Author Topic: Ten Key Mirrored 2021 (full size 104 key custom keyboard)  (Read 22384 times)

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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 :)
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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     
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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 »