[WIP] THKB - Tiny Hacking Keyboard - 40%

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E3E

11 Dec 2015, 18:03

D'aww, it's like a truncated little HHKB. That's adorable. :P Nice work!

Excelso

13 Dec 2015, 00:49

I want one. And I want it now.

Wonderful work.

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Plasmodium

18 Dec 2015, 17:35

So, we started putting it together. All was going well:
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Until we discovered that the top plate I had cut had the bottom row switches 0.5u out! So we then cut it all into 1 big slot where they will actually fit... :roll:
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Plasmodium

19 Dec 2015, 15:36

Right. So I think I need specific instructions on how to flash the firmware. There are instructions on the github page, but they aren't really step by step and they presumed a certain amount of prior knowledge!

Also: How should I go about diagnosing a dead key? Plugged it in for the first time and "z" and "LGUI" on the default keymap don't do anything. If it was a diode issue, surely the whole column or row would be dead? I guess I should just resolder the switch?

Matt_

22 Dec 2015, 18:12

Take a wire and short the contacts on the PCB (switch lugs, or you can bypass the diode too) to see if the key registers. If it does, you can indeed try to reflow the connections. If it doesn't, the problem probably lies in the firmware or the PCB (unlikely, given the trace width but you never know).

Regarding the firmware, have you read matt3o's guide on How to build your very own keyboard firmware with TMK? I am not sure it applies exactly to this keyboard but it may give you a few clues.

Otherwise, I have not read the full thread yet but this looks like a great project!

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Plasmodium

22 Dec 2015, 20:53

Matt_ wrote: Take a wire and short the contacts on the PCB (switch lugs, or you can bypass the diode too) to see if the key registers. If it does, you can indeed try to reflow the connections. If it doesn't, the problem probably lies in the firmware or the PCB (unlikely, given the trace width but you never know).

Regarding the firmware, have you read matt3o's guide on How to build your very own keyboard firmware with TMK? I am not sure it applies exactly to this keyboard but it may give you a few clues.

Otherwise, I have not read the full thread yet but this looks like a great project!
Thanks for your reply! I see you found my dedicated thread for diagnosing the dead switch (I didn't want to turn neophyte's thread into a support thread for my issues!). I did in fact think to check Matt3o's guide, but unfortunately it seems to be for Teensies only.

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ne0phyte
Toast.

22 Dec 2015, 21:50

Hey folks, I'm really sorry for being inactive here and not answering questions I feel I should have.
I've had some personal issues and didn't follow most of my online stuff lately.
Luckily the project is not dead nor am I :mrgreen:

@Plasmodium:
I'm at my parents place for the next couple days, but if you still need help I'll write a little guide for building and flashing the keyboard firmware using the ISP pins and/or USB. Just let me know how I can help or what you have trouble with if you already tried something in the mean time.
Feel free to PM me or just post here if you want. This is one giant thread by now anyways and I'll compile a summary of the development and details in a separate thread some time.

PS: Happy holidays everyone.

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Plasmodium

22 Dec 2015, 22:02

Happy holidays to you too! I'm just wondering about flashing over USB - I think I can manage changing the keymap once I get to that stage, but I've never even used Github before, so I don't even know how to start (how/what to download). I'll drop you a PM tomorrow when I have a bit more time!

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Plasmodium

01 Jan 2016, 18:58

Finally got her built! I can provide the files I used for the case if anyone wants, but there are some issues with them which I'll try to fix if anyone wants them!

The case is built from black and clear acrylic (so you can see the pcb through the top and bottom) and I've used a mix of Gateron brown switches (for the alphas) and Cherry blues (or the mods). The keycaps are kind of whatever I had lying around.

Thanks to ne0phyte for all the work he's put in on this great little project and for the help he gave me with programming it!
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scottc

01 Jan 2016, 19:40

Ooooh that's an awesome case! I love it. Mine's still sitting here without one.

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braidn

01 Jan 2016, 19:50

Still adore this project. Is there any chance of a GB?

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Plasmodium

02 Jan 2016, 11:23

scottc wrote: Ooooh that's an awesome case! I love it. Mine's still sitting here without one.
Thanks! There are definitely some issues with it but overall I'm very pleased with the effect. Still getting used to typing on blanks (and it's not even fully blank!) and finding my punctuation on different layers!

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flabbergast

13 Jan 2016, 10:26

Hi folks, here's mine (without a case, I'm not good with materials...)
Image
A couple of caps have a wrong profile of course, most notably the R2 control.

However, I found out I can't get used to the bottom row layout, the middle 1.25u key confuses the hell out of me. So if anyone's interested, I can pass on the PCB (with everything soldered except the switches) to someone else in Europe for £20 shipped ('s what I paid for it). Here's a pic of the soldering. EDIT: ... aaand it's taken.

sinegav

13 Jan 2016, 21:16

Where do you get those keycaps? I really want some with that kind of profile and I'm not sure what kinds or where do buy some without it costing me a billion to Norway :o

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flabbergast

13 Jan 2016, 21:21

Those are SA Retro. The SA profile caps are made (these days) by Signature Plastics, and they're more-less available only through group buys or second-hand.

sinegav

13 Jan 2016, 21:39

Thanks, thats what I was afraid of :c

sinegav

27 Jan 2016, 08:52

Think I need some help changing the layouts to what I want it to be. I haven't used Github before and I'm pretty new to this stuff. If anyone would be willing to help or give me some ideas where to start I would be really greatfull :D

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Plasmodium

27 Jan 2016, 09:16

What OS are you on? I can forward the info ne0phyte gave me for Linux. Changing the layout is pretty easy.

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Plasmodium

27 Jan 2016, 09:35

The sections called "Keymap" and "Function Layers" in Matt3o's guide should tell you all you need for editing the layout: workshop-f7/how-to-build-your-very-own- ... ml#p141386

Though unfortunately the section where he actually loads it onto the keyboard is different.

sinegav

27 Jan 2016, 10:22

Hmm, thanks :p I am currently using windows but I can set up my Linux agian when I get home if thats easier.

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Plasmodium

27 Jan 2016, 12:13

Try PM'ing ne0phyte. He might take a while to get back to messages due to stuff in "real life", but he said before he's always happy to help. In the meantime, I'll post an edited version of what ne0phyte told me to do for Linux (with a couple of edits/emphases from my experience):
1) Github
Github is the most popular site for open source projects since you can create unlimited public git-repositories for free.
Git is a version control system that is used to track changes in projects and works best with plain text based file types like source code. It basically keeps track of all changes in files and allows you to manage and add comments to those individular changes. Everyone who "cloned" (downloaded) the repository can download just the changes and apply them to their local copy.
That way people can see what others have worked on and you can restore the project to any point from creation to the latest state.

To download the repository you could either download a zip archive on the github page or, the proper way, install the git package and run:

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$ git clone https://github.com/ne0phyte/tmk_keyboard.git ./tmk_keyboard_thkb
That will fetch everything you need into a folder "tmk_keyboard_thkb". (In your Home folder)

2) Changing the layout
Inside the directory tmk_keyboard_thkb/keyboard/thkb there are the layout and key matrix files.
To change the mapping you have to edit the "keymap_thkb.c".
There is some info on that here: https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard/blo ... /keymap.md

3) Building and flashing
You need the following linux packages:

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avr-gcc
dfu-programmer
I encountered errors later and found the answer was to install more of the packages listed here under the Ubuntu section ( I know it's the wiki for a different firmware, but that's what worked for me): https://github.com/kiibohd/controller/wiki/Linux-Setup

To build and flash the firmware open a terminal in the /keyboard/thkb directory and run:

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$ make 
Before running the next command you have to disconnect the keyboard, keep space+b pressed and then connect it.
That makes it start the bootloader instead of the keyboard firmware and the flashing should be done after a few seconds.

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$ make dfu
I had to run 'make dfu' as sudo - it was either that or fiddle around with USB permissions and nonsense. Maybe not the best way, but it worked for me.

Botch

25 Feb 2016, 11:53

Hi,

i'm Chris from Germany and new at Deskthority.

I really like your Layout and design.

Is there a chance for a GB?
My dream is a THKB with bluetooth for mobile use! :mrgreen:

iryan2

26 Feb 2016, 00:09

Botch wrote: Hi,

Is there a chance for a GB?
My dream is a THKB with bluetooth for mobile use! :mrgreen:
I've very keen for a group buy too, but I believe there's a fair bit of work left to do. I'd rather wait till there's a case specifically designed for it, rather than just the PCB. Ah, who am I kidding, I'd buy anything THKB related (and literally cry if I missed out).

berserkfan

08 Mar 2016, 09:36

seeing this shape reminds me of my TG3 911 police keyboard.

I desoldered mine but didn't dare do anything because the PCB is in one piece. IE the trackpad and the keyboard part are on the same PCB. They have diodes running across.

But I wish someone could make some cute little compact keyboard from the PCB. Would be happy to send anyone that kb for the cost of shipping.

BTW I think you could do better with the two bottom corners. They seem to be begging for foam attachments as wristrests.

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ne0phyte
Toast.

26 Mar 2016, 06:20

Aaand I'm back once again :?

I stumbled across a box with the components to assemble ~25 THKBs today which motivated me to work on the PCB again. Just a few little things that were missing and keeping me from ordering the next batch.

LED
I was unsure if/where to put LEDs so I went with something easy to do: one 5050 RGBW LED in the bottom left.
The idea behind that is to have a little hole or slit in the mountplate and a piece of translucent plastic on the back.
A little RGB dot/line should suffice to show some status (like which layer is active) and it's very minimal.

-> Any opinions on this? It probably won't work without a mount plate (too bright)..


USB connector
I think I mentioned this a while ago already: USB is now on the top side of the PCB which reduces the case thickness even further.

Toast
Was curious if I could put my avatar on it :mrgreen:

Screw holes
Changed the diameter to 3.3mm, which is between the tight and normal fit recommendation for M3 screws.

Image

Latest PCB rendering:
Image

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Plasmodium

26 Mar 2016, 09:16

Great to see you back! The prototype was such a fun project, I hope you are able to finish this!

Is it just me or are some of the switches mounted sideways on the new PCB?

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flabbergast

26 Mar 2016, 14:32

Ah! Careful with mounting switches at 90 degree angle: http://blog.komar.be/gh60-evolution/

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ne0phyte
Toast.

26 Mar 2016, 14:41

Oh, thanks, I wasn't aware of that. It just made the routing a bit more compact, but in that case I'll revert all switches to 0/180 degree alignment.

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ne0phyte
Toast.

27 Mar 2016, 06:09

I changed the 90 degree switches back and added another RGBW LED on the right. I really hope the LEDs turn out good, I'm still worried whether it's a good idea because it most likely won't work without a mount plate...
You can dim the LEDs, but plain 5050 (5x5mm) LEDs aren't pretty to look at :)

EDIT: How about soldering pads on both side so you could optionally put the LED on the back and leave a little hole in the case? Or maybe even both sides.

Image

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Plasmodium

28 Mar 2016, 12:31

So, what's the idea with the LED? To light up a frosted acrylic case? To shine through a hole in the top/bottom of the case? To be used as lock/layer lights?

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