modified: 2022/10/30 19:02
  • by 1upkeyboards