Feb 15, 201998 views

Unicorn? 65/68 key | BLE/Bluetooth 4 | Hotswappable/no solder switches | QMK programmable or similar

G’day - I’m after something that I think may exist, or if it doesn’t, it’s on the cusp of existing. If you know of the unicorn of which I seek, I’d really appreciate a pointer to what it is and where I can get one! In short, I’m looking for the following for use in my open plan, multi-device office setting, and would like all of the following in one keyboard:
  1. Form factor - 65/68 key. Like the MagicForce 68, the Leopold FC660M - must have arrow keys, don’t care if it doesn’t have an F1-F12 row.
  2. Bluetooth 4 / Bluetooth Low Energy BLE multi-device pairing . Modern, multi-device BT pair switching, like the Logitech K480 or K380 and predecessors. Most keyboards with this functionality have the ability to link to at least three devices - in my case I want one keyboard to swap between at least two paired devices - a PC laptop and an iPad Pro; and it’d be nice to also be able to connect to a third item (an iPhone), but not essential.
  3. Hotswappable switches. Nope, I’m not hardcore and do not give a rat’s about learning to solder. Hey, I’m late to the buy-your-own-switches party, but now with some heavy Halos, Zealios, Hakos, Box Royals and some others on hand to deal with the not-so-keen-on-clicky open plan office, I really like the option to use my own switches. Hell, if the GK-68 can do hotswap for $142 and the Glorious Modular Keyboard for $85 (and it’s a great keyboard for the money), then it can be done!
  4. QMK Programmable (or similar). Usually this isn’t a factor, although always nice to have - buuuuut now with a locked-down work Windows laptop, on-keyboard QMK-ish editability to swapping the functions of CTRL / WIN / ALT to act pretty much like CTRL / OPT / CMD is now front and centre.
I have or have on order the following related keyboards, which tick some of the boxes, but not one of them ticks ALL the boxes in one package: Are these worthwhile options? I’ve looked at a few others, but they all seem to have no more than three out of the four things I want: {EDIT - I have tried the USB-Bluetooth adaptor that Massdrop has up a while ago - I bought this one https://www.massdrop.com/buy/handheld-scientific-bt-500-bluetooth-adapter. It’s a bit hit and miss with connection, and clunky. Hey, the fact it exists is good, however ideally BT built-in with multi-pairing is much, much better.} Lonnnnnng story short - there’s a really obvious one (or seven) keyboards with all four attributes that I’ve missed by being inattentive, right? Help much appreciated! {EDIT2 - looks like the answer to this queasy is ‘it almost exists but not quite yet’. Thanks to everyone who replied, and I’ll keep an eye on KBDFans.}

What you are looking for doesn't exist yet. Sorry. Punchy was the closest thing and it was too expensive to get off the ground. There was also this a couple years ago https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=87695.0, who knows maybe he'd build you another one. But if the only thing holding you back is soldering, check out https://zealpc.net/collections/accessories/products/gold-plated-hot-swap-sockets-for-pcbs for a possible solution.
Thanks for that - POMK’s Pendula looks pretty good! Shame I’m over two years late... ;) It does look like the four criteria I’m looking for aren’t quite there in one product yet, although it’s probably just around the corner. I appreciate the post - it helps to know one way or the other.
https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=4556 This is the closest I could find, but no hotswap. There is another option. It's a kit, but it's hotswap, but it's not wireless, however you can get dongles that make your keyboards Bluetooth. I am too lazy to search it now, but Massdrop drops them all the time. https://kbdfans.cn/collections/diy-kit/products/coming-soon-kbd67-mechanical-keyboard-diy-kit This is a 67 hotswap kit. Here is hotswap pcb with your preferred arrow layout, with links to all the other bits you need to build it(case,plate, etc...) https://kbdfans.cn/collections/pcb/products/dz60rgb-hot-swap-custom-keyboard-pcb
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Thanks mate. Will take a look!