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Sofle v2.1 RGB Keyboard Kit

Sofle v2.1 RGB Keyboard Kit

Regular price $84.00 CAD
Regular price $0.00 CAD Sale price $84.00 CAD
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The Sofle keyboard is a 6×4+5 key column-staggered split ortho keyboard with encoder support.

Precompiled firmware can be found here.

Kit Includes
2 x FR4 Switch Plates (Normal) or 2 x Acrylic Switch Plates (Tenting)
2 x Acrylic Bottom Plates (Normal or Tenting)
14 x 4mm Screws
14 x 6mm Screws
2 x Acrylic OLED Covers
2 x Sofle PCBs
1 x TRS Cable
2 x TRRS Jacks
2 x 3x6 Tactile Switches
2 x OLED Displays
58 x Kailh Hotswap Sockets
60 x Diodes (SMD)
4 x 10mm Brass Standoffs
10 x 7mm Brass Standoffs
8 x Rubber Feet

Tenting Hardware (if choosen)
16 x Leg Support Spacers
4 x 20mm Hex Bolts
4 x 30mm Hex Bolts
4 x 40mm Hex Bolts
4 x 50mm Hex Bolts
4 x Black Hand Nuts
8 x Leg Nuts
4 x 4mm Screws
24 x 6mm Screws

Required to Complete
2 x Pro Micro Controllers (Headers to Direct Attach)
58 x MX Keycaps

Optional Items
2 x EZ-Solder Headers (Enable Controller Hot Swap)
1-2 x Encoders
2 x SK6812mini RGB LED Forward Facing Layer Indicator
12 x SK6812mini RGB LED Rear Facing Drop Lights
58 x SK6812mini RGB LED Per Key Lights

Build Instructions
Sofle v2.1 RGB Build Guide

This keyboard is designed by Josef Adamčík.
View full details

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Please mention right half microcontroller orientation

Great kit, but had to buy a third microcontroller because I did not follow instructions correctly.

To avoid headaches for future customers please show position and orientation of right half microcontroller.

Great kit

Came with everything I needed and was straightforward to setup. Was my first time soldering and I didn’t use any practice kits before getting started on this, with some help from people on the KEEBD discord, it was a pretty painless process. SMD LEDs need special attention to the correct orientation

Fun kit, some teething issues

I have no issues with Keebd's service and shipping, and it's great to see local vendors of split/ergo keyboard kits.

There's a few teething issues with this kit as currently sold; if they were resolved this would be an easy 5-star recommend.

1. The switch plate is 3mm acrylic, which is too thick for switches to properly clip into. Since this is a hotswap board, the switches will tend to wiggle up rather than stay flush with the plate. A 1.5mm plate would be more appropriate.

2. The tenting kit could use improvement. You only get 8 plastic nuts (one per bolt used), so if you want finer adjustment than 10mm increments, i.e having certain bolts sit partially above the case, you'll need to pick up more. It also only includes 4 "feet" (the hand nuts), so the other four bolts will put extra pressure on your deskmat or other typing surface. I wouldn't use the tenting kit on an easily marred surface (e.g. wood), certainly not without extra hand nuts.

I understand the need to keep the tenting kit's costs down, especially since it includes 8 extra bolts. Perhaps the product page could mention the kit's limitations and point people to the additional hardware if they feel they need it?

Also, the tenting kit's standalone product listing comes with a different list of hardware (8 bolts, 8 feet). Perhaps this should be rationalised?

3. Some of the diode markings are extremely faint, which led to me soldering one back-to-front. This was on top of several cold-solder joints I made with diodes and hotswap sockets (entirely my fault). Make sure you have a multimeter (any budget one will do) to help troubleshoot non-working switches.

Lastly, just a suggestion: It'd be nice to see a cheaper option for a tenting/tilting keyboard. I don't know what the wholesale price is for hotswap sockets and OLED screens, but based on the retail prices, you could maybe sell the Sofle 2.0 non-hotswap variant, without OLEDs, for $100?

Pictured: Sofle 2.1 with tenting acrylic case, DSS Lightcycle keycaps, and Adafruit KB2040 microcontrollers. I'm running CircuitPython and KMK as firmware. It's a nice user-friendly alternative to QMK, though I don't have the rotary encoders working yet. The switches are some Gaterons I had on-hand—I need to hand-lube them or swap them out for something smoother.

Toby Jenkins
Good keyboard

Fun build, looks good. Build guide a teency bit lacking and qmk firmware seems to be created by Satan himself, but the community is great so that helps. LEDs were easier to solder then I thought they would be.

Cora Grace
great keyboard for a tinkerer!

i had a lot of fun building this!

there were some problems along the way, and some problems that i have yet to solve. ill try to outline them here, but overall i am very happy :)

first, the good:
this kit contains most of what you need. its a perfect starting- off point for a keyboard project. for context, this was my first custom keyboard ever. prior to this, i had only ever bought keyboards like corsair, asus, razer, etc. the guides available for building this were easy to follow.

now the not-so-great:
the kit (as of the time of writing) comes with an OLED cover that does not work with the larger knobs available to buy here. i made the mistake of getting one of the larger knobs, and was unable to use the cover. Keebd did supply me with a prototype OLED cover that has space for the larger knob, as shown in the pictures in this review, but i dont know if this will make it to the full kit.
secondly, the PCBs for this kit are a pain in the ass. the kit requires *specifically* the SK6812MINI LEDs. i bought the SK6812MINI-E LEDs expecting a slight variant of a chip to follow the same pinout, but whomever made the SK6812MINI-E variant decided they wanted to spite god, so it didnt work. this is my own fault, but its also a fault many people will make so im pointing it out. for this kit, you need the non-E variant of the LEDs. or do what i did and get the Sofle v3.0 PCB printed by JLCPCB and use the Correct LEDs.
also, the tenting kit only comes with two poles. meaning youre stuck with one angle of adjustment which is fine i guess but not perfect, the spacers that go between the two acrylic sheets are not large enough and lead to a bit of bending and weakening in the acrylic, and also the acrylic is too thick on the top layer, leading to the switches not being held in correctly. also the little plastic feet that stick on the bottom of the nuts dont hold very well and just slid off. its fine i guess but ya know.

and lastly, the bad:
the software this keyboard uses, QMK, is a mess. my first attempts to compile a firmware were met with errors about mis-aligned LED numbering, because the default layout wasnt configured correctly (this did get fixed eventually), the wiki for how to do any of it is literally un-searchable on the internet (its here btw: but its also incomplete in only the ways open-source software is, and on that note, the discord community for QMK is weirdly insular and insulting to new people in only the ways a programmer-centric community can be.
or you can just use the default layout supplied by Keebd here on their docs page, which i didnt know existed until just now...