the peridot keyboard
=> Bill of Materials
=> Build Guide
=> 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.
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.
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.