Epomaker Skyloong GK87 Kit: Closer Examination
Disassembly is weird, but only because Skyloong has a hidden screw holding the top case panel securely in place. It is under the QR code sticker on the back, and removing it allows for the usual route of using a thin, flat object to pry apart interlocking plastic tabs for the top to then be lifted up and away.
Funnily enough, this is really all that is needed to examine the PCB since the plate and PCB piece is just fitted in place on the bottom case panel. There is an internal USB cable to dislodge first, which gives us a closer look at the mostly empty ABS plastic case in the absence of the 1900 mAh battery found on the GK87S wireless model. It's also missing a sound-dampening foam sheet, which you may want to add yourself.
The plate is powdercoated white on a steel base and only held in place with some screws. This allows for modding the plate color, or even switching to a different plate should you be enterprising enough. A foam support under the space bar key dampens the keystroke there, and this is also the best time to take a look at the 5-pin hot-swap switch socket. It allows for increased compatibility with Cherry MX-style mechanical switches, be it the 3-pin or 5-pin variety. Plate-mounted stabilizers with plenty of lube are used. While I didn't remove any or felt the need to re-lube, the amount applied is nearly excessive.
The PCB is black—not that it matters for the RGB lighting as the PCB is under the white plate. We see the use of Kailh hot-swap sockets, which bodes well for reliability and longevity. There is actually no reset button, so the hole in the case is of no use. This GK87 also doesn't have the Bluetooth transceiver in the GK87S, and we see the empty space that would otherwise be occupied on the latter. What we do get is a Weltrend WT58F165 32-bit USB microcontroller based on the RISC microarchitecture with up to 64 KB flash and 8 KB RAM. There are also three separate Shenzhen Sunmoon SM16159 LED drivers to run all the RGB LEDs on the keyboard. All the components, including the sockets, LEDs, and capacitors, are soldered to a multi-layered PCB.