APT Hall Effect Mechanical Keyboardsearch

APT Hall Effect Mechanical Keyboard

APT Hall Effect Mechanical Keyboard

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(13 reviews)
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I've had these kbdfans dsa keycaps on my board for about a month and they are starting to show some stress marks. Please don't put expensive caps on the hall effect boards. Edit: It's harder to see on the white cap but if you look closely you can see it.
Okay, I'm back after a few days with a comment - AND a request. My 108-key round-2 keyboard was delivered October 24, 2018. Today's the 29th. It's every bit as awesome as I mentioned earlier. However I am noticing one little issue, one that only promises to worsen with time. The bottom of the keyboard has three supports in front (closest to the spacebar) but only two (closest to the function keys). It's heavy - which is great - but unfortunately the keyboard's already begun to sag. The keyboard is rests on my thick, glass desktop - flat as it can get - so it's easy to notice. Looking at the keyboard in its as-used position, the line from the top right key (Cal) to the bottom left key (Ctrl) becomes the fulcrum of the sag, lifting the bottom-right support ever so slightly above the desktop. It'll only worsen over time. (Would the sag strain the circuit board, long-term? Can't say.) The solution, of course, is the addition of third support where there are only two today. So, here's my request. Can I obtain an additional plastic support and matching rubber foot? To be clear, I'm talking about the taller plastic support found beneath the function keys. I seem to recall pictures of the round-1 keyboards having a rear support that was basically a stack of acrylic running the length of the keyboard. While the round-2 support system is far superior in appearance it's lacking in... support. If an additional support's not available I'll have no choice but to fabricate one. My gut says I'd probably measure an existing support and turn some brass or aluminum stock on my lathe to duplicate the appearance. Even with this flaw, this is still the best keyboard I've used in decades!
My round-2 keyboard was delivered today so I've only got a couple of hours on it. It's the 108-key black acylic unit. Nothing went awry in shipping, the packing was excellent: a foam-padded inner box within a form-fitting corrugated shipping box. No keycaps were dislodged, all the keys are fully functional with no binding or sticking. Both shift keys feel a little stiff, but both equally so, I'll get used to it. I've read of spacebar complaints, but this one feels fine to me - not mushy at all and doesn't miss. The supplied cable is adequate for my needs but I can see how some might prefer another foot or so. I was pleased to see three extra switches - they're either extras or dead samples to pass around to friends - and a keycap tool in the package. If there's gotta be a complaint it's that the front of the acrylic looks a little rough. So what. The feel of these keys is nothing short of awesome. Overall, the unit reminds me a lot of the old Northgate keyboards from the 1980s, just smoother, like butter. I'm showing my age here. Those old Northgate keyboards were bulletproof, built on a metal backplate with which you could fight off a zombie invasion, and win. But I digress. I'm gonna lend this keyboard to my kid. He's a gamer, he's been griping about his keyboard for quite a while. If he likes this thing like I do, I've gotta ask, was this drop big enough to order another 108-key unit for him?? Thanks for making my first Massdrop experience a good one!
This keyboard is so close to perfect! My issues:
1. The spacebar does feel a little mushy, and misses sometimes. I haven't noticed anywhere near the 80% misses some people are talking about; it gets it 95% of the time for me. Still not great, but I may just need to learn to type on it better. 2. My J key is depressed. It's not actuated, but the keycap sits about a millimeter under the rest. Actually, while typing this it's popped back up somehow... It seems to just be a little sticky. 3. The function layer on my 61 key is... not great. Dedicated keys to turn on layouts for games I don't play is probably useful to some, but I really want to reprogram this to have my standard layout for 60%s. Also, the WASD function, which supposedly turns WASD into arrow keys, only works for ASD. And the LED indicators showing this don't turn back off or revert to my other LED mode when I deactivate WASD mode.
Is there any way we can get the firmware or QMK support??
I'm really happy with the look of the keyboard, and I got this because I wanted to try a unique switch type. I don't understand the people complaining because they feel weird... I thought that was the point. I like it. I just really want to reprogram it.
pwfff
I'm honestly jealous of your spacebar. I wrote 50% in my review but thats after taking into account that I'm slamming it because I know how hard it is to actuate. Just typing normally it never actuates.
But the problem isn't that these are different switches and so feel different. The switch mechanism itself is actually good. But I think they added foam which has made them mushy, and the stabilizers are horrendous.
pwfff
Yes same here - my "W" key doesn't function as up either with "WASD" mode engaged or while holding down the "Fn" key which leaves me having to use PL:" for cursor keys which it really annoying when you use vi every day and are very used to using hjkl movement keys. Also - the usb socket was *VERY* tightly fitting in the case and badly aligned so plugging a USB cable in actually caused the usb socket to lift off the board. I was able to resolder it and carve out the hole in the case enough to stop it happening again but to have to do that on a brand new board to even get it to work and then discover the rather poor layout didn't even work as advertised was - disappointing. For me too QMK support would be ideal but I'm not sure how possible that is given Hall Effect switches are basically analogue and QMK was written for boards with simple on off switches. Access to some sort of fixed firmware and preferably a reprogramming tool so I can put the cursor keys where I want them and loose a load of other functions I'm never going to use would be much appreciated though.
We're very sorry about the manual. If anyone want a PDF version we can send to your email address. Please leave a message for the PDF version to macy@ace-pad-tech.com. We'll send to you straight away. Thank you very much.
leo2017
No. I didn't pay as much as I did to have to send an email just to get a legible version of that manual.
I was planning on seeing if I could get my keyboard working again. But this is my line in the sand. Put that manual online and provide a link for us to download, or I'm starting the return/refund process.
Can Ace Pad Tech please comment on whether or not the keycaps on the 89-key / 1800-layout keyboard are doubleshot PBT? The last time a GB for a 98-key hall effect keyboard occurred, it was explained that these were going to be laser-etched ABS and not PBT. This current drop's description says only PBT. So has something changed?
equalunique
They’re PBT except the 2 of Page down and page up
leo2017
Ok thanks!
I'm getting mine in acrylic white full size soon, and based on the comments and reviews very skeptical on the quality of this keyboard.. I should give it the benefit of the doubt until I have it in my hands but, starting to question if it's even worth $100 based on what I'm reading below
Are the frosted acrylic white pom
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Owntrolf
The 108 appears to have white PBT with stems that feel like POM.
MagicSmoke
Yes except the 60% frosted white acrylic with blank key caps, all the others are PBT/POM
So it looks like it would be wise to skip this drop based on the reviews and the seemingly common incidences of poor QC. It's a shame because I was excited to try hall effect switches. Are hall effects switches as rare as they seem, or are they relatively common drops on this site?
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Original_Piledrivers
Hall Effect switches are indeed rare. The QC wasn't quite perfect on the XMIT keyboards round one, but the 61-key teak board I just received in the mail today from the last drop on this board is really good. I haven't had any issues with binding, switch actuation, or build quality. I got a really good board for the money. All the keys type like they are supposed to. If I absolutely had to complain about something, some of the stabilized keys feel a bit scratchy, could use some lube, but other than that my board is absolutely perfect. No fitment issues or anything like that.
Not in the last 3-4 years. I believe round 1 was in spring of 2017.
BTW, my name is Macy, I work for Tom Yang/Ace Pad Tech, I posted something long on behalf of Tom yesterday. Tom doesn't speak nor write English, so I helped him on that writing.
Thank you all very much for taking your time reading that post. Thanks!
I have the 108 frosted acrylic. Received 10 Oct 2018. It seems to work until I use the fn key. I can get the keyboard to lock up to the point where a single power cycle won't bring it back. Is this poor firmware or is mine broken? Also, is there an instruction manual online?
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That makes sense. The keyboard is working properly now. I was using a cable that may have been dropping the voltage too low. Using yours with the ferrite works properly.
I am unable to read the images of the posted instructions. What does the fn+Windows key do? It is some kind of lock just for gaming or does it do more?
MagicSmoke
6.lock and release keyboard mode: for all keyboards,fn+win to lock win and menu key,again to release for87key and 108key,fn+F12 to lock whole keyboard,again to release.
I watched Chyrosran's video and almost bought one last time. Reading the comments below, I'm glad I didn't.
I just got mine (clear case, TKL, linear switches). Seconding the comments about the QC and the space bar. All of the stabilised keys are very mushy, stiff, and rattly. EDIT: I had a quick look and there are little squares of foam under the stabilisers that can be removed and doing so improves the feel considerably, though they're still rattly. I'll see if some lube can fix them up a bit. The switches are also obviously dampened so the travel is shorter than you'd expect and they feel a bit odd, and kind of scratchy, but nowhere near as bad as the stabilised keys. They sound nice, almost thocky, but even the sound experience is ruined by the rattly stabilised keys.
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Hey, actually taking a closer look at the style of the stabilisers, I instead re-purposed the little bits of foam by putting them in the parts that connect the keycap to the wire and it seems to be a lot better. The only issue I'm still noticing now is the backspace is a bit sticky and doesn't register if you don't hit it right in the middle sometimes. Not having that problem with the other stabilised keys. I'm not sure how they got through the entire production process without realising how unworkably appalling those little foam bits were under the stabilisers. Doesn't bode well for the rest of the QC haha, but I've literally only been using this for 10 minutes so too early to say really.
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The sensing mechanism is based on magnets, so unless the lube has like flecks of iron it should be fine.
Hi everybody,
My name is Tom Yang, 杨立涛in Chinese. I’m the owner of Ace Pad Tech, also the owner of the patent of the Hall Effect mechanical switches.
I started working on this switches in 2014, applied for the Patent in China on Jan. 30th 2015, and got the patent on June 17th 2015. Patent Number: ZL 2015 2 0068083.8
We worked with many different materials for the cases of the keyboards, and then we decided to stay with the bamboo cases and acrylic cases to start selling the Hall Effect Mechanical keyboard on Alibaba.com.
Then in the summer of 2016, XMIT got in contact with us via Alibaba.com, got some samples for him and for some members from https://deskthority.net/, from there our story started.
Then there were 2 runs on Massdrop as most of us already know, at the name of XMIT.
We want to thank XMIT very much for his devote to improve our Hall Effect mechanical keyboards, such as the right screws to hold the keyboard case nicer, non-floating switches and 0.5u.
And we want to thank XMIT very much for bringing our Hall Effect mechanical keyboard to Massdrop members.
But we want to make it very clear that we didn’t rip off his design. This is our design.
For the latest run of the drop of the APT Hall Effect mechanical keyboards, you may notice the cases are better than previous drops, especially for the 60% teakwood case and acrylic case.
Before this drop, the 60% teakwood design came out first, and then it was the 60% acrylic case.
Actually when we came out with the 60% teakwood design, we send pictures of the first teakwood keyboard to XMIT, and he decided to get a sample keyboard to check it out.
Then again he asked something we cannot provide to him, like the source code, as a start up business, it’s provided by our supplier who will never give it to us.
XMIT also asked for our datasheet of the Hall sensors, the circus diagram, the 3D designs of our switches (where applies to the Patent), and many more. We send him all of them except the 3D designs of our switches.
Then on March 26th 2018, XMIT wrote to us: I will never again sell or ship a keyboard for which I do not have full source code access to firmware and remapping tools. If this is a deal breaker then I will write the software myself and take my business elsewhere.
Then he said he wasn’t interested in the teakwood sample keyboard anymore.
That’s how our story ends.
Lastly, may I ask XMIT, if you take your business elsewhere, will it still be Hall Effect mechanical switches same as ours?
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leo2017
I have a 100 page design document that details all of the material designs that went into the keyboard. I concede that Ace owns the switch and sensor designs. The key layout, key placement, packaging choice, stabilizer choice, and countless other details were the direct result of hundreds of hours of my time in collaboration with Tom and others.
I've decided to make that design document public. It is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19HVJByislTFl6ymvIfH9z54IOYUQ0ZQBtR4BhuUG6eE/edit?usp=sharing .
All the quality issues that anyone mentioned from Round 1 are in that doc. Many of them are still problems.
I have plans for Hall sensor switches that use off the shelf sensors (with predictable and consistent characteristics - something that could never be guaranteed given you did not provide data sheets) and a new switch design (that won't bind, has better tolerances, responds better to off center presses, should be smoother).
As for writing my own firmware, or doing something similar: I had plans to port an existing keyboard firmware to the Ace board, or write a new one. This is challenging to do when the vendor changes the MCU supplier without informing me.
In short: I've had an idea for a Hall sensor based keyboard in my head for a while. I was really excited when I came across Ace as their design was about 70% of what I had in mind. Turns out that last 30% is really important.
I'll also note that this is the first time I've really heard from Tom, the owner, apart from one or two random responses to issues along the way. Perhaps had I met Tom earlier - in person - we could have had a better working relationship. Indeed, I'm open to the idea of future collaboration in various forms (such as Ace providing stuffed PCBs and switch assemblies as part of the bill of materials for a different keyboard).
But let's take a step back. Massdrop decided to work with the vendor directly without even consulting me about this, *despite the fact that we had in place a bidirectional exclusive vendor-designer contract*. Of course Tom wants to continue selling Ace boards in the US.
XMIT
Yes we can further discuss the possibilities of future collaboration in various forms.
My review isn't showing up for some reason, but, please avoid this keyboard. It is really bad.
"Unfortunately this keyboard has a fatal flaw. The spacebar is just straight up mushy. I'm typing this review up on the keyboard and I keep missing spacebar presses because there is only one switch in the middle and the force isn't well distributed, so pressing the spacebar is like typing on oatmeal. It only really registers about twenty percent of the time. The rest ofthe keys are fine and accurate, but the spacebar is garbage. They really ought to have used two switches or a different spring, or something. Not only is it mushy, but you have to hit it directly in the center (where the switch is) to make it actuate. Bummer, waited quite a while for this one and it ended up being an utter disappointment. Avoid this keyboard."
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For some reason I could have sworn that some of my older keyboards had more than one switch or at least multiple barrels (in the case of buckling springs), but I just looked at them and they indeed do not. So yes, you're correct the stabilizers are the source of the woes here. The whole key just teeters on that center post and the stabilizers don't well, stabilize.
I will say with further testing some of the other switches have similar issues with being wobbly or inaccurate. Just avoid the hell out of this piece of junk.
airencracken
Many older keyboards did use dumby switches to stabilize but that's basically the worst method of stabilization.
I want to be extremely clear that this is NOT the "XMIT Hall Effect Mechanical Keyboard", despite the fact that it is the same keyboard, built by the same factory, to the same specification. This board - this drop - is the result of Ace Pad Tech and Massdrop negotiating behind the scenes, to bypass the existing design, manufacturing, and vendor agreement we had in place.
I have my guesses as to why this happened. One is that my contact within Massdrop was powerless to prevent this. The other is that the parties in question thought that I was not being responsive. I wasn't - my family had a new baby and I took some months off. Nothing like seeing your design ripped off because you were too busy tending to a baby.
As of this writing there is no formal relationship between Massdrop and XMIT Keyboards. This offering is NOT for a board that was designed and QA'd by me. I may read some design feedback but I am powerless to make improvements (since this is a ripped off design).
I may offer a next generation keyboard at a future time but this is not it. If you want a keyboard that is basically a Gen 2 XMIT board, with minimal QA, different branding, and the same quality control issues, please buy this. Cheers.
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XMIT
I've been super-curious about this. I found a APT branded hall effect keyboard on another site, and purchased it; I was surprised to see the header of the documentation looked exactly like the paper from my Gen1 XMIT 104-key, just without the letters XMIT in the keycap logo at the top. I believe it even mentioned XMIT further down in the copy, and referred to it as a second-generation run. I was confused, and assumed it to have been a factory knockoff / successor of the original design, picked up by a different name. It seems that's not uncommon with overseas biz. Glad to see confirmation.
XMIT
At least they listened to the feedback about not having the butt-ugly logo on the front of the cases.
I’m shocked how poor the reviews are for this keyboard. If it’s as bad as people are saying, surely MD needs to step in and do something with this QC issue holy crap.
PMocha
Highly doubt Massdrop is going to do anything. I'd love to just return this piece of junk, but I don't see how anyone could have any use for it. It's broken by design.
Got mine today. Finally, a XMIT/APT/whatever keyboard that works! I have four other ones from previous drops, none of them work 100%. This one - the keys finally feel pretty even, have a nice feel, not too noisy, but enough tactile fell for me. One slight problem - the case isn't straight, it's slightly warped - the four corners don't all sit flat, the right front corner hangs in the air slightly. Perhaps that'll work out in time. I got the clear acrylic case -I'm thinking about switching it out with the otherwise fine teak case that came with my previous (non-functional) xmit keyboard. The manual - yes, as a previous poster guessed, it's just the old xmit manual copied, but smaller than the original. Fortunately I have a magnifying glass.
Hey guys, we actually have some stocks in our warehouse - ship time is now reduced!
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XiK
Are you a guy?
Yes FN+R Shift to adjust the Activiation Distance, not too much though.
so how does this compare to the wooting?
WanzerRX-79
Wooting is optimized for gaming. The APT Hall Effect offers a more standard mech keeb experience, but with the added bonueses of waterproof circuitry & wider variety of layouts.
Do these go through any kind of QA at all at the mfg? Or once they get to Massdrop for reshipping?
I would be embarrassed shipping this to a customer. I've bought $30 mechanical keyboards on Amazon look way better than this. The keycaps looks half finished, the bottom halves look very rough. The case looks like it was gone over with some rough sandpaper on the short ends and then shipped out. Even the long edge that looks "good" has tons of fine scratches going down the length of it.
Good: Typing feels great. Super light clicky, almost no resistance. I could type on this all day. Sounds great (except space bar see below). Lighting is decent
Bad: Space bar rattles like crazy, otherwise the keys would have a nice quiet sound to them. Keycap and case build quality - see pics below


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jaredn13
Sorry about the case issue. I'm not sure how this happens, every case is hand made, so they cannot be identical to each other like those made by machine, but this one seems unacceptable. Can you please try wax the edges, then it should be more or less as nice as the one attached,
search
Please let me know if it works, thank you very much!
leo2017
It's not a discoloration or residue. They are deep gouges and scratches. No amount of wax will make this better.
Massdrop, if you get around to maybe reading this, what is the chance of getting some large group buy hall effect switches that are surface mountable to cherry switch PCBs and can hold cherry caps? Occasionally I find these hall effect switch keyboards, but a big bag of switches to build whatever I want could be very fun.
While you are at it, is there any chance of getting backlit MT3 profile keycaps? I'd love to see way more MT3 profile, backlit or not, and if you can bridge that technological gap you could bring it to more boards.
I know doubleshot with PBT is a bit more difficult due to its properties, but perhaps CNC cutout (water jet? laser?) of legends plus resin infill would work?
Would you by chance be interested in offering artisan tools, like keycap molds of the MT3 profile for resin pouring? What I very much would like to do is get some backlit DSA keys and then put them into MT3 or SA resin 'molds', have sort of a raised acrylic look.
I think you guys are starting to make a lot of very interesting things possible that couldn't be done as easily before.
Toggi3
These switches might not be electrically compatible with standard PCBs, so I doubt loose switches are going to be a popular wish.
gigaflop
You're correct. They are not remotely compatible.
Do these keyboards work with a PS/2 adapter for true NKRO?
bnShadow13
sorry no at this moment
Would it be possible to get one with German layout? The standard is DIN 2137-1:2012-06 (German standard keyboard layout).
Iorce
I'm sorry no at this moment. A german layout would a require the MOQ of 100pcs for now.
Can anyone confirm that the USB port is in fact USB Mini-b (5-pin)? The image is not clear and I'd like to be sure before I jump on an expensive USB cable drop.
Epixal
yes it's Mini-b (5-pin)
I was planning to buy the bamboo case the next time this dropped. Bamboo is sustainable. But teak? No. I'm not paying foreign logging companies to steal wood from SE Asian forests.
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Forget about the timber, how about fixing the Stabilizers on your keyboard first.
I really like the wood one but WHO the fuck is not using a numpad anymore ! =O Specially for a non-portable pc
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unheard of!
hind
I wish the 98 key model was winkeyless, 1800 style layouts with an asymetrical bottom row make me needlessly uncomfortable
Rayndalf
fore
I wish the 98 key model was winkeyless, 1800 style layouts with an asymetrical bottom row make me needlessly uncomfortable
Can somebody please tell me if this keyboard (the 60% version) is programmable? And if so, in what way and to what degree? It's kind of an important feature and i couldn't figure it out somehow...
kspr
You can find some information down this page.
kspr
The short answer is no, as far as I can tell. That's what keeps me from ordering, much as I'd like to try these switches.