Keyboard: Niu Mini 40%

Switches: Holy Pandas (w/ Krytox 105 and Kebo films)

Keycaps: ePBT blanks

Images

Niu 40%

The Niu from Kbdfans is a very good alternative for a 40% ortholinear keyboard. The new plate (not shown in the pictures on the Kbdfan’s website) supports both MIT layout (47 keys with a 2u space bar) as well as a full grid layout (48 keys). The case feels sturdy, with an aluminium top and an acrylic bottom. The plate is integrated and top mount, leading to a nice feeling when typing.

QMK Firmware

QMK is a firmware that controls the keyboard, thus you can program your keyboard to your specific keymap with QMK. Before you flash your keyboard you need to set up your build environment. You will need Pyhton 3, and QMK is in the pip3 repository (pip3 search qmk). When installing always look at the official documentation since the process changes. When setting up your environment you can set a default keyboard and keymap.

python3 -m pip install --user qmk
qmk setup
qmk config user.keyboard=niu_mini
qmk config user.keymap=HanssonMagnus

Copy the default firmware to a new build with,

qmk new-keymap -kb niu-mini

Now you can edit your keymap.c file that has been created in the given location. Another way of creating a keymap is to use QMK config. When you have created your keymap you can save it as a json file to your computer. You can convert your json file to a keymap.c file and then copy it to your keymap folder by,

qmk json2c {keymap} > keymap.c
cp keymap.c /home/magnus/qmk_firmware/keyboards/niu_mini/keymaps/HanssonMagnus

Then you will need to put the keyboard into flash mode, on the Niu, one does this by pushing the button at the back of the pcb. When the keyboard is in reset mode, you can not use it to press enter in the CLI, however it is fine to have another keyboard plugged in at the same time. To flash, if you have pre set the default keymap and keyboard in QMK, just run,

qmk flash