Over the last few weeks I’ve been working hard to make some massive improvements to several aspects of the ScottoKeebs project. I'm now ready to share it all with you, so let's dive right in...
When I first started the project I went through the process to get a few of my boards merged into the official qmk_firmware repository, but never went any further. Over the months as I added more and more boards, I kept neglecting getting them added leading to a large backlog. I finally realized that if I wanted to make the project easier to access, I should make it so every board is on QMK and that's exactly what I did. Many of the boards are merged or in the process of being merged at the time of writing this.
One neat feature about having the boards on qmk_firmware is that you’ll no longer have to copy code over to compile a board, you can just work off your existing clone. However, the most up-to-date code is still on the ScottoKeebs repo under the "QMK" directory for each board. You can also compile firmware online using QMK Configurator. This should make it so that someone with no knowledge of QMK can configure their keymap without any code, then using QMK Toolbox, flash the board.
Handwired boards are located in: keyboards/handwired/scottokeebs
PCB boards are located in: keyboards/scottokeebs
You may still see a "handwired/jscotto" directory on the configurator, this is leftover from when I first merged boards and should be ignored until it's eventually removed.
Part of the process to get the boards on the official QMK repo was that I had to create default keymaps. Most boards will have a minimum of two, "default” which is a basic QWERTY keymap with my recommended code, number, and function layers along with the “scotto” keymap which is the one I personally use with some more advanced QMK features and in Colemak layout.
The default keymap will be the perfect starting point for most people and is what the online configurator is set to use. You can find all the available firmware for each board within it’s "Firmware" folder on the repo or the keyboards page on the website.
I didn’t want to lock the project to just supporting the QMK configurator and compiled code, I wanted a GUI option to make it simple to change your keymap. Originally, I was going to use VIA but having 18+ boards to get merged into QMK and then having to do that again on the VIA repo did not seem like a good use of time since Vial exists.
There were some things I had to disable to get it working on the Arduino Pro Micro boards otherwise the size would be too large. Mainly, boards with OLEDs I disabled the mouse keys feature to get the file size down. Boards without OLEDs don't have anything disabled from a default QMK board so you should have full functionality.
To get Vial working, just download "vial.uf2" or "vial.hex" and flash it to the board as usual. Then after flashing, download "vial.vil" if the board has it and load it within Vial. The "vial.vil" file will ensure the board loads the proper configuration since Vial ignores some settings within QMK until loaded in the application.
When I first started the project, I used 13.85mm for the switch cutouts because I thought it lead to better tolerances. I also did plates at 3mm thick for rigidity reasons but because of this, switches wouldn't actually snap into the plate. This wasn't really a massive issue but it could be annoying when trying to change keycaps. This update changes that and now all boards use 14mm for the switch cutouts and add a recessed section of 1.5mm for the switches to snap in while keeping the plate at 3mm thick overall.
The second thing I changed was that originally screw holes were 2mm but for the M2 screws I use, they should be 2.2mm in diameter. This is a small change but it will make assembling the board a bit easier since you won't be fighting to cut the threads anymore. I also added a taper to the bottom of the cases in order to remove the need for support material and allow countersunk screws. In addition to this, I also made it so boards use less screws overall. I tried to keep it to a maximum of 20 screws per board but this isn't possible for all of them.
The third change is that I added a shelf to support the edges of the plate. This makes it so when pressing keys at the far ends of the board, they won't sink down into the case as they're supported. This also doesn't require any support material as it's at a 45° angle.
The final change is that I updated the cutout for the controller to support USB-C Arduino Pro Micros as well as adding different versions of boards that support multiple controllers. I've tested as much of these model changes as possible and am confident they are fine but if you encounter any issues, there are still the V1 files available on the repo.
Scotto34 (PCB Edition)
Everything is ready to move forward on the sale of the Scotto34 (PCB Edition). I just have to record the video and it will be available. Sign up for the newsletter on the bottom of the page if you want to be notified or join the Discord if you haven't already.
The final thing I want to talk about is documentation of the project. For a while now when I made a new board I would have to update it in 4 or 5 places. I've decided now that I'll just link everything back to the website. You'll also find on each projects page more detailed information on how to build it along with images that show where to wire everything up. Hopefully this change makes it a lot easier to understand how to build these boards.
So yeah, a lot has been updated and if you have any questions feel free to reach out! That said, I'll likely start using the website more to post updates and info on builds. At the bottom of this page you'll find a newsletter signup that will be used to share info related to ScottoKeebs.