Friday, June 16, 2017

Cherry ML

Cherry ML "Planck"

Custom keyboard with Cherry ML switches. The switches and keycaps were harvested from two different keyboards. The orthogonal PLUM keyboard and a Cherry G84-5500LPMEU-2.

The PLUM keyboard is a long discontinued model. You can still find them in unused condition on eBay. The Cherry is an obsolete PS2 model that can be found for under $20 on Amazon.

The is powered by a Pro Micro. The matrix is identical to a GNAP! without the LED matrix.

The switch spacing is 19.05mm. This is what most keyboards use and is what the PLUM keyboard was designed as.

The PLUM has all 1u keys and has most of the keys you would want, even some blanks.

The Cherry keyboard has smaller keys. The switch spacing was 18mm. A few keys were even narrower (ESC, Del).

The PLUM keycaps are also taller. In the picture the PLUM keycap is resting on the prongs that stick out below the keycap.

The PLUM keycaps are ABS and Laser marked. The prongs are smooth and are held in the switch by friction alone.

The Cherry keycaps are also ABS and laser marked with a different technology. The legends look like laser foaming. The prongs have small nubs that click the keycap into place in the switch. These feel much more secure than the PLUM ones.

The PLUM keycaps are centered on the stem of the switch. The board was designed for these so the spacing is even around the edges of the keyboard.

The Cherry keycaps are centered on the switch itself. So the keycaps sit closer to the bottom edge of the keyboard. The keycaps are also closer to the board and were touching the diodes, so they were installed on the bottom of the board for this one.

A Planck is 28mm thick with DSA keycaps. The ML is 19mm thick with PLUM keycaps, 18.75mm with Cherry keycaps.

Currently using 6mm spacers, the next version will use 5 or 4mm spacers.