Author Topic: Any keyboards suitable for desktop pinball without breaking the bank?  (Read 3060 times)

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Offline GSGregg

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I just wore out my fourth set of Shift keys in four years, and I'm starting to think that the $20-and-under bracket may no longer be a good place to shop. This time, rather than the keycap(?) actually breaking, the rubber-dome membrane has been split by hard'n'fast keypresses so that the wall of the key wedges into the split and is slow to release, leaving the flipper raised while the ball sails past.

Since nobody makes a modular keyboard on which individual keys or portions of membrane could be replaced, I started reading up and found out about mechanical keyboards using Cherry MX linear switches. Real Nice, but I don't need the other hundred and someodd switches to BE Real Nice; just the Shift (flipper) keys.  :Banghead: : Oh, well.....

I sorta gravitated to the Corsair Vengeance K65, but I'd like to hear about whether those switches are known to stand up to hard, fast, and occasionally angry (right?) keypresses as are common (at least with me) in desktop pinball. Sure, they're guaranteed for umpteen million presses (who's going to keep count?), but I think the guarantors had more conventional typing in mind.

GSGrouse

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They may be guaranteed for umpteen million keypresses, but that's because they're not planning on you hitting the same key every time. If you didn't use vp, you be using different keys and your keyboard would last a lot longer. That's why they can make a claim like that. All about marketing. :Study:

Not much you can do about the membrane. I'd try a different brand of 20$. :Green:

If a 65$ one lasts 2 years and the cheap ones, 20$/year, well you do the math. :Content:
Tremble in fear! Behold my Bankai!


Offline GSGregg

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Re: Any keyboards suitable for desktop pinball without breaking the bank?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2015, 08:15:43 AM »
Well, I went through another sub-$20 keyboard, and it was early enough for Fry's to be open, so I headed over there with a floor full of three dismantled Logitechs on which I couldn't combine any parts to make one good one. Relying on less-than-vivid memory of prior research and not troubling to reassemble a board so I could brush up, I planned on parting with about $85. The Maytag Repairman would have attracted more response.

After two trips to where all of the 'help' was hanging out and two return trips to the keyboards aisle to fruitlessly wait for some of that 'help' to materialize, I figuratively flipped the world a bone and headed for the door. Suddenly I encounter.....'help'! The first two didn't know the Corsair product line, but a third 'knew' which model introduced the Cherry MX switches, and so I returned to the keyboards aisle---to find that he was wrong! My $85 (or hopefully less?) outlay would suddenly be $110, so I cast another bone and went home to reassemble the most recent casualty. No; I didn't buy another sub-$20 Logitech, either.

Yet.    Maybe never?
Hey....."it's only pinball", right?   :Whiteflag:


GSG
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 08:18:48 AM by GSGregg »

Offline sleepy

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Re: Any keyboards suitable for desktop pinball without breaking the bank?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2015, 04:52:42 AM »
I'm thinking with the minimum wages being increased, that the cherished $20 and under keyboard is probably now like $40 and under. Maybe $29 or $39.
Look at the price of bacon! And I stopped at McDonalds tonight. I bought two Big Macs, two medium fries, and four apple pies.
It came to $15.65. Prices are up.

Offline sleepy

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Re: Any keyboards suitable for desktop pinball without breaking the bank?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2015, 04:55:12 AM »
I did buy a $7 Inland USB Optical Mouse recently. It runs like crap.

Offline GSGregg

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Re: Any keyboards suitable for desktop pinball without breaking the bank?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2015, 02:03:53 AM »
Look at the price of bacon!.....Prices are up.
I thought bacon was down due to some pestilence in Hog Heaven, judging by all of the fast-food joints' efforts to get customers to "add bacon to any item" the last few years. Not complaining, of course; I've added quite a bit of bacon during that time.....

News re mechanical boards 'n' switches: The patent has expired on Cherry MX, and they're being cloned by Kaihua, a Chinese outfit, under the brand name Kailh ( http://imgur.com/a/7ujle
---but apparently you still wave goodbye to a C-note to get a board. Plus, there may be quality issues from cutting corners.....

Logitech has improved on the design with their Romer-G switches, available in the G910 board, but the price is up near $200! (Hey, it's only.....)


I did buy a $7 Inland USB Optical Mouse recently. It runs like crap.
Sixty-seven months ago (but who's counting?) I bought a Logitech V220 Cordless Optical Mouse for Notebooks that's still acceptable although it often gives a rapid, imperceptible double-click that opens whichever program's icon happens to be behind whatever I wanted to 'x' out of. I've heard complaints about having to change batteries in those things monthly if not more frequently, but the last battery I took out had been in for six months. Can you say, "Your mileage may vary"?

EDIT: Hah! As if to emphasize the mouse's affliction, I got notified that I had already posted (I pressed only once.....)

« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 02:11:20 AM by GSGregg »

Offline GSGregg

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Re: Any keyboards suitable for desktop pinball without breaking the bank?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2015, 08:31:42 AM »
Note to Stephen King: I'm no longer languishing "Under the (rubber) Dome". After watching a few balls come down the right inlane and continue merrily over the intermittently flaccid right flipper to the center drain while my decibel-laden profanities bounced ineffectively off the walls of the room, I decided to commit my fourth Logitech K120 to the Deep and pull the trigger on a mechanical keyboard. Having been unimpressed and dissatisfied with my trip to the closest Fry's a month ago (see reply #2), I drove to the much closer Best Buy and checked out three boards with identical prices (how do they DO that?); Razer Black Widow 2014 Gaming Keyboard with Razer mechanical switches 'Designed for Gaming' (probably Kailh Cherry MX clones), Logitech G710+ (not sure whose switches are used---maybe Kailh) and Corsair Vengeance K70 with genuine German-made Cherry MX Red. I was leaning toward the real thing when I saw that the Corsair was the only one that listed Windows XP compatibility, so that settled it. $130 later, plus tax, I'm stabbing at keys with fairly bright red backlighting. Whoopeeeeee! Of course, I can kill the lights if I so desire.....

Results were pronounced and immediate. I've been trying to nail JP's AFM_vp914_v2.4 (the desktop version recognized by PINemHi Leaderboards) and watching my average plummet in recent weeks, but the first night with the new board got me a new personal best; not enough to dethrone xio for first place, but who knows.....?

Goodbye, sub-$20 boards!                                         

Offline GSGregg

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Re: Any keyboards suitable for desktop pinball without breaking the bank?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2015, 07:50:17 AM »
not enough to dethrone xio for first place, but who knows.....?
Correction: nailed that down tonight (today, actually) with 115,091, 969,960. Shouldn't take long for xio, ced, DedRok_V and LMTR14 to get wind of it, but it feels good to be driving Ralph Kramden's bus for a bit.

Oh, yeah---the keyboard must have had something to do with it, right?