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[IC] AM Compact Touch (65 Less) by Angry Miao

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Crazy Designers:
AM Compact Touch (65 Less) by Angry Miao


Discord server
Crazy Designers here. Last time I shared some things we experimented with, and today I would like to introduce Angry Miao's latest keyboard: AM Compact Touch (65 Less). We have been wanting to do a more compact board for quite some time, and achieve that through an interesting layout.

So yes, the name. This keyboard is actually not a 65%. It's more about how this keyboard concept was generated, by thinking about how to maintain the fundamental user habit of 65% and forgo a few for symmetric design. At the same time, we maintain a symmetrical shape, making it perfect for showcasing your favorite keycaps.

Internally, AM Compact Touch comes packed with a two-stage adjustable leaf spring mount (8 different typing combos), which you can adjust to find the right amount of flex for you. The 1.2mm PCB has cut-outs for more flex, and supports hot-swap. In-switch RGB is available as well.

We also included a Touch Panel on the front to provide four-way arrow keys with swipe and hold, replacing traditional arrow keys. This means the arrow keys are right there at your thumb, and no key-combos are needed to access them.

Blocker RGB lighting powered by 4 independent LEDs is available on the Laser and Mech Love colorways. The hardware, which is powered by its own individual PCB, is included with the other variants as well. You would just need to make your own cutouts on the front cover.

IC form: https://forms.gle/Qz1iiX4P73hAnuAi8


Details


Keyboard Inclination Angle: 10
CMF: CNC aluminum, anodized / electrostatic coating
Mounting Method: Adjustable Leaf-Spring Mount (two-stage adjustable flex, 8 typing combos)
Plate: FR4 plate installed by default, POM plate optional
LEDs: In-switch RGB, blocker RGB lighting
PCB: 1.2mm hot-swap with in-switch LEDs and cutouts. Key layout configurable via Angry Miao DIY site. Two separate PCBs for Touch Panel and blocker RGB lighting
Connection: Wired & Bluetooth 5.1
Dimensions: 296.7mm (L) * 119.8mm (W) * 20.4mm (front height) / 39.2mm (rear height)
Weight: Base Kit 1.40kg, Bundle 1.47kg
Remapping: All keys support remapping and assigning multimedia keys (except the Fn+Esc power on combo). Up to 7 layers are supported.
Layout:



Design


There's nothing like the design of the DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future, with its amazing mix between vintage and futurism. The silver-black color scheme of AM Compact Touch aims to take you back to the 80s.


Back to the Future
is matched with our BUGERWORK collab "Back to the Future" keycaps.

Night Drive
was inspired by hacker Lucy from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.

All Black
is just black.

8-Bit
takes its inspiration from the Famicom gaming console. We matched it with JTK Classic FC keycaps.

Hard Candy
takes its inspiration from the Japanese anime character Cinnamoroll. Domikey created a matching custom keycap set with us.

Laser
takes its inspiration from the Tesla Cybertruck. Blocker RGB lighting projects 90 degrees of lighting directly from its unibody shape, much like the headlights on the Cybertruck.

Mech Love
was inspired by XBOT-4000 from Love Death + Robots. Blocker RGB lighting projects yellow from the cross and blue from the square.

Adjustable Leaf-Spring


We have integrated a 2-stage adjustable leaf-spring mount in this board for up to 8 typing combos. Much like AM AFA, this leaf-spring mount allows you to adjust flex from soft to hard. Included are 4 stainless steel leaf-springs (harder flex), and 2 phosphorus copper leaf-springs (softer flex). Additionally, you can install a PCB pad, bottom pad (adjustment pad) and case foam to further personalize your typing experience.



Touch Panel


When using a traditional 65% board you need to move your wrist to reach the arrow keys, but with the Touch Panel all you need is a swipe with your thumb. You can also swipe and hold to simulate long pressing on an arrow key. Since most users rest their thumbs on the spacebar area while typing, the Touch Panel is there directly within reach. With the positioning of the Touch Panel, you can use a split wrist rest such as the Hover Maglev Wrist Rest. However, with its 20.4mm front height and compact size, this is normally not necessary.

The Touch Panel uses customized hardware and is integrated into the front cover together with its controller. It uses capacitive touch technology, for which we have spent over 3 months perfecting its software. In terms of sensitivity, you get an experience that's about 80-90% of traditional arrow keys and we'll keep working on further optimizing it.


Read more on the development process, including the joystick that we had to give up here.


PCB


The 4-layer PCB has a thickness of 1.2mm and has cut-outs for additional flex. It also has hot-swap support and integrates in-switch RGB. Unfortunately, to integrate these features we had to forgo split backspace, but we are considering adding an optional solder PCB with split backspace support.


The master control PCB.

DIY Blocker RGB


To take advantage of the two blocker areas brought by this layout, we made cutouts to recreate a laser-like lighting effect (Laser) or lighting pattern (Mech Love). We specifically developed an independent PCB for these two blocker RGB lights. Each contains 4 LEDs. Of course, DIY functionality is available.

The blocker RGB modules are included on all colorways of AM Compact Touch, but only Laser and Mech Love have cut-outs on the front cover to expose those modules by default. In the future, we could provide replaceable front covers.



Make It Yours


We will also offer a custom version of Mech Love, where you can customize the board on 3 different positions. You will be able to customize the blockers in the left and right lower corners and also the area above the USB Type-C port. This customization will be offered through Angry Miao's official website.



Pricing

We are still working on finalizing some things, but the board will come as Base Kit and as a Bundle. The Bundle will include Angry Miao Icy Silver switches, and matching keycaps depending on the colorway you choose. The Base Kit will come without switches and keycaps. We also plan to offer the option to have "Less is More" engraved on the rear of the board.

The final pricing and availability are still TBA. Stay tuned on our Discord.


FAQ

1. This keyboard is not 65%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111
Yes, we don't think it's a 65% either. As we explained here, it's more like how the concept was generated by thinking about how to maintain the fundamental user habit of 65%.

2. Why no split backspace?
By keeping the 2U backspace we are able to integrate hot-swap, in-switch RGB, and cutouts into the PCB. Also, we tried to retain the fundamental user habit of 65%, which usually has an R1 2U backspace. An optional solder PCB with split backspace support is under consideration.

3. Why is it so high on the front?
Gasket- and leaf-spring mounts lead to a higher front height. The front height of AM Compact Touch is around 20mm, which is in line with most mech keyboards today:


4. How about a wrist rest?
AM Compact Touch has a front height of around 20mm, which normally doesn't require a wrist rest. If you absolutely need a wrist rest, you can use a split one such as the Hover Maglev Wrist Rest.

5. Do you have a sound test?
User Pudding did a build and sound test of this board here.

louckousse:
You should have named it hhkbad.

"Gna gna gna 2u backspace to keep 65 users habits" where are the control keys then?!

Is that your second? Third tentative of an "ic" and you learnt nothing.

SilfurSol:
Just call it what it is, AN HHKB, and let us split the backspace, instead of trying to be special by just combining the worst of both layouts and a passable gimmick. Can't wait to see how stupidly overpriced this one is again.

tomish:
wher control ?
wher QMK support ?
wher split backspace ?

BlivionIaG:
Hi,

Having a split backspace option could be a nice addition, any plan for iso layout ?

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