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KBDcraft Adam0110b

KBDcraft now offers the LEGO-compatible Adam0110b, along with merging and upgrade kits to combine the 60% Adam and the Addams numpad.

KBD.news
Published August 18, 2023
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The Adam0110b is a special bundle containing the widely popular 60% Adam, the Addams numpad, and a merging/upgrade kit – allowing an integration of the two sets in a classic or southpaw arrangement.

Save 5% at KBDcraft by using the KBDNEWS coupon code at checkout.

The merging/upgrade kit is not a mere additional set of bricks. Instead, you can electronically connect the Adam to the numpad, resulting in a setup requiring only one USB cable instead of two, plus you can configure the keyboard e.g. in VIAL as one device.

Well, apparently, these additional compatibility kits won't be as sought-after as the original Adam or the full Adam0110b – simply by their nature –, the merging kit is more of a sign of BoyU's dedication and gesture towards early costumers with incompatible PCBs, which is a substantial cohort of Adam users.

Pic: Donor Adam & Addams, plus the upgrade kit

Donor Adam & Addams, plus the upgrade kit

I'm probably not allowed to reveal numbers here (I indirectly can follow the sales volumes because of your usage of the KBDNEWS coupon code), but let me say that you bought A LOT of the original Adam.

These days, the Adam is shipped with the upgraded PCB (with extension sockets). The upgrade kit ($30) is for those with an old PCB (pre July 2023), which doesn't have the extension sockets. For those with a new PCB, only the $6 merging kit is needed to integrate the Adam & Addams.

Pic: New (top) vs old (bottom) Adam PCB

New (top) vs old (bottom) Adam PCB

Test

BoyU has been sending me his LEGO-compatible products for some time (I really appreciate it!), and I received the latest parcel last Friday. It took me a few minutes to realize it's an Adam0110b Upgrade kit. First, I wasn't sure what I got and I was slightly confused for two reasons:

  • The kit came in a probably reused packaging of the Adam, so the contents and the info indicated on the box don't always match. E.g. the bubble envelope of the Core64 (normally PCB, plate, foam) contains only the new PCB. This shouldn't be a problem if you know what you purchased though. ;)
  • And despite all this, at least at first glance, the box included much more parts and goodies than required for simply merging two products. There were much more gaskets and rubber feet than expected, bricks seemingly almost enough for a full case, and also the usual Minecraft figure.

Regardless, I quickly realized I can't put together a full keyboard based on only this set, but can combine the Addams numpad I got earlier with the Adams (gray version) I've been using as a daily driver (since I broke some solder joints of my Azimuth during the photo shoot for Drop…)

Pic: POM plate, poron foam and gaskets

POM plate, poron foam and gaskets

Yep, in fact, I've been a daily Adam user for weeks now, the past few dozen posts here on kbd.news were typed on KBDcraft products!

Although I prefer numbers on a logical layer over a physical numpad, for the sake of this post I decided to put this thing together to test if everything works perfectly. (Spoiler: It does.)

Old method

The most interesting setting of the Adam0110b is probably the layout with a left-handed numpad, so I went with this arrangement. By the way, the kit seems to be a very affordable southpaw (maybe the most affordable on the market?).

My original Addams numpad came with some extra bricks to connect it to the Adam in various ways, so you had the means before to integrate the two, at least on the LEGO level:

Pic:

If you are content with having two separate cables and two independent devices simply stuck together, you don't need anything else.

Pic: Yep, I have the Adam in gray and the Addams in white

Yep, I have the Adam in gray and the Addams in white

Pic:

New method

With the merge/upgrade kits, however, you get a cleaner board, electronically integrated thanks to the extension ports.

Pic:

Pic:

Would you like a gap between the numpad and 60% part? Well, this is LEGO, grab some bricks and unleash your imagination.

Issues

While these LEGO-compatible kits are cool, versatile, affordable, and they offer a pretty unique experience, they are not perfect. I'd like to point out two issues: the instructions and the bending of the bottom plate.

My upgrade kit came with both the Adam instructions (ver3) and the upgrade kit booklet (ver1). These booklets get revised and improved from time to time, however, there were still some (rather funny than annoying) typos, but nothing that would make the actual building process impossible or particularly hard. Actually, I managed to put together the southpaw version based on the booklet alone (which by the way was slightly confusing for the lefty version) only to learn that there's already a much better updated manual online. I should have read my emails:

We realized that the instruction manual doesn't indicate very well on the left Numpad build. So if you'd like to try that please refer to the Latest Instruction, which is also updated on our website – KBDcraft.

My second issue was the bending of the bottom plates. In my case it's only cosmetics, the board may rock on a hard flat surface, but e.g. using a deskmat resolved the issue. However, some users reported their plate being bowed inward in a more extreme way, putting pressure on the spacebar:

The reasons for this problem are quite complex, and we are working on it since day one. Every batch of blocks gets better. But there are still some bends, just a difference in degree – BoyU.

It seems the bottom plates are lower profile than normal LEGO pieces, so I'm curious if genuine parts would resolve this issue.

Summary

I love these kits despite the small imperfections. They are versatile, affordable, and the unique building experience is something you can't compare to any other non-brick build. Thanks again BoyU for the opportunity.

Resources

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


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