Hackaday Prize Entry: 1337 Haxxor Keyboards

If you’re like us, you spend most of your time in front of a computer keyboard, wondering where your life went wrong. [AnonymouSmst] has a slightly more positive outlook on life, which led them to create a truly DIY keyboard with OLEDs, Bluetooth, NFC, Analog joysticks, an ‘Internet of Things thingy’, local storage, and ostentatious backlighting. It’s a 1337 h4x0r keyboard, and one of the coolest input devices we’ve seen since that weird GameCube controller.

[AnonymouSmst] was one of the very elite, very privileged hackers that made it out to the Hackaday Munich meetup where [sprite_tm] first demoed his firmware hack that allowed anyone to play Snake on a keyboard. Here, the idea of building the ultimate keyboard was planted, and [mst] quickly began researching which keyswitches to use. Apparently, [mst] hates his neighbors and chose the obnoxiously loud Cherry Blues.

To a standard 60% keyboard layout, [AnonymouSmst] added a lot of hardware you don’t usually see in even the most spectacular mechanical keyboard builds. A few dozen WS2812 RGB LEDs were added to the build, as was an Adafruit Bluefruit module, an NFC reader, a LORA module and a ESP8266 for WiFi capability, an OLED display just because, and two analog joysticks on either side, one acting as the arrow cluster the other acting as a mouse.

We’ve seen dozens of mechanical keyboard builds over the years, but this takes the entire concept of a DIY keyboard to the next level. It’s bright, shiney, glowey, and a vulgar display of conspicuous consumption and engineering prowess. It is the perfect keyboard, if only because it was designed and built by the person who would ultimately wield it.

24 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: 1337 Haxxor Keyboards

    1. It’s not just Apple that have USB ports in their keyboards. Personally I find having the ports in the keyboard pretty handy for thumb drives because the only other USB3 ports are round the back of my motherboard otherwise.

    2. I have a couple dozen Dell keyboards with 2 USB ports next to the back-center where the cable comes in. They’re a few bucks on eBay, search for “dell 0N6250”, “Dell SK-8135”, or “Dell SK8135”. They’re of decent quality (about 50-50 over whether they have quiet clacky keys or squishy keys)

  1. Amazing!

    I think this is going to be a hit. Wait till some other talented people design some nice open source cases you can 3d print! Order a pcb and some components and solder it all up.

    1. After reading and not just looking at the pretty pictures I noticed that ,You forgot some things like finishing the SD reader ( A must. ) and adding USB ports ( They have to be USB 3 and C. ), finger print scanner and camera and mike.
      One more thing I think you should have a larger LCD, My eyes are starting to go.
      Other then that I’ll still take one with these things added.
      Give me a call when it ready.

      Super great job.
      One of these days I’ll figure out how to put pictures up.

      1. I don’t think biometrics should be used for authentication of things; a sufficiently long password for your keyboard should be sufficient. Camera’s are dangerous because they can see your face, and mikes are dangerous because they can hear your voice.

        I totally agree, everything can use a bigger LCD and accessible USB ports.

  2. not a big fan of these ps2 style joystick modules. i mean they are pretty straightforward, but they have a massive deadzone of doom. the only thing worse are those psp style modules. i built a stick with one of those, an attiny85 providing the adcs and a gpio line for a single button, and operates as an i2c slave, 3d printed a case for it, and its probibly the worst joystick i ever used.

    thats the only real thing i have against this otherwise awesome keyboard. if i had designed it id use some of those high end professional hall sensor sticks, like the ones ch sells on its industrial site, if they weren’t worth a pretty penny. though i could probibly find some sticks like the ones used in r/c radios for a little less.

  3. I’d love to build my own keyboard. Unfortunately what I want, vs. what is available, has a significant gap.
    There are a number of builds based on mechanical swiches, which apparently are glorious to type on but
    1 – are way too tall, and
    2 – lock you into a spacing of 19mm if you want the keycaps to fit.

    If you want smaller key spacing [say 15mm, overall size 200mm x 75mm ] you need to look at membrane layouts and custom everything. I believe this qualifies as “Yak shaving” and, if I ever manage to make such a keyboard, I will call it the “Yak Razor 1”.

    1. i was wondering about that. i found an old cherry keyswitch keyboard in a dumpster. the only thing wrong with it was that it was missing some keycaps. so i printed replacements. unfortunately i had some issues with my calipers and all my measurements were wrong. the socket that fits over the keswitch was functional, but the keys themselves were too small and didnt match the other. if you have a 3d printer you could get away with non-standard keycaps, trim down the sides. and pack your key switches in a little tighter. this is something i kind of want to do for my pi tablet, i want a basic keyboard that is narrow enough to not look ridiculous but which is still easy to type on, probibly run the matrix with a couple of i2c port expanders, or just use an arduino micro and make it a usb device.

  4. Slightly odd configuration. Usually the leds are placed at the underside of the switch where it can shine through a hole in RGB compatible switches instead of inbetween. Very cool though. Especially the addition of NFC, screen and the joysticks. That really makes it stand out. I’m sure r/mechanicalkeyboards and Geekhack will be all over this post soon, we love a good diy mech :-) I’m certain that if you pitched these at the people over on Massdrop they would be happy to sell a couple hundred of these as a kit.

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