This DIY Mechanical Keyboard Incorporates a Plethora of Thrilling Options


I continuously extoll the virtues of mechanical keyboards as a result of I really imagine that anybody who spends their day in entrance of a pc can profit from the expertise. An excellent mechanical keyboard can enhance typing velocity and accuracy whereas lowering repetitive stress accidents. Customized mechanical keyboards additionally give customers entry to every kind of further features that enhance productiveness. Peng Zhihui’s HelloWord Keyboard takes that idea to the intense with a plethora of thrilling options.

Customized mechanical keyboards are a dime a dozen and we’ve featured dozens of examples. All of them have a tendency to mix magnificence and performance, with high-quality mechanical key switches and classy key caps. The HelloWord Keyboard is not any totally different. It has a surprising CNC-milled aluminum enclosure and compact 75% structure. However it’s distinctive for a number of causes. The primary is that it makes use of 74HC165 shift registers as an alternative of a standard keyboard matrix. That lets the STM32F103 microcontroller scan all the keys at a excessive velocity (twice per millisecond) and likewise prevents ghosting with out the necessity for diodes. The STM32 additionally has granular management of each RGB LED beneath every particular person key.

That {hardware} alone would make this keyboard price your consideration, but it surely gives a lot extra. For instance, there’s a capacitive contact bar mounted in entrance of the house bar. That lets customers carry out fast actions with their thumbs — digits which are underutilized with standard typing strategies. The contact bar acts as a 2D slider and is configurable for various actions. It may, for example, copy when the person slides their thumb a technique after which paste once they slide their thumb the opposite approach.

However wait, there’s extra! HelloWord additionally comprises a USB3 hub and a further “dynamic module.” That module is swappable to help future designs, however Zhihui’s demonstration module is already wonderful. It comprises an e-ink display screen, an OLED display screen, two tactile buttons, and a particular motorized management knob. That knob has a brushless DC motor for drive suggestions and lively suggestions. It may act has a dial for a wide range of features, with the motorized drive suggestions offering tactile clicks or resistance. It may additionally transfer by itself, akin to to point quantity stage. Totally different “apps” can be found to run on the dynamic module.

USB doesn’t present sufficient energy to drive that knob’s motor, so Zhihui discovered a intelligent workaround. An inside LiPo battery acts like a capacitor to retailer energy for the motor till it’s wanted. The battery is all the time charging by means of USB, after which supplies energy for the motor when it wants to maneuver.

The dynamic module has a further USB port, so customers can join {hardware} like a fingerprint scanner or a wi-fi mouse dongle. Zhihui is a software program developer and he programmed customized firmware for the HelloWord Keyboard together with an SDK for configuring all the features of the keyboard and the dynamic module. This mission is open supply and all the things you have to construct your personal HelloWord Keyboard is on Zhihui’s GitHub web page.


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