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Das Keyboard 5Q is smart mechanical keyboard with an open API that allows each key to be color-controlled over the Internet.
Das Keyboard 5Q is smart mechanical keyboard with an open API that allows each key to be color-controlled over the Internet.
3,475 backers pledged $580,902 to help bring this project to life.

Das Keyboard 5Q April Update - Additional Details

Posted by Das Keyboard (Creator)
38 likes

Hi Backers,

This is a clarification follow up of our previous update based on the questions and comments we have read on the forum and on this site. In a nutshell, backers wanted to have more detailed information so here it is.

On the manufacturing side, we addressed the issues that caused us to hold shipment. Here are the specifics: 

  • European keyboards required additional fixtures to align the European Keycaps during installation, without these fixtures the key switches were being damaged during assembly. 
  • A fix was added to the electronics to address few cases of audible buzz from the keyboard due to a defective component. 
  • A manufacturing process change has been made to address a palmrest silicone bubbling issue. The silicone was not properly attached to the palmrest base. So in short, we used more glue in a more uniform fashion.

If you are a backer that has already received your keyboard and experienced any of these issues please contact our helpdesk (link below).

The next batch of shipments will include the international layouts.

Upcoming firmware fixes 

  • White colors have a slight red tint 
  • Brightness control next to the media keys doesn’t work when the Q app is running 
  • Left pipe upper LED not setting to correct color 
  • Residual color transitions showing up during some effects

Upcoming firmware improvements 

  • Ability to select color profiles on keyboard without the Q app 
  • Fix for Individual RGB colors visible to some during head movement

Q Desktop app V2 update 

We are finishing a complete rewrite of the Q desktop app. The Q desktop app allows the RGB setup of the physical keyboard via a resident low level service (separate software). We simplified it and made it less resource intensive. The current signal center is moving to the web (it is in the Q app in the current version). This Q desktop v2 beta will run on Windows, Mac and Linux. However, Mac and Linux version will NOT see the connected keyboard at this time (service part still under development). We will communicate its availability in the forum (link below).

Q Cloud API 

We are preparing a new feature that will allows signals to use X, Y coordinates instead of just key code (e.g: 4,4 => KEY_A). This will allow display of bar graphs and geometric shapes much more easily. The API is backward compatible. This update will roll out next week.

As a reminder, the following resources are available to all backers. The forum is the best place to interact with our team. 

Again thank you for your patience. We are very frustrated this has taken so long and we are still at it. We want to make sure that backers know that this is the highest priority project in our company. Everyone is committed to delivering it. We are anxious to get these 5Q babies in your hands.

Daniel - Founder.

Andrew Rossignol, Chris Aves, and 36 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      someguynamedmiles on

      Backer number 335 in the US. Both mine arrived yesterday (5/22/2018) and I have been working one of them all day and hacked around with the other one last night.

      Here are my impressions:

      I’ve been coding professionally for almost 10 years, and currently work using both a Ducky One 2 (mx reds, home desktop), and a Das Keyboard 4 Pro (mx browns, work laptop). Altogether, I’m on my keyboards almost 10 hours a day, so a good experience is vital to keeping me sane and preventing my hands from seizing up with carpal tunnel or having issues with my ulnar.

      Regarding the 5Q, the physical feel is superlative. Like, I was REALLY worried after reading some of the early reviews, but I can’t even begin to relate as to what they were talking about. Maybe it’s because I got a unit after the pause; I dunno. The keystroke is quiet but not silent by any means. The browns on the das4 were noisy in our programming room, but nothing my co-workers would complain about, while my wife borrowed the das4 to use at her work in a non-programing shop, it is way too loud; Her coworkers complained before noon the first day. In contrast, the 5Q makes even less sound than the Ducky reds, which are in turn significantly quieter than the browns. In opposite fashion from my wife, my coworkers have already mentioned that they miss the clickity clack of my das4. Fun fact: Some people really like that rhythmic background noise, even if they aren’t making it.

      The noise factor is probably related to both the switch design, and the fact the keyboard feels much tighter than both the Ducky or the das4. Which leads to my next observation: this keyboard appears very compact for a full-sized keyboard. The das4 and the Ducky both feel like they have more rise to their profile, which can aggravate the wrists, but the spacing between the keys also feels more compact on the 5Q. It might be the Zulu switches, but there is very little wobble on any of the keys if I were to just start tapping on them. A telltale quality clue on a keyboard is the amount of wobble on the space bar. While the 5Q’s is not perfect, it’s better than any I can remember in recent memory. Now, given the compact nature of the 5Q, Das has done an excellent job with the lighting.

      Normally, lighting on keyboards is somewhat of an afterthought, but given the central roll of notifications on the 5Q, the lighting really needed to be done as close to perfect as possible, and I think they nailed it. The lettering is large enough, and transparent enough to let the light through comfortably. But at the same time the transparency is opaque enough so as to diffuse the light such that it appears the letters themselves literally glow, as opposed to having a light shined on them from below. It’s quite nice. In contrast, while I like the Ducky, and the Ducky’s lighting is better than like 99% of the other boards I see around, it has hot spots where different angles make certain keys brighter and can even be sharp on the eye; further, even in a semi-dark rooms like our dev offices, I literally see zero light bleed from under or between the 5Q’s keys unless I get down and put my head on the desk to look for it. The Ducky has a significant enough light bleed that it almost appears they are trying to frame the keys, but they aren’t, its just bleeding that much. Light bleed is such a hard problem that many keyboards you see opt for the ‘screw it’ angle, and just open up the keys and crank up the lights so all the excessive light is a stylistic thing. In my opinion, that presentation doesn’t look good. Kuddos to Das for nailing this. If I remember, one of the big delays was them working on a light bleed issue, so I guess now I appreciate the significance of their obsession. There is one exception to the excellence of the 5Q’s excellent light balance, and that’s around the media keys. They put a piping around all 3 keys in addition to the key icons so that the upper right corner of the keyboard is significantly brighter. It’s nothing to riot over, especially considering the overall excellence of the other keys, but they should have either dimmed the lights feeding that piping, reduced the amount of transparency there, or eliminated the piping there all together.

      Now, the cons:

      The font is stupid. While the overall presentation so great that I had 10 devs oh-ing and ah-ing around my keyboard the morning, it only took about 2 minutes for one of them to look at the ‘#’ sign on the ‘3’ key and call shenanigans. I immediately agreed and said I would be buying the alternate keycaps once they became available. After that we ripped on some of the other characters and symbols then did some type-racer and played with the lights. But seriously, the font is soooo bad. I’m not trying to look like a l33t haxxor over here, im trying to look like a professional coder with a justifiable salary. =P Inconsolata, source sans, or open sans all would have been a much better and stylistically correct choice than this robo-tron circa 1980 font.

      The key travel feels rougher than the cherry reds or browns. It’s not a resistive type thing, because I’ve worked on blacks and greens before, it feels like there might be some additional rub while pressing the keys. It’s not bad by any means; I anticipate there will be some loosening up over the next while as I continue to work on this thing. However, given the very fast actuation of the 5Q’s keys, the rougher travel is almost a good thing in that it has already begun training me to depress each key less.

      The software is rough around the edges but shows promise. Need to figure out how to get it to notify for comments on pull requests and such.

      Wrist wrest is neat with how it snaps into place, but the texturing on the top is already collecting lint and I expect will get disgusting rather quickly. Maybe offer a smooth leather one with actual padding as a separate purchase like the keycaps. I know Ducky does this.

      Closing thoughts:

      These keyboards are definitely worth the $139 a peace I paid to kickstart, but I question whether they will have a big draw at the $240 you are currently asking for them, especially given the half-baked software. Would I buy it at $240? If I saw it in person and demo’ed it, probably. It really is a nice experience.

      Really wish the Kickstarter process hadn’t been so painful for everyone involved, but given the recent new regarding the Ossic headphones, I think everyone’s paranoia was pretty justified.

      Thanks to Metadot for getting the product right, let’s wait and see how things go over the next couple years. Hopefully the 5Q will last as long as my das4 and my Ducky.

    2. Rayge on

      Just to add from what I just posted. But the fact that you guys sent me promotional material for your Ultimate keyboard a few weeks ago really felt like a slap in the face. Please don't push your other products on my. I'm sure I've never opted in for any sort of e-mails like that and if you're using my information from trying to contact your help desk to see what's up with my order, then that's super scummy.

    3. Rayge on

      I don't even need this keyboard anymore. It's been so long and they grossly overshot their release date. I don't even care about the software anymore. I went ahead and bought a wireless Logitech mechanical keyboard and it has been fantastic. If this thing ever shows up I'll probably immediately resell it at a loss.

    4. Missing avatar

      Andrew on

      I would seriously kill for a refund on this.

    5. Missing avatar

      someguynamedmiles on

      @paul,
      thanks for the empathy on that. I dont even think i was being rude or anything.

      so, i'm a developer, been doing it for years and years. No matter what patter you follow (agile, kanban, waterfall), if you are 2 years or more into a project, and 1.5 years overdue for delivery of said project, there is in expectation for an increase in feedback with regard to project status.

      @Das has show minimal communication from the get go, and it's gotten worse as expectations have increased.

      Given the kickstarter model, and our positions as both the bankrollers and customer, the correct way of handling a situation like this is for MORE frequent communication, even if we're not asking for it, rather than less communication. Every day if necessary. It doesnt have to be long, it doesnt have to be an apology, just a freaking post as simple as: "no update today with regard to FCC filing, sent new email. in the mean while, working on ABC" or "still waiting on dampeners to arrive" or "found a defect in glue pattern that causes bubbling in wrist wrest, expect +1 week to re-fab".

    6. Paul M. on

      "we're so busy making keyboards we can't respond to you about how we're making a keyboard you funded, because of keyboards. that's what we do is keyboards, all keyboards, and we haven't released any new ones, no comment about keyboards".

      "once our keyboard is done we'll use it exclusively to respond to you and tout that we are using our cutting edge keyboard to respond"

      so seriously, I wonder what keyboards Das offices use :D

    7. Paul M. on

      In all seriousness @Das Keyboard it's extremely unprofessional and, frankly, snobbish, to deliberately ignore and snub supporters who are somewhat rude, but have a very fair question, and respond to people who align with your ideal consumer. I'm sick of you not responding to legitimately frustrated consumers, and only addressing people who ask in a mild tone. @code_angry asked the same thing @Andrew Rossignol did, but you only had time for Andrew. (no harm intended, Andrew, thanks for coaxing a response!) I'm not sure if you realise your position, but you're behind the counter, not us, and if someone ordered their burger without ketchup, it's on you to make it right. THIS IS ALL YOU ARE. no more, no less. we'd like our keyboards please, and those who don't want pickles, hold the damn pickles, and smile when you hand it over. We collectively paid half a million for that hamburger, and could have gone anywhere else. You're welcome, and I'm sure your wallets thank us as well.

      additionally, I hold the belief that the only reason you aren't dropping this entire project is because you know exactly how damaging this would be to your brand. If you don't deliver a physical product, regardless of quality, you'll be busted down to amateur level. I'm happy on my corsair, and am currently trying to figure out what to do with your offering. I don't have time to develop on it, unless it's open source. Your video was fraudulent, and amusing at this point. I feel sorry for those at development and public image level, because they're caught in corporate shenanigans, and likely believe in this product. You literally had to bring out the founder to explain your nonsense. Wow.

    8. Missing avatar

      Peravel on

      Ah, this is a disaster :(

    9. Das Keyboard Creator on

      @Andrew Rossignol and @all Production has restarted. New batch of keyboards (few hundreds) are on their way from China to Hong Kong. They will be routed to final destination next week. Software v2 beta was released a week ago and we plan another release today for beta tester. More info about software at https://qforum.daskeyboard.com

    10. Missing avatar

      someguynamedmiles on

      @Andrew, They've gone silent again

    11. Missing avatar

      Andrew Rossignol on

      How are we looking? Any updates on shipping?

    12. Missing avatar

      someguynamedmiles on

      ::cricket chirping::

    13. Missing avatar

      someguynamedmiles on

      @das, so, week of 5/7. how we lookin' with that shippin'?

    14. David Vega on

      Ops, I saw on previous update. May 7th. Sorry DasQ Team. I wish to update my shipping address now.

    15. David Vega on

      Great, various issues addressed. But when the shipping process will be restarted ? No dates.

    16. Missing avatar

      Colby on

      - The ringing sound that users have mentioned is a result of the switch interaction that resonates with the keyboard enclosure when people type with extra force. In most cases, the sound is very minimal, and at this moment, there is nothing that can be addressed based on the design of the keyboard.

      Yeah... i'd love to see who there tested your keyboards. I haven't yet had someone try out the keyboard that didn't detect on their own a ringing sound. At almost all types of typing strength for any duration will detect this 'very minimal' sound... and i stress air quotes on that because it's loud enough to stop people from typing very quickly.

    17. Aditya Purandare on

      Thanks Das! That’s exactly the kind of update that backers wanted from the the beginning.

    18. Das Keyboard Creator on

      Just to address a few comments here:

      - The ringing sound that users have mentioned is a result of the switch interaction that resonates with the keyboard enclosure when people type with extra force. In most cases, the sound is very minimal, and at this moment, there is nothing that can be addressed based on the design of the keyboard.

      - Some users have noted that the LEDs for the Caps/Num/Scroll/Gaming Lock indicators shine through to the directional keys at certain angles. This will be fixed in next batch. For existing customers who have this issue, please open a ticket with our Helpdesk, and we will provide a repair kit with a foam divider that can be user-installed to partition the light.

    19. Joe F on

      Thank you for the update, I look forward to receiving mine.

    20. Missing avatar

      Bruce Monroe on

      Hello. I was under the impression I ordered a keyboard. I must be mistaken, it appears I've joined a book club instead. I get something new to read every month, but no keyboard in sight.

    21. ポール ウェッブ on

      I look forward to my friend's review of this when he gets his.

    22. Missing avatar

      Joshua on

      At least we got a real update this time. Seems like Das are paying attention a bit more now. I think they've realised that this has been a monumental failure from the backers perspective, and has no doubt cost them reputation wise. Seems like they are in damage control mode now.

      All they can do is make sure that these keyboards are released without any more hiccups, and any existing issues MUST be ironed out. If that happens, then maybe I'll finally feel relieved when I get my keyboard.

    23. Missing avatar

      Matt Carter on

      Is there ANY chance you are going to release the low-level specs of the keyboard to us Linux users who don't really care for your now entirely online approach. There are some hardware hackers amongst us and from what I've seen of your API so far it seems very ill conceived. Frankly making use of us who can rig up something low-level would be to your advantage so far.

      I work at a University and am really looking forward to explaining that I need something unblocked on the firewall because I have a colored keyboard. A global round trip to change the color of my keys - Yey!

    24. Missing avatar

      Steven Boyce on

      @Manny "As mentioned by others in the comments, on reddit, etc, there's an audible ringing with each keystroke. Is this fixed or is this to be expected when we get the keyboard?"

      Large concern this was not mentioned

    25. Missing avatar

      Manny on

      I'm amazed to have gotten a response and admittedly glad to get one after all this time of being ignored. I'll push my luck with more questions.

      As mentioned by others in the comments, on reddit, etc, there's an audible ringing with each keystroke. Is this fixed or is this to be expected when we get the keyboard?

      Secondly, if you're saying the components are typical das quality, will you allow users to opt for an older model keyboard instead of waiting for the 5Q? You could just sell the 5Q through your site. I'm not inquiring about a refund. If you stand behind your product, this would just be a fair product exchange and you'd be able to sell the unclaimed 5Q in your online store.

    26. Adm on

      I'm so glad I paid extra for early access to the SDK.

    27. Missing avatar

      Colby on

      I would love an explanation how the ringing keyboard and the lack of light pipes on the caps/scroll/etc indicators were a process/manufacturing issue and not a cut corner design one.

    28. Das Keyboard Creator on

      @Nathan Grovhoug: yes

    29. Das Keyboard Creator on

      @ashka The signal center view will moved from inside the app to the web (like Gmail). The local API does not change.

    30. Das Keyboard Creator on

      @Manny quality components are used. There is nowhere we cut corners on the 5Q. The issues were either process (manufacturing) issues or electronics design issue we could not detect during testing.

    31. Missing avatar

      Manny on

      Holy sh*t a real update, FINALLY. Why did it take so long to happen? Why did you have to lose so much good faith from your most progressive and loyal customers before you decided to show us the small amount of respect we begged for and throw some information our way?

      We don't need comments from the company Founder - just any bit of relevant data from the lowliest PR/marketing intern would suffice.

      You can't do anything about the massive delays this project has faced. What you can do is re-think your decision to ship out these keyboards with parts that are sub-standard to the quality that Das had been known for. You've already sent out the first test batch and should know that saving a few dollars by going with lower quality parts isn't something that will be missed or overlooked. It's been extremely obvious to the backers who have already received their keyboards, just as it'll be extremely obvious to the one who are yet to get them, if you don't address the issues with component quality.

      I've already been made to wait over a year longer than anticipated. In then end, I expect a quality product from your company. Will you turn this boat around and try to deliver on the last salvageable expectation or are you just going to try to shove this out the door and hope people forget about this fiasco?

    32. Missing avatar

      Filipe Leahy-Dios on

      Great update, this is a very positive sign.

      Why don't you open source the code, or at least publish documentation on how to interface with the hardware. I'm sure you'd get a lot of interested developers making good use of that!

    33. Enrique Duran on

      Awesome news guys, keep up the good work. I guess i was one of the lucky backers that didn't receive its keyboard and now i will receive a more revised version of the device. I guess is just like good items, they just take long to be done (considering videogames can take up to 5 years to be completed). Even if it takes longer, i prefer it to be done, but done right. Thanks for the nice update guys.

    34. Jason Cornell on

      I had a house (not even kidding) built faster than this keyboard. Guess I should update my address now :P

    35. Christian B. Mortensen on

      Been waiting for this kind of update for a long time. Finally :)

    36. RicBret
      Superbacker
      on

      Very nice to see you comment on so many open issues.

      I did hope you'd comment on the "ringing keys" complaint that so many of your first wave supporters have reported. It seems like likely a component or assembly problem (perhaps even a design issue) that will make its use in offices problematic.

      Please give this some attention and advise us of your plans.

    37. Missing avatar

      Colby on

      Wow, an actual update. I must admit i'm actually impressed that you gave real info to your backers. Here's hoping future updates have a similar care and attention.

    38. Paul M. on

      Guys note, this is Daniel Guermeur posting. Hey thanks Daniel. You updated with details in spite of all the aggression and hostility. I appreciate that.

    39. Missing avatar

      someguynamedmiles on

      Holy hell. This was a good update. Thanks much!

    40. Stanislav on

      ** standing ovation

      Thank you!

    41. Missing avatar

      ashka on

      Thanks for the update. Could you please clarify the signal center move? I want to make sure the colors will still be able to be changed through a local API.

    42. Kyle Magocs
      Superbacker
      on

      This is what all of your updates should look like. Thank you.

    43. Missing avatar

      Jordan on

      Great update! Thanks for much for providing that level of detail

    44. Missing avatar

      David Amatulli on

      Bravo Daniel! Please make sure that all your future updates are as detailed as this one. It's great.

    45. Missing avatar

      Julius Daub on

      This is how updates should look like :)

      You might be able to win some of your disappointed backers back if you do your communication like this from now. (Maybe answer to some questions in the comments aswell :D)

      I am honestly not surprised that you are working on a complete overhaul on the q app, looking forward to it.

      Just a question regarding the ringing keys. Were you able to reproduce it or find a fix? How many users are truly affected? I wanted to use it as my office keyboard but I if it DINGs like a xylophone it wouldn't be so nice.

      Anyways, I am much happier now, just keep communicating :)

    46. Hongxin Zhang on

      Thanks for the clarification.

    47. Joe Bucwolfser Rodgers on

      Great update! Thanks for the details!

    48. Nathan Grovhoug on

      This is a good update. Thank you. Is shipping scheduled to resume next month still?

    49. SAW on

      I still have not received mine. I should have been in the first batch. I am getting very irritated about this