BlueMicro's PyKey60 Is a 60% Mechanical Keyboard Powered by an RP2040 and CircuitPython

Designed for beginners, this custom programmable keyboard includes per-key RGB LED lighting and hackable firmware.

Saskatoon-based BlueMicro has launched a keyboard PCB that packs a Raspberry Pi RP2040 as its controller, offering compatibility with GH60 cases and CircuitPython as its firmware.

"This is a fully programmable keyboard which doesn't require any tooling or special software to change its programming," BlueMicro's Pierre Constantineau writes of his latest creation. "The PyKey60 uses mechanical switches (Cherry MX type). The keys are hot-swap socketed and have an individual underglow RGB LED which can be turned on. The PCB was designed for use with PCB-mount stabilizers."

The compact keyboard, which uses a 60% layout, is designed for customizability β€” but comes with the promise that, just as with the CircuitPython through which it is programmed, it's suitable for beginners.

"The design keeps the matrix definition simple to 14 columns and 5 rows instead of using a GPIO-optimized matrix of 8 columns and 8 rows," Constantineau explains. "[The] NeoPixel order is also in line with key numbers. This keeps the complexity of coding a keyboard firmware to a minimum."

As well as Kailh switch sockets, which accept any Cherry MX-style key switch, the board includes a USB Type-C connector for power and data, a piezoelectric buzzer for audible feedback, per-key RGB LED lighting, and an open source firmware β€” while the hardware design is open-source, too.

The PyKey60 is being sold through Tindie at $55, though was out of stock at the time of writing; the design files are available on GitHub under the CERN Open Hardware License Version 2 β€” Weakly Reciprocal license, and the firmware published under the permissive MIT license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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