Tuesday, November 29, 2016

mf68 revised PCB

Second version of mf68 TMK PCB

This is a replacement PCB for the Magicforce 68 keyboard. It is powered by a cheap Pro Micro controller. This is the second version, more information can be read in this post and details on git.

Everything now works. The only issue is the resistor for one of the optional LEDs for the space bar. The resistor needs to be installed on the bottom of the PCB so that it does not interfere with the stabilizer.

Bottom of the PCB.

Top of the board with all diodes and resistors soldered.

Made the area under the space bar white.

100ohm and 100Kohm resistors for Mosfet.

Pro Micro, Reset button, Mosfet, and optional Mini USB connector. This particular PCB is going into a custom sandwich case from Lasergist. A cut up micro USB cable will connect the mini USB connector to the Pro Micro.

Board installed in Magicforce top plate and everything soldered.

Space bar LED resistor on the left (above the printed date) would interfere with the plastic stabilizer if installed on the top of the PCB.

Replaced pigtail with a cut up micro USB cable.

Backlighting on. Cheap PBT backlit keycaps from eBay.

The button is now centered. I still managed to drill the hole in the case too low. You can see the two LEDs on the Pro Micro, indicating caps lock.

Monday, November 28, 2016

40% Edward

40% Radical Edward Themed Keyboard

This is a very simple (compared to the project on Geekhack) Radical Edward themed keyboard. It is mainly a custom laser top plate and rack handles. Charger's is more a true replica.

30% Edward is here. 16mm Edward is here.


Ed can't stand up without the little plastic disc. Only the head can rotate.

The rack handles were not square on the ends. When tightened it would warp the plate. Spent a few minutes with a flat file to even the two ends.

Red LEDs for Ed.

These are the smallest handles of this style I could find.

Rear USB connection. Ed's keyboard has a side connection.

It's a little off center. Had to line up the center screw somewhere it didn't cut into the vinyl.

Too bad OLKB doesn't sell these bottoms anymore. They aren't the prettiest, but they are very sturdy, and have much more room inside than the milled aluminum ones.

The end.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Christmas Pickle

Gherkin with annoying lights

  • Gherkin keyboard
  • 2x3x4mm self flashing LEDs (fast cycle)
  • Gateron clear top switches
  • Vortex PBT double shot keycaps
My entry in the company Christmas ornament contest. The LEDs cycle on their own, there is no control. They all flash the same basic pattern in the same sequence, but they get out of sync very quickly and it ends up looking very random.

The Christmas Pickle is a real thing. Never heard of it before.

The LEDs are from eBay. Search for "2x3x4 RGB flash". They fit inside the clear top Gateron switches. There is also a slow flash version that cycles very slowly. I have some of those too.

Monday, November 21, 2016


40% Split Keyboard (The peronic)

  • Handwired
  • Teensy 2.0
  • TMK Firmware
  • Gateron switches
  • 3mm black acrylic laser cut plates
  • M2 nylon spacers/screws
This was my first attempt at a split layout. It is setup identically to one of my Plancks, only difference is the split. Not really liking it with my current layout. Will probably have to change some things around for this to work.

PMK Grab Bag SA Row 3 keycaps

Wired like I wire my Plancks, Just some extension wires in the middle.

Friday, November 18, 2016


81 keys in a 9x9 grid

  • Pro Micro using all available pins
  • Hand wired
  • TMK firmware
  • Gateron switches
  • DSA keycaps from PMK grab bags
  • 3mm laser cut top and bottom
  • M2 nylon spacers and screws
Made this long ago to try out Ponoko.com. This is the largest "keyboard" that can be made on their smallest P1 sized material (181mmx181mm).

I have no real use for it. It sits on my desk at work as a paperweight.

I suppose you could use a keycap puller and actually play sudoku on it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


30 key keyboard

My smallest keyboard with MX switches. The entire bottom row are dual function tap/hold keys.

There is a missing trace. From VCC on the Pro Micro to the first pin (square pin) on JP1.

Gateron milky white housings dyed green with RIT Emerald Green dye. They are very dark.
You can see the brown jumper wire to fix the missing trace.

M2 spacers and screws holding the two PCB's together.

6mm spacers. Would like to get it thinner, but would require integrating the controller into the PCB.

The end.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Kwark 1.1

Kwark PCB v1.1 with Holtite compatible holes.

  • Used same parts as described in this post by /u/japanitrat
  • Sockets purchased from Digikey 
  • This was a PCB from EasyEDA.com with HASL finish
  • Switch holes are 60mil and LED holes are 40mil
  • Switch holes fit well, need to be pushed down with something blunt to fully seat
  • LED holes were tight but are secure
Other modifications from the v1 pcb are the enlarged slots and second controller moved up.

Friday, November 11, 2016


Replacement Magicforce 68 PCB 1.0

First version of the PCB. There are some problems. One missing trace. The cluster of key on the right are a non-standard distance from the other keys. I ground the holes so that the switches would fit. This cut through some traces and some connections needed to be jumpered. Everything works. Cut up a microUSB cable and replaced the pigtail on the case with it. Drilled a hole through the bottom of the case for the reset button. There were not enough pins on the Pro Micro to have a separate capslock LED. Instead I used the two onboard status LEDs. They can be seen glowing through the white case bottom.

One of the cheap $35 MagicForce boards that did not have backlighting was used. Not sure if there is anything different in the placement of switches or the design of the case from the more expensive backlit ones.

Second version of PCB will fix the position of the misaligned switches and moved some of the mounting holes and the reset switch to line up with the case better.

Fits after a little adjustment

Switches did not aligned correctly.

Hole for reset button

micro USB pigtail


5x15 grid layout, multiple controllers supported

The matrix is a 9x9 grid. This uses all of the available pins on the Pro Micro. The other controllers have pins left over. The serial pins and pins connected to LEDs were avoided if possible.


Two PCBs are used as the top and bottom plates. M2 spacers are used to connect the two plates. The length of the spacers depends on the controller used. The mini USB connector on the Teensy 2.0 is taller than the others. 6mm spacers were used for the ones with micro USB connectors. Switches are PCB mount. 1n4148 diodes are installed inside the switches. POS type keycaps designed to cover more than one switch are used for some switch locations.


TMK used for Pro Micro and Teensy 2.0. The only difference is the pinout.

TMK/Chibios used for the Teensy LC/3.2. Instructions for adding Chibios to TMK are here.

Kiibohd controller can be used for the Teensy 3.2 Instructions for creating a custom keyboard with a Teensy 3.2 are here.

The specific files that were created follwing the instructions above are here:


Bottom of 1.0 PCB with Pro Micro installed

Top and bottom PCBs assembled, Pro Micro sandwiched between.

Diodes installed inside the switches.

Grab bag DSA caps. 2u POS caps covering two switch positions.

Pro Micro

PJRC Teensy 2.0

PJRC Teensy 3.2

PJRC Teensy LC

Empty socket. Teensy 2.0/LC/3.2

Gateron yellows and Gateron clears for 2u POS switches

Bottom of 1.1 PCB. White border added to make it look more like a highway sign.