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Ducky Channel Shine3

PostPosted: 27 Aug 2013, 12:55
by Yogi
Shine 3 DK9008:

The Shine3 keyboard is clearly aimed at the serious gamer crowd. When it comes to replacing computer staples like a keyboard, I normally stay away from such a specialized product line. But, during this last round of keyboard replacements I was lured into making an exception.

Ever since I dumped Windows 98 as my default operating system, I've been using a wireless keyboard and mouse. They interface with my computer via standard USB 2 ports. That's been going on for over five years now, and I've been relatively happy with the performance. Happy until recently, that is. I've determined that the mouse and the keyboard interact with each other in ways the degrade the performance of both devices. It's probably because they share the same frequencies over which to send their signals, but I don't know for sure. All I do know is that when I changed the mouse to a wired version instead of the wireless type, my mouse performance became optimal. With that in mind, I decided that when I replaced the keyboard, I'd see if a wired version did anything to enhance my computer's performance too.

I'm an old timer when it comes to computers, and I remember the days of keyboards that were not flat paneled and did not depend upon bubble switches to do their job. Cherry Switch made the best key switches back then, and still do today. However, the Cherry key switches are big and bulky and totally unsuited for laptops or low profile keyboards. Plus they are expensive. But, in my opinion they are the best. For one they have a life expectancy of 50 million closures which exceeds any bubble switch by magnitudes of operations. Then there is the touch and feel. You don't have to press the key down it's full 5mm travel. A mere 2mm will trigger it which makes it infinitely easier on the fingers since they don't have to use full force to bottom out the bubble switch. If a manufacturer goes the Cherry Switch route in their product, they typically will sculpture the key caps and the keyboard itself so that it's not flat. Any touch typist like myself knows what a blessing that is. And so it is with Ducky. Their keyboard is sculptured.

Gamers have needs that I do not. One is the ability to program key sequences for often used game commands. Thus the DK9008 has a way to program key closures and store them for future use. In my case I see only one practical application of that feature at the moment. I can program my 23 character high security password into the keyboard so that pressing two unrelated keys will send the sequence to my login screen. There may be other uses for this macro storage, but I've only had the pleasure of using this device a few days now.

Each key on the keyboard has it's characters etched into the key cap which is back lit. Just about every other keyboard I've used over the last decade or so has the characters printed on the key caps, and thus wore out after some extended use. Since I'm a touch typist and know where the keys are blindfolded, it was more of a nuisance than a hindrance when the writing on the key caps wore out. The back lit etched key caps, however, have the giant advantage of being visible in low ambient light. Now, that is a big plus to old eyes like mine.

Back lighting has been around for a long time, but Ducky went one better. There are several modes of back lighting that have no practical use other than to look cool. There is the two standard modes where all the LED's are off or all are on. The intensity of the lighting can be stepped up or down which is nice to be able to adjust it for daylight verses night light. Then there is the Breathing Mode where the back lights change from dark to light as if the keyboard was breathing. The intensity and pulse rate can be varied easily. The Snake Marquee Mode is a series of consecutive keys (about six, I'd guess) that light up on an otherwise dark keyboard and travel from left to right, and right to left on alternate rows. It looks like a blue LED snake zipping along my keyboard. The Reactive Mode will brighten up only the key you press. The rest of the keyboard can be dark or any level of lighting you choose. The Ripple Mode will send off ripples of light to the left and to the right of the key you press, kind of like an explosion. The Wave Mode is like the wave you see at football games where the fans stand up in waves. The LED's on the Ducky can be made to wave across the keyboard.

You can customize any of the keys to light in a preferred way. Some PC games require frequent use of the W,A,S and D keys for example. They can be programmed in a profile to be lit while the other keys are dark. I've not found a practical use for custom lighting yet, but several such profiles can be stored in the keyboard.

Do I need all that fancy lighting? Nahhhh. Nobody NEEDS it. But, I have it, and you don't, and that's just Ducky. :lmao4:

Re: Ducky Channel Shine3

PostPosted: 28 Aug 2013, 09:49
by Kellemora
I wear out keyboards to fast to invest much money into one.
Although, what you are talking about, is probably cheaper than I used to pay for quality commercial keyboards, where the key pressure could be ordered in the weight you liked.

Over time, I found a very cheap keyboard, with the proper weighting and angle to the keys.
As you noticed, the characters are merely painted on, so wear off very quick.
I guess the plastic is much softer too, as I wear holes in the keys, normally the spacebar first.
Of late, I wear out a, l and e, keys ahead of the spacebar. Maybe because I'm not sliding my thumb back and forth so much in my old age, hi hi.....

I have not had the electronics or switches wear out in a keyboard now, since I quit buying the expensive ones, with replaceable key modules.

The most interesting keyboard I have ever used, looked like a mousepad with a picture of a keyboard on it.
It's major drawback, was your resting zone, letters a, k & l, continually printed unless you held your hands up.
So it was very tiring trying to use, unless you are a hunt n pecker.
I think on later models, they upped the pressure required on the center row of keys.
It did not feel like a keyboard, so mistakes were very easy to make.


Re: Ducky Channel Shine3

PostPosted: 28 Aug 2013, 11:46
by Yogi
The perennial question is whether it is more cost effective to buy cheap and replace often, or to buy quality and replace not so often. With items that do not suffer from depreciation, such as keyboards, I tend to go with quality. Things like automobiles, however, seem like a waste of money to buy new.

Re: Ducky Channel Shine3

PostPosted: 29 Aug 2013, 10:40
by Kellemora
Hi Yogi - I used to buy the commercial keyboards with replaceable keys. Problem is, finding the parts these days.
If I can buy a new keyboard, with the proper weighting on the keys, for under 20 bucks.
And have a nice new clean keyboard, not filled with dust, dirt and snack crumbs. Or covered with dirt in general.
It doesn't make sense to pay 200 bucks for a keyboard and 35 bucks for a package of four replacement key switches.
Some of my older keyboards, still have the LARGE plug on them, and most now, I use a converter to convert the USB plug to the small keyboard socket.

I use a Logitech thumbball mouse. I bought an entire case of them, because they do wear out. And some of the parts that wear out are not replaceable. However, I can repair some of the older ones, by combining parts from those that died from different causes. I don't know how people get any work done, trying to use those they have to drive all over their desk.


Re: Ducky Channel Shine3

PostPosted: 01 Sep 2013, 14:15
by kg

My preferred type of keyboard--a wireless, split-key ergonomic keyboard--is becoming very hard to find. I recently bought a Microsoft split-key to replace my Logitech keyboard upon its eventual demise. I used it for a while, and it's still connected to my laptop, but I switched back to the Logitech (used on my new desktop, to which I've switched all operations) because I'm less than impressed with the MS keyboard's performance.

Wired split-key keyboards are becoming harder to find, and wireless almost impossible, except for very expensive models which do not suit me at all. I searched hard for a Logitech, but was unable to find one, and I was given the impression that MS will soon d/c the keyboard I bought. I considered buying several of them, but given its performance issues, I'm kind of glad I didn't.

I don't know what I'm going to do if they discontinue split-keys. I suppose I'll have to (re)learn to use the regular ones; I certainly can't use one now. I've been using the split-keys for far too long, and have become completely accustomed to them. I've had this Logitech since the early 2000s...its "dongle" can't be called a dongle; it is a box that connects to a USB port by a cable. In fact, you have to press buttons on both units for them to connect to each other when the batteries have to be changed, which thankfully is not very often.

Like Gary, I use Logitech (wireless) thumballs, and yes, they do wear out! I wore a couple of my earlier ones out, and have a couple here which are connected to each of my computers. I use them partly out of convenience, and partly out of necessity. Convenience, because I generally use it away from a desktop or surface, and necessity, because I rarely have any space on my desktop, or a surface to use a conventional mouse on.

I've been using trackballs since the early '90s. Before that, I used hotkeys, and I still use them for several functions. "<Ctrl>+a" to select all text on a page; "<ctrl>+c" to copy text; "<ctrl>+v" to paste text...etc. There are several more that I use, and it's much faster than taking your fingers off the keyboard to operate the mouse, and in many cases, faster than using the mouse to, say, position the cursor, then drag across the text to select it. But I drift...

I can only hope there are enough of us split-key users to justify the keyboard manufacturers to continue the design. I've done some limited research to find whether there is a "USB to wireless" converter, in case the wireless versions of the keyboard are eliminated. It would still be an inconvenience, but in my circumstances, I need both wireless keyboard and mouse. I move around so much, I already destroyed one keyboard by the wire breaking inside it from constantly moving it.