Custom Keyboard

Customized Keyboard Cable: A Comprehensive Guide


In the last few posts, I’ve talked a lot about customizing keyboards with switches, keycaps, and more. In the field of customization, cable customization is also popular with keyboard fans. Today I will talk some about cable customization with you.


What is Customization

Customization is originated from Hong Kong and Taiwan, but are not often used in mainland China. But the word customization is very common in the peripherals devices space. Experienced peripherals players either buy all the peripherals or move on to more advanced technology. In general, players tend to think of two branches of technology: one is infecting and modifying paint, and the other is going the custom route. Customization includes ranging from raw materials to design and finished products.

Due to various technical limitations, the development of customization is not smooth, such as the custom keyboard. As far as matching column is concerned, there are few brands that can provide corresponding matching column key caps.

Many of them are private small workshops. Due to their technological limitations, the price is more expensive. Generally speaking, the customization of the keyboard is customized from different aspects such as column, key cap and lamp effect. Today, what I introduce to you is the customization of the keyboard cable.

Customized wire is divided into three categories, you can solve any needs in the field of wire. They are: keyboard data line class, mobile phone data line class, audio data line class, rich and diverse colors. In fact, the customization of the keyboard data line is nothing more than the customization of its wire appearance, material, shape and socket.

What is Customized Keyboard

To customize a keyboard is to buy keyboard components to assemble the keyboard you need.

The so-called custom keyboard is DIY keyboard. Depending on your preferences, you need to customize a unique keyboard. A keyboard consists of four parts: kit (case +PCB+ positioning board + soundproof cotton), shaft, key cap and keyboard cable. The keyboard is in single mode, that is, connected by a keyboard cable. Bluetooth connectivity is added in dual mode and 2.4G wireless is added in third mode.

Compared to products made by computer keyboard brands, customizing keyboards is a process of buying accessories and saving machines. Custom keyboards are specially tailored to meet the needs of the customer. According to customer needs, change a standard product, replace the standard parts with new parts, or add special features to the standard product to provide customers with a more complete product portfolio.

In the custom keyboard world, two or three custom keyboards are enough. If you agonize over the announcement of a new keyboard and switches for each custom keyboard set, don’t forget the original intention of DIY. Choose your favorite keyboard, and don’t let the custom keyboard restrict the needs of users.

The Advantage of Customized Keyboard Cable

Custom keyboard cable can make keyboard connectivity more stable, and more robust and not easy to break.

Customize (v.)/customization (n.) means to customize customers’ product according to their needs to meet their needs. Generally used for software/service/processing and manufacturing more. To meet the needs of customers, make changes to a standard product, replace standard parts with new parts, or add special functions to a standard product to provide customers with a more complete product portfolio.

Keyboard is a command and data input device used to operate a device, also refers to a group of function keys arranged by the system to operate a machine or equipment. Keyboard is the most commonly used and the most important input device.

Keyboard input English letters, numbers, punctuation and so on into the computer, so as to issue commands to the computer, and to input data. The computer keyboard is a development of the typewriter keyboard, depending on the number of keys on the keyboard, can be divided into 101 keys, 104 keys, 87 keys and other types.

In order to adapt to the needs of different users, the conventional keyboard has three indicators (CapsLock (letter case lock), NumLock (numeric keypad lock) and ScrollLock (scroll lock key) (some wireless keyboards have omitted these three indicators) to mark the current state of the keyboard. These indicators are usually located in the upper right corner of the keyboard, although some keyboards have built-in indicators in the keycap. This makes it easier to determine the current status of the keyboard, but the process is relatively complicated, so most normal keyboards do not use this design.

Due to the restrictions in various aspects, the development of customization is not smooth. For example, lobbyist keyboard, in terms of matching list, there are few shopping malls that can provide corresponding matching list key caps.

Generally, they are private workshops, but the process restrictions of private workshops are not very favorable in price, and vice versa, further restricting the development of customization. Generally, they are customized from different aspects such as column/key cap/lamp effect. Today, what I introduce to you is about a detail of customization, that is, data cable customization.


01 Jack

There are three common keyboard jacks on the market: the old AT port, the PS/2 port cable and the USB port cable. The old AT port is now largely obsolete, and the PS/2 port cable is becoming increasingly rare, but a small number of Japanese keyboards still come with the switch plug.

PS/2 jack

This socket first appeared on IBM’s PS/2 machine, hence the name. This is a special mouse and keyboard interface, is a kind of 6-pin round interface, but the keyboard only uses four of the pins to transmit data and power, the other two are empty pins. The PS/2 interface has a slightly faster transmission rate than the COM interface, and is the standard interface on the ATX motherboard. It is one of the most widely used keyboard interfaces.

The PS/2 interface can be used for both the keyboard and mouse, but according to the PC’99 color specification, the mouse usually occupies the light green interface and the keyboard occupies the purple interface. Although the above pin definition suggests that they work the same way, the two interfaces cannot be intermixed because of their different signal definitions inside the computer.

USB port

The full name of USB is Universal Serial Bus. USB supports the advantages of hot swap and plug and play, so the USB interface has become the most important interface of MP3, U disk, mobile hard disk and other mobile storage tools. Because the USB port supports hot swap, the USB keyboard may be slightly easier to use. However, the underlying hardware of the computer supports the PS/2 interface better, so if the computer encounters certain problems, the PS/2 interface is more compatible with the keyboard.

As for the scanning frequency of the two ports, USB interface is much higher than PS/2 port; In terms of response speed, USB port is still faster than PS/2 port. Take a normal gaming mouse, for example, USB access mouse computer can be recognized directly, but PS/2 compatible mouse must use special software.

In addition, the maximum scanning frequency of the two interfaces is different. With PS/2 interface, the scanning frequency is generally 120Hz by default. Now, game peripherals with a scanning rate of 1000Hz or even 8000Hz have appeared. If PS/2 is used, it will definitely cause performance loss. Therefore, if we want to customize a keyboard cable, we must recommend that you use the USB plug version.

Gold plated plug

Many plugs are plated with gold. This process can effectively resist oxidation and improve the appearance level of the whole wire while ensuring data transmission. In addition, general custom plugs use either metal plugs or heat-shrinkable tube plugs. The heat shrink tube plug is easy to install. We only need to use a heat gun to fix it.

But at the same time, the use of hot melt adhesive plug perfusion also has drawbacks, because there are limitations on the performance of hot melt adhesive, heat resistance is not enough, bonding strength is not high, low hardness after curing, its low melting point characteristics are more likely to be affected by temperature, at the same time may produce loose, poor durability. So it’s recommended to use metal plugs, which are bolted and glued in place. It takes a bit of work, but they’re much more durable.

02 Wire material

The material of wire can be divided into two parts, one is the external protective leather material of wire, the other is the core material of wire. At present, wire on the market, the use of protective leather is generally TPE, PVC, and woven material.

Among them, PVC material is a commonly used material for data lines, which has non-flammability, high strength, resistance to weather change and excellent stability. TPE material is a soft adhesive material which can be processed by thermoplastic molding machine. Its elasticity and toughness have been greatly improved. Braided wire is mostly made of nylon material, and the data wire of braided wire has better folding resistance and durability.

03 Form of wire

Thread of spiral

Generally speaking, the common data line form is divided into helix and ordinary straight line. The advantage of a straight line is that it is easy to connect, but the disadvantage is that if the length is too long, it will occupy more space and easy to wind. Helix has the advantage of a certain amount of stretch, does not take up too much space, and has higher durability, better appearance.


About the magnetic ring

Customized wire is divided into three categories to support any requirements you have for the wire, keyboard data line, mobile phone data line, audio data line, more color. This line uses the original Japanese TDK buckle type anti-magnetic ring, you can move freely, which is a great blessing for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder. If you don’t like the anti-magnetic ring, you can directly remove it.

The anti-jamming magnetic ring on the keyboard cable. A magnetic ring can reduce current interference with keyboard operation, and it generally not a bad choice to have one. For example, the Japanese TDK buckle type magnetic proof ring, you can move freely, if you don’t like the magnetic proof ring, you can directly remove. If you really want to get your hands on a magnetic-proof ring, the TDK is the first choice. Customized data lines commonly used Nissan TDK anti-magnetic ring. TDK is worthy of being a famous anti-magnetic ring brand. The surface of the ring is also unusually clean. The anti-interference performance is very excellent.


Keyboard cable customization is not that simple, whether the material or shape is actually determined by your personal needs and preferences, at present, many key lines separate design of the keyboard, if you do not like the original line, you can customize a new line to replace. Full customization can be checked from all aspects such as material form. At present, Razer, Aiku and other large factories have also begun to enter the bureau of custom wire, players in demand can also choose to view, but should be wary of some brands of official custom wire, the fine degree of material work, according to the need to buy.

The customized data cable connector adopts gold-plating process, which is different from the gold-plating of the contact of the general plug but adopts the full gold-plating process, ensuring the data transmission while effectively resisting oxidation and indeed improving the overall appearance level of the wire. The wire adopts the oxygen free copper tinned wire base imported from Japan, which can provide more stable data transmission and softer wire body.

Customized data lines are generally welded with 3% silver-containing solder, and adhere to the use of epoxy resin gluing, rejecting the hot melt gluing process. I also made a special check on the advantages of these two processes. The role of silver is to increase the fluidity of the solder, enhance the conductivity. Silver is the best conductance of all metals. The best proportion of silver content is 0.5~2.5% silver content.

Solder from the conductive property is more excellent, mostly used for higher requirements of audio fever class product welding, its price is not cheap which is about 400 to 600 yuan. Once used, it may have a “silver” luster. Generally, customized data cables refuse to use hot melt adhesive plug filling process, because the hot melt adhesive performance is limited, the heat resistance is not enough, the bonding strength is not high, the hardness after curing is low, and its low melting point characteristics are more susceptible to the influence of temperature.


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