Author Topic: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (now with Vial)  (Read 78830 times)

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Offline Vardys

  • Posts: 2
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #200 on: Sat, 05 June 2021, 00:24:11 »
Hate to be this guy but any updates? Really looking forward to the board, thanks for all the work so far!

Offline Volny

  • Posts: 133
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #201 on: Sat, 05 June 2021, 03:33:40 »
I got impatient waiting for this and decided on a bit of a whim to buy The Galleon (another 1800-style board that markets itself as being rather extravagant - the group buy ended today I believe). I got as far as the payment page and was about to hit the purchase button, when I decided I'd better put the layout into KLE to figure out whether it truly suited me. Turns out it simply didn't have enough keys for my needs. I need something a little less modest  :D So I'm back to eyeing this little cutie. Also eager for an update! :)

Offline illegal_emigrant

  • Posts: 3
  • Location: United States
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #202 on: Sat, 05 June 2021, 16:59:43 »
I cannot wait to solder down 240 mill max sockets onto this bad boy

Offline Neely_12

  • Posts: 136
  • Location: US
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #203 on: Sat, 05 June 2021, 20:44:57 »
My dad is really looking forward to this board. Hopefully we can get some more updates soon. Good luck!

Offline Pylon

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Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #204 on: Thu, 10 June 2021, 15:14:57 »
Sorry for the lack of updates - I've been pretty busy the past couple of weeks, and there's a fair amount of stuff I need to explain. Hopefully will have something this weekend.

Offline asmashedpumpkin

  • Posts: 19
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #205 on: Thu, 10 June 2021, 20:01:21 »
One of my keeb goals is to get the premium alum version of this board for my GMK Nuclear Data keycaps on it so I can feel like Homer Simpson at work.

Offline Realdrian

  • Posts: 9
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #206 on: Fri, 11 June 2021, 01:09:13 »
Cant wait for the updates good or bad Pylon! love this board

Offline JucheCatgirlTS

  • Posts: 33
  • Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #207 on: Thu, 17 June 2021, 13:00:23 »
Just dropping by to share a sound test of my build:


EDIT: I'm an idiot and posted the wrong link yesterday. It's fixed now. Sorry folks!
« Last Edit: Fri, 18 June 2021, 13:31:02 by JucheCatgirlTS »

Offline Pylon

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  • Posts: 813
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #208 on: Fri, 18 June 2021, 00:36:07 »
Hi everyone - sorry for the late update.

I am aware that this IC thread is over 13 months old at this point and that this project is taking quite a bit of time to reach a proper GB. I am sorry for the lack of updates the past couple months. To be honest, this started off as a project while I was unemployed at the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic to make the keyboard I really wanted to use, and so the progress in the first couple months and making the prototypes was quite fast as I had a lot of time to devote to this project. However, I found a full-time job last fall, spent much of April and May doing force curve measurements of switches, and with vaccines now widely available in the US and many things reopening here, I have had significantly less spare time to devote to this project. I am sorry that this is taking so long. That being said:

3D printed version:
  • I am no longer planning on personally running and fulfilling a GB for the 3D printed version using my personal 3D printer and out of my basement as I originally planned to do. My life circumstances have changed where I don’t have the time/resources/desire anymore to personally manufacture and fulfill a GB as I was originally planning. I am sorry about this change of plans as I know many of you were holding out for this board and potentially skipped other GBs.
  • I am talking to some vendors about potentially running a GB or in-stock sale for the 3D-printed version, but this will probably be several months out. I’ve pitched it to a couple of vendors in the past, with little success, but am talking to a couple right now. Hopefully I can announce something further down the line. If you are a vendor interested in running the 3D-printed version of this keeb, please let me know!
  • The 3D printed version is fully open-source (files are here on Github), and on the CERN OHL-W license. Vendors, individuals, and others are free to run GBs or otherwise order parts and sell kits for the 3D printed version without my permission and without owing me royalties or fees of any type. The only major obligation imposed by the license is that if you modify or change the files/design in any way, that you need to open-source those modifications or changes. I am considering changing this to a less restrictive license such as CERN OHL-P, MIT, or BSD in the future, but am weighing that against the general interest in seeing derivative works remaining open-source. For now I am keeping the CERN OHL-W license.
  • I reorganized the Github repo so its folder structure should make a lot more sense now. I also added a fastener bill of materials.
  • I will put together better documentation and write an ordering guide so people can get PCBs, plates, and bottom panels, ordered from PCB manufacturers directly.
  • I’m working on a version of the PCB (V0.6J) that can be fully assembled at JLCPCB so you don’t have to hand solder any surface mount parts on the PCB. I will also write an ordering guide for the JLCPCB version walking you through the ordering process for ordering the PCBs, plates, and bottom panels.
  • I don't want to make any promises for when I can finish the above, but will try to get it done by the end of July.
  • Note that most PCB manufacturers have an MOQ of 5.
  • Long term I may do a redesign of the 3D printed version and add a daughterboard and switch to bottom mount to remove the visible screw heads (a common complaint),  but this redesign is pretty low priority for me, and may not happen for quite some time.

Metal version:
  • This is still alive, but has been moving slowly.
  • This was unfortunately not the highest priority for the US machine shop I partnered with, and I still have not received a prototype for the design I announced last August (though one was machined and is currently in the hands of the machine shop, and I sent them a PCB and plate to put a full board together).
  • Since it’s been almost a year since I redesigned the metal version, and I’ve learned a fair amount of keyboards, I decided to redesign this with a C3 daughterboard and with the slope built in. I’m still in the midst of finishing everything (the daughterboard routing and the PCB changes for the daughterboard still have to be done), but here are some quick screenshots of the work in progress:

(I apologize that these are not proper renders - I am no longer using Fusion 360, and I
do not know how to use Blender. Also, these do not have fasteners, bump-ons, etc. currently modeled)
270842-0
270844-1
270846-2
270848-3

  • I am still working with said US machine shop, and they’re still going to be the ones selling the boards in the US. I may find vendors for sales outside the US.

Other serious complications for the project:
  • As everyone is probably aware there is still a severe semiconductor shortage, and microcontrollers for keyboards are affected. The STM32F072 microcontroller I’m using is still very difficult to get these days, and the shortage does not look like it’ll improve in the near future.
  • In general, digital devices operating over 9KHz (such as keyboards) can emit radio waves and cause interference, and there are legal limits to these unintended radio frequency emissions. Most custom keyboards are in somewhat legally questionable territory due to not doing radio interference compliance testing that is generally required of electronics by various regulatory bodies like the FCC and EU, to prove that emissions are under legal limits. This testing process is known as "Equipment Authorization" in the US. These tests are why pre-built keyboards, and other electronics such as phones, TVs, etc. have FCC and CE markings on them. Whether kits are required to be tested and authorized is a gray area, but if the manufacturer doesn’t test, the responsibility to test generally falls upon the user.
    • Compliance testing and authorization generally costs upwards of $2,000 at a testing lab, and is often charged per attempt. The tests require special, expensive equipment (such as calibrated antennas, anechoic chambers, and spectrum analyzers), and so DIY testing is not a viable option.
    • There are a few boards that have done FCC/CE EMI/RFI compliance testing and authorization, such as the NK65, CapsUnlocked boards, Planck, other Drop boards, and a couple of others, but:
      • Most have been sold pre-assembled (with switches and caps - e.g. the NK65 Milkshake or Randomfrankp editions), so they are legally required to get tested with no exceptions.
      • All of these are hotswap boards, and it is likely that the FCC considers the installation of parts without soldering to be too simple to qualify as a “kit” (see the Sparkfun article below)
    • In the US, whether sellers/manufacturers of unassembled keyboard kits are required to do testing and get authorization is legally a gray area, and FCC guidance is contradictory. EMCfastpass has an article arguing that testing and authorization is required . Sparkfun argues that it is unclear in a 2012 article, and currently sells kits without testing and authorization. Official (but non-binding) FCC guidance says kits should be tested before being sold, while this FCC Order and Consent Decree says that kits generally do not need to be tested by the manufacturer or seller.
    • In the US, if the seller/manufacturer does not do testing, FCC regulations (under 47 CFR § 15.23) require the person assembling the keyboard kit (i.e. you, the buyer) to do the EMI/RFI compliance testing. Obviously, given the huge costs, no one is doing this, despite the legal mandate.
    • 47 CFR § 15.23 exempts from testing and authorization home-build keyboards that are built for personal use, not assembled for a kit, not sold or offered for sale, and built in quantities of 5 or less. This board would not fall under that exemption unless you build it from scratch using the files published on Github, rather than from any purchased kit.
    • I’m still weighing whether to run the metal version of Boston through FCC testing and equipment authorization. It significantly affects the economics of the group buy, is unclear if it’s actually legally required on my end, and would likely lead to a price hike, but it would be ideal and remove some general legal issues for the end user. Given the metal case acting as a Faraday cage, it is very likely to pass on the first attempt.
    • I am not familiar with radio interference laws and regulations outside of the US, but they are likely similar.


















« Last Edit: Fri, 18 June 2021, 00:40:23 by Pylon »

Offline ktkintner

  • Posts: 2
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #209 on: Fri, 18 June 2021, 01:12:24 »
Thanks for the update! I'm looking forward to the metal version the most but I would definitely be in for one or two professionally 3D printed versions as well.

Offline Volny

  • Posts: 133
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #210 on: Fri, 18 June 2021, 07:02:09 »
Legalities aside, what are the practical consequences (if any) for a regular home user of the kind of radio interference you mention? Like, could they interfere with phone reception/wifi, or cause buzzing in audio speakers, or anything like that? Or is it basically an irrelevance, aside from the legal considerations?

Offline shutuphamish

  • Posts: 13
  • Location: Perth, Australia
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #211 on: Sat, 19 June 2021, 04:44:28 »
very keen for this board whenever it comes. its a big departure from my usual small is best philosophy but it will make a great home for my skidata relegendables



Offline Doblki

  • Posts: 6
  • Location: Downtown Canada
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #212 on: Sun, 20 June 2021, 07:04:17 »
Is the radio emission testing and authorization something we see with generally all the other group buy boards? Maybe you can reach out to past group buys or current IC's in the same region as you and ask how they dealt with it. This is surprisingly my first time hearing about this but it does make sense. I joined a group buy back in February on a board that had no mention of this either. Of course, I understand that if the testing and authorizing was not done for another board does not necessarily mean it's okay to forgo it for other boards.

Offline clik_clak

  • Posts: 352
  • Location: SLC, UT
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #213 on: Sun, 20 June 2021, 07:35:51 »
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that not a single keyboard GB here has ever and will ever go through this testing.

Offline Pylon

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Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #214 on: Sun, 20 June 2021, 15:11:24 »
Legalities aside, what are the practical consequences (if any) for a regular home user of the kind of radio interference you mention? Like, could they interfere with phone reception/wifi, or cause buzzing in audio speakers, or anything like that? Or is it basically an irrelevance, aside from the legal considerations?

To be honest I don't have much knowledge about radio frequency interference, but I believe all of those are possible. Keyboards do not use much power though (usually well under 2W, unless you have backlight or underglow) and I believe are unlikely to cause serious issues, but it's quite possible you exceed legal limits. The first Ultimate Hacking Keyboard prototype failed its EMI/RFI tests. Of course you don't know unless you test, which is why testing is often legally required, but the tests are expensive, and most designers are unaware of EMI/RFI regulations.

For past boards - I know the CapsUnlocked 65 and the Drop Planck had to go through FCC and CE testing which delayed those respective group buys. The NK65 also went through testing (I emailed Novelkeys about it), but they don't display FCC markings on its case as they were planning on displaying it in software.

It is highly unlikely that the FCC will take enforcement action for not testing the board you built, but if the FCC clarifies that kit manufacturers do have to test (a reasonable position as it is unlikely end users will ever do testing, and these legal limits and requirements exist for a reason), failure for GB designers/runners to do testing may result in fines and mandatory recalls. This may significantly affect the customs scene in the future, and either lead to standardized PCBs and cases being sold separately by different entities (to legally qualify as "subassemblies" exempt from testing, rather than "kits", as discussed in the Sparkfun and EMC Fast Pass articles), or GB runners pay for testing and authorization and raise prices. This would also push towards larger group buys (since testing is a fixed cost that can be spread out over many units) and make small group buys uneconomical.

Offline Technofrikus

  • Posts: 10
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #215 on: Tue, 22 June 2021, 01:33:04 »
...for my skidata relegendables

Wow. I didn't know these existed. They look fabulous! Quite the set price though.

Regarding the testing: if the rules change so that a kit (without switches and keys) is required to make these test i would think then other regulations regarding product security would also apply. I do this regulation stuff for a cargobike in Germany and there are many more regulations besides the radio tests so a CE sign can be put on the product. Not sure how that works in the US though. Hopefully this will not be necessary or legally enforced.

Offline whizzard

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Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #216 on: Fri, 25 June 2021, 22:01:02 »
I really love this keyboard. 

As far as complications mentioned.... not my place to say, really, but I wouldn't sweat the legal stuff so much as this is a hobby kit you are putting together.  In my non-legal opinion, the spirit of those laws is for the likes of the NK65, Planck, and other "mass-produced" boards.  If every single GB DIY keyboard had to go through all that testing, nothing would ever get released, and the hobby would be worse off for it.  And if that is something that is holding up such a nice kit, that would be a shame.  This is your project, and you need to figure out what you are comfortable with.  I just don't want you getting lost in the weeds with all that stuff when at the end of the day you are making prototype kits.  If you wanted to sell tens of thousands of fully put together products, that is different. That is just my two cents, and is not "legal advice".  Those laws are intended to protect everyday consumers, but shouldn't stifle creative efforts and small-scale production in the specialist hobby groups.

Again, this is beautiful, and it is getting harder and harder to find monster-size keyboards in this community lately where everything is about getting smaller, and we are spoiled for choice in the 60-65% category.  I don't even see many 75% anymore.  I have a keyset just for a 120% or larger collecting dust for over a year just waiting for a GB like this. 

Anyhow, good luck, and if there is a mailing list for the project that I didn't see in the post, let me know. I would like updates, even if they are slow coming.  Awesome work!  Oh yea, and I don't know what file type your models are in but I do know my way around Blender, and if I can help let me know.

Offline IneffableCrab

  • Posts: 1
  • Location: Boston, MA. USA
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #217 on: Sat, 03 July 2021, 14:15:23 »
I made an account just to follow this project. It scratches both my 1800 itch and my perpetual desire to have more keys. (Plus I just love the aesthetic choices here.)

Again, this is beautiful, and it is getting harder and harder to find monster-size keyboards in this community lately where everything is about getting smaller, and we are spoiled for choice in the 60-65% category.  I don't even see many 75% anymore.  I have a keyset just for a 120% or larger collecting dust for over a year just waiting for a GB like this.
For real. It's cartoonishly hard to find larger boards; I too have a 120% keyset that has been collecting dust in my closet for a little over a year now. :/

Offline bkrownd

  • Posts: 113
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #218 on: Sat, 03 July 2021, 15:10:22 »

250% or bust!   :cool:
My Group Buys: SA Nightlight, GMK Tuzi, ePBT RamenStop, GMK Iceberg, IFK Peach Tea, KAT Space Dust
Considering: GMK Stargaze
Non-GB sets: Akko World Tour Tokyo (V1), Coral Sea, SA Lime
Boards: GMMK TKL, Akko 3084, Kono 84

Offline geauxflying

  • Posts: 38
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #219 on: Sun, 04 July 2021, 13:05:31 »
Sharing my build of the 3D printed version. This is the first keyboard I have ever built, pretty cool first keyboard. Very happy with this board. Just need to hit the music shop for a telecaster knob.

A few comments about the build:
1) very impressed with how solid this is. It’s 3D printed, and it feels as nice as any other keyboard I have ever had, maybe best typing experience ever with the FR4 plate.
2) I had none of the issues with leveling that some other folks mentioned, I paid someone $75 to 3D print the case for me.
3) The instructions are excellent.
4) I think the “B stock” issue was that the plate for the numpad enter didn’t have a relief cut for the stabilizer. I just used a dremel and a small burr to cut a little rounded notch out.
5) I didn’t solder in hot swap sockets. My Kailh box pinks don’t fit well in mill max sockets and the PCB doesn’t support Kailh sockets (nbd).
6) The FR4 plate feels amazing to type on. I’ve never had an FR4 board before, I like it.


I may want to try building a custom case for it, maybe bamboo or something, but I really like the way it sounds in the 3d printed case.

The keycaps I used are a combination of KAT BoW and a B-stock kit of KAT milkshake (the milkshake kit was pretty bad, I couldn’t use a lot of it unfortunately). The

The 4th picture shows little stabilizer pads from UpgradeKeyboards.com. They are was easier than band-aid mods, and for $12 they send you enough pads to do LOTS of keyboards.

I really hope that the Aluminum version happens, this is a brilliant board. I think I will name it Botafogo (“fireboat”) after the Portuguese galleon of the same name!

« Last Edit: Mon, 05 July 2021, 18:26:58 by geauxflying »

Offline geauxflying

  • Posts: 38
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #220 on: Mon, 05 July 2021, 16:44:38 »
Here’s a clip to give people the sound of this keyboard with my Kailh Box Pink switches. I really love the sound and the feel with the FR4 plate.

Offline Realdrian

  • Posts: 9
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #221 on: Mon, 05 July 2021, 18:06:39 »
Here’s a clip to give people the sound of this keyboard with my Kailh Box Pink switches. I really love the sound and the feel with the FR4 plate.

That's awesome, thank you. I love everything about this board. Hope the metal one is coming along  :D

Offline geauxflying

  • Posts: 38
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #222 on: Wed, 07 July 2021, 10:41:49 »
If anyone wants to share bin files, this is my prelim layout. I'm assuming it's appropriate to share here since it's specific to this keyboard, but let me know if I'm breaking any rules.

A few comments

1) the rotary encoder doesn't work right now... (This is my first experience with QMK, and I'm learning that it is relative garbage, and I'm not a programmer so it's just taking me time to figure it out). I'm working on it, it's fun to learn about.
2) It's very similar to the default with the exception that I'm using a split space bar the MO (fn) key in the middle refers to layer 2. The only things on layer 2 right now are a num lock on the traditional num lock key, and a backspace where the right space bar is.
3) I changed the three keys between the numpad and the main keyboard to home/end/delete. I quickly found that I use them too much in normal typing not to have them close by.
4) Probably only need the "sleep" key at F13. No point to a wake key at F14 (hitting a key wakes the PC).
5) Things I might want to add:
  • I still need to figure out macros... print screen should access Win + Shift + S, for example.
  • Still need to figure out how to map special characters... §, £, ©, Σ 
  • Still want to figure out how to launch programs with a keystroke. A macro would work but there may be a more elegant way to do it. I'd like to make the Calc key open CalcTape, for example, instead of the windows calculator. CalcTape is far superior.
  • I probably should map a map a reset button, maybe on Layer 2, but the button on the back of the keyboard is easily accessible.
  • I might want to try the thing with shift keys that inserts parentheses when tapped. I don't need shift keys now though with the split space bar, so thinking about what else to map there.
  • Would be nice to have a key to cycle through the say 3 most recent stamp tools in Acrobat DC (I'm guessing that this will be difficult to code).

As I figure out how to do these things, I can share bin files if anyone wants them. The board is beautiful to type on, sounds good, feels good, I just need to learn how to be a programmer to use QMK (although, I understand that there may be VIAL support coming soon).

Offline Pylon

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 813
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (updated specs, 3D-printed version pics)
« Reply #223 on: Wed, 07 July 2021, 23:52:44 »
Hey everyone - I just got a Vial build up and running. Vial is an open-source alternative to VIA that lets you reprogram your keymap just like VIA, but adds a couple of extra features such as rotary encoder support and an unlock keycode for improved security.



Note that Vial is currently in beta, and there may be bugs. Use at your own risk. The Vial firmware for Boston has also only been tested on the standard layout, and although alt layouts (ISO, WKL, etc.) are supported they have not been tested and may have issues. Please contact me regarding any issues or bugs.

The Vial firmware is available on Github here. To use Vial, you will need to flash the boston_vial.bin file (using QMK Toolbox, dfu-util, or another utility). After you download and open Vial, Vial should recognize the keyboard, and let you remap keys. Note that you have to actually implement your changes in Vial you have to go to Security > Unlock, and hold down the security combo (Esc and Enter). This is a security feature to prevent unauthorized secret modification of your keyboard firmware.

Vial has  a Discord server if you want to follow up on the project.

No other updates at this time.
« Last Edit: Wed, 07 July 2021, 23:59:49 by Pylon »

Offline geauxflying

  • Posts: 38
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (now with Vial)
« Reply #224 on: Thu, 08 July 2021, 00:25:24 »
You're the best! Works great, already updated my keymap! Split space, and all 3 layers used, with macros, no issues, easy peasy. Thanks Pylon!
« Last Edit: Thu, 08 July 2021, 01:32:14 by geauxflying »

Offline Volny

  • Posts: 133
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (now with Vial)
« Reply #225 on: Sun, 11 July 2021, 07:15:37 »
Personally, I don't much care whether the keyboard shell is made from plastic, metal, or marshmallow. I'm in it for the great functionality not the looks, so I just want the keyboard. Given that, which do you think will be the earliest available version? Your recent update suggests that the plastic version has a lower priority, yet it also suggests that it'll come significantly sooner - possibly early November*, whereas the metal one seems to be stuck in an indefinite machine shop limbo, as well as waiting for further PCB refinement.

I get that the plastic version won't have the optimal aesthetics and may not have the C3 daughterboard and such, but in terms of the key layout and the programmability potential, will it be functionally the same as the metal one, or may the metal one have superior features/dependability or something like that? Also, if most PCB manufacturers require a minimum order of 5, and you no longer want to faff around with doing a 3D-printed groupbuy, would you perhaps be willing to run a groupbuy just for the PCBs alone?



* you actually wrote "end of July", though I long ago learned that such statements must always be converted using the magic formula  a=e  (where e=estimated time & a=actual time) ;) Don't take it personally, I apply that formula to everyone, including myself, and it almost always proves accurate (or overly optimistic).
« Last Edit: Sun, 11 July 2021, 07:20:01 by Volny »

Offline whizzard

  • Posts: 205
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Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (now with Vial)
« Reply #226 on: Sun, 25 July 2021, 20:19:07 »
I just wanted to post again because this keyboard really deserves to be made.  And not just because I am from Boston, but that helps.  I love customs, but I don't understand why so so many are 60-65%.   I know that is the popular style right now, but some of us love battleships and nobody but Pylon, and this project, has a glimmer of hope for one right now.  If there is anything I can do to help the project, just let me know.  Vial firmware looks good.  Keep it up! :)

Offline Volny

  • Posts: 133
Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (now with Vial)
« Reply #227 on: Sun, 25 July 2021, 23:38:29 »
Totally. Also, aside from the quantity of keys in question, the Boston simply has the smartest layout of any keyboard I've seen.

It knows to give the arrow keys some physical separation, but without the excessive wasted space of a regular full size, and without banishing the entire nav cluster to an inconvenient top corner like a traditional 1800.

And unlike all the hipster 60% boards it's smart enough to know that there's little practical benefit to conserving vertical real estate, so fully utilises that 2nd F-row while concentrating on conserving precious horizontal real estate instead.

The Boston layout simply makes more design sense than just about any other keyboard on the market IMO, at least for anyone who needs to do more than type a few emails. It should be the defacto standard rather than a niche outlier.

Offline whizzard

  • Posts: 205
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Re: [IC] Boston, a compact 120% (now with Vial)
« Reply #228 on: Wed, 28 July 2021, 22:56:24 »
Totally. Also, aside from the quantity of keys in question, the Boston simply has the smartest layout of any keyboard I've seen.

It knows to give the arrow keys some physical separation, but without the excessive wasted space of a regular full size, and without banishing the entire nav cluster to an inconvenient top corner like a traditional 1800.

And unlike all the hipster 60% boards it's smart enough to know that there's little practical benefit to conserving vertical real estate, so fully utilises that 2nd F-row while concentrating on conserving precious horizontal real estate instead.

The Boston layout simply makes more design sense than just about any other keyboard on the market IMO, at least for anyone who needs to do more than type a few emails. It should be the defacto standard rather than a niche outlier.

Couldn't agree with your post more.  I can't see a thing wrong with this layout.  The directionals position and the three keys between the numpad and main keys are a great idea as well.  They make a great spot for a delete key and macros.  I can think of so many things that you could do with this board, and the extra F row could be a great re-legendable or artisan display row. 

You can tell that the layout was not an afterthought and was definitely a focus of the design.  I think the number of units this would sell would be very surprising as many of us would like a keyboard like this.  Just staying positive and hoping for the best for this project and the designer.