1) SMD Model F controller, supporting later "standard" model Fs, including: F AT, F 122, F Unsaver, and the "Blue Switch" 3178 Model Fs: Github URL: https://github.com/purdeaandrei/SMDModelFController
2) 4704 Kishsaver class model F controller, supporting original IBM F62, F77, F107, F50 keyboards.
(Note: this one does not support the reproduction F62 and F77 keyboards from modelfkeyboards.com, because those use 2.54mm pitch ribbon cables.) Github URL: https://github.com/purdeaandrei/SMD4704 ... Controller
3) A slightly modified version of the "standard" model F controller from 1) above, with extra columns added. This may be useful for custom projects.
Github URL: https://github.com/purdeaandrei/SMDMode ... ra_columns
The differences between these are:
- Board physical shape
- Position of mounting holes
- An F AT lock lights connector is available on the "standard" Model F controller.
- A 3-pin buzzer connector is available on the kishsaver class controller.
- The standard solenoid expansion header is available on both keyboards, but on the kishsaver class one it's hidden under the 3-pin buzzer connector, so you must either install 2x3-pin 90 degree pin headers for solenoid support or 1x3-pin 90 degree pin headers for the buzzer.
- The third and the first one are almost the same, except the third one has extra columns, possibly useful for custom keyboard projects.
These have not been tested yet, but they have a high probability of working. My previous beamspring controller design worked out-of-the-box, see here:
These are designed based on the TH Xwhatsit design, and are currently only supported by my QMK xwhatsit firmware, which is currently in closed beta. PM me for an invite, I will give a link to anyone, I just want be in contact with all users of the firmware at this stage. Also don't worry, this is not a Soarer type situation. Anyone getting the link will get the firmware under open-source terms, so if I get hit by a bus before releasing it openly, anyone who downloaded it can release it. I'm keeping it closed, only so I can directly ask people to test changes, when I make important changes. I expect to publicly release the firmware soon (within the month probably)
The QMK firmware variant that supports these keyboards is "/universal" (used to be "/through_hole", but renamed).
To order these, please follow these steps:
- Go to http://jlcpcb.com , sign in to your account (create one if you don't have one)
- Click Order Now
- Upload the .zip file from the "order" subfolder of the relevant github repository. (see links above)
- Select PCB Qty you wish to build
- Set "Remove Order Number" to "Specify a location"
- Scroll down, turn on the "SMT Assembly" option
- Select "Assemble bottom side"
- Select "Tooling holes" = "Added by Customer"
- Click "Confirm"
- Click "Add BOM File", upload the "*_bom_jlc.csv" file from the "order" subfolder.
- Click "Add CPL File", upload the "*_cpl_jlc.csv" file from the "order" subfolder.
- Click "Next"
- Make sure that all parts say "Confirmed" with a little check box in the final column. If it shows a greyed-out "confirm", then some parts may be out of stock. (If parts are out of stock then your options are Wait until it's back in stock / Find equivalent replacement with correct footprint, if it is in the JLCPCB parts library / Redesign the board with a different component / Order the missing part from another supplier and solder it yourself )
- Click "Next"
- Double-check components look correctly rotated (this is expected to be correct unless JLCPCB makes changes to their system)
- Double-check again, that Unselected Parts has 0 items.
- Save to Cart, Check Out.
- Pro Micro 5V/16MHz
- Sparkfun Pro Micro: link
* More on the pricier side, but Sparkfun designed the Pro Micro, so they are probably the highest quality source.
* They also have many distributors: link
* There are many sellers on aliexpress.com, the best deals are often for bulk quantities, but not always
* link (EDIT they recently raised their prices, cheaper is probably available, use search function instead)
* Also many sellers, examples: link 1, link 2, link 3 - link3 is a less-then usual 'square' version where the microcontroller is in a TQFP package, still, works fine.
- Alternatives, that are not exactly pro micro:
* Sparkfun qwiic pro USB-C (not tested): link
- DO NOT BUY:
* Don't buy 3V/8MHz Pro Micros, they are not supported.
* Don't buy "DM DIY MORE" Pro Micros -- these are wider then most other pro micros, and won't physically fit link
* Don't buy Proton-C, because non-AVR cores are not supported by my firmware. link
* Maybe do not buy Pro Micro drop-in replacements, that use DFU bootloader. These can be supported, but only if you compile your firmware locally. Otherwise many bootloader entry methods will not work. You also have the option of replacing the bootloader on one of these with ISP programming. Example: Elite-C
- Sparkfun Pro Micro: link
- 90-degree/right-angle single-row pin header with plastic part on the long side: LCSC, TME
- These are only for kishsaver-class controllers if deciding to support 3-pin buzzer, and no solenoid.
- 90-degree/right-angle dual-row pin header with plastic part on the long side: LCSC, TME, Digi-Key, Mouser
- Make sure you have an 5V pro micro. (Either by checking that the crystal is a 16 MHz, and NOT a 8MHz one, or by measuring >4.5V on VCC even if J1 jumper is not shorted. (if the pro micro comes with J1 shorted, then it's a 5V pro micro. If it comes with with J1 open, then it could be either an 5V or 3.3V pro micro))
- You MUST short the J1 jumper on the 5V pro micro
- For the kishsaver-class controller, you must decide to either support a 3-pin buzzer, or solenoid controller. Based on your decision you must solder in either a 2x3 pin 90 degree pin header or an 1x3 pin 90 degree pin header
- For the 'optional lock lights' header on the kishsaver-class controller, don't solder in any pin headers, there's not enough space for that in some keyboards. This is for soldering wires to it directly.
- For the standard controller all soldered-in pin headers must be 90-degree ones. For the lock lights header you should start with 2x4pin header, and remove one of the pins from the plastic using needle nose pliers.
- Please follow instructions on the pcb itself related to which row of pins to use for the ribbon cable, and how to orient the board.
- Pro micros and pin headers are designed to be on the "top" side of the PCB (opposite of where the SMD components are)
- For 3178 "blue switch" keyboards you can't use the mounting holes, so you must solder a wire with a crimp terminal to the controller. There is a hole marked "chassis ground" for that. You can ignore that for other keyboards since the controller is grounded via the mounting holes.
At the time of writing of this post:
- Building 30 pcs:
Total cost = 90 USD JLCPCB PCB and assembly + ?? USD jlcpcb shipping + ?? USD pro micro cost + ?? USD header pins cost
I estimate you can probably build 30pcs at around 8 USD/piece, but will depend heavily on factors such as pro micro cost, import duties, etc...
- Building 5 pcs:
Total cost = 41 USD JLCPCB PCB and assembly + ?? USD jlcpcb shipping + ?? USD pro micro cost + ?? USD header pins cost
I estimate you can probably build 5pcs at around 23 USD/piece, but will depend heavily on factors such as pro micro cost, import duties, etc...
- More than 30 pcs can be built with jlcpcb only if the order is panelized.
- You can ask JLCPCB to assemble only 2pcs, and send bare pcbs for the rest.
- You can also decide to just build only the bare PCBs, and assemble these yourself at home, even the SMD parts. These are much easier to solder than original xwhatsit controllers because they have no QFN parts (those that have the pins underneath), and there are no USB connectors to solder. The parts on this design can be easily drag-soldered as long as you have good flux and a good soldering station. You don't need an oven or stencil or hot air gun.