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[IC] Troublemaker - FRL Compact 1800 keyboard

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Troublemaker is a compact-1800 minus the F-row. It is top mounted via the PCB, which will allow for plateless builds.
When I designed Nue, it was meant to be a board I used at home. Now that I'm back in office for work, I wanted a more work-centric layout.
Thus, troublemaker was born. It's called troublemaker due to the massive headaches I incurred while designing it.

Interest check form:

Discussion and feedback on my discord:


* Case Angle: 7 degrees
* Mounting: PCB Top Mount (o-ring experimental)
* Case Material(s): 6063 aluminum, Frosted polycarbonate
* Weight Material(s): Sandblasted Brass, Polished Stainless Steel
* Accent Material: Polished Stainless Steel
* Front Height: ~18mm
* Plate:  Aluminum, PC, FR4
* 1.2mm Atmel PCB + C3 daughterboard. QMK/VIA compatible
* no PCB/case foam but will provide files to have them cut if you desire

I wanted a work board which meant having a numpad, but also wanted a compact layout with isolated arrow keys in order to avoid accidental keypresses.
A subtle cherry-style lip helps keep the case profile low and allows for a place to rest your palms, but a common problem is that it interferes with the arrow cluster in CP1800 layouts.

I am not a fan of how far the lip extends out in vintage boards (see G80-1800), so with troublemaker I kept the profile flat on the arrow keys. This creates some visual interest and provides uniform bezel widths around the board (0.5u on the top/middle/bottom, 0.25u on the sides and arrows)


* Stepped Caps
* Split Backspace
* Split Numpad
* 6.25U/7U/10U/3U Split Bottom RowLayout should accommodate a broad audience and I have no interest in changing it at this time.
The decision to use 3U split space instead of 2.25/2.75 is because I personally like 3U and want to push more designs to include them. 3U wires will be included.
10U for memes


Colors not final. Would like to run 2/3 colors max.


Blue-Grey / Silver



* $450 USD (tentative)
* 50-100 units depending on interest
* Group Buy in Q4 2022
* Ran by me @ (ships from Canada)


Prototype R1 (August 2021)

Photo album: (courtesy @jlai.keebs)

* USB aligned to indicators
* E-White top / Polycarbonate bottom
* Interior Brass Weight
* *Screwless* exterior
Feedback notes:
Used for a couple months for work. Typing feel was decent, wasn't a big fan of the sound which I initially attributed to the PC bottom.
This was my first "screwless" exterior design, where the screws were located on the interior beside the switches.
I had issues with the switches interfering with the screws which made it hard to assemble/disassemble.
Indicator LEDs rattled the top case.

Prototype R2 (April 2022)

Photo album: (courtesy @stillchromatic)

* Centered USB Port
* Black Alu top/bottom, Stainless Steel Weight, Raw Alu Accent
* Blue-Grey Alu top/bottom, Sandblasted Brass Weight, Stainless Steel Accent
* Interior Brass Weight
* *Screwless* exterior
Feedback notes:
Screw / switch interference was fixed.
Switched indicators to SMD mounted RGB lights to prevent the rattling.
Sound was a bit better, but I figured out that the meh acoustics were due to the mounting style.
Some screwhole tolerances needed fixing but overall I liked the visual appeal.

Prototype R3 (Planned for Aug 2022)

* USB Port location dictated by IC
* New color TBD
* Case/Weight Materials TBD
* Refine engraving
* Exterior screw design, Geon molded feet
* Add tadpole mounting option
* Add gummy-o ring mounting option
The interior screw design is not user-friendly so I'm ditching it. The final proto will be assembled via exterior screws covered by Geon molded feet.
I am also adding 2 more mounting methods. My hope is that the tadpoles will soften the bottom-out sound that I don't like.
Adding O-Ring as another mount option (a plate would be mandatory in this case).


* finish gathering feedback
* order 3rd prototype
* send to streamers for review
* prepare for GB
Thanks for looking!

Yoooo let's ****in go board of the year

Very nice design, good work

Sent from my SM-S908U1 using Tapatalk

I like the solution for the front bezel.  Hopefully your attention to detail in revisions will make this a phenomenal board.

take my money!


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