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So… It’s been a while. But welcome to another episode of What’s On My Desk?! Lots has happened since I last featured my own setup. I’ve been working mostly and when I’m finally off, I usually work on some other projects or study – I’m an actuary by trade so there is a LOT of studying. With the whole work from home shift following the pandemic, I’ve arranged for my desk setup to be easy to switch between “work mode” and “out of office” mode. With a few cable management tricks and some handy gadgets, I’ll show you how I make the switch seamlessly. Here’s what I’ve been using for the past year!
- Keycaps: MT3 Profile, Serika Colorway
- Case/PCB: MHKB a.k.a. The Minivan Hacking Keyboard
- Switches: Zealio™ V2 Switches (Tactile)
- Cable: I ONLY USE MECHCABLES – This one was custom built with Aviator connectors.
Yeah, I fell in love. I’ve bought and sold and built so many custom keyboards in the past few years but I keep coming back to this MHKB. It’s a similar setup to what I used back in the office (See WOMD Ep. 1) with some slight changes. I’m kind of bummed that The Van Keyboards closed up shop – definitely wouldn’t mind picking up a few more of his keyboards.
I think over time, artisan keycaps have lost their appeal to me so there are none in this setup. I also kept the same-ish color scheme but with my preferred keycap profile by using MT3 Serika. Also, realizing that this board is here to stay, I splurged and got Purple Zealios (still can’t find a switch I like more). And… MECHCABLES, I can’t stress enough how good they are. I’ve tried every other custom cable shop in the hobby and still can’t find anyone that does it better. Please check them out.
Also, if you are interested in MT3 profile keycaps, check out the MT3 section of my Overview of Different Keycap Profiles. Here are some options available on Drop.com, ready to ship:
- Keycaps: MiTo’s Godspeed MT3 Profile Lunar Milky Way, Drop.com
- Case/PCB: Prime Keyboards Prime-M from https://www.primekb.com/
- Switches: Novelkeys Novelias; super tactile, wish they made more.
- Cable: I ONLY USE MECHCABLES – custom w/ Aviator connectors.
For the longest time, I’ve been using the Corsair Scimitar and while it’s been great, I’ve been wanting a wireless MMO mouse. I’ve switched to the Razer Naga Pro which lets me choose between dongle 2.4Hz connection or Bluetooth. This lets me easily switch between work PC, home PC, and my personal laptop on the go. I use the default 12-key side panel since I usually play MMO’s (when I have 5 minutes…).
The Desk Pad
I recently found an amazing Etsy seller that makes desk pads and other leather goods from scratch. These desk mats are custom made to order and made from the best materials – and I’m so glad I found this shop! While there were more customization options, I opted for the stitched and finished black leather. In the largest size available.
As I’ve said in the past, Grovemade is steep in price and I personally don’t see an incredible amount of value in their desk mats. The shelf system is amazing, I admit. But when it comes to high quality leather, do yourself a favor and visit BreannaPradoLuxury. They are also able to make a custom deskmat with pockets and mouspads exactly how you need it. Here is a sample of one of their more elaborate customs that showcases what they can do (I will be featuring them soon!):
Might not have been the easiest thing to spot on my setup but if you haven’t caught it already, I’ve tucked away a compact VIZIO sound bar under my Grovemade shelf – the perfect fit! Really powerful sound with a lot of great features.
- All Around Great Sound Whether you’re watching TV or listening to music, the SB2020n provides a multi-dimensional sound experience that gives a virtual height and surround element, to dramatically...
- DTS Virtual: X An audio enhancement that provides a multi-dimensional sound experience, through digitally processing a virtual height and depth element to standard two-channel sound systems, creating...
Also for music and voice recording stuff I love the Blue Yeti (It’s stashed away at the corner of my desk). Super great value – I’ve used tons of other professional grade microphones including the Blue Bluebird.
- Custom three-capsule array: This professional USB mic produces clear, powerful, broadcast-quality sound for YouTube videos, Twitch game streaming, podcasting, Zoom meetings, music recording and more
- Blue VOICE software: Elevate your streamings and recordings with clear broadcast vocal sound and entertain your audience with enhanced effects, advanced modulation and HD audio samples
Under my desk, I have a Plantronics Voyager 8200. Very solid sound and noise cancellation.
- Connects To: For a professional needing to connect to a PC/Mac uses USB-A and/or mobile phone. Compatible with Microsoft Teams and other leading collaboration and voice platforms.
- Ideal For: Professionals who require focus while enjoying music from a stereo sound Bluetooth wireless headset. Also good for making and taking calls.
A Modular Setup w/ Cable Management
For me, the shift to remote work following the pandemic inspired a lot of changes to my home setup. For one, I purchased a whole bunch of cables from MECHCABLES. Since there was a need to switch devices often, having extra host side cables available meant that I didn’t have to go to the back of the laptop or PC to plug in/out my peripherals several times a day. Now I keep two extra host side cables available in case I need to plug in a drawing tablet (for mathematical/whiteboard demonstrations at work) or a numpad. These along with my headset dongle are all plugged into a 2-way USB Switcher that makes switching between my work laptop and personal PC as easy as pressing a button. If you have two or more laptops/PCs on your desk, I highly recommend this UGREEN USB 3.0 Switcher – it’s arguably one of the best additions to my home setup.
- 2 PCs Share Multiple Devices: UGREEN 2 in 4 out USB 3.0 kvm switch supports 2 computers share 4 USB devices like keyboards, mouses, U disk, printers, scanners, USB cameras, headphones, etc. It's...
- Transfer Files in Seconds: With the 4x USB 3.0 ports, UGREEN USB KVM Switcher supports up to 5Gbps data transfer speed. You can easily transfer data from U disk, mobile hard disk to computer. It's...
I like to keep my desk tidy with as much cables out of site as possible. Here is what I used to mount my monitors and for cable management:
- Spare Keyboard: RAMA Kara – Soya with MT3 White on Black from Drop.com. I honestly hate typing on it but it was expensive and it’s pretty so I keep it on my desk.
- Laptop Stand
- Foot Hammock??!
- Knucklebones from AroundSquare
- Nest Hub
My Samsung Gear
TIL I learned that I have way too much stuff on my desk, especially after writing this. Tune in next time for less stuff (?) !
Last update on 2023-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API