Here’s my new Plaid . Pretty happy with it, though I miss my Levinson’s split layout. Keycaps are temporary, but fit well enough.

Compared to my previous blinkfest, it has only two LEDs, and I can’t figure out how to change their color. I also need to tweak the layout, since I’m using my old split keymap, some combos don’t make sense anymore. And maybe a 2U spacebar would be better. We’ll see if I find the energy to desolder two switches and replace them with a single one...

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Solder time!

Yes, switch 43 is turned at 180 degrees. This is because the PCB allows to use a single switch with a 2 u long spacebar, or two switches. There are too many holes to make them fit all without using this trick.

Since I use non-latin characters, one more key is definitely useful for more combos, so I prefer to maximize the layout.

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My new is aliiiiiiive!

It took me a while to figure out how to connect it and flash it with the default keymap. I had to install drivers and try random stuff involving a command line interface. Then I emulated a few keystrokes with a wire on the switch pads. It can type!

But yeah, adding switches and keycaps would make it a bit more useful as a keyboard. 48 switches left to solder!

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Okay, it’s time. I‘ll try to not set the house on fire. Main tools and components are ready, nothing seems to be missing, the assembly guide is open, soma.fm is playing in the background... Let’s see where the night takes us.

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The nice lady from the postal service has finally brought me the Plaid kit I had ordered many months ago, and I am QUITE excited about it. Now I just need a few more weeks to find enough time to assemble it...

I love how these keyboards look, not to mention they are made with through hole components only. No case, no plate, no Pro Micro, everything is soldered on the board.

So 40% low profile keyboards with PCB artwork and a magnetic cover are a thing. I love how aesthetics go beyond the usual here, and how a cover makes sense with the thin form factor and the split layout.

Got myself a new — what do you mean, it’s not a keyboard? It has a numpad layout, mechanical switches, layer functions, fancy blank keycaps (okay, maybe it’s arcade buttons), loads of blinking stuff, arcane firmware, and it costs an arm.

I’ve only used it for half an hour but it was more than enough to convince me it’s the best possible choice for finger drumming. And before you ask, yes, I’ll probably hack something to use it as an actual numpad.

So, I finally felt bold enough to try to repair that broken Pro Micro port on my split keyboard.

Turns out Pro Micro microcontrollers aren't only known for having god awful USB ports that break all the time for no reason.

They're also famous for being a pain to remove once soldered. And of course, I need to remove it for my (hypothetical and complicated) port repair.

I'm giving up for now, pissed off and defeated, before destroying the microcontroller, the PCB, or both.

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I feel alive when the tiny bubbling sound of solder melting in a LED socket disturbs the silence of a cold winter night.

Ever heard of the curse of the ? It's real.

1. Look for a broken microcontroller USB-C replacement.
2. Find a shop on the same continent you're living in.
3. Notice the shop also sells a jaw-dropping low-profile 40% split keyboard kit with rotary encoders and OLED displays.
4. End up with a cart totalizing ten times the value of the microcontroller.
5. Realize you now need three microcontrollers: one for the repair, and two for the kit.
6. Despair, close tab.
7. Go to step 1.

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OMFG the main micro USB port of my Levinson just literally fell off! I simply moved the keyboard a bit further to the left on my desk.

I'm discovering that Pro Micro controllers are famous for their shit port. You'd expect something you've built yourself to break, sure... but not the parts you've never tampered with. I'm really pissed off, I love this keyboard and I use it every day...

Fixing the port seems doable but hard, I'm not sure what to do.

Merveilles

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.