KeyMouse Kit - Circuit Boards & Modules

Hello Everyone,
We're still actively working on KeyMouse (although we have not posted an update for a while).  Our primary focus has been refining a core set of KeyMouse components that can be re-used in various versions and configurations of KeyMouse.

Although this has been a major re-design of the circuit boards and core components, I believe it's the best move in the long haul for KeyMouse. Previously, our circuit boards were all designed around the specific shape of KeyMouse plastic. As we worked on the problems of injection molding and plastic shape tweaks, it was a nightmare to adjust the circuit boards to match.  We also wanted to make a more solid platform for future versions.  So, we put the plastic on hold and worked on condensing the circuit boards, and making them modular. Our latest version of circuit boards is going into production right now.
Now, we have 6 re-usable core KeyMouse modules that can be arranged in many different ways to create various versions of KeyMouse (including a trackball version).  They can be connected together using standard jumper cables with no soldering.  We plan to use these internally for producing KeyMouse, and will likely offer a "KeyMouse Kit" for sale to allow users to custom create their own KeyMouse if they prefer a different size, shape, or key arrangement.  Long term we want to bring KeyMouse to the masses, and we feel our first step is to work closely with keyboard enthusiasts with our "kit" until we perfect it:

1. KeyMouse Main Board (Platform)
The new board is much smaller and designed as a platform for future versions.

2. Mouse Module (Laser)
We separated the laser module from the main board because there are many configurations (such as trackball, vertical mouse, adjustable angle keyboard) where having the laser separate helps a lot.

We're still working on the plastic housing & bearings for this, but it's in process currently.

3. Scroll Module
Includes switch for "middle mouse click".

4. Cherry Module
Includes LED and diode on the board for anti-ghosting.  Our new version in production has 1/2 the number of pins (total of 4 pins), and the pins are now horizontal (90 degree bend from the board) to save space.  They do not extend past the edge of the circuit board.  It has very tight tolerance, but we think it will work well.  Our custom daisy chain cable (shown below) will make it much easier to chain them together and allows us to reduce the # of pins to 4.

All we have to do is connect them in rows & columns using our jumper cables.  Manually connecting these on a curved surface is pretty quick compared to soldering on a curved circuit board.  We love the flexibility this setup gives us.

5. Big Button Module - 12mm
Tactile switch mounted on circuit board. Includes a diode on the board for anti-ghosting.  We put the half circle mounting holes on the edges so they can be mounted closely together in an array if you choose.

6. Small Button Module - 6mm
Tactile switch mounted on circuit board.  Includes a diode on the board for anti-ghosting.  We put the half circle mounting holes on the edges so they can be mounted closely together in an array if you choose.

All of these modules can be connected to eachother using standard jumper cables.  We are creating a custom jumper cable to make it easier to daisy chain the keys together:

Additional Components

We have a good source for trackballs now, red and black.  The ball size is 34mm (same as Logitech Trackman M570).  We like this trackball size and have heard many others that like it, too.

Battery Module
We're creating this as a module, so there is no soldering needed for final assembly.

Custom Daisy Chain Jumper Cables
We are creating a custom jumper cable to minimize the number of cables needed to chain the keys together in a matrix.

Key Caps
We've got Key Caps in stock (have had them for a while, but didn't post a picture previously).  The picture shown is for our QWERTY.  We also have DVORAK, QWERTZ, AZERTY, Colemak, and Blank.

Teflon Feet
We did a lot of tests with various Teflon suppliers, and picked one that glided the best.  These are 1/2" diameter.

Using these modules, we can create various sizes, shapes, and versions of KeyMouse easily by simply adjusting the plastic housing, and re-using the same internal components.  Essentially, with this kit, you could assemble a KeyMouse with a 3D printer and a screw driver (no soldering).  We anticipate adding more components in the future (including colors of Cherry switches such as Blue, etc.)

We have at least 4 variations of shapes/configurations for KeyMouse in mind that we feel can target specific markets, including one for trackball (highly requested).  Using these modules will make it much easier for us to try different configurations and see what sticks with users in different markets we are targeting (programming, gaming, CAD, 3D modeling, general productivity, etc.).
It will take us some time to refine the plastic shape for our first KeyMouse, but we feel very good about the direction we're moving.  We should have the new boards in a few weeks.


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