Author Topic: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard  (Read 4245 times)

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Offline Hypersphere

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KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« on: Sat, 15 July 2017, 11:34:09 »
ADVENT of the TYPE R V60 KEYBOARD

Ever since I purchased my first V60 keyboard, I have been badgering KBP with requests to produce a completely programmable keyboard. They have finally done so, but with so little fanfare that I missed the initial launch. No doubt they made the announcement on the KBP Facebook page, but I seldom use this form of social media.

After my most recent clamoring on Massdrop, someone pointed out that my wish had been granted, informing me that KBP's completely programmable board had been out for some time and in two flavors: the V60 Type R Polestar with RGB LEDs, and the V60 Type R with only a single LED for the CapsLock indicator.

Both types of V60 Type R are available from MechanicalKeyboards.com (MK). In fact, they had been listed with MK for some time without indicating that they were completely programmable. I sent them a note pointing out the programmability, and they added this very important information to the product descriptions on their web site. Prices range from $99 to $119 depending on LEDs and the variety of Cherry mx switch. Mine was $109 for the non-LED model with Cherry mx Green switches. Shipping is free, at least within the continental US.

PROGRAMMING

The V60 Type R has the ATMega32u4 chip that is programmed using TMK. Recently updated programming instructions are available online:

https://massdrop-s3.imgix.net/V60typeR_Program_maunal_17-0606.pdf

Dutifully following the instructions -- including the tip about having a second keyboard plugged into my computer -- I was able to get my V60 Type R programmed to my satisfaction on the first try. Multiple function layers are possible, which would be helpful for controlling the various LED options in the Polestar model, but I kept my setup simple, with a single Fn layer.

Programming is easy -- After pressing the reset button underneath the keyboard, you simply type your desired key assignments onto a graphical layout furnished through a web page, copy and paste the automatically generated code into a designated window, download the resulting keyboard configuration file, and drag and drop the configuration file onto a batch file that flashes the keyboard controller for you.

My V60 Type R now has a HHKB-like layout. I was very pleased to discover that I was able to remap the original Fn key, and, unlike the situation with the Vortex Pok3R, the KBP V60 Type R permits remapping of the Right Control key (which I remapped as Fn).

STILL a V60

Switches. Apart from the programmability in the Type R, which is excellent, or the RGB LEDs in the Polestar variant, the Type R is still a V60. Thus far, the switch options of the Type R only include Cherry mx (Red or Grey Linear, Blue or Green Clicky, Clear or Grey Tactile). As yet, the Type R is not available with Gateron or Matias switches. I hope that KBP will add Gateron and Matias options to their Type R lineup.



Stabilizers. Like the standard V60 with Cherry or Gateron switches, the Type R has Cherry stabilizers, which to me feel mushy. I much prefer the wire Costar-type stabilizers, like those that KBP uses in their Matias-switch V60 models. Vortex has modified the Cherry-type stabilizers in the Pok3r, and they feel less mushy than the standard Cherry stabilizers in the V60 and V60 Type R. The stabilizers in my keyboard were also a bit rattily, but this was satisfactorily addressed by lubricating them with some Superlube 21010 synthetic grease.

Case and Connector. The non-LED model has the standard V60 plastic case. The LED model (Polestar) has a translucent case with a diffuser layer for the light show. I haven't tried the Polestar, but I like the standard V60 case on my keyboard -- it provides more of a resonant chamber than a flat metal case does. There are no flip-out feet, but there are four non-skid pads and the case is sloped to provide a comfortable typing angle. Nevertheless, I added some self-adhesive rubber feet to increase the angle. The connector is mini-USB located in the left rear corner of the case.

Keycaps. The stock keycaps are pad-printed ABS that include front-printed legends for the default layout. I find the legends too small and unattractive, and the raised pad printing has a distracting feel.

173379-1

I changed the keycaps, using a mix from sets of OEM profile thick dye-sublimated PBT caps from Ducky. The alphas are black on cream, most of the mods are dark gray, and the two accent keys (Esc and Fn) are black on blue. I also silenced the spacebar somewhat by placing a red 40A-L 0.2 mm O-ring on the center stem. To my eye and fingers, the new caps look and feel much better than the stock caps, but I think the keys sounded better with the thin ABS caps -- thick PBT is sometimes overrated in this respect.

OVERALL CONCLUSIONS

KBP has taken a great step forward with the V60 Type R by adding true complete programmability. For those who like Cherry mx switches and Cherry stabilizers, the basic V60 is a serviceable keyboard, but the total programmability provided in the Type R elevates the V60 to a new level. However, I would like to see KBP expand the Type R line by adding options for Gateron and Matias switches. In addition, I believe the feel of the keyboard could be improved by changing the stabilizers from Cherry to Costar-type or at least making this an option. Alternatively, they could look into modifying the Cherry stabilizers as Vortex has apparently done in the Pok3r to make the stabilized keys feel less mushy. KBP should also consider providing choices for higher-quality keycaps and/or a barebones no-keycaps option. RGB LEDs just for a lightshow would not be a priority for me, but I would consider functional backlighting, which is already a component of the Polestar variant of the Type R V60. Finally, although I am fine with the stock plastic case, there are those who prefer a high-quality aluminum case, but unless this could be done without a substantial increase in price, it might be best to forgo this option and leave it up to the customer to add an aftermarket case. Overall, I like the V60 Type R, and I give very high marks to KBP for making the V60 fully programmable.

Offline teraflame

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 15 July 2017, 11:52:05 »
I wish they made an alps version.
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Offline Hypersphere

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 15 July 2017, 12:02:20 »

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 15 July 2017, 12:49:59 »
Everyone always look down on pad printing..

But I've never managed to wear out any of my old laptop keys which had that.. it's pretty durable if you cut your nails.

Great Review !

Offline merlin64

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 17 July 2017, 10:06:10 »
Great review man! I actually really like my KBP V60 Type R Polestar and have used it quite extensively. I too wish that they come out with an Alps version, thought if they did I would definitely desolder the switches and put my favorite ones in! haha.
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Offline mmynsted

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 21 July 2017, 00:28:50 »
I just got this keyboard as my first, non-Model-M, mech keyboard.  It is really nice but I would like to move some keys around.  The instructions are for Windows.  Is it possible to flash the keyboard using tmk from Mac? 

There is a tkg-toolkit for mac [here][https://github.com/kairyu/tkg-toolkit/tree/master/mac], what I do not see is a replacement for Zadig.  I suspect that Zadig is used so that you have have two keyboards connected at the same time?  Like one to type on and one that was registered via zadig as ATM32U4DFU.

I see [qmk][http://qmk.fm].  This looks like it is an alternative firmware.  I think it works fine from mac but would not want to run a different firmware until I figure out what I am doing.

I am trying to follow along from this MechMerlin video [here][https://youtu.be/47G_m3M8P8I] based on the doc [here][https://massdrop-s3.imgix.net/V60typeR_Program_maunal_17-0606.pdf].

It seems like it might be possible to somehow skip the Zadig step, and just try to push the eep file with tkg-toolkit, but since I know nothing about this, I do not want to brick my keyboard the first day. Heh

Offline Hypersphere

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 22 July 2017, 08:04:30 »
I just got this keyboard as my first, non-Model-M, mech keyboard.  It is really nice but I would like to move some keys around.  The instructions are for Windows.  Is it possible to flash the keyboard using tmk from Mac? 

There is a tkg-toolkit for mac [here][https://github.com/kairyu/tkg-toolkit/tree/master/mac], what I do not see is a replacement for Zadig.  I suspect that Zadig is used so that you have have two keyboards connected at the same time?  Like one to type on and one that was registered via zadig as ATM32U4DFU.

I see [qmk][http://qmk.fm].  This looks like it is an alternative firmware.  I think it works fine from mac but would not want to run a different firmware until I figure out what I am doing.

I am trying to follow along from this MechMerlin video [here][https://youtu.be/47G_m3M8P8I] based on the doc [here][https://massdrop-s3.imgix.net/V60typeR_Program_maunal_17-0606.pdf].

It seems like it might be possible to somehow skip the Zadig step, and just try to push the eep file with tkg-toolkit, but since I know nothing about this, I do not want to brick my keyboard the first day. Heh
Some time ago, I still used a Mac. Now my Macs are running Windows and Linux. It has been so long since I've used OS X, I do not recall if the procedures you have suggested will work. If you happen to have a Windows license, you could set up a Windows VM on your Mac and run the keyboard programming software from there. Perhaps someone else who is a Mac user could answer your questions. Good luck!

Offline mmynsted

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 23 July 2017, 02:00:32 »
Ok, I trying flashing with default layout and it seemed to work fine.

Now I just want to figure out what I can do.  :-)




Offline _haru

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 24 July 2017, 08:54:53 »
Cripes, 'Type R Polestar' sounds like KBP named the keyboard after the badges on a ricer's car...
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Offline merlin64

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 24 July 2017, 08:59:23 »
I'm not sure how intentional it was. But...

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Offline mmynsted

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 24 July 2017, 13:32:40 »
Hahah.  Nice.  9:19 in the video was kind of funny because it was a bit unexpected after watching the rest of the video. 

Offline mmynsted

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 24 July 2017, 13:36:38 »
Any idea why F11 and F12 are defined here http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/gists/2b8d555742c89216b28b858c6bcfead6 but can not be programmed from the TMK key map generator?  https://kai.tkg.io

I thought perhaps it was a TMK key map generator issue, so opened this.  https://github.com/kairyu/tkg/issues/19

---- revision ----

Very embarrassing, but I was mixing up F11 with Fn11.
« Last Edit: Mon, 24 July 2017, 19:09:48 by mmynsted »

Offline merlin64

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 07 August 2017, 17:10:00 »
For those who have the regular Type R and not the polestar, this gentleman, just got it ported to QMK. He's still working on the LEDs though so...no Polestar yet.

https://github.com/benlyall/qmk_firmware/tree/v60_type_r
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Offline mmynsted

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Re: KRP V60 Type R Fully Programmable 60% Keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 15 August 2017, 00:16:25 »
If anybody is interested I wrote up how I programmed this on Mac to get more Mac friendly layouts...  (Most instructions I see are targeted to Windows users.)  https://goo.gl/HXppww

Please let me know what you think.