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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Inspiration


Engikeeb is an experimental ultra-low-cost approach to keyboard design – by customMK.
Published January 29, 2023

David Hoelscher of customMK published an ultra-low-cost keyboard concept and WIP keyboard PCB dubbed Engikeeb.

What makes this approach very affordable is the single-PCB structure:

While thinking of ways to make mechanical keyboards more affordable, I had an idea for a "Single Board Keyboard" (SBKB): a single PCB intended to be the entirety of the keyboard. No case required. No switch plate required. Minimal soldering required – David Hoelscher.

In the author's opinion such a PCB would have:

  • holes for low-cost rubber feet providing adjustable typing angles
  • a footprint for Pro Micro-compatible microcontroller boards
  • inexpensive surface mount diodes pre-installed per-switch to reduce assembly time (and potential error)
  • other inexpensive support parts pre-installed, like a reset button, a slide switch, a JST connector for batteries, shift registers (to simplify the switch matrix), and status lights.
  • support for multiple layouts, with each switch location marked to indicate the intended key size
  • the option to add displays and/or an encoder

The target cost for the PCB would be around $10 or less.

For layout options and more info read David's full blog entry here.

Published on Sun 29th Jan 2023. Featured in KBD #112 (source).

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