Hover TKL

Hi there,

as there was some interest in the Hover TKL I decided to open a thread to the Board.
I really don’t like to plug GH in this community but i am running an Interest Check on Geekhack right now for the board and most of the information can be found there. But I also wanted to share my experience on making the board and maybe the thought processes I had or have designing it.
I’ll plug some pictures here and there to make it a bit more enjoyable to read. :sweat_smile:

I decided to make my own board about 1.5 to 2 years ago. I missed the GB of the space apollo 80. I was half a year into studying engineering. As i had the tools and knowledge through the school to Design a keyboard i alternatively decided to create my own board. It started first with just something like a training in mind and not the idea to actually build one. Just to increase my skills with the CAD software. That kind of led to designing a PCB with Kicad and out of curiosity if the junk i put together in pixels on my computer would actually work i ordered pcbs from JLCPCB and let the case been milled by instawerk.de. To my surprise everything fit together and worked. The first “proto” was born.

I had so much fun designing, building and experimenting that the idea to give it a shot as a keyboard designer creeped up to my mind. Next i learned how to render with blender and improved the aesthetics with some details. There were so many beautiful boards and still are coming out that i felled the need to improve the design. With the rendered pictures i envisioned the final design. Here is one of my early render a year ago.

With this design i started to look for manufacturer for the Keyboard and it’s parts. Sadly i had to scrap a lot of ideas i initially had on this keyboard like the really big weight that was able to move up and down to increase the illusion to the hover effect and the gasket system that allowed an adjustable flex of the springs by shifting an o-ring into another postion.

The hardest part for me was finding manufacturers. It really tired me out searching for the right company getting hundreds of quotes. To be honest i probably made my biggest mistakes in that phase due to my inexperience. That is resulting now to high production costs and therefore to a high price.
To the Design idea. What i wanted to achieve was a flat looking board rather than a bulky wedge. By starting off with a flat board like a low-profile keyboard and change the angle to my preferred typing angle i realised the potential of a floating look. By further increasing the effect with LEDs and rounded edges the basic idea was created. Then i took inspirations from the hoverboard of BTTF as this was a close comparison → keyBOARD HOVERing. :grin:
Thank you for reading. If you have any questions feel free to ask.


Hi, that was an enjoyable read. Could you please explain in more detail the ideas that you had to give up? Like how exactly would the idea with bigger weight work? Did you give up on other interesting ideas except the two mentioned?

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I like it. It feels like a bit of modern retroism in it :slight_smile:


Isn’t it kind of interesting how thinks from retro movies etc. would look like beeing redesigned in this day and age?


I didn’t scrap more ideas because i felt the board would lose its identity with more changes to the functionalities and design. I will describe how the moveable weight was supposed to work with some pictures. The inner weight was supposed to be screwed on to the bottom piece to cover up the hole the outer weight would go through.
The outer weight was designed to have holes and the inner weight was designed with pillars in the 4 corners.
By having a lip at the end of the hole in the bottom piece the outer weight was restricted in how far it could move (marked red) the pillars and holes would function as column guides (not sure if it’s the right term, marked in blue) so that the outer weight would move straight and doesn’t get stuck.
I had my apprenticeship as a “toolmaker”, means i basically build and tuned stamping tools for the automotive industry. The idea with the column guides came from those tools.

I planned some pockets in the outer and inner weight for magnets. The magnets would then be inserted with the same poles facing each other to create a force that would push the pieces from each other.
This would cause the hole Board to be elevated for about 1.5 mm.
Sadly, i couldn’t try out if the function would work how i calculated it. Alternatively, some poron could be inserted to create the force.
The whole thing could also be called good old german overengineering.


That’s very interesting, I’m now curious how it would feel.
Thank your for explaining!

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Merry Christmas!
Hey there, it has been some time that i made an update on the Hover TKL. I was working on the keyboard a lot recently to lower costs and improve the overall design and i would like to know your opinions on the changes.
Please check out this video of the new improved design and let me know what you think.