Phantom Custom Keyboard Group Buy (CLOSED)

User avatar
Half-Saint

10 Dec 2011, 19:04

Tarkoon wrote:No, you think wrong.
If two different material thicknesses are used and they cut for example 10 cases, its only two times the 25€ for all cases together. That would be 5€ per case + 20-25€ per layer per keyboard.
They put a 15mm thick plate 2m x 3m in the laser and adjust it - that costs the 25€ - whatever they cut out of it.
Ah a misunderstanding on my part! If your calculation is correct, we might have a new group buy! :)

User avatar
trax

11 Dec 2011, 01:33

litster wrote: I don't think it is a good idea to wait for the case. We need to close out the group buy with the plates, PCBs, switches, stabilizers, diodes and such. We can get everything done put together, modify the firmware, and then deal with the case later.

This is going to be a year-long project. Exciting!
So you plan on doing a groupbuy without the case, then doing a case group buy?

User avatar
litster

11 Dec 2011, 02:07

I think so. There are only 6 pre-order of the case anyway.

User avatar
trax

11 Dec 2011, 02:33

litster wrote:I think so. There are only 6 pre-order of the case anyway.
Could you provide me with all the info I need so I can just walk to one of those shops ans get it made for me?
Do you have any idea on the LED values? And where to get them?

I'm sending in my order tomorrow.

User avatar
litster

11 Dec 2011, 07:43

Whoa!
Phantom Acrylic Case V2-1.jpg
Phantom Acrylic Case V2-1.jpg (186.77 KiB) Viewed 1689 times
Phantom Acrylic Case V2-3.jpg
Phantom Acrylic Case V2-3.jpg (187.41 KiB) Viewed 1689 times
Sunken screws and nuts. But screws are too long. Where can I get custom length screws?

Any the case is not easy to put together. Very time consuming.

User avatar
Minskleip

11 Dec 2011, 09:54

Nice!

User avatar
trax

11 Dec 2011, 10:50

That looks epic !

I'm considering getting it in wooden though.

User avatar
Gilgam

11 Dec 2011, 11:39

Nice, i love the opaque top.
But aren't the borders to sharp?
Like some metallic cases i fear cutting my wrists on the borders.
I do so on some macbooks.

User avatar
litster

11 Dec 2011, 18:23

No, not sharp at all. In fact, some parts are rather rough. I think that is because of the laser cutter I use. Professional ones should cut better with more powerful and straighter laser. I have some blacks screws coming in on Monday from mcmaster.com.

As nice as this one looks, I think I will need to go back to non-sunken screws and may be use acron nuts, unless you guys don't mind gluing a layers together yourselves and cutting your own screws. Actually you might need to cut your own screws either way. Or, I will have to design the case based on popular screw lengths (3/4 inch, 1 inch, 1 1/4inch).

The case looks better in picture then in person though. May be because I made it, I see flaws everywhere... :(

User avatar
Minskleip

11 Dec 2011, 18:38

No problems cutting screws. I use my teeth.

User avatar
Half-Saint

11 Dec 2011, 18:46

I'm really really interested just not yet sure which one I want: ANSI 1.25 or 1.5. Especially, if we can get a custom case done for a reasonable price. 7bit's layout is too fricking insane for my taste :)

RiGS

13 Dec 2011, 16:59

litster wrote:First test plate is in. Notice I use a Cherry off-center capslock. I don't have any plate-mount stabilizer. I may need to butcher a Wyse keyboard to get a couple of plate-mounted Cherry stabilizers. To late tonight (this morning?). I will put it inside my acrylic case or a Filco case tomorrow.
Phantom Plate-1.jpg
Phantom Plate-2.jpg
Nice. Did you have a chance to test the quick-stem-swap slots?

N8N

13 Dec 2011, 17:39

Damn, now I want one of those cases too. I should pay more attention but I only have so much time to surf the interwebs.

As for cutting screws, here's how I would do it. Get a matching nut, thread on to screw. If you are using SAE (inch-sized) screws, a typical crimp tool for electrical connectors will have a screw cutter built in for screw sizes commonly used in the electrical trade (6-32, 8-32, etc.) If you are using metric screws, I would take one of those crimp tools and modify it for the screw size you are using - use the screw cutter for the smallest size (4-40?) and drill and tap it for the size you are using (M5, etc.) and then the other side of the jaws for a through hole for the same screw.

Once you've cut the screw to length, then back off the nut, and that should restore any minor deformation of the end threads so you'll be able to use the screw.

If you are cutting the screws really short, to the point where you can't thread a nut on and still thread it into your cutting tool, then you may need to dress the end of the screw on a bench grinder to get a nut to thread on easily before using it.

good luck!

User avatar
litster

13 Dec 2011, 19:16

RiGS wrote:Nice. Did you have a chance to test the quick-stem-swap slots?
Hi RiGS! How have you been?

No, I haven't got a chance to test the quick stem swap slots yet. The switches could be pushed back out if I apply too much force from under. I will test that when we make the first prototype PCBs, which is very soon now. PrinsValium is checking it one more them before we send it off. We are getting close. With switches soldered to the PCB, the switches will stay put when I push it through the holes on the PCBs. I suspect it still won't be as easy as opening a PCB-mounted switch, definitely not as fast.


You just got me thinking... What I can do for the time being is to test the reverse: while the base is stuck in the plate, push the switch top back in. for sure you can't do that with regular openings. I will try that when I get my butt out of bed :-)

User avatar
litster

13 Dec 2011, 19:16

N8N wrote:Damn, now I want one of those cases too. I should pay more attention but I only have so much time to surf the interwebs.

As for cutting screws, here's how I would do it. Get a matching nut, thread on to screw. If you are using SAE (inch-sized) screws, a typical crimp tool for electrical connectors will have a screw cutter built in for screw sizes commonly used in the electrical trade (6-32, 8-32, etc.) If you are using metric screws, I would take one of those crimp tools and modify it for the screw size you are using - use the screw cutter for the smallest size (4-40?) and drill and tap it for the size you are using (M5, etc.) and then the other side of the jaws for a through hole for the same screw.

Once you've cut the screw to length, then back off the nut, and that should restore any minor deformation of the end threads so you'll be able to use the screw.

If you are cutting the screws really short, to the point where you can't thread a nut on and still thread it into your cutting tool, then you may need to dress the end of the screw on a bench grinder to get a nut to thread on easily before using it.

good luck!
N8N, do you have a link to a picture of the tool you are talking about? Thanks.

N8N

13 Dec 2011, 19:45

litster wrote: N8N, do you have a link to a picture of the tool you are talking about? Thanks.
Here's one... this one actually does M4 screws as well, although the cheap ones I have don't.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1260 ... 5883183207

I don't really like these type tools for stripping or crimping, but I keep it around for the screw cutter. The better ones have a threaded hole in one jaw and a through hole in the other so that when you unscrew the screw after cutting it you don't have to do the nut trick. Basically you open the handles so that the two holes line up, insert the screw to the desired depth, then squeeze the jaws shut, and it should neatly trim the end off the screw. Obviously this only works for smaller screw sizes or softer metals (brass etc.)

User avatar
litster

13 Dec 2011, 20:24

N8N, thanks for the link and instruction. I didn't know those crimping tools can also cut screws. The screw sizes I think I will use are 4-40 and/or M3.

Edit: how quickly can you cut a screw with this tool? Can you cut a hundred of them without breaking the tool?

N8N

13 Dec 2011, 20:40

I honestly can't say; the only thing that I've ever used mine for is shortening up some solid brass 6-32s that I used with some salvaged vintage .030" pressed brass receptacle and toggle switch cover plates so they would work with the devices I used (I couldn't find solid brass screws anywhere locally, so I had to order a box from McMaster-Carr, and I guessed a little too long on the length, the ones that I got bottomed out in the receptacles.)

That said, you can probably find an equivalent tool for under $5 at Harbo(u)r Freight, so it's not like it's a huge deal if you go through a few.

Finally, I would check out McMaster-Carr for the exact screws that you're going to be using; if you need a "couple hundred" it might make sense to just order a box in the exact length you're going to need, time is money after all (but for prototyping purposes, it is nice to be able to buy long and cut to length, otherwise you have to have a whole mess of screws laying around.)

I do this with bicycle stuff as well, I only have 4 or 5 bags of fasteners, all stainless steel and M5 or M6 (typically most fasteners on a bicycle are one or the other, so bought a box of each, in socket head and button head, in lengths as long as I thought I would reasonably need) I typically cut those with a hacksaw in a bench vice and then dress on a bench grinder, but I have thought about making a screw cutter for those sizes. However, the need for them comes up so seldom that I haven't been arsed to do it yet.

User avatar
litster

14 Dec 2011, 08:06

N8N, thanks a lot for the tip. I bought one crimp tool from Home Depot for $20, it cut screws, but it doesn't cut clean and the screw's tip is curved. I bought another one for $23 from Sears and this one cuts clean. I will be returning the first one to Home Depot.

I already bought some screws from mcmaster.com last week, but they were not socket head screws and not long enough. I will have to return them. I did get some thin lock nuts, which are perfect, except them are not black. Now, if I could find some 4-40 black-oxide lock nuts....

Thanks very much!

User avatar
litster

14 Dec 2011, 23:40

With sunken, black-oxide hex cap screws:
Acrylic Case Blue-2.jpg
Acrylic Case Blue-2.jpg (169.28 KiB) Viewed 1538 times
The piano black finish does attract finger prints though.

N8N

15 Dec 2011, 01:46

Do want do want do want!

Finally, a fantastic use for a set of shiny doubleshots! (not that yours are, I can't really tell, I just mean that I think that shiny ones would look even better than new ones on that board.)

User avatar
Half-Saint

16 Dec 2011, 14:35

Still taking orders for the PCB etc?

User avatar
litster

16 Dec 2011, 18:03

Yes.

I guess I should give an update. First set of plates are done as you saw the pictures I posted. There are some minor adjustments that we decided to make another set of plates to confirm. The plates are being made next week.

PrinsValium is giving the PCB design one more final check, and then we will order 2 test PCBs.

If we order PCBs next week, hopefully we will receive them just after the new year.

User avatar
mrog

16 Dec 2011, 18:18

Presuming the test PCBs go well - roughly what do you think would be the final deadline for taking an order?

Originally I wasn't going to get in on this, but the more I'm playing around with my own controller, the more I want to build my own matrix, getting in on this would be a good logical step before diving in and making my own PCB.

User avatar
litster

16 Dec 2011, 20:18

I think the deadline will be some time in late January or early February.

User avatar
trax

17 Dec 2011, 00:58

litster wrote:I think the deadline will be some time in late January or early February.
sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Looks like case wont take longer either does it?

User avatar
litster

17 Dec 2011, 01:03

The case? I am not sure how many people are interested in the case. I don't have a quote yet from my local shop. But my guess is around US$165 + shipping, which is on the expensive side IMO. And I don't have that much time and money to make too many. Maybe 10 or so. For sure I don't have enough screws right now to make more than 10.

I still have to make a few more changes and make one or two more prototypes.

User avatar
trax

17 Dec 2011, 01:31

litster wrote:The case? I am not sure how many people are interested in the case. I don't have a quote yet from my local shop. But my guess is around US$165 + shipping, which is on the expensive side IMO. And I don't have that much time and money to make too many. Maybe 10 or so. For sure I don't have enough screws right now to make more than 10.

I still have to make a few more changes and make one or two more prototypes.
Would it be possible for you to give us the blueprints (sort of speak)?

Tarkoon

17 Dec 2011, 11:04

As said before, the acrylic part of this case (lasered layers) would cost about 110€ per case if produced here in germany (calculated for 10 cases).
That's not much cheaper, but perhaps helps for the guys in europe, because shipping from germany should be much cheaper than from the USA. (10,60€ shipping to all over europe)

User avatar
trax

17 Dec 2011, 11:15

Tarkoon wrote:As said before, the acrylic part of this case (lasered layers) would cost about 110€ per case if produced here in germany (calculated for 10 cases).
That's not much cheaper, but perhaps helps for the guys in europe, because shipping from germany should be much cheaper than from the USA. (10,60€ shipping to all over europe)
This.
Shipping from the US could be 4x more expensive.
Im in for a case, definitely.

US/EU case would be exactly the same?
EDIT: Probably not as the arcylic is different.
Would like to see a prototype first or I'd get one from US.

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