After designing some keycap sets, and since I’ve been using CAD software for a while now, making my own board was just a matter of time. So here it is Verne.
I wanted to make what by definition we’d say is a custom keyboard: a product tailored to my own needs and specifications. This results in an extremely personal design, that might not be even attractive for many. But that’s exactly what I was up to. A personal design is far more powerful and meaningful for me than a standard box design, and having it made up to my specs allows me to have full control on every single aspect of the keyboard.
Verne has been basically been constructed focusing on these two cornerstones:
- Less is better These keyboard doesn’t have a weight, or visible branding, and it definitely doesn’t RGB. These features were not essential for me. It doens’t have an universal plate, because a fixed one was much better for my own requirements.
- Functional design A design must speak for itself, and looking good isn’t good enough. The side profile allows the user to easily adjust the keyboard, pick it up and move it around; the USB-C cable goes parallel to the table and doesn’t bend, there aren’t any sharp corners; the case openings and bezels have been designed to match Cherry profile keycaps; the PCB components have been carefully being placed and the traces have been done with good care, as they alwasy should be…
- “Compact” tenkeyless layout, with function and navigation cluster 0.25U away from the alphanumerics section.
- Top-mounted fixed ANSI or WKL plate, in either brass or stainless steel. Having a fixed plate was crucial for me, not only because of an aesthetic choice, as I want the keyboard to be as minimalistic and clean as possible; but because I want a nice tight fitting with the switches. With many universal plates, I usually have aligment issues, more than what I’d like to admit.
- 6 degree slope.
- Programmable Verne PCB designed by Wilba, with USB-C daughterboard. The daughterboard sits parallel to the table surface, preventing the cable from bending down. It also allows having a better placement for the USB-C port.
- Around 2.5 Kg (5.3 lbs)
I’m planning to offer the keyboard in deep blue, dark gray, and motorsport (ferrari) red anodizations, as they fit very well with my keysets. I’m also considering the idea of a powder coat finish. However, I’m not happy enough with the quality of the pieces I’ve received, and neither would you. I’ve shortly chatted with @norbauer about it, we enthusiasts see anodization and powder coat not as a protective coat, but as an element that provides aesthetics and textures to a keyboard. However, factories see powder coat purely as some coat that prevents the aluminum from deterioration.
Regarding the plates, and layouts. There will be two plates: standard ANSI, and WKL. Both of them will be fixed and offering in either stainless steel and brass. I’ve been thinking of adding the option of a winkey blocked top piece, which would grant compatibility with many vintage Cherry keysets.
Thank you for your time.