RP2040 Controller is now the default option

With the same price
August 11, 2023 by

The DIY keyboard community has been buzzing with enthusiasm recently. Back when I assembled my first Ergomech keyboard, we had two main controller options: the Pro-micro and the Teensy. The Pro-micro stood out as a budget-friendly choice.

However, the Pro-micro had its share of limitations:

Fragile Micro USB Port: The micro USB port was a glaring weak point. It broke easily, sometimes right after a little use, and could be bent out of shape with minimal effort.

Limited Storage: Initially, the Pro-micro's storage capacity sufficed. But as keyboard features evolved to include trackballs, mousekeys, RGB lighting, and VIA compatibility, the atmega32u4's flash storage proved inadequate.

USB-C Pro-micro Issue: The USB-C Pro-micro version posed another challenge – it didn't work with USB-C to USB-C cables, causing inconvenience for users reliant on such cables.

Shifting gears, the RP2040 MCU from the Raspberry Pi Foundation arrived on the scene. The RP2040 brought a host of advantages compared to the atmega32u4 of the Pro-micro:

Enhanced Processing Power and Storage: The RP2040 delivered substantial processing power and storage, accommodating modern keyboard functionalities like complex macros, intricate RGB lighting, and even trackballs.

Built-in USB-C Compatibility: Unlike the Pro-micro's USB-C limitations, the RP2040 was designed with native USB-C compatibility, seamlessly supporting USB-C to USB-C cables.

In the realm of controller alternatives, STM32 MCUs initially held promise as successors to the atmega32u4. However, their potential was hampered by availability issues, which limited their adoption and pushed enthusiasts towards alternatives like the Pro-micro and Teensy.

Today, the RP2040 stands as an accessible and practical alternative, offering a blend of affordability, adaptability, and compatibility. At Ergomech, we're excited to introduce RP2040-based controllers across our offerings. If you're awaiting an order, here's a delightful surprise – your shipment will feature the RP2040 controller upgrade, marking a significant stride forward for the DIY keyboard community. Embrace this era of enhanced keyboard customization. Stay tuned for the evolution of keyboards!