Reddit is a lawless place that is equal parts fantastic enthusiast communities and the worst kind of people the internet has to offer. Scrolling through Reddit is a bit like wading through a sewer to find lost valuables, but the desktop website at least has some handy shortcuts to make it easier to navigate those muddy waters. Redditor JimHeaney made a custom Arduino-based 8-key RGB keyboard that he is using to take advantage of those navigation shortcuts.
Custom keyboards are fairly popular, and that includes small keyboard like this that are designed for macros and shortcuts. Instead of having to set up complicated key combinations to launch your macros, you can just push one of the keys on your custom macro keyboard to achieve the same effect. That’s exactly what JimHeaney’s keyboard does, and he’s using it for Reddit shortcuts. For example, you can press Shift + X to show or hide post images on Reddit. That shortcut, and others, can be tied to one of the keys on the small keyboard.
JimHeaney’s design is built on a custom PCB and controlled by a Microchip ATmega32U4. That’s the same microcontroller that is used in the Arduino Leonardo, and was chosen because it can be configured to show up as a USB HID keyboard when plugged into a computer. Cherry MX Blue key switches were used, because they provide a nice tactile feel with audible feedback. Six WS2812B individually-addressable RGB LEDs provide illumination, and their color can be programmed as desired. This keyboard can, of course, be used for more than just navigating Reddit. The keys can be programmed to send any keypress combination, and you can use software like AutoHotKey to take advantage of that to accomplish just about anything.