[GB] [IC] SKBXX solid bent alu case made in Germany (60%+75%)

DarKou wrote:Standard bottom rows :
1.25 1.25 1.25 6.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 (Poker)
1.5 1 1.5 6 1.5 1 1 1.5
1.5 1 1.5 7 1.5 1 1.5

But you can also make :
1 - 1.25 - 6.25 - 1.25 - 1 (works on some PCB like GH60 and S60-X )

Exemple for a 6U HHKB on DZ60 :
Image

S60-X with 1 - 1.25 - 6.25 - 1.25 - 1
Image

Where did you get your cases?
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Unread post18 Dec 2017, 13:23

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FSund wrote:Any chance that it will be possible to have a arrow key cluster in the lower right of the 60% boards?

Something like this (ISO version):
keyboard-layout (2).jpg


The highligted keys are the most important, the layout of the rest of the bottom row is not that important for me. But standard 1.25u caps on the left side and 6.25u space is nice for keycap compatibility though.

yes, as of now that is supported!
please look at "SKB PLATE DZ60/YAS/BANANA-UNI", lower right. That just has the split spacebar but of course it could be a normal 6.25U instead. again, the pictures don't show every single possible option.
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Unread post18 Dec 2017, 16:07

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ideus wrote:
Where did you get your cases?

Hello,

The first is a Tina-A from kbdfans and the second a sandwich case "made" be me.
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Unread post18 Dec 2017, 19:00

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On holiday now,
Want to start gb quickly when I’m back next year.
Although slight mayority voted alu over steel as plate material, I will go for steel regardless, sorry. I think steel is just the better choice for a plate. Will figure out if powder coating black can be done at the same factory where they also do the anodizing in order to keep things simple. Wouldn’t like the blank steel to throw reflections through the key gaps.
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Unread post21 Dec 2017, 13:45

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DarKou wrote:
ideus wrote:
Where did you get your cases?

Hello,

The first is a Tina-A from kbdfans and the second a sandwich case "made" be me.

Nice boards.
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Unread post22 Dec 2017, 11:59

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Thanks !
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Unread post22 Dec 2017, 12:11

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PlastikSchnittstelle wrote:On holiday now,
Want to start gb quickly when I’m back next year.

Hype! Really looking forward to the gb :)
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Unread post10 Jan 2018, 12:33

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Interested in the 75% version.
May i ask how thick it's the alu of the walls/bent parts?
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Unread post10 Jan 2018, 12:45

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jkaos92 wrote:Interested in the 75% version.
May i ask how thick it's the alu of the walls/bent parts?

Of course! It's 3mm thick aluminium. Top and bottom part. Only the plate will be 1.5mm which is the standard thickness for plates.
Btw I had a lot back and forth regarding the plate material. The decision is made now: the plate will be steel. That's because I personally favor steel plates heavily over alu plates.
Last edited by PlastikSchnittstelle on 11 Jan 2018, 23:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post11 Jan 2018, 23:41

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Regarding the start of the GroupBuy - damn it's a lot of work getting every little detail right and worked out. You'll have to wait another week (at least) :(

Know that there will be a certain number of slots for 60% Standard, WKL, HHKB, YAS and 75%:
60% Standard x18
60% WKL x8
60% HHKB x10
60% YAS x12
75% Standard x24

If more orders should come in we'll have to reach the double amount:
60% Standard x36
60% WKL x16
60% HHKB x20
60% YAS x24
75% Standard x48

The portions may change according to the orders. The numbers are what I expect based on the google forms.
Will be first come, first serve.
I'll let you know here before the GB goes live.
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Unread post11 Jan 2018, 23:42

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If you want to get the YAS version, please read the following:
At first I had thought about getting a few YAS PCBs from Silentreader (he is the one who runs the YAS GB) to be able to offer combined shipping for you. I discussed this with him and we came to the conclusion that it wouldn't make much sense to ship the PCBs around the globe twice. The big risk is that I might have to pay quite a lot of import fee. That would make the YAS more expensive for you so you wouldn't see any price benefit from combined shipping anymore.
So we agreed that it's the best solution for all that you contact Silentreader via PM for leftovers. He will also run extra PCBs of YAS very soon :)
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Unread post11 Jan 2018, 23:47

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Yes, the GB is still not live, sorry. It took longer than expected to get the final pricing. Due to the "high complexity" of the order, so I was told. I really got scared when I heard that, thought I might have miscalculated and everything ends up much more expensive. But good news, got the prices today, will be somewhere between 130 and 160 Euro which is exactly in the range I estimated back here.

There are still little details to sort out. The finish of the plate is still in question. Plate is steel not alu, think I mentioned it already. I don't want the blank steel to reflect/shine through the gaps between the keycaps. So I wanted to go for "brünieren", sorry not sure what the correct English word is. My contact at the factory suggested today that galvanizing (black) would be better for various reasons. This is still undecided jet, but I probably follow his suggestion.

Most importantly for you to know is that I will get samples. As soon as I get them I'll take nice pictures. When that is done, everything is ready to start the GB. So when it will start you can decide based on actual photos of the real thing and not just renderings. You'll know exactly what you get.
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Unread post22 Jan 2018, 18:49

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Black plate sounds like a good idea. Looking forward to photos of the prototype :)
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Unread post22 Jan 2018, 19:46

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Aaand another thing! You know how much I stressed about how I wanted to go for "highly individualized" plates in the beginning? Yeah, I have to admit now, that I just wasn't that experienced with plate designs and learned a lot since. Some of my thoughts back then just don't make sense and also offering lots of different plates(more parts) is an insanely stupid way to drive the prices up.
So, when I was told I'd have to wait a bit for the prices due to the "complexity" I went into panic mode and made a last quick change in order too keep the prices in check.
In short: ANSI/ISO separation got cancelled and now we are down from four to three individual plates. Two for the 60% and one for the 75%.
Yes, the 60% B-plate has huge cutouts. Combining the possible YAS layouts just isn't possible any other way. Also because the arrow-cluster DZ60 layout had to fit in the B-plate as well. The A-plate therefore is kept nice and clean, it holds the most common layouts.
Even though the B-plate has the big cutouts, I'm not worried. The wide frame of the plate ensures good stability.
I made more graphics so you can already have a look and think about what you might go for.
I'm pretty curious if the support for split bananas and DZ-arrow-clusters, which I implemented following some requests, will be worth the time spent.
Please let me know if I missed something.
SKB60-PLATE-A.png
SKB60-PLATE-B.png
SKB75-PLATE-UNI.png
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Unread post22 Jan 2018, 22:44

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Small update:

I decided to get samples before the actual GB. I'm still waiting for them and all I know is that they will be finished some time this month.
Although this takes more time I think the samples are important for the following reasons:
a) Everybody will know exactly what he/she is getting.
b) I hope the samples will help to convince more to join the GB so that we safely reach the minimum quantity to actually make it happen.

Sorry for more waiting.
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Unread post07 Feb 2018, 16:00

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Hello,

Great idea!
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Unread post10 Feb 2018, 17:26

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Hello, this thread is going to be really big and interesting. I'm happy that you've chosen this community, which seems to be more keen than others in experimentation and patient feedback.

I like the idea of bent steel, I just wonder how can you bend a thick plate with such a small curvature, that will be a big problem if you don't want microfractures along the bending. Otherwise the plate needs to be near to fusion temperature if you don't want fractures to appear. If you make the plate too thin, it will lose some appeal.

In this slide, t is the thickness.

canc theory-of-bending-13-638.jpg


I'd like to suggest the idea of using some 3d printed transparent inserts what will be placed in the corners of the frame, this will allow some light to shine through, and make - if someone want it - the keyboard more resistent to dust.

Also, given a cherry profile, what is the heigtht of the top of the keycaps, in the bottom row? Higher cases are painful for my wrists :shock:

I'd suggest recessed head screws, flat is nicer.

Personally I voted for the 60% layout. I'd like to ask compatibility with the layout number 15, which has these modifiers:
1.25 - 1.25 - 1.25 - 6.25 - 1u - 1u -1u -1u - 1u
This is in my opinion a good option because it's compatible with all the existing full keycap sets, while allowing you to use hjkl style arrows in the bottom row.

canc1_03_abb48769-9486-44bd-a761-7cd39d7e1bda.jpg


I hope that in the future you will consider making some tkl keyboards, compatible with gon, phantom, a87 etc.

canc screw rw_01.gif


This option would be compatible with a standard hole:
Ultra Low Head Cap Screws Hexagon Socket
canc 110302280540_20149999_m_01_99999_jp.jpeg


Good luck. Wonderful project. :P
Last edited by gianni on 10 Feb 2018, 20:16, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post10 Feb 2018, 19:20

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Just thinking. When you buy a case for a gh60, pok3r et cetera, you just unscrew the plate and you screw it in the new case. With your case, this isn't possible, so you lose all the buyers that don't want to rebuild their keyboard.

It's very easy to make your case compatible with all the existing keyboards when the frame is in the lower position. This solution is really easy and super low cost: without modifying your case and designs, you just solder on the bottom of the frame the threads for the screws, so when the frame is in the lower position, the case will be compatible with all existing pcb - plates. This will make your project more appealing and it will make more people interested, just think about it! :geek:
If you want to save on the solder work, just provide some standoff spacers, and machine an hole through the bottom (this time we need flat head screws for sure!!!! :mrgreen:

cancc 7n83rqY.jpg


A more complicated alternative, the ensures compatibility with all the inclinations of the frame, is possible, but requires a modification of your design, by adding a bottom plate which moves with the top frame.

Right now your case uses a "mid plate" construction, let's call it this way.

If you used a "bottom plate", that plate could be screwed to the plates of an existing gh60 or pok3r. Sorry if this isn't so clear. I'm sure that this is possible, just imagine using longer screws on the frame, which will be bolted to the "bottom plate" that I've talked about. Probably it would make the case too tall?
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First of all thank you very much for your detailed feedback. I'm happy you like it.
gianni wrote:I like the idea of bent steel, I just wonder how can you bend a thick plate with such a small curvature, that will be a big problem if you don't want microfractures along the bending. Otherwise the plate needs to be near to fusion temperature if you don't want fractures to appear. If you make the plate too thin, it will lose some appeal.

The case will not be made of steel but aluminium (3mm), only the plate will be steel (1.5mm). Yes, 3mm is pretty thick for sheet metal - the high thickness contributes to its special appearance. The curvature/outer radius isn't that small actually, it might just appear that way on the renderings. It is roughly a 4.5 - 5mm radius (or curvature, to be more exact).

When you bend sheet metal ("Biegen" or "Abkanten" in German), the outer side of the material get stretched - that is just normal.
I did projects with bending sheet aluminium before, thicknesses of 0.5mm, 2mm and 3mm at various angles. This is done by a company who specializes in metalworking. They do this stuff every single day and the method of bending is a standard procedure that is commonly used in all sorts of applications. The opening post also includes photographs of the prototype, there are no fractures. Even if there would be (on a microscopic level) - after the bead blasting they wouldn't be visible any more.
gianni wrote:I'd like to suggest the idea of using some 3d printed transparent inserts what will be placed in the corners of the frame, this will allow some light to shine through, and make - if someone want it - the keyboard more resistent to dust.

Light: I know, many like it, but personally I decline any sort of LED light-show on my desk. LED(white) for the purpose of lighting - YES, other - NO.

Dust: we had this already. The construction is more "open" at some places for different reasons. I argue that this allows for the dust to get out of the construction more easy instead of being trappen, like it would be in an all closed case.

Adding parts, would make the whole thing more expensive. This project is about delivering the best possible user experience at a certain price point. This goal is approached with a smart and solid construction paired with quality materials. No bells and whistles. It's about the basics and doing them right.
gianni wrote:Also, given a cherry profile, what is the heigtht of the top of the keycaps, in the bottom row? Higher cases are painful for my wrists :shock:

This is an interesting observation and a matter that is very important to me as well. I elaborated on this a bit more over on GH, this is what I wrote there:
Keep it low

By this I don't mean the profile height or the overall height. What I mean is specifically the "initial" height of the lowest row, the one with the spacebar - I want it to be as low as possible.
If this lowest row starts too high, the case gets uncomfortable to use. Ergonomically that doesn't make much sense, only the addition of a wrist-rest makes too high cases comfortable to use. But that's just my opinion, maybe this is not a concern for you.
There is of course a limit of how low you can accomplish and I think I'm at this limit. In order to compare I suggest measuring the height of switch stems tip. You may take of a Ctrl-cap for example, take your preferred measuring tool and look what you get. My case has roughly 22.5mm (excluding the rubber feet).

Here, I made a new picture to illustrate this better:
SKB60-initial-height.png


Regarding the screws:
This was also detailed a bit further over on GH. I just try to avoid c&p content between the two forums and rather just answer what comes up in each separately.

Regarding your favorite layout:
Plates are done and the layout you whish is supported. See in this post, "SKB60 Plate B" Nr. 9.

So you wanna go for a "line-nav"? Have you already used this before? I'd be interested in your experience/feedback.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 14:30

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gianni wrote:Just thinking. When you buy a case for a gh60, pok3r et cetera, you just unscrew the plate and you screw it in the new case. With your case, this isn't possible, so you lose all the buyers that don't want to rebuild their keyboard.

It's very easy to make your case compatible with all the existing keyboards when the frame is in the lower position. This solution is really easy and super low cost: without modifying your case and designs, you just solder on the bottom of the frame the threads for the screws, so when the frame is in the lower position, the case will be compatible with all existing pcb - plates. This will make your project more appealing and it will make more people interested, just think about it! :geek:
If you want to save on the solder work, just provide some standoff spacers, and machine an hole through the bottom (this time we need flat head screws for sure!!!! :mrgreen:

cancc 7n83rqY.jpg


A more complicated alternative, the ensures compatibility with all the inclinations of the frame, is possible, but requires a modification of your design, by adding a bottom plate which moves with the top frame.

Right now your case uses a "mid plate" construction, let's call it this way.

If you used a "bottom plate", that plate could be screwed to the plates of an existing gh60 or pok3r. Sorry if this isn't so clear. I'm sure that this is possible, just imagine using longer screws on the frame, which will be bolted to the "bottom plate" that I've talked about. Probably it would make the case too tall?

This case is a so called "top-mount" construction, wich I personally prefer over the "tray-mount" construction (I might have caused some confusion by naming it "edge-mount" in the opening thread - sorry for that). Tray-mount is a simpler construction and can be achieved with just one instead of two parts + plate compared to top-mount. By the use of bended sheet metal I can realizing the "top-mount" concept in an different style, with new features and also at a price point much lower than cnc milled top-mount cases.

Even at the lowest 6° position, putting in a plate held via standoffs by the bottom part wouldn't work since the plate would be parallel to the bottom part but not the top part. Maybe it would be possible to type, but it would look pretty shitty.
There is a reason I decided to go for the top-mount solution and not the simpler tray-mount solution. This case is supposed to be very good in a specific way rather then trying to enable all sorts of ways but less good.
gianni wrote:"you lose all the buyers that don't want to rebuild their keyboard."

I don't loose them, because I don't expect them in the first place :o . All who like the top-mount approach as well as building their own keyboard from the ground up are the ones I'd like to convince.

This may sound a bit uncompromising and strict. Sorry, please don't get me wrong, I'm really thankful for your suggestions! They do make sense but not with this project. I have explored lots of different approaches, so I know exactly what you describe. It would work - just in another context or type of construction.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 14:37

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gianni wrote:Just thinking. When you buy a case for a gh60, pok3r et cetera, you just unscrew the plate and you screw it in the new case. With your case, this isn't possible, so you lose all the buyers that don't want to rebuild their keyboard.

It's very easy to make your case compatible with all the existing keyboards when the frame is in the lower position. This solution is really easy and super low cost: without modifying your case and designs, you just solder on the bottom of the frame the threads for the screws, so when the frame is in the lower position, the case will be compatible with all existing pcb - plates. This will make your project more appealing and it will make more people interested, just think about it! :geek:

This would also turn this project into YET ANOTHER TRAY MOUNT kit. There are enough of these kits on the market and the only benefit of these kits is price and compatibility. Thanks to who ever (Vortex?) standardized these terribly placed pcb mounting points for Pok3rs and alike.

In the end, all these tray mount kits will leave you with a keyboard that is going to be as good a a pok3r or worse.

The ambition of this project here is to deliver the full benefit of a CASE MOUNTED PLATE. Something that you hardly ever find in keyboard kits below 200USD and that really adds to the appeal of this project.

As long as you mount your switches to the case through the PCB, the PCB material will always greatly dillute the typing experience. It's like a giant dampening element that voids many of the benefits you get from thick and hard plate materials like brass or steel. The real solid steel/brass typing experience can only be achieved by directly mounting the plate to the case - like it is done in this project. It's nice to see Plastikschnittstelle didn't cut any corners here and built his project around this idea.

Tray mount cases can be sourced from China for less than 100$ ... it's not a market for sophisticated EU/German made designs.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 14:50

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Thank you very much PlastikSchnittstelle and Wodan for your feeback :-)
The world of keyboards could seem relatively low tech but the passion of experts make this world really stimulating. After all we pass most of our days in front of a computer, so having a nice tool is a must.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 17:20

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I totally second what Wodan said, being a case mounted plate is what makes this case even more desirable for me (besides the great look). Also, (and I might have missed it, if I did, sorry :)) is there any info on the pcb?
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 08:58

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The 60% case should support all normal PCBs and you have to source it by yourself. For YAS PCBs was the idea of combining them with the case but I think you have to order the PCB now from the original GB-runner. Custom fees wouldn't make it worth it to include the PCB here if I remember it correctly. Also for the 75% case there are some options for the PCB which are easy to source, eg the YMD75 or KBD75 and maybe the EEPW84 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=92...sg2554846).
These ones should be available for cheap on aliexpress and there will be less issues with custom fees compared to a big order within this group buy. As you can source these PCBs easily it makes sense to give people the freedom of choice (especially for the 60% case) and also to make the life for the GB-runner easier.
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 09:26

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gianni wrote:Thank you very much PlastikSchnittstelle and Wodan for your feeback :-)
The world of keyboards could seem relatively low tech but the passion of experts make this world really stimulating. After all we pass most of our days in front of a computer, so having a nice tool is a must.

Yes, I feel the same way. Back when computers started, the keyboard was understood as one of the most important components of the whole machine, the "human interface device" - the thing between us and the computer (besides the visual interface, the monitor). It was met with much more attention and was pretty expensive mechanics.
Over time companies found ways to simplify and cut down cost. Today most people see the keyboard as a byproduct which should be as cheep as possible.
Our fingers deserve a better interface than just a cheap 10bucks keyboard. I think this notion is the biggest common denominator in our community.
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 13:40

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faxe wrote:is there any info on the pcb?

60%:
Yes, for the SKB60 all standard 60% PCBs will work, but not all layouts are supported, see here. Faxe, you live in Germany, so you could get PCBs from Falbatech or Candykeys. The DZ60 PCB is an option as well.

YAS62:
Silentreader has a few more of his YAS62-PCBs to offer. We came to the conclusion, that shipping them around the globe so I could offer them as bundle might not be that smart - it could end up more expensive due to import taxes. So if you want the SKB-YAS version, you just order the PCB directly from silentreader. This is his original GB and here is the currently running extra sell.

75%:
Follow hansichens link above.
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 13:45

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So all the 75 options (YMD75 or KBD75 and maybe the EEPW84) will work? great to hear! Thanks for the info!
faxe
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Unread post14 Feb 2018, 07:13

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faxe
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I have absolutely no knowledge about 75% boards - is one of those really good or one of those really bad? What are the dos, what are the don'ts?
Shihatsu

Unread post14 Feb 2018, 08:38

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faxe wrote:So all the 75 options (YMD75 or KBD75 and maybe the EEPW84) will work? great to hear! Thanks for the info!

Exactly! Here as well the updated 75% layout graphic, so you can have a look right here. Maybe I'll just order one EEPW84 PCB for myself to check if it fits although it has the added controller board. But for now the EEPW84 PCB is NOT SUPPORTED because I just can't say for sure at the moment.

SKB75-PLATE-UNI.png
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Unread post15 Feb 2018, 14:29

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Shihatsu wrote:I have absolutely no knowledge about 75% boards - is one of those really good or one of those really bad? What are the dos, what are the don'ts?

Oh, 75% dos&donts!? I honestly can't tell. They are still quite new and KBDfans are probably the ones who made it famous? As of jet I have two of those PCBs from KBDfans here, ready to build as soon as I get a SKB75 version for myself.
You can find a few build logs, here is one from Wodan.
The PCB from KBDfans has QMK firmware, some love it, some hate it. Here you can find a good tutorial about QMK - I'll use it as soon as I get the samples. The samples are only SKB60 though, samples of all the different versions would have just been too expensive for me. I'll use a GH60 satan PCB also from KBDfans for that build - it uses QMK as well.

Maybe someone else has some experience to share about 75%? All I can say is that you can't do wrong with the 75% PCB from KBDfans as long as you like the layout options it presents and the QMK firmware.
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Unread post15 Feb 2018, 14:35

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