Compact keyboards are super cool -- I use a TKL -- but sometimes you just miss having a big, old number pad for data entry and calculations. The Numpad 4000 is just that! Plus, you can move it off to either side of your main keyboard for ideal ergonomics.

You can build the custom mechanical Number Pad of your Dreams with the Ortho NeoKey Snap-Apart PCB, a Feather RP2040, and CircuitPython. Customize the physical layout on this diode-matrixed, NeoPixel-lit wonder board!

Parts

Top view video of a Black woman's hands pressing the key switches on to emit rainbow colors from the NeoPixels.
For folks who want ready-to-go keeb action, we've got the lovely Adafruit Macropad with a 3x4 grid of MX+NeoPixel key switches -...
$29.95
In Stock

This project should work well on nearly any CircuitPython-capable Feather board. I chose to use the very lovely Feather RP2040.

Angle shot of Feather RP2040 prototype
A new chip means a new Feather, and the Raspberry Pi RP2040 is no exception. When we saw this chip we thought "this chip is going to be awesome when we give it the Feather...
$11.95
In Stock

Key Switches and Keycaps

The NeoKey Ortho 5x6 PCB uses up to 30 keyswitches and key caps, although for the Numpad 4000 you'll only need 22.

Angled shot of ten Jade Kailh Switches.
For crafting your very own custom keyboard, these Kailh Clicky Jade mechanical key switches are deeee-luxe! With smooth actuation and Cherry MX...
Out of Stock
Top down view of four piles of Kailh key switches in Red, Black, Brown, and Black variations.
For crafting your very own custom keyboard, these Kailh mechanical key switches are deeee-luxe!Come in a pack of 10 switches, plenty to make a...
Out of Stock

Keycaps

To build the Numpad 4000 as designed here you'll need a set of number pad-specific keys. I used SA profile, double-shot Maxkey keycaps -- these numberpad keys happened to be left over from a TKL (ten key-less) build I did. Talk to a friend who has ordered some fancy keycaps before -- in many cases they'll have left over numpad keys as people tend to make smaller boards!

Or, go for a fully orthographic build using 1u keycaps such as these DSA profile ones:

Angled shot of 10 black keycaps.
Dress up your mechanical keys in your favorite colors, with a wide selection of stylish DSA key caps. Here is a 10 pack of Adafruit black DSA keycaps for your next mechanical keyboard...
Out of Stock
Top shot of  right angle USB C to A woven 1m length black
Some days we're feeling extra fancy here at the 'fruit warehouse, and we have a big soft spot for woven fabric cables. Like, peep
$3.95
In Stock
Black Nylon Screw and Stand-off Set with M2.5 Threads, kit box
Totaling 380 pieces, this M2.5 Screw Set is a must-have for your workstation. You'll have enough screws, nuts, and hex standoffs to fuel your maker...
$16.95
In Stock
Pack of 4 Little Rubber Bumper Feet
Keep your electronics from going barefoot, give them little rubber feet! These small sticky bumpers are our favorite accessory for any electronic kit or device. They are sticky, but...
$0.95
In Stock

M2.5 x 18mm Screws x3

These ones from McMaster-Carr are nice.

Tools and Materials

You'll need a 3D printer and filament to build the switch plate and case. Alternately, you can make a variant stacked design using acrylic or wood on a laser cutter or mill, or even with chipboard and a CNC cutter such as the Cricut.

You'll also need a soldering iron, solder, and thin wire such as this:

Silicone Cover Stranded-Core Wire - 30AWG in Various Colors laid out beside each other.
Silicone-sheathing wire is super-flexible and soft, and its also strong! Able to handle up to 200°C and up to 600V, it will do when PVC covered wire wimps out. We like this wire...
Out of Stock

This guide was first published on Aug 17, 2021. It was last updated on 2021-08-17 21:16:49 -0400.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Jun 29, 2022.

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