Safa 5.88

beauty in simplicity

From the start, The Safa TKL was designed to have a simple aesthetic – as boxy as you can get, combining both western and eastern aesthetics.

Make use of traditional top mount or gummy o-ring mounting. Dedicated plates for ANSI, ISO and JIS, coming in your choice of aluminium or polypropralene

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version 2 prototypes

Safa is intended to be a lightweight, simplistic take on the TKL form factor. My intentions were to have a crisp, sharp sound profile, akin to that of eastern-designed keyboards. With a 2:1 bezel ratio and subtle rounding, I have been aiming for what is basically a refined rectangle. The entire chassis has a ledge around the sides and back for portability. Functionality and small QOL improvements were made over time.

صفاء is Safa in Arabic, meaning purity / serenity

specs

  • 5 degree, 88 key (F13) TKL.
  • Winkey and WKL
  • Adjusted front height of 18.5mm (excluding case feet – 3M 8mm bumpons)
  • Primarily top mount, secondary gummy worm
  • Fixed ANSI, ISO plates. Variable JIS Plate available (4.5u stabs are being worked on to possibly ship with this in time, but we still need a lot of testing. Prayge for it). Default plates will be Alu 5052 in case matching colors.
  • Additional polypropylene (PP) plates will be available. Specifically chosen for its more dampening effect over PC
  • Internal brass weight only – not exposed externally. I live in sandland, its hot, humid, and I never look at the bottom of the board. If its on my desk how can I? I wanted this to change the sound of the board, no other reason.
  • The weight and board overall were tuned to deliberately have reverberation throughout the case. No foam will be sold with thisIf you want a quiet board, like my own preferential build, use PP plates with cherries or gat milk tops.
  • Compatible cables for JST can be found here

color options

  • 432c Dark Grey
  • 533c Navy
  • 188c Dark Red
  • E-White
  • Silver / clear coated ano
  • Raw (no ano)
  • Green is private only
Shoutout Mayne & g1lbrt
Some very scuffed soundtests, but hopefully you get the idea

extensive PCB support

– F12 / F13 support

– Split Right Shifts ; Regular, JIS

– Bottom Row – 6.25u, 7u (tsangan and WKL), JIS 4.5u, JIS 3u

– ANSI / ISO

pricing

  • Price target: $400 (or under) excl. VAT. This price is heavily dependent on material cost and factory limitations being put in place. Hence, this is a target – It can go up or down by the time February rolls around.
  • Will ship in custom fit hard cases.
  • Availability: 400 units
  • Targeting February 14th for GB

vendors

  • EU, worldwide – MKBEU
  • Asia – Hex.KB
  • India – Rectangles.store

production history

version 1 prototypes

The initial design was intended to have a simple external profile, which has carried over to v2. Each unit had 8mm uniform bezels and were all WKL units – I tried to make it work, but I was not happy with the aesthetic result. Note the engraving. I recommend grabbing some acrylic paint and having a go!

Safa Prototype V1 – Cherry Topped H1’s, GMK Burgundy on Safa’s 188c colorway

Poesjuh

The following changes were made for v2 prototypes

  1. AFH reduced to 18.5-19mm from 20.5mm. Small, but significant change
  2. Side bezel reduction, likely what takes this from being an “okay” board to something that looks significantly better
  3. Engraving updates – rounded off, cuter font
  4. Engraving location – moved to inner radii of Pause key
  5. Weight rework – lower case height, therefore thinner weight. However, weight now covers more surface area
  6. USB rework: up 1mm on y axis. Now there is a groove on the back ledge to easily identify the location
  7. Plate tolerances: much much tighter, 0.5mm on north and south sides. Still room for wiggle, may tighten, but this will increase the risks of fitting
  8. Top mount actually works