Author Topic: Ten Key Mirrored 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)  (Read 20871 times)

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Offline cest73

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Ten Key Mirrored 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« on: Sun, 03 January 2021, 12:36:02 »
Okay we're getting serious slowly...
The intended layout:
258959-0
The front side of the PCB
258961-1
The back side of the PCB
258963-2
Intended goal: maximize mouse playground while avoiding to sacrifice any key of the 104



« Last Edit: Fri, 24 September 2021, 10:13:02 by cest73 »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 03 January 2021, 12:36:59 »
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=110450.0 <- initial thread with design considerations

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 03 January 2021, 12:53:24 »
My two suggestions for the moment are to split every 2u keys for a universal compatibility. Someone could be interested in your board but with a different layout. A ISO enter key would also be appropriate.
Also, you can manage a fullsize keyboard with a Atmega32u4 as well. There are enough pins for a 11x11 or even a 12x12 matrix.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 03 January 2021, 13:40:38 »
My two suggestions for the moment are to split every 2u keys for a universal compatibility. Someone could be interested in your board but with a different layout. A ISO enter key would also be appropriate.
I agree there, i was rushing the initial publish so we can delve into the particularities and things like that!

The ISO being a fairly common i totally should keep that as an option.

Then, again i doubt i need to split much more than backspace and the two shifts to get a "spare" 1u aside of each?


The hard question is the "Big Ass enter" as i just so happen to have one win key less "big foot" with black alps that might donate the switches (black ALPS) and the key caps, alongside there are quite few XM stem options there too...

Quote
Also, you can manage a fullsize keyboard with a Atmega32u4 as well. There are enough pins for a 11x11 or even a 12x12 matrix.
While i might agree there too, I prefer the much cleaner layout and free pins should i actually choose to ever revise this project pursuing the elusive per switch backlight.it

IIRC the 32u4 is exactly enough for my 104 w/o that one backlight pin? I have 6 rows and 20 columns here and 13 free pins (plus AREF) i guess i could squeeze it by making certain each column is packed with 6 keys and get that number down somewhat?

I was even lazy enough to opt for the larger package of the A90USB1286 over the more compact one.

I doubt it would impact the price too hard, or am I missing something?

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 03 January 2021, 14:13:46 »
I just got rid of the LED diodes but kept the holes
(actually replaced the damn footprint  :'( )

258965-0
258967-1

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 03 January 2021, 14:45:22 »
the two shifts to get a "spare" 1u aside of each?
1.25u and 1u actually. I'd also split the numpad's 2u. But that's just me.

The hard question is the "Big Ass enter"
BAE is a mere combination of ISO and ANSI enter. Once you have the ISO footprint and the stabilizer holes for both variants, you're done.

IIRC the 32u4 is exactly enough for my 104 w/o that one backlight pin?
More than enough. I made a fullsize keyboard out of it with three dedicated LED indicators with a 32u4. It's opensource too if you wanna take a look at it.

I doubt it would impact the price too hard, or am I missing something?
The AT90USB1286 costs twice as much as the 32u4 if I recall but certainly the highest price is on the PCB.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 03 January 2021, 15:01:25 »
[snip]
IIRC the 32u4 is exactly enough for my 104 w/o that one backlight pin?
More than enough. I made a fullsize keyboard out of it with three dedicated LED indicators with a 32u4. It's opensource too if you wanna take a look at it.
What was your design goal? There seems to be more than one G80-3000 on github out there?

Offline Suavity

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 03 January 2021, 17:34:16 »
From a quick glance of the PCB Render, it looks like your traces are really close to the edges of the PCB. Perhaps the placement of the MCU can be repositioned to the spacing between the PrtSc, Esc, Num Lock, and Tilde Keys.  Just food for thought.  :thumb:

Offline Applet

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 04 January 2021, 03:38:34 »
I'd recommend to rotate the switches 180 degrees. There is some issues with that rotation and cherry-profile keycaps.

Just a tip: Duplex matrix is a good way to keep the pin count lower, without adding too much complexity: https://wiki.ai03.com/books/pcb-design/page/matrices-and-duplex-matrix . Doing symmetrical matrices can be a bit of a pain (11x11, 12x12 etc) if you don't think it through thoroughly.
« Last Edit: Mon, 04 January 2021, 03:44:12 by Applet »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 04 January 2021, 03:49:47 »
From a quick glance of the PCB Render, it looks like your traces are really close to the edges of the PCB. Perhaps the placement of the MCU can be repositioned to the spacing between the PrtSc, Esc, Num Lock, and Tilde Keys.  Just food for thought.  :thumb:
Damn!
At first i thought "he's right!", then i reconsidered it...

"How bad can it be to have few traces closer to the edge, and anyhow the ample empty area beneath the space bar is where many other DIYers put the MCU anyway"

Then i looked up some guide lines on the internet, found nothing particular to the placement to the edge, and ground traces are the outer most anyway...


Then i thought of it some more, and damn he's right!


Back to the drawing board program we go...
 ;D

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 04 January 2021, 04:07:46 »
I'd recommend to rotate the switches 180 degrees. There is some issues with that rotation and cherry-profile keycaps.

Kindly no, i have chosen this layout on purpose:
1 - when the backlight is used the switch occludes the light so only the amount coming thru the key cap goes to the eyes
2 - Who is in for the bling can choose a transparent top
3 - who is in for MX might opt for some other profile
4 - who is for the Cherry profile (which i happen to like quite a lot) might pick a recent Kalih made switch as those are "agnostic" to the led orientation and are just as good if not better then their Cherry counterpart.
5 - this is a Matias too PCB and i haven't got to address the illumination of those switches yet  ;D


So, kind and sincere thanks for the heads-up, the illumination LEDs stay "south" NORTH (note to self: no more Hobbit books for you mister, now go under the stairwell to sleep!)

Quote

Just a tip: Duplex matrix is a good way to keep the pin count lower, without adding too much complexity: https://wiki.ai03.com/books/pcb-design/page/matrices-and-duplex-matrix . Doing symmetrical matrices can be a bit of a pain (11x11, 12x12 etc) if you don't think it through thoroughly.

Now that is a good point!
Damn, double back to the drawing board program!
 :eek:
In effect that means I'd be able to go from 6 x 20 --> 12x10 and that is 4 pins more efficient (26 pins vs 22 pins) that way i still could get the 32U4 and have it all?

Edit:missorientation of where the LEDs are
« Last Edit: Mon, 04 January 2021, 06:20:20 by cest73 »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 04 January 2021, 14:47:01 »
Okay, here goes
* blueprintTKL2021_R02.pdf (732.63 kB - downloaded 89 times.)

259017-1
259019-2


I've fit the tiny atmega (because why not) and got all the keys (104) plus backlight plus 3 status led!


The schematic is posted for brevity too (no license yet, fair use please)


Fingers crossed and expecting comments.

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 04 January 2021, 15:17:54 »
TODO (didn't bother yet):
1- screw holes
2. programmer header
3. alternate status LED solder points

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 05 January 2021, 02:48:47 »
I think I am "there"...
259047-0
259049-1
It's beyond me why the Thru hole LED is connected inversely (had to correct that by had)?

Now i might try to add the optional switches and mounts...

After that, the mount plate is due

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 05 January 2021, 15:39:19 »
Okay,
* blueprintTKL2021_R04.pdf (218.46 kB - downloaded 97 times.)
259075-1
259077-2
Added key names to the silkscreen
Added key names to switches in the schematic (posted the PDF)


1. I checked the mapping and found there is ample space for additional keys in the matrix (the PDF is the annotated schematic)
2. I am very uncertain how will the program perform when i add the double/triple cutouts?


Some advice would be much appreciated


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 05 January 2021, 18:00:42 »
This is what i need
259081-0
I think i have to figure out how to make custom footprints next


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 07 January 2021, 16:49:37 »
Work is under way...
259325-0
* 2021-01-07_12-46-34.jpg (199.09 kB - downloaded 81 times.)
XDA keycaps i just received via snail-mail
I am:
1. making steps towards supporting the few most common layouts and key sets (ANSI ISO & co)
2. I have no intention to support each and every possible exotic layout and rare/odd space row(s)
3. i do plan to make a best effort to make this PCB switch agnostic in the sense of best switch stabilizer choice
4. the backlight polarity is chosen (hopefully correct) for the original linear illuminated ALPS switch + options
5. there will be issues and compromises down the road (my gut feeling)
6. i am seeking for a more bombastic name

« Last Edit: Thu, 07 January 2021, 16:58:20 by cest73 »

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 09 January 2021, 01:21:27 »
I think D31 is connected to the wrong row, how I spotted that first thing in the morning on mobile I'll never know!  I have not thoroughly checked the rest

Not sure what your problem is with the LED footprint - if it's 'bckwards' you can rotate the LED as it only has two pins.  One square pad on the same side throughout is all you need so you don't need to think during assembly.  Unless the label's wrong in which case you have a valid complaint...

One improvement would be a USB socket with proper through pins, at least for the shield (no, I don't know of one) as surface mount can be ripped off.  Also you could try and squeeze in some holes on the USB lines so if you do remove the socket you can easily wire it up to a break out board.

Good work :thumb:
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Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 09 January 2021, 02:12:15 »
I think D31 is connected to the wrong row, how I spotted that first thing in the morning on mobile I'll never know!  I have not thoroughly checked the rest
:eek:  if you only knew how many times I went over the schematic and the PCB to change one or another thing and never noticed that glaring error
Excellent find  :thumb:

Quote
Not sure what your problem is with the LED footprint - if it's 'bckwards' you can rotate the LED as it only has two pins.  One square pad on the same side throughout is all you need so you don't need to think during assembly.  Unless the label's wrong in which case you have a valid complaint...
As someone noted this might end up as public project (the files) so I understand it would be quite silly to leave an obvious wrong like that if I can address it in this stage - i will most certainly double check before publishing
Quote
One improvement would be a USB socket with proper through pins, at least for the shield (no, I don't know of one) as surface mount can be ripped off.  Also you could try and squeeze in some holes on the USB lines so if you do remove the socket you can easily wire it up to a break out board.


(roughed thru hole mini jack)

USB sockets are the root of all evils. Perhaps i should intentionally opt for the proper "big ass" USB "B" plug so we can use all the obsolete cables we still have lying around? No?
Other than that, a 4 pole plug/header of any sort is a reasonable option (will include) so one can just snip the end of the offending (and hurt inducing) cable and solder on the receptacle or just directly to the PCB

thru hole "proper" jack


Quote
Good work :thumb:
Kind thanks  :D

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 09 January 2021, 02:59:48 »
Not sure about USB B, with a connector that heavy on the cable you might rip it out as easily as the stuck on micro :P

There are micro sockets with 4 through hole shield legs, probably the best option if you don't want to go mini or C.
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Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 09 January 2021, 13:15:56 »
Not sure about USB B, with a connector that heavy on the cable you might rip it out as easily as the stuck on micro :p

There are micro sockets with 4 through hole shield legs, probably the best option if you don't want to go mini or C.
I didn't know there are that many options for the USB plug!

I concur with the through hole as the way to go - where the plug goes the board is sure to go too  :p


However, my personal experience is as following:

Cases of death:
  • Big ass USB receptacles  - none
  • mini USB receptacle - maybe few if any
  • micro USB receptacles - both cables, jacks and carrier boards went into shambles one too many times
  • type C - so far 2nd place by preference - it seats in nicely yet tightly and overall provides a good feeling when plugging in/out comparable perhaps only to the biggest option.
So, I might in fact consider the 6 pin SMD type C with 4 thru hole mounts for the shield  :thumb:


OTOH if we speak of cable congestion - it is the best to use cables too obsolete for the kids' phones and gadgets - just to be on the safe side  :rolleyes:


also here current progress pix
259436-0
259438-1
259440-2


Among other things so far - i traverse the damn thing with ease 3-5 times a day to apply a simple change across the hundred (and more) switching sub circuits ...


I already had errors that i only remedied by editing text files "by hand" (praise Geany!).


I have made a custom library of parts that i couldn't find among whats available on the internet - maybe i should share that once i'm over with the editing.


The darn thing is starting to look scary  :eek:

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 09 January 2021, 13:37:31 »
I might in fact consider the 6 pin SMD type C
That's for charging only.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 09 January 2021, 15:10:26 »
I might in fact consider the 6 pin SMD type C
That's for charging only.
And out of the window it is  :))

So mini or micro remains for the time

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 09 January 2021, 16:42:09 »
So mini or micro remains for the time
Soldering the 16 pin USB-C is not that hard.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 10 January 2021, 14:08:51 »
So mini or micro remains for the time
Soldering the 16 pin USB-C is not that hard.
I watched a YT video of building exactly that - an USB-C compact keyboard...


Perhaps i could live with that - also i liked the many protection options added to that build (polifuse, overvolt arrestor, inductors...)



Right now I'm considering to add option with USB-C or USB mini on the board - no harm to have it as an option i guess?

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 10 January 2021, 14:32:47 »
The mentioned YT series I've been watching

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 10 January 2021, 14:49:33 »
Right now I'm considering to add option with USB-C or USB mini on the board - no harm to have it as an option i guess?
Indeed, go with whatever you feel most confortable with.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 10 January 2021, 15:00:33 »
I still am curious to how You come about to make the G80-3000 keyboard PCB?

Was it a reliability issue with the original boards, the PS/2 going out of favor or the many favors of a cheap donor case fitting a sane and useful 104 key layout?

I ask because i am addressing a life long aggravation of space allocation on the desktop with this very project.

And yes, comfortable - as in general comfort is something that is very important in objects for daily usage like an keyboard, for instance.


So i regard this highly important - to the level i might even consider making it so both of the jacks could be present at once for the ultimate maximum convenience.

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 10 January 2021, 15:12:29 »
I still am curious to how You come about to make the G80-3000 keyboard PCB?
Because Leeku's boards were nowhere to be found and I wanted to experiment. I generally prefer smaller boards infact all the GH80-3000 I made were given to friends.

So i regard this highly important - to the level i might even consider making it so both of the jacks could be present at once for the ultimate maximum convenience.
You could also consider an interchangable breakout board screwed in your case.
I made a type-C for your convenience (link). You can make a mini-B out of the same layout so to swap them around.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 10 January 2021, 22:41:37 »
I still am curious to how You come about to make the G80-3000 keyboard PCB?
Because Leeku's boards were nowhere to be found and I wanted to experiment. I generally prefer smaller boards infact all the GH80-3000 I made were given to friends.

fair, You have even more of my respect now
:thumb:
Quote
So i regard this highly important - to the level i might even consider making it so both of the jacks could be present at once for the ultimate maximum convenience.
You could also consider an interchangable breakout board screwed in your case.
I made a type-C for your convenience (link). You can make a mini-B out of the same layout so to swap them around.
259516-0
 :-\

OTOH i already made changes to the project, while i greatly appreciate the mini PCB and the offered design I'd rather have a single PCB overall so the option is present at all times -- even with both headers soldered on at once  on the extreme end

Offline TalkingTree

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Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 11 January 2021, 09:10:46 »
Damn!
259550-0
It is so cuute my inner nerd wants to keep it but my inner engineer says complexity kills roughedness and reliability  :'( :'(

259552-1
will certainly look up to it if you permit (fair use, credit where credit is due et cetera)

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 11 January 2021, 09:25:53 »
will certainly look up to it if you permit (fair use, credit where credit is due et cetera)
License is CC-BY-SA 3.0. You can even sell it for profit.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 11 January 2021, 15:59:41 »
Profit You say  :thumb:


259606-0
259608-1
259610-2
* blueprintTKL2021_R06.pdf (843.65 kB - downloaded 83 times.)
NEW:
  • added the 5k1 resistors to USB-C
  • both connectors can be resent at once
  • only one can be used at any time
  • both are picked as the most robust option with the least SMD and the most through hole connections

TODO:
  • route the reset switch actually
  • cam through the BOM and make certain all components can be reasonably easy sourced by an PCB manufacturer outlet
  • sanity check the many vias and adjust accordingly
  • hand optimize the spaghetti traces as much as possible
  • check if the firmware supports PWM and spice-test the picked MOSFET if it does work at all for the LEDs in parallel
  • commit to producing 5 (10?) boards if the price can be around $20 per piece w/o any LEDs

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #34 on: Thu, 14 January 2021, 16:33:43 »
Progress:
259817-0
259819-1
259821-2
  • routed the switch and made the dual USB standard
  • added protections (OC & OV)
More subtle work to be done...
Stay tuned...


Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #35 on: Thu, 14 January 2021, 16:48:04 »
North side in switch LEDs? What keyset are you using?
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline hanya

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #36 on: Thu, 14 January 2021, 18:15:20 »
SMD parts on both side? It cost much more than single sideded PCB.
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Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 14 January 2021, 22:36:16 »
North side in switch LEDs? What keyset are you using?
Well ideally that would be south from the switch, but, alas, at one point i had such a mess beneath the 2 option CAPS that i moved it north, and i think i might get back to try to revisit the idea of south side LED.


In the worst case, it will still under-light the surrounding of the key and make it stand out, but ideally it would light up a keycap window and most if not all of them are on the south side (closest to the user)


Then, again, should it fail, i have them on the "standard" place right above the numpad.

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #38 on: Thu, 14 January 2021, 22:43:05 »
SMD parts on both side? It cost much more than single sideded PCB.
  • There is absolutely no way to avoid having parts on the bottom side, so only the top side parts could be moved down
  • I will try one more pass to see how many parts i can move from the top around the main chip
  • I can opt for placing only one side at the factory - SMD by hand ain't all that hard after all - if the cost is that much higher

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #39 on: Fri, 15 January 2021, 01:57:21 »
it will still under-light the surrounding of the key and make it stand out
No, it won't. I know from experience.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #40 on: Fri, 15 January 2021, 12:55:31 »
it will still under-light the surrounding of the key and make it stand out
No, it won't. I know from experience.
Aww  :confused:


Made me rethink it and You seem to have a good point there - anything outside the illumination hole/area/aperture will simply be obscured by the plate - only (and that is too perhaps) a PCB mount switch could be optionally lit that way...


Where i only a step away from the drawing board that would be a hard back


I have to rethink the switch-illuminated option and if i can't figure it thru i will most likely abandon it  :( .



« Last Edit: Fri, 15 January 2021, 15:32:11 by cest73 »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #41 on: Fri, 15 January 2021, 16:02:26 »
I feel so validated


Just found out (it's two years old so no big deal)


  • Addressing exact same issue
  • doing it pretty much the same way
  • different enough for my layout not to be a copycat
Regarding the per switch status LEDs:
I will drive the same single switch illumination LED with both signals:
  • the backlight being the weaker
  • the status being the stronger one (about twice the miliamps) - and more pronounced one
this way it will both stand out clearly in both the dark and in the day light




Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #42 on: Sat, 16 January 2021, 07:03:51 »
Albeit slowly, we have reached the point of electrical engineerig considerations:
  • How will the 104+ LEDs fare while driven by the (unknown to me) DMG2301 MOSFET ?
  • what stresses and where will it incur?
  • how much will the tiny yet powerful 3201 impose on the Atmega pins? Can i drive it directly off an output pin or do i need a dedicated driver?
  • current surges? where will they occur? will they impact the operation of the "brains"?
  • how bright the LEDs will shine? how much current will be drawn?
Here comes LTSpice to rescue  :thumb:
259930-0
Attached find the approximate circuit that I used to decide if i need decoupling elements for the LED switch and which ones and where...

NOTE: this is WIP, so expect changes in both the layout in LTSpice and on the PCB later on


The last thing one needs is to make a prototype (commit to material) just to find out the product is emitting smoke or, worse yet, failing to emit anything at all  ;D


the big questions:
  • Will the 200% current spike spoil the LED brightness when present in PWM mode?
  • Will the 4mA per (white/amber/blue/<insert random color here>) LED current be enough for the to shine bright enough?
  • will the ~400mA current trigger the USB port protection circutry on the host PC using the keyboard?
  • will there be enough current in the USB port to drive the Atmega alongside the fully shining LEDs?
I leave as an exercise to the readers to master the highly useful LTSpice (aka SwitcherCAD) program i had so many hours to use and learn
(For those using GNU/Linux, just run it thru Wine abstraction layer)




Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #43 on: Sat, 16 January 2021, 09:53:27 »
I be damned  :-\


found another option...
259936-0


The BJT is lacking the intrinsic diode thus blocking current both ways, and those most modern late PNP BJT  are quite on par with those recent MOSFET switches!

enter: 2SAR552P

It can be driven off 30mA pins, can drive up to 3A pulses (way over USB supply) all in all a simpler switch, and if anything odd where to happen i have the fly back diode in place on the base (brought to bear should reverse current ever flow over the device)


Why this exotic PNP/PMOS layout you may wonder?


Earlier I  have decided to have all the backlit LEDs connected to common ground to make the PCB layout simpler, this mandates so called high side switching, and as far as i am aware this is most reliably achieved with BJT.


This is so due to BJT being current controlled devices that only slightly depend to discrete voltage levels - which are a moving target in said high side switching.


Further a note on the dreaded BJT thermal runaway (losing resistance under load and when heating up):
If a single device is used this is totally no issue - it loses resistance as it heats up - thus heating up less - that's about all


It remains only to find out the proper amount of milimaps required per LED to achieve the needed level for a backlit key effect.


This is the more difficult as we actually try make a board for more than just one color of LEDs (white, blue, amber, maybe more)

Am i overthinking this?


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #44 on: Sun, 17 January 2021, 04:55:50 »
interesting!


it is an FKL design with straight (not mirrored) NP left-swap


i didn't notice all this abundance of the left swap before :^]


Offline whezil

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #45 on: Sun, 17 January 2021, 13:10:17 »
Is there a specific reason you are not using a daughterboard for the USB connection and are mounting it on the main PCB?
   

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #46 on: Sun, 17 January 2021, 16:19:24 »
Is there a specific reason you are not using a daughterboard for the USB connection and are mounting it on the main PCB?
Yes, the sturdiness of the connector - i like it be stiff and secure  to the keyboard body.


Is that a problem and why?

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #47 on: Sun, 17 January 2021, 16:28:00 »
The usual progress report:

I went to the Seedstudio PCB service and tested my gerber and drill files - they seem to work and i could pull off the bare PCB as low as sub 15 bucks for 10 - the five althought cheaper is oddly more expensive per piece - for $20 i get whole five more ?
I had everything dialed down except partial metalized holes (the complex LED holes for MX/ALPS SMD illumination)


That's about $150 for a ten batch w/o shipping.


Now i'm moving to make the BOM file acceptable to the service so i can check the SMD placement service too

What are the usual backlit board prices on average?


pix of the KiCAD design thus far:
259989-0
259991-1
259993-2

What is the most usually desired color besides always black?

White? Blue? Red?

Further, should i bother with vias to have the ground islands filled with copper too?
« Last Edit: Sun, 17 January 2021, 16:30:46 by cest73 »

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #48 on: Sun, 17 January 2021, 16:49:06 »
Why are you adding mounting holes at the corners? A Alps PCB requires a plate and that's where your mounting points should be.
Such a large board would flex in the middle if you mount it only by its corners.

Also, get a quote at JLCPBC, you might save a few dollars.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #49 on: Sun, 17 January 2021, 17:10:13 »
two more services:


https://cart.jlcpcb.com/quote?orderType=1&stencilWidth=410&stencilLength=134&stencilCounts=10

and:

https://www.nextpcb.com/pcb-quote?layer=2&length=410&width=134&count=10&height=1.6

it seems i will only go for placing the 108 switch diodes and 108 LED resistors plus the ATMega and several more most delicate SMD components - the rest will be done "client side"  ;D


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #50 on: Sun, 17 January 2021, 17:13:28 »
Why are you adding mounting holes at the corners? A Alps PCB requires a plate and that's where your mounting points should be.
Such a large board would flex in the middle if you mount it only by its corners.
I am aware but it's a "jack of all trades" board: 5 pin MX switches matter too - and a case with supports for the other (non corner mount holes) could address just that

I might be over engineering this a smidge?
Quote
Also, get a quote at JLCPBC, you might save a few dollars.
I just checked before i read Your post - quite interesting

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #51 on: Sun, 17 January 2021, 17:52:05 »
BOY!

- sub $60 for unknown amount of assembly but 10 black PCBs (only green and black have assembly at an reasonable qunatity) !

five are even as cheap too - around 25$ quite an offering!

Will check tomorrow to comply with their part library for the ATmega and the 108 resistors and diodes each - i highly doubt i will find the BJT and the other parts too?


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #52 on: Mon, 18 January 2021, 17:33:41 »
Interestingly enough, JLCpcb has STT818B at their library (it's a perfect high side switcher for USB 2.0 applications)

However its out of stock - but luckily enough there is another BJT of like if not same spec - i will use that one in hopes to qualify for SMD placing besides the 108 diodes and 108 LED resistors and the ATMega - those would be a real pain to do by hand - and then troubleshoot afterward.


The board, however won't be in a state ready for programming from the box - there will be more DIY needed for USB or ISP header programming

Next i need adjust the BOM to best fit the JLCpcb library.

Offline hanya

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #53 on: Mon, 18 January 2021, 19:14:07 »
JLPCB SMT Assembly allows only single sided placement of the components. No both sided.
PFU HHKB JP, Sanwa MA-TB38 trackball

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #54 on: Tue, 19 January 2021, 02:59:23 »
JLPCB SMT Assembly allows only single sided placement of the components. No both sided.
yes, it seems so - fortunately i have the the most arduous groups of components on the "Side B" so that is the side i aim for their assembly service:


  • 108 pieces LED diode series resistor
  • 108 pieces switch diodes ( 108 is due to extra switch options present)
  • the QFP ATMega chip
  • the 16MHz crystal oscillator
  • several SMD capacitors
  • two SMD diodes (one flyback diode protecting the BJT and one insulation (Shottky) diode in between the power stage and the "brains")
  • the TVS (45 degree slanted for "better Feng Shui"  ;) )
  • the BJT
  • the two thru hole headers (not to be populated yet but they are there)
  • the optional SMD per switch illumination LEDs (to be soldered lit_side_down!) would belong to this side too
the 1-4 would be quite convenient to have machine placed and the 1-8 would be nice but quite doable by hand

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #55 on: Tue, 19 January 2021, 17:27:57 »
I realized i didn't show the layouts yet:


layout link


and forum-local image:
260048-0

In effect this means the left hand side numpad lends it self perfectly for a big  4x5 macro pad too


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #56 on: Tue, 19 January 2021, 17:38:37 »
The right most side might not be clear at a first glance (the nav pad):
in the "default" layout the keys are each in their proper row sculpt - as seen in the 75% layout - so nothing special there.

However, if the layout is to be used with ALPS switches,  it might turn out the quite more scarce market offering might fail to provide for more than the standard 104 key layout - in that case the upper row is to be used for Home and PgUp  (as logic demands) , the "native" position is saved for the Insert/Delete tandem and the two lower most positions are populated with row 3 sculpted PgDn and End keys to both emphasize them different from the arrow keys, to pretend it was intentional and they are row 3 - the default most row of them all - perhaps it goes unnoticed  ;) .

If i could source the sleeve for the Speedseries G6v2/G7 BAE that is tailored to fit an MX switch plate slot we could have that for an option here too (if the PCB does not have to be drilled out too)



Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #57 on: Wed, 20 January 2021, 01:25:49 »
(Attachment Link)
Also consider a 1.25 ANSI enter, there are kits with that and it doesn't take a place in the matrix. You can just wire it to the 2.25u enter.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #58 on: Wed, 20 January 2021, 13:25:06 »
(Attachment Link)
Also consider a 1.25 ANSI enter, there are kits with that and it doesn't take a place in the matrix. You can just wire it to the 2.25u enter.
Would You, please, care to elaborate?


I ask more out of concern than curiosity, as im afraid that I'm about the limit of over crowding the layout without actually added value past certain point.
The question being if I've already past it or am about to?


If you, however can show me a national layout depending on that - that's a different story




Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #59 on: Wed, 20 January 2021, 13:40:40 »
Would You, please, care to elaborate?

Like so.

If you, however can show me a national layout depending on that - that's a different story
None off the top of my head.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #60 on: Wed, 20 January 2021, 15:55:55 »
Would You, please, care to elaborate?

Like so.

If you, however can show me a national layout depending on that - that's a different story
None off the top of my head.
I see, IMHO that's a wee tiny enter to justify adding it just for giggles, i'll respectfully wait You come up with a national layout.


Meanwhile i'll attend other nuances of the good idea --> possible to manufacture last trivial road bump i have still ahead  ;D


I'll attach the layout pointed out here for posterity
260119-0

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #61 on: Wed, 20 January 2021, 17:01:28 »
so far only found this

In effect that is a super custom layout and has nothing to do will international layouts - they merely try to have a keyboard with less keys but can't do without so they trade them around.


This might be quite the opposite of what I am all about here - do away with omitting keys - I just move them around until i solve the issue.


Attention: long read ahead!


Perhaps i could list some of the rules that guided my design process:
note: in further text layout = the standard ISO/ANSI 104 key layout
  • "Leave no one behind" - all standard layout keys should be there one way or the other
  • "Act normal" - use as much as possible the standard key sculpt of the layout
  • "Be polite" - make no undue changes to the layout
  • "Be sensible" - try make it so the changes can be adopted as easy as possible
  • "Be attractive" - try make the new layout as easy to equip with casual custom key caps as possible (due to the ALPS option)

ALPS is important to me - as I suspect I might not settle with a MX in the long run - I tried the black SCKMs and got spoiled to a certain degree
I use blender 3D, play particular video games and otherwise tend to use the various blocks of the keyboard more than the casual user - I want it all

The issue
It just so happens the mouse and keyboard battle over desktop real estate - and mouse is winning  ;D


I realized from the get go I can't do without the numpad - so it had to stay. TKL was a no go (unfortunately as they come in great variety and are cheaper than ever)


Using a compact keyboard (ML4100 lookalike) i realized I can't do even without all "row 0" keys too: I need both controls, alts and the menu key as well. However I can do with the displaced navblock - as long as it's layout is sensible and all in one place - also I use five of the six on regular basis (I know: I'm a weirdo... ).


So I opted for the casual 75% layout, as the TKL one offered 4 columns[size=78%] [/size]of space saving vs 6+ if I move the nav block the 75% way that's a 50% improvement in my book...


But what about the numpad?


If I buy a second one it just makes most sense to keep it out of mouses way - so on the left hand side - but then it is "inverted" as muscle memory is for the right hand and right side (is there ever an end to suffering?)


It was only logical I fuse the now mirrored numblock to the keyboard and save money (and further desktop real estate). This way the muscle memory will serve the left hand in (natural) mirrored mode: little pinky presses the enter, toe presses the zero, pointing finger presses the NP_7 et cetera...


I am yet to test the delight of running a spreadsheet input session with the right hand free for the mouse but I jump ahead of my self...


What about the arrow keys?
Two things:
  • if the arrow keys where on the right left hand side it would defeat the whole purpose of the "WASD" scheme and the WASD vs arrow keys duality - they had to stay on the right side  period.
  • the whole point of the TKL and full layout are the ease one finds the arrow keys due to the gaps - the negative space is important too - so I sacrificed 1/4 of a unit to the gods of luxury as well - I had a good head start with 6 rows to spare, if we count the standard layout with 1/2 unit gaps -i save even more than 6U in some cases and that's a Space_bar worth of space saved.

edit: wrong (rigth) side replaced with right (left (oh,shutup  :p)) one for the arrow key block
« Last Edit: Sat, 18 September 2021, 13:50:28 by cest73 »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #62 on: Thu, 21 January 2021, 03:58:50 »
So far found only the native Japanese layout (jp106) demanding three (3!) more keys in the space-bar row


Including that shorted shift but not a shorted enter too



« Last Edit: Thu, 21 January 2021, 11:24:00 by cest73 »

Offline Applet

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #63 on: Thu, 21 January 2021, 06:30:32 »
For the alps keycap support, I'd recommend to add a halfstepped capslock (like on old dell/granite-boards) and maybe support the use of tsangan bottom row/7u space and keycaps? The short R-shift might be an issue with a lot of alps sets, but it will be hard to use anything else with this layout I guess

Personally, I think the AEK-keycaps is among the best in the Alps-world, but then you have some other issues like 6.5u space, rotated function-keys etc.
« Last Edit: Thu, 21 January 2021, 06:32:23 by Applet »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #64 on: Thu, 21 January 2021, 11:34:12 »
For the alps keycap support, I'd recommend to add a halfstepped capslock (like on old dell/granite-boards) and maybe support the use of tsangan bottom row/7u space and keycaps? The short R-shift might be an issue with a lot of alps sets, but it will be hard to use anything else with this layout I guess
And there I was hoping to have that base covered with Tai Hao ...
I made provision for their 3000 stepped caps lock and the usual flat one
However there seems to be one more with the stem even more lateral at least for MX switches?


Quote
Personally, I think the AEK-keycaps is among the best in the Alps-world, but then you have some other issues like 6.5u space, rotated function-keys etc.
A link to specs would be greatly appreciated!


Also what is Tsangan?


this?
« Last Edit: Thu, 21 January 2021, 16:17:00 by cest73 »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #65 on: Thu, 21 January 2021, 17:59:31 »
I am investigating this now:
260199-0


It appears i have the space in the space row and i intend to make few new custom switch layouts for the 1/8 shifting to avoid layout element collisions on drilling...


the current link (will change as i go on)
« Last Edit: Thu, 21 January 2021, 18:01:54 by cest73 »

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #66 on: Fri, 22 January 2021, 01:17:41 »
Tsangan kits are keycaps sets addons for WKL layouts, named after the user.

Also, you don't need include a big ass enter placeholder as it's mounted on the ISO enter.
You do, instead, might wanna consider a more symmetrical split spacebar, like so. Last variation only takes two extra switches in the matrix.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline Applet

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #67 on: Fri, 22 January 2021, 03:00:43 »
this?
Yes, the 7u bottom-row what what I was referring to :D

And there I was hoping to have that base covered with Tai Hao ...
I made provision for their 3000 stepped caps lock and the usual flat one
However there seems to be one more with the stem even more lateral at least for MX switches?
Not sure about the Tai Hao keycaps, but in MX-land, there is two common capslock keycaps, one non-stepped and one stepped. In alps, there is another capslock position in between the two mx positions that is also pretty common.
260209-0

A link to specs would be greatly appreciated!
I don't think there is a spec-sheet for the AEK-keycaps unfortunately, but the bottom row is a uncommon 1.5, 1.25, 1.5, 6.5, 1.5, 1.25, 1.5 and the top row switches is rotated 90 degrees. Not sure if it's worth it, adding the support, if you don't have plans on using those keycaps. I've not seen any other Alps board using it.

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #68 on: Fri, 22 January 2021, 03:21:37 »
Tsangan kits are keycaps sets addons for WKL layouts, named after the user.

This topic turns quickly into a rabbit hole (so far i like that :p )...

I have nothing against additional keys and switches per se - but that thing right there - doing away with most of the keyboard (TKL, 60%) just to be struggling with missing keys and then come back adding them where they interfere with habitual finger strokes (had feedback about my 1.75u right shift vs the regular 2.75u already elsewhere :'( )


The possibility to change things however alluring is not my goal right here - i want a daily driver fit for most users among us - once I'm over with the design (once I like it really) it will most likely be published for others to butcher to their liking and knock them selves out for doing so  :thumb: .


But, for now I want a less exciting and more casual layout, since I already burdened it with the "75%" navblock and the "1800" arrow block layout . That is already enough to process for some of us. Not to mention the mirrored left hand numpad  ;)

Quote
Also, you don't need include a big ass enter placeholder as it's mounted on the ISO enter.
You do, instead, might wanna consider a more symmetrical split spacebar, like so. Last variation only takes two extra switches in the matrix.
I was more concerned for the availability of the particular switches (i have no hope for ALPS here really) in the space row than the PCB issues at this stage.
My second concern was the size of the space bar - 2u seemed a bit stringent, but what do i know i never used (nor plan to) a jp106 layout...


260211-0


so far i got to here (that's a permalink this time)


this way i get:
  • 6.25u space bar option (for new key caps - Cherry stem users will more likely resort to those)
  • 7u space bar option (for ALPS stem users or us, who like bad ass legacy key caps :p )
  • two options for the Japanese input method (WKL or inclusive)
The BAE option is there for another reason - Tai Hao seems to be offering the 7G set for quite few of their running products, so i figured it would be quite a handy (and affordable) option if i could see thru to have that one missing guide figured out:
I actally have ordered one BAE from Tai Hao and hope to check the alignment and issues with having the missing guide engineered and 3d printed ...


That is a thing I plan to delve into at a later stage here


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #69 on: Fri, 22 January 2021, 03:39:03 »
this?
Yes, the 7u bottom-row what what I was referring to :D
:thumb:
Quote

And there I was hoping to have that base covered with Tai Hao ...
I made provision for their 3000 stepped caps lock and the usual flat one
However there seems to be one more with the stem even more lateral at least for MX switches?

Not sure about the Tai Hao keycaps, but in MX-land, there is two common capslock keycaps, one non-stepped and one stepped. In alps, there is another capslock position in between the two mx positions that is also pretty common.
(Attachment Link)

Tai Hao calls them 3000 and 3800 and my bad i was going for the 3800 one with the ALPS option:
  • the casual CAPS key has its stem in the middle of 1.75u of its length
  • the 3800 (likely named after some keyboard model) has the stem on the non-recessed 1.5 wide "middle point" (that's about 1/8 to the left looking at the switch from above)
  • the 3000 has the stem further yet at the 1.25 middle point another 1/8 to the left so the stem is almost on the side and not on the middle of the footprint. Tai Hao makes switches which are 1.5 wide at the top but still have the stem shifted when looked at the switch from the bottom side

IMHO that's a lot of shifting, for a PCB to hold the switch any good if one plans to have it compatible with both standards - perhaps i figure out only particular switches should be at the extremes?

Quote

A link to specs would be greatly appreciated!

I don't think there is a spec-sheet for the AEK-keycaps unfortunately, but the bottom row is a uncommon 1.5, 1.25, 1.5, 6.5, 1.5, 1.25, 1.5 and the top row switches is rotated 90 degrees. Not sure if it's worth it, adding the support, if you don't have plans on using those keycaps. I've not seen any other Alps board using it.

AEK stands for Apple Extended Keyboard - a valuable source for cheap ALPS keycaps :facepalm:


I have no intention to chase the many space bar lengths of the AEK-verse at this point - i have to draw a line somewhere.


That should remain a option for others to pursuit after i publish the files once I'm done.






Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #70 on: Sat, 23 January 2021, 11:48:15 »
Did you miss me?
260432-0
260434-1
260436-2
260438-3
 TODO:
split up the space bar for jp106 layout (2u+2u+1.5u+1.5u (for 7U space place) / 1.5u+2u+1.5u+1.25u (for 6.25u space place)as shown here also please no hate for the 7G BAE ;D


Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #71 on: Sat, 23 January 2021, 13:01:09 »
How about splitting your 7u with 1.5, 1.5 1.5, 2u, 2u, 1.5, 1.5 1.5? You would get symmetry.

Also, one cool thing to do, is to used the solder mask for icons and images in lieu of the silkscreen.

Like so.
260446-0
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #72 on: Sat, 23 January 2021, 19:00:22 »
How about splitting your 7u with 1.5, 1.5 1.5, 2u, 2u, 1.5, 1.5 1.5? You would get symmetry.

I suspect a typo there, my math says 1.5+1.5+1.5+2+2+1.5+1.5+1.5 = 13 and I'm quite certain you didn't want that?

Further i suspect you try aim the 2u segment hit the switch of the big bar?

I didn't bother really, if i already resolved the CAPS and 1/8 shifting of the Ctrl and other horrors, I really didn't bother - just made the split look most ergonomic and pleasing to the eye.

It is totally different can of worms once I commit to the PCB manufacturer - there will the real fun begin...

Quote

Also, one cool thing to do, is to used the solder mask for icons and images in lieu of the silkscreen.

Like so.
(Attachment Link)
 
That is both cool, aesthetically pleasing and inspiring !


will consider most certainly


260462-0
260464-1
the last round thus far (found errors too!)
260466-2
i couldn't find any empty place left in the matrix: the three MOD keys share place with optional other keys...


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #73 on: Sun, 24 January 2021, 05:56:13 »
Now that i have mostly settled with the switches and electric options (changed the diode resistors from 47 to 680 Ohm each) it is time i do the switch plate.


What services would you recommend?


It seems i will be needing more than one switch plate - the mixed layout is too dense for anything but cherry MX alone,


The ALPS layout, should i resort to modern keycaps will require Cherry or Costar stabilizers - but on some places the switches are simply not latching to the plate due to the numerous stacked cutouts - sort of defeating the plate's role in a way. Should i resort to ALPS stabilizers (already have a set here) the plate has to bear one and only one layout as those stabilizers interfere in an inopportune way with the switch cutouts.


Further I am thinking the Aluminium as a material being more stiff than steel, the thickness being the same, is of lesser preference (anodized or stainless steel none the less) but I've read there are other options too - the PCB service seems to be a reasonable alternative - especially the plate being less stiff.




Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #74 on: Tue, 26 January 2021, 10:42:47 »
It tuns out two more obstacles to overcome on my goal to the perfect keyboard for me:


1. Case (it ain't as easy going as piking up a 60% eh?)


2. ALPS key set is missing few options - there will be DIY - i'm going to try converting MX to ALPS stem DIY way.


Other than that i'm fine thank you.
 :D

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #75 on: Tue, 26 January 2021, 13:05:02 »
1. Case (it ain't as easy going as piking up a 60% eh?)
That's gonna hit your wallet pretty hard.

2. ALPS key set is missing few options - there will be DIY - i'm going to try converting MX to ALPS stem DIY way.
What are you missing?
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #76 on: Tue, 26 January 2021, 22:41:30 »
1. Case (it ain't as easy going as piking up a 60% eh?)
That's gonna hit your wallet pretty hard.
I will invest the best of my smarts to make as small of a dent as possible, but alas, I am aware of just that :'(
i have some raw oak as an option, some remaining 2 mm Al sheet too...

Quote
2. ALPS key set is missing few options - there will be DIY - i'm going to try converting MX to ALPS stem DIY way.
What are you missing?
A. 1U R4 (for the main Fn key)
B. 1U R1 for R_Alt, Menu and Win key
C. 1.75U R1 for R_Shift key
Ideally in "Tomcat" theme.


So far the options are:
A. get a surplus NP_minus form same key set (blue)
B. get Cursor arrow keys from same source ("up","right","down" respectably; blue)
C. do the modding on an white on blue TaiHao MX keycap i'm about to order (got the 2.75 shift key that i can't use)


Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #77 on: Wed, 27 January 2021, 01:38:47 »
So far the options are:
A. get a surplus NP_minus form same key set (blue)
B. get Cursor arrow keys from same source ("up","right","down" respectably; blue)
C. do the modding on an white on blue TaiHao MX keycap i'm about to order (got the 2.75 shift key that i can't use)
D. Buy a ALPS keyset on Aliexpress?
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #78 on: Wed, 27 January 2021, 08:05:33 »
[snip]
D. Buy a ALPS keyset on Aliexpress?
I was about to, but the sheer amount of choices and variants makes me anxious as to err with the choice, missing the right one for just little </sarcasm>


joking aside, i found and bought the balnk DSA kit already but short of that - no dice.


Any links would be greatly appreciated.


Also, i get all that's offered at Aliexpress on E-bay too and for same if not more affordable price and shipping options, am I stupid or what?


Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #79 on: Wed, 27 January 2021, 11:34:40 »
Also, i get all that's offered at Aliexpress on E-bay too and for same if not more affordable price and shipping options, am I stupid or what?
Different stores, same wares, different prices, that's absolutely normal.
Go with the cheaper option.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #80 on: Thu, 28 January 2021, 02:31:21 »
There is also another option I was initially frowning upon, but as time passes it seems ever less off putting:


E. Put an MX switch on that place and be done with it: if you can;t find just about any possible or impossible kaycap with an MX stem you should be doing gardening or sheep sheering and not custom keyboard DIY in the first place.


So right now I am still considering every of the named options and as i go along some of them will become closed windows of opportunity until the final day of that build...
The WoB MX stem set:
260667-0
The Tomcat Alps stem set (which colors I find so beautiful in nature)
260669-1

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Mirrored 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #81 on: Sun, 31 January 2021, 04:27:21 »
As things go, I made a boo boo too  ;D


Changed the name of the project, it's now Ten Key Mirrored - due to having the option to mirror the "tenkey" block... it might change again - should there be an excuse


current progress:
Due to case considerations i changed the PCB size - i squeezed it somewhat to have a specific case option.


That meant moving USB port => that meant moving the MCU + the accompanying parts => that meant rerouting everything around and so on - quite fun!


Had the PCB exported to WRL and then i played with blender (modeling possible cases...)


261041-0
261043-1
261045-2
261047-3
What do you know, i'm now missing keycaps in blender too  :eek:


Either case is 2 mm Aluminum sheet and some wood blocks where plastic could/would normally go (i like the soviet era retro futuristic effect of combining the ultra cheap AL with exclusive wood)


Do feel free to pick your favorite case option, tho there might be more coming as i get the idea for it...


Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #82 on: Sun, 31 January 2021, 04:35:56 »
That ISP port looks very tall.

I think it would be easier to pick a case if the 'light' was in front rather than covering the visible sides in shadow.  Think the back one is a highly textured squashed tube which is different.  I like different :)
120/100g linear Zealio R1  
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'Split everything' perfection  
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Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #83 on: Sun, 31 January 2021, 07:59:40 »
Good points,


The ISP port was only placed as a mock up really - possibly should use a lower one or just solder wires directly to the pads in a pinch


Will pay more attention to the composition of the 3d rendering scene once i'm done with the nuisance of collecting the keycaps (missing some still) and polishing the PCB layout finally


Still all valid points, greatly appreciate the input!  :thumb:

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #84 on: Sun, 31 January 2021, 09:40:17 »
The ISP port was only placed as a mock up really - possibly should use a lower one or just solder wires directly to the pads in a pinch
ISP ports are usually an emergency measure most of the times. You rarely need to reflash the bootloader or change the MCU's fuses.
Just have the pads traced for the sake of it but don't expect to use them very often or at all.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #85 on: Sun, 31 January 2021, 12:14:39 »
The ISP port was only placed as a mock up really - possibly should use a lower one or just solder wires directly to the pads in a pinch
ISP ports are usually an emergency measure most of the times. You rarely need to reflash the bootloader or change the MCU's fuses.
Just have the pads traced for the sake of it but don't expect to use them very often or at all.
This very much supports my experience thus far too.


I have been busy in the meanwhile...
261105-0
Internet is wrong (tm):
It is possible to import dae/obj files directly into the free (and olde/golden) 2.79b blender and export it directly into VRML2 that will work in KiCAD as is
261107-1
The pudding of proof  :p


so, i have the rugged USB-type C 2.0 only receptacle on one and likewise rugged USB mini B receptacle next to it and both render in KiCAD baby!


further progress is soon to come now that i've been over this li'l' bump ...


P.S.
The newer blender lack the plugins most likely due to maintainers stopping to develop/track the updates over time  :-\

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #86 on: Sat, 06 February 2021, 04:44:43 »
status report:

redoing it from scratch (borked the layout for JLC and other reasons)


261573-0


A clean start sometimes helps get rid of the residue from (all?) previous builds

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #87 on: Sun, 07 February 2021, 17:05:36 »
Most of the PCB layout is redone from scratch

I'm eyeballing the details in regards to switches, the options i will keep or drop and such...

So far the BAE might stay as an option from Tai Hao.

the 3 modifier for Japanese 106 layout stay, but what do i do to the ten key block?


I had only 3-5 key spare and those are gone to the:
Mod 1
Mod 2
Mod 3
"shiftling"
"enterling"
NP equal (next to NP plus)


what key do i set to best share the NP_00 and NP_Enterling of those I listed?


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #88 on: Mon, 08 February 2021, 16:28:54 »
Dropped the jp106 option...


stay tuned...

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #89 on: Fri, 19 February 2021, 18:30:25 »
long time, many changes went over the head...
I adopted the daughter board advice


reworked the thing over and over


Teensy 2.0 (most pins least cost)


I am considering a fixed cable option as a final one right now.
Sleeping over and going for the order tomorrow hopefully
262579-0
262581-1
262583-2
262585-3
262587-4
262589-5

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #90 on: Sun, 21 February 2021, 01:23:57 »
Is there enough height in those cases for a teensy raised above a switch pin?  You don't want to short it to the grounded USB socket right above it...
120/100g linear Zealio R1  
GMK Hyperfuse
'Split everything' perfection  
MX Clear
SA Hack'd by Geeks     
EasyAVR mod

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #91 on: Mon, 22 February 2021, 14:11:11 »
Is there enough height in those cases for a teensy raised above a switch pin?  You don't want to short it to the grounded USB socket right above it...
Walid question and my primary concern too:
262806-0
262808-1
And the cutaway:
262810-2
And side view:
262812-3
I have the KiCAD design submitted for fabrication at JLCPCB...

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #92 on: Fri, 26 February 2021, 09:22:01 »
Only 3 submitted iterations later  ;D
263061-0
263063-1
263065-2
And the MX plate depicted as made of birch plywood too
263067-3
This very design got approved for production and is now undergoing various phases and processing...


The plates should be made of:
-Birch plywood
-PCB material (FR4)
-Al sheet metal
And i think i will have them made on a CNC router at a friends workshop, stay tuned for updates...

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #93 on: Mon, 26 April 2021, 12:59:18 »
Birch, as i said...
That's the initial trial prototype run only (MX 5mm plate option)
« Last Edit: Mon, 26 April 2021, 13:01:07 by cest73 »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #94 on: Tue, 27 April 2021, 16:43:56 »
Progress report:

pictures of:


ALPS plate
267323-0

Screenshot of Lightburn
267325-1

Trying out few switches on the plate (Matias with SDA blanks)
267327-2

TODO:
fill up one plate
receive the PCBs
engrave the blanks with legends


Parameters:
3 pass 430mm/min @90% PWM on an "40W" generic CNC engraver


Stay tuned...
« Last Edit: Sat, 18 September 2021, 14:06:37 by cest73 »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #95 on: Wed, 28 April 2021, 06:49:39 »
More

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #96 on: Fri, 30 April 2021, 03:31:59 »
Finally the PCBs arrived yesterday!


Sadly i had to attend work and stuff got into way  :( so i will be able to work on round Wednesday but i think i will get to upload some photos sooner than that:

Pros:
a. Cutting is good - none up to very little charring on the edge of the birch plywood plate
b. Accuracy is good the switches click just right (keeb.io generator does it's job just fine)
c. MX switch position is perfectly aligned to the PCB (big relief there)
d. The MX PCB based stabilizer holes are in perfect alignment too

Cons:
1. The plates need to be redone (i inverted the inverted stabilizers somehow) on the MX plate,
2. i will go for "3 mm  plate" cutouts for the stabs and will most likely resort to a special technique to get that working right  (see below)
3. The ALPS plate outline is out of place for some ~2 mm - i need to investigate that (i suspect the blender model went out of sync at some point with subsequent development)
4. The ALPS stabs are out of position - they need to "click" into place to work and they can' since they are designed for 1.4 mm not 3 mm (see below)
5. The big stabs for (Costar?) the ALPS space key need to be of set so they don't interfere with the key mounted part - but they might be fine once the "click in" fix is in place

The "click" and MX stabs issue:

Most if not all hardware for mechanical switches is designed for plates around 1.4-1.6 mm thickness, but i opted for ~3 mm thick birch plywood. This means something needs to be done for elements that absolutely depend on the thickness to wok at all.


In the very last batch of cutting i tried to invert the layout - the laser was cutting the back side of the board first - since i had no noticeable smoke stains on the lower side i decided to give it a try and see if the fit is more tight - and it was - will keep this method now on, especially as it allows for scribbling on the back without any impact on aesthetic of the final product,

Now, i will try to cut some recesses next: i will burn the "5 mm plate" stab hole but just to about half the thickness of the plywood - 1 or two passes at most, same applies for the ALPS stabs "click" relief.

The birch plywood sits right in between where a 3 mm and 5 mm would - it pinches the MX stab just enough yet it doesn't hold the switch with the tin prongs - the smaller cutouts fail for one yet the bigger for the other reason - i will try to address that issue with said compromise and see what i get - some wood carving after lazing is in order...

I will be on a lookout to see any further issues arising...

Stay tuned.

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #97 on: Mon, 03 May 2021, 05:49:35 »
I conducted initial trials on some surplus XDA kecaps...
Nothing definite yet...

Here photos


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #98 on: Mon, 17 May 2021, 16:37:58 »
More photos of getting the plate(s) cut right:

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #99 on: Wed, 19 May 2021, 08:28:43 »
Cutting birch plywood with an LED laser (some 40W drawn, most likely about 5W - 6W output) and why it's called "can't be done".

TL;DR:
it is possible.


But one has to have strategy and take certain steps to be able to perform this arduous task.


The Long Story:


You need to be able to make following tasks:
1. make the machine take a predefined zero point (to zero the machine) reliably even it has no limit switches (which make it immensely easier)
2. make the piece take the very same position it was in when processing started (this can be hard but it is very important too)
3. check the outermost path with the actual laser that will cut it set on to least possible power and ran along so you can check it fits the piece you prepared
4. set the job into layers - strategy is: smallest holes, then recesses and possibly sections of key cutouts - only a few at once, then the outline as last operation.
5. try use a program that allows to select more or less shapes to be cut (i used Light Burn and paid the $40 for it as i see it worth it)
6. get potent air assist - i've ran up to 1 bar and it makes thing a LOT easier and cleaner

the process:
1. once you have figured the layout and PCB and everything - get your layout (most likely from the famoushttp://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/) make certain it matches your particular key set and switches - you most likely will revisit this moment (i know i did (oh boy!))
2. paste it to the cutout helper: https://plate.keeb.io/ and select the desired parameters (kerf for laser and birch can be as low as zero, i have cut without any radius (works) and with 0.5 mm radius just the same, used ALPS, MX switches, the stabs work right and are of good quality and consistency (5mm means 5mm, 3mm means 3mm thick plate, et cetera) and save the output(s) (i used svg, but you might find DXF more useful for your own work flow, i used Inkscape and Lightburn.
3. next you need to align the cutouts with your plate outer shape - be it some matching you housing or PCB or whatever - you need t mate the cutouts and that shape before you can burn it out of the plywood board.
3b. I cut from the back side - i mirror the board so all issues and errors remain on the back, should there be any ;)
4. i import the layout to Lightburn next, and try match the position of the layout with most favorable place on the lasers bed. I take my time and experiment here a lot
5. first pass is usually just to trace the outermost outline and check if the board and the layout match and fit each other.
6. i affix the board so i can use quite a force during cutting and to make the board flush with the nail bed - birch warps too easy and that can rise issues with focusing it.
7. once the board is in place and flush, check and adjust the focus height so it is about 1/3 or higher of the board cutting depth - a focus on the top of the board will be quite dispersed after 2mm deep, and we go 3.2 to get thru (i could not find thinner birch plywood) so i set it to about 19 of needed 20mm focal distance, YMMV depending of the lens on your laser
8. check the height on several places and adjust to be in between the worst cases
9. if there are too many nodes or "eyes" on the plywood i'd advise taking a different piece - it is hard enough already without them.
10. my first pass is the outer most contour at 1000-2000 mm/sec and 15-25% PWM just to scribe the line
11. it is wise to run the whole layout next tha same way - so if the piece ever moves it will be next to trivial to align it with running the laser at 1% and tweaking until it fits.
12. next i do the smallest holes first (as appetizer really) with 5 passes  x 400 mm/sec @85 PWM - going too slow will make charring more pronounced, going faster will reduce it but produce more smoke stains - keep the air assist at a high enough rate. Repeat  with 2 more passes until cut thru
13. make sure the air assist extinguishes the wood - don't let it char the edges too much - put more air into the cut, make sure it always hits the point of laser burning the wood.
14. if you plan to etch some wood away (i did outline filling with 0.15 step) now it is the opportune moment to run it: 500 mm/sec @ 80% should bite about 1 mm away on a single pass (or less) - i used it to etch the 5 mm stabilizers on the bottom of my 3.2 thick plywood.
15. next i cut the first 5-7 passes off of all the key cutouts - some will fall out some will stay in - don't worry just yet!
16. now set the layer to 2 passes and set to cut only selected shapes - select the numblock for example, remove the cut thru ones from selection and let it work - few more will fall out.
17. selecting ever less key shapes keep repeating until they are all done, repeat for F key row, nav-pad and space row, do the alpha block then, the right order depends only on your preference.
18. if you manage to fiddle with the cut out pieces and find the board has moved - check points 10 and 11.
19. for the end cut the outer most contour: 6 passes x 500 mm/sec @85% - repeat 3 more until the whole perimeter is free or less than 5% remains uncut even after 9 consecutive passes.
20 once removed from the laser, cut any remaining contour with a sharp blade in multiple passes - avoid splintering it uneven - sand it to final dimension
21. take a fine flat file and remove any imperfections from the keys, watch not to file off any material needed for latching the keys!
22. post feedback and pictures and consider painting it with PU or something to lessen warping and potential spill damage.

I found the 85% setting to be more productive than 100% on my laser
I found the 4-5 passes vs single slower pass chars the cut significantly less and produces a quite acceptable cutting surface
This is ongoing research and I am open for advice and feedback.
« Last Edit: Wed, 19 May 2021, 08:42:46 by cest73 »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #100 on: Thu, 20 May 2021, 23:14:53 »
Regarding the point 6, fixating of warped plyboard to maintain focus distance:


I opted for using a nail bed over other options.
The nails (wood screws to be exact) are superglued to a piece of plywood.
The plywood has some standoff feet about 10 mm high.


Once i tried to work with plywood I quickly found out it is prone to warp, about one axis.


What i do to counteract this i put clamps on:


I've drilled holes in between the nails and use u shaped wire clamps to tighten the work piece


For this to work, the nailbed had to be screwed to the main plywood board it sits on


I can maintain a focal distance within 1/2 a mm this way.


Offline Faceman76

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #101 on: Thu, 20 May 2021, 23:21:06 »
Sealing all exposed surfaces will help prevent warping.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

TKC 1800, Crystal Box Navy, Sprit 100g

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #102 on: Fri, 21 May 2021, 22:48:11 »
Sealing all exposed surfaces will help prevent warping.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk


Can confirm, water based PU coat applied already :D


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #103 on: Sun, 23 May 2021, 15:05:57 »
The Sealing was done with water based PU transparent lacquer.


Next i took one Teensy 2.0 and solderd it on the PCB - after thoroughly checking there is no shorts VCC to GND and which way i oriented the Teensy versus the PCB  :))


Here picture
269033-0

Since the solder points go exactly under one switch i had to carefully grind them flush to the PCB.

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #104 on: Sat, 29 May 2021, 15:13:27 »
status report:
Trouble ahead.


Long story:
- built the firmware after some struggling, and flashed the Teensy that is soldered to the PCB.
- tweezers test over the bare PCB went satisfactory: No smoke, sparks or fatal failures (yet)
- aside the running asterisk upon connecting, the keyboard seemed to work decently
- column "6" and "7" have been found to be swapped - easily fixed in firmware by positioning the switch names in the matrix layout (tkm.h file)
- finally today ran the keyboard tester and no matter how i tried i only could confirm all keys but NUMPAD_ASTERISK
- until i finally had the keyboard unplug and re-plugged while the keytest was on - the NP_* was pressed down all the time - never to be released!


Subsequent examination showed i have an error:
269382-0


due to all those false positives i omitted this major one (highlighted arrow)
i think i still can break those two apart with a dremel
right in between

how i found it?
i went and found the NP_ASTERISK's rown and column pins on the teensy
the firmware so far:

* cest73.7z (245.79 kB - downloaded 49 times.)
those happen to be the pins D1 and B3

then i measured them with my DVM for shorts (none) and finally for resistance:
- i got 0.7 M Ohm (Mega Ohm) that's about 700 kOhm - WTF!??

I next examined the traces functionally - and found that my row and column traces collide in above spot on the keyboard - but it was no manufacturer error - it was cleanly fabricated by JLCPCB.
Took an empty PCB for reference (no Teensy soldered on it yet) and still about 3/4 of an Mega Ohm where none should be...

Then i ran KiCAD and here we are:

Manual Refubrishing:
as always, stay tuned...



« Last Edit: Sat, 29 May 2021, 15:21:14 by cest73 »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #105 on: Mon, 31 May 2021, 15:12:19 »
The erroneous short was ground off.


So far it seems to be working with the tweezers test.



Due picture of the day:

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #106 on: Thu, 03 June 2021, 13:58:15 »
Status update:

  • Got the board short sorted out,
  • Got the firmware built and uploaded,
  • Got the MX stabs affixed,
  • Got the switches and keycaps (blank XDA PBT) mounted
  • Got the plated mounted to the PCB and havd the Matias switches soldered to it (sorry no photos)
    (had 3 switches bent the copper colored thinner pin, saw it on time and re-inserted)
  • All switches tested and working
  • :eek: the "Matias Silent Click" switches have an audible pin (and i am not HiFi with my hearing since long time now...) and are somewhat scratchy due to the way how the leaf spring produces the tactile event.
Mandatory update pictures:
269750-0
(The sandwitch is preview only to feel the shape of the finished case)
269752-1
(the Aluminum rim is a 2 x 20 mm profile to preview how precise i need to shape it to be any decent in appearance (yes i'm in trouble, i know))


stay tuned...

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #107 on: Fri, 04 June 2021, 13:14:51 »
Last time in TKM:


  • Preview
  • Preview
Welcome to the next episode!


And even more preview:
...


But first some intermission


269795-0
First a little How Its Made: :D


  • I took a square as a reference and clamped it to the work bench in two points so it remains put
  • Put the stripe of 2 x 20 mm Aluminum so it is aligned (consistency of bending or bust)
  • Took a tool i made of 12 mm threaded rod (unknown quality) and 10 mm hot rolled square bar as the bending radius former
  • Used the tool to clamp the Al stripe tight to the bench
  • First bend was marked at arbitrary 200 mm with a sharpie and the mark was set flush to the edge
  • The tool was positioned so the threads center is flush to the edge too
  • The square pipe piece was used to carefully form the radius against the thread until it is as perfectly upright as possible (skill over method style)
  • The resulting first bend was measured and rules for marking and measuring derived from it
  • each subsequent bend was measured improved/reworked and adjusted to be as perfect as possible
  • the goal is to have the seam toward the monitor and soldered into invisible (hope dies the last)
269797-1
Here another view of the bending rig and the final bending result after much measuring, tinkering and adjusting


It came pretty close to 1/4 of millimetre (10 thou?) and maybe better - well within soldering distance


Thanks for watching the intermission  :cool:


269799-2
Nav block closeup (not finished, merely preview)


269801-3
Num pad closeup (it is pretty to me :-*  )


269803-4
I need to solder it yet and make attachment points next


As always, Stay tuned...




Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #108 on: Sat, 12 June 2021, 13:43:21 »

It is online


I'm typing this on the very damn thing  :p :cool: :p
270475-0

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #109 on: Sat, 12 June 2021, 14:05:06 »
https://github.com/fire-h0und/TKM-2021
The firmware source

and the hex file (attached)

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #110 on: Sun, 13 June 2021, 02:21:57 »
Test run impressions so far:
  • Matias is so satisfying to type on, compared to Kailh BOX it is more scratchy and has a noticeable ping (might lube it some day IDK).
  • It is so silent, even totally unlubed. The thock is absent or really suppressed and faint.
  • The XDA blanks are a keeper, need to figure out side printing as i'm a lousy blind typist  :rolleyes: , thus far i only attempted engraving the (2 mm tiny letters)
  • The glueing: i managed to drop the case and it rang loud (got a scuff i filed away right on) - it is a success (spare no acetone or elbow glue on preparation)
  • I managed to glue it in reverse (was expected) but such is life (it sucks)
  • I've cut out access to the mini USB port as i still manage to have decent cables laying around...
  • Layout works, more space for the mouse indeed, have to print the caps and run spreadsheet yet.
The github repo us slowly filling up, need to solve few obstacles with file size to upload the blender files too


Stay tuned for the Cherry BAE build and more pictures...




Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #111 on: Sun, 13 June 2021, 08:30:24 »
More faithful rendition of what is planned to come...


270505-0

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #112 on: Wed, 16 June 2021, 11:37:05 »
Many know the pain of designing an file and sending it to be machined just to find out a detail missed or was left out of sight...


So time came the Al plates need to be cut for next keyboard variants and here is what i did:


OFC i exported the PCB from KiCAD first and that was to a SVG file - i exported the pad layer(s) so i can see where the screw holes will be (those are pads in KiCAD for some reason)
I picked to export the cut layer too.
Then i went to keeb.io and generated the switch mount holes from my KLE layout (that's a mere grid of 19.05 x 19.05 switches of this or that sort)


I took extra caution i rotate the stabilizers the same way the PCB has them (inverted + stabilizer)


I opted for "complicated" MX cutout so i can oipen the switches in place later, took "huge" stab cutouts as i aim for an 1.5 mm thick plate and double-checked all again. I picked an radius of 0.75 mm just to be on the safe side as i saw the MX fits effortlessly in the 0.5 hole, further 0.25 can't be too much of an struggle to lean should it prove too much. (a sway of a file so to say)


The export format chosen was svg.


Once the ridiculously long named files where all on my local storage i went and fired up Inkscape to fuse the elements together.


I first imported the KiCAD file and pruned everything but the screw holes. Missing true LED holes the pads had to do - i picked nodes that would point me to the center of the LED and used them as bounding box centers i will snap my actual 5.0 mm dia circles to.


So now i had a plate outline with screw and LED holes - i combined the shapes into a single object and saved it just in case.  ;)


Next i imported the switch holes on top of the file carefully aligned it to conform to the measurements i took off the PCB (edge distances compared on adjacent sides of the PCB).


This is delicate work - hurry enough and you'll hurry twice...


Once i combined the paths (actually substracted the holes from the plate this time) i had the final SVG object in Inkscape (saved to the storage OFC)


For a good measure i exported the DXF next.


But now i need a preflight check before i commit to the (expensive) material and CNC machining:


Enter LED laser cutter:
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I took a piece of (cheap?) plastic foam (used for flooring insulation) and let a test run with following parameters:
speed: 2000 mm/min
power: 75 % PWM
The result showed a kerf of 0.5 mm is needed and further reduction of power is possible (45 % wouldn't cut thru at that speed)
270695-1
VOILA!
the second run produced an foamy switch plate fitting nicely on the PCB with MX stabs!


So the DXF file is ready for the CNC mill, once i cut the Aluminum hopefully we get the plates cut out soon (ish)  :D


Stay tuned...

Offline blondie

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #113 on: Wed, 16 June 2021, 13:43:50 »
How did you make those Blender renders? I've been playing with FreeCAD. I see that I can export to a format for Blender, but I've no idea how to get nice wood textures and such. Do you just know Blender, or can you recommend any documentation which goes over the process from CAD to nice model with textures?

I like the one with rounded front and back. Quite different to most keyboards I see posted.

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #114 on: Wed, 16 June 2021, 23:18:41 »
I'm glad You asked.
Might post answers across more messages to give some more quickly/sooner


I am a great fan of Bender since 2.49 onward. As such i spend some time fiddling/exploring plugins on each newer version i install, and blender comes with several. One has to enable some of them first.


One of those is the recent material library - i found quite interesting materials there. Three of them are wood and i use two of them in my render.
The metallic paint is used for aluminum, i played with the color a bit
Further i played with the fake glass materials to get that transparent policarbonate look on the Matuas switches...
For plastic i used the simple materials tu have quicker render speeds.
I am investigating how to post that source on github, its 55 MB file, so stay tuned for that.


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #115 on: Sun, 20 June 2021, 04:52:26 »
The attached image is supposed to help enable using the plugin:

  • in Edit>Preferences>Plugins tab select Material filter
  • Enable the VX Material Library plugin
  • Select an object and navigate to its Material tab
  • Seek and unfold the VX Material Library tab
  • Pick some material and assign it to the object
  • Render it to see how it looks
  • Perhaps switch to the Shading UI and play some with the Shader Editor flow graphs


Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #116 on: Sun, 20 June 2021, 05:00:07 »
[snip]
I like the one with rounded front and back. Quite different to most keyboards I see posted.
Thank You  :D  affirmative feedback means a lot.


I had a tough choice to make: CNC'd cases are prohibitively expensive, but i need a case for this big of a keyboard none the less.


Only option was make it my self:
Luckily I had some mileage in making/modding PC cases and overall DIY...


Therefrom it was merely pick materials and find/devise ways to process it - The excellent Ron Covell YT channel helped some among other things.


Stay tuned to the next case to be.


Offline blondie

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #117 on: Mon, 28 June 2021, 21:03:10 »
Thanks for the info. I started playing with Blender. Its user interface is much easier than I remember from many years ago. Plus their tutorials are very good. I found another material library, BlenderKit. It requires a login, but all but a few materials are free. That library you mention, I saw it, but I thought it was entirely for managing my own materials. I didn't realize it comes with some.

Anyway, I had thought about how to build that rounded keyboard case. I couldn't see how it could be done to be an oblong "tube" shape. But, if you start with a sheet of aluminum, cut out space for the top and even some space on what would end up being the bottom, you could fold it around a dowel of the appropriate size or similar, abutting the ends of the sheet underneath. Still not easy without a CNC, but doable I think.

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #118 on: Wed, 30 June 2021, 08:57:44 »
Thanks for the info. I started playing with Blender. Its user interface is much easier than I remember from many years ago. Plus their tutorials are very good. I found another material library, BlenderKit. It requires a login, but all but a few materials are free. That library you mention, I saw it, but I thought it was entirely for managing my own materials. I didn't realize it comes with some.
Quite few node graphs there to be used as starting point IMHO

Quote
Anyway, I had thought about how to build that rounded keyboard case. I couldn't see how it could be done to be an oblong "tube" shape. But, if you start with a sheet of aluminum, cut out space for the top and even some space on what would end up being the bottom, you could fold it around a dowel of the appropriate size or similar, abutting the ends of the sheet underneath. Still not easy without a CNC, but doable I think.
Contrary, i imagine: annealing the sheet first, bending one radius, then the other one too, taming the result not to spring out of shape but retain the clean bend (reflection is key here).


So far i found that gluing the seam will work just nice (perhaps add an really thin sheet stripe (some 20 mm wide) inside of the glued seam to reinforce it)


Once past that point, lay out the cutouts on the now perfectly bent surface and carefully craft them gone - be it CNC, universal mill (raises hand) or Dremel Click-Spring style (hogging it with a Dremel until close to the line, filing it by hand afterward)


Once the shape is right, make the side caps out of some nice wood (laminated paper floor?  :) ) ) and add supports throughout the structure.


I imagine the toughest most part will be the cabling - either thru wall with some soft protector or an fancy expensive rugged industrial plug/receptacle pair on a braided cable...

Almost forgot, the OEM profile ALPS build is going along nicely
271581-0

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #119 on: Wed, 14 July 2021, 15:49:25 »
I am for some reason certain some of you follow this only for the gore shots of my work bench.


Since that is exactly the part of the audience i'd hate to disappoint, here one more photo  :thumb:
272342-0


The dis order is somewhat lesser, since I have to account for those more faint at heart too  :D

The Aluminium switch plate progress is painstakingly slow at this time (due to the Venusian heat wave :confused: )

Stay tuned but don't hold the breath :cool:
« Last Edit: Thu, 15 July 2021, 15:45:01 by cest73 »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #120 on: Thu, 22 July 2021, 05:35:44 »
Tai Hao's shipment reached my atelier:
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The issue:
What key cap to pick for the Mod key?
The four on the upper deck are to choose from, if you care to help me decide.
TIA

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #121 on: Thu, 22 July 2021, 06:10:22 »
I've missed a lot of updates, great to see you got this working :thumb:  Quiet Clicks too - the switch I should hate but don't, yet still haven't owned.

Not sure what your Mod key does but I'd probably go for the line cap - Escape would be an especially bad choice as many people would expect it to be in the corner (assuming anyone but you will ever use the board...)  Was the extra F8 a bonus or are you missing another random cap?

120/100g linear Zealio R1  
GMK Hyperfuse
'Split everything' perfection  
MX Clear
SA Hack'd by Geeks     
EasyAVR mod

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #122 on: Fri, 23 July 2021, 04:19:12 »
Hey, glad you made it, welcome back  :thumb:

Yes the Esc, while perfect match color wise would indeed add to confusion or disappoint otherwise  :(

The F8 was picked as it can be read a "faith" (F-eight) for how the Matias are under represented in the community in general

I just found out that some prominent designers have fallen behind the up to date offering regarding ALPS stem - Ali Express has quite to offer from KPRepublis and elsewhere in that regard, especially the DX64 PCB and accessories seem to be popular (not compared to MX but compared to ALPS stem hemisphere)

So, i was advised to take the dash (numpad minus sign) more than once (i asked in more places) but i decided to still resort to F8 due to :minus" being adjacent to it's regular place and "Home" being quite out of whack there.

Sadly the beautiful Tom Cat set is lacking on 1.75U Shift too, but i got not only desperate but also clever by placing the blue Caps Lock key there and putting the 3800 stepped key in the 3rd row

Tai Hao does host an better suited set for this procedure now, but i already committed to the Tom Cat (i happen to like color wise very much)

Next I might make that leftovers an actual keyboard with Tai Hao's controversial APC switches just to spite some naysayers  :p
272835-0
272837-1
(say hi to plANkSi)
I have yet to unreiddle the next case for this part of the TKM build series...

Stay tuned.

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #123 on: Tue, 03 August 2021, 06:28:14 »
headsup:

1. unriddled the next case (soon!)

2. Found local sublimation print capable shop (stay tuned!) will attempt side printing the XDAs!

P.S.

Feel free to point me to good DIY die-sub workflows, preferably single cap, side print and silicone on the hot side of the  press

TIA

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Mirrored 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #124 on: Sat, 21 August 2021, 10:43:40 »
The album:
https://imgur.com/gallery/9fegK1P
The TKM got endorsed by QMK:
https://config.qmk.fm/#/cest73/tkm/LAYOUT_all
And i started the dye-sub process on the cheap: few clamps, a repurposed really cheap hair straightening press (does 160 C in the air) and a phone in timer mode:

5 minutes pressed @ 160 C gives pretty decent prints

The Sublimation print was done in a local shop - he said we use the same stuff that goes for the coffee cups (ya know those kiddo photos on coffe cups stores...)

One A4 sheet is around $1 and i'm thru 4 and not done yet  :p

So far i figured dye subbing the following way:

1. Due to alignment being paramount for dye sub to look the least decent, I made the print with cut marks (0.25 mm thick + signs about 2 mm wide and tall)
2. Once meticulously cut to exact size (give or take 0.05 mm back and forth "eyeball wise")
3. The lables are, even more meticulously, affixed to the free keys with kapstan tape - it is of little use being anal about cutting if you just slap them loose on there right?
4. Once the labels are placed to the key, the keys are in pairs brought to the preheated running heat press rig, padded with silicone matts, and laid out on it
5. The timer is let to run and the clamps are carefully placed over each packet (i can do up to 4 packs at one timer pass YMMV)
6. Once the timer runs out i carefully remove the clamps in an orderly fashion
7. Only once all the clamps are off i remove the keys in an orderly fashion too - as they are hot now (fresh popcorn hot for instance)
8. As they cool i remove the capstan tape and discard the printed lables aside
274607-0
Voila dye subbed keycaps

From 2 to 5 minutes looks good, i lean towards 5 so the sublimation is deep and i am clear in the forseable future of any blemishes or imperfections, but the less time the sharper the edges will be.

I will measure the clamping force and post as i come arount to it

This process is taylored to single off jobs: the less keys the marrier - i will be on it for several days it seems.

I know the images are lacking expect more to come (feel free to post feedback tho, i won't bite (at least i hope i won't  :confused: ))

Also, bent two stems on the XDAs due to hurry :-[, thats due to not taking care of the temparatures of the clam touching the keycap end - always reverse them to the cold clamp touches the switch stem!

As i ran the inital tests, i found out the press alone, once up to temerature will deform the cap no problem if pressed directly to the hard surface - this is to be avoided!

Again, keep the back of the caps as cold as pssible - we are dealing with temperatures that make the PBT unstable and likely to deform!

Other than that its going great, kudos to logo4poop from ai03 discord for the font help :thumb:
274605-1

As always, stay tuned for more ...

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Mirrored 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #125 on: Tue, 24 August 2021, 15:26:51 »
274793-0
The aforementioned clamps are of about 5000 gram clamping force (5 kilos or 50 N).

274795-1
The sublimation press is about finished (got feet 5 cm high) and about 1/3rd thru the TKM's 105 keys so far

274797-2
The measured clamp is clearly among the weakest, one has melted when i took measures with the DVM (the yellow pads heat up to about 160 C in free air). The yellow seems to be some non stick coating (poisonous most likely?)
The press gets quite hot in the process so after like 3-4 batches the clamps lower finger does not cool down enough for me to feel comfortable - i make breaks to cool the clamps off.

274799-3
WIP
274801-4
more WIP
The "5" being in a much deeper "dish" had issues with the transfer - something i will watch for when doing the "F" anf "J" keys - most likely to add a small piece of silicone beneath the cushions on the press when doing those keys...

274803-5
Whaat!? You're still here? that's it for this time, go read other threads now too  :D

But come back soon!

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #126 on: Fri, 27 August 2021, 15:02:35 »
Work in progress:
275074-0

I kind of like how it is turning out (need to re-print the sheet for the remaining glyphses due to IRL vs "plan" collision  :rolleyes:

Also working on something next

Stay tuned...

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #127 on: Fri, 27 August 2021, 16:28:48 »
In the old days you could buy dye sub caps that were way fuzzier than your ghetto setup - I'm very impressed.
120/100g linear Zealio R1  
GMK Hyperfuse
'Split everything' perfection  
MX Clear
SA Hack'd by Geeks     
EasyAVR mod

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #128 on: Sat, 28 August 2021, 11:57:39 »
In the old days you could buy dye sub caps that were way fuzzier than your ghetto setup - I'm very impressed.

First and foremost a polite LOL in the place of "thank you" - something that seems to be a thing of the past nowdays too :D

Re: "ghetto"
Indeed a ghetto setup is only as good as the result stands up to scrutiny against a professional product.

275301-0

My ghetto goals where (and are):
1. Easy reproduction by anyone
2. Cheap BOM for both the machine/setup and the expendables
3. Result that stands up to professional work (or else what's the point?)
4. as DIY-able as practical, so here i post the print file i brought to the dye sub shop (the store where you print your coffee cups on)
275299-1
The svg file for Inkscape can be obtained on demand (just DM me)

Next is the further case variants and the metal switchplates for MX and possibly ALPS clones down the line...

Stay tuned as usual  :cool:
« Last Edit: Thu, 02 September 2021, 02:06:20 by cest73 »

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #129 on: Mon, 30 August 2021, 06:14:10 »
updates:
275523-0
The rig in action...

275525-1
A view to a kill  :p

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Left 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #130 on: Thu, 02 September 2021, 02:08:12 »
The thread with the in depth and gory details of the dye sub:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=114420.0;topicseen

Offline cest73

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Re: Ten Key Mirrored 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)
« Reply #131 on: Fri, 24 September 2021, 10:22:01 »
Progress report:
It's a lot of photos, how i bent the next case to be:
Sheet is 417 x 333 mm Al 1.5 mm thick
The tool was made of 17.6 mm round pipe reinforced with 12 x 12 mm square stock
The dye is made of square 40 x 40 tubing spaced 30 mm apart.
The trick was to add lee way and to the bending in two passes...
As it still somewhat springs back, i massage it flat on the bench with the additional fixture: i reuse the stamp round pipe
Stay tuned...