Rocky Elbert: Budget 45% Keyboard with Full Mods
Hey everyone! I posted this IC on geekhack a while ago and wanted to post it here as well to get more people's opinions. However, most of the updates will be on the GH page here. There have already been a couple changes, including the pro micro being moved to the back, a planned acrylic middle layer option, and a hot swap option using Mill-Max sockets.
The Rocky Elbert is a keyboard kit meant for people looking for a tiny layout, high keycap compatibility, and a low cost. It has no number row but keeps full size modifier keys, so any keyset that can be used on a 65 percent board will work on this as well. I posted a very early interest check previously, but it was clear that I needed to continue working on my idea and flesh it out fully. I currently have a working, near-final prototype that I’ve been using for around the past month, and it’s been working well for me.
The layout is best described as a 65% with no top row. This makes it extremely easy to find compatible keycap sets since the modifiers have standard sizes. The keyboard also supports split spacebars.
To keep prices low, the PCB won't be preassembled, so anyone who buys the kit will need to solder on diodes for n-key rollover, a pro micro, a reset button, and switches. These can all be done easily and will have the same result as buying a normal, preassembled PCB. I'll also create a clear guide with pictures on how to do it for anyone new to building keyboards. Pro micros won't be included, but they can be found on Amazon or AliExpress for cheap prices. The PCB supports 5-pin MX switches and PCB-mount stabilizers. The pro micro will be on the left side of the board, so a right-angled cable would be ideal.
The case consists of a plate and a base, both of which are made of FR4, similarly to the Practice series from Cannon Keys. They’ll be held up by 6 14mm M2.5 spacers. The reset button will be accessible through a hole in the plate. There is a decent sized bezel that is even on all four sides.
- Reset switch
Parts You'll Need
- Pro Micro
- The PCB is compatible with QMK and VIA
- The split spacebars will use 2.75u, 2.25u, and 1.25u keys
- All the parts will likely be in black, but I might add a white version
- The screws in the pictures are M2, but the final version will have M2.5 screws
- An order number is visible on the base in the pictures that won’t be on the final
- Pricing is yet to be decided, but the kit will most likely be between 25 and 40 dollars
If you're interested in this becoming a GB, please fill out this form!