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[IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (NEW RENDERS)

Posted: 03 Jun 2019, 22:41
by pizza_is_a_lie
ASK55
The 14.5u Alps custom.

Renders:
Spoiler:
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Backstory and Origins:

In Summer 2018, I fell in love with the Apple M0116 keyboards and layout. I explored the options available to make a modern, sleek keyboard using the gorgeous keycaps and Alps switches. There was nothing readily available, unlike for the AEKII. After quickly realising that a regular 60% case for the Alps64 wasn't going to cut it, the ASK55 was born.

Over the last year, I've worked hard and spent a lot of time with some great people. I went away and developed 9 x 14.5u plates for the M0116, M0118, M0330, Mac Portable, IIc (and IIc with additional bottom row 1u key), IIc Plus and both NeXT non-ADB layouts with help from generous community members who loaned me the keysets for testing against.

The case has gone through numerous revisions but we're finally at a point where we're happy with our product. Thus, a year on, we're looking to see if there's enough hype to make it possible!

Facts and Specifications:
  • 9 classic 14.5u Apple layouts supported
  • A three-piece, case mount construction
    • A 'swoop' top to support the M0116, M0118, M0330, Mac Portable, both IIc plates and the IIc Plus
    • A 'flat' top to support the NeXT AAE and NeXT ABP
    • A common bottom which supports all layouts
    • Available in frosted polycarbonate and 6063 aluminium
  • 14.5u Alps PCB
    • QMK-compatible, USB-C connectivity
    • One PCB which supports all 8 layouts
    • RGB underglow
  • Dedicated plates
    • A dedicated plate for each layout
    • Available in brushed brass and brushed stainless steel
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Current Latest (28/07/2019):

Awaiting last revision of case prototypes. PCB and plates are complete and finalised. Once cases are approved, we'll be live!

News and Links:

RENDERS CREDIT: kingk22
FAQ/LATEST UPDATE: https://paradigm.parts/guidance/ask55/faq/
PROTOS (OUTDATED, AWAITING REV.5):
Spoiler:
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Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard

Posted: 05 Jun 2019, 21:16
by pizza_is_a_lie
34 respondents thus far and I appreciate all of the feedback given!

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard

Posted: 30 Jun 2019, 01:52
by pizza_is_a_lie
Quick update for you all. Firstly, we should have the funds available to get the final revisions of the two cases ordered this coming week. Secondly, we've had 54 responses in the IC. Two key points to address are as follows:
  • I will look in to the possibility of a plastic plate for the grey alu cases but no promises
  • I will draw up the 8 different plate layouts tomorrow
Continue to share the project and complete the IC if you haven't done so already. Again, thank you all. :p

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (M0116/8, M0330, IIc/Plus, Mac Portable, NeXT)

Posted: 30 Jun 2019, 14:42
by pizza_is_a_lie
As promised, layouts and boards which we support can be found in the original post or here: https://imgur.com/a/84m9I8X

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (M0116/8, M0330, IIc/Plus, Mac Portable, NeXT)

Posted: 11 Jul 2019, 00:01
by pizza_is_a_lie
Cases and PCB are on order. Big thanks to everybody who showed an interest in our earlier prototypes and helped us to raise the funds for our next prototype.

If these case prototypes are up-to-scratch, I'll stick a plate in them and get some pictures up. Once Yiancar has worked his magic with the PCB, I'll proof it against our layouts.

Once that's done, well... I suppose we go live! ;D

https://paradigm.parts/guidance/ask55/faq/

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (M0116/8, M0330, IIc/Plus, Mac Portable, NeXT)

Posted: 23 Jul 2019, 23:38
by pizza_is_a_lie
Added detail pertaining to how the GB will run. TL:DR; cheaper kits!

I can confirm that we'll also push ahead with RGB underglow on the PCB and USB-C connectivity. I can't thank y'all enough for your feedback during the IC. Whether you have questions or you'd like to share your hype, get in touch 8-)

Proper renders coming soon, prototypes in a few weeks (fingers crossed)!

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (M0116/8, M0330, IIc/Plus, Mac Portable, NeXT)

Posted: 24 Jul 2019, 23:44
by pizza_is_a_lie
The prototype PCB is in! I've spent the evening working through the key mappings. It works a treat!

The default key mapping will support the M0116, M0330 and IIc Plus. There's a NeXT layout for both non-ADB boards and unique layouts for the M0118, IIc and Mac Portable. By default, the underglow LEDs can be disabled with ESC+BKSP and the PCB can be put in to DFU mode by using the reset button or by holding ESC when inserting the USB-C cable.

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Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (M0116/8, M0330, IIc/Plus, Mac Portable, NeXT)

Posted: 24 Jul 2019, 23:50
by snacksthecat
PCB looks great! Awesome to see this all come together.

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (M0116/8, M0330, IIc/Plus, Mac Portable, NeXT)

Posted: 24 Jul 2019, 23:55
by pizza_is_a_lie
snacksthecat wrote:
24 Jul 2019, 23:50
PCB looks great! Awesome to see this all come together.
Hell yeah!

We've got prices in for everything except the PCBs. Once we get these, plus the case prototypes - and assuming they're all good - we'll be ready to rock! :o

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (M0116/8, M0330, IIc/Plus, Mac Portable, NeXT)

Posted: 25 Jul 2019, 00:12
by Muirium
Ah, I knew I kept those cream Alps switches aside for a reason…

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (M0116/8, M0330, IIc/Plus, Mac Portable, NeXT)

Posted: 25 Jul 2019, 00:25
by pizza_is_a_lie
Muirium wrote:
25 Jul 2019, 00:12
Ah, I knew I kept those cream Alps switches aside for a reason…
;) are they damped or undamped?

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (M0116/8, M0330, IIc/Plus, Mac Portable, NeXT)

Posted: 25 Jul 2019, 01:25
by Muirium
Damped. The way I like em. Someone kindly sent me them for Secret Santa one time. They could well make an excellent little board.

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (M0116/8, M0330, IIc/Plus, Mac Portable, NeXT)

Posted: 25 Jul 2019, 01:29
by pizza_is_a_lie
Muirium wrote:
25 Jul 2019, 01:25
Damped. The way I like em. Someone kindly sent me them for Secret Santa one time. They could well make an excellent little board.
That's awesome :mrgreen: Got a layout in mind?

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (NEW RENDERS)

Posted: 28 Jul 2019, 00:56
by pizza_is_a_lie
New renders now available!

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (NEW RENDERS)

Posted: 01 Aug 2019, 14:46
by OTRDL
Let me know if you would like more renders! I have some really good polycarb materials built up and am happy to show off your board!

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (NEW RENDERS)

Posted: 01 Aug 2019, 19:44
by pizza_is_a_lie
OTRDL wrote:
01 Aug 2019, 14:46
Let me know if you would like more renders! I have some really good polycarb materials built up and am happy to show off your board!
Thanks for the offer. As it stands, I think we're pretty good :mrgreen: .

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (NEW RENDERS)

Posted: 04 Aug 2019, 15:18
by pizza_is_a_lie
Small update for yous.

We've changed the design ever so slightly. It doesn't impact the board cosmetically. We're using M3 screws in place of M2.5 on the top cases so that, during anodisation, the cases can be mounted by these threads and eradicate any hooking defects. We've added M5 threads in the existing holes on the bottom case for the same purpose.

There's two manufacturers in the running at the moment so we can expect two sets of prototypes soon. Quality and communications will determine which manufacturer we proceed with.

In other news, I've been working on a new site to replace the existing Paradigm site. I'm not a fan of the rigid, corporate-esque look we have at the moment.

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (NEW RENDERS)

Posted: 11 Aug 2019, 22:50
by pizza_is_a_lie
Nothing major to report over the last week. Manufacturer one is still working on their protos; I'll be placing an order with manufacturer two this week (pending some more funds).

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (NEW RENDERS)

Posted: 19 Aug 2019, 21:17
by pizza_is_a_lie
As you may be aware, we're working with two manufacturers on our last prototype revision. We've requested prototypes of our cases in UV/scratch resistant frosted polycarbonate and 6063 grey aluminium.

Manufacturer one is pricier than manufacturer two. However, their track record is phenomenal; they are the go-to manufacturer for very premium, very special boards. They know the community and they have a very keen eye for detail.

Manufacturer two is less costly. I don't believe that they are as privy to the community though they have worked with a good number of designers and produced successful and desirable boards.

Why am I telling you this?

I'm a sucker for perfection. I set out to deliver a product that I would, first and foremost, be proud to own myself. With this in mind, I've received the prototypes from manufacturer one today and they are bang on the money. They're gorgeous. Flawless, even. I can't fathom how delectable they are. They blow all of the the previous prototypes out of the park.

But, I'm eager to see if a cheaper manufacturer can deliver a product that rivals this quality. So, once I receive the prototypes from manufacturer two, I'll compare them versus the prototypes from manufacturer one in order to decide who we proceed with. I'll share my reasons and justifications. I'd hate to price people out of it however quality is my top priority.

Once this is done, we'll get some glamour shots prepared and then... then we can get hyped! :mrgreen:

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (NEW RENDERS)

Posted: 19 Aug 2019, 21:45
by JP!
I can't wait to see how this turns out. I have nearly everything for a jaw dropping custom with this in mind :D

Re: [IC] ASK55 - Alps 14.5u Keyboard (NEW RENDERS)

Posted: 19 Aug 2019, 23:03
by pizza_is_a_lie
JP! wrote:
Yesterday, 21:45
I can't wait to see how this turns out. I have nearly everything for a jaw dropping custom with this in mind :D
Honestly, I cannot wait to see what you guys do! :o :mrgreen: