Forget about that staggered key layout -- a holdover from mechanical typewriters -- and build your own custom ortholinear keyboard! Honor the angle of your wrists with the split design.

This 60% layout is fast and efficient (once you practice and get used to a new way of working) -- keyboard "layers" allow you to access any key you need by "lowering" or "raising" to whole new sets of keys.

Pick your favorite MX compatible keyswitches and press them into the socketed 6x5 NeoKey PCB. Build a 3D printed or 3D printed/laser cut acrylic combo case.

Two TCA8418 matrix expanders handle reading the diode key matrices, and a Kee Boar KB2040 running CircuitPython does the rest, acting as a USB HID keyboard device.

Create and edit your own custom layouts with the config file. The layout I used was inspired by this keyboard project.


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Angled shot of 400mm long STEMMA QT cable.
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2 x Adafruit TCA8418
Keypad Matrix and GPIO Expander Breakout
2 x NeoKey 5x6 Ortho Snap-Apart Mechanical Key Switch PCB
NeoKey 5x6 Ortho Snap-Apart Mechanical Key Switches
6 x Kailh Mechanical Key Switches
Linear Black 10 pack

You'll want to pick some keycaps. If you are highly elite and need no legends, try one of the choices below. Otherwise, search online for "MX compatible ortholinear keycap set". The ones used in this guide are the Drop MT3 profile Dancer ortho kit.


pile of 50 Brass Heat-Set Inserts for Plastic - M3 x 4mm.
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Opened box showing many nylon screws
Totaling 420 pieces, this M3 Screw Set is a must-have for your workstation. You'll have enough screws, nuts, and hex standoffs to fuel...
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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...
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This guide was first published on Oct 26, 2022. It was last updated on Apr 11, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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