Author Topic: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard - Added renders (New IC Form for options!)  (Read 21206 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline driftingbunnies

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 308
UPDATE 2: Thanks for all the interest! I've decided to just go ahead and order one last prototype to see if people would be still interested. I'll be sure to post pictures and do a build once I've verified that everything works. Currently based on the interest, I'm comfortable with a 40-50 spot GB. For those numbers, pricing will be ~$350-400 to make sense. Initially I'm thinking of using CF or PC for the plate material. I've added a new IC form to get your feedback on materials and colors. Please fill one out if you are still interested! Thanks again!  :thumb:

Options IC Form

Hey everyone! I thought I would share a small side project with you all to see if there was any interest in this layout. I currently have a working prototype but there will be changes to the case so this is mostly feedback on the layout. Currently the prototype is a sandwich mount but we'll be change it to be a top mount. The case is also just aluminum with no weight to it in order to keep costs down. I wanted this to be a very fun and easy board to get into if trying something smaller than 60% was intimidating.

Idea:

The idea came up when I wanted to try a small board but didn't want to spend extra on a 40s kit. I also don't know whether or not I would be able to get used to not having a num-row or the punctuation to the right of the 'P' key that many 40% boards get rid of.

Layout:

More
The layout is meant to be very simple but is meant to use only base kit keys. As long as the kit includes a second 2.25u shift, split spacebars shouldn't be needed. This is also the first PCB that I designed myself (with some help along the way) so I kept the layouts as simple as possible. Considering there aren't many keys missing, I didn't think there would be any need for additional bottom rows. The bottom row has a 1.5/1/1.25/2.25/2.75/1.25/1/1.5 layout in order to make it semi-symmetrical and so that we keep the stagger with the row above it. Any adjustment will cause a cross between the bottom row and second to bottom row which I like to avoid. Some newer boards tend to only care about symmetry on the bottom but I want to make sure that no key is directly underneath the one above it.

Edit: I've added some more compatibility based on the feedback received on the IC form and from the thread. Let me know if you have any other changes you think would make sense. Thanks everyone!




Specs:
  • STM32 MCU
  • QMK compatible
  • USB C Daughterboard - C1/C3 compatible
  • Minimal holes in the PCB
  • 5 degree case
  • Top mount - semi seamless design
  • CF or PC plates

Prototype:
More





Render:









FAQ:
  • Who is this for? - For those who want to try a num-row-less board without sacrificing too many keys
  • Why would I want this? - Why not? It's mostly just a fun board that you can try out.
  • Why don't you include this or that key? Why don't you remove this or that key? - I wanted to keep it as basic as possible. This board actually started out with the name Base50
  • Can you include more pictures of the case? - The final case design isn't finished yet. It'll be a top mount half seamless design. I currently have the prototype of the first revision. Once I have renders or a new prototype, I'll post it here.
  • GB date estimate? Price estimate? - Since I don't have the final case design yet, this is mainly looking for feedback on the layout to see if there is interest and ways to make it better. Once that's finalized and so is the case design, I'll get some quotes and another prototype before moving forward with a GB. If there's not enough interest, then I'll just keep my prototype I have now and close the project.



Special thanks:
More
  • Fropsie for the case design
  • Gondo & Starr for helping me with the PCB
  • ai03 discord for also answering some of my PCB questions
  • MoD discord for helping me with the name and layout feedback

Please let me know if you have any feedback or if you're interested in this layout/board!
IC Form
« Last Edit: Fri, 21 August 2020, 08:33:22 by driftingbunnies »

Offline ycanales

  • Posts: 55
  • Location: Chile
    • keybordist
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 21:10:32 »
Beautiful!

edit: I only wish the Fn and Spacebar could be swapped in position.
« Last Edit: Wed, 12 August 2020, 08:04:46 by ycanales »

Offline foysauce_

  • Posts: 35
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 21:13:44 »
Finally a sensible and clean looking <60% layout :thumb:

Offline Nvr_Smile

  • Posts: 16
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 21:17:09 »
Looks super cute. Will definitely be trying to grab one when GB rolls around.

Offline Tree_

  • Posts: 235
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 21:35:00 »
This is it. This is the sub-60% layout we need.

Estimate on price?

Offline cijanzen

  • Posts: 568
[IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 21:59:11 »
This is a very *reasonable* layout. All makes sense, has full punctuation, and doesnít require special keys. Nice!

At this size I think Iíd like to see 6.25u spacebar support but thatís a small desire.

Offline 8six753o9

  • Posts: 151
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 22:17:03 »
Yes please  :thumb:

Offline L-Ron

  • Posts: 19
  • Location: Australia
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 22:25:19 »
Really dig this one, retains all the functionality of a much larger board. Definitely interested.

Offline werc

  • Posts: 18
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 10:07:10 »
This looks awesome. I think the layout is great. Definitely very interested.
Any possibility for hotswap, VIA or a polycarb case?
Also, any very loose guess on gb timing and price?

Offline dantambok

  • Posts: 893
  • Location: Philippines
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 10:35:40 »
yooo this is so cute
Stuff  I have
More
2x TGR Alice / TGR 910 RE / TGR 910 CE / TGR 910 VKC / 2x TGR Jane V2 / 2x Matrix 2.0 / Matrix 2.2 / Matrix 1.2OG / Lyn Whale v2 / Lyn EM7 v3 / DK Saver / 2x Keycult No. 1/60 / Hachi / Kyuu / Duck Orion V2 / 2x TGRxSinga Unikorn / Unikorn 2.1 / QXP / TX1800 V1 /  JER80 / TMO50 / 2x 86u / ION i69 / LZ MP / 2x FMJ80 / TGR Jane V2 CE / Matrix Project F / IDB60 / is0  / MXSS / Atom TKL / Duck Viper v3 / HBCP / Noxary 280 / LZ Physix / FLX Virgo / Modern M0110 / Matrix 2.0 ADD / TGR Police / Noxary XRF / Noxary Vulcan Pro / SAM S65 / 350 mimi

Coming soon --   Lynx50 / Matrix 2.0 ADD / 2x GSKT-00 / Fuji 65 / Andromeda / Haus65 / Valhalla / Dalco Mini /  / Matrix Falcon / Iron 165


Offline ddrfraser1

  • Posts: 478
  • Location: Smashville
  • Just learn to solder
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 11:27:31 »
Sweet. Looks good.

Offline VXQN

  • Posts: 214
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 12:07:57 »
This looks great! One request though, please allow 1.25u - 1u key combination for the left shift area. I understand not offering the ISO enter, but adding the ISO left shift is such a small change that I hope you can see the benefit to adding it.

Offline driftingbunnies

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 308
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 14:13:03 »
Added some answers to some questions posted here and on the IC form.

  • Can you include more pictures of the case? - The final case design isn't finished yet. It'll be a top mount half seamless design. I currently have the prototype of the first revision. Once I have renders or a new prototype, I'll post it here.
  • GB date estimate? Price estimate? - Since I don't have the final case design yet, this is mainly looking for feedback on the layout to see if there is interest and ways to make it better. Once that's finalized and so is the case design, I'll get some quotes and another prototype before moving forward with a GB. If there's not enough interest, then I'll just keep my prototype I have now and close the project.

Offline yoniwolf1202

  • Posts: 64
  • Location: Maryland, USA
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 18:32:41 »
I'm excited for this! Hype!

Offline monkeywright

  • Posts: 11
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 19:38:53 »
I like it. A Minivan is my current travel board, but this is a great setup!

Offline jimboytacos

  • Posts: 214
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 22:13:36 »
Beautiful. Have more pictures of the case? Back, side, bottom?

Offline rpiguy9907

  • Posts: 80
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 22:17:04 »
16U wide? Thatís wider than a DDmilli which is the closest I can think of to this.

Itís really a 65% without the num row.

Itís growing on me, but seems really impractical.

Offline driftingbunnies

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 308
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 22:52:46 »
16U wide? Thatís wider than a DDmilli which is the closest I can think of to this.

Itís really a 65% without the num row.

Itís growing on me, but seems really impractical.

That's exactly the point. It's a 65% with the numrow chopped off but with split space since that seems pretty essential when you're going to need to use layers frequently. If I start cutting the width of the board, then you'll need more than a gmk base kit to outfit it.

Beautiful. Have more pictures of the case? Back, side, bottom?

If there's enough interest, I'll order a prototype of the new design and will post it here. It's not quite finalized yet.

Offline Top Right Logo

  • Posts: 33
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 23:21:48 »

If there's enough interest, I'll order a prototype of the new design and will post it here. It's not quite finalized yet.

Can't wait to see how it comes out! (if it does)

Offline driftingbunnies

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 308
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 13 August 2020, 10:32:48 »
Added some more compatibility.

Offline Oddstag

  • Posts: 60
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 13 August 2020, 10:37:54 »
Love the additional compatibility. ISO would be my personal ask as I think it looks great on this size of board.

Offline rpiguy9907

  • Posts: 80
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 13 August 2020, 15:24:45 »
I don't like split right shift I would prefer to use a 2.75u shift, but I am probably in the minority. I dislike arrows keys on smaller form factors.

Offline William_S_Jones

  • Posts: 659
  • Location: Charlotte, NC
  • Best Prime Ever!!!
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 13 August 2020, 15:52:41 »
This looks great! One request though, please allow 1.25u - 1u key combination for the left shift area. I understand not offering the ISO enter, but adding the ISO left shift is such a small change that I hope you can see the benefit to adding it.
Definitely interested & I too hope Iso enter is possible w/ this board. Hope the case is offered in acrylic, polycarbon, & aluminum options too!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline gsp_89

  • Posts: 2
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 13 August 2020, 19:56:08 »
May I know what is the typing angle and front height? I really like the idea of not sacrificing special character to the right of "p", "l" and "m" as well as the arrow key.

Offline CustomerSupport

  • Posts: 247
  • Location: USA 🇺🇸
  • 🕸 developer
    • Discord
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 14 August 2020, 01:22:12 »
16U wide? Thatís wider than a DDmilli which is the closest I can think of to this.

Itís really a 65% without the num row.

Itís growing on me, but seems really impractical.

That's exactly the point. It's a 65% with the numrow chopped off but with split space since that seems pretty essential when you're going to need to use layers frequently. If I start cutting the width of the board, then you'll need more than a gmk base kit to outfit it.

I like this. Percentage doesn't always indicate a change in width.

I'm definitely interested in the angle and price; like how you've configured the layout(s) to use standard GMK keys.

Offline uxxsam

  • Posts: 9
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 14 August 2020, 03:01:31 »
Looks great, Iím in

Offline thornkin

  • Posts: 237
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 14 August 2020, 03:22:15 »
I like the concept of a 50% board. I can't get used to 40s and the missing keys.  Definitely interested in this.

Offline huey

  • Posts: 104
  • Location: UK
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 15 August 2020, 07:34:24 »
This is pretty cool. Any info on the case angle?

Offline Mcnos

  • Posts: 1151
    • GMK Fuyu
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #28 on: Sat, 15 August 2020, 21:47:04 »
I like

Offline rikercd

  • Posts: 50
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard
« Reply #29 on: Wed, 19 August 2020, 15:50:05 »
It's basically just a usable 40. I love it.

Offline driftingbunnies

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 308
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard - Added renders (Last chance for IC)
« Reply #30 on: Wed, 19 August 2020, 19:24:47 »
Thanks for all the interest so far! Based on where we're at, I might not move forward with this design. I've added renders though of what would be the final case but if I don't get enough interest through the form, I'll just keep what I have and shelve this project.

Offline werc

  • Posts: 18
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard - Added renders (Last chance for IC)
« Reply #31 on: Wed, 19 August 2020, 19:42:50 »
Thanks for all the interest so far! Based on where we're at, I might not move forward with this design. I've added renders though of what would be the final case but if I don't get enough interest through the form, I'll just keep what I have and shelve this project.

I hope the interest level picks up. I think this project is awesome and I'd love to see it become a reality. Fingers crossed here.

Offline dRnRcRr

  • Posts: 63
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard - Added renders (Last chance for IC)
« Reply #32 on: Wed, 19 August 2020, 21:07:18 »
Nice Db

Offline CustomerSupport

  • Posts: 247
  • Location: USA 🇺🇸
  • 🕸 developer
    • Discord
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard - Added renders (Last chance for IC)
« Reply #33 on: Wed, 19 August 2020, 23:40:43 »
werc Ė I would suggest putting the IC form link nice and big and front & center.

As it is I had to hunt to find it squeezed in at the bottom.

Really hope this keeps moving.

Offline gminso

  • Posts: 90
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard - Added renders (Last chance for IC)
« Reply #34 on: Wed, 19 August 2020, 23:55:26 »
nowadays every boards I see are at least 400 and above so I am not sure it is possible but if it can be sub 300, I could get one as a toy keyboard.  :)

Offline 10peaches

  • Posts: 31
  • Location: New Zealand
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard - Added renders (Last chance for IC)
« Reply #35 on: Thu, 20 August 2020, 06:40:56 »
I like this too... I need my punctuations!

Offline Andrago

  • Posts: 10
  • Hobbyist from Singapore!
    • Github
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard - Added renders (Last chance for IC)
« Reply #36 on: Thu, 20 August 2020, 11:32:43 »
Love the layout !!


Offline Brez1623

  • Posts: 10
  • Location: MN, USA
Re: [IC] DropTop55 (DT55) - 55% keyboard - Added renders (Last chance for IC)
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 20 August 2020, 13:13:00 »
I really dig this as a board for work travel!

Offline driftingbunnies

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 308
Thanks everyone for the support! I went ahead and ordered a prototype for the new case and will post pictures once I receive it. I also got some quotes and it looks to be higher than what I was hoping for but if people are still interested, I'm still good to run a small GB for it. Please fill out the IC options form when you get a chance if you're interested :). Thanks!

Offline Aevyn

  • Posts: 66
Definitely in if it comes in polycarb.

Offline paperassgasket

  • Posts: 237
While I appreciate the color descriptions in the IC, do you think it would be possible to include color samples to give a ballpark of what you intend?
For example is "Dark Blue" a Navy or a Midnight blue or is it straight #0000FF

Offline dibstern

  • Posts: 121
Looks awesome! If I didnít use backticks like 30 times a day Iíd be keen.

Offline driftingbunnies

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 308
While I appreciate the color descriptions in the IC, do you think it would be possible to include color samples to give a ballpark of what you intend?
For example is "Dark Blue" a Navy or a Midnight blue or is it straight #0000FF

Based on initial feedback on price, this project doesn't seem quite possible but I agree it would be better if I had some colors for you to look at. The options are there so I can get a general idea of what type of colors people are looking for when it comes to this board. If the predominant colors are dark blue, black, and gray, I can get the idea that most people want this to be a neutral/dark colored board. If everyone chose silver, pink, and red, then I know that there's room for some brighter and crazier colors.

Offline CustomerSupport

  • Posts: 247
  • Location: USA 🇺🇸
  • 🕸 developer
    • Discord
Yeah while I'm interested, $350-400 is pretty steep for the amount of board available, especially one with no weight. I personally think this is too much for me, in the context that I recently pre-ordered a KBD67 for ~$300 shipped.

I understand and value the design and non-standard parts that likely contribute to the increased cost. I really do like the project and hope it can be realized one day :)

Offline driftingbunnies

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 308
Yeah while I'm interested, $350-400 is pretty steep for the amount of board available, especially one with no weight. I personally think this is too much for me, in the context that I recently pre-ordered a KBD67 for ~$300 shipped.

I understand and value the design and non-standard parts that likely contribute to the increased cost. I really do like the project and hope it can be realized one day :)

Yep, that makes a lot of sense. I will say though if you think about it, 1 row of keyboard isn't that much. If you compare this board to a 40s board, it is probably closer to a 60% than a 40%. Something comparable might be TMOv2? The difference between this and a TMOv2 ($420) would be the fact that I'm not ordering 200 of them. And if you are to compare just based on a value perspective, anything KBDfans will always beat something custom from someone like me. There's no way I can compete with the quantity that KBDfans produces. I have no doubt that for quality, I can match or exceed them but I'm not looking to compete in that space. Anyways, I'm very happy with this side project but I understand that people aren't willing to spend as much as I did in order to make this a reality.

I do have an order for another prototype at the moment but I haven't decided if I'll do another round of PCBs to make sure the new layout works. Hopefully if I can show people some pictures of the prototypes, the price would make more sense but at this point in time, it seems like my goal of releasing a low cost quality product is impossible.

Offline CustomerSupport

  • Posts: 247
  • Location: USA 🇺🇸
  • 🕸 developer
    • Discord
Agreed, my valuation of the board by size/features is not exactly fair.

Offline Oddstag

  • Posts: 60
The TMOv2 is a good example to look at. Another may be the Clarabelle(https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=106900.0) which seems to have moved about 150 units. From what I understand the first 100 sold in NA sold quite quickly, but the last 50 sold in Europe not so much, possibly because people balked at the necessary markup required for VAT. That was priced at $380 USD, and although it had the additional functionality of a numpad, both it and the arrows are southpaw which I think can be fairly considered a niche interest. Plus it lacks some of the punctuation and navigation keys on offer here which I think positions this as a more "mainstream" 55% board in comparison to Clarabelle's "Southpaw Mini-1400" style. The Clarabelle is also weightless.

For what it's worth I would not balk at $350 for this board, and in fact happily paid the £360 for the Clarabelle. I have no idea how many others feel the same as me (literally DOZENS of us) but I personally have a lot of interest in 55%-like boards. That being said, I would of course be happier if it cost less, and perhaps a run closer to the Clarabelle's 150 units would make that possible but I would totally understand a designer wanting to limit a run to what they feel comfortable fulfilling.

The only thing that stops it from being a shoe-in for me is lack of ISO support as that's sort of a deal breaker for me under most circumstances. In any case I will be watching with interest. GLWIC.

Offline EMC Labs

  • Posts: 447
Any updates on the materials?

Offline oouf

  • Posts: 5
  • Location: NZ/JP
Definitely keeping an eye on this. Can't wait to see that new proto.

Offline alecks29

  • Posts: 5
This is what I've always wanted. a 40, but with the extra 2 columns next to P/L!! I'm in