60% keyboard

So its been a slow process and one that i have put on a shelf several times over the last few months but over the holiday weekend i finally finished my first keyboard project… well first one that i have finished.

lots of thanks to everyone at geekhack.org and the guys that make the TMK firmware.
inspiration from the brownfox project.

need double shot keycaps… but stealth will do for now… typing this on the keyboard :wink:

any-who here comes the pictures! totally not in the right order :stuck_out_tongue:

Uploading IMG_20151026_230944.jpg… Uploading 20151127_214940.jpg…


Looks great! I’ve been a bit intimidated to start my first custom board. How do you like your Gateron Browns? I bought a some a while back, but I want to sell them / trade them for some MX Clears. I use MX Browns on my daily driver.

thanks @Rusty

i like the switches. i have MX blues on my work keyboard (adesso compact) alot of research ive done suggest people like the Gateron’s as much if not more than MX in some cases but for me it was a cost factor. i got 104 for like 40$ on amazon. and for my first project i haven’t not been disappointed by them. i need blues… that click… :cherries: <3

as for the daunting task of wiring up the board it wasn’t bad at all. i just followed the GH60 firmware’s pin definitions in the TMK firmware and rocked it out.

it was a pleasurably tedious process. if you need any help please let me know i’d be glad to lend my successes and failures to help you.

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What a fantastic project!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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Wow this is a really amazing project, I’d love to make one for myself! Do you think you could put together a little shopping list for the keys, the controller, etc?


absolutely. most of the items are described in the GeekHack threads but i’d be gad to throw down a quick list of what i used :smile:

Key Switches Gateron (Cherry MX Clones) http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=gateron take your pick. Each has a different feel. they match up with the cherry switches so research is pretty easy.

Controller Teensy 2.0 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=teensy+2.0&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ateensy+2.0 Use the 2.0++ for use with keyboards with back lit keys

Diods 1N4148 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UXPVLEG?keywords=dioeds&qid=1448998687&ref_=sr_1_sc_8&sr=8-8-spell

Stabilizers http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/catalogsearch/result/?q=stab you will need the plate mouts the inserts and the metal bars for each extra wide key.

last but not least you will need key caps. i got a full set of blank ones off ebay for about 20$ but key caps can be rather expensive and range from 40 to well over 100$ for a set depending. do your research.

Plate designer http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/

Plate Cad converter http://builder.swillkb.com/

TMK firmware https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard

begin your research on Geekhack.org and deskthority this project is not hard but not easy either. you will also require wire and a decent soldering iron and the know how to use it.

protip: do lots of prototypes. the tolerances are very tight and exact. you can’t take a hammer to the switches to make them fit.

all and all its a very fun and rewarding experience. not for the faint of heart. i started this project in early October and had to put it down and pick it back up afew times.

if anyone wants any help getting started feel free to message me here or on GeekHack (MrBishop)

happy typing :smile:


Nice, I’m a member on Geekhack too (ThatRusty), but I haven’t been there for awhile. I hear you on the putting these projects down and picking them back up, I started a thread over at Geekhack about a mini ergonomic board I wanted to make, but haven’t made too much progress on it! One of these days!

P.S. If you ever see a good deal on some SA Caps let my know!

What are the diodes for? Some kind of debounce or multi-key reverse voltage block?

well i bought what i thougth were SA keys on ebay but i wont know if they are cherry compatible untill they get here. i’m hopefull its about 700 keys in total but they are some weird random numbers and words xD

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its for anti ghosting. basically its a switch matrix rows and columns. the diodes keep you from having weird cross key presses registered. a more technical description could be found on geekhack sorry.

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Awesome! Hopefully they will work out for you, a mishmash of keys might be kind of cool!

oh yeah this board is going to be a patchwork. and i’m doing that on purpose. it will be a fun kinda hobbled together keyset.

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Nice! loving the DAS-Keyboard look of the blank keys. :smile:

Have you thought of applying this same process to make a custom pendant for your machine?

i have but i’ll likely go with a wireless one as i’m eventually moving away from arduino and onto linux cnc as my stepper controller. BUT i have thought about doing a control panel but it will likely be an upgrade long down the road if at all. the pendants are pretty full featured.

Also i have a usb number pad i’m using as a pendant right now tho. works really well. and if i break it its only 10$ to replace it (give or take) :smiley:

Thanks so much for writing this up! I would love to make these for the dev team here at Inventables, maybe make a whole desk setup (keyboard + monitor stand + pen tray, something kind of like this http://grovemade.com/collections/wood-desk-collection)


i have been thinking of making these to sell :wink: this was my feet in the water sort of thing.

oh and the grovemade stuff is really pretty