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[IC] Caerdroia (TKL) by AKB

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Alchemist Keyboards:




When finding inspiration for designing new boards, sometimes I look back to vintage keyboards and computers, but other times I find inspiration in things that are much more abstract.

With Caerdroia, I wanted to finally design a TKL that I would be proud to put my name on but with so many of them out there already it was tough to come up with something entirely unique. It felt like everything had been done already and I think the reason why it took me over 3 years to finally start designing a TKL for AKB was because I was a little jaded by this, especially given that the majority of TKLs (to me) seemed to copy elements from their contemporaries, or other designs that have truly stood the test of time.

I wanted to try and design my TKL so it was truly unique from every angle, and to do that I had to go down the abstract route for inspiration.

I learned about what a Caerdroia was late one evening while deep down a wiki hole - it is essentially a maze in a forest in Wales formed in a labyrinthine shape. While it has no truly historic significance, it has been adopted by various spiritual groups in the area and is hailed as a place of mystical enlightenment. I started with this idea and over time it blossomed into more of a fictional narrative about a sentient forest that would "adopt" unfortunate souls who happened to wander within it, and they would dutifully remain forever - bending to the forest's will.

In March 2024 I worked with CannonKeys to do an in-stock sale of this board, limited to just 50 units. That was fixed to WKL only, and only came in one exclusive colourway. Now I'd like to expand the options, make subtle improvements and offer it to the wider hobby.

We take inspiration wherever we can find it right?


Links:

AKB Website
AKB Discord

INTEREST CHECK FORM


Key Features:

* F12 TKL layout
* Integrated USB 2.0 hub
* 4.5mm PC plate by default
* MX, Alps and EC kit compatibility
* Accurate Caerdroia weight design
* Choice of WK or WKL
* Semi-seamless design
* Lots of subtle, hidden design details throughout
* Possibility for multiple weight finishes



Other specs:

* 7 typing angle
* 6063 aluminium top/bottom case
* Coated brass weight
* 19.5mm front height
* Top-mount
* ~2.6kg built weight
* Manufactured by Hongtu

Photos:




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Renders:



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Changes from the in-stock version:

* Added EC support
* Adjusted case screw position on the front to allow room for EC stabiliser wire
* Adjusted internal AKB logo engraving
* Expanded thicc plate compatibility
* Adjusted the geometry around right shift on the thicc plate as some stabs didn't fully clear
* Added force break gasket at the front-middle of the board
* Adjusted alignment post design
* Adjusted weight geometry (internal) for ease of production
* Fix Alps plate to now support full right shift

Compatibility:

Default (thick) plate support,
Solder MX PCB,
Alps PCB:


Hotswap MX PCB


Alps Plate (MX stabs by default)
Plate files with OG stabilizer compatibility will be open sourced



EC PCB details coming soon



GB plans/details:

* Hoping to schedule a GB for sometime in Q3 2024
* Currently estimated to land around $400more details TBD


INTEREST CHECK FORM

jpro:
I snagged one of these during the in-stock drop and it is truly an exquisitely designed board. Glad more people are going to get a chance to try one of these beauties. Good look with the IC!

LMarci:
Phenomenal project, GLWIC :thumb:

Bennettb:
I love the USBs! Super cool project!

DivinaPapaya:
Looks amazing and damn the two usb ports are great, its the only thing I miss from the moment I stopped using normie mechanical boards. GLWIC

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