Author Topic: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho  (Read 1077 times)

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Offline Wood_Cables

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[Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« on: Thu, 07 March 2019, 09:27:49 »
This is the final thing I have to say on the manner. I had a long discussion with Jack from OLKB, so him and I are both on the same page. This incarnation of the PCB is still going to be halted, but we are not going away. Once a design that differentiates even more so than the Shark is developed, we will once again have an ortho 40 up for grabs. There are certain things, while not exactly proprietary, that we are choosing to stay away from so as to keep the overlap of functionality to a minimum.

Again, as I implied previously, this was our decision to terminate group buy.

Lastly, there may have been a bit of a misinterpretation of Jack's opinion on open-source projects. To his defense, both he and the OLKB/QMK team offer encouragement within the community - and to this project specifically. But things can get a little sensitive when similarities show up, but that issue exists in a lot of tech related projects.
« Last Edit: Fri, 22 March 2019, 17:06:59 by Wood_Cables »

Offline Signature

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 07 March 2019, 17:07:54 »
Approved, GL w GB

Offline Wood_Cables

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 07 March 2019, 17:51:48 »

Offline Wood_Cables

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 19 March 2019, 12:20:08 »
Updated OP.

Now going for 75 orders, not 100. We are also offering a Hi-Pro style switch plate along with a Lo-pro style. Both of these can we used with the base plate.
« Last Edit: Tue, 19 March 2019, 12:21:59 by Wood_Cables »

Offline p00

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 20 March 2019, 06:52:48 »
Hello,

First post on GeekHack and I'm totally in for the SharkPCB and its plates.

I'm a newbie and I have two questions, sorry if it's irrelevant :

- the plate support MX mounted switches ?
- can we solder Kailh hotswap sockets on the PCB and use a Planck-like case ?

Thanks
- ALT / Halo True
- Preonic / Halo True + Kailh Speed Bronze
- UT47.2 in process
- Planck in process

Offline Wood_Cables

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 20 March 2019, 07:24:53 »
The PCB is not designed to use Kailh Hotswaps but you could use something like Holtites which go into the solder holes.

I know there's a lot of info both here and on the Interest Check thread posted in the OP, but the dimensions will allow for Planck cases and plates.

Offline Wood_Cables

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 21 March 2019, 12:43:53 »
Updated OP with important information.

Offline dvorcol

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 21 March 2019, 14:08:28 »
Updated OP.

Now going for 75 orders, not 100. We are also offering a Hi-Pro style switch plate along with a Lo-pro style. Both of these can we used with the base plate.

The OP says the target is 100 "soft-commitments."  Are "soft-commitments" different from orders?

Offline Wood_Cables

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 21 March 2019, 14:36:40 »
Updated OP.

Now going for 75 orders, not 100. We are also offering a Hi-Pro style switch plate along with a Lo-pro style. Both of these can we used with the base plate.

The OP says the target is 100 "soft-commitments."  Are "soft-commitments" different from orders?

Yup. The linked Pre Order form is just a place holder where you would provide an email address and user name. That way when I have enough people ready to buy, I can shoot off invoices and collect.

No one has actually been charged yet. I really want to avoid the common GB practice of "let me take your money for months before you see a product." I've never been involved in one of those so I won't subject potential customers to it either.

Offline Wood_Cables

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 22 March 2019, 11:35:41 »
Important notice in the OP.

Offline xondat

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 22 March 2019, 13:20:33 »
It is with sadness that I must announce the termination of the SharkPCB group buy. Below I will discuss the logic behind the decision and also some events that have transpired which led to that decision.

Initially, this project was an idealization of my brazilian partner, u/gondolindrim_, a brazilian Electronic Engineering PhD student, to bring the mechanical keyboard hobby to his country. In Brazil there are no 40% keyboards available, and he wanted to try the layout. Unfortunately, due to abusive taxes of the government, a Planck was out of the question, so he set himself up to make his own design of the ortho 40% layout to be distributed in Brazil. When I saw the project, I immediately  recognized it had potential, specially because Gondolindrim wants no profit from it at all, and he plans on making community-driven PCBs, filling voids like the Contra and the GH60 did -- open-source and accessible stuff that had the latest features. So I funded the prototypes with my own money, and he helped with the design part.

Here in North America, where I am located and where the planned group buy was going to take place, there is only one option for a board with this layout: the Planck. Starting about a few weeks ago, someone of the QMK community came to us and expressed their concerns with our project. Words like “morality” and “clone” were mentioned. The concern from this QMK team member was that we were going to copy the Planck firmware and just flash it onto the Shark; obviously that is something we never planned on doing, especially since we designed the matrix in a way that differentiates us from the Planck. In short, we would develop our own firmware and the design is 100% original. It is also worth noting that the firmware used by the Planck is covered under a licence that allows redistribution/modification as long as credit is given where credit is due. That’s the GNU General Public Licence, V2 or higher.

So it was at that time I had a discussion with my partner on the project, Gondolindrim, regarding the process in which to move forward. We discussed plans, concerns from OLKB, but ultimately decided to go ahead with the quotation for assembly because again, no copyrights or trademarks have been infringed upon. All parts and hardware were licenced under open-source guidelines.

Fast forward to this week, when then again our design was labeled as a Planck copy by a big maker. My partner reached out to Jack over at OLKB directly to clear things up and make sure we’re not stepping on anyone’s toes. Now, we know the whole thing that happened with the Contra -- before named the “Danck”. Jack voiced his concerns, we voiced ours. During this discussion, the word “clone” was thrown around again: Jack’s first concern was our list of features, which were based upon community desire, were questioned as being a copy of the Planck’s features. Sure, we share the same technology that has existed long before either of our projects. Besides, we offered things the Planck didn’t and the Planck had things we didn’t. Being the Planck a prominent product in this community, it has all possible features QMK can offer -- specially because Jack also owns QMK -- so adding features to our project would inevitably approximate us from the Planck.

The second problem is that the Shark is an open-source project. In Jack’s words, open-source can hurt the community and OLKB because of big manufacturers, specifically those based in China, tend to ignore the CC and GPL license and flood the market with cheap knock-offs. We all know this to be fact. Gondolindrim has experience with electronical design and manufacturing and is aware that these things happen. But there is nothing much we can do here; the open-source philosophy is a big part of this project and we want it to be kept that way.

The biggest issue from Jack was that the Shark mounting holes conformed to Planck cases and plates, and it didn’t offer anything “new”. This was an intentional decision by us; first because we acknowledge that the Planck is a great product and holds the market-share of customers, including myself --  yes, I own several of them. So, we were trying to do the community a favor by saying “if you have Planck parts, our PCB will work with it!”. Similarly with the PCB, the Planck hardware is covered under a licence which states anyone is free to either copy/redistribute, or to modify/build upon, and give credit where credit is due. The unjust criticism here is that we do not sell any Planck cases/plates. Check the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence for further reading. And second, when Gondolindrim started the project, he needed to design this PCB to fit a case -- and the Planck’s parts are freely available in the OLKB parts repository, and are licensed to be freely used.

Lastly, morality and community reputation was brought into question. We don’t want to be known as the copying guys; as we see it, offering an alternative to the Planck was not hurting the community. There was, and still is, a hole that needed to be filled, and the Shark was going to do that job. In any case, we don’t want our reputation tarnished on the community by word of mouth; despite all the Shark features being based on feedback from the community. Though we do not view the Shark as a copy, OLKB can label it as such and the word will spread like wildfire. That is the main reason we are abandoning this GB: we aimed to make the Shark an alternative.

If you read this far, thank you for the time. A lot of you know me for my Wood Cable business, and know that I’m not someone trying to do anything that would be considered negative within the community. While I enjoy this hobby, I am also trying to have supplemental income. What better way than to combine your hobby with money earned? Isn’t that what most people look to achieve?

That's a massive shame if I'm reading this correctly, although would be nice to hear Jack's response just to have both sides.

Offline garbo

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 22 March 2019, 13:47:47 »
Ugh. Lost some respect for Jack over this. I understand he's just trying to protect his business interests but it's not a good look.

I don't think there's a good argument for this project being a clone of the rev. 6 PCB in the sense that it doesn't offer anything new or alternative. Maybe if the plans for an official low cost/non-hotswap option had gone through then it would be more fair to consider this redundant, but even then I think its existence would still be justifiable given the problems OLKB has been having with order fulfilment.

It's also hard to believe that the lack of some form of open source PCB design is a thing that has been hindering the proliferation of Planck knock-offs from Chinese manufacturers.

Edit: OK, well I'd missed the discussion on reddit. Looks like there might be some miscommunication, or that the decision to kill the project wasn't entirely based on OLKB's judgement...
« Last Edit: Fri, 22 March 2019, 14:01:45 by garbo »

Offline jackhumbert

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 22 March 2019, 13:59:12 »
I posted this same reply on reddit (where the original text was removed), and thought it would be good to put it here too.

---

This is a bit frustrating to read, as it doesn't really sum up the conversation I had with /u/gondolindrim_ last night, in which I only gave honest thoughts on these things at Gondo's request - I've been nothing but supportive of the project in public and private.

> In Brazil there are no 40% keyboards available, and he wanted to try the layout. Unfortunately, due to abusive taxes of the government, a Planck was out of the question, so he set himself up to make his own design of the ortho 40% layout to be distributed in Brazil

Gondo came to me last year and described this issue, and I agreed that this was a pretty cool solution to the problem. I expressed that making the PCB compatible with Planck parts would be a neat objective, since I have a lot of my designs on the repo as open source, and people could 3D print them and modify them to their liking.

> The concern from this QMK team member was that we were going to copy the Planck firmware and just flash it onto the Shark

The firmware itself is absolutely not an issue here - the issue they described (I think) was that it would be a drop-in replacement for the Planck PCB.

> In Jack’s words, open-source can hurt the community and OLKB

Open source is what makes QMK, OLKB, and many other amazing projects possible, and something I'm committed to at my core - to try to distort my words in this way is disingenuous. While it's true that open source hardware has some unfortunate consequences with Chinese copies (the Pro Micro being the most prominent example of this), all of my CAD work is open source with a pretty permissive license, and I have the Planck THK which is under GPL 3, and has led to the awesome Plaid (https://github.com/hsgw/plaid) project.

> The biggest issue from Jack was that the Shark mounting holes conformed to Planck cases and plates

This is wholly inaccurate. I gave my full blessing (whatever that's worth) for the project to be compatible with Planck parts.

> Though we do not view the Shark as a copy, OLKB can label it as such and the word will spread like wildfire

I have not and will not do this to this to any community project, and am hesitant to even do this to the ortho 40% keyboards that were made outside of the community (the one I'm immediately involved with at least). Even with projects that may have direct competition to the Planck, I've tried to welcome them into the mech keys and QMK community, and help in any way possible.

Offline duckboi

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 22 March 2019, 14:04:10 »
I posted this same reply on reddit (where the original text was removed), and thought it would be good to put it here too.

---

This is a bit frustrating to read, as it doesn't really sum up the conversation I had with /u/gondolindrim_ last night, in which I only gave honest thoughts on these things at Gondo's request - I've been nothing but supportive of the project in public and private.

> In Brazil there are no 40% keyboards available, and he wanted to try the layout. Unfortunately, due to abusive taxes of the government, a Planck was out of the question, so he set himself up to make his own design of the ortho 40% layout to be distributed in Brazil

Gondo came to me last year and described this issue, and I agreed that this was a pretty cool solution to the problem. I expressed that making the PCB compatible with Planck parts would be a neat objective, since I have a lot of my designs on the repo as open source, and people could 3D print them and modify them to their liking.

> The concern from this QMK team member was that we were going to copy the Planck firmware and just flash it onto the Shark

The firmware itself is absolutely not an issue here - the issue they described (I think) was that it would be a drop-in replacement for the Planck PCB.

> In Jack’s words, open-source can hurt the community and OLKB

Open source is what makes QMK, OLKB, and many other amazing projects possible, and something I'm committed to at my core - to try to distort my words in this way is disingenuous. While it's true that open source hardware has some unfortunate consequences with Chinese copies (the Pro Micro being the most prominent example of this), all of my CAD work is open source with a pretty permissive license, and I have the Planck THK which is under GPL 3, and has led to the awesome Plaid (https://github.com/hsgw/plaid) project.

> The biggest issue from Jack was that the Shark mounting holes conformed to Planck cases and plates

This is wholly inaccurate. I gave my full blessing (whatever that's worth) for the project to be compatible with Planck parts.

> Though we do not view the Shark as a copy, OLKB can label it as such and the word will spread like wildfire

I have not and will not do this to this to any community project, and am hesitant to even do this to the ortho 40% keyboards that were made outside of the community (the one I'm immediately involved with at least). Even with projects that may have direct competition to the Planck, I've tried to welcome them into the mech keys and QMK community, and help in any way possible.

So what is the issue? It seems like you just said that everything said in the original post was untrue.
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Offline xondat

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 22 March 2019, 14:05:21 »
...

I've been nothing but supportive of the project in public and private.

...

This is wholly inaccurate. I gave my full blessing (whatever that's worth) for the project to be compatible with Planck parts.

...

What's the issue then? Sounds like one big misunderstanding.

Offline jackhumbert

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 22 March 2019, 14:19:40 »
What's the issue then? Sounds like one big misunderstanding.

So what is the issue? It seems like you just said that everything said in the original post was untrue.

I don't really have one - Gondo asked for my thoughts last night, and made this decision by himself. This post tried to make it sound like tried to stop this, which isn't what happened.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 22 March 2019, 14:34:28 »
What's the issue then? Sounds like one big misunderstanding.

So what is the issue? It seems like you just said that everything said in the original post was untrue.

I don't really have one - Gondo asked for my thoughts last night, and made this decision by himself. This post tried to make it sound like tried to stop this, which isn't what happened.

Yes. The decision to halt the GB was ours.

Jack did suggest we went for a project of ours, something new. And I agreed that would be better. Hence the GB halt.
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Offline Wood_Cables

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 22 March 2019, 14:41:03 »
We wanted to preemptively stop any future “clone” or “copy” remarks because we knew they were coming. Hell, I’ve already heard that from QMK and OLKB members. So, we made the decision and in no way implied that the decision was made for us. If someone were to interpret things that way, I’m sorry.

Offline nasp

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 22 March 2019, 15:31:47 »
I posted this same reply on reddit (where the original text was removed), and thought it would be good to put it here too.

---
> The concern from this QMK team member was that we were going to copy the Planck firmware and just flash it onto the Shark

The firmware itself is absolutely not an issue here - the issue they described (I think) was that it would be a drop-in replacement for the Planck PCB.

> The biggest issue from Jack was that the Shark mounting holes conformed to Planck cases and plates

This is wholly inaccurate. I gave my full blessing (whatever that's worth) for the project to be compatible with Planck parts.


This is what confuses me. It seems a bit contradictory.

Offline jackhumbert

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Re: [Preorder] SharkPCB - A New 40% Ortho
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 22 March 2019, 15:44:01 »
I posted this same reply on reddit (where the original text was removed), and thought it would be good to put it here too.

---
> The concern from this QMK team member was that we were going to copy the Planck firmware and just flash it onto the Shark

The firmware itself is absolutely not an issue here - the issue they described (I think) was that it would be a drop-in replacement for the Planck PCB.

> The biggest issue from Jack was that the Shark mounting holes conformed to Planck cases and plates

This is wholly inaccurate. I gave my full blessing (whatever that's worth) for the project to be compatible with Planck parts.


This is what confuses me. It seems a bit contradictory.

The only "issue" here is that I don't like it (e: it being a drop-in replacement for the Planck) - I did not try to stop the project because of this (or at all).
« Last Edit: Fri, 22 March 2019, 17:34:11 by jackhumbert »