Author Topic: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.  (Read 1166 times)

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Offline ideus

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Dear fellow keyboard enthusiasts:


This is a thread to ask for your help on your expert input regarding a small and simple personal project. I know that it may not interest most as the layout is so unique; however, I would like to ask for your help on some of its common features, so I am hoping that some of you may take time to read, think and advice me.
It is my first attempt for a hand wired Keeb and I would like to make it as successful as a first try would be.

The Franken-Swedish idiosyncrasy.


The main idea behind using a Swedish layout is that it provides alt graph legends for most of the symbols required to write in English, French an Spanish in a more compact form than using US-International, that I used for a long time before. But when I became aware of the SW layout it was love at first sight. I know that it only saves three keys, the grave accented SW vowels that I do not use. Even though, there are some people promoting what they called FIN and SW International layouts for everyone, I am sure none would be interested in it. It is only that now I am using it for my 50, 60 and now I will be using it also in this upcoming FSW.

One column saved and left hand navigation keys.

A lateral benefit is that in this layout I can save one full column of alphas. The space saved will allow adding the left navigation keys with only one extra column compared with a sixty. The navigation mini block will have arrows and four navigation keys at the same standard position as any TKL and full size keyboard. This feature will allow the FSW to take any standard set. Actually, the only special modifier keys will be the 1.5 R3 backspace and 1u R1 delete. The last is available in OG AT sets and in most modern GMK sets. The short backspace is available in most modern sets as it is required for HHKB layouts.
I like other 65s but I always find annoying the strange arrangements of navigation keys in one column.

The project approach


I will use the postage board mini pcb with a simple wood or 3d printed case under the plate. I will make a plate with the Swill's tool and I will have it made by Lasergist.


The questions


I would like to have your input regarding the spacing around the key cap blocks, the use of Cherry vs Costar stabs, that the layout just need two, and if some led signal lights should be place somewhere. Also, the plate's edge padding is a big question.
Thank you very much for your contribution, as you are giving the most precious resource we have: Time.





LOG


20190905


I decided to document the evolution of the board. Each hand wired project is different so this may add a grain of salt to the already great repository of resources for this type of DIY's.



1. The first resource I used was the keyboard layout editor to design the key board (Most of you guys know about it, but maybe for the newcomer this reference is not that obvious).


2. The tool for making a 3D render fuels my interest as it looks really good. It takes the KLE design as input directly and makes a nice 3D render that allows to have a feel on the layout.


3. Swill's CAD tool for drawing a first rough version of the plate is also very useful. You can edit it later with any CAD software.


4. There are some small controller cards that may be suitable for keyboards. I decided to use the LifeIsOnTheWire's postage board mini. It is a second iteration of the design of a PCB developed for keyboards that I think add functionality that no other similar controller card has yet, for this particular application.

5. Here is the FSW's father.




6. I want to use a batch of box switches I got from MD. They are suppose to be retooled ones, but I do not want to risk any of my caps. Do you know which stem-rework-tool is the best priced? I got my answer and the cruciforme, for example, is around 40 dollars. I can get over 100 Bronze switches for that amount, so now I am either, considering to buy new switches, or double check the pale blue ones that I already have.


20190909


7. On the layout I have reconsidered the custom size and I may use a 60 footprint instead. With a sixty footprint the board may use any sixty case. Only question that I have is if the hand wiring requires more room at the bottom.



I think that the layout confined in a sixty footprint is not a bad compromise.


« Last Edit: Mon, 09 September 2019, 11:15:12 by ideus »

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 04 September 2019, 22:03:32 »
* Yes, only two stabilisers: 6.25u for the Space Bar and 2u for the Enter key (2.25 and 2.75 keys do use 2u stabilisers)
* If you use Costar-style stabilisers, switch orientation matters: The wire needs to be on the side of the LED cutout. It is easier to switch keycaps with Cherry-style.
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Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 04 September 2019, 22:35:04 »
* Yes, only two stabilisers: 6.25u for the Space Bar and 2u for the Enter key (2.25 and 2.75 keys do use 2u stabilisers)
* If you use Costar-style stabilisers, switch orientation matters: The wire needs to be on the side of the LED cutout. It is easier to switch keycaps with Cherry-style.
I have multiple pairs of Costar's. I have also many Cherry's but for PCB and not for Plate mounting. So I think I will go with Costar's.

What do you think about the spacing, around the board and between key cap blocks?

Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 04 September 2019, 23:03:16 »
very nice alternate take on the layout.

indicators.. you can place wherever you like.... you could get creative with fancy cutouts & plexi windows (so the led doesn't have to be that shape)
225741-0

edge padding... closest thing i have to your layout is a Magicforce 68 see my measurements below also attached as a PDF. (not saying these are exact as i did not pull apart the keyboard and the edges of the aluminum top are slightly beveled on the very edge) but this should give you an idea.... let me know if you want me to measure anything else.
225743-1
* Keyboard Layout Editor.pdf (456.57 kB - downloaded 4 times.)

cherry style screw in stabs seem to pretty popular with higher end customs, though i've only ever used clip in pcb mounts (but i don't change my keycaps every week). you can go less precise with the plate cutouts when using PCB mount stabilizers. you just need a rectangle to them to fit through.

keep us posted on your progress. cheers.
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 00:59:18 »
What do you think about the spacing, around the board and between key cap blocks?
I would try a mock-up of the arrow/nav keys and see if 1.25 space between them would be comfortable or if it is too much.
You could for example print it out in 1:1 scale on a piece of paper, and attach some spare keycaps on the key positions with double-sided clear tape. Then prop that up on a book and test if you could reach both the bottom-most and topmost keys without moving your hand.

If the top keys are hard to reach, then I think you should move the 2×2 nav cluster down 0.25u.
If keycaps were available, I would have recommended moving the 2×2 nav cluster down a step and the Esc key to above them, with only 0.25u space between nav and arrow keys.

Minimum border around the keys depend on how you build the case.
If you use standoffs in-between key switches then minimum border = 0.

I think even fractions of a key unit usually look the best: Maybe 0.5u around the keys, except for 0.25u in front of the arrow keys would be best for this layout.

You'd need to take the dimensions of the Postage Board Mini into account and especially its USB Type C port.
With thick case walls, you'd need to have a hole deep and wide enough for a plug to reach into the socket: and keep in mind that some USB cables have thicker sleeves around the socket than others.
If you 3D-print very thin walls, then you could make the socket flush with the outside.
« Last Edit: Thu, 05 September 2019, 01:11:33 by Findecanor »
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Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 07:40:16 »
very nice alternate take on the layout.

indicators.. you can place wherever you like.... you could get creative with fancy cutouts & plexi windows (so the led doesn't have to be that shape)
(Attachment Link)

edge padding... closest thing i have to your layout is a Magicforce 68 see my measurements below also attached as a PDF. (not saying these are exact as i did not pull apart the keyboard and the edges of the aluminum top are slightly beveled on the very edge) but this should give you an idea.... let me know if you want me to measure anything else.
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)

cherry style screw in stabs seem to pretty popular with higher end customs, though i've only ever used clip in pcb mounts (but i don't change my keycaps every week). you can go less precise with the plate cutouts when using PCB mount stabilizers. you just need a rectangle to them to fit through.

keep us posted on your progress. cheers.
Thank you very much for the feedback. Very nice ideas for indicators. I was surprised that the Magicforce is exactly the same but to the right. I really do not remember to have seen it before, but it is sort of a confirmation that the idea is not totally crazy.
Regarding the stabs, I should have plate mounted ones as my project is a hand wired one, so it will not have a full size PCB, but a stamp size one with the controller only.

Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 07:44:23 »
What do you think about the spacing, around the board and between key cap blocks?
I would try a mock-up of the arrow/nav keys and see if 1.25 space between them would be comfortable or if it is too much.
You could for example print it out in 1:1 scale on a piece of paper, and attach some spare keycaps on the key positions with double-sided clear tape. Then prop that up on a book and test if you could reach both the bottom-most and topmost keys without moving your hand.

If the top keys are hard to reach, then I think you should move the 2×2 nav cluster down 0.25u.
If keycaps were available, I would have recommended moving the 2×2 nav cluster down a step and the Esc key to above them, with only 0.25u space between nav and arrow keys.

Minimum border around the keys depend on how you build the case.
If you use standoffs in-between key switches then minimum border = 0.

I think even fractions of a key unit usually look the best: Maybe 0.5u around the keys, except for 0.25u in front of the arrow keys would be best for this layout.

You'd need to take the dimensions of the Postage Board Mini into account and especially its USB Type C port.
With thick case walls, you'd need to have a hole deep and wide enough for a plug to reach into the socket: and keep in mind that some USB cables have thicker sleeves around the socket than others.
If you 3D-print very thin walls, then you could make the socket flush with the outside.
The mock-up idea is awesome. It is on the classic engineering approaches. I will do it. I can test even two or three layouts in that way. The C port and actual size of the PBM concerns me. I might wait for the board to arrive before actually ordering the plate, as it will be the main and most expensive part of my small project.

Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 08:04:07 »
...

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 09:28:59 »
Spacing between blocks is going to be personal preference, paper mock-ups are a good idea.

Assuming the plate is going to sit inside the case I think it would look better if all the edges were as thin as the bit below the arrows - there's no point saving a column then wasting space with excess padding.

LEDs?  Depends what you're planning to do with the board.  If you use caps lock you probably want one for that, same if you're planning on using scroll lock (someone must :))) or locking layers.  If you don't have a separate numberpad with an LED and need to use numberpad keycodes you'll want a num lock LED...  If you land up wanting two LEDs I'd be tempted to put one below each shift key, if three or four I'd probably use dim 5mm LEDs and put them in a row across the middle (vertically) of the gap above the arrows.  Nevin's slopey ones on the edge look good if you do go for a thicker border though...
« Last Edit: Thu, 05 September 2019, 09:34:31 by suicidal_orange »
                               
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Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 10:37:37 »
Spacing between blocks is going to be personal preference, paper mock-ups are a good idea.

Assuming the plate is going to sit inside the case I think it would look better if all the edges were as thin as the bit below the arrows - there's no point saving a column then wasting space with excess padding.

LEDs?  Depends what you're planning to do with the board.  If you use caps lock you probably want one for that, same if you're planning on using scroll lock (someone must :)) ) or locking layers.  If you don't have a separate numberpad with an LED and need to use numberpad keycodes you'll want a num lock LED...  If you land up wanting two LEDs I'd be tempted to put one below each shift key, if three or four I'd probably use dim 5mm LEDs and put them in a row across the middle (vertically) of the gap above the arrows.  Nevin's slopey ones on the edge look good if you do go for a thicker border though...
A compromise between block spacing and having well separated the inverted T island should be made. I really do not like wide spacing; but, in this case it makes sense to give the arrows enough area around. I like your ideas for LEDs. I might consider 3: One for caps lock, one for numeric scan codes and one for FN lock. I ain't really sure where to place them though. Do you know where I can get the spec for 5mm rectangular LED's window?

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 10:59:14 »
Rectangular LEDs come in 5x2 and 5x2.5mm, I'm no designer but I'd make the hole exact size and hope they pressure fit rather than trying to make a window.
                               
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Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 11:02:34 »
mouser or digikey? they have complete specs sheets on most components. find an led you like & check out specs (usually a downloadable pdf)

here are some styles i found quick that would work well with simple mounting behind the plate, only need holes in plate to let lens peek through.
225754-0
225756-1
manufacturer's pages (looks like wholesale only, just search for brand/item number at one of the other distributors, if you see a style you like)
https://www.ledlight-components.com/sale-11645768-1-8mm-round-indicator-led-led-components-blue-diffused-flange-for-status-indicators.html
https://www.ledlight-components.com/sale-10312409-3mm-led-holders-rgb-dip-indicator-led-diode-fixed-in-plastic-holder-housing-led-lamp-for-led-dash-in.html

and a rectangular as well
225758-2
https://www.ledlight-components.com/sale-10376070-3-2-2-0mm-square-rectangular-indicator-light-blue-led-emitting-diode-blue-diffused-short-pin-dip-lam.html
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Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 12:31:52 »
Rectangular LEDs come in 5x2 and 5x2.5mm, I'm no designer but I'd make the hole exact size and hope they pressure fit rather than trying to make a window.
I think a lasered window can be later adjusted with a file to allow the LED to get in.

Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 12:32:18 »
mouser or digikey? they have complete specs sheets on most components. find an led you like & check out specs (usually a downloadable pdf)

here are some styles i found quick that would work well with simple mounting behind the plate, only need holes in plate to let lens peek through.
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)
manufacturer's pages (looks like wholesale only, just search for brand/item number at one of the other distributors, if you see a style you like)
https://www.ledlight-components.com/sale-11645768-1-8mm-round-indicator-led-led-components-blue-diffused-flange-for-status-indicators.html
https://www.ledlight-components.com/sale-10312409-3mm-led-holders-rgb-dip-indicator-led-diode-fixed-in-plastic-holder-housing-led-lamp-for-led-dash-in.html

and a rectangular as well
(Attachment Link)
https://www.ledlight-components.com/sale-10376070-3-2-2-0mm-square-rectangular-indicator-light-blue-led-emitting-diode-blue-diffused-short-pin-dip-lam.html
Thank you for the references. I have a lot of work to do.

Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 13:14:48 »
obviously using the position in switch would be the simplest & easiest and least annoying/bright. but if you plan on backlighting the keys, then a separate led bank would probably be better. even without shine through caps or windows on caps you'd be able to see the light under the cap. and they don't necessarily have to be the switch they pertain to (unless you have o.c.d.)

here's an thought/example...
225760-0
225762-1
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Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 05 September 2019, 21:36:57 »
obviously using the position in switch would be the simplest & easiest and least annoying/bright. but if you plan on backlighting the keys, then a separate led bank would probably be better. even without shine through caps or windows on caps you'd be able to see the light under the cap. and they don't necessarily have to be the switch they pertain to (unless you have o.c.d.)

here's an thought/example...
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)
Wow. Those are awesome ideas. I love them. I really do not like back lighting per-se. I would always prefer functional lights, so these ideas fit me better. I might have some windowed caps at the control/caps lock position, but the under cap idea in the second image looks so cool that I should try it. Not sure if the stamp PCB support it, though.

Offline Symbiote

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 05:13:51 »
So I was just idly browsing, and saw the discussion about the navigation keys. What about this:



At least from a quick test with the numpad keys 2-3-5-6, it's not uncomfortable like a three-row diamond (E-S-D-X). It's about 2.75U wide, so the keyboard becomes 0.75U wider, but you can fit Super and Fn keys on both sides, which is better ergonomics.

http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/gists/c85d64a3540a089fbd5a460a0e72bd21

Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 07:09:25 »
Quote
Not sure if the stamp PCB support it, though.

I posed the question on the postage board thread, we'll see if LifeIsOnTheWire responds.

Although, as long as you have enough pins left over (1 pin per led, so 3 pins needed for indicator led control) it's totally supported in QMK so shouldn't be an issue. Basically, the led's are controlled by the logic on the controller and are wired separately from the switch matrix, so you need one pin on the controller for each indicator led.

See BlindAssassin111's note on this post about the code. (note the port assignments, doesn't have to be the same ports, just where the ports are notated in the code that's important).
As well as the QMK LED Control section in the documentation
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Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 07:21:11 »
So I was just idly browsing, and saw the discussion about the navigation keys. What about this:

(Attachment Link)

At least from a quick test with the numpad keys 2-3-5-6, it's not uncomfortable like a three-row diamond (E-S-D-X). It's about 2.75U wide, so the keyboard becomes 0.75U wider, but you can fit Super and Fn keys on both sides, which is better ergonomics.

http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/gists/c85d64a3540a089fbd5a460a0e72bd21

That's an innovative idea. Not sure if I'd be bold enough to try it, though. I'll give it some thought and see if it may fit my typing habits. I do not like the idea to make the board wider, thus, the ergonomics should compensate for the change in the aesthetics.

Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 07:24:21 »
Quote
Not sure if the stamp PCB support it, though.

I posed the question on the postage board thread, we'll see if LifeIsOnTheWire responds.

Although, as long as you have enough pins left over (1 pin per led, so 3 pins needed for indicator led control) it's totally supported in QMK so shouldn't be an issue. Basically, the led's are controlled by the logic on the controller and are wired separately from the switch matrix, so you need one pin on the controller for each indicator led.

See BlindAssassin111's note on this post about the code. (note the port assignments, doesn't have to be the same ports, just where the ports are notated in the code that's important).
As well as the QMK LED Control section in the documentation

It is good to know that QMK support the handling of LEDs independently from switches. That's and advantage of direct wiring instead of being limited by a PCB design. I'll be waiting for LifeIsOnTheWire's feedback.

Offline ideus

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Re: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW. A give away in the works.
« Reply #20 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 07:56:14 »
I am considering to give away some stuff that I will have no use for after I made a couple of copies of the FSW. I want to show my appreciation for those of you that have taken the time to provide me with ideas and insights on this project and that have posted interesting ideas here. I am not sure how to set it, so your ideas will be very welcome. I know already that due to high shipping costs from here to anywhere I have to put the stuff together in sets with enough value to justify paying for shipping, so I might end with only one or two kits. I just hope that the stuff is interesting enough for you guys. KEEP IN THE LOOP. I'll be posting here the stuff that may be included in the give away.


Please advice me if the give away could be run in this same thread or if I have to do it in my classifieds thread or somewhere else.
« Last Edit: Fri, 06 September 2019, 08:00:31 by ideus »

Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #21 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 08:39:37 »
@Symbiote - the diamond nav is neat. don't know that i'd use it with anything other then uniform profile keycaps though.
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Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #22 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 09:32:16 »
If you post about a giveaway anywhere else people who didn't look in this thread to at least try and help will know about it, you're just setting yourself up for more work filtering people.

As to LEDs it's right there in the description:
Quote
25 IO pins available for your rows and columns, or other IO functions such as LEDs.

If you do the simplest switch matrix with lots of gaps you'd only use 16 pins for columns and 5 for rows, leaving 4 pins for LEDs :thumb:
                               
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Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #23 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 09:40:47 »
sorry, i obviously missed that.
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Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 15:32:05 »
@Symbiote - the diamond nav is neat. don't know that i'd use it with anything other then uniform profile keycaps though.
Right. I'm considering Cherry profile that makes a rotated cap a bit weird to type on.

Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 06 September 2019, 15:34:23 »
If you post about a giveaway anywhere else people who didn't look in this thread to at least try and help will know about it, you're just setting yourself up for more work filtering people.

As to LEDs it's right there in the description:
Quote
25 IO pins available for your rows and columns, or other IO functions such as LEDs.

If you do the simplest switch matrix with lots of gaps you'd only use 16 pins for columns and 5 for rows, leaving 4 pins for LEDs :thumb:
I'll keep the GA thing here. Good news on the functionality of the stamp PCB.

Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 08 September 2019, 16:55:17 »
On switches for the project.

I am considering to use Kailh Bronze Switches for the project. I would like to get your input on those SW. In particular, if you happen to have some experience with them in real life. I am inclined to believe that switch testers do not convey the full experience of a switch.

I am aware of Kailh's fiasco with the box switches. I  have a set of Box pale blues sitting on a bookshelf that I do not want to use, because I do not want to risk any key cap with them. Even though they are from a lot that MassDrop sold as retooled after the crisis of broken cap's stems. This pack would be part of the upcoming give away.

What I have learned about Bronzes is that these switches have a new click mechanism with a similar bar that some of the Box SW premiered. If you see the stem image it has a protrution at the opposite side of the switch actuator that interfere with the bar to produce a bump and a click. The other side, the switch side, is actually linear. Its shape is similar to a Cherry MX red. As engineer I found this new way to produce a linear with a click very interesting.

What do you guys think?

By the way, the image of the switch's inner belong to a nice video I encourage you to watch, if you are interested in these new Kailh's speed switches.

Bronze switch's stem.


Internals of the Bronze switch.



Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 08 September 2019, 20:18:38 »
sorry, i have no experience with them.

as i started reading your post i was going to suggest looking up what thomas said about them..... and then you linked to his video....  priceless.

personally, i prefer tactile over clicky, but the newer click bar switches do seem interesting.
oh, and cherry profile is definitely my favorite profile. preferably in a nice thick blank pbt. My favorite set is from NPKC i got about 4 years ago.
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Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 08 September 2019, 21:00:57 »
sorry, i have no experience with them.

as i started reading your post i was going to suggest looking up what thomas said about them..... and then you linked to his video....  priceless.

personally, i prefer tactile over clicky, but the newer click bar switches do seem interesting.
oh, and cherry profile is definitely my favorite profile. preferably in a nice thick blank pbt. My favorite set is from NPKC i got about 4 years ago.


Very few should have experience with them yet. I agree that the overall feeling and sound of a keyboard are multi-factorial outcomes. Case design, material and key caps play a role that may be of more impact than switches. I really want to try the click bar that was the main reason to get the pale blue box SW in the first place. But, after the quality issue with box's stems the only viable option is the Bronze. I think that I can even play a bit with different spring modules to find the best match for my taste. I tend to rest fingers on the home row a bit too heavy, so I think that the light module of Bronze might be an issue, but it can be fixed with stronger springs. I prefer OG Cherry and GMK keycaps myself.

Regarding the board design I am having second thoughts. Should I use a sixty footprint to be able to use commercial cases? I think I will try to put together an alternate layout in sixty footprint, just in case.

This is an example of a layout that fits any standard sixty case:


« Last Edit: Sun, 08 September 2019, 22:17:37 by ideus »

Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 08 September 2019, 22:44:39 »
caps... i like the feel of the more textured PBT over ABS, though i'm sure OG/GMK might sound slightly better.

board... keep your current design and go with a sandwich style case. or go with 60% footprint for currently available cases.

side note: with cases... if you do end up going 60%, i think it would be neat to use your layout to make a plate that would fit into a gasket mounted case. i've seen a couple gasket mounted builds and i really like the idea behind it and they sound a bit different too because there is no metal to metal contact between the plate/pcb and the case. Although, i have a old KBT Pure with the nice heavy cast aluminum? case and is PCB only (no plate) which sounds just as good (changed PCB, caps & removed LEDs)

took the liberty to try (do with as you wish)
kinda' swedish short shifts for lefties... (arrows on left, guessing you're going for the lefty thing from your layout)
226070-0
http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/gists/fadc453ba9403edeb5465a314bb89271
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 08 September 2019, 22:46:18 »
heh, see you did one too... i started the post, played with layout editor, came back & was like .... was that there before?... #sneakyedit
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Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #31 on: Sun, 08 September 2019, 22:53:51 »
@nevin: That is very interesting man, thank you again for your feedback. I really like the Vortex die casting case. I just got one a year ago and I think is the best ever sixty case drop in style. I am planning to use it for this project. Hoping to get a second one to have one at work and one at home. Do you know by chance where I can get one? I am always digging the classifieds but they do not come up frequently.

Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #32 on: Sun, 08 September 2019, 23:38:05 »
case... i don't know. i got mine when they came out years ago. i got mine from mechanicalkeyboards. they have a page for them but it's out of stock.

looks like at least one of the pok3r's had the metal case as well. (same side profile, a.k.a. not flat)
ok. not exactly the same, doesn't have the support ridges that were in the pure case (see here)
looks like Pexon was carrying them as well. unbranded (probably factory leftovers after the 1st run of the pure), so search for that name in classifieds too. https://pexonpcs.co.uk/

kdbfans has a couple angled aluminum tray ones.

i started looking for another one before i built my current keyboard, but then i started down the split/ergo rabbit hole.... and now i use a keeb.io viterbi (which i think is the easiest transition from 60% to split as you get a "normal" top row. (14 keys, esc -> bksp) next, i'm on the hunt for a dactyl/manuform with 7 columns...
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Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #33 on: Sun, 08 September 2019, 23:54:59 »
oh, and on the box stems... if i remember correctly, i believe only the 1st run had that issue. it was leftover specs from one of the OEMs that had loose fitting caps. (from one of Thomas's reviews)

...
found Thomas's info in the one review
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Offline ideus

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 09 September 2019, 07:51:24 »
oh, and on the box stems... if i remember correctly, i believe only the 1st run had that issue. it was leftover specs from one of the OEMs that had loose fitting caps. (from one of Thomas's reviews)

...
found Thomas's info in the one review

I will inspect my pale blues today. I will try to check the projection at the top of the stems to see if they are of the lower fixed type. I can also select a sample of 63 to put some caps on and see what happen.

Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 09 September 2019, 11:07:52 »
if you need any disposable caps i have 2 sets that aren't going to see the light of day again. i can check to see how they fit on cherry mx or gateron for reference before i send then (if you need them). let me know. not worth "testing" on a good set.
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 09 September 2019, 11:50:44 »
if you need any disposable caps i have 2 sets that aren't going to see the light of day again. i can check to see how they fit on cherry mx or gateron for reference before i send then (if you need them). let me know. not worth "testing" on a good set.
I really appreciate your offer. But I have some spare sets and a few damaged OG Cherry caps that may be sacrificed for the greater good. It was a nice offer though.

Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #37 on: Mon, 09 September 2019, 11:56:01 »
ok. no problem. damaged OG would be a good test
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Offline Applet

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #38 on: Tue, 10 September 2019, 10:23:46 »
I like the solution with arrows on the 60%. But, I would use 2x 1.5u on the left side, on the bottom row, then the space on each side is the same.

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #39 on: Tue, 10 September 2019, 10:45:51 »
I like the solution with arrows on the 60%. But, I would use 2x 1.5u on the left side, on the bottom row, then the space on each side is the same.
Not a bad idea. The lack of symmetry annoys me a bit.  :(

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #40 on: Tue, 10 September 2019, 12:28:17 »
Per Applet's advice: I think it would be very easy to use with those 1.5u mods. It does look nice also.






Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #41 on: Tue, 10 September 2019, 13:44:06 »
nice
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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #42 on: Tue, 10 September 2019, 18:13:46 »
A first rough mockup with key caps. I have beige mods enough to populate one more board, as well.





Offline nevin

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #43 on: Tue, 10 September 2019, 20:53:39 »
nice. what are the ones with the red legends from?
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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #44 on: Tue, 10 September 2019, 20:55:08 »
nice. what are the ones with the red legends from?

The camera's white balance was a bit off. It is not red but orange and it is the Carbon Icon Kit.

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Re: Your expert opinion wanted: A compact custom the franken-swedish FSW.
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 11 September 2019, 16:29:55 »
On Pale Blue Switches I can report that no key cap's stem is broken after testing with the switches for some days; but only four WASD key caps. For those of you not familiar with WASD they sell very thin ABS key caps (Maybe the key caps of the lowest quality I have ever seen). The four show fissures in one side after been installed on Pale Blues. While it may be safe to use them with high quality key caps, I don't feel comfortable building a board that may damage a key cap set. So, I have decided to get new switches. They would be either Kailh Bronze, or Purple. Let me know your thoughts. I have been using tactile SW (Ergo-Clears and Zealios 1st gen) for many years now; but, based on reviews, I am inclined to give these two Kailh models a try.
« Last Edit: Wed, 11 September 2019, 16:31:45 by ideus »