Tag Archives: keyboard

Raspberry Pi keyboards for Japan are here!

Post Syndicated from Simon Martin original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-keyboards-japan/

When we announced new keyboards for Portugal and the Nordic countries last month, we promised that you wouldn’t have to wait much longer for a variant for Japan, and now it’s here!

Japanese Raspberry Pi keyboard

The Japan variant of the Raspberry Pi keyboard required a whole new moulding set to cover the 83-key arrangement of the keys. It’s quite a complex keyboard, with three different character sets to deal with. Figuring out how the USB keyboard controller maps to all the special keys on a Japanese keyboard was particularly challenging, with most web searches leading to non-English websites. Since I don’t read Japanese, it all became rather bewildering.

We ended up reverse-engineering generic Japanese keyboards to see how they work, and mapping the keycodes to key matrix locations. We are fortunate that we have a very patient keyboard IC vendor, called Holtek, which produces the custom firmware for the controller.

We then had to get these prototypes to our contacts in Japan, who told us which keys worked and which just produced a strange squiggle that they didn’t understand either. The “Yen” key was particularly difficult because many non-Japanese computers read it as a “/” character, no matter what we tried to make it work.

Special thanks are due to Kuan-Hsi Ho of Holtek, to Satoka Fujita for helping me test the prototypes, and to Matsumoto Seiya for also testing units and checking the translation of the packaging.

Get yours today

You can get the new Japanese keyboard variant in red/white from our Approved Reseller, SwitchScience, based in Japan.

If you’d rather your keyboard in black/grey, you can purchase it from Pimoroni and The Pi Hut in the UK, who both offer international shipping.

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Building a split mechanical keyboard with a Raspberry Pi Zero controller

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/building-a-split-mechanical-keyboard-with-a-raspberry-pi-zero-controller/

Looking to build their own ergonomic mechanical split keyboard, Gosse Adema turned to the Raspberry Pi Zero W for help.

So long, dear friend

Gosse has been happily using a Microsoft Natural Elite keyboard for years. You know the sort, they look like this:

Twenty years down the line, the keyboard has seen better days and, when looking for a replacement, Gosse decided to make their own.

This is my the first mechanical keyboard project. And this will be for daily usage. Although the possibilities are almost endless, I limit myself to the basic functionality: An ergonomic keyboard with mouse functions.

Starting from scratch

While searching for new switched, Gosse came across a low-profile Cherry MX that would allow for a thinner keyboard. And what’s the best device to use when trying to keep the profile of your project as thin as possible? Well, hello there, Raspberry Pi Zero W, aren’t you looking rather svelte today.

After deciding to use a Raspberry Pi as the keyboard controller over other common devices, Gosse took inspiration from an Adafruit tutorial on turning Raspberry Pi into a USB gadget, and from “the usbarmory Github page of Chris Kuethe”, which describes how to create a USB gadget with a keyboard.

Build your own

There is a lot *A LOT* of information on how Gosse built the keyboard on Instructables and, if we try to go into any detail here, our word count is going to be in the thousands. So, let’s just say this: the project uses some 3D printing, some Python code, and some ingenuity to create a lovely-looking final keyboard. If you want to make your own, Gosse has provided absolutely all the information you need to do so. So check it out, and be sure to give Gosse some love via the comments section on Instructables.

Mechanical keyboards

Also, if you’re unsure of how a mechanical keyboard differs from other keyboards, we made this handy video for you all!

How do mechanical keyboards work?

So, what makes a mechanical keyboard ‘mechanical’? And why are some mechanical keyboards more ‘clicky’ than others? Custom PC’s Edward Chester explains all. …

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What makes a mechanical keyboard ‘clicky’?

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/what-makes-a-mechanical-keyboard-clicky/

In our latest video for the newly rebranded Raspberry Pi Press YouTube channel, Custom PC’s Edward Chester explains what mechanical keyboards are, and why they’re so clicky.

How do mechanical keyboards work?

So, what makes a mechanical keyboard ‘mechanical’? And why are some mechanical keyboards more ‘clicky’ than others? Custom PC’s Edward Chester explains all. Check out our Elite List of mechanical keyboards: https://rpf.io/elite-list-mechanical-keyboard Subscribe to our channel: https://rpf.iopressytsub Visit the Custom PC magazine website: https://rpf.io/ytcustompc Our magazines and books: https://rpf.io/ytpress Raspberry Pi Press is the publishing imprint of Raspberry Pi Trading Ltd., a subsidiary of The Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Custom PC is one of the many magazines produced by Raspberry Pi Press, the publishing imprint of Raspberry Pi Trading Ltd; it does exactly what it says on the tin cover: provide everything you need to know about the ins and outs of custom PC building and all the processes that make the topic so fascinating.

Be sure to subscribe to the Raspberry Pi Press YouTube channel, because we’ll be offering more videos from Custom PC, alongside content from The MagPi magazine, HackSpace magazine, Wireframe, and our future standalone book publications, such as The Official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide and An Introduction to C & GUI Programming (the latter of which is currently on sale with free worldwide shipping!), on that channel very soon.

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Buy the official Raspberry Pi keyboard and mouse

Post Syndicated from Simon Martin original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/official-raspberry-pi-keyboard-mouse/

Liz interjects with a TL;DR: you can buy our official (and very lovely) keyboard and mouse from today from all good Raspberry Pi retailers. We’re very proud of them. Get ’em while they’re hot!

Alex interjects with her own TL;DR: the keyboard is currently available in six layouts – English (UK), English (US), Spanish, French, German, and Italian – and we plan on producing more soon. Also, this video…what is…why is my left hand so weird at typing?!

New and official Raspberry Pi keyboard and mouse

It does what keyboards and mice do. Well, no, not what MICE do, but you get it.

Over to Simon for more on the development.

Magical mystery tour

When I joined Raspberry Pi, there was a feeling that we should be making our own keyboards and mice, which could be sold separately or put into kits. My first assignment was the task of making this a reality.

It was clear early on that the only way we could compete on plastic housings and keyboard matrix assemblies was to get these manufactured and tested in China – we’d love to have done the job in the UK, but we just couldn’t get the logistics to work. So for the past few months, I have been disappearing off on mysterious trips to Shenzhen in China. The reason for these trips was a secret to my friends and family, and the only stories I could tell were of the exotic food I ate. It’s a great relief to finally be able to talk about what I’ve been up to!

I’m delighted to announce the official Raspberry Pi keyboard with integrated USB Hub, and the official Raspberry Pi mouse.

Raspberry Pi official keyboard

Raspberry Pi official mouse

The mouse is a three-button, scroll-wheel optical device with Raspberry Pi logos on the base and cable, coloured to match the Pi case. We opted for high-quality Omron switches to give the click the best quality feel, and we adjusted the weight of it to give it the best response to movement. I think you’ll like it.

Raspberry Pi official mouse

Raspberry Pi official keyboard

The keyboard is a 78-key matrix, like those more commonly found in laptop computers. This is the same compact style used in previous Pi kits, just an awful lot nicer. We went through many prototype revisions to get the feel of the keys right, reduce the light leaks from the Caps Lock and Num Lock LEDs (who would have thought that red LEDs are transparent to red plastics?) and the surprisingly difficult task of getting the colours consistent.

Country-specific keyboards

The PCB for the keyboard and hub was designed by Raspberry Pi, so we control the quality of components and assembly.

We fitted the best USB hub IC we could find, and we worked with Holtek on custom firmware for the key matrix management. The outcome of this is the ability for the Pi to auto-detect what country the keyboard is configured for. We plan to provide a range of country-specific keyboards: we’re launching today with the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Spain – and there will be many more to follow.

Raspberry Pi official keyboard - English (UK) layout
Raspberry Pi official keyboard - English (US) layout
Raspberry Pi official keyboard - French layout
Raspberry Pi official keyboard - German layout
Raspberry Pi official keyboard - Italian layout
Raspberry Pi official keyboard - Spanish layout

And even if I say so myself, it’s really nice to have the matching kit of keyboard, mouse and Raspberry Pi case on your desk. Happy coding!

Buy yours today

The Raspberry Pi official keyboard and mouse are both available from our Approved Resellers. You can find your nearest Approved Reseller by selecting your country in the drop-down menu on our products pages.

Raspberry Pi starter kit

The official keyboard, in the English (UK) layout, and the mouse are also available at the Raspberry Pi shop in Cambridge, UK, and can be purchased individually or as part of our new Raspberry Pi Starter Kit, exclusive to our shop (for now!)

 

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