Raspberry Pi powered mechanical keyboard
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I'm new to the mechanical keyboard thing, and find a lot of the detail a bit baffling, but I'm learning and keen to create a retro-flavoured keyboard of my own.
For a while I've wanted to set a Raspberry Pi up as an emulation machine to emulate old computers such as C64, BBC Micro etc. I started to think about what sort of case I would put it in, and even looked for defunct retro computers I could repurpose.
But now I'm thinking a Raspberry Pi would fit under or inside a mechanical keyboard case or mount, making a beautiful modern retro machine.

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https://uk.pinterest.com/richardholt/retropi/
Has anyone attempted something like this? Does anyone have any advice of where to start?
thumb_upAnthony Rotondi and MikeMD
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mrus
0
Apr 26, 2019
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If you don't mind the reduced size / amount of keys, check out https://learn.pimoroni.com/keybow and https://mrusme.github.io/kiwi/
Apr 26, 2019
RichardSmith
55
Mar 19, 2018
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This is an old comment, but this thought occurred to me as well.
I haven't decided yet if I will do it or not, however, what I would probably do is run it on both pro micro and pi. I would use a toggle switch to physically switch between the female keyboard output, and to power the raspberry pi.
However, if I needed to run both the pi and the preserve the USB keyboard functionality simultaneously, I would STILL need a toggle switch, to disconnect the keyboard from the pi so the strokes don't get sent to both OS's at the same time, even if I had the ability to do so.
Just a bit of reality I came to knocking this idea around in my head as well.
The pi is garbage for doing USB as it non-native. If you want no pro-micro and ONLY a pi, you will need to directly wire the matrix, and do it yourself. I think that amount of work isn't worth it.
Mar 19, 2018
GeeWizWow
15
Aug 29, 2017
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Is your purpose to make a full computer or just a keyboard ? Because if the latter, a lot of people, including a few legitimate projects use arduinos for the larger amounts of io and the fact they have native hid drivers.
If the former, you might want to look At doing the above anyway then using serial or USB to communicate between arduino and pi. I think a few launchpad projects do it this way.
Theres also something to do to with micro controllers have better performance when it comes to io performance. Something to do with the Linux kernel. But smarter people than me will be able to tell you more.
Aug 29, 2017
RichardHolt
13
Aug 29, 2017
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OK, so as a first step towards this, I've joined the new Preonic drop. I figure I can plug in a Pi externally initially, and then look at getting a case made which would probably put the Pi and associated bits underneath...
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Aug 29, 2017
puddingfarmer
175
May 1, 2017
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I'm working on something similar, but I'm a total beginner, so I'm just kind of muddling through it. I decided trying to get the Pi in or under the housing was going to add too much height to the keys, so I went with an L-shaped setup with a screen and a wooden case holding it all together. I'll post pictures in a couple days when it's closer to being finished.
May 1, 2017
RichardHolt
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Apr 30, 2017
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Apr 30, 2017
KM1337
1850
Apr 29, 2017
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I've looked into making my own hand-wired MK using the small controller chips and custom PCB's, etc and so forth... but nothing really seemed to catch my interest for cost/features ratio... Been wanting to make my own RGB MKB..
( I am by no means an expert in DIY tech however, having just acquired my first soldering pen/gun as of a month ago, may not be approaching it the right way)
However, this: " ...But now I'm thinking a Raspberry Pi would fit under or inside a mechanical keyboard case or mount... " has been something that I have thought about and will be following this to see where this goes...
I too would like to know how feasible it would be to mount one into a MK, though I think my intentions might be slightly different. I'm interested to know if the RP could be used as the KB controller and control back/under lighting along with functioning as a computer on its own... Or maybe like, a home made logitech G19 or something.
Apr 29, 2017