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geekhack Marketplace => Interest Checks => Topic started by: mustcode on Tue, 04 June 2019, 16:28:24

Title: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Tue, 04 June 2019, 16:28:24
!!GB moved to May 2nd 2020!!

Hello!

First of all, I'd like to put it out there that I'm no pro at this... I'm a game developer that knows a little bit of CAD and love to design crazy things that pops into my head. I have no real experience with manufacturing except for a few 3d-printing projects I did for fun. So if enough people actually like the idea, I'll probably try to collaborate with an experienced pro to bring this to life.

Alright, with that out of the way, let's get to the meat!
[attach=1]
[attach=2]
[attach=3]
As you can see, except for some retro vibes, fancy aesthetic is not the main focus of this design (I called it "Fat Boy" simply because it looks kinda fat). This is a keyboard designed to be customized like no other boards that I know of.

Let's start with the first unique point of the board, the bottom:
[attach=4]
No screws! Yup, this is why there are screws on the sides. I've always hated having to flip a keyboard upside down whenever I need to open it up to tinker with it. So, this board is designed so that you'll never have a reason to flip it over, ever. As a bonus, you also get a completely flat bottom that lets you easily attach custom dampening material instead of standard bumpons.

Next let's look at the main pieces of the assembly since you're probably wondering how the board opens up:
[attach=5]
The image above shows all the custom pieces for the case, the rest are standard McMaster-Carr hardware. There pieces are: Main Body, Top Cover, Back Cover, and two weird pieces that are part of the mounting system, I'll get to that in a bit... But first, let me talk about the Top Cover and the Back Cover.

You couldn't see the seams for the covers in the previous images because the perfectness of CAD rendering hides it, but hopefully, you can forgive the seams for the benefits that you get from having the top and back covers - customization.
Like this clear cover for example:
[attach=6]

The top cover can be secured with screws from the sides or from the top. Top screws allow simple customization using just laser-cut flat panels. The side screws are designed to be more discreet, but required more complicated top panel.

The back cover is also a simple flat panel covering up a large opening on the back of the keyboard:
[attach=7]
It is designed this way so that you can easily customize it to fit whatever connector(s) you want for the keyboard. This also future proof the case if your connector of choice becomes obsolete. For example, here's a render with some weird ass connector I found:
[attach=8]

Of course you also can customize the top cover to do the same thing, if you want something more unique:
[attach=9]

The screw holes on the back also happens to fit Neutrik's D-size connectors, so it is possible to do crazy stuff like this?:
[attach=10]

Now let's get to the internals. I'll start with this render:
[attach=11]
The image shows the mounting a little bit more clearly, and also the controller PCB (I rendered it as a clear panel because it was easier for me to see through it during development), which is the next unique point of this board that I wanted to talk about.
Inspired by IBM's Model F and Beamspring keyboards, I thought the removable controller is such a cool thing because it allows us to keep using these old keyboard even though the controller is completely obsolete, thanks to some clever engineers in our community. Even though one might argue that it is easy enough to just replace the whole PCB with today's technology, I'm still intrigued by possibilities such as being able to easily change the switches while keeping the same controller, or switch out a broken controller for repair if an smd component fell out.

Here're some more renders that shows the controller:
[attach=12]
[attach=13]
[attach=14]
I'll be honest that I haven't really learned how to properly designed the PCB yet, but if I can, I'd like to have two USB-C on each side of the board to help with cable routing. The card edge connector I used here has 32 contacts, seemed like plenty of contacts for each row and column of the matrix. All you experts out there please let me know if this looks like it can work, I'm just assuming that this will work based purely on my experience with Nintendo cartridges and graphic cards.

Finally, the mounting system.
Highly customizable, a little crazy and hard to explain, so I'll explain by showing to how the whole assembly is put together. But keep in mind that this is just one of several ways that you can use this mounting system. It is designed so that you can experiment and try out new ways to improve your typing experience.

We'll start with just the Main Body:
[attach=15]
It might be a little hard to see but the little circles are a bunch of strategically placed bumps and screw holes. I designed it this way so that in the future I (or you) can use the same pattern for a variety of different mounting solutions. The bumps are mostly for alignment of connecting pieces. I realized that it might not be very economical to have unnecessary features from a machining stand point because it can add complexity and extra machine time; but since I'm more or less clueless when it comes to CNC machining, I decided to just dream big and scale down later when I have more information.
Btw, every screws I used in this designed are M3 (same size as most screws you found in computer cases). I feel M2 is a little small for my comfort zone when used in a heavy keyboard and anything bigger takes up too much space.

Let's continue. Now we add what I called the "Male Pieces"
[attach=16]
[attach=17]
These Male Pieces are the core of the mounting system. They basically allow you to stack whatever you want to cushion the PCB and the plate. This is actually all you need for a simple gasket mount setup. Drop in some o-rings, follow by the the PCB/plate sandwich, and finish-off with some more o-rings, and you're done. But I'd like to take us further, to show how versatile and interesting this is.

Enters the "Female Pieces"
[attach=18]
The image shows the Female Pieces plus some flat-circular springs from McMaster-Carr's catalog as cushion. The springs can be replaced with many other components for cushion, this is just one way to do it. At this point, we're ready to drop in the PCB sandwich.

[attach=19]
Here we add the PCB, mid plate, switch plate, and some o-rings on top of our mounting stack.

Next we'll secure the mounting stack
[attach=20]
Here we keep the whole stack in place with another Female Piece, some washers, and some M3 pins. Now we can close to top cover which will push onto the pins slightly and keep and the whole mounting stack in place.

Here are a couple more views of the mounting:
[attach=21]
[attach=22]
[attach=23]
[attach=24]

To help you visualize the whole assembly a little better, I also put together this simple explode view of the keyboard as a video:

Some quick words on the layout.
I realized that 60% + F-Row is not a super common layout in the community, but I also want this designed to share as much elements as possible to the bigger layouts, so that when I translate the design into TKL or 1800 or even full-size, I can just increase the width and reuse the exact same mounting hardware. Also, I think HHKB + F-Row is a lovely combination :)

And that's all for now folks! I know this may not be enough details to bring it to production yet, but if there's interests, I'll definitely continue to keep working at this. It'll be a dream come true if this becomes the start of a platform for a family of keyboards that people can enjoy and also use as test beds to create even cooler stuff.

If anyone with machining experience find this design interesting and would like to collaborate with me, I'll be more than happy to. Also, I have no problem sharing my CAD files. If we get to a point where the design is at production-ready quality, I do plan to make all the source files open-source.

Finally, even if the Fat Boy doesn't make it into production due to my own incompetence or whatever reasons, I hope at the very least this IC can inject some new ideas into the community and advance keyboard design even if by only a little bit. Have a great day y'all :D



Updates

Update #1 - 1st July '19

I'll try to keep regular updates for as long as I'm still working on this project, and here's the first :)
For the past few weeks I've asked ~10 local CNC shops about the project and I've concluded that most shops around here will not do low volume project of this complexity. Most low-volume shops around my area only have 2-axis machines that can only do simpler parts, while the Fat Boy require a 4-axis machine (or so I'm told), which is more common in larger factories.

Another issue is cost, I've found out that the smaller parts are pretty expensive to produce. If I can optimize the design a bit, I might be able to bring the cost down significantly, so I'll get to work on that as well.

Finally, I mentioned that I wanted to make this project open source, so I've exported some STLs and DWGs for the main parts and you can download them here: https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K (https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K). These are the files that I sent to factories for quotes, so check them out if you're interested, you can also quote me if you have a CNC shop ;) The fusion360 files are still quite messy so I'll share those later when they're good enough to benefit the community.

That's all for now, I'll also put all the updates on the first post for easy reference in the future. Peace!

Update #2 - 1st Aug '19

Ha! Did you think the project is dead? Not at all! I was just giving myself time to make sure that the design is stable. I was deciding on too many different ways to reduce the manufacturing cost while still keeping parts that I value the most in the original design. And I'm finally done! The main body didn't change much, but the number of the smaller custom parts are reduced from 20 to 4 and relying more on standard McMaster-Carr parts. With these tweaks, the prototype should be within my budget, and the final price shouldn't be too crazy.

Here's a look of the new simplified mounting design:
[images in the actual post down in the thread]

Not as crazy looking as the original design, but still not too shabby. Updated 3D files are already on Github: https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K (https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K). This time I've exported all of them into STEP files based on a recommendation that it has good compatibility with CNC machines.

The next challenge to resolve is to finally find someone who can help me manufacture this thing. After taking some advice from friends in the community, I think the best way is to try to get in touch with designers or engineers in the community who has experienced with custom keyboard rather than my previous approach of finding a local CNC shop. Small shops don't want complicated project, big shops wants quantity... I just can't satisfy them. I was going to try finding something on Alibaba, but I'm told that it's pretty much a gamble unless I get a solid recommendation. On the other hand, if I can get in touch with someone in the community, then we're already on the same page, and it'll be so much more confident that the quality of the final product will be what the community expects.

That's all for now, See you in the next update!
P.S. If anyone knows someone that would like to work with me on the Fat Boy, please let me know :D

Update #3 - 1st Sep '19

I'm very happy to report this update because this is huge for me. The prototype of the main body and all laser cut parts are made, and they are spot on. No need to make any adjustment to the CAD files. The only things left are the prototype for the mounting system and the PCB. The PCB should not be a problem as there are kind people in the community that are generous enough to help me out, so I'll be tackling the mounting prototype next.

Some details about how I got the parts made. My original plan was to get in touch with some experienced keyboard makers as I mentioned in the previous update. However, while I was looking around and getting quotes from several CNC shops, there was one shop on Alibaba that was super easy to deal with, very professional, very responsive, and quoted a very reasonable price. The sales kept following up with me, asking how I was doing until I gave in and decided to order a sample for the main body. A couple of weeks later, the parts is in my hands and it is good. There are some minor cosmetic defects, but the over all machining is excellent. As for the laser cut parts, I went with gut-feeling and chose a local laser-cutting shop that felt the most professional when I talked to them, which also turned out excellent.

Today, all the parts you see are finally in my hands. I grabbed whatever M3 screws I could find in my house so that I can put the parts together and take these pictures to show you guys. Enjoy!
[images in the actual post down in the thread]

Update #4 - 1st Oct '19

This is an exiting update for me because the mounting is complete! This was the biggest question mark for this project and I'm very glad that it worked out the way the way it did. Earlier, I hit a road-block when I found out that McMaster-Carr rejected my orders for parts that I needed to complete the prototype because they didn't want to ship to where I live (Bangkok), and the design of the mount was based on some specific parts from McMaster-Carr. So, I had to find the parts elsewhere and I managed to find replacements for most of the parts, except for one... the "Captive Pin" (https://www.mcmaster.com/95648a700 (https://www.mcmaster.com/95648a700)). This is an important piece that kinda holds everything together, and I got really fed-up looking for something like it, so I had it custom made by the same shop from Alibaba for a reasonable price along with the rest of the mountings. And the results are great! Everything fits together very well; currently I'm using silicone o-rings as cushions which works a lot better than I expected, but these are just one of many possibilities, and I'm still looking for some other interesting parts/materials to try as the next candidate for the final default cushions.
Another good news is that the PCB is also coming along nicely, courtesy of a fellow keyboard lover :thumb: That's all for now and thanks all for the great support so far!
[images in the actual post down in the thread]

Update #5 - 1st Dec '19

The PCB design is done and it is ready for prototype! Actually, the PCB has been ready for a couple of weeks, but I had to wait for my paycheck before I can order the prototype... holiday season this year is brutal for my wallet :( But all is good now, I should be able to pay for the prototypes soon and we'll be on our way to a functional prototype!
Another thing worth informing is that I made some modifications to the case in order to properly mount the controller PCB. To keep with the original intent of the design, the controller is mounted to the case via a "holder". The holder is a laser-cut part that can be made cheaply, which should allows modders to attach their own controllers if they wanted to.
That's all for now, for the next update, I'm hoping to have a functioning prototype!
[images in the actual post down in the thread]

Update #6 - 02/02/2020

This is a really exiting update for me. The prototype PCBs that my partner Yiancar has made arrived at my place today. This is pretty much the final piece of the puzzle and I can now finally build a functional prototype. The PCBs needed a few jump wires which will obviously be fixed in the production version, other than that everything fit together really well. I'll let the pictures do the talking :)
As for the next step, I'll be building a functional prototype in the very near future and also start talking to potential manufacturers to get quotes and finalize who will handle all the CNC for the production of this project. Thank you everyone who has been supporting the project, this has been quite a journey and we've come so far I can almost see the finish line, please don't lose interest just yet!
[images in the actual post down in the thread]

Typings video #1 - 02 Feb 2020
Just finished setting up for recording with a somewhat "proper" equipment, i.e. not a phone camera. So, here's a typing test with the current build I got on this. T1 switches with my beloved SA Retro.
Next recording will be after I rebuild the board with a linear/GMK combo as requested  :thumb:

Typings video #2 - 22 Feb 2020
Alright! Here are some proper sound check for you. Put your good speakers/headphones on and Enjoy!
And huge thanks to Mr. Pro who help me with this, he has been one of the most helpful people to everyone in the Thai Mech community for many years. His YouTube channels has a lot more typing videos so those are good comparison to other keyboards.




Update #7 - 16 Mar 2020

This is it. This is possibly the last update before the GB... because GB starts 04/04.
Here are the details that I've finalized so far:

- Price 460usd per kit.
- MoQ is 20
- Each kit includes:
  - Case
     - 6063 aluminium
     - Two color choices: Silver or Black
     - top cover will be CNCed with screws on the sides (laser-cut top cover with screws on the top like in the prototype is still supported, but not included)
     - back cover will be laser-cut
  - 1 set of PCBs (matrix + controller)
  - all the mounting pieces, screws, silicone o-rings, etc.
- Extra PCB is 60usd per set (matrix + controller)

Yes, I know, there isn't a lot of options to choose from... I decided to remove all the non-essential options so that I have the highest chance of actually handle the GB properly.
I've thought about this a lot, because more options means you guys can get exactly what you want from the project and we might have more chance of hitting the MoQ. But in the end, I'm just one man with a full-time job who is doing this for the first time, so I want to make sure that I can do this and I absolutely don't want this to become such a big mess that it also become my last project. I believe even with the limited options, the core-concept that I want to deliver is still solid: A keyboard that you can easily modify, a keyboard that can be a platform for you to experiment on, a daily beater that will stay on your desk for years and years to come.

This price is also something that all of us are interested in. I hope that this is a price that most of us can agree on, because this is as low as I could go without risking losing money. I'm basically taking the quote that I got from the factory and round it up to a nice round number, and hope to god that they don't raise the price when I actually submit the order (the price in the quote is only valid for so long).
Another thing that I should be able to do if we're way pass MoQ, like >50, is price breaks. So, if that happens, it will definitely be cheaper.

I will also admit that I tried, but I could not get a "high-end" shop with custom keyboard experience work with me. My connections isn't the best, and this project isn't the easiest to machine. So, for better or worse, I decided to go back and work with the factory that created the prototype. It is a really good shop and the prototype is done quite well, so I have high hopes that the production units will also be beautiful. It is a factory in China that is not specialized in or have any experience in making custom keyboards. So, please expect a good looking, solid keyboard, with really well designed PCB, but please please don't expect absolute perfection cosmetically. However, I'm also not making excuses like "aesthetic isn't the focus, so it's okay to have ugly marks all over it" because I don't want that as well. I own many custom keyboards, I know how they should look, and I'm not setting my bar low, I know that by taking your money I'm responsible to deliver a custom keyboard that is worth that amount.

Thank you for all your continued support. I'm optimistic that we can hit the MoQ :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Tue, 04 June 2019, 16:39:25
The last few images didn't show up, I'm assuming I'm hitting some sort of limits in the number of attachments, so I'll just add them here:
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Kokaloo on Tue, 04 June 2019, 16:46:51
absolute unit
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Asbrodeus on Tue, 04 June 2019, 16:52:41
I like this a lot I'm sure more questions will come to me when I'm not on mobile.  Would the case be cnc or stamped/rolled aluminum? What other customizations are you thinking of (rotary knobs and the like?)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: tex_live_utility on Tue, 04 June 2019, 17:15:25
At least add an extra column for a typical 75% layout?

That said, there are some "interesting" design choices here. I can't imagine this will be wildly popular, but I'm sure a few people will want one. This keyboard evidently will be fun for people who have a laser cutter at home.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: OtherAndrew on Tue, 04 June 2019, 17:19:03
we get it, you can use fusion 360
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: realxmlforce on Tue, 04 June 2019, 17:43:59
that is the most ridiculously over engineered board i have ever seen. i like it
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: thearctican on Tue, 04 June 2019, 18:34:10
we get it, you can use fusion 360
More designers should display such detail in their designs.

Looks awesome. Curious to see if the mounting mechanisms would work well in a more compact case, and concerned for longevity.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Surefoot on Tue, 04 June 2019, 19:09:32
At least add an extra column for a typical 75% layout?
Seconded.
And i love the over engineering that goes on the mounting solution. If it was 75% i'd get one in a heartbeat.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: equalunique on Tue, 04 June 2019, 19:24:10
This is marvelous

Sent from my LG-H918 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: rondg on Tue, 04 June 2019, 20:45:35
So many pieces.. I like...
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Wed, 05 June 2019, 01:10:23
Thanks for all the feedback! Looks like the feedback are better than I expected :D

At least add an extra column for a typical 75% layout?
Seconded.
And i love the over engineering that goes on the mounting solution. If it was 75% i'd get one in a heartbeat.
I hear you :) I designed it so that I easily create larger layouts by just increasing the width. If there're demands, I'd love to expand the line up all the way to at least a TKL or a 1800. So, let's see how this go.

I like this a lot I'm sure more questions will come to me when I'm not on mobile.  Would the case be cnc or stamped/rolled aluminum? What other customizations are you thinking of (rotary knobs and the like?)
The case will definitely be CNC'ed, I don't know of a better way to create something like this. As for other types of customization, it's still too early to say what options I'll be able to offer at GB, but I'm sure a competent modder could do a lot with the interchangeable parts. There are plenty of room in the case to fit all kinds of knobs and other electronic components.

Looks awesome. Curious to see if the mounting mechanisms would work well in a more compact case, and concerned for longevity.
Regarding longevity, can you elaborate a little bit more on which parts that you are concerned about? Longevity is one of my main focus, so I'd like to address your concern if I can.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: woodruff on Wed, 05 June 2019, 02:00:00
I don't like big bezels around keyboards because I tend to rest my hands on those, and it's quite dangerous and painful at the end of the day. Yeah, I do it automatically, there's no way I can stop that  :p
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Anakey on Wed, 05 June 2019, 07:40:02
Like this board a lot especially if it would come in a larger layout 1800 would be good. I will ask the dreaded question, will this ingenious and exquisitely designed board support Iso?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Wed, 05 June 2019, 09:42:56
Like this board a lot especially if it would come in a larger layout 1800 would be good. I will ask the dreaded question, will this ingenious and exquisitely designed board support Iso?
If there's enough interest for ISO, I'll definitely make it happens. It's cheap to support multiple layout when the controller is separated from the switches  ;)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Hadi on Wed, 05 June 2019, 14:38:08
Have you factored in machining costs into your design? The mounting mechanism is really interesting, but I think it would easily be the most expensive keyboard within the hobby to date.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Photekq on Wed, 05 June 2019, 17:49:57
The mounting of this is really similar (in spirit) to something I'm working on at the moment, but you've approached it in an entirely different way that I never would've dreamed up. Love the work so far, I'll keep my eye on this.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: ihalatch on Wed, 05 June 2019, 22:12:30
I like it a lot :) Can you please make the keycaps recessed in the body of the keyboard at least a few mm. I had enough of otherwise beautiful floating caps boards?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Wed, 05 June 2019, 22:12:57
Have you factored in machining costs into your design? The mounting mechanism is really interesting, but I think it would easily be the most expensive keyboard within the hobby to date.
Yes, cost is one of my concern as well. We're gonna have to fight that with volume. I also decided to not include brass weight to hopefully balance out the cost a little.

The mounting of this is really similar (in spirit) to something I'm working on at the moment, but you've approached it in an entirely different way that I never would've dreamed up. Love the work so far, I'll keep my eye on this.
Glad to see I'm not the only one :D I'd love to see your design whenever you're ready to share.

Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Bruek on Fri, 07 June 2019, 20:11:15
yes yes YES! this looks amazing. totally in.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: juusu on Sat, 08 June 2019, 02:33:46
This is very unique and interesting.  Do you think it would be possible to mount a Raspberry Pi in the case beneath the keyboard assembly with the USB/ HDMI connectors pulled out the back to make a full computer in a case?

Also, +1 for ISO support
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Sat, 08 June 2019, 03:37:50
This is very unique and interesting.  Do you think it would be possible to mount a Raspberry Pi in the case beneath the keyboard assembly with the USB/ HDMI connectors pulled out the back to make a full computer in a case?

Also, +1 for ISO support
It should fit all variants of the smaller RasberryPi Zero in the space at the back. :thumb: (The space in the back is about 34Wx290Lx24H mm, the Pi Zero is 30x65mm)


Quick update: All feedback has been really great so far. Thanks to everyone for all the support and news coverage (Thank you Manofinterests, Top Clack, and all others for help spreading the words about this project). I'm currently contacting several local CNC shops to see if I can get a prototype made.  :)

Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: parityb1t on Sat, 08 June 2019, 06:37:22
uhm, yeah!

Might not be popular opinion, but I really prefer the current layout over 75%. Though I'm a 'small keyboard width' person
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: sl70309 on Sat, 08 June 2019, 11:53:20
is prototype under production?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: equalunique on Sat, 08 June 2019, 12:31:20
uhm, yeah!

Might not be popular opinion, but I really prefer the current layout over 75%. Though I'm a 'small keyboard width' person
Same!

Might be worth considering keeping this first round's cost lower by having a smaller-width board. Rama for example didn't start with the U80 - those keyboards grew in size over time as interest in the brand grew.

Sent from my LG-H918 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Warrenified on Sat, 08 June 2019, 16:50:02
Love me those thicc bezels
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Sun, 09 June 2019, 00:00:10
is prototype under production?
I manage to convinced a shop owner to consider making the prototype. The main issue is that the project is difficult from machining complexity perspective, and many shop doesn't like low volume, high complexity project. Luckily one shop owner is being a really nice guy and is looking at all the drawing so that he can give me a quote. So, I'm really hoping this will work out :D

uhm, yeah!

Might not be popular opinion, but I really prefer the current layout over 75%. Though I'm a 'small keyboard width' person
Same!

Might be worth considering keeping this first round's cost lower by having a smaller-width board. Rama for example didn't start with the U80 - those keyboards grew in size over time as interest in the brand grew.

Sent from my LG-H918 using Tapatalk
The first run will definitely be in this form factor. I realized that one keyboard cannot satisfied everyone, so all things considered, I decided to start small. Not only it is cheaper to make, but I think 60% is popular enough in the community (I also love it personally) and I can (and will) create bigger ones easily if this one turns out to be a success.


Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Sun, 30 June 2019, 16:22:50
Update #1!

I'll try to keep regular updates for as long as I'm still working on this project, and here's the first :)
For the past few weeks I've asked ~10 local CNC shops about the project and I've concluded that most shops around here will not do low volume project of this complexity. Most low-volume shops around my area only have 2-axis machines that can only do simpler parts, while the Fat Boy require a 4-axis machine (or so I'm told), which is more common in larger factories.

Another issue is cost, I've found out that the smaller parts are pretty expensive to produce. If I can optimize the design a bit, I might be able to bring the cost down significantly, so I'll get to work on that as well.

Finally, I mentioned that I wanted to make this project open source, so I've exported some STLs and DWGs for the main parts and you can download them here: https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K (https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K). These are the files that I sent to factories for quotes, so check them out if you're interested, you can also quote me if you have a CNC shop ;) The fusion360 files are still quite messy so I'll share those later when they're good enough to benefit the community.

That's all for now, I'll also put all the updates on the first post for easy reference in the future. Peace!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: equalunique on Sun, 30 June 2019, 16:48:24
Wow! Thanks for following through on publishing the source files. The exploded view youtube video linked to in the readme shows an amazing design.

Sent from my LG-H918 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Photekq on Thu, 04 July 2019, 10:20:09
Update #1!

I'll try to keep regular updates for as long as I'm still working on this project, and here's the first :)
For the past few weeks I've asked ~10 local CNC shops about the project and I've concluded that most shops around here will not do low volume project of this complexity. Most low-volume shops around my area only have 2-axis machines that can only do simpler parts, while the Fat Boy require a 4-axis machine (or so I'm told), which is more common in larger factories.

Another issue is cost, I've found out that the smaller parts are pretty expensive to produce. If I can optimize the design a bit, I might be able to bring the cost down significantly, so I'll get to work on that as well.

Finally, I mentioned that I wanted to make this project open source, so I've exported some STLs and DWGs for the main parts and you can download them here: https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K (https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K). These are the files that I sent to factories for quotes, so check them out if you're interested, you can also quote me if you have a CNC shop ;) The fusion360 files are still quite messy so I'll share those later when they're good enough to benefit the community.

That's all for now, I'll also put all the updates on the first post for easy reference in the future. Peace!
A 4-axis mill shouldn't be a requirement - I haven't looked too closely at the geometry so I may be missing something but a 3-axis mill should be capable of making it with the use of a jig or a manual rotary table. There are a few things that stand out to me as unnecessary and costly to machine though:

One is the large cutouts and removable plate at the rear of the case; even 4-axis mills would struggle with this if their vertical work area is too small. If you're able to rethink this part of the case and instead use cutouts that can be milled vertically (when the case is sat on its base) it should make a noticeable difference to quotes. Secondly, the fact that your top casing truly is a top casing. Since it adds very little height to the bottom casing, all of the cavities in the bottom casing are extremely deep. If you're able to split the case at a lower point while retaining functionality, it will make all of those cavities much shallower and less challenging to machine. Lastly, holes on the sides of the case that you use for attaching the top casing - these are extremely inconvenient to machine. Try and stick to vertical screws only (or near vertical, e.g at the angle of slant of the board) if you can. This is why most cases are screwed together from below.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Fri, 05 July 2019, 13:20:58
A 4-axis mill shouldn't be a requirement - I haven't looked too closely at the geometry so I may be missing something but a 3-axis mill should be capable of making it with the use of a jig or a manual rotary table. There are a few things that stand out to me as unnecessary and costly to machine though:

One is the large cutouts and removable plate at the rear of the case; even 4-axis mills would struggle with this if their vertical work area is too small. If you're able to rethink this part of the case and instead use cutouts that can be milled vertically (when the case is sat on its base) it should make a noticeable difference to quotes. Secondly, the fact that your top casing truly is a top casing. Since it adds very little height to the bottom casing, all of the cavities in the bottom casing are extremely deep. If you're able to split the case at a lower point while retaining functionality, it will make all of those cavities much shallower and less challenging to machine. Lastly, holes on the sides of the case that you use for attaching the top casing - these are extremely inconvenient to machine. Try and stick to vertical screws only (or near vertical, e.g at the angle of slant of the board) if you can. This is why most cases are screwed together from below.

Thank you for the advice! These are exactly the kind of advice that I'm looking for ;D
Strangely, the quote that I got for the main body is not too far from my expectation (300-ish), but the smaller pieces are crazy expensive. I'm getting 15-25 dollars per piece for the smaller pieces. There are currently 20 small pieces in the design (12 Male and 8 Female), so that's about 300-400 dollars not including the main body, which is pretty insane (well, people did warn me it'll be expensive, and yup, it is very expensive ^-^). So, this really opens my eyes to some of the manufacturing challenges outside of just learning a CAD program. Anyway, I'm working on some redesign and hopefully I'll get some more advice from you for the next update :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Photekq on Fri, 05 July 2019, 13:59:32
Thank you for the advice! These are exactly the kind of advice that I'm looking for ;D
Strangely, the quote that I got for the main body is not too far from my expectation (300-ish), but the smaller pieces are crazy expensive. I'm getting 15-25 dollars per piece for the smaller pieces. There are currently 20 small pieces in the design (12 Male and 8 Female), so that's about 300-400 dollars not including the main body, which is pretty insane (well, people did warn me it'll be expensive, and yup, it is very expensive ^-^). So, this really opens my eyes to some of the manufacturing challenges outside of just learning a CAD program. Anyway, I'm working on some redesign and hopefully I'll get some more advice from you for the next update :)
I'm not surprised by that at all, since multiple smaller pieces require much more setup time than a single larger piece, even if the cut time is longer for the latter. If you're willing to send me the CAD assembly files I could have a look and see if there are any other things you could do to reduce costs.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Sat, 06 July 2019, 13:24:53
I'm not surprised by that at all, since multiple smaller pieces require much more setup time than a single larger piece, even if the cut time is longer for the latter. If you're willing to send me the CAD assembly files I could have a look and see if there are any other things you could do to reduce costs.
Thank you! I have stl files up on the github link in the update #1. Do you need anything else? The source is in fusion360, I can export to most common formats.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Photekq on Sat, 06 July 2019, 13:45:31
I'm not surprised by that at all, since multiple smaller pieces require much more setup time than a single larger piece, even if the cut time is longer for the latter. If you're willing to send me the CAD assembly files I could have a look and see if there are any other things you could do to reduce costs.
Thank you! I have stl files up on the github link in the update #1. Do you need anything else? The source is in fusion360, I can export to most common formats.
IGES or STEP of the full assembly would be best for me if it's not too much trouble.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Sun, 07 July 2019, 11:53:27
I'm not surprised by that at all, since multiple smaller pieces require much more setup time than a single larger piece, even if the cut time is longer for the latter. If you're willing to send me the CAD assembly files I could have a look and see if there are any other things you could do to reduce costs.
Thank you! I have stl files up on the github link in the update #1. Do you need anything else? The source is in fusion360, I can export to most common formats.
IGES or STEP of the full assembly would be best for me if it's not too much trouble.
Sorry for the delay, I added IGES and STEP file of the full assembly to the github repository
https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K (https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Thu, 01 August 2019, 14:46:16
Update #2

Ha! Did you think the project is dead? Not at all! I was just giving myself time to make sure that the design is stable. I was deciding on too many different ways to reduce the manufacturing cost while still keeping parts that I value the most in the original design. And I'm finally done! The main body didn't change much, but the number of the smaller custom parts are reduced from 20 to 4 and relying more on standard McMaster-Carr parts. With these tweaks, the prototype should be within my budget, and the final price shouldn't be too crazy.

Here's a look of the new simplified mounting design:
[attach=1]
[attach=2]

Not as crazy looking as the original design, but still not too shabby. Updated 3D files are already on Github: https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K (https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K). This time I've exported all of them into STEP files based on a recommendation that it has good compatibility with CNC machines.

The next challenge to resolve is to finally find someone who can help me manufacture this thing. After taking some advice from friends in the community, I think the best way is to try to get in touch with designers or engineers in the community who has experienced with custom keyboard rather than my previous approach of finding a local CNC shop. Small shops don't want complicated project, big shops wants quantity... I just can't satisfy them. I was going to try finding something on Alibaba, but I'm told that it's pretty much a gamble unless I get a solid recommendation. On the other hand, if I can get in touch with someone in the community, then we're already on the same page, and it'll be so much more confident that the quality of the final product will be what the community expects.

That's all for now, See you in the next update!
P.S. If anyone knows someone that would like to work with me on the Fat Boy, please let me know :D
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: ecbob on Thu, 01 August 2019, 15:24:30
Final price not looking crazy as in sub $200? :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: ecbob on Thu, 01 August 2019, 15:26:31
Also for feedback, I find the chin slightly too big for me. If would be sick if you shaved off some of the bottom bezel.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Thu, 01 August 2019, 23:32:02
Final price not looking crazy as in sub $200? :)
$200 would be really nice :P But realistically, sub $400 is my target :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: dexie on Fri, 02 August 2019, 00:09:20
That's absolutely crazy, but I want it. I will probably wouldn't even properly type on it, just play with it and all the customization it has
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Sun, 01 September 2019, 14:55:21
Update #3

I'm very happy to report this update because this is huge for me. The prototype of the main body and all laser cut parts are made, and they are spot on. No need to make any adjustment to the CAD files. The only things left are the prototype for the mounting system and the PCB. The PCB should not be a problem as there are kind people in the community that are generous enough to help me out, so I'll be tackling the mounting prototype next.

Some details about how I got the parts made. My original plan was to get in touch with some experienced keyboard makers as I mentioned in the previous update. However, while I was looking around and getting quotes from several CNC shops, there was one shop on Alibaba that was super easy to deal with, very professional, very responsive, and quoted a very reasonable price. The sales kept following up with me, asking how I was doing until I gave in and decided to order a sample for the main body. A couple of weeks later, the parts is in my hands and it is good. There are some minor cosmetic defects, but the over all machining is excellent. As for the laser cut parts, I went with gut-feeling and chose a local laser-cutting shop that felt the most professional when I talked to them, which also turned out excellent.

Today, all the parts you see are finally in my hands. I grabbed whatever M3 screws I could find in my house so that I can put the parts together and take these pictures to show you guys. Enjoy!

[attachimg=1]
[attachimg=2]
[attachimg=3]
[attachimg=4]
[attachimg=5]
[attachimg=6]
[attachimg=7]
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: KaosJ on Sun, 01 September 2019, 15:16:59
I got lost at looking at the different pieces togheter but can't wait to see final result.

Also, i hope this comes with Ikea instructions, full brass ikea instructions.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Robosculpts on Sun, 01 September 2019, 15:21:30
I LOVE this! Looking thicc
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Anakey on Sun, 01 September 2019, 15:25:06
wow great progress with the prototypes, going to be good seeing the finished unit though might be different when knowing the price
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: lush_bunny on Sun, 01 September 2019, 17:48:14
I like this big fat juicy update. Looking forward to more.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: vicissitude on Mon, 02 September 2019, 09:14:50
interested.
Cool design.  :thumb: :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: aslejoh on Mon, 02 September 2019, 09:35:46
This looks so dang cool!

EDIT: Real talk, how did you get your toes to spread like that?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Mon, 02 September 2019, 10:03:58
EDIT: Real talk, how did you get your toes to spread like that?
I wonder about that myself, I swear they look normal in person.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Rob27shred on Mon, 02 September 2019, 10:05:11
I love this ideal! I'm sure even with all the cost cutting measures it's not gonna be cheap, but the moddable fashion of the case really draws me into wanting one badly! Looks like things are moving along which is always good! GL with the project moving forward OP, I'll be keeping an eye on this for sure!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: despairsray on Tue, 03 September 2019, 01:14:36
Been following this and I am happy to hear that it is moving along well. Are you planning on having different colors?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Solotov on Tue, 03 September 2019, 02:22:57
Have to keep my eyes on this  :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: zwartho on Tue, 03 September 2019, 13:27:07
me likey
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Mon, 09 September 2019, 01:17:26
Been following this and I am happy to hear that it is moving along well. Are you planning on having different colors?
Yes, I do plan on offering different color options, but since looks isn't the primary focus for this project, to keep things simple, I think I'll only be able to offer basic colors like silver, black, and possibly grey. But then again, I'm also listening to feedback to see what the community want, so I will try to accommodate the most request colors. :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Mon, 30 September 2019, 14:51:58
Update #4

This is an exiting update for me because the mounting is complete! This was the biggest question mark for this project and I'm very glad that it worked out the way the way it did. Earlier, I hit a road-block when I found out that McMaster-Carr rejected my orders for parts that I needed to complete the prototype because they didn't want to ship to where I live (Bangkok), and the design of the mount was based on some specific parts from McMaster-Carr. So, I had to find the parts elsewhere and I managed to find replacements for most of the parts, except for one... the "Captive Pin" (https://www.mcmaster.com/95648a700 (https://www.mcmaster.com/95648a700)). This is an important piece that kinda holds everything together, and I got really fed-up looking for something like it, so I had it custom made by the same shop from Alibaba for a reasonable price along with the rest of the mountings. And the results are great! Everything fits together very well; currently I'm using silicone o-rings as cushions which works a lot better than I expected, but these are just one of many possibilities, and I'm still looking for some other interesting parts/materials to try as the next candidate for the final default cushions.
Another good news is that the PCB is also coming along nicely, courtesy of a fellow keyboard lover :thumb: That's all for now and thanks all for the great support so far!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Slash Emperor on Mon, 30 September 2019, 14:58:40
Awesome to see you were able to source parts and get the prototype of the mounting system together, can't wait to join in on the GB!

I was just wondering if it's possible to do a quick video of the mounting system in action (maybe just lightly pushing on the plate)? Hoping the PCB gets to you soon!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Tue, 01 October 2019, 02:04:08
No problems, I'll take a quick video when I get home tonight :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Tue, 01 October 2019, 11:13:27
Awesome to see you were able to source parts and get the prototype of the mounting system together, can't wait to join in on the GB!

I was just wondering if it's possible to do a quick video of the mounting system in action (maybe just lightly pushing on the plate)? Hoping the PCB gets to you soon!

Here is the video of the mount in action! However, please note that there is no PCB in it, so I had to put an extra o-ring to fill in the gap. Also, this is recorded from my phone, so audio is totally crap.

Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Slash Emperor on Tue, 01 October 2019, 12:07:06
Awesome to see you were able to source parts and get the prototype of the mounting system together, can't wait to join in on the GB!

I was just wondering if it's possible to do a quick video of the mounting system in action (maybe just lightly pushing on the plate)? Hoping the PCB gets to you soon!

Here is the video of the mount in action! However, please note that there is no PCB in it, so I had to put an extra o-ring to fill in the gap. Also, this is recorded from my phone, so audio is totally crap.


Thank you very much for the video! It's great to see the mounting system at work, even without a PCB in, and I really like the flex shown. I appreciate you taking on this request.

Really excited for this project.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: biothermal on Tue, 01 October 2019, 12:07:23
Wow super fascinating! Love how it’s all coming together. (Also, message me if you want to test out the McMaster parts instead of custom fabrications, maybe I could buy some here in the states and send them over?)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Tue, 01 October 2019, 13:08:09
Wow super fascinating! Love how it’s all coming together. (Also, message me if you want to test out the McMaster parts instead of custom fabrications, maybe I could buy some here in the states and send them over?)

Thanks for the offer, that's very kind of you ^-^
I'll definitely ask for your help if I need those McMaster parts!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: keyboardcircle on Tue, 01 October 2019, 17:32:59
most complex keyboard ever..
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: biothermal on Tue, 01 October 2019, 18:15:08
Wow super fascinating! Love how it’s all coming together. (Also, message me if you want to test out the McMaster parts instead of custom fabrications, maybe I could buy some here in the states and send them over?)

Thanks for the offer, that's very kind of you ^-^
I'll definitely ask for your help if I need those McMaster parts!

Sure, no problem! And I'm just glad to see this coming to fruition!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: kmfmppl on Wed, 02 October 2019, 00:43:26
This looks really cool. Will the pcb have some kind of breakout for an oled? Looks like there would be ample space to mod a screen into a build.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Wed, 02 October 2019, 02:16:53
This looks really cool. Will the pcb have some kind of breakout for an oled? Looks like there would be ample space to mod a screen into a build.

A screen wasn't a requirement when I discuss the details of the pcb with the pcb designer, so I'm not sure if it'll have the support. But you can fit a Raspberry Pi Zero in the space on the top of the case, if you want to do something special :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: kmfmppl on Wed, 02 October 2019, 05:53:58
This looks really cool. Will the pcb have some kind of breakout for an oled? Looks like there would be ample space to mod a screen into a build.

A screen wasn't a requirement when I discuss the details of the pcb with the pcb designer, so I'm not sure if it'll have the support. But you can fit a Raspberry Pi Zero in the space on the top of the case, if you want to do something special :)

I'll figure something out, great project anyway! :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: dannyny on Wed, 02 October 2019, 23:20:41
this looks super interesting. not sure if i need this but for the right price i would buy it. does this have a price tag yet?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Wed, 02 October 2019, 23:41:49
this looks super interesting. not sure if i need this but for the right price i would buy it. does this have a price tag yet?

I haven't finalized the price yet, but based on what I paid for the prototype so far, I think the price will be in the same range as most customs in today's market.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: KaosJ on Sun, 06 October 2019, 07:27:46
Awesome to see you were able to source parts and get the prototype of the mounting system together, can't wait to join in on the GB!

I was just wondering if it's possible to do a quick video of the mounting system in action (maybe just lightly pushing on the plate)? Hoping the PCB gets to you soon!

Here is the video of the mount in action! However, please note that there is no PCB in it, so I had to put an extra o-ring to fill in the gap. Also, this is recorded from my phone, so audio is totally crap.


I have to be honest, i don't particullary enjoy the aesthetic of the keeb, but there is so much overengineering that i definetely want to buy and support you. I guess we are too late to get the 75% last column.

2 questions:
- The second plate (the bottom one) what material is supposed to be? I'm a bit worried that the flex of the top 1.5mm plate will vibrate against the bottom plate.
- I saw the video of the exploded view but still i don't understand the bottom part (this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14hG_0Px_jE&feature=youtu.be&t=17)), these bottom pillars screw to what?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Uryftw on Sun, 06 October 2019, 16:18:28
This is interesting.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: ideus on Sun, 06 October 2019, 16:25:31
This is a really fat boi. Hate fat.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: rondg on Sun, 06 October 2019, 17:38:06
For the pcb, will you consider adding breakouts for other possible DIY addons like OLED, bluetooth, etc?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Rob27shred on Sun, 06 October 2019, 17:48:19
So I finally read the description of what this is & I gotta say I love it! Super interested in this project specifically because of the crazy over engineering you've put into it. Definitely gonna be keeping an eye on this while stashing some cash away in anticipation of this coming to life! GL moving forward OP!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Tue, 08 October 2019, 01:06:55
I have to be honest, i don't particullary enjoy the aesthetic of the keeb, but there is so much overengineering that i definetely want to buy and support you. I guess we are too late to get the 75% last column.

2 questions:
- The second plate (the bottom one) what material is supposed to be? I'm a bit worried that the flex of the top 1.5mm plate will vibrate against the bottom plate.
- I saw the video of the exploded view but still i don't understand the bottom part (this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14hG_0Px_jE&feature=youtu.be&t=17)), these bottom pillars screw to what?
Hey, sorry for the slow response, and thanks for the support, it really means a lot :)
The second plate is actually supposed to be some kind of sound absorbing material. I'm currently using acrylic as a placeholder because I'm still waiting on the PCB to finalize and I'm still looking at what material is best. Probably some kind of silicon, definitely not metal, but I still haven't found a shop to make a prototype yet.
As for the exploded view, it's a little out-dated, the pillars initially supposed to be screwed into the main body, but it was too expensive to manufacture, so I redesigned it to but just studs, which are kept in place by a cut out in the bottom case. This put manufacturing cost back to reasonable land, and seemed to work well based on the prototype. ;D
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Tue, 08 October 2019, 01:09:39
I have to be honest, i don't particullary enjoy the aesthetic of the keeb, but there is so much overengineering that i definetely want to buy and support you. I guess we are too late to get the 75% last column.
Forgot to answers this question. I'm planning to offer other sizes and layout if this first one is successful. It'll be easy for me to create bigger versions once I got this one figured out, so hopefully we'll get to a point where I can offer 75% and TKL versions :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: KaosJ on Tue, 08 October 2019, 14:57:04
I have to be honest, i don't particullary enjoy the aesthetic of the keeb, but there is so much overengineering that i definetely want to buy and support you. I guess we are too late to get the 75% last column.

2 questions:
- The second plate (the bottom one) what material is supposed to be? I'm a bit worried that the flex of the top 1.5mm plate will vibrate against the bottom plate.
- I saw the video of the exploded view but still i don't understand the bottom part (this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14hG_0Px_jE&feature=youtu.be&t=17)), these bottom pillars screw to what?
Hey, sorry for the slow response, and thanks for the support, it really means a lot :)
The second plate is actually supposed to be some kind of sound absorbing material. I'm currently using acrylic as a placeholder because I'm still waiting on the PCB to finalize and I'm still looking at what material is best. Probably some kind of silicon, definitely not metal, but I still haven't found a shop to make a prototype yet.
As for the exploded view, it's a little out-dated, the pillars initially supposed to be screwed into the main body, but it was too expensive to manufacture, so I redesigned it to but just studs, which are kept in place by a cut out in the bottom case. This put manufacturing cost back to reasonable land, and seemed to work well based on the prototype. ;D

What about the hardest sorbothane custom cut? anyway, anything dense foam-like thing will do the job.
Can't wait to see more!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Sun, 01 December 2019, 16:29:24
Update #5

The PCB design is done and it is ready for prototype! Actually, the PCB has been ready for a couple of weeks, but I had to wait for my paycheck before I can order the prototype... holiday season this year is brutal for my wallet :( But all is good now, I should be able to pay for the prototypes soon and we'll be on our way to a functional prototype!
Another thing worth informing is that I made some modifications to the case in order to properly mount the controller PCB. To keep with the original intent of the design, the controller is mounted to the case via a "holder". The holder is a laser-cut part that can be made cheaply, which should allows modders to attach their own controllers if they wanted to.
That's all for now, for the next update, I'm hoping to have a functioning prototype!

Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: rondg on Sun, 01 December 2019, 16:54:03
I don't know anything about pcb design, but looking at the pictures, there is a part of the pcb that extends/protrudes that connects to the controller. If that is the case, I think it would be much safer for that to be a ribbon cable? This can be more forgiving on the tolerances? If that is not the case, don't mind me I'm stupid  ;D
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: ErgoMacros on Sun, 01 December 2019, 17:23:47
Likewise, not sure what the vision is for the PCB/controller pairing, but the example looks like there are 10+6 connectors. 60 keys.

The keyboard PCB looks like there's a 15 x 6 matrix, so 90 possible positions in the matrix. Granted, not all filled.
You may want to anticipate more wires from KEYBOARD to controller is all I'm saying.

Amazing project, I continue to watch with interest.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Mon, 02 December 2019, 00:17:20
I don't know anything about pcb design, but looking at the pictures, there is a part of the pcb that extends/protrudes that connects to the controller. If that is the case, I think it would be much safer for that to be a ribbon cable? This can be more forgiving on the tolerances? If that is not the case, don't mind me I'm stupid  ;D
The part that extrude is a card-edge connector, similar to how the Beamsprings and Model Fs are designed back in the days. It was my request to make the controller detachable in a similar fashion, and I trust in the pcb designer's expertise that this shouldn't break easily. Ribbon connector could work too, but require more parts. Hopefully, all goes well in the upcoming prototype :P

Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Mon, 02 December 2019, 00:22:42
Likewise, not sure what the vision is for the PCB/controller pairing, but the example looks like there are 10+6 connectors. 60 keys.

The keyboard PCB looks like there's a 15 x 6 matrix, so 90 possible positions in the matrix. Granted, not all filled.
You may want to anticipate more wires from KEYBOARD to controller is all I'm saying.

Amazing project, I continue to watch with interest.

Hopefully, the pcb designer has already thought of everything, but as far as I know we only need 1 pin for each row and 1 pin for each column, similar to how you hand-wired a keyboard. So the chosen connector seemd to have more than enough pins for the job :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: ErgoMacros on Wed, 11 December 2019, 16:57:38
Just noticed this new thread:
    https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=103689.0;topicseen

He's playing with putting the controller into a Gameboy cartridge. Maybe some ideas for your PCB guy to consider.
 
Not only could you play with different "CPUs", but you could keep different configurations "just lying around" so the, for example, friends and co-workers could use a more standard keyboard, when needed.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Olivierko on Wed, 11 December 2019, 18:07:58
You have my wallet.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: johnnysstash on Wed, 11 December 2019, 22:59:23
wkl option would make this a must for me
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: yiancar on Sat, 21 December 2019, 14:01:18
Just noticed this new thread:
    https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=103689.0;topicseen

He's playing with putting the controller into a Gameboy cartridge. Maybe some ideas for your PCB guy to consider.
 
Not only could you play with different "CPUs", but you could keep different configurations "just lying around" so the, for example, friends and co-workers could use a more standard keyboard, when needed.

Hello! I am the pcb designer!

Interesting project with the gameboy cartridge! I suppose we are doing the same thing but in a different form factor

Likewise, not sure what the vision is for the PCB/controller pairing, but the example looks like there are 10+6 connectors. 60 keys.

The keyboard PCB looks like there's a 15 x 6 matrix, so 90 possible positions in the matrix. Granted, not all filled.
You may want to anticipate more wires from KEYBOARD to controller is all I'm saying.

Amazing project, I continue to watch with interest.

We decided on using a standardized connector. PCIE is that and also allows for non reversibility.
A standardized connector means that we can get one from multiple suppliers and a high quality. The unit price is also much cheaper.

At the beginning we were thinking of using a matting connector instead of a card edge one.
The IBM aesthetic mostly swing us towards the card edge connector. Also as the matting cycles are going to be quite low (<100) there was no need for a more expensive matting connector.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: yiancar on Sat, 21 December 2019, 14:08:46
I don't know anything about pcb design, but looking at the pictures, there is a part of the pcb that extends/protrudes that connects to the controller. If that is the case, I think it would be much safer for that to be a ribbon cable? This can be more forgiving on the tolerances? If that is not the case, don't mind me I'm stupid  ;D

The tolerances are good enough if we think that this is CNCed :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: hineybush on Sat, 21 December 2019, 14:17:18
this **** wild
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: tchalikias on Sat, 21 December 2019, 15:23:16
Wow, just wow. Incredible engineering effort and attention to detail. Very interested!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Alchemist Keyboards on Sat, 21 December 2019, 16:49:38
Glad to see this is still in progress. Looks absolutely insane in the best way
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: d00deitsnik on Sat, 21 December 2019, 17:40:55
I've been getting into smaller keyboards, but this seems so great. I kinda really like it. A lot.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: beekey on Sun, 29 December 2019, 02:39:37
I love the engineering. Awesome to see something new and ambitious.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K &quot;Fat Boy&quot; - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: rinkaan on Sun, 29 December 2019, 03:12:37
Oh my... Won't this run into the thousands? Looking sick though!

Sent from my Redmi K20 Pro using Tapatalk

Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Bleddyn on Sun, 29 December 2019, 07:30:28
I remember seeing this way back when it hit IC and thinking man this is nuts, It's never gonna work. Glad to be proven wrong and to see this coming along in the way it has.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Sun, 02 February 2020, 14:17:35
Update #6

This is a really exiting update for me. The prototype PCBs that my partner Yiancar has made arrived at my place today. This is pretty much the final piece of the puzzle and I can now finally build a functional prototype. The PCBs needed a few jump wires which will obviously be fixed in the production version, other than that everything fit together really well. I'll let the pictures do the talking :)
As for the next step, I'll be building a functional prototype in the very near future and also start talking to potential manufacturers to get quotes and finalize who will handle all the CNC for the production of this project. Thank you everyone who has been supporting the project, this has been quite a journey and we've come so far I can almost see the finish line, please don't lose interest just yet!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: bisoromi on Sun, 02 February 2020, 15:06:09
Wow seriously awesome stuff! Glad to see everything coming together! :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: biothermal on Sun, 02 February 2020, 15:26:14
Update #6

This is a really exiting update for me. The prototype PCBs that my partner Yiancar has made arrived at my place today. This is pretty much the final piece of the puzzle and I can now finally build a functional prototype. The PCBs needed a few jump wires which will obviously be fixed in the production version, other than that everything fit together really well. I'll let the pictures do the talking :)
As for the next step, I'll be building a functional prototype in the very near future and also start talking to potential manufacturers to get quotes and finalize who will handle all the CNC for the production of this project. Thank you everyone who has been supporting the project, this has been quite a journey and we've come so far I can almost see the finish line, please don't lose interest just yet!

Very excited to start to see a finalized project coming together. Really hope everything can be organized for this to go to GB or for production units to be made, I've been down since day 1  :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: rondg on Sun, 02 February 2020, 16:02:13
I cannot live without my arrow keys but this is just too good. Very interested in this one!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: lush_bunny on Sun, 02 February 2020, 17:44:52
Can't wait for the sound test.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Jaltr on Sun, 02 February 2020, 19:05:54
bruh, am loving how this looks and how different it is!
Hoping to buy this
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Thu, 13 February 2020, 14:27:28
I need to get a proper mic so that I can finally do a proper typing video that do this thing justice... In the meantime, enjoy my dirty desk  :p
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: biothermal on Thu, 13 February 2020, 15:47:26
I need to get a proper mic so that I can finally do a proper typing video that do this thing justice... In the meantime, enjoy my dirty desk  :p

Whew! looking forward to it! Will you be able to do soundtests for different profiles and materials by any chance?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Thu, 13 February 2020, 21:26:38
Absolutely, I got tons of keycaps and switches I can test out. Let me know if you have a specific keycaps/switches you want me to test out.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: lush_bunny on Thu, 13 February 2020, 21:57:32
I need to get a proper mic so that I can finally do a proper typing video that do this thing justice... In the meantime, enjoy my dirty desk  :p

Niiiice
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: biothermal on Fri, 14 February 2020, 22:03:05
Absolutely, I got tons of keycaps and switches I can test out. Let me know if you have a specific keycaps/switches you want me to test out.

Well if you are offering...  :p I think I speak for at least a few people when I say I'd absolutely love to hear some GMK keycaps with linear switches. That's my easiest basis for comparison.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Sat, 15 February 2020, 05:18:28
Absolutely, I got tons of keycaps and switches I can test out. Let me know if you have a specific keycaps/switches you want me to test out.

Well if you are offering...  :p I think I speak for at least a few people when I say I'd absolutely love to hear some GMK keycaps with linear switches. That's my easiest basis for comparison.
You got it, I'll do a video for linear/gmk combo.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Mon, 17 February 2020, 11:08:11
Typing Video #1!  :D

Just finished setting up for recording with a somewhat "proper" equipment, i.e. not a phone camera. So, here's a typing test with the current build I got on this, T1 switches with my beloved SA Retro.
Next recording will be after I rebuild the board with a linear/GMK combo as requested  :thumb:

Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: rondg on Mon, 17 February 2020, 19:07:11
Typing Video #1!  :D

Just finished setting up for recording with a somewhat "proper" equipment, i.e. not a phone camera. So, here's a typing test with the current build I got on this, T1 switches with my beloved SA Retro.
Next recording will be after I rebuild the board with a linear/GMK combo as requested  :thumb:


Any chance for a build video?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Tue, 18 February 2020, 00:43:57
Hmm, I'll try to make one in the near future. I don't have a lot of equipment/skills to make good videos so I can't promise high quality videos (yet), but I can definitely try!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: jjj404001 on Thu, 20 February 2020, 10:27:55
I really love the sounds and design, especially mechanism.

Cant wait for GB, but is there are daughter board available connected with cables?

this mechanism is very interesting <3 I like it but also little worried since it travels up and down but connected with part of PCBplane.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: lush_bunny on Thu, 20 February 2020, 10:47:02
I wonder what wonderful sounds this thing will make with clickies...
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: hottrout on Thu, 20 February 2020, 11:47:41
Great design method and work so far.  I love the mounting system and the dedication to perfection.  I might have to find some money for this beauty.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Fri, 21 February 2020, 10:13:21
I really love the sounds and design, especially mechanism.

Cant wait for GB, but is there are daughter board available connected with cables?

this mechanism is very interesting <3 I like it but also little worried since it travels up and down but connected with part of PCBplane.
Both the matrix PCB and controller PCB are most likely going to be very similar to the prototype here, so no cables, sorry... However, in the final version, there will be proper mounting for the PCB which will secure it better than what you see in the prototype here.  :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: biothermal on Fri, 21 February 2020, 10:33:51
Typing Video #1!  :D

Just finished setting up for recording with a somewhat "proper" equipment, i.e. not a phone camera. So, here's a typing test with the current build I got on this, T1 switches with my beloved SA Retro.
Next recording will be after I rebuild the board with a linear/GMK combo as requested  :thumb:


Seems proper enough to me! Really nice!

At some point pre-GB will you be demonstrating different top pieces? Ones besides the clear (what I'm assuming is acrylic) one that is on there now?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Fri, 21 February 2020, 11:07:47
So, the board is rebuilt with lubed vintage blacks, 60g TX springs, and is being sent over to a fellow of mine who offered to do a typing video with a much better recording gear, which should sounds pretty accurate to the real thing.

In the mean time, while it's not a build video yet. I managed to take some pictures while I was rebuilding it so show the building process a little bit more clearly.

First, you build the PCB/plate sandwich like any other customs. Then you attach the brackets with o-rings for cushions. You can use flat springs or other cushion material here as well, but I found these silicone o-rings do the jobs really well. At this point, these o-rings are the most likely candidates for what will be included in the final kit. Insert the pins keep everything together.
[attach=1]
[attach=2]

Next, place pins on the case as pictured and route the cable to the controller PCB. You can actually connect the cable later, but this is just how I do it.
[attach=3]

Next, connect the controller PCB to the matrix and place the sandwich into the case, take care to line-up the pins and everything should go in easily.
I'll admit that this part is a little fiddly, but I did it many times without too much trouble. One trick is to line up the pins on the bottom row first as the top row pins are exposed and are easier to line up.
Make sure that controller PCB and the cable properly in place and nothing is caught under anything, and all the pins should easily go though all the hols all the way to the top holes as pictured below:
[attach=4]
[attach=5]

Next, use something small to nudge the pins so that it went through the top hole as well:
[attach=6]
[attach=7]

And that's it!
[attach=8]

The final version will come with a proper aluminium, side-mount, top cover so that the whole thing is solid. Clear acrylic top cover is nice for prototype because I can see through it, but it's not strong enough to hold everything together securely, so you'll be getting an aluminium top as default.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Fri, 21 February 2020, 11:15:17
Typing Video #1!  :D

Just finished setting up for recording with a somewhat "proper" equipment, i.e. not a phone camera. So, here's a typing test with the current build I got on this, T1 switches with my beloved SA Retro.
Next recording will be after I rebuild the board with a linear/GMK combo as requested  :thumb:


Seems proper enough to me! Really nice!

At some point pre-GB will you be demonstrating different top pieces? Ones besides the clear (what I'm assuming is acrylic) one that is on there now?

I do plan to get a laser-cut aluminium top just to see how it looks but I've been having a little difficulty finding a local shop that offer the same finish. The final top cover will be the side mount CNCed one though :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: biothermal on Fri, 21 February 2020, 12:13:20
The final top cover will be the side mount CNCed one though :)

Oh boy I just keep getting more and more excited about this board  :eek:

This next build sounds like it's going to be really nice, can't wait to hear the sound test from your friend!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: ehagerty on Fri, 21 February 2020, 12:50:53
So, the board is rebuilt with lubed vintage blacks, 60g TX springs, and is being sent over to a fellow of mine who offered to do a typing video with a much better recording gear, which should sounds pretty accurate to the real thing.

In the mean time, while it's not a build video yet. I managed to take some pictures while I was rebuilding it so show the building process a little bit more clearly.

First, you build the PCB/plate sandwich like any other customs. Then you attach the brackets with o-rings for cushions. You can use flat springs or other cushion material here as well, but I found these silicone o-rings do the jobs really well. At this point, these o-rings are the most likely candidates for what will be included in the final kit. Insert the pins keep everything together.
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)

Next, place pins on the case as pictured and route the cable to the controller PCB. You can actually connect the cable later, but this is just how I do it.
(Attachment Link)

Next, connect the controller PCB to the matrix and place the sandwich into the case, take care to line-up the pins and everything should go in easily.
I'll admit that this part is a little fiddly, but I did it many times without too much trouble. One trick is to line up the pins on the bottom row first as the top row pins are exposed and are easier to line up.
Make sure that controller PCB and the cable properly in place and nothing is caught under anything, and all the pins should easily go though all the hols all the way to the top holes as pictured below:
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)

Next, use something small to nudge the pins so that it went through the top hole as well:
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)

And that's it!
(Attachment Link)

The final version will come with a proper aluminium, side-mount, top cover so that the whole thing is solid. Clear acrylic top cover is nice for prototype because I can see through it, but it's not strong enough to hold everything together securely, so you'll be getting an aluminium top as default.

@mustcode UH MAH GHEERDD!  WHEN WILL YOU TAKE MY MONEY!!!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: lush_bunny on Fri, 21 February 2020, 15:18:50
I must admit I like the clear top 👀
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Sat, 22 February 2020, 02:39:08
Alright! Here are some proper sound check for you. Put your good speakers/headphones on and Enjoy!
And huge thanks to Mr. Pro who help me with this, he has been one of the most helpful people to everyone in the Thai Mech community for many years. His YouTube channels has a lot more typing videos so those are good comparison to other keyboards.


Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: piercejenkins on Sat, 22 February 2020, 07:45:23
Just shut up and TAKE MY MONEY!!!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: jjj404001 on Sat, 22 February 2020, 10:56:27
I really love the sounds and design, especially mechanism.

Cant wait for GB, but is there are daughter board available connected with cables?

this mechanism is very interesting <3 I like it but also little worried since it travels up and down but connected with part of PCBplane.
Both the matrix PCB and controller PCB are most likely going to be very similar to the prototype here, so no cables, sorry... However, in the final version, there will be proper mounting for the PCB which will secure it better than what you see in the prototype here.  :)

Oh,, I thought it connected via external port just like other keyboards. Then I don't have to worry about anything. Good job!. I really live that bezel design.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: biothermal on Thu, 27 February 2020, 06:05:10
Just shut up and TAKE MY MONEY!!!

I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment   :p

Thank you for the gmk+linear, really sounds quite nice, excited to see what's next for this board!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Starius on Sat, 29 February 2020, 16:56:31
I definitely gotta get one of these in my collection. 
Very cool project!  :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: hottrout on Thu, 05 March 2020, 10:22:21
Noice
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: equalunique on Thu, 05 March 2020, 14:13:26
I'd try to mod one with a custom ortho PCB & my own electronics
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Sun, 15 March 2020, 15:47:55
Update #7

This is it. This is possibly the last update before the GB... because GB starts 04/04.
Here are the details that I've finalized so far:

- Price 460usd per kit.
- MoQ is 20
- Each kit includes:
  - Case
     - 6063 aluminium
     - Two color choices: Silver or Black
     - top cover will be CNCed with screws on the sides (laser-cut top cover with screws on the top like in the prototype is still supported, but not included)
     - back cover will be laser-cut
  - 1 set of PCBs (matrix + controller)
  - all the mounting pieces, screws, silicone o-rings, etc.
- Extra PCB is 60usd per set (matrix + controller)

Yes, I know, there isn't a lot of options to choose from... I decided to remove all the non-essential options so that I have the highest chance of actually handle the GB properly.
I've thought about this a lot, because more options means you guys can get exactly what you want from the project and we might have more chance of hitting the MoQ. But in the end, I'm just one man with a full-time job who is doing this for the first time, so I want to make sure that I can do this and I absolutely don't want this to become such a big mess that it also become my last project. I believe even with the limited options, the core-concept that I want to deliver is still solid: A keyboard that you can easily modify, a keyboard that can be a platform for you to experiment on, a daily beater that will stay on your desk for years and years to come.

This price is also something that all of us are interested in. I hope that this is a price that most of us can agree on, because this is as low as I could go without risking losing money. I'm basically taking the quote that I got from the factory and round it up to a nice round number, and hope to god that they don't raise the price when I actually submit the order (the price in the quote is only valid for so long).
Another thing that I should be able to do if we're way pass MoQ, like >50, is price breaks. So, if that happens, it will definitely be cheaper.

I will also admit that I tried, but I could not get a "high-end" shop with custom keyboard experience work with me. My connections isn't the best, and this project isn't the easiest to machine. So, for better or worse, I decided to go back and work with the factory that created the prototype. It is a really good shop and the prototype is done quite well, so I have high hopes that the production units will also be beautiful. It is a factory in China that is not specialized in or have any experience in making custom keyboards. So, please expect a good looking, solid keyboard, with really well designed PCB, but please please don't expect absolute perfection cosmetically. However, I'm also not making excuses like "aesthetic isn't the focus, so it's okay to have ugly marks all over it" because I don't want that as well. I own many custom keyboards, I know how they should look, and I'm not setting my bar low, I know that by taking your money I'm responsible to deliver a custom keyboard that is worth that amount.

Thank you for all your continued support. I'm optimistic that we can hit the MoQ :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: rondg on Sun, 15 March 2020, 21:09:07
Nice! Though I must admit, running this along with 7V, I might need to choose which one to get. Would you consider running this a month after?  ;D

Update #7

This is it. This is possibly the last update before the GB... because GB starts 04/04.
Here are the details that I've finalized so far:

- Price 460usd per kit.
- MoQ is 20
- Each kit includes:
  - Case
     - 6063 aluminium
     - Two color choices: Silver or Black
     - top cover will be CNCed with screws on the sides (laser-cut top cover with screws on the top like in the prototype is still supported, but not included)
     - back cover will be laser-cut
  - 1 set of PCBs (matrix + controller)
  - all the mounting pieces, screws, silicone o-rings, etc.
- Extra PCB is 60usd per set (matrix + controller)

Yes, I know, there isn't a lot of options to choose from... I decided to remove all the non-essential options so that I have the highest chance of actually handle the GB properly.
I've thought about this a lot, because more options means you guys can get exactly what you want from the project and we might have more chance of hitting the MoQ. But in the end, I'm just one man with a full-time job who is doing this for the first time, so I want to make sure that I can do this and I absolutely don't want this to become such a big mess that it also become my last project. I believe even with the limited options, the core-concept that I want to deliver is still solid: A keyboard that you can easily modify, a keyboard that can be a platform for you to experiment on, a daily beater that will stay on your desk for years and years to come.

This price is also something that all of us are interested in. I hope that this is a price that most of us can agree on, because this is as low as I could go without risking losing money. I'm basically taking the quote that I got from the factory and round it up to a nice round number, and hope to god that they don't raise the price when I actually submit the order (the price in the quote is only valid for so long).
Another thing that I should be able to do if we're way pass MoQ, like >50, is price breaks. So, if that happens, it will definitely be cheaper.

I will also admit that I tried, but I could not get a "high-end" shop with custom keyboard experience work with me. My connections isn't the best, and this project isn't the easiest to machine. So, for better or worse, I decided to go back and work with the factory that created the prototype. It is a really good shop and the prototype is done quite well, so I have high hopes that the production units will also be beautiful. It is a factory in China that is not specialized in or have any experience in making custom keyboards. So, please expect a good looking, solid keyboard, with really well designed PCB, but please please don't expect absolute perfection cosmetically. However, I'm also not making excuses like "aesthetic isn't the focus, so it's okay to have ugly marks all over it" because I don't want that as well. I own many custom keyboards, I know how they should look, and I'm not setting my bar low, I know that by taking your money I'm responsible to deliver a custom keyboard that is worth that amount.

Thank you for all your continued support. I'm optimistic that we can hit the MoQ :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Sun, 15 March 2020, 21:50:52
Nice! Though I must admit, running this along with 7V, I might need to choose which one to get. Would you consider running this a month after?  ;D
Haha, at leaat I'm honored that you'd still need to choose which one :))
Well, if there's a lot of people that feel the same way then I'd have no choice but to move it because if you all decide to go with 7V then I won't make MoQ. So, yeah, if anyone else feels like April isn't a good time for any reasons, please do let me know.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: dom on Sun, 15 March 2020, 23:27:20
The coronavirus is actually caused uncertainty, so people with families want to save cash for more important things, and the MK hobby moving to Nth place. Personally I would wish every GB (current and scheduled for this & next month) is delayed for 30 days since now. But who I'm to decide on this ;) only GB runners and vendors can make that decision. I would highly appreciate it!

Current GB -  Foundry Jules (and M50 coming this month), 7V, Fat Boy, GMK's, etc. :(

I hope everything will be in order soon, so we can spend money again :P Good luck!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: i luv chuletas on Sun, 15 March 2020, 23:48:34
Nice! Though I must admit, running this along with 7V, I might need to choose which one to get. Would you consider running this a month after?  ;D
Haha, at leaat I'm honored that you'd still need to choose which one :))
Well, if there's a lot of people that feel the same way then I'd have no choice but to move it because if you all decide to go with 7V then I won't make MoQ. So, yeah, if anyone else feels like April isn't a good time for any reasons, please do let me know.

With coronavirus starting to spread in NA now, and 7v + RAMA M60 SEQ 3 + Jules + M50 running all within a similar timeframe as this, I think it would greatly help to postpone for a bit, at least!

This is speaking from me personally, at least. I'm really interested in this for sure, but hard given the situation and that 7v has been on my radar for a long time as well.

This is just my own situation/opinion, of course. Timeline limits me personally.

Additionally, any chance of a hotswap version pcb? Would love for this to be a hotbed for testing experimentation with switches!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Solotov on Mon, 16 March 2020, 02:12:30
How long will the GB be open for? 1 month?
Would love to see this Fat Boy hit high order numbers. So, I too recommend opening GB on May instead as well.
As Jules & 7V are running until April with no order limit, a lot of people may buy both boards, and end up having empty wallet for another keeb  ;D. So, maybe it's a good idea to delay this a bit  ;)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K &quot;Fat Boy&quot; - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Jaltr on Mon, 16 March 2020, 05:29:24
Im down to whenever tbh, just want this to be a thing and hit MoQ already! Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Sent from my SM-J415G using Tapatalk

Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: biothermal on Mon, 16 March 2020, 07:41:45
Price is great, the options seem really nice, and the timing honestly isn't that bad for me personally.

I'm surprised that Jules, 7v, etc. would be of interest to the same customer base that is interested in this board :p

But I also don't think a month difference will mean someone who was going to purchase this board won't. That being said, COVID is a really problem, and financial strains are to be expected, there's a lot of preparation to be done based on what your workplace or school has decided to do.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: NICOTINE on Mon, 16 March 2020, 18:00:22
I am one of those who also have been following this for some time but it falls at the same time as other group buys I'm interested in. 7v, Jules, SA SAIL and GMK Lunar. I suppose I could juggle these in a pinch but would also appreciate if it were postponed a month for financial feasibility.

Would love to get this to go with SA SAIL keyset...perfection!

Side note, long time lurker first time poster.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K &quot;Fat Boy&quot; - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: gnhuy91 on Mon, 16 March 2020, 22:02:26
this is what i want after seeing too much 70% with messy arrow cluster! would you consider ALPS for the PCB? i will def join if later you decide to run a small round for extra pcb with alps support
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Spawned4Dinner on Tue, 17 March 2020, 00:22:37
I’ve been stalking this thread for half a year, but since this project seems so become “acute”, I think I should throw in my two cents:

I love the design (especially the bit of extra “meat” you left on the top and bottom of the board) and the layout, as it offers the compactness of the smaller layouts, but doesn’t forget to include function keys for those who need them - much like a well designed laptop-keyboard, but with nice switches.

The addition of the mounting mechanism, is precisely what I love about hobbies like these:
Maybe not necessary, but definitely super cool - Something you just can’t get from commercial products.

The modularity and thus modability makes my fingers itch: Replacing the springs with small rubber-plates, equipping the rear with a nice, rugged connector (Like ISO or XLR) and tinkering with the top-plate (e.g. something like the translucent prototype or a small window for modifier-LEDs).

The only thing I’d still like to see was ISO-compatibility (and maybe the option of an extra top-plate), as discussed before. As someone who “needs” it, I’d be very much willing to wait bit longer for this behemoth. Is this idea still on the table?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Tue, 17 March 2020, 06:50:14
Alright, after a lot of thinking and listening to your feedback. I decided to move the GB out to May.
The factory is going to be a little upset that they won't get the order until the beginning of June, but I think our reasons are good reasons. I am mainly concerns about the virus and you guys are right that this is not the time to be on a spending spree, especially when there are already multiple major GB lined up.

So, the new date will be Saturday, the 2nd of May and keep the GB open until the first Saturday of June.

Thank you once again for all your support! I'll do my best to make this a success :thumb:

Also, here are answers to some of your questions, if I missed some questions, please feel free to poke me about it:

Additionally, any chance of a hotswap version pcb? Would love for this to be a hotbed for testing experimentation with switches!
Sorry, may be I'll do a run for a hotswap in a later date, I decided against the Kaihua sockets because I wanted Alps support. But the pcb is holtites friendly. The prototype is actually fitted with holtites :)

this is what i want after seeing too much 70% with messy arrow cluster! would you consider ALPS for the PCB? i will def join if later you decide to run a small round for extra pcb with alps support
Alps is already supported :thumb:

The only thing I’d still like to see was ISO-compatibility (and maybe the option of an extra top-plate), as discussed before. As someone who “needs” it, I’d be very much willing to wait bit longer for this behemoth. Is this idea still on the table?
ISO support is definitely something I wanted to do when I am a bit more confident with my skills. I don't use ISO, so designing for it a little difficult and it adds more things for me to screw up with the prototypes. Sorry, I promise that I'll support ISO in the future  :-[

Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K &quot;Fat Boy&quot; - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: gnhuy91 on Tue, 17 March 2020, 08:36:42
yay for alps support! as for ISO i believe you can make a v2 PCB and run a mini GB for it, and release plate file so that ppl can make their our layout
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Starius on Tue, 17 March 2020, 09:26:59
Thank you for postponing this, I think it will help the GB in the long run.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: dom on Tue, 17 March 2020, 11:00:25
Alright, after a lot of thinking and listening to your feedback. I decided to move the GB out to May.

You are officially the first HERO of the mech community  :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: thunderthighs on Tue, 17 March 2020, 12:09:37
Man, this will hopefully be my first board I really can't wait for the GB.

Hope to see more of your designs!
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: beekey on Tue, 17 March 2020, 16:10:48
Would love to see an HHKB style top case as an option. Looks great and the brain is starting to think about mods. :)
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: hottrout on Sat, 21 March 2020, 08:50:23
That was a great decision, your board deserves to have its time in the limelight and with the current situation around CORVID-19 getting worse worldwide, I think the decision to wait is a very good one.  People are right to be nervous, maybe we should hold the board until this has passed and then buy as a celebration when it has passed?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Robosculpts on Wed, 25 March 2020, 15:28:24
Really looking forward to this. Question, will you release files for the pcb and the clear acrylic piece?
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: mustcode on Thu, 26 March 2020, 00:57:18
Thanks for all the support guys, it's really helps pushing me through all the problems and got me this far.  :thumb:

You are officially the first HERO of the mech community  :thumb:
Thank you, you are too kind :D

Really looking forward to this. Question, will you release files for the pcb and the clear acrylic piece?
Yes, the files for the case are actually already available through my GitHub, even if it's not very organized. Take a look here: https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K (https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K)
As for the PCB, I cannot confirm yet that it'll be publicly available because I'm not the one who designed it, but after the GB is complete, I'll definitely give you the final words on this.
Title: Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
Post by: Robosculpts on Thu, 26 March 2020, 06:57:05
oops totally meant to say plate and not pcb. my bad.