The New Hotness: Adafruit’s RP2040 MacroPad #Keyboards @kristinapanos @Hackaday
Hackaday’s latest Keebin’ with Kristina: The One with the Index Typewriters discusses the new Adafruit MacroPad keyboard:
I got my Adafruit ADABOX this week and (spoiler alert!) it features their Raspberry Pi RP2040-based macropad. The idea here is that you can scroll through and select different macro group profiles with the rotary encoder giving you nearly limitless bindings in a small package. You can use RGB to tell your menus apart, and you get enough space on the OLED to show a short label for each of the 12 keys that appear in a matching matrix.
Adafruit sent these out with Kailh reds (linear switches), which are totally not my jam, but I know linears are popular, and I suppose it’s better to err on the side of silence rather than clack a bunch of people into annoyance. I used a dozen Cherry MX clears at first, but those have all-black enclosures and don’t let the RGB through as well (though I think they look pretty cool anyway). Pictured here are Kailh box whites, which have clear upper housings, and they’re topped with the included translucent DSA keycaps.
Yes, that’s a Jolly Wrencher in the upper left! I was quite fortunate to receive an extremely limited-edition Hackaday keycap that’s 16 years in the making (thanks pt!). If you missed our Python Your Keeb Hack Chat with the crew from Adafruit, go check it out and peep this video of double shot beauty of a keycap. I’m not yet sure what I’ll do with my macro pad. I’m leaning towards work-related shortcuts, or maybe creating some kind of game that requires cranking the rotary encoder and pushing the keys somehow.
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Yeah the linear reds weren’t exactly my jam either, but I’m not typing, I’m pressing a hotkey, and for that their smoothness is an interesting contrast. I just ordered some clicky whites shortly after, and have swapped just 2 over so far: bottom left is “build” (with DigiKey cap), and bottom right is “run/debug” (with Adafruit cap), both of which are very satisfying to press, and the contrasting cap heights actually make them really easy to press. Feels more like a feature than a bug the way I have it set up now, with two special r4 caps on the otherwise dsa pad.