2015-12-03 (Th) Desktop Chording Keyboard

All the necessary hardware had been assembled to make another keyboard. Necessary hardware would be the printed parts, brass rods, long #6 bolts, nuts, washers, and switches. This list was not including the electrical wiring or electronics. Electrical components were an Ethernet cable with one end intact, 0.25” female crimp quick disconnects, and an Arduino Micro inside an RJ45 wall enclosure which was already built.

The salvaged Ethernet cable had 5” (100mm) of sheathing removed from the end without an RJ45 connector. This particular cable had a fiber strand running through it for durability against tugging, it was cut away with scissors. Wires inside were untwisted for 5” (100mm) and stripped back ¼” (6mm). 0.25” female crimp quick disconnects were crimped onto each wire tip except the blue wire which was reserved for the ground wire. The color scheme was duplicated from when the Arduino Micro was wired to the RJ45 enclosure. Ground wires were run to each switch and then they were wired with the appropriate colors.

Ethernet cable with crimp terminals and ground wires

Wired keyboard with keys flipped up to expose wires

Typing was now possible and the keyboard was connected to the Arduino Micro. Some of the signal wires had to be rearranged but all seven ground terminals stayed in place during the troubleshooting. The wooden keyboard and this plastic keyboard can be used interchangeably with the Arduino Micro and any other controller wired to accept an RJ45 connector with this pin configuration.

Testing the keyboard

Two short pieces of plastic were modeled and printed to keep the two halves of the keyboard separate and aligned. The two halves refer to the four finger switches, one group, and the three thumb switches, the second group. This will be distributed as an optional kit in case people want to use a solid base so they do not have to printed the spacer kit and waste printer media.

Code and model of plastic spacer kit

Downloadable Files:

To do:
  • Wire an Ethernet cord to switches
  • Model spacers for keyboard stabilization
  • Install spacers
  • Add cylindrical spacers if necessary 
  • Write instructions

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2

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All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

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2015-11-17 (Tu)