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An Update to Everything

gmk-hydro-05

In the past 8 months, my life has really been impacted by the success of Keyclack. It’s really insane to see where I started, and where I am today. It is truly a blessing, and I am humbled by the tremendous opportunity that has been given to me. I want to give my gratitude to all the community members who have supported me.

But enough about that, let’s talk about what’s going on these days. Let’s be cut and clear, that life hasn’t slowed down. I constantly find myself at the office into the morning. The worst part about the office is that it feels like a casino. A casino is a place where no natural light goes in, and you just work the slots/tables all night. I find myself going in at 10AM, and sometimes leaving at 2AM, barely noticing where the time flew by. It’s insane.

These days have been jam packed with up & coming projects. Everything is a WORK-IN-PROGRESS. So let’s summarize what I’ve been doing since the last update.

  1. Launched & Paid for SA-Camping with Kingnestea as a collective effort with CAMP TEAM CHINA.
  2. Finished shipment of WK-001 R1
  3. Launched & Paid for GMK Hydro
  4. Launched USB Type-C 2.0 Cable.
  5. Launched GB for SA-Budapest
  6. WIP – ps2avrgb 65% aka Ramabae65/Harambae65/jchan65.
  7. WIP – ZKW II R1 (soon)
  8. WIP – WK001 R2 (soon)
  9. WIP – GMK Flames (soon)
  10. WIP – Topre Mod Pack (soon)
  11. Shipped over 450 packages.
  12. & we’re about to finish our ps2avr TKL/60/75 GB.

But here are some things that have happened in my life.

  1. Purchased a laser cutter
  2. Tried casting Artisans (difficult)
  3. Went to SoCal Meetup
  4. Went to the Norcal Meetup
  5. Bought a Prius
  6. Talked about moving offices
  7. Moved into a new apartment

It’s insane to see how much has been done in all of the time. I’m very proud to be where I am today. It’s insane thinking that I did all of this myself. I’m literally a 1 man team, and I simply can’t imagine how deep I am into this right now.

It’s crazy to think that I started making cables a few months ago just to pay some bills, and this is where I am today. Bonkers. Life isn’t slowing down, and we’re only treading forward. Thanks for helping me onto this road.

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What’s been up these days?

NLXHMoy

Keyclack has been operating for approximately 6 months now, and it’s insane to see just how fast it’s grown in that short amount of time. It’s insane to just think about what has happened in these 6 months so lets just sum it all up shortly

  • Over 1000 orders shipped (just on the site alone)
  • 1976 Cable drop on Massdrop.com
  • MX HHKB GB
  • Carries small parts such as: NPKC Keypullers, CNC Aluminum Feet, Gaterons, Sip Sockets, and much more!

But lets talk about the direction that Keyclack is heading towards. After a lot of hard work this summer, I believe that Keyclack will always be a place where people can go to for cables, small group buys, and hopefully keysets. Keysets are something that I truly wish I had in stock because as more and more people are introduced into the hobby, the more rare some keysets become. I wish to be supplier and keep active stock of some sets. We’ll see how that pans out in the few coming months.

As far as running projects go… we’ve been up to A LOT & we could not have done this without the support from the community. Thanks so much for the love & hopefully it pushes Keyclack to make more and more.

Here’s a list of our current projects:

But there’s more…! With changes in the mainstream electronics industry, USB mini-b and micro-b are slowly being phased out (finally). We can see this trend in up & coming electronics such as the Apple Macbook, Android Phones, etc. In fact, we even see Input Club using it with the Infinity Ergodox R2 & their new up & coming Aura case. I’m happy to announce that we will start making custom cables for these in about 1 month. So here is what you can expect in both DIY + made to order variants.

  • Realforce Cables
  • Lightning Cables
  • Type C 2.0 (24awg power core, 4 core variant enough to push 1000MaH)
  • Type C 3.0 (8 core variant, not meant for charging honestly)

I hope that you see these offerings as great values to the community :). It’s definitely been a lot of work getting this up and running.

Thanks so much for the love & support mech community!

With much love,

-jchan94

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Better International Support

After two lost international shipments, I’ve decided to make sure that all international shipments are insured. One of the main reasons for insured international shipments is to make sure that if they do not reach their final destination, we get the money back to the customer, or have the capacity to produce the items again.

Why this over another shipping method such as DHL, UPS, or FedEx? 

Well, it’s a lot more affordable. Insuring a package only costs about $3-6 depending on the price of the items purchased. This makes it affordable and safe for both the buyer, and myself.

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How to Reprogram ps2avrGB

Please download the bootmapperclient: WindowsOS X.

The ps2avrGB PCBs are preflashed already flashed with the firmware.

  1. Connect the keyboard to the computer.
  2. Open bootmapperclient & click Download1
  3. If you’re looking to program a Function Layer, please select the layer first. 2
  4. Now Toggle Bootmapper& Reboot after Uploading. In the bootmapper mode, you cannot type regularly, so untick it if you need to use the keyboard. 3
  5. In order to program a key, please hit it physically on the keyboard. You’ll see it highlighted in the top & bottom sections. The top section shows you what function is programmed into the key. The bottom section shows you what key is selected. Reprogram everything accordingly.Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 6.00.58 PM
  6. If you’re programming for OS X. Please use the following:
    1. Scr Lck = Screen Brightness Up
    2. Pause = Screen Brightness Dn
    3. LGui = Command
    4. Mute, Vol Dn, Vol Up are for Volume
    5. Prev Trk, Play, Next Trk are for Music

To program Lighting, please go to Options.

  1. 4
  2. RGB LED settings on the left deals with the RGB underglow.
  3. Full LED settings on the right deals with the LEDs.
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Added Support Tickets Module

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While I try to have the best level of support by replying to everyone ASAP, sometimes things get lost between the three different places where I get messages.

  1. Email
  2. Reddit PM/Tag
  3. Geekhack PM.

Now, I have included a Support Tickets Module to make things a little more streamlined, and hopefully easier for the end user & myself.

Here’s how to submit a ticket!

  1. Please go to – https://www.keyclack.com/submit-ticket/
  2. Please use your existing user account, or create one.
  3. Hit submit ticket, and make sure to include the Order # or your First & Last name so I can find your order.
  4. Hit submit & wait for the reply.

 

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The Story Behind 1976 Cable Drop

This is what the office looked like when I just moved in

The 1976 cable drop was perhaps one of the biggest, and best mistakes I’ve made with Keyclack. It really tested me as a maker, and an individual. Looking back, I definitely could not have asked for a better learning experience. Now the following are not any excuses, I’d rather just give you an insight as to the process of the whole drop, and why it took so long for me to finish it.

During the time of the drop, I was in between many, many things. I was a 4th year at UCLA and was going into my last quarter of University. With this in mind, I had a lot of things to take care of including seeing if I was going to graduate (btw, I did graduate). Now, I was really excited to be able to work with Massdrop, and the drop occurred during my Winter Finals week. In addition to this, I was transitioning out of my job on campus, and had a lot of knowledge transfer to do.  Lastly, I had to spend time with my friends from college before University ended. The reason why I’m saying of these things is because I want you to keep in mind what I had on my plate, and in no way am I going to point too one thing as the problem of the delay with the drop, because the problem was with my choice. I chose to take all of this on, and that was a major mistake.

It was perhaps the best mistake I’ve made because it made me realize how I could not do everything I wanted at once. During college, I’d say I felt like superman. I felt that I could do as many things as I wanted at once and come out on top at the end, but to be frank, I didn’t come out on top. In fact, I barely made it to the middle.

But it didn’t end there. I was running everything out of a 600sq ft apartment which I shared with 5 other guys and it got out of hand. I had too much stuff lying around in the apartment in boxes. I eventually was able to get a 100square foot room (in my sister’s office) in Culver City so I had to move everything there.

During the process of creating the cables, it turned out to be a lot more difficult than I had predicted because of the heatshrink middle section. The heatshrink middle section took forever to make because I wanted it to look really nice. On top of that, I had some issues with SKU’s. It was mistake to take on so many SKUs (4 cable lengths x 3 different connectors x 2 different techflex options x 2 cable designs = 48 SKUs). This was perhaps the biggest mistake. While the drop was being planned out, I still relied on excel type order forms and that caused a lot of issues when I was actually making the cables. I spent way too much time organizing SKU’s rather than making cables after I was supposed to start making cables.

Aside from these logistical issues, I was also dealing with the fact that I was in a car accident. I had to stop all orders that were coming in, and had to delay everything by 2 weeks. Now, 2 weeks was what I put on paper, but realistically, it took me a month to recover from that delay and accident. I had so much backlog, I spent a whole week at my office trying to push out as many things as I could, but eventually I realized that I had grown weary of the process. I was showing up to the office miserable, making cables, packaging items, and it was honestly really tiring. But I want it to be clear that I never stopped answering any emails or messages to me. However, there are some emails that fall through the cracks, and I apologize for those. On top of all of this, while I finalizing the drop (around mid July), my car got broken into twice. Just bad luck, right? It has to be!

Takeaway? Well, I realized that you can’t do everything yourself. Find some help, get some friends together because they’re willing to help you on a project. Realize how big a project might be, and over estimate what will take for that to happen. But most importantly, always communicate. While intentions and words are great first hand, people like seeing action.

To end, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to work with Massdrop to bring the cable to many people, and I’m glad to have had the chance to make an imprint in the keyboard community with the cable. I hope that this blog entry gives you some insight as to why the drop was delayed, and hopefully I have the opportunity to work with Massdrop again.  I’m humbled to have had this experience, and it’s definitely made me realize that I can’t do everything myself.

Thank you for all the support, love, and patience

– /u/jchan94

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The Seattle Meetup

Photo by /u/Eat_The_food

TLDR:

Shoutout to /u/monkeyplusplus for housing me, picking me up from the airport, and driving me around too!

Shoutout to /u/quakemz, /u/ambielie, and /u/curotsn for organizing many aspects of the Meet up. Also thanks for the boba /u/quakemz!

Shoutout to /u/Platabear for driving me a bunch, including driving me to the airport at 11 pm!!

Shoutout to /u/eat_the_food for paying for dinner & your kind heart! Definitely will continue to eat the food. Just need some Fugus to start out.


Long story with micro blog material about my whole weekend.

Keyboard community meetups definitely sound weird at first, and it’s definitely good to point out that they are estranged gatherings where people who appreciate plastic and metal come together to talk about the experiences they have. I am fortunate enough to be able to make my way up to Seattle from SoCal to meet some of the kindest keyboard community members I’ve ever encountered. Having just graduated from University, I honestly don’t have a lot of money, but I really wanted to go to the Seattle MeetUp as I’ve been actively conversing with Washington based keyboard enthusiasts on slack for a few months now. After many months of chatting, it was great to finally put faces to names.

I want to first give a shout out to /u/monkeyplusplus for so generously opening his home to me. I will always be indebted to your kindness. He even picked me up from the airport which went above and beyond what he needed to do. A true kind sir, with his majestic stallion, the ’91 Honda Crx. Thanks monkey!

The day I flew in, monkey and I stayed up for a few hours tinkering with our boards and preparing ourselves for the meet up , and with much excitement, we went to sleep around 12:30am or so.

The day of the meet up, monkey and I got brunch at a diner down the street , and he paid for my meal! Such a kind sir. Later, I was picked up by sir /u/platabear in his roaring Volvo while monkey finished his sebright and pilcrow builds for the meet up. Plata and I met up with /u/quakemz and /u/ambielie at “Grinders”, a sandwich place about 1 mile from the meet up location at Shoreline community college. This was my first time meeting /r/mechmarket mod, so I had to make sure that my scam game was up. Little did I know… I was a good 8 inches shorter than the fellow (I’m 5′ 8″).

After getting to Shoreline, we were greeted by /u/cursortn, who got the location for the meet up and we set up everything. We moved tables together and I was able to set up a small table to give away all the cables I brought with me. At the end of the day, 98% of the cables I brought were gone which is great!

The meet up could not have gone any better (aside from thievery that happened), with all types of boards out there from alps, to Zealios 120g, and even more simple boards like Rosewill. Unfortunately, no Razers or Corsairs made it to the meetup. It was great seeing everyone’s personal prefs, and a lot of custom builds! Talking to people about their builds and what feeling they get from specific switches was awesome and nerdy as heck. Room of nerds, I loved it.

I definitely felt honored to meet /u/eat_the_food, otesanek (creator of the kosmo, and fugu artwork) and /u/poptart_777 (aka switch or instagram.com/keyclackers, and the maker of the Keyboard & Co GMK set that is up and coming). They are people that I’ve been following for a long time and being able to chat with them for a few moments was an honor. Check out switches’ one handed typing style on his instagram! He also uses 120g Zealios which is insane!

After the meet up, we went to a really nice kbbq restaurant down the street and after munching on food, /u/eat_the_food generously paid for our dinners (for 11 people mind you)! What a kind soul. He’s truly a great person to be around, and it was humbling being around him during this weekend. After dinner, many of us parted ways as Seattle was just a meeting point.

On Sunday, I went to the international district and met up with /u/quakemz, /u/ambielie, /u/Platabear, and /u/slippery_john for a late lunch which we had at Saumurai Noodle (not recommended. They use butter to salinate their miso). After that, we walked around Seattle and got boba, beer, and wonton noodle soup. After that, /u/platabear drove me back to /u/monkeyplusplus to pick up my luggage and he drove me to the airport at 11PM. Thanks so much for taking me bro. It was nice jamming to EDM with you and struggling to navigate with our dead phones.

Overall, the whole weekend was fantastic and was more than I could ask for. While we had just met IRL, I definitely felt like I’ve known these people for months. And it’s true, I have known them for months through our interactions on /r/mk and slack.

Ya know, it’s interesting how something as simple as keyboards can bring people together. Beyond our ridiculous fascination with keyboards, plastic, and metal, this meet up made me really appreciate the community aspect that we strive to achieve in this community. I’m truly grateful to have had such an amazing weekend, and I’m so humbled to have been allowed the opportunity to be in the presence of such nice and lovely north-western keyboard enthusiasts. I will definitely be coming back up for the next one, whenever that happens.

So would I recommend going to these meetups?

YES! Definitely. It’s a good moment to try out boards, have conversations about plastic, and just get to know people. They don’t happen to often, but when they do, they are something worth making the time for.


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Always Collaborate

DSC_5994x

Let’s always remember that this is a community first. Since I’ve started browsing /r/mk, I’ve noticed a trend: a slight downshift of community.

I know that people will always bare in mind the consumerist aspect of the community, and it will always be noted how much things cost, and horrible wallets are feeling. But despite all of that talk, remember that this is an enthusiast community, and you are a member of it. And a community is nothing if you don’t contribute to it.

Gundam_keycap_v05a04

In the past 2 months or so, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with Wobkeyboard. And /u/hidden-power (owner of WoB) is nothing short of an enthusiast. In our collaboration over the WK-001, we’ve been able to get to know each other on really good level. We’ve had talks about what Keyclack is and wants to be, and we’ve even had the opportunity to talk about how WoB was created. It wasn’t a surprise to me when hidden-power told me that he was the original designer, and founder of Gasmaskkeycap; one of the most accessible, and popular artisan keycaps in the community today. Perhaps what I found to be the best characteristic of /u/hidden-power, was that during our creation process for WK-001, he showed little concern about the money, and instead, always talked to me about how keycaps are art, his excitement to create new designs, and his excitement to create Topre keycaps. This has been a leading foundation in our collaboration, is one of reasons why I will always be looking to work with him in the future.

From https://www.facebook.com/Gasmaskkeycap/photos_stream

In this process of creation that I’m talking about, it’s very important to collaborate. While going to UCLA, I realized that you can’t do everything yourself. For instance: You can’t be the master of Python, while being the master of Java, and C++. You can certainly be really good at each, but that’s not a master; it’s a Jack of All Trades. Being a Jack of All Trades is a great quality to have, but I prefer to be really good at one thing, than being “okay” in all things. So whatever you’re looking to create, make it together! The journey is a lot more fun with friends.

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I’ve been gone a while

Gateron Switches Not included

While it’s no secret that I’ve been less active on reddit, be assured that it wasn’t on purpose. Truth to told, I needed some time alone. It was a necessary rest in order to catch up on school work, prepare for midterms/finals, and most importantly, stabilize my mental health (more on this below).

To cut it short: I’m graduating from UCLA in 7 days (June 11th, 9AM). After four long years of being a college student, I’m glad to be out of that hell hole. Was it worth it? Yes, totally! College was a great experience, and I definitely learned a lot about the world, and more importantly, myself.

But I’ll save that talk for another post, and hopefully you’ll enjoy hearing that I’m back up to speed with everything.

So what has happened in the past month?

  1. I’ve gotten a lot of new products. Gaterons, Sip Sockets, OPM/Gudetama Caps.
  2. I got into a car accident & injured myself. This resulted in $2,400 worth of damages that are not covered by insurance (yay. Time to do more orders. I’m literally broke atm).
  3. I’ve shipped a bunch of Massdrop orders.
  4. But more importantly, I’ve stabilized KeyClack & my mental health.

What does this mean? This means that I’ve decided to try to move forward with KeyClack as a full time job. It means that I’ve become less stressed with fulfilling orders as I am going to hire friends (who are just out of college), to help me keep up with orders. It means that I’ve realized what it takes to run KeyClack, and most importantly, what it takes to keep myself sane.

While I have believed that I have the capacity to run KeyClack, a lot of that thinking was premature. I was stressing about fulfilling orders, worried about making people happy, and thinking that I could do 90% of the work myself while finishing school & it was silly of me to think that. Now, don’t think that I went crazy, or anything like that; I just didn’t have a grip on everything that was in front of me, and that drove me nuts (hence, mental health).

But lets cut to it: I’m excited. I’m excited for what is to come, and what will come from KeyClack. I hope you’re excite too, as I have a lot of plans. Hopefully, I’ll be lucky enough to make it out on top, and I’m happy that there are so many great community members, always sending their love my way. It really helps and means so much to me.

As always, thank you for your love, support, and patience.

– Joseph

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You’re going to meet Haters

Along the journey of making something,  you’re going to meet some haters. Now the intention of this blog isn’t to target anyone, instead, its focused about an experience that I didn’t like and the type of people who cause them to happen.

Now, it’s never my intention to make someone have negative feelings, but chances are, I probably made a few head turns with a raised eyebrow. I’m not going to say its justified or not, because to them, it is a justified response. But to me, it’s just a hater and nothing more. One of my good friends from my home town always says “Haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love”,  and this saying has resonated with me so well.

Personally, I run Keyclack pretty much 90% on my own. 10% can be attributed to my friends whom I pay to help me with cables. But everything else is me, myself, and I. From keeping the website online, and keeping up with orders, I try to stay on top of things in addition to my school work and keep things going. It’s my last quarter at UCLA and Keyclack has definitely been a huge part of my life during my fourth year of college, and it’s very personal to me. So to have an individual attack or make me feel like uncomfortable about Keyclack is not really welcomed. But here we are, so let’s begin.

This is where I break down the three types of people who give negative vibes.

1. Competition. They’re going to notice you, and hopefully they approach you nicely. The truth is, they see you as a disturbance to their business, but as long as you do your own thing, and don’t interfere with their business, it should be okay. And hopefully you can agree on that. I’ve been very fortunate that other stores have been extremely friendly. There’s not much more to this than that.

2. Veterans. Now veterans are people who have been in the community for a while. They see the community in a certain lens, just as they’ve seen it from its infancy to its current state. While I respect many veterans for their presence, and for still being a part of the community, some can be less than friendly. It’s hard to respond when they start to act a little bullish, and close channels of communication without warning. It’s as if they feel like their opinion demands respect. And to me, I will give respect as long as you give respect back. I believe that’s more than fair. Albeit, sometimes you “stepped in their territory”. But that’s no reason to be a jerk about it. Hopefully they just respond well, be civil, and tell you nicely. But, despite how they treat you, remember to stay calm and collected. There’s no reason to escalate things as it only causes more animosity and living a drama free life is the life to live.

3. Straight up Bullies. Now, somewhere along the path of life, some individuals got rocked the wrong way. They don’t really care about how you feel, what you know, or what you intend to do. They believe that you are not entitled to anything because you don’t know. But my main quarrel here is that I want to know. In fact, if you believe it’s wrong, please tell me and I’m willing to learn. I’m not a genius, but I do have the capacity to learn things if you give me a hand. And to clarify, I’m not asking for you to baby me each step of the way;im asking for a tip, or guidance and making myself better. But despite your intentions, they won’t care about your opinion. Now it’s my desire to empower each other, and to help one another voyage through life, but bullies don’t like opening channels for communication and give you some bullish responses.

Despite these people, my advice to you is to keep on pushing through. Stay strong and vigilant and never stop learning from your mistakes. I know it sounds very generic, but really look at how you approached things, and see how you might improve them, or see if you really believe what you did was fine. Most of the time, your intentions were pure, and the way you did it is fine, but despite that, you’ll encounter some negative feelings from some individuals because of how they see things. And if we all saw things the same way, the world would never spin. I fundamentally believe that people should share their perspectives and only want positive vibes. Despite this overly holistic outlook, remember that there are 99 lovers out there, and only 1 hater. Hopefully, you won’t have to encounter that 1.

Anyways, I thought I’d let out a little steam and hope this read was helpful in anyway. Or at least give you some insight as to some of the things I encounter here and there.

As always, clack on.