Author Topic: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard - Updated based on survey data  (Read 68663 times)

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Offline ai03

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Polaris V2
Reference 60% keyboard by Kevinplus and ai03

In 2019, we changed the keyboard scene forever with the release of Polaris, bringing much-acclaimed typing acoustics and comfort in an accessible package which holds its own even today.
Fast-forward three years, and Polaris is back - retaining everything that made the original legendary, while redesigning it thoroughly to stand yet again as a reference against ever-evolving standards.


Latest status:
- Units will be produced with and without rear logo
- Hotswap PCB has been changed to default 2U backspace with optional 1U positions
- Base kit now has a choice between hotswap and soldered options.
Details here

To improve communications, all updates regarding this project will be centralized on its webpage and mirrored to Discord for push notifications.
Since I often forget to check and post updates to every single location, please use the update page for guaranteed latest status updates.




Top-Tier Typing For All
Polaris V2 brings the battle-tested fully isolated gasket-mounted internals from Vega back to the original 60% form factor, with tweaks to further enhance acoustic performance while maintaining its absolute comfort for countless hours of usage.
With improvements to ease of assembly, Polaris V2 ensures that you can enjoy the input benefits regardless of keyboard experience.





Reference Aesthetic Outside and In
The proven elegant, clean, and minimal exterior free of any visible screws has received much-needed modernization from Vega, while quietly improving internally for streamlined manufacturing and simplified assembly.
Along with its matte PVD-coated stainless steel weight, Polaris V2’s visuals are designed to withstand the test of time, carrying its elegance forward many decades while blending seamlessly into any environment.





To Fulfill Your Desires
Every custom keyboard is different, and Polaris V2 is designed to be different - with multiple plate options, optional hotswap standoffs, and three optional layers of internal foam, you can tune Polaris V2 exactly the way you desire, ranging from anywhere between switch choice tester to dialed-in finalized build.
Every small detail was designed with much care to make Polaris V2 your ideal keyboard, down to the custom-designed screws, custom-designed rubber feet, and accent logo on the rear.





Hassle-Free Yet Extensible
The thin, flex-slotted hotswap PCB comes ready-to-go out of the box with VIA Configurator compatible firmware, requiring no soldering or driver headaches to assemble.
A solderable PCB kit is available for those who prefer to tailor the layout exactly to their preferences, and a much-requested replaceable USB daughterboard aids in extending the lifespan of the board.





Preparing For What’s Next
A lot has changed since 2019 when Polaris V1 was announced - the keyboard community has grown exponentially, the world has changed permanently, and keyboard variety has skyrocketed.
We’ve combined both everything we’ve learned as well as brand-new knowledge to create the successor of the board which started our journey. Albeit against high expectations, we’re confident that Polaris V2 will fit in as a faithful member of your keyboard collection both for the present and for the future - whether as your single endgame build or among a family of other boards.




Specifications
Case weight: ~1.2kg
Plate materials: Aluminum, Polycarbonate
Case top variants: Regular, WKL, Corner Blocker
Case colors: Black, Grey, White, Yellow-Orange, Red, Blue
Dimensions: 296 x 110 x 28mm
Typing angle: 6.5deg
Sale method: To be announced
Price: To be announced
Vendor: TypePlus
Stock configuration: Case + choice of either hotswap PCB + hotswap plate kit or solderable PCB + universal plate kit

Hotswap PCB layout:


Solderable PCB layouts:

« Last Edit: Sat, 25 December 2021, 04:33:59 by ai03 »

Offline ai03

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:04:22 »
Reserved just in case

Offline unusuaL_

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:06:56 »
Yes please
Currently typing on: imaginary tkl proto

Offline Gavzers

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:07:54 »
I've been waiting for so long and it's finally here. Can't wait for more details!

Offline MonsterM

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:08:09 »
Yes!!!


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Offline Sax_______

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:08:25 »
I'll take 2

Offline ilikerustoo

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:08:25 »
Nice

Offline are2dcrz

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:08:41 »
Of course!!!

Offline novelflyer

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:09:31 »
Nice   :D

Offline Zyrophr

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:10:38 »
I'm in.
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Offline Woovie

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:12:33 »
back engrave bad

Offline OJtheTiny

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:15:02 »
god I really wish the back engraving wasn't there, just destroys the otherwise clean and minimal look

Offline sourmk

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:16:50 »
Been wanting one since the original run. Looking forward to this. Will the available the colors be ano or planning some coats also? Going right to buy or showing protos prior? The V2 on the rear provides a little visual imbalance imho. Cheers
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Offline two

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:17:36 »
yes please

Offline sub0001

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:19:28 »
hot damn, this is going to be huge.

that said, echoing those above me re: the engraving. does not fit with the clean look of the case at all, in my opinion.
« Last Edit: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:24:43 by sub0001 »

Offline ddnomad

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:21:35 »
Yes please

Offline solarce

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:23:54 »
so good

Offline wired

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:30:52 »
can't wait!

Offline Entity.

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:36:32 »
OMG YES!

Offline 7empest

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:37:48 »
this is cool but i will admit, i could do without the engraving on the back
« Last Edit: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:42:49 by 7empest »

Offline of_sam

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:37:55 »
Definitely interested in picking one of these up. I agree with Sour, not crazy about the logo on the back. Am I understanding correctly that you’re forcing split backspace in the stock configuration? I guess I get you’re going off survey results but that seems kind of extreme.
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Offline benox

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:43:58 »
Been waiting for this!  :thumb: ;)

Offline 7empest

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:47:22 »
Definitely interested in picking one of these up. I agree with Sour, not crazy about the logo on the back. Am I understanding correctly that you’re forcing split backspace in the stock configuration? I guess I get you’re going off survey results but that seems kind of extreme.

I am surprised by this myself. I did not think split backspace would be as popular. This stock hotswap layout is exactly how I use all of my 60% boards with one exception, stepped capslock. I just cant bring myself to use a non-stepped capslock configuration these days, so I will still have to buy the solder pcb.

Offline santela

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:47:37 »
Definitely interested in picking one of these up. I agree with Sour, not crazy about the logo on the back. Am I understanding correctly that you’re forcing split backspace in the stock configuration? I guess I get you’re going off survey results but that seems kind of extreme.

This. Split backspace users seem to be a minority.

Offline ai03

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:52:10 »
Regarding the engraving on the rear, I decided to add it knowing that it would yield mixed opinions. The biggest reasons for adding it were being able to differentiate the board from the original V1 without lifting the board off the desk, and that it looked fairly nice in a physical prototype sample. Managed to lose the photo somehow the night before the IC, so I'll post it if I come across it again and remember to do so.
Since it's on the rear entirely out of view from regular use positions, hopefully it'll be one of those things ignored 99.9% of the time.

Am I understanding correctly that you’re forcing split backspace in the stock configuration? I guess I get you’re going off survey results but that seems kind of extreme.
Yes; as much as I'm a 2U backspace user myself, I decided to opt for popular choice and maximizing functionality for the default configuration.
Regular backspace is available via the solderable PCB.

Will the available the colors be ano or planning some coats also? Going right to buy or showing protos prior?
The yellow-orange will likely end up being via a very fine powdercoat which Kevinplus has tested in person and recommends visually; the white is still being decided between the previous e-coat and the new powdercoat. The rest will be anodized as usual.

Offline mr_foggy

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:54:29 »
everything is absolutely perfect, but add stepped capslock in the stock configuration and I'll buy two.

best news I've heard today

Offline brudder

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 18:02:23 »
Can't wait for this! Love the inclusion of a daughterboard and split BS coming standard with HS :)

Offline uhugo

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #27 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 18:04:00 »
Yes! :) Love to see forced split BS on the HS pcb
« Last Edit: Tue, 21 December 2021, 18:06:14 by uhugo »

Offline snicket

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #28 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 18:07:40 »
yes please!

Offline vicious7

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 18:25:11 »
Ah man, another 60? I already have 5!

Okay, Im in...

Offline heyimpanda

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #30 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 18:37:25 »
Regarding the engraving on the rear, I decided to add it knowing that it would yield mixed opinions. The biggest reasons for adding it were being able to differentiate the board from the original V1 without lifting the board off the desk, and that it looked fairly nice in a physical prototype sample. Managed to lose the photo somehow the night before the IC, so I'll post it if I come across it again and remember to do so.
Since it's on the rear entirely out of view from regular use positions, hopefully it'll be one of those things ignored 99.9% of the time.

technically wouldn't the USB port positioning also differentiate the board? I suppose that would be a lot more subtle, but the engraving does kill a lot of it for me unfortunately. Maybe I'll reserve my opinions until you manage to find that photo though, but I am in the group of disliking it.

Offline dino97

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #31 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 18:49:21 »
not a big fan of the 'polaris v2' engraving

Offline Puddsy

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #32 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 19:08:29 »
not a big fan of the 'polaris v2' engraving

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Offline brantaniguchi

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #33 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 19:28:04 »
That back engraving is an odd, and to be honest, somewhat lazy choice. If it were an interesting design to give it some flair, sure. But just putting POLARIS V2 is pretty lame.

If I'm going to enter a GB that is going to take over a year I need to really be into a board. Unfortunately that engraving ain't it.

Offline Tulesto

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #34 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 19:34:16 »
I don't mind the back engraving as much as the others seem to. I will for sure be picking one up! Excited for the GB!
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Offline Draxion

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #35 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 19:34:58 »
Time to start collecting Polaris, got v1 now I need v2

Offline GMK83

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #36 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 19:45:53 »
I have the V1 but that back engraving on the V2 is a hard pass for me.

Offline ChrisJoy

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 19:50:45 »
I'm still waiting for the shipment of VEGA 65.

Offline hottnucks

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #38 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 20:15:57 »
Please ditch the 'polaris v2' engraving on the back

Offline hover0423

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #39 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 20:21:04 »
I am in for the red


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Offline nasp

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #40 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 20:25:26 »
Will you please make the plate file available to modify? I'd like to make a Plexus75 type plate for this.



Thanks for considering ai03!


Offline SE7EN_ate_NINE

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #41 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 20:25:46 »
I have to echo all the others that I'm not a fan of the back engraving at all. The reference boards (I own both a Vega and Polaris and love them) are classic, classy and clean and that logo just looks like a cheesy afterthought detracting from a very clean and evolved design. You've earned your place high at the top of the ranks of respected designers in this hobby, no need to remind us what board we're typing on by the rookie designer move of plastering the board name on the board. Keep it clean.

I 100% applaud the 7U, split right shift and split backspace on the hotswap as standard though. Switching to stepped caps (or both sockets for both caps) would make it even more perfect, but certainly not a deal breaker.

One last thing...bring back purple!!

Offline bluuz

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #42 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 20:28:04 »
Could we have clearer renders of the different colors?

Is split backspace really that more popular? That's a head scratcher.

Offline bigapplepietart

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #43 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 20:37:08 »
Very clean
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Offline aaronlau

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #44 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 21:13:24 »
Hopefully in stock option!

Offline yuki9609

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #45 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 21:18:24 »
nice! very good.
« Last Edit: Tue, 21 December 2021, 21:49:28 by yuki9609 »

Offline Techlet

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #46 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 21:36:44 »
Fantastic board as always from ai03. It's just a shame about the back engraving. Having the "v2" there date stamps and cheapens the board when it's supposedly "designed to withstand the test of time."

Feels unnecessary when it's already engraved internally on the weight.

People aren't going to mistake this for anything other than a Polaris when looking at it from the back. And the screwless exterior and center USB port should be more than enough to differentiate this from the v1 Polaris.

Offline PuddingPug

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #47 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 21:53:56 »
Can't wait to have this next to my Polaris v1! :D

Offline Tree_

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #48 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 22:17:07 »
Not a fan of the engraving.

Not a fan of split backspace being the default.

Not a fan of the fact that there's a rose gold render shown but it's not an available colour.

Other than that I love everything about this.

Offline santela

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Re: [IC] Polaris V2 - Reference 60% Keyboard
« Reply #49 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 22:25:44 »
The Vega is such a classy board with its seamless screwless design and simple yet classic aesthetics.

The Polaris is everything the Vega is, except for the engraving. It is really unfortunate as it cheapens the board.