Ultimate Hacking Keyboard

by Ultimate Gadget Laboratories

A fully programmable, impeccably built, split mechanical keyboard - designed for extreme productivity and ergonomics.

View all updates Nov 06, 2015

Ultimate Configurability

Ultimate configurability

Many of you have asked us to talk more about the various ways in which the UHK can be configured. It’s certainly not a trivial matter, so let’s take a detailed look.

To explain configuration as precisely as possible, we should start by examining the exact definition of a key.

It’s actually pretty misleading to describe keys by their standard function (the Tab key, the Backspace key, "A", etc.). A better way to talk about keys is using their explicit location, like A1, B5, or C10 (see above graphic).

This is because a key like Backspace is really just a scan code that the keyboard sends to the host computer. On the UHK any of these scan codes can be triggered by any of the keys. So using the base layer, the following correlations are made:

  • A14 yields Backspace
  • C1 yields Tab
  • C2 yields letter "A"

But what are layers? A layer binds actions to keys and 4 layers compose a keymap. Let’s visualize the 4 layers of the factory keymap.

Given the above, in a way, the UHK is not 1 keyboard but 4 keyboards right on top of each one another. "But how can I move across layers?" - you may ask.

Layer switcher keys to the rescue! Let’s see the default ones.

While keeping a layer switcher key pressed, the relevant layer gets activated - and as soon as you release it, the base layer becomes the active one again. It’s that simple! (Of course, with the UHK, you can make any key a layer switcher key)

As mentioned above within a layer, keys are mapped to actions. But there various kinds of actions. An action can be a key action, mouse action, macro action, or a keymap switcher action.

A key action emits a scancode like “L”, along with optional, additional, modifiers. So the single keypress can also emit shortcuts like Left Alt + Tab. A key action can also be dual-role, which acts as a normal modifier, like Control when pressed along with another key, but behaves as another key like Escape when pressed in itself. (We may add a user-specifiable interval for the latter case so no accidental keypresses will be emitted.)

A mouse action is one of movement {left, right, up, down}, scrolling {left, right , up, down}, or clicking {left, middle, right}. The mouse layer of the factory keymap contains every one of these sub-actions intuitively laid out.

A macro action is composed of a sequence of key actions, mouse actions and delays. It will also have a loop flag which will loop the macro until the associated key is pressed.

A keymap switcher action switches to the specified keymap. This allows you to make many different keymaps, each for their own use-case.

When you make your configuration comprised of keymaps of layers of actions, it’s all saved right in the UHK’s on-board memory. So when you plug it into another computer, your configuration remains intact! The on-board EEPROM has enough to store a very large amount of configurations.

There are even more parameters that you can control with the UHK, like maximum speed and acceleration of the mouse pointer.

As you can see, you are given a lot of freedom configurability-wise. And with this freedom comes the chance that you can screw up your own keymaps! But fear not, that’s exactly why there’s a factory reset switch on the back on the UHK which you can press with a toothpick. No worries, this won’t erase your configuration, merely restore the factory keymap.

That’s it! Hopefully, I was able to clear up any questions you may have had about UHK configuration functionality.

If you haven’t pledged yet, we still have some UHKs available at the Early Bird price - so now’s the time to order your keyboard!

If you have any questions, please ask us!

We will keep you posted about twice a week with demos, tear-downs, statistics, and other interesting material, so stay tuned!

Laci, lead developer of the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard

$684,085 raised

of $200,000 goal

342% Funded!
Not Available
Dec 14 2015
funded on

Product Choices


Crowd Supply Special UHK - $35 Off Retail Price

A fully programmable, impeccably built, open source, split mechanical keyboard - designed for extreme productivity and ergonomics. Available at a discounted pre-order rate, the UHK will retail for $275.


Key Cluster Module (Left Half)

This module features 3 regular keys, 2 buttons and a mini trackball which can also be pressed - acting as an extra button. This module attaches to the left half of the keyboard.

Keycluster Module


Trackball Module (Right Half)

The trackball features excellent precision and usability and is well-suited to be used by a thumb. This module attaches to the right half of the keyboard.

Trackball Module


Trackpoint Module (Right Half)

The trackpoint surely brings back fond memories for those of you who have owned an IBM ThinkPad laptop in the past. With it, you can not only move the pointer, but click by pressing it. This module attaches to the right half of the keyboard.

Trackpoint Module


Trackpad Module (Right Half)

The touchpad shouldn’t be stranger to anyone, given that it’s a part of pretty much every laptop and netbook ever manufactured. This module attaches to the right half of the keyboard.

Trackpad Module


UHK Modules

Fully programmable add-on modules that snap onto the inside of the keyboard halves. Purchase in this bundle pack for extra savings.

Add On Modules


UHK Palm Rest

A super comfortable, truly split, wooden UHK palm rest - designed to add even more to the keyboard ergonomics by tilting and tenting to fit your needs.


Extra UHK case

An extra case for your UHK.

UHK Extra Case


Extra UHK keycaps

An extra set of keycaps for your UHK.

UHK Keycaps


Ultimate Gadget Laboratories

Ultimate Gadget Laboratories creates long-lasting hardware and software products for increasing productivity and ergonomics.

László Monda

András Völgyi

Nikolai Lebedovsky

Ákos Tolnai

Tüv Rheinland

Final EMC certifier


Preliminary EMC tester


PCB manufacturer

See Also

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