We see a lot of macropads around here and so we only feature those that stand out — usually those that incorporate interesting features or that contain unusual hardware. Aesthetics alone aren’t enough to warrant a full write-up unless the device is particularly polished. But the Banana Split, a banana-themed wireless split macropad, is just too delicious to pass up.
Banana Split is the brain child of Dan Bostian, who previously released the Banana macropad. The original Banana had a wired USB connection and contained eight buttons in a single unit. The new Banana Split builds on that with two new features: wireless functionality and a split design. Instead of eight buttons in a row, it has two sets of four buttons each. The two halves of the Banana Split connect with a standard TRRS (Tip Ring Ring Sleeve) audio cable.
The enclosure is 3D-printable, which is completely necessary since you have no hope of finding a suitable off-the-shelf enclosure in the shape of banana. It should be printable on just about any FFF (fused-filament fabrication) 3D printer. The PCBs are also custom, since they need to fit into that curved enclosure. Bostian ordered his from OSH Park, but you can get yours from whichever PCB fabrication house you prefer.
The controller is a nice! Keyboards nice!nano v2.0, which is a drop-in replacement for the Pro Micro development board. The nice!nano v2.0 is ideal for keyboard builds like this one, because it is very power efficient and the Nordic nRF52840 microcontroller has built-in Bluetooth connectivity. The PCBs support Cherry MX-compatible key switches, so makers have a wide range of options available. Power comes from a small 110mAh lithium-ion battery pack and the nice!nano v2.0 has onboard charging and distribution support for that. Bostian uses ZMK firmware, but there are several alternatives available if you like something else more.
Banana Split is, of course, a novelty. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t functional. It connects to any computer via Bluetooth as a standard HID keyboard and you can configure the buttons to perform whatever functions you like. If nothing else, it is sure to impress your coworkers. To complete the look, grab a Dole sticker from your local grocery store and slap it on the enclosure.