The Planck Intro Guide I Needed

Definition: An fully customizable keyboard with unique abilities for layering key-functionality, switchable appearance, an ortho-linear layout, and replaceable parts with a high build quality. You can buy from indie brands, people in garages, and large companies, with both pre-built boards or the kits you see on Drop. I spend over 40 hours weekly hammering on keyboards, and that's why I'm here figuring out how to make it more pleasant. To be honest, I feel the black hole sucking me in, and I'm about to fill a lot of stockings. The Physical Components:
1. Bottom case
    2. PCB
      3. Switch plate
        4. Switches
          5. O-rings
            6. Keycaps

              1. We start off with the bottom case, made of metal and acting as the housing for the keyboard. Just a metal bowl with a hole for the cable.
              2. Into this we place the PCB, printed circuit board, which uses electricity to sense the button presses and run the backlight. This is screwed into the case, and will have a USB connection to the computer.
              3. Then you screw on the switch plate, the plate for the switches. This plate holds the switches above the PCB, so that when you press them the touch the PCB which senses the press. With a hot-swappable keyboard, you can easily pull switches in and out of this plate, so you can customize it for the next 100 years of your life.
              4. Switches are just cool piece of plastic that have many different types of actuation pressure, make low or loud noise, click or buckle, etc. There might be 100 types out there, but the most popular are Cherry MX keys. The company Cherry developed these switches, and MX is a partnership, and that's all I care to know.
              7. You can choose to add O-rings, silencers, to your keys, which are donuts of silicone that stop the keys from hitting the plate when you press them. It helps with my cherry red switches, which can wake my roommate up.
              8. Keycaps are the simplest part of the keyboard that you can spend the most time choosing. They're the tops of the buttons, the part you touch. They can be blank, have letters and symbols, or be custom little pieces of artwork that go on your keyboard.

              Videos on how to put it together:

              Other terms to know:
              1. Ortholinear layout: the keys are in a square grid rather than staggered. Look at the picture of the switch plate from the beginning of this post to the switch plate in the video thumbnail right above, the first is staggered, the bottom one is ortholinear. Some claim it helps them touch type. But it also helps with the next term: layers.
              2. Planck keyboard layers: just read the following blog post. You can assign some keys to switch layers, where every key has multiple duties, it can be the letter Q in the base layer, number 1 in layer 2, and ! mark in layer 3.
              3. Knobs: Yup you can have a knob on your keyboard, making it control volume, cycle through windows, tabs, etc. This requires special hardware that isn't as common and available, or just a premade.
              Here is one premade mechanical keyboard by IKCB:
                Custom made with knob (
                1. Endgame: your ideal, favorite, and most useful keyboard, achieved after your first build, or 10th build. I find myself settling a lot due to (90% of) parts being out of stock, and... don't say it... sigh, price. Yes, you'll have to save up before you can build your best keyboard. I see discussion about prices. This is a niche product that oscillates between art and engineering, and still you have the power to spend $50, $1,000, or $10. To save money you pay in time & choice. Wait for drops or buy used.
                2. Still learning! I won't be a beginner for long.


                Jan 19, 2021
                Great Guide, well done.
                Oct 21, 2020
                All of this is content astoundingly good. Thanks so much for your contribution, someone from drop is gonna be in touch :)