Keyboard Builders' Digest
Save 5% at BeaverKeys (CA/US)! Code: KBDNEWS
Keyboard Builders' Digest / Editorial

Behind the scenes #2023/33

Quick news, in the mailbox, giveaway update, meetups, shops & discounts, whatever.

Published August 18, 2023
Creators! Feel free to tip me off about your keyboard related projects to bring them to 100K readers.

Hey y'all,

Welcome back for another weekly recap and behind-the-scenes write-up. If you are new to, you can read how this started out and what this is all about nowadays. If you like what you see, subscribe to the newsletter (free) and donate some bucks to keep this otherwise free and ad-free project alive.

For your ears

Inspired by Gleb's Deathpad (and also Policium's GRIN Note and its non-4/4 time signature), let's set the mood for today's read with Meshuggah's They Move Below:

Reading for the weekend

  • CB34S is a 34-key columnar staggered Choc V1 monoblock split keyboard by Bubbleology – with Nice!Nano and Nice!View. In addition, the author reviews FK custom's service and caps (use the KBDNEWS coupon code!), since this particular build features custom Hiragana MBKs.
  • KBDcraft now offers the LEGO-compatible Adam0110b, along with merging and upgrade kits to combine the 60% Adam and the Addams numpad.
  • Shane Hanna shared his PLA_NCK, a low-profile split ortholinear keyboard with Gateron KS-33 switches.
  • Sneftel is introducing Heron, a Dactyl-inspired unibody keyboard with each column mounted on a laser-cut acrylic scaffold. Is this a new trend now? (I'm looking at you Killer Whale.)
  • Brian Swetland published a mechanical keyboard for the retro legend ZX81 home computer.


  • Nikita Shirokov shared KLP Lamé, a set of new keycaps for Kailh Choc switches.
  • Holykeebs offers various popular splits with a new trackpoint module.
  • Tefinite Dev's first keyboard looks cool, and it sports interesting and relatively low-profile (MX) XVX caps.
  • Policium is working on GRIN Notes, a cheap through-hole GRIN with unique aesthetics (more on this layout).

Pic: GRIN Notes by Policium

GRIN Notes by Policium

  • Stenographer Barbie? I have to confess I'm not a huge movie-goer and also immune to general hype, so I almost missed the fact that Ruth Handler, inventor of Barbie, was, among other things, also a stenographer. At least according to this petition. (Thanks @StenoKeyboards!)
  • Gleb teased his Deathpad art project, "a 9-key macropad in a huge ominous 30×30cm case inspired by the logos of death metal bands and the darkest corners of nature". There's also a dedicated page for this project.
  • The next level of controller socketing? A cool buckle connector by Seeed for the plug and play experience of XIAO devboards – demo this way.
  • I know I have to strengthen the switch side of this blog (feel free to help me!). Until then, here are some Diamond Avalon switches with a uniquely shaped top housing.
  • I've already updated the Kaly42 post with a link to the source files, but Dwctor also published a video with some insights into his design considerations.


In the mailbox

I received the newest Adam add-on, the Adam0110b upgrade kit from KBDcraft's BoyU. Here are my first impressions. To sum it up: I love the whole concept (dispite some minor annoyances), and thanks to the brick construction the building experience is unlike that of any other keyboard kit.

Pic: KBDcraft Adam0110b

KBDcraft Adam0110b

By the way, I've been using the Adam as my daily driver at home for weeks now, since the Drop photoshoot to be exact, when I broke some solder joints of my handwired Azimuth. Out of sheer laziness (my soldering equipment was put away) I grabbed the first board close to my desk, and it happened to be the Adam. I also wanted to revisit ANSI/ISO after almost five years spent on ergo splits, and I got accustomed to the Adam pretty quickly. It's not perfect, but I had no reason to switch to another board thus far.

Maybe when I get the Planeta by Ergohaven, hopefully next week? (I just paid taxes and custom handling fee today to get it out of customs.)

And a package from Chosfox is also on its way. At the time of the reddit protest I wrote somewhere that I'm out of content, and Robin kindly offered some product samples for review: bancouver40, CFX caps, switches. I'm eager to lay my hands on these.

Giveaway update

No panic, you haven't missed anything. This is about last year's giveaway… Seriously.

So Dirk and hunboy, winners of two X-Bows boards, have had to wait until this week, more than eight months, to get their prizes. Both guys reported receiving the keyboards eventually, so this endless saga seems to finally come to an end. (I'm not sure I'm ready for another giveaway on this scale, with 50 sponsors and 100+ prizes.)

Pic: Hunboy's new X-Bows Crystal

Hunboy's new X-Bows Crystal

X-Bows was hit by severe disruption of their supply chains, their OEM factory was closed, they went out of stock to the extent even their shopify was closed for months. Then, on my inquiry about three weeks ago, I was told that production was finished at a new factory.

Hopefully, they are back now.

Meetup database

New entries and updates to the database of keyboard meetups:

As always, this meetup database is both a calendar and an archive so feel free to send me upcoming events or even ones from the recent past to make this collection as comprehensive as possible.

Vendor database

New shops and updates to the database of keyboard vendors this week:


This week I spent considerable time with a relatively new typing app with an interesting twist. Don't want to promote it yet, at least until I've tested it thoroughly. The point is, I like to type out meaningful quotes rather than a random burst of words (always the same frequent words). It's not just more objective in terms of measuring your "real" WPM but also makes more sense imo.

Quotes are often thought-provoking, and help you discover books and authors you've never heard about. That's why I loved and back, well, five years ago? Then monkeytype took over the scene with its superior UI and UX, and although it has quotes mode too, I realized I missed apps with not just quotes as default but actually built entirely on quotes – with quotes as their very essence.


New developments:

  • Small updates in some scripts helping me compile the newsletter and the weekly editorial.
  • I'm a bit closer to identify and fix a pesky bug resulting in messing up formatting of posts when there are multiple links (both an outgoing and local one) on the same line…


Still with me? Go and build something this weekend. Or not:

"Keep the dream alive, and hit the snooze button."


That's all for today. Thanks for checking by. To be honest, I have no idea if these summaries are anything useful. If you think they are, feel free to comment or press a like or upvote it on Twitter/Reddit/Keebtalk, etc.

Until next time,


Do you like this post? Share, donate, subscribe, tip me off!

Published on Fri 18th Aug 2023. Featured in KBD #131.


Behind the scenes #139

Quick news, donation issues, in the mailbox, meetups, updates. Would you like a giveaway?

Behind the Scenes of Issue 28

Personal favorites. No more ads. Donor hall of fame. Most popular posts of the last issue. Future plans.

Behind the Scenes of Issue 42

Scam attempt, giveaway winning streak – I must be in possession of the secret method, sustainable keyboard hobby, new tool in the making. Issue 41 follow-up and brutal monthly visitor record.

Behind the Scenes of Issue 76

Duplex matrix feedback, round-robin matrix research. New donors, April stats, upcoming KBD.NEWS scholarship(?).

Quick weekly BTS #2023/31-32

Quick news, meetups, shops & discounts, whatever. Back from holiday.

Behind the Scenes of Issue 23

Development journal: Behind the scenes of Issue 23, personal favorites, LED power consumption trial breakthrough, Azimuth46-6 teaser with photos!