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geekhack Community => Keyboards => Topic started by: richfiles on Wed, 07 October 2015, 05:10:54

Title: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 07 October 2015, 05:10:54
[attachimg=1]

***UPDATE***
The Main keyboard is now COMPLETE!!! I still need to build a number pad. I'll do this when I have a chance to get a plate.
At the moment, I still have to program it though.

I just purchased the "Danger Zone" keycap set off Massdrop. It's my very first custom key cap set, very first mechanical keyboard, and first time doing a custom keyboard. While I do plan on having a separate number pad I can set aside, and a Kerbal Space Program controller with actual flight instruments built into my desk, I wanted the primary keyboard to be both fully featured and compact. I discovered the 75% layout, and feel it is one of the best layouts out there, but I really wanted to retain a few more keys than that it offers.

I decided to do a layout with an extra column of keys, so it has 2 columns of keys to the right of the return and right shift keys, instead of just one column, as a standard 75% board does. This let me do a couple of things:

A: It let me slide the arrow keys over to the right by 1u, thus allowing both a standard sized right shift key, and the ability to use six 1.25u modifiers with a 6.25u or 6.5u spacebar. Alternately, seven modifiers can be used, if the left modifiers are three 1.25u, a 6.25u spacebar, and four 1u modifiers to the right. This is an exceptional degree of modifier row flexibility! I personally chose to use six modifiers, with a 6.25u spacebar, and made one modifier (the one immediately to the left of the spacebar) into a 1.5u modifier, to enhance it's use as a Mac keyboard layout. That was just my preference.

B: Because of the standard key sizes, this custom layout can be populated by most base TKL keycap sets, without having to dip into extra add-on options!

C: This custom layout provides 88 keys, while most 75% layouts only provide 84 keys. This means that you get 1 key more than a standard 87 key TKL, but have a smaller footprint. If a TKL keycap set has no real options to fill in the last 88th key... Great excuse for an artisan key! :thumb:

I used the renders of the Dangerzone keycap set to create a render of what I expect my keyboard to look like. I'm getting the custom plate made via the LeandreN Prototyper group buy http://leandren.bigcartel.com/prototyper-round-1 (http://leandren.bigcartel.com/prototyper-round-1). Invoicing is today, so orders should go out real soon! Like I said, i'm pretty excited! This is my first mechanical keyboard, and I decided to go   big  compact or go home...  :p

As for the case, I will use the keyboard to bridge my Kerbal Controller and my PC case, which have drastically different styles. The Computer case is a 1939 Philco radio cabinet, with brass accents, a nixie tube clock, and strong art deco stylings. The plate will be anodized blue, to match the keys, but I'll use brass screws on the keyboard to hold it all together. The plate will screw into four wood strips that I will glue into a rectangular ring bordering the perimeter of the plate, and I'll sand the corners round. I'll stain it to match the computer case, and then seal it. The bottom will be a metal plate with rubber feet. I may use brass for the bottom. I think it'll look very nice. I'll use some keys from the Danger Zone key set on the Kerbal Controller to get some style crossover there as well.

[attach=2]

Internally, I'll hand wire the matrix using the diode leads to connect from switch to switch. I don't know if it's worth it to mess with a Teensy or not. I run a "Hackintosh", basically Mac OS running on stock PC hardware. I have no PS2 ports. Macs tend to just have 6KRO, not NKRO. I'm half tempted to salvage the PC board from my old mac membrane keyboard and recreate the matrix. It WAS a good keyboard, till it lost a game of chicken with a can of pop. :rolleyes: I guess that's something i'd be happy to get advice on. Longtime DIYer, but VERY new to microcontrollers, completely inexperienced with C, and far more comfortable with a soldering iron than code. If i'm just running Mac OS, are there even any NKRO option for me? Is it worth the bother?

I am interested in both opinions on my custom layout, as well as 6KRO/NKRO options and issues on Macs.
Hope you all like my keyboard project!

***EDIT***
FIRST PHOTOS!!!

[attachimg=4]
[attachimg=5]
[attachimg=6]
[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 07 October 2015, 05:27:19
I also am unsure the exact shade of blue the anodizing will be... I'm hoping a little darker and less turquoise, and a little bluer than what I grabbed. I wanted something for the render, so I grabbed the first blue anodized image I found on google images and stretched it to fit my keyboard layout. LOL Turned out alright, I suppose.

Now the fun part... Waiting till February for keycaps...
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: NewbieOneKenobi on Thu, 08 October 2015, 15:43:51
Not bad at all, I'd buy it.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 08 October 2015, 16:28:27
Waiting on the group buy to get invoiced as I type this. I upped my own order to 2 plates, incase I build a computer for my workshop later on down the road (or rather, I'll reuse my existing computer inside a new case, and upgrade my existing case with an all new mobo+CPU+RAM+GPU someday).

If this works, then the DXF files are below, for a 6 modifier Mac version and a 6 modifier standard version. The standard version uses six 1.25u modifiers, a 6.25u spacebar, and has a 0.25u gap between the right most modifier and the arrow keys. The mac version (the one I'm making) removes the gap, and slides the right mods and space over slightly to make room for a 1.5u modifier immediately to the left of the space. This is traditionally the location of the Mac's [Command ⌘] key, and is usually a little larger.

It would also be possible to do another version wit three 1.25u modifiers tot eh left of a 6.25u spacebar, and 4 1u modifiers tot he right, with no gap between the arrow keys. I never made a DXF file for that, but it'd be easy enough.

[attach=3]
[attachurl=1]

[attach=4]
[attachurl=2]
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: .Bryan on Thu, 08 October 2015, 16:57:24
Wow, very well thought out. I got to say I like the layout.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: Niomosy on Thu, 08 October 2015, 17:29:53
That's a solid compact layout right there.  Well done.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: garage_logician on Thu, 08 October 2015, 17:41:58
I love this!  Add bluetooth and a controller (I would want to have programmable layers) and this would be perfect.  Love the layout, the caps, everything.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 08 October 2015, 18:00:02
I got the Planck/Atomic keycap pack with my Danger Zone order (I got MOST of the child packs... because reasons). If I REALLY wanted to, that pack comes with Super, Meta, and Hyper keys, if I were so inclined to add them, though they are 1u keys. That pack also came with 1.25u High and Low keys. Plenty of opportunities for layers, if a person wanted to add them. I'm happy to hear people liking the layout!

Mine's gonna be wired, but I am doing a mechanical bluetooth keyboard. I have an Apple //c keyboard. it's the extended memory model, with Alps SKCM Amber (taxi yellow) tactile clicky switches. They feel SOOOO GOOOOD!  :cool: Basically, I'm gonna use one of the push to lock switches on the top for power, and the other to toggle the top row between numbers and functions. It's basically a 60%, with a couple switches and LEDs above the top row.

And thanks for the kind words about the layout!  ;D

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: Data on Fri, 09 October 2015, 22:55:33
I'll enjoy watching this build.  :D
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: richfiles on Sat, 10 October 2015, 01:16:09
Yup! And you know just how long it's gonna be to finish this build, thanks to the SP order backlog! :rolleyes:
It'll be like necroing an old thread by then!  ;D
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 14 October 2015, 20:37:16
I think I have a temporary solution to the problem of finishing the keyboard LONG before the Danger Zone keycaps arrive...

These MX stem adapters from Shapeways:
http://www.shapeways.com/product/UAXHBNY7S/cherry-to-commodore-print-v1-1?li=search-results-1&optionId=7687641&rc=SearchResults (http://www.shapeways.com/product/UAXHBNY7S/cherry-to-commodore-print-v1-1?li=search-results-1&optionId=7687641&rc=SearchResults)
[attach=2]

They adapt Commodore 64 Keycaps to MX compatible stems, and only cost a bit over $12. Where oh where might I find Commodore 64 keycaps...  ;D

[attachimg=1]

I may just simply use the old Commodore keys for a keyboard in the future, but if I do, I'll do a PCB or a plate that is designed to work properly with their sizes. Since I have SO many of them to spare, I could do a full compliment of function keys, but in 3 columns of 4. Since I have made PCBs myself, in the past, and since a homemade PCB is dirt cheap, and since Gateron Blues are also like, what, $25 for 120-ish... I'm thinking I can actually make such a keyboard for just peanuts! $20 for a teensy, $25 for the switches, and about $24 for a pair of the Shapeways adapter sets. I already have PCB material and etching solution, and can drill it myself. If I mount the PC board in the same plastic chassis the existing board is mounted in (maybe on top, instead of the bottom, so I can bypass the existing structure, but still use it as a reinforcing structure, and then set the chassis back on the case with standoffs to adjust for the added height of the MX switches on top of the PC board... That might just work! I'd be able to mount it right inside the original C64 "breadbox" case. I'd have to abandon the extra function keys if I go with original case mounting, but hey, that'd be cool!

And as I said... In the meantime, 24 dollars buys me two sets of the key stem adapters, which should be enough to cover every key on my Danger Zone keyboard, till I actually get the Danger Zone keycaps sometime next year.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: richfiles on Sat, 17 October 2015, 21:17:46
Alright! FINALLY found the Cherry MX Stabilizers I need for the long keys! I needed plate mounted stabs, but could only find Costars and PCB mounted Cherry. out's INSANE how much WASD's mislabeled Costars SCREW with Google search! Why the heck have they not fixed that? Anyway, it seems (at least in the USA) that Ortholinear Keyboards his the defacto place to go to if you want plate mounted Cherry MX Stabilizers, and want to know exactly what you're getting.

ortholinearkeyboards.com has the Cherry stabs in BOTH PCB and Plate mount variety, and CLEARLY lets you know exactly what you are selecting. Tried the ancient post recommendations of Mouser... For $0.88 vs $1.00... I'll pay the extra at OL for the certainty that I ordered the right thing. Mouser doesn't even have product photos.

I ordered enough plate mount stabs to do 2 full-size boards (basically, my 75%+1 plate, with a number pad on the side) as well as enough PCB mount stabs to do ALL the long keys in the Danger Zone child packs I ordered. I'll probably be using many of those extra keys on my Kerbal controller, and will likely have all those be PCB mounted stabs and switches. $30 worth of stabilizers, for two 75%+1 keyboards, 2 number pads, and a Kerbal controller! :D

I'm glad I like this keycap set so much, cause added all up, THIS IS EXPENSIVE STUFF. O_o

I am also toying with the idea of having my number pad attach to the keyboard with magnets, with contact being made electrically using pogo pins. If I need it, I just click it into place, and the magnets pull it into place. If I don't need it, I just pull the number pad off and set it aside, no cables required.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: KRKS on Wed, 21 October 2015, 14:00:28
I'd prefer something like this.

(http://i.imgur.com/pejbijw.png)

For you the gaps may be a waste of space, but for me they help in finding the numrow and Frow(and the exact keys in it) without looking.

EDIT: Also, a keyset for a gamer bottom row(just remove one of the 1u's) may be easier to find than a single bottom row 1.5u, and may look nicer as well.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: RenegadeParadox on Sun, 25 October 2015, 22:20:15
What child pacts did you order? I ordered a Base Kit, The Wingman Pack, Arrow Pack, Alternate Function Pack, and Dogfighter Pack but stupidly didn't think about getting the Maverik pack for the K65 I bought specifically for this set. I am going to have to be patrolling the forums sales to try and buy spares to make it work for my board. By the way that render looks amazing, looks like a really awesome board.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: richfiles on Mon, 26 October 2015, 02:27:32
I bought:

Base Kit
Number Pad
Wingman
Goose
Arrow
Dogfighter
Planck+Atomic
RAF
Alternate Function

Yes, it's FAR more keys than my keyboard will EVER handle, but I intend to save the Wingman pack keys for my Kerbal Space Program controller, and I REALLY wanted to grab a variety of the unique keys.

Also... The Maveric pack is the ONE PACK I did not see anything unique in, that I believed i needed, so I didn't order it! Sorry!

At least one person on the drop specifically sold their K65 for a replacement keyboard with more standard keys, just to use this set.

Corsair uses some non standard key sizes in their modifier row, including the space bar. You can get away with filling in some of the odd modifier keys with keys from the Wingman kit, if you're so inclined, but you may not have any workable spacebar option. Signature Plastics doesn't have a mold for a 6.5u spacebar in this key profile, so it simply doesn't exist. You'd be forced to leave the original space on there, or try to mess round with carefully cutting and gluing multiple spacebars together, which rarely, if ever looks good.

It's one of the reasons I went 100% custom. Even the 75% uses some non-standard key sizes, though readily available key sizes. I wanted to do a design that combined compactness with 100% standard key sizes.

Specifically, what keys are you looking for? No one can help with a K65 space bar, but maybe I might have a little something sitting around for your other key needs. I do not know if it is possible to modify the stabilizers of a K65 to move them inward. If they are plate mounted, you could probably try to file the plate to bring the inside edge of the stabilizers in. That's a tall order, and you'll have an 0.25u gap on either side of the space bar, but it's better than nothing. Obviosuly, you'd void your warranty, and you've need to disassemble it, which is a daunting task for what appears to be a plate mounted keyboard with PCB. The chassis REALLY looks like an integrated plate, looking at pictures of the thing.

You can try to file it assembled, if you can get the stabilizers out. I'd file upside down, with a vacuum cleaner sucking at it the whole time, if I tried that... Once you try a mod like that, you've passed the point of no return. You'll have voided the warranty, so if you get shavings inside, and it fails, your SOL. Be VERY careful if you take the mod.

[]-----[_]-----[]

file it to this

[_]----[_]----[_]

the stabilizers would mount closer together, to accommodate the Base Kit's 6.25u spacebar.

Or sell/return the keyboard, and not buy Corsair, till they learn that their crappy non-standard modifier row is screwing key cap enthusiasts over. Even though i made my keyboard with Mac specific modifier sizes, I STILL made an extra .dxf file to accommodate a 100% stock modifier row for non Mac users...  :rolleyes:
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: richfiles on Mon, 26 October 2015, 02:40:47
[attachimg=2]

I ordered 2 sets of the Commodore 64 stem adapters from Shapeways. Hopefully those will be on their way soon. I also pulled a bunch of Commodore 64 and VIC-20 and 64C keys to wash. As much as Commodore's unique function keys rock, i have to consider standard layouts... My solution is to use the lighter colored 64C number row keys for Function keys. 1-9, 0, - and + will serve as my F1-F12. I also pulled a bunch of 1u symbol keys, and all the modifiers, in hopes that I can manage to fill all the spaces on my keyboard. I know I'll have some gaps, and the symbols will be ALL wrong, but at least the keyboard will be usable. I might do a custom C64 layout keyboard someday, with authentic C64 keys (not repros). For now, those keys will just get me going till my Danger Zone caps arrive.

I'd probably have just MADE a C64 keyboard from the get go, if the keys were in a proper ANSI layout, Instead, the keys use a strongly ISO flavored layout, with ISO-ish symbol placement, but not quite, and with an ANSI return, but placed far right like an ISO... It's such an odd keyboard... Danged non-standard symbols... I can barely work with that!

On a side note, my Gateron Blues arrived!!! I love them, though they have a quieter click than my Apple //c keyboard's Alps Ambers... God, I love those Alps switches! I also actually built my very first keyboard on Thursday! I'll probably make a post for it tomorrow... It's not your standard keyboard...  ;) It's a DSKY keypad! ;D It's almost 3 AM here though, so not tonight...

[attach=1][attach=3]
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: RenegadeParadox on Mon, 26 October 2015, 22:11:18
I'm not really worried about a warranty on my K65 as I got it for 20$ on ebay since it was pretty beat up had been spill on/missing keys and what not. I have always liked the look of the Corsair boards though I dislike the MX reds that are in it atm. My plan is to tear apart the board (clean up the PCB as needed) desolder all the switches, solder in the Zealio switches that are in the mail, then (in 4 months) pop on the Danger Zone set. Basically I need three 1U keys to make this work for this keyboard (because the Alt keys are the same and smaller Ctrl keys will fit). There is a semi easy fix for the Space Bar which is to shave off the inner part of the stem to allow the male part of the spacer to slit into the stem. Worst case I just have to find myself a 6.5U space bar that looks like it will fit in, or attempt to modify the board/ plate to accept 6.25U spacebars. I suppose I have a long time to think about it till I get the key caps in but at the moment I think I'm just going to try and find DZ 1u caps or blanks. Either way really like your design and am looking forward to seeing it fully completed.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: richfiles on Tue, 03 November 2015, 18:29:23
[attachimg=1]

Just got photos from the manufacturer! I'm getting excited!  :p
Can't wait for it to arrive! I have my temporary Commodore keys ready.
The Shapeways order for the stem adapters shipped today.
I have a teensy OR a donor keyboard. I can use either one as my controller.
I have the nice strips of wood I will use as my middle sandwich layer.
I have over 9000 diodes on a reel (impossibru!). I think I'm good! :))

My only snags are the Cherry MX stabilizers from Ortholinear Keyboards. and the bottom plate. OLKB are WAY backed up cause of Massdrop fulfillment. I need to make the bottom plate. I was NOT gonna pay as much as custom plates cost when I know I can do it myself. I'll honestly just trace the plate, when it arrives, onto a sheet of metal, mark it, drill it, and then saw / dremel / file / sand it to my desired shape. Still considering a pice of brass plate. Found a local source.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 05 November 2015, 17:46:33
[attachimg=1]

Got my Commodore Key to Cherry MX stem adapters from Shapeways today! So, the way these seem to work, is, aside from the obvious straight adapters, the angled adapters are to put stabilizers at the correct distance for the RETURN key, and the narrow posts are to support the overhanging offset stem mount on the weird double stemmed 1.5u keys (Like CTRL, RESTORE, and SHIFT).If I had designed these stem adapters, I think I'd have created a wider adapter for the 1.5uh keys that connects to one or both of the stem sockets, and places the MX stem centered. Regardless, It seems like it'll work. I just have to wait for the plate now.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 26 November 2015, 02:33:31
[attachimg=1]

I got my plates today! The blue one is obviously the one I'm using for the Danger Zone key cap set. I got the Cherry MX stabilizers installed... Wow! Those were a real pain! Took quite a while to get the wires bent juuuuust right, so nothing would bind. Space bar took me over an hour to tweak just right! Required the perfect tongue angle!

[attachimg=2]

I've taken the theme a bit further though... I tested one of my Gateron switches, and it turns out that the plastic takes dye VERY nicely! I've now got all the top housings soaking in the dye, so now my MX compatible Gateron Blues, will actually BE blue! 

I did play around with some sharpies, but I didn't like the look. the left, is obviously the original uncolored switch, the second left is the dyed one (the method I'll be sticking with), and the two on the right are the sharpied ones, using two variations of color.

[attachimg=3]

Having experimented with the dye, and finding it stuck nicely, and gave a good color, I strung all the Gateron MX Blue top covers onto a wire, and let them soak. THis is how they all came out! Looking nice! Now to lube everything, and pop them all into place! I was looking at a guide... here, i think, and it mentioned some brands of lube that were suitable. Ended up finding a reel oil for fishing gear. Supposedly, it's safe on plastics, and the first switch hasn't melted yet (though I borked it by assembling the top backwards! Derp! Now I know...

[attachimg=4]

Also, a size comparison to a fullsize mechanical Apple Extended Keyboard II. (I am sorry to say, that the yellow is not a white balance issue... It's really that bad!   )
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 26 November 2015, 06:36:45
[attachimg=1]

And it's dyed, lubed, and assembled!
It's 6:30 AM here. I'm finally about to go to bed, and probably be too tired tomorrow to even think about wiring the matrix!
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Tue, 22 December 2015, 20:56:46
[attachimg=1]
Wired the rows and diodes last night. Only had to use a couple inches of wire, to bridge the gap between the space bar. Formed each diode to make the actual horizontal row connections. The current layout would be a simple 6x17 matrix. There are enough unused interconnections that I could honestly optimize the matrix, if I wanted to.

[attachimg=2]
I shaved the plunger caps, and trimmed the switch pins and stabilizing pegs on the front row. The keyboard will be set at an angle, and by trimming the front row of switches as low as possible, the idea is to allow the bottom plate to sit as physically close to the front edge of the top plate as is physically possible

[attachimg=3]
The angle is visible on the side profile. The shaved bottoms of the switches in the front row should help to reduce the overall height of the front edge of the keyboard. I could wire the columns tonight, if I wanted, but quite frankly, I'm a bit tired... Stayed up till 4 AM wiring those diodes into rows.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: merlin64 on Wed, 23 December 2015, 11:57:18
Very nice, this might just be the perfect keyboard for me. If this ever becomes a GB, I'd definitely want in!
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: Bromono on Wed, 23 December 2015, 12:24:32
(Attachment Link)
Wired the rows and diodes last night. Only had to use a couple inches of wire, to bridge the gap between the space bar. Formed each diode to make the actual horizontal row connections. The current layout would be a simple 6x17 matrix. There are enough unused interconnections that I could honestly optimize the matrix, if I wanted to.

(Attachment Link)
I shaved the plunger caps, and trimmed the switch pins and stabilizing pegs on the front row. The keyboard will be set at an angle, and by trimming the front row of switches as low as possible, the idea is to allow the bottom plate to sit as physically close to the front edge of the top plate as is physically possible

(Attachment Link)
The angle is visible on the side profile. The shaved bottoms of the switches in the front row should help to reduce the overall height of the front edge of the keyboard. I could wire the columns tonight, if I wanted, but quite frankly, I'm a bit tired... Stayed up till 4 AM wiring those diodes into rows.

I have never wired my own keyboard before.

But you have done a very clean job on it thus far!

Keep it up!

 :thumb:
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 23 December 2015, 16:59:28
I have never wired my own keyboard before.

But you have done a very clean job on it thus far!


Thanks! I'd better be good at it! I've been soldering for the past 31 years, ever since I was just a shrimp!  ;D
I've probably picked up some good technique by now!  :p

Tinning your parts... It makes a difference. Getting the initial coating of fresh solder onto each part you want to join makes a huge difference when dealing with point to point soldering like this. The diodes are all pre-tinned from the factory. That's why their leads are "silver" instead of copper colored... That's a thin tin coat that makes the solder adhere well. The Gaterons I was working with are not tinned, so it pays to go over each lead with fresh solder and a clean tip. Some people prefer the brass wool for cleaning a soldering iron tip, but I prefer good old fashioned wet sponges. Once you've tinned your switch lead (assuming it's not pre-tinned), then you'll find assembly goes SO much easier. My one fault was that near to the end (I worked space row to function row), I started getting the anode side of my diodes pretty short. It's good to have lead length, as that adds mechanical strain relief. it also keeps the heat of the molten solder away from the glass envelope or the diode junction. I think I'll test this with the multimeter today, make sure there are no shorts or opens, and that each switch functions in the matrix as expected. I am fortunate enough to have many thousands of diodes on a reel... If any DO turn out bad, replacing them will be trivial.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 24 December 2015, 02:35:29
[attachimg=1]
Just finished all the column wiring. I ended up altering the row configuration a bit, to try to optimize the matrix a little. I understand why the standard 75% keyboard conveniently works with 84 keys... It's one of the optimized full matrix layouts. My 75% + 1 requires me to add at least another line to push my matrix passed 84 keys. I ended up using a 14 x 7 matrix, which has 98 key positions, of which I use 88. This uses 21 I/O positions to achieve. To get 7 rows, I bound the top right 7 keys, and bottom right seven keys into a pair of row clusters. The bottom is tied to the actual bottom row, with space and the modifiers. The top 7 key cluster is it's own unique "row" and shares columns 8 through 14. This leaves I/O leftover, which I can use for things like a Caps Lock LED, etc.

[attachimg=2]
I'll do another post later on detailing this technique, but it's 2 AM here, and I'm going to bed. In order to secure the longer runs of wiring, I used an old wire binding technique known as "lacing". You take a nylon cord, usually waxed, and tie it off to an origin point. Then you use a simple knot to bind the wire along the run. This is still commonly seen in military, aviation, and space applications, as well as electric motor windings (this is where I learned it). It was far more popular for use in even general equipment, back in the 1970s and earlier, before zip ties were readily available.

What do I use for my lacing cord? Dental floss. That's it. You can buy proper waxed nylon, but I find for small jobs like this, dental floss is perfect. Try to avoid minty flavors, if you can find plain waxed. I don't THINK the minty flavor will cause you problems... It's likely just an aromatic oil that will evaporate over time.

Zip ties (or whatever you call them where you're from, I've heard other names for them, but can't remember any) more or less killed lacing in general consumer goods. Back in the 30s-70s, everything from radios to TVs to calculators often had nicely laced wire looms. Individual wire breakouts were well organized, and quite frankly, there is a special kind of beauty to it... Today we have zip ties. Too bad for zip ties though, I wanted compact cable management in my keyboard that wouldn't interfere with the thickness. That's why I laced my keyboard... And it's kinda cool!  :cool:

And, I wouldn't be me if I didn't show off some of the old calculators in my collection that make use of lacing!  ;D

[attach=3]
[attach=4]
Here is my Smith-Corona Marchant (SCM) Cogito 240SR (made in 1965). Bottom pic will give you a few closer details of the wire lacing. Notice the way they break out individual wires from the loom to the power supply to the right. This was a benefit to wire lacing... VERY precise cable management.

[attach=5]
This is my Электроника(Elektronika) 4-71Б, and if you haven't figured out from the name, it was made in the USSR back in 1976. While this angle does a poor job at showing off the lacing, this calculator has some of the nicest and most intricately fine lacing I've seen in my life. You can JUST see the edge of a wire bundle in the front, right where the case is cracked. There are more laced bundles behind the screen. This unit has a badly damaged case, but is perfectly functional! Russians couldn't build a keyboard, PERIOD, but man could they lace up a bundle of wires like pros!  :thumb:

Anyway, back on topic... I took a lot of pics of the build process. I promise to do a follow up later with some details on the lacing itself. As I said, it's 2 AM... 2:30 AM now.

My keys to making it super simple were:
A: A wire wrap tool, with a tiny slot insulation stripper and the appropriate spool of wire.
B: A good clean soldering iron and good quality solder.
C: Floss.   :))

There might have been a smidge of patience too.  :rolleyes:
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Sun, 27 December 2015, 19:25:20
So... I'm at a small impasse.

Teensy 3.1 (which I have already) or Teensy 2.0 or 2.0++ (which I would have to order).

There seems to be well established software for the Teensy 2.x devices, and there appear to be good tutorials on using them. On the other hand, it seems that software for the Teensy 3.x devices is somewhat new, and I'm uncertain how easy or difficult it'll be for a software noob like me to get up an running. Here's the thing... I fully intend to have an expansion port on the side of the keyboard to allow me to add a numeric keypad. I already have a nice set of pogo pins for the task, and have figured out, mechanically, how I want it to work. This means that I may potentially have up to a 6x6 matrix in addition to the existing matrix. I've read about port extenders, such as the MCP23017. I could use just a couple of pogos to provide the interface. Again, I'm only just beginning to learn C. I've only ever dealt in BASIC, and that was back in the days of Commodore 64s and TI graphing calculators (and their TI-BASIC variant).

So the question is, do I:

A:  Just buy a Teensy 2.x so I can rely on the well established software with good tutorials, and save the Teensy 3.1 for a project with higher processing demands, when I'm far better practiced at coding (such as my FDAI "navball" controller for Kerbal Space Program, which I've constantly hit limitations with, even using an Arduino Mega2560)?

or

B: Just go ahead and solder in the Teensy 3.1 and hope I get it figured out before February, when the Danger Zone key caps are due to arrive... I may really not have needed to mess with the intermediate Commodore keys at the rate this is going... I really only have one more month left, plus a week or so.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: merlin64 on Wed, 30 December 2015, 09:35:50
I am very impressed by your work. Have you considered asking other forum members to help design a PCB? This would solve a lot of the wiring issues and make it more accessible to others.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: nathanrosspowell on Wed, 30 December 2015, 09:41:35
I have seen a few impressive customs made using a teensy 3.1 with the kiibohd firmware. Sadly, I've not found a step by step guide for how to get it to work.

I have a Quark plate (from ortholinear keyboards) and find myself in the same position that you are in. I'm going to give kiibohd a bash and I'll report back.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: KRKS on Thu, 31 December 2015, 03:50:33
I have seen a few impressive customs made using a teensy 3.1 with the kiibohd firmware. Sadly, I've not found a step by step guide for how to get it to work.

That's because it's so overcomplicated you'll be too tired to write an in-depth tutorial. I'd say you'll have more luck with Animus(firmware in UniqueK boards, pretty sure they've opensourced it).
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 31 December 2015, 04:06:36
I ended up buying a pair of Teensy 2.0 boards direct from PJRC. Seemed like the simplest solution.

I want to use a port extender to connect an external number pad, kinda like how the split is done in the Ergodox. Then I could just use a a four conductor cable (like a phone cord or a TRS connector with an extra ring) or pogo pins and magnets, and communicate with I2C.

Now, speaking of that... I've seen some people use the MCP23017 and others use the MCP23018.They seem rather similar. One appears to be strictly open drain output on the GPIO, one seems to have more I2C address configurations. Is there a preference among the community, or a preferred chip for use with the firmware? I'd love to get it ordered at some point, even if I don't use it right away. Is the Teensy software written to prefer one or the other. Also, how does the Teensy handle hot swapping on the I2C. Can the firmware be configured to gracefully recognize when the number pad (port extender) is disconnected, or does it expect the port extender to always be connected?

My goal is to have a removable number pad that can either "click" into place on the side of the keyboard using magnets and pogo pins, or maybe be remotely connected with a cable. Or both options... If I can get the I2C termination right. I'm not actually building the number pad right away. I don't even have a plate for it yet... though I WISH I'd have thought of it when I ordered the plates I do have... I somehow doubt I'll get a perfect color match to the anodizing. Oh well. I'll just deal with it. I'm not that picky.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 31 December 2015, 04:37:29
Very nice, this might just be the perfect keyboard for me. If this ever becomes a GB, I'd definitely want in!

I am very impressed by your work. Have you considered asking other forum members to help design a PCB? This would solve a lot of the wiring issues and make it more accessible to others.

That's an interesting thought. I'd certainly not be opposed to anyone developing a PC board for this layout. I just didn't feel the need to worry about it myself, seeing as how I had just planned to hand wire it. The rows/diodes took me one night, and the columns and lacing took one more night. For me, the labor was a fair exchange to me for the cost savings, but I do see that this could benefit from a PCB, if others were interested. Most reactions to this layout have been positive. Proper LED support alone would be very nice for those who use backlit keys, or like under-lighting. I've never been on the supply side of a group buy, so I can't say I have any experience there.

Truth be told, I have no idea where to begin, though I imagine any available 75% PC board layout could be relatively easily altered in an editor... It just needs the extra column, and the slight repositioning of the right shift key. Electrically, the extra column added could potentially need an additional GPIO line, as the standard 75% layout (at 84 keys) sits at a naturally efficient matrix size (7x12=84). My matrix ended up being a 14 column by 7 row configuration, cause that was easy to hand wire. Ironically, you CAN get an 88 key layout with an 8x11 matrix, which is actually the same number of GPIO lines as the 84 key matrix. YOu gain efficiency by having a "squarer" matrix. You just are forced to get really creative with the layout, as keys get sorta all over the place, in terms of the matrix itself. If you add ISO compatibility, then it's possible that could even bump things passed that 88 key mark, making the need for more GPIO a necessity. Basically, in my hand wiring, I wasted 2 GPIO lines for an easier matrix layout. I have a few wasted matrix positions as a result. No big deal.

I did make sure to keep the LED holes relatively clear, but some of my rows come VERY close to the location of the LED holes, and without a PCB, securing LEDs could be tricky. I've left myself in a state where I may cut tiny beads of heatshrink to keep my LED leads safe from shorting to the rows. I am not the biggest fan of under-lighting. Backlighting, sure, but under lighting seems unnecessary to me (a personal style choice), and since the Danger Zone keys have no translucence to the double shot legends, it didn't seem necessary. I planned on maybe having a couple amber LEDs in the corners and maybe one on the spacebar, to mimic the incandescent back-illumination of some aircraft instrument panels. Not full illumination on every key though... Just something dim and subtle. Maybe only 5 or 8 LEDs across the entire keyboard. I plan to mod my Caps Lock key by drilling a hole in it, and trying to rig a light pipe to illuminate the hole. Don't know if I'll have a custom mounted LED, or if I can rig a light pipe to the gateron LED mount.

I actually chose to mount the LED mounting "up", so it faces away from the front of the keyboard. This actually conceals the LED front he front view of the keyboard, hiding any direct glow of any keys I do install and LED into.

I wouldn't have a clue who to talk to though, or how to even go about arranging setting up something like this.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: nathanrosspowell on Thu, 31 December 2015, 09:30:56
I have seen a few impressive customs made using a teensy 3.1 with the kiibohd firmware. Sadly, I've not found a step by step guide for how to get it to work.

That's because it's so overcomplicated you'll be too tired to write an in-depth tutorial. I'd say you'll have more luck with Animus(firmware in UniqueK boards, pretty sure they've opensourced it).
Interesting. I can't seem to find a link to it though.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 13 January 2016, 01:27:29
[attachimg=1]
Got the wood trim cut and pre assembled. I'll be taking it back off to make the USB opening, as well as the port for the number pad attachment point. The wood is oak... and was a pain to cut and file. everything was done with a hand saw and a hand file. Used a dremel to pre-drill the holes for the brass screws.

[attach=2][attach=3]
There's plenty room in the back for the teensy to just simply sit beneath the switches.

[attach=4][attach=5]
The keyboard is built at a slight angle. The front trim is 1/4 inch thick, and the back is 1/2 inch thick. (6.35 mm in front, 12.7 mm in back)

[attach=6]
With the plate included, the current thickness of the front edge is 0.3 inches (7.62 mm). I'm sure a little thickness will be added with the bottom plate. I'm considering some thin copper or brass sheet for the bottom plate. I'll need a plastic insulator to shield the switches. If the copper or brass proves to be too stupidly expensive, I'll just probably cut out a steel plate from the side of a PC case or something.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Tue, 02 February 2016, 05:04:45
[attachimg=1]

As an update to my own project, I ordered some parts from an Apple MagSafe 2 magnetic quick disconnect connector, and some additional magnets. I'm mounting them in the side of my keyboard, so I can create a magnetically detachable number pad, which I will build sometime in the future. Checked the clearances, and the MagSafe 2 connector should just fit, and my additional magnets are only 4mm in diameter, but are 6mm deep, and the strongest rating for their strength. I figure a pair of magnets and the MagSafe2 connector ought to keep a number pad firmly attached. I have plenty room to add additional 4mm magnets if I need additional binding strength. My connections will feature Power, Ground, Rx, Tx, and Sense. Sense is just a simple signal that will indicate the presence of an accessory to the controller. Rx and Tx are the I2C communication lines, and the Power and Ground are to power the port extender that would be in the number pad to create the matrix for it. I realized I could use the unused keys of my keyboard matrix as sense detection. I just need to have the sense pin activate a transistor that connects a row and column together. The software would see the keypress as meaning a number pad is present, and to scan for the port expander.

NO idea how to actually implement that functionality in code though. I don't even have number pad plates made, at the moment, so I ain't TOO worried about number pad functionality just yet. For now, I just wanna get the ports installed, so I can add the functionality by software in the future, should I build it.

Anyway, I got the MagSafe connector fitted into the side frame of my keyboard. I have not finished the frame parts for the number pad yet... It got late, didn't wanna disturb the neighbors with late night sawing and drilling and filing... I might have thought about it though...  :p

Pics should be self explanatory. I have not re-stained any of the cut areas of the wood, so ignore the lighter color, for now. The magnetic receptacle and the magnets are both fitted. The MagSafe receptacle sits slightly inset, with the contact plate being flush with the edge of the wood. On the number pad, the steel rimmed plug segment will protrude just slightly from the edge of the number pad frame, and will slightly insert into the side of the keyboard. The magnets on the number pad side will also slightly protrude, to form a positive mechanical lock when the two separate halves are fitted together.

I'll pick up some 5 minute epoxy from the store tomorrow, to set the magnets and connectors permanently. I might try to use a thin bead of wood glue around the seam of the MagSafe receptacle, since good wood glue accepts wood stain, and I can basically fill in the gaps around the connector. My cuts were not... ideal... Anyway, close enough. I can work with what I have, and the gap is still technically tight enough to hold the connector in place without the epoxy applied yet. Oak is a pain to work with, and I ain't redoing that piece! LOL ◴‿◶

Got the notice that Signature Plastics has shipped the Danger Zone keycaps to Massdrop, and they should have them by the end of the week. I'm so excited! My first custom keyboard is a mere couple weeks to completion! Anyway, I've "ejected" the Commodore 64 keys. Watch that canopy! ;D It was a cool novelty, and useful for testing the feel of the keyboard, but we all know what keys are really intended for this keyboard...  :cool:

So, I have pics, enjoy the build progress so far.

[attachimg=2]
[attachimg=3]
[attachimg=4]
[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: nathanrosspowell on Tue, 02 February 2016, 08:42:37
The mag connection is really cool! It'd be sweet to have both the numpad and the connection to the PC both be mag connections - you'd just need to make a custom USB cable, I guess?

Keep us posted on your progress, I am loving all of the pictures  :thumb:
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Tue, 02 February 2016, 14:47:23
I actually have three pairs of the connectors. Part of me is considering building a small USB adapter block and mounting a MagSafe socket to the back. It'd be the MagSafe connector, with a mini USB port (cause Micro USB is flimsy and totally sucks, and regular USB is HUUUGE). I don't like the idea of my Teensy bearing the strain of a cable, and I don't feel like chopping up cables to put inside, though I might. It'll probably depend on if I can make the USB adapter small enough to look decent. I think I can... Might be as simple as a cavity milled out of two small bits of wood, screwed together. I'll also need a USB Mini B port on a PC board that I can salvage and secure.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Tue, 02 February 2016, 23:37:01
[attachimg=1]

Well, the MagSafe based number pad attachment has been completed. It comes together with a solid snap! I'll be setting the number pad frame parts aside, till I can get a plate made for the number pad. I can now reassemble the frame to my keyboard, and once wired in, I'll be ready for a number pad upgrade whenever I have the opportunity to build it.


The magnets are inset on the keyboard, and protrude slightly on the number pad side. This helps create a positive lock and keeps everything nicely aligned. The connector on the keyboard is flush, but the magnetic portion is inset. The steel shroud on the number pad side slightly protrudes, surrounding the contacts, and fitting into the inset portion of the keyboard side of the connector. That definitely helps with alignment.

The most important part... It passes continuity tests. None of the 5 pins are electrically shorted to one another, and I have proper conduction from one connector to the mated connector. It is ready for installation!

[attach=2]
[attach=3]
[attach=4]
[attach=5]
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: jshane on Tue, 02 February 2016, 23:44:52
(Attachment Link)

Well, the MagSafe based number pad attachment has been completed. It comes together with a solid snap! I'll be setting the number pad frame parts aside, till I can get a plate made for the number pad. I can now reassemble the frame to my keyboard, and once wired in, I'll be ready for a number pad upgrade whenever I have the opportunity to build it.


The magnets are inset on the keyboard, and protrude slightly on the number pad side. This helps create a positive lock and keeps everything nicely aligned. The connector on the keyboard is flush, but the magnetic portion is inset. The steel shroud on the number pad side slightly protrudes, surrounding the contacts, and fitting into the inset portion of the keyboard side of the connector. That definitely helps with alignment.

(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)

You'll need more protrusion with the magnets as they are beveled and will eventually work themselves out of the slots wearing the wood around them over time. The surfaces of two similar metals have a low coefficient of friction and magnets do not handle lateral load very well (shear strength).

I designed an entire system inside vehicles that is assembled with electro-magnets that can sustain about 90 G's. No mechanical fasteners (for maintenance, primarily), so I have some experience with this these techniques in wooden substrate (it's in a few yachts and about 40 tour buses).

Just a thought when I saw this.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 03 February 2016, 02:22:31
I still want it to pull apart easily. The protrusions int he front are minor, but they ultimately are to protect the alignment of the connector, which itself has it's own metal and, seems to be a thermally resistant plastic... Soldering iron barely marred the back of it when soldering. These will also sit flat on a desk, so I don't think there will be much to strain it. It's just loose enough that I can pull it apart. I did the round magnets alignment, by aligning the connector's together, and drilling the two halves through together.I epoxied one magnet in place, and then after it was solid, I epoxied the second magnet, so it could sit where it wanted to sit naturally. Anyway, when resting on a desk, there should be no lateral forces, and I'm actually considering using teflon feet on the number pad, as opposed to rubber feet. I want to be able to easily slide it out of the way. If the main keyboard has rubber feet, and the number pad has teflon, it'll go wherever I slide the keyboard too, but the weight of the keyboard, and the rubber feet on it should keep things stable, I think.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: merlin64 on Wed, 03 February 2016, 09:06:31
looking good, have you actually wired the teensy in yet?
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: jb1830 on Wed, 03 February 2016, 09:13:52
 Oh man this build is awesome! Can't wait to see it completed.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 04 February 2016, 06:17:48
[attachimg=1]

Doesn't it kinda look like the handle of a steak knife?
Of course my keyboard is full tang!  :))   

Got the part mounted. Just enough clearance to clear the wires. Too tired after work to solder it today... Work was easy... Stupid Fallout 4 kept me up late!

It fits NIIIIICE!!! It self aligns nicely, as well.

[attachimg=2]
[attachimg=3]
[attachimg=4]

Bit of a set back... Minor, and VERY stupid, but it probably means ordering more parts or potentially not having it done when the caps show up... Ordered a small Mini-B USB breakout board from Amazon. See today it shipped by... Royal Mail? What? I'm in the US! OH, COME ON! Amazon, you had one job! I go out of my way to find a seller that doesn't appear to be Chinese, and what do they do? Amazon goes and ships from the UK, my kinda time sensitive IMPORTANT BIT that connects my no cheetos clickety clacker to my Kerbal Up Goer simulator box. Really...   

I may just re-order... of course, I can't find another breakout this small. Go FIGURE... Amazon, I am disappoint.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: xondat on Thu, 04 February 2016, 11:26:41
So it's coming from the UK? Damn. Depending on what service it can be quick.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 04 February 2016, 18:24:24
Well... Very good news... and VERY bad news. :eek:

First, the Good news. I think I've found my bottom plate. I was going through my storage unit and found an old piece of rack mount test equipment from the 1960s (A Phase Angle Voltmeter, for the sakes of useless trivia). Had an aluminum cover panel with a laminated plastic layer that has a faux "leather" like texture to it... BINGO! That's the bottom!  :thumb:

I'll cut two pieces, one for the keyboard, and one for the as of yet nonexistent, but planned number pad (maybe just a wide piece I can trim to specific size later). It even has a paint coat on the inside, so it SHOULD be insulated from contact with the switch matrix, even if it were pressed inward, but I'll still drop in a sheet of plastic as an internal insulator. It's really thin... 1.1mm (.043 inch), and I can punch a nice countersunk hole for each screw. I'll get wood screws for the bottom, that'll go in flush. That way, I'll only add a hair over 1 mm to the thickness once I add the bottom plate.

Now for the bad news...

I was casually looking at keyboard stuff, and came across this HORRIFYING picture...

[attachimg=1]

Oh, say it ain't so! When I was FIRST doing this layout, I mentioned (back on page 22 of the Massdrop Danger Zone discussions pages) that I wanted to use the stepped caps lock, and asked if the stem position was centered...
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/danger-zone-sa-keycap-set/talk/277804 (https://www.massdrop.com/buy/danger-zone-sa-keycap-set/talk/277804)
"Also, is the stem on the caps lock key centered with no stabilizer? I intend to use the stepped caps lock key. The plate was generated based on the stock Keycool 84 layout, with my modifications performed to it. I don't wanna order a plate and find the caps lock key is wrong."

I was told it was fine, but having seen that picture, doubts were raised. I didn't know if it REALLY was fine or not? The comment that said it was fine never actually mentioned the Caps Lock, just said the layout was fine. I didn't remember if I knew how to do stepped keys in the layout editor back then, and got terribly worried that now, that this close to the finish line, I might have screwed up. The example pic from the layout editor back then had a standard Caps Lock key shown, even though I mentioned wanting to use the stepped cap. If I had submitted that DXF file for the plate manufacturing... Dang it... This is bad... :(

I really hate the thought of not being able to use my stepped Caps Lock on this thing...

[attachimg=2]

So, I checked it... DANG IT! I've confirmed it... my plates are wrong
I re-ran my current keyboard layout through the plate builder, and the Caps Lock switch is offset to the left of the tab switch, when a stepped Caps Lock is indicated from the Keyboard Layout editor.

My plates have the Caps lock offset slightly right of the Tab switch. ╱)⤳⁔⤺(╲

Does someone actually KNOW what the exact distance of offset is? Looks like the only way i'm getting a stepped Caps Lock is to grab a file and mar up my pretty little anodized plates to make this work. I'll have to cut a filler and epoxy it into the gap left by widening the switch opening in the plate.

So someone informed me the offset is 4.76mm. I may try to turn this to my advantage. My original plan was to drill a hole in the stepped area of the caps lock key and mount a light pipe to redirect the light from the MX LED to the hole, as a caps lock indicator. I realize I can do it even easier now. If I can do it right, I'll drill a hole in the insert piece that will be epoxied in place to stabilize the switch. A tube will be glued to the key so it passes through the hole in the filler piece, and my LED will be below the plate. That should shroud any side spill from happening with the light.

I got some blue model paint too, so I can get it "close enough" to the color of the plate.
It might almost look intentional...

[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 10 February 2016, 15:29:59
I've been looking into things, and it seems that there is already a documented stem modification for making a stepped caps lock fit a keyboard designed for a full caps lock. I think I'd rather give that a shot, than start hacking up my plate. There are gracious people who have already offered their Danger Zone stepped Caps Lock key (since some keyboards just don't use it), so even if I dont get the key cap mod right initially, I DO have backup options if I go that route.

Still gonna mod the key with a lighted window to indicate if caps is locked or not.

I have also been considering underlighting. I can't say I've really been a fan of it in the past, but I can see the value in acting as a homing guide when ambient lighting is otherwise low or off. I have found some amber LEDs, that while not as cheap as I would care for, will arrive shiped in 2-3 days (local company). Still have not decided if I will dimly illuminate all switches, or just get the borders. Since I have no PC board, LEDs would have to all be manually wired. I'd HAVE to use SIP sockets, cause without them, soldered LEDs would prevent the top housing from being removable. The plastic used by Gateron seems to be relatively thermally resistant. If I use my wire wrap tool, I can basically create a "bead" of wire + solder at the base of each. I think that could work, and I've gotten proficcient enough with wire wrapping, that lately, I find PCBs to be too much of a hassle to bother to make, though I still do wish I had one for this keyboard.

...

Or, as I realize, I have piles of cheap Chinese PC proto board. I could literally just cut squares of it out, just to act as a solderable backing to hold the pins. Either way, I think I should be okay.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 11 February 2016, 21:21:53
Well, good news! :thumb:

The keys SHIPPED! I have an active UPS tracking number that shows delivery by next Wednesday (17th). ;D

Seeing as how it's UPS SurePost... I expect the 18th instead. I think I'll instruct them to hold it at the post office and pick it up in person. :rolleyes:
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Mon, 15 February 2016, 03:39:40
[attachimg=1]

Just gonna say... That was a real pain!
I did this, I guess, because I'm a masochist and enjoy making myself suffer? :rolleyes: :))

I cut 88 rectangular 1x3 hole chunks of proto board to be butted against the switch bottom. They will serve as the base that the two SIP pins will be soldered into. I'll assemble the switches with the SIP pins installed, and insert the LED to get the alinement secured so when I solder it, the pins will be in the right position. The reason for 3 positions instead of two, is that the third position gives me an extra pad I can use to allow me to solder a small SMT resistor to each LED.

Also, since I AM adding LEDs, I need one more I/O line to control them. I'll be cutting 4 row wires in the matrix, joining them all together (to the 7th row), and wiring 5 switches to adjacent columns in order to convert the matrix from 14x7 to 13x7. I'm realizing if I had actually planned the matrix out on paper instead of in my head as i wired it, I probably would have caught that bit of efficiency improvement right away. No biggie. It'll be a very minor mod to implement.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Tue, 16 February 2016, 17:41:29
[attachimg=1]

It's Happening!!!  :cool:

YES!!! My keys came a day earlier than tracking said they would!  :thumb:
CRAP!!! My SIP sockets and LEDs and MX top housing removal tools JUST arrived today too! Now I gotta take all the switches apart to install the SIP sockets and LEDs before I can drop the caps on!  :(

Well, I'm working on it now. I'll take a proper photo tomorrow, set up my grey backdrops outside in the sun for good colors and everything... Once I have the SIP sockets and LEDs installed, and all the keycaps on! ;D :p
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 17 February 2016, 02:37:13
[attachimg=1]

I got half the SIP sockets and LEDs installed. As much as I hate to do so, It's 9 pm, I've been at this for quite a few hours now, and my fingers are none too happy about it. If I want any hope of having any fingers functioning at all tomorrow, i think I'll need to call it a night. It's driving me nuts to have the keycaps, and not be ready to install them yet! Still, I'll only make more work for myself if I put it all together, only to have to tear it apart again.

[attach=2]

Tomorrow, I expect all the LEDs and SIP sockets to be installed. I may have to pop a few off if I have issues with the top housing seating properly. The SIP sockets have to have a notch trimmed for the top housing to fit right. I noticed a pair of switches that were really hard to close. I'll open and re-trim those. Sometimes, the vibration of the cover snapping shut just rotates the SIP socket, so the notched bit no longer lines up. Easy fix, but a thing to watch for when installing these.

[attach=3]
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: xondat on Wed, 17 February 2016, 06:44:06
I'm excited now ;D

I guess only a couple of days away from completing this project?
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: nathanrosspowell on Wed, 17 February 2016, 11:28:24
The end is drawing near!

Sip socketing is one of the few things I've not yet tried to do on one of my keyboards.... seems like a huge PITA  :p
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 17 February 2016, 15:12:11
I guess only a couple of days away from completing this project?
The end is drawing near!

The end is nigh!!!  :))

Sip socketing is one of the few things I've not yet tried to do on one of my keyboards.... seems like a huge PITA  :p

This is an accurate statement, much like the statements "Water is wet" or "The universe is big" are both also accurate statements.  :rolleyes:
Seriously though... It's tiny, fiddly, PITA work. You are certainly right about that!

Worth it in the end though... SO worth it!
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 18 February 2016, 03:15:34
[attachimg=1]
[attachimg=2]
All SIP sockets and LEDs are installed in the switches, and I had to FINALLY install my keycaps! It's BEAUTIFUL!!! I haven't wired the LEDs yet. That's gonna be a weekend project. I hope final wiring is all done by the weekend. Depends if I have a reel of resistors near the value I need. I gotta dig out my box of SMD resistors from the closet and see what I have. Might have to order, but Digi-key always ships fast, since they are so near me.

[attach=3]
[attach=4]
[attach=5]
[attachimg=6]
Here are pics of the Center Stem Stepped Caps Lock mod I had to do to make it fit. This was far easier than the plate mod. I'll add the light pipe later. I used a 1u "Tab" key as my stem donor, since I had two of them (Number Pad pack and Planck/Atomic pack both included one). Interesting view of the double shot from the wrong side!
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: xondat on Thu, 18 February 2016, 08:56:24
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)
All SIP sockets and LEDs are installed in the switches, and I had to FINALLY install my keycaps! It's BEAUTIFUL!!! I haven't wired the LEDs yet. That's gonna be a weekend project. I hope final wiring is all done by the weekend. Depends if I have a reel of resistors near the value I need. I gotta dig out my box of SMD resistors from the closet and see what I have. Might have to order, but Digi-key always ships fast, since they are so near me.

(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)
Here are pics of the Center Stem Stepped Caps Lock mod I had to do to make it fit. This was far easier than the plate mod. I'll add the light pipe later. I used a 1u "Tab" key as my stem donor, since I had two of them (Number Pad pack and Planck/Atomic pack both included one). Interesting view of the double shot from the wrong side!

Keyboard gore - didn't expect that.

Looks really good, nice to see you're satisfied!
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 18 February 2016, 14:32:43
That Tab key died, so my Stepped Caps Lock could go on... So noble... It checked it's stem donor box on its   drivers license   packing slip. A tear is shed... :'(

LOL
 :)) ;D :cool: :p

It takes a smidgen of guts to take a dremel to something you just spent a small fortune on...  :eek: Even if it was just a spare key!  :rolleyes:
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: AphelionXII on Fri, 19 February 2016, 00:21:39
As much as I am impressed by your mech, I am SUPER impressed with your choice in PC cases.  I love that build, and would love a tour inside  :-*
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 17 March 2016, 14:58:48
Got HAMMERED by both my jobs. I have not TOUCHED the keyboard since my last post. I have a free weekend though, so we'll see if I manage to do more work then...
Here's to not sleeping straight through the weekend, like my last two weekends off have been... :rolleyes:

I'll drop a few pics of the PC case sometime. I don't have a build log, per say... just plenty of pics.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Sat, 19 March 2016, 19:03:10
Well, quick update. I got the USB port installed. Was simple, but I've been so busy with my two jobs, that I HONESTLY have not touched this keyboard build for a full month. :'(

Good news, is I'm making progress. I shifted a few diodes over a hair to make room for the tiny LED PCBs, and got all the hardest ones installed. Funny enough, the resistor I needed for the LEDs was only the second part I looked at in an entire unsorted box of resistors! :))

[attachimg=1]
I used a drill to drill the pilot hole, a modified scroll saw blade as a hand held fine tooth jab saw to square the hole, and a dremel cutting disc to create the slot for the PC board.

[attachimg=2]
You can see how it fits. The PC board fits the slot, and the Mini USB connector passes through the rectangular opening.

[attachimg=3]
Mini USB here! None of that flimsy Micro USB trash!  :p  :thumb:

[attachimg=4]
I drilled holes to line up with the PC board's mounting holes. screw diameter above the slot, smaller diameter (so the threads of the screw catch) below the slot, and then I countersunk the hole so the screws sit flush so the bottom cover is not interfered with, clearance wise.

[attachimg=5]
And as you can see, a Mini USB cable plugs in with plenty of clearance. The socket is nearly flush with the wood surface.

I'll come back with more pictures after the LEDs are wired.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 23 March 2016, 03:28:24
[attachimg=1]
It's 3+ am, and I'm gonna crash soon, but I DID wanna share progress... I have not laced any of the new wiring yet. LED lighting is a heavier gauge, and is more rigid, thus it won't be laced. After rewiring the matrix from a 7 x 14 matrix to a 7 x 13 matrix, I ended up with a few unlaced new wires. I'll deal with them at the end, when I also lace the wires to the teensy.

[attachimg=2]
The LEDs are rather dim, but I don't want them to be so bright as to be overpowering. I actually wired the LEDs in series pairs, with a 100 Ω resistor. Each LED only has 8 mA passing through it. Won't even fully max out the USB power limit. It'll be barely a hair over 350 mA for the LEDs.

[attachimg=3]
I used one transistor to drive the Caps Lock LED, and 4 transistors to each drive 11 pairs of LEDs. I know I'm way under driving the transistors... But they will NEVER get hot. Each 2N3904 is only driving 88 mA, and they're rated to 200 mA. That being said... It's no wonder they get hot when people don't bank their LEDs into separate driven sets! The datasheet I had said 200 mA, so I certainly wasn't gonna try driving all the LEDs from one transistor. I had room and parts, so I just went with 4 banks. The control is all tied together, so one PWM pin on the Teensy can control all 4 banks as a single set of LEDs.

[attachimg=4]
SOOOOOO CLOOOOOSE!!!
I only need to wire the positive supplies to two rows of LEDs, wire the interconnects between the rows and columns to the Teensy, and hook up the 5 wires to my magnetic number pad port.

Soon™
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Fri, 25 March 2016, 04:42:47
[attachimg=1]
Just dropping this picture here. It looks more red in the pic, but in person, it's more amber.

So, the I2C magnetic serial port is almost wired. I wired a small PC board int he corner so i can desolder the connector wires should I ever need to disassemble it, without wrecking my laced wire runs back to the Teensy 2.0. All the wiring from the PC board to the Teensy is soldered. The LED controller board is now soldered to the Teensy, and all the LEDs are functional, including, obviously, the Caps Lock indicator. The ONLY thing that remains to do physically, is to solder the 7 rows, 13 columns, and to solder the flying leads of the magnetic connector to the small PC board. I'll do that tomorrow, after rate epoxy securing the tiny wires is cured.

For the serial port, I'm using a sense wire. This was the reason for requiring to a messier, but more efficient 13x7 matrix, when I added the backlighting LEDs. I literally needed every available I/O pin on the Teensy. Could not spare even one! Internal to the keyboard, the sense wire is pulled low. When an accessory is attached, the sense wire will be pulled high. All I need to do is monitor the input pin on the Teensy, and if it is high, then execute the code to read the I2C port expander. If the pin is low, then the software would skip executing the I2C code.

What that code would be...  :confused:

That's IT electrically, though!  :cool:

After that, I need to cut and drill and countersink the bottom panel, and add rubber feet. That's all!  ;D

After that, it's programming... Ugh... Software, the homework of tinkering...   :rolleyes:
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Sun, 27 March 2016, 00:01:23
[attachimg=1]

ALL electrical work is done. Every single wire, solder joint, and part is installed! ᴖᴗᴖ  :thumb:

Now all that remains is to make the bottom cover panel, and program the Teensy! That's all!

A shot of the final completed wiring, as well as the wire lacing. I also have a detail shot of the Teensy 2.0 and the wire lacing for each lead close up. ALL the new wiring is laced with a single cord (again, I use unflavored waxed dental floss). The cord starts in the top right and moves inward toward the Teensy, then it goes down the right side of the teensy, hooks right, turns down again when it hits the LED driver board, follows the bottom edge all the way to the left hand side, turns right, makes a slight detour by the shift key, and then continues up, goes left a key, then back right toward the Teensy, and then binds the left side and bottom of the Teensy. All one piece of string. No cuts, just knotting. Knotting and a LOT of feeding cord through loops!  :eek:

Enjoy!  ;D

[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Sun, 03 April 2016, 17:11:39
[attachimg=1]
Here it is... The main keyboard is physically done, and I also went ahead and built a wrist rest for it as well.

[attachimg=2]
The bottom panel was taken from a 1960s era Phase Angle Voltmeter, just a piece of old test equipment I had in storage. I kinda like the texture.

[attachimg=3]
The wood was a chunk of free cherry that I got from a friend who works at a cabinet door manufacturer (Elkay). This was a piece they considered "scrap". I guess it had a knot on the edge. I didn't need the whole length. All I know, is it looked good, and was free!  ;D

[attachimg=4]
It had a groove in the tapered edge (for a door panel to insert into), so I bought an oak dowel for $0.89 and painted that with some hobby model paints. The yellow is 3u wide, the same width as the WASD and Arrow clusters.

[attachimg=5]
Now that construction is 100% complete, all that remains now, is to program it... I'm kinda... Not sure where to start! Any firmware is fine, for now, since I don't yet have a number pad for it. Something easy, that I can program from a Mac. I guess I gotta look at those options now. In time, i'll get a plate for the number pad and add it. I'll revisit the firmware at that point to enable the hot swap functionality. For now, i want NOW functionality of what i have made!  :thumb:
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Mon, 04 April 2016, 02:43:59
[attachimg=1]
This is my schematic. I could have designed it better, but honestly, this worked out. If I had to do it again, I'd probably try to do something a little more logical.

I need to take a break. Spent all day trying to figure out firmware... It's 2:30 am now... Ugh... I don't even know which one I should use!  :confused:

I need future I2C expandability (using a port expander), so even if a firmware is easier than another, I imagine I should still stick with something that's more capable, so I don't have to redo everything with new software when I make the number pad. I am SO not good with software...

I was thinking, regarding number pad hot swapability, if I make the I2C writes and reads only occur when an input pin state is high... skipping a portion of the scan, and returning no results when low... would that work? I'm not exactly at the point yet where I need that yet, but I should think about it.

I was looking at TMK, but I swear it's making my brain spin!  :rolleyes:
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: UsualSuspectXXX on Thu, 14 April 2016, 23:12:27
Dude. This board looks really awesome. Great job!
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: metalliqaz on Thu, 14 April 2016, 23:18:23
Did you get it programmed?
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Fri, 15 April 2016, 08:24:38
Not yet... I really need to sit down and figure out what on earth I need to actually do to program it. Unfortunately, working 2 jobs sometimes leave me with little free time. Waiting for my next window of free time.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: Bucake on Fri, 15 April 2016, 08:37:18
crazy cool project, looking really good
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: Data on Fri, 15 April 2016, 08:45:17
Ten thumbs up.
 :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

(I'm all thumbs. Don't judge.)
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: CPTBadAss on Mon, 18 April 2016, 14:06:52
Lovely build. Really like all the attention to detail. And I like that it doesn't have a crazy name lol. Sometimes it's just nice to have something simply named....I think we as a community go too far in that aspect. Myself included.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Mon, 18 April 2016, 15:47:08
[attachimg=2]

Thanks to ALL of you who have sung your praises and proclaimed your compliments! Super thanks! :D  :thumb:

[attachimg=1]

So, Signature Plastics has started sending out replacement keys for the errors made in the Danger Zone production. Minor issues that don't much affect me, but certainly issues that have bothered others (no homing nipple/bump keys, Master Arm key the wrong color). Haha! That blue Master Arm key is a trophy to me! Proof of it being a first run! ;D

Also, major thanks to UsualSuspectXXX for selling me those Fallout keys. They make SUCH A GOOD PAIRING with Danger Zone! He had some trades to offer/sell.  :p :thumb:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=77714 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=77714)

[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Mon, 27 June 2016, 23:32:38
Well... Update, work has had me swamped, and it gets no better in the next couple weeks. I STILL have yet to figure out how to program the thing, and I still have not spotted a group buy that I can get the plate for the number pad made. :confused: Since I want extra keys on my number pad, I can't really buy a stock number pad plate. I was thinking a 6x6, with a 2u "0", 2u "Enter", 1u "+", and possibly some 1.25u or 1.5u in the top row. That and I need the dimensions to fit my existing plate's height, screw hole spacing, and corner radius. Blue anodizing is an obvious must.

I really wanna get this finished, but either I'm missing plate group buys (that let you do custom plates), or there haven't been any since LeandreN's custom group buy last year. I don't know. I've been so busy lately. Ugh...

I can't believe I still have no idea how to program this thing...  :-[
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Sat, 23 July 2016, 15:29:05
So, here's my progress so far.

First, I've made up a nice layout worksheet that has all the electrical rows and columns identified not he physical layout. It's top down view, so it'll be useful for defining my key layout too.

[attachimg=1]

So, I did start with the TMK firmware. If it can do everything I need it to do, then I'll stick with it, but there's always the option of re-flashing it with something else in the future if I can't integrate the hot swappable port expander functionality into the code. The code for my Column and Row pin definitions are below:

Code: [Select]
/* Column pin configuration
 * col: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12
 * pin: F0  F1  F4  F5  F6  D4  D5  D2  B7  B3  B2  B1  B0

Code: [Select]
/* Row pin configuration
 * row: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6
 * pin: F7  B6  B5  B4  C7  C6  D3

I have a VERY dense matrix of 13x7. It was necessary to keep enough I/O pins open for the Caps Lock LED, Backlight LED PWM, a pair of I2C pins, and the numpad sense pin. The sense pin detects if the number pad is attached, and whether or not it should poll the numpad's port expander over I2C. I figure, software is changeable, so I can re-do code later, once I actually have the number pad built, and have half a clue what the heck I'm actually doing.

Anyway, since I had to keep the matrix small, That super dense layout has almost no gaps, and row 6 is actually a tight cluster of keys in the top right corner. An alteration part way in resulted in the very top right key having a completely nonsensical matrix position, because the change was literally a bodge. Only three intersections in the entire matrix go unused (c0-r6, c1-r6, and c12-r4). This means my matrix does not directly conform to the physical key layout in some areas (all of Row 6 is in the top right corner, and the bottom row is "electrically" compressed to the left, and then includes the keys physically in the bottom right corner well).

Now, I'm stumped at my current place in the code...

What have not figured out yet, is whether the matrix definitions need to be ordered by electrical sequence, or if the values are arbitrary, and allow for physical sequence (as long as the row and column values are correctly defined). The obviously functional way is to lay the matrix out electrically. This seems to be what's assumed with most keyboards, as most keyboards physical layout and electrical layout probably match.

My question then is which (either, or both, or neither, or 42   ;D ) would be correct?

Electrically based layout:
Code: [Select]
#define KEYMAP( \
    K00, K01, K02, K03, K04, K05, K06, K07, K08, K09, K0A, K0B, K0C, \
    K10, K11, K12, K13, K14, K15, K16, K17, K18, K19, K1A, K1B, K1C, \
    K20, K21, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K27, K28, K29, K2A, K2B, K2C, \
    K30, K31, K32, K33, K34, K35, K36, K37, K38, K39, K3A, K3B, K3C, \
    K40, K41, K42, K43, K44, K45, K46, K47, K48, K49, K4A, K4B,     \
    K50, K51, K52, K53, K54, K55, K56, K57, K58, K59, K5A, K5B, K5C, \
              K62, K63, K64, K65, K66, K67, K68, K69, K6A, K6B, K6C  \
) { \
    { KC_##K00, KC_##K01, KC_##K02, KC_##K03, KC_##K04, KC_##K05, KC_##K06, KC_##K07, KC_##K08, KC_##K09, KC_##K0A, KC_##K0B, KC_##K0C }, \
    { KC_##K10, KC_##K11, KC_##K12, KC_##K13, KC_##K14, KC_##K15, KC_##K16, KC_##K17, KC_##K18, KC_##K19, KC_##K1A, KC_##K1B, KC_##K1C }, \
    { KC_##K20, KC_##K21, KC_##K22, KC_##K23, KC_##K24, KC_##K25, KC_##K26, KC_##K27, KC_##K28, KC_##K29, KC_##K2A, KC_##K2B, KC_##K2C }, \
    { KC_##K30, KC_##K31, KC_##K32, KC_##K33, KC_##K34, KC_##K35, KC_##K36, KC_##K37, KC_##K38, KC_##K39, KC_##K3A, KC_##K3B, KC_##K3C }, \
    { KC_##K40, KC_##K41, KC_##K42, KC_##K43, KC_##K44, KC_##K45, KC_##K46, KC_##K47, KC_##K48, KC_##K49, KC_##K4A, KC_##K4B, KC_NO    }, \
    { KC_##K50, KC_##K51, KC_##K52, KC_##K53, KC_##K54, KC_##K55, KC_##K56, KC_##K57, KC_##K58, KC_##K59, KC_##K5A, KC_##K5B, KC_##K5C }, \
    { KC_NO,    KC_NO,    KC_##K62, KC_##K63, KC_##K64, KC_##K65, KC_##K66, KC_##K67, KC_##K68, KC_##K69, KC_##K6A, KC_##K6B, KC_##K6C }  \
}

or...

Physically based layout
Code: [Select]
#define KEYMAP( \
    K00, K01, K02, K03, K04, K05, K06, K07, K08, K09, K0A, K0B, K0C, K62, K6B, K6C, K65, \
    K10, K11, K12, K13, K14, K15, K16, K17, K18, K19, K1A, K1B, K1C, K63,      K69, K6A, \
    K20, K21, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K27, K28, K29, K2A, K2B, K2C, K64,      K67, K68, \
    K30, K31, K32, K33, K34, K35, K36, K37, K38, K39, K3A, K3B, K3C,           K5C, K66, \
    K40,      K41, K42, K43, K44, K45, K46, K47, K48, K49, K4A, K4B,           K5A, K5B, \
    K50, K51, K52,                K53,                K54, K55, K56,      K57, K58, K59  \
) { \
    { KC_##K00, KC_##K01, KC_##K02, KC_##K03, KC_##K04, KC_##K05, KC_##K06, KC_##K07, KC_##K08, KC_##K09, KC_##K0A, KC_##K0B, KC_##K0C, KC_##K62, KC_##K6B, KC_##K6C, KC_##K65 }, \
    { KC_##K10, KC_##K11, KC_##K12, KC_##K13, KC_##K14, KC_##K15, KC_##K16, KC_##K17, KC_##K18, KC_##K19, KC_##K1A, KC_##K1B, KC_##K1C, KC_##K63, KC_NO,    KC_##K69, KC_##K6A }, \
    { KC_##K20, KC_##K21, KC_##K22, KC_##K23, KC_##K24, KC_##K25, KC_##K26, KC_##K27, KC_##K28, KC_##K29, KC_##K2A, KC_##K2B, KC_##K2C, KC_##K64, KC_NO,    KC_##K67, KC_##K68 }, \
    { KC_##K30, KC_##K31, KC_##K32, KC_##K33, KC_##K34, KC_##K35, KC_##K36, KC_##K37, KC_##K38, KC_##K39, KC_##K3A, KC_##K3B, KC_##K3C, KC_NO,    KC_NO,    KC_##K5C, KC_##K66 }, \
    { KC_##K40, KC_NO,    KC_##K41, KC_##K42, KC_##K43, KC_##K44, KC_##K45, KC_##K46, KC_##K47, KC_##K48, KC_##K49, KC_##K4A, KC_##K4B, KC_NO,    KC_NO,    KC_##K5A, KC_##K5B}, \
    { KC_##K50, KC_##K51, KC_##K52, KC_NO,    KC_NO,    KC_NO,    KC_##K53, KC_NO,    KC_NO,    KC_NO,    KC_##K54, KC_##K55, KC_##K56, KC_NO,    KC_##K57, KC_##K58, KC_##K59 }  \

}

My question is, are the values entered into the table above dependent on position in the list, or just by content. It'd be FAR easier to follow the second layout, but I don't know if it screws with the code to mix and match rows and columns onto different lines in the list like that, or whether it's all good, as long as the numbers match.

My understanding of the code, is that those lists are not "technically" even different lines... That they are basically one long continuous list, with breaks to make it easier to read. What I don't know is whether the code expects to read the list strictly sequentially, the same way it's scanning the matrix, or whether the code is simply defining the physical layout of the key map and defining what matrix intersection applies to the physical layout. I'm confused!

Basically, is the code:

A: expecting all the rows and columns to be in a neat and orderly incrementing layout (all the columns, in order, 0 to the maximum, for row 0, then repeating for row 1, 2, 3... and so on)

or

B: Is this list arbitrarily defining the row/column intersection values for the (later to be entered) keymap, based on the row and column numbers entered. Basically, saying "I want this layout to have r0-c0 through r0-c12, then r6-c3, r6-c11, r6-c12, and finally r6-c5 in the first physical row of keys"... Basically, so later, when I enter the keymap, it knows that ESC is r0-c0, F1-F12 is r0-c1 through r0-c12, and that F13 is r6c3, F14 is r6-c11, F15 is r6-c12, and the media EJECT key is r6-c5 (using my top row as an example).

Does that make sense?   :confused:

I suppose I should add, I know software is flexible, and I can always integrate new features later on. For now, i just wanna get my keyboard up and running. In the long term though, I want to have the code check whether pin E6 changes states. Depending on whether it is high or low, I want to have it scan a 6x6 matrix on a port expander connected over I2C, or to skip the I2C part of the code altogether and ignore that part of the matrix. I don't yet know how I would go about doing this in the code, and I don't even know if this firmware can be modded to support it at all. Of course, that's the nice thing about software... There's always room for change.

I think, for the transistor driven under-lighting LEDs in each switch housing, I just want to have a default max brightness setting at power up, and the option to change the brightness with the keyboard. I already have the max brightness current limited to stay under the USB max current, but I think at power up it'd be wise to keep total draw under 200 mA, and then let the keyboard negotiate 500 mA if you increase brightness... Again, I imagine it's possible, but I don't know if TMK can do it, or how easy it'd be to mod that functionality in.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Mon, 07 November 2016, 02:47:59
[attachimg=3]

So, quick update... Good news and bad news...

The good news, is it sounds like i've gotten in on a plate group buy and will finally be getting the number pad plates made. I should be paying for those soon, I would think. I also found some nice blue paracord with a yellow pattern that I think will work very nicely to sleeve a USB cable! With the number pad looking like it's going to finally be on it's way, I've decided I like Fallout novelty caps, and will probably stick a few on the number pad, treating those keys as additional function keys. I included a photo of some of the caps I have, temporarily placed in my main keyboard function row, just for the photo.

[attachimg=2]
[attachimg=1]

The bad news, is between getting back into construction on my Kerbal Space Program controller, and being busy at work, I've not sat down AT ALL to figure out the programming aspect of this. Seriously... It's been sitting untouched since my last post. I had questions about the firmware, and never got answers, not here, not at DA, not on the TMK tutorial thread... No responses. Being at a roadblock, right when work picked up killed all forward momentum on this project. regaining forward momentum on my other project has left this keyboard sitting.

I really wanna get this finished. I'm SO CLOSE!!! It's just software!

My goals are:

• Figure out the firmware so I can actually use it.
• Figure out how to read a port expander over I2C to read additional keys.
• Figure out how to "skip" the I2C read code when one of the Teensy inputs is low, but perform it when that input is high.

That's what I need to do yet. I can create a simple dummy setup with the port expander to do testing, till my number pad plate arrives. Wiring it will be super straight forward, thanks to the wood pieces already being made. I'll only need to screw the plate on, pop in the switches, install SIP pins and LEDs, and wire the small matrix for the key switches and for the LEDs. One wire of the port expander will go to a transistor driver to run the LEDs, and 12 of the port expander wires will feed the 6 rows and 6 columns of the switch matrix. It'll be a very straight forward build.

I guess there's no point in posting anything further on the software... all my questions remain the same, and are in the last post. I just gotta trudge through it, and maybe see if I can't make it work. I dunno... Software is definitely not my forte... Where designing and building hardware is my hobby and joy, software is like homework, or a job... One I barely am understanding.  :-[
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Mon, 19 December 2016, 20:17:27
[attachimg=1]

So, I gotta drop a big thanks to LeandreN for once again coming through and getting me the plate I needed to finish this project! Number pad plate came in today.

No idea when I'll get it finished, hopefully soon. I counted up my dyed switch tops... I have 30, needed 34. Grr... I gotta mix up a batch of dye for FOUR switch housings! I'm bummed I can't find transparent Plate Mount MX Stabilizers. Sorry, I don't care for Costar, and I don't have a PCB, so the Zeal transparent ones really aren't an option either.  For now, I gotta settle with black ones...

Anyway, I have the trim parts already cut out (I did this WAY back when I did the original ones for the main keyboard.

[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: Data on Wed, 21 December 2016, 13:53:10
(http://i.imgur.com/wjIoHpQ.png)

Lookin' good!  Man that is a BEAST of a numpad.  :))
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: samwisekoi on Wed, 21 December 2016, 14:51:50
Nice build!  Would you be interested in a GH-36 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=61306.0) PCB for that numpad?  Assuming that plate is correct at .75 spacing and a 6x6 matrix, the GH-36 PCB will fit right in.

(http://i.imgur.com/f6dzf6k.jpg)

Let me know and I'll drop one in the mail to you.

 - Ron | samwisekoi

Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 21 December 2016, 16:31:31
Quote
Lookin' good!  Man that is a BEAST of a numpad.
I gotta have room for all those Fallout keys! I'll probably throw in some of the special Danger Zone keys on there too.  :p

Quote
Nice build!  Would you be interested in a GH-36 PCB for that numpad?
I've got a very narrow amount of available space at the edge. If I recall, I think your PCB would stick out a bit too far for my particular design. The wood trim that I use to form my case probably comes a couple millimeters from the edges of the switch housings Comes so close to the edges of the switch housings, that I forgot I needed to shave the interior to clear the stabilizers for the 0 and Enter keys!. It's kind of you to offer though. Ultimately, I'll likely be hand wiring this section as well. I can generally hand wire it faster than I can make a PC board for it. Again, thanks though!

[attachimg=1]

On another note, it seems my dye might have been a bit... old. It came out more purple than blue. I attribute the color shift to it being LITERALLY a year and 2 months old. Fortunately, I only need four more keys (though I dyed six). I think if key caps are off, it'll stand out, but with key caps on, and if I place them int he center, it probably won't really be noticeable, so i'll pass them. If I ever have to work with blue dye again, and I have a new batch, I'll just do some fresh ones and replace them at a later date. My plate lets me pop key switch top housings off in place, so no worries there.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 22 December 2016, 00:49:46
Got the switches dyed, installed, lubed, with SIP sockets inside and LEDs plugged in... That's as far as I've gotten.
The four switches that I just dyed are in the middle. They do look slightly more purple than blue, but it's only slight. I'm more than okay with it.

[attachimg=1]

And a pic of the assembly process... I think, if I could go back, I'd have put the numbers on the left, and the extra functions to the right. I just mimicked the typical layout of a full keyboard, but by doing so, I placed my number pad further away from the main keyboard than I needed to. Oh well. Can't change it, so it'll stay as it is. At least Enter will be easy to find by feel.

[attach=2]
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 22 December 2016, 23:45:07
[attachimg=2]
Just threw the number pad keys, and a bunch of various Fallout and mod keys, but yeah, I wanted to see how she looks!
I swapped ☮ and Hyper to get a bit more symmetry. All the keys are only temporarily on, so no reshot pics.

[attachimg=3]
She's a real beaut, isn't she!  ;D

[attachimg=1]
I can't WAIT to have this magnetic split functioning!
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 28 December 2016, 22:45:42
[attachimg=1]
I worked on this over the Christmas holiday break. You can see the final trim and layout assembly. I might change up the misc keys from time to time, as I get other more interesting key caps. That's why I have a 6x6 number pad! Plenty of room for creative keys!  :p

[attachimg=2]
The wrist rest is actually just wide enough to type comfortably, and still rest the left side of my right palm on it to reach the number pad, but I plan to make a wide wrist rest and a mini wrist rest in addition to the one I already have. I'll have a spot under my desk to stash the long one and the mini one, so i can bring out the one I want to use. I've also considered just attaching the wrist rests to the keyboard segments. Not really sure on that one yet. We'll see as I use the keyboard and get a feel for things.

I still have to finish some wiring in the number pad, and then do the programming. That's ALL!   ;D

I'll post more pics soon.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: nathanrosspowell on Thu, 29 December 2016, 17:45:16
Really nice! Been great following this build  :thumb:
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Wed, 25 January 2017, 19:49:37
If anyone is curious why all progress has stopped again... Murphy and his laws have decided to curse my January. My computer's motherboard died, I've gotten gut blastingly sick, slipped and fallen on the ice more times than I'd like to admit, covered for other people at work, retweaked my shoulder (but not badly)... and all around have had a miserable new year. I've not even touched this poor beautiful keyboard since my last post...  :'(

Here's to hoping February's misfortunes are as scarce as the month is short! LOL :D
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Fri, 14 April 2017, 02:02:48
Good news, I was able to get my motherboard repaired. Man, was Gigabyte slow with the whole RMA process.  >:D
With only a tablet to rely on, I've not done much here. I got back on my Kerbal Space Program instrument panel/controller build again, so I've made no progress on the keyboard. It doesn't at all have to do with 4 separate projects vying for space on my work bench, all at once... (Innocently whistles) :rolleyes:

Anyway, I definitely NEED to figure out this whole software thing. I have my first three day weekend in a long time coming up... And I'll undoubtedly waste it, or do hardware instead... That's what I'm craving! LOL  ;D

Maybe I can sit down again and just try... Even if i have to download some "bum code", just to see how it derps up.

Who knows? Maybe it'll actually work?! Beats me... I never did get an answer to any of my software questions. Maybe I need to start a new thread specific to that question. Too tired to do that now... I still have to get up for work one more time before my long weekend.

I feel bad for me, cause I have this lovely keyboard that looks absolutely stunning, but doesn't DO anything, and I feel a little bad cause people thought this project was "days away from completion" a full YEAR ago! Between work and other projects, delays in getting my number pad plate, MORE work delays, injuries (thanks work...), and above all else, my lack of software experience... This is taking painfully long to finish! :eek:
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: phorx on Mon, 05 February 2018, 12:55:04
It's a real thing of beauty!  Has there been any updates since you last posted?  Oh if only there was a PCB-based kit to do a build in this layout I'd be such a happy man.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Fri, 16 February 2018, 08:58:13
It's a real thing of beauty!  Has there been any updates since you last posted?  Oh if only there was a PCB-based kit to do a build in this layout I'd be such a happy man.

No PCB as of yet, but I DID finally learn how to use KiCAD, so maybe someday in the future. Right now, I'm super busy with my two jobs, and I STILL need to figure out firmware. i was thinking about the following matrix configuration:

Code: [Select]
    C0  C1  C2  C3  C4  C5  C6  C7  C8  C9 C10 C11 C12 C13 C14 C15 C16 C17 C18
R0  X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X
R1  X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X
R2  X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X
R3  X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X
R4  X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X
R5  X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X
R6  X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X
R7                                                      X   X   X   X   X   X
R8                                                      X   X   X   X   X   X
R9                                                      X   X   X   X   X   X
R10                                                     X   X   X   X   X   X
R11                                                     X   X   X   X   X   X
R12                                                     X   X   X   X   X   X

C0-12 and R0-R6 would always scan, looking for whether keys are pressed on the main keyboard.

When the matrix scan reaches R7-R12 and C13-C18, then it would check for the state of the "sense" input to determine if the number pad is present or not. If not present, it would bypass I2C communication and fill in all 36 matrix values with a null value (or whatever represents a button not being pressed). If the "sense" signal detects the presence of the number pad, then I2C commands would be sent to the port expander in the number pad to perform the remainder of the matrix scan.

Since I already have them, I'm gonna switch my LED controls to an I2C DAC (Digital to Analog Converter). It can piggyback on the I2C bus, but it also means I get set and forget LED brightness controls that will be identical on both the main and the numberpad sides of the keyboard interconnect. PWM controls would have been unreasonable on the numberpad side, since it did' have a proper dedicated controller. At once point, I'd considered the DAC on the numberpad side, feeding into a 555 timer chip to make a PWM signal, but then I realized I might as well eliminate flicker and just go with an analog value on both sides.

Now if only I had enough grasp of any firmwares or of C in general to actually make it happen...
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Thu, 05 December 2019, 00:32:22
(https://i.imgur.com/KS3sRcV.jpg)

Good Lord, it's been a while! So, I actually sat down and worked on the numberpad LED wiring. This project has literally sat for two years! Originally, I got motivated into working on it, only to find I had made a mistake, and it just deflated any and all motivation. That was coupled with work becoming insanely hectic. Anyway, I'm sticking with my normal routine of splitting the LEDs up into multiple banks. One transistor can't drive all of them (without going to a beefier transistor), but two could. It is honestly just as easy to just split it into three pairs of columns and go that route. One modification that I need to make to this, and the way I'll wire this as well, is that I'll have an I2C Digital to analog converter provide a DC analog output that will drive the LED drive transistors. The thought of trying to do PWM over an I2C port expander sounds like absolute madness. I honestly don't even know if it's possible. I want to make sure the keyboard never draws over 500mA, so it can be easily powered from any USB port, including a common USB 2.0 port. The LEDs are set up so they are in series pairs, drawing about 8mA a pair. Including power dissipation by the resistors, thats about 488mA, with the numberpad attached. I also have to account for the power drawn by the Teensy, the port expander, and the Caps Lock key, which all together, would exceed 500mA.

My solution will be to simply cap the peak brightness when the numberpad is attached. I'd like a 10mA buffer, 30mA to power the teensy, and maybe 10ma for the port expander chip, since all it's doing is scanning the switch matrix. I'll set the I2C DAC inside the Numberpad and inside the main keyboard to the same address, so the teensy can just send out updates periodically, and both will update to matched values. It looks like I can drop current from 8mA to 3mA by just dropping the voltage from 5 volts to 4.5. If I configure the DAC to operate within the range of 4.2-5 volts, that should give me complete brightness control from 1mA to 8mA. Heck, even a mere 8 steps, from 4.2-5 would give me full range, incrementing the output voltage by 0.1 volts per step. 4.9v on the DAC would drop LED current by only 1mA, and allow all 122 keys to be lit at once, with plenty of overhead for the Teensy, etc.

Another thing I've thought about, is a keep alive circuit. Rather than the LEDs flickering out, I think I want a few capacitors in the numberpad, fed through a resistor and diode, to keep power going in case of brief circuit interruption. If I bump the keyboard, and the magsafe connector temporarily separates, having a keep alive circuit will keep the LEDs from flickering, and if the port expender requires any initial setup, it should retain that. The idea is that a resistor limits inrush current, but allows a bank of capacitors to slowly charge up while the keypad is connected. When disconnected, the LEDs and port expander will continue to draw power from he energy stored in the capacitors. It'd probably only be enough for one or two seconds of operation, but it's just a nice consideration to prevent hiccups. The idea came to me from the model train hobby. Locomotives with digital controllers often are fitted with keep alive circuits to allow the locomotive to stay powered when there is dirty track, poor joints, or troublesome track switch points. The capacitors keep the digital controller from resetting, and keep the motor powered for a second or two, so it can power through the area where power is dropping out.

I think I'm finally finding the motivation to get back on this project again!

I may still ask for advice regarding the firmware. I still need to have backlight controls send data to an I2C DAC periodically (on update, on sense pin change, and after time interval), I still need to incorporate the I2C port expander, and above all else, I need to scan a sense pin and have the code skip the Port Expander communications, and return null values, as a conditional based on the state of that sense pin, or possibly a scan timeout.

Soldering circuit boards for work, but once that's done with, I wanna finish the matrix and the rest of the LED wiring, and start looking into how to wire up the port expander, DAC, and transistor drivers.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: Sintpinty on Thu, 05 December 2019, 11:23:53
(Attachment Link)

***UPDATE***
The Main keyboard is now COMPLETE!!! I still need to build a number pad. I'll do this when I have a chance to get a plate.
At the moment, I still have to program it though.

I just purchased the "Danger Zone" keycap set off Massdrop. It's my very first custom key cap set, very first mechanical keyboard, and first time doing a custom keyboard. While I do plan on having a separate number pad I can set aside, and a Kerbal Space Program controller with actual flight instruments built into my desk, I wanted the primary keyboard to be both fully featured and compact. I discovered the 75% layout, and feel it is one of the best layouts out there, but I really wanted to retain a few more keys than that it offers.

I decided to do a layout with an extra column of keys, so it has 2 columns of keys to the right of the return and right shift keys, instead of just one column, as a standard 75% board does. This let me do a couple of things:

A: It let me slide the arrow keys over to the right by 1u, thus allowing both a standard sized right shift key, and the ability to use six 1.25u modifiers with a 6.25u or 6.5u spacebar. Alternately, seven modifiers can be used, if the left modifiers are three 1.25u, a 6.25u spacebar, and four 1u modifiers to the right. This is an exceptional degree of modifier row flexibility! I personally chose to use six modifiers, with a 6.25u spacebar, and made one modifier (the one immediately to the left of the spacebar) into a 1.5u modifier, to enhance it's use as a Mac keyboard layout. That was just my preference.

B: Because of the standard key sizes, this custom layout can be populated by most base TKL keycap sets, without having to dip into extra add-on options!

C: This custom layout provides 88 keys, while most 75% layouts only provide 84 keys. This means that you get 1 key more than a standard 87 key TKL, but have a smaller footprint. If a TKL keycap set has no real options to fill in the last 88th key... Great excuse for an artisan key! :thumb:

I used the renders of the Dangerzone keycap set to create a render of what I expect my keyboard to look like. I'm getting the custom plate made via the LeandreN Prototyper group buy http://leandren.bigcartel.com/prototyper-round-1 (http://leandren.bigcartel.com/prototyper-round-1). Invoicing is today, so orders should go out real soon! Like I said, i'm pretty excited! This is my first mechanical keyboard, and I decided to go   big  compact or go home...  :p

As for the case, I will use the keyboard to bridge my Kerbal Controller and my PC case, which have drastically different styles. The Computer case is a 1939 Philco radio cabinet, with brass accents, a nixie tube clock, and strong art deco stylings. The plate will be anodized blue, to match the keys, but I'll use brass screws on the keyboard to hold it all together. The plate will screw into four wood strips that I will glue into a rectangular ring bordering the perimeter of the plate, and I'll sand the corners round. I'll stain it to match the computer case, and then seal it. The bottom will be a metal plate with rubber feet. I may use brass for the bottom. I think it'll look very nice. I'll use some keys from the Danger Zone key set on the Kerbal Controller to get some style crossover there as well.

(Attachment Link)

Internally, I'll hand wire the matrix using the diode leads to connect from switch to switch. I don't know if it's worth it to mess with a Teensy or not. I run a "Hackintosh", basically Mac OS running on stock PC hardware. I have no PS2 ports. Macs tend to just have 6KRO, not NKRO. I'm half tempted to salvage the PC board from my old mac membrane keyboard and recreate the matrix. It WAS a good keyboard, till it lost a game of chicken with a can of pop. :rolleyes: I guess that's something i'd be happy to get advice on. Longtime DIYer, but VERY new to microcontrollers, completely inexperienced with C, and far more comfortable with a soldering iron than code. If i'm just running Mac OS, are there even any NKRO option for me? Is it worth the bother?

I am interested in both opinions on my custom layout, as well as 6KRO/NKRO options and issues on Macs.
Hope you all like my keyboard project!

***EDIT***
FIRST PHOTOS!!!

(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)

You did really well on this keyboard. Nice job.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Tue, 10 December 2019, 06:03:19
Quote
You did really well on this keyboard. Nice job.
Thanks!

(https://i.imgur.com/cvnqw0c.jpg)
So with this small modification, I do belive the main keyboard is 100% hardware complete!
I did disconnect the PWM output D7 from the Teensy, freeing up one I/O line. That's not important,
but it did make my previous rework of the matrix from a 7x14 to a 7x13 very unnecessary! :rolleyes:

(https://i.imgur.com/sMNWv9G.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/Mf6qUIV.jpg)
I have installed a small MCP4725 DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) board into the keyboard to control the LEDs.
It's output was threaded through the existing laced wire bundle, and fed underneath the Teensy.
It's wired to the input of the LED's transistor drivers, connecting where the Teensy's PWM D7 output once connected to.
Power and I2C connections have been made at the tiny board that attaches to the MagSafe port.

(https://i.imgur.com/ntfchBS.jpg)
I finished the general matrix and LED wiring on the number pad as well! I still need to install the LED transistor drivers,
the port expander, and a second MCP4725 DAC board. There are two options for controlling the LEDs with this setup.
If the DAC boards can receive commands without response, then i can set both boards tot he same address,
and any update sent over I2C should update the output of both boards, changing LED brightness on both keyboard and num pad.
If the chips can't operate in tandem, then I can just change the num pad DAC's I2C address, and send the same data twice, to each address.

One of the nice things about these DACs, is they have an integrated EEPROM that stores the last value,
so it remembers the last brightness setting, even after power off, or number pad detachment.
This means I only have to update LEDs on a brightness change, or after attachment or detachment of the num pad.
The fact that it's a steady analog value also eliminates PWM flicker entirely. The DACs are 12-bits, which is overkill,
but I had them on hand, and they will still work for the application.

After the last hardware is soldered in, it's ALL software from here. I have very little experience there, so advice and help are welcomed.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Fri, 22 May 2020, 07:13:12
The absolute irony of my absolute failure to put in the time to figure out the unique coding situation to resolve the hot-swapability of this keyboard, and the ridiculous amount of time that has passed since procrastinating on finding a solution to the problem, has left me with an unexpected hardware development...

[attachimg=2]

In the time that has passed, 20 pin "magsafe style" USB C connectors have been developed, and are now being mass produced. These feature a very dense 20 pin magnetic connector... Honestly... I could essentially "brute force" this entire keyboard, strictly in hardware, if I were to purchase one of these and wire it up to the matrix, LED driver, and power. I might still need the port expander, but it would interestingly enough, end up situated in the main keyboard, not the number pad. There would be no risk of hot-swap lockup of the firmware, because the I2C would always remain connected to the port expander. Only the matrix, which is normally open, would ever be disconnected, and the power and LED driver lines are non significant. The power just is or is not connected to the numberpad, and the LED driver output is strictly a passive output. It has no feedback at all. This, while less elegant a solution, does still suit my style of building well, in that I am, and always have been, a hardware type, not a software type. I may be forced to redo the trim featuring the magnets and magsafe style connector, if I'm unable to pop the old ones out. they were epoxied into place, and may never want to actually come out. I will most definitely be slightly irritated, if I have to redo those parts, as the oak I used was very annoying to work with. We'll see...

If I undo my recent alteration, and Switch the LED control back to PWM on Pin D12, and I eliminate I2C all together, I can reclaim pins D5 and D6, and if I eliminate D24 as a numberpad sense wire, that gives me three unused pins that I can assign as new rows R8, R9, and R10 in the matrix. If I feed Columns C1-C12, and the three new rows, R8-R10, that takes 12+3 pins (15), to do a 3x12 matrix, which would cover the entire 6x6 numberpad (I'd do 2x6 groups of keys as 1 row, and 12 columns, electrically). I'd need two pins for power, plus the LED PWM, adding three more used pins to the total count. That leaves 18 pins used, with 2 unused. If I make the + and - power the same pins as the standard + and - USB connections used on that connector, then even if a USB cable is inadvertently attached to the numberpad, it will actually do nothing (it would actually power the LED driver, but the PWM signal would be off). With no communication, the USB would not negotiate fast charging modes, and thus not increase power above standard USB voltages, so again, the numberpad should be safe. For simplicity, I think the numberpad should mate to a USB cable's mag connector, since it'll be almost entirely passive, and thus have the least risk involved. That, at least, mitigates any risk of damage due to error, for using any manner of standard connector. I do belive I did a similar thing with the old MagSafe connector I used previously, where the main keyboard had the cable connector, and the numberpad had the device connector. As for finding what pins are default USB power (5 volts) on the new style 20-pin magnetic USB-C connector... Well, I'll just have to measure. Finding ground is easy. I just check continuity to the shield. It's also almost certainly gonna be one of the big corner pins... Bigger pins are typically used for power delivery. After I find ground, I just measure the other pins to find 5 volts. Simple!

I think I'm gonna order a few of these from China... They'll probably take a good month to show up. I legit wanted to pick one up for my phone. I do not know yet if I even have room to mount these, nor do I know how much larger they are than the 5 pin connectors (they are definitely larger). I want to search tomorrow to see if I can find the connectors standalone, but I suspect I won't. I'll likely be forced to disassemble a USB-C adapter, extract the connector, and solder some 18 wires to 20 of the pins. Should be fun!

I really should just plan on making a new pair of trim pieces. Like I said, I'll have probably a month to wait for the parts to show up off the slow boat.

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Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Mon, 08 June 2020, 01:44:11
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Good news and bad news... The good news, is one of my two orders of 20-pin magnetic USB-C connectors came in, and amazingly, it arrived in a mere 6 days! I'm shocked by the shipping time! As you can see above, it's barely any larger than the old connector, which quite frankly, is amazing, considering it has 4x the density of connections! The bad news... I ordered two right angle connectors for me to use on my phone and Switch, and those indeed showed up. The problem is that the connectors I ordered for the keyboard are still in transit, and are clearly being shipped by a slower method. I could tear one of these right angle ones apart, but that kinda defeats the purpose of having the two right angle connectors for my two devices.

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Anyway, the connectors I plan to take apart are technically still on their way, and once they arrive, I'll tear 'em open and fit them into the keyboard trim. It felt really weird pressing the old 5-pin MagSafe connectors out of my trim. Those were the defining unique element to my keyboard... Anyway, no fretting about it, cause it's only gonna be better once it's done! I kinda wish I hadn't been so proactive now with altering my main keyboard for I2C DAC controlled lighting. It's literally the last thing I worked on, and now I have to undo that and return to the old PWM control direct from the Teensy. It's gonna be fun seeing what the inside of that connector looks like. Depending on how tightly packed things are, I wonder if I'll find myself actually needing to solder under a microscope. I don't think I'm at that point yet. For simplicity's sakes, I will very likely solder wires to a breakout board, just for the sakes of keeping things organized. The old I2C breakout will be entirely removed, as the new design change has absolutely no reliance of I2C or port expander chips of any kind. At this point, the keyboard is now a "dumb" device, in terms of the number pad. It will no longer know that the numberpad isn't attached, only that no keys are being pressed.
Title: Re: Custom 75% layout: "75% + 1" (With Danger Zone keycaps and Dyed Gateron Blues)
Post by: richfiles on Tue, 23 June 2020, 12:07:54
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Good news: The 20-pin magnetic connectors came in today!
The bad news: They're potted! Joy! I get to chip away at that garbage!

Regarding the smaller end with the male USB-C connector... I think if I have clearance, I might reuse the female USB-C connector and solder off the back. The Male end 's potting actually is integral to the structure holding the mating pads to the pogo pins together. In other words, I am not sure I can truly disassemble that connector. I will have to experiment, but it definitely looks like I have clearance. If I resolver the PC board from the pogo connector, then I can just epoxy it to the male connector, and connect the wiring to the PC board pads. On the other side, I will solder directly to the mating pins.

I think this will work out!  ;D

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