The Tiniest Mechanical Keyboard Ever

Owning a mechanical keyboard makes you a better person. It puts you above everyone else. Of course, owning a mechanical keyboard does come with some downsides. Carrying a mechanical keyboard around all the time to tell everyone else you’re better than them is usually impractical, but [cahbtexhuk Joric] has come up with a solution. It’s a miniature Bluetooth mechanical keyboard that’s also a keychain.

Mechanical keyboard keychains are nothing new – they’re really just a piece of injection molded plastic meant to fit a single Cherry MX keyswitch. Usually, though, these are just trinkets — think of them as a fidget spinner for someone who types. The real trick here is putting electronics and a battery in this piece of plastic to turn it into a working keyboard.

The solution to this problem comes in the form of a TI CC2540 module [cahbtexhuk Joric] found on AliExpress. This is a complete low-power microcontroller with Bluetooth in a tiny, tiny package. Add a small coin cell and you have the tiniest Internet of Things thing you can build for less than five dollars.

[cahbtexhuk Joric] programmed this tiny Bluetooth module with the relevant TI tools, an Arduino, and a neat programming clip. After that, it was just a matter of soldering the keyswitch to the module and wiring up a battery. The result is the cutest mechanical keyboard ever. Right now, [cahbtexhuk] has this keyboard programmed to map to his Windows key. That makes for a great demonstration (video below), but this mini keyboard could be programmed to type anything when it’s pressed.

Thanks [cahbtexhuk] for the tip!

33 thoughts on “The Tiniest Mechanical Keyboard Ever

    1. Well, I’m not there, but you might get *next* year’s installment.

      Too much shit is going on this weekend. Between Maker Faire, Hamvention and Moogfest, this is actually a *crappy* weekend. You’re guaranteed to miss out on something.

      1. Sorry to hear. Really enjoyed your Hamvention coverage last year. This year, the flea market was held in a grassy area, and Friday’s storms had all the attendees referring to the flea market as “The Mud Pit”!

    1. Those Cherry ML switches are perfect for miniature arcade cabinets. They are much better than those hard-to-press PCB push buttons that people usually use in their projects.

  1. It would seem that this “open source” project has a few short comings.
    Unless you already have the IAR compiler, you will not be able to duplicate this project.
    The BLE stack is too large to fit in the limited code version of the compiler.

    Sort of a waste.

      1. @Anton:
        Have you used this 8051 compiler yourself ?
        Does it compile the BT4 stack mentioned in the article ?
        Does it compile any of the code from links i the article ?

        Will you spend the effort to get this “open source” project running on SDCC ?

  2. Had me worried… thought the article applied to making a full keyboad even smaller. The tiny slide out keyboard on my candy bar phone is bad enough to use with my fat thumbs!

  3. Peeps, I’m not the author, Joric is the author of this keyboard. I’ve just shared the link.
    Would you be so kind to update the post, so it doesn’t look like I stole the glory, please?

  4. I would gleefully code in ENTER. For some bizarre reason, game designers think ENTER is a convenient key when trans-coding from a controller to keyboard/mouse. Or hell…any one of those weird keys that you need to play that CANNOT be remapped because they SAID SO!

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