Banana Split

Keyboards| Views: 4549

Banana Split with GMK Royal TA looks beautiful, doesn't it.

Banana Split with GMK Royal TA looks beautiful, doesn’t it

TheVan Keyboards are back at it again! Get in fast before the group buy ends on June 19th 2017.

Banana Split

This time u/evangs has paired up with u/Arhipio to bring a highly customizable 60% keyboard to us. While compact, the Banana Split is out to be as effective as possible for it’s smaller size. This means that you can decide how you want the Banana Split’s layout to be when assembling it.

That’s correct, this is an assemble yourself keyboard, soldering and all. During assembly you can decide the layout of the bottom row and whether or not you want an ANSI or ISO layout. There’s even option to add arrow keys, split space bar.

Check out the options you can change:

Banana Split 60 Options

So much customisation for a 60% keyboard

Being an assemble yourself kit makes it possible to insert whichever kind of Cherry MX clone switches you choose. That means it’s compatible with Cherry MX, Gaterons, Zealios, Kailh, and Outemu.

Banana Split PCB

The banana coloured PCB

Pick your kit

Kit selection doesn’t offer everything required to make the Banana Split but it does get you on the way. These are the three tiers of kits available. It is necessary to have a soldering iron, solder, and preferably a solder station on hand to build this keyboard.

Pre-order your Banana Split before the group buy ends on June 19 2017

All prices in USD

Base Kit – $100:

  • Stainless Steel Plate
  • PCB
  • Authentic Cherry PCB Mount Stabilizers (6 x 2u, 1 x 6u)

Bare Bones Kit – $75:

  • PCB
  • Authentic Cherry PCB Mount Stabilizers (6 x 2u, 1 x 6u)

PCB Only Kit – $60:

  • PCB
GMK Hyperfuse with an ANSI layout

GMK Hyperfuse with an ANSI layout

What’s left and where to get them?

All that remains to acquire are:

  • Switches
  • Case
  • Keycaps
  • Cable
  • LEDs/LED strip (optional)

If you’re looking for parts and where to source them, I’ve linked below where to find what you’re looking for. These are stores I’ve either bought from or are community trusted. I’ll put down the pricing of each component as well (at time of writing this).

Switches

If you can wait, be sure to check Massdrop.com as they have switches for sale from time to time but they have a long lead in time before they arrive at your doorstep.

Regarding switches, depending on the setup you go with you’ll need between 61-67 switches. So, to be safe ensure you order 70 pieces. Also, order PCB mount switches as they can be cut if you don’t want PCB mount, whereas plate mounted switches can’t be modded to PCB mount.

All prices shown are in USD. Prices do not include shipping.

Case

Any 60% case should fit. If you’re looking for the stunning retro60 cases that The Van Keyboards make you’ll have to wait a touch longer. They’re still in prototyping and when more details are known, they will be updated here.

MechanicalKeyboards.com has quite a few options available. These will all fit the Banana Split. Anything that is a 60% case will fit.

AliExpress has quite a few offers from different sellers. Like above the lead in time will be a bit longer, however, the price difference is significant enough to consider buying.

  • Aluminium case – $69.69. CNC aluminium case, there’s 6 colours to choose from
  • Wooden case – Starting at $49.90. There are options to choose a plate/case combo
  • Acrylic case – $14.90. Range of colours to choose from, including a transparent case

Cable

There’s quite a few options available to choose when it comes to cables. You can even make them yourself if you’re feeling adventurous.

  • PexonPCs.co.uk offer cables from time to time, however, at the time of writing this, they’re out of stock
  • Winnja.com is making cables that are cheaper than a lot of other competitors, well worth checking out
  • JUJU Cables is still in its infancy but that doesn’t mean they’re not making great cables. This is my recommendation if you’re in Australia and are looking for cables. Website to come, Google Forms is the go to for now.

LEDs

LEDs come in different forms. There’s the round top, the square top, SMD, and then the LED strips. Recommended LED strips are 5 volt, WS2812B strips. And, recommended LEDs are 2x3x4 (my personal preference).

Keycaps

These are going to be much harder to find. There’s sets that are highly sought after from limited run group buys, these are generally what people are looking for. There are a few stores that have various keycaps in stock. My advice would be to google search what you’re looking for to see if it was a limited run product, if they are check r/mechmarket. I’ve linked below some places you can get keycaps from.

Check out my Instagram page for inspiration and more details!

Close up shot of the Banana Split with ISO layout

Up close with the Banana Split ISO edition

Configurator

Assembling the keyboard is only half the battle. That’s why it’s important to have easy to use firmware configurators for a keyboard and The Van Keyboards website has got you covered. The online TMK configurator is easy to follow and setup. Layer programming is laid out as an image so you have a visual guide as to what changes you’re making.

You can check out the configurator here. The Banana Split has been added already so you can plan out how your keyboard will be setup.

Pre-order your Banana Split before the group buy ends on June 19 2017

 

Hopefully after all of this, your Banana Split will be ready and kitted out! Don’t be afraid to come and share the final product with the community at r/mechanicalkeyboards or on my Instagram page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: