Author Topic: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)  (Read 15904 times)

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Offline mewa

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
Hi GH,

I'm thrilled to finally present to you the project I've been working on for the past two years.

Namely, world's first 40% ortholinear, programmable, electro-capacitive keyboard!

Meet the Conundrum






Having been mesmerised by both 40% ortholinear and EC keyboards I've since wished there existed a keyboard that combined them. That's how Conundrum was born.

Conundrum is a 4-piece construction:
  • aluminum top, electrophoretic coating
  • brass plate, polished, PVD-coated
  • aluminum bottom, electrophoretic coating
  • brass weight, polished PVD-coated

Inside the 5ļ-angled case sits a PCB which hosts a powerful ARM Cortex M4F unit, together with rubber domes, custom-made capacitive conic springs, switch housings and sliders (MX-compatible). Last but not least, everything is connected to your PC via a USB-C connector.

Apart from being programmable (and based on QMK firmware), one big point for me when building it was the ability to CUSTOMIZE it - which brings us to the next point.

COLORS:
The GB will certainly have the following colors:

aluminum:
  • white
  • black
  • yellow
brass:
  • gold

If there is enough demand I also plan to do a run of Black PVD brass!


Let me know what other color combos you would like to see!


I would love to hear your feedback before the group buy starts (which is SOON!).

More details and photos available at thock.co!


=================
EDIT:

I created a form where you can express your interest regarding 2x 2u support + a couple more questions regarding the implementation. You can find it here.

I also encourage people not interested in 2x 2u support to fill it in if the 4u cutout required to make it happen is something you'd not like to see.


=================
UPDATE 16/06/2020:

I added a crude typing test which you can find here.



=================
UPDATE 21/06/2020:

Thanks everyone for filling the IC form for 2x2u support. Unfortunately, there were too many people opposing the changes required to make it work on the same plate and PCB. This means bringing 2x2u support is only possible as a separate add-on and at this moment there are too few people willing to go for it, so the costs would go through the roof.
« Last Edit: Fri, 26 June 2020, 21:39:21 by mewa »

Offline DALExSNAIL

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Hoping for another layout down the line, but good luck here  :thumb:

Offline The_Royal

  • Posts: 359
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Do you have any pics of the PCB or the design of the pcb or anything?

Offline nasp

  • Posts: 958
  • Location: USA - Texas
Can you post a typing test please?

Offline equalunique

  • Posts: 520
This is an amazing feat of engineering AND it's got a beautiful construction.

Wish it had 2x2u space as an option tho.

Also, with the 2u spacebar have stabilizers?
« Last Edit: Fri, 29 May 2020, 15:13:53 by equalunique »

Offline mewa

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  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
Hoping for another layout down the line, but good luck here  :thumb:

If this GB is successful I definitely see more layout configurations down the road!

Do you have any pics of the PCB or the design of the pcb or anything?

I will take some and update the post.

Can you post a typing test please?

I'm waiting for the final prototypes and I'll be making one once I get them (and proper gear to record it).

This is an amazing feat of engineering AND it's got a beautiful construction.

Cheers!

Also, with the 2u spacebar have stabilizers?

No, but you can mount one on 2x 1u. I also envisaged it more in grid layout and 2u cutout was an experiment (a successful one).

Offline The_Royal

  • Posts: 359
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Excited to see this in action and to GB.   Been waiting for a 40% EC board for far too long lol
« Last Edit: Fri, 29 May 2020, 15:41:07 by The_Royal »

Offline dklein

  • Posts: 49
will you be sending a proto to anyone for review before group buy begins?

Offline ycanales

  • Posts: 19
  • Location: Chile
    • keybordist
Looks awesome! Good luck with the GB and I will join if I can.

Do you have more EC projects planned after this?

Offline scoopbb

  • Posts: 198
wtf. im buying this 100%

Offline BoofyMoon

  • Posts: 7
Oh my God!  My dream board!  The yellow looks fantastic!

Offline mewa

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  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
Thank you guys for all the positive feedback! :)

Offline phat schlong

  • Posts: 18
Not the biggest fan of ortholinear, but I like the design aesthetic

Offline mewa

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  • Posts: 31
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Do you have more EC projects planned after this?

I have a couple ideas but it's too early to say anything just yet. For now, I just want to make sure this GB runs smoothly.

will you be sending a proto to anyone for review before group buy begins?

I definitely have something like this in mind. I'm not sure if I'll make it before the group buy begins, but I'll be recording a typing test for sure.

Offline Pyk_

  • Posts: 21
Wow that photo of just the case with the plate installed is beautiful.

I really would love a really high end 40% ortho, but unfortunately I think this will be out of my price range. My only request would be support for 2x2u.

Offline Hokabuki

  • Posts: 169
The board looks great! Interesting layout choice for one of the first EC customs.

Offline mewa

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  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
Thanks folks!

As for the layout, I'm not going lie - that decision was purely a result of me wanting such a keyboard for my own :D

Offline noorejji

  • Posts: 130
  • Location: yurop
This looks very nice, and a huge boon for the EC community. Not personally looking for a 40% atm, but I'm cheering on you! Will be waiting warmly for other form factors.

Offline iSamurai

  • Posts: 17
  • Location: Italy
It looks amazing but I have a doubt, keycaps there is a planned set or we must go for mx sliders? As of now I can't think of an EC set with ortho support.

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Offline Applet

  • Posts: 338
  • Location: Sweden
Very exciting with custom Topre! ;D Good luck with IC and GB!

Offline Applet

  • Posts: 338
  • Location: Sweden
It looks amazing but I have a doubt, keycaps there is a planned set or we must go for mx sliders? As of now I can't think of an EC set with ortho support.

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Check website, MX-sliders in pics. Don't think there is a Topre-mount 40's keycap kit in the making.

Offline iSamurai

  • Posts: 17
  • Location: Italy
Oh yes I had seen them in the renders but I hadn't found a written description so I was hoping for a little clarification.

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Offline Vireca

  • Posts: 171
Who will make the sliders? Niz?

Offline mewa

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    • Thock.co
It looks amazing but I have a doubt, keycaps there is a planned set or we must go for mx sliders? As of now I can't think of an EC set with ortho support.
Check website, MX-sliders in pics. Don't think there is a Topre-mount 40's keycap kit in the making.

Thanks, and yes, that's correct.

Oh yes I had seen them in the renders but I hadn't found a written description so I was hoping for a little clarification.

So, just to confirm, the kit will come with MX-compatible sliders - and by the way, apart from the bottom of the page, the pictures on the website are all real photos :)

Who will make the sliders? Niz?

Yes, the sliders and the housings are currently being sourced from NiZ.


Offline Bonsa

  • Posts: 34
  • Location: Belgium
Absolutely beautiful! black top on white bottom is a dream combination. I guess this will unfortunately be out of my price range, but I'm keeping my eyes out for updates.
EC, ortho and 40%... you sure know how to pick the most niche part of this hobby.
How big are the bezels on this?
Also, I can't really read the name on the case, is the name supposed to stay in a backwards upside down position?

Offline i luv chuletas

  • Posts: 158
This is absolutely sick.
Any chance for a 2x2u layout option?

Offline mewa

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  • Posts: 31
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Cheers!

Any chance for a 2x2u layout option?

Depends on how many people sign up for this. Would you be looking for plate compatibility (cutout) or the PCB as well (centered stem)?

EC, ortho and 40%... you sure know how to pick the most niche part of this hobby.

Believe it or not, but I had this thought on numerous occasions! (and the original idea was also a split)

How big are the bezels on this?

Approximately 12mm on the sides, 9mm at the bottom and 19mm at the front.

Also, I can't really read the name on the case, is the name supposed to stay in a backwards upside down position?

Yes, that's the conundrum ;)


Offline kissingyou

  • Posts: 6
Run fast GB  :D

Offline i luv chuletas

  • Posts: 158
Cheers!

Any chance for a 2x2u layout option?

Depends on how many people sign up for this. Would you be looking for plate compatibility (cutout) or the PCB as well (centered stem)

Yeah, asking about full on support (plate/pcb) You'd be surprised of how many of us are into that, super nice for layering  ;D

Offline mewa

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I'm wondering if this would prove problematic for other people not wanting a 2x 2u layout. An open question: would a wider (4u) cutout in the plate bother you?

Offline mewa

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  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
I created a form where you can express your interest regarding 2x 2u support. You can find it here.

I also encourage people not interested in 2x 2u support to fill it in if the 4u cutout required to make it happen is something you'd not like to see.
« Last Edit: Sat, 06 June 2020, 13:55:45 by mewa »

Offline econeuler

  • Posts: 41
  • Location: Sweden
This looks awesome! I think it's very nice with some more premium 40% options, thank you for this:) Interesting with ec switches (which I understand is planned to be included in the gb?)

Offline glazeds0n

  • Posts: 9
Design looks great, thanks for the IC on the 2 x 2u

Offline Devilminder

  • Posts: 1
This is definite end game. Adding another voice for 2x2u support which would make it perfect.

Offline mewa

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Thanks!

This looks awesome! I think it's very nice with some more premium 40% options, thank you for this:) Interesting with ec switches (which I understand is planned to be included in the gb?)

Yes, that's right. So, just to confirm, the GB kit will consist of:
  • an assembled PCB
  • aluminum top
  • brass plate
  • aluminum bottom
  • brass weight
  • rubber feet
  • screws
  • rubber domes
  • EC housings
  • EC sliders (with O-rings)
  • EC springs
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 June 2020, 12:07:26 by mewa »

Offline iSamurai

  • Posts: 17
  • Location: Italy
EC sliders with orings? Are they similar to the purple sliders or they are just standard sliders?

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Offline walletburner

  • Formerly wokechill
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wow, exciting project! do you have a working prototype? i would love to see the PCB too, since getting around the technical challenges of creating a custom EC board has been a tough problem in the community and i think we are all starving for novel and useful solutions to those problems. looking forward to a typing test. good luck!

Offline equalunique

  • Posts: 520
I wonder if these sitches could work with costar stabilizers. Maybe I should try to make a custom plate for mine & test it out.

Offline i luv chuletas

  • Posts: 158
Filled out the 2x2u form, hopefully it makes it through. Eager to hear any updates on it whenever the time comes.

This is a super exciting project man, might be yet another ortho addition to the collection haha!

Offline D3LTA

  • Posts: 66
Thanks!

This looks awesome! I think it's very nice with some more premium 40% options, thank you for this:) Interesting with ec switches (which I understand is planned to be included in the gb?)

Yes, that's right. So, just to confirm, the GB kit will consist of:
  • an assembled PCB
  • aluminum top
  • brass plate
  • aluminum bottom
  • brass weight
  • rubber feet
  • screws
  • BKE rubber domes
  • EC housings
  • EC sliders (with O-rings)
  • EC springs

I am very new to EC keyboards. With everything that's included in this kit, what remaining parts need to be sourced separately?

Offline mewa

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I am very new to EC keyboards. With everything that's included in this kit, what remaining parts need to be sourced separately?

You'll also need your favourite set of keycaps and a USB-C cable ;)

I wonder if these sitches could work with costar stabilizers. Maybe I should try to make a custom plate for mine & test it out.
Personally, I'm going to support Jack Humbert's statement, as from my personal experience there's not much use of them on the 2u key. However, it should be fairly easy to mod the plate in its existing form to fit them. I may actually sacrifice one plate and try doing that, but I don't have spare costar stabs at the moment.

EC sliders with orings? Are they similar to the purple sliders or they are just standard sliders?

Not an exact match, but they are not the same as the standard ones. They have a small groove near the base of the cylinder in which the O-ring should recess a bit. Also they have a slight recess under the slider base that fits the top of the rubber dome.

That being said, I've never seen the purple sliders first-hand so I'm definitely not an expert.

wow, exciting project! do you have a working prototype? i would love to see the PCB too, since getting around the technical challenges of creating a custom EC board has been a tough problem in the community and i think we are all starving for novel and useful solutions to those problems. looking forward to a typing test. good luck!

Cheers! The first picture is actually the world's first such keyboard ever typed on ;) I'm going to show a bit more along with the typing test. Currently, I'm just cleaning up the code so I can merge it to QMK master.

Offline Cha0

  • Posts: 1
Signed up for GH just for this. im in 100%

Offline infinite.osiris

  • Posts: 2
> Personally, I'm going to support Jack Humbert's statement, as from my personal experience there's not much use of them on the 2u key.

Jack Humbert is an absolute visionary and innovator, buut I think there can be something very satisfying about a nicely stabilised 2u that you miss out on without stabs. 

this is my dream keeb!! - please give options for 2u stabilisation, especially if it is a regular 1u EC switch, ie. not stabilised internally as per HHKB / Realforce mods (which it looks like it is on the thock.co page)

alternatively, a grid (48 key) layout would circumvent the whole issue

ok!  very excited for this!  (and for the prospect of a EC 40% split ortho down the line!!)




Offline Pyk_

  • Posts: 21
Jack Humbert is an absolute visionary and innovator, buut I think there can be something very satisfying about a nicely stabilised 2u that you miss out on without stabs. 
Agreed. Just like many features on high end keyboards, the stabs are not _necessary_, but it would certainly be my preference to include them.

Offline D3LTA

  • Posts: 66
What is the downside to offering 1x 2u stab cutouts?

Offline mewa

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Thanks for feedback!

I'm not fundamentally opposed to including stab cutouts, it's just I haven't included them in the design yet. I'm going to investigate whether they fit nicely, although to see the results we'll have to wait for another round of prototypes later on.

alternatively, a grid (48 key) layout would circumvent the whole issue

Grid is the primary layout around which I've designed Conundrum. MIT-compatibility is an add-on I managed to get through - although not without complications on the PCB-side.
« Last Edit: Fri, 12 June 2020, 16:20:48 by mewa »

Offline mewa

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Finally, I was able to shoot a short typing test! You can find it here.

I admit it might not be the best typing test and unfortunately I couldn't get rid of the white noise - but most importantly it shows that the keyboard works :)

Hopefully we'll get some better typing tests soon!
« Last Edit: Tue, 16 June 2020, 18:37:39 by mewa »

Offline tacahiroy

  • Posts: 27
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE: TYPING TEST)
« Reply #47 on: Wed, 17 June 2020, 08:28:09 »
Great stuff! I haven't decided in or not in for this yet.
But as a big fan of Preonic I'll definitely in if the 5x12 Ortho version available in the future:))

Offline konstantin

  • Formerly constexpr
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Finally, I was able to shoot a short typing test! You can find it here.

I admit it might not be the best typing test and unfortunately I couldn't get rid of the white noise - but most importantly it shows that the keyboard works :)

Hopefully we'll get some better typing tests soon!

Nice! Definitely has the distinctive Topre thock.

Offline FlitzDeelman

  • Posts: 54
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE: TYPING TEST)
« Reply #49 on: Wed, 17 June 2020, 14:45:56 »
Finally, I was able to shoot a short typing test! You can find it here.

I admit it might not be the best typing test and unfortunately I couldn't get rid of the white noise - but most importantly it shows that the keyboard works :)

Hopefully we'll get some better typing tests soon!

Nice! Definitely has the distinctive Topre thock.
Agreed!


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Offline i luv chuletas

  • Posts: 158
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE: TYPING TEST)
« Reply #50 on: Wed, 17 June 2020, 16:19:21 »
Man that thing sounds lovely...

2x2u support with stab cutouts on the plate and you have an absolute little beast.

Offline mewa

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    • Thock.co
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE: TYPING TEST)
« Reply #51 on: Sun, 21 June 2020, 18:02:33 »
Hello everyone,

I have a couple words I need to share with you. First of all, I'm immensely grateful for the support you've been showing in the past few weeks - it really means a lot to me!

Thanks to you it has also come to my attention that one of my suppliers has a questionable past. When I first set out on this journey I did so with the intent of building a brand based on dialogue and mutual trust. Now that I'm aware of their wrongdoing, dealing with such a supplier and breaking your trust is something I simply cannot afford to do.

As such, lately I've been talking intensively with NiZ regarding our cooperation - especially about sourcing rubber domes - and I'm happy to announce that we're now just tuning the details of our deal.

Last but not least, I'm pleased to inform that the group buy will start this week!

Some of you have asked me already about the price. This was a hard decision for me as I didn't just want to throw an arbitrary price. So, in order to ensure a fair price is reached and that as many of us as possible can enjoy the Conundrum the group buy will be run in a form of a Vickrey auction. What this means in practice is that all the participants will have to specify the maximum amount of money that they are willing to pay. Based on all the entries a price will be selected and everyone who committed to paying more than the selected price will be charged the lower price. People who specify a price lower than the selected price won't be charged and won't participate in the group buy.

Thank you for your attention and have a nice day!

Offline scoopbb

  • Posts: 198
lol. one proto, no build video, no reviews and cash grab already. 0-100 real quick.

thats gonna be a no from me. good luck

Offline digid3ar

  • Posts: 86
loved this project a first sight, but dont understand why rushing everything without a solid price and a weird auction.

Offline Pyk_

  • Posts: 21
Is this type of auction common? I donít think Iíve ever seen a group buy like this, though I joined the community only a year ago. I definitely donít think you should give it an ďarbitraryĒ price, why donít you price it based on what it costs to produce and how much time you put into it?

Offline dklein

  • Posts: 49
I hope other creators don't follow in your shoes. Vickrey as a form of initial group buy pricing is detrimental to availability in this hobby, unusual for an unproven board/brand, and confusing at the high (for a Vickrey) number of units available. I was interested until this announcement.
« Last Edit: Mon, 22 June 2020, 00:16:15 by dklein »

Offline Seoulcialite

  • Posts: 62
  • Location: Seoul, South Korea
    • MechSeoul
I share the same sentiment with the comments made after your announcement of a vickrey auction.

To summarize why it's a bad idea:
  • only one proto
  • no build video
  • no review from a respected community member
  • one typing video
  • first (?) keyboard GB
  • AFAIK, not being ran through a vendor
  • suppliers not finalized

I was really excited for this project but I'm highly disappointed by the latest announcement. My suggestion is to slow things down. You don't have to give an arbitrary price if you run the GB normally. Talk to members of the community who have ran keyboard GBs. They can provide helpful knowledge and advice about how to price your board. With some proper calculations, you come up with a price that covers all the bases (cost of material, cost of manufacturing, cost of fulfillment, buffer against defective units, and profit).
« Last Edit: Mon, 22 June 2020, 06:54:36 by Seoulcialite »

Offline Seoulcialite

  • Posts: 62
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    • MechSeoul
<Accidentally posted twice>
« Last Edit: Mon, 22 June 2020, 02:01:18 by Seoulcialite »

Offline Ja3_420

  • Posts: 25
  • Location: Netherlands, Zuid
Why is it vickery? Why not price it at cost + a little profit for extras / yourself?
Seems like you're trying to milk people for as much as possible to be honest.

Offline jonowarren94

  • Posts: 42
Who is going to join a GB where the runner is incapable of adding up the outgoings and adding a margin?

Offline alphabirth

  • Posts: 101
  • Location: Italy
I agree that Vickrey seems like a very poor way to run this particular GB.  As this is a new custom capacitive board, which hasn't been done before, if you as the runner don't know how to price it, how are we as the community supposed to know how to price it?

Offline zekkin

  • Posts: 446
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Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE: TYPING TEST)
« Reply #61 on: Mon, 22 June 2020, 07:09:02 »
As I'm trying to run my own group buy, I don't feel it's necessarily right to impose my views on someone else, but there are a few things here that don't feel right.

Thanks to you it has also come to my attention that one of my suppliers has a questionable past. When I first set out on this journey I did so with the intent of building a brand based on dialogue and mutual trust. Now that I'm aware of their wrongdoing, dealing with such a supplier and breaking your trust is something I simply cannot afford to do.

As such, lately I've been talking intensively with NiZ regarding our cooperation - especially about sourcing rubber domes - and I'm happy to announce that we're now just tuning the details of our deal.

First, if you're suggesting that when someone chose to prioritize the treatment and health of a dying family member (while also shipping out whiny kids' keyboards and dealing with everything in-between all at the same time), that this is a "questionable past," without truly understanding the situation, probably coming from random PMs of people who also do not understand the situation, I cannot get behind that.


Last but not least, I'm pleased to inform that the group buy will start this week!

Some of you have asked me already about the price. This was a hard decision for me as I didn't just want to throw an arbitrary price. So, in order to ensure a fair price is reached and that as many of us as possible can enjoy the Conundrum the group buy will be run in a form of a Vickrey auction. What this means in practice is that all the participants will have to specify the maximum amount of money that they are willing to pay. Based on all the entries a price will be selected and everyone who committed to paying more than the selected price will be charged the lower price. People who specify a price lower than the selected price won't be charged and won't participate in the group buy.

Thank you for your attention and have a nice day!

Full on pause here. You don't want to set a price based on R&D, cost of materials, cost of manufacturing, etc; you don't want to set the price arbitrarily, so you think letting the community decide arbitrarily is better? How does that make any sense whatsoever?

I'm going to be completely blunt and honest here -- you (with no history in the community, 20 posts on Geekhack, no working prototype, ambiguous supply chain) doing a Vickrey auction is 100% a cash grab. The irony of your above statement about questionable pasts is comical. The purpose of the Vickrey auction in mechanical keyboards has been perverted from a way for makers who put significant time and effort into their product, to make it something of extremely high quality (and their reputation speaks for itself) to someone who thinks they can just get a quick cash grab off the community.

I urge you to really rethink this whole thing -- take more time to figure things out. Right now it just looks like you're rushing into GB and a high GB price just for the sake of making money. Not the best look.
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Offline mewa

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
Thank you for the feedback. I wasn't aware this was going to be an issue. I thought this would actually make it easier both for participants as well as me as for me as the maker. However, I understand your concerns. I encourage everyone to speak out. Like I said in my announcement before, I believe in dialogue and I stand by this statement.

I hope other creators don't follow in your shoes. Vickrey as a form of initial group buy pricing is detrimental to availability in this hobby, unusual for an unproven board/brand, and confusing at the high (for a Vickrey) number of units available. I was interested until this announcement.
I must admit my initial thoughts on Vickrey auctions were quite the contrary. I thought in practice this should actually increase the availability, since it lets the maker evaluate the number of people at different price levels and offer the product at a lower price level by including the bidders from lower levels thus increasing the quantity - and lowering the costs. As you know the more people participate the cheaper it gets.

Custom 40% ortho EC keyboards is already an incredibly specific niche. This means there isn't a lot of people looking to buy such a keyboard and so any additional participant is worth their weight in gold.

I have an idea how much it should cost, however as I've already mentioned there may be a number of people sitting in a slightly lower tier than what I would price it at that might join as a result of running it as a Vickrey auction.

That being said in either case the final price will definitely be much lower that what it would've been if I took the time it took me to get here into consideration, let alone the prototyping costs.


Offline equalunique

  • Posts: 520
Thanks for being so transparent. I'll still join.

Offline i luv chuletas

  • Posts: 158
As far as I know, Vic Auctions are usually left for charity events, or a one off unit from a well coveted and desired brand.

I am seriously confused as to why you would take that route for this, and rushing it for this week no less with pending requests for pcb pictures (given how novel this is) and confirmation of available layouts for the board. Edit: Just saw this confirmation on the top page.

With the amount of people in this community into Ortho, and those curious of EC switches, I see the GB running in a regular format to a relatively healthy MoQ without problem. If ran at a limited quantity format, then this will sell out rather quickly, again, because of how novel it is.

The more accessible you make this to be able to be purchased, the better it is for both consumer and designer.
I for one will be avoiding the Vic format.

Food for thought.
« Last Edit: Mon, 22 June 2020, 08:18:36 by i luv chuletas »

Offline alphabirth

  • Posts: 101
  • Location: Italy
Thank you for the feedback. I wasn't aware this was going to be an issue. I thought this would actually make it easier both for participants as well as me as for me as the maker. However, I understand your concerns. I encourage everyone to speak out. Like I said in my announcement before, I believe in dialogue and I stand by this statement.

I hope other creators don't follow in your shoes. Vickrey as a form of initial group buy pricing is detrimental to availability in this hobby, unusual for an unproven board/brand, and confusing at the high (for a Vickrey) number of units available. I was interested until this announcement.
I must admit my initial thoughts on Vickrey auctions were quite the contrary. I thought in practice this should actually increase the availability, since it lets the maker evaluate the number of people at different price levels and offer the product at a lower price level by including the bidders from lower levels thus increasing the quantity - and lowering the costs. As you know the more people participate the cheaper it gets.

Custom 40% ortho EC keyboards is already an incredibly specific niche. This means there isn't a lot of people looking to buy such a keyboard and so any additional participant is worth their weight in gold.

I have an idea how much it should cost, however as I've already mentioned there may be a number of people sitting in a slightly lower tier than what I would price it at that might join as a result of running it as a Vickrey auction.

That being said in either case the final price will definitely be much lower that what it would've been if I took the time it took me to get here into consideration, let alone the prototyping costs.


As excited as I am about the prospect of custom EC boards, the flat refusal here to acknowledge the community's misgivings about running a GB in this format seems quite telling.  I'm afraid that unless something changes towards being more receptive and transparent, I'll be sitting this one out.

Offline mewa

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE: TYPING TEST)
« Reply #66 on: Mon, 22 June 2020, 09:19:05 »
Again, thanks everyone for your feedback!

First, if you're suggesting that when someone chose to prioritize the treatment and health of a dying family member (while also shipping out whiny kids' keyboards and dealing with everything in-between all at the same time), that this is a "questionable past," without truly understanding the situation, probably coming from random PMs of people who also do not understand the situation, I cannot get behind that.

I'm not suggesting anything, I wasn't even aware of his problems. I assume you must know him more closely, unlike me. I definitely symphatize with him if that's the case.

What I meant was that aside from people contacting me directly there's evidence both on Geekhack and Reddit that he took some of the cash and some people never heard back from him. This, coupled with the fact that I myself was unable to get any response from him regarding closing our deal on BKE domes resulted in seeking alternatives.

I bet you'll admit it's hard get a full view of the situation when the information flow is obstructed. That being said I must prioritize people participating in my group buy and I take full responsibility for running it. I owe everyone not to make this GB a gamble based on whether someone will or will not respond, however dire their circumstances may be.

Full on pause here. You don't want to set a price based on R&D, cost of materials, cost of manufacturing, etc; you don't want to set the price arbitrarily, so you think letting the community decide arbitrarily is better? How does that make any sense whatsoever?

I must admit - I'm not a marketer or an economist. I'm an engineer. Vickrey auction simply appealed to me as a reliable method of gauging interest with founded mathematical basis.

Ultimately, I believe it's the people that see the real value of a product and say "ooh, that's expensive", "wow, that's cheap". Why not include a mechanism that enables people's voice to be heard and lets them share their valuations?

I'm going to be completely blunt and honest here -- you (with no history in the community, 20 posts on Geekhack, no working prototype, ambiguous supply chain) doing a Vickrey auction is 100% a cash grab. The irony of your above statement about questionable pasts is comical. The purpose of the Vickrey auction in mechanical keyboards has been perverted from a way for makers who put significant time and effort into their product, to make it something of extremely high quality (and their reputation speaks for itself) to someone who thinks they can just get a quick cash grab off the community.

I'm not sure what made you think I didn't put a significant amount of time and commitment to this project and also why the Conundrum is not a product of high quality. Frankly, the very amount of time (2+ years) and commitment I devoted to this project should speak for itself.

Along the way I've made several prototypes and only once I had a working prototype I was satisfied with and was sure myself I can deliver did I start this IC. Speaking of the prototype, you can both evaluate how it behaves as well as how it looks (and it doesn't actually use the cheapest finishes there are, unlike many of the keyboard GBs you can see here).
« Last Edit: Mon, 22 June 2020, 09:34:55 by mewa »

Offline i luv chuletas

  • Posts: 158
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE: TYPING TEST)
« Reply #67 on: Mon, 22 June 2020, 10:03:35 »
I must admit - I'm not a marketer or an economist. I'm an engineer. Vickrey auction simply appealed to me as a reliable method of gauging interest with founded mathematical basis.
Ultimately, I believe it's the people that see the real value of a product and say "ooh, that's expensive", "wow, that's cheap". Why not include a mechanism that enables people's voice to be heard and lets them share their valuations?

Those who were mainly interested in this has spoken. We, the people, want a standardized GB for this rather than a Vic Auction.

Please make it happen.

Offline Paitupai

  • Posts: 6
Just stumbled upon this IC. Regarding the vickrey, if the main reason is to get more people join the GB by lowering the price (cost) with the increased quantity, maybe you can go with something with tiered price based on the minimum quantity reached? What will happen if the bids are lower than your estimated price? (since there's no min/base price)

Offline walletburner

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truly disappointing to watch you ruin the buy like this, gg

Offline Daellin

  • Posts: 36
Am... I going crazy? What he's typing on the keyboard doesn't match the words on monkey-type, and monkey-type definitely tells you if you typed the wrong letter.

Offline p3dstore

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I was very interested in this but echoing the many comments questioning why in the world you would do the auction style this way. Absolute insanity. I hope you give this a rethink and deliver actual costs as well as more info on the board itself.

Offline mewa

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
Am... I going crazy? What he's typing on the keyboard doesn't match the words on monkey-type, and monkey-type definitely tells you if you typed the wrong letter.

The layout I use is Colemak-DH, that's why ;)

Offline tominabox1

  • Posts: 224
Am... I going crazy? What he's typing on the keyboard doesn't match the words on monkey-type, and monkey-type definitely tells you if you typed the wrong letter.

OP is using Colemak modDH as noted in the video description, appears to be accurate typing from a fellow colemak user.

Also super opposed to Vickery auction, what is the point? it just makes you more money and doesn't really offer the community any benefit at all
« Last Edit: Mon, 22 June 2020, 10:31:24 by tominabox1 »

Offline dingusxmcgee

  • Posts: 79
  • Location: West MI
edit - removing this as i feel like it was a bit of a "bullying" comment. This is what I want the record to say: Good luck with the project :)
« Last Edit: Fri, 26 June 2020, 22:21:45 by dingusxmcgee »

Offline mewa

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
I understand this is somewhat of a hot topic right now and that the majority of you who have posted so far are against the idea. At the same time not everyone who has an opinion posts here. As such I have created this short form where you can express you preferences.

Thank you for your understanding!

Offline huey

  • Posts: 42
  • Location: UK
Thank you for keeping an open mind and giving people a choice.

Offline p3dstore

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This form is basically a Vickery Auction without the sale.

It is lacking real feedback options. The fact this has even gone this far is pretty bad and is looking to be more and more of a cash grab. Unless things change I won't touch this with a ten foot pole.

Offline wilarseny

  • Posts: 96
  • Location: Seattle
OP, is your interest in running a Vickrey more because of the price discovery aspect -- as your previous post seems to indicate w/r/t "letting people's voices be heard" -- or just so that you can get more money? If it's the former, why not commit to donate any money received from the Vickrey above cost of materials/time to charity? If it's the latter, I think people would respect it more if you just came out and said that you would like more money.

I think there's a good reason to run Vickreys more often for standard keyboard GBs -- more boards go to people who actually want them, reduces incentive to join just to arbitrage on a cheap GB price to flip later. "I would like more money" probably doesn't meet most people's criteria for a good reason. But it would at least be honest, if that's the rationale.

Offline epid

  • Posts: 3
Yeah, I'm not participating in a Vickery with an unknown entity for an unproven board.

Offline i luv chuletas

  • Posts: 158
At the same time not everyone who has an opinion posts here.

Lol just post it on the 40's discord channel and/or Reddit and see what happens. 

Also the form itself is almost like a band-aid over the problem, but I respect it. Though you should really have a feedback portion in it, otherwise it's kind of just accentuating the problem.

Offline mewa

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
Also the form itself is almost like a band-aid over the problem, but I respect it. Though you should really have a feedback portion in it, otherwise it's kind of just accentuating the problem.

Thanks, it was possible to add feedback via "Add other" option, but I created a separate field to make it clear.

Offline lizardsticks

  • Posts: 15
Yeah. I've been keeping an eye out for this.

But I'm opposed to the vickery auction.

If that ends up being the route for this keyboard, you can count me out.

Offline Puddsy

  • nice
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this is the shadiest **** i've seen in a while

i endorsed this board on my stream because i thought it was cool but this is perhaps the worst idea i have seen in very long time

a thousand times no

front the money and act as a vendor, or take money up front and make the boards, don't be weak about it, running a group buy is hard and not just a cash grab

surprise surprise, no such thing as free money

i condemn anyone who supports this idea
QFR | MJ2 TKL | "Bulgogiboard" (Keycon 104) | TGR Alice | Qlavier Ti/Acryl Alice

if you're actually reading other people's posts on geekhack in 2020 you're doing something wrong

"Everything is worse, but in a barely perceptible and indefinable way" -dollartacos | "Is Linkshine our Nixon?" -NAV (fk u)

Offline widdlekitty

  • Posts: 406
  • Location: Chicago, IL
yikes

Offline walletburner

  • Formerly wokechill
  • Posts: 133
  • Location: Screwston
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE: TYPING TEST)
« Reply #85 on: Mon, 22 June 2020, 16:18:14 »
When I first set out on this journey I did so with the intent of building a brand based on dialogue and mutual trust.

lol RIP to that

Offline Pyk_

  • Posts: 21
Iím honestly curious, how is the auction better than a tiered price based on quantity? If you are serious about charging as little as possible by including more people, wouldnít they both end up with the same price? The only difference I see is that the auction allows you to be dishonest if you choose while a set price does not.

Offline iNViSiBiLiTi

  • Posts: 167
Can't everyone just bid $5 for the board?
60%: Prophet, idb60, GSKT-00, Weaven

TKL: Acrylic Unicorn, Jane V2 WK, Jane CE V2, KFE, Mira SE, Noxary 280

Bulgogi Board (VA104M)

Offline Ja3_420

  • Posts: 25
  • Location: Netherlands, Zuid
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE: TYPING TEST)
« Reply #88 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 04:15:21 »
Some of you have asked me already about the price. This was a hard decision for me as I didn't just want to throw an arbitrary price. So, in order to ensure a fair price is reached and that as many of us as possible can enjoy the Conundrum the group buy will be run in a form of a Vickrey auction.
This is not a fair price. You are using fomo to drive up the price and vickery too see how much you can charge people.

Offline mewa

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
Hi everyone,

Following the heated discussion and the poll yesterday, the community has decided that the GB be run in a fixed price model. Despite having honest intentions I'm sorry for how this turned out. Had I known this would be a problem I would've made a poll earlier on or given up on this idea entirely. For the rest of the day, however, I felt demonised and so to avoid the accusations and being labeled I have decided to limit the number of entries to 30 and a special +1 unit. 10 of them will be sold on a FCFS basis, while the remaining 20 spots will be chosen in a raffle.

The GB will start at 10pm UTC on thock.co this Saturday (27/06/2020) and each unit will cost $650+shipping (and tax, if applicable).
The keyboards will be sent in the first half of Q4 2020, or earlier if the schedule allows.

I'm shipping (Express) to all the countries worldwide except disputable or war zone areas.
Free shipping within the EU. Example rates for selected other countries below:
Australia: $42
Canada: $35
Japan: $38
South Korea: $38
United States: $35

The special +1 unit will be sold separately. It will be available for a price of $2500 and will be released to whoever first donates this amount to the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation, which is a charity in Poland which helps improve Polish medical care. Please reach out to me at marcin@thock.co to coordinate if you're interested.

Thanks

Offline walletburner

  • Formerly wokechill
  • Posts: 133
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each unit will cost $650+shipping (and tax, if applicable

this is an absurd price. i am working on a staggered layout electrocapacitive 40% right now called Subrosa and knowing what these parts cost individually, the justification for this price point is paper-thin. this confirms you're interested in making as much money as you can, not introducing a new and interesting concept at a reasonable price to the community.

Offline mewa

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
each unit will cost $650+shipping (and tax, if applicable

this is an absurd price. i am working on a staggered layout electrocapacitive 40% right now called Subrosa and knowing what these parts cost individually, the justification for this price point is paper-thin. this confirms you're interested in making as much money as you can, not introducing a new and interesting concept at a reasonable price to the community.

Is it as absurd as your $400 on a plain keyboard which requires no R&D, especially when selling 200 units?

At least now I can see why you've been slandering me lately - you have a direct monetary incentive. And please let me be the judge how much the countless hours and days spent developing this keyboard are worth.

Offline KuroTheCrazy

  • Posts: 72
$650+ for a keyboard from a new designer, without an actual vendor, after trying to run it through vickrey? Still no build video. Sorry but going to pass on this, it sounds way too sketch and the pricing is nuts. Good luck OP and anyone who still wants to join this.

Offline Zambumon

  • * Esteemed Elder
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$650+ for a keyboard from a new designer, without an actual vendor, after trying to run it through vickrey? Still no build video. Sorry but going to pass on this, it sounds way too sketch and the pricing is nuts. Good luck OP and anyone who still wants to join this.

Regarding the typing video, OP edited the thread on June 16th with a typing test. I also missed that completely.


Offline i luv chuletas

  • Posts: 158
OP, you're going about this the wrong way my man.

Establish your brand first in the best of lights, and gain trust in the community. That way your brand gets a valuation similar to that of Keycult or Norbauer. Them being amongst the highest of high-end designers in the community, charging the type of money you're asking for.

I don't mean to take away the effort it must've taken you to get custom EC to work and have a beautiful working prototype to boot, but dropping that nutty price for your first GB run, without any Vendor backing, after the whole fiasco with the format, you have to understand is not a good look for you.

Also WB has more than proven himself with his designs lol, he gains absolutely nothing from stating his position as a fellow designer on this whole GB.

This isn't competition dude, it's a community.

Regardless I wish you the best, was looking forward to this product but will not join at that price point.
« Last Edit: Tue, 23 June 2020, 10:44:32 by i luv chuletas »

Offline walletburner

  • Formerly wokechill
  • Posts: 133
  • Location: Screwston

Is it as absurd as your $400 on a plain keyboard which requires no R&D, especially when selling 200 units?


Yup, using some quick math I'd say that it's at least 62.5% more absurd, almost as absurd as saying Cajal is "plain" and took no R&D, or hiding behind your low unit number to absolve your high price when you're comparing a relatively standard 1.5lb case (with a very interesting and novel PCB inside and switches) to a 5lb gasket and RGB underglow one.

you've been slandering me lately
slander means i am telling falsehoods, but sorry getting criticized for your bad choices in this buy doesn't fit that definition.

please let me be the judge how much the countless hours and days spent developing this keyboard are worth.
this is actually the opposite of how ICs work. the goal is to give feedback, and the severity of that feedback is proportional to the severity of the perceived mistakes.

you have a direct monetary incentive
no not really. i think ortholinear and staggered boards scratch different itches for people and the only overlap is the wallet the payment comes from. perhaps you're getting a persecution complex from receiving such overwhelmingly negative input in this thread. glws!
« Last Edit: Tue, 23 June 2020, 10:44:47 by walletburner »

Offline honeynutcornflake

  • Posts: 4
  • Location: EST
each unit will cost $650+shipping (and tax, if applicable

this is an absurd price. i am working on a staggered layout electrocapacitive 40% right now called Subrosa and knowing what these parts cost individually, the justification for this price point is paper-thin. this confirms you're interested in making as much money as you can, not introducing a new and interesting concept at a reasonable price to the community.

Is it as absurd as your $400 on a plain keyboard which requires no R&D, especially when selling 200 units?

At least now I can see why you've been slandering me lately - you have a direct monetary incentive. And please let me be the judge how much the countless hours and days spent developing this keyboard are worth.
Bruh moment

Mad aggressive and a really bad look.

I think everyone respects hard work and nice looking keebs, but the mech keeb community is a *community*. The way youre handling this is not it, and youíre gonna find it hard to establish a brand or any kind of decent reputation in this community with this approach.

Big yikes

Offline mewa

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
I may have been too harsh, I admit, but you've been adding more fuel to the fire when it was already obvious how it ends. If you're a proven designer and have an established brand I'm more than happy to even collaborate on this particular GB.

I'm not going to even post all the insults I received through private channels, but I guess it's just the Internet. Yes, I'm overreacting but it all took an emotional tax on me.

At this point the only thing that keeps me in this GB is that I have personal interest in having this keyboard as a daily driver and I made slight modifications with regards to the original prototype that I'm keen on having. That aside, this pricing wouldn't even cover my development costs, but how would you know.

Offline Koobaczech

  • Posts: 295
  • Location: Florida, USA
  • Don't forget to smile :)
    • Pearlboards
Ok first of all, good luck with everything! Throwing some positive vibes your way! If the GB doesn't work, at least you can check off having a one of a kind keyboard to your list! People on here can be way to critical, but toughen up and focus on the board and a solid delivery. You've already crossed some milestones with the project, and the Interest Check is here to be criticized, not praised. Second, who misses the old days when a premium 40% with all kinds of **** cost $280 shipped xD I do. Also nj on Cajal woke

Offline chaoskills08

  • Posts: 5
Don't mean to be that guy but I think I am still waiting on pics of the PCB to determine whether or not this can even be trusted. What has transpired has really made me step back from something I was interested in. IC to GB too fast, cash grab vibes. 650 for your first GB is outrageous with no reputation. Thanks, but no thanks. GLWS though!
« Last Edit: Tue, 23 June 2020, 11:16:35 by chaoskills08 »

Offline ThereminGoat

  • Posts: 52
  • Location: Ohio
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #100 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 11:19:14 »
I may have been too harsh, I admit, but you've been adding more fuel to the fire when it was already obvious how it ends. If you're a proven designer and have an established brand I'm more than happy to even collaborate on this particular GB.

Maybe I am being daft, but what is there left to collaborate on with this GB? You've already decided your (decently insane) prices after having begrudgingly moved on from a Vickrey auction, attacked a well known maker in the community, and are now trying to defend all of the poor choices along the way with this IC/GB/Thing. I can't imagine anybody is going to want to collaborate with you on this, and that's just the optics of it from someone who wasn't even that interested.

Offline ykill

  • Posts: 32
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  • qed - Production Coordinator for deafmute
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Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #101 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 11:19:38 »
I wanna see that PCB. I'd be super excited about this board if I could see  the proto.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

qed on the gram @quality_enforcement_dojo
qed in 40% Discord

Offline i luv chuletas

  • Posts: 158
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #102 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 11:21:25 »
this pricing wouldn't even cover my development costs, but how would you know.

Why not consider reaching out to known vendors such as Jae, or even Cannonkeys? If you have a proven concept, it may help with scaling up productions and lowering costs for everybody. Sure, less margins for you and delay on the running of the gb itself, but it would help you establish your brand successfully, and open up the doors for you to recoup your development costs with subsequent releases?

Should be a bit of a win win in the long run, and at the end you do away with the bad rep that some of the missteps garnered on this IC.

Food for thought.

Offline mewa

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #103 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 11:28:58 »
Don't mean to be that guy but I think I am still waiting on pics of the PCB to determine whether or not this can even be trusted. What has transpired has really made me step back from something I was interested in. IC to GB too fast, cash grab vibes. 650 for your first GB is outrageous with no reputation. Thanks, but no thanks. GLWS though!

Sorry, here's a shot of the PCBs. This is the rev1 though. The GB will go with rev2 (that I have currently manufactured and I'm waiting for them) that looks slightly different.


Offline ThereminGoat

  • Posts: 52
  • Location: Ohio
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #104 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 11:33:16 »
Don't mean to be that guy but I think I am still waiting on pics of the PCB to determine whether or not this can even be trusted. What has transpired has really made me step back from something I was interested in. IC to GB too fast, cash grab vibes. 650 for your first GB is outrageous with no reputation. Thanks, but no thanks. GLWS though!

Sorry, here's a shot of the PCBs. This is the rev1 though. The GB will go with rev2 (that I have currently manufactured and I'm waiting for them) that looks slightly different.

Show Image

You haven't even tested the PCBs that you are going to run in the GB that's in less than a week?

Offline p3dstore

  • Posts: 6
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Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #105 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 11:34:02 »
Don't mean to be that guy but I think I am still waiting on pics of the PCB to determine whether or not this can even be trusted. What has transpired has really made me step back from something I was interested in. IC to GB too fast, cash grab vibes. 650 for your first GB is outrageous with no reputation. Thanks, but no thanks. GLWS though!

Sorry, here's a shot of the PCBs. This is the rev1 though. The GB will go with rev2 (that I have currently manufactured and I'm waiting for them) that looks slightly different.

Show Image


So is there a reason why this GB is being rushed for this weekend already if you don't have the final PCB yet? Is there some timelines that need to be hit? Rushing into GB stage this early is a little sketchy, especially based on all the feedback here.

Offline mewa

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #106 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 11:35:32 »
Don't mean to be that guy but I think I am still waiting on pics of the PCB to determine whether or not this can even be trusted. What has transpired has really made me step back from something I was interested in. IC to GB too fast, cash grab vibes. 650 for your first GB is outrageous with no reputation. Thanks, but no thanks. GLWS though!

Sorry, here's a shot of the PCBs. This is the rev1 though. The GB will go with rev2 (that I have currently manufactured and I'm waiting for them) that looks slightly different.

Show Image

You haven't even tested the PCBs that you are going to run in the GB that's in less than a week?

No changes have been made about how the PCB works. Just the shape will be slightly different and also the colour.

Offline Drewbadour

  • Posts: 2
  • Location: Texas
    • Vestigl Creations
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #107 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 11:55:04 »
You'll have to excuse the fact that this is my first post. I typically don't care to post on Geekhack, but I felt compelled to comment based on how curious this whole IC/GB is.

Let me establish some context for who I am and why you might want to trust me. I have a personal website (linked in my bio) in which I released full plans on how to use an RC circuit to sense ESC pads on keyboards. You can read the guide on how the tech works (and what R&D I've done, free of charge) right here: https://vestigl.com/keyboard/hardware-behind-dopre/. I then went on to build a keyboard using this sensing technology in order to test its viability. You can read the full breakdown on the results I had from that experience here: https://vestigl.com/keyboard/northpaw-one-postmortem/. Furthermore, it looks like you're using an ARM chip based on that DC-DC voltage converter that you have on the board. If you're using QMK with this keyboard, then you're (in some part) using ADC code that I contributed to QMK. You can find the pull request for that code here: https://github.com/qmk/qmk_firmware/pull/7681. Also more notably, here's my variant of QMK that supports ESC keyboards: https://github.com/FranticRain/qmk_firmware/tree/esc.

It's hard to tell from your blurry pictures, but it looks like your PCB consists of an ARM uC, DC-DC converter, decoupling capacitors, two resistors used to handle device-type/selection on the USB C connector, and a third resistor that is likely used for an RC circuit. From this, I'm going to assume that you are using an RC circuit to sense these pads. This leads to several questions.

1. The voltage out of the RC circuit is going to be really small unless you let it charge a significant amount of the 5 time constants required to hit 99% of max voltage. Is there a reason you opted to not use an op-amp for this application? Have you noticed any issues with latency due to this lag? And have you had to edit QMK in some way to account for this time lag?

2. By the same token, it will take an equal amount of time for the RC circuit to discharge after it has been charged. Have you made any affordances for this time lag? It doesn't appear that you are using any sort of drain resistor to alleviate this problem.

3. There doesn't appear to be any multiplexing being done on rows/columns here. Is this implying that you are strobe-ing pads one at a time, allowing that circuit to charge and discharge one at a time by connecting every pad to an individual pin?

4. How has your experience been with the actuation point using this sensing solution? Since there aren't any mounting points at the center of the PCB, it appears that the center of the PCB would flex more than the edges, resulting in poor spring contact. This could result in inconsistent keypresses from the center of the board. Do you have any plans to mitigate that problem?

5. How is the PCB attached to the plate? Since there are no keyswitches to hold the housings/sliders to the PCB, the spacing between the PCB and plate is fairly important, as the springs need to make good contact. On a typical Topre PCB, this manifests as about 20 screws that run up from the PCB into threaded holes in the plate in order to ensure even pressure. Have you noticed any issues by eliminating these mounting points?

I have a few more questions, but lets start with those as I might find answers to some of the other ones in your responses.

EDIT: Syntax. Didn't proof-read, like a fool.
« Last Edit: Tue, 23 June 2020, 11:57:47 by Drewbadour »

Offline godinjointform

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 171
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #108 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 13:10:13 »
I'd enter a vickrey auction for this guy's board ^

Offline TheMilkmen

  • Posts: 28
  • Location: MD, USA
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #109 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 13:54:56 »
You'll have to excuse the fact that this is my first post. I typically don't care to post on Geekhack, but I felt compelled to comment based on how curious this whole IC/GB is.

Let me establish some context for who I am and why you might want to trust me. I have a personal website (linked in my bio) in which I released full plans on how to use an RC circuit to sense ESC pads on keyboards. You can read the guide on how the tech works (and what R&D I've done, free of charge) right here: https://vestigl.com/keyboard/hardware-behind-dopre/. I then went on to build a keyboard using this sensing technology in order to test its viability. You can read the full breakdown on the results I had from that experience here: https://vestigl.com/keyboard/northpaw-one-postmortem/. Furthermore, it looks like you're using an ARM chip based on that DC-DC voltage converter that you have on the board. If you're using QMK with this keyboard, then you're (in some part) using ADC code that I contributed to QMK. You can find the pull request for that code here: https://github.com/qmk/qmk_firmware/pull/7681. Also more notably, here's my variant of QMK that supports ESC keyboards: https://github.com/FranticRain/qmk_firmware/tree/esc.

It's hard to tell from your blurry pictures, but it looks like your PCB consists of an ARM uC, DC-DC converter, decoupling capacitors, two resistors used to handle device-type/selection on the USB C connector, and a third resistor that is likely used for an RC circuit. From this, I'm going to assume that you are using an RC circuit to sense these pads. This leads to several questions.

1. The voltage out of the RC circuit is going to be really small unless you let it charge a significant amount of the 5 time constants required to hit 99% of max voltage. Is there a reason you opted to not use an op-amp for this application? Have you noticed any issues with latency due to this lag? And have you had to edit QMK in some way to account for this time lag?

2. By the same token, it will take an equal amount of time for the RC circuit to discharge after it has been charged. Have you made any affordances for this time lag? It doesn't appear that you are using any sort of drain resistor to alleviate this problem.

3. There doesn't appear to be any multiplexing being done on rows/columns here. Is this implying that you are strobe-ing pads one at a time, allowing that circuit to charge and discharge one at a time by connecting every pad to an individual pin?

4. How has your experience been with the actuation point using this sensing solution? Since there aren't any mounting points at the center of the PCB, it appears that the center of the PCB would flex more than the edges, resulting in poor spring contact. This could result in inconsistent keypresses from the center of the board. Do you have any plans to mitigate that problem?

5. How is the PCB attached to the plate? Since there are no keyswitches to hold the housings/sliders to the PCB, the spacing between the PCB and plate is fairly important, as the springs need to make good contact. On a typical Topre PCB, this manifests as about 20 screws that run up from the PCB into threaded holes in the plate in order to ensure even pressure. Have you noticed any issues by eliminating these mounting points?

I have a few more questions, but lets start with those as I might find answers to some of the other ones in your responses.

EDIT: Syntax. Didn't proof-read, like a fool.

This is legitimately good information to have asked here.
I have little knowledge of how these really work but I at least noticed that there was a lack of screws in the middle to support the housings, as stated above.

I think that these things are something that OP should look into since this really does seem like a bit of a misstep over what could have been the next big breakthrough in the community.

Offline Knocking

  • Posts: 2
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #110 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 14:40:07 »
Yeah, I was really interested in the concept of a 40% ortho EC board, but the way you've handled this GB has been a huge turn off for me. Not to put any more fuel on the fire, but the incredibly high price and your difficulty with accepting criticism does not give me any faith that this will be a well-run GB.

Offline KingOfMemes

  • Posts: 693
  • Location: Murica, the best country in the world
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #111 on: Tue, 23 June 2020, 15:04:58 »
each unit will cost $650+shipping (and tax, if applicable

this is an absurd price. i am working on a staggered layout electrocapacitive 40% right now called Subrosa and knowing what these parts cost individually, the justification for this price point is paper-thin. this confirms you're interested in making as much money as you can, not introducing a new and interesting concept at a reasonable price to the community.
I 100% agree with everything you said, and I'm definitely not trying to defend a $650 pricepoint because its hilariously steep, but I feel like "introducing a new and interesting concept at a reasonable price to the community" is priority number 2 to "making as much money as you can" for like 90% of any group buy nowemdays. This IC is just making that fact blatantly obvious

Offline stevesie

  • Posts: 8
  • Location: US-Fl
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #112 on: Wed, 24 June 2020, 21:04:53 »
Regarding the typing video, OP edited the thread on June 16th with a typing test. I also missed that completely.

Okay, so I'm not usually one to respond to these types of threads, but I noticed some inconsistencies with this video and I have to know why.

The typing does not match up with the screen in the video. At all. I noticed it at 0:18 where the word is about to be "point" and the N remains untouched.

It feels like the typing is not matched up at all and if you watch and listen to it, I don't feel it is correct.

What I don't get is why anyone would feel the need to fake a typing video. The only thing I can think is to convince people that your board is working when it isn't. And we know the PCB hasn't been tested as of yet from other responses in this thread.

So why fake it? If the idea is to show people the sound which I believe is the point of a typing test, you don't need to prove the keyboard works. It would be nice, but it's not a necessity IMO.

Offline jjoejimmy

  • Posts: 17
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #113 on: Wed, 24 June 2020, 21:22:25 »
Am... I going crazy? What he's typing on the keyboard doesn't match the words on monkey-type, and monkey-type definitely tells you if you typed the wrong letter.

The layout I use is Colemak-DH, that's why ;)

Offline Pyk_

  • Posts: 21
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #114 on: Wed, 24 June 2020, 21:39:14 »
Regarding the typing video, OP edited the thread on June 16th with a typing test. I also missed that completely.

Okay, so I'm not usually one to respond to these types of threads, but I noticed some inconsistencies with this video and I have to know why.

The typing does not match up with the screen in the video. At all. I noticed it at 0:18 where the word is about to be "point" and the N remains untouched.

It feels like the typing is not matched up at all and if you watch and listen to it, I don't feel it is correct.

What I don't get is why anyone would feel the need to fake a typing video. The only thing I can think is to convince people that your board is working when it isn't. And we know the PCB hasn't been tested as of yet from other responses in this thread.

So why fake it? If the idea is to show people the sound which I believe is the point of a typing test, you don't need to prove the keyboard works. It would be nice, but it's not a necessity IMO.
Some people use alternate layouts while leaving the keys as qwerty, myself included. In fact, Iíve even replaced the top row of my Planck with the number row.

My question to OP is, if you want to get as many people in at the lowest price, why not just do tiered pricing? The main difference that I see between the two is that the auction lets you optimize what makes you the most money. Iím not saying this is the case, itís just how it feels to me.

Offline wencan008

  • Posts: 32
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #115 on: Thu, 25 June 2020, 01:05:25 »
Regarding the typing video, OP edited the thread on June 16th with a typing test. I also missed that completely.

Okay, so I'm not usually one to respond to these types of threads, but I noticed some inconsistencies with this video and I have to know why.

The typing does not match up with the screen in the video. At all. I noticed it at 0:18 where the word is about to be "point" and the N remains untouched.

It feels like the typing is not matched up at all and if you watch and listen to it, I don't feel it is correct.

What I don't get is why anyone would feel the need to fake a typing video. The only thing I can think is to convince people that your board is working when it isn't. And we know the PCB hasn't been tested as of yet from other responses in this thread.

So why fake it? If the idea is to show people the sound which I believe is the point of a typing test, you don't need to prove the keyboard works. It would be nice, but it's not a necessity IMO.

This was addressed before but the typing test is fine, he's using Colemak-DH

Offline Ja3_420

  • Posts: 25
  • Location: Netherlands, Zuid
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #116 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 07:15:22 »
each unit will cost $650+shipping (and tax, if applicable

this is an absurd price. i am working on a staggered layout electrocapacitive 40% right now called Subrosa and knowing what these parts cost individually, the justification for this price point is paper-thin. this confirms you're interested in making as much money as you can, not introducing a new and interesting concept at a reasonable price to the community.

Is it as absurd as your $400 on a plain keyboard which requires no R&D, especially when selling 200 units?

At least now I can see why you've been slandering me lately - you have a direct monetary incentive. And please let me be the judge how much the countless hours and days spent developing this keyboard are worth.

Cajal is pretty far from plain imo.

You are getting "slandered" (you aren't) because this whole thing is a cash grab.

Offline dklein

  • Posts: 49
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #117 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 09:57:25 »
You'll have to excuse the fact that this is my first post. I typically don't care to post on Geekhack, but I felt compelled to comment based on how curious this whole IC/GB is.

Let me establish some context for who I am and why you might want to trust me. I have a personal website (linked in my bio) in which I released full plans on how to use an RC circuit to sense ESC pads on keyboards. You can read the guide on how the tech works (and what R&D I've done, free of charge) right here: https://vestigl.com/keyboard/hardware-behind-dopre/. I then went on to build a keyboard using this sensing technology in order to test its viability. You can read the full breakdown on the results I had from that experience here: https://vestigl.com/keyboard/northpaw-one-postmortem/. Furthermore, it looks like you're using an ARM chip based on that DC-DC voltage converter that you have on the board. If you're using QMK with this keyboard, then you're (in some part) using ADC code that I contributed to QMK. You can find the pull request for that code here: https://github.com/qmk/qmk_firmware/pull/7681. Also more notably, here's my variant of QMK that supports ESC keyboards: https://github.com/FranticRain/qmk_firmware/tree/esc.

It's hard to tell from your blurry pictures, but it looks like your PCB consists of an ARM uC, DC-DC converter, decoupling capacitors, two resistors used to handle device-type/selection on the USB C connector, and a third resistor that is likely used for an RC circuit. From this, I'm going to assume that you are using an RC circuit to sense these pads. This leads to several questions.

1. The voltage out of the RC circuit is going to be really small unless you let it charge a significant amount of the 5 time constants required to hit 99% of max voltage. Is there a reason you opted to not use an op-amp for this application? Have you noticed any issues with latency due to this lag? And have you had to edit QMK in some way to account for this time lag?

2. By the same token, it will take an equal amount of time for the RC circuit to discharge after it has been charged. Have you made any affordances for this time lag? It doesn't appear that you are using any sort of drain resistor to alleviate this problem.

3. There doesn't appear to be any multiplexing being done on rows/columns here. Is this implying that you are strobe-ing pads one at a time, allowing that circuit to charge and discharge one at a time by connecting every pad to an individual pin?

4. How has your experience been with the actuation point using this sensing solution? Since there aren't any mounting points at the center of the PCB, it appears that the center of the PCB would flex more than the edges, resulting in poor spring contact. This could result in inconsistent keypresses from the center of the board. Do you have any plans to mitigate that problem?

5. How is the PCB attached to the plate? Since there are no keyswitches to hold the housings/sliders to the PCB, the spacing between the PCB and plate is fairly important, as the springs need to make good contact. On a typical Topre PCB, this manifests as about 20 screws that run up from the PCB into threaded holes in the plate in order to ensure even pressure. Have you noticed any issues by eliminating these mounting points?

I have a few more questions, but lets start with those as I might find answers to some of the other ones in your responses.

EDIT: Syntax. Didn't proof-read, like a fool.

The lack of response to this should be incredibly concerning to anyone who was still considering this board

Offline mewa

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 31
    • Thock.co
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (IMPORTANT STATEMENT + GB THIS WEEK)
« Reply #118 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 21:37:25 »
Hi everyone,

This is going to be a long post but I'll try to answer a couple questions and also tell you the story that ended in the (unfortunate) group buy. I'm juggling between this project and a day job, so ultimately it took me a while but I hope you understand as most of us are in this situation :)

First of all - and this is something I probably should've started with in the first place - I would like to give you a little background about who I am.

So, to start over - hi, I'm Marcin! I'm a software engineer, currently involved more in site reliability and other cloud-related topics, but I've always had a passion for low level stuff. My journey with programming and the tech industry started with learning and writing code in C++ and it soon developed into several other technologies and at this point I'm very versatile. I've touched and written programs in a variety of languages - including some of the more obscure ones such as Common Lisp and ones that are much closer to hardware such as the assembly (x86, x64). Or even bare machine code.

However, it wasn't until a couple years ago that my friend and I entered this hobby. At that time we were often scrolling through r/unixporn tweaking our setups for optimal performance and comfort. i3, XMonad, spectrewm and that kind of stuff. Yes, I'm an optimization freak. Occasionally some of the cool pictures found there linked to r/mechanicalkeyboards and incidentally that's how we entered another geeky hobby. I started with a cheap board off of Aliexpress with Gateron reds. It was a refreshing experience but soon I started noticing all those intriguing small keyboards. And then ortholinear. I knew I had to get one - and so I did. I got my first 40% programmable ortholinear board and frankly, I was amazed. To keep the momentum I decided to switch to Colemak-DH layout. Spoiler alert: getting up to speed on a new layout is several orders of magnitude more time-consuming than just switching between stagger and ortho. But I can't complain - and it's still the layout I use on a daily basis.

Then I discovered those expensive rubber dome keyboards and soon enough I found myself with a HHKB and a Realforce. Having been a huge fan of the linear switches I must say I was amazed and really liked the typing experience on the Topre boards. But something was lacking. I already tried ortho and even though the feel was great and I've come to love the tactility I found myself switching often between my 40% and the Topres. The lack of programmability was also a huge drawback. I realised that *my* end-game keyboard was going to be a programmable 40% ortholinear with electro-capacitive switches.

That's how the seed was planted. This was back in 2018. After researching the topic for some time I created my first IC for a 40%, split (as that was something I was exploring back then) ortho EC keyboard to see if there would be other people interested as well. The response I got was mixed and fairly limited, but it was a start and soon enough I started developing the very first prototype.

One of the problems that haunted EC development was that there were no available parts. In order to have a custom EC board you needed a Realforce first. Then again, even if you had one you might want to alternate between keyboards and sourcing parts renders the donor keyboards essentially useless.

As such, I knew I needed to focus on creating capacitive conic springs - often sought by people that lost a couple during dome swaps. Apart from the different looks, these springs are somewhat unsual in that they are not the major component dictating the weight of an EC switch. They are also not linear. However, they are crucial for the operation of the keyboard as they're the medium for the electric charge to move around and causing the change in capacitance we're measuring. The fact that they're not the major component of how the switch feels has another important implication to their design - they are extremely lightweight. To the point where it's actually difficult to manufacture a spring so light with such a shape. Nevertheless, I started development and soon enough I had a first prototype.

Apart from the springs I obviously needed to design a PCB.

Back in the days the resources on EC boards were very scarce and weren't nearly as thorough as the recent analyses by Gondolirim or Drew. Anyway, I devoured all of them. Most notably I was heavily influenced by the guide written by Tom Smalley. It was extremely helpful and has laid foundations for this project. I've learned that sensing capacitive circuits is very tricky. The biggest advantage of the EC keyboards is also it's great pitfall - the signal is analog. Unlike digital signals, analog signals are very susceptible to external factors. Like Tom has noticed, we're measuring changes in capacitance on the order of a couple picofarads. This is an incredibly small value and any noise can affect the circuit badly. On top of that, extreme care has to be taken when laying traces on the PCB as inappropriate wiring can easily incorporate additional parasitic capacitance that causes - at best - the performance of the circuit to deteriorate. The magnitude of unwanted effects will vary based on the measurement method but the worst case scenario is that the device ceases to work. So even when you have a proper circuit it may still fail for non-obvious reasons.

How do you ensure it's working despite all the hurdles? To find the answer I went to study an enormous amount of datasheets, application notes and all sorts of pdfs tackling this problem. I read a lot of resources on designing smartphones - yes, smartphones - as, incidentally, that's probably also the largest cap industry making use of touch sensing technologies, and in particular of capacitive touch sensing.

The last piece of work was to implement QMK on the microcontroller of choice. Most new keyboards aren't actually that innovative in terms of firmware. They usually lean onto the same code and microcontrollers that've already been implemented in QMK. Building an EC board meant foregoing both the hardware - as I had to pick something capable of reliably sensing capacitance - as well as the code that was written for it - both because of the hardware as well as the different workings of an EC keyboard. I knew from the start that was going to require a significant amount of time.

Anyhow, in the meantime I started designing a PCB, and to ease the burden I decided to base my design on an improved but somewhat neglected chip from the AVR family. My intention was to make the integration with QMK as painful as possible, granted AVR powered the lion's share of the keyboards powered by QMK. The chip itself was rather big which was both a pro and a con. A pro, since it meant soldering it by hand was doable, and a con because, well, it was big. Unlike classic Cherry MX based designs, EC PCBs have much less real estate where you can place the microcontroller, which resulted in the PCB having a pronounced top. This is due to the aforementioned sensitivity, but also due to the fact that unlike in Cherry MX designs the PCB is also a part of the switching mechanism, so you can't try to stuff something in between the pins. Being a fan of thin bezels this additional space was something I was definitely not pleased with. However, for the time being I had to accept it.
In the end, despite being quite big for the package, the chip turned out to be small enough to be a pain to solder correctly.

What was supposed to be a boon quickly turned into a curse. Instead of making the development easier the architectural similarity actually made things worse. There are a lot of places in QMK (actually, in TMK) where it is implicitly assumed that AVR only consists of the older chips favoured by hobbyists. Eventually, I managed to get it to work and even showed something in another IC - this time with photos of the hand-soldered PCB and the spring prototypes. But I feared that due to those implicit assumptions there may be still bugs lurking, especially ones that might be very hard to debug later on.
I also learned that this chip wasn't actually that great for a capacitive touch sensor and was very inflexible in terms of development.
Shortly after I found out that the chip is to be soon phased out, which concluded with the decision to switch chips.

In the meantime I was improving the springs' design and in total I did another 3 rounds of prototypes, with great success. Finally, that was one component off the list! And the springs from my last run are actually powering my HHKB and Realforce to this date.

Anyway, back to the main venture. Having been made aware of the limitations of my previous chip I started looking for a viable alternative. Something more flexible. Something smaller, to get rid of that ugly top. This time I knew exactly what I was looking for. The chip turned out to be an ARM-based one, designed specifically around capacitive touch sensing.

This was great, both because ARM is an awesome family of microcontrollers (also much more powerful) but also because it gave much more control about individual parameters of the capacitive sensing process, including resistance and amplification. As I've already mentioned, we're operating on extremely low values here - and since the capacitive sensing circuits are acting on such low values and almost anything plays a factor, one of the key elements in capacitive sensing is tuning the circuit to achieve satisfactory performance. More parameters to control means we can come to a solution quicker.

The microcontroller change meant the PCB had to be adjusted slightly, but it wasn't too bad. The worst part was again getting everything soldered, as the package was again, very small. I failed miserably and lost almost all the parts and PCBs (and I swore not to ever solder by hand anything so small by hand). I managed to have it soldered and eventually implemented QMK on that board. It took a nice while to do that, but at least the development of the EC features has been a breeze compared to the previous chip. I never got around to implementing I2C though, since I started worrying about bringing this design to production.

Knowing I would focus on having all the components soldered profesionally I decided to switch to a smaller chip in the family so I can design a case that looks more natural. If you saw the renders of the case design for the first prototype you know what I'm talking about.

It was then that I decided to undo the split. You see, I realized how niche of a category I picked up. Not only EC, but also 40%, ortholinear and split!

I have a very clear outlook on how the future of custom electro-capacitive keyboards might look like. 5x12 grid orthos, macropads, numpads and splits. And not just keyboards. I would like to make the development of custom EC boards a breeze for everyone, similarly to how anyone can build their own custom Cherry MX keyboard.

If time has taught me anything, it's that it's hard to get proper parts for building custom ECs - and those that do have them, have little intention in sharing them. In fact, those of you that saw the original IC may even remember that creating those parts was one of my initial goals. Unfortunately, I bounced off the high costs of entry - as is usually the case with injection moulding.

My previous decision struck me, as out of all the keyboards projects I had on my list the one I chose was bound to have the lowest interest - meaning there would be less traction to keep all the other projects I have in mind.

So I doubled-down and got down to work. I thought a Planck-format keyboard would do much better and ensure there's enough momentum to keep developing the next projects on the list. Also it's simpler in design compared to a split, so I thought it might be best to postpone the I2C stuff until I have experience shipping a custom EC keyboard.

So I redesigned the PCB and this time I went with that other microcontroller from the start. It required some changes to the QMK code, but fortunately the lion's share of the code I've already written was compatible with it. More importantly, I started working on the enclosure and thanks to the reduced PCB real estate needed for the chip I ended up in the current design. I think it's a nice result for the tradeoffs I had to worry in the beginning.

All in all, since late January I've been involved with talks with different manufacturers collecting quotas for a GB run and evaluating their capability. I've since started cooperating with selected few which I was comfortable with (and it's not going to be their first keyboard GB order) and the prototypes I presented to you in the photos and also in the typing test are the result of that cooperation.

Drew, first of all thank you for posting - and I must say you have a very keen eye! All your remarks are correct but for the last one - that last resistor is used for microcontroller stability, not as part of RC circuit. I see this is a path you haven't explored, but all the other components that you were asking about are already included in the silicon and multiplexed internally.

Neither of the chips were an ST, so I haven't made use of your code actually ;)

With this latest board I've been running consistently at >500Hz which I think is more than enough for a great typing experience and as far as I remember it's also faster than the stock boards. I'll see how far I can push this, but this hasn't been my priority so far.

As for the flaws - yes, this PCB has some issues. You can flex it if you tighten the screws too much. Like I've already mentioned this is something that I've already addressed in the next revision (which I should have soon), and rev2 includes a handful of screws to alleviate that.

And by the way, I really enjoyed your posts - although I wish you had written them a few years sooner!

I hope this gives you all an insight into what this project is and shows you my commitment. After working on something for so long you inevitably become emotionally attached to it, I had a hard time seeing beyond that.

I understand everyone's concerns and of course they are valid. This is my first public project and so I should obviously slow down - and therefore I decided to postpone the GB. In the meantime I will be sending out the prototypes for review to some of the more senior members of the community whom I'm very grateful.


(If I omitted anything I'll try to get back to it on nearest occasion. Right now I need to sleep badly. Gn!)

Offline dklein

  • Posts: 49
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)
« Reply #119 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 21:48:35 »
Thanks for that information and acknowledgement, I'm glad to see that you're taking the time for due diligence on this group buy. I look forward to seeing what reviewers think of the board!

Online gnho

  • Posts: 100
  • Location: ATX/US
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)
« Reply #120 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 21:49:23 »
Came for the drama, stay for the story. Nice post!

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk


Offline 3ambutter

  • Posts: 23
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)
« Reply #121 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 22:10:08 »
You weren't kidding about the R&D. GLWGB  :thumb:

Offline i luv chuletas

  • Posts: 158
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)
« Reply #122 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 22:44:08 »
Hey man, glad to see you taking your time with this. That was actually a pretty interesting read.

Hope you are able to bring the price range a bit down somehow, would love to jump on this but it's a bit far out for me atm.

Regardless, glad to see this back on track

Offline ilikerustoo

  • Posts: 65
  • Location: NJ, USA
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)
« Reply #123 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 22:49:25 »
Happy to see this  :thumb:

Offline Drewbadour

  • Posts: 2
  • Location: Texas
    • Vestigl Creations
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)
« Reply #124 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 22:59:01 »
Thanks for taking the time to respond. Very cool to see you come at this from a different angle. Naturally, I'm looking to learn from what you've done and see if I can improve my design for a second iteration. If you'd be open to sharing what you know with me, I'd be more than happy to chat with you. I assume you're leveraging STMTouch. I had looked at STMTouch and passed over it due to fears of speed. 500Hz on a 40% wasn't enough for me, as I wanted to achieve 2KHz (Shannon-Nyquist at max USB polling rate) on a 104 key keyboard. And if you're serious about making the tech available to everyone, then I have a little experience with write-ups ;).

Hope to hear from you soon.

EDIT: Misread, there were a lot of words. In general, I had avoided on-chip capsense due to concerns about speed, but perhaps my fears were unfounded.
« Last Edit: Sat, 27 June 2020, 10:29:03 by Drewbadour »

Offline Jaxxstatic

  • Posts: 367
  • Haptic Recon
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)
« Reply #125 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 23:59:20 »
Following

Offline alphabirth

  • Posts: 101
  • Location: Italy
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)
« Reply #126 on: Mon, 29 June 2020, 12:13:44 »
Hi everyone,

...
long copy-pasta
...
Thanks for the thoughtful post! I'm really happy to see you slowing down to do this more carefully. Maybe the community can help to come up with ideas on bringing cost down as well.  . I suspect the current price point is going to be too high for many (including myself). If you can work with your manufacturers, you can figure out how many units you need for MOQ to make lower prices per unit possible.

« Last Edit: Tue, 30 June 2020, 06:02:38 by alphabirth »

Offline konstantin

  • Formerly constexpr
  • Posts: 999
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Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)
« Reply #127 on: Mon, 29 June 2020, 18:47:39 »
<a really, really long post>
Thanks for the thoughtful post! I'm really happy to see you slowing down to do this more carefully. Maybe the community can help to come up with ideas on bringing cost down as well.  . I suspect the current price point is going to be too high for many (including myself). If you can work with your manufacturers, you can figure out how many units you need for MOQ to make lower prices per unit possible.

Sent from my Nokia 7.1 using Tapatalk

You don't really need to quote the whole post, my dude. Have consideration for those of us viewing the thread on desktop.

Offline alphabirth

  • Posts: 101
  • Location: Italy
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)
« Reply #128 on: Tue, 30 June 2020, 06:04:29 »
<a really, really long post>
Thanks for the thoughtful post! I'm really happy to see you slowing down to do this more carefully. Maybe the community can help to come up with ideas on bringing cost down as well.  . I suspect the current price point is going to be too high for many (including myself). If you can work with your manufacturers, you can figure out how many units you need for MOQ to make lower prices per unit possible.

Sent from my Nokia 7.1 using Tapatalk

My b!  Edited to be not ridiculous.  I assumed there would be some max length that the site would auto-generate a "..." button for.  The more you know.

You don't really need to quote the whole post, my dude. Have consideration for those of us viewing the thread on desktop.

Offline konstantin

  • Formerly constexpr
  • Posts: 999
  • Location: Serbia
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)
« Reply #129 on: Tue, 30 June 2020, 13:02:00 »
My b!  Edited to be not ridiculous.  I assumed there would be some max length that the site would auto-generate a "..." button for.  The more you know.

All good :thumb:

Offline jawoo

  • Posts: 6
Re: [IC] Conundrum - 40% ortho, QMK, EC (UPDATE + GB POSTPONED)
« Reply #130 on: Thu, 02 July 2020, 00:16:14 »
This is a great opportunity Mewa!  Maybe you could think about working with Drew with this project and don't worry too much about profit from your first.  Money will come along and it becomes easier as you move forward, you know like the next 2nd, 3rd, 4th project.