Author Topic: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board  (Read 4698 times)

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Offline ebastler

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  • Location: Berlin
Hello!

While I am still waiting for prototypes of my isometria75, I got an offer for a bunch of really cheap G80-1800s (datecodes late 90s to early 2000s) and decided to create a new PCB for them. The result is the E80-1800. In German we would call it "Eierlegende Wollmilchsau" (roughly translated as a pig which can be sheared for whool, lays eggs and gives milk - it can do everything).

What is "everything" you ask?
  • ISO Layout (1-1-1-6-1-1-1-1 u or 1.5-1.5-7-1.5-1.5 u bottom row)
  • ANSI Layout (1-1-1-6-1-1-1-1 u or 1.5-1.5-7-1.5-1.5 u bottom row)
  • stepped or regular caps
  • single-color 3mm backlight
  • onboard USB-C with ESD protection and fuse
  • i≤c Header to connect a OLED to fill the ugly hole in cardreader-equipped models
  • possibility to add a battery management board in the future using a JST SH 5pin connector
  • possibility to add a Bluetooth SPI module once QMK supports Bluetooth on ARM
  • STM32F072 with loads of flash and RAM for... uhh... No clue. Future proofing? Truth is, I like to use those chips :D
  • obvioulsy QMK
  • open source with the very free BSDv2 license
  • should be compatible with Maartens plate - no guarantees though! Checked with CAD files only, not with a real plate
  • jlc compatible gerber/BOM/CPL in the repo
  • white silkscreen to hide the green pcb between keys (jlc only assembles green boards, and green PCBs in a plateless build are ugly)

I reduced the amount of offered layouts to what G80-1800 were sold with on purpose, in order to avoid getting too many holes and therefore loose switches (remember, no plate in a G80 unless you add one of Maartens plates!).

You have to make some modifications to the case though:
  • Grab a file and make the USB cable cutout larger to accomodate the USB-C plug
  • Cut off one small post in the lower left side of the board which seems to be present on a few G80s but not on all. I wondered why Maarten left a hole in the PCB in a place where my case has no need for one. Guess I know why, by now xD

Sadly I made a measurement mistake and ended up making the two grooves to accomodate case posts in the bottom of the board about 1mm too small. Since none of my boards still has those posts intact (and some don't seem to ever have had them), I don't care, but I suppose someone else might. Fix will follow soon.

The first 10pc batch has showed up and I'm typing this post on my first proto - everything but OLED support is tested and confirmed working. Still waiting for my OLEDs to arrive.

Also, huge thanks to Maarten - using his GH80-1800 as a source for various measurements saved me a lot of time (and probably a binned prototyping run, I'm horrible at measuring stuff lol).

I'll just drop a bunch of pics of my build in here. Feel free to ask any questions!

Keyboard repo: https://github.com/ebastler/E80-1800
Temporary QMK repo (will initiate a pull request once everything is working including the OLEDs): https://github.com/ebastler/qmk_firmware/tree/isometria_75/keyboards/ebastler



« Last Edit: Mon, 20 July 2020, 18:58:17 by ebastler »

Offline Rayndalf

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I appreciate the simplified layout, I built a 1838 with a TKC1800 PCB and the Alps support and large quantity of holes made for a really crooked build without a plate. I later bought a built Leeku 1800 PCB for another build and it was perfectly square with 5 pin switches.

The USB C support for detachable cables is cool to see but I'm not sure I like the idea of cutting into the case.

Offline ebastler

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Modifying the case sure isn't for everyone - the modification is kinda small, though. You make the original wire-hole ~3 mm wider in one direction. That can be done in 5-10 minutes and would probably not even look too bad if you decided to go for the OG cable again.

I popped in all switches without paying attention on aligning them properly, and it turned out perfectly aligned - the limited layout support definitely does its's job there :thumb:

Offline ebastler

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Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 30 August 2020, 12:56:31 »
Cherry featured my project on their social medias, namely Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!
I'm super proud :)

https://twitter.com/cherrymx/status/1300075345576701955

Offline hvontres

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Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 30 August 2020, 17:08:34 »
I was curious, would this work with the case from a g81-1800 as well? Just asking, since they would be a much cheaper donor for the case.
Henry von Tresckow

               
1986 Model M 1390131, 1987 Model M 1391401 , 1993 Model M2 Modded Reddragon k556(work keyboard)

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 30 August 2020, 17:52:25 »
Glad to see this project get some attention. Did you get your PCBs assembled by JLC or did you do the SMD yourself?

I was curious, would this work with the case from a g81-1800 as well? Just asking, since they would be a much cheaper donor for the case.

Yes the G81-1800 and G81-3000 use the same cases as the version with Cherry switches. Older G81 boards will also have compatible keycaps, while newer G81 boards use different stabilzers built into the wider keys.

Offline Maniac

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Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 03 September 2020, 14:18:32 »
Nice work on this! Iíve got two G80-1800 boards comming in. Something like this would be perfect. Have you considered selling these?

Just curious, what would be the main difference between this pcb and the ones TKC is offering? (Besides the usb-c).


Offline Rayndalf

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Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 03 September 2020, 23:20:26 »
Nice work on this! Iíve got two G80-1800 boards comming in. Something like this would be perfect. Have you considered selling these?

Just curious, what would be the main difference between this pcb and the ones TKC is offering? (Besides the usb-c).

The bottom row different layouts (only 1-1-1-6-1-1-1-1, 1.5-1.5-7-1.5-1.5, not 1.25-1.25-1.25-6.25-1.5-1.5 like the TKC)

The simplified bottom row only supports the OG layouts, and will be more stable and less crooked when used without a plate. The GH80-1800 might be better if you don't want a detachable cable, but detachable cables are cool.

Offline ebastler

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Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 11 September 2020, 14:52:52 »
Rayndalf explained the differences perfectly :)

Mine would in theory be ready for Bluetooth, but it needs a Bluetooth module and a battery management daughterboard for that.
Since QMK currently has no BT support on ARM chips, I did not design the DB yet. But maybe, someday, it will work.

If you have a board with cardreader-cutout, you can fill it with an OLED - I am currently running one on mine. Works fine.

I have talked to a (EU based) vendor and we are currently planning on selling them, whether GB based or as an in-stock sale is not yet determined. I can't give any clear ETA for it though, and neither do I want to say which shop it is until we've finalized it. I'm currently a bit busy between exams and a PCB commission, so I'm not working on it super actively...

EDIT: Oops, missed a question. I let jlcpcb assembly the protos - too many components for me to bother hand-soldering, even if it would be doable (0603 is not too hard). Only soldered the USB connectors myself. The boards on sale will have those soldered out of the box, too.

Oh, and I wrote a bit about the board and my work on it on my homepage: https://mpwr.xyz/projects/e80-1800.html
Probably most interesting for build pictures, not the text.
« Last Edit: Fri, 11 September 2020, 14:55:35 by ebastler »

Offline Maniac

  • Posts: 24
Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 02:40:28 »
This is great. Just saw a another build based on your designs. I have recently received my two G80-1800 boards and expecting a G80-11800 as well :)
Very interested in this for sure. I was considering ordering a TKC or something called Leechee from Taobao, but fell this is a more safer option plus it has USB-C.

Just a few questions if you don't mind :)
- In your build log I noticed you didn't use a plate at all, just pcb mounted everything. You happy with this solution or would you prefer to use a plate?
- My boards do not have the card-reader cut-out, would your PCBs would still fit & work?
- What do you use the OLED screen for?
- Any chance you might make something like this for the G80-11800 :) ?

Thanks!  :thumb:


Offline Rayndalf

  • Posts: 406
Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 03:25:58 »
This is great. Just saw a another build based on your designs. I have recently received my two G80-1800 boards and expecting a G80-11800 as well :)
Very interested in this for sure. I was considering ordering a TKC or something called Leechee from Taobao, but fell this is a more safer option plus it has USB-C.

Just a few questions if you don't mind :)
- In your build log I noticed you didn't use a plate at all, just pcb mounted everything. You happy with this solution or would you prefer to use a plate?
- My boards do not have the card-reader cut-out, would your PCBs would still fit & work?
- What do you use the OLED screen for?
- Any chance you might make something like this for the G80-11800 :) ?

Thanks!  :thumb:

I know there is a PCB for the 11800 and 11900 called the grape 11900 on Taobao (https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=622722476645), but you'd have to use a "Taobao Agent" (a shipping forwarder that only forwards items from Taobao) to get one. I have one on the way. Supposedly the PCB also converts the trackpad or trackball to work over USB and can be programmed using http://ydkb.io/. Funny enough the PCB has the open source gear mark but I can't find source files anywhere. I'd also love a QMK compatible, properly open source alternative, but I was desperate (and found a G80-11900 with doubleshot keycaps!?)

The TKC1800 is too expensive for what it is, I ordered 5 GH80-3000 PCBs (with SMT assembly) from JLCPCB for $70 shipped and those are larger PCBs (but it does lack LED support for LED underlighting (it supports in switch though) or an LCD).

Offline ebastler

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  • Location: Berlin
Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 18 September 2020, 12:46:53 »
This is great. Just saw a another build based on your designs. I have recently received my two G80-1800 boards and expecting a G80-11800 as well :)
Very interested in this for sure. I was considering ordering a TKC or something called Leechee from Taobao, but fell this is a more safer option plus it has USB-C.

Just a few questions if you don't mind :)
- In your build log I noticed you didn't use a plate at all, just pcb mounted everything. You happy with this solution or would you prefer to use a plate?
- My boards do not have the card-reader cut-out, would your PCBs would still fit & work?
- What do you use the OLED screen for?
- Any chance you might make something like this for the G80-11800 :) ?

Thanks!  :thumb:

Thanks! We are currently planning a groupbuy, so if you're not in a super hurry, you can join in once it's ready!
Regarding your questions:
1) Yeah, I'm using it plateless, just as it was stock (with some foam added below the PCB though) -  I really like it that way, and since I ditched a few of the GH80-1800s possible layouts, the switches sit firmly and don't wobble at all. There is plates that fit my PCB though, I know Evy's (maartenwut) plate fits: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=96313.0
I think both are viable options, but I wanted to have it plateless.
2) Yeah, OLED is completely optional. You can either disable it in QMK (or leave it enabled but not connect a screen, doesn't matter). It's not relevant for function.
3) Eeh. Tough one. Still trying to figure out what would be a good usecase tbqh. Layer indicator would be cool if the board had any necessity for layers, which it doesn't. Caps indicator would be nice if there wasn't a dedicated LED 15 mm below it. Maybe I'll try to get a standalone calculator mode done some day, and I'd love to get it to work with a BME280 (air temperature/humidiy/pressure sensor), but both are above my programming skills atm, so the OLED is kinda useless so far.
4) Oof. Maybe if I get one in a good condition some day, but most likely not. I have a bunch of other projects piled up that I wanna do first.

Regards,
ebastler

Offline AngryCoder

  • Posts: 4
Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 06 October 2020, 04:41:02 »
I'm in for the group buy and from Germany too. I still have 4 mint 1800s to use. I would love to implement some gimmiky features on the OLED. Let me know when the group buy happens. Thanks

edit:
why don't you use the 3-LED indicator rectangle as a cutout for the OLED?
« Last Edit: Tue, 06 October 2020, 05:03:18 by AngryCoder »

Offline Maniac

  • Posts: 24
Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 06 October 2020, 05:50:11 »
Yeah I ordered 2 china replacement PCBs from taobao, Leechee something. Could not wait. But I will still be joining this GB if/when it happens. I would think German produced, is well... German produced :D


Offline dragonken

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  • Location: Hong Kong
Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 15 October 2020, 10:12:07 »
I am in for this too and I want to know where can I get a plate for 1800?

Offline ebastler

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  • Location: Berlin
Re: E80-1800 - The time has come for yet another G80-1800 replacement board
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 24 October 2020, 05:37:35 »
I'm in for the group buy and from Germany too. I still have 4 mint 1800s to use. I would love to implement some gimmiky features on the OLED. Let me know when the group buy happens. Thanks

edit:
why don't you use the 3-LED indicator rectangle as a cutout for the OLED?

Great to hear that!
Mainly because my G80 all had a slot for the card reader which I wanted to fill with something useful! A 128x64px OLED might fit the indicator cutout just fine though. You could be the first to try - would look awesome for sure!

I am in for this too and I want to know where can I get a plate for 1800?
Awesome!
Regarding the plate - Evy has made a model that fits my PCB perfectly, it can be found here: https://github.com/evyd13/gh80-series/tree/master/GH80-1800/plate
You should be able to order them at various places that offer laser-cutting and similar, but I have no experience with any, sorry!