Author Topic: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual  (Read 11276 times)

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Offline pr0ximity

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356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 18:26:54 »
356 Mini - The Lost Manual


The OTD customs suffer from an extreme lack of documentation and understanding in the West. This is a real shame because I believe that the West has a growing appreciation for finely-made custom keyboards, yet there are valuable secrets related to pushing custom keyboard to their extremes locked away behind exclusive message boards and foreign languages.

The 356 Mini in particular has captured the vast majority of my keyboard attention for almost two years now. I use it as my daily driver, and yet I knew almost nothing about it when I recieved it, and still have only cobbled together what I now know through lots of guesswork, reading, and asking questions.

From what I've gathered thus far, it's one crazy little keyboard and it feels phenominal to type on.

This thread is my attempt to document all of the things I've learned about the 356 Mini in the hope that it might help other owners get more out of this amazingly stubborn and idiosyncratic keyboard, and log my progress towards understanding and appreciating the many design decisions made in such a small package. I of course welcome any corrections or additional info -- I don't speak Korean and have no real conduit to the Korean keyboard scene for any hard facts. Please help if you know more than I do! Especially if you have access to the original group buy or design threads on OTD.kr :D


Driving Goals:
☑ Replacement cable
☑ Reprogram layout
☑ Create new plate
☐ Replacement gasket


Table Of Contents:
1. Care & Feeding
2. Programming
3. Plate & PCB Design
4. Cable & Gasket


Thanks
This wouldn't be possible without a number of people who have helped along the way, either intentionally or otherwise, in alphabetical order:

BroCaps
Bunnylake
gundam
inornate
limitz
margo baggins
Mimic Cables
sixty
« Last Edit: Fri, 08 June 2018, 21:39:19 by pr0ximity »
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Offline pr0ximity

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 18:27:26 »
Care & Feeding

Cleaning Brass
I've found that a good solution for cleaning the brass of the Mini (and I'd imagine the other 356 boards) to be a solution of lemon juice mixed with baking soda. You should use enough baking soda to make the consistency of a gritty paste. Rub this on the brass with a towel of your choosing, then wash with warm water. Unlike Brasso or other brass cleaners this will not polish the brass, so it will retain its nice dull finish. I've also used a thin layer of olive oil to prevent tarnishing, however fingerprints will stick hard to it and tend to tarnish quickly. Alternatively, people have used packing tape to prevent oxidation, however I'd recommend something with less sticky residue (some kind of 3M film perhaps).

Assembly
The tight tolerance of the keyboard mean that care should be taken during assembly. Specifically, I've found that the flexibility of the plate (and thus the harshness of bottoming-out on vintage Blacks) can vary if the plate and care are not put together evenly. I've had the most success by ensuring the case is upside-down and the top half is suspended so that the switches are off of the work surface I usually use two blocks of wood to rest the edges of the case on), then tightening the screws like you would a tire on a car: in a "star" pattern:

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Additionally I'd recommend going over the pattern twice: once tightening loosely, leaving a gap in the case, then once again to tighten to close the case halves together. Don't over-tighten! The case halves should sit together completely flush with barely no visible seam, but the bolts don't need to be torqued down past that.
« Last Edit: Sun, 12 February 2017, 11:56:18 by pr0ximity »
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Offline pr0ximity

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 18:27:45 »
Programming

Some time ago I was directed to sixty's thread on Deskthority about the 356 series of Korean customs, and to my knowledge this is still one of the only Western threads that goes into any detail about the design of these keyboards.

The 356 Mini's entry has a curious detail: unlike any other keyboard in the 356 series, its layout could be customized via an online webapp. Unfortunately the link had gone dead quite some time ago, but I was able to track down the creator of the app, inornate of OTD.kr, who has generously allowed me to document and host the code on GitHub:

https://github.com/jkomusin/356mini

It turns out that while indeed the layout can be customized via a webapp, the 356 Mini is not what most people these days call "programmable" -- having a bootloader which allows the layout to be uploaded via USB. Instead, the 356 Mini is like the other boards in the 356 series: it has a hardcoded layout baked into its firmware.  In order to customize the layout of the 356 Mini, you bake a layout into an early version of ps2avr and use an AVR ISP to flash the firmware of the keyboard. The web application does however provide a nice interface to set the layout of the keyboard with the appropriate row/column mapping and includes scripts which use the ps2avr makefiles to bake the keymap into the firmware.

The included README has instructions and an outline of the steps needed to flash the keyboard. As of the time of writing, I have been unable to get all of the features of the webapp working, which should include firing the shell script to compile the firmware, but the important bits still work and allow you to manually copy the keymap into the proper header file.

I don't have much experience with ps2avr, but I suspect newer versions would be compatible and I welcome any information people have about how it might work with the Mini. For example, I've not yet explored the firmware source to know where the breathing Escape key LED comes from, but I suspect it would be toggleable in there somewhere.

In addition, should you find yourself back in time when these came out and find a PCB that has never been flashed, these might be the fuse settings you need, though you should read up on Atmel and avrdude to understand what the various fuse settings mean (they're well documented and actually not that difficult to understand):

Code: [Select]
avrdude -c avrisp -P usb -p atmega32 -U hfuse:w:0xD7:m -U lfuse:w:0x0E:m -b 19200
« Last Edit: Sun, 12 February 2017, 12:20:02 by pr0ximity »
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Offline pr0ximity

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 18:27:59 »
Plate & PCB Design

I'm currently in the process of reverse-engineering the plate design of the Mini to create a replacement made of polycarbonate, and perhaps in the future a partial plate (the vintage Blacks in my board are plate mount and I'm quite partial to how they're tuned). The first prototype is on it way to me.

The major difficulty I've had is that the plate's switches are actually separated by smaller spacing than the recommended Cherry specs. Instead of the recommended 19.05mm distance center-to-center between switches, my current best measurements put the switches 18.875mm apart center-to-center, a full 1/8mm shorter than 19mm which is what I've heard is often used in rough switch designs. This can cause some keys to be *extremely* close to each other, but I've never had any issues with keys touching orrubbing. It does accentuate small tolerance differences between either the switch cutouts in the plate or the keycaps, and has been a bit of a worry in getting polycarbonate cut by waterjet rather than aluminum cut by laser. But in theory it pushes the boundaries of how small a 60% keyboard can be, and coupled with the large brass weight I suspect the Mini may be the heaviest custom by volume out there. I'd like to measure to get a better comparison to some other customs.

The plate is a sandwich design, so there are no screws that hold it in place. It instead has supporting "wings" on the top and bottom edges that fit between the top and bottom halves of the case and hold the plate in place. When properly assembled, this does seem to afford the plate a bit of flex, though I'm not sure yet what the tolerances are above/below the plate in the case's cutouts to hold the supports when assembled. I suspect there may be a bit of intentional leeway left so that the plate can more freely flex when the keyboard is assembled. This is because the keyboard is specifically designed to allow the plate and PCB to flex. This may be aided by the strange markings along the supporting wings which I have not found details of anywhere:

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These ridges on the wings appear to only be present on the V1 version of the Mini, the V2 plates I've seen have all been plain and flat. However I suspect the tapered edge of the "carved" wings may allow for slightly more vertical movement of the plate when flexing in the assembled keyboard.

The PCB is designed with a single long cut across the middle between the two bottom-most rows of alphas. It is accompanied by four small vertical cuts, one to the left of both the "A" and "Q" keys as well as between the ";" and "'" keys and between the "[" and "]" keys. The V1 and V2 plates may be slightly different, at least one V2 I've seen has only two cuts, the ones next to the ";" and "[" keys. These cutouts allegedly afford the special PCB to flex even more than normal, specifically with heavy linear switches in mind:

More



« Last Edit: Wed, 15 February 2017, 18:29:49 by pr0ximity »
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Offline pr0ximity

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 18:28:08 »
Cable

The cable of the 356 Mini, as documented by sixty, is a curiosity: the Mini's PCB has a female USB Mini-B connector, however the ps2avr firmware speaks PS/2 over it. From what I've gathered and hypothesize, this was done because the firmware is the same as the other 356 boards which are intended to use hardwired Cherry PS/2 cables, however the incredibly tight design of the case and PCB doesn't leave room for a female PS/2 connector on the PCB.

The cable's pinout is fortunately a standard PS/2 -> USB mapping, as documented here: http://pinouts.ru/InputCables/usb_ps2_mouse_pinout.shtml

I've run into some issues with dumb PS/2 -> USB adapters, so I recommend using a powered adapter like a BlueCube if you can I now recommend these inexpensive Monoprice adapters, they work much more reliably for me (on both the Mini and multiple other vintage PS/2 boards):



Gasket

There is a large rubber o-ring that fits around the assembled PCB+plate to ensure a tight fit while still allowing the plate to flex. Due to the sandwich design, without the gasket the keyboard will reportedly have a bit of a "rattle" to it, assumedly due to the plate moving around slightly.

The gasket rests on the sides of the exposed switches on the outside edge of the plate between the plate and PCB. It's unclear what exact material and dimensions of the gasket are at this time, but measurements and tests of new gaskets should be forthcoming.
« Last Edit: Tue, 21 July 2020, 14:26:53 by pr0ximity »
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Offline ghostjuggernaut

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 18:55:50 »
Great work pr0ximity, this is a hell of a lot of information.  I look forward to seeing this evolve in the future.

If you ever want to add it to the gh wiki, let me know.




p.s. now I want a mini again haha.  :confused:

Offline happylacquer

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 19:01:42 »
Where can you buy one of these bad boys?

Offline ghostjuggernaut

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 19:03:16 »
Where can you buy one of these bad boys?

lol lots of time, money, and patience.

lately, you will probably need 3-4x as much money as the other two though.

Offline happylacquer

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 19:03:44 »
Where can you buy one of these bad boys?

lol lots of time, money, and patience.

lately, you will probably need 3-4x as much money as the other two though.

RIP Me and my wallet I guess

Offline pr0ximity

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 19:09:13 »
Great work pr0ximity, this is a hell of a lot of information.  I look forward to seeing this evolve in the future.

If you ever want to add it to the gh wiki, let me know.




p.s. now I want a mini again haha.  :confused:

Yeah I've been debating where to put this stuff and how to format it on and off for a while. I think the GH Wiki might be a great place once I have things more buttoned up. For now I just wanted to get some of this stuff out there so it isn't lost :D
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Offline pr0ximity

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 19:19:27 »
Where can you buy one of these bad boys?

lol lots of time, money, and patience.

lately, you will probably need 3-4x as much money as the other two though.

RIP Me and my wallet I guess

There were allegedly a fairly large number of them made so I'm surprised I haven't seen more of them recently. I can't remember who told me, but I think about 100 V1's per sixty's thread and apparently something like 2-300 V2's. The red V2's usually trade hands for a very fair price for 356 series boards, but it's been a while since I've seen one and prices in general have been crazy in the community this past year. I think a V2 would be worth around $6-700, should be on par with a 456GT in terms of rarity, but like I said it's been almost a year since I've seen one sold iirc.
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Offline pr0ximity

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 19:27:29 »
By the way, here's the current plate prototype CAD (attached), should be arriving early this week:



I've changed the cutouts around the spacebar to be a little less detailed and leave more supporting material around the switch and stabs, as well as enlarged some screw holes to make it a little more forgiving on tolerances. It also doesn't have the crazy carvings on the supporting wings, because ain't nobody got time for that.
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Offline byker

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 22:57:32 »
Great work pr0ximity, thanks for putting it together! I know how it feels when trying to program a board that has a lack of information - I had many troubles figuring out how to program my kaliet. I am sure this will be useful to at least a few others!

Offline riotonthebay

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 11 February 2017, 23:15:39 »
This is wonderful, thanks for sharing! I'm especially interested in the design considerations. Hmmmmm....

Offline loud_asian

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 00:09:37 »
Fantastic writeup dude. I love reading up on korean customs

Do you think with all the different features, such as the PCB cutouts and flexible plate, the typing experience feels better or is it just a bunch of hokey?

Offline BunnyLake

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 02:05:21 »
Great post good sir


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Offline raymogi

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 03:23:11 »
Hoping I will need this in the near future.
Please feed my addiction.

Offline evilpacket

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 06:06:53 »
I've been trying to figure out what kind of rubber the rubber gasking around the pcb was using but i've been unsuccessful so far
it's a secret that apparently the creator 응삼 is not willing to open it to the public. we may never know...
i've heard the 356 mini was named 356 because it was the 356th prototype, so I can understand how much hard work (and money) went into that bad boy. this info is all from an old OTD member that I know... I got into the scene a little too late to see the OTD community in full action

Offline evilpacket

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 06:09:28 »
oh yeah. and for the secret information behind message boards and foreign languages...
even other members of OTD have stuff they don't know that only the original creator knows. lool
you won't find much info to salvage other than what we can see from the actual board itself

truly phenomenal post though.  :thumb:
« Last Edit: Sun, 12 February 2017, 06:11:17 by evilpacket »

Offline nmur

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 06:22:52 »
I've been trying to figure out what kind of rubber the rubber gasking around the pcb was using but i've been unsuccessful so far
it's a secret that apparently the creator 응삼 is not willing to open it to the public. we may never know...
i've heard the 356 mini was named 356 because it was the 356th prototype, so I can understand how much hard work (and money) went into that bad boy. this info is all from an old OTD member that I know... I got into the scene a little too late to see the OTD community in full action
I though all the otd's were named after classic sports cars, with the 356 being a Porsche

Offline evilpacket

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 06:58:37 »
I've been trying to figure out what kind of rubber the rubber gasking around the pcb was using but i've been unsuccessful so far
it's a secret that apparently the creator 응삼 is not willing to open it to the public. we may never know...
i've heard the 356 mini was named 356 because it was the 356th prototype, so I can understand how much hard work (and money) went into that bad boy. this info is all from an old OTD member that I know... I got into the scene a little too late to see the OTD community in full action
I though all the otd's were named after classic sports cars, with the 356 being a Porsche

or maybe it's that. Its just a story I heard from an OTD member. I was thinking the same thing before he told me that because the 456 gt is also a sports car

Offline riotonthebay

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 07:01:56 »
I've been trying to figure out what kind of rubber the rubber gasking around the pcb was using but i've been unsuccessful so far
it's a secret that apparently the creator 응삼 is not willing to open it to the public. we may never know...

What's this about a gasket? Anyone have a picture?

Offline evilpacket

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 07:14:18 »
I've been trying to figure out what kind of rubber the rubber gasking around the pcb was using but i've been unsuccessful so far
it's a secret that apparently the creator 응삼 is not willing to open it to the public. we may never know...

What's this about a gasket? Anyone have a picture?

its this huge mofo o-ring thing. its supposed to get rid of the 'thunk' along with the foam liner underneath the pcb
« Last Edit: Sun, 12 February 2017, 07:16:20 by evilpacket »

Offline riotonthebay

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 07:28:43 »
Interesting, and it slots between the PCB and plate? Very cool.

Offline evilpacket

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 07:36:08 »
Interesting, and it slots between the PCB and plate? Very cool.

I don't own any OTD boards (yet) but I've typed on quite a few, but these little additions to the 356 mini's design works some damn good keylicious magic. Of all the boards I've typed on I'd still pick the 356 mini with top-notch vintage mx blacks in it as the best keyboard ever. 356s are long gone now but I'm aiming for a 456 gt with the best set of v.mx blacks I can find

Offline kawasaki161

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 08:07:09 »
I'm really interested in seeing the top case from the inside (especially the part where it has contact with the plate), as I've never really seen a large gap in the mating area of the top and bottom case, unless there is some other magic going on these tolerances must be insane in order to avoid a rattling sound.

Offline clappingcactus

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 09:01:58 »
Interesting. I've never even seen an OTD in person but this thread is among the first that actually details the idiosyncrasies and cool details that make them special.

Offline riotonthebay

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 11:26:53 »
I'm really interested in seeing the top case from the inside (especially the part where it has contact with the plate), as I've never really seen a large gap in the mating area of the top and bottom case, unless there is some other magic going on these tolerances must be insane in order to avoid a rattling sound.

I'd love to see this as well. pr0ximity, if you find more time to take pictures of the board taken apart, I'd be greatly appreciative!

Offline pr0ximity

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 11:32:13 »
I've been trying to figure out what kind of rubber the rubber gasking around the pcb was using but i've been unsuccessful so far
it's a secret that apparently the creator 응삼 is not willing to open it to the public. we may never know...

What's this about a gasket? Anyone have a picture?


I knew I was forgetting something, of course the gasket! Such a neat addition. As evilpacket said, it fits around the assembled PCB+plate, resting on the sides of the exposed switches.

I've added it to my goals, I'd like to take mine off and measure it to try and find a replacement. I can't imagine the material is all that crazy, it feels very similar to a WASD keyboard o-ring, though perhaps a bit harder than the red o-rings they stocked. Mine is a bit worn around the screws so I've been  hesitant to remove it for fear of breaking it. I've heard without it the keyboard can have a bit of rattle -- I believe it's used to keep the plate tight against the case. In my own theory where the sandwich-style mounting is meant to allow the plate some room to flex, it makes sense that you would want something soft that wouldn't impede that but that would keep things tight together to avoid rattling. I'll do a bit more examination when I have the board unassembled, there are definitely areas of the edges of the plate that are more worn and I wonder if the mounting has something to do with it.

On that note I'll also add a quick tip to assembling the keyboard, the screws need to be tightened evenly to get things to fall in place properly.

oh yeah. and for the secret information behind message boards and foreign languages...
even other members of OTD have stuff they don't know that only the original creator knows. lool
you won't find much info to salvage other than what we can see from the actual board itself

truly phenomenal post though.  :thumb:

Good to know I'm not missing much :P Though I'm very surprised the designers wouldn't be more interested in explaining the work that was put into the design and manufacturing.

I'm really interested in seeing the top case from the inside (especially the part where it has contact with the plate), as I've never really seen a large gap in the mating area of the top and bottom case, unless there is some other magic going on these tolerances must be insane in order to avoid a rattling sound.

I'll see if I can take some pictures when I have the board opened, I'd like to do some measurements. It does indeed seem like the board is very dependent on tight tolerances given the close switch placement and sandwich design. I think the gasket is the primary deterrence of rattling, however, as I mentioned above without it I've heard there's a bit of an unpleasant rattle.

Fantastic writeup dude. I love reading up on korean customs

Do you think with all the different features, such as the PCB cutouts and flexible plate, the typing experience feels better or is it just a bunch of hokey?

At the risk of sounding hokey myself I really do think it does, though I'm not sure I could say which aspects of the design are excessive and which parts contribute the most. When I first received the keyboard and disassembled/reassembled it I thought it was a bit harsh to type on, the plate felt very rigid. However, I removed the dampening foam that seemed to impede a bit of the flexibility of the plate and took extra care in seating the case and tightening screws evenly and there is 100% more flexibility in the plate, which is visually apparent when pressed firmly. After that I think it does feel quite a bit nicer.  gundam has hinted at this as well in his post detailing the Mini. I haven't typed on any other OTDs but I can say it is incredibly satisfying to type on, and the sound of thick ABS paired buttery vintage Blacks in such a dense, heavy case is pretty awesome.

I've also heard that using the keyboard without the weight is supposed to make it feel different. It seems to be a pretty minor change bordering on placebo, but there might be some truth to extra resonance with an empty cavity and less weight/dampening from less mass. The brass weight weighs about the same as the assembled keyboard without it, just judging by hand.
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Offline evilpacket

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 20:17:25 »
I've been trying to figure out what kind of rubber the rubber gasking around the pcb was using but i've been unsuccessful so far
it's a secret that apparently the creator 응삼 is not willing to open it to the public. we may never know...

What's this about a gasket? Anyone have a picture?


I knew I was forgetting something, of course the gasket! Such a neat addition. As evilpacket said, it fits around the assembled PCB+plate, resting on the sides of the exposed switches.

I've added it to my goals, I'd like to take mine off and measure it to try and find a replacement. I can't imagine the material is all that crazy, it feels very similar to a WASD keyboard o-ring, though perhaps a bit harder than the red o-rings they stocked. Mine is a bit worn around the screws so I've been  hesitant to remove it for fear of breaking it. I've heard without it the keyboard can have a bit of rattle -- I believe it's used to keep the plate tight against the case. In my own theory where the sandwich-style mounting is meant to allow the plate some room to flex, it makes sense that you would want something soft that wouldn't impede that but that would keep things tight together to avoid rattling. I'll do a bit more examination when I have the board unassembled, there are definitely areas of the edges of the plate that are more worn and I wonder if the mounting has something to do with it.

On that note I'll also add a quick tip to assembling the keyboard, the screws need to be tightened evenly to get things to fall in place properly.

according to some stories the perfectionist creator tried out numerous prototypes for just the o-ring itself.... apparently some types of rubber hardens over time and repeated use, so it took him a while to find the right company with the right type of rubber.
Idk, because I've only typed on one and don't own one (yet) but what they did to find the exactly right type of rubber is my #1 question right now  ;D because that little addition does some wonders to the keyfeel, imo

Offline iamacicada

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #30 on: Tue, 14 February 2017, 22:56:26 »
Thank you very much for putting it together and make such a great post. Information on OTD boards is very scarce and limited so it's awesome to see a very detailed thread dedicated to the 356mini. I've been trying to learn more info from nasby but I was unable to comprehend fully to publish such information. He seems to know a lot about OTD boards, the meaning behind some of the design choices and the hand logo. Nasby mentioned about the "sea wave line" was degisned to give a better typing feel than the normal plate (I'm guessing it's the ridges on the plate wings).

I have a mini v2 and its plate has the carved wings. It could have been swapped out though because the previous owner has a lot of minis so he might have sent me v1 pcb and plate. I don't have it with me right now but once I get it back I will do some testing and try to reprogram the board. Again, thank you for the very helpful post  :thumb:

Offline pr0ximity

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #31 on: Wed, 15 February 2017, 18:42:50 »
The first run of a polycarbonate plate for the Mini came in today. A little rough around the edges from the waterjet cutting by Big Blue Saw, but it should be easily smoothable with a little fine-grit sandpaper:











Fitment of caps on the random bag of MX Reds from my Filco seems pretty dead-on for everything aside from the right Control, which is slightly too far to the right. It just barely rubs in the corner, but luckily I never use the right-hand mods :P I'm not 100% sure why its off but everything else seems to spot-on, it may be machining error, but I can't really see any other funky gaps along the bottom row. I think that hole is just slightly offset, it could be moved to the left in line with the other rows and look just fine.







Just to give a better idea of the tight tolerances this board works with:



All in all I'm *incredibly* happy with how this one turned out. I was not expecting it to be so close on the first run. I'm going to sand it up and see how it looks, but I might not even bother doing another run.

I also did find that the bare plate sits very low in the case, the pins on the bottom row of switches rest on the bottom of the case. I think the gasket is really instrumental to the design of the board, as from what I've seen it rests on the bottom half of the case and pushes the plate to be flush with the top half.

I'd like to take some more pictures of that fitment and do some closer looking once I have it apart for a bit while I contemplate the desoldering process. From gundam's write-up it sounds like a) the PCB holes are very tight and b) the traces are very thin. Needless to say I'm going to be taking my time desoldering  :-X
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Offline evilpacket

  • Posts: 36
Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #32 on: Wed, 15 February 2017, 19:50:10 »
The first run of a polycarbonate plate for the Mini came in today. A little rough around the edges from the waterjet cutting by Big Blue Saw, but it should be easily smoothable with a little fine-grit sandpaper:

Show Image


Show Image


Show Image


Show Image


Show Image


Fitment of caps on the random bag of MX Reds from my Filco seems pretty dead-on for everything aside from the right Control, which is slightly too far to the right. It just barely rubs in the corner, but luckily I never use the right-hand mods :P I'm not 100% sure why its off but everything else seems to spot-on, it may be machining error, but I can't really see any other funky gaps along the bottom row. I think that hole is just slightly offset, it could be moved to the left in line with the other rows and look just fine.

Show Image


Show Image


Show Image


Just to give a better idea of the tight tolerances this board works with:

Show Image


All in all I'm *incredibly* happy with how this one turned out. I was not expecting it to be so close on the first run. I'm going to sand it up and see how it looks, but I might not even bother doing another run.

I also did find that the bare plate sits very low in the case, the pins on the bottom row of switches rest on the bottom of the case. I think the gasket is really instrumental to the design of the board, as from what I've seen it rests on the bottom half of the case and pushes the plate to be flush with the top half.

I'd like to take some more pictures of that fitment and do some closer looking once I have it apart for a bit while I contemplate the desoldering process. From gundam's write-up it sounds like a) the PCB holes are very tight and b) the traces are very thin. Needless to say I'm going to be taking my time desoldering  :-X

nice!!!!!

Offline mdlt97

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #33 on: Fri, 08 June 2018, 21:13:43 »
holy crap, the amount of detail is crazy, amazing job  :thumb:
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Offline romevi

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 08 June 2018, 21:15:05 »
holy crap, the amount of detail is crazy, amazing job  :thumb:

Good job on reaching 20!

Offline pngu

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Re: 356 Mini - The Lost Manual
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 27 August 2018, 03:10:02 »
Hey I know this thread is quite old, but did you ever finish the replacement PCB pr0ximity? Great work so far!