Author Topic: tallkb build thread  (Read 3266 times)

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Offline Narshalbarsh

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tallkb build thread
« on: Sun, 09 June 2019, 16:31:29 »
I've gone through a few keyboards but I was disappointed with the available layouts. Reduced size keyboards seemed to either be missing keys like the function keys, or if they had most keys they physical layout was weird and I could never get used to it so I decided to do a custom build.

I was too lazy to maintain a build thread while I was working on it, but now that it's done I thought I'd share some pictures I took during the process.



Build album: https://imgur.com/a/TwSASBH

I originally planned on hand wiring the switches but I felt that a plate alone wasn't enough to secure them. I bought a single sided copper clad board and used a vinyl cutter to create the etching mask. I used EAGLE to autoroute the traces. I made the traces really wide so it would be easier to weed the vinyl and I'm not sure if I could have made them any smaller. It took a few attempts to get a usable mask.

I decided to use a teensy 3.2 with kiibohd controller for the software. The only feature that hasn't been implemented yet is the leds for the three lock buttons. The top of the keyboard has 3 areas. The first is for switching between and sending windows to different X11 desktops. The center is just the regular function keys. The 3rd is a numpad on the fn layer and other functions to be determined on the regular layer. I put the fn key off to the side so I could retain a regular fullsize layout of the keys. The ctrl keys are next to the spacebar because one of my first computers was a mac so I prefer that layout.

This is my first build so any feedback would be appreciated.

Offline nevin

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Re: tallkb build thread
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 10 June 2019, 07:52:57 »
Very nice, especially with the hand made PCB. Clear bottom is a nice touch as well.
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline Narshalbarsh

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Re: tallkb build thread
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 10 June 2019, 10:37:30 »
Thanks, I'm surprised there aren't more hand made PCBs done, it seems like everyone either hand wires or creates a modern factory made PCB. The main downside was the precision of the holes, if you look closely you can see that some of the switches are slightly rotated because it (the =+ cap being the worst). I tried making a second vinyl mask to mark the holes for drilling, but the small circles of vinyl were displaced by the cutter. I ended up using a transparency and a spring loaded punch to mark the large holes, and I just eyeballed the holes in the center of the pads. A CNC would have had much better results.

Offline nevin

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  • Location: US
Re: tallkb build thread
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 10 June 2019, 10:56:11 »
Well, for being all done by hand, it's exceptional.
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68