Author Topic: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more  (Read 4439 times)

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Offline Applet

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Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« on: Sat, 23 November 2019, 01:41:24 »
Intro:
I made some PCB's that I thought I'd share. This project originated as making a SMK and a Alps PCB with split space support and Cherry PCB mount stabilizers as I recently fell in love with split space, and then it grew a bit out of hand. :D I wanted to try and squeeze in a big support for different layouts, while being able to give the same layout support for both the Alps PCB and the SMK PCB, mostly as a fun challenge for myself. I have always liked the versatility of 60% and how some do some creative/funky layouts. I know some do not like the "swiss cheese"-PCB's. See this as an alternative, for a cleaner PCB with less layout support, there are other great PCB's like the Plain60 Alps Edition and Alps64. This is more like a DZ60 but for Alps and SMK switches.

Status of the project:
Pretty much done. I need to tidy up my QMK config a bit before I push it to the main repo. I have built a SMK keyboard using it and it's my daily driver, I will make a Alps keyboard pretty soon to test everything out on that PCB as well. Since there is a lot of layout support, I need to verify that, some I still have left to double check on both PCB's. I will add gerbers and BOM to github so anyone can order PCB's without having access to Altium.

Possible issues:
I only have a tofu case and a 5-degree case, and usb placement and mounting positions look really good in those cases. I have not tested it in a case with really tight tolerances. That would be good to do. If anyone have a good suggestion of a case with tight tolerances and have one at hand, I'd love to get someone to test the fit.

Specs:
  • QMK-support
  • ATmega32U2 (both QFN and QFP)
  • ESD-protection
  • Polyfuse
  • USB-C
  • Standard tray-mount
  • Underglow using 12qt WS2812B
Layout support:
230604-0

Renders of PCB:
233992-1
233990-2

Github-repo:
Steezy60: https://github.com/4pplet/Steezy60

Files are available on my Github if someone wants to use them, but please realize I take no responsibility. Designed in Altium 17.

I also added the possibility to put a Cherry MX switch on 7u space and 6.25u space positions on the SMK PCB. This to be able to put a silenced MX switch there (i dislike loud spacebars).
« Last Edit: Mon, 03 February 2020, 08:15:43 by Applet »

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Steezy60 - Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 23 November 2019, 03:40:17 »
That is a lot of layout options, really helpful putting the BOM on the silkscreen too - good work!

One question: why is D215 in the bottom corner, is that where split backspace is in the matrix?  Just preparing to help an enthusiastic newbie with poor soldering skills somewhere down the line :))
                               
Ducky Zero, MX Reds    JD40, Jailhouse Blues           GH60
Soarer controller

Offline Applet

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Re: Steezy60 - Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 23 November 2019, 03:56:21 »
That is a lot of layout options, really helpful putting the BOM on the silkscreen too - good work!

One question: why is D215 in the bottom corner, is that where split backspace is in the matrix?  Just preparing to help an enthusiastic newbie with poor soldering skills somewhere down the line :))
Thanks!  :D Yes, that is correct, D215 is for the split backspace, well spotted!

Split backspace switch is placed on the bottom row in the matrix, I have since updated the numbering on the diodes a bit (not reflecting switch position, only reflecting position in the 14x5 matrix). I updated the main post with current diode numbering on Alps-PCB. Same numbering will be on SMK PCB.

If anyone have tips for improvement, I gladly take feeback on the design
« Last Edit: Sat, 23 November 2019, 04:42:22 by Applet »

Offline 4sStylZ

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Re: Steezy60 - Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 25 November 2019, 03:23:17 »
Hi Applet. Curently there is no PCB for AEK2 ISO, I don’t know exactly why but this can be very cool to have this layout supported.
Bépo user here : AEK64 White linear dampened, XD75 Cherry Blue Jailhoused, TypeMatrix2030 black skin, Lenovo 0B47200 w/ trackpoint, G13, G512. Kensington Expert Trackball & Orbit, Magic touchpad 2.

Offline Applet

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Re: Steezy60 - Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 26 November 2019, 03:34:31 »
Hi Applet. Curently there is no PCB for AEK2 ISO, I don’t know exactly why but this can be very cool to have this layout supported.
The ISO AEK2 is very different, everything is shifted. I've been planning to check out the possibility for making a 60% AEK2 ISO PCB since I also noticed there are no boards, but that will most likely be a separate project.

Offline d.caminero

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 26 November 2019, 04:15:18 »
Very excited to see a project like this! I've been looking and hoping for a split spacebar pcb for ALPS for a long time.
Are you interested in running a GB? I'd take at least 2 pcb's since I have a few projects ongoing, but could use your gerber files if you don't want to run a GB.

Offline Applet

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 26 November 2019, 04:23:18 »
Very excited to see a project like this! I've been looking and hoping for a split spacebar pcb for ALPS for a long time.
Are you interested in running a GB? I'd take at least 2 pcb's since I have a few projects ongoing, but could use your gerber files if you don't want to run a GB.
Glad you like it  :D Gerbers and BOM will be up this weekend, there is a working QMK-port for it in my github, but it is a bit rough (just raw matrix, switches not in order like on the PCB). I'd be willing to run a GB in the beginning of next year if there is interest, at the moment I do not have the time for it unfortunately.

Before GB, I'd like to have had the time to try all the switch positions so all the layout options works as intended (with some exclusions where I do not have keycaps for it, like bae and BAE).
« Last Edit: Tue, 26 November 2019, 04:41:07 by Applet »

Offline d.caminero

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 27 November 2019, 02:42:08 »
Glad you like it  :D Gerbers and BOM will be up this weekend, there is a working QMK-port for it in my github, but it is a bit rough (just raw matrix, switches not in order like on the PCB). I'd be willing to run a GB in the beginning of next year if there is interest, at the moment I do not have the time for it unfortunately.

Before GB, I'd like to have had the time to try all the switch positions so all the layout options works as intended (with some exclusions where I do not have keycaps for it, like bae and BAE).

Fair enough! I think I could help you trying a BAE layout, although I should check if it's the "typical" BAE layout.
Anyway, I'm very interested in this :) Should you not make a GB I'd order some pcb's for myself :D

Offline Applet

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Re: Steezy60 - Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 27 November 2019, 05:41:34 »
Hi Applet. Curently there is no PCB for AEK2 ISO, I don’t know exactly why but this can be very cool to have this layout supported.
I looked a bit closer to the AEK 60% ISO, and I'll make a PCB for it soon, the problem is the tray mount mounting positions, you won't be able to use all the mounting positions in a standard tray mount case. I'll make a PCB tho, since it hopefully should work ok in a tray mount, and it is not an issue if using other mounts (for example this will need a custom plate for a top mount case, like TX60). I'll make a separate thread for that when I have something to show and discuss. The ISO AEK-keycaps are great, so it would be fun if people are able to use them without having to handwire.

Fair enough! I think I could help you trying a BAE layout, although I should check if it's the "typical" BAE layout.
Anyway, I'm very interested in this :) Should you not make a GB I'd order some pcb's for myself :D
Sounds good!
« Last Edit: Wed, 27 November 2019, 05:45:50 by Applet »

Offline Applet

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 30 November 2019, 13:19:55 »
I put up the gerbers and BOM etc today, let me know if you have questions or such

Current releases:
SMK: https://github.com/4pplet/Steezy60-SMK/releases/tag/B3
ALPS: https://github.com/4pplet/Steezy60-ALPS/releases/tag/A3

Cheers!
« Last Edit: Sat, 21 December 2019, 05:49:35 by Applet »

Offline Hapi

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 13 January 2020, 06:41:01 »
Hello, what progress is there? :) could you please add jst sh foot print to both boards?


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Offline Applet

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 13 January 2020, 07:49:29 »
Status currently: I'm using the PCB in a SMK-orange build that I use semi-daily. Will be building a Alps-board when I get the time for it, but it will be a few months away. Still need to push my QMK-port to the main repo, that code is currently still only in my repo.

I'll look into the connector. If we find the type of connector and pinout, we can add it  ;D

Offline Hapi

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 13 January 2020, 08:39:59 »
if PCBWAY could make boards, including assembly, I would help with testing. I need 5 boards each. I will ask the rama support what connector they are using.

This is screen from Taeha's Rama Thermal proto build stream
233571-0

the connector position is the same as wt60-a (keycult) and M60-A-PCB (Rama)



KBDfans DZ60RGB
233577-3

Did it help you?



Offline Applet

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 14 January 2020, 04:10:04 »
if PCBWAY could make boards, including assembly, I would help with testing. I need 5 boards each. I will ask the rama support what connector they are using.

This is screen from Taeha's Rama Thermal proto build stream
(Attachment Link)

the connector position is the same as wt60-a (keycult) and M60-A-PCB (Rama)
(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)

KBDfans DZ60RGB
(Attachment Link)

Did it help you?
It does help, but I still need pinout and which connector it is. You could solder the cables to the current breakout, but it would be much nicer with the connector (then it is non destructive). Do anyone else know what connector it is?

You do know that you need a custom plate for building a ALPS Rama Thermal, right? A blue ALPS Rama Thermal sounds like a really nice build, what keycaps and layout are you planning to use? ;D

PCBWay should be able to do it but I have not done it there, we would have to check. I have been making the prototypes from JLCPCB and they have no issues. Since there is no USB-connector needed for the Rama Thermal, JLCPCB should be able to do all the assembly also. All components needed is available in their assembly service.


Offline Hapi

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 14 January 2020, 12:08:17 »
1. i waiting for reply from Wilba

2. I need both versions. I need find best solution for my daily keyboard. I have three types of switches. SKCM blue alps, SMK 2nd and i-rocks blue. So i build three test keyboards.
- SMK supports MX keycaps and i have 1000+ pcs for replacements.  AND i don't have to have a custom plate.
- ALPS is extremely rare for daily use. I programming 12-16 hours a day
- i-rocks is blue alps clone witch MX stem... But I haven't tested it yet. That would be a very unique solution.

Keycaps for alps are a problem. I have AEKII keycaps but black keyboard. And Yuri DCS kit from mass drop.

I just build thee pok3r compatible keyboards and the winner gets thermal.

This PCB is pretty universal.I buy a lot of them: D

Offline Hapi

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 14 January 2020, 13:27:06 »
Its JST SH. I found datasheet. I think this is SHR-04V-S. I don't think there are more options.
https://www.jst-belgium.be/downloads/series/eSH(19-04-02).pdf

Offline Hapi

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 14 January 2020, 17:40:20 »
wilba sent me this:
https://github.com/ai03-2725/Unified-Daughterboard

Quote
@Hapi same pinout as this
i.e. the cable is 1:1, pin 1->pin 1
JST on PCB is same pinout as JST on daughterboard

Offline Applet

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 15 January 2020, 03:03:29 »
Fantastic! This gives me all I need. I'll add the connector this weekend. :D

I've been thinking about building a i-rocks keyboard myself, they are intriguing but I do not have very high expectations. However, they need MX-style center hole in the PCB (you'll also need a custom plate). I'll look into how it affects the Alps PCB, if there is no issues, I can add it. I left it out because of PCB rigidity and ascetics, and that is kind of a moot point in a "Swiss cheese PCB".

Regarding keycaps, if we are lucky, maybe Matias will release his PBT Alps keycaps this hear  :thumb:
« Last Edit: Wed, 15 January 2020, 03:26:12 by Applet »

Offline Hapi

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 15 January 2020, 03:32:25 »
Yes. You can use it. :)

I dont know about center hole. I dont have i-rocks switches yet. I ordered one keyboard. I won't get it until late February. My friend has a laser at work. I'll have more plate options for thermal and pok3r.

Keycaps are a problem. GMK is the best choice. That's why I think a lot about SMK. For ALPS you have to select the layout according to keycaps. And it is hard to change them without changing the layout.

For i-rocks I'll probably try to make my own PCB. I wanted to try it anyway.
The ALPS / MX board should be sufficient for testing.



Offline Applet

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 20 January 2020, 15:05:32 »
Fixed this during the weekend but did not get around to do the release. :D

Connector is now added and I think pinout etc is correct. I still need to test and implement underglow in code, I'm planning to do that when I do a prototype of the AEKISO60-PCB.

Latest release with the connector:
Steezy60-SMK Rev B4: https://github.com/4pplet/Steezy60-SMK/releases/tag/B4
Steezy60-Alps Rev A4: https://github.com/4pplet/Steezy60-ALPS/releases/tag/A4

Offline Hapi

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 21 January 2020, 05:13:59 »
awesome. Thank you very much

by the way I finally have an i-rocks switch


Offline Applet

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 23 January 2020, 06:51:42 »
Yes, from my understanding the i-rocks use the Alps footprint but also have a MX center-stem. So if you make a custom PCB, I think you can just take the Alps footprint and add the MX-center stem, not sure about the internal LED tho. How is the feel?

Offline Hapi

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 23 January 2020, 12:55:27 »
They are better than MX like switches. Actuation force is smaller than matias switch. The sound is a bit higher. But they are very good switches. They are a bit worse than Matias and much better than MX clones. I'm still waiting for a comparison with the SMK. The LED is easy to remove.

Offline TheWG

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 28 January 2020, 16:22:25 »
Hello,

Does the alps PCB support both of the known positions for ISO-enter switch?
Info from Alps64 thread:
There are three theoretical mount positions, 1u, 1.25u and 1.5u. See pictures and figure below. Matias has 1.25u mount, Dell and Alps have 1.5u mount and ISO Enter with 1u mount is not confirmed its existence yet.
Quote

       ------- -------
      |       |       |
      |   +   |   +   | 1u
      |       |   |   |
       ------- -------
            |     |   |
            |    +|   | 1.25u
            |    ||   |
            `---------'
          |      ||   |
          |     +||   | 1.5u
          |     |||   |
          `-----------'
          .-----------, 1.5u
          |     |||   |
          |     |||   |
           `    +++   |
            |         |
            |         |
            `---------' 1.25u

Regarding the i-rocks: they are interesting switches. I've built a TKL-board with the LFK-TKL pcb using those. I couldn't really get into them so after a short while I stopped using them. One reason I think it was the sound, it doesn't compare to alps-switches. The feeling of the switch is what I only can describe as "off", not my favourite. One thing to keep in mind when building with these switches is that the holes for the mounting plate is neither the same size as cherry or alps if i remember correctly.

Offline Applet

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 29 January 2020, 02:25:58 »
Hello,

Does the alps PCB support both of the known positions for ISO-enter switch?
Info from Alps64 thread:
There are three theoretical mount positions, 1u, 1.25u and 1.5u. See pictures and figure below. Matias has 1.25u mount, Dell and Alps have 1.5u mount and ISO Enter with 1u mount is not confirmed its existence yet.
Quote

       ------- -------
      |       |       |
      |   +   |   +   | 1u
      |       |   |   |
       ------- -------
            |     |   |
            |    +|   | 1.25u
            |    ||   |
            `---------'
          |      ||   |
          |     +||   | 1.5u
          |     |||   |
          `-----------'
          .-----------, 1.5u
          |     |||   |
          |     |||   |
           `    +++   |
            |         |
            |         |
            `---------' 1.25u

Regarding the i-rocks: they are interesting switches. I've built a TKL-board with the LFK-TKL pcb using those. I couldn't really get into them so after a short while I stopped using them. One reason I think it was the sound, it doesn't compare to alps-switches. The feeling of the switch is what I only can describe as "off", not my favourite. One thing to keep in mind when building with these switches is that the holes for the mounting plate is neither the same size as cherry or alps if i remember correctly.
Yes, the PCB supports both of the known positions, as well as the 1u. Tho this is still untested. Unfortunately, I have no ISO-keycaps to test with. There is quite a bit of the layouts that is yet to be tested and verified (the downside with so many layout options).

If there is interest in helping verify the design, I can make a small mini GB, but then, be aware that much is still untested. :D

Offline TheWG

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 29 January 2020, 14:23:44 »
I'd be interested in helping verifying the design. I'm not sure when I'm going to do the builds though, I do not have all the other stuff for a keyboard right now. I have multiple ISO-keycaps using both the 1.25u and 1.5u mount. I was going to try to order PCBs myself from jlcpcb myself but if you arrange a mini group buy I'd be interested in that. In case you order them, will the surface-mounted components be assembled? I'm not interested in soldering those components myself.

Offline Applet

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 04:24:24 »
I'd be interested in helping verifying the design. I'm not sure when I'm going to do the builds though, I do not have all the other stuff for a keyboard right now. I have multiple ISO-keycaps using both the 1.25u and 1.5u mount. I was going to try to order PCBs myself from jlcpcb myself but if you arrange a mini group buy I'd be interested in that. In case you order them, will the surface-mounted components be assembled? I'm not interested in soldering those components myself.
Sounds great! I can arrange a mini GB with soldered components, it will not be right now tho, since I have a few other projects taking up my time currently :D

Offline Hapi

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #27 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 04:25:34 »
I'd be interested in helping verifying the design. I'm not sure when I'm going to do the builds though, I do not have all the other stuff for a keyboard right now. I have multiple ISO-keycaps using both the 1.25u and 1.5u mount. I was going to try to order PCBs myself from jlcpcb myself but if you arrange a mini group buy I'd be interested in that. In case you order them, will the surface-mounted components be assembled? I'm not interested in soldering those components myself.
Sounds great! I can arrange a mini GB with soldered components, it will not be right now tho, since I have a few other projects taking up my time currently :D
That sounds nice


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Offline d.caminero

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Re: Steezy60: Alps and SMK 60% PCB with split space support and more
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 17 February 2020, 07:39:02 »
I am also interested in the mini-GB. I do have some diverse alps keysets with different layouts and could help in that regard.