Author Topic: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB  (Read 18783 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.

Online 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.
I started with a Sinclair human flesh keyboard in 1980 and it has never stopped.

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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 »
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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!

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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.
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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.




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
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.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
« 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 👀👀
I-----------------------------------------------I
I woah would ya look at that, a signature  I
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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

Offline realxmlforce

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #50 on: Mon, 09 March 2020, 09:37:51 »
Wow this is some serious electronic engineering! You're my mvp today! Hoping for a realforce 88u version sometime in the future :)

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #51 on: Mon, 09 March 2020, 10:02:26 »
Wow!!! This project definitely gets my attention!

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 #52 on: Mon, 09 March 2020, 10:03:30 »
Custom topre time gamers 👀👀

Wow, this looks great! Custom Topre 2020 ;D

The idea here is to get the know-how and means to do a Topre reliable PCB. Custom Topres are surely the final objective.
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 #53 on: Mon, 09 March 2020, 10:05:21 »
Wow this is some serious electronic engineering! You're my mvp today! Hoping for a realforce 88u version sometime in the future :)

I will probably make some replacements for big Topre boards in the future! However I need to have one in hand to design the board. But it's definitely on the horizon!
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 Hokabuki

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #54 on: Mon, 09 March 2020, 10:17:51 »
This QMK compatible PCB will give me a reason to use my HHKB Pro 2 again. Iíve been meaning to get a HASU controller but this solves everything by staying USB mini and having the USB hub. Iím excited for it!

Offline tehfrawg

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #55 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 14:47:24 »
Any chance you could partner with Niz to make QMK compatible PCBs for their boards?

The Atom68 and Micro82 would be great ones to start with since they use widely available keycap sizes.

As a recent backer of the Atom68 Alu, I would LOVE to see a QMK PCB to take it to the top level. Then we could finally have a capacitive keyboard with an aluminum case and brass plate with a QMK-enabled PCB and MX compatible sliders.
« Last Edit: Wed, 11 March 2020, 15:58:10 by tehfrawg »

Offline thatguyx

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #56 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 15:00:32 »
LONG time lurker, but found out about this through Man of Interest.  Having just gotten my first topre board HHKB Pro2, I've already ordered a Yang BLE Mod.  But I'd still be VERY interested in this.

I purchased the Yang BLE Mod for its Bluetooth capabilities, remapping, and battery life (over the Hasu).

However, I would pick up the Faraday60 in a heartbeat, if it could address these issues, at least for me:
- Hasu/Yang Bluetooth multidevice support is limited by Adafruit Bluetooth module (no real Bluetooth profiles for switching between more than 2 devices)
- USB 3.0 Support all the way through (would settle for 2.0 -- but at this day in age, why settle?)
- Full re-programmability (check)
- under $100 (flexible with the assumption of full Bluetooth multi-device support and USB 3.0)
« Last Edit: Wed, 11 March 2020, 15:04:32 by thatguyx »

Offline Xerpocalypse

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #57 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 15:33:33 »
Absolutely 100% interested in this. I love my HHKB!

Offline Automata-killa

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #58 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 15:42:29 »
Now this sounds intriguing, even possible to go the extra mile and use Niz switches and BKE domes, sourcing springs would be a bit more challenging :eek:

Offline oulongwen

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #59 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 16:00:19 »
This is genuinely amazing news! Although I don't use Topre, there is no doubt that QMK support for Topre boards is more than welcome by the community!

Offline Eviscerae

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #60 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 17:13:02 »
I've been looking for this ever since I first bought my HHKB pro 2!

I'm in!

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #61 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 17:23:25 »
Custom topre time gamers 👀👀

I will only rest when I can headshot someone in CSGO using a custom Topre HHKB PCB
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 #62 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 17:27:58 »
This QMK compatible PCB will give me a reason to use my HHKB Pro 2 again. Iíve been meaning to get a HASU controller but this solves everything by staying USB mini and having the USB hub. Iím excited for it!

Let's do this! Might take a while, but we are definitely onto something here. I think that this will allow us to make replacement and programmable boards to lots of EC keyboards out there!
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 #63 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 17:33:53 »
Any chance you could partner with Niz to make QMK compatible PCBs for their boards?

The Atom68 and Micro82 would be great ones to start with since they use widely available keycap sizes.

As a recent backer of the Atom68 Alu, I would LOVE to see a QMK PCB to take it to the top level. Then we could finally have a capacitive keyboard with an aluminum case and brass plate with a QMK-enabled PCB and MX compatible sliders.

Of course! I will have to make contact with NiZ and I think he will be open to some collaboration. I have received immensely good feedback from everyone and I think this will be a blast!
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 #64 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 17:44:22 »
LONG time lurker, but found out about this through Man of Interest.  Having just gotten my first topre board HHKB Pro2, I've already ordered a Yang BLE Mod.  But I'd still be VERY interested in this.

I purchased the Yang BLE Mod for its Bluetooth capabilities, remapping, and battery life (over the Hasu).

However, I would pick up the Faraday60 in a heartbeat, if it could address these issues, at least for me:
- Hasu/Yang Bluetooth multidevice support is limited by Adafruit Bluetooth module (no real Bluetooth profiles for switching between more than 2 devices)
- USB 3.0 Support all the way through (would settle for 2.0 -- but at this day in age, why settle?)
- Full re-programmability (check)
- under $100 (flexible with the assumption of full Bluetooth multi-device support and USB 3.0)

Man Huey did give this project a cool visibility. I'll be forever in debt to the man.

Unfortunately there is nothing much I can do about the Adafruit Bluetooth. It's what QMK supports, and it's not for lack of good reasons, mainly licensing as I have explained on a comment above:

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.

Now for the USB3 I think that is a good achievement. We will probably stick with the basics for now -- USB2.0, cabled --- just to have a working concept available, but the intent here is obviously making a PCB with LOTS of features.

As for the price, I think that this first more basic PCB will be quite affordable, but the "ultimate" version might have a pretty hefty price. Time will tell, but I will surely make everything available here.
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 #65 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 17:45:34 »
Absolutely 100% interested in this. I love my HHKB!

HHKB is a nice keyboard, but imagine reprogramability!
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 #66 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 17:46:27 »
Now this sounds intriguing, even possible to go the extra mile and use Niz switches and BKE domes, sourcing springs would be a bit more challenging :eek:

The nice thing about Faraday is that it adds that little push we needed for customized Topre stuff. So go wild! I think that electrocapacitive stuff is waaay overdue and we need 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 Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #67 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 17:49:09 »
This is genuinely amazing news! Although I don't use Topre, there is no doubt that QMK support for Topre boards is more than welcome by the community!

Maybe this is the incentive you need to try Topre? Believe me, they are amazing!
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 #68 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 17:50:44 »
I've been looking for this ever since I first bought my HHKB pro 2!

I'm in!

Nice! Let's do this!
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 Abhorrent Cell

  • Posts: 46
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #69 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 17:53:40 »
I'd buy a new HHKB Pro 2 just for this. Very exciting stuff. Topre forever.

Would also love FC660C support as well as as Plum 84.

One very distant step closer to my fantasy: Topre Southpaw 65.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #70 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 17:57:18 »
I'd buy a new HHKB Pro 2 just for this. Very exciting stuff. Topre forever.

Would also love FC660C support as well as as Plum 84.

One very distant step closer to my fantasy: Topre Southpaw 65.

RGB Topre 65 Southpaw Gasket Mount Leaf Sprint Plate
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 konstantin

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #71 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 18:02:42 »
Unfortunately there is nothing much I can do about the Adafruit Bluetooth. It's what QMK supports, and it's not for lack of good reasons, mainly licensing as I have explained on a comment above:

Look into the SiLabs BT121 module. It's super easy to get working with QMK; I have a rudimentary implementation here. It communicates over UART and supports multiple BT protocols (both classic and BLE), but much like the other supported modules, it's currently limited to AVR chips.

Edit: I misspoke about it supporting multiple host devices. It doesn't. If that's a deal breaker for you, then this module is a no-go. :)
« Last Edit: Wed, 11 March 2020, 18:15:27 by constexpr »
thank you for coming to my ted talk


Offline tehfrawg

  • Posts: 11
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #72 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 19:59:52 »
Any chance you could partner with Niz to make QMK compatible PCBs for their boards?

The Atom68 and Micro82 would be great ones to start with since they use widely available keycap sizes.

As a recent backer of the Atom68 Alu, I would LOVE to see a QMK PCB to take it to the top level. Then we could finally have a capacitive keyboard with an aluminum case and brass plate with a QMK-enabled PCB and MX compatible sliders.

Of course! I will have to make contact with NiZ and I think he will be open to some collaboration. I have received immensely good feedback from everyone and I think this will be a blast!

That would be amazing! Between their new cases and components and your PCBs we would be well on the way to custom capacitive keyboards.

Niz boards are also priced much more competitively than Topre, which would help achieve your stated price goal.

Offline bakuretsu

  • Posts: 49
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #73 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 20:46:22 »
Any chance you could partner with Niz to make QMK compatible PCBs for their boards?

The Atom68 and Micro82 would be great ones to start with since they use widely available keycap sizes.

As a recent backer of the Atom68 Alu, I would LOVE to see a QMK PCB to take it to the top level. Then we could finally have a capacitive keyboard with an aluminum case and brass plate with a QMK-enabled PCB and MX compatible sliders.

Of course! I will have to make contact with NiZ and I think he will be open to some collaboration. I have received immensely good feedback from everyone and I think this will be a blast!

That would be amazing! Between their new cases and components and your PCBs we would be well on the way to custom capacitive keyboards.

Niz boards are also priced much more competitively than Topre, which would help achieve your stated price goal.

I just joined the Atom 68 Alu GB, too. Custom PCBs for the Atom 68 and the Micro 82 would be amazing!

Offline xv

  • Posts: 6
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #74 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 20:47:43 »
absolutely interested in this. If bluetooth were an option would the battery be user's choice or come with the board?
  
 QFR MX Blue      QFRI MX Red

Offline Peiweisgreat

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #75 on: Wed, 11 March 2020, 23:44:52 »
So down for a project like this. Its going to open up a lot of topre customization that was sorely needed, for all the thockers in GH. I think having a basic version just to make sure everything is working is the best way to go about this.

1. I'm pretty sure every die hard hhkb owner would love a chance to be able to reprogram them, including myself.
2. The hub isn't really a big concern, but it sounds like you are pretty sure you will be able to include that.
3.Having bluetooth is also something secondary, but would love to see it in a later edition.
4. Also USB-C would be nice for future custom projects using this pcb, but shouldn't be something that makes into consideration for the first run of this board at all.

Hope this project gets rolling asap will be sure to pop my head back in another time to peek for updates.

Offline tehfrawg

  • Posts: 11
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #76 on: Thu, 12 March 2020, 01:22:17 »
Any chance you could partner with Niz to make QMK compatible PCBs for their boards?

The Atom68 and Micro82 would be great ones to start with since they use widely available keycap sizes.

As a recent backer of the Atom68 Alu, I would LOVE to see a QMK PCB to take it to the top level. Then we could finally have a capacitive keyboard with an aluminum case and brass plate with a QMK-enabled PCB and MX compatible sliders.

Of course! I will have to make contact with NiZ and I think he will be open to some collaboration. I have received immensely good feedback from everyone and I think this will be a blast!

That would be amazing! Between their new cases and components and your PCBs we would be well on the way to custom capacitive keyboards.

Niz boards are also priced much more competitively than Topre, which would help achieve your stated price goal.

I just joined the Atom 68 Alu GB, too. Custom PCBs for the Atom 68 and the Micro 82 would be amazing!

I emailed Niz to ask about the possibility of a collaboration. The good news is that they had already been in contact with the OP yesterday, but the bad news is that it sounds like it this will not come to fruition at this time. They said they are going to keep talking though, so hopefully we will see more collaboration on custom Electrostatic Capacitive keyboards between these two parties in the future! I would love to support it.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #77 on: Thu, 12 March 2020, 02:36:49 »
Any chance you could partner with Niz to make QMK compatible PCBs for their boards?

The Atom68 and Micro82 would be great ones to start with since they use widely available keycap sizes.

As a recent backer of the Atom68 Alu, I would LOVE to see a QMK PCB to take it to the top level. Then we could finally have a capacitive keyboard with an aluminum case and brass plate with a QMK-enabled PCB and MX compatible sliders.

Of course! I will have to make contact with NiZ and I think he will be open to some collaboration. I have received immensely good feedback from everyone and I think this will be a blast!

That would be amazing! Between their new cases and components and your PCBs we would be well on the way to custom capacitive keyboards.

Niz boards are also priced much more competitively than Topre, which would help achieve your stated price goal.

I just joined the Atom 68 Alu GB, too. Custom PCBs for the Atom 68 and the Micro 82 would be amazing!

I emailed Niz to ask about the possibility of a collaboration. The good news is that they had already been in contact with the OP yesterday, but the bad news is that it sounds like it this will not come to fruition at this time. They said they are going to keep talking though, so hopefully we will see more collaboration on custom Electrostatic Capacitive keyboards between these two parties in the future! I would love to support it.

NiZ did contact me and I'm super duper happy we can collab; unfortunately the Faraday60 has not been tested yet so we need time to make sure it works.

But yes, expect collaborations in the future.
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 thelaughingman

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #78 on: Thu, 12 March 2020, 06:53:08 »
Thanks to Manofinterest for bringing me here. As a rubber dome peasant myself I will gladly support this. Have plan to buy a HHKB BT for work and travel but this PCB will change it haha.

- My personal preference is USB-C for everything, it is the way. But fully understand if it is not available in the round 1 due to cost and fitment etc.
- Don't care about USB hub really, bluetooth is a must for me

And my pipe-dream is an Alice-layout custom Topre board. Dream on  :p :p :p

Offline noorejji

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #79 on: Thu, 12 March 2020, 07:06:56 »
Iíll be waiting warmly for your work on Realforce R1 and FC660C.

Offline AdrianMan

  • Posts: 77
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #80 on: Thu, 12 March 2020, 09:04:36 »
This is great and looking forward to all things you will do in the topre world :)

1. HHKB Pro 2 is a great choice
2. Bluetooth + USB 3.1 sounds great
3. Willing to pay 60-70-80$ on the final product

At the moment for HHKB's and FC660c/980c we have hasu and yang controllers that satisfy the programmable needs.

After the HHKB Pro 2, realforce tkl's would be a great option, even a limited novatouch run, as those are loved by the community but don't get any programmable options ATM.

For multipurpose I use a hasu-usb to usb , but the need for programmable topre TKL's is very much out there.

The big improvement here I find it to be the custom designing of topre pcb's, that enables a new era, where custom topre keyboards can be made.

Ex: Custom CNC alu funky case (let's say alice style) + topre pcs with BT&VIA + Niz 2019 sliders + well tuned Costar stabs = love

Offline tehfrawg

  • Posts: 11
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #81 on: Thu, 12 March 2020, 09:29:10 »
...

Ex: Custom CNC alu funky case (let's say alice style) + topre pcs with BT&VIA + Niz 2019 sliders + well tuned Costar stabs = love

Niz is using custom designed Cherry stabs for the Atom68 Alu, so hopefully those will be available for future projects like this as well!

Online Applet

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #82 on: Thu, 12 March 2020, 09:31:59 »
If it is of any help, you are welcome to use the work from my usb3 controller, this is not very cheap but so far it is working great. You may be able to do a more cost effective solution using different chips and connectors.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=93970.0

A bluetooth and USB 3.1 controller would be fantastic and collaborations with NIZ sounds promising :D

joric has done work with the nRF52 and HHKB for a more battery efficient bluetooth solution, but there is still some issues

Offline nathanchere

  • Posts: 355
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #83 on: Thu, 12 March 2020, 11:49:24 »
Personally I don't see a need for this when I already have Hasu's BT controller in my non-BT boards but if I didn't already have those I would be very much interested in this.

Offline monteyalps

  • Posts: 37
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #84 on: Thu, 12 March 2020, 16:12:58 »
Well...I literally just bought an hhkb Type-S on yahoo.jp and was about to pull the trigger on the hasu's controller. Think I may wait now...

1. I love the usb controller and would like it. If it's not available I won't cry though (ok maybe I will, I really love the controller...) .

2. QMK YES PLEASE

3. How much?

4. USB-C is cool but at this point it's my least used connector for customs.

« Last Edit: Thu, 12 March 2020, 16:17:48 by monteyalps »

Offline Cobertt

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #85 on: Thu, 12 March 2020, 23:03:16 »
Love the keeping the functionality of the USB controller. That's a nice touch.

Yes please to QMK/VIA

USB-C would definitely be nice.
Mars 8.0 - 62g Zealios - GMK Hydro | Banana-Split 60 - Kaihl Coppers - DSA Bounty Hunter | Pok3r - MX Clears - SA Danger Zone

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #86 on: Fri, 13 March 2020, 00:04:18 »
Thanks to Manofinterest for bringing me here. As a rubber dome peasant myself I will gladly support this. Have plan to buy a HHKB BT for work and travel but this PCB will change it haha.

- My personal preference is USB-C for everything, it is the way. But fully understand if it is not available in the round 1 due to cost and fitment etc.
- Don't care about USB hub really, bluetooth is a must for me

And my pipe-dream is an Alice-layout custom Topre board. Dream on  :p :p :p

I think that USBC, for now, is dispensable because the main feature is the capacitance sensing and activation. We are going for the "stock"  HHKB features. In the future we are surely going to add more features and the USBC!
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 #87 on: Fri, 13 March 2020, 00:04:40 »
Iíll be waiting warmly for your work on Realforce R1 and FC660C.

660C is the next on the line.
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 #88 on: Fri, 13 March 2020, 00:07:57 »
If it is of any help, you are welcome to use the work from my usb3 controller, this is not very cheap but so far it is working great. You may be able to do a more cost effective solution using different chips and connectors.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=93970.0

A bluetooth and USB 3.1 controller would be fantastic and collaborations with NIZ sounds promising :D

joric has done work with the nRF52 and HHKB for a more battery efficient bluetooth solution, but there is still some issues

I didn't know you had this designed. I opened the files here and it looks amazing!

I'm developing everything on KiCad and will open-source futurely. I think that I am using the same chips though, both TUSB8042 and the port monitors, so I think it shouldn't be much different!
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 #89 on: Fri, 13 March 2020, 00:16:23 »
Personally I don't see a need for this when I already have Hasu's BT controller in my non-BT boards but if I didn't already have those I would be very much interested in this.

The Hasu Controller was definitely a game changer. Thank you for the support!
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 #90 on: Fri, 13 March 2020, 00:23:05 »
Well...I literally just bought an hhkb Type-S on yahoo.jp and was about to pull the trigger on the hasu's controller. Think I may wait now...

1. I love the usb controller and would like it. If it's not available I won't cry though (ok maybe I will, I really love the controller...) .

2. QMK YES PLEASE

3. How much?

4. USB-C is cool but at this point it's my least used connector for customs.

The USB hub and AMK are a given. For now I think we are going to implement USB 2.0 and mini-B connector, but in the future we do have plans for USB3.1 .

As for the price, really difficult to tell, but my rough estimate is 60 USD for the first version.
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 #91 on: Fri, 13 March 2020, 00:23:38 »
Love the keeping the functionality of the USB controller. That's a nice touch.

Yes please to QMK/VIA

USB-C would definitely be nice.

I feel bad for leaving the USB controller unpopulated on the HHKB, it's a very useful feature.

Nice! Thank you for your feedback!
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 Hokabuki

  • Posts: 169
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #92 on: Fri, 13 March 2020, 00:40:41 »
Love the keeping the functionality of the USB controller. That's a nice touch.

Yes please to QMK/VIA

USB-C would definitely be nice.

I feel bad for leaving the USB controller unpopulated on the HHKB, it's a very useful feature.

Nice! Thank you for your feedback!
Agree with having the USB ports included. Mostly donít want 2 open holes in the case but the functionality is a nice bonus.

Offline monteyalps

  • Posts: 37
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #93 on: Fri, 13 March 2020, 07:33:18 »
Well...I literally just bought an hhkb Type-S on yahoo.jp and was about to pull the trigger on the hasu's controller. Think I may wait now...

1. I love the usb controller and would like it. If it's not available I won't cry though (ok maybe I will, I really love the controller...) .

2. QMK YES PLEASE

3. How much?

4. USB-C is cool but at this point it's my least used connector for customs.

The USB hub and AMK are a given. For now I think we are going to implement USB 2.0 and mini-B connector, but in the future we do have plans for USB3.1 .

As for the price, really difficult to tell, but my rough estimate is 60 USD for the first version.
Awesome! Very excited about this!!

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Offline Solotov

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #94 on: Fri, 13 March 2020, 08:13:29 »
Interested  :thumb:
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Offline mewa

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #95 on: Fri, 13 March 2020, 12:20:57 »
Ah, this is great! I wish such a thorough documentation was available when I first started with Conundrum (which btw has evolved to a 40% planck with our lovely switch). It took me months to get everything tested and get QMK to play together, it would've been just soo much easier haha.

Feel free to hit me up if you'd like to talk - I'll be polishing everything QMK-wise as soon as I get pre-GB round of PCBs+cases (that I'm in the process of ordering) but I've already had success on bare PCB prototype.

thock thock thock

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #96 on: Sat, 14 March 2020, 21:10:48 »
So down for a project like this. Its going to open up a lot of topre customization that was sorely needed, for all the thockers in GH. I think having a basic version just to make sure everything is working is the best way to go about this.

1. I'm pretty sure every die hard hhkb owner would love a chance to be able to reprogram them, including myself.
2. The hub isn't really a big concern, but it sounds like you are pretty sure you will be able to include that.
3.Having bluetooth is also something secondary, but would love to see it in a later edition.
4. Also USB-C would be nice for future custom projects using this pcb, but shouldn't be something that makes into consideration for the first run of this board at all.

Hope this project gets rolling asap will be sure to pop my head back in another time to peek for updates.

Yeah, the first idea here really is make sure that the switch activation mechanic works before diving into fancy stuff. I think going with mini-B and 2.0 USB hub is a nice start, specially because those are the HHKB's stock features. Once we prove this concept works we will go wild.
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 #97 on: Sat, 14 March 2020, 21:14:02 »
Ah, this is great! I wish such a thorough documentation was available when I first started with Conundrum (which btw has evolved to a 40% planck with our lovely switch). It took me months to get everything tested and get QMK to play together, it would've been just soo much easier haha.

Feel free to hit me up if you'd like to talk - I'll be polishing everything QMK-wise as soon as I get pre-GB round of PCBs+cases (that I'm in the process of ordering) but I've already had success on bare PCB prototype.

thock thock thock

Nice! Maybe we can exchange some information. The QMK implementation might be different as the activation circuit I'm using is unique, but it would be awesome if we could overlap our efforts!
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 TopreMoon

  • Posts: 15
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #98 on: Tue, 17 March 2020, 11:25:05 »
100% interested! 50-60 definitely sounds reasonable for the simple/base version.

In order of importance of features for me:

USB 3.1
USB Hub
Bluetooth

Good luck!

Offline yarlah

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #99 on: Tue, 17 March 2020, 21:13:45 »
Will the pcb have RGB underglow? That would be awesome!

Offline Lormania

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #100 on: Wed, 18 March 2020, 00:59:08 »
So excited for this project! I would be happy with the bare minimum pcb and then offer a fancy one later.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #101 on: Wed, 18 March 2020, 10:03:47 »
100% interested! 50-60 definitely sounds reasonable for the simple/base version.

In order of importance of features for me:

USB 3.1
USB Hub
Bluetooth

Good luck!

I don't think you quite understand the USB hub feature -- USB hub can be 2.0 or 3.1. The 2.0 variant supports lower speed devices and does not support power delivery, but is really cheaper. It's the stock HHKB feature. So USB 3.1 and USB hub are the "same feature". I think that by USB3.1 you meant USB type C maybe?

Thanks for your feedback though, it's appreciated!
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 #102 on: Wed, 18 March 2020, 10:05:13 »
Will the pcb have RGB underglow? That would be awesome!

Not for now. Since this PCB is meant as an HHKB replacement PCB, and the HHKB cases are opaque, I don't see use for RGB right now. However, since the idea is to get the know-how and technology to make Topre custom PCBs, I think we are definitely impelemtning something of that in the future.
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 MajorKoos

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #103 on: Wed, 18 March 2020, 12:41:09 »
...However, since the idea is to get the know-how and technology to make Topre custom PCBs, I think we are definitely impelemtning something of that in the future...

When you get round to those future plans I could do with a half-dozen replacement novatouch PCBs ;)

Offline Ensaum

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #104 on: Wed, 18 March 2020, 13:58:18 »
...However, since the idea is to get the know-how and technology to make Topre custom PCBs, I think we are definitely impelemtning something of that in the future...

When you get round to those future plans I could do with a half-dozen replacement novatouch PCBs ;)

OMG. If you made a QMK Novatouch pcb I might actually die. plsdo

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #105 on: Wed, 18 March 2020, 15:09:05 »
...However, since the idea is to get the know-how and technology to make Topre custom PCBs, I think we are definitely impelemtning something of that in the future...

When you get round to those future plans I could do with a half-dozen replacement novatouch PCBs ;)

...However, since the idea is to get the know-how and technology to make Topre custom PCBs, I think we are definitely impelemtning something of that in the future...

When you get round to those future plans I could do with a half-dozen replacement novatouch PCBs ;)

OMG. If you made a QMK Novatouch pcb I might actually die. plsdo

I think that once Faraday60 is confirmedly working, we can definitely make a "roadmap" covering the most used Topre stuff:

- Leopolf F660C
- Realforces 87/87U
- Novatouch

I have also talked to NiZ and we are definitely making some collabs in the future.

It is coming guys, don't worry. Once we have this covered a LOT of options will open up for us
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 1thJ

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #106 on: Thu, 19 March 2020, 09:36:17 »
You sir, I am interested!

Offline TopreMoon

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #107 on: Fri, 20 March 2020, 19:05:24 »

I don't think you quite understand the USB hub feature -- USB hub can be 2.0 or 3.1. The 2.0 variant supports lower speed devices and does not support power delivery, but is really cheaper. It's the stock HHKB feature. So USB 3.1 and USB hub are the "same feature". I think that by USB3.1 you meant USB type C maybe?

Thanks for your feedback though, it's appreciated!

Ah sorry - you're right! In my head, I half assume most keyboards will be using the USB-C interface moving forward, so I was more focused on the 3.1/hub aspect. I think many people looking to upgrade the PCB would gladly consider paying a little bit more for a more future proof PCB - if you're intending to keep the USB hubs, 3.1 would be amazing if feasible.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #108 on: Sat, 21 March 2020, 08:39:21 »
You sir, I am interested!

Thanks! Let's do this!
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 #109 on: Sat, 21 March 2020, 08:40:30 »

I don't think you quite understand the USB hub feature -- USB hub can be 2.0 or 3.1. The 2.0 variant supports lower speed devices and does not support power delivery, but is really cheaper. It's the stock HHKB feature. So USB 3.1 and USB hub are the "same feature". I think that by USB3.1 you meant USB type C maybe?

Thanks for your feedback though, it's appreciated!

Ah sorry - you're right! In my head, I half assume most keyboards will be using the USB-C interface moving forward, so I was more focused on the 3.1/hub aspect. I think many people looking to upgrade the PCB would gladly consider paying a little bit more for a more future proof PCB - if you're intending to keep the USB hubs, 3.1 would be amazing if feasible.

USB3.1 is feasible yes -- just more expensive. That is why I want to go with a stock HHKB feature set before going innovation!
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 #110 on: Sat, 21 March 2020, 08:42:06 »
Stream announcement

Ok guys, so in the middle of this week, somewhere around tuesday at 3PM brazilian time, I will make a stream where I write down more documentation on the Faraday. I wil have to remake some of the simulations and I can answer questions and talk to you guys about how the PCB works and the design process behind it! Feel free to tune in and ask away about the project!
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 chamelemon_64

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #111 on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 00:02:06 »
Im 100% in on this if it runs

Offline tehfrawg

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #112 on: Mon, 06 April 2020, 13:09:35 »


Did the Stream announcement ever happen? Any other updates?

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #113 on: Mon, 06 April 2020, 17:07:48 »


Did the Stream announcement ever happen? Any other updates?

It did yes. It's buried somewhere in my Twitch channel. Updates are, some reformulation of the components was needed and the PCB is still under development, it is active and will 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 owltro

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #114 on: Tue, 07 April 2020, 20:41:44 »
Count me interested! Would love QMK on my HHKB. Bom trabalho mano
« Last Edit: Tue, 07 April 2020, 20:43:26 by owltro »

Offline minnus

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #115 on: Sat, 11 April 2020, 15:00:34 »

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.


Great project!

I would definitely prefer an "ultimate" version over the base initially. I can't imagine being able to justify the cost and waste of displacing multiple PCBs. I'd be much more willing to pay extra to know any PCB I invest is the best version possible. USB 3.1, Bluetooth - those features would definitely bring the HHKB to endgame territory and would make it superior to the new Hybrids. If cost is a concern, in the grand scheme of things, I honestly believe that anyone interested in buying an aftermarket HHKB PCB wouldn't bat an eye over a $24++ difference - people gut $200++ Novatouches just for the sliders to mount their $100++ GMK keycap sets.

But perfect is the enemy of good!

I know you're working on a billion things - and projected timelines on this?




Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #116 on: Sat, 11 April 2020, 21:20:17 »

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.


Great project!

I would definitely prefer an "ultimate" version over the base initially. I can't imagine being able to justify the cost and waste of displacing multiple PCBs. I'd be much more willing to pay extra to know any PCB I invest is the best version possible. USB 3.1, Bluetooth - those features would definitely bring the HHKB to endgame territory and would make it superior to the new Hybrids. If cost is a concern, in the grand scheme of things, I honestly believe that anyone interested in buying an aftermarket HHKB PCB wouldn't bat an eye over a $24++ difference - people gut $200++ Novatouches just for the sliders to mount their $100++ GMK keycap sets.

But perfect is the enemy of good!

I know you're working on a billion things - and projected timelines on this?

Yeah, unfortunately all my projects were delayed and I wish I had more time to work on this.

Going for the ultimate version right away is not the best way to do it, at least in my view. That's because the most basic part -- the switch activation circuit -- is novel and, at this point, still experimental. Despite having one-switch protos that worked fine, I had to do a major rehaul of the activation circuit due to some current specifications. I am doing my best to make it the most robust and straightforward solution, but when it comes to analog sensing electronics, many variables come in place and they should all be considered. Placing components and guessing values is not an option as in most digital electronics. In short, I think that in this first moment the most important thing is to prove the concept of the switch activation circuitry, which is not simple on its own right, and then expand on that. This is called induction-based design and is a very secure and transparent way to manage a project.

Second, development of a USB 3.1 hub is not simple as 2.0 . I was re-thinking and this USB hub gave me an opportunity to do an "unified USB hub" daughterboard that could be open-sourced, much like ai03's Unified Daughterboard which latest version (C3) is of my authorship. This open up the possibility of other makers offering USB hub on their keyboards simply using that daugherboard. I also think that this opens up the possibility of expanding the options for the Faraday60. Initially what I was thinking on doing was offering a basic PCB with USB2.0 hub only, and then the more sophisticated PCB with USB3.1 . However, as I realized Faraday and the hub PCB are independent, one can easily make both daughterboards compatible with the motherboard. This means that it's better offering a USB2.0 hub DB, a USB3.1 hub DB, a basic motherboard and a more complete motherboard, so that the user can choose which to buy and upgrade accordingly. I think that this opens up a possibility, because as far as I have gathered, people are completely fine with a USB2.0 hub but would like bluetooth. So I think that there is no reason in tying the feature-rich version of the motherboard with the USB3.1 .

Third, I want to adapt Hasu's idea for USB-C and implement it on the basic PCB, and hopefully I can add both USBC and mini-B support for those that consider stock features better. I am however not sure on how to go about this, because the little castellated PCB needed is not simple to solder and I don't feel comfortable leaving that to the user to solder.

Finally, I'm waiting for QMK support on ARM Bluetooth; I received word from the developers in the QMK Discord server and apparently this is not a top priority. So I think that this initial version will use ARM, which is better, faster and cheaper, and the BL version will use AVR. Using ARM is a big deal for me because I think that it is the future of this hobby that people will eventually ditch AVR and start using ARMs. ARMs are also way cheaper than AVR's; for instance, STM32F072CBT6 costs US$1.1 at 100+ units while ATMEGA32U4 costs US$2.8 at 100+ units, nearly a third the price. This saves up some budget for me to use top-quality components in the sensing circuitry, where they matter most.

All in all, there are a lot of ideas going into this project and that is exactly why I chose HHKB Pro 2 to start, not FC660C or Realforces. It opens up a lot of fronts in custom keyboard design which I think will benefit the community as a whole, as I am going to open-source all of this. That way other makers can use the ideas and circuits to offer better products. But, then again, lots of things to consider and I'm going one thing at a time. So I won't have a precise timeline on when I am going to finish, but be certain I am in complete passion about this PCB and I intend fully to see it through.
« Last Edit: Sun, 12 April 2020, 01:32:57 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 nastrovje

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #117 on: Sun, 12 April 2020, 21:04:03 »
I love you

Offline Gondolindrim

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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 mbsurfer

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #119 on: Mon, 13 April 2020, 15:10:57 »
Very interested in something like this. I will continue to watch for updates

Offline eratyke

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #120 on: Tue, 14 April 2020, 22:33:19 »
Fantastic! New here, but I'll be watching this!

Offline equalunique

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #121 on: Fri, 17 April 2020, 01:35:11 »
How very exciting :)

Offline hofstee

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #122 on: Sat, 18 April 2020, 00:32:59 »
I'd be interested in a future version using USB-C over Mini USB, and maybe Bluetooth LE. I would want to use it in the norbauer hhkb case whenever that gets around to being released. Unless there's some reason to switch from a stock HHKB PCB to this (I already have a Hasu BT controller) I don't really see a reason for myself to get this one yet. The big things missing if this gets made would mainly be sliders and springs, I think. BKE domes at least can serve as domes for now, and some of the previous aluminum Topre cases had the housings built-in to the top of the case.

Look forward to seeing updates.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #123 on: Sat, 18 April 2020, 20:28:55 »
I'd be interested in a future version using USB-C over Mini USB, and maybe Bluetooth LE. I would want to use it in the norbauer hhkb case whenever that gets around to being released. Unless there's some reason to switch from a stock HHKB PCB to this (I already have a Hasu BT controller) I don't really see a reason for myself to get this one yet. The big things missing if this gets made would mainly be sliders and springs, I think. BKE domes at least can serve as domes for now, and some of the previous aluminum Topre cases had the housings built-in to the top of the case.

Look forward to seeing updates.

Indeed, I think that for people that already have the Hasu controller this PCB is redundant. The idea here is not so much make a PCB for HHKB per se, but acquire know-how and methods to build:

- Custom Topre PCBs;
- Integrate USB hubs in a unified daughterboard;
- Making USB 3.1 hubs;
- Convert USB mini PCBs into USB type C;

As for the hardware (domes, housings, sliders) I am hoping I can work with some makers to make those a reality. Unfortunately, for now, all we can have are replacement PCBs for people that already have those pieces.
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 Nizkeyboard

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #124 on: Wed, 06 May 2020, 20:44:12 »
I'd be interested in a future version using USB-C over Mini USB, and maybe Bluetooth LE. I would want to use it in the norbauer hhkb case whenever that gets around to being released. Unless there's some reason to switch from a stock HHKB PCB to this (I already have a Hasu BT controller) I don't really see a reason for myself to get this one yet. The big things missing if this gets made would mainly be sliders and springs, I think. BKE domes at least can serve as domes for now, and some of the previous aluminum Topre cases had the housings built-in to the top of the case.

Look forward to seeing updates.

Indeed, I think that for people that already have the Hasu controller this PCB is redundant. The idea here is not so much make a PCB for HHKB per se, but acquire know-how and methods to build:

- Custom Topre PCBs;
- Integrate USB hubs in a unified daughterboard;
- Making USB 3.1 hubs;
- Convert USB mini PCBs into USB type C;

As for the hardware (domes, housings, sliders) I am hoping I can work with some makers to make those a reality. Unfortunately, for now, all we can have are replacement PCBs for people that already have those pieces.

We can provide domes, housings, sliders, and any other parts if needed.

Offline 1thJ

  • Posts: 2
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #125 on: Thu, 07 May 2020, 06:28:05 »
I'd be interested in a future version using USB-C over Mini USB, and maybe Bluetooth LE. I would want to use it in the norbauer hhkb case whenever that gets around to being released. Unless there's some reason to switch from a stock HHKB PCB to this (I already have a Hasu BT controller) I don't really see a reason for myself to get this one yet. The big things missing if this gets made would mainly be sliders and springs, I think. BKE domes at least can serve as domes for now, and some of the previous aluminum Topre cases had the housings built-in to the top of the case.

Look forward to seeing updates.

Indeed, I think that for people that already have the Hasu controller this PCB is redundant. The idea here is not so much make a PCB for HHKB per se, but acquire know-how and methods to build:

- Custom Topre PCBs;
- Integrate USB hubs in a unified daughterboard;
- Making USB 3.1 hubs;
- Convert USB mini PCBs into USB type C;

As for the hardware (domes, housings, sliders) I am hoping I can work with some makers to make those a reality. Unfortunately, for now, all we can have are replacement PCBs for people that already have those pieces.

We can provide domes, housings, sliders, and any other parts if needed.

Take my money!

Offline Kalibrrr

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #126 on: Fri, 08 May 2020, 03:18:26 »
The QMK and possibly VIA compatibility is the most important part of this. Following this would be the usb-c and the 3.1 hub. I think most people don't really utilise it much but its nice for times when you would want to use this. I am definitely in for this, very excited

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #127 on: Fri, 08 May 2020, 09:59:25 »
Today at around 5PM BRT -- in approximately 5 hours -- I will make a design stream disclosing the newest developments in the Faraday60 project and how I intend to go through with it.

Please join me if you have any questions or suggestions, or if you simply want me at the design process!

http://twitch.tv/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 myyrddraal

  • Posts: 54
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #128 on: Sat, 09 May 2020, 03:23:11 »
I'd be interested in a future version using USB-C over Mini USB, and maybe Bluetooth LE. I would want to use it in the norbauer hhkb case whenever that gets around to being released. Unless there's some reason to switch from a stock HHKB PCB to this (I already have a Hasu BT controller) I don't really see a reason for myself to get this one yet. The big things missing if this gets made would mainly be sliders and springs, I think. BKE domes at least can serve as domes for now, and some of the previous aluminum Topre cases had the housings built-in to the top of the case.

Look forward to seeing updates.

Indeed, I think that for people that already have the Hasu controller this PCB is redundant. The idea here is not so much make a PCB for HHKB per se, but acquire know-how and methods to build:

- Custom Topre PCBs;
- Integrate USB hubs in a unified daughterboard;
- Making USB 3.1 hubs;
- Convert USB mini PCBs into USB type C;

As for the hardware (domes, housings, sliders) I am hoping I can work with some makers to make those a reality. Unfortunately, for now, all we can have are replacement PCBs for people that already have those pieces.

We can provide domes, housings, sliders, and any other parts if needed.
I bought from them the parts before ( also a full Atom66) and used them in a build where i experimented with the sensing, but never finished the project (tried to make a columnar staggered as that is my area of interest).


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Offline myyrddraal

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #129 on: Sat, 09 May 2020, 03:24:32 »
I'd be interested in a future version using USB-C over Mini USB, and maybe Bluetooth LE. I would want to use it in the norbauer hhkb case whenever that gets around to being released. Unless there's some reason to switch from a stock HHKB PCB to this (I already have a Hasu BT controller) I don't really see a reason for myself to get this one yet. The big things missing if this gets made would mainly be sliders and springs, I think. BKE domes at least can serve as domes for now, and some of the previous aluminum Topre cases had the housings built-in to the top of the case.

Look forward to seeing updates.

Indeed, I think that for people that already have the Hasu controller this PCB is redundant. The idea here is not so much make a PCB for HHKB per se, but acquire know-how and methods to build:

- Custom Topre PCBs;
- Integrate USB hubs in a unified daughterboard;
- Making USB 3.1 hubs;
- Convert USB mini PCBs into USB type C;

As for the hardware (domes, housings, sliders) I am hoping I can work with some makers to make those a reality. Unfortunately, for now, all we can have are replacement PCBs for people that already have those pieces.

We can provide domes, housings, sliders, and any other parts if needed.
I bought from them the parts before ( also a full Atom66) and used them in a build where i experimented with the sensing, but never finished the project (tried to make a columnar staggered as that is my area of interest).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Oh, main point wanted to tell is, that the 2019 revision of the switch parts is superb!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Hokabuki

  • Posts: 169
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #130 on: Mon, 11 May 2020, 01:24:57 »
I wasnít able to watch the stream. Whatís the latest developments on this and how it will proceed?

Offline Galvo

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #131 on: Mon, 11 May 2020, 09:37:55 »
Personally I'm not interested in the HHKB one, but count me in for multiple copies if a FC660C/R87U!

- QMK/VIA yesss please
- USB-C would be nice

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #132 on: Mon, 11 May 2020, 12:47:38 »
I wasnít able to watch the stream. Whatís the latest developments on this and how it will proceed?

Ok so here goes a summary of what I the changes I announced and partially designed last stream:


  • Sensing circuit operation amplifier. In the first version and the documentation, the operation amplifier I am using is the TL081, which is a fast enough and cheap, reliable opamp that is pretty much standard. It does however present some issues:

    • It consumes too much current, approximately 13mA per unit. Considering that I need to imbue each sensing circuit for every single switch, meaning 60-100 of them, this circuit with TL081 is not scalable -- 100 of them would require 1.3A which is well above the USB2.0 current delivery capabilities.
    • It is not small enough. Each switch gives me a 19.05x19.05mm (approximately 363 mm2) space to work with. In that space I have to somehow fit an AM modulator circuit, an AM de-modulator circuit, a rectifier circuit, a filter circuit, a comparator circuit and an optocoupler. As you can guess that is a pretty limiting space and I need the smallest components I can use. The most space-efficient way to deploy TL081 is using the quad-package TL084 in SOIC-14 packages, which are each almost a centimeter wide. TL084 is also available in TSSOP-8, but it is considerably more expensive. Remember that we need 100+ units, so every cent in opamp cost means a dollar more that I had to sacrifice somewhere on the PCB or raising the end price ;
    • It requires Ī15V. Since the TL081 has a very bad peak output voltage swing, I used it with a Ī15V power source, allowing for Ī10V output swing with good linearity. Problem now being that Ī15V have to be implemented on the PCB by using the USB 5V supply,  probably through switched-mode converters and some power filters which honestly, in a PCB like this, are just too much.

    In order to solve this problem I tried using the TL061, which is an opamp from the same family as the TL081 but with FET input and optimized for low- and micro-power applications, solving the current draw issue. Nevertheless TL061 was way too slow and could not keep up with the circuit, so in a second version I had to relax the 100Ķs settling time requirement and use 200Ķs, leaving me quite uncomfortable because that has the serious risk of affecting the activation circuit perceived latency. Still, 100Ķs more in the sensing time is not that big of a deal I guess: the major problem really is the space, as TL064s are not available in TSSOP-14 package (at least not LCSC) and using SOIC-14 is something I want to avoid. So now for the third version I am using LM324, which is available in a ridiculously small QFN-16 package and is even cheaper than both TL084 and TL064.
  • Sensing circuit diodes. I was using the 1N4148W, a silicon diode which is cheap, available, small, and at this point pretty much a standard among keyboard makers. There are two issues with this diode.

    • Space. 1N4148 is not small enough and there are better, smaller alternatives.
    • Performance. Being a small-signal sillicon diode, 1N4148 is not fast enough to keep up with 100kHz+ large swing wave signals.

    So because of this I decided to use BAT54:
    • It comes in a dual-package SOD-523, meaning itís both less than half the size and half the price;
    • It also is a Schottky diode, so it is faster, more reliable, has better parasitic performance and less forward voltage, despite that does not mattering that much due to the precision-diode rectifier feedback topology used;
  • Wien bridge oscillator topology. To generate the 100kHz sine wave, I was using a Bubba Oscillator topology, which is a very common quadrature-phase signal rotation oscillator. The LM324 was however unable to work with this topology because its output impedance was just too high at 100kHz, making it impossible to reliably set the circuit to generate a 100kHz sine wave with a precision that I am comfortable with -- with every design I have to consider the components tolerances, because oscillator circuits tend to be highly sensible to that. To replace the Bubba topology it I considered a myriad of other oscillator topologies, ranging from Colpitts crystal oscillators to solid-state ones. I ended up deciding to just use a good, albeit difficult to work with, oscillator topology known as a Wien Bridge oscillator. It still uses an operational amplifier, but this time around I got one suited for the job, the TLVx316, which is better than LM324 in every aspect but way more expensive. Regardless, since I need only one for the oscillator and I already saved some budget by adopting the LM324, this is acceptable. The dual-package TLV2316 allows me to integrate both the oscillator and a third order Butterworth-based filter topology to further clean up the output wave. I was able to produce (in the simulation, at least) a 0.5% THD sine wave, which is very good.


All in all I'm pretty happy with the direction that this project is taking and I feel vey proud I was able to make it this far. Everything works like expected and I will probably be polishing things out and starting the PCB shortly.


« Last Edit: Mon, 11 May 2020, 17:43:41 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 Applet

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #133 on: Mon, 11 May 2020, 13:23:16 »
I wasnít able to watch the stream. Whatís the latest developments on this and how it will proceed?
Ok so here goes a summary of what I the changes I announced and partially designed last stream:
Keep up the good work!  :thumb:

Very exciting!

Offline MdotMaxson

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #134 on: Mon, 11 May 2020, 14:08:46 »
I tried to use galvanic isolators once before. They claim to offer high speed isolation.... but even with absurd levels of PCB designing to isolate the noice, they scream in an EMC chamber. No product can realistically use those and pass things like FCC and CE compliance. It was so bad my wireless mouse in my lab would lose connection when they were transmitting data

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #135 on: Mon, 11 May 2020, 15:08:56 »
I tried to use galvanic isolators once before. They claim to offer high speed isolation.... but even with absurd levels of PCB designing to isolate the noice, they scream in an EMC chamber. No product can realistically use those and pass things like FCC and CE compliance. It was so bad my wireless mouse in my lab would lose connection when they were transmitting data

The isolation is done through optocouplers, and those are very straighforward. I don't see an issue, never had an issue with them at least
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 2truth

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #136 on: Mon, 11 May 2020, 17:37:58 »
I currently own a HHKB BT, honestly would be interested if this would fit in my housing. I bought it and wasn't aware of the lack of programmability or utilization of the mini-usb hub for anything more than power. I would also love to make it a USB-C hub for the ability to purchase more compatible custom cables. Not sure if my casing is any different besides the battery slot on top & the USB port residing on the left side of the pcb. I could probably dremel out a hole anyway. Let me know if I'm far off here.

I'll be watching anyway, good work!

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #137 on: Mon, 11 May 2020, 17:55:56 »
I wasnít able to watch the stream. Whatís the latest developments on this and how it will proceed?
Ok so here goes a summary of what I the changes I announced and partially designed last stream:
Keep up the good work!  :thumb:

Very exciting!

Thanks man, will do  ;D
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 LostInInaka

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #138 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 10:12:02 »
Wait....will this work for the JIS version too (did I miss the announcement of this somewhere else in the thread)?

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #139 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 22:40:14 »
Wait....will this work for the JIS version too (did I miss the announcement of this somewhere else in the thread)?

To be fair I have no idea. I am using an HHKB Pro 2 to measure and fit everything, but I don't know if the PCBs are compatible. I could try to make it "universal" by adjusting things here and there
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 Hokabuki

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #140 on: Fri, 22 May 2020, 07:56:52 »
I wasnít able to watch the stream. Whatís the latest developments on this and how it will proceed?

Ok so here goes a summary of what I the changes I announced and partially designed last stream:


  • Sensing circuit operation amplifier. In the first version and the documentation, the operation amplifier I am using is the TL081, which is a fast enough and cheap, reliable opamp that is pretty much standard. It does however present some issues:

    • It consumes too much current, approximately 13mA per unit. Considering that I need to imbue each sensing circuit for every single switch, meaning 60-100 of them, this circuit with TL081 is not scalable -- 100 of them would require 1.3A which is well above the USB2.0 current delivery capabilities.
    • It is not small enough. Each switch gives me a 19.05x19.05mm (approximately 363 mm2) space to work with. In that space I have to somehow fit an AM modulator circuit, an AM de-modulator circuit, a rectifier circuit, a filter circuit, a comparator circuit and an optocoupler. As you can guess that is a pretty limiting space and I need the smallest components I can use. The most space-efficient way to deploy TL081 is using the quad-package TL084 in SOIC-14 packages, which are each almost a centimeter wide. TL084 is also available in TSSOP-8, but it is considerably more expensive. Remember that we need 100+ units, so every cent in opamp cost means a dollar more that I had to sacrifice somewhere on the PCB or raising the end price ;
    • It requires Ī15V. Since the TL081 has a very bad peak output voltage swing, I used it with a Ī15V power source, allowing for Ī10V output swing with good linearity. Problem now being that Ī15V have to be implemented on the PCB by using the USB 5V supply,  probably through switched-mode converters and some power filters which honestly, in a PCB like this, are just too much.

    In order to solve this problem I tried using the TL061, which is an opamp from the same family as the TL081 but with FET input and optimized for low- and micro-power applications, solving the current draw issue. Nevertheless TL061 was way too slow and could not keep up with the circuit, so in a second version I had to relax the 100Ķs settling time requirement and use 200Ķs, leaving me quite uncomfortable because that has the serious risk of affecting the activation circuit perceived latency. Still, 100Ķs more in the sensing time is not that big of a deal I guess: the major problem really is the space, as TL064s are not available in TSSOP-14 package (at least not LCSC) and using SOIC-14 is something I want to avoid. So now for the third version I am using LM324, which is available in a ridiculously small QFN-16 package and is even cheaper than both TL084 and TL064.
  • Sensing circuit diodes. I was using the 1N4148W, a silicon diode which is cheap, available, small, and at this point pretty much a standard among keyboard makers. There are two issues with this diode.

    • Space. 1N4148 is not small enough and there are better, smaller alternatives.
    • Performance. Being a small-signal sillicon diode, 1N4148 is not fast enough to keep up with 100kHz+ large swing wave signals.

    So because of this I decided to use BAT54:
    • It comes in a dual-package SOD-523, meaning itís both less than half the size and half the price;
    • It also is a Schottky diode, so it is faster, more reliable, has better parasitic performance and less forward voltage, despite that does not mattering that much due to the precision-diode rectifier feedback topology used;
  • Wien bridge oscillator topology. To generate the 100kHz sine wave, I was using a Bubba Oscillator topology, which is a very common quadrature-phase signal rotation oscillator. The LM324 was however unable to work with this topology because its output impedance was just too high at 100kHz, making it impossible to reliably set the circuit to generate a 100kHz sine wave with a precision that I am comfortable with -- with every design I have to consider the components tolerances, because oscillator circuits tend to be highly sensible to that. To replace the Bubba topology it I considered a myriad of other oscillator topologies, ranging from Colpitts crystal oscillators to solid-state ones. I ended up deciding to just use a good, albeit difficult to work with, oscillator topology known as a Wien Bridge oscillator. It still uses an operational amplifier, but this time around I got one suited for the job, the TLVx316, which is better than LM324 in every aspect but way more expensive. Regardless, since I need only one for the oscillator and I already saved some budget by adopting the LM324, this is acceptable. The dual-package TLV2316 allows me to integrate both the oscillator and a third order Butterworth-based filter topology to further clean up the output wave. I was able to produce (in the simulation, at least) a 0.5% THD sine wave, which is very good.


All in all I'm pretty happy with the direction that this project is taking and I feel vey proud I was able to make it this far. Everything works like expected and I will probably be polishing things out and starting the PCB shortly.
Did not expect it to be so detailed and technical. I know some of those words. Haha keyboard go brrrrr

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #141 on: Sat, 23 May 2020, 16:44:36 »
I wasnít able to watch the stream. Whatís the latest developments on this and how it will proceed?

Ok so here goes a summary of what I the changes I announced and partially designed last stream:


  • Sensing circuit operation amplifier. In the first version and the documentation, the operation amplifier I am using is the TL081, which is a fast enough and cheap, reliable opamp that is pretty much standard. It does however present some issues:

    • It consumes too much current, approximately 13mA per unit. Considering that I need to imbue each sensing circuit for every single switch, meaning 60-100 of them, this circuit with TL081 is not scalable -- 100 of them would require 1.3A which is well above the USB2.0 current delivery capabilities.
    • It is not small enough. Each switch gives me a 19.05x19.05mm (approximately 363 mm2) space to work with. In that space I have to somehow fit an AM modulator circuit, an AM de-modulator circuit, a rectifier circuit, a filter circuit, a comparator circuit and an optocoupler. As you can guess that is a pretty limiting space and I need the smallest components I can use. The most space-efficient way to deploy TL081 is using the quad-package TL084 in SOIC-14 packages, which are each almost a centimeter wide. TL084 is also available in TSSOP-8, but it is considerably more expensive. Remember that we need 100+ units, so every cent in opamp cost means a dollar more that I had to sacrifice somewhere on the PCB or raising the end price ;
    • It requires Ī15V. Since the TL081 has a very bad peak output voltage swing, I used it with a Ī15V power source, allowing for Ī10V output swing with good linearity. Problem now being that Ī15V have to be implemented on the PCB by using the USB 5V supply,  probably through switched-mode converters and some power filters which honestly, in a PCB like this, are just too much.

    In order to solve this problem I tried using the TL061, which is an opamp from the same family as the TL081 but with FET input and optimized for low- and micro-power applications, solving the current draw issue. Nevertheless TL061 was way too slow and could not keep up with the circuit, so in a second version I had to relax the 100Ķs settling time requirement and use 200Ķs, leaving me quite uncomfortable because that has the serious risk of affecting the activation circuit perceived latency. Still, 100Ķs more in the sensing time is not that big of a deal I guess: the major problem really is the space, as TL064s are not available in TSSOP-14 package (at least not LCSC) and using SOIC-14 is something I want to avoid. So now for the third version I am using LM324, which is available in a ridiculously small QFN-16 package and is even cheaper than both TL084 and TL064.
  • Sensing circuit diodes. I was using the 1N4148W, a silicon diode which is cheap, available, small, and at this point pretty much a standard among keyboard makers. There are two issues with this diode.

    • Space. 1N4148 is not small enough and there are better, smaller alternatives.
    • Performance. Being a small-signal sillicon diode, 1N4148 is not fast enough to keep up with 100kHz+ large swing wave signals.

    So because of this I decided to use BAT54:
    • It comes in a dual-package SOD-523, meaning itís both less than half the size and half the price;
    • It also is a Schottky diode, so it is faster, more reliable, has better parasitic performance and less forward voltage, despite that does not mattering that much due to the precision-diode rectifier feedback topology used;
  • Wien bridge oscillator topology. To generate the 100kHz sine wave, I was using a Bubba Oscillator topology, which is a very common quadrature-phase signal rotation oscillator. The LM324 was however unable to work with this topology because its output impedance was just too high at 100kHz, making it impossible to reliably set the circuit to generate a 100kHz sine wave with a precision that I am comfortable with -- with every design I have to consider the components tolerances, because oscillator circuits tend to be highly sensible to that. To replace the Bubba topology it I considered a myriad of other oscillator topologies, ranging from Colpitts crystal oscillators to solid-state ones. I ended up deciding to just use a good, albeit difficult to work with, oscillator topology known as a Wien Bridge oscillator. It still uses an operational amplifier, but this time around I got one suited for the job, the TLVx316, which is better than LM324 in every aspect but way more expensive. Regardless, since I need only one for the oscillator and I already saved some budget by adopting the LM324, this is acceptable. The dual-package TLV2316 allows me to integrate both the oscillator and a third order Butterworth-based filter topology to further clean up the output wave. I was able to produce (in the simulation, at least) a 0.5% THD sine wave, which is very good.


All in all I'm pretty happy with the direction that this project is taking and I feel vey proud I was able to make it this far. Everything works like expected and I will probably be polishing things out and starting the PCB shortly.
Did not expect it to be so detailed and technical. I know some of those words. Haha keyboard go brrrrr

Haha I did it because the stream indeed was very technical and at this point it is what it is. But I think that soon we'll have some better palatable streams
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 foxtrap614

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #142 on: Sun, 24 May 2020, 09:29:13 »
I can't believe this is real this is awesome.
"I don't think -- " "Then you shouldn't talk."
-Alice In Wonderland
 

Offline blacksimon

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #143 on: Sun, 24 May 2020, 10:12:28 »
please take my money, but first tell me how many monie this is.. thank

Offline ycanales

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #144 on: Sun, 24 May 2020, 11:49:07 »
Iím not sure if I already commented in this post but Iím in!

I own a FC660C, a Novatouch, an HHKB Pro 2 and soon a Niz Atom, so  Iím super interested.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #145 on: Mon, 25 May 2020, 13:28:20 »
I can't believe this is real this is awesome.

It's real. It's awesome. It's sexy. It's brazilian.

Might as well call it Ricardo Milos at this point
« Last Edit: Mon, 25 May 2020, 13:33:38 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 #146 on: Mon, 25 May 2020, 13:31:19 »
please take my money, but first tell me how many monie this is.. thank

Aim is 60-80 'murica monies. Now get back there and review this thread properly. Thank
« Last Edit: Wed, 27 May 2020, 09:03:05 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 #147 on: Mon, 25 May 2020, 13:34:12 »
Iím not sure if I already commented in this post but Iím in!

I own a FC660C, a Novatouch, an HHKB Pro 2 and soon a Niz Atom, so  Iím super interested.

FC660C is the next in the list.

Also because I need 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 BoofyMoon

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #148 on: Mon, 25 May 2020, 17:09:21 »
Really excited to see that custom ec keyboards are getting somewhere. An Ortho ec board is my dream.i gotta study the documentation once you are done!