geekhack Projects > Making Stuff Together!

[BUILD] DIY Handwired No-stabs FRL "96%"

(1/2) > >>

EDIT: pretty much done.

Next handwire project is coalescing.  The idea this time is a little more off the beaten path, and I'm exploring a few new skills:

* Layout: FRL 1800 but with no separation on the arrows, so a "96%" that's way less than 96%.
* No stabilizers.  Longest key is 1.75u.
* Split space is a must.  Layout will be one 1.5u and 3 1.25u

* Row stagger is altered only on numrow, which is shifted 0.25u to right.
* Only uses the keycap sizes on a standard 104-key ANSI layout, so if you didn't care about legends, you could use any non-sculpted keycap set.
* I do care about legends, though.  Keycaps are two-tone gray DSA blanks from YMDK, but I will use a low-powered laser pass over some Cricut "infusible ink" to do DIY dye-sub legends. Early results are promising, though the process is going to be tedious.  This will be ameliorated a bit by using my own amateurish but adequate keycap design that only uses three glyphs in various rotations for all modifiers and nav keys.  I will need to be careful to get my jig centered so that rotating the keycaps will look acceptable.  I don't quite trust myself not to have compounding error if I make a multi-key jig, so the plan for this board is one at a time, about 3 minutes of actual laser time per keycap.
* Case will be a simple sandwich, laser cut from tempered hardboard, with the top plate painted.
* Switches will be Gateron Green, handwired to an RP2040 running KMK.
As always, budget is a priority.  Current out of pocket outlay for parts specific to the board are about $40 for keycaps, switches, and hardboard stock.  Still have enough wire, diodes, bumpers, etc. without a new purchase.

Plate generated (thanks again, swill!) and cut on my little Comgrow Z1.  If you look close, in one pic you can see the very bottom of my "just brute force it!" laser air assist, and in the other my initial zap-list for the laser dye-sub keycaps to come later.

This hardboard is interesting stuff.  With the linseed oil tempering, it should wear fairly well for everyday use, and that top surface is the smoothest material available on the big box plywood aisle, but it's not made to handle significant edge impacts or much torsion, and when it goes, it's DONE.  It crumples and tears like a wet Amazon box. The switch plate ought to be rigid enough that it'll hold up well, and the laser-burned sides should help a tiny bit, but this is a material I'd only recommend for prototypes and those determined to cut SOMETHING with a 5w laser ( I understand thin and dark acrylic cuts okay with the 10w).  Now that said, this particular piece cut beautifully, but I think I'm going to solder to hotswap sockets so I'll be able to re-use the wiring if the plate doesn't hold up. I have a batch scavenged from a PCB with a torn pad on the spacebar.

LASERman Projects:
Nice job, kudos for bespoke layout!

And here is (for comparison) my ideal layout:
And execution:

I love that layout.  Perfect for data entry, Unicode characters, etc.  The build quality is also very nice, certainly a step (or ten) above what I've done.

For mine, I was noodling around with what you could pull off without stabilizers, and I thought the results still looked pretty usable.  Time will tell, I suppose.  I doubt I will ever build it, but in a similar vein of treating keyboards as puzzles, I came up with what I think would be a non-insane 65% for someone who had an unneeded set of Ergodox keycaps.

Matrix is wired and bottom plate is cut.  I need to fine tune the dimensions on the sandwich plates, and probably get some longer screws.  You can also see a little internal wire management and MCU mounting courtesy of Gorilla Glue Hot Glue.  Nothing but the best here!


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version