Author Topic: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard  (Read 11074 times)

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Offline fknraiden

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Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« on: Wed, 05 August 2015, 19:21:18 »
I decided I wanted to go farther down the rabbit hole and make something that I could call my own.
Saw some of the awesome projects matt3o, lowpoly and a few other have done and wanted to see if I could do it myself.

So I went and got a plate cut locally here in PDX from Precision Laser. 16ga 316 SS #4 Finish.




Pulled some Vintage blacks off a NIB Wyse and lubed then with RO-59 and added red switch stickers. BUTTER!



Got some acrylic cut from a someone I met at Portland's Mechanical Keyboard Meetup. (thanks Chris)


Now the wiring begins:
Adding Diodes.




Adding Columns, I used 24ga Magnet Wire







Debated over how to wire up the teensy to all the columns. At first I tried lowpolys way of using a ribbon cable. Ended up using a piece of paracord and shoving 30ga wrapping wire into it. I think it looks very clean. I have some pictures with ribbon I might add if I find them or if there is interest, it would have worked fine.



I made my own extension cable for the removable cable and connected it to the teensy. I may figure out a better way of attaching the female Micro connector to the case.

Ended up with a little less room that I expected so I added in a extra clear layer that Chris gave me from the extra acrylic.







Got everything wired up and ready for keycaps







This will eventually be for sale along with the keycaps.

Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear your comments.


« Last Edit: Mon, 08 February 2016, 17:41:28 by fknraiden »

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Offline neverused

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 05 August 2015, 20:43:03 »
Looks beautiful

Offline TD22057

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 05 August 2015, 21:31:53 »
That looks fantastic!  Might be the nicest looking hand wiring job I've ever seen.  How did you get the wires inside the paracord?  And then extract them at the right locations?

Offline sethk_

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 05 August 2015, 22:03:27 »
Where did you get the lube from? I think it's hard to come by.

Offline fknraiden

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 05 August 2015, 22:36:35 »
That looks fantastic!  Might be the nicest looking hand wiring job I've ever seen.  How did you get the wires inside the paracord?  And then extract them at the right locations?

very carefully =P
I just made a tiny hole where I wanted them to come out, then fed it through to the end. Then I just had to pull on one and I could see where it was for connecting to the teensy.

Where did you get the lube from? I think it's hard to come by.
From some member here on GH i dont remember.

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Offline vvp

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 03:24:32 »
Adding Columns, I used 24ga Magnet Wire
I can recommend this too. But I used 32ga ( 0.2 mm) wire. The thinner the wire the easier it is to work with it (the easier it is to burn through the insulation when soldering it).

Offline fknraiden

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 04:46:40 »
Adding Columns, I used 24ga Magnet Wire
I can recommend this too. But I used 32ga ( 0.2 mm) wire. The thinner the wire the easier it is to work with it (the easier it is to burn through the insulation when soldering it).

yes! i ran into a little trouble with this wire, maybe it was the tip i was using, but it isn't wanting to melt the insulation. I ended up taking my dremmel an took some off, a lot more work that I expected. I did get some 30ga recently and that flew off the second it made contact with the solder.

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Offline Yoe

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 06:43:24 »
This looks absolutely awesome! I've been wanting to use magnet wire too, but never came around to ordering some. Looks really good with the paracord sleeve too.

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 06:58:18 »
Really like how the board turned out, congrats!

Offline jdcarpe

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 08:42:10 »
Bravo on your custom creation. That is really great work!

I especially like that you had wrapping wire to use for your controller connections. :)
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Offline 0100010

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 09:15:53 »
  Quoting me causes a posting error that you need to ignore.

Offline vvp

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 10:23:06 »
I've been wanting to use magnet wire too, but never came around to ordering some.
Get something in the range of 0.15 - 0.2 mm. Set iron to 400 - 450 C. And it will be a piece of cake. A blob of solder on your iron will burn through the insulation in a matter of seconds.

You can even order (or make yourself) a tool for it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiring_pencil
But it is not really needed.

Offline Yoe

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 10:29:30 »
I've been wanting to use magnet wire too, but never came around to ordering some.
Get something in the range of 0.15 - 0.2 mm. Set iron to 400 - 450 C. And it will be a piece of cake. A blob of solder on your iron will burn through the insulation in a matter of seconds.

You can even order (or make yourself) a tool for it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiring_pencil
But it is not really needed.

Great advice! Thank you! :) There are different kinds of insulation too, right? Some easier to burn through?

Offline vvp

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 11:07:31 »
Great advice! Thank you! :) There are different kinds of insulation too, right? Some easier to burn through?
I heard so. I do not really know though.

If the wire is not too thick then a small blob of solder on your iron (which will surround the wire when you touch it) will burn through the insulation quickly. I used wires intended for electromagnets as well as wires bought with a wiring pencil and I did not notice a difference (provided the wire diameter is the same). My experience indicates that the most important things are wire diameter and the soldering iron temperature.

I do not really know whether the wires I used had different kinds of insulation.

If you have a choice then you can pick the wire which insulation is easier to burn (i.e. intended for soldering) but I would not bother too much about this.

Offline vvp

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 11:13:59 »
Here is an example of a 0.25 mm bare vertical wire and 0.2 mm horizontal magnet (enameled) wire.

Offline fknraiden

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 13:05:24 »
Here is an example of a 0.25 mm bare vertical wire and 0.2 mm horizontal magnet (enameled) wire.


So tiny! Is that 3d printed?

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Offline jdcarpe

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 13:33:41 »
I don't know if you followed my advice, or if it was serendipitous, but I'm SO glad someone finally made their custom board using the square switch holes and Cherry-only stabilizer holes! Makes for much more secure attachment of the stabs and switches.
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Offline fknraiden

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 14:04:40 »
I don't know if you followed my advice, or if it was serendipitous, but I'm SO glad someone finally made their custom board using the square switch holes and Cherry-only stabilizer holes! Makes for much more secure attachment of the stabs and switches.

It may have been partly you, I read a ton of stuff. I just knew I'd run into issues down the road if the switches had any room to move. The alternative would have been hot glue, and that never looks pretty.
On the other hand, I don't plan on ever taking the intended caps off.
« Last Edit: Thu, 06 August 2015, 14:07:29 by fknraiden »

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Offline fknraiden

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 14:10:58 »
Double post, but just wanted to thank everyone for the kind words, means a lot.
If anyone has any questions about something, I'll do my best at answering, or pointing you in the right direction.

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Offline vvp

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 14:37:19 »
So tiny! Is that 3d printed?
Yes. You can find a full picture of it here. I only wanted to post a picture of the magnet wire joints.
I plan to post more pictures in a week or two ... and a much more pictures about reach-ability of the keys sometimes later.

I'm glad you went with magnet wire since if you use a thin one (e.g. 32 awg) then it is easier than common thick wires with plastic insulation. We should raise awareness of prototyping with magnet wire :)

Offline fknraiden

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 06 August 2015, 15:31:28 »
So tiny! Is that 3d printed?
Yes. You can find a full picture of it here. I only wanted to post a picture of the magnet wire joints.
I plan to post more pictures in a week or two ... and a much more pictures about reach-ability of the keys sometimes later.

I'm glad you went with magnet wire since if you use a thin one (e.g. 32 awg) then it is easier than common thick wires with plastic insulation. We should raise awareness of prototyping with magnet wire :)

Speaking of prototyping with magnet wire...
Thus guy is amazing.

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Offline fknraiden

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 23 November 2015, 04:26:34 »
I don't know if you followed my advice, or if it was serendipitous, but I'm SO glad someone finally made their custom board using the square switch holes and Cherry-only stabilizer holes! Makes for much more secure attachment of the stabs and switches.

sorry to necro, but na, I didn't see your comment about that. I just knew the layout I wanted, and knew that I didn't want something that could budge in any way.
EDIT: and i just realized i already replied to that comment. sigh

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Offline MaNiFeX

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 08 December 2015, 11:08:56 »
Just saw this...  SO sick.

Offline fknraiden

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 08 December 2015, 21:36:09 »
Just saw this...  SO sick.

oh thanks, stalking my recent posts? lol

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Offline livingspeedbump

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 08 December 2015, 21:53:55 »
legitimately some of the cleanest hand wiring I've ever seen.

Fantastic job.
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Offline fknraiden

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 08 December 2015, 21:59:52 »
legitimately some of the cleanest hand wiring I've ever seen.

Fantastic job.
That means a lot Andy!
Especially from you bae =P
« Last Edit: Wed, 09 December 2015, 17:21:58 by fknraiden »

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Re: Custom-made handwired matrix keyboard
« Reply #26 on: Mon, 26 April 2021, 09:56:43 »
Go to the 14th photo and scroll up and down on it, it looks so weird.
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