Author Topic: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]  (Read 2433 times)

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Offline RominRonin

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Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« on: Tue, 30 April 2019, 15:34:35 »
Symmetrical staggered layouts are among early attempts at more ergonomic layouts for typists. The Katana60 brought these layouts to a new and engaged mechanical keyboard community. Ive explored the layout further and identified improvements that both simplify the transition from traditional layouts and allow further customisation and engagement with contemporary community trends (read: keycaps and cases). Introducing Katana60 v2.

PCB Supported Layouts

The Katana60 fits in standard 60% cases, so you can choose from a wide variety of pre-existing cases. The added support of standard bottom rows (new in v2) adds further flexibility to your custom keyboard. For example, the addition of the popular 7u space bar bottom row allows the buyer to try 60% WKL cases or HHKB style cases with 1.5u blockers.

v2 Universal layout example (default)

The default layout adds the benefits of a symmetrical stagger to a traditional legacy keyboard layout, and little more. The layout is 100% row-profile correct and key positioning follows the common qwerty positioning. Unlike other variants, international keycap sets are supported with this layout.

Non-standard keycaps required
2x row 4 - 1.5u
1x row 3 - 1.75u (extra)

The required caps can be found in GMK group buys or other premium keycap sets.

Here it is shown with the standard bottom row. An alternative asymmetrical bottom row is also supported, with additional thumb keys.

v2 Symmetrical layout example

This layout is also 100% row-profile correct. Key positions have been relocated for the symmetric aesthetic. The optional 2u backspace key is shown here, alongside a split, symmetric space bar arrangement. The alternative bottom row with a 7u space bar is shown, this allows support for HHKB style cases with 1.5u blockers.

Katana60 v1 'Classic'

The default layout of the original Katana60 has its benefits. Although it didn't support any 100% correct row profile layouts, it could be covered using a stand ANSI keycap set and nothing more.

Support for the v1 layout can be built in to the v2 PCB, but there are some caveats to this approach, so I'd like to guage interest in the Classic layout before devoting time to adding it to the v2. Firstly, and importantly, implementation of the Classic bottom row would require us to drop support for the 6.25u bottom row option (since the stabilisers will overlap). Another caveat is the offset of the alphas between the two layouts. Implementing this is possible, but it adds complexity (and therefore time) to the process.

I have prepared an interest check form to measure the interest in the options before developing the PCB. Here's a link, please fill it out and leave any comments or suggestions in the thread below.

Thank you for your interest and your time.


Offline AbstraktDesignLab

  • Posts: 12
  • Location: Southern West Virginia
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 30 April 2019, 15:43:55 »
I would definitely be interested in this! I love messing with these new and unique layouts. Any plans for Alps support?

Online _ODIN_

  • Posts: 565
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 30 April 2019, 15:53:33 »
I like the 7u spacebar option.

Gesendet von meinem H8416 mit Tapatalk

Offline Zilleon

  • Posts: 55
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 30 April 2019, 15:58:19 »
I'm definitely interested!

I would love to see the option of using 2u instead of the 'split tab'.

Also, have you considered making the plate files available? That way we could get plates for top mount cases from laserboost or whatever

Offline Xynerorias

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Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 30 April 2019, 16:14:27 »
Man do I like the V2 symmetrical!
Also, hotswap?

Offline juliandoucette

  • Posts: 10
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 30 April 2019, 17:31:37 »
Looks interesting to me.

Offline tex_live_utility

  • Posts: 490
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 30 April 2019, 20:20:59 »
The slightly wider layout is great, nice to be able to use standard 1.75u Caps Lock and Control keys.

However I'm not sold on the bottom row. Some adaptation of the V1 bottom row options would be ideal for me.

I also don't love the big wide keys in the middle. I like the gap with the logo in V1; maybe V2 could have indicator lights? Or... a rotary encoder  :p

Offline TheAutoManCan

  • Posts: 26
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 30 April 2019, 20:47:44 »
Personally I prefer the layout of the v1 better. The stagger on the v1 is consistent from the alphas to the number row where the v2 top rows just decide to go ortho for some reason.

I really like the 7u spacebar option. Usually I hate 7u spacebar layouts because they aren't centered to where you hold your hands but it would make sense with a layout like this.

I definitely don't like the other 1.25u/1.5u bottom row layouts. I think cleaning up the split spacebar layout from the v1 would be better. Would look less cluttered.

Offline clickityClackity

  • Posts: 141
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 30 April 2019, 22:03:01 »
Here are my thoughts as a huge fan of the Katana. I finally got around to using my Katana-60 regularly - it's been my daily driver for about three months now. There are a couple things about the V2 that I really like when compared to the V1:

* Center buttons on bottom two rows: As much as I liked the concept of the center buttons on the bottom two rows, in practical terms I never use them. They're in kind of an awkward spot and it's surprisingly hard to find them when not looking at the keyboard. V2 addresses this.
* Non-symeyrical bottom row: it bugs me how beautifully symmetrical everything was in V1.... Except for that bottom row. V2 addresses that.
* Number row: while I love the the look of the original, the numbers are in such an odd place on the left side that I totally had to retrain myself on where they are. On top of that, I wanted them placed asymmetrically on both halves, so now it's weird on both sides. I still struggle with finding the right numbers from time to time and have to look down (which I trained myself not to do on all my keyboards).

At the moment, there's really only one thing I don't like:

* Top row: it totally rakes away from the symmetrical staggered look! Maybe it will look great put together, but it's one of the things I love about the Katana and this detracts from that big time.

As far as functionality, V2 takes the cake. It's addressed several issues I've come across and has some cool additions (namely the center buttons on the bottom two rows). Normally I'm all about functionality, but I'm a sucker for symmetry and V2 seems to detract from that so I'm kind of torn... I love the changes, and I hate the changes. Considering how much I'm using this keyboard though, I'll probably end up getting a V2 though.

Quick side note: if you're considering getting one of these and haven't used one before, be warned! It's awesome, but it will **** you up when you have to go back to a standard layout!!!

Offline calbatr0ss

  • Posts: 1
  • Location: USA
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 01 May 2019, 07:09:49 »
Personally I I love the idea of the Katana V1 layout, but with a symmetrical split bottom row. It's visually the most appealing I don't know how easy it would be to adapt to the proposed 1u tab on the V2... (I know it could be remapped)

Also, I know I've said it before but it would be really awesome if the V2 PCB had a USB-C connector!

Great work as always, and thanks!

Offline GigaFlop

  • Posts: 61
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 01 May 2019, 20:16:16 »
I was looking at the original version a few weeks ago, excited to see it in an IC so soon after. Plain 60%s don't really do it for me anymore.
Looking forward to Sanctuary Rebirth, GMK Wavez, and the next paycheck.

Offline voight-kampff

  • Posts: 135
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 02 May 2019, 09:04:24 »
I am in for a few pcb-s
Chiwi60 round 2

Rama M60-A / Hako True

Offline Kokaloo

  • Posts: 46
  • Location: Las Vegas
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Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 12 May 2019, 22:43:49 »
Yes pleeaassee! :D

Offline nuclear_wizard

  • Posts: 57
  • Location: Eastern Idaho
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 14 May 2019, 10:53:23 »
Love the layout (been using my V1 for a while now), but for the love of everything holy, please offer alternative vendors to Candykeys.

Offline funderburker

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Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 14 May 2019, 13:29:45 »
I've been waiting for a Katana with a regular bottom row and this looks almost perfect. I've not used V1 as it was out of stock for while when was planning a build but not that V2 is on the horizon, I'm definitely in! :)

That top row and CapsLock/Tab keys are a bit weird but I get why that's been done. A 1u Tab key could be a bit uncomfortable but well, this isn't your typical layout anyway so  :thumb:

Keycap profile compatibility is something I value highly so I'm voting for a 7u bottom row V2 option but a V1 with 7u bottom row is pretty much the most symmetrical 60% board you can get without going full ortho. :D
LAGOM 🐸-T | 2x TMO50 FE (some day)

Offline radam

  • Posts: 1
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 16 May 2019, 17:41:03 »
I'm really interested in the v1 layout. It feels a lot like an ergo 40%+ and that interests me more than trying to fit all the keys in the right places. Losing split space and staggered number row would also make me real sad. (Hi, I'm new).

Offline CandyKeys

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Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 17 May 2019, 07:02:30 »
Hey all!
Great to see the feedback rolling in now.

We would like to inform you that the KATANA will also be available from your local region dealer for MK stuff. For USA it is unconfirmed but for Asia it should possibly be Zfrontier, they will have these things in stock and will not be a GB when complete.

This will prevent any issues with exports, long shipping times, issues with the long journey they take that the V1 was suffering from.
The CandyKeys Mechanical Keyboard Store


Offline wjiang0

  • Posts: 17
Re: Katana60 PCB v2 Interest Check [IC]
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 17 May 2019, 23:16:31 »
Would love to be able to submit multiple options in the form, but that aside I'm super interested, but would love to at least keep the delete key from the v1.