Building a keyboard from scratch

After over a year of work, [dmw] is nearly done with his Humble Hacker Keyboard. It’s a keyboard that has been influenced by some pretty crazy looking designs, but meets all of [dmw]’s needs for a compact, programmer-oriented key layout that’s easy to type on.

[dmw] posted a pseudo-build log  over at the geekhack keyboard forums. Every single part of this keyboard is custom-made. The key caps were made by Signature Plastics, the case was made by Shapeways, and the custom PCB for the key switches came directly from Express PCB. The key switches are blue Alps sliders (one of the best key switches available) with a few white Alps switches taken from an old Apple keyboard.

After soldering a hundred diodes and switches, [dmw] installed a Teensy++ to convert the closing key switches to something his computer can understand. This turned out to be a perfect of the Teensy because of the USB peripheral libraries that already exist. The source is up on github, so if you’ve ever wanted to replace your Model M with something more ergonomic, here’s your chance.