Author Topic: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB  (Read 18333 times)

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Offline Gondolindrim

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Hey there guys!

I'm Gondolindrim, a brazilian engineer and mech enthusiast. I am known for my keyboard PCB projects, specially my open-source ones under the Acheron Project. These include the SharkPCB, ArcticPCB, Doddle60, Austin, Tsuki and some more.

Today I want to present you my newest project: the Faraday60!


The problem

At this point most users of the community know of Topre switches -- rubber-dome switches that use capacitive coupling for their activation effect. These switches are very unique and are known to be very good and pleasant to use; nonetheless, they are pretty scarce in our community, for a couple of reasons.

  • First, the unique physical nature of the capacitive activation makes Topre really hard to integrate into QMK because it is specifically designed for contact-based switches; there are no everlasting efforts to make the Topre switches QMK compatible and none of the existent were widely adopted by the community for one reason or another. The most promising one (this one) apparently worked but no further information came from it since almost an year ago.
  • Second, the actual circuitry needed to operate Topre switches is quite nasty. I have got a hold of a Leopold keyboard and was able to reverse-engineer it. The sensing circuit is very rudimentary and uses resistive factors and exponential decays to measure the switch activation. This process is heavily dependent on tolerances and routing the PCB is a pain because, since the sensing is done only by passive components, noise is a major issue and can affect the typing experience. The digital circuitry, on the other hand, is overly complicated, using multiplexers to sweep columns and making the sensing and digital circuits not isolated, being coupled gavanically, generating LOTS of problems.
  • Third, despite Topre switches being famous for their unique feel (a "snappy" tactility) most of the community will stay away from them because the keyboards that use them -- Realforces, HHKBs and Leopolds -- range in the 250 dollar mark. Despite the price tag, these keyboards don't feature many of the qualities that we use custom keyboards for in the first place -- programmability, simplicity, good construction, customizability. There is the Hasu controller, designed by the legendary Hasu designer, which gives other nice features like bluetooth, but costs itself close to eighty dollars on top of the 200-something the keyboard goes for.
  • Fourth, the Topre keyboards simply don't feel like 250 dollar keyboards. For instance, Topres do not have a good construction quality; my HHKB does not feel cheap, but for 250 dollars I can get a pretty darn good feeling aluminum mechanical keyboard. Leopolds have a nice steel plate, have good construction and good keycaps, but still feel "plasticky" and their sound is not the best. Realforces, well... they are the best of the three, but yet people miss that metallic case feel. The Norbaforce exists for a reason. There you go, TopClack, I redid my words. Realforces are good, I said it. Now we want more roleplay from you guys on stream. Call me when you want me there.

These reasons leave a bad taste in everyone's mouths; the Topre users hardly have support from the community -- replacement parts are scarce and expensive when available -- and the people that want to use Topre feel compelled not to.

Gondo to the rescue

To make a long story short, I have found a way to make Topre switches QMK compatible using simple and affordable sensing circuitry.

The circuit I designed, while being simple, fulfills industry-level requirements for user safety and signal integrity: the analog sensing is precise and based on active circuits; the analog and digital circuitry are completely isolated with optocouplers; the design is simple, allowing for customizability and, most important of all, able to be integrated into QMK, and can use both ATMEGA and ARM controllers.

The nice thing here is that this makes the PCB able to integrate all the QMK features we love and adore (RGB Topre maybe?). It also allows us to build native bluetooth into the PCB without the need for an extra controller.

My new design also allows for two very cool features we always wanted in mechanical keyboards: the switch activation level can be firmware-adjusted and every key can be configured to be used as an analog level input. This means that we can make the microcontroller read the strength of the switch press (in particular switches) and make use of that.

The Faraday60

Currently the method is in design stage, but I have made small-scale one-switch protos and used electronic simulation programs to test the concepts and everything shows it works wonderfully. The first real project I want to make is an HHKB Pro 2 replacement PCB. I am currently designing the PCB. I'm aiming for the best here: ESD protection, ARM MCU, VIA compatibility, the whole nine yards.

Once a fully working prototype is confirmed, it is going to be available for purchase through CannonKeys.

I have documented the whole design process and will make it available for everyone that wishes to use the technology to make custom Topre PCBs. All calculations, components, numbers and important thoughts. I will also make the Faraday60 open-source after some time.

The design calculations and procedures are described in the Faraday documentation. As of today (march 8th 2020) it's pretty incomplete and I'm writing it as I can.

What I need feedback on

And here is the actual IC part. Before going full MacGyver in this, I need to know a few design parameters from the community.

  • First, I need to know if there is interest for this kind of PCB -- a QMK compatible HHKB Pro 2 replacement PCB.
  • Second, I need an input on the features we are going to put there. The first idea is to make a simple PCB that can operate Topre and replace the USB hub with a common USB2.0 hub.
  • However, we are also able to add native bluetooth and a very nice USB3.1 hub in there; these will ramp prices up because the bluetooth controller alone costs 9 dollars, and the USB3.1 hub controller almost 15. So our idea is to make a first operating version and, futurely, an "ultimate" version will all the big boi features. In this sense, I need to know if you guys agree with this or definitely want a first PCB with bluetooth or 3.1 USB or both.
  • Of course, if you guys would like to see other features here that i haven't listed, please write them down.

Finally, I want a target price you guys would be comfortable to pay for an HHKB replacement PCB. I know this is not ideal but this PCB will not be cheap as a DZ60 and, as you have seen, there is a serious tradeoff between features and price here.

Acknowledgements

- Upas, who runs CannonKeys, for the support and being an awesome person
- The Off the Clack dudes -- Josh, Danny and Chris -- for their awesomeness and the fact they let me market my ideas there, including the Faraday;
- My mom, because I love her;
- MrKeebs, brother-in-keyboards and good friend. Long live MrKeebs!

- Jae and Quakemz from TopClack for their support and feedback!
- Man of Interests for his support and encouragement!
« Last Edit: Fri, 17 April 2020, 01:56:21 by Gondolindrim »
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Online LightningXI

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 04:29:57 »
No freaking way this is happening...

It's happening!!

Gondo to the rescue! As someone who owns multiple HHKBs and loves them to death, this is amazing. I can't wait to see and hear more.

1. I don't care for having a USB hub built in.

2. Yes to QMK and VIA.

3. I think USB C is neat but not a necessity. Plus, I don't want to file my HHKB case for fitment.

4. Pricewise, what's feasible? Like $50 per piece?


Would love to see this for the Realforce 87 and 86u. Especially the latter. I have a "84u" that depends on AutoHotkey and Karabiner Elements for it to work the way I want it.
« Last Edit: Sun, 08 March 2020, 04:32:54 by LightningXI »
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Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 04:33:42 »
Reserved

03/08/2020: Added the limited portion of the documentation I have already written
03/13/2020: Aaaaaaaaaand I'm on TC and MoI. Thank you so much guys!
05/12/2020: Big project updates and changes. See this post.
« Last Edit: Wed, 13 May 2020, 09:46:26 by Gondolindrim »
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline hottrout

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 04:43:22 »
I would be interested in such a project.

1. I don't personally need a USB hub built in.
2. QMK and or VIA wold be excellent.
3. Bluetooth is not a requirement.

Great to see this.
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Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 04:54:34 »
No freaking way this is happening...

It's happening!!

Gondo to the rescue! As someone who owns multiple HHKBs and loves them to death, this is amazing. I can't wait to see and hear more.

1. I don't care for having a USB hub built in.

2. Yes to QMK and VIA.

3. I think USB C is neat but not a necessity. Plus, I don't want to file my HHKB case for fitment.

4. Pricewise, what's feasible? Like $50 per piece?


Would love to see this for the Realforce 87 and 86u. Especially the latter. I have a "84u" that depends on AutoHotkey and Karabiner Elements for it to work the way I want it.

It's happening!

1. Having a USB2.0 hub there is pretty cheap and I think not including it will leave two big holes in the case, so I think that at least 2.0 is doable.
2. Will do :D
3. Yeah, I'm not flexible on this. We are going mini USB this time, I am also not fond of filing cases around
4. I think 50-55 is doable for the "basic" PCB. As was shown in the post, for the more expensive features this may change drastically. The thing is, we are already paying 80 for a Hasu controller, so I think 50-55 is reasonable.
5. If this design provenly works, we can easily port it out to other keyboards. The circuitry is modular, so making new layouts is simple.
« Last Edit: Sun, 08 March 2020, 06:07:34 by Gondolindrim »
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 04:55:35 »
I would be interested in such a project.

1. I don't personally need a USB hub built in.
2. QMK and or VIA wold be excellent.
3. Bluetooth is not a requirement.

Great to see this.

Nice! Thanks for your input! I think USB hub will be done, at least 2.0 since it really is not expensive. Bluetooth is on juri.
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline LuiKang

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 05:26:05 »
Impressive work @Gondolindrim

I'm interested in all features, but most importantly programmability through QMK!

Offline alphabirth

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 05:42:40 »
This is amazing!  While I'll skip the first round because I don't have an HHKB that I want to swap out, I would be seriously interested in the next round if you created a new design in a 65% (or 75%) formfactor.  I really liked the feeling of Topre when I've tried them at meetups, but haven't picked one up for exactly the reasons you mentioned above.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 05:59:17 »
This is amazing!  While I'll skip the first round because I don't have an HHKB that I want to swap out, I would be seriously interested in the next round if you created a new design in a 65% (or 75%) formfactor.  I really liked the feeling of Topre when I've tried them at meetups, but haven't picked one up for exactly the reasons you mentioned above.

You know, this is my personal frustration with this project. Unfortunately we still need Topre hardware (sliders, plate and switch pieces) for the PCB to work, and the only way you can get your hands on that hardware is getting a Topre keyboard. Therefore Faraday won't solve the price tag issue, alebit by a little. It only solves the lackluster features of the Topre keyboards. However, I think that you can grab some Topre pieces from here and there, so my next step with the project is making  a  plate so you can put it in one of those universal 60% cases -- imagine a Topre Tofu??? Would it be called... "Trobfu"?
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 06:00:33 »
This is amazing!  While I'll skip the first round because I don't have an HHKB that I want to swap out, I would be seriously interested in the next round if you created a new design in a 65% (or 75%) formfactor.  I really liked the feeling of Topre when I've tried them at meetups, but haven't picked one up for exactly the reasons you mentioned above.

Hopefully you will feel compelled to get a Topre board now :D
« Last Edit: Sun, 08 March 2020, 06:02:12 by Gondolindrim »
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline NathanAlphaMan

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 06:05:03 »


Cannot express how excited I am for this. If this project is successful, it opens a whole new door to custom Topre boards, and boy oh boy is that a door I want to pass through.

Offline Keikenhate

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 06:12:22 »
Count me in for this one, every feature is welcomed for me, i feel like celebrating now ^^

Offline hkiri

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 06:37:08 »
  • First, I need to know if there is interest for this kind of PCB -- a QMK compatible HHKB Pro 2 replacement PCB.

Hell Yeah!

  • Second, I need an input on the features we are going to put there. The first idea is to make a simple PCB that can operate Topre and replace the USB hub

I don't care about the USB hub to be honest. Programmability with QMK is all I want from this PCB!

  • However, we are also able to add native bluetooth and a very nice USB3.1 hub in there; these will ramp prices up because the bluetooth controller alone costs 9 dollars, and the USB3.1 hub controller almost 15. So our idea is to make a first operating version and, futurely, an "ultimate" version will all the big boi features. In this sense, I need to know if you guys agree with this or definitely want a first PCB with bluetooth or 3.1 USB or both.

I don't need Bluetooth and the PCB with all its ports should fit in the HHKB case without any further modifications needed.

Finally, I want a target price you guys would be comfortable to pay for an HHKB replacement PCB. I know this is not ideal but this PCB will not be cheap as a DZ60 and, as you have seen, there is a serious tradeoff between features and price here.

As long as it is cheaper than the already available Hasu controller I'm fine!

Offline demonahz

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 06:58:25 »
I'm all in on this!

Offline falzm

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 08:27:11 »
I'm in!

Offline myyrddraal

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 08:43:56 »
Will it work (supposedly with some small modifications) with niz Switches? They are on par with topre except for rubber dome forces (which are easily available elsewhere). The niz switches are plentifully available.

1. Definitely don't need 3.1 hub on board.

60$ for hhkb size pcb is fully ok.


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Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 08:54:57 »
Show Image


Cannot express how excited I am for this. If this project is successful, it opens a whole new door to custom Topre boards, and boy oh boy is that a door I want to pass through.

  • First, I need to know if there is interest for this kind of PCB -- a QMK compatible HHKB Pro 2 replacement PCB.

Hell Yeah!

  • Second, I need an input on the features we are going to put there. The first idea is to make a simple PCB that can operate Topre and replace the USB hub

I don't care about the USB hub to be honest. Programmability with QMK is all I want from this PCB!

  • However, we are also able to add native bluetooth and a very nice USB3.1 hub in there; these will ramp prices up because the bluetooth controller alone costs 9 dollars, and the USB3.1 hub controller almost 15. So our idea is to make a first operating version and, futurely, an "ultimate" version will all the big boi features. In this sense, I need to know if you guys agree with this or definitely want a first PCB with bluetooth or 3.1 USB or both.

I don't need Bluetooth and the PCB with all its ports should fit in the HHKB case without any further modifications needed.

Finally, I want a target price you guys would be comfortable to pay for an HHKB replacement PCB. I know this is not ideal but this PCB will not be cheap as a DZ60 and, as you have seen, there is a serious tradeoff between features and price here.

As long as it is cheaper than the already available Hasu controller I'm fine!

Count me in for this one, every feature is welcomed for me, i feel like celebrating now ^^

Let's do this guys!
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 08:55:59 »
Will it work (supposedly with some small modifications) with niz Switches? They are on par with topre except for rubber dome forces (which are easily available elsewhere). The niz switches are plentifully available.

1. Definitely don't need 3.1 hub on board.

60$ for hhkb size pcb is fully ok.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Haven't got my hands in NiZ keyboards, but since they are supposed to be Topre clones I'd say they'd work fine albeit some adjustments might be needed.
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Ensaum

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 12:16:33 »
Very interested. I would like to see a version without the usb hub in addition to the regular one too for Pro1 compatibility.

Offline Nizkeyboard

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 12:52:49 »
Very interested!

Offline KingOfMemes

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 13:14:10 »
Oh God... Endgame is finally coming

Offline Acereconkeys

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 13:29:18 »
Wow this is actually finally happening... someone did it. What probably 20+ "ic"s have tried to do over the years.

I'm just now reading through all of the accompanying PCB documentation but already so far I've learnt a ton in 1 page. Thanks so much for this Gondo.
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Offline wencan008

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 13:32:05 »
Very interested. Just got a Pro 1 so if there's a pro 1 version of this I'd be interested in that too

Offline nicole_loke_richards

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 13:32:21 »
Very interesting!! I will keeping my eyes on this!   

Iím ok with USB mini as I donít like to modify the case. I donít use the USB hub on the board but I would appreciate if thereís USB A ports to fill the gaps. So even if itís 2.0, I donít really care. Purely for the aesthetic.

Bluetooth will be a nice complementary.


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Offline thornkin

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 13:54:03 »
I have an fc660c so won't buy into this round, but I think this is super cool work. If you ever do one for the 660, I will be in.

Offline Zambumon

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 14:26:23 »
I also don't care about having a USB hub built-in and wouldn't recommend USB-Cs for HHKB Pro 2. I'd just focus on making an HHKB Pro 2 PCB replacement first, and maybe an 86/87U later on.

Far future/Wishlist: a 65% custom board.

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 14:32:55 »
I would like at least a 2.0 hub as I usually keep an HHKB and wireless mouse together. Bluetooth would be awesome as it would allow me to make my HTPC setup wireless, but isn't exactly necessary. I would prioritize a hub over nothing at all though. Definitely interested and probably in for 2 depending on price.
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Offline manzel

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 16:57:40 »
I don't care for the USB hub or bluetooth. USB-C is available on the new version of Hasu's controller with a castellated daughter PCB. It works perfectly without filing the case.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 17:51:14 »
I'm all in on this!

Get all over me instead you beautiful person
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 17:54:42 »
Very interested. I would like to see a version without the usb hub in addition to the regular one too for Pro1 compatibility.

I figured we'd be able to port this easily to the pro 1. However I don't know if the inside measurements of the PCB are compatible, and I have an HHKB Pro 2 here, so that is what I'll start with.
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 18:01:44 »
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #31 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 18:01:57 »
Oh God... Endgame is finally coming

Endgame is but a myth
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #32 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 18:03:48 »
Wow this is actually finally happening... someone did it. What probably 20+ "ic"s have tried to do over the years.

I'm just now reading through all of the accompanying PCB documentation but already so far I've learnt a ton in 1 page. Thanks so much for this Gondo.

I'm glad you took the time to read it :D

The documentation there is like a third of the complete thing. I released what I got for this IC and to show I'm not fooling around, but the final documentation is much bigger than that and I think we can learn many things from the problems that we find in this project. Hopefully we can develop capacitive-switch custom boards and make them more of a reality.
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #33 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 18:04:48 »
Very interested. Just got a Pro 1 so if there's a pro 1 version of this I'd be interested in that too

As I said earlier, it's an idea but I have a Pro 2 here and I'd like to stick with that because having a real-life model makes design so much easier. But yeah, we can definitely make it happen!
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #34 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 18:20:42 »
Very interesting!! I will keeping my eyes on this!   

Iím ok with USB mini as I donít like to modify the case. I donít use the USB hub on the board but I would appreciate if thereís USB A ports to fill the gaps. So even if itís 2.0, I donít really care. Purely for the aesthetic.

Bluetooth will be a nice complementary.


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From the looks of the IC responses, I think for now we will aim for cabled and USB2.0 . Bluetooth and 3.0 will come at a later date.
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #35 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 18:22:12 »
I have an fc660c so won't buy into this round, but I think this is super cool work. If you ever do one for the 660, I will be in.

I think we will def make an FC660C version, after we prove this works. Also the Leopold construction is way better than HHKB, but I couldn't get my hands on one.
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #36 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 18:24:33 »
I also don't care about having a USB hub built-in and wouldn't recommend USB-Cs for HHKB Pro 2. I'd just focus on making an HHKB Pro 2 PCB replacement first, and maybe an 86/87U later on.

Far future/Wishlist: a 65% custom board.

My roadmap here is:

- HHKB Pro 2, and then Pro 1
- Leopold FC660C
- 86/87U

I tihnk that we can cover the most used Topre boards with these options, and gian enough know-how to make custom stuff. Later down the road, when we have a solid and battle-proven design, I will definitely invest time going custom.
« Last Edit: Sun, 08 March 2020, 18:26:55 by Gondolindrim »
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #37 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 18:33:10 »
I would like at least a 2.0 hub as I usually keep an HHKB and wireless mouse together. Bluetooth would be awesome as it would allow me to make my HTPC setup wireless, but isn't exactly necessary. I would prioritize a hub over nothing at all though. Definitely interested and probably in for 2 depending on price.

To be quite fair the main barrier for a good bluetooth implementation is QMK. Now I'm not bashing QMK, let me explain.

Bluetooth is historically a sketchy technology and feature because the Bluetooth SIG (who manages licensing of BT products) has some harsh requirements for implementation, among them hefty licensing fees.

Now, QMK was able to implement BT with the Adafruit BL feather and that is amazing, but it has the issue that it is an older protocol and is not BLE; hence it dries out batteries quite fast. Why won't they support a newer protocol, you ask? Well, there is a very problematic issue between the QMK licensing and Bluetooth licensing terms, for instance the Nordic's (famous BT chip manufacturer) licensing terms.

Second, the BT protocol driver in QMK is limited to AVR chips, and honestly I'd rather wait until someone ports it out to ARM because I'm not a fan of going with an ATMEGA here. I don't know the platform ok, and I am proficient im ARM.

So I think that for now BT is out of the question, but if time comes we can make a BT version no issues.
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #38 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 18:35:56 »
I don't care for the USB hub or bluetooth. USB-C is available on the new version of Hasu's controller with a castellated daughter PCB. It works perfectly without filing the case.

Nice, I didn't know Hasu made a USBC version. The problem I find it is that the way he found to not need filing the case is by elevating the connector through the daughterboard, and that is genious just like we'd expect from the guy.

I might use his idea, but I need to give him a heads up first or else I'll be stealing it.
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline moh18one

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #39 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 18:38:05 »
Wow!!! This project definitely gets my attention!

Offline nicole_loke_richards

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #40 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 20:40:46 »
Just F.Y.I, the BT module made by Yang, sold on KBDfans does have a USB C variation. I saw that on TaoBao.




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Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #41 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 21:16:30 »
Just F.Y.I, the BT module made by Yang, sold on KBDfans does have a USB C variation. I saw that on TaoBao.




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Hhhmmmmmm do you have a link? The only one I was able to see was this one https://kbdfans.com/products/hhkb-ble-mod-upgrade-module?_pos=19&_sid=cf4104854&_ss=r
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline nicole_loke_richards

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #42 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 21:28:46 »
Just F.Y.I, the BT module made by Yang, sold on KBDfans does have a USB C variation. I saw that on TaoBao.




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Hhhmmmmmm do you have a link? The only one I was able to see was this one https://kbdfans.com/products/hhkb-ble-mod-upgrade-module?_pos=19&_sid=cf4104854&_ss=r

This is a Chinese version of AliExpress. So YDKB offer this service where you buy the BT module from him, he can mod the mini usb to USB C for you. I think in the link, he has also been experimenting with wireless charging with Qi.

https://m.intl.taobao.com/detail/detail.html?id=600934489355&spm=a21wu.9600033.recommend.1&main_itemid=590221409485&go_item_id=600934489355&pvid=d532cb6d-08cb-44d7-ba2b-b41976df12fd&utparam=%7B%22x_object_type%22%3A%22item%22%2C%22x_object_id%22%3A600934489355%7D&scm=1007.20269.110938.1002003000000001#modal=share&timeStamp=1583720863480




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Offline nicole_loke_richards

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[IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #43 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 21:29:56 »
Just F.Y.I, the BT module made by Yang, sold on KBDfans does have a USB C variation. I saw that on TaoBao.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Hhhmmmmmm do you have a link? The only one I was able to see was this one https://kbdfans.com/products/hhkb-ble-mod-upgrade-module?_pos=19&_sid=cf4104854&_ss=r

This is a Chinese version of AliExpress. So YDKB offer this service where you buy the BT module from him, he can mod the mini usb to USB C for you. I think in the link, he has also been experimenting with wireless charging with Qi.

https://m.intl.taobao.com/detail/detail.html?id=600934489355&spm=a21wu.9600033.recommend.1&main_itemid=590221409485&go_item_id=600934489355&pvid=d532cb6d-08cb-44d7-ba2b-b41976df12fd&utparam=%7B%22x_object_type%22%3A%22item%22%2C%22x_object_id%22%3A600934489355%7D&scm=1007.20269.110938.1002003000000001#modal=share&timeStamp=1583720863480




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It is in mandarin...sorry. Thereís pictures in the description.

Donít get me wrong... you have support for this project. I think the success of this project will possibly open door to high end custom topre board! End game topre board is not a dream.

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« Last Edit: Sun, 08 March 2020, 22:00:44 by nicole_loke_richards »

Offline KawabataLuis

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #44 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 21:56:01 »
Reeeally cool project, Even thought I don't feel the need to reprogram my hhkb, you can count me into getting one. Still early, but really looking forward to custom boards!

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #45 on: Sun, 08 March 2020, 22:14:19 »
Just F.Y.I, the BT module made by Yang, sold on KBDfans does have a USB C variation. I saw that on TaoBao.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Hhhmmmmmm do you have a link? The only one I was able to see was this one https://kbdfans.com/products/hhkb-ble-mod-upgrade-module?_pos=19&_sid=cf4104854&_ss=r

This is a Chinese version of AliExpress. So YDKB offer this service where you buy the BT module from him, he can mod the mini usb to USB C for you. I think in the link, he has also been experimenting with wireless charging with Qi.

https://m.intl.taobao.com/detail/detail.html?id=600934489355&spm=a21wu.9600033.recommend.1&main_itemid=590221409485&go_item_id=600934489355&pvid=d532cb6d-08cb-44d7-ba2b-b41976df12fd&utparam=%7B%22x_object_type%22%3A%22item%22%2C%22x_object_id%22%3A600934489355%7D&scm=1007.20269.110938.1002003000000001#modal=share&timeStamp=1583720863480




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It is in mandarin...sorry. Thereís pictures in the description.

Donít get me wrong... you have support for this project. I think the success of this project will possibly open door to high end custom topre board! End game topre board is not a dream.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Oh I absolutely wasn't thinking you were diminishing the project or whatever, I was just really curious because that Topre stuff is buried underneath the internet. I'm honestly thinking of learning mandarin so I can communicate better with the chinese community.

In any case I feel really glad you gave me the information. I think I might use a similar technique in a PCB to test USBC for now.
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Online LightningXI

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #46 on: Mon, 09 March 2020, 03:52:11 »
Very interested. I would like to see a version without the usb hub in addition to the regular one too for Pro1 compatibility.

I figured we'd be able to port this easily to the pro 1. However I don't know if the inside measurements of the PCB are compatible, and I have an HHKB Pro 2 here, so that is what I'll start with.
I am also adding my vote for Pro 1 support. I own a couple of different ones. They're my better Topre boards and I'd be ecstatic to see them used at a higher potential. I can help test if it is necessary.

As for Hasu's solution to USB C positioning, it's really genius as you said. Giving him a heads-up and asking cordially would be the right thing to do. If it didn't work out, I honestly don't mind sticking to USB Mini, since there's still a bunch of boards that I require the cable for. I'd rather really not have to sand my cases.
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Offline Morbus

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #47 on: Mon, 09 March 2020, 05:06:35 »
Custom topre time gamers 👀👀
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I woah would ya look at that, a signature  I
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Offline Applet

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #48 on: Mon, 09 March 2020, 05:15:01 »
Wow, this looks great! Custom Topre 2020 ;D

Offline Dakk1d

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #49 on: Mon, 09 March 2020, 05:34:40 »
Great job with this and I wish you all luck going forward!
Given the choice I would buy a couple of pcb:s in an instant.

Personally I'm not interested in a usb-hub or bluetooth.
I would prefer USB-C but to be honest i don't really care.
Į\_(ツ)_/Į