Table of Contents

Origin of GK61

The GK61 keyboard owes its genesis to the vibrant and collaborative Geekhack community, where enthusiasts congregated to share their love for mechanical keyboards.

In 2016, SKYLOONG’s dedicated Research and Development team embarked on a journey to enhance and refine the GH60, an open-source project within the community.

Drawing inspiration from the GH60, SKYLOONG’s team meticulously improved upon its design and functionality, culminating in the mass-produced GK61 keyboard.

This is the beginning of SKYLOONG’s commitment to the ethos of “From The Community, For the Community,” a philosophy deeply ingrained in the brand’s DNA.

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For this reason, SKYLOONG remains devoted to open-source principles, sharing its own developed and improved technologies on platforms like GitHub.

This ethos underscores the brand’s dedication to fostering a thriving community of keyboard enthusiasts, inviting them to participate in the evolution of customized keyboards based on the information provided.

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The name “GK61” holds significance as well. Born in a factory which name is “Geek Customization” located in Dongguan, China, the “GK” in GK61 is an abbreviation of “GEEK,” paying homage to the factory where the brand originated.

Thus, while the brand is known as SKYLOONG, the GK series of keyboards proudly carries forward the legacy of its roots in the Geek Customization factory.

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GK61 Partners

SKYLOONG has been operating as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for different brands for quite some time.

The company has been working behind the scenes, providing manufacturing services to these brands, and has not been directly involved in the front-end sales of GK61.

As an OEM manufacturer, SKYLOONG specializes in producing products according to the specifications of other companies that sell them under their own brand names.

While SKYLOONG has been instrumental in the production of GK61, it has not been actively involved in the marketing and sales of the product.

HK Gaming

The most popular brand cooperating with us is HK Gaming.

hk gaming gk61 Amazon image

As the GK61 continued to make waves in the mechanical keyboard community, They are gradually gaining more and more benefits on the GK61.

Therefore, HK Gaming attempts to monopolize the market by applying to register the GK61 trademark.

This is the turning point for us to terminate our cooperation with HK Gaming.

Such a move threatened to wrest control of the GK61 from its origins and place it solely in the hands of HK Gaming.

HK Gaming did not have a complete system of R&D, production and quality inspection at that time.

If they successfully register the GK61 trademark, it will mean that they will monopolize the GK61 market. Without the precipitation of original development, in this case, they cannot guarantee the quality and after-sales service of the product. This is also a disaster for users.

SKYLOONG and its partners filed a complaint against HK Gaming for preemptively registering the GK61 trademark.

Reasonably and fortunately, we provided the GK61-related development timeline and GK61-related design documents, and ultimately we won this battle.

In addition to SKYLOONG, others can also reasonably use the GK61 trademark instead of being monopolized by a single company.

We also terminated our cooperation.

After that, the products sold by HK Gaming were not manufactured by SKYLOONG, which is why some buyers were unable to use SKYLOONG’s software to remap after receiving HK “GK61 V2”.

EPOMAKER

EPOMAKER has always been a partner of SKYLOONG.

In addition to the GK61 project.

EPOMAKER GK61 amazon store

Over the years, we have launched several keyboard crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter, which have been successful in garnering support from our backers.

Through these campaigns, we have been able to constantly improve our products by incorporating feedback from our community.

Our team has worked tirelessly to ensure that each keyboard is of the highest quality and meets the expectations of our customers.

We are proud to say that our keyboards have received positive feedback and reviews from our satisfied customers.

kickstarter projects woth epomaker

SKYLOONG and EPOMAKER have formed a strong and enduring partnership, which has enabled them to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

This partnership has been built on a foundation of mutual trust, respect, and collaboration, and has resulted in a range of innovative and high-quality products.

The two companies have combined their expertise and resources to develop cutting-edge technologies and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

As a result of their ongoing cooperation, SKYLOONG and EPOMAKER are well-positioned to achieve even greater success in the future and are committed to continuing their partnership for many years to come.

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GK61 Evolution

GK61 – SK61

GK61 amazon

The original GK61 was the optical switch version.

The optical switch is a switch that is particularly suitable for gamers, and the compact layout of the GK61 on the desktop can save more space for players to use the mouse.

Therefore, when GK61 was launched, it was deeply loved by gamers.

In order to distinguish the optical switch from the mechanical switch, we renamed 60% of the optical switch keyboard to SK61. SK comes from the first two letters of SKYLOONG.

At that time, due to the ongoing legal battle with HK Gaming, we were also prepared to lose the name “GK61”, which is also the origin of SK61.

GK61S/GK61XS

GK61S-GK61XS

After the optical switch GK61, we launched the mechanical switch GK61bluetooth wireless version(GK61XS), which added a split space design based on the original layout, the โ€œXโ€ means split spacebar, and the โ€œSโ€ means wireless.

The original intention of this design is to maximize the use of the 6.25u split space and divide it into 2.75u/2.25u/1.25u.

Modify the functions you want to set for these three space keys through the keyboard software.

With its wireless functionality, you can now enjoy the freedom of movement and flexibility of a wireless keyboard without sacrificing performance or durability.

This is the upgraded version of the original GK61.

GK61PRO

In 2023, at a product research and development meeting, we had a heated discussion on the market where knobs are now prevalent, and finally decided to upgrade the three models 68/84/96 to a three-mode version with a hot-swappable knob.

What gives us a headache is how to upgrade the GK61.

The compact layout of the 60% layout limits our imagination in transforming it.

How should we modify its compact layout?

If the length of the Backspace is sacrificed and a knob is placed on the right side of the Backspace, the knob and Backspace may be accidentally touched frequently, which will lead to a bad user experience.

After our product manager saw the little red dot on his laptop, he decided to set the knob in the middle of the space bar.

This is the most distinguishing feature of GK61pro compared to other 60% keyboards on the market, and it is also currently the first three-mode 60% keyboard with knobs. This is the origin of GK61pro.

GK61PRO

Do you think itโ€™s just a strange layout?

Do you think the function of the knob is limited to adjusting the volume?

If so, you underestimate skyloong’s creative ability.

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The following is what I personally use most often and have always used:

Keep the left space bar function๏ผŒ

set the right space bar to backspace,

and the middle knob can be set to the left and right arrow keys.

Check the feature in the video below:

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The advantage of this method of use is that whenever I make a typo, my hands do not need to move to press the Backspace key and remain in the original position.

I can use the knob to move the cursor position without raising my hand to press the FN key combination.

When the cursor moves to the wrong word, press the backspace key with your right thumb.

In this way of use, your hands will always remain in one position, and there is no need to rearrange the position of your fingers after raising your hand.

This change improves typing efficiency while ensuring typing fluency.

GK61 QMK&VIA

gk61 qmk&via

QMK&VIA is an online key value modification tool provided by the open source community, and has been welcomed by the majority of keyboard enthusiasts.

In order to meet the needs of the market, we will launch the QMK & VIA version of GK61 in 2024.

And on the basis of the original, the design of split space has been modified, which is our split space version 2.0, double split space.

Provides more choices for the 60% of keyboard enthusiasts.

In The End

In a market where custom keyboards are highly competitive, SKYLOONG stands out with its unwavering commitment to serving the community.

The mission of “From the Community, For the Community” reflects its focus on offering innovative and high-quality keyboards that cater to the specific needs of keyboard enthusiasts.

SKYLOONG’s dedication to the community extends beyond just creating innovative products.

The company also actively engages with its customers to gather feedback and insights that inform its product development process.

This ensures that every keyboard produced by SKYLOONG is not only of the highest quality but also meets the specific needs and preferences of its customers.

In summary, SKYLOONG is a company that is dedicated to creating high-quality, innovative, and customizable keyboards that inspire creativity and enjoyment.

Its commitment to the community is reflected in its mission, and it actively seeks to engage with its customers to ensure that its products meet their needs and exceed their expectations.

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