Mechanical Keyboard With A Framework Inside

A grey keyboard with orange and dark grey accents is angled away from the camera. The keys nearby are clearly distinguishable in the foreground but blurry toward the back/right. The keyboard is quite thick as it also contains a computer motherboard.

Like the Commodore 64 and other keyboard computers of yore, the [Elevated Systems]’s CJ64 fits all of its processing and I/O into a single keyboard-shaped package.

This iteration of the project takes it to the next level with an enclosure milled out of aluminum instead of the mere 3D printed enclosure of the previous versions. With a Framework mainboard, the ports are configurable via the Framework expansion card system giving you even more options to customize this build. To round it out, this keyboard PC doesn’t scrimp on the keyboard part either with mechanical switches and MT3 profile keycaps.

If you’d like to build one of these for yourself, [Elevated Systems] has uploaded the 3D printed enclosure files to his GitHub repository. The files for machining are available as well, but only to patrons.

For some more Framework-based mods, check out this Framework Tablet, the Framedeck, or this other retro-inspired Framework build. If you want an all-in-keyboard slabtop, then maybe check out Are Slabtops the Future of Computing?

31 thoughts on “Mechanical Keyboard With A Framework Inside

  1. tl;dw of 16 minutes video: I’m a narcissist professional youtuber, please watch me bash a piece of alu stock to make sure I earn that sweet cash, AND DON’T FORGET TO LIKE COMMENT AND SUBSCRIBE.

    1. He didn’t even make the alu chassis – he paid $800 for someone else to make it.
      This ‘hack’ is ‘I had a box made to put a computer from one box into another box, and stuck on a keyboard’

      1. Who cares if he personally spent time on the mill or buying a CNC if its his design?!?! Its just as much a hack to contract out some bits of the job as do it all yourself, as the important part of any hack is the idea and design – actually then building it is just a bonus!

        1. I designed a box. I got someone to make a box. I put stuff that other people made into that box that other people made. I’m a genius hacker. PS I bought a flashy light keyboard too. I am l33t.

          1. Oh so is your keyboard made from crude oil derivatives and metals you extracted, refined, shaped, and assembled from the raw elements then? With silicon you purified and fabbed at home? Your computer is made of PCB you designed, fabbed and then populated by silicon you designed yourself, from the rawest materials, heck did you assemble it all from elemental Hydrogen?!?!?! If not I suggest you shut up and appreciate the work they did do! This is a very slick final form that looks like it could be a real pro product. That is rather impressive.

            At some point all of hacking/making is taking parts you bought and using them in something you designed. We all build on the work of others.

    1. I am genuinely interested in how would use this. Do you have some kind of braille equivalent for a monitor? If so, does it have capability to “display” multiple lines at once, or just one line? And if just one line, how many characters?

      Or do you interact with your computer with a speech synthesizer?

  2. I actually really like this idea. Minimalistic PC from last year’s laptop guys is kinda cool. Kinda wish it had a battery though, since all the power management is there, why not?

    What would be super cool is a kvm module, so you could have this on your desk acting as a PC, but then plug it into a pi or something you want to debug and have it act like a USB hub / video interface for debugging. LTT reviewed a mini laptop that had that ability and it’s super cool having multi-purpose devices that act as both input / output device for another system as well as a system in their own right.

  3. My first PC with a single floppy Laser Compact XT w/512k of memory. With the monitor and a dox matrix printer i spent $1200 in 1989.

    My only hack was making my own external floppy cable by installing a DB-37 connector on a used floppy cable, so I would have a “B” drive. It was soon replaced by an AST 286.

  4. I also thought he did a good job walking through the difficulties of translating a 3D printed part into Al. Not to mention all the work that went into the previous iterations of the project.

    It’s probably not valuable for everyone, but I have a few projects that I’ve thought about doing small production runs of and I certainly wouldn’t want to do them all on an FDM printer at home!

  5. Nothing new here. Cybernet has been making their Elite and ZPC Zero Footprint keyboard PCs for a long time. One of the previous holders of the Commodore name either had or planned to have Cybernet give one of their models a makeover to have it run a Commodore 64 emulator in Windows.

    Before Cybernet, Schneider EuroPC started in 1988 with an 8088 PC stuffed into a keyboard. There were two revisions to the 8088 model, followed by a 80286 version, and lastly in 1992 they released a 80386sx model.

  6. Now THIS is a practical Cyberdeck for everyday use! Pair it with a VR HMD that can connect over WiFi (e.g. Quest 2) and you have an entirely portable VR rig composed of nothing more than the bare minimum of HMD and physical keyboard (virtual typing SUUUUUCKS).

    1. ‘typing’ on the trackpads as you do with a steam controller is pretty damn good – though still sucks…

      I didn’t know anybody had made reliable VR wireless over regular WiFi – I presume like mirracast work, or is only possible to use it as a fixed 2d display in the virtual world for the latency and bandwidth issues? How well does it work?

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