Modding Your Mechanical Keyboard Using Tempest Tape Mod

September 19, 2023

Keyboard modding is a great way to customize your mechanical keyboard and improve its sound and feel. One popular mod is the tempest tape mod, which involves applying tape to the underside of the PCB (printed circuit board) of your keyboard. This can help to dampen the sound of your keyboard and make it sound more "poppy."

It's an easy, cost-effective method that'll transform your typing experience. You'll be applying layers of non-conductive tape beneath the PCB - no worries, it's simpler than it sounds!

In this article, we will walk you through the steps on how to mod your keyboard using the tempest tape mod. We will also provide some tips and tricks to help you get the best results.

What is a Keyboard Mod and Why Should You Consider It?

You've probably heard about keyboard modding, but do you really understand what it entails? It's not just about changing the look of your keyboard; it can significantly improve your typing experience too.

A keyboard mod is a modification made to a keyboard to improve its sound, feel, or appearance. There are many different keyboard mods that can be done, and the best mods for you will depend on your individual preferences.

Understanding the Concept of Keyboard Modding

A lot of keyboard enthusiasts create custom keyboards for themselves. You should too if you want to enhance your keyboard. Here are some reasons why you might want to mod your keyboard:

  • To improve the sound: Keyboard mods can make your keyboard sound better by reducing noise, making it sound deeper, or making it sound more thocky.
  • To improve the feel: Keyboard mods can make your keyboard feel better by making the keys smoother, making the stabilizers more stable, or making the case more rigid.
  • To change the look: Keyboard mods can change the look of your keyboard by changing the keycaps, the case, or the switches.
  • To make your keyboard more unique: Keyboard mods can make your keyboard more unique by giving it a custom look and feel.

Benefits of Modding Your Keyboard

It's a game changer when you successfully tweak something on your keyboard. If you are looking for a way to improve your keyboard's sound, feel, or appearance, then modding is a great option. There are many different mods that can be done, so you can find the perfect mods for your needs.

Some of the most common benefits include:

  • Improved sound: Keyboard mods can make your keyboard sound better by reducing noise, making it sound deeper, or making it sound more clicky.
  • Improved feel: Keyboard mods can make your keyboard feel better by making the keys smoother, making the stabilizers more stable, or making the case more rigid.
  • Customization: Keyboard mods can be used to customize your keyboard to your own personal preferences. This includes changing the keycaps, the case, the switches, and the sound profile.
  • A sense of accomplishment: Modding your keyboard can be a fun and rewarding experience. It is a great way to learn about how keyboards work and to express your creativity.
  • Increased typing speed: Some keyboard mods, such as switch lubing and stabilizer tuning, can make your keyboard feel smoother and more responsive. This can lead to increased typing speed.
  • Reduced wrist pain: Poor keyboard ergonomics can lead to wrist pain. Some keyboard mods, such as adding foam to the case or using a wrist rest, can help to improve the ergonomics of your keyboard and reduce wrist pain.
  • Increased productivity: A keyboard that you enjoy using can make you more productive. Keyboard mods can help you to customize your keyboard to your liking and make it a more enjoyable experience to use.
  • A sense of community: The keyboard modding community is a great place to learn about keyboards and to meet other people who are passionate about keyboards. There are many online forums and Discord servers where you can ask questions, get advice, and share your mods with others.
  • A way to express yourself: Keyboard modding is a great way to express your personal style. You can choose keycaps, switches, and other components that reflect your personality. This can make your keyboard more unique and more enjoyable to use.
  • A sense of accomplishment: Modding your keyboard can be a fun and rewarding experience. It is a great way to learn about how keyboards work and to express your creativity. When you finally finish modding your keyboard and you see how much better it is, you will feel a sense of accomplishment that is hard to beat.

Factors to Consider Before Modding Your Keyboard

Before diving into any alterations, you'll need to weigh the pros and cons of each method. It's important to think about what you're trying to achieve; if it's a specific sound or feel, different modding methods will bring varied results. Don't be swayed by popular trends alone. Here are factors to consider before modding your keyboard:

  1. Your budget: Keyboard modding can be a costly hobby, so it is important to set a budget before you start. There are many different mods that can be done, and the cost of each mod will vary.
  2. Your skill level: Keyboard modding can be a complex process, so it is important to assess your skill level before you start. Some mods are easier than others, so it is important to choose mods that are appropriate for your skill level.
  3. Your time commitment: Keyboard modding can take a lot of time, so it is important to make sure that you have enough time to commit to the project before you start. Some mods are quicker than others, but it is important to factor in the time it will take to learn about the mod, gather the necessary materials, and complete the mod.
  4. The type of keyboard you have: Not all keyboard mods are compatible with all keyboards. It is important to make sure that the mods you choose are compatible with your keyboard before you start.
  5. The sound profile you want: Keyboard mods can affect the sound profile of your keyboard. If you are not sure what sound profile you want, it is a good idea to do some research to find out more about the different sound profiles that are available.
  6. The feel you want: Keyboard mods can also affect the feel of your keyboard. If you are not sure what feel you want, it is a good idea to try out different mods to see what you like best.
  7. The look you want: Keyboard mods can also affect the look of your keyboard. If you are not sure what look you want, it is a good idea to look at pictures of modded keyboards to get some ideas.
  8. The ergonomics: Keyboard mods can affect the ergonomics of your keyboard. If you are concerned about ergonomics, it is a good idea to choose mods that will improve the ergonomics of your keyboard.
  9. The warranty: Some keyboard mods may void your keyboard's warranty. It is important to check your keyboard's warranty before you start modding it.
  10. Your personal preference: Ultimately, the most important factor to consider when modding your keyboard is your personal preference. There is no right or wrong way to mod your keyboard, so it is important to choose mods that you like and that will improve your typing experience.

How to Perform a Tempest Tape Mod on Your Mechanical Keyboard

You've arrived at the heart of the article, which is enhancing your keyboard's sound and feel through the process of tape modding.

Tempest tape modding is a keyboard mod that involves applying tape to the underside of the PCB (printed circuit board) of a mechanical keyboard. The tape is typically applied in multiple layers, and it is thought to improve the sound profile of the keyboard by reducing hollowness and making the sound more "poppy."

Step-by-step Guide 

The tempest tape mod is a relatively simple mod to do, and it can be done with materials that are readily available. However, it is important to note that the mod may void your keyboard's warranty.

Materials

  • A mechanical keyboard with a PCB
  • Non-conductive tape (e.g., electrical tape, gaffer tape)
  • Painter's tape or masking tape
  • Adhesive remover (optional)

Instructions

  1. Remove the keycaps from your keyboard.
  2. Carefully remove the PCB from the case.
  3. Apply strips of tape to the back of your PCB, covering the entire surface.
    • You can use a ruler to help you keep the strips of tape straight.
    • You can also use a sharp knife to cut the tape to size.
  4. Apply a layer of painter's tape or masking tape over the top of the tape mod.
    • This will help to protect the tape from getting damaged when you reassemble your keyboard.
  5. Reassemble your keyboard.
  6. Test out your keyboard to see how the tempest tape mod has affected the sound profile. Press keys to perform sound tests.
    • You may need to experiment with the number of layers of tape and the placement of the tape to get the desired sound.

Tips

  • Use non-conductive tape to avoid damaging your PCB.
  • Choose a tape that is not too thick, as this can make the keyboard feel mushy.
  • Experiment with the number of layers of tape and the placement of the tape to get the desired board sound.
  • If you are not happy with the results, you can always remove the tape.

Warnings

  • The tempest tape mod may void your keyboard's warranty.
  • Be careful not to damage the PCB when removing or installing the tape.
  • If you are not comfortable modding your keyboard, you can take it to a professional.

Choosing the Right Type of Tape for Your Mod

five colored rolls of insulating tape on wooden board construction concept

"What kind of tape should I use to perform this mod?" Choosing the right type of adhesive for this project is important as it'll directly impact the sound and ease of reversal. There are a few different tapes that are ideal for the tempest tape mod. Some of the most popular tapes include:

  • Electrical tape: This is a thick, durable tape that is often used in electrical work. It is a good choice for the tempest tape mod because it is non-conductive and it can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
  • Gaffer tape: This is a strong, adhesive tape that is often used in the film industry. It is a good choice for the tempest tape mod because it is non-conductive and it can be easily removed without damaging the PCB.
  • Painter's tape: This is a thin, paper tape that is often used for painting. It is a good choice for the tempest tape mod because it is non-conductive and it can be easily removed without damaging the PCB.
  • Masking tape: This is a thin, paper tape that is often used for masking off areas before painting. It is a good choice for the tempest tape mod because it is non-conductive and it can be easily removed without damaging the PCB.

Here are some additional tips for choosing the right tape for the tempest tape mod:

  • Consider the thickness of the tape: Thicker tapes will dampen the sound more, but they may also make the keyboard feel mushy.
  • Consider the adhesive strength of the tape: Tapes with stronger adhesives will be more difficult to remove, but they will also be more durable.
  • Consider the price of the tape: Tapes can range in price from a few cents to a few dollars per roll.
  • Avoid using sticky tapes with strong adhesion: An example of such tape is duct tape. Tapes with strong adhesion are difficult or even impossible to remove without collateral damage. The leftover residue can also corrode your PCB should you decide to remove the tape.
  • Use high-quality tape: Cheap tape may not be as effective at dampening sound or may not stick as well to the PCB.

Layering Multiple Tapes 

Adding many layers of tape can enhance the sound when you type on your keyboard. The more layers of tape you apply, the more the sound of your keyboard will be dampened. This can make your keyboard sound more muted. We recommend this mod if you prefer silent typing.

Note that layering tapes can make your keyboard feel mushy and hard to press. If you do not want your keyboard to feel mushy, you should experiment with the number of layers of tape to find a balance between sound dampening and feel.

Here are some additional tips for layering tapes for the tempest tape mod:

  • Start with a few layers of tape: Apply a few layers of tape to the bottom of the PCB and test out your keyboard. If you are not happy with the results, you can always put additional layers of tape.
  • Use different types of tape: Experiment with different types of tape to see what produces the best sound for your keyboard. Some people prefer to use a combination of tapes such as electrical tape and painter's tape.
  • Be careful not to over-tighten the screws: When you are reassembling your keyboard, be careful not to over-tighten the screws and connectors. This can damage the PCB and make it difficult to remove the tape in the future.

If you are not comfortable layering tapes, you can always use a single layer of tape. This will still produce some sound dampening, but it will not be as drastic as layering tapes.

Troubleshooting Common Issues During a Tape Mod

As you tape mod your keyboard, it's not uncommon to encounter a few hiccups. So, let's discuss some troubleshooting tips. Here are some common issues that can occur during a Tempest Tape Mod and how to troubleshoot them:

  • The tape is not sticking to the PCB: Make sure that the tape is clean and dry before applying it to the PCB. You may also need to use a stronger adhesive tape.
  • The tape is too thick: Thick tape can make your keyboard feel mushy. If you are using thick tape, try using thinner tape or using fewer layers of tape.
  • The tape is not covering the entire PCB: Make sure that the tape is covering the entire surface of the PCB. If the tape is not covering the entire PCB, sound may still be able to escape.
  • The tape is causing the keyboard to malfunction: If the keyboard is not working properly after you have applied the tape, try removing the tape and testing the keyboard again. If the keyboard works properly without the tape, then the tape is causing the malfunction.
  • The tape is not cutting straight: Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the tape straight. If the tape is not cutting straight, it may not fit properly on the PCB.
  • The tape is leaving residue: Use adhesive remover to remove the residue from the PCB. Be careful not to damage the PCB when removing the residue.
  • The tape is peeling off: Use a stronger adhesive tape or apply a layer of clear coat over the tape. This will help to keep the tape in place.
  • The keyboard is not sounding the way you want: Experiment with different types of tape, layers, and placement to see what produces the best sound for your keyboard. You may also need to adjust the stabilizers or lube the switches.

Other Popular Modifications for Mechanical Keyboards

Diving deeper into the world of keyboard modifications, you'll find there's much more to explore beyond the tape mod. Here are some popular mods: 

  • Switch lubing: This involves applying a lubricant to the moving parts of the switches, which can make them feel smoother and more responsive. 
  • Stabilizer tuning: This involves adjusting the stabilizers, which are the mechanisms that support the larger keys on a keyboard. This can help to reduce wobble and make the keys feel more stable. 
  • PE foam mod: This involves adding foam to the case of your keyboard, which can help dampen the sound of the switches and make the keyboard sound quieter
  • Pedal mod: This involves adding a switch to the keyboard's PCB. This can be used to control the volume of your computer. 
  • RGB mod: This involves adding RGB lighting to your keyboard. This can make your keyboard look more stylish and it can also help you to type in low-light conditions. 
  • Deskmat: This is a large mousepad that can be used to protect your desk from scratches and spills. It can also help to improve the ergonomics of your keyboard setup. 
  • Sound dampening pad: This is a foam pad that is placed between the PCB and the plate of the keyboard. It can help to dampen the sound of the switches and make the keyboard sound quieter. 

These are just a few of the many popular modifications that can be made to mechanical keyboards. The best keyboard modifications for you will depend on your individual preferences and needs.

Tips and tricks for a Successful Keyboard Modding Experience

Knowing what you're doing is the key to a successful and enjoyable keyboard modding experience. Here are 10 tips and tricks:

  1. Do your research: Before you start modding your keyboard, it is important to do your research and learn about the different mods that are available. This will help you to choose the mods that are right for you and to avoid making mistakes.
  2. Start with simple mods: If you are new to keyboard modding, it is a good idea to start with simple mods, such as adding foam to the case or swapping out keycaps. This will give you a chance to learn the basics of modding and to see how mods affect the feel and sound of your keyboard.
  3. Use high-quality materials: When modding your keyboard, it is important to use high-quality materials. This will help to ensure that your mods are successful and that they will last for a long time.
  4. Be patient: Keyboard modding can be a time-consuming process. It is important to be patient and to take your time when modding your keyboard. This will help to avoid making mistakes and to ensure that your mods are successful.
  5. Have fun: Keyboard modding is a great way to express your creativity and customize your keyboard to your own personal preferences. So, relax, have fun, and enjoy the process!
  6. Use the right tools: There are a few specific tools that can be helpful for keyboard modding, such as a switch opener, a keycap puller, and a soldering iron.
  7. Take your time: It is important to take your time when modding your keyboard, especially if you are new to the process. This will help to avoid making mistakes and to ensure that your mods are successful.
  8. Test your keyboard often: As you are modding your keyboard, it is important to test it often to see how the mods are affecting the feel and sound. This will help you to identify any potential issues early on.
  9. Ask for help: If you are stuck, there are many online forums and Discord servers where you can ask for help from other keyboard enthusiasts.
  10. Document your process: If you are new to keyboard modding, it can be helpful to document your process. This can help you to remember what you did and to troubleshoot any problems that you may encounter. You can document your process by taking pictures or videos or by writing down notes.

Understanding the Impact of Modding on Your Keyboard's Warranty

Close up of advertising agency employee hands typing on keyboard and working on research charts. Company office worker using computer to develop marketing strategy and business clients portfolio.

When you tempest mod your keyboard---or modify your keyboard in any way, you are essentially voiding the warranty. This is because most keyboard warranties specifically state that they do not cover damage caused by modification.

There are a few reasons why keyboard manufacturers do not cover damage caused by modification. First, modification can void the integrity of the keyboard's components. For example, if you open up your keyboard, remove switches from their sockets, and solder new switches, you could damage the PCB or other components. Second, modification can make it difficult or impossible to repair the keyboard. For example, if you add foam to the case of your keyboard, it may be difficult to remove the foam if the keyboard needs to be repaired.

If you are considering modding your keyboard, it is important to weigh the risks and benefits carefully. Modding can give you a peripheral that is more customized to your needs. On the other hand, modding can void your warranty and make it difficult or impossible to repair your keyboard if something goes wrong.

Here are some tips for minimizing the impact of modding on your keyboard's warranty:

  • Do your research: Before you start modding your keyboard, it is important to do your research and learn about the different mods that are available. This will help you to choose mods that are compatible with your keyboard and that are less likely to damage the keyboard.
  • Use high-quality materials: When modding your keyboard, it is important to use high-quality materials. This will help to ensure that your mods are successful and that they will not damage the keyboard.
  • Be careful: When modding your keyboard, it is important to be careful and to take your time. This will help to avoid making mistakes and to minimize the risk of damaging the keyboard.
  • Ask for help: If you are not comfortable modding your keyboard, you can ask for help from a professional. This will help to ensure that your mods are successful and that your warranty is not voided.

Maintaining and Cleaning Your Modded Keyboard

Close up of advertising agency employee hands typing on keyboard and working on research charts. Company office worker using computer to develop marketing strategy and business clients portfolio.

Keeping that newly modded device clean and well-maintained can make a huge difference in its performance, so don't overlook this essential step. Here are 10 tips for maintaining and cleaning your modded keyboard:

  1. Clean your keycaps regularly: Keycaps are constantly exposed to dirt, dust, and oils from your fingers. It is important to clean your keycaps regularly to prevent build-up and to keep your keyboard looking its best. You can clean your keycaps with a damp cloth or with a mild soap and water solution. 
  2. Dust your keyboard regularly: Dust can build up inside your keyboard and can interfere with the operation of the switches and stabilizers. It is important to dust your keyboard regularly to prevent build-up and to keep your keyboard functioning properly. You can dust your keyboard with a can of compressed air or with a soft brush. 
  3. Lube your switches and stabilizers regularly: Over time, the switches and stabilizers in your keyboard can become worn and can start to feel mushy or rattly. You can improve the feel of your switches and stabilizers by lubing them regularly. You can use a switch lubricant or a stabilizer lubricant to lube your switches and stabilizers. 
  4. Replace your keycaps and switches as needed: If your keycaps are starting to look worn or if your switches are starting to feel mushy, it is time to replace them. You can choose new keycaps and switches that match your personal preferences and that will improve the feel of your keyboard.
  5. Keep your keyboard in a clean environment: It is important to keep your keyboard in a clean environment to prevent dust, dirt, and other debris from building up. You should avoid placing your keyboard in dusty areas or in areas where food and drinks are being consumed.
  6. Avoid spills: Spills are one of the most common causes of damage to keyboards. If you spill something on your keyboard, it is important to act quickly to prevent damage. Turn off your keyboard and unplug it from the computer. Then, use a damp cloth to wipe up the spill. If the spill is liquid, you may need to use a vacuum cleaner to remove any remaining liquid.
  7. Be careful when cleaning your keyboard: When cleaning your keyboard, it is important to be careful not to damage the switches, stabilizers, or other components. You should avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.
  8. Use a keyboard cover: A keyboard cover can help to protect your keyboard from dust, dirt, and other debris. You can also use a keyboard cover to prevent spills from reaching your keyboard.
  9. Store your keyboard properly: When you are not using your keyboard, it is important to store it properly. You should store your keyboard in a clean, dry place. You should also avoid storing your keyboard in direct sunlight or in areas where extreme temperatures can occur.
  10. Take your keyboard to a professional if needed: If you are not comfortable cleaning or maintaining your keyboard, you can take it to a professional. A professional can clean and maintain your keyboard properly and can also help you troubleshoot any problems that you may be having.

Conclusion

So, there you have it - a simple way to enhance your keyboard's sound without breaking the bank. With some patience and care, you can give your old keyboard a new lease of life. The tempest tape mod is a great way to customize your keyboard and make it sound more to your liking. It is a simple and effective mod that can make a big difference in the sound of your keyboard.

Chris Greiner, a Mechanical Keyboard specialist, boasts a solid educational background with dual bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Business Management from Lewis University. His additional certification in Mechanical Keyboard Design showcases his dedication to staying on the forefront of keyboard technology. Chris primarily writes for keyboard enthusiasts and has been featured on platforms like Jestik, solidifying his reputation as a thought leader in the mechanical keyboard community.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Pinstack

Pinstack is a dedicated online media platform focusing on selling and reviewing mechanical keyboards. Our commitment is to provide comprehensive reviews, in-depth guides, and much more. With our active presence on YouTube and our website, we strive to deliver top-quality content across multiple platforms, aiming to bring the best to our audience.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscription Form
We care about the protection of your data. We’ll never share your details.

Pinstack is an Amazon Affiliate. All earnings from this website are from qualified purchases. Learn more about our affiliate disclosure terms.
2023 - Copyright, All Rights Reserved
magnifiercrossmenu
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x