Author Topic: [Log][Tutorial] Skipad  (Read 1651 times)

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Online TalkingTree

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[Log][Tutorial] Skipad
« on: Thu, 17 November 2016, 09:08:53 »
Concept and name origin

The idea was to build myself a multilayered tenkey to use along with my 60% keyboard. Since remembering all the commands on many layers is quite a task, I decided to use relegendable keys and print some labels to ease my job. For the purpose I pulled 24 relegendable keys from my OG Skidata, hence the name Skipad. 12 keys are blank while the other 12 are Function keys with front printed labels.

All the images are thumbnails. Click them to enlarge to full size view.

   

This thread will serve as build log and tutorial to anyone wanting to build the same project.

Parts used

Since case and plate where needed for the project, I decided to buy a Jelly Comb Numpad on Amazon and mod it. The item was 15 on a lightining deal.

It comes with 22 Outemu blue switches, a steel plate, a PCB, a non detachable USB cord and 2 Cherry plate mounted stabilizers.
.

You also need a Teensy 2.0 with USB cable, 24 1N4148 diodes and 24 MX switches to your liking. I used Gateron KS-3 Black switches.

Finally, get yourself some wire. I used the wires from a broken PS/2 cable. I'm not sure about the gauge but it should be like 24 AWG.

Build log and tutorial

The first thing to do is to remove all the original keycaps from the Jelly Comb Numpad and throw them away.
Screws are now exposed so you can take them off. There's no screw on the backside.
Pull the plate + PCB out of the case, detach the USB cable from the back of the PCB and desolder all the original Outemu switches.

We now have a case, a plate and PCB.
     

The latter is not needed anymore and we can put it aside.

From the case, cut off all the plastic parts in front of the cable hole (from the inside) to make room for the Teensy USB cable (refer to the previous image).

Now you have a plate with 22 holes and two stabilizers cutouts. Since I wanted only 1u keys on my numpad, I manually filed the plate to make room for two more switches.

This is the result and it took like one hour of work.

         

Populate the plate with switches.



Please note:
1) The rightmost switches on the last two rows are rotated by 90 than the others, this will prevent them from easily falling off as their securing clips (or whatever you wanna call them) are on the upper and lower sides of the switch;
2) I put some plastic between the switches in the filed holes to avoid any sliding.

Now let's flip the plate and let's start wiring.


Please remember that two switches are rotated.

Take your 1N4148 diodes, solder each to the left pin of the switch and connect the diode to the one on its right to concatenate all the rows. Your result should look like this.

       

Now solder all the right pins of the switches vertically to the one on the same column.

You should now see something like this.
Please ignore the red coordinates for the time being, these are needed for the Teensy but I edited the picture and forgot to save the original.



Set this aside for a moment and let's work on the USB cable and the Teensy now.

Cable first.
I used the one provided with the Teensy and cut off the excess of rubber to better collocate it inside the case.

 

Basically cut off all the rubber from the top and some from the sides to make the cable fit the hole in the case, then cover up all the metal parts with some tape to prevent shorts with the switches or the diodes prongs.

Now the Teensy.
Skipping the first, solder a wire on each one of the pads starting from where the USB connector is.
You need four wires on the left (looking from the bottom of the PCB) and six on the right side.

You basically end up with this.


Green and white wires are for columns, black and white are for rows.

Look at this picture again and solder each pin to the Teensy pad with the same coordinate.


If you do, you won't have to edit the matrix.c file in the TMK firmware which I'm providing at the end of this post.

When you're done you'll see this.


Put some tape on the whole top side of the Teensy, again, to prevent shorts.

Edit 1: Ground the controller to the metal plate. Solder a wire to a ground pad of the Teensy and hook up the other live end to the screw as shown in the picture (thanks dorkvader for the suggestion).
   

Now, before you put everything back in the case, you need to flash the firwmare. This is because the bootloader push button is on the Teensy and you need to open up the case everytime you want to reflash (annoying, I know). You can use either my hex file or edit the keymap and compile your own firmware. It's up to you.

Once you're done flashing and testing, put the plate back on the case and screw the screws back in.


If your keycaps are also relegendables, you can print the legends or make your own. They must be 10 * 12 mm (w * h).

For a full list of default commands (i.e. the one I chose) please refer to this image or this Keyboard-Layout-Editor page.


This was my first Teensy 2.0 project and I'm quite satisfied with it.
I realize I take terrible pictures, so if anyone wants more images, I'll see what I can do.
Let me hear questions and comments.
« Last Edit: Sat, 19 November 2016, 02:41:35 by TalkingTree »

Offline dorkvader

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Re: [Log][Tutorial] Skipad
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 17 November 2016, 13:26:35 »
The only bad part about direct wiring is figuring out a good way to mount the controller in there.

Looks good. I always approve direct wire projects.

have you considered connecting the plate standoff to ground, like it had on the original item?
« Last Edit: Thu, 17 November 2016, 13:29:03 by dorkvader »

Online TalkingTree

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Re: [Log][Tutorial] Skipad
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 17 November 2016, 13:55:57 »
have you considered connecting the plate standoff to ground, like it had on the original item?
I didn't think of that at all, but I guess it's worth the effort.
Thanks.

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: [Log][Tutorial] Skipad
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 17 November 2016, 15:24:05 »
Nice project - there's no cheaper programmable numberpad than that! (unless you use a pro micro...)

Love that you kept the skidata theme on the relegendables too :thumb:
                               
Ducky Zero, MX Reds    JD40, Jailhouse Blues           GH60
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Online TalkingTree

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Re: [Log][Tutorial] Skipad
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 19 November 2016, 02:43:04 »
have you considered connecting the plate standoff to ground, like it had on the original item?
I didn't think of that at all, but I guess it's worth the effort.
Thanks.
Done and updated the OP. Thank you for your suggestion dorkvader.

Nice project - there's no cheaper programmable numberpad than that! (unless you use a pro micro...)
Pro Micro is surely a cheaper alternative but the Teensy is so easy to program that anyone could do it.

Love that you kept the skidata theme on the relegendables too :thumb:
Thanks. ;D