Keyboard Builders' Digest
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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Editorial

Quick weekly BTS #2023/31-32

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

Published August 11, 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 a quick 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

What better song for today than Killer Whales from Smallpools, namesake of Taro Hayashi's gorgeous kit (more on this later):

Reading for the weekend

  • A short interview with Taro Hayashi, designer of the Killer Whale, a split keyboard with versatile thumb cluster options and intriguing acrylic pillars. (To be restocked next week.)
  • Daniel Bauer's Corax56 is a low-profile wireless split with horizontal encoders.
  • The LambBT is a cute, wireless, 34-key split travel companion by John Lamb.
  • RaffOwO shared his Vesuveus, a handwired monoblock split with orthoish halves and full arrow cluster.
  • The Batarang Armored version by Protieusz is a column staggered monoblock split with RP2040, Cirque trackpad, encoder, and glowing eyes.
  • Joe Scotto released ScottoLoooooooooong, a new 10u version of his original handwired ScottoLong with a 7u spacebar.
  • Mobop is a retro-inspired uniform keycap profile for low-pro switches designed by Penk Chen along the lines of vintage Siemens caps.
  • Krisenplan shared QAZooie, a clever case for the QAZ, turning it into a modular cyberdeck.

Pic: Adjustment mechanism by Hanachi

Adjustment mechanism by Hanachi

  • Hanachi is working on a new angle adjustment mechanism for his Ergotonic F24.
  • r/ergomk is reopened – as announced by OBOSOB. A bunch of well-known and respected members of the community have been added as moderators: quirk, iamnotyourbroom, louckousse, Kyek, klumpp, thomasbaart.
  • The Jaye 44 by edd.boards is only marketed in Russia, but it's worth checking out for inspiration: all those small details, e.g. the top plate pattern, the translucent part, the bottom plate design:

Pic: Jaye44 backplate

Jaye44 backplate

  • You never fail to surprise me. I had no idea the quite distant worlds of vintage IBMs and RGB intersected: Transforming an IBM Model M into an RGB backlit abomination – committed by Sarbaaz.
  • Finally: a drum keyboard by Eric Carr of EMCProductions. Not a real keyboard as of my understanding, so you can still be the first one to build a proper one. Or can you? Googling for "drum typewriter/keyboard" already reveals a bunch of weird projects! Seeing this I instantly started to analyze my e-drum set from a new angle: about 22 different triggers.. Hmm.


  • New donations came from, 池上 昌明, and Penk Chen set up a recurring donation after a short chat on his Mobop keycaps. Thanks everyone!
  • One recurring donor left, another big one has technical difficulties with payment. If you'd like and can afford to help, now is the time to buy me a unicorn.
  • As always, many thanks to everyone who supported this project thus far. I'm especially grateful for the support and commitment of regular donors.

Behind the Killer Whale post

So I asked for more info on the Killer Whale right after I spotted it on Twitter, this was in early June. Eventually, we started the interview before my holiday, and after finalizing it this week, I was waiting for the product to be restocked on Yushakobo – it seemed to make more sense to publish an article about a device which is actually available.

Finally, the time has come, and then an hour or two after publishing the post, all the available items were gone again. ;) No panic, I was told the plan is to restock it once a week (that may shift due to shipping/customs/packaging).

It was a great experience to chat with Taro, I learned a lot, for example about the benefits of taking walks at 3AM... ;)

In the mailbox

KBDcraft's BoyU sent me the newest Adam add-on (thanks!). It's already at the courier being delivered but hasn't shown up in time for a photo before publishing this. More info next week.


Or is it another parcel I'm waiting for from Ergohaven? No clue because instead of the original sender, only a noname local import company is indicated in the notification.

On another note, it seems two winners of last year's anniversary giveaway finally get their prizes. I haven't written about this lately and don't want to calling out names, but it's been a ride. Frankly, I'm terrified of this year's giveaway already – if there will be another one at all.

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:

  • Qwertykey, creator of the chess deskmat mentioned in the recent newsletter, offered you a 5% discount with the KBDNEWS coupon code. Clicking this link should add the discount automatically. Thanks Alex!
  • The 10% discount is back and active at Coffeekeys. (It was disabled due to a GB earlier.) Thanks for letting me know Matteo!


New developments:

  • So I haven't organized new posts into issues lately, since the Reddit mess to be exact, and this caused a lot of problems in the background, because e.g. some naming conventions of the subdirs for pictures were based on issue numbers, and displaying the active supporters was linked to issues too. I started to rework this part of the code which you shouldn't notice at all, except if I forget to update some scripts here and there. In this case some photos simply won't be displayed.


Still with me? Let me punish you with a devastating dad joke:

"During my holiday in Vienna, a waiter asked if I wanted a box for my leftovers, but I told him I'm not into fighting."


That's all for today. Thanks for checking by. As always: Keep learning and building!

Until next time, Tamás

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Published on Fri 11th Aug 2023. Featured in KBD #202308.


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