Author Topic: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%  (Read 63005 times)

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Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #100 on: Tue, 29 July 2014, 17:01:44 »

I've got an Olander near me and we can get just a ton of anything. However, you can only get it in tons. I went to get 3 M2s once and the guy just gave me a sad look and said it wasn't worth his time to invoice me and just let me have them.

If we want to get a bunch of stuff at once I can mail it to you Technomancy to include with the kits as well as send some tim mathiasx.

I've been to the Fastenal store near here when we had a project using 80/20 extruded aluminum at work.
Similar situation when we wanted 5x of a particular bolt: It was easier just to take them as samples, according to the guy at the register.

That said, Fastenal is fairly far away in an industrial park that I can't get to easily by bike. Car culture  :(

Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #101 on: Tue, 29 July 2014, 21:44:59 »
If we want to get a bunch of stuff at once I can mail it to you Technomancy to include with the kits as well as send some tim mathiasx.

Thanks for the offer; I've actually had good luck picking up screws on eBay. Once you get into lots of 100+, the price for a bag of screws or nuts or diodes or whatever is quite reasonable.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #102 on: Wed, 30 July 2014, 11:25:26 »
Just picked up some bolts and nuts on eBay based on this. Thanks for the tip!

Edit: It was definitely a difference of M3 versus M5. Thanks @technomancy!
« Last Edit: Wed, 06 August 2014, 13:23:37 by mathiasx »

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #103 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 12:38:14 »
I've been making more progress, slowly. I'm currently helping my friend build his Ergo Dox kit from Massdrop, which has been a good learning experience.

Here's a not-so-great picture of last night's progress, now that I've got the finish (marine/boat polyurethane) to an acceptable place.



(Ignore the old remnants of my garage's history as someone else's auto repair shop on the desk ;) )

Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #104 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 12:42:03 »
Looks great! Now comes the hard part. =)

I've written an improved assembly guide and posted it at http://atreus.technomancy.us/assembly.pdf

You might find this useful as it's a bit more detailed than what I've got on GitHub. Please let me know if you have any feedback on it.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #105 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 12:42:50 »
Oh nice! Thanks for the link!  :thumb:

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #106 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 18:05:34 »
Any thoughts on why to only use MX Blacks for the modifiers shown in the PDF? I assumed that almost all the closest-row keys were modifiers; but I can see that ctrl, alt, fn, and shift are clearly "modifiers" while the others aren't, necessarily.

Offline PJE

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #107 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 20:35:17 »
I've been working on my OneHand/TwoHand PCB design, and I'm now stuck by how similar it is to half of this design... The vertical stager of the middle column is a little smaller on my design.



One keyboard half can scan the other. The only issue would be the design would have two 2x thumb keys on each half.

It would be easy for me to create a PCB matching this layout with the additional key if anyone would be interested.

Offline jdcarpe

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #108 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 20:43:59 »
It would be easy for me to create a PCB matching this layout with the additional key if anyone would be interested.

I would definitely be interested. I'm ashamed to say I haven't yet built up the One Hand PCB you sent me, but I am planning on making something similar to Technomancy's Atreus here, but with the spacing from the ErgoDox. I would love to be able to use your PCBs with the case.


Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #109 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 22:58:57 »
I assumed that almost all the closest-row keys were modifiers; but I can see that ctrl, alt, fn, and shift are clearly "modifiers" while the others aren't, necessarily.

No, on a board this small you really don't have the luxury of duplicating modifiers on both sides of the board. So it's just a single ctrl, alt, fn, shift, and also super. (aka gui, command, windows, etc.) Gotta have room for space, backspace, tab, enter, esc, and a couple bits of punctuation. Of course, you can reconfigure it as you like, but I don't think you'll be able to fit everything you need in the top three rows.

If you're asking why I used blacks just for the modifiers, it's because they're not intended to be tapped like the regular keys are, so blues (or clears or whatever) make sense for them. But space, backspace, etc all benefit from tactile feedback.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #110 on: Sat, 16 August 2014, 14:25:35 »
technomancy:

The new guide is really great. I enjoyed the technique of bending the diodes to carry all the positive connections. It reminded me of building BEAM bots back in the day and other somewhat sculptural/structural soldering projects.

However, I've now hit a question:

How should I wire up the two thumb buttons? Looking at the Github wiring diagram, it looks like the middle columns would be wired as so:
(board flipped over as in instructions)
 


(where orange are the diodes and red lines are the legs. Sorry, I'm not much of an artist...)

I'm also not sure whether the rows are connected across the gap. It looks like they are in the microcontroller step, but that's not mentioned earlier.
It might be that the image in the Microcontroller step uses the diodes in a reverse orientation (and older Atreus images on Github use diodes on the columns rather than the rows?)

So far so good though! Here's my progress. I've realized I probably need to wire to the positive side of the inner diodes, but I can always rearrange those or use new diodes in their place if the legs aren't right.


Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #111 on: Sat, 16 August 2014, 17:11:53 »
How should I wire up the two thumb buttons? Looking at the Github wiring diagram, it looks like the middle columns would be wired as so:

Yeah, this image is exactly right. I should probably do a more detailed image than the one in the PDF since it's a bit confusing.
 
I'm also not sure whether the rows are connected across the gap. It looks like they are in the microcontroller step, but that's not mentioned earlier.

This is covered in the end of section 5: "Once youíve connected the left side of each row to the Teensy, youíll need to connect the right side of the row to the left. Be sure that these connections
all go to the positive side of the diodes and donít touch un-insulated column connections."

Maybe that's a bit unclear? Open to suggestions for how the wording could be improved. You could do it earlier, but I think having the top rows connected might make the column wiring more difficult.

So far so good though! Here's my progress. I've realized I probably need to wire to the positive side of the inner diodes, but I can always rearrange those or use new diodes in their place if the legs aren't right.

This is about right, but it looks like the leftmost column of each side is missing a diode. There should be one diode for every switch. For instance, on the far left, it looks like the positive legs of the column 2 diodes are connected directly to the column 1 pins, but there should be a diode in between them.

I wire mine outwards-in on both sides, but you've wired left-to-right on both sides. This is completely arbitrary, and it works fine either way, but I could see how it might be confusing. Will try to clarify this.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #112 on: Sat, 16 August 2014, 17:40:35 »
This is covered in the end of section 5: "Once youíve connected the left side of each row to the Teensy, youíll need to connect the right side of the row to the left. Be sure that these connections
all go to the positive side of the diodes and donít touch un-insulated column connections."

Maybe that's a bit unclear? Open to suggestions for how the wording could be improved. You could do it earlier, but I think having the top rows connected might make the column wiring more difficult.

Got it. That makes sense. Maybe that should be its own section to call attention to it? It's short, but important.

This is about right, but it looks like the leftmost column of each side is missing a diode. There should be one diode for every switch. For instance, on the far left, it looks like the positive legs of the column 2 diodes are connected directly to the column 1 pins, but there should be a diode in between them.

I wire mine outwards-in on both sides, but you've wired left-to-right on both sides. This is completely arbitrary, and it works fine either way, but I could see how it might be confusing. Will try to clarify this.

Aha. That makes sense. I'll redo those left-most columns. Thanks!

-- Matt

Offline PJE

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #113 on: Sun, 17 August 2014, 13:49:32 »
I've modified my OneHand PCB to allow it to be used in a Atreus style arrangement.



The 2x thumb keys can be split into two 1x keys, and the 1.5x bottom row keys can also be replaced by 1x keys. The vertical stagger of the columns may be a little different from the standard Atreus design.

For more information see me Deskthority thread.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #114 on: Sun, 17 August 2014, 19:41:42 »
Did more soldering tonight. Verified everything for continuity and no shorts with my multimeter. I just need to finish up the wires to the columns and I'm done with wiring!

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #115 on: Tue, 19 August 2014, 13:35:59 »
Finished!

IMG_3218 by Matt Gauger, on Flickr

IMG_3220 by Matt Gauger, on Flickr
(There's even more photos if you follow the link over to my flickr)

Works great! Just getting used to the layout. I've been using dvorak.nl to learn the home row on a traditional keyboard, but now I need to move into learning other keys. Switching to dvorak to break my brain of staggered-layout bad habits.

Will probably blog about it this weekend if I have time (I'm at a conference this weekend.)

Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #116 on: Tue, 19 August 2014, 14:18:23 »
Finished!

Nice work! Definitely interested in a write-up on the blog. Once you've got that let me know and I'll link to it from the Atreus readme.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #117 on: Wed, 20 August 2014, 08:57:51 »
Has anyone figured out a case for their Atreus? I'm carrying mine around in a cardboard box with some foam padding, but trying to find something a little more resilient and also as small as possible. I seem to be carrying a lot of stuff back and forth to the office on my bike lately, so smaller is better in my case.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #118 on: Sun, 24 August 2014, 07:56:41 »
Happy to report that I've figured out a case, too. After measuring and searching Amazon for things like otter boxes and tupperware, I happened to look at CD cases and found that the Case Logic 48-disc case should fit the Atreus. And, it's cheap! Now that I've received it from Amazon, I can confirm that the Atreus fits great after cutting out the CD folios. It's not a completely crush-resistant hard case, but it works.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #119 on: Wed, 27 August 2014, 21:19:03 »
I had some time tonight to polish this up and get it posted:

http://blog.mattgauger.com/blog/2014/08/19/atreus-my-custom-keyboard/

 :thumb:

Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #120 on: Thu, 28 August 2014, 00:09:00 »
http://blog.mattgauger.com/blog/2014/08/19/atreus-my-custom-keyboard/

Nice; thanks. I'll link to this from the Atreus readme.

For my own board, I have a laptop case with plenty of extra room, so it fits nicely in there. But that looks like another good way to go.

I noticed your case doesn't have the logo. Did you grab the files before this was merged https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/pull/8 or is there still somewhere in the repo that has the logo-less files?

Offline PJE

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #121 on: Thu, 28 August 2014, 07:08:05 »
I had some time tonight to polish this up and get it posted:

http://blog.mattgauger.com/blog/2014/08/19/atreus-my-custom-keyboard/

 :thumb:
Nice write up. I've also been playing with OpenSCAD to visualize keyboard layouts for my OneHand/TwoHand project.

One comes out looking like the Atreus design, especially if you swap the thumb button for two 1u keys, which is an option.



I've tented the two halves on the TwoHand design. I'm just about to pull the trigger on buying the PCBs.

Offline jdcarpe

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #122 on: Thu, 28 August 2014, 08:45:32 »
http://blog.mattgauger.com/blog/2014/08/19/atreus-my-custom-keyboard/

Nice; thanks. I'll link to this from the Atreus readme.

For my own board, I have a laptop case with plenty of extra room, so it fits nicely in there. But that looks like another good way to go.

I noticed your case doesn't have the logo. Did you grab the files before this was merged https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/pull/8 or is there still somewhere in the repo that has the logo-less files?

I'm not sure if the problem is on my end, or what, but when I go to https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/tree/master/case/dxf and download the case.dxf file, I can't open it in either AutoCAD or QCAD. :(

Offline Constantine

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #123 on: Thu, 28 August 2014, 11:14:59 »
I'll add my two cents here (since I'm the one responsible for the "Mark II" case design and corresponding DXF files).

Regarding case.dxf: it seems to open just fine using QCAD version 3.6.4 and DraftSight V1R5 on Mac OS X. This http://gallery.proficad.com/tools/autocad-viewer.aspx online viewer works for me, too.

Regarding the Atreus logo: case.dxf has the logo, case-quartered.dxf, ready-for-ponoko.svg, and the OpenSCAD design do not.

Offline jdcarpe

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #124 on: Thu, 28 August 2014, 11:34:01 »
I'll add my two cents here (since I'm the one responsible for the "Mark II" case design and corresponding DXF files).

Regarding case.dxf: it seems to open just fine using QCAD version 3.6.4 and DraftSight V1R5 on Mac OS X. This http://gallery.proficad.com/tools/autocad-viewer.aspx online viewer works for me, too.

Regarding the Atreus logo: case.dxf has the logo, case-quartered.dxf, ready-for-ponoko.svg, and the OpenSCAD design do not.

Apparently, the fault lies in my lack of knowledge of how to use github. I was going to the case directory and right clicking on the case.dxf link, and Save As. That was giving me an HTML file. When I went to the main repository, and clicked Download ZIP, I now have a .dxf file I can open.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #125 on: Thu, 28 August 2014, 18:02:47 »

I noticed your case doesn't have the logo. Did you grab the files before this was merged https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/pull/8 or is there still somewhere in the repo that has the logo-less files?
Regarding the Atreus logo: case.dxf has the logo, case-quartered.dxf, ready-for-ponoko.svg, and the OpenSCAD design do not.

I used ready-for-ponoko.svg from what I remember.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #126 on: Sat, 30 August 2014, 14:20:30 »
I was inspired to try Vibex's JWUP layout on the Atreus after reading this blog post: http://blog.keyboard.io/post/93901487184/what-you-and-i-missed-at-keycon-2014

So I've pushed a JWUP layout to Github if anyone else wants to try: https://github.com/mathias/atreus-firmware/blob/jwup_layout/jwup.json -- the main difference is that I have the row 3, col 3 key mapped to comma instead of enter like Vibex's smallfry, since I prefer the enter key where it is on other Atreus layouts. Layers 2 and 3 are the same as default Atreus QWERTY and Colemak layouts.

There's also a fork of my friend's typing tutor (that he wrote to practice his Twiddler keyboard) https://github.com/mathias/ttype/tree/jwup -- The string on ttype.c line 121 finds /usr/share/dict/words words that include the home row + m & d keys, since that's as far as I am in learning the layout.

If anyone finds these things useful, let me know  :thumb:
« Last Edit: Sat, 30 August 2014, 14:29:20 by mathiasx »

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #127 on: Sat, 30 August 2014, 21:33:45 »
I was inspired to try Vibex's JWUP layout on the Atreus after reading this blog post: http://blog.keyboard.io/post/93901487184/what-you-and-i-missed-at-keycon-2014

So I've pushed a JWUP layout to Github if anyone else wants to try: https://github.com/mathias/atreus-firmware/blob/jwup_layout/jwup.json -- the main difference is that I have the row 3, col 3 key mapped to comma instead of enter like Vibex's smallfry, since I prefer the enter key where it is on other Atreus layouts. Layers 2 and 3 are the same as default Atreus QWERTY and Colemak layouts.

There's also a fork of my friend's typing tutor (that he wrote to practice his Twiddler keyboard) https://github.com/mathias/ttype/tree/jwup -- The string on ttype.c line 121 finds /usr/share/dict/words words that include the home row + m & d keys, since that's as far as I am in learning the layout.

If anyone finds these things useful, let me know  :thumb:
Cool to see someone else trying my layout. I have since moved away from the 40% layout and made a new version to fit on standard sized boards. Still fiddiling with it, but I find it nicer to type on so far.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #128 on: Sun, 31 August 2014, 08:43:21 »
Cool to see someone else trying my layout. I have since moved away from the 40% layout and made a new version to fit on standard sized boards. Still fiddiling with it, but I find it nicer to type on so far.

I definitely felt the improvement over Dvorak on same-finger-multiple-keys-in-a-row movements. But now I'm tempted to do my own analysis and come up with something of my own design, probably before I spend too much more time learning either Dvorak or your JWUP layout.  :)) :thumb:

Offline Vibex

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #129 on: Sun, 31 August 2014, 08:57:31 »
Cool to see someone else trying my layout. I have since moved away from the 40% layout and made a new version to fit on standard sized boards. Still fiddiling with it, but I find it nicer to type on so far.

I definitely felt the improvement over Dvorak on same-finger-multiple-keys-in-a-row movements. But now I'm tempted to do my own analysis and come up with something of my own design, probably before I spend too much more time learning either Dvorak or your JWUP layout.  :)) :thumb:
Go for it. :thumb: Like I said, I'm still making changes to it on a fairly regular basis. I find designing things like this to be a ton of fun, so it' pretty much constantly changing.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #130 on: Mon, 01 September 2014, 09:02:22 »
So I ran into a funny issue, technomancy. I have already been flipping Ctrl and Alt in my layouts because they made more sense flipped, and then I realized that my Ctrl and Alt keys didn't match what the atreus-view function was outputting.

I don't think I wired my switches backwards, going off the PDF and this image from the repo (and assuming that the board is flipped over to work on it):



When flipped over, the key on the left is in row 3 and the key on the right is on row 4. Still, with the default firmware spots for Ctrl and Alt, I'm getting alt on the right and Ctrl on the left. I just opened it up to confirm that the left key is on row 3 and the right is on row 4 as far as wiring.

Any idea why this might be happening? Or is it just something that I have to swap in firmware? (Even though it's odd that atreus-view gives me the wrong mapping because it is expecting the opposite?)

Edit: Thinking about it: the firmware is right -- right-side-up, my left thumb key is in the 4th row, and the right thumb key is in the 3rd row. With Alt in the third row mapping and Ctrl in the 4th row mapping, it behaves as it should. It must be that they're backwards in atreus-view

Edit edit: If indeed that's the issue, I submitted a PR over on Github to fix it. Definitely needs to be verified that I haven't wired my board wrong, though.
« Last Edit: Mon, 01 September 2014, 09:23:08 by mathiasx »

Offline mondoman712

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #131 on: Mon, 22 September 2014, 10:52:21 »
Hey, I'm planning on building one of these. Will I have problems if I use a Teensy 3.1? Its a lot easier for me to get one, and I can do some programming.
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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #132 on: Mon, 22 September 2014, 11:03:08 »
Hey, I'm planning on building one of these. Will I have problems if I use a Teensy 3.1? Its a lot easier for me to get one, and I can do some programming.

Firmware designed for use with the Atmega32u4 will not work on the 3.x Teensy.  The 3.x uses an entirely different chip.  The 3.x can work as a keyboard controller but the common third party firmware will not work on.
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Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #133 on: Mon, 22 September 2014, 11:10:52 »
Hey, I'm planning on building one of these. Will I have problems if I use a Teensy 3.1? Its a lot easier for me to get one, and I can do some programming.

I have an experimental firmware I'm using on this with the Teensy 3. It's not quite as polished as the mainline firmware.

https://github.com/technomancy/orestes/tree/teensy3

I am using this on my second Atreus, and it's to the point where I can spend a full day on it without much trouble. There are a few debouncing bugs you run into occasionally, but it's usable. This firmware has a Forth implementation on board, and my plan is to move as much of the logic as I can from C to Forth, but that has only just begun. Right now I'm the only one using it though.

Offline mondoman712

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #134 on: Mon, 22 September 2014, 11:28:03 »
I have an experimental firmware I'm using on this with the Teensy 3. It's not quite as polished as the mainline firmware.

https://github.com/technomancy/orestes/tree/teensy3

I am using this on my second Atreus, and it's to the point where I can spend a full day on it without much trouble. There are a few debouncing bugs you run into occasionally, but it's usable. This firmware has a Forth implementation on board, and my plan is to move as much of the logic as I can from C to Forth, but that has only just begun. Right now I'm the only one using it though.

Is there much programming to do? I can see you've done a lot but is most of that your forth implementation. I've done some C before and I'd like some new programming projects anyway.
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Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #135 on: Mon, 22 September 2014, 11:50:44 »
Is there much programming to do? I can see you've done a lot but is most of that your forth implementation. I've done some C before and I'd like some new programming projects anyway.

If your goal is to just get a working keyboard, it's just a bit of tuning and tweaking here and there. If your goal is to have a keyboard programmed in Forth, there's lots of work remaining, and I would be happy for some help. But it's a pretty weird project, so I wouldn't be too surprised if it's something that only appeals to me.

Offline mondoman712

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #136 on: Mon, 22 September 2014, 11:53:30 »
If your goal is to just get a working keyboard, it's just a bit of tuning and tweaking here and there. If your goal is to have a keyboard programmed in Forth, there's lots of work remaining, and I would be happy for some help. But it's a pretty weird project, so I wouldn't be too surprised if it's something that only appeals to me.

I'm more of a LISP guy myself, but I guess I'll just get it working before I start trying some fancy stuff.
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Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #137 on: Mon, 22 September 2014, 17:52:35 »
I'm more of a LISP guy myself, but I guess I'll just get it working before I start trying some fancy stuff.

Normally I am too, but Forth is just a better fit for low-level microcontroller stuff. But yeah, lots to do just building the device before you get into the programming bits.

Offline cdelahousse

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #138 on: Wed, 01 October 2014, 02:43:20 »
I've decided to build a modified version of the Atreus. My work gives its employees access to a laser cutter.

My process is OpenSCAD (.dxf) -> Inkscape (.svg) -> Illustrator (wood cut out).
On my first try, I learned that OpenSCAD does not use mm as units, so the plates were WAY too big. I scaled them down to ~80% on my subsequent cuts. I tested switch fit using cardboard and then once I got the scaling right, I cut the template out of wood again.

Everything is now fitted with keycaps. Nothing is soldered or glued. I'm unhappy with the angle of the halves. I'd like to angle my elbows out more, so I'll be rotating the halves in. Also, I find my thumb rests a lot lower than where keys are.

I'm using 6mm birch plywood planed down to around 4.5mm. The sections are assembled using M3 nuts and bolts, but I'll try 6-32 screws soon.

Wood is cheap and my access to the laser cutter is plentiful, so I'm going to iterate a lot.

Offline cdelahousse

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #139 on: Wed, 01 October 2014, 02:55:58 »
Pictures:
http://imgur.com/a/2X0Jp

Sorry, I'd upload them, but the forums software seems to suck.

Offline mathiasx

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #140 on: Fri, 03 October 2014, 10:00:43 »
Pictures:
http://imgur.com/a/2X0Jp

Sorry, I'd upload them, but the forums software seems to suck.

Looking good!

Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #141 on: Fri, 03 October 2014, 11:10:35 »
I've decided to build a modified version of the Atreus. My work gives its employees access to a laser cutter.

Nice. I'm jealous; I think it would be a lot of fun to iterate on designs if I had laser access like that. This is when the programmatically-generated shapes of openscad will really pay off; you can tweak the inputs to your heart's content and see what you like best.

I'm using 6mm birch plywood planed down to around 4.5mm. The sections are assembled using M3 nuts and bolts, but I'll try 6-32 screws soon.

Cool. All the builds so far have been with a double-thickness spacer, but I feel like if you're using a thicker switch plate then the switches will be more recessed in the plate, and you might not need as thick of a spacer. But it might still be a little tight on space, so keep that in mind as you wire it. I have used M3 screws and also 4-40 screws (since metric can be hard to find in the uncivilised US) so you might try that instead of 6-32.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #142 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 14:26:11 »
I've been working the past couple weeks on a PCB design in KiCad. I just finished running all the traces out, and as far as I know it looks decent, but I've never done any PCB work before. I wonder if anyone who is familiar with this could take a look and let me know if I've made any newbie mistakes?

    https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/blob/master/atreus.kicad_pcb

Due to limitations and bugs in KiCad I ended up writing a program to place the switches and diodes with the proper rotation and placing since I didn't want to do all the trig by hand:

    https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/blob/master/atreus.rkt

The KiCad PCB format was revamped and uses s-expressions now instead of some crazy one-off format; I was really impressed with how easy it was to work with. The traces are done by hand though.

Offline nuclearsandwich

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #143 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 17:01:38 »
This is way cooler than anything I could have done! Thanks for sharing it!

Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #144 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 23:53:39 »
This is way cooler than anything I could have done! Thanks for sharing it!

Thanks! I've spoken to a few other folks and have a few modifications I'm going to do before fabrication:

* thicker traces (3mm)
* move the diodes to the side instead of sitting under the switches
* avoid routing traces through diode through-holes
* keep traces closer together and don't let them get to close to unconnected through-holes

Hopefully I should have something ready to produce soon.

Offline worldspawn

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #145 on: Sun, 26 October 2014, 13:43:09 »
Don't remove the through holes under the switches so in-switch diodes can still be used.
I can make acrylic laser cut cases/plates PM for info

Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #146 on: Tue, 28 October 2014, 00:03:57 »
Don't remove the through holes under the switches so in-switch diodes can still be used.

I might support that in a future rev, but I don't want to get fancy in my first version. I just pushed out the latest with a number of changes:

* Diodes in between columns
* More clearance around traces, thicker traces
* Labels, license
* New microcontroller

I found the Pololu A-Star micro, which uses the same atmega32u4 as the Teensy 2, but costs a bit less, uses the Arduino bootloader, and uses USB micro, so the combination of all of those factors made it pretty compelling. (The USB Mini cables I'm currently using are very annoying because the thickness of the connectors is greater than the spacer thickness I'm using, so you have to sand away some of the plastic on the connector before you can close the case. Micro cables don't have this problem.) I've got one on the way to evaluate, and once I OK it, I'm going to put in an initial smaller order for fabrication. If that checks out I'll go into a larger run.

http://gerblook.org/pcb/LekeNX4kKAD7GURqFJuktS

Offline worldspawn

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #147 on: Tue, 28 October 2014, 12:55:47 »
I like the design a LOT, though I'd really like to see the option for the 2x thumb keys on each side, perhaps an option with rear mounting the controller so the upper 2 keys have clearance?
I can make acrylic laser cut cases/plates PM for info

Offline worldspawn

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #148 on: Tue, 28 October 2014, 14:10:05 »
For those looking at doing the one hand design, this is a much better option to the teensy cheaper, smaller, and microusb http://www.studica.com/us/en/dfrobot/beetle-1pc.html
I can make acrylic laser cut cases/plates PM for info

Offline technomancy

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Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
« Reply #149 on: Fri, 31 October 2014, 00:27:56 »
I like the design a LOT, though I'd really like to see the option for the 2x thumb keys on each side, perhaps an option with rear mounting the controller so the upper 2 keys have clearance?

Thanks. Again, I think that's a good idea, but I don't feel confident enough in my PCB design skills to want to add features like that before I know my design is solid.

I just submitted the board for a small run of fabrication, and I'm pretty excited to see how it turns out. Made some very minor adjustments to the design above, mostly just turning the middle thumb switches so they might work with 1.5x Alps caps which can't be rotated 90 degrees like Cherry.

http://gerblook.org/pcb/zqMY66AEsKz3xehSrdoDV6

Fingers crossed!