U80-A Buying Guide

Confused about what to order or what you will need to build a complete RW U80-A keyboard? This guide is designed to help!

U80-A LAKE with GMK Nautilus

U80-A LAKE with GMK Nautilus


The base kit
This is what you absolutely will need to get going, here’s the link: https://rama.link/u80base
The most complicated part here is picking which color!

Here is everything that the base kit arrives with:

 
 


Here’s what the U80-A base kit looks like, built up and unboxed:
The PCB has been placed inside for demonstration (note that you’ll have to install the stabilizers prior to installing the PCB)

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Part 1 - Switches

This is a very personalized choice, there’s a whole range of switches out there which can make choosing tough. There’s quiet switches, loud switches, clicky switches, smooth switches - all kinds! The best way to hone in what you like is to try lots of different types of keyboards with varying switches, best place to do this is at keyboard meetups. But this can be tricky to organise, or may not play into the right time for when you want your keyboard out on your desk - so you can also buy switch-tester kits, a few different places sell these these - here's a list of great places to get them:
US: https://rama.link/us-switchtester
EU: https://rama.link/eu-switchtester
ASIA: https://rama.link/asia-switchtester

Once you have selected which type of switch you, you can buy them from:
US: https://rama.link/us-switches
EU: https://rama.link/eu-switches
ASIA: https://rama.link/asia-switches
AU: https://rama.link/au-switches

Now this all may be really daunting to some, so we’ve made it simple and offered a solution. We created a kit of switches we’ve tried, loved and tested. These are well suited for the U80 given its dampening nature and think most will enjoy typing on these! The kit also includes the correct amount of stabilizers, so you can just jump straight to PART 3!
Here’s a link to the starter kit: https://rama.link/u80kit

PART 2 - STABILIZERS

For stabilizers, you’ll want PCB Screw-in. These are a type which screw-in to the PCB. Now, when they’re stock, they’re typically not so great and can create a lot of noise - but with some easy mods you can do at home they can be made nice and silent. Here’s a link to our guide on making stabilizers great: https://rama.link/stabguide

Here’s a list of where to buy them, if you are not going for our starter kit option provided above:
NOTE: You’ll need 4x2U and 1x7U
US: https://rama.link/us-stabs
AU: https://rama.link/au-stabs
ASIA: https://rama.link/asia-stabs
EU: https://rama.link/eu-stabs & https://rama.link/eu-stabs-2

PART 3 - KEYCAPS

There are a few different manufacturers of keycaps around the globe. There’s GMK in Germany, Signature Plastics in the US and EPBT in ASIA. Keycaps are typically made out of ABS & PBT. These offer different qualities to typing, but one is not better over the other and vice versa.
Most of the great colourful keycap sets out there are products of Keycap Groupbuys, this is when a designer or party present an idea or colourway to an audience, and the customers as a collective will fund the design to bring it to fruition - in our current days this is at the aide of vendors around the globe which help facilitate and distribute the keysets. The most popular distributors of keysets are: NovelKeys (US), KBDFans (Asia), Zfrontier (Asia), CandyKeys (EU), MyKeyboard.eu (EU) & DailyClack (AU)

You’ll need to make sure that the set you’re interested in has the below keycaps in the set, not necessarily the legends (the U80 is completely programmable so you can have each key do what you want), but the sizes:

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Again, to make things easier we’re also offering a keyset that you can order with the U80-A, Heavy Industry SEQ2. We’ve designed this to match all colours of the U80-A (the yellow can be removed for a completely monotone set, it comes as an entire set of grey with optional yellow accents).

https://rama.link/heavyindustry

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INSTALL STEP 1

These are our preliminary instructions before our complete assembly guide is produced.

Install the stabs into the correct slots, remember, Screw-In type! 4x2U and 1x7U.

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INSTALL STEP 2

Screw the PCB to the PLATE with MUTE in-between, fastened together with the spacers and RW fasteners.

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INSTALL STEP 3

IF you ordered the hotswap variant, simply click the switches in! If you’ve ordered the solderable variant, turn the PCB over and solder each leg of the switch to the PCB.

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INSTALL STEP 4

Install the plate assembly into the enclosure.

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INSTALL STEP 5

Equip your favorite keyset and enjoy using your new keyboard!

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