the peridot keyboard

=> Bill of Materials

=> Build Guide

=> Cases

=> Design files

About a year ago, I accidentally fell into the ergomechanical keyboard rabbit hole. I ended up buying a sofle RGB kit in summer 2022 and I had it built by late July. It's been my daily driver since then and I love it. I could probably have gone a little bit lower on the key count (it is 58) but that literally does not affect my daily use.

Later in the year, I got a new laptop. While the keyboard on it is really alright as far as laptop keyboards go, it's obviously not going to hold a candle to the epicness of a column-staggered split. I randomly had the inkling in january 2023 to make another keyboard that I could use with the laptop, since i didn't want to cart around my very high profile sofle. I wanted bluetooth, layer parity with my existing board (to minimize problems switching back and forth between the two), and portability.

I reviewed basically every choc-supporting monoblock split I could find on the internet, but nothing was really what I wanted, so this comes to its logical conclusion: I design a keyboard myself. And since i'm crazy like that, I decided that I would design a pcb (my first ever!) for it rather than just 3d printing a case and handwiring. I thought it would be less work than handwiring but honestly that is definitely not true.

A discord message, from me, replying to a message that reads 'this is one of the hardest things ever'. My message reads 'the plan is that it's going to be hard enough that i will not spend $300 on another keyboard :)'.

Some light foreshadowing

I immediately installed kicad and found some keyboard parts libraries, and then put in a lot of work to learn on my own how to.... jk, i just downloaded a bunch of other open source keyboard pcb projects and copied them for my design. I did have to learn how a key matrix works though, so I guess that's a little bit of work on my own brain. Other than that, though, I literally just referred to other projects for most of the hard stuff. My main goal was to make it look cool.

Image of the peridot pcb

And look cool it does

So, here I am now having designed a sofle-layout monoblock split keyboard pcb with choc spacing that uses the nice!nano microcontroller. Bam. I only spent like $180 on it though.

Image of the completed keyboard