[crispernaki]’s opening comments to this VCR head scroll wheel project lament that overall technical details aren’t “complex, ground-breaking, or even exciting.” Since when does that matter? The point is that not only did the thing finally, eventually get built, it gets daily use and it sparks joy in its owner.
This feel-good story is one of procrastination, laziness, and one aha! moment, and it’s roughly twelve years in the making. Inspired by an Instructable from long ago, [crispernaki] ran straight to the thrift store to get a VCR and take it apart.
The original plan was to just reuse the VCR head’s PCB and hide it in an enclosure, and then figure out way to block and unblock the path between an IR emitter/receiver pair. After many disemboweled mice and fruitless attempt, the project was once again shelved.
But then, [crispernaki] remembered the magnetic rotary encoder demo board that was just sitting around, along with various microcontrollers and Altoids tins. And it all quickly came together with a Teensy 2.0 and some bits and bobs, including a magnet glued on the shaft of the VCR head. A chip on the demo board does all the heavy lifting, and of course, the Teensy does the work of emulating an HID.
Continue reading “Keebin’ With Kristina: The One With The Foot Keyboard”
If you want something as personal as a keyboard done right, you have to do it yourself. Not quite satisfied with the multitude of mechanical offerings out there, [summific] decided to throw their hat into the ring and design the Chrumm keyboard. And boy, are we glad they did.
Between the lovely tenting angle and tilt, the gorgeous flexible PCBs, and the pictures that could pass for renders, [summific] has given us something beautiful to behold that we can only dream of thocking on. Even the honeycomb plate is nice. Oh, but this monoblock split is completely open source.
This Raspberry Pi Pico-powered keyboard features a 3D printable case design without visible screws, and a rotary encoder in the middle. Those palm rests are firmly attached from the underside. Why are the thumb cluster keycaps upside down? It’s not meant to drive you insane; it’s because the contour is more finger-friendly that way, according to some people.
[summific] makes this look easy, but it doesn’t matter, because all the hard work is already done. If you want something easier, start with a macropad. Or a macro pad, even.
Hooray, the system works! [Sasha K.] wrote to let me know about their Thumbs Up! keyboard, which is the culmination of a long journey down the DIY rabbit hole to end game. (Seriously, it’s kind of a wild ride, and there’s a ton of pictures).
Thumbs Up! comes in both monoblock and full split versions, but both are designed for Kailh chocs. Fans of the Kinesis Advantage will dig the key wells and possibly the thumb cluster, which in this case is raised up a bit from the mainlands. I’m pretty fond of the naked PCB approach to keyboard building, especially when they’re stacked and look as good as these do.
While the full split only comes in RP2040 (not that there’s anything wrong with that), the monoblock split is available in Pro Micro, ATmega Mini, and RP2040 versions. You can find the STL for the tilt stand and other goodies on Thingiverse.
Continue reading “Keebin’ With Kristina: The One Where Shift (Really) Happens”
For their first custom, hand-wired keyboard, [terryorchard] aka [70rch] didn’t want to mess with making a total split, and we don’t really blame them. However, as you can see, they ended up with a monoblock split, which aside from being our own personal preference, looks fantastic, and also happened to be what fit on the print bed.
What you’re looking at is a 40% remix of the Alice layout with a columnar stagger. It’s also a bit 6×3 Corne-inspired on the ergonomic front. Brain-wise, it’s got an exposed Elite Pi driving a matrix of Kailh Choc pinks and an EC11 encoder. The encoder scrolls by default, and then becomes a volume knob on the numbers and symbols layer. One super cool thing about this keyboard is the secret third layer, which is unlocked by pressing the rotary encoder. This leads to some home row mods and disables the outside columns, culminating in a test 3×5 with two layers.
Via KBD #112
Continue reading “Keebin’ With Kristina: The One With The Breadboard Macropad”
One of the nicest problems to have with a split keyboard, even a monoblock split, is deciding what to put in the middle. Most people go for either the mouse, or else their beverage of choice. Some might sub in a bowl of snacks later on in the day. Personally, we most often use the space for holding notes.
[AlSaMoMo] went with the mouse, but decided to make it a permanent installation. They planted a trackball in the middle of Batreeq, their awesome little monoblock split. For a while now, [AlSaMoMo] has been using 30-key ‘boards and wanted to see about integrating a trackball. Not only that, Batreeq has a fun-looking scroll ring and haptic feedback. Plus, it just looks fantastic.
Even though Batreeq is vaguely bat-shaped, the word translates to ‘penguin’, which, on second glance, the keyboard does appear a bit villainous. But fear not, Batreeq’s PCB is open source, as are all of [AlSaMoMo]’s keyboards.
Want to have more space between your hands? Check out this split that uses VGA connections.
Via KBD #103