Another single-switch circuit board

mtl

26 Feb 2016, 01:33

Hey that looks great! I'm happy they worked out for you. I see you used surface mount resistors and through-hole diodes. Any particular reason for the mix? How did the LEDs work out? In any case.. very nice! :)

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flabbergast

26 Feb 2016, 08:19

Thanks! I'd have done SMT diodes as well, but I didn't have any lying around (and I had SMT resistors and through-hole diodes...).
LEDs work pretty well - although so far I haven't programmed any pretty effects for the matrix beyond testing that it works ;)
Also - these particular amoebas are missing some silkscreen and the 'DT' logo, because OSH Park had a slightly botched batch. They handled it very professionally - informed everyone from that batch that there's a problem even before I received the boards, reran the whole panel and sent replacements. But this took another month, so I used the non-perfect ones for this :)

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Halvar

01 Mar 2016, 10:31

Wow, so these are available for purchase? Or did you get prototypes from mtl?

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flabbergast

01 Mar 2016, 10:37

mtl shared the design on OSH Park, and it is super easy to order some from them (EU friendly, no hidden costs, bubble envelope marked for $10 regardless of the order). Also high quality (well except than one botched batch, but this is rare - I ordered quite a few things from them over the years with no problems).
The only thing is that no money goes back to mtl :(

mtl

02 Mar 2016, 19:12

This project was intended to scratch an itch, learn something new and a fun challenge, so I never wanted to earn anything back from it. Thank you, though. :)

I haven't ordered a large enough quantity to build a keyboard yet, primarily because I'm not yet sure how many I'll need. If there's sufficient interest in a group buy to get the price down, then I would be onboard and willing to organize. I'm in the US so the shipping and import duties abroad may offset any bulk discount, however.

virual

24 May 2016, 16:45

http://sketchpunklabs.tumblr.com/post/1 ... d-reusable

I received 6 boards the other day. I'm hoping to make it so that the switch and wires are removable, no soldering. So far I have a good pin connector that allows the switch to be removable from the board. There is even a smaller one they'll work for the leds.

For the wires I thought about taking apart terminal blocks and using that to connect the wires, but the pins are to big to fit into the board. Now i'm playing with header pins, if I remove the plastic and solder them to the board, it might be a good option just have to sacrifice a bit of height to make it work. Just curious if you guys have any ideas about going this route.

I have many things planned, want to 3d print the top panels and case. Was planning on using a joystick for mouse movement, even a rotary encoder to create a scroll wheel. Other things I want to do is add a layer that can be user programmed, usb hub embedded and if possible bluetooth. Want to build the thing in phases, but for now I want a 2x2 matrix with the joystick then move up from there.

dasGnome

24 Dec 2018, 16:45

Hey all, sorry for the necro, but I didn't see any recent posts about this.

I have recently built a board using the Amoebas, but I am stuck on finding a non-frustrating way to create the tiny bridge wires. I'm having trouble stripping the ends and preventing them from getting bent out of shape because the sections are so small. This is a big board (124 switches), so I'd rather find a repeatable workflow to save myself the headache.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks!

Lanrefni

25 Dec 2018, 00:31

dasGnome wrote: Hey all, sorry for the necro, but I didn't see any recent posts about this.

I have recently built a board using the Amoebas, but I am stuck on finding a non-frustrating way to create the tiny bridge wires. I'm having trouble stripping the ends and preventing them from getting bent out of shape because the sections are so small. This is a big board (124 switches), so I'd rather find a repeatable workflow to save myself the headache.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks!
Have you tried magnet wire? The enamel melts off the wire when you touch it with a soldering iron thus allowing the solder to flow onto it.

dasGnome

25 Dec 2018, 05:56

Lanrefni wrote:
dasGnome wrote: Hey all, sorry for the necro, but I didn't see any recent posts about this.

I have recently built a board using the Amoebas, but I am stuck on finding a non-frustrating way to create the tiny bridge wires. I'm having trouble stripping the ends and preventing them from getting bent out of shape because the sections are so small. This is a big board (124 switches), so I'd rather find a repeatable workflow to save myself the headache.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks!
Have you tried magnet wire? The enamel melts off the wire when you touch it with a soldering iron thus allowing the solder to flow onto it.
I have been using regular 34 awg hookup wire. This was also suggested on reddit, so I've ordered a bunch to try it out. Thanks for the tip.

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Quartz64

25 Dec 2018, 08:29

I've organised a small groupbuy for Amoeba 1U and 2U PCBs from JLCPCB.
Reseived the order on 21.12 (express shipping to Russia took 16 days):
Image
There were 1500 Amoeba 1U PCBs on 50 5x6 panels ($33.47), 75 Amoeba 2U ($11.02), 10 Mitosis PCBs ($17.00) and 10 Lobot PCBs ($4.60). Shipping cost was $45.33.
I've ordered the wrong diodes. SOD-123 doesn't fit, I need SOD-323:
Image

kohlerm

17 Apr 2019, 11:21

Is there a gerber file for those 5x6 panels?
Or how do I order a panel of the amoeba switches?

Findecanor

17 Apr 2019, 15:10

The Amoeba is available in 5×6 also from Keebio.
I was a bit disappointed when I saw that there is 1u spacing only on the horizontal, not on the vertical. The rows will have to be broken apart.

I don't know of any store in Europe that has it — If anyone does, please let me know as well! (I'm not in the mood for paying 30€+ for a 5€ item. Stupid customs fees ... grumble grumble)

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Quartz64

18 Apr 2019, 07:54

You can organize a group buy if you have a local PCB manufacturer. About 3 month ago producing 1500 Amoebas (50 5x6 panels) at Chinese jlcpcb.com was about $75 including shipping, cheaper than producing them locally (in Moscow), but I didn't have to pay a customs fee.

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Quartz64

18 Apr 2019, 07:57

kohlerm wrote:
17 Apr 2019, 11:21
Is there a gerber file for those 5x6 panels?
Or how do I order a panel of the amoeba switches?
With jlcpcb I just had to select panelized production and choose X by Y size.

Bendim

10 Sep 2019, 10:58

Findecanor wrote:
17 Apr 2019, 15:10
The Amoeba is available in 5×6 also from Keebio.
I was a bit disappointed when I saw that there is 1u spacing only on the horizontal, not on the vertical. The rows will have to be broken apart.

I don't know of any store in Europe that has it — If anyone does, please let me know as well! (I'm not in the mood for paying 30€+ for a 5€ item. Stupid customs fees ... grumble grumble)
@Findecanor german shop keycapsss has it.
https://keycapsss.com/keyboard-parts/pc ... switch-pcb

Thank you mtl for creating and sharing it.

Findecanor

10 Sep 2019, 11:38

Bendim wrote:
10 Sep 2019, 10:58
[@Findecanor german shop keycapsss has it.
That's a nice shop you have there. I found out about it for the first time only a week or so ago.
Thanks!

c099

19 Oct 2019, 15:29

I'm confused. Should I buy diodes in sod-123 or sod-323?

kohlerm

16 Dec 2019, 11:12

BTW I've got https://keycapsss.com/keyboard-parts/pc ... ckets?c=14 from keycapsss in the meantime. Supports hotswap sockets :-) Still slowly working on a new build, cannot yet tell how well it works.

c099

16 Dec 2019, 15:37

kohlerm wrote:
16 Dec 2019, 11:12
BTW I've got https://keycapsss.com/keyboard-parts/pc ... ckets?c=14 from keycapsss in the meantime. Supports hotswap sockets :-) Still slowly working on a new build, cannot yet tell how well it works.
Thanks for sharing this! I wish there's a black version. Anyway it looks very cool.

vandr0iy

13 Feb 2020, 11:01

Hi everyone!

n00b question here: how hard would it be to create a design similar to the original amoeba - but with the SMD mounting points that support the SK6812MINIs (like the ones on the CRKBD) instead of the regular LEDs?

mtl

21 Feb 2020, 03:27

I designed a revised amoeba a while back with support for SMD RGB LEDs like that and Kaihl switch sockets. Had a few prototypes made. I think where it left off was it would technically work for a single key switch, but I wasn't sure it would be feasible to wire up a matrix of them due to the need for more wires between each PCB. Will look for the design and try to post some pictures.

mtl

21 Feb 2020, 03:36

Here are a couple of renders. The LED these were designed for is the SK6812MINI.
amoeba-royale-1.png
amoeba-royale-1.png (78.72 KiB) Viewed 169 times
amoeba-royale-2.png
amoeba-royale-2.png (73.06 KiB) Viewed 169 times
If there's any interest, I could try to resume work on it. But as mentioned in the previous post, it may not work out great to try to wire up a whole keyboard of these.

A little more detail on the connections: R and C for row and column, of course. + and - are power for the LED, and OUT/IN are the signal lines for LED control. Within a row, there is no need to connect the +/- lines going up to the row above or down to the row below. (So left to right, the PCBs would connect easily.) The top/bottom pads (other than C) would only be used at the end of a row to connect to the subsequent row above/below.

One quirk was that every other row would require the LED to be rotated 180 degrees and invert the meaning of OUT/IN and +/-, which would be easy to screw up during assembly.

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Loligagger

21 Feb 2020, 04:07

I'd be interested in an amoeba that supported kailh hotswap sockets, but without the RGB support personally. I'd rather have a few redundant column pads. Also wouldn't that hole for the anode of the through-hole diode interfere with the switch?

Findecanor

21 Feb 2020, 06:06

Loligagger wrote:
21 Feb 2020, 04:07
I'd be interested in an amoeba that supported kailh hotswap sockets, but without the RGB support personally. I'd rather have a few redundant column pads.
Scroll up to the next link. ;)

My own difficulty with the Ameoba is that it doesn't have 3/4" spacing on the vertical. But I suppose what I really wanted was two 2×2 boards.

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Loligagger

21 Feb 2020, 07:00

Ah, glazed over that for some reason. Though the vertical dimension of the amoeba only being 16mm means it'll fit in tight spots for boards like the dactyl. Could the hotswap socket even fit in the same 19mm x 16mm footprint without interfering with the other pads?

mtl

23 Feb 2020, 22:53

I've made some updates that hopefully improve the design. In this revision, redundant column pads were added to the top and bottom. (Thanks, Lolligagger!) Also, pins were added to support both left-to-right and right-to-left LED data flows across a row. This will allow for the LED to always be mounted in the same orientation, which will simplify assembly and should reduce the possibility for wiring errors. Finally, the pins for data-out on the top and data-in on the bottom were removed. This removes some flexibility but seemed to be the right compromise.

amoeba-royale-2.png
amoeba-royale-2.png (62.98 KiB) Viewed 55 times
amoeba-royale-1.png
amoeba-royale-1.png (73.24 KiB) Viewed 55 times

Dimensions are 18.8 mm wide by 18.3 mm high.

I hope to create a wiring diagram to show how these would be connected in a matrix.

mtl

24 Feb 2020, 00:27

Here is a wiring diagram, not showing the column data connections needed at the ends of each row:

amoeba-2.0-wiring-diagram.png
amoeba-2.0-wiring-diagram.png (181.76 KiB) Viewed 22 times

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