Author Topic: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB  (Read 5070 times)

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Offline Applet

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Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« on: Thu, 08 February 2018, 06:36:03 »
Hi Guys,

To try and get back some motivation after having a period of working a lot (to much), I'm trying to take up a unfinished hobby project.

What I'm wanting to do is a USB type-C controller with built in usb 3 hub for the HHKB what is fully compatible with the TMK firmware (no porting or anything needed). I have the PCB files mostly done (differential routing of high speed pairs and double checking everything is left) and I'll post here more in the coming days/weeks for some discussion. My motivation for starting the project is that I wanted TMK and a working HUB, and I want to learn making some high speed stuff. The plan is to make the project open source once tested and the goal is it make it so that no configuration of the components is needed, just flash the current TMK build and it works, straight from manufacturing.

One issue with the PCB is that you will have to cut a bit in the HHKB plastic for the USB-C port, and some USB-C cables might not fit, due to the shape of the HHKB. I know many do not want to modify their HHKB cases.

Also, I'm doing this entirely for my self and these will be kinda costly to produce, so do not expect this to replace the HASU controller or anything like that. If every thing works good, I might do a limited run if all testing is ok. I will do a prototype run first.

If anyone have experience of testing high speed communications (like USB 3.0) please let me know. I'd gladly donate a PCB for testing if it can be done properly.

Some specs:
4-port USB hub: TUSB8041
MCU (connected to one port): ATMEGA32U4
Current limiters: TPS2552D
USB-type C mux, to make life easier: HD3SS3220
1.5mm 4-layer PCB
only through hole USB-connectors

Quick teasers from Altium:
https://imgur.com/a/uoCBW

Making a thread so that I can force myself to finish the design. :p Any thoughts? I really appreciate feedback, I'm currently doing this in Altium and if anyone have legit design input, I can upload to github.
« Last Edit: Thu, 08 February 2018, 07:15:36 by Applet »

Offline AppleVsAndroid

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 11 February 2018, 15:11:02 »
Sounds amazing! I would be interested in testing this out.

Offline rm-rf

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 11 February 2018, 15:16:15 »
this is excellent! i would be quite interested in getting one of these for myself.

Offline USER9127

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 11 February 2018, 15:23:53 »
If this comes through, and works, I would buy a HHKB for this. This would make pretty much the perfect keyboard out of the HHKB, especially for those of us who like having quick USB 3.0 ports available, or use their keyboard with a laptop with limited Usb ports (2 for me).

I wish more build it yourself MX case/PCB designs were designed with extra ports, and based around USB-C; For my use case, at least, it increases the versatility of the board.

Offline Applet

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 27 April 2019, 00:43:01 »
Necro-bumping. Finally got around to complete the design for a first prototype run. Got the cards, will start testing them in the coming weeks. We'll see how it turns out  :D

Offline growler

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 27 April 2019, 06:46:26 »
Sounds very interesting!

growler

Don't just stare at it ...

Offline Jkshowman

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 26 May 2019, 02:35:10 »
this is honestly so cool! would love an update :)

Offline Applet

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 26 May 2019, 13:47:14 »
I actually soldered the prototypes this weekend, but I have yet to power them, since I don't have a current limited supply at home. Moving forward, but please have patience :D.




Offline xondat

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 26 May 2019, 21:25:28 »
What's the USB A on the side for?

I like the project anyhow. USB C above everything :P

Offline Applet

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 27 May 2019, 02:13:54 »
What's the USB A on the side for?
Well, the idea is just to have an extra, internal usb-port for a usb-drive, mouse dongle or such. The hub chip I'm using is a 4 port hub, and the atmega for the keybord controller uses one port, so we have 3 left. Might as well make hardware support for it, if not used, we can just skip mounting the components for the extra port.

Offline fanpeople

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 27 May 2019, 02:42:43 »
What's the USB A on the side for?
Well, the idea is just to have an extra, internal usb-port for a usb-drive, mouse dongle or such. The hub chip I'm using is a 4 port hub, and the atmega for the keybord controller uses one port, so we have 3 left. Might as well make hardware support for it, if not used, we can just skip mounting the components for the extra port.

That would actually be pretty cool to have onboard storage in your keyboard.

Offline Applet

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 27 May 2019, 09:53:12 »
What's the USB A on the side for?
Well, the idea is just to have an extra, internal usb-port for a usb-drive, mouse dongle or such. The hub chip I'm using is a 4 port hub, and the atmega for the keybord controller uses one port, so we have 3 left. Might as well make hardware support for it, if not used, we can just skip mounting the components for the extra port.

That would actually be pretty cool to have onboard storage in your keyboard.
I have been playing with the idea to try and fit a m.2 ssd in the case, since it's usb 3, you should get decent speeds ;D (not sure if there is enough space tho)

Online LightningXI

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 27 May 2019, 10:18:26 »
I actually soldered the prototypes this weekend, but I have yet to power them, since I don't have a current limited supply at home. Moving forward, but please have patience :D.





Very cool. Excited to hear more about this.
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Offline Applet

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 29 May 2019, 06:33:43 »
I've powered the boards now, so far all is good. I have usb 3 functionality and it shows up in the OS like it should, but only tested briefly. Next step is to program the onboard EEPROM that configures the hub, so I can get usb 2.0 functionality (swap the data-lines). Then we can test the hub properly, and program the atmega for the HHKB controller. I'll keep you updated. I'll hopefully have time to continue this weekend.  :D

Offline wokees

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 29 May 2019, 07:06:22 »
Indeed, pretty cool project :)  I hope, there will be an option to buy that controller in future somehow ;)
Matias Tactile Pro PC | HHKB Pro 2 | Dell AT101W | AEK II | SPC Gear GK530 (Kailh Brown)

Offline facebook

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 31 May 2019, 23:42:25 »
Definitely interested in this!  Any idea how difficult it would be to make this work for the JP variant?  I know Hasu used a different controller for his version. 
HHKB Pro Japan

Offline Applet

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 01 June 2019, 11:40:08 »
Definitely interested in this!  Any idea how difficult it would be to make this work for the JP variant?  I know Hasu used a different controller for his version. 
If there is demand for it, I'll add a footprint for the JP connector, but I do not really see the appeal of using this with the JP since it has no hub. Do you just need the usb-c, and the internal port, or do you intend to modify the case for the external usb-ports?

Offline facebook

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 02 June 2019, 01:00:13 »
I want the USB-C and all the USB ports.  I have the proper housing for the ports from another HHKB. 
HHKB Pro Japan

Offline Applet

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 02 June 2019, 01:26:24 »
I want the USB-C and all the USB ports.  I have the proper housing for the ports from another HHKB.
I see, I'll definitely look into adding support for the JP then. :D

Offline tominabox1

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 05 June 2019, 17:54:18 »
Would definitely be interested in this if you decide to GB eventually
HHKB Pro 2, Tina-C Box Black

https://heatware.com/eval.php?id=102533

Offline feralfoo

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 06 June 2019, 22:54:05 »
This is awesome work! I've been using a HHKB Pro JP with TMK motherboard for years. If you make your board available with extra usb ports for JP I will definitely pick one up.
Novatouch, HHKB Pro JP + Hasu controller, Realforce RF87U55G, Infinity Ergodox (Zealio 67g/78g), Whitefox (Zealio 65g), XD64 (MX-green), Smart68 (Box-royal), K-Type (Box-royal)

Offline Applet

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 02:35:42 »
Quick update: I ran into some issues with my level converters for programming the EEPROM (could only find a non working one), I've ordered a new one and will continue when that arrives (and I get time). Thanks for patience and showing interest in the project ;D

Offline rm-rf

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 03:05:11 »
i would really like to have a few of these.

Offline Applet

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 17 June 2019, 04:16:52 »
I have not had time to work on the prototypes yet, but I have got the stuff for programming them. I have however added JP support to the design, and identified some tweaks in USB-port placement that will be revised to next revision. I'll keep you updated as the project moves along.

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #24 on: Mon, 17 June 2019, 16:20:48 »
Woohoo!!!  Great to hear, Applet.  Thanks for the update. 
HHKB Pro Japan

Offline Applet

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 28 June 2019, 09:31:30 »
Short update: I've made an EEPROM-flash that works as intended and is programmable using the flash-tool provided by TI (no external programmer needed). It switches USB2 dateline polarity and sets some configs for power limiters etc. Next step will be to verify that the current limiters works as intended. I will most likely do another limited prototype run to verify the changes I have made. Slowly moving forward  ;D

Offline Applet

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 05 July 2019, 03:46:25 »
I have tested the current limiters and as far as I can tell, they are correctly set in settings for hub in EEPROM and work as intended. I will look into making another prototype run and a small limited group buy after my summer vacation.

Cheers  ;D

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #27 on: Tue, 30 July 2019, 23:50:56 »
Let me know, I would like to buy one for my Pro 2 and JP.  Happy to help beta test prototypes. 
HHKB Pro Japan

Offline ihateregister

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #28 on: Wed, 14 August 2019, 01:29:26 »
I have tested the current limiters and as far as I can tell, they are correctly set in settings for hub in EEPROM and work as intended. I will look into making another prototype run and a small limited group buy after my summer vacation.

Cheers  ;D
That sounds cool, does this work with the Realforce RGB by any chance? I was in the process of procuring USB-C breakout boards to install them on my three keyboards.

Offline Applet

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Re: Hobby project: HHKB USB-C controller with USB 3.0 HUB
« Reply #29 on: Wed, 14 August 2019, 04:56:30 »
Let me know, I would like to buy one for my Pro 2 and JP.  Happy to help beta test prototypes.
Good to know, I'll let you know when we get there. Testing of prototypes will be needed.  :thumb:


I have tested the current limiters and as far as I can tell, they are correctly set in settings for hub in EEPROM and work as intended. I will look into making another prototype run and a small limited group buy after my summer vacation.

Cheers  ;D
That sounds cool, does this work with the Realforce RGB by any chance? I was in the process of procuring USB-C breakout boards to install them on my three keyboards.
No, this will not support the Realforce RGB, only HHKB.