Group Build prototyping phase

We are finally close to release the WhiteFox! Read about the whole process here


What
If there's interest, we build a layered keyboard together. You can buy all the components from a GB, specifically:

- layered case
- screws
- PCB (high quality CNC'd, home built)
- teensy
- diodes
- LEDs
- USB ports/cables/etc

what it is not included:
- switches (but actually we could add them)
- keycaps (best options are: round 4, round 5, DSA Retro and the soon to come DSA PBT)

We try to cut cost by buying all components together.

How
Phase 1 is prototyping (actually this post).

We design 3 (might be 2 or 4) main designs. For these base designs you get everything ready and pre-configured. You get the teensy already programmed with the proper firmware, the right number of diodes, a CNC'd PCB and so on. All you need to do is to solder the switches. Consider it a sort of keyboard construction kit.

I might be available at assembling the keyboard for you, but the service won't be the cheapest (sorry guys).

If you don't like any of the main designs you can send me a CAD file and I'll have it laser cut with the others. You can still get the teensy and the other components if you want.

What we need to do is:
1) define the main layouts <---- we are here
2) design the case (size/screws/spacers/etc...)
2) design the PCB
3) start the GB

Why
fuck off!

When
Realistically the GB will start in a couple of months.

Cost
A hand-wired custom keyboard goes between 150 and 200 euros. We hope to cut that price a bit, but consider that this time we will try to use a PCB, so we will have that to add to the expenses. Of course you can still hand-wire your keyboard if you want.

The 3 official layouts will be cheaper than the custom ones.

Material
The material for the layered keyboard will be most likely plain stainless steel. You can have your custom layout but you cannot choose the material! The material will be the same for all. This is done to reduce expenses with the laser cut and headache to myself.

Caveat
If there's not enough interest I won't proceed with the GB and maybe I'll just have a few boards laser cut for a couple of friends.

Examples
Image

Image

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Layouts
Please note that they are not final! I'm looking for your feedback. Don't look at the legends, you can have whatever you want wherever you want. The candidates are:

Matt-1
Image
probably the smallest "squared" keyboard you can have

Matt-2
Image
slightly smaller than a 60% (shrunk to the right)

Matt-3
Image
a plain old 65%. note the backspace position.

A few notes:
- I'm not going to use insanely (too small, too big) sized spacebars (just because they hard to find). this is of course true for the "official layouts", if you design your own, you can do whatever you want.
- The first two layouts have some non-standard keys. I'm open to discussions on this matter
- ISO vs ANSI. Fight!
Last edited by matt3o on 27 Nov 2015, 10:31, edited 2 times in total.
matt3o
User avatar
-[°_°]-

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 14:54

User avatar
X
matt3o
-[°_°]-
 
Posts: 8347
Joined: 03 Sep 2012, 15:14
Location: Italy
Main keyboard: WhiteFox
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Anything, really
Club member: 0030
 
The Great Keyboard Build of 2014 begins…

I have a cut down µTKL design I'm working on, that I can share. Top features: No function row, HHKB Fn key and Backspace, compatible with Round 5 and Matt's DSA sets, and a strictly minimalist case. You've all seen my Shiny 60%, you know the kind of thing I'm going for.

I'm also exploring a second design using those small space bars available in Round 5. Or even a Matias switch build, if Matteo's confident enough to try.
Muirium
User avatar
µ

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 15:03

User avatar
X
Muirium
µ
 
Posts: 22409
Joined: 03 Feb 2013, 10:11
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Main keyboard: IBM 4704 Kishsaver
Main mouse: Apple Magic Trackpad
Favorite switch: Gotta Try 'Em All
Club member: -
 
 
Forgot to mention... I might be available at assembling your keyboards BUT it won't be cheap, sorry guys :P

Please share your layouts, Murium.
matt3o
User avatar
-[°_°]-

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 15:06

User avatar
X
matt3o
-[°_°]-
 
Posts: 8347
Joined: 03 Sep 2012, 15:14
Location: Italy
Main keyboard: WhiteFox
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Anything, really
Club member: 0030
 
 
This signature intentionally left blank...
yeah i curious layout muri ,symm sgg it seems
ماء
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 15:09

User avatar
X
ماء
 
Posts: 547
Joined: 24 Apr 2013, 11:12
Location: Solo, ID
Main keyboard: Soon
Main mouse: Roccat Lua
Favorite switch: Blacks to heavy>Lighter
Club member: -
 
I've some diagramming to do then! I'll do a symmetric version too, ماء, as I'd like to see if it's possible with Round 5 caps. But standard stagger is what I have in mind, really. I think symmetric stagger would be a better idea for a fully split keyboard, for me at least.
Muirium
User avatar
µ

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 15:14

User avatar
X
Muirium
µ
 
Posts: 22409
Joined: 03 Feb 2013, 10:11
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Main keyboard: IBM 4704 Kishsaver
Main mouse: Apple Magic Trackpad
Favorite switch: Gotta Try 'Em All
Club member: -
 
 
Muirium wrote:I've some diagramming to do then! I'll do a symmetric version too, ماء, as I'd like to see if it's possible with Round 5 caps. But standard stagger is what I have in mind, really. I think symmetric stagger would be a better idea for a fully split keyboard, for me at least.

I think symmetric stagger good on a regular keyboard rather than split, split to columnar although I prefer for symm sgg for now.
symm sgg looks elegant on a regular 8-) I just don't like the hole in the middle you may use the trackpoint to cover :lol:
how staggering you use 1/2,1/3,1/4 i prefer like µTron
Last edited by ماء on 17 Feb 2014, 16:31, edited 1 time in total.
ماء
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 15:43

User avatar
X
ماء
 
Posts: 547
Joined: 24 Apr 2013, 11:12
Location: Solo, ID
Main keyboard: Soon
Main mouse: Roccat Lua
Favorite switch: Blacks to heavy>Lighter
Club member: -
 
I vote for an ISO Choc Mini Layout!
Something like I already posted in the Ducky Layout competition:
Image
rindorbrot
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:20

User avatar
X
rindorbrot
 
Posts: 856
Joined: 17 Dec 2011, 20:22
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Main keyboard: Phantom, GON NerD 2.0 TKL
Main mouse: Zowie ZA11
Favorite switch: MX Ergo-Clear, Nixdorf Soft-Touch
Club member: 0029
 
Audacious! My steel 60% from last year weighs a kilo, naked. It's 15x5 units. Your design is 36% larger even without gaps, so it would be one impressive piece of steel.

We definitely need a way to accommodate both ISO and ANSI preferences. DT is split down the middle on those! (As is my keyboard collection…)
Muirium
User avatar
µ

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:27

User avatar
X
Muirium
µ
 
Posts: 22409
Joined: 03 Feb 2013, 10:11
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Main keyboard: IBM 4704 Kishsaver
Main mouse: Apple Magic Trackpad
Favorite switch: Gotta Try 'Em All
Club member: -
 
 
Heavy is good!

Many PCB are ISO/ANSI compatible, so I think this should be doable...
Only the plates would have to be different.

But I'd be fine with dropping the two rightmost columns, as long as the F-row is in there, I am happy!
Last edited by rindorbrot on 17 Feb 2014, 16:33, edited 1 time in total.
rindorbrot
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:32

User avatar
X
rindorbrot
 
Posts: 856
Joined: 17 Dec 2011, 20:22
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Main keyboard: Phantom, GON NerD 2.0 TKL
Main mouse: Zowie ZA11
Favorite switch: MX Ergo-Clear, Nixdorf Soft-Touch
Club member: 0029
 
Matt-3 in iso with 1.5 mods (bottom-row), 7x spacebar and normal backspace would be my dream... :)
snoopy
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:32

User avatar
X
snoopy
 
Posts: 980
Joined: 20 Apr 2012, 13:52
Location: Germany
Main keyboard: IBM SSK '93
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: BS
Club member: 0022
 
rindorbrot wrote:I vote for an ISO Choc Mini Layout!
Something like I already posted in the Ducky Layout competition:
Image

I kinda like it actually. not sure about the Function row, but one could always put them on the FN layer too.
Muirium wrote:We definitely need a way to accommodate both ISO and ANSI preferences. DT is split down the middle on those! (As is my keyboard collection…)

it would be technically feasible to support both on the same plate, but it doesn't look good on a naked board, imho.
matt3o
User avatar
-[°_°]-

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:34

User avatar
X
matt3o
-[°_°]-
 
Posts: 8347
Joined: 03 Sep 2012, 15:14
Location: Italy
Main keyboard: WhiteFox
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Anything, really
Club member: 0030
 
 
This signature intentionally left blank...
I like the layouts, but I think that the non-standard HHKB-style backspaces will make caps particularly difficult to source and I'm not sure about the compromise here. Of course there's always round 5, like you suggest, but it still rules out using most other keycap sources without going all blank.
scottc
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:35

User avatar
X
scottc
 
Posts: 5364
Joined: 06 Oct 2013, 21:09
Location: Remote locations in Europe
Main keyboard: GH60-HASRO 62g Nixies, HHKB Pro1 HS, Novatouch
Main mouse: Steelseries Rival 300
Favorite switch: Nixdorf 'Soft Touch' MX Black
Club member: 0081
 
matt3o wrote:I kinda like it actually. not sure about the Function row, but one could always put them on the FN layer too.

But that is exactly the point, I want the F-row and Numbers on the first layer.
rindorbrot
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:36

User avatar
X
rindorbrot
 
Posts: 856
Joined: 17 Dec 2011, 20:22
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Main keyboard: Phantom, GON NerD 2.0 TKL
Main mouse: Zowie ZA11
Favorite switch: MX Ergo-Clear, Nixdorf Soft-Touch
Club member: 0029
 
snoopy wrote:Matt-3 in iso with 1.5 mods (bottom-row), 7x spacebar and normal backspace would be my dream... :)

why 7u spacebar?

with 1.5 mods and 7u you have to get rid of a key anyway
scottc wrote:I like the layouts, but I think that the non-standard HHKB-style backspaces will make caps particularly difficult to source and I'm not sure about the compromise here. Of course there's always round 5, like you suggest, but it still rules out using most other keycap sources without going all blank.

I tend to agree. We should try to keep it as standard as possible... but I don't know if it is worth doing a poker/whatever clone.
matt3o
User avatar
-[°_°]-

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:37

User avatar
X
matt3o
-[°_°]-
 
Posts: 8347
Joined: 03 Sep 2012, 15:14
Location: Italy
Main keyboard: WhiteFox
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Anything, really
Club member: 0030
 
 
This signature intentionally left blank...
Round 5 and the various DSA sets Matt's so fond of leading. Like this one:
Image
marketplace-f11/skull-squadron-dsa-set-aka-macross-t7402.html

I have high hopes for the forthcoming dyesub PBT "beige" DSA set, as I expect it'll actually be a smart pair of monochrome greys.

But you're quite right of course: HHKB backspace and short shift aren't for everyone. I'll see what I can do with my µTKL: the minimalist's choice.
Muirium
User avatar
µ

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:45

User avatar
X
Muirium
µ
 
Posts: 22409
Joined: 03 Feb 2013, 10:11
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Main keyboard: IBM 4704 Kishsaver
Main mouse: Apple Magic Trackpad
Favorite switch: Gotta Try 'Em All
Club member: -
 
 
DSA is the way to go for custom keyboard, guys! NO ROWS!

now go get that Skull Squadron keyset! :D
matt3o
User avatar
-[°_°]-

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:47

User avatar
X
matt3o
-[°_°]-
 
Posts: 8347
Joined: 03 Sep 2012, 15:14
Location: Italy
Main keyboard: WhiteFox
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Anything, really
Club member: 0030
 
 
This signature intentionally left blank...
But it is not available in ISO DE!
rindorbrot
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:49

User avatar
X
rindorbrot
 
Posts: 856
Joined: 17 Dec 2011, 20:22
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Main keyboard: Phantom, GON NerD 2.0 TKL
Main mouse: Zowie ZA11
Favorite switch: MX Ergo-Clear, Nixdorf Soft-Touch
Club member: 0029
 
matt3o wrote:
snoopy wrote:Matt-3 in iso with 1.5 mods (bottom-row), 7x spacebar and normal backspace would be my dream... :)

why 7u spacebar?

with 1.5 mods and 7u you have to get rid of a key anyway

cause I love vintage cherry keycaps and 1.5mods. And this would give me the ability to nearly use the complete and original caps that came of a g80-3000had/sad/... except right shift. Or complete keys of 1800had/... So if I have worn out a set of them, I can hunt a new set on ebay and don't have to use any special keys.

I don't like keyboards with a lot of modifiers in bottom row (especially 1xmods), they always confuse me and I don't need them. I like it simple and classic. 1.5-1.5-7-1.5-1.5 is perfect for me. But that's a personal preference. I know other people love to have as many modifiers as possible.
snoopy
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:50

User avatar
X
snoopy
 
Posts: 980
Joined: 20 Apr 2012, 13:52
Location: Germany
Main keyboard: IBM SSK '93
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: BS
Club member: 0022
 
Indeed. I'm the opposite (I envy Japanese keyboards with their tiny space bars and extra mods) but keyset reuse is vital, and everyone's got their own preference. I have Alps / Matias ideas for some great old caps which take me out of my traditional comfort zone, but maybe not this GB!

Re: ISO DE with the Macross set. The ISO kit features blanks, which don't even look right on ISO UK. I know why (it's a small GB and you want to hit MOQ) but we expect more from the PBT beige set. Even if it means we all have Swedish legends sitting spare…
Muirium
User avatar
µ

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 16:54

User avatar
X
Muirium
µ
 
Posts: 22409
Joined: 03 Feb 2013, 10:11
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Main keyboard: IBM 4704 Kishsaver
Main mouse: Apple Magic Trackpad
Favorite switch: Gotta Try 'Em All
Club member: -
 
 
snoopy wrote:I don't like keyboards with a lot of modifiers in bottom row (especially 1xmods), they always confuse me and I don't need them. I like it simple and classic. 1.5-1.5-7-1.5-1.5 is perfect for me. But that's a personal preference. I know other people love to have as many modifiers as possible.

I agree I tend to basically never use the right hand modifiers and I like 1.5u control. I don't know about 7u spacebar. I find it a wast of space :)
matt3o
User avatar
-[°_°]-

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 17:04

User avatar
X
matt3o
-[°_°]-
 
Posts: 8347
Joined: 03 Sep 2012, 15:14
Location: Italy
Main keyboard: WhiteFox
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Anything, really
Club member: 0030
 
 
This signature intentionally left blank...
This is where we differ! Hasu's firmware revived my Kishsaver yesterday, which was awesome. But his keymap had right shift set to the Fn key, to access the HHKB layer. It was driving me nuts! I press right shift just as often as left. Same with the thumb mods, especially Command on either side of the space bar.
Muirium
User avatar
µ

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 17:12

User avatar
X
Muirium
µ
 
Posts: 22409
Joined: 03 Feb 2013, 10:11
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Main keyboard: IBM 4704 Kishsaver
Main mouse: Apple Magic Trackpad
Favorite switch: Gotta Try 'Em All
Club member: -
 
 
I use right shift a lot actually. I was talking about first row mods.
matt3o
User avatar
-[°_°]-

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 17:31

User avatar
X
matt3o
-[°_°]-
 
Posts: 8347
Joined: 03 Sep 2012, 15:14
Location: Italy
Main keyboard: WhiteFox
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Anything, really
Club member: 0030
 
 
This signature intentionally left blank...
any someone use SpaceShift dual role i went try,may alternative..
ماء
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 18:05

User avatar
X
ماء
 
Posts: 547
Joined: 24 Apr 2013, 11:12
Location: Solo, ID
Main keyboard: Soon
Main mouse: Roccat Lua
Favorite switch: Blacks to heavy>Lighter
Club member: -
 
ISO test, I actually like it very much

Image
matt3o
User avatar
-[°_°]-

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 18:54

User avatar
X
matt3o
-[°_°]-
 
Posts: 8347
Joined: 03 Sep 2012, 15:14
Location: Italy
Main keyboard: WhiteFox
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Anything, really
Club member: 0030
 
 
This signature intentionally left blank...
matt3o wrote:ISO test, I actually like it very much

Image

This +Function-row please! ;)
rindorbrot
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 18:56

User avatar
X
rindorbrot
 
Posts: 856
Joined: 17 Dec 2011, 20:22
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Main keyboard: Phantom, GON NerD 2.0 TKL
Main mouse: Zowie ZA11
Favorite switch: MX Ergo-Clear, Nixdorf Soft-Touch
Club member: 0029
 
the problem is where to place FN. probably the best is on CAPS LOCK...
matt3o
User avatar
-[°_°]-

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 18:59

User avatar
X
matt3o
-[°_°]-
 
Posts: 8347
Joined: 03 Sep 2012, 15:14
Location: Italy
Main keyboard: WhiteFox
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Anything, really
Club member: 0030
 
 
This signature intentionally left blank...
I'd say either capslock, right "super" or the lowest Anykey.
Plus I'd also make the second Anykey a FN with an MXLOCK (maybe).
rindorbrot
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 19:04

User avatar
X
rindorbrot
 
Posts: 856
Joined: 17 Dec 2011, 20:22
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Main keyboard: Phantom, GON NerD 2.0 TKL
Main mouse: Zowie ZA11
Favorite switch: MX Ergo-Clear, Nixdorf Soft-Touch
Club member: 0029
 
variant for the Matt-1

Image
matt3o
User avatar
-[°_°]-

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 19:14

User avatar
X
matt3o
-[°_°]-
 
Posts: 8347
Joined: 03 Sep 2012, 15:14
Location: Italy
Main keyboard: WhiteFox
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Anything, really
Club member: 0030
 
 
This signature intentionally left blank...
matt3o wrote:ISO test, I actually like it very much

Image

:shock: So close to my dreamboard.

Very nice!
snoopy
User avatar

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 19:19

User avatar
X
snoopy
 
Posts: 980
Joined: 20 Apr 2012, 13:52
Location: Germany
Main keyboard: IBM SSK '93
Main mouse: Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: BS
Club member: 0022
 
Seeing as we're in ISO love tonight: here's the ISO variant µTKL in progress:
µTKL.png

I'm thinking of a solid wall of keys again. Note the navigation six-pack above the cursor keys: it's a square of 9. Because it's a numpad on the function layer, and 3 macro keys on the default.

Re: Matt's number-row-less layout; I was wondering when you'd go 4 row! I have considered it for the TKL. But then I'd lose row 1, and it's my favourite profile of Round 5 caps.
Muirium
User avatar
µ

Unread post17 Feb 2014, 19:43

User avatar
X
Muirium
µ
 
Posts: 22409
Joined: 03 Feb 2013, 10:11
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Main keyboard: IBM 4704 Kishsaver
Main mouse: Apple Magic Trackpad
Favorite switch: Gotta Try 'Em All
Club member: -
 
 
Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: lynaghk and 22 guests