Author Topic: OMEK - A 70% (ish) keyboard.  (Read 729 times)

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Offline Utterlybemused

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OMEK - A 70% (ish) keyboard.
« on: Tue, 13 March 2018, 08:46:29 »
So after spending a decade or so typing on a Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 I decided to switch to a mechanical after an encounter with a friends new cherry brown switched keyboard, this led me down a rabbithole which eventually led me here after a year of lurking and some purchases. I am a lefty and one of the few of us who actually uses the mouse with my left hand so as of right now I have a GH60 pok3r layout with mx browns and a right hand only ergodox which I use as a numpad and additional keys in daily use and as a gamepad with the keys mirrored to the left side of a standard qwerty layout so that I do not have to remap every key any time I play a new game and it means I use the same finger movements my righty brethren design for their games.

This works and it's pretty good, but I recently got to spend some time with a TypeMatrix 2030 and fell in love with the ortholinear thing. I spent some time looking at ortho boards and nearly bought myself a TypeMatrix of my own, then I nearly bought an XD75 and then I thought to myself, you know I still miss the Microsoft Ergonomic 4000, so finally I decided it was time to hand wire my own keyboard that gives me a little bit of everything I like.

Enter the OMEK (Ortholinear Mechanical Ergonomic Keyboard). I started by playing around with colemak ortho layouts and ended up settling on this,

And that is where I hit the limit of my ability, I knew what I wanted it to look like I had the key layout but I have absolutely no skills ability or knowledge about how to go from there to something I can actually build, so it is at this point that I begin seriously googling threads on geekhack and reddit, as it turns out if you want to build a keyboard of any size or shape someone else has already done it and better yet written up a tutorial or even made a spiffy tool to help you along the way. So armed with a link to and a copy of inkscape off I set into messing around with how to house these keys and a teensy++ (I plan on running it on QMK) and this is what I ended up with.

So after pouring hours into trying to work out what the hell I am doing I have finally arrived at the point where I think I have everything ready to start ordering parts and having things lasercut, I will be using the sandwich method to make the first board as I simply do not have the skill to render a case to be printed or milled and hand wiring as I also couldn't design a pcb if my life depended on it, after I finish and have lived with it for a while I will probably try to teach myself both for a version 2.

Below are the layer files to be cut, I will be using some sort of wood (bamboo for preference) for all layers other than the plate which will be acrylic, I will glue all layers but the base which will be screwed in for access to the internals. I plan on using MX Browns and following cribbit's excellent guide for the wiring. The top layer has cutouts for Neoprene wrist rests which I will cover in some sort of fine fabric (mousepad type, no idea where I get this) and glue down.

All the svg files are located in this folder and if anyone who knows about laser cutting could take a look and let me know if I have ballsed anything up before I attempt to get them made that would be great.

I'm as yet unsure what I am going to do for keycaps but I am leaning towards getting an all 1u dsa set for the xd75 on aliexpress and then grabbing the additional 2u and 3u keys from SP.

Any and all help advice and critique welcome, this will be my first build (I ordered my ergodox and gh60 built by Falbatech) and I am slightly nervous!


Online suicidal_orange

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Re: OMEK - A 70% (ish) keyboard.
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 13 March 2018, 08:55:53 »
Looks good - I've toyed with having arrows in the middle of a split board but never got further than you already have.

Have you printed the layout out in real size to confirm the angle of the split is right or is it the same as your old board?  This the keyboard design equivalent of 'measure twice, cut once' - wouldn't want it to be uncomfortable once you've gone through the hassle of building it!
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Offline Blaise170

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Re: OMEK - A 70% (ish) keyboard.
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 13 March 2018, 09:17:10 »
I'm pretty sure no one else would be able to use it, but it looks good!  ;D
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