I have taken a liking to the concept of a split-board, and this is my second board. Compared to the Ergodash Mini, the Elephant42 has a bigger bend for the thumb cluster, and is more staggered in its ortholinear columns. This is especially noticeable when I try to type A, but end up pressing Q instead.

It also has room for a small OLED screen above the microcontroller, but I don’t have any so haven’t tried that out yet.

The back side of the Elephant42

Even though I really like the look of the Elephant42, it’s not used much. I didn’t even bother to solder in the RGB LEDs (there is one for each key, would probably look cool though). The reason for that is that the stagger is too much for me, even with my short fingers. I am also missing some keys on the left hand, so something with less stagger and a couple more keys would probably be more ideal for me.

I should mention that it is hot-swappable, meaning that you can change switches on the fly! That’s a huge selling point for me.

Get your own

Haven’t seen the Elephant42 sold anywhere, but it’s an open-source keyboard, so everything you need is at github/illness072. The build for this is failry simple, but the diode for the switch are surface mounted (SMD), so some small tweezers are necessary. There is no English build guide that I could find, but there not much to guide if you’ve built some keyboards before. Maybe I should make my own English guide, I still have an extra set of PCB left. If you order PCBs to be produced, be aware that some companies don’t like the compact layout with the part that you’re supposed to break off when you receive the PCB. So you may need to split the gerber/PCB in two before ordering.

The layout of the Elephant42