The Danck 40% Ortho Planck Group Buy Launches

Cartel and ai03 are bringing us a 40% ortholinear keyboard kit that is budget friendly. Based on the same 47-key MIT or 48-key grid layouts as the Planck, the Danck is a “hella cheap ortho” with internet memes printed on the PCB for laughs. The group buy ends on January 18, 2018 with an estimated ship date of March 5, 2018.

For $30, everything is included for assembly except the switches and keycaps. This includes the PCB, switch plate, and bottom plate. The switch plate and bottom plate are made out of the same PCB material to keep the cost low. The switch plate is not fastened to the PCB or bottom plate directly, however; the switches themselves keep the switch plate in place.

Of course, the smaller components necessary to complete the build are included in the keyboard kit: a ProMicro (which includes an ATmega32U4 microcontroller), 48 1N4148 diodes, a 6-pin reset switch, five M2 standoffs, 10 M2 screws, and four bump-on feet. All parts are through-hole, which makes assembly easy, and the keyboard is programmable using QMK.

There is some bad news for anyone who wants to mix and match Planck and Danck components: Case compatibility will be a problem. The PCB and Planck do share the same mount holes, but the ProMicro controller on the Danck keyboard interferes with cases designed for the Planck. Also, the USB port is not in the same location.

MX and Alps switches are compatible with the Danck PCB. If you don’t want to use your own switches, you can purchase 50 Orange Brown switches from Cartel for an additional $5. The Orange Browns are a budget-friendly light tactile switch with an actuation of 40g. The resistance drops to 35g before bottoming out at 55g. One unique feature of these switches is the ability to remove them after soldering using the soldering pin covers. Cartel did mention that the connection is rather tight, so you won’t want to use this feature often, but it is available for rare occasions.