This is a split mechanical keyboard and Wicki-Hayden layout MIDI controller that I am working on.
It’s still a prototype, but I’d be very happy to hear what you think!
Suggestions for a name are also very welcome - my various project files are called either ‘keyboard’ or ‘hexpad’…
- 44 “Kailh Choc” low-profile mechanical keys
- individually addressable RGB backlighting for each key
- hybrid split / unison design
- halves can be used independently also
- supports QMK firmware
- foldable for transport
In the MIDI configuration, the two halves are joined together magnetically to form a 42-key surface. With the “Janko” isomorphic layout, it spans 21 semitones with each tone stacked twice vertically and has two meta/modifier keys left over.
The RGB backlighting can be used to highlight a set scale or, using custom firmware, do other things like sequencing.
When the halves are separated and turned inwards slightly, the keys line up nicely in columns matching the range of motion of each finger. Each half has a thumb cluster of four, and thirteen keys for the remaining fingers that are accessible without moving the wrist, this way the 26 letters of the alphabet are all easily reached and there is plenty of room for modifiers.
The electronics are compatible with the very popular QMK mechanical keyboard firmware, which allows the layout and functionality to be customized fully and comfortably.
When not in use, the two halves can be folded over and connect magnetically. This way it should also be safe to transport in a fabric pouch. (The final version will have the bottom covered as well.)
I am still wrapping up the initial prototype: one half is mechanically functioning but still lacks some LEDs (which should arrive in a few days) and the other half still has to be constructed. I’ll update this thread as I get everything working
The hexagonal keys are cast in epoxy resin using molds I mill out of machinable wax, but that is a really tiresome and error-prone process. If there is enough interest, I am thinking about raising some money through crowdfunding / group-buy to have a batch of keys injection-molded so that I can make kits available online.