Broken K60 > Project keyboard

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22 Mar 2017, 18:35

Hey guys,
I've been too busy with university and life in the last times, and sadly I left the forum. Now I'm back and I'll try to stay active again :) I'm sadly writing this on a rubber dome :( My only "modern" (USB) mechanical keyboard is fried. What I'm gonna do is probably sell some classic keyboards from my collection to buy another new "modern" one, but in the meantime I saw a modded K60 by Aleksander ( which greatly inspired me to do something with what is remaning of my broken K60.

Preamble: water has been spilled on the board while it was on. Ater getting it dry I thought everything was going to be fine, as all the switches felt good and whatever, but the microcontroller is not giving signs of life anymore. I tried cleaning and resoldering it, as a last resort also reflowing it with hot air, but nothing. I think it's dead for good. I still want to make something out of this keyboard, but on the cheap side, until I graduate I'm not working and am poor :lol:

Now I have more than one idea, some are the opposite of other ones, I know:

- 60%: I've never had a 60% keyboard, but I got interested in keyboards because of the Poker. So I want a 60%, I'm gonna cut the case!

- Reusing the PCB: The microcontroller is SMD, so I can't reuse his solder pads on the board to connect directly , because said solder pads are really too thin. Still I could theoretically still find the first point where those traces lead to, and just wire my controller pins to them. Am I correct or am I missing something? Would it be doable in your opinion?
It would be positive because it makes LEDs possible, which wouldn't be feasible if I hand wired the matrix. Anyway this leads to the controller.

- Controller: I have a Pro Micro around, is there a way to make a 60% layout/matrix work with such few pins? If not, are there other cheap microntroller with HID capabilitie? I found the Teensy 2.0 on Aliexpress for a lot cheaper than before, but I would like to know about alternatives if there's something even cheaper. I would spend a few euros more for a controller with bluetooth though, so this leads to bluetooth.

- Blueooth: even more interesting than LEDs, there's Bluetooth. Has there been any progress in homemade Bluetooth keyboards lately? When I was following the keyboard scene it wasn't very common, and the controllers were not cheap. Are there any new and cheap Bluetooth controllers? I found this on Youtube ( which is pretty interesing, but I don't know how many io pins I'll need for the 60% layout.

(TLDR: I underlined the important questions)

Thanks for the help.

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