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geekhack Projects => Making Stuff Together! => Topic started by: RMP on Fri, 09 April 2021, 13:28:18

Title: Working on 1800 custom layout I need your feedback
Post by: RMP on Fri, 09 April 2021, 13:28:18
First post, first batch of questions !  :p

Hello guys, I am following custom keyboard scene from a long time now and thinking about building a keyboard. I have a lot in mind and a lot of questions for you! Could you give me your feedbacks on this raw list of ideas ?

- Both ortho and normal layout (switching PCB same case)
- Adjustable angle
- Hot swap or not
- Alu Keys
- Joystick Knob (7 positions knob)

Here is a quick render I did of the layout I want to build (the knob will be on top right corner).
(https://i.imgur.com/OsGg2Jj.jpg)
Title: Re: Working on 1800 custom layout I need your feedback
Post by: MisterWaffle on Fri, 09 April 2021, 16:20:17
I think having both PCB options is a good idea, especially considering I don't think there are any ortho keyboards in this layout. Adjustable angle sounds like something that'd drive cost up quite a bit for something that  many people wouldn't care about, I'd suggest sticking with a traditional angle. Hotswap would also increase the cost but is a good idea to offer. If this won't have RGB, you could have a hotswap south facing option and a north facing soldered option on the same PCB. Aluminum keys? If you mean aluminum keycaps, that'll cost more than the keyboard itself and sound awful lol. People also want to have their own choice of keycaps. Rotary encoders are always cool but if you're planning on putting a joystick in, make sure you put it somewhere sensible that actually would be easy to use while typing.
Title: Re: Working on 1800 custom layout I need your feedback
Post by: Leslieann on Fri, 09 April 2021, 17:57:35
- Both ortho and normal layout (switching PCB same case)
- Adjustable angle
- Hot swap or not
- Alu Keys
You're not going to get ortho and standard into a single plate, it's possible but it won't look good or be strong.

My bigger concern though is that this is an extremely ambitious design and while it looks great and all of this is certainly doable it's simply not practical.

You have so many options you won't be able to leverage quantity to get the price within reason. I can see people liking it and wanting it but how many will buy it if it costs $2500? Crazy price? I'd place that on the lower end of reasonable for this. It can be done cheaper, the problem is, like I said you don't have the quantity because you included so many options. 

From your perspective you see two, maybe 4 items, but that's not right. Say you have 2 color options, you now have 4 board/cases and 2 colors that's 8 different end products. It gets even worse from a manufacturing perspective, for example, right now you need 4 different pcbs (with 2 different firmware), your order just got split 4 ways, the only savings is on shipping. For keycaps, you need more than 20 different designs and that's without even adding legends, at which point it's closer to 150. For plates you probably need 2 designs. This is before you start adding colors and with anodizing these need to be done in sets for the colors to match, you can't take blue from batch one and expect it to perfectly match blue from batch 5 so if one blue part is bad on a keyboard you may have to redo all of the blue parts on that board at the same time. Each option adds to the setup fees and increases cost, anytime you need to remove and re-jig a part that adds cost, every addition color adds setup fees costs and limits your interchangeability.
Title: Re: Working on 1800 custom layout I need your feedback
Post by: darzzy on Sat, 10 April 2021, 22:04:16
- Both ortho and normal layout (switching PCB same case) ✔️
- Adjustable angle ---- Good addition, but I agree not something most people look for
- Hot swap or not ---- Personally I like hot swap and would like to see more hot swap keyboards
- Alu Keys ❌
- Joystick Knob (7 positions knob) ✔️