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Blok controller

Boardsource announced Blok, a new RP2040-based microcontroller with Pro Micro footprint.

KBD.news
Published June 4, 2022

Blok is another Pro Micro compatible development board sporting Raspberry's RP2040 chip – designed and sold by Boardsource.

This means, just like the Pi Pico or Adafruit's KB2040, it's compatible with KMK (and also PMK ofc) and offers the familiarly simple workflow of flashing and updating your keymap (actually, an even simpler one as you'll see).

(See all the controllers featured in KBD here.)

Specs

  • RP2040 microcontroller (133MHz, 2 cores, 264KB RAM, etc.)
  • USB-C connector
  • 16MB external flash memory
  • thickness: 3.2mm
  • accessible Reset / Boot
  • Purple and RGB LED

The 3.2mm thickness is probably the result of the type/placement of the USB-C connector. The KB2040 Keeboar is top mount (4.91mm) but e.g. the abitkeys key micro RP is only 2mm thanks to the mid-mount connector. So if you need a low-pro controller for a project, you have some choices.

Accessible reset/boot means that the switches are accessible in any controller orientation (à la abitkeys' key micro RP) thanks to the innovative but pretty rare placement of the switches.

The programmable on-board RGB LED is probably similar to the KB2040 neopixel one – and it may come in handy to indicate errors and e.g. layer states(?).

I'd like to see the pin names on the silk screen but other than that, the Blok is a feature-rich controller for an affordable price. And there's still more to it than meets the eye:

Blok’s elevate any keyboard compatible with Pro Micro footprints and grants them instant access to a modern and feature-rich ecosystem.

This means that users intimidated by editing text files can use the Blok controller together with Peg – a visual flashing interface (GUI) by Boardsource, built on top of KMK.

Pic:

Users can map keys, set LED colors, configure rotary encoders, create OLED images, and much more all from within an easy to use visual program.

Shipping with KMK and CircuitPython out of the box, Blok offers enthusiasts and creators a modern development environment limited only by your imagination instead of programming knowledge and hardware constraints.

Bloks are available for pre-order ($12) at Boardsource with an estimated delivery date in August 2022.

Published on Sat 4th Jun 2022. Featured in KBD #81 (source).


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