Running Out of Desk Space? Take This Ultra-Tiny Ortholinear Keyboard for a Spin

This ultra-compact keyboard takes up little room — but you're going to need nimble fingers to use it.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month ago3D Printing / HW101

If you've ever found off-the-shelf keyboards too bulky, even at their smallest, then this project from pseudonymous maker "jus-kim" may be what you need — if you're willing to go to an extreme in the other directly, at least.

"I made a super tiny keyboard," jus-kim explains — and they really did. "[It's] the smallest USB keyboard I've made so far, and has RGB LEDs as well!"

It's a 65%, but not as you know it: this ultra-compact keyboard is functional, if you're dexterous enough. (📹: jus-kim)

Robbed of a sense of scale, the keyboard seems to be a fairly standard ortholinear 65% layout: number keys at the top, letter keys below, and a bottom row with modifiers and a single wide spacebar. Beneath each keycap, though, you won't find a mechanical keyboard switch: this keyboard is powered by ultra-compact switches traditionally found in remote controls.

These switches are wired up to a Microchip ATmega32U4 microcontroller running the Arduino Pro Micro bootloader, though an array of diodes designed to prevent ghosting should you accidentally hit more than one key at a time — something that'd be very easy, given their size. There's no per-key LED lighting, reasonably enough, but a Texas Instruments LP5018RSMR driver does run some RGB LEDs to light up the chassis.

More information on the project is available on jus-kim's Reddit post; design files have not been publicly released.

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