Level1 + Model M = Improving The Greatest Keyboard of All Time (2021 Unicomp "Mini M" Edition)

I’d love to help out with testing! Not sure if my model has been tested at all yet, I have a Unicomp Model M122 that could really use an onboard keymap.

I’m a mediocre solderer, through hole is fine and I have the capabilities to do SMD but still pretty novice at it. I’ve worked with QMK before for my ergodox, not much of a C (C++?) programmer but I am a software engineer by profession so I should be able to tinker around and figure it out.

Let me know if you need any pictures of the internals, I just joined the discord under the same username if that’s easier!

Following this topic with great interest, since I’m also missing the good 'ol buckling springs. But I kind of wish for modern features and such too. So hoping that this project would be that cross-over between “true to the original” and something “modern” (I’m basically looking at that horrible A-A USB-cable!?) :smile:

Regarding buying kit. I know which end of the soldering iron that you’re supposed to hold. But doing fancy i.e. tiny stuff would be challenging. But soldering basic connections and through-holes would be doable.

Will this address the key rollover problem in the Mini-M ? I’ve had to stop using the Mini-M because of dropped keys while typing. I love Unicomp and own 4 of their products, but calling the Mini-M 6KRO is a fraud, just try holding down left-shift and typing OP 3 times fast, all you get is OOO.

If this QMK can address that issue, I’m all-in.

I am also interested heavily in this project. I am hoping that the firmware could make it’s way into qmk and tmk both when this eventually matures. thanks for the amazing project!

Some soldering skills recommended for sure. But it doesn’t seem to have that bug.



Awesome! I can’t wait to get one of these and contribute a via config!

Limited hand make pre soldered stock for the unicomp mini m available:

$70 ea

Ready for qmk :smiley:


Is there a hidden product page somewhere? :smiley:

Sorry for double posting but it looks like unicomp also took down the product page for the mini m.


Email me and I can mail you one. I just asked unicomp about about buying 20 or so to resell on the l1 store

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So I reached out to unicomp and they didn’t read my request at first, and then said they don’t want to sell the keyboards they have without a controller, without a controller.

I offered to buy 20 as-is. It make sense they wouldn’t want to sell controller-less keyboards if you think about it…

It is from the team that brought you the first controller which was… fun… anyway… lol


I’ve been checking the store every few days to see if the kits are in stock and haven’t found them yet. Where should I be looking?

Email me they are in test mode wendell at level1techs.com

There are only the mini m conversion kits at this exact moment unless you’re feeling adventurous

This has been an adventure, but I finally have my Mini-M working and QMK-powered.

For anybody who wants to flash their own keymap, I STRONGLY recommend doing so with QMK’s docker scripts, e.g. ./util/docker_build.sh m_star_classic:minim:flash. With many other keyboards I’ve been able to get away with ignoring QMK’s warning about GCC versions, but with this one I ran into so many completely bizarre issues that I was convinced that the microcontroller was corrupted. Trying to use newer and “better” versions of GCC, dfu-util, etc will a̴l̶l̶o̴w̴ ̶t̴h̸e̴ ̵ ö̴̪ų̴͋t̸̰̉e̶̩͝r̶̝̾ ̷̩̐ô̴̭n̶̤̈ë̴͓s̵̠͂ ̵̭̂ť̷̹o̷͓͘ ̴̰͌ê̴̺n̶̮͠ț̶̑ȅ̴̡ŕ̷̟ ̶͇̚ÿ̷͚o̴̜̍u̴͖̾r̷̼̊ ̸̝̈́p̴̧͗l̷͎̚a̴̛̳n̴̙̾e̵͚͛ ̸́͜ỏ̷͕f̴̟͑ ̸̳̈ę̷̛x̷̧͗i̵͛͜s̶̲̆t̵͕̐e̸̙̓n̷̖̏c̷̦͒e̵̹͑ ̸̟͌ and start parsing HTML with regex.

In addition to the above problem, one of the solder joints was either bad or shaken loose in shipping and I had to re-flow all the connections between pin C14 and the key matrix. That was fun to debug. The trick is to use qmk console and some debug logging. Look at the matrix coordinates printed. They don’t match the physical layout of the board.

On the subject of the key matrix: the board that I have is not the one that was tested, so I did some hacking on the m-star code to fix up the layout macros, add better support for the numpad layer, and get things compiling against a modern checkout of QMK instead of whatever was used 11 months ago. Merge request here: https:// gitlab. com/esr/m-star/-/merge_requests/1 (I’m too new around here to post links)

Last thing: The controller board cost $90 + shipping. Maybe that was a typo in @wendell 's earlier post? Maybe sales tax? I guess this will be cleared up once it’s on the store and not a one-off invoice thing.


Anyone have any clue where I could get my hands on a Mini-M? Haven’t seen any on ebay. They’re out of stock at Unicomp still because they still haven’t sourced a controller. I emailed them about buying one without a controller but they said they would not do that.

Maybe ask Wendell if he has one for sale as well?

Sorry for the hassle something lost along the way since they’re kinda prototypey

Otherwise is it working well?? Will send you some other goodies for helping out. :smiley:

Just accepted the pull request nice work!!!

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It seems to be working well. I’ve been using it on the work machine for the past few days.

When you said you accepted the pull request, did you mean to merge it? I think you just approved it.

Not sure if it’d be helpful but I was able to get my Unicomp New Model M opened and can get some pictures of the inside and the controller if anyone needs them.

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Does this board work with QMK Configurator or VIA?