Converting a Server Rack Keyboard into a Desktop Friendly Format

Recently I came across an interesting pair keyboard that were used in a KVM unit that slid into a server rack. I removed the keyboard portions and was surprised to see it was mechanical, with Cherry brown switches and doubleshot Devlin keycaps!

I have been thinking about ideas on how to convert these keyboards into a more desktop friendly package. The PCB and plate are easily removed from the housing, and the trackball is on a daughterboard. Right now I have one of the keyboards with Jolimon to have him try and make an acrylic plate that will fit the keyboard and trackball, but I am interested to see if anyone else has some ideas on how these could be made more usable?


I’d say keep the layout largely the same, but move the trackball off to one side.

Also, check out the Cherry G80-11800 for a similar rendition:

Those are some really cool caps. Can Devlin even make keycaps in that variety of sizes any more?

As I understand it, those are QS profile, the uniform profile with a slightly raised rear - so yes!

I do not know much about Devlin caps, and I had not really heard of them till I came across this board. Here are some detail shots of the keycaps and more shots of the board that didn’t seem to make it into my original post.

Cool! Had no idea that Devlin does indicator windows.


It took a while, but I now have the custom cases for these boards.


I love the transparent acrylic - the perfect oversize PCB to show off some traces too.

Nicely done! I also love the transparency so you can see all the PCB goodness :smile:

How much does it all weigh?

I need to get a better scale for measuring keyboards, but around 3.75 lbs