Author Topic: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB  (Read 18329 times)

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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

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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

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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).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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

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Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #130 on: Mon, 11 May 2020, 01:24:57 »
I wasnt able to watch the stream. Whats 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 wasnt able to watch the stream. Whats 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 15V. Since the TL081 has a very bad peak output voltage swing, I used it with a 15V power source, allowing for 10V output swing with good linearity. Problem now being that 15V 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 100s settling time requirement and use 200s, leaving me quite uncomfortable because that has the serious risk of affecting the activation circuit perceived latency. Still, 100s 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 its 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.

Offline Applet

  • Posts: 316
  • Location: Sweden
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #133 on: Mon, 11 May 2020, 13:23:16 »
I wasnt able to watch the stream. Whats 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

  • Posts: 233
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

  • Thread Starter
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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

  • Posts: 6
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

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 317
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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 wasnt able to watch the stream. Whats 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

  • Posts: 21
  • Location: Tohoku, Japan
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

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 317
  • Location: Gondolin
    • My GitHub
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

  • Posts: 166
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #140 on: Fri, 22 May 2020, 07:56:52 »
I wasnt able to watch the stream. Whats 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 15V. Since the TL081 has a very bad peak output voltage swing, I used it with a 15V power source, allowing for 10V output swing with good linearity. Problem now being that 15V 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 100s settling time requirement and use 200s, leaving me quite uncomfortable because that has the serious risk of affecting the activation circuit perceived latency. Still, 100s 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 its 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

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 317
  • Location: Gondolin
    • My GitHub
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #141 on: Sat, 23 May 2020, 16:44:36 »
I wasnt able to watch the stream. Whats 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 15V. Since the TL081 has a very bad peak output voltage swing, I used it with a 15V power source, allowing for 10V output swing with good linearity. Problem now being that 15V 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 100s settling time requirement and use 200s, leaving me quite uncomfortable because that has the serious risk of affecting the activation circuit perceived latency. Still, 100s 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 its 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

  • Posts: 19
  • Always rem
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

  • Posts: 144
  • illuminati.works
    • illuminati.works
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

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

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

Offline Gondolindrim

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 317
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    • My GitHub
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

  • Thread Starter
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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

Only if this features in one of your angry IC/GB review videos. Thank
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

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 317
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    • My GitHub
Re: [IC] Faraday60 - A QMK-compatible Topre HHKB Pro replacement PCB
« Reply #147 on: Mon, 25 May 2020, 13:34:12 »
Im not sure if I already commented in this post but Im in!

I own a FC660C, a Novatouch, an HHKB Pro 2 and soon a Niz Atom, so  Im 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

  • Posts: 6
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!