[Looking for Feedback] Custom handwired layout

After much talk of handwiring, I decided to finally sit down and design the layout as pictured below:

It’s supposed to be a pseudo-planck, I-enjoy-my-65%-macros-and-arrows-too-much, compact, yet functional design. Anything on the upper layers is Raise, and anything on the bottom layers is Lower. (Designer’s note: if you can propose a way to figure out all 13 function keys in one line without raise/lower, please tell me!) I was looking for feedback regarding how you feel about the layout. It will be printed via LaserGist in two separate plates, similar to how u/Grokodaemon built his ONO-SENDAI MATRIX 83. I don’t yet know where I’m putting the microcontroller. I will figure it out soon enough. Any and all feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

(PS: I know this design is similar to the 45-ATS PCB by Abec13. By no means do I want to copy him: I needed a board that fit my requirements, and they ended up being very similar!)

1 Like

I really like this layout a lot & don’t think I’ve ever seen anything even close to this (a 40% in a 660 style layout). Any plans on possibly running a GB or making the files public after you get yours all up running & all the kinks worked out? I’d definitely be interested in making one!

I think I would wait for the 45-ATS to run through for a GB so I don’t encroach on territory that isn’t mine (and I’ve never ran a GB before!!) but I’m glad you like it! I wanted a 40% but couldn’t commit to losing the things that I love about my 60% so we’ll have to see how it goes!

1 Like

Hmm possibly as a thought if you want to get into more of that 40% “head-space” without sacrificing key utility, have you considered using smaller spaced keys for the modifiers (shifts, enter, & tab) like other 40%s? The standard modifier key sizes does make using profiled keycaps much easier though. :thinking:

I actually went even more traditional on the mods. I reverted the backspace to a 2u because I just feel like a 1u backspace would be harder to hit with the size of the board. That is a valid option though, and maybe I’ll make a secondary version. What sizes specifically would you recommend?

After doing a bit more thinking, I’m concerned about collumnal stagger of the keys: in normal boards, the change of tab to caps is .25u, meaning they’re remotely close. The stagger for this board goes from 1u to 1.75u instead of increasing more subtly. How can I fix that without destroying the layout?

change the escape key to a 1.5u key, make the two 1u keys on the right a 1.5u key (tab and pipe) the legends won’t match but the profile will be correct

This gave me an idea because I absolutely did not want the esc to be a 1.5u, so I downsized most of the mods entirely.

Keys in blue are the sizes I changed. Cutting down on the size difference between tab and Lshift seemed to fix my problem for the most part, but some things with my mods on r1 had to change. Win is now a 1u, and I’ve completely scrapped the 1.25u control on the right of the spacebar in favor of making raise/lower a bit larger. Things look a little different, but fixing collumnal stagger was the biggest concern I had.

I appreciate all the feedback that I’ve gotten so far! Hopefully I can keep furthering this design. I thought about naming it something like “long” in Japanese but that didn’t quite click so we’ll see how it goes.

I’m not sure how you shift but maybe if you’re not a right shift user, you can move your raise key over yonder and take out an extra key in the bottom row (and possibly make the remaining key 1.5u instead for style?). Another alternate possibility if you continue down this line of thinking is making your L_win key 1.25 since you’ll have room if you take out one of the 1.25us on the other side without colliding with the arrow keys.

Just some food for thought

I took a chunk out of the spacebar…

… made my L_win key a bit bigger…

… and came out with something I actually like the look of. I think I’m gonna leave it here. This seems like it makes the most sense proportionally. My only problem is if I end up using GMK Olivia++ as the keycap set (looking highly likely) I won’t have 1.25u keys with matching legends, but I will have enough 1.25us (probably ordering light base / extensions / spacebars) and I think that’ll be good. I’m still taking feedback, so if you have anything to say, please say it!


that looks pretty sweet! nice refinements. good luck with your build :smiley: