Finally, here’s a list of all the parts and tools and things that I used to build my keyboard, along with the approximate prices that I paid for them.

If you’re interested in building something similar, this will give you a rough idea of how much it might set you back.

The default selection only includes the parts that are necessary to build a “vanilla” wireless Kyria. That means using diode legs for the header pins, soldering the batteries directly without a JST connector, and only using the stock acrylic case. (Bear in mind that if you get a metal case, you also need to source all of the associated hardware that comes with the splitkb case.)

You can save quite a bit with a wired build – although you’d have to add in a TRS/TRRS cable (the Kyria rev2 supports either) and a USB cable, which I didn’t include here. There’s just way too much variety.

You could make it slightly cheaper if you chose not to socket your microcontroller, but that’s sort of a crazy choice, given that the battery would have nowhere to fit if you do that. You could also forego the case entirely and just solder switches directly onto the PCB, which would bring the price tag down under $150. But then you’d probably want to buy some kind of foam bottom padding or rubber feet or something separately.

Building a keyboard also took a lot of tools. These are things that are not necessarily directly keyboard-related, but that I used over the course of building it. I tried to make a list of every single tool that I used on this project, more as a fun exercise than an actually useful guide. I had most of things already; the only tools I bought specifically for this project were the soldering-related things and the multimeter.

The prices here are extremely rough: I tried to reflect what I originally paid for things, but I didn’t buy all of these things on Amazon, and even when I did sometimes the price has changed wildly since. Also the quantities are almost nonsensical: I bought a pack of a dozen rolls of shop towels years ago, but only used a tiny fraction of one roll on this project. But this list includes the full dozen, because whatever.

Include Price Tool Notes Link
$39.99 Soldering iron https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087832Y16
$11.99 Solder https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0759P8GBZ
$23.99 Multimeter testing switches and solder joints https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAVAT9S
$7.40 Flush cutters https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FZPDG1K
$22.39 Switch lubricant https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MWLDALQ
$5.94 Black spraypaint https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0016HM4DM
$3.17 Sandpaper smoothing aluminum, finishing wood https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004Z47W
$28.99 Files deburring, shaping wood covers https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TS17G4W
$99.00 Power drill countersinking screws https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QC9DRW6
$9.97 Drill bits countersinking screws https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DH55YRX
$14.47 Assorted tweezers dissassembling switches, bending pins https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D6JXD7J
$25.83 Ventilator spray painting https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FTEDMM
$12.24 Eye goggles spray painting https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01A12J3GI
$39.54 Nitrile gloves spray painting https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DRQK1N5
$4.99 Tiny brush lubricating switches https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V4EG6D6
$11.99 Bar magnets holding springs https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WCBDPMJ
$4.59 Solder sucker included with the soldering iron I linked https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09CYKNYRF
$4.99 Keycap puller https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075CZCTXM
$6.99 Wire stripper prepping battery terminals – unnecessary with rev2 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X9875Z7
$10.99 Helping hands completely unnecessary with rev2 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000P42O3C
$14.99 Solder practice kit completely unnecessary https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CK3RCKS
$18.98 Shop towels finishing wood https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0035BTQ06
$13.99 Furniture wax finishing wood https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SXBCB17
$18.50 Ryoba cutting wood covers https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CEF5HM
$14.75 Marking gauge scoring wood to cut in half https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J00DJ0E
$19.99 Marking knife tracing cover pattern https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FCW6BAS
$14.99 Awl locating screwholes on wood cover https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IXVQMPU
$28.95 Mallet fitting magnets into holes (any hammer would work, with something soft on it) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CER0PC
$1.93 Electric tape lining wood cover; magnet backing https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001ULCB1O
$4.84 Contact adhesive keycap modding https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WGSRM4Z
Total $0.00

I only selected the tools you need to have to assemble a basic keyboard, and of course you can find cheaper versions of all of them anyway.

Grand total: $0 parts + $0 tools = $0

Obviously you can find different versions of everything here, and you can get by without most of them. Also I didn’t include, like, dish soap, even though I used dish soap to clean the metal before painting. And like, I used a desk and a chair and stuff. So it’s not completely exhaustive.

Commercial alternatives

So the version of the keyboard that I built – with my custom painted plates and battery-powered nice!nanos – would cost about $300 in parts. And then you have to add in another $85 or so in tools on top of that if you don’t already have electronics-making stuff. We’ll round it out to a cool $400, starting from scratch.

That’s a lot!

But unfortunately, at the time that I am writing this, there isn’t really a cheaper alternative if you want a wireless split ergonomic keyboard. You just can’t buy them off the shelf.

For comparison: the Ergodox EZ – which is not wireless – costs $270 in the vanilla configuration (without LEDs), plus another $25 for the “tilt/tent kit” if you don’t want to set it down flat. So $295 for something kind of comparable.

The Moonlander – another wired split keyboard from ZSA – is $365.

The Keyboard.io Model 100 – which is only available in pre-order right now – costs $309, and includes a single tripod thread. It is also wired.

The Kinesis Advantage2 is $349, and is neither wireless nor split. Although it’s sort of split.

So building your own bespoke wireless keyboard costs roughly the same as buying a high-end commercial wired ergonomic keyboard. You aren’t saving money by buliding it yourself, and you’ll be giving up most of a weekend assembling it. Not to mention all the time you spend designing and thinking about plates and switches and keycaps and tinkering with your keymap.

But I don’t know of any other way to get a wireless split keyboard today.

But that’s changing! There are a couple of wireless split keyboards on the horizon that you might be able to buy some time in the next year.

First up: the Kinesis Advantage360 Pro. No idea what the price point will be when it comes out in “Summer 2022,” but there was a low-volume pre-order for $440. This looks like a big improvement over the Advantage2: adjustable tenting, fixed or variable split, and Bluetooth. Plus ZMK – reconfiguring the Advantage2 was always a little bit annoying.

Next up: the Glove80. No idea when/if this will launch, and no idea what the price point will be. It says there will be a Kickstarter campaign some time January 2022, so I’ll try to update this once I learn more.

And that’s it.

Those two keyboards are the only split wireless keyboards that I’m aware of, and neither of them actually exist yet. If you know of any others, please get in touch.