Kit to build first keyboard?

RadRacer203

11 Nov 2019, 02:43

I'm thinking of building my first keyboard, but I'm not sure where to start. I want to use Alps switches out of a trashed PC Convertible that had severe battery leakage and make a 60% with the same layout using the same keycaps but I have no idea where to start. Basically I want something the same sort of off white, small, either wireless or microusb/usb-c, and that will be easy enough to put together for a beginner.

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abrahamstechnology

11 Nov 2019, 04:15

How bad is the leakage? Do you have photos? I'd try to salvage it.

RadRacer203

11 Nov 2019, 13:50

abrahamstechnology wrote:
11 Nov 2019, 04:15
How bad is the leakage? Do you have photos? I'd try to salvage it.
Trust me, it was WAY beyond saving. The corrosion was worse than I've seen on anything else. Only things salvageable were the ram and keyboard, everything else was corroded to the point resistors were falling off

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swampangel

11 Nov 2019, 15:21

RadRacer203 wrote:
11 Nov 2019, 02:43
Basically I want something the same sort of off white, small, either wireless or microusb/usb-c, and that will be easy enough to put together for a beginner.
Because the 5140 has a slightly nonstandard layout, it might not be "easy" exactly, but other people have done work you can build on.

viewtopic.php?p=282470#p282470 -- here's a conversion using the original pcb, which is nice because it's non-destructive and lets you continue using the small F-keys and arrow keys. You'd have to make some kind of bottom case for it yourself.

You might want to use TMK or QMK firmware rather than Soarer's converter, since they have web-based configuration tools. Either way they all run on a Teensy 2.0 or Pro Micro controller.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=14476 -- here are 5140 switches and caps in a 60% layout, note that you need:

- a 2nd Ctrl key and larger spacebar from some other board
- a pcb that supports 1u backspace and split right shift ("hhkb layout") AND a "winkeyless" bottom row -- many 60% pcbs will allow this, but not every one
- a custom plate to account for the layout and the Enter key's uncommon stabilizer post

So, neither of these options is super easy, but they're not out of reach either.

If you'd like something more straightforward for your first board, a classic place to start would be a cherry mx-based 60% like https://medium.com/@chrislewisdev/build ... 9e98083221 It would be a good learning experience, but obviously the end product won't be nearly as nice as a 5140 custom :mrgreen:

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ppCircle

11 Nov 2019, 15:42

RadRacer203 wrote:
11 Nov 2019, 02:43
I'm thinking of building my first keyboard, but I'm not sure where to start. I want to use Alps switches out of a trashed PC Convertible that had severe battery leakage and make a 60% with the same layout using the same keycaps but I have no idea where to start. Basically I want something the same sort of off white, small, either wireless or microusb/usb-c, and that will be easy enough to put together for a beginner.
If you have iso version i have json/hex made by zedtheman for me.
Also less invasive soldering (if you want to keep the original cable): Image

RadRacer203

12 Nov 2019, 22:04

swampangel wrote:
11 Nov 2019, 15:21
RadRacer203 wrote:
11 Nov 2019, 02:43
Basically I want something the same sort of off white, small, either wireless or microusb/usb-c, and that will be easy enough to put together for a beginner.
Because the 5140 has a slightly nonstandard layout, it might not be "easy" exactly, but other people have done work you can build on.

viewtopic.php?p=282470#p282470 -- here's a conversion using the original pcb, which is nice because it's non-destructive and lets you continue using the small F-keys and arrow keys. You'd have to make some kind of bottom case for it yourself.

You might want to use TMK or QMK firmware rather than Soarer's converter, since they have web-based configuration tools. Either way they all run on a Teensy 2.0 or Pro Micro controller.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=14476 -- here are 5140 switches and caps in a 60% layout, note that you need:

- a 2nd Ctrl key and larger spacebar from some other board
- a pcb that supports 1u backspace and split right shift ("hhkb layout") AND a "winkeyless" bottom row -- many 60% pcbs will allow this, but not every one
- a custom plate to account for the layout and the Enter key's uncommon stabilizer post

So, neither of these options is super easy, but they're not out of reach either.

If you'd like something more straightforward for your first board, a classic place to start would be a cherry mx-based 60% like https://medium.com/@chrislewisdev/build ... 9e98083221 It would be a good learning experience, but obviously the end product won't be nearly as nice as a 5140 custom :mrgreen:
That second one is definitely more along the lines of what I'm thinking, but where do I even start? I'm sure I can find a second ctrl key and space bar but I'm more worried about finding a pcb, case, and plate that will all fit together. I'm also not opposed to swapping out the keycaps and just using the switches in a standard 60%

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swampangel

13 Nov 2019, 04:25

RadRacer203 wrote:
12 Nov 2019, 22:04
That second one is definitely more along the lines of what I'm thinking, but where do I even start? I'm sure I can find a second ctrl key and space bar but I'm more worried about finding a pcb, case, and plate that will all fit together. I'm also not opposed to swapping out the keycaps and just using the switches in a standard 60%
That build uses Hasu's alps64 pcb which you can get here https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=69740.0

The pcb should be compatible with "gh60" or "poker style" cases like
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3280436 ... 18f6ZAFbMF
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3290931 ... 18f6ZAFbMF

For the plate, you can try to find someone else's 5140 design or you can use http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/ plus http://builder.swillkb.com/. You'll have to be careful that all the holes for switches, stabs and mounting points are in the right spot. Then get it cut at lasergist or laserboost.

Or you could make a "standard 60%" like you suggested by getting a set of AEK, Dell AT101/AT101W, or Tai-hao alps caps and a matching plate. Hasu sells an AEK plate or there are drawings here you can get laser cut viewtopic.php?t=14038

If you use another set of keycaps don't forget to get matching stabilizers, either from Matias or a donor board as appropriate.

And lastly if you have parts of the 5140 keyboard or system you're done with, consider selling them here

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