Author Topic: Nimb: my first DIY keyboard - low profile, wooden case, handwired  (Read 3010 times)

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Offline Nadrad

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 3
  • Location: Belgium
Hi everyone!
This is my first post here, and I just wanted to show the first keyboard that I've made :)



Switches are Kailh low profile red, keycaps come from another keyboard that I had, the case is 3 layers of walnut cut with fretsaw and finished with boiled linseed oil, the microprocessor is Teensy 2.0, and it's handwired.

Now I'm going through the details of DMK and trying to refine the configuration.

Offline nevin

  • Posts: 537
  • Location: US
Re: Nimb: my first DIY keyboard - low profile, wooden case, handwired
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 01 April 2019, 14:52:58 »
WOW! Talk about a 1st impression!

Looks fantastic. :thumb:
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 Lanrefni

  • Posts: 87
Re: Nimb: my first DIY keyboard - low profile, wooden case, handwired
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 01 April 2019, 14:55:07 »
Damn,that is one of the cleanest first builds I've ever seen,well done.  :thumb:

Online kurplop

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  • "Losing the digital battle one digit at a time."
Re: Nimb: my first DIY keyboard - low profile, wooden case, handwired
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 01 April 2019, 19:55:26 »
Very nice. Could you describe your thought process for the design?

Offline Nadrad

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  • Posts: 3
  • Location: Belgium
Re: Nimb: my first DIY keyboard - low profile, wooden case, handwired
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 02 April 2019, 00:42:15 »
Very nice. Could you describe your thought process for the design?

Iíve always used standard keyboards, and I even had the idea of having a keyboard with many extra keys, for increasing productivity. At a certain time, I saw a 60% keyboard and the explanation of why itís helpful, especially when it comes to giving more room to the mouse. I suddenly realized that my mouse always hit the side of my keyboard and I had to pick it up and place it away; a lot. I use 3 monitors, and that makes this worse.
So, I got a 60% keyboard, and I was happy with the result. Then, I started thinking what other changes I can make. I thought it would be a good idea to try a keyboard with minimum number of keys: the extra room for the mouse is not significant, but I thought having fewer keys on the board may make it easier to locate them.

First I wanted to have 10 columns, and I started working on the key layers for a week or so. Soon I realized that having 10 columns makes it very difficult, and I chose to have 11 columns.

I wanted to build a Bluetooth keyboard, and my idea was to put the microcontroller besides the thumb keys. But it seemed like building a Bluetooth one is very difficult, and I preferred to have a wired keyboard for my first try. Because it was very difficult to put the microcontroller on one place and wire a USB connection to the top of the board (because of the imitations that I had), I decided to put the microcontroller on the top-left side of the board. Then, to balance the whole board, I cut out the part on the bottom-left side, and added that decorative whole to the bottom-right side. 
When I was done with the previous steps, I built a cardboard model of it, and tried ďtypingĒ on it. Using that, I set the exact distance between the thumb keys and the others.

Then I started thinking about the building process and the way my method of building, especially the use of wood, will affect the design; e.g. the wooden elements cannot be too small where thereís going to be pressure. It was very difficult, because I wanted it to be as slim as possible. When I put it on the desk, the top of the wooden surface is only 9mm above the desk!

When I was building it, everything went well, except for the wiring: after I was done with wiring, I realized that the wires I used are too thick to fit inside the board. So, I had to desolder all of them and use a much thinner wire instead.

So, I guess thatís all :)