Author Topic: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop  (Read 86413 times)

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Offline kurplop

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Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 18:51:29 »
After the last false start with a Buckling Spring keyboard. I'm back in the saddle with what I hope will be my desk keyboard.

I'm calling it Planet 6. Edit:Follow the progress here.   https://flic.kr/s/aHsknRKXxo


 Edit:  See video here
114090-0
After a humbling visit to the Urban Dictionary to discover what the street meaning of my name was, I decided I'd better ditch the plop moniker for the fine keyboard I'm envisioning this one to be.

This morning I milled the plates.
114092-1
I decided to not mill the plates directly into the keyboard body for reasons to be explained in a later entry.

I had to do a slight bit of filing to get the fit right. Probably about 15 minutes per plate.
114094-2
I decided to go with quiet Matias switches on the primary 48 switches.

A view from the bottom
114096-3
I was afraid that the aluminum might flex if I used a thin enough plate that the switches could lock into, so I used 1/8" and milled a channel along the switch path leaving a stiffening rib between columns.

More to come.
« Last Edit: Mon, 28 November 2016, 21:11:49 by kurplop »

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 19:12:05 »
Looks awesome, and I love the choice of Matias Quiets! I'll be keeping an eye on this one for sure.

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Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 19:49:07 »
Thanks. I think people thought I was crazy for using ML's on the Alumaplop but it kept the overall size travel friendly. They have loosened up some and because I've been using it exclusively, I don't feel like I've been missing out. Because this board will be stationary and the higher profile is no longer an issue, I thought I'd be less rebellious in my switch choice this time.

I chose the quiets because, at my age, one must behave in a dignified manner, even if one isn't.

Offline bcredbottle

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 19:50:34 »
I've never seen that layout before. What's the thinking behind it? Don't you want the middle-finger keys to be higher than all of the others?

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 20:03:48 »
I've never seen that layout before. What's the thinking behind it? Don't you want the middle-finger keys to be higher than all of the others?
I am having a hard time visualizing the layout based on the photos tbh.

Alpine Winter GB | My Personal TMK Firmware Repo
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Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 20:19:14 »
I've never seen that layout before.
Nor will you likely ever again!

It will make a lot more sense when I show the whole layout. Because of the 15 degree 'toe in', there was room in the case for an extra key above the 2 inside columns. They are for special purpose keys and aren't part of the normal top number row.  If you ignore them the layout is more conventional.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 20:38:46 »
Here's a drawing of the proposed keyboard. The shaded keys are the ones that probably confused you.
114101-0

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 21:45:22 »
Are those thumb keys with odd-sized caps? And the ring around the trackball also looks like it's made of keys.

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Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 22:19:41 »
Are those thumb keys with odd-sized caps? And the ring around the trackball also looks like it's made of keys.

Yes, the thumb keys will have to be custom made. The 'key ring' is made up of frequently used keys for cad work. The ring keycaps are already made.
114103-0    114105-1
I hesitate to show it in such a rough state but at least you can see where I'm going with it.
« Last Edit: Sat, 17 October 2015, 22:21:47 by kurplop »

Offline njbair

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 22:32:14 »
This is really impressive work. I can't wait to see it!!! I'm sure I don't have to tell you, but please keep us posted on your progress.

Alpine Winter GB | My Personal TMK Firmware Repo
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Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 22:33:47 »
This picture best illustrates the reason I named it Planet 6.  Ever since I started putting trackballs in my boards, people have commented that they look like they belong on a spaceship. I never intended the design to suggest that. It has always been form follows function, including on this design.

I can't, however, avoid seeing its strong resemblance to Saturn. Or maybe a flying saucer?
114109-0

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 22:37:37 »
This is really impressive work. I can't wait to see it!!! I'm sure I don't have to tell you, but please keep us posted on your progress.

 I know I'm just a metal working novice so I really appreciate that coming from a real live machinist.

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 17 October 2015, 22:54:19 »
This is really impressive work. I can't wait to see it!!! I'm sure I don't have to tell you, but please keep us posted on your progress.

 I know I'm just a metal working novice so I really appreciate that coming from a real live machinist.

It's not just the metalworking that's impressive, but the engineering and design that's gone into it as well. This is clearly very well thought out. And if there's one thing an experienced machinist can appreciate, it's solid engineering (it just makes everyone's lives easier).

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 03:45:46 »
Oh my god!  It's full of keys!

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 04:06:23 »
Oh my god!  It's full of keys!

Who would have guessed? Of course I refer to them as moons.

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 05:32:47 »
I'm gonna have to see a video after you are done on how you are using those keys in the ring around the trackball.
 
As usual, cool design. And thanks for sharing it in a "rough state"; this is the best part of MST.
My wife I a also push her button . But now she have her button push by a different men. So I buy a keyboard a mechanicale, she a reliable like a Fiat.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 09:02:36 »
I'm gonna have to see a video after you are done on how you are using those keys in the ring around the trackball.

I hope to do just that.

Years ago when I began using a trackball centered between keyboard halves, I was concerned that it was a compromise. Formerly, I had one to the right and it was very nice, convenient and comfortable. After completing my ErgoDox tray and began using it, I discovered several benefits of the center ball design that I previously hadn't given much weight to. Being centered allows for 2 handed operation making it easy to 'switch hit' if one hand gets tired. I have better control because during precise moves the hand on the ball isn't affected by an operation made by the other hand. The center design also creates a natural separation between halves which makes conventional typing more ergo friendly

Usually when I'm drawing, both hands are hovering over the ball much of the time. By placing frequently used keys in its orbit, it should even further reduce the frequency of hand movements away from this position. I made a mockup of the design and found all of the ring keys easily reachable from the 'hover' position because of the availability of all 10 digits.
 
Early mockup. It had a damaged Slimblade mounted in it which I since removed for confirming fit in aluminum model.
114152-0
The mockup also shows some early thoughts on function locations. Some have changed but many are maintained.


As usual, cool design. And thanks for sharing it in a "rough state"; this is the best part of MST.

Thanks. I have a natural resistance to showing my warts but I agree that seeing the process with all its faults, is what we learn the most from.

Edit:   I confess I wasn't familiar with the acronym MST. :-[ After consulting the dictionary, which had 30+ possibilities, I found Manufacturing, Science and Technology the most likely and Material Support for Terrorism the least. :) How did I do?
« Last Edit: Sun, 18 October 2015, 09:18:30 by kurplop »

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 21:29:59 »
A few pictures of the keyring switches and caps.
114203-0  114205-1  114207-2
The caps still need some appearance enhancements before anodizing and dyeing but they fit well after the first try. :)

The switches are linear SMK's which came off of an old NEC keyboard. I chose them for the keyring and the thumb clusters because they have a very sturdy feel with little lateral give. This will be important because I don't intend to use stabilizers with one possible exception,and some of the caps are bigger than normal.

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 21:45:35 »
Amazing as always, this is what makes this forum great.

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 21:45:55 »
A few pictures of the keyring switches and caps.
(Attachment Link)   (Attachment Link)   (Attachment Link)
The caps still need some appearance enhancements before anodizing and dyeing but they fit well after the first try. :)

The switches are linear SMK's which came off of an old NEC keyboard. I chose them for the keyring and the thumb clusters because they have a very sturdy feel with little lateral give. This will be important because I don't intend to use stabilizers with one possible exception,and some of the caps are bigger than normal.

Interesting switches. How heavy are they? I imagine with those big metal keys on top you wouldn't want something too light.

Alpine Winter GB | My Personal TMK Firmware Repo
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AEKII 60% | Alps64 HHKB | Ducky Shine 3, MX Blues | IBM Model M #1391401, Nov. 1990 | IBM SSK #1391472, Nov. 1987, screw modded, rubber-band modded | Noppoo EC108-Pro, 45g | Infinity 60% v2 Hacker, Matias Quiet Pros | Infinity 60% v2 Standard, MX Browns | Cherry G80-1800LPCEU-2, MX Blacks | Cherry G80-1813 (Dolch), MX Blues | Unicomp M-122, ANSI-modded | Unicomp M-122 (Unsaver mod in progress) | 2x Unitek K-258, White Alps | Apple boards (IIGS, AEKII) | Varmilo VA87MR, Gateron Blacks | Filco Zero TKL, Fukka White Alps | Planck, Gateron Browns | Monarch, click-modded Cream Alps

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 22:06:23 »
The ring center reminds me of the portal from Stargate SG-1. Your case and design looks great! And yesssssss, mill porn <3
Please check out TactileZine.com!

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 22:09:04 »
Amazing as always, this is what makes this forum great.

Thanks. As you know, diversity is our strength.

A few pictures of the keyring switches and caps.
(Attachment Link)   (Attachment Link)   (Attachment Link)
The caps still need some appearance enhancements before anodizing and dyeing but they fit well after the first try. :)

The switches are linear SMK's which came off of an old NEC keyboard. I chose them for the keyring and the thumb clusters because they have a very sturdy feel with little lateral give. This will be important because I don't intend to use stabilizers with one possible exception,and some of the caps are bigger than normal.

Interesting switches. How heavy are they? I imagine with those big metal keys on top you wouldn't want something too light.

I haven't tested them yet but I will the next time I'm in the shop. I'll weigh the caps as well.  They are definitely heavier than most I've tried and that is one of the reasons I choose them. I was originally attracted to them because of the small amount of switch body above the plate. I figured it would be easier to make undersize caps for them. I had planned to have the switches spaced 0.62" vertically and 0.75"horizontally; a spacing which I find to be a good compromise between big enough yet easier to reach than typical 0.75" spacing. Eventually I went with .65x.75 because I already have homemade Alps style caps from another project that will work and it will shorten the time to completion
« Last Edit: Mon, 19 October 2015, 22:48:45 by kurplop »

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 22:11:45 »
The ring center reminds me of the portal from Stargate SG-1. Your case and design looks great! And yesssssss, mill porn <3

I've been caught! I've heard it said that originality is being able to hide your sources. As usual, thanks for the encouragement CBA.

Edit:   I think the quote was "being able to forget your sources"
« Last Edit: Mon, 19 October 2015, 22:49:24 by kurplop »

Offline njbair

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 22:15:50 »
The ring center reminds me of the portal from Stargate SG-1. Your case and design looks great! And yesssssss, mill porn <3

I've been caught! I've heard it said that originality is being able to hide your sources. As usual, thanks for the encouragement CBA.
Well now you're going to have to engrave Egyptian hieroglyphs onto those keycaps.

Alpine Winter GB | My Personal TMK Firmware Repo
IBM Rubber Band "Floss" Mod | Click Modding Alps 101 | Flame-Polishing Cherry MX Stems
Review: hasu's USB to USB converter
My boards:
More
AEKII 60% | Alps64 HHKB | Ducky Shine 3, MX Blues | IBM Model M #1391401, Nov. 1990 | IBM SSK #1391472, Nov. 1987, screw modded, rubber-band modded | Noppoo EC108-Pro, 45g | Infinity 60% v2 Hacker, Matias Quiet Pros | Infinity 60% v2 Standard, MX Browns | Cherry G80-1800LPCEU-2, MX Blacks | Cherry G80-1813 (Dolch), MX Blues | Unicomp M-122, ANSI-modded | Unicomp M-122 (Unsaver mod in progress) | 2x Unitek K-258, White Alps | Apple boards (IIGS, AEKII) | Varmilo VA87MR, Gateron Blacks | Filco Zero TKL, Fukka White Alps | Planck, Gateron Browns | Monarch, click-modded Cream Alps

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 22:18:27 »
A note about cap weight. Obviously, a heavy walled aluminum cap will weigh far more than a plastic one, but they are still pretty light; I suspect a small percentage of the typical spring resistance.
 Has anyone done an analysis on spring resistance and cap weight? Specifically, the sluggishness caused by an under sprung switch combined with a heavy cap.

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 22:22:07 »

Well now you're going to have to engrave Egyptian hieroglyphs onto those keycaps.

I have some friends that are Professors of ancient middle eastern languages at Talbot Seminary that could help me out. Now all I need is someone who can engrave.

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 18 October 2015, 22:41:46 »
A note about cap weight. Obviously, a heavy walled aluminum cap will weigh far more than a plastic one, but they are still pretty light; I suspect a small percentage of the typical spring resistance.
 Has anyone done an analysis on spring resistance and cap weight? Specifically, the sluggishness caused by an under sprung switch combined with a heavy cap.
I have long suspected that the rise in popularity of heavier switches (mx clears and blacks) versus blues and browns is due to the higher availability of thicker caps.

If you think about it, heavier caps effectively make switch actuation lighter, and they dampen tactile feedback due to shock absorption.

Alpine Winter GB | My Personal TMK Firmware Repo
IBM Rubber Band "Floss" Mod | Click Modding Alps 101 | Flame-Polishing Cherry MX Stems
Review: hasu's USB to USB converter
My boards:
More
AEKII 60% | Alps64 HHKB | Ducky Shine 3, MX Blues | IBM Model M #1391401, Nov. 1990 | IBM SSK #1391472, Nov. 1987, screw modded, rubber-band modded | Noppoo EC108-Pro, 45g | Infinity 60% v2 Hacker, Matias Quiet Pros | Infinity 60% v2 Standard, MX Browns | Cherry G80-1800LPCEU-2, MX Blacks | Cherry G80-1813 (Dolch), MX Blues | Unicomp M-122, ANSI-modded | Unicomp M-122 (Unsaver mod in progress) | 2x Unitek K-258, White Alps | Apple boards (IIGS, AEKII) | Varmilo VA87MR, Gateron Blacks | Filco Zero TKL, Fukka White Alps | Planck, Gateron Browns | Monarch, click-modded Cream Alps

Offline blueangel2323

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 00:10:39 »
Wow, this looks awesome. What kind of monster CNC mill is that?

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 03:40:38 »
Now all I need is someone who can engrave.
They're aluminium, right?  Etching should be pretty easy.  No harder than doing PCBs.

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 05:39:21 »
Wow, this looks awesome. What kind of monster CNC mill is that?

Thanks.  It is just a manual mill. A lot of calculations, a lot of set up, a lot of indexing, a lot of guessing, and a lot of fun.

Now all I need is someone who can engrave.
They're aluminium, right?  Etching should be pretty easy.  No harder than doing PCBs.

What would the sequence be? Anodize and dye the aluminum first, reverse mask the aluminum, then etch?

Would I use the same chemicals that I use for copper?

Are there pre-cut stencils masks or is there a way to laser print them?

Any advice would be welcome.
« Last Edit: Mon, 19 October 2015, 22:51:20 by kurplop »

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 05:52:23 »

I have long suspected that the rise in popularity of heavier switches (mx clears and blacks) versus blues and browns is due to the higher availability of thicker caps.

If you think about it, heavier caps effectively make switch actuation lighter, and they dampen tactile feedback due to shock absorption.

I agree. The heavier switch should cancel out the static gravity effects of the heavier cap. I wonder about the dynamic effects. Specifically, the effects of inertia on the liveliness of the switch.
I got kicked out of physics in my senior year of high school and missed that part.

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 06:25:33 »
What an awesome project! I love it!

Offline tufty

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 09:23:20 »
What would the sequence be? Anodize and dye the aluminum first, reverse mask the aluminum, then etch?
Assuming you're anodising, yes, that's exactly it.  Use caustic soda rather than your standard etchant, should be pretty much "brush on, wash straight off".

Toner transfer works fine with caustic soda, the only difficult bit is going to be doing the actual transfer on non-planar key surfaces.

Here's someone who does stomp boxes - http://diy-guitar-effects.tumblr.com/etching

Offline Kad

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 10:07:44 »
Are those thumb keys with odd-sized caps? And the ring around the trackball also looks like it's made of keys.

Yes, the thumb keys will have to be custom made. The 'key ring' is made up of frequently used keys for cad work. The ring keycaps are already made.
(Attachment Link)     (Attachment Link)
I hesitate to show it in such a rough state but at least you can see where I'm going with it.

This is incredible - I never would have thought of a layout like this! Good work so far and keep us updated  :thumb:

[WASD v2 w/ MX Blues]

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 10:20:28 »
What would the sequence be? Anodize and dye the aluminum first, reverse mask the aluminum, then etch?
Assuming you're anodising, yes, that's exactly it.  Use caustic soda rather than your standard etchant, should be pretty much "brush on, wash straight off".

Toner transfer works fine with caustic soda, the only difficult bit is going to be doing the actual transfer on non-planar key surfaces.

Here's someone who does stomp boxes - http://diy-guitar-effects.tumblr.com/etching

Thanks for the instructions, tufty. It's a great resource and his results were quite impressive.

You've just opened up for me a whole new world of possibilities.

One other question. How do I print negatives of lettering on a laser printer?

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 10:30:12 »
This is incredible - I never would have thought of a layout like this! Good work so far and keep us updated  :thumb:

Thanks. I know that this layout is definitely not for everybody but it should suits my specific needs quite well.

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 10:34:01 »
That's my favorite part about your builds kurplop. They're unapologetically for you and only you. Sometimes I imagine it as a figurative middle finger.
« Last Edit: Mon, 19 October 2015, 10:41:45 by CPTBadAss »
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Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #37 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 10:36:27 »
That's my favorite part about your builds kurplop. They're unapologetically for you and only you. Sometimes I imagine is as a figurative middle finger

I got a big laugh out of that one. I'm probably the most egotistical, self centered guy you know.

Offline Evo_Spec

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 10:43:29 »
Man your boards are always so mind blowingly awesome. i can't wait to see more progress.
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Offline tufty

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #39 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 13:38:52 »
One other question. How do I print negatives of lettering on a laser printer?
Do your lettering white on black?

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #40 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 14:00:28 »
One other question. How do I print negatives of lettering on a laser printer?
Do your lettering white on black?


Yes. I would have to have the toner mask everything but the letters. Right?

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #41 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 21:52:58 »
H*** s*** that's awesome.
Wish I had some gif or quote for this space, but I got nothing

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #42 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 22:33:29 »
I took some measurements of the amount of force required to activate the SMK switches that I'm using for the ring and thumb keys. I don't claim that they are accurate because I didn't calibrate my scale but they should be good enough for comparison purposes.

It turns out that they aren't as stiff as I had guessed. I was getting readings of 55g for the Cherry reds I had and about 58 for the Cherry blues. The Matias clicky's came in at 62. The SMK switches measured 62g also. I was expecting more. It was difficult to determine the actuation point so I just recorded the highest reading before bottoming out.

I then weighed several commercial single unit caps I had and they ranged from about .75g to 1.05g. My aluminum ring caps were 5.9 and 6.9g for the 2 sizes. 7x heavier than stock caps. A huge weight increase but only an 8% increase in spring stiffness necessary  to compensate for the extra load.

As I mentioned before, I don't think this tells the whole story. The extra weight makes the action feel less responsive and lightening the caps would improve performance.  Probably worth another trip to the mill. It shouldn't be to hard to remove a couple more grams since I intentionally left them fat.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #43 on: Mon, 19 October 2015, 22:35:18 »
H*** s*** that's awesome.

Thanks. The Slimblade I bought from you is going in it. How about that!

Offline tufty

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #44 on: Tue, 20 October 2015, 01:50:56 »
Yes. I would have to have the toner mask everything but the letters. Right?
Yep.  If you're going to do a dip, you want to mask all the rest (sides, bottom) of the key as well, wax should be good for this.

You can probably use wax as a secondary mask over the toner, viz:

heat the piece to "wax melting" temperature.
Touch wax to the toner-covered area - it should "float" in much the same way solder does across tracks on a PCB.  Of course, if it spreads to the non-toner-covered area, you're looking at "scrub and restart"...

Note - I have not tried the above on aluminium.

You will want to make sure your anodise is well sealed (boiled) before doing the toner transfer bit, or you'll probably end up with toner in the dyed surface that you can't get rid of.  That's about the only bit I'd be really worried about, but I'd strongly suggest getting the entire process down pat before trying it on a real key.
« Last Edit: Tue, 20 October 2015, 01:53:19 by tufty »

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #45 on: Tue, 20 October 2015, 04:21:25 »
Thanks. Even if I don't dip them, I can see the etchant spilling, dripping, or somehow migrating to areas unwanted. When you say wax, do you mean paraffin or some other kind?  I may have some left over after my last chest waxing.  :eek:  After etching, can the wax be removed by heating the part and wiping? I'll probably finish the machining first, so I'll have plenty of time to experiment and I've got plenty of scraps. Too bad I can't use the swarf. I've got a  trashcan full of that.

I am wondering though if it may make more sense to do the etching before the anodizing. The biggest obstacle would probably be getting the sealer off the surface completely, or the anodize and subsequent dyeing wouldn't be even. What do you think?

As an afterthought, what do you think if I applied self stick letters to the aluminum, applied wax over the entire surface, peel off the stickers and then etch? That would completely avoid the toner transfer stage.
« Last Edit: Tue, 20 October 2015, 04:24:26 by kurplop »

Offline njbair

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #46 on: Tue, 20 October 2015, 07:11:14 »
I took some measurements of the amount of force required to activate the SMK switches that I'm using for the ring and thumb keys. I don't claim that they are accurate because I didn't calibrate my scale but they should be good enough for comparison purposes.

It turns out that they aren't as stiff as I had guessed. I was getting readings of 55g for the Cherry reds I had and about 58 for the Cherry blues. The Matias clicky's came in at 62. The SMK switches measured 62g also. I was expecting more. It was difficult to determine the actuation point so I just recorded the highest reading before bottoming out.

I then weighed several commercial single unit caps I had and they ranged from about .75g to 1.05g. My aluminum ring caps were 5.9 and 6.9g for the 2 sizes. 7x heavier than stock caps. A huge weight increase but only an 8% increase in spring stiffness necessary  to compensate for the extra load.

As I mentioned before, I don't think this tells the whole story. The extra weight makes the action feel less responsive and lightening the caps would improve performance.  Probably worth another trip to the mill. It shouldn't be to hard to remove a couple more grams since I intentionally left them fat.
Are the switches serviceable? Maybe a spring swap is in order.

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Offline tufty

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #47 on: Tue, 20 October 2015, 08:43:12 »
Thanks. Even if I don't dip them, I can see the etchant spilling, dripping, or somehow migrating to areas unwanted. When you say wax, do you mean paraffin or some other kind?
I was thinking paraffin.  I've used ski wax before :)

After etching, can the wax be removed by heating the part and wiping?
chuck 'em in boiling water

I am wondering though if it may make more sense to do the etching before the anodizing. The biggest obstacle would probably be getting the sealer off the surface completely, or the anodize and subsequent dyeing wouldn't be even. What do you think?
Yeah, total cleaning might be an issue with that.  Depends the result you'e after, though - anodise then etch will remove the anodised colouring leaving your lettering "raw" aluminium, etch then anodise will leave you with coloured lettering in relief.

As an afterthought, what do you think if I applied self stick letters to the aluminum, applied wax over the entire surface, peel off the stickers and then etch? That would completely avoid the toner transfer stage.
I can see that working, yeah, although you might have trouble getting adhesive lettering that fine.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #48 on: Tue, 20 October 2015, 19:07:15 »
Are the switches serviceable? Maybe a spring swap is in order.

It is easy enough to open the switches but I think that the solution has more to do with removing mass from the cap, which shouldn't be that much of a problem.

I am wondering though if it may make more sense to do the etching before the anodizing. The biggest obstacle would probably be getting the sealer off the surface completely, or the anodize and subsequent dyeing wouldn't be even. What do you think?
Yeah, total cleaning might be an issue with that.  Depends the result you'e after, though - anodise then etch will remove the anodised colouring leaving your lettering "raw" aluminium, etch then anodise will leave you with coloured lettering in relief.

Either way, I've got a lot of fun experiments before me.






Offline Binge

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #49 on: Tue, 20 October 2015, 19:34:19 »
This is pretty sexy.  Thank you for the eye pron kurplop :)
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