I’d like to share a PCB design project I started last winter. In summary, it’s a MiniVan layout PCB that’s compatible with MiniVan cases (I’ve only tested the R3 MiniVan case and a wood case made by u/lxkhn from reddit). I originally started this project as a personal challenge to design and assemble a PCB that I could use in my MiniVan case, and I was successful in that goal. I hadn’t intended to announce it publicly, but since @evangs announced the closing of The Van Keyboards (), I thought this might be an opportunity to keep the MiniVan style of keyboard alive.
With some great aftermarket MiniVan case options out there (off the top of my head, @keyboardbelle and u/lxkhn of reddit both make aftermarket cases) and access to MiniVan plate files, it seemed like a good idea to share this project. Here are some highlights about the board:
- Switches oriented such that the LEDs are South-facing, for compatibility with Cherry profile keycaps.
- USB Type-C support in both A to C and C to C configurations.
- QMK support.
- ESD protection circuitry, including data line protection and a polyfuse on the VCC line.
- Support for per-switch LED backlighting.
- Fits in MiniVan keyboard cases.
- RGB LED underglow support.
I based the design on an STM32F303 microcontroller. STM32 is beginning to gain popularity as an alternative MCU to AVR in the keyboard PCB world. The name SteamVan comes from a loose combination of STM and MiniVan.
I’ve done two hardware prototype revisions, and I’m happy with the Rev. 2 iteration. Also, SteamVan support now exists in QMK master. I don’t have pictures of an assembled PCB, but you can get a good idea from the KiCAD files. I’ve built two keyboards so far from this PCB design that are both part of my regular rotation, and they’ve been working well!
It’s unlikely that I’ll ever run a group buy or do a large production run of this board, but I would be glad if someone else wanted to do that!
So, without further ado, here are the KiCAD files for the SteamVan. I’m happy to take any feedback, and I hope this work is useful to some of you!
P.S. Big shout-out to @evangs for designing such an awesome keyboard in the first place!!