Monday, October 15, 2018

Switch Vomit

Luddite with random switches

Wanted to test out the plate. Used up some of the odd left over switches I had laying around.

Clicky, tactile and linear switches. The plate mount stabilizers are a tight fit, but once in place they work perfectly.

The case was recycled from a massdrop KC60. This one had plastic support fins in the center that I had to break off to make room for the Pro Micro. The cheap red case I used previously had no support fins in this area.

Close up of the broken fins. I just snapped off pieces with a pair of pliers.

Close up of the USB pigtail. You will want to make sure the plastic fins are not pinching the wires.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Peel-A-Way sockets at

Much cheaper than anywhere else.

$1 for a strip of 82 These are ultra low profile sockets on a removable strip.

I've used these type of sockets on many of my projects. They may be too short for some uses, but good to have on hand at this price.

Peel-A-Way sockets used to socket an Adafruit Feather.

Peel-A-Way socket on the top half and a regular socket on the bottom.

Peel-A-Way socket on the bottom half and a low profile socket on the top.


Keyboard pyramid

Stacked 225, 144, 81, 30, and 16 key keypads in a pyramid.
  • 225 - a 5x5x9
  • 144 - a UNQUADQUAD
  • 81 - SUDOKO, handwired 9x9 matrix.
  • 30 - a keypad I never posted before. It is built from a recycled PCB and 3mm acrylic plates.
  • 16 - a single 4x4x4x4x4
I didn't use a 5x5, It looked better with the wide base of the 5x6 keypad.

Monday, October 8, 2018


Next generation of U2F security keys

There are several new FIDO2 compliant security keys. These will become essential to protecting your online presence. More and more services are supporting their use in 2 factor authentication.

Solo, opensource FIDO2 project

I used the U2FZero open source project to experiment with making my own U2F key. Their second generation key will support FIDO2 and they will also have a version with NFC. You can back their project on kickstarter. These are the cheapest available, if you can wait.

Google Titan bundle

These look a lot like the Feitian U2F keys I have. But these support FIDO2. They sell it as a set of a bluetooth dongle and a NFC USB key. They recommend having 2 keys, one as a backup.

Yubico Series 5 Keys

Yubico keys can do more than U2F and FIDO2, they support additional protocols. The new Series 5 keys add FIDO2 support. There is a lower cost version that only does U2F and FIDO2.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


Modified 4x4 that can be stacked horizontally and vertically

You can build on the first block either to the right or down. There are headers on all sides of the PCB. You can connect the board with solder bridges or with headers and shunts.

Up to 4 can be connected together. Most of the Tetris shapes can be made, except for the big square. It runs the same firmware as the regular 4x4. Gerber files on github.

All the different ways the boards can be connected. Black square is the board with the controller. The original 4x4x4x4x4 can only be assembled as a horizontal row.

The firmware treats it as a straight 4x16 matrix regardless of layout.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Raising the Bar

Interesting source of M2 parts

Found these interesting articulated parts in M2 thread size on eBay. They are from seller MOREZMORE and meant to be used as armature in posable doll making.

The interesting parts are the ball head threaded bolts and the half and fully threaded balls.

 4 articulated legs on a foobar. Probably not strong enough to use for tenting if you are a heavy typer.

I used some fully threaded balls as spacers. The half threaded balls are the feet.

Two more legs and it's an insect.

The individual bits an pieces. MOREZMORE has other M2 threaded parts as well.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mantis Gherkin


Gherkin with Outemu blue switches recycled from a cheap keyboard.
Blue 2x3x4mm LEDs installed under the switches.
PMK grab bag blank DSA keycaps.
White nylon M2 spacers and screws.
Funko Pop bobble head.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Cheap Genuine Cherry Stabilizers

Mouser has the Plate Mount ones for cheap

Bought 100 2U plate mount stabilizers for ~17 cents a piece. With shipping its about 25 cents each.

1 set of parts for a 2U plate mount stabilizer.

100 sets of 2U plate mount stabilizers. Mouser packages each part in a separate bag.

Cost with shipping for 100 2U plate mount stabilizers, $24.69. If you have other things to purchase, like diodes, you can spread out the shipping cost.

The descriptions on Mouser are not clear. The part numbers for 2U Plate (without pins) and PCB (with pins) are in the datasheet.

Mouser also has 2U PCB mount stabilizers in stock. For some reason they cost three times as much. Still much cheaper then purchasing them individually. They come packaged the same way as the plate mount ones. I have purchased both types from Mouser.

Plate Mount 2U Stabilizer

PCB Mount 2U Stabilizer

For the 6.25 spacebar I bought a 100 pack of wires from eBay. You use the same parts from the 2U set and replace the wire with the longer one. They also sell wires for other length spacebars.

These will work with either the PCB or Plate mount stabilizers.

Installed in a Luddite plate.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Luddite Plate

PCB switch plate for the Luddite

Made a switch plate out of PCB material. The holes are standard 14mm squares for MX compatible switches. I wanted it to be as strong as possible so did not use the cutouts that allows for switchtop removal.

Standard ANSI layout, as the Luddite only supports ANSI. Plate mount Cherry stabilizers are required.

I have only tested this with the Luddite PCB. Gerbers on github.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Gherkin Gore

A failure to Gherkin

Found Gherkins on Amazon. This is what arrived.

It was loose in a large box with several other items (That now smell like pickles). The only padding was the bunched up brown paper.

Gherkin gore. 4 of the 12 bottles were cracked open. There must be a trail of pickle juice somewhere.