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Pepesweep

A 20-key minimal split: Pepesweep by Volodymyr Petiushka. Low profile, wireless, open source.

KBD.news
Published March 13, 2024
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Ukrainian software engineer Volodymyr Petiushka (aka XaycMD/AdFabulous) released his Pepesweep, a 20-key wireless split keyboard based on David Barr's popular Sweep. Layout inspired by Ben Vallack's The Piano.

After 8 months and 4 iterations I made my endgame keyboard. Based off of Sweep, 20 keys wireless keyboard is what I found to be the most comfortable thing to daily drive – Volodymyr.

The PCB is basically a modified Sweep PCB, the author cut out keys he doesn’t need, plus adjusted the overall shape.

Specs

  • 20 keys (8+2 per half)
  • Choc, soldered
  • reversible PCB
  • wireless via nice!nano
  • SplitKB tenting puck

Pic:

Development

With regards to inspiration, naming and the design process, let's pass the mic to Volodymyr himself:

"I got inspired by Ben Vallack’s videos. It started from me purchasing Planck EZ and I saw a review from him, and then I got into the rabbit hole. The first low profile keyboard I tried was a Ferris Sweep, I liked it very much, but I wanted to go smaller. I built the Kunst by Fu_Lan, which was also inspired by Ben’s Piano, but I felt like I needed more than 18 keys it had and it lacked stagger on index, middle and ring fingers.

I remembered my pleasant experience with the Sweep. I took the PCB schema from the open-source Sweep repo and just deleted keys I didn’t need. That’s how I came up with the shape.

I wanted to add some logo to it and didn’t think of any better than silly Twitch emote: Pepega. Hence the name, Pepesweep. I built the first version and it felt really cool. I got used to Ben Vallack’s layout he made for Piano and it really increased my typing speed. Still it’s pretty slow due to 2 alpha layers, but now I am pushing 50-ish WPM with it. The only thing I lacked was tenting. I added SplitKB’s tenting puck imprints to the PCB and on the current version I am using SplitKB pucks with camera tripod holder as base for the keyboard.

Pic:

The coolest software feature Ben made is possibility to use split keyboard with three nice!nanos in dongle mode that allows using this keyboard without Bluetooth connection, so it can be used on PCs without Bluetooth or in Bios, when Windows is not booted yet, by connecting a third nice!nano to PC via USB.

So, basically, I achieved what I was looking for: a super comfortable ergonomic keyboard. My fingers never move more than one key in any direction and tenting gives me the wrist comfort I wanted. As a software engineer, it cannot be any better for me: daily driving this for 8+ hours a day is a very enjoyable experience."

Resources

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Published on Wed 13th Mar 2024. Featured in KBD #158 (source).


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