I’ve ordered myself a holiday vacation treat: I’m going to build myself an Iris. It’s my first try at a split keyboard, and I’m looking forward to both the build and the experiment of using it!
Every time I see a “workers need to be back in the office” take, I’m going to reply with this photo of a fresh homemade scone covered in homemade clotted cream, sitting beside my keyboard while I work in the morning sunlight streaming through my window.
What a great hobby week. A few days ago I built a keyboard with my kiddo, and yesterday I got started on a build for myself. We built the KBD67Lite from kbdfans. While I’ve had a couple of mechanical keyboards, these were the first that I’ve built up from parts – fortunately, the kbdlite comes as a nice kit which made for a gentle introduction to lubricating stabilizers. (Which, by the way, makes a tremendous difference.)
Kiddo picked out keycaps that make this lovely gradient, and they feel really nice.
I went with gray keycaps on a white case. So far this board is a real pleasure to type on. Now that I have a good point of comparison with my Q1 board I can start to get a feel for how qualitatively different switches and keys can feel. By comparison, the Q1 is indeed a little pingy, for example, so I’m even more curious to see how some modifications to its components could feel.
After the build, I did some work in QMK to program a couple of MacOS specific layers for the KBD67Lite. Unlike the Q1, it doesn’t have a hardware mode switch, so I have to make a virtual one that lets me toggle Mac and Windows layers with a key combination. Fortunately I was familiar with working in QMK from all the screwing around I did with the vim mode I built, so it didn’t take too long to figure this out – and I’m happily typing away!
Building this kbd67lite with kiddo was a good Christmas day project. (I got one for myself, too – caps and switches should arrive tomorrow!)
I’m also putting together a handful of these little clicky buddies for stocking stuffers, using some spare switches and keycaps, and these adorable little keychain PCBs from keeb.io.
The hardware flash mode on the Q1 requires removing the space bar and pushing a tiny button while plugging in the keyboard. But you can program a key to do this instead. This is a massive improvement! Fiddling/Learning QMK would be terribly cumbersome otherwise.
Keyboard programming with QMK update: Adding more vim keys to a new layer on my Q1! After a long time idly thinking it would be neat to have vim-style navigation in, for example, an Outlook compose window, I can now toggle layers and do exactly that. It’s pretty slick.
Spent a good chunk of today alternating between Forza Horizon 5 and learning how to add a vim layer to my keyboard with QMK. Pretty good Saturday tbh.