Musings, deliberations, and end results.
FR4 Plate for Trailblazer Keyboards Babylon — Felix Jen
Released on October 15, 2021
Babylon is a “float mount” keyboard that chases after the old-school clacky sound signature, like an OTD 365 Mini. The process of “Absolute” design – which is inspired by the absolute value operation, in which a vector is reduced into a scalar – brings every element of a keyboard back into scrutiny, starting from something as basic as the number of screws on the board. After re-evaluating the effect of flex cuts, daughter boards, gaskets, and O-rings with the most attentive efforts, only the most effective designs are selectively incorporated into Babylon. The result is a clacky, bouncy float-mounted keyboard with minimal flex cuts to maintain uniformity of sound.
The PCB/Plate Assembly is treated as a single unit in this gasket design, allowing the whole unit to bounce up and down on the bed of O-rings rather than bending the plate material or compressing gaskets. With gaskets on top and o-rings on the bottom of the assembly, both the plate and PCB are muted. This removes the need for foams in our 65%. As a result, this design provides the user with maximized control of the sound profile through their switch and plate choice.
These plates were designed to fit the Trailblazer Keyboards Babylon 65% case. To achieve a corrosion resistent silver finish with extremely flatness and linearity, a double layer of immersion silver was used in conjunction with a clear coating of organic solderability preserve (OSP). Each switch hole was meticulously measured to be within 0.05mm of the Cherry MX standard after plating and coating.
Note that production units are changed to a Gloss Black soldermask finish.
Photos courtesy of Trailblazer Keyboards and Nathan G:
|PCB Material||Tg 170-180 FR4|
|Surface Finish||Immersion Silver + OSP|
The Babylon keyboard kit is now available for purchase at Trailblazer Keyboards for $350. The interest check can be found on Geekhack here.