My first 40% ortholinear keyboard became my daily driver after the second attempt to use it. At first I was giving up frustrated with the default layout.

Facts

Model no. Planck rev6
Manufacturer OLKB
Manufacture Date 2018/2019
Case CNC milled low-profile aluminium (green)
Plate CNC milled 2mm stainless steel
Switches Zielents V2 65 gram
Keycaps MT3 Susuwatari
Dimensions 230 × 80 × 15 mm
Weight 540 gram
PCB/Software rev6 + QMK

Highlights

Back in 2017 I watched this and this youtube video and was intrigued and terrified by the concept. But I liked the 60% form factor a lot and am into optimising my workflows I finally gave the planck a shot in late 2018 and ordered a rev6 hot-swappable PCB which arrived in april 2019. Still it took me a while to finally “build” this keyboard and try it out.

The first attempt with the default layout and function layers was really bad and I abondoned the keyboard for another couple of month. I finally got time and interest to design my own layouts and try it one more time with Kalih Box Jade switches. And I loved it. After a few tweaks to the layout its intuitive for me and it replaced my previous daily driver after two days.

In 2020 I replaced the Zealios V1 65g with Zilents V2 65g and the XDA Canvas Betas + Icon Mods keycaps with MT3 Susuwatari.

Layouts

Layout for me was the major reason not to use the Planck at first. The default layout might be usable for others but I was not able to use it because it felt just “wrong”.

I defined the layout in a logical/natural layout in my opinion and only needed minor tweaks with the ? and = keys and the german “umlaute”.

Qwertz Layer

The default layer is mostly german-ISO. I use some combined keys with different keys for tap and hold. The Return key is Shift on hold, the Tab key activates the function layer on hold. Esc is toggling Caps Lock on double-tap.

Function Layer

The function layer contains the navigation and arrow keys on the right hand. The arrow keys are directly on the homing key so they can be used by only moving my left pinky one key left.

In addition to the german “umlaute” and the delete key on backspace the shortcut ctrl-1 I use in my IDE is in a very convenient place.

Lower Layer (blue)

The lower layer contains the number keys in the orientation used on number pads on full-size keyboards. The 4 is on the homing-key instead of the 5 so I don’t have to move the hand one key over to enter numbers.

The function keys follow the same pattern on the left hand. In addition i added the = key on this layer.

Raise Layer (orange)

The raise layer contains the brackets/parathesis keys on the right hand in the order of frequency I use them and the ?, | and \ keys. The top row follows the symbols as on full-sized keyboards. I am not super happy with this layer yet.

Adjust Layer

This layer is activated by raise+lower (in that order). I haven’t defined any programming functionality yet so the only key I use on that layer is the reset to be able to flash new firmware/config.

Firmware

I am using QMK with this config.

Images