Aurora Helix PCB Kit
The Aurora Helix is a redesign by splitkb.com of the popular Helix keyboard by Makoto Kurauchi. The original project is open source. For every kit sold, splitkb.com will donate €1 across the firmware projects we support.
What's the Aurora Helix?
The Aurora Helix is a split keyboard with up to 64 keys and (up to) 2 encoders. With its number row, it's a comfortable introduction into split keyboards for those who'd prefer to not dive deep into layers straight away, or those who use numbers very frequently. It can also function as a macropad with plenty of keys, as it's possible to use a half on its own.
The Aurora Helix supports the following features:
- A comfortable layout with 64 keys, including a number row;
- Powered by QMK or ZMK firmware;
- Support for MX (see remarks) or Kailh Choc (v1 sold at splitkb.com, not v2) switches;
- MX spacing for all variants;
- Top mounted controllers for a lower profile;
- Up to two 128×32 pixel OLED displays;
- Up to one EC11 rotary encoder per half;
- Per-key RGB backlight by individual RGB LEDs;
Underglow by individual RGB LEDs;
- Support for a power switch for wireless controllers;
- Support for the splitkb.com tenting puck.
Every kit includes:
- 1 × Left PCB;
- 1 × Right PCB;
- 70 × 1N4148 axial signal diode;
- 7 × 4k7 Ohm axial resistor;
- 2 × PJ-3200B-4A TRRS Jack, black, and;
- 2 × Reset button.
The Choc Hotswap kit includes SMD diodes and SMD resistors instead of axial ones.
If you get a hot swap kit, the kit will also include:
- 64 × Kailh Hotswap socket in either Choc or MX, black.
Beyond the kit contents, you'll also need to get the following items to make a working keyboard:
- 2 × Pro Micro-compatible controller (Pro Micro, Elite C, Elite Pi, Liatris, nice!nano);
- Up to 64 × Kailh Choc or MX-compatible switch;
- Up to 64 × Kailh Choc or MX-compatible keycap;
- 1 × TRRS cable, and;
- 1 × USB cable compatible with your controller of choice (usually USB C or Micro USB to USB A).
If you're getting the hand solder kit and are going to use Choc switches with a conductive case (like aluminium or FR4 plates), you'll also want to get a set of SMD diodes. You won't be able to clip the legs of axial diodes short enough to avoid accidental shorts.
And lastly, you can get these options to add some bling to your keyboard:
- A set of case parts is recommended to use to protect your keyboard during use and transport;
- 2 × 128x32 OLED display with optional 4-pin OLED sockets;
- 2 × Set of controller sockets, with optional pins;
- 64 × SK6812MINI-E per-key RGB LEDs;
- 12 × WS2812B underglow RGB LEDs;
- Up to 2 × Encoder with knobs, and;
- 2 × Tenting puck (compatible with most camera tripods, like the Manfrotto Pocket Tripod).
What is the Aurora Series?
The Aurora series were designed as a homage to open source keyboard kits that have carved their space into the community. Kits that provided something new and unique, kits that resonated with the community and that have both received and have given a lot of love in return.
With the Aurora series, we aim to make these kits available to the community in a way that both honors the original, while also offering the best possible feature set and a consistent, well-documented build experience.
For each kit sold, we give back to the community by donating €1 across the firmware projects we support. This way we support open source projects and benefit everyone using keyboards, whether they use our kits or their own.
Check out the Aurora Build Guide on our documentation site.
The LEDs on all Aurora kits are north-facing. This means they'll light up any legends that may be on your keycaps nicely, provided they're translucent. The caveat of this, is that Cherry-profile keycaps (such as by those by GMK) may interfere with the switch housing. Other keycap profiles together with MX-style switches, along with Kailh low profile choc switches, are all not affected.
Kailh Choc low profile switches and encoders aren't compatible due to current plate options. You can still use them, but you'll want to modify the plate files and cut your own, or modify a store-bought plate with a tool like a file or Dremel.
There is extensive documentation available on most aspects of this keyboard. Have a look at these resources to start with:
- What can you use an OLED display for?
- How can I use a rotary encoder?
- Why would I want to socket my microcontroller?
- Why would I want to use an Elite C? (Also goes into the details of what's different between the Elite C and the Pro Micro, and when to use which)
The case and keycaps shown are not included with this item. This product includes the PCB kit only.