Sunrise Keyboard Looks The Part

If you’ve been to a bar sometime since the 1930s, you’ve probably spied someone drinking a Tequila Sunrise. It’s a drink that mimics the beautiful colors of the dawn. In much the same way, so does this Sunriser keyboard build from [crashl1445].

Built for a high-school engineering project, the build looks resplendent with its yellow case, paired with yellow, orange and pink keycaps to produce the wonderful sunrise aesthetic. The build relies on an Elite-C v4 microcontroller, an off-the-shelf device specifically designed for building custom keyboards. As you might guess from the name, it features a USB-C port, serving as a modernized alternative to the Arduino Pro Micro for custom keyboard builders. KTT Rose switches are used as per [crashl1445’s] own preference, and there’s even a rotary encoder which acts as a volume knob, installed right by the arrow keys. The case is printed in several parts on a Prusa Mk3+, as the keyboard wouldn’t fit entirely on the build plate as a single piece.

The best thing about building your own keyboard is that you can design it entirely to suit your own preferences and aesthetic; we think [crashl1445] did a great job in this regard. If you’re cooking up your own sweet keyboard build, don’t hesitate to let us know!

Transparent Framedeck Is Clearly Capable

When the universe tells you to build a cyberdeck, then build a cyberdeck you must. The lucky [Richard Sutherland] got an email from user-serviceable laptop purveyors Framework about the availability of their main board for use as a single-board computer. They agreed to send him a laptop and some extra modules as long as he promised to build something awesome with it. There was just one fabulous caveat: whatever design he came up with had to be released to the public.

[Richard] took this capable board with four USB ports and built an all-in-one that pays homage to the slab-style computers like the TRS-80 Model 100, which [Richard] really wanted as a kid. It looks lovely in layered acrylic and brass, and even though we pretty much always think that see-through is the best design choice you can make, transparency really works here. Tucked into those layers is a custom 36-key split running on an Elite-C microcontroller with Gazzew Boba U4 Silent-but-tactile switches, and a trackball in between. Be sure to take the build tour and check out all the process pictures.

Acrylic looks great and seems great on paper, but what about actual use? [Richard] put rubbery SKUF feet on the front, and a pair of repositionable feet on the back. Not only will it stay in place on the table, but he’ll be able to see the screen better and type at an angle greater than zero.

As cool as it would be to have Framedeck in the apocalypse, it will be hard to hide and could get looted. You might want to build something a bit more concealed.

Finally, an ortho split keyboard with two Enter keys.

All Aboard! The Railroad Keyboard Is Now Serving Open Sourceville

Sometimes you don’t know what you want until you see it, and that goes for keyboard designs as much as it does the dessert cart. The Railroad is [DiplomacyPunIn10Did]’s first keyboard design, believe it or not. And, well, we like what we see. Good thing it’s open-source, eh?

While we personally don’t normally go for straight-up ortholinear keyboards, this one looks split enough to be comfortable. We love that there is both an ISO Enter and a regular-sized Return, although we might put another Enter on the left side if it were our keyboard. That’s the beauty of this whole open-source keyboard thing, though. I could assign any number of those animal-capped keys to Enter. Another plus is that The Railroad uses semi-normal keycap sets, with none of this 1.25u nonsense of certain split keyboards.

All the files and the BOM are available on GitHub under a Creative Commons license. This represents JLCPCB’s max length, by the way. [DiplomacyPunIn10Did] wanted to add a num pad, but it would have made it too long. Since the pictures are so big, we put our hands up to the screen to test it out. Those innermost 1u thumb keys look like they’re placed just far enough in toward the space bars that they wouldn’t cause strain, but it’s hard to know for sure without trying a real one. (Darn you, global shortages and shipping delays!)

Yep, there are all kinds of ways to make a keyboard your own. We’ve even seen an all-wood keyboard that uses Scrabble tiles for keycaps.

Illustrated Kristina with an IBM Model M keyboard floating between her hands.

Keebin’ With Kristina: The One With The Grabbity Gloves

I keep saying I need to stay away from auction sites, but then I wouldn’t have as much fodder for Hackaday, would I? As I write this, I’m waiting on a Dell AT101W, which will be my first keeb with Alps switches. Well, hopefully it has Alps SKCM salmon or black switches — according to Deskthority, it might have rubber domes. If it doesn’t keyboard, I will probably salvage the switches and build something more ergonomic. Either way, I’m thinking we need a post about Alps switches, because some people think they’re even better than Cherry MX switches.

Continue reading “Keebin’ With Kristina: The One With The Grabbity Gloves”

3D-Printed Macro Pad Ditches The PCB With Slick Wiring Guides

Reddit user [duzitbetter] showed off their design for a 3D-printed programmable macro keyboard that offers a different take on what can be thought of as a sort of 3D-printed PCB. The design is called the Bloko 9 and uses the Raspberry Pi PICO and some Cherry MX-style switches, which are popular in DIY keyboards.

The enclosure and keycaps are all 3D printed, and what’s interesting is the way that the enclosure both holds the components in place as well as providing a kind of wire guide for all the electrical connections. The result is such that bare copper wire can be routed and soldered between leads in a layout that closely resembles the way a PCB would be routed. The pictures say it all, so take a look.

Bloko 9 is available as a paid model, and while going PCB-free thanks to 3D printing is a technique others have played with, it is very well demonstrated here and shows there is still plenty of room to innovate on the concept. DIY keyboard and macro pad design is also fertile ground for hackers; we have even seen that it’s possible to 3D print one right down to the switches themselves.

Two-Key Keyboard Build Log Starts Small, But Thinks Big

Interested in making a custom keyboard, but unsure where to start? Good news, because [Jared]’s build log for an adorable “2% Milk” two-key mini-keyboard covers everything you need to know about making a custom keyboard, including how to add optional RGB lighting. The only difference is that it gets done in a smaller and cheaper package than jumping directly in with a full-size DIY keyboard.

[Jared] is definitely no stranger to custom keyboard work, but when he saw parts for a two-key “2% Milk” keyboard for sale online, he simply couldn’t resist. Luckily for us, he took plenty of photos and his build log makes an excellent tutorial for anyone who wants to get into custom keyboards by starting small.

The hardware elements are clear by looking at photos, but what about the software? For that, [Jared] uses a Teensy  Pro Micro clone running QMK, an open source project for driving and configuring custom input devices. QMK drives tiny devices like the 2% Milk just as easily as it does larger ones, so following [Jared]’s build log therefore conveys exactly the same familiarity that would be needed to work on a bigger keyboard, which is part of what makes it such a great project to document.

Interested in going a little deeper down the custom keyboard rabbit hole? You can go entirely DIY, but there’s also no need to roll everything from scratch. It’s possible to buy most of the parts and treat the project like a kit, and Hackaday’s own [Kristina Panos] is here to tell you all about what that was like.

PinePhone Gets 3D Printed Mechanical Keyboard

Do you remember when smartphones had real physical keyboards? Working the command line on some remote machine over SSH was a breeze, and you could even knock out a few lines of code if you were so inclined. But these days you’ve either got to lug around an external keyboard, or suffer through pecking out a few words per minute on a piece of glass. Doesn’t sound much like progress to us.

By the looks of it, [James Williams] doesn’t think so either. He’s designed a physical keyboard add-on that snaps onto the back of the PinePhone to deliver a proper, albeit condensed, typing experience. This is no repurposed BlackBerry board either; he’s created a custom mechanical keyboard that manages to fold into an incredibly small size thanks to resin printed keycaps and Kailh low profile switches. Other than the hand-drawn legends, it’s probably not a stretch to say this is a better keyboard than what many people have on their actual computers.

In addition to the 3D printed frame and Kailh switches, there’s also an Arduino Pro Micro onboard to communicate with the phone. Rather than use USB, the keyboard is wired to the I2C accessory port on the rear of the PinePhone. It sounds like [James] needs a little more time to polish his QMK build before its ready to release, so you might want to wait a bit before you start printing off your own copy of the parts.

Those following along with the development of the PinePhone know there’s supposedly an official keyboard accessory in the works, but who wants to wait when we’re so close to mobile Linux nirvana? Besides, we doubt it will be nearly as pleasant to type on as the board [James] has put together.