The CannonKeys Bakeneko65
The moment you’ve all been waiting for is here! The CannonKeys version of the Bakeneko65 has finally arrived, and we’re eager to share it with you.
The Bakeneko65 is an open-source keyboard by kkatano, in the same vein as the Bakeneko60. It uses an o-ring to friction mount the plate/PCB assembly inside the case. As with the 60% version of the board, this mounting style provides a nice, bouncy typing feel and satisfying typing sound. We’ve made a few changes to the case to add our own CannonKeys flair, and get it ready for manufacturing. Also, the PCBs available have been designed in-house by CannonKeys to provide an easy experience for newcomers to the hobby.
It should come as no surprise that we decided to go with a cast aluminum process for the Bakeneko65 keyboard, with a painted or powder coated finish. This is different from most custom keyboards, which are often made using a CNC process. For this process, molten metal is forced into a mold, then cooled into the shape of a Bakeneko65 case. The molding process is typically quicker than CNC, and should help us keep this keyboard in stock constantly - though the pandemic has made this a bit more difficult than we initially thought.
Using the cast process also has some drawbacks. Since the keyboards are made from a different alloy to enable the cast process, they don’t anodize well. From our first two Bakeneko60 rounds, we’ve learned quite a bit about what is required to make a good painted finish. For this round of Bakeneko65, we’ll be offering some powder coated, painted, and special powder coated finishes.
The special powder coat mentioned above is a glossy grey, and is smoother and glossier than the other finishes. We feel this is something that is both unique in the keyboard world, and extremely satisfying to handle.
The Bakeneko65 was initially designed by kkatano to have an internal weight. Typically, heavy brass weights add considerable cost to a keyboard, so we got a bit creative. We are going to offer two versions of the Bakeneko65. The first version uses a silicone dampener in place of the weight. This provides a little bit of acoustic attenuation. But the second version will use a die cast zinc weight. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time someone is using a zinc weight in a keyboard, and we’re really happy with how it turned out!
Zinc is a metal which is close to Brass in density (7.1g/cm3 vs. 8.7 g/cm3 - for comparison, aluminum is 2.7g/cm3), but lends itself well to a die casting process. With this, we’ll be able to deliver the heft and feel of a brass-weighted keyboard without the accompanying price tag. The weights will not have any sort of finish on them, as they are purely internal, so you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty of the raw metal itself. We hope to integrate zinc weights into more of our product lines moving forward.
And now, the details:
Each Bakeneko65 kit will be shipped with the following items:
- CannonKeys Foam Carrying Case
- Bakeneko65 Aluminum Case (6 degree typing angle)
- 50A O-Ring
- FR4 Plate
- CannonKeys 6.25U Layout Hotswap PCB (With cool white LEDs)
- C3 Unified Daughterboard (with ESD protection) and JST Cable
- Microfiber Cloth
- 3 2U Cherry Clip in Stabs + 1 6.25U Cherry Clip in Stab with Black CannonKeys Wire
- Custom bumpon-compatible silicone feet (if you lose them, you can use bumpons)
Painted and powder coated versions of the Bakeneko65 will sell for $144.99 with a silicone insert, and $164.99 with a zinc internal weight.
The special powder coated versions of the Bakeneko65 will sell for $149.99 with a silicone insert, and $169.99 with a zinc internal weight.
We’ll also be offering a few extras alongside the Bakeneko65:
- Extra 50A -rings
- 30A o-rings
- 70A o-rings
- Extra FR4 plates
- Solderable PCB featuring extended layout support
Due to the Bakeneko65 design, it may not “bounce” as much as the Bakeneko60 with a comparable hardness O-ring. For a bouncier feel, we recommend trying out the 30A variant, and for a more firm feel, the default 50A o ring or harder 70A o ring may work better.
While more expensive than the original Bakeneko60, we believe the Bakeneko65 still provides an extremely high value for the price point, and we are excited to announce that it will go on sale on Saturday January, 8th 2022 at 11am ET with a second sale happening the following week. Stock may be limited this time around, but we already have more on the way, and will try our best to maintain stock.
The following colors will be available:
- Whitish (Powder Coated)
- Black (Powder Coated)
- Dark Gray (Special Powder Coated)
- Lavender (Painted)
- Navy (Painted)