Author Topic: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho) - New layout options!  (Read 2961 times)

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Offline fluxlab

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[IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho) - New layout options!
« on: Sat, 24 April 2021, 14:31:08 »


FluxLab ZT60
A premium 60% ortholinear keyboard



Fill out the Interest Check Form!

     



Updates

April 28, 2021: New aligned number row layout option, new renders



Hello!

My name is Jason.
I have just completed the Zplit group buy and would like to introduce a new keyboard: the FluxLab ZT60.
The ZT60 will be a premium, 60% ortholinear keyboard for most high-end keysets.

While running the Zplit GB, I realized that my product did not have the same quality as many other keyboards.
Surface finish was not perfect, packaging was rough, and official QMK and VIA firmware support was not ready.
So, for the ZT60, I will be focusing on giving you a premium experience throughout, starting from the unboxing to the first typing test.

The ZT60 has been in development for almost a year, and I have been using a prototype of it as my main keyboard for the past 6 months.
Many changes have since been made to the design.

I will be posting regular updates on the FluxLab Discord server: https://discord.gg/ngQMCMBKjw

Alternatively, updates will also be posted on the FluxLab Instagram page: https://instagram.com/flxlb

Thanks,
Jason



The Design

The FluxLab ZT60 is a 60% ortholinear keyboard with support for most high-end keysets.
As long as the keyset has 1u/1.75u and 2u shift keys, it will be fully compatible with the ZT60.
It will support various bottom-row layout features, such as a 6.25u spacebar, a 7u spacebar, split spacebars, and an arrow cluster.
The image below illustrates all the layout options available.

Default


Aligned number row


Case Specifications
Plate Mount: Gasket
Weight: ~2 kg
Case Material: 6063 aluminum
Weight Material: C36000 brass
Gasket Material: Poron and silicone
Typing Angle: 6.9 degrees
Case Surface Finish: Electrophoresis coating or anodized
Plate Surface Finish: PVD coated
Color Options: White or black
Case Feet: Adhesive rubber feet

Plate Options
Brass
POM
FR-4

PCB Specifications
MCU: Atmel ATMEGA32U4
Connector: USB-C (with daughterboard)
Switch direction: South-facing
Protection: ESD, overvoltage, overcurrent
Hotswap: Mill-max service or Kailh (depending on interest)
Switch compatibility: MX only
Lighting: None
Firmware: QMK and VIA installed out of the box



Renders










Prototype

The following is the initial prototype of the ZT60.
I have made some changes to the design and am now waiting for a second prototype.






Sound Test (proto1)

The final case design will:
Omit the rotary knobs (ZT60 Pro with knobs coming after)
Have a seamless case
Use a USB-C daughterboard
Use gasket strips instead of o-rings



Pricing

Exact final pricing is not yet determined, but will be in the range of CAD$500-650 (~USD$400-500).
Group buy will be run through my website, flxlb.ca, which will use Shopify to process payments.




Timeline

*I will be generous with the estimated dates.

Late June to early July
Group buy starts and lasts 1 week

2nd month
Receive final samples

4th month
Receive case parts, PCBs, and packaging
Inspect parts
Test PCBs
Assemble and package if quality requirements are satisfied

6th month
Receive new parts if required
Assemble and package
Begin shipping

All orders to be fulfilled by 2022 Q2



Frequently Asked Questions

Can the number row be aligned with the rest of the alpha keys?
I've added a new layout option for this! It will require a 1.75u backspace key. There will also be a separate plate and blocker for this option, which may be slightly more expensive.

Will there be an EU vendor?
If there is enough interest for this keyboard, I will definitely reach out to EU vendors.

Will there be a hotswap option?
There will either be a mill-max hotswap soldering service or a fully integrated Kailh hotswap PCB option, depending on interest.

Are there any other colour options?
Currently, the confirmed colours are e-white and black. I may choose a third colour from the feedback I receive.



Fill out the Interest Check Form!



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[url=https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=112471.0][img width=315 height=140]https://i.imgur.com/GfQVBGq.jpg[/img][/url]


« Last Edit: Wed, 28 April 2021, 21:09:58 by fluxlab »

Online Rubbermilitia

  • Posts: 228
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho)
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 24 April 2021, 14:47:46 »
I love this layout but I'm curious about a few things:

- what went wrong with the previous surface finishing?
- what are you doing to avoid a repeat of that issue? Changing factories, improved QA...?
- why 6.9 instead of 7 degrees?

This board has everything I like about ortho with everything I like about staggered, so I will be watching curiously!
Thanks!

Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk


Offline fluxlab

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  • Posts: 37
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho)
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 24 April 2021, 14:54:07 »
- what went wrong with the previous surface finishing?

The sandblasted brass plates did not have a coating and were prone to tarnishing.
The powdercoat had some slight orange peel and spots.

- what are you doing to avoid a repeat of that issue? Changing factories, improved QA...?

I've switched factories and will be requesting samples until the quality is satisfatory. QA will also be done on every unit before shipping.

- why 6.9 instead of 7 degrees?

why not? :)

Offline ZavaZ86

  • Posts: 35
  • Location: Denmark
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho)
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 24 April 2021, 14:57:18 »
You seem to have forgotten the last buzzword to complete the IC, please revise the IC.

Offline Mandy

  • Posts: 1
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho)
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 24 April 2021, 16:47:48 »
This is close for me. Odd decision to stagger the number row, and I wish it had support for an MIT style bottom row.

Offline fluxlab

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 37
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho)
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 24 April 2021, 17:24:14 »
This is close for me. Odd decision to stagger the number row, and I wish it had support for an MIT style bottom row.

the number row stagger is an imperfect solution, but its the only way to achieve a uniform 0.25u stagger along each row. the main benefits of ortho still remain with all the alpha keys aligned, as the num row is used much less than the alphas, so i decided to go with this design.

edit: also, not sure what an mit style bottom row looks like

Offline br4n_d0n

  • Posts: 48
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho)
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 24 April 2021, 23:41:28 »
This is close for me. Odd decision to stagger the number row, and I wish it had support for an MIT style bottom row.

the number row stagger is an imperfect solution, but its the only way to achieve a uniform 0.25u stagger along each row. the main benefits of ortho still remain with all the alpha keys aligned, as the num row is used much less than the alphas, so i decided to go with this design.

edit: also, not sure what an mit style bottom row looks like

I agree with the top row being a mistake and should be linear instead of offset. As for the "MIT" style, @Mandy is probably referring to the Planck MIT layout with a 2u spacebar or at least one that is also linear.

Side note: I'm not really sure what MIT stands for in the case of the Planck, so if anyone knows, please share.

Online Rubbermilitia

  • Posts: 228
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho)
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 24 April 2021, 23:47:22 »
This is close for me. Odd decision to stagger the number row, and I wish it had support for an MIT style bottom row.

the number row stagger is an imperfect solution, but its the only way to achieve a uniform 0.25u stagger along each row. the main benefits of ortho still remain with all the alpha keys aligned, as the num row is used much less than the alphas, so i decided to go with this design.

edit: also, not sure what an mit style bottom row looks like

I agree with the top row being a mistake and should be linear instead of offset. As for the "MIT" style, @Mandy is probably referring to the Planck MIT layout with a 2u spacebar or at least one that is also linear.

Side note: I'm not really sure what MIT stands for in the case of the Planck, so if anyone knows, please share.

Yeah I would be curious to see the uniform 0.25u stagger version side-by-side with a full ortho on alphas version

Offline fluxlab

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  • Posts: 37
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho)
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 25 April 2021, 01:36:47 »
I agree with the top row being a mistake and should be linear instead of offset.

I've received quite a bit of feedback regarding aligning the top row, so I thought about it more and may have come up with something elegant! Will update you guys soon!

Offline peej

  • Posts: 48
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho)
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 25 April 2021, 02:44:19 »
This is amazing, I love it.

I think the staggered top row is fine, I'd prefer this than having a non-uniform edge.
EU vendor? Shipping and imports are gonna sting.
Do you have more renders of the back and underside?

Offline Kawamashi

  • Posts: 139
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho)
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 25 April 2021, 14:52:09 »
The staggered top row don't bother me, keeping a uniform 0.25u stagger along each row is much more elegant than to go full ortho.

EU vendor would be awesome !

Offline well_cooper

  • Posts: 62
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho)
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 27 April 2021, 06:39:07 »
really interesting idea, GLWIC

Offline fluxlab

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  • Posts: 37
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho)
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 28 April 2021, 20:23:35 »
This is amazing, I love it.

I think the staggered top row is fine, I'd prefer this than having a non-uniform edge.
EU vendor? Shipping and imports are gonna sting.
Do you have more renders of the back and underside?

Just made an update to this! I will be deciding on whether to have an EU vendor later, depending on interest. New renders have been added, as well as an option for those who want the number row aligned!

Offline gbenz

  • Posts: 24
Re: [IC] FluxLab ZT60 (A premium 60% ortho) - New layout options!
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 29 April 2021, 01:40:39 »
That skinny little blocker at the top left of the aligned num row layout............. .. .. feels bad