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The Smallest Keyboard

USB keyboard approximately the size of three pennies in a line

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I couldn't find a keyboard small enough for wearables and extremely small PCs, so I set out to make one.

This is a work in progress. The PCB is done. Code to read the key matrix to be written soon.

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TheStumbler wrote 4 days ago point

This is an eerie coincidence. Just before bedtime last night, I watched a video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfp8Kwm5zTA&t=545s ) on Clint Basinger's LGR Blerbs YouTube side-channel about a miniature reproduction of the NEC PC-8001 ( Pasocom mini: https://www.pcmini.jp). This is a quite detailed miniature of the original 1979 computer powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero under the hood. Clint noted in passing that the keyboard isn't functional, and I thought to myself, why not? It isn't a cheap trinket, this thing costs about $300, he said. Also, I thought, a real keyboard can be pricey, but it should be pretty cheap to make a novelty keyboard out of low-cost SMT microswitches, or "tacts" as my South Korean engineer friends call them. Lo and behold, I woke up this morning to see this project. Great work, Excursion Gear. I wonder what applications could come from this project? I'm reminded of a mentor who had a Casio(?) wristwatch with a tiny keyboard and a calculator mode. Could one use this keyboard to make a text-messaging wrist watch? You'd need to carry a toothpick around to enter your text, but still that would be cool.

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Paul McClay wrote 3 days ago point

Some of those button-rich calc watches had a pointy key pick stashed in the clasp. Concave button tops captured the pick point. So - people have spent money on this before.

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kingo wrote 03/17/2021 at 10:29 point

I really want a blackberry keyboard, only that tiny bb keyboard, not the phone ...

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Mike Szczys wrote 03/15/2021 at 16:47 point

That looks an awful lot like the Raspberry Pi Pico board. NIce job fitting the footprint and using the castellated edges. Do you have any updates on the progress of this one?

One trick I learned from @Voja Antonic is that angling the buttons might help back them in and looks really great. Not sure you need that here but it popped to mind: https://hackaday.io/project/80627-badge-for-hackaday-conference-2018-in-belgrade

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marazm wrote 03/14/2021 at 10:31 point

i prefer planck(chocolate) layout

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Dan Maloney wrote 03/12/2021 at 19:39 point

That's quite a feat of layout. Looking forward to seeing it work.

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