Plastic Planck

Hand Wired 4x12 Ortholinear Mechanical Keyboard

YARH.IO M2 Handheld

Welcome to the YARH.IO Plastic Planck project, where our goal is to build an ortholinear mechanical keyboard for use as an external typing tool for all your cyberdecks as well as in place of your daily driver. 

The original Planck keyboard design was created by Jack Humbert, and commercial versions of the keyboard are available from OLKB and ergodox-ez.

Ortholinear keyboards are designed to minimize the amount of finger movement, making them more efficient. 

Ortho keyboards come with a learning curve because you will have to get used to a slightly new layout. While the ortho keyboard layout is relatively similar to the staggered one, the ortho keys are arranged linearly in relationship to each other.

The biggest difference is that with the non-staggered  keyboard you will not have to stretch out your fingers as far to reach numbers or symbols. This is guided by the idea that your fingers should not be more than two keys away from the home row while touch typing.

YARH.IO M2 Handheld with accessories
YARH.IO M2 Handheld front left

To reach numbers, symbols, or functions on your keyboard, you have to hit a modifier key to raise or lower it into a different layer that has the desired symbols or functions. One way to think about this layered functionality is in terms of multiple Shift modifiers for each key.

In much the same way as the Shift keys allow us to use a single key to represent both q and Q (the upper case “layer” if you like), we introduce more modifiers to take us to a layer of symbols, movement keys, and media keys. For instance, in case of q and Q, 'RAISE' key modifier can be used to reach number '1', and 'LOWER' key modifier can be used to reach an exclamation point '!'.

Best part of the ortho keyboard is that we can position these modifiers in right under the thumbs, allowing you even faster access to numbers, symbols, and functions.

Plastic Planck keyboard can be customized to your liking to fit your workflow with the help of QMK software.

YARH.IO M2 Handheld top front
YARH.IO M2 Handheld Back

All case parts are 3D printed using PLA plastic. ABS and ASA plastics can be used as an alternative, but require use of advanced printers and techniques.

The list of components used for the YARH.IO Plastic Planck project is available below.

Part Link
Cherry MX Mechanical Key Switches Amazon
Gateron Mechanical Key Switches Amazon
Kailh Mechanical Key Switches Amazon
DROP Preonic Acute Keycaps Amazon
1N4148FS-ND - DIODE GEN PURP 100V 200MA DO35 x 48 DigiKey
proMicro Amazon
Silicone Rubber Solid Wire 24AWG Amazon
#2-56 Socket Cap Screw Stainless Steel
. 1/4" x 2, 3/8" x 22
Trimcraft Aviation RC
Clear Adhesive Bumper Pads Amazon
YARH.IO M2 Handheld Back
YARH.IO M2 Handheld Back

Plastic Planck Project at a Glance. 

The outcome of the YARH.IO Plastic Planck project  is a compact size ortho mechanical USB keyboard that can be used with all your handheld devices as well as your daily driver. Its minimalist design allows you to build it using your favourite esoteric key switches and exotic keycaps. The rest can be easily 3D printed and assembled.