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After gathering inspiration from /r/mk and geekhack, I decided that it would be worthwhile to build my own custom hand-wired ErgoDox keyboard. Purchasing an ErgoDox was also an option, but that just wouldn’t have been as good of a hardware/software learning experience!

I did a bunch of research on DIY split ortholinear keyboards, and was extremely impressed with Adereth’s Dactyl keyboard, but the idea of spending $200 on the case alone (before I got a 3D printer) didn’t seem worth it, especially if it turned out that I didn’t like typing on a curved keyboard. After looking at the standard ErgoDox design and a bunch of custom versions, I decided to create my own custom design. Alon Swartz’s Blackhawk is pretty close to what I wanted, but I really liked the idea of a full thumb cluster. At the same time, I was reading that a bunch of people weren’t completely happy with the distance/layout of the standard ErgoDox design. After creating a keyboard layout mockup, I settled on a Cherry MX Brown 76 key layout with 1x1 keys on the sides and center columns. Having 1x1 keys on the center columns freed up some space and let me bring the thumb cluster in closer to the rest of the keys. …


Mikel Duffy

Technologist | Maker

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