When I was hand wiring my planck, I could not really find a guide that I really liked. I really managed to get through building it by looking at as many photos of planck builds as possible. I hope this guide reduces the need somewhat. It is a great mechanical keyboard so I wanted at least a semi-comprehensive guide.

The hand wired planck is being phased out. But if you really want to do it, this is still a viable option.

This is a slight rehash of Matt3o’s BrownFox guide, but I made some graphics to hopefully clarify a few things.

Switches

This is the diagram I am using for a switch. This is the underside so it is sort of reversed but don’t over think it.

switch underside diagram

The first thing you will want to do is put all your switches in your plate.

switches in planck plate Reverse view.

The best way to start off is to put some solder on both of the switch pins. This makes it easier down the line when you have to put on small wires.

Diodes

Next you need to put on your diodes. I found this was somewhat easy to do but I sometimes just did one at a time.

diode placement

  1. Place your diode in between the first pin and the leg. You will find the best way to do this with a little practice.

  2. Bend it round so it is facing straight down.

  3. You can either solder before step 3 or after. But you just want to heat the connecting pin as it has solder you applied earlier. Then bend it round like in part 3.

You should have something that looks like this when you have done all of them. diodes put in matrix

To fully complete the diode rows you will have to solder both point A and B. If you did point A earlier then you have done this and there is no need to do it again.

where to solder for rows

Wiring Columns

The next part is probably the worst. This is because it requires preparing the wire which can be quite fiddly if you don’t have any wire cutting tools.

The best way to do this is to measure your wire against your planck. You want to create something like this (but vertical). You want to keep as much of the wire’s insulation as possible as it can be quite hectic in a hand wired board.

How column wires should look

I found that if you get a piece of paper and mark out the positions you can easily use this for a template. You will be making 12 of these so a template is appreciated.

To cut the wire pieces in the centre I used a razor blade to make two cuts whilst rotating the wire to cut it all around. Then all you have to do is cut downwards so that you go through the two cuts and you can take off that section.

You then need to solder them on to the switches like this. switches with wire on

Wiring to the Teensy

I found this stage the most complicated as I could not find the matrix generator. So these positions are for the default firmware on github.

At this point you are soldering both the columns and rows. The columns are on the pin of the switch and the rows are on the diode end as shown in the below diagram.

Where you need to solder rows and columns on the planck

The numbers here are corresponding to the pins on the teensy. F1 is column zero and ascending to D7 is column 11. D0 is row 0 ascending to row 3 at B6.

matrix with column and row labels

I have my teensy positioned up, in-between row D5 and B5. I suggest putting a bit of electrical tape above and below to reduce any shorts.

You will then need to flash the firmware which you can find here. Github planck firmware.

I wrote a guide on flashing the ergodox firmware which is fairly similar if you are stuck.

One issue I had was flashing the hex use this command if the recommended commands are not working. This requires teensy-cli on linux systems.

teensy-loader-cli -mmcu=atmega32u4 -w -v "name of your generated hex here"

My hand wired Planck

It took a long time to get it to a usable state. You may notice some additional wire here and there were things broke. But this should be assembled as per my instructions. Handwired planck by roastpotatoes


Typed on The Planck

The Protean

This is probably the most interesting different keyboard that comes with something slightly different. It is like the Optimus Maximus in that the keys are relengedable through individual screens in the keycaps.
In theory this concept seems interesting. But I really don’t see this being interesting past the novelty. It’s not really something many people are looking for. The problem is this removes one of the main customisation options you get with keyboards, the keycaps. But of course it does come with an alternative that allows you to change the legends. But this is not the same and I don’t see it being particularly useful or exciting.

protean keyboard

The renders also make it look like the keycaps are inverse. I’m not sure if this is the idea or just how it looks but I can’t see this being too comfortable.

Obviously this is a unique keyboard, but I see no reason for it to be.

Sentraq

More updates on the previously announced keyboards.

S60-X

S60-X I think this is a more interesting project as I like the goal behind it. It is a 60% kit that is aiming to be affordable and something to build with whoever you please during the holiday time. That just seems like a fun idea to me.

Just like when the KC60 came out people were quite excited about the prospect of a cheap 60%. This isn’t as cheap as the KC60 but it is still affordable at (probably) $99.

It comes with:

  • PCB with components pre-soldered (I’m assuming SMD)

Coming to massdrop hopefully soon.

TK78 PCB Prototypes

TK78 PCB Prototypes This is the other project by Sentraq which is a bit more specialist. It is a 60% with a numpad. While it may not have the same mass appeal as the 60% has I have definitely heard call for a keyboard like this before.

The news is that they now have prototypes. So nothing ground breaking but if you are interested in this, it is moving forward.

New Mechanical Keyboard Line By Monoprice

Full sized standard mechs in 3 configurations in either blue or reds.

I’m not sure why the standard (Select Series) costs more. But in my opinion it is more aesthetically pleasing.

The other question is “What switches do these have?”. I was told “our made mechanical switches”. So I imagine these are on the level of kalih or greetech (pure speculation). These could in fact turn out nice.

Penclic MK1

A new mechanical keyboard aimed at the professional typist. It looks like a squashed TKL with edges. From a new company with a slightly strange looking keyboard, I am not feeling too hostile towards it.

No word on the switches so I really don’t know.

Artisan Sales

The ever trendy artisans are at it again.

Current

Upcoming

  • Hot Keys Project November Sale. Coming in November. This was worth mentioning as the colourways are looking excellent.

Hkp blue November

Krap Birdie Possibly relevant photo. Sale contents unknown. But I love these.


Typed on The Planck

SnacKeys

The KeyKollectiv SnacKeys sale was successful and there have been some very nice photos appearing.

The best photo that I think illustrates these keycaps is this from KeyKollectiv themselves: Box full of Keyfruit

Sale one is now over but I can imagine that it is possible these come back in the future.

Brocaps

Bro has been both busy, and the attraction of some controversy. I don’t think the outcry was warranted and Bro should really just do what he wants. He has continually said that he is doing this as a passion project and is not a manufacturer. Small batches and a small barrier of entry would mean he could maintain this project, without crossing the line into manufacturer and ultimately doing something he does not want to do.

There are currently two running giveaways (ending today) if you managed to miss these.

The first is the Lycan giveaway. For this you have to tell a story of how you became a werewolf. Lycan brocap

Another is the pumpkin carving contest. This is for the newly designed grumpkin caps. Grumpkin Keycap

These are my current favourite of the newly designed caps.

As well as these halloweeny type keycaps there is a new zombro. Zomboro Keycap

These are likely to be sold in a small upcoming sale in quite the near future. Your best bet is to watch the brocaps sale thread.

monty20python

A new person has entered the scene with ‘proof of concept’ tab artisan.

new tab artisan

I am not entirely sure what it is, and using it might be a bit cumbersome. But it certainly does prove that it can be done. But the real question is “Should it?”.

Zorberema

Sale of Ice and Fire cap contents ZorbCaps Sale 2 has been and gone. It was titled “The Sale of Ice and Fire” and featured Entlings, Golems and Templars.

Krytone

Krytone has been posting some very nice images on reddit, although I believe I have seen these somewhere else before.

My favourite has to be the birdie

There was also a Krapster

Other new caps are the ribcage and various Topre WASD and Arrow cluster sets.

Gloyz

This is another new maker who has been somewhat around for a little while. They have a nice amount of designs featuring quite the range of colours.

Some of these are still available.

Gloyz geekhack Thread

Binge

Binge seems to be very busy. But remember it is not just Binge and a rebranding is taking place.

You can currently purchase a realforce numpad that comes with the new “Deal with it Jack” keycap.

The sticket raffle is over and the drawings were done on a livestream.

Binge and KatzenKinder

Both of these makers have been making SKIDATA+ themed keycaps for the SKIDATA+ GMK keyset GB (of course). Skidata themed keycaps by binge The SKIDATA+ keyset is currently live on zealpc.net

KatzenKinder is now on hiatus accept for the small run of SKIDATA themed caps.

Nubbinator

The Dolly V2 intro sale was successful. I was very on the fence about these but in the end I did not participate. The colours used are quite different from many others you will see but I am not entirely sure they are for me. There are certainly some combinations that I like and they are quite the spectacle to look at. But in the end I could not decide. Dolly V2

Deckerson’s may also make a comeback in the future.

GirlDC

Girdc unknown artisan

Some more of GirlDC’s high quality keycaps, which again I do not recognise the subjects.

Booper

Cosmonaut Booper had a very successful long awaited sale. These were all incredibly nice but I managed to win none. Hopefully Booper continues this quality as they really do look great.

Flehrad

flehrad topre blank artisan Flehrad has had an attempt at Topre blanks. These certainly seem to be a good start.

Gen.S

Gen.S is now on massdrop with their gem keycaps. This seemed like a strange decision as a previous GB was left untouched on geekhack. I’m not sure if this means trouble at all, but these are some nice looking keycaps.

RetroCap

Retrochick artisan trio The photo really speaks for itself. But it seems Retrochick has upheld their quality of sculpting and their new designs are looking really good.

Go to their thread for more information. These are really shaping up to be really nice caps.

hao-hao

This is another person entering the scene with some interesting new sculpts. Whilst not to my own taste I appreciate the effort of creating. They seem quite large at the moment but these are only the masters so I’m not sure if there will be any casts to show how they better fit.


Typed on The Planck