A few months ago, I decided to perform the soft landing silencing mod on a few of my Realforce keyboards. I know– it’s been done a million times. I made a few modifications to the preparation process and made a comparison video. Enjoy.
After reading up on silence mods. I decided to try a mod written up by spiceBar over on Geekhack:
These are soft landing pads I bought from Elitekeyboards.com
In his write-up, he recommends using a clothing iron to flatten landing pads to minimize the loss in travel distance. The thought of flattening 240 pads seemed daunting. I decided to try using my go’s flat iron.
Flat iron was able to flatten to roughly 0.3 mm width though I wanted something even thinner.
Using workbench clamps, I left the landing pads in the iron for roughly 30-45 seconds and gauged how it turned out.
Landing pads came out roughly the width of thin cardstock. This should suffice. Even better was that I could do sets of up to 14 pads at once! 240 pads only took me a little less than 45 minutes.
Topre sliders are housed in higher casing to accommodate the tall spherical keycaps. I was a bit concerned that this would’ve made the mod harder.
One last look before I take it apart
Unlike the 660C or HHKB, Realforce board only require that you push in the tabs to take the ABS shell off
Hi-Pro in all it’s glory.
Unplug and unscrew.
Silver screws denoted by the circle. Black screws denoted by the arrows. There’s a lot and they are tiny. Make sure to keep in a safe spot.
Note that the sliders are different on Row 1. I did not realize this until I was reassembling
Used a round end tweezer to pop slider out of the housing. They were surprisingly easy to remove and did not require much force. In hindsight, I probably should’ve used a plastic pry tool.
Here’s the slider extracted
I realized I had flattened the pads a tad too much, leaving slack on the corners that may cause friction in the housing. I decided to trim corners as a precaution. Probably didn’t have to do this step but it didn’t hurt.
As per spiceBar’s write-up, I cut the landing pad in half and glued it to each end. I used hobby glue for plastics. I didn’t have any trouble removing it in the event that I had to reposition the pads.
I was told that the housing for the mod keys would be difficult to remove. Using a flathead screwdriver, I was able to remove with relative ease. I decided not to remove for my second mod and it didn’t make a difference. Applying EKMechlube (thick) on stabs.