This article is a work in progress.
The Zima is a macropad the size of a creditcard. And one of the benefits as far as building goes, is that most of the bits are already soldered on, making this build swift and a very beginner friendly.
To assemble the Zima, you'll need the following tools:
- A soldering iron;
- Electrical or kapton tape;
Depending on your options, you can use up to 12 MX, Choc or ALPS switches, a 2u stabilizer, an EC11 or compatible rotary encoder, an SSD1306 128x32 pixel OLED display and a case.
The Zima supports up to twelve switches. You can choose to install an encoder in the top left of the macropad, and depending on the case, you might be able to use a 2u key in the bottom left instead of two single 1u keys.
If you're using a rotary encoder, you can install this after the switches, which is easier. Do remember to not solder a switch in the encoder spot if you'd like to use an encoder.
To install the switches, when using an acrylic case first remove the protective foil from both sides of the switch plate. Then, seat a few switches through the plate, and then insert the switches with the plate into the Zima.
Solder those few switches, and ensure they're seated correctly - the bottom of the switch should sit flush with the PCB. After soldering the first few switches, it'll be easier to solder the remaining switches.
Seat the encoder in the top left position of the Zima, matching the side of the encoder with three pins, to the three holes in the PCB. Align the pins of the encoder with the holes in the PCB to prevent them from bending, as it may require some force for the side legs of the encoder to clip into the PCB.
Then, once the encoder is seated correctly, sitting flush with the PCB, solder the five pins. It is not necessary to solder the side legs of the PCB. You may choose to do so, but it may make desoldering it more difficult if the need ever arises.
Apply electrical or kapton tape to the bottom of the OLED display, to prevent the components from making contact with the reset button. Then, align the OLED display and solder one of the pins onto the top of the PCB to keep it in place. You can then heat up that joint to align it until you're happy.
With the alignment done, you can flip the PCB around and solder all pins from the bottom, starting with one of the pins that wasn't soldered on the top.
At the moment, only one case is available.
The High Profile Case
The case consists of seven layers. From bottom to top:
- The bottom layer (with a hole cut out for the piezo buzzer);
- A small middle layer;
- A large middle layer;
- A plate layer that seats the switches;
- A large top layer,
- A smaller top layer;
- A window for the OLED.
There are screws and spacers supplied with the case. Put a screw through a hole of the bottom layer, and thread a standoff on it. Don't tighten it yet: it's okay if it wobbles, leaving about a millimeter between the bottom layer and the standoff. Repeat this for the other holes.
Then, with the standoffs installed, you can slide the layers on, seating each layer on the four standoffs.
Finally, thread screws into the spacers from the top, through the smaller holes on the top layers. Hand tighten them, but do not overtighten: the acrylic can break if you apply too much force.
Last, apply the four bumpons to the four corners of the case, so the macropad won't slide around as you use it.