Programming my Gherkin

Over the weekend at the Sydney Mechanical Keyboard Meetup, I got my hands on some DSA keycaps, The intent is for them to replace my dodgy sticker based ones on the Neutrino, but for now I decided to put them on the Gherkin to see how I fair with it having DSA keycaps on it! 


I forgot the keymap I had programmed so it is easier to just remake a new keymap imho.


Ill document it all here for future reference to stop myself forgetting next time 🙂



So as usual, we will use  


Now if you havent seen the gherkin its a 30%? 40%? keyboard, that has a 10*3 matrix on it.


More info here:


Now we’re pretty lucky, on this page we have links to a json file for the firmware builder ! Lets use this!



The wiring is pretty funky if you ask me, its  very confusing. So i’ll just assume that it’s correct..



Now mine has LEDs so for those, Ill connect pin D3 on the header to the DIN on the WS2812 strip.


Using the handy pictures over here we can see the pinout of that header.

I have 11 LEDs so we will set that in the firmware builder and set it to D3 pin, Don’t forget to disable the other LEDs we aren’t using such as caps lock and num lock.

So ive messed with the layout and happy with this I think for now:


Now that I have configured everything, I have a custom json file


Lets download the hex file and flash it !


and we have success !


Everything works as intended 🙂

Thanks for reading !


edit: I changed some keys and added an esc key on layer 1 of N key thats all

Lasers, Robots and Dinosaurs

Yesterday I decided to visit the Robots and Dinisaurs hackerspace in Meadowbank after work. 

I had been meaning to go there for quite some time, and finally got around to going!

I got on the train to Epping from Central and not too long later I was at Meadowbank station. 

Across the road from the station, around the back of the shops, it was easy to find. 

Knocking on the door a man named James was there to greet us, he let us in, we took a quick glance around, and I knew I was happy to be there!

There is heaps of amazing resources available, machinery, tools, parts, everything a young hacker could need!

James showed us some things he had been working on including a laser cut geared arduino powered compass !

It looks pretty damn cool! Haha

Here is some photos of the space:

Ok fine, some photos of the machines I was keen to learn how to use!

The black laser cutter was the objective today, James showed me how to work the CAD software, how to work with objects, to set the machine up and mark its origin, how to properly attach the material to the work area using magnets, adjust settings, all the things!

He used some scrap wood out of the scrap bin to laser cut and engrave a few die that he had prior designed through (Inkscape?)

They’re pretty cute, and it was amazing how fast the machine works, especially when I was used to the slow speed of 3D printers!

On the topic of 3D printers, the space has a bunch of them, from commercial types, to homemade, to an egg boy that can draw designs on eggs or other round objects!

I decided I wanted to try making a keyboard on the laser machine. I picked out a piece of wood from the new materials section, because I wanted a nice thin piece some MX switches could clip into, and I loaded up some DXF files onto a USB of a design I liked. 

Importing the files into the cutter software was super easy, and within seconds we had realigned the material and had the box for the plate free from obstruction and held down steady!

I hit go and the machine jumped to life !

I took two revisions, the first one had 4 mounting holes, which would be fine for a metal plate, but the wood is too soft and weak for that. 

In the second revision, Mark and James added in a bunch more holes for mounting points !

Much sturdier!

The second one also has a 3mm white acrylic base as that was in the off cuts bin for free. 

The machine is pretty damn good at getting the detail, and for the most part switches fit in pretty well!

While I was doing all this, Mark and James were working on making a completely DIY DC Motor!

They were following a guide and using some enamelled copper wire, paper clips, a hard disk magnet and a block of foam!

It was pretty cool watching them spend hours on it and get really excited when it finally worked!


OLKB Neutrino Keyboard

This week I’m finally making great progress with my hand-wired mechanical keyboard.
I had finalised the electronic hardware a while ago, and now that a colleague has helped me out with programming the Teensy 2.0 the only thing that remains is to get some nice keycaps for it to replace these cheap red placeholder caps, and to create a nice case for it.
I am thinking ill go with something wood, but I am not sure how ill mount it in yet.

I also made a custom USB cable by buying some paracord, slicing the ends off an Astro Gaming USB Cable, spending hours sleeving the cable into the paracord, and then resoldering some connectors to the ends.

The heat shrinks pretty damn messy, ill tidy it up some time but it works for now.

Anyway please enjoy these short albums of photos:

View post on

View post on