Model 100 Mods (HMX Hibiscus switches, Tape mod, Weight mod, EVA foam, Interconnect coiling)

Hello, I was a backer for the Model 01 Kickstarter, then the Model 100, so I have years of experience with both keyboards. I’ve previously modded the Model 01 to the Matias Linear switches (without desoldering, popping out the housing), but really didn’t love them.

I’ve been doing some various mods recently on my Model 100, in an effort to make it feel more stable (keys but also movement of the housing), to have a deeper mid-thocky sound and to try to get rid of some of the reverb/resonant sound on the stock hardware. I didn’t intend of documenting this, but when I was done, I thought it might be worth sharing to I took some photos and videos.

Weight Mod

The Model 100 is so light, that it often slides and moves with regular use on my desk. I recently bought a Rainy75 for work, and I really like the weight to keep it grounded, but also thought it might have some effect on the sound.

I ordered these small adhesive Auto weights from Amazon which are about $9 per 48 weights so I bought 2 boxes. I ended up using 35 weights per keyboard side. I opened the case then just put them where I could fit them on the base plate. The adhesive is like foam adhesive, so it’s best to place is correctly once as ripping it off will tear the foam. It might still stick, but some of the foam will come off. I like the foam as it probably prevents any rattling between the metal (even with the coating) and the coating I think makes them non conductive too (at least one reviewer says so).

This resulted in each side being around 1250 g (or 2 lb 12 oz) each. They feel way more stable and another side effect is they kind of feel more premium. The benefit of these weights is you can make it as heavy as you want by deciding how many weights to use.



Tape Mod

There are a lot of Youtube videos on how to do this one. You just take painter’s tape or masking tape (something non conductive with non conductive or residue leaving adhesive) and you put 2-3 layers of tape on the back behind the PCB. I put the tape on, then used a screwdriver to poke holes for the screw standoffs. This makes the sound a bit deeper, but does also make it a bit poppier. So if you’re looking for complete silence, this might be one to avoid, but if you’re looking for a deeper thocky sound, this is a quick easy and inexpensive one, as well as being reversible.

EVA foam mod

I wanted to dampen the sound from the hollow wooden chamber of the body. I thought this might remove some sound reflection and reverb that comes off the board when you type. You can go with Poron or EVA, I thought EVA foam ($9 for a 2mm roll) would make mute the sound a bit less, if you want more muting, Poron might be better.

To install, I just cut an outline, then trimmed the edges so it sits inside the body. Then pushed the foam down to see the standoff/screw indentations and then would just cut them out with an X-acto knife.

Interconnect coil mod

This one is more for less clutter, but I took a longer interconnect cable and coiled it around a down or long stick, then heated it with a hair dryer until it retained the coil. It worked pretty well and stays in a coil and to me looks less cluttered than having a long cable or using velcro or a tie to bind it:

Kailh BOX Silent Brown to Gazzer Boba U4T to HMX Hibiscus

Last year, I swapped the Kailh BOX Silent Brown to Gazzew Boba U4T. I thought it felt and sounded way better. Here’s a sound test, only the “N” key is the Kailh, the rest were swapped to the U4T. This is without any other mods listed here.

I recently got the Rainy75 keyboard for work and they came with the HMX Violet switches (Linear, low actuation force). I really liked them and I tried them in my Model 100 and was surprised how much less wobble they had. The U4T are not known to be wobbly and are pretty stable, but maybe the Model 100’s custom keys can be more oddly shaped which may make it more prone to wobble. The HMX tolerances for the stem and housing seemed so much better and stable and I think it also converted me on linear switches, which I never thought I liked.

So I ordered the HMX Hibiscus which is more of HMX’s most deepest sounding switches (they don’t have super deep sounding switches, so it’s sound is more mid-rangey), the Violet was a bit higher pitched and a bit clacky sounding. The keys feel way more stable and smooth. I still like the U4T, but I like these more.

Sound test with the HMX Hibiscus and all above mods:

To me it sounds deeper while removing a lot of the echo-y wooden chamber sound!

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If u want to sell the u4ts let me.know.

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Thanks for this detailed post. Highlights some of the hobbyist-side intersts I’ve not seen discussed frequently here! I’m happy with the feel of the silent Browns, but this makes me auditory-curious - at least for my home office set-up.

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the interconnect cable is just a bog-standard RJ45-cable, so one can also buy coiled ethernet cables instead of modding the provided ones.
Lovely post!

I actually could only find one affordable (like under $20?) coiled ethernet cable that wasn’t insanely long, which is this one for $8. It’d probably work, but the reviews weren’t great. So I thought I’d just coil the one included and not waste a working cable.