Using Redthunder K84 with OpenBSD

    

I got YouTubed with “look at my setup” content. So I started looking at what mechanical keyboards offer. Amazon proposed that RedThunder K84 Combo Keyboard and Mouse for 60€ so I decided to give it a try on OpenBSD.

The RedThunder K84 Wireless is a 75% keyboard TLK. It has several rainbow backlight colorschemes and is rechargeable using USB-C.

The RedThunder M84 Wireless is an optical mouse. It has a power-on mode with no lights at all and a mode where colors will endlessely loop. It is also rechargeable using USB-C.

A single USB dongle allows connecting both the mouse and the keyboard to the workstation.

OpenBSD support

I first tried in on Windows 11 just to see what happens. And things happen the exact same way on Windows and on OpenBSD.

Plug the USB dongle to the workstation. Power-on the keyboard and the mouse. Enjoy.

Here is how the dongle appears on OpenBSD:

bsd: uhidev4 at uhub1 port 7 configuration 1 interface 0 "vendor 0x1ea7 2.4G Mouse" rev 1.10/2.00 addr 9
bsd: uhidev4: iclass 3/1
bsd: ukbd1 at uhidev4: 8 variable keys, 6 key codes
bsd: wskbd3 at ukbd1 mux 1
bsd: wskbd3: connecting to wsdisplay0
bsd: uhidev5 at uhub1 port 7 configuration 1 interface 1 "vendor 0x1ea7 2.4G Mouse" rev 1.10/2.00 addr 9
bsd: uhidev5: iclass 3/1, 181 report ids
bsd: ucc1 at uhidev5 reportid 1: 1023 usages, 20 keys, array
bsd: wskbd4 at ucc1 mux 1
bsd: wskbd4: connecting to wsdisplay0
bsd: ums1 at uhidev5 reportid 2: 8 buttons, Z and W dir
bsd: wsmouse4 at ums1 mux 0
bsd: uhid5 at uhidev5 reportid 3: input=1, output=0, feature=0
bsd: uhid6 at uhidev5 reportid 4: input=1, output=0, feature=0
bsd: uhid7 at uhidev5 reportid 181: input=7, output=7, feature=0

The relevant usbdevs is:

addr 09: 1ea7:0066 vendor 0x1ea7, 2.4G Mouse
         full speed, power 100 mA, config 1, rev 2.00
         driver: uhidev4
         driver: uhidev5

According to Device Hunt , those are “SHARKOON Technologies GmbH” devices identified as “Mediatrack Edge Mini Keyboard”.

Review / Feedback

Biases warning

I’ve been using a using a Logitech MX Keys keyboard and M590 mouse for a long time. I love the keyboard feeling and silence. I also love the mouse silence. I once tried the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 and MX Master 3 mouses but stopped using them because their clicks where to noisy.

When on the road, I only have ThinkPads. My current laptop is an X1 Carbon Gen10. There too, I just love the feeling and silence of both the keyboard and touchpad.

I’m trying another keyboard because I changed my desk arrangement and the actual Logitech keyboard is full size ; and I’d rather have the mouse a bit closer. But the “mini” version of the keyboard has a few layout issues to my likings.

I will not accept too loud hardware.

What about the keyboard

The is probably due to the caps shape but I find the hitting zone a bit small. I probably would have to get used to it.

It is great that it has <ESC>, <INS>, <DEL>, <PgUp> and <PgDn> directly accessible keys. The <End> key is also directly accessible but <Home> is <Fn>+<DEL>.

The switches are harder and have more travel space than the Logitech. But I guess this is what is expected from a mechanical keyboard vs membrane one. It feels like I’ll get muscled fingers soon :p

The sound is quite low. Not as low as the Logitech and it is not “too clicky”. I took a couple of caps out to see what the switches were. And… those are membrane like. Nothing like what you can see when you look at mechanical keyboard replacing key caps and switches…

Here’s a quick typing sound comparison between the RedThunder K84, the Logitech K410 and the Logitech MX Keys .

There are 4 backlight modes. All of them include color rainbows. There is no “single color” mode, nor white only. The caps transparency is not regular. The numbers row is a bit darker than the letters rows. The function row is the darkest. When the light level is the lowest, nearly no light go through those upper rows. Raising the light level to actually see upper light-through gets the low rows pretty blinding.

What about the mouse

There is a three positions button: On, Off and On with light. I don’t really get the point of an illuminated mouse. It put visual distrurbance in my eyes.

The backlight mode is not configurable. Nor is it synchronized with the keyboard backlight mode. It simply loops various colors. Hopefully slowly enough to not be disturbing.

The lights turns off when you don’t mouse the mouse for a few seconds. But it takes 1 or 2 seconds for the mouse to become responsive again.

There is a DPI button that offers 3 resolution modes. On my 4K monitor, the first mode is really to “slow” and the third feels like Zamy on Coca Cola . I’m using the second mode and it’s quite adequate.

Clicks are… clicky. It sounds like the MX Anywhere 2 and MX Master 3 I trashed. I definitively won’t be using it although the overall feeling is quite good.

The wheel is a bit hard. It’s nice as the middle click works “better” than with the Logitech. But scrolling a webpage is a bit more effortful.

The two lateral buttons work ok. By default, they scroll pages up and down in Firefox.

When charging, there is a red light under the wheel. When fully charged, the light turn off.

The mouse is lighter than the Logitech. That’s weird at first but using it makes this transparent.

Conclusion

It just works© on OpenBSD. Expect the same on any other FOSS OS.

Not a bad bundle for 60€. But I don’t think this really is a mechanical keyboard. To me, it’s more of a membrane keyboard with high profle keycaps.

The keyboard is definitively too loud. Say my ears after typing this blog post. Says my wife trying to nap on the couch, 8 meters far from me typing.

The Geek Acceptance Level seems pretty low with the hardware!