Mechanical Keyboard Kit - Lotus 58 Glow PCB

In 9 carts

Lotus 58 Glow

Sold by Tweety's Wild Thinking

$12.00

No tax for United States [change]
Choose the type of link between hands, USB type C or TRRS.
The basic components required for a functional keyboard. (Exact content depends on PCB version, see below)
A little help for less experienced builders that still want to build the rest themselves.
Stock available: 6
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This listing is for a single (1 pcs) Lotus 58 Glow PCB

Please note that this makes a single hand/side of the keyboard, a complete keyboard requires 2 sets of PCB's and (additional) components.

Build your own ergonomic keyboard!

Lotus 58 Glow is a fully programmable 58-key split, ortho-columnar keyboard with a 4x6 main matrix and 4+1 thumb-keys per hand, supporting up to two OLED screens and two rotary encoders.

  • Layout very similar to the original Lily58 family which this is derived from
  • QMK and VIAL compatible, fully programmable keyboard
  • Kaihl Hot-swap sockets for Cherry MX compatible switches 3 & 5-pin. (Please observe! There is support for Cherry MX compatible ONLY!)
  • All components through-hole and easily soldered for beginners (With optional SMD addons)
  • Reversible PCB design, the PCB for both hands are identical
  • Each hand can be used separate as a gamepad keyboard/device
  • Hands are connected using serial link (TRRS or USB type C)
  • Each hand uses an Pro Micro Arduino clone as the controller (Pro Micro or pin equivalent)
  • Designed with a sandwich-style plate/case as part of the design
  • Basic build instructions are printed on the PCB for an easy build
  • Support for ESD protection on link connection

Optional Features

These options requires additional components not included in this listing and sold separately.

  • Optional OLED Screen (one per hand)
  • Optional Rotary Encoder (one per hand)
  • Optional RGB Glow (Suitable as background lighting, and can be used as a layer indicator or similar)
  • Optional Per-Key addressable RGB (Multiple effects supported in QMK & Vial)
  • Optional slide switch to select Glow or Per-Key as active.

Two main versions

Lotus 58 Glow comes in two main version, both with the same layout options and main features, but also with some distinct differences.

  • Uses the classic TRRS link, with optional ESD protection
  • Supports wireless builds (Battery connector, power switch)

The classic, more beginner friendly variant can be built (almost) entirely out of through hole (TH) type components. These are larger and more robust, making them easy for a novice builder with limited experience soldering. Even the RGB LED's are selected to be as easy as possible to solder for a beginner.

This variant features support for an optional ESD protection circuit (a tiny SMD component) that should protect the controller from damage should you accidentally unplug or plug in the TRRS cable while the keyboard is powered. This does however NOT mean that it in any way supports intentional and/or repeated hot-plugging of the TRRS cable! Doing so will result in damage sooner or later.

This version also has designed in support for a power-switch and battery connection should you choose to build your Lotus as a wireless keyboard using a nice!nano or equivalent.

Please notice! Building a battery powered keyboard with lots of RGB and/or OLED screens is not recommended, as the battery life will be very limited! A nice balance can be had by building Lotus with underglow RGB only!

Current Version: v1.27

Incoming Stock : v1.28

Version Change Log

  • USB type C link, allowing hot-plugging
  • Does NOT support wireless builds (NO battery connector, NO power switch)

The more modern USB type C link offers care-free hot-plugging, you can simply unplug or plug the two hands together without risking any damage with the keyboard fully powered from the computer USB cable. The small downside is that the components needed are of SMD type, meaning it is slightly less beginner friendly to solder.

The USB type C port is designed into the keyboard to be as fool-proof as possible, and if you by accident plug it into a host port (computer or USB hub), it simply means nothing happens! No device is detected, and no power is applied. To link the two hands you need a standard USB type C to type C cable.

This version does NOT have support for wireless builds, as plugging in any cable between the two wireless devices is unsupported (by both n!n and ZMK) and can cause damage to your devices, so the support was simply removed, making this suitable only for wired builds.

Current Version: v1.41

Incoming Stock : v1.41

Version Change Log

What do you need to buy?

You can buy most parts for a full functioning keyboard in this listing or as additional components in this store. You will however need to add switches, key-caps and colored/sleeved cables of your choice from other sources, as it would be impossible for me to stock a reasonable selection of what the market can offer.

For a bare minimum functional keyboard (two hands) you will need:

  • This PCB (x2) with the component kit of your choice (a kit is needed, the choice is based on your soldering skill)
  • Controller (x2) Pro Micro or a more powerful equivalent Pro Micro RP2040
  • Case Kit (x2) with hardware or a 3D printed case or similar
  • Controller Sockets (x2) Technically optional, but highly recommended!

If ordering your keyboard pre-built, you can select more advanced controllers as part of the Build Fee.

Required Accessories

  • Key Switches, Cherry MX compatible (29 pcs / PCB, 58 pcs total)
  • Key Caps, Cherry MX compatible (Set)
  • Cable linking the two hands (TRRS or USB type C)
  • USB cable to your computer (Connector types depend on the controller and computer port)

Basic Component Kit

These add-on kits contain all the basic components needed to make a complete and working keyboard for your PCB version.

  • Kailh (Cherry MX) Hot-Swap Sockets (29 pcs / PCB)
  • Reset switch
  • Diodes (30 pcs / PCB)
    • 1N4148 type for (TH)
    • 1N4148W type for (SMD)
  • Components for serial link, one of the following (depending on PCB version):
    • TRRS connector (1 pcs / PCB)
    • USB type C connector, 2x Ferrite beads , ESD protection circuit (1 set /PCB)

The Sandwich Case

Lotus 58 Glow is designed as a complete keyboard with a sandwich style case of the same FR4 fibreglass material as the PCB.

The FR4 fibreglass plates used are quite stiff and give a good intermediate feel for keyboards, making it the ideal low cost material for a case. The 'case plates' are available in black or white, with multiple options based on your choice of layout.

Please Note! You do infact need a case of some kind, as being hot-swap compatible the front plate helps hold the switches in place, and without the plate, they will very easily come undone. You can however 3D print your own case, or have plates made in whatever material you desire. All the information required for this can be found on the GitHub page.

Build Guide & Firmware

Required Tools

While better (and possibly more) tools often make the build experience easier and more enjoyable, this lists the most basic tools that you actually will need.

  • Soldering iron with temperature control and a narrow tip. (rec. 45-65W).
  • Solder tin and flux (pen).
  • Solder pump and de-soldering braid.
  • Tweezers and small pliers.
  • Side cutters/flush cutters.
  • Precision screwdriver (hex bit 1.5mm).
  • Multimeter. Without one, you are basically unable to troubleshoot your build.

Build Guide

The PCB has most of the needed build instructions printed on the silkscreen, and you can likely build the entire keyboard from these! If you however need more detailed instructions, please refer to the GitHub link to Documentation below.

If ever the instructions in the build guide and the instructions on the silkscreen are different, the version on your actual PCB is what are in fact relevant for your version!

Firmware

QMK

Using basic QMK for your keyboard is the most versatile and powerful option, but requires a bit more effort and/or knowledge to make more advanced options work.

Lotus 58 is part of QMK's main fork and the firmware can be built from there, following QMK's guides.

The most recent iteration of this firmware is available for use a template/starting point here.

VIAL

VIAL, a fork of QMK allowing interactive key-remapping without flashing a new firmware is the more beginner friendly option and a great starting point.

The GitHub repository for the firmware, is available here, and can be customized to your own preference.

Links to code and documentation

Documentation (github.com)

Code (github.com)

Design Files (github.com)

Schematics (github.com)

Bom (github.com)

Product HS Code: 85340090

Shipping policy

Normal handling time is 3 - 5 working days, not including build items (Those usually take 1 - 2 weeks).

Shipping is done with insured/signed for parcels, where no such service is available the parcel is sent as insured parcel, but may not be fully traceable the entire transit. If no insured or traceable service is available, parcels will be sent as uninsured/untraceable at the buyers responsibility. All of which is clearly stated on checkout.

All packets are represented to courier services and customs at their true sale value, and all responsibility for import fees, taxes and tariffs lie with the buyer.

The SE/EU "Act on Distance Contracts and Off-Premises Contracts (SFS 2005:59)" allows returns of the items in undamaged (unsoldered!) condition within 14 days of receiving it. Return shipping on returned items are the responsibility of the buyer.

Here are some extras that might be useful for your project!
Add a display (max one per hand)
Add an encoder (max one per hand)
Add Plate/Case
Add a power switch or RGB selector switch (One per hand)
Needed to link the two hands (TRRS version only)
Per Key RGB & RGB Glow (12-58-70 pcs)
Make the controller removable/replaceable (1 kit per hand).
Add optional ESD protection (Only applicable to TRRS version)

The seller

Tweety's Wild Thinking

Skurup, Skane lan, Sweden
138 orders since May 21, 2022
Designing and selling keyboard related kits of all types. Sales in this store is mainly funding new designs.
All items are continually restocked, and if nothing else is noted, should restock in 7-10 working days.
Custom design requests welcome.