Since January 2019, AKB has been designing premium custom mechanical keyboards and keyboard accessories, with a focus on fusing timeless, classic design with modern technology and refined functionality.

Formed at the start of 2019, Alchemist Keyboards (AKB) is James, a designer hailing from the East Midlands, UK.

AKB designs premium custom mechanical keyboards and keyboard accessories, with a focus on fusing timeless, classic design with modern technology and refined functionality.

GROUP BUY UPDATES:

  • 10/11/2022
    A long overdue update here – I’m sorry for the lack of email updates so far. I’m glad to say though that not only is everything on track, but I think we may actually be (kinda) ahead of schedule a little bit, pending any potential speed bumps along our journey.

    Getting the small bit of (relatively) bad news out of the way first: I came across a slight error with the PCBs – not in their function but rather their design. I had mistakenly assumed that the core on the prototype PCBs was black, and I had even listed it as such in the group buy details, but that wasn’t actually the case. As a result of this, the PCBs look different to what was shown off during build streams so I can only apologise for this.

    The great thing is that they look damn slick and still oddly reminiscent of various PCBs from the past (though perhaps a little older than the original inspiration). I hope you aren’t disappointed with the final results because personally I am still very happy with them even if it wasn’t the original plan. I have linked images below of a blank OGR PCB (no components), taken courtesy of Martin (PCB designer).

    Now to the good news – you are now getting carry cases for both your OGRs *and* your OGRNs! I can’t show anything just yet as I’m still ironing out the details with the factory but as soon as I have samples to show I will fire out some images. It wasn’t part of the original plan as I didn’t know any reliable factories to use for this but thanks to CannonKeys I have been pointed in the right direction and thankfully it’s still within budget.

    The third key bit of news is that the production for virtually everything is ahead of the original projected schedule. I don’t want to give false promises that I will be shipping this out earlier than expected though, as since the sale happened I have taken on full-time employment so I will need to take a little longer than usual to QC all of the items. My employers are aware of my situation though so when the time comes I will still be able to dedicate a part of my daily routine towards QC and packing and as long as everything is OK I should be able to comfortably meet the projected timelines still.

    With these major updates out of the way, I can also say that everything required has now been ordered. Additionally, almost everything has already shipped and those parts are actually sitting in my house right now. The two key shipments I am still waiting on are the boards themselves and the new carry cases.

    I apologise for the slow email updates so far – a lot has changed in my life since the GB closed but definitely for the better! I promise that fulfilling this GB is still my highest priority and I’m looking forward to getting these shipped out to you.

    VIEW PCB IMAGES HERE

  • 18/09/2022
    Production is well underway on the boards and some of the smaller components such as the carbon fiber plates are either already with me or being shipped to me.
  • 09/08/2022
    The orders have been placed with both the board and PCB manufacturers so production will begin on those soon. The longest timeline projected on anything so far is the keyboard housings themselves, as they will need to source the materials before scheduling production – these are currently expected to ship to me in early Q2 next year as long as everything remains on schedule.
  • 25/07/2022
    The public OGR + OGRN sale is now live, and limited to 300 orders!
  • 22/07/2022
    All emails have been sent out to existing customers to allow them to place their order before the public sale launches on Monday July 25th.

Specs/features:

  • Inspired by Cherry G81-3077/G80-0832
  • 10° typing angle
  • Full 6063 aluminium construction
  • Bead-blasted and anodised finish
  • Top mounted, leaf-spring carbon fibre plate
  • 21.5mm effective front height (with bumpons)
  • QMK and VIA-compatible USB-C PCBs
  • Integrated cable aesthetic
  • Period-authentic product stickers
  • 2.9kg (6.5lbs) / Numpad 0.9kg (2lbs) [unbuilt]

Renders of available options
(Courtesy of Pontus)

Group buy details:

OGR

  • Price: $550/£456 ex.VAT
  • Format: FCFS
  • Date: Sunday 24th July until closing
  • Units: 300
  • Colourway options: Dolch & Blue/Grey
  • Layout options: 7u bottom row (WKL) & 6.25u bottom row (WK)
  • Estimated shipping timeline: Q2 2023

OGRN

  • Price: $230/£190 ex.VAT
  • Format: Open sale/unlimited
  • Date: Sunday 24th July until closing
  • Units: Unlimited
  • Colourway options: Dolch & Blue/Grey
  • Estimated shipping timeline: Q2 2023

OGR Extras:

  • 5052 Aluminium plate: $35
  • PC plate: $35
  • CF plate: $30
  • PCB: $50

OGRN Extras:

  • 5052 Aluminium plate: $25
  • PC plate: $25
  • CF plate: $15
  • PCB: $30

    Prototype Photos – Dolch Colourway
    (Courtesy of Koen)

    Background Info:

    The OGR was originally designed as an entry for the OG Summer competition on r/customkeyboards in 2019, which it thankfully won. It was originally inspired by various vintage keyboards, but chiefly the Cherry/NCR G81-3077 for the iconic Cherry nose, the pronounced seam and the large forehead. It also drew inspiration from the Cherry G80-0832 for the accented piece around the keycaps to give it a truly unique look. The name is a portmanteau of OG Summer and NCR, whose branding on the aforementioned G81-3077 was also the inspiration for the retro-styled AKB logo. While the PCB is USB-C compatible, the port is enclosed deep inside the case and the case parts gently clamp the cable down to give the aesthetic of a hard-wired cable.

    Also, for those who are interested, there will be a numpad (OGR-N) available either as an optional extra or separately.

    Layout Support:

    Two case options will be available – one for 7u bottom row with dual 0.75u blockers, and one with a single small blocker for 6.25u (WK) support. The plate provided will be universal, and fixed plate files will be available to download via the website.

    The OGR-N PCB will have support for regular and southpaw configurations, as well as the option to have a full 1u setup. The plate available will support regular and southpaw layouts only, due to its reversible design.

    OGR kit contents:

    • 1 x Top Case – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Bottom Case – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Accent – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Plate – Carbon fiber leaf spring
    • 1 x Badge – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Solder PCB – Black FR4 with green solder mask
    • 1 x EVA plate foam
    • 4 x AKB Bumpons – Injection molded silicone
    • 1 x Bottom sticker
    • 1 x Split cable grommet
    • 10 x Torx button screw M3 x 6mm in A2 stainless steel (plate)
    • 5 x Torx button screw M3 x 6mm in A2 stainless steel (accent)
    • 6 x Torx button screw M3 x 12mm in A2 stainless steel (case)
    • 2 x Torx countersunk screw M3 x 5mm in A2 stainless steel (badge)
    • 1 x Instruction manual

    OGRN kit contents:

    • 1 x Top Case – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Bottom Case – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Accent – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Plate – Carbon fiber leaf spring
    • 1 x Badge – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Solder PCB – Black FR4 with green solder mask
    • 1 x EVA plate foam
    • 4 x AKB Bumpons – Injection molded silicone
    • 1 x Bottom sticker
    • 1 x Split cable grommet
    • 4 x Torx button screw M3 x 6mm in A2 stainless steel (plate)
    • 4 x Torx button screw M3 x 6mm in A2 stainless steel (accent)
    • 4 x Torx button screw M3 x 12mm in A2 stainless steel (case)
    • 2 x Torx countersunk screw M3 x 5mm in A2 stainless steel (badge)