116 keys in a TKL form factor : chti116

Hi everyone, I proudly present you my very own compact layout for the keyboard I carry in my bag and use at work.

I used Kmk firmware to enable lots of things like accented caps working straight on windows without any mod.

Yes, this is a monstrosity but very functional… I’ve done a full build video but it seems I can’t post it here


I’ll guess you have the proper keycaps for this?

Absolutely. See the results

See my website in my profile to see the build of this keyboard


This isn’t for me, but I love the creativity.

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Impressive. Well done!

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Thank you Laserman

I’m actually commissioning right now something bit similar but reduced in size.

Ah yes, it makes sense, no F keys neither second enter to stay compact and gain 1 column and 1 row

Maybe you should get the numpad 0.25 closer for symmetry around the arrows. That’s x=14.25 instead of 14.5

It was like this and it’s to close for me, I go by comfort and usability over look - always!
Need my gaps for touch navigation.

Actually reduced by 2 columns - cut one in alphas section as well if you haven’t noticed.
Total footprint ~ 65% +1u
Also reduced stabs to 3.

Nice, it’s a great feeling building a very unique tool. Not easy and it can be a long path, but there’s a reward

Are you sure you want to be using that bottom row layout? A lot of keysets don’t have two 2.75u spacebars. You could do something like making one spacebar 3.0u and turning the windows key into a 1u, and be covered by most keycap sets.

Two 2.75u spacebars are the not the only challenge here.
3u spacebar would require longer wire and is not much more available.
I wanted them equal - I really do not like the usual 2.25+2.75 combo and there is no space for 2x 3u.
It’s my layout, it’s cursed - I love it.

Well I suppose you could always go oldschool and use the extra right shift as one of the 2.75u spacebars, or just buy a second set of spacebars or maybe you already own 2 keysets.

Fun fact, the only reason split spacebars are uneven lengths is because those layout designs were initially conceived to use spare keycaps since small spacebars didn’t exist. As far as I know the first layout to use a split spacebar is the Minivan which is a 40% keyboard that used an enter key as the 2.25u, and a keypad 0 as the 2u. The nice thing about the minivan layout is that all the keycaps are small enough that you don’t need any stabilizers. The small size is actually really addicting when you get used to it because you don’t have to take your fingers off the homerow or stretch your pinky to hit backspace/enter. The downside is that symbols and punctuation that is hidden on a 2nd layer become almost impossible to remember unless you use them everyday.

I don’t remember what the first 2.25+2.75 splitspace layout was, but that layout obviously used an enter for 2.25u and a rightshift for 2.75u.

Its honestly a miracle that keysets even started including these smaller spacebars because the 40% community is incredibly niche and they used to get treated as weirdo outcasts and probably still do.

It really is a shame that split spacebar isn’t more common, because it really makes no sense for your strongest finger to mostly just be used for one key.

I actually really enjoyed moving my backspace key onto the left spacebar. It became surprisingly easy to get used to it, and its a really fun typing experience to have both thumbs sharing a similar frequency of work. It almost feels like your fingers are dancing. Also it just makes logical sense, space moves you one forward, backspace moves you one back. So it basically feels like using left and right arrows.

I also found making the enter key act as a FN key when held is very intuitive and never caused issues for me because enter is hit infrequently and in my use cases holding down the key to spam enters has never been something that I needed to do.

The same can be said for Tab which is also infrequently clicked and usually doesn’t need to be held down for spamming.

It feels so great having those function layer keys in similar positions as shift because they are basically doing the same thing as shift and allowing you to access extra punctuation and numbers/function keys. In my opinion it is much better than having a key in the bottom row exclusively for toggling between layers.

Yes, I am already enjoying mixing the keysets and spacebar add-ons sometimes include 2x 2.75u

Two Shifts looks better IMO.

Tried this, but found it too dangerous when accidental Enter could… launch nukes or something like that :wink:

I go with bit opposite solution and remap CapsLock for layer key (and HHKB style Caps = Fn+Tab).
It pushes you to avoid using CapsLock at all and avoids accidental one.