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[IC] Series 5.88 - Safa - GB Feb 14th

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paulgali:
Hey Geekhack! baul here, finally bringing Safa to the public!



IC feedback form

Safa is intended to be a lightweight, simplistic take on the TKL form factor (i.e. it's just a rectangle), with my primary focus being feel and sound.
There's no real backstory here, I wanted to make a TKL and now I'm here to share it with you!
شكراً

صفاء is Safa in Arabic, meaning purity / serenity. 

Specs

* 5 degree, 88 key (F13) TKL.
* Winkey and WKL
* Adjusted front height of 18.5mm (excluding case feet - 3M 8mm bumpons)
* Primarily top mount, secondary gummy worm
* Fixed ANSI, ISO plates. Variable JIS Plate available (4.5u stabs are being worked on to possibly ship with this in time, but we still need a lot of testing. Prayge for it). Default plates will be Alu 5052 in case matching colors.
* Additional polypropylene (PP) plates will be available. Specifically chosen for its more dampening effect over PC
* Aluminum half plates are being worked on. I have tested fr4, it feels amazing but Alu will help mods. I will confirm this at a later date[/i]
* Internal brass weight only - not exposed externally. I live in sandland, its hot, humid, and I never look at the bottom of the board. If its on my desk how can I? I wanted this to change the sound of the board, no other reason.
* The weight and board overall were tuned to deliberately have reverberation throughout the case. No foam will be sold with this. If you want a quiet board, like my own preferential build, use PP plates with cherries or gat milk tops. Trust me :D
Color options

* 432c Dark Grey
* 533c Navy
* 188c Dark Red
* E-White
* Silver / clear coated ano
* Raw (no ano)[/list]
The green seen below was done for protos but will not be in the GB.
Alu plates will be matched to case color by default - Red alu plates are also an option.
PP plates will be black. If you want colored PP plates, get some spray paint and mod it  :D
More

The PCB is a monster

Solder PCB only, but Safa will be compatible with Gondo's hotswap 88 when he releases it.

Featuring north AND south facing space stab support, ANSI, ISO, JIS (both 4.5u and 3u), I have updated the configs for VIA to include this (see here: https://imgur.com/a/jvQMewU)




Prototype Photos

432c Proto, Built in JIS 4.5u. The grey is very dark, so much that I have decided to not run a black variant of the board (at least for now).


Samples of the 533c Navy and 188c Dark Red. Please bear in mind, these are V1 protos. Read "The original Safa" for more info.


A look at the bottom, and engraving, which are not infilled stock. I recommend oil-based Acryllic paint to get a similar effect to how it looks on the JIS build

This green will not be in the group buy.


A few QOL insights...

Brass weight coverage - made to cover as much of the alphas as possible. Being such a low profile board has its limitations, and this was as much coverage as I could reasonably achieve



Alignment pillars - a simple way to assemble the case and not worry about alignment. These cover both the X and Y axis'



USB tolerance - uh...yeah...kinda obvious. Also helpful for locating the port when not looking directly at it, as the entire ledge leads to this point.




The original Safa

MoreThe initial design from October 2020 was intended to have a simple external profile, which has carried over to v2. Each unit had 8mm uniform bezels and were all WKL units – I tried to make it work, but I was not happy with the aesthetic result. Note the engraving changes as well, you can see in the prototype photos noted above

The following changes were made from v1 to v2

- AFH reduced to 18.5-19mm from 20.5mm. Small, but significant change for comfort at such an angle
- Side bezel reduction, likely what takes this from being an “okay” board to something that looks significantly sleeker
- Engraving updates – rounded off, cuter font
- Engraving location – moved to inner radii of Pause key
- Weight rework – lower case height, therefore thinner weight. However, weight now covers more surface area in return, giving a more balanced tone across all alphas
- USB rework: up 1mm on y axis. Now there is a groove on the back ledge to easily identify the location
- Plate tolerances: much much tighter on north and south sides. Still room for wiggle, may tighten, but this will increase the risks of fitting


Price target & availability

* Price target: $400 (or under) excl. VAT. This price is heavily dependent on material cost and factory limitations being put in place. Hence, this is a target - It can go up or down by the time February rolls around.
* Will ship in custom fit hard cases.
* Availability: 400 units See below
* Feb 14th for GB

--- Quote from: paulgali on Wed, 08 December 2021, 02:24:17 ---After listening to people in the hobby I have the utmost respect for, as well as advice provided by vendors, this is no longer an unlimited run, and will instead be capped at 400 units (+ extras for backup).

One (very) good outcome to this is an estimated ETA of 6/7(ish) months for board production. I would rather deliver a board faster at the same price than wait a year. I am keeping this to 400 to allow me to release a possible F12 version sooner than expected, so if you prefer an F12 variant, keep your eyes out for it (ETA Q4 2022)

--- End quote ---

Vendors

* EU, worldwide - MKBEU
* Asia - Hex.KB
* India - Rectangles.store
* Considering other vendors - this list is not final
Soundtests
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pGhf0mRoGE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFWezluM5dM
https://youtu.be/9EkjwVae_2M
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y_Vnjhn_80

Credits
David & Evy - awesome PCB work, as well as general guidance
The entire MENA server - for having my back throughout the past year
Boyos - you know who you are, thank you for the constant encouragement
g1lbrt, Hueth, Lovi, Poesjuh, Simone - For your testing, building of protos, and honest feedback
Bachoo - for your early render work, as always, much love

Discord
Its my house, don't smash the doors in!


Support this project by adding this to your signature <3

--- Code: ---[url=https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=115520.0][img width=275 height=120]https://imgur.com/ntJaJ1c.png[/img][/url]
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paulgali:
Reserved

I need to make this clear. The green seen here was done for protos but will not be in the GB option list. I am sorry.

2021/12/03: Red alu plates will be an option
2021/12/04: Asia & ISC Vendors agreed upon
2021/12/05: GB may be Feb, may be March. Will find out very shortly
2021/12/06: Layout support updated for clarity
2021/12/06: Confirmed March 1st for GB
2021/12/08: Please note the below update to unit counts


--- Quote from: paulgali on Wed, 08 December 2021, 02:24:17 ---After listening to people in the hobby I have the utmost respect for, as well as advice provided by vendors, this is no longer an unlimited run, and will instead be capped at 400 units (+ extras for backup).

One (very) good outcome to this is an estimated ETA of 6/7(ish) months for board production. I would rather deliver a board faster at the same price than wait a year. I am keeping this to 400 to allow me to release a possible F12 version sooner than expected, so if you prefer an F12 variant, keep your eyes out for it (ETA Q4 2022)

--- End quote ---


--- Quote from: paulgali on Sat, 11 December 2021, 05:16:32 ---ABNT2 support has been added, and ALPS plate will be an option. The PCB for safa doesnt support alps, but if you are buying hiney's h88, youll be set. Just offering plates in the GB as an optional addon since, might as well, even if you plan to not own this board, here's your chance to pick up alu alps plates.

--- End quote ---


--- Quote from: paulgali on Thu, 13 January 2022, 08:27:25 ---I had a chat with Max. I do not want Safa and Pheonix to conflict, and because Max's US vendor has pushed to march, I am bringing Safa a wee bit closer.

It should avoid the pheonix, since Safa will be a 400 unit FCFS sale. Max and I have discussed this and agreed it is ok.

--- End quote ---

2022/01/17 : Raw unit option dropped

of_sam:
Safa stonks to the moon. Love your work and attention to detail Baul. Can't wait to support this project!

Moods:
Paul, this looks incredible. Thank you <3

Sent from my GM1913 using Tapatalk

kyuut:
love it

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