Laurie got me a CannonKeys Ortho48 Keyboard Kit for my birthday this year and I decided to spend my Saturday afternoon building the kit.
The kit comes with all the parts you need to make a keyboard except the keyswitches, LEDs, and keycaps. You have to use a soldering iron and solder the parts onto the keyboard.
I started by soldering all of the diodes to the board.
Then I soldered the resistors for the backlight LEDs.
It was a fun project. To enable backlighting with LEDs, you have to install a little Surface Mount MOSFET that's about 2.1mm tall with three leads.
At first, I wasn't going to install it and the 48 resistors needed for LEDs, but I decided that it was just too much fun and that it wouldn't be too bad. I got it all soldered in and I'm glad I did.
I didn't have enough blue LEDs to cover the entire board, but luckily I had the three I needed to install under the controller board as they can't be added after the board has been soldered on.
Once I had the diodes, LEDs, and resistors soldered in, I soldered the switches. I decided to use some spare Cherry MX Browns that I had. Unfortunately, my lubricant had not come in from New York, yet, so I didn't lube the switches (I ordered it in May, but the Covid situation there shut down the businesses and it didn't ship out until June).
I ordered the remaining LEDs, some Blue keycaps, and some Underglow RGB LED strips, but those haven't arrived yet. I stole my YMDK Carbon keycaps off of my GMMK (I put some LED compatible keycaps on it so I could play with the RGB backlighting on it).
Here's the finished product:
The legends are all wrong because those were the only 1U keycaps I could get. I did replace the F10 with the actual single quote key and replaced the other ones with profiles that fit better on those rows.