I have come across the Reviung many times in my searches through the mechanical keyboard world. I remember early on thinking it didn’t have nearly enough keys, where would I put my brackets, etc. Now I’ve built one and since built another and I absolutely love it.
- Reviung41 kit from Boardsource.xyz
- Pro micro controller
- Drop+Invyr Holy Panda switches
- KBDFans NP PBT Crayon caps
This is a pretty straightforward build. Diodes, hotswap sockets, controller and reset switch. And a few RGBs. I struggled a bit with the RGBs as I always do, but eventually managed to get them all working. I really *really* dig the aesthetic of the one LED on top behind the grill in the switchplate. I do wish it was controllable separately from the rest of the RGBs though so I could have something else going on the underglow but just a solid red LED on the top, but it’s fine.
I ordered the 2U stabilizers with the kit, and it was the first time I’d used a stabilizer. None of my other boards have 2U caps. I didn’t really know what I was doing. It was a bit of a pain to get installed, but eventually I got there. It was only after I finished putting all of the switches in and started putting caps on that I realized my 2U cap I was using wasn’t equipped with the required bits for stabilizers. And since I need to separate the PCB and the switchplate to get the stabilizer off, I have just left it on there and it’s just extra rattly bits 😀
This was also my first build with the glass diodes that boardsource likes. I tried to use a different method for soldering them than I might have otherwise done and in the end several of them were not fully soldered on, a couple broke off while I was moving the board around for testing, etc. I’m not super certain I’m a fan of these, and in the future I’ll just go with the tried and true tin one pad and reflow it method of soldering them, rather than trying to do anything fancy with flux or whatever. Don’t mess with what works, right?
Shortly after I finished building it I took it for a test drive and it immediately became my daily driver. I had forgotten how nice good tactile switches were, since I’d been in the choc world for so long. I really do like the choc v2 brown switches, but they don’t stand up against Holy Pandas at all. The Pandas are on a completely different level.
Since my standard keymap is designed around a 3×6+3 board, I thought it might be a bit of a challenge to drop down to just 5 thumb keys, but I looked into it more and realized that I don’t even use one of my thumb keys in that keymap, so it was trivial for me to just omit it from the 5 thumb configuration. Adjusting to that change was simple.
However, they’re also quite loud. And while that’s fine for at home, and maybe at the office, my long term use case for a keyboard is for travel and probably using it a fair amount in coffee shops and whatnot, so quieter is better.
There are 2 things I’m not the biggest fan of with this build, however. The first is that the LEDs, while great, are not really usable at all with the FR4 base plate that comes with the Boardsource kit. You’d want a transparent or translucent plate. That’s fine, though, that’s a reasonable limitation. However, since the LED on the *top* of the board is the last one in the chain, you can’t have just that LED without the others, unless you want to do a bit of bodging. It would be really nice if the PCB had a jumper that supported that configuration.
The second is that I should have used a controller with a black PCB instead of one with a blue PCB. This is entirely on me, and I even had controllers I could have used, but for whatever reason I didn’t.
All in all, I seriously love this board. I have since swapped out the switches with Boba U4s and plan to daily drive it for a week or so to give those a solid try. My first impressions of them is they are as good as if not better than Zilent V2s, but there’s a bit of spring ping I want to look into with them before calling it good.
I love this board. I love its smaller cousin I have, and I’m hoping to build a chocv2 version at some point. I may have finally reached end game!