Handwired Keyboard Project: Part 4

Mar 24, 2020  
This article is part of the series Handwired Keyboard Project

Hello everybody, a much delayed posting of this series (I completed the project January 12th or so…), I’ve been travelling around the world at exactly the wrong time, but I thought since I’ve got the time to finally post the final part to this series, let’s get started!

The Case

I was able to grab a friends dremel to modify the existing Aluminium Hi-Pro Planck case. Needed to widen the port area in order to fit the HDMI port, audio, and USB-C cabling in. Additionally, we drilled some holes to throw some standoffs under the PCB.

Since the case is a hefty aluminium block, the case also is used as a heatsink for the board, I’ve getting some solid 30C, however as with any passive cooling solution, the thermal inertia will eventually climb. I’ve used the board at work for a few weeks idling in external peripheral mode and it has not gone above 50C.

Without further ado, some pictures!

Case Dremel & Fitting

In order to avoid shorting another board (Let’s not talk about it again), I elevated the board to sit on the rk3399 casing against the case, also giving it a good thermal coupling to the case. Then applied some loving thermal paste.

Copper spacer

Next up, I ensured nothing shorted against the case or the keyboard matrix with some bodge electrical tape!

Insulation & SSD Wiring

Here’s the final product, using it at work in external USB HID mode. The wire sticking out through the housing is a TTY board in case things get out of hand…

Final Product!

It’s been a fun little project, let me know if you have any questions or comments. Cheers!