Mysterium AEK - Alpsterium?

I am crazy and this project started in reverse. I had a set of AEK caps lying around and thought, I want to put them on something. Then I found the Mysterium, which was very cool, but MX only. So began a long project to build an AEK Mysterium. After much pain, here we are!

Finally, almost done. Amber Alps. AEK Caps. Just waiting on the Acrylic case from Ponoko.


thats niiiiiiiiiiiice


Very nice! Can you detail the process you went through? Very interested in what you did! :grinning:


Man… now i really want to make an alps build

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Yes I will write it up when I’m at a computer and not on mobile!

Oh damn amber alps, that must have been a massive pain to get a tkl out of that.
My first alps board was ambers and I loved them to death, sad I no longer have that board really. But still kudos to you that is beautiful!

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Ok so the Mysterium design is open source, so:

  • it was forked
  • loaded into KiCAD
  • the MX only pads were replaced with a library that supports both Alps and MX
  • Bottom row was adjusted for AEK layout
  • function key pads were rotated 90 degrees to support the funky AEK caps

So this TRULY is an AEK-only Mysterium. Maybe someone else would want to take this, revert it back to Tsangan bottom row, un-rotate the function keys, and make a more generic Alps Mysterium, but this is not that.

The other thing I had to do was update the plate file for Alps. I totally cheated and created a “Good enough plate.” I generated an Alps plate in SwillKB and then superimposed it onto the original plate drawing. When I had things lined up I deleted the original key cutouts, leaving only the new ones.

This worked beautifully and I’ve had no issues, but it should probably be done properly by someone with real CAD skills as this quick and easy plate modification is probably off by a tenth of a mm somewhere, and some German guy will try to put one of these together and beat me over the head about it. I however cannot detect any misalignments, etc. Looks good so far.

The only thing that would make the plate better is if SwillKb could create the mounting post for the spacebar. In addition to the stabilizers, the AEK spacebar has a removable mounting post to help keep it straight.

The current plate design does not have a cut out for that.

I ordered the plate from Sendcutsend in 1.5mm stainless steel.

I REALLY wanted to order the plate in copper for $80, but the plate wasn’t fully tested when I made my order and chickened out. Maybe if I am crazy enough to do another…

I also had to do a lot of other things unrelated to the AEK modification (I bought unflashed Atmega32a chips and had to learn AVR-GCC, compile a boot loader for it, buy and ISP flashing kit, and flash the boot loader, etc.) But that is just part of building a Mysterium if you don’t buy the pre-flashed chips and the instructions are on Github.

Just waiting on the Acrylic case from Ponoko!

Once I verify the Acrylic case works with this build, I will post everything to Github and give away the extra PCBs I made for the cost of shipping. And I have one extra plate as well, though it is a little thin and you may have to increase the thickness of the top acrylic to compensate.


Thankyou @rpiguy9907 for your reply! That sounds really interesting and I would like to purchase the extra PCB and plate if you don’t mind, sounds like a really fun project!


Any updates?

The PCB is 100% functional. The plate works perfectly. A new case needs to be designed for it because Apple put the AEK F-row on stilts. I am not good at designing cases so I am dropping this project for now.

Can you share the PCB and plate files?
I can design a acrylic sandwich case for it, just tweak the coseyfannitutti high profile ones.


Certainly, here it is on my poorly organized Github:




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I legit went through exactly the same thing you did… I got some orange alps and came across the Mysterium and thought… “Wow, too bad that’s not alps compatible. How about I change that” and stumbled across your project lol.

My question to you is, if I were to use Tai-Hao Alps caps would I have to undo your AEK layout to standard? I’m assuming because the AEK uses vertical caps instead of horizontal on the “F” keys.

Yes the F-keys are rotated and the bottom row is completely wrong with a 6.5u space bar and odd sizes mods that Tai Hao would not fit.

Okay thanks for the info. Since you are using the AEK keycaps there are using alps stabs instead of Cherry obviously too so I’d have to change that as well on both the PCB and plate. Looks like I got my work cut out for me.

So it looks like only the Gerber files are on your Github. Do you happen to have your KiCad project files so I can edit the Layout?

custom alps TKL is my endgame

holy sh*t that looks really nice

@rpiguy9907 Hey Chris, awesome build! I have a spare AEKII that I want to turn to TKL. You mentioned that you have an extra PCB and a plate? I’d love to pick them up from you, I’m in PA

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