MKB Notes – Common Stabilizer/modifier Modifications

there are modifications that you can do to your mechanical keyboards to make them even better, adjusted based on personal preferences.

this is a small collection of tips and modifications that can be done on the stabilizers for larger keys, such as space bar and modifier keys. note that most mods contribute only part of improvements. it’s the combination of these mods that give you a much better, significant user experience.

in general there are two common types of stabilizers: Costar and Cherry. this note is more about cherry stabilizers.

    1. Use genuine parts. inconsistency is very common in clone stabilizers. additional mods must be applied to make these clones behave closer to the genuine parts, but sometimes they’re just beyond rescue;
    2. Lubing stabilizers – always do this; the idea is to lube all contact points that cause frictions. always use thick grease;
    3. Sound-dampening mod – this helps to reduce certain amount of noise when typing; it’s just placing a layer of sound-dampening material between the PCB and bottom case.
    4. Clipping mod – this simply means to cut off two of the feet of cherry stabilizer inserts, thus making the stabilizers to be less mushy.
    5. Band-aid mod –  this serves two purposes: to reduce noise when inserts hit the PCB during typing, at the same time reinforce the stabilizers to be more sturdy, hence minimize bad effects like rattling space bar and modifiers. basically this means a small piece of band-aid tape, similar or slightly larger sizes than the stabilizer housing, are placed between the stabilizers and the PCB. in addition to the base of stabilizer housings, you can also put band-aid under the wires to provide additional cushions to them.
    6. sponge mod – this is meant for reducing rattling effects caused by interactions between stabilizer wires and and inserts; this just means to put a tiny piece of sponge between the wires and inserts.

also, you can be innovative by testing your own mods. for instance, for sponge mod, instead of putting sponge into the space between wire tips and inserts (which need reapplication because the sponge might frequently move out from its designated locations), i used electrical tape to wrap the wire tips instead.


MKB Notes – How to Lubricate Mechanical Keyboard Parts

If you have mechanical keyboards, especially with Cherry MX switches and friends/clones, there are many good modifications that you can do to make it much better to type on. This note is about how you lubricate various parts of the mechanical keyboard. Lubricating various parts of mechanical keyboards offer better typing feels in the long run (smoother, softer), making the typing sound relatively quieter (especially space bar and modifiers). The two main parts of mechanical keyboards that will produce better outcomes if lubed are switches and stabilizers.

Technically, the choices of lubricants depend on which part that you want to do the lubrication. However, personally I just use grease, like Super Lube (cheap and good enough), for everything, and I like the outcomes.




The Right GPU for Water Cooling AIO

here are some notes about how to choose the right GPU and have it cooled with a water cooling AIO.

instead of building custom loops, i tried to build a desktop computer with its CPU and GPU cooled by water cooling AIOs. this is a little experiment that i try to do to find better answers. for GPU cooling, i chose to use NZXT Kraken G10 and Corsair H110. i’m satisfied with the outcomes. the GPU core is at 41c maximum under loads. however, there is one thing that i am still not very comfortable with: the cooling of other key components, like VRMs. my current GPU is a MSI 980Ti Reference, and it doesn’t have anything like that.

so to have a hassle-free installation, it’s better to choose a GPU with internal, secondary heat sinks that make contacts to key electronic parts on the PCB. one example is MSI 980Ti Gaming 6G.(there are plenty of them to choose from). this way, you can have a much better heat dissipation for these components (eg. VRM), besides the GPU die itself.



My Custom Rig (2015) – Part 2




stuff replaced since the previous build:

  1.  MSI 980 TI Reference (with NZXT Kraken G10 Bracket, and Corsair H110 Push-Pull at front intake)
  2. 2x Samsung 840 Pro 512GB

the AIO setup for GPU brings the maximum temperatures under load to 41 degrees Celsius at room temperature, and it get rids of the fan noise from stock air cooler.  (it’s impressive, compared to the 70++ degrees with stock cooler, running fan speed at 90%)

Windows 10 Upgrade – The Shortcut

as reported in many places like this, and this, there is a trick to have an activated windows 10 by a clean install.

first of all, you need two things:

  1. an activated current OS (w7sp1 or 8.1). the eligible channel types that are reported to work with this trick are Retail, OEM:DM (w8.1), and OEM System Builder.
  2. a copy of w10 ISO via w10 media creation tool that matches the upgrade path (e.g. for w7 Ultimate sp1, you get w10 pro)

the steps are simple:

  1. validation of the current OS online (this is true for w7, but i haven’t found the online validation process for w8.1). this makes sure MS activation server recognize your current OS as a legit copy.
  2. generation of GenuineTicket.xml based on your installation.
    1. retrieve gatherosstate.exe from w10 ISO. this file is located in the sources folder.
    2. at administrative prompt, run it on your activated and validated current OS. it will generate an xml file, called GenuineTicket.xml. save this file else where, e.g. in a usb stick.
    3. do a clean install with w10 ISO. skip places that ask you for key.
    4. once it’s installed, make sure the new OS is not connected to the Internet.
    5. copy GenuineTicket.xml to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\clipsvc\genuineticket\ on w10:
      1. at administrative prompt, type ‘net stop clipsvc’ and press enter key;
      2. copy GenuineTicket.xml to the specified folder above;
      3. at administrative prompt, type ‘net start clipsvc’ and press enter key.
  3. reboot w10 and connect it to the Internet. the w10 installation should be activated.

the above process is only needed for the first time (as a replacement for normal upgrade paths for the w10 free offer, which caused quite a lot of issues since the  official roll-out.). for the subsequent w10 installs on the same device, all you need to do is to do a clean install, and make sure the new OS is connected to the Internet.