Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Aqua Planck

Planck with Fosen Aquamarine switches

  • OLKB Planck Rev 2 PCB
  • Fosen Aquamarine clicky switches
  • PCB plate and bottom
  • DSA doubleshot ABS keycaps 
  • 2x3x4mm blue LEDs
  • M2 brass spacers (9mm)
Another Planck keyboard made with the PCB plates from EasyEDA.com. The PCB was one of the $10 closeout ones from olkb.com (there are no more.)

(Not a pool toy.)

Blue LEDs on lowest brightness.

Side view. 9mm is the shortest spacers you can use, the USB port just barely clears.

DSA keycaps. Black and Blue.

LEDs on.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

PCB Plate Planck

Planck with PCB Plates

  • OLKB Planck PCB Rev 2
  • 1.6mm top and bottom PCB plate
  • M2 10mm spacers
  • Gateron clear switches
  • White 3mm LEDs
  • PMK Grab Bag DSA keycaps
  • Gerber files
OLKB uses 19mm switch spacing which is different from just about everyone else. PCB's produced at easyeda.com. Since these have no copper layers they emailed me to confirm that this is what I wanted.

PCB cost from easyeda.com was $22.60 for 5 top and $22.60 for 5 bottom pieces $45.20 total for 5 sets, plus shipping. Standoffs you can find on eBay, just search for "M2 brass 10mm". There are also nylon ones.

The standoffs interfere with the PCB. Small notches need to be ground into the PCB for it to fit. This has to be done with care, if you grind off too much you will eventually start cutting into traces. If you slip you might break off a diode or resistor. The top and bottom copper layers are the ground and power planes. So don't short across them with a metal standoff.

The plate could be used for hand wiring. They flex about as much as 3mm acrylic, but are much stronger, nearly impossible to crack. You can also sand off the solder mask and dye the PCB.

I sanded down the PCB to take off the shine. The green solder mask is also a bit uneven and had some gloppy areas.

I also sanded the edges smooth. The raw edge was rough in some spots.

The raw PCB's before sanding. You can see some of the imperfections in the green coating.

The PCB is recycled from the Plight. It's had 3 sets of LEDs replaced. Lots of flux residue.

The standoffs are too close to the PCB. Notches need to be ground into the PCB for 6 of the standoffs.
I used a Dremel with a small grinder bit.

A close up view of one of the notches. You can see that if I grind further I will cut into the trace for the LED.
If you use the thinner standoffs you would not need to grind as much.

DSA keycaps from random PMK grab bags. The yellow space bar is a 2u POS cap covering 2 switches.

Side view of the 10mm spacers.

Close up of the USB port. There's enough space to go down to 9mm spacers.

LEDs on.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Gherkin Wood

Wood case for the gherkin keyboard

  • Bamboo plywood
  • M2 spacers
  • P2 size EPS file for ponoko.com
This is a simple sandwich style case cut out of 2.7mm bamboo plywood. I had two sheets cut, one from the blonde color and one from the darker colored wood. You can see two layers of the darker wood from the side. This would work with 3mm acrylic as well.

Overall it came out ok, but If I did it again I would pick a different material. The bamboo frays and splinters very easily. Ponoko only has veneer and plywoods. www.outfab.com has some nicer solid woods.

You can see the 2 darker layers of wood. There are a total of 6 layers.
I had to sand the edges down to remove the laser scorch marks and to gets all the layers to line up as a single smooth surface.

The cutout for the USB connector. I glued the middle layers together to add strength and to keep them aligned.

The bottom. You can see the frayed edges of the wood where the bamboo veneer splintered.

The edge of the bamboo looks more interesting than the top and bottom surface. It is all bamboo plywood, no fillers.

White LED back lighting. Cheap PBT doubleshot keycaps from eBay.

Bottom removed. Here you can see the PCB fits snugly inside the wood layers. The M2 spacers sit in the holes.
You can see, on the inside, how dark the scorched edges of the wood were.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Sea Cucumber

Gherkin with Fosen Aquamarine and Nantucket Selectric