SA Symbiosis R2


The GB is live on Kono Store!

Hello people of Keebtalk!

I would like to introduce you to SA Symbiosis, a retro SA keyset that returns with a new design.

Link to product page


I’m hhkbp2, a back-end programmer. I got into the Lisp world many years ago, and I’m fond of the Lisp machine since then. Looking back to 1970~1980, Lisp machine was developed as both a platform for Lisp programming language and first single-user workstastion. It was poineered many now-commonplace technologies - including effective garbage collection, laser printing, windowing systems, etc. Lisp machine faded away in 1990s. But it’s still memorized by many Lisp fans. And one of its keyboards, the Space-Cadet keyboard, is famous among keyboard enthusiasts due to its unique theme and layout. In 2015, xblackdog designed a SA keycap set Symbiosis, which has a similar color theme to the Space-Cadet keyboard. Recently I got xblackdog’s permission to run it again as Round 2. To pay homage to the Lisp machine and its Space-Cadet keyboard, I redesign this keyset to reflect the recently popular keyboards in the community.


The first thing that I and xblackdog wanted to change is the profile. Previous run of this keyset was all R3 profile. Since sculpted profile is more popular nowadays, we would like to change the profile to sculpted 1-1-2-3-4-3. During the IC stage, I get to know that many people still like the flat profile and I kept a flat profile all-in-one kit as well. I redrew all the alphas legends for round 2 to get a closer match to the legends on the Space-Cadet keyboard. I added many kits to support a wide range of recent keyboards, from WK, WKL, Fullsize, 96, 1800, 60%, 65%, 75%, HHKB, 40s, ortholiner, Ergodox, etc. And I added kits to reflect the theme, including Space-Cadet keyboard special legends, hands and roman numeral legends, and a novelties kit to take in these concepts like Lisp programming language, Emacs, hacker jargon, etc.

There are too many updates to list. You could take a look at all the kits here.


I have been running the IC for SA Symbiosis in this Geekhack thread for quite a while, as some of you might already know. During the IC, I received many feedbacks from the community and it benefited a lot for this keyset design to reach the community. So far all the feedbacks have been taken in, although not every request was fulfilled. There are many restrictions to run a practical GB. For example, there are too many combination of different keys in different colors and profiles, but I need to maintain a reasonable total kit number, so that I have to leave those ideas like all gray modifiers keys, R3 function row, etc. and just focus on the mainstream. At the end I believe we keep all the basics. Thanks to everyone who gave support and feedback to this project.

GB and Vendors

The group buy is scheduled to launch in Kono Store at late September or early October. The exact day will be decided a few days ahead, so I will update when we have a specific date. If you want to get update to your email, you could join the waitlist on its corresponding product webpage in Kono Store.

Link to product page

Besides Kono Store, we will have other vendors to proxy orders for different areas: Zfrontier for China and Asia, and Mykeyboard for EU. Currently Kono Store is working on the prices. And More renders are coming.

Please let me know if you have any question or feedback. I’m open as always to hear from you. :wink:

Kits renders:

more renders in this album.

Thank you for reading!


looks awesome and +1 for having a norde kit!


Like it! Def in!


I am excited that this will be in sculpted SA profile :smile:

Planning on filling out this layout, and it looks like I’d need to get the following kits:

  • Alphas
  • Modifiers
  • Non-standard (for stepped caps lock and 1.75u shift)
  • 40s (for split spacebar and extra Fn key just to have unique legends for my bottom row)

Also considering the following for funsies:

  • Choices (for the PrtSc key next to right shift)
  • Spacekeys (in case I want a different color for the split space)

This is gonna be a costly purchase :sweat_smile:


I guess you could get just Cadet + Spacebars kits instead of 40s + Spacebars to save some money if you don’t need the legends to be precise. And Non-standard kit has R4 1u key for the key next to right shift.


I do like somewhat precise legends, though RUB OUT would be fun to have on a board :slight_smile: I also just now noticed that 40s has an R4 1u HACK key that I could use for the key next to right shift. Choices is so neat, though, so I might just pick it up anyway for fun :smile:


This is live now and commenting so that others see this thread! Sets look great. Glad to see grey “choices” kit made it!


Thanks for your support all along!


What are the SP color codes for these keys?

Edit: Oh wait, this was posted in the OP of the GH thread. I assume this is accurate:;topic=94288.0;attach=203389;image


RIP to the pricing on the mini spacebar kit. It’s less expensive to get the either of the choices kits then it is to get 8 blank keys.


Yes, these are the color codes of this keyset.


The prices are not only about the number of keys, but also based on popularity. Each kit has a MOQ and corresponding price. Since less people will buy the mini spacebar than the Choices kits, it’s priced more expensive.


So prices aren’t based on the MOQ that the kits actually hit, just the MOQ that you think they’ll hit, and won’t change based on actual purchases? Seems it would be better to have price drops and advertise them so people would be more likely to buy stuff if they know it will most likely hit a cheaper point, since a lot of these prices are pretty steep, especially for anyone that isn’t running run of the mill 60%/TKL layout.


It works roughly in this way. But it’s not a blind guess, it’s based on experience, previous GBs’ data and Kono Store’s sale model. It’s too hard to perform price drops to organize across 20+ kits and 3 vendors/proxies. There are 3 systems, 20+ SKUs, thousands of orders. It’s too different for support staff across 3 vendors to institute a manual price change on a product, then track down every individual order per SKU and manually refund each person. So it’s better to estimate where it will land. Once we add proxies, we lost flexibility.

And Kono Store has run many GBs in this way, along with those proxies, including SA TM R2, SA Bubble, etc. I believe they have quality to manage this GB too.


Kono Store Update: Symbiosis

We are getting close to the end of the Group Buy and I have a few Kono updates.

All the sets except for CADR have performed approximately according to our pricing model - which means all of the sets (Except CADR) will be produced. Some sets were a little above the model, others a little below - but our estimates were accurate across the board. CADR is a bit of a complex set - since it is easily the most expensive one in the group buy and it uses all R3 keycaps so there is little crossover with other sets. There are a few days left in the group buy - so if people are interested in seeing CADR made - we would require approximately additional 20 additional sets to be purchased. If this doesn’t happen over the next four days - we will refund all purchasers of CADR.

Our next steps will be to ensure that all of the colors are perfectly matched and that our production date for next July stays accurate. We will plan to place a purchase order for the entire group buy at the beginning of next week and then move to a “pre-order” phase on Kono for extras. During the pre-order - the prices will be slightly higher than during the group buy and there will be actual inventory limits as it is based on the actual number of kits we purchase + any extra inventory ordered by Kono.

We will keep the group updated via email as updates come in as well as via forum posts here and on Geekhack -

If you purchased your Symbiosis kit via zFrontier or - please contact them directly if you have questions.

Thanks for participating everyone - now the wait begins!


Every time I learn a colevrak set makes it, I’m always surprised.


I’m surprised about the spacekeys at that price point. I’m on the fence myself and worried about getting burnt later when I have a split space board I want to put these on!


Lucky me for needing the 40s kit. Helped me spend that 50 dollars on other kits :joy:


ugh just realized i need the 40’s as well 90$ is a killer lol


I’m not sure if vanilla 60% is my favorite layout or I’ve decided it’s cheaper to pick up modifiers and alphas to fit a basic layout.

Truth be told I can always justify 60% sets for keyboard case photo samples in the store.

Can’t wait to see this set in person, maybe I’ll forget I ordered it by the time it arrives and it will be a nice surprise arriving in the mail. :star_struck: :gift: :star_struck: