[IC] Conic Keyboard - Budget 50% Ortho

Interest check form:

Hi! I run the shop KeyPCB, where I make PCBs for people. This is my first time doing a group buy/interest check. Luckily, this is fairly simple, so there shouldn’t be too many problems.

The Conic keyboard has a layout inspired by keyboards such as Preonic and JJ50. It aims to deliver a good quality but affordable keyboard. The target price is around 15-20 dollars for the PCB. It supports Alps and MX switches and uses a Pro Micro as the controller.

The group buy will start once I hit 20 people interested, but I might do it anyway even if there are less people, there might just not be as many options.

Here are some pictures of the PCB:


No problem with the idea (low-cost ortho ftw), but please choose a different name! Definitely too similar to the Preonic.


Any chance for two 2u keys for spacebars?

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Thanks for letting me know. I tried to choose a name that was different enough from the preonic’s name, but now that I look back on it, I can see the similarity. Would I be able to say in the group buy that this was formerly called Conic so people who did the interest check could see that this is the product they said they were interested in?

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I’ll try to add that, I’m not sure how easy it will be since I already designed the PCB.

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I don’t really see how they’re similar? I mean barring a slight similarity in the pronunciation of the latter half of the word and that written they both end in onic. But. A name change? Why?


I agree.

Another crazy over extension of protecting your trademark. Going to make a big public threat again of slamming them with your lawyers?


Also, sorry forgot to comment on the board! I’m not an ortho user personally but an affordable ortho PCB at an unconventional form factor seems like a great idea, good work.

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I recommend renaming it to the JackHumbertonic as there is no trademark for that


Yeah, that’s fine! I like the idea of sticking with the geometry-influenced theme though - you could do some cool art/branding with that.

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If it wasn’t identical form factor, yeah, I’d agree. But it’s the same form factor with a fairly similar name. It’s clearly based on the Preonic, in that case.

The problem here is that:

  • Allowing people to use your trademark, or stuff clearly similar to it diminishes your claim, and means that you could lose it. So the choice is defend it, even when you’d rather not, or lose it. So, this isn’t “crazy”.
  • Jack has not involved lawyers in this. And has actively avoided it, by contacting people about it.

Yes, I understand that it sucks, and is pretty bogus. But welcome to trademark, copyright, etc laws. They can really suck.



Maybe not, but there are LAWS (privacy laws, for instance) that do cover that.

But Jack would have a lot more leeway about this. :smiley:


Though, I know you’ve said you have it already designed, but … I have a couple of recommendations here:

  • Break out C6 (if you’re not using it), or another unused pin for audio
  • Break out pins for VCC and GND (related to the next item)
  • Break out pins for RGB Underglow
  • Break out the ISP pins, so that one can easily ISP flash the controller (because Pro Micros are SUPER easy to brick)

Yeah, in addition to C6 (or C4/5 I think), if you can break out B5/6/7 you can get dual channel audio!


Haha, yeah, didn’t think of the dual channel! :smiley:

And yeah, C4/C5/C6 and B5/B6/B7.

I don’t disagree with you here on the stance, I think the bigger issue is that the trademark exists in the first place, it seems wholly unnecessary to me.

But. I digress, and I’ll stop, hoping this project succeeds, and, I’m usually the last one to engage in any form of drama so I’ll make a dramatic exit stage left!




I mean, there are a number of good reasons for it. But yes, it can cause some issues. But I know that Jack tries to be very diplomatic about issues. He doesn’t want to create hostility, at all. In fact, if you look at a lot of his actions, he wants to actively promote the community.

But I agree, drama is bad.

But I definitely hope @codingkiddotninja’s board does well!

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Would the name “Fractal” work?


That would be cool! Lots of opportunities for some cool PCB artwork as well. I don’t use Eagle, but I’m pretty sure you can import graphics into that as well as KiCAD.

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