Keyboard Builders' Digest
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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Inspiration

ALIEN88

Hanachi is back with ALIEN88, a rather gaming-oriented low-profile keyboard with unique key spacing.

KBD.news
Published April 23, 2023
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So Hanachi's name may be familiar from cutting-edge ergo projects like his Ergotonic F-24, but this time he posted a TKL keyboard with a seemingly much more conservative layout – at least until you take a closer look.

Split spacebar, extra thumb and macro keys, 3-way thumb switch, and a pretty uncommon 19x17 mm spacing make this keyboard unique. It seems Hanachi managed to define the DIY gaming keyboard kit genre:

The definition of "gaming keyboard" is not clear, but I think it has almost all the elements to call it a gaming keyboard. Well, if it lights up, it's gaming – Hanachi.

The keyboard is already being distributed as a DIY prototype, but you can still support the development by filling out this IC form.

Pic: ALIEN88 thumb keys with ChocFox Legend caps

ALIEN88 thumb keys with ChocFox Legend caps

By the way, the name comes from a manga called Area 88 by Kaoru Shintani, and the idea of the ALIEN88 design was born when the author talked to gamer friends about custom keyboards:

This development project began loosely with casual conversations among game-loving friends about whether it would be possible to use a custom-made keyboard to comfortably play games – Hanachi.

(If you are interested in the CFX caps showcased in the photos above, they are here. The KBDNEWS coupon code should work for a 5% discount on orders above $49.)

Specs

  • compact TKL layout based on US ANSI
  • low profile (8.6mm thick case, 20 mm to keycap top)
  • hotswap
  • 19x17 mm spacing
  • extra macro keys
  • split spacebar
  • two extra thumb keys
  • 3-way switch on the front side
  • per-key LEDs

Resources

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Published on Sun 23rd Apr 2023. Featured in KBD #120 (source).


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