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So it’s been a while, I know, but I received some neat stuff that I wanted to share! For newcomers to the hobby, I am hoping this could help illustrate all the other fun stuff we can collect as keebnerds. With a community focused on personalizing and customization, you can definitely expect a lot of novelty items and other auxiliaries. Here are some that I recently received got in the mail:
The Big Switch Macropad
You may have noticed from some other posts here on The Keeblog mentioning really big switches. I bumped into Ryan (@rnambu) at the OC Keys Meetup (click here for the recap) and he was nice enough to give me a spare Keebio Tukey PCB. Ryan was featured on What’s On My Desk ? Ep. 3 where you can see that he has is own giant macropad.
Keeb.io also offers other kits and are known for their split keyboard kits. Please be sure to check them out if you are interested! They have tons of low cost kits if you like DIY.
As soon as I got home from the meetup, I went and purchased two GIANT switches to fit on the PCB. They didn’t have any more clicky blue switches so I purchased the Burnt Orange (Tactile) and Dark Yellow (Linear) Switches. You can find the Novelkeys X Kailh Big Switch Series available for purchase from Novelkey at $18.00 each.
I don’t have a case for this yet and can’t seem to find one either. This is a good example of a potential drawback to buying more obscure products but it isn’t without solution! There is always the option to custom design the case yourself or asking the more design-savvy keebros on r/mechanicalkeyboard to make one for you.
Yeah, but why? Here is a gif that accurately captures my attitude toward most of this keyboard stuff:
Well, what does it do then?
The mechanical keyboard hobby is all about customization which leaves the answer to this a bit open ended. Instead, it can be answered with another question: “What do you want it to do?”.
While that’s not to say that there are not any limitations, the PCB is compatible with QMK firmware which allows for a lot of customization options. Currently, my big switches are programmed to be volume control keys (Yellow is Volume Up, Orange is Volume Down) but I will definitely be considering other functions. Here are some things other things I have considered that I know are possible:
- Hue Lighting Control via keyboard shortcut and Auto-Hotkey
- An in-game Ultimate button for epic “ult”-ing
- Pause/Play and Record Macros for DAW software (Fruity Loops, Ableton, Etc)
- Install RGB and have them just switch on and off for a Big Switch Lamp
I also know that QMK allows audio to be mapped to keys as well. Though I haven’t tried it for myself, it should also be possible to make a giant two-switch soundboard.
keebwerk nano. bentō
Another exciting thing came in the mail shortly after New Year’s as well. The long-awaited Keebwerk Bento Nano sold as a group-buy again through Novelkeys. Beautiful AND functional. It features a MIDI slider that can be programmed for all sorts of applications including system volume controls, Photoshop, Illustrator and of course Digital Audio Workstations like Ableton.
I currently have the slider to quickly control volume and the keys are just Function Keys that I use in games (my professions toolbar in WoW). This is a good example of really awesome keyboard stuff that you can only wait for, meaning that these were only available through groupbuy in limited quantities. You can see more Keebwerk here.
Here are some glam shots:
That’s all the updates I have for now. Please stay tuned for more content! I am working on a handwiring guide and even setting up a little store here (I’ll still be a blog with shop instead of the other way around!).