Author Topic: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB  (Read 2834 times)

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Offline donutcat

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[IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« on: Wed, 18 April 2018, 20:09:51 »



Welcome to the ScrabblePad PCB, meant to accompany the Novelkeys/JOlimon XDA Scrabble Board https://novelkeys.xyz/collections/frontpage/products/xda-scrabble-board-gb, this PCB allows you to bring your newly-found keycap based Scrabble experience to the next level! Or just make lots and lots of meme macros if that's more your speed, I'm not judging :P

Powered by a Teensy++2.0 this board gives you 225 switches with full NKRO thanks to the normal matrix setup, so faceroll to your heart's content! To crank up the level of ridiculous even more, I've added a header for adding WS2812B RGB strips so you can play Scrabble and have a rave at the same time! And for all you adventurous folk out there, I've broken out the SPI pins on the Teensy++2.0 as well as the 8 remaining interior pins, you can fiddle and add even more goodies to this bad boy, like a small display or other even crazier things!

I've been listening to you guys' feedback as well! I'm planning on adding additional mount spots to the PCB so you'll be able to just mount it to a bottom plate and get to business if you're here for the meme potential instead of Scrabble. Pricing is tentatively set at $20 at 5 MOQ with noticeable savings at higher numbers.

You can show your interest and add feedback at https://goo.gl/forms/sKRkBAlZETtD1Ns83

Offline clickityClackity

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 18 April 2018, 20:11:27 »
Holy ****, I want one if these filled with MX Locking switches!! But I can't justify that project (yet)...

Offline 256k

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 18 April 2018, 21:24:47 »
Yooo dude Iím so happy your project made it :) good luck


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Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 18 April 2018, 21:38:40 »
That'd be cool wall art.

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Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 19 April 2018, 17:40:59 »
Alright, figured this'd be a good place to answer some comments I've received on the form since it's got a good number of responses now:
Quote
Requests for a plate or comments about additional mounting points on the board for standalone functionality
Yes, I'm planning to add quite a few mounting points on the board so that it'll be able to be used with just a bottom plate and be sturdy with minimal flex/wobble. To save costs, help MOQ, and make the design work easier on myself, I'll probably just have the bottom plate be a second PCB. Holes will line up perfect and it'll be cheaper than offering a bottom plate of a separate design due to the MOQs for PCB production.

Quote
Alternate colored soldermask


My thoughts were to stay with green since that'd make it the cheapest, especially at small numbers. If there was sufficient interest it could be ran in a different color, but only one.

Quote
Does it ship to *blank*

It'll ship anywhere you want, the question is if you'll be willing to pay the shipping. USPS's change to international mailers may make it a bit pricey, especially as the PCB alone weighs 9.2oz/260g. For example, if I can somehow sneak the PCBs into large envelope class, they'd only be about $11 to Norway, instead of the $23 for package.

Quote
Bundling Teensy++2.0 with it


This is something I'd like to do if I can get the cost down enough to make it cheaper for people.

Quote
"Offer a version with teensy installed"

Not really viable since you have 2-3 switches there that need to be soldered before the teensy. I will be offering my normal soldering/assembly services for this though if you feel like sending switches to me to do it instead of yourself.

Quote
"will it have function layers?"

Like, so many layers, especially since the Teensy++ has 4x the memory of the normal Teensy for more macro space.

Quote
"it'd be incredible if it was hot-swappable"

Kailh sockets are definitely out of the picture since I'm fairly certain I can't fit them in around the Teensy area, plus I don't feel good about them currently. I'll be looking into making sure the footprints I'm using are the right size for holtites since that's easy enough to work with and should give no fitment issues with other components.

Quote
"Too goddamn big"

Oh lad, just wait until you see this next PCB project I'm working on that'll make the ScrabblePad look normal sized.



That should answer most of the questions right now. In other news, I'd like to say that the ScrabblePad now has official QMK support through the QMK Configurator https://config.qmk.fm/#/scrabblepad/LAYOUT thanks to mechmerlin being awesome and shoving that in there basically immediately after he learned about the project!

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 19 April 2018, 20:53:26 »
Something new I'm also trying

Direct fit compatibility for PJRC's MicroSD adapter https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/sd_adaptor.html
This is replacing my current SPI headers with better header layouts and is happening to give the ability for tinkerers to add even more to their builds with easily expandable memory.

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 23 April 2018, 17:02:03 »
Got the microsd adapter wired in as well as the 16 new mounting points for optimal stability during caseless use.
https://i.imgur.com/KEneFFz.png

I'll be looking to get another round of protos done up soon along with sourcing bits like standoffs and bumpons for those looking to use the PCB without the case.

Offline emenelopee

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 23 April 2018, 22:57:39 »
I was going to pass until I read "wall art" which got me interested. I'm at 70% in.

I don't know what your teensy programming skills are like, and whether you want to do more design to add an LED matrix, but if you can get per-key LEDs working and have each key toggle its own light, you can get an excellent LiteBrite together.


Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 15 May 2018, 15:12:07 »
Small update, turns out I'm a dumbass and didn't pay attention to the scrabble board case, which this is meant to complement. As it is, the port for the teensy is an interference fit with one of the case standoffs, making them incompatible. Just moving the teensy isn't a viable option so I'm working on a complete redesign of the PCB to accommodate the change in position of the teensy and other components. I'm hoping to have new protos ordered by the end of the week and then moving on from there.

Online kakan

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 15 May 2018, 15:18:15 »
The guy who made that pcb probably thought wtf is going on here the whole time.

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 01 June 2018, 14:52:23 »
Small update, ordering protos of the new revision later, so I should have them on hand next week. As long as I didn't mess anything up, I'll be ready to look into doing the GB shortly afterwards.

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 15 June 2018, 20:01:38 »
Updated protos in, waiting to do some partial building before approving them and moving onwards. As long as these are electrically sound I should be ready to move onto GB phase before too long.

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 18 June 2018, 12:07:46 »
Protos passed the tests, now I'm working on finalizing all GB information before moving on.

Online Starius

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 18 June 2018, 13:01:03 »
Sounds good! 
I've been keeping my eye on this.  Definitely interested!

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 21 June 2018, 00:56:16 »
Alright, got some tentative pricing going after redesign and getting the kit components rounded up

PCB - Starting at $20 at 5 units going down to $9 at 500 units ;)
Bare, no components pre-soldered. Requires a minimum of a Teensy++2.0 and diodes to function. Second PCB and mounting hardware can be purchased to use as a plate/case for the working PCB.

"Replica" Teensy++2.0 + header pins - $13.50
Much cheaper than a legit ++2.0 but claims to still even be able to use the Teensy.exe app for flashing. To be used with this board the LED on pin D6 must be removed, which I will do for all ++2.0s ordered through me. Teensys will also be tested by me before being shipped out.

Diodes - $4 for a pack of 250, drops to $2.7/pack at 80 units
Enough diodes for the board and to account for defects. Nothing special.

Bumpons+Screws+Standoffs - $2.5 per pack of 20 bumpons, 18 standoffs, 36 screws, goes down to $2 at 50 units
Pack of bumpons, screws, and standoffs meant to be used with a second PCB to act as a plate/case to make the board a standalone macro pad.


Everything here should be explanatory. These are all of the components I'm currently planning on having available for the GB unless there's a good bit of requests for other components such as the TRRS ports and RGB strips.

After some thinking and mathing I've chosen to go with a replica Teensy++2.0 for this project instead of a legit one. The replica is less than half the price of the PJRC with header pins and should be functionally identical. As mentioned above, part of buying these through me is I'll be testing flashing and functionality of each of these before shipping as well as removing the LED on pin D6, which needs to be done in order to use that pin for the matrix since I have every other I/O pin on the outer edge used.
The header pins included will be a strip of 40, enough for the majority of people to get normal usage out of the Teensy. My assumption is that anyone that wants to get to the inner pins of the Teensy will either have more pins on hand or know to order more on their own. The same logic applies to items such as the TRRS port, RGB strip, and MicroSD reader.

Lemme know your thoughts on the matter.

Edit - Instances of "Knockoff" replaced with "Replica" since someone didn't like the word.
« Last Edit: Thu, 21 June 2018, 13:56:20 by donutcat »

Online suicidal_orange

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 21 June 2018, 04:43:49 »
Knock-off Teensy, you really need another burger rather than supporting the company that made custom boards possible?  A cheaper alternate AT90USB board is one thing, a knock off leeching off the work of others is another entirely...
                               
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Online Starius

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 21 June 2018, 06:18:46 »
Will there be diagrams/instructions on assembly, for those of us who are beginners at such things? (ie, don't know what the hell they're doing.)
Perhaps a youtube video HOWTO might be handy, as well, when the time comes. 

Sounds pretty interesting so far!


Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 21 June 2018, 13:43:38 »
Knock-off Teensy, you really need another burger rather than supporting the company that made custom boards possible?  A cheaper alternate AT90USB board is one thing, a knock off leeching off the work of others is another entirely...

That could have been said in a much better way than you did, but nonetheless I'll take the time to respond. "Knockoff" might not be the word I was looking for, but it is an at90usb1286 board with the Teensy++2.0 footprint that uses the Teensy.exe app for flashing than is less than half the cost of an "official" Teensy++2.0. The implication from your statement that I'd be earning more money from the knockoffs is factually incorrect. Since they're cheaper it takes less money to give the ~10% buffer I usually like to maintain in order to have replacements available in case of defects. Plus the benefit of using these controllers is being passed entirely to the buyers, not myself, since they are the ones receiving functionally comparable controllers for a notably cheaper price. My entire goal here is to deliver a product that people want to use at a price that they can afford, and using this controller over the PJRC makes an entire kit at 10 units almost 20% cheaper, even more at higher MOQs.

Will there be diagrams/instructions on assembly, for those of us who are beginners at such things? (ie, don't know what the hell they're doing.)
Perhaps a youtube video HOWTO might be handy, as well, when the time comes. 

Sounds pretty interesting so far!



I can definitely make an assembly guide for the board since some bits might not be as intuitive to others as I tend to find them. I've been meaning to write up a decent guide on the features of the board, so I might make a github for the board that will also have access to all of the QMK files for it.

Offline emenelopee

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 21 June 2018, 14:42:06 »
Is everything through-hole or are there any SMDs?

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 21 June 2018, 15:30:36 »
Is everything through-hole or are there any SMDs?

Everything is throughhole, but there are SMD pads for the diodes if someone feels like doing them SMD.

Offline oldcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 21 June 2018, 17:03:56 »
Wondering if we can solder LED lights to this board?

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 21 June 2018, 17:36:17 »
Wondering if we can solder LED lights to this board?

You can add an RGB strip to the board but not in-switch LEDs. The large number of switches makes normal LEDs a concern for pulling too much current through both the Teensy itself and the host PC. In the interest of not setting keyboards or PCs on fire, I did not even make than an option.

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 24 June 2018, 12:32:27 »
Putting the link for the order form here

https://goo.gl/forms/U1JHdfv3AGu7Rn3y2

Orders aren't open yet, but I'm letting people into the form to check and make sure everything that should be there is there and I didn't make any mistakes. After ~24hrs of the form being open and if there's no mistakes, orders will open for realsies.

Online Starius

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 24 June 2018, 13:26:39 »
This whole project is just crazy and it's cray-cray at how I've just been stumbling through it.

I had no interest in the scrabble keycaps..... but then I saw Novelkey's keyswitch pad and I thought, "Wow, that's awesome!  I gotta have that!"
Then I decided, "Well, if I'm gonna get that, then I should get the scrabble keycaps for it too....."
And then I saw this and I was like, "OMG, if I have those other things, I need this too!"

Now some day all of this stuff is going to show up and I'll be bewildered, wondering what I have gotten myself into...

Online jmg123

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 24 June 2018, 14:21:47 »

I think you need the ability to select zero for the quantity of anything you donít want, currently on the form you have to select one of everything to be able to submit.

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 24 June 2018, 14:37:49 »

I think you need the ability to select zero for the quantity of anything you donít want, currently on the form you have to select one of everything to be able to submit.

Good catch, I definitely missed that.

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] ScrabblePad PCB
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 26 June 2018, 15:22:20 »
GB thread finally open over at https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=96321.0