Part one Keycaps

The construction of a Planck

A journal of my first mechanical keyboard build.

Part one


By next week I’m hoping to have started my first mechanical keyboard build. I’ve gotten all the parts except for the most important bits like the PCB and case. It’s in the mail and should be here by next week. I have two options available to me when it comes to the keycaps, but I think I’m going with the blank PBT DSA keycaps I ordered from pimp my keyboard.

My other option is the same color and profile, but with legends.

Yeah, the blank ones look really nice…

I’m learning to touch type and I’m no longer locking at the keyboard when I type, so the legends is just clutter at this point.

So what is PBT and DSA you ask?

Well it took me a while to figure that out. At first all the different letter kombinations, ABS, DSA, PBT, SA, XDA and a few more I don’t know of the top of my head, really confused me. But I think I’ve figured it out.

ABS and PBT are different types of plastic that are used when making keycaps. The biggest difference, as I’ve gathered, is that ABS tends to get a shiny and almost blank polished look after some use. PBT stays a more matt look and feel over time.

ABS is also cheaper and more easy to work with when it comes to the different methods of printing legends on the keycaps.

DSA, SA and XDA is the profile of the keys. There are even more profiles like cherry profile and OEM. Here is a picture explaining the differences between them.

I chose DSA because I like all my keys to be the same profile on all keys and I really like the feel of DSA. My fingers simply feel at home on DSA keys. My advice is to go to a computer store and try different keyboards and see what profiles you like.

I’m also thinking about ordering a blank set of SA row 3 or XDA just to have something different for my second bord I’m planning (row 3 is the R3 key in the picture). It would then still be the same profile on all the keys, but a different profile (different feel and sound.)

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