The Drop Layout

24 Oct 2014 -


Ever since I bought a Pure Pro I’ve sort of been obsessed with the world of mechanical keyboards. As a developer I want to make sure I’m happy typing on something day in day out. It’s also very important that I can type fast and accurate so I have to be 100% happy with a keyboard. I’ve recently sold my Pure Pro which I was pretty happy with as it’s just not for me. I bought a Poker 2 ANSI (American layout) as a temporary replacement to it which I’ve been more than happy with. It currently has Raindrop keys on and a Tex acrylic case, it’s the nicest keyboard I’ve ever had the pleasure of typing on.

I’ve become quite interested in building my own custom keyboard based off the Poker 2 since ISO versions are very very rare these days. I came up with the following layout:

For the board I’ve looked into 4 different possibilities:

  • GH60 - marred by controversy and lack of delivery
  • Print my own GH60 - only Rev 3 is out and it has a bug so that’s a no go
  • Custom wiring + Teensy 2 - I don’t have the skill to pull this off
  • Nerd60 - pre-soldiered, leds, just add switches!

#The Nerd 60 I’ve settled on this PCB as it supports both backlight and side LEDs which will look cool with my Tex case, I just need to wait for it to arrive from Korea when the MOQ has been met.

The controller itself is fully re-programmable and supports lots of different programming layers which is really cool.

#The layout itself I really like 60% keyboards, they’re easy to transports and have everything I need to develop on. They fall down with the placement of keys and utilities. That’s why I designed this layout.

Here are some key features: * No Caps lock key, instead it’s replaced with an additional Fn key for easy access with your little finger. * WASD arrow keys, easier access with Caps Fn key. * Media keys on left hand * Sane config of utility keys accessible via single right hand or left hand Fn and right hand. * Mac Layout-ish

I’ll be doing a full build log with pictures once I get started, there are still a few decisions I have to make with the keyboard but those are still a way off.