Author Topic: REI XT-60 Prototype Log  (Read 3217 times)

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Offline goddream

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REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 19:15:45 »
Hi all,

Wanted to share a little project that I have been working on over the last few months - not planning to IC/GB this board yet, but still wanted to share with everyone!

introducing the Rei - a polycarb 60% with a macro column on both the left and right sides, featuring a gummy-worm oring mount and a seamless sheathe design.



flex test: https://imgur.com/gallery/XjA1NvX

Layout
I decided on this layout for a few reasons - I love how cute and symmetrical 60% boards are, I love how cool XT columns are, the one thing I miss from a fullsize board is the 2u numpad enter (super satisfying to just hit the enter with your right thumb), and as a normie TKL user, i just wanted to maintain most of my functionality without needing to use layers. That all came together into this layout that I'm having a lot of fun with at the moment. The macro columns support 5x 1us, as well as 2us on the 2nd/3rd and 4th/5th rows.

More



Design Details/Inspiration/Aesthetic

WARNING theres some weeb ahead

More
Why Seamless/Polycarb/Gasket?

Basically, a lot of the aesthetic design choices were made to reflect the board's namesake - Ayanami Rei from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion



At first glance for many people, Rei is a bit of a boring and flat character - not very expressive and a bit of a blank slate, which manifested as a very basic/plain exterior design - seamless with no real side /back profile. As basic of a rectangle as possible.

However, once we start to delve deeper, we are able to start picking up some intricacies in her character - this led to me choosing to make the board gummy-worm mount in polycarb. Basically, we're able to look inside the board itself at the needlessly complicated internals (top mount would have been much easier for this board tbh). I also thought that having a brightly coloured oring peek through the poly could serve as an accent



Other features

8.8degree typing angle
I like higher typing angles

Stainless steel weight - polished external face, raw internal
Chose stainless steel as it obviously fits the aesthetic over brass. I also actually want the polished external face to pick up scratches - it just fits the theme of Rei - damaged and broken but somehow still radiant.




Another personal preference that turned out really well in this board is the fixed wkl plate - it always annoyed me to see the switch cutouts in wkl poly boards. The fixed plate is able to peek through the PC blockers and add a splash of colour (although the lilac plate i have here isn't the best example).



Thoughts on typing feel/sound
I built the prototype with lubed and filmed h1s, cherry clip-in stabiliers on the 'outside' keys (spacebar, backspace, 2u vertical enter), and durock stabilizers on everything else.

In all honesty, the board sounds great - this is definitely due to the inherent sound of polycarb, as well as what I suspect is the O-ring around the pcb/plate acting as a sound dampener. I will try and get a typing vid out in the next few days (although my setup isnt the best).

Typing feel is... pretty good? It basically feels like a top mount at the moment, which is great since I love top mounts. It's a bit stiffer than it should be due to some overly tight tolerances as well as the 70a oring being used - this duro was readily available in single units for size testing purposes, which is why I am using it at the moment. Getting a softer duro (40-50a) oring will probably soften the typing feel. I am also very interested in exploring halfplates as well as polycarbonate plates.


Things to work on

There are definitely things I need to adjust with this board before I am happy with it -

More
Plate tolerances/general tolerances
My tolerances for the plate and case internals are much too tight - in fact, I had to file down the edges of my plate to get it to fit at all. This probably also contributes to some of the stiffness.

Adjust the columns that the orings rest on
I decided to make the 4 inner columns wider, thinking to have more surface area of the gasket in contact with the columns for compression. Turns out that's really dumb and it just added stiffness points.

Weight redesign/JST route redesign.
I want to make the weight bigger, and route the majority of the JST cable through the weight instead - currently the weight of the board is a little too light and I am not a big fan of the exposed JST cabling/routing.



PCB/Daughterboard
Currently for whatever reason, my daughterboard/pcb only works when the usb-c cable is plugged in a certain orientation.... genuinely have no idea why LOL. However, I do know that the stone-age level QMK i have baked in is nowhere near perfect, which needs to be fleshed out. I may also consider adding a flex cut in the middle of the pcb such as the one found on the OTD Mini.

Font/logo design
The fonts for both faces of the weight need serious work - I kind of just threw whatever in for this first proto, as I knew I would be ordering at least one revision. I am also thinking including some of logo/engraving somewhere on the case.

Color experimentation
The nature of polycarb means that we can have a lot of fun with internal colours - my prototype pcb was just the default green, but 'final spec' will probably be white, as well as experimentation with plate colours.


That about sums up this first prototype for the Rei - I have a lot of stuff to work on before ordering a second prototype.

I hope you enjoyed this write up and please please leave feedback/suggestions!

« Last Edit: Sun, 16 August 2020, 02:40:35 by goddream »
REI XT-60 | Kintsugi Endash | PC Dolphin | PC Aburaya | Tengu

Offline L-Ron

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 19:18:07 »
ooooh yes

Offline belgium_waffles

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 19:20:19 »
helo rei is very beautiful board, ever since i saw your post on geekhack i must have it. If you are running a private run i would like to be in it my friend
Endash | HHKB Pro 2 | Praxis | Constellation | 7v

Offline JonoColwell

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 19:21:02 »
Hello when is the group buy?

Offline Quinella

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 19:26:13 »
helo rei is very beautiful board, ever since i saw your post on geekhack i must have it. If you are running a private run i would like to be in it my friend

Offline wouldworks

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 19:26:39 »
Looks so good dude. Love that the lilac plate tints the PC a bit

How does the plate move when you push down around the edges? Would love to see a flex vid as part of the typing test

Offline dingusxmcgee

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 19:52:34 »
Looks very cool! Love the plate color.

Offline Agilr

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 21:10:36 »
Good stuff, the diffraction of light from the lilac plate on the polycarb is a treat to behold. Can't wait for the second proto. :p

Offline goddream

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 21:30:51 »
Thanks for the kind words everyone :)

Can definitely include some flex test examples as well
REI XT-60 | Kintsugi Endash | PC Dolphin | PC Aburaya | Tengu

Offline 002_GT

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 22:19:40 »
helo rei is very beautiful board, ever since i saw your post on geekhack i must have it. If you are running a private run i would like to be in it my friend

Offline datcatfish

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 23:37:25 »
Wow, so clean! How would the potential 2u keys on the left macro column work, 1 switch + stabs like on the right? Also, if you were to route the JST cable through the weight, would you have to cut out space on the weight for it?

Offline goddream

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 03:25:42 »
Wow, so clean! How would the potential 2u keys on the left macro column work, 1 switch + stabs like on the right? Also, if you were to route the JST cable through the weight, would you have to cut out space on the weight for it?

Yup, you can see the 2u cutouts on the plates, it will just be the same as the right side.

You're also right on the cable routing - essentially having the channel cut into the weight, to hide the routing from the backside. I'd still make sure to have the Unit-00 somewhere on it though!
REI XT-60 | Kintsugi Endash | PC Dolphin | PC Aburaya | Tengu

Offline PantoneC

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 04:36:52 »
Design looking good weight would look better with larger area on outside versus that small mirror polished piece. I hope there is enough room under pcb for flex.
Since this is a polycarbonate case I would hope you have rgb underglow, looking foward to coming changes.  :thumb:

Online LightningXI

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 11:17:09 »
This is pretty cute, and so are you.

Offline coarse

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 18:24:36 »
nice work. are the resistors properly soldered on your daughterboard? there should be two 5.1k ones connected to one usb pin for each resistor. having those resistors lets the usb cable be connected in any orientation

also, if you dont mind me asking, how much did the whole prototype cost you? im looking to get some one-off cases made as well but dont know how much i should be saving up for this.

Offline audax989

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 19:10:42 »
I see Rei I like

Offline goddream

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 19:34:01 »
Design looking good weight would look better with larger area on outside versus that small mirror polished piece. I hope there is enough room under pcb for flex.
Since this is a polycarbonate case I would hope you have rgb underglow, looking foward to coming changes.  :thumb:

My brain got too tired to add in RGB for these first pcbs, as well as it's not in my personal preference. I will probably give a crack at adding it down the line.

This is pretty cute, and so are you.

meowgoHYPERS

nice work. are the resistors properly soldered on your daughterboard? there should be two 5.1k ones connected to one usb pin for each resistor. having those resistors lets the usb cable be connected in any orientation

also, if you dont mind me asking, how much did the whole prototype cost you? im looking to get some one-off cases made as well but dont know how much i should be saving up for this.

I think the unit i was using may have been a bit dud, swapped it out and it works fine now. This particular prototype was around 600usd before ship. 5 unit run of pcbs was around 40 from jlcpcb.
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Offline Zambumon

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 13 August 2020, 06:50:28 »
Nice.

Offline yoot

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 13 August 2020, 07:35:46 »
I absolutely love the symmetry of this layout. Hope this comes to fruition sooner rather than later!


Offline gasp

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 13 August 2020, 09:07:53 »
This looks very clean. Ayaya.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk


Offline kkatano

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 13 August 2020, 19:56:18 »
Great job! I share some things I can say from my experience.

If you use a softer O-ring like the 50a or 30a duro, you may need a bit extra space under the PCB as it will slightly increase the subduction. also adjust the height from the plate to the top of the case.

When using a polycarbonate plate, strong pressure from the O-ring may distort the edge of the plate that contacts the O-ring.

My CAD files here. It's mediocre and not as great as your design, but I'm glad if it helps you  :)
https://cad.onshape.com/documents/b9c4d0c8485c8169831ba707/w/8188c303518212ef026721d4/e/f52ff0be7215c7dec16d4643
https://cad.onshape.com/documents/aae08511e278b75a068d6874/w/b8f5302c908de22076415a82/e/7fa35332c9264d3191d0c554
« Last Edit: Thu, 13 August 2020, 20:06:41 by kkatano »

Offline TaurusTrades

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #21 on: Fri, 14 August 2020, 18:45:11 »
I agree with the others. Really love the layout!

Offline goddream

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 16 August 2020, 02:37:33 »
Nice.

Great job! I share some things I can say from my experience.

If you use a softer O-ring like the 50a or 30a duro, you may need a bit extra space under the PCB as it will slightly increase the subduction. also adjust the height from the plate to the top of the case.

When using a polycarbonate plate, strong pressure from the O-ring may distort the edge of the plate that contacts the O-ring.

My CAD files here. It's mediocre and not as great as your design, but I'm glad if it helps you  :)
https://cad.onshape.com/documents/b9c4d0c8485c8169831ba707/w/8188c303518212ef026721d4/e/f52ff0be7215c7dec16d4643
https://cad.onshape.com/documents/aae08511e278b75a068d6874/w/b8f5302c908de22076415a82/e/7fa35332c9264d3191d0c554

I absolutely love the symmetry of this layout. Hope this comes to fruition sooner rather than later!

This looks very clean. Ayaya.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk



I agree with the others. Really love the layout!

thanks for the kind words!
REI XT-60 | Kintsugi Endash | PC Dolphin | PC Aburaya | Tengu

Offline goddream

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 16 August 2020, 02:41:19 »
Updated the main post with a really scuffed typing video, as well as an imgur link to some flex tests
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Offline audax989

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 16 August 2020, 05:59:50 »
Updated the main post with a really scuffed typing video, as well as an imgur link to some flex tests

Definitely sounds really clean and the flex is good enough with the current gaskets. would colored PC be an option? maybe a light blue to match Rei's hair?

Offline VXQN

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 19 August 2020, 12:39:55 »
This is absolutely excellent! I had been toying with building a keyboard basically identical to this so it's great to see it's already been done! I particularly like how the sidewalls seem to properly cover the bottom of the caps often there's a teeny gap there which I think really detracts from the overall look of some boards.

Offline yoot

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #26 on: Mon, 05 October 2020, 15:07:24 »
Just wondering if there are any updates on this  :D. Have you ordered a second prototype?


Offline Carlothan

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 05 October 2020, 16:14:07 »
This looks gorgeous. Dream layout is XT layout polycarb. Very interested in seeing the second round of proto updates! Please keep us in the loop.

Offline self

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 05 October 2020, 18:57:19 »
so clean...
rei is the best girl

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Offline goddream

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 05 October 2020, 22:18:31 »
yoyo thanks for the replies everyone!

semi-update i guess - v2 proto design pretty much finished, but I want to redo the entire pcb to make it prettier as well as include through-hole LEDs. Been busy with work, and also spent a bit too much over the last month or two, which is why progress is slow....  :-[

planning to redo the PCB this month, and order proto 2 by next month. Since this is still a personal project 'for now ;)' I'm taking my time to do it when i feel like it   :D
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Offline yoot

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 05 October 2020, 23:44:41 »
yoyo thanks for the replies everyone!

semi-update i guess - v2 proto design pretty much finished, but I want to redo the entire pcb to make it prettier as well as include through-hole LEDs. Been busy with work, and also spent a bit too much over the last month or two, which is why progress is slow....  :-[

planning to redo the PCB this month, and order proto 2 by next month. Since this is still a personal project 'for now ;)' I'm taking my time to do it when i feel like it   :D
thanks for the update. Really hoping this becomes more than a personal project (this layout is the bomb)


Offline Carlothan

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Re: REI XT-60 Prototype Log
« Reply #31 on: Tue, 06 October 2020, 11:20:39 »
yoyo thanks for the replies everyone!

semi-update i guess - v2 proto design pretty much finished, but I want to redo the entire pcb to make it prettier as well as include through-hole LEDs. Been busy with work, and also spent a bit too much over the last month or two, which is why progress is slow....  :-[

planning to redo the PCB this month, and order proto 2 by next month. Since this is still a personal project 'for now ;)' I'm taking my time to do it when i feel like it   :D

Excited to hear progress is being made! Echoing sentiments of others here and hope that in time you'll at least consider opening for a small private buy. Board looks amazing so far!