fj laboratories

Musings, deliberations, and end results.

Babylon Plates — Trailblazer Keyboards

FR4 Plate for Trailblazer Keyboards Babylon — Felix Jen

Released on October 15, 2021


TK Babylon Plates

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.


Images

Photos courtesy of Trailblazer Keyboards and Nathan G:


Technical Details

Specification Value
PCB Thickness 1.6mm
PCB Material Tg 170-180 FR4
Surface Finish Immersion Silver + OSP
Copper Weight 1oz/ft2
Soldermask Ocean Blue

Where to Buy

The Babylon keyboard kit can be found at Trailblazer Keyboards upon release. The interest check can be found on Geekhack here.