Joe Scotto's Latest Hand-Wired Keyboard Boasts Flat-Topped "ScottoCaps" and Bluetooth Support

With a built-in battery, this truly portable keyboard will definitely turn heads at the coffee shop.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months agoHW101 / 3D Printing

Keyboard enthusiast Joe Scotto has unveiled his latest hand-wired keyboard, the Scotto63 — a 63-key ergonomic ortholinear design that uses his self-built flat-topped ScottoCaps atop Cherry MX-compatible mechanical switches and which boasts Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

"The Scotto63 is a 63-key 60% split-monoblock column-staggered ortholinear wireless keyboard with a large 750mAh battery," Scotto writes of his newest keyboard design. "It uses DangKeebs Halu Halo linear switches and my own flat profile ScottoCaps. The one large bottom key uses a Holee modded stabilizer."

This is far from Scotto's first hand-wired keyboard. Previous designs have included the ultra-thin ScottoWing, a one-handed input device inspired by the Frogpad, a single-controller split keyboard with a VGA interconnect, the unusual-layout ScottoKatana, and the ScottoDeck — the latter designed as an Elgato Stream Deck alternative and boasting eight programmable keys and two input knobs.

This time around, though, there's no need for a cable at all — at least until it runs out of battery. "Because it requires 20 total pins for the [switch] matrix, a typical Arduino Pro Micro was out of the question," Scotto explains of the microcontroller inside the 3D-printed housing. "I opted to use a nice!nano as it has 21 total GPIO [General-Purpose Input/Output] pins and, as a side effect, the board supports Bluetooth wireless!"

As with all of Scotto's keyboard designs, there's no PCB inside the case. Instead, the switches are wired together using copper rod and flying leads to the microcontroller's pins. As a result, it's something anyone can build with access to a 3D printer and soldering tools — no PCB etching needed.

Scotto's full write-up is available on his website, while 3D print files and the firmware source have been published to GitHub under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 license — as with all his keyboard designs.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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