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Finishing up a mod for my Razer Huntsman Mini. I have been sick and tired of wires on my desk for a very long time, and technology to replace all cables does exist now, so I figured this was the time to make my dreams real.

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The basic idea is to attach a wireless charge mat to the bottom of my keyboard, and place Qi charging pads underneath my desk mat. I have already cut a piece of foam to hide my Logitech Powerplay mat, so I had a good idea that this would work. In practice, this idea loses its legs fairly quickly, because you not only have to attach a wireless charging receiver, but also a battery and some way for the keyboard to transmit key presses in a mostly latency free way. Oh, and I really didn't want to wind up spending more money on this mod than the keyboard itself was worth, and ideally I didn't want to spend more than about $50.

 

Finding a suitable Qi charging receiver was actually really easy, apparently these exist as phone accessories for people with phone that don't have wireless charging. You can find ones like this one I used on Amazon for about $13.

 

My solution was this- using a Raspberry Pi Zero W, I installed VirtualHere server, a USB over LAN software that's actually free so long as you're only using one device, and attached the Pi W to a large dual-cell battery bank. I wound up using this one which I already had lying around, but a newer one with USB C charging could be beneficial. The most important thing here is that the battery bank continuously provides power. Some battery banks switch over from the cell to the USB charging port, resulting in the Raspberry Pi turning off and rebooting every time you remove it from the wireless charging mat. Next I cut a hole in the bottom of a wooden prototype case that I could pass the wireless receiver's USB plug through. Finally, I cut two holes into my desk mat in the spots I most commonly use my keyboard. One hole was cut in the center for typing, and the other in the top left for gaming.

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Quick note here, the angles that the Huntsman Mini normally allow you to adjust the keyboard from 6 degrees to 9 degrees (nice), but I found that I needed the keyboard raised at a 15 degree angle to fit every part underneath the faceplate.

I don't really notice the difference, but some people might, so I wanted to let you know.

 

The final step was officially putting the thing together. I unscrewed the face plate of the Huntsman Mini, which was remarkably easy, and then I had a fabricator model and 3D print a new case for the keyboard. The final result looks absolutely fabulous, with 4 screw mounting points in the corners and lot of open space for placing each component.

 

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The purple model is one of the prototypes, but the internal design is exactly the same as the final product.

 

Once I had every component in place, I marked out empty spaces that I could fill with cheap metal tire weights like these to add some more weight to the keyboard. Make sure to cover all of the exposed metal with tape so that the circuitry doesn't short. The last thing anyone wants next to their fingers is a lithium ion battery that's shorting out!

 

(Fun fact, depending on how you place the weights, you can create your own cable channels for the USB wires that need to be run. I don't know how to solder, or the internals would be much more space efficient.)

 

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With all of the internal parts placed, the last thing to do is close everything up! This post mostly focuses on the physical mod, but setting up the Raspberry Pi with VirtualHere is really simple. They have a guide posted here for how to install the server program on a Linux machine, and guides for how to automatically start a program on boot exist all over the internet. One last thing to take care of is to install the VirtualHere client on your windows machine, and follow this guide on how to set a program to start on boot in Windows 10 so that VirtualHere is detecting keyboard inputs before you have to log in. (A keyboard isn't worth much if you can't log into Windows with it lol)

 

Once your software is configured, you're basically good to go! The best thing about this is that using USB over LAN is pretty seamless as long as you don't plan on taking your keyboard out of your house. Plus, now your keyboard has a computer inside of it, so the options for taking work on the go are pretty cool as well!

And to address concerns over latency, 2.4ghz signals are already what most wireless peripherals use to transmit, and in games I have noticed no discernable delay between using a wired keyboard instead of this wireless solution.

 

Otherwise, that's it guys! I added a small LED that illuminates to show when the keyboard is charging, and some small marks on my mouse mat to act as guides for setting the keyboard down, and the mod was complete. This mod could theoretically work for any keyboard in existence and only costs about $40 so long as you already have a couple of USB cables laying around. Obviously there are some improvements to be made, such as using fast charging Qi pads, adapters, and a battery bank that accepts USB C charging, as well as a way to check the battery percentage of the keyboard, but each of those add-ons adds cost, and the idea here was to create this mod for as little extra money as possible. I think I was pretty successful, but let me know what you think!

 

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