Author Topic: Building Phantom Hardware and Firmware Mods  (Read 41794 times)

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Offline litster

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« on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 04:18:29 »
If you are new to soldering, here is something that might help, available in many different languages:  http://mightyohm.com/blog/2011/04/soldering-is-easy-comic-book/

This is a dedicated thread for Phantom soldering discussion and firmware discussion, a repository of all Phantom related files and information, one stop shop for all your Phantom technical needs.  This page should be open for editing so everyone can update this page with latest information. 

Please use the discussion section for continuous discussions, ask questions, and provide help to others if you can.

Original Phantom Group Buy Order thread

Phantom soldering instruction wiki

Phantom Firmware from PrinsValium

How to change LED brightness in firmware

Phantom PCB:
2116-0

Phantom Features:
  • Supports vintage Cherry double shot, laser, and dye sub keycaps
    • 1.5x Ctrl and Alt vintage Cherry keycaps (PHANSI and PHISO plate options)
    • With 1.5x modifiers, you can also use Cherry’s 7x spacebars
    • Supports centered-stem and offset-stem Capslock (also from vintage Cherry Keyboards)
    • Also support modern keyboard layout with 1.25x Ctrl and Alt modifiers (PHANSIWIN and PHISOWIN plate options)
  • Supports both Costar and Cherry stabilizers
  • Supports in-switch LED at Capslock and Scroll Lock locations, as well as Filco style LED locations between PrintScrn-ScrollLock-Break and Insert-Home-PageUp
  • Plate design allows Cherry MX switch top removal without de-soldering the switch first
    • Perfect for easy switch lubing, repair, or modding
      Excluding switches with in-switch LED
  • Supports 5 extra keys between 6-pack and arrow keys (case modification required)
  • Supports 6KRO over USB with current Teensy firmware
    • potentially NKRO over USB in the future with new Teensy firmware
  • All keys can be remapped via firmware source code changes (currently a recompile of source is required)
  • LED brightness adjustable in firmware source code
  • Fits inside Filco Tenkeyless cases
    • PLU cases could also work
  • Community support on Geekhack.org and Deskthority.net

Kits include the following:
 1 PCB (includes 2 white LEDs and2 resistors)
 1 Plate
 1 Teensy (includes 1 40-pin pin header)
 100 switches
 100 diodes
 4 2x stabilizers for ANSI or 3 2x stabilizers for ISO or 0 for PH7BIT
 1 7x or 1 6.25x stabilizer set for spacebar or 0 for PH7BIT
 

Interesting locations on PCB to watch out for:
[ Specified attachment is not available ]39094[/ATTACH]

Here is a video that demostrates how to make a costar stabilizer bar by hand.  You need a Du-Bro E/Z Bender (0-90 degrees and Z bend). Wire need to be 3/64 inch music wire that you can find at hobby shops. I found the ones I use at Hobby Town USA. It is called K&S Precision Metals Stock # 502 0.047 Music Wire (1.19mm).



Schematic:
[ Specified attachment is not available ]39096[/ATTACH]

Removing switches without desoldering:

Future Firmware Feature List:
  • NKRO over USB while maintaining BIOS boot compatibility
  • multiple layers
  • media keys
  • programmable macros
  • reset with key combos without opening up the case to push the reset button on Teensy for easy flashing
  • re-program keymaps without loading new firmware like AIKON.
« Last Edit: Tue, 14 August 2012, 17:29:29 by litster »

Offline RiGS

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« Reply #1 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 04:20:24 »
Could you take a picture of that area of the plate we discussed?
Last edited by RiGS; Jan 2011

Offline litster

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« Reply #2 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 04:20:59 »
Oh right, I will do that tomorrow.  Sorry about that.

Offline RiGS

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« Reply #3 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 04:27:51 »
Thanks.

Is it possible to use the Aikon instead of the Teensy?
Last edited by RiGS; Jan 2011

Offline alaricljs

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« Reply #4 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 08:07:22 »
The board is designed around the footprint and pin count of the teensy.  The Aikon should be capable of controlling the matrix, making it pretty and fit in a case is another matter entirely.
Filco w/ Imsto thick PBT
Ducky 1087XM PCB+Plate, w/ Matias "Quiet Click" spring-swapped w/ XM Greens

Offline bpiphany

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« Reply #5 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 08:55:06 »
One nit pick... The firmware is BIOS compatible as it is. One of my friends says it sometimes doesn't some "online" quickly enough to be able to hit F2 or Del or whatever to access the BIOS. There is a _delay_ms(2000) (originally from the pjrc code) when initiating. This delay could probably be shortened, I'm not entirely sure why it is needed.

Offline alaricljs

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« Reply #6 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 08:59:16 »
The delay is needed to wait for initialization of the host end of the USB protocol because power is applied immediately on power-on and the host end  needs to boot its firmware.  2 seconds is on the very large side, I'd expect 500ms to be sufficient in 99% of systems.  If you cascade several hubs between the KB and system then 2 seconds may be needed, but then you won't be hitting the BIOS in that case anyway.
Filco w/ Imsto thick PBT
Ducky 1087XM PCB+Plate, w/ Matias "Quiet Click" spring-swapped w/ XM Greens

Offline litster

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« Reply #7 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 11:21:10 »
Quote from: PrinsValium;503128
One nit pick... The firmware is BIOS compatible as it is. One of my friends says it sometimes doesn't some "online" quickly enough to be able to hit F2 or Del or whatever to access the BIOS. There is a _delay_ms(2000) (originally from the pjrc code) when initiating. This delay could probably be shortened, I'm not entirely sure why it is needed.

Sorry, my mistake.  While copy and pasting that chunk of text, formatting was lost, and when I reformatted the lines, I added an CR to split that line.  I think the correct description should be NKRO over USB while maintaining BIOS boot compatibility.  I think there is a Teensy firmware version from Soarer that has NKRO but without BIOS boot compatibility, but he later said that it is possible to do both in the same firmware, he just had done it yet.

I updated the firmware feature list.

Online mkawa

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« Reply #8 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 12:39:45 »
can we have some kind of precise specifications here? ie, schematic, pcb design file, etc. etc.?

eta: a-ha, i see the plates! thanks! now for mounting hole and board dimensions?
« Last Edit: Mon, 30 January 2012, 23:54:51 by mkawa »

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline litster

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« Reply #9 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 23:30:02 »
Here you go RiGS.




Offline Tarkoon

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« Reply #10 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 01:59:35 »
Ähm, if I look at your pictures and remember the discussion about "normal" vs. vintage Cherry MX switches...
The two switches at the lower end of your picture are from the same source???
Their Cherry logos look different!

Offline litster

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« Reply #11 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 02:21:53 »
All my switches came from very old Wyse and Cherry POS keyboards.  The switch bottoms came from old Wyse plate-mounted switches.  The stems and springs came from an old Cherry POS keyboard with browns.  Since I have mixed all the parts together, I don't remember if the switch tops were from the Wyse blacks, or Cherry POS browns.  But they are all pretty old.  The feel of the Phantom is different than my Filco browns, in a very good way IMO.  I love typing on the Phantom now.  I don't know if it is the switches, the aluminum plate, the PCB, or a combination of all.

Offline bpiphany

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« Reply #12 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 02:22:59 »
Here is the schematic too, if you want to add that to the main wiki post, litster.
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 39092[/ATTACH]

Offline litster

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« Reply #13 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 02:31:59 »
Quote from: PrinsValium;504011
Here is the schematic too, if you want to add that to the main wiki post, litster.

Added to the wiki post.  Thanks.

Offline RiGS

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« Reply #14 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 03:11:38 »
Thanks for the picture. Honestly I think the idea of that plate design is pure genius, yet I'm not sure if I prefer it over the regular one.

You can certainly open those switches without soldering, but desoldering a whole board takes less than half hour when you have a little experience with the soldering iron, and even if you don't have any experience at all, it is still very basic skill that worth learning.

My concern is that design could potentially further increase the wobble of the upper switch case(Koreans even developed special stickers to minimize and reduce this effect). You can easily verify this by putting a keycap on a single switch and shake the top of the keycap.
Also one could accidentally open the switches while removing the keycaps, and those little gaps could trap a lot of dirt, dust and hair.

The switches could be cleaned, lubed and modded prior assembly. If you use a good lubricant like the RO-59, you are probably good for life, and you don't need to open those switches anymore.
« Last Edit: Tue, 31 January 2012, 03:44:11 by RiGS »
Last edited by RiGS; Jan 2011

Offline RiGS

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« Reply #15 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 03:22:00 »
Quote from: litster;504009
All my switches came from very old Wyse and Cherry POS keyboards.  The switch bottoms came from old Wyse plate-mounted switches.  The stems and springs came from an old Cherry POS keyboard with browns.  Since I have mixed all the parts together, I don't remember if the switch tops were from the Wyse blacks, or Cherry POS browns.  But they are all pretty old.  The feel of the Phantom is different than my Filco browns, in a very good way IMO.  I love typing on the Phantom now.  I don't know if it is the switches, the aluminum plate, the PCB, or a combination of all.


Judging by that new Cherry logo, the switch tops are from the Cherry POS. The WYSE has an older logo.
Last edited by RiGS; Jan 2011

Offline litster

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« Reply #16 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 09:54:55 »
I think the plate design is awesome.  I was amazed again when I just popped open the switch top with 2 tiny screw drivers in a few seconds to take the picture.  I am using Cherry keycaps on it now, so they are not tight as Filco keycaps.  I have switched keycaps a few times already and no switch tops popped off when I pulled keycaps off.  From reading DragonBro's post on a Chinese forum, he mentioned the stckers from Korea is for covering the open gaps around the switch so no dust and crap can fall into the switch or let the lube dry out.  But maybe there are different stickers for different effects. Or the stickers can do what you said as well.

I will give the switches a shake test.  From using it the last couple of weeks, I haven't felt any shakiness with the keys and switches.

Also, you can't just keep soldering and desoldering over and over again if you keep modding your switches.  You can, but you will soon damage the PCB.  With the phantom plate, you can do it without desoldering and soldering, and you don't even need to open up the case.  And you don't need the tools and skills to solder and desolder to swap switches.
« Last Edit: Tue, 31 January 2012, 10:08:58 by litster »

Offline kaiserreich

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« Reply #17 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 12:04:09 »
Do you think it is possible for us to get some Group buy for vinyl stickers?

Offline alaricljs

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« Reply #18 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 12:05:01 »
Vinyl stickers for what?
Filco w/ Imsto thick PBT
Ducky 1087XM PCB+Plate, w/ Matias "Quiet Click" spring-swapped w/ XM Greens

Offline RiGS

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« Reply #19 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 12:55:35 »
I have those stickers, and they don't cover those open gaps around the switches, but indeed they can help keeping the dust outside of the switches. Maybe I can ask a local company to replicate my stickers and organize a group buy.

Like I said the stickers are designed to fill up the space between the lower and upper switch case in order to reduce the play and minimize the switch wobble. If you remove the keycap next to the switch you want test for wiggle, you will notice that the upper switch case is having a tendency to move.
I suspect the Phantom plate design is prone to emphasize this little issue even more. I don't try to bash it. All I'm saying that while it is very convinient, but it definitely has its down sides.

Quote
Also, you can't just keep soldering and desoldering over and over again if you keep modding your switches. You can, but you will soon damage the PCB. With the phantom plate, you can do it without desoldering and soldering, and you don't even need to open up the case. And you don't need the tools and skills to solder and desolder to swap switches.

No disrespect, but in case of the FR4 PCB it is very unlikely that you will ever damage it. The switches could be cleaned, lubed and modded prior assembly, and there is no need to open them after that. Also I don't think that a $10 soldering iron and a wick are such a big investments. After all this is geekhack.
Last edited by RiGS; Jan 2011

Offline alaricljs

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« Reply #20 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 12:59:28 »
Quote from: RiGS;504366
Like I said the stickers are designed to fill up the space between the lower and upper switch case in order to reduce the play and minimize the switch wobble. If you remove the keycap next to the switch you want test for wiggle, you will notice that the upper switch case is having a tendency to move.

I can see it wobble on my Filco, compared to the massive stem/keycap wobble I'd be hard pressed to notice it when typing.
Filco w/ Imsto thick PBT
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Offline alaricljs

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« Reply #21 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 13:01:17 »
Quote from: kaiserreich;504282
Do you think it is possible for us to get some Group buy for vinyl stickers?

Quote from: alaricljs;504285
Vinyl stickers for what?

So presuming that you are talking about the cherry switch stickers, vinyl is the wrong choice.  The real deal I believe are made of paper, possibly some fiber reinforced stuff but definitely not vinyl.  Vinyl is far too easily deformed for that to work.
Filco w/ Imsto thick PBT
Ducky 1087XM PCB+Plate, w/ Matias "Quiet Click" spring-swapped w/ XM Greens

Offline RiGS

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« Reply #22 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 13:01:51 »
It is not as major as lubing, but it is definitely there. Btw my vintage blacks do not wobble nearly as much as my recent cherries.
Last edited by RiGS; Jan 2011

Offline litster

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« Reply #23 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 19:51:05 »
I see what you mean, RiGS.  I suspect that the cut out isn't too big of a problem since the switch top isn't resting on the area where the extra cutout is.  But I could see it could be less structually stable by a little bit.  Hard to say.  If I have time I will take close up HD movie of shaking a switch on phantom and on a Filco to see if there is any difference.  Wish I still have the high speed 600fps Casio camera to take super slow mo movie of the switch while shaking it.  That would be cool.

Offline kaiserreich

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« Reply #24 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 20:44:24 »
Quote from: litster;504802
I see what you mean, RiGS.  I suspect that the cut out isn't too big of a problem since the switch top isn't resting on the area where the extra cutout is.  But I could see it could be less structually stable by a little bit.  Hard to say.  If I have time I will take close up HD movie of shaking a switch on phantom and on a Filco to see if there is any difference.  Wish I still have the high speed 600fps Casio camera to take super slow mo movie of the switch while shaking it.  That would be cool.

Kinda getting more hardcore than the koreans :cheer2:

Offline litster

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« Reply #25 on: Wed, 01 February 2012, 00:36:12 »
Anybody has any idea where I can find a USB cable that is similar to the original Filco cable where there is cable gland that hooks to the case?  I haven't been able to find anything like that.

Offline RiGS

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« Reply #26 on: Wed, 01 February 2012, 03:02:18 »
Indeed, that would be cool.
Last edited by RiGS; Jan 2011

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #27 on: Wed, 01 February 2012, 06:28:17 »
Quote from: litster;505006
Anybody has any idea where I can find a USB cable that is similar to the original Filco cable where there is cable gland that hooks to the case?  I haven't been able to find anything like that.

I have a spare from my Choc Mini since I did a detachable cable mod. But I'm not sure If I'd part with it.

Can you find just USB cables with the connector without the gland? Because I think you can add glands yourself.

Offline litster

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« Reply #28 on: Wed, 01 February 2012, 10:34:39 »
Hehe, I also haven't been able to find a gland that I could pass through a USB cable that already has connectors soldered on both ends.  I found some picture on the 'net previously that looks like a gland that you could pop onto a cable without removing connectors on the ends, but I haven't found a shop that actually sells them.

Online mtl

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« Reply #29 on: Wed, 01 February 2012, 12:04:02 »
Does anyone know of a good color anodizing service based in the US? Was thinking of coloring the plates.
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