Author Topic: kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations  (Read 27469 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline keylock

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 9
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« on: Fri, 28 October 2011, 14:04:25 »
Hi,
I have considered buying the Kinesis Advantage for some time but Im very disturbed by the blue keycaps. According to posts on this forum the keycaps of this keyboard seem to not be standard cherry keycaps. Is this accurate? can keycaps made for the Kinesis be purchased somewhere? This post http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:20814 describes a mod with g81 keycaps which seem to fit. Is the g81 keycaps also non standard keycaps? Does anyone have experience with with these keycaps?

Thanks in advance

Offline Lanx

  • Posts: 2879
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 28 October 2011, 14:19:27 »
the blue spherical keycaps are the most awesomest home row keycaps, don't bother replacing them, once you use em cylindrical home row keys feel uncomforming. but to answer your question they are mx keycaps and mx switches, they are "different" heights and stuff because well, the keywell is unique so they form fit the keycaps, you can def replace the keycaps, it just might not be as uniform as stock.

Offline keylock

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 9
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 28 October 2011, 15:23:06 »
thank you Lanx

Offline rantenki

  • Posts: 118
    • http://armyofevilrobots.com/
kinesis replacement keycaps
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 02 November 2011, 23:17:45 »
I swapped my keys out during one of the early cherry keycap group buys, and they work _awesome_. I never looked back, and there is nothing unusual about the keys. The main issue is relocating keys from various rows to the thumb keys. The kinesis keys are all kinda tall though, so YMMV.
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 30709[/ATTACH]

Offline sordna

  • Posts: 2795
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 02 November 2011, 23:53:02 »
You can replace the blue keycaps with standard keycaps, just get keys with the normal profile for that row (ASDF...)
The only reason these blue keycaps are different, is to tell you by feel (and by glancing) you are in the home row. Instead of nubs in the F and J keys, you have a concave spherical surface on all 8 home row keys. I actually like both the look and the feel of these keys, but you are free to change them with standard keys, they will fit and as long as your F and J have the nubs you'll have no problem locating the home row, either method works fine.
I put my some letter keys from my Poker to the Kinesis briefly and they fit perfectly.
Kinesis Contoured Advantage LF with Cherry MX Red switches / Extra keys mod / O-ring dampening mod / Dvorak layout. ErgoDox with buzzer and LED mod.
Also: Kinesis Advantage Classic, Kinesis Contoured Model 110, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, KBC Poker (Cherry MX Red), IBM Space Saving keyboard (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline Lanx

  • Posts: 2879
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 03 November 2011, 00:43:10 »
i put regular f/j nubs and kept asdkl; spherical home row. 20 odd years of typing with nubs...

Offline Input Nirvana

  • Posts: 3372
  • Location: Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area
  • If I tell ya, I'll hafta kill ya
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 09 November 2011, 17:00:09 »
Some of the Kinesis Contoured key caps are 'standard' Filco type key caps. I've been meaning to do the complete comparison, but have not been able to as of yet.

But, check this new thread out.....

http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:23722

Good old Geekhack back to the rescue with mo' koo' shizz!
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry

Online Razer1987

  • Posts: 55
  • Location: Levallois, France
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 22 November 2011, 06:10:16 »
i read that the keycaps on this keyboard are only row 3 except the row with numbers (but apparentlly number 3 and 8 are also row 3?)
Do you think that it would be weird to change the keycaps for SA family respecting the number of the row like a classic keyboard? I am affraid that the shape of the keyboard will make that uncomfortable…

ty

Offline ricercar

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3339
  • Location: Silicon Valley
  • mostly abides
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 22 November 2011, 16:45:28 »
I've replaced keys on my Kinesis with 'regular' Cherry MX keys, double shots from a Wang terminal. They fit fine, however: the board looks kinda wonky:
- The thumb keys are not shaped as you would expect. (I've left mine in place)
- The wide symbol keys  - + | " are mostly fugly when replaced with single-width standard key caps.
- The cursor arrows do not match the angle of their neighbors.

Maybe if ripster's nice I'll post a picture. Chortle. (EDIT I'll add pics anyway, because _i'm_ nice.)
« Last Edit: Tue, 22 November 2011, 17:05:14 by ricercar »
I trolled Geekhack and all I got was an eponymous SPOS.

Online Razer1987

  • Posts: 55
  • Location: Levallois, France
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 22 November 2011, 17:09:56 »
Quote from: ricercar;457743
- The thumb keys are not shaped as you would expect. (I've left mine in place)

i want to leave them too

Quote
- The wide symbol keys  - + | " are mostly fugly when replaced with single-width standard key caps.

if all goes fine, i expect to get 1,25 width keys

Quote
- The cursor arrows do not match the angle of their neighbors.

not sure that i understand that… do they fit with the stock keycaps? because even if they were «row 3 arrows», you replaced them by row 4 DCS family? So if they are still from the same row even if the shape is not the same, it should fit?

I would like SA family on it but i am afraid to loose the ergonomy with row 2 and 4, every switch has its own position, they did that for a reason… and it would be too expensive to reproduce the original composition with my bépo layout.

i would love to see a picture

thank you
« Last Edit: Tue, 22 November 2011, 17:13:32 by Razer1987 »

Offline ricercar

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3339
  • Location: Silicon Valley
  • mostly abides
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 22 November 2011, 17:17:10 »
Quote
not sure that i understand that… do they fit with the stock keycaps?
The arrow keys fit on the stems fine, but the key height and angle are dramatically different than the keys above them and to the sides.
I trolled Geekhack and all I got was an eponymous SPOS.

Online Razer1987

  • Posts: 55
  • Location: Levallois, France
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 22 November 2011, 17:25:30 »
thank you for the pics

is it an old one? because now the function keys don't have mx switches… do you know if yours has exactly the same shape of a new one? because it looks perfectly ergonomic.
« Last Edit: Tue, 22 November 2011, 17:32:11 by Razer1987 »

Offline ricercar

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3339
  • Location: Silicon Valley
  • mostly abides
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 22 November 2011, 17:37:45 »
The Cherry MX FKeys and the various holes are mods that I perpetrated. This is a regular model KB133MPC Kinesis "Essential MPC," from before they were called "Advantage."

As near as I can tell, it's the exact same form factor as the Advantage. However, Input Nirvana would know better, because he's owned both Essentials and Advantages.
I trolled Geekhack and all I got was an eponymous SPOS.

Offline sordna

  • Posts: 2795
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 22 November 2011, 21:57:03 »
Quote from: ricercar;457775
The arrow keys fit on the stems fine, but the key height and angle are dramatically different than the keys above them and to the sides.

That's the case with the stock keycaps as well, they are angled differently. Anyway, you can play with the angle by turning those keycaps 180°, at least it's something to try and see what you find more comfortable.
In any case I don't think you lose much of the ergonomics by going with standard keycaps, for example keys 3 and 8 are indeed shorter than their neighbors, but the switches mounted on that column sit lower anyway, so you still get a lot of the ergonomic effect.

Regarding the arrow keys, I believe they are shorter than nomral keycaps, if your replacement keycaps feel too tall, you can always dremel them.
Kinesis Contoured Advantage LF with Cherry MX Red switches / Extra keys mod / O-ring dampening mod / Dvorak layout. ErgoDox with buzzer and LED mod.
Also: Kinesis Advantage Classic, Kinesis Contoured Model 110, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, KBC Poker (Cherry MX Red), IBM Space Saving keyboard (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline Input Nirvana

  • Posts: 3372
  • Location: Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area
  • If I tell ya, I'll hafta kill ya
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 01 December 2011, 22:33:19 »
The cases of the Kinesis Essential, Classic, Professional, Advantage, Advantage Pro are all the same. They are available white and black. The silver Advantage Pro is a black case painted silver. There is no other difference. Keys are available white and black. The home row is blue on both color boards.

There are 12 different key profiles on the Kinesis Contour, not counting the rubber keys. Some of the keys match Filco/Filco clone keys, I saw that when I was at WASD Keyboards. I was supposed to try and identify all the keys for a couple people here on GH and add it to my Kinesis mod article. Considering my life the last couple months, I'm lucky to still be able to type here occasionally, let alone anything else, so I don't feel too bad. My suggestion is for someone with a Kinesis to compare with a Filco/Filco clone to identify as many Kinesis keys as possible and post it. Then it will be done before I get around to it.

In the future (spring/6 months from now) I will be involved with another GH'r making molds for cases, modified cases, and key caps. The goals are higher quality cases, different colors, modified cases, split cases, sooper kool kwality key kaps. It will be wonderful I'm sure.
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry

Online Razer1987

  • Posts: 55
  • Location: Levallois, France
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 13 December 2011, 21:51:35 »
I've just received my Kinesis and i want a keycaps custom set from WASD. I don't know if the keycaps are from DCS family from SP or more like filco family, but even if it is not exactly the same, it is still the same kind of shape, so i hope that keycaps from WASD will be good on it. But I don't count 12 different shapes but only this

1 unit: 8 R4, 14 R3, 12 R2 (8 spherical), 18 R1, 4 R5
1,25 unit: 6 R2, 2 R4
2 unit: 2 R1 and 2 vertical like enter numpad

it is only ten different shapes, maybe i miss something?

the only keys that i can't reproduce with wasd are the 4 R5 (ctrl, alt, etc.) and the home row with spherical.

I will post some pics when i get them

Offline Input Nirvana

  • Posts: 3372
  • Location: Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area
  • If I tell ya, I'll hafta kill ya
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 13 December 2011, 22:32:55 »
I'm sure there are 12. I don't have my notebook available to check and tell you what they are.

EDIT- All I did was take off the keycaps (you only need to take off one of the key wells since the keys are the same as the other side) and line them all up. Some are a different height, slope, size. I was going to go to WASD and match up what I could with Filco-type keys that he has. I know at least some of them match.
« Last Edit: Tue, 13 December 2011, 23:10:11 by input nirvana »
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry

Online Razer1987

  • Posts: 55
  • Location: Levallois, France
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 00:15:12 »
i take off every key, and i only find 10 different types. So it would be interesting to compare it with your notes. I want to be sure that i don't miss something.

Offline Input Nirvana

  • Posts: 3372
  • Location: Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area
  • If I tell ya, I'll hafta kill ya
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 00:26:24 »
You win. Now I'm too curious to let this go.
I'll take mine keys off first. I'm sure I'll have an accurate answer. I'm a detail nit-pick person.


BRB 20 mins.

EDIT----
I coded each key cap type with a letter (A, B, C,....)
One problem is I only came up with 11 key types, not 12. I can't remember where/what the 12th key type was since I can't find my notebook, and I did this about 2 years ago. Maybe the 12th key type was the rubber nubbins.

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 34922[/ATTACH]
« Last Edit: Wed, 14 December 2011, 01:20:20 by input nirvana »
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry

Online Razer1987

  • Posts: 55
  • Location: Levallois, France
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 01:25:34 »
we don't have the same keycaps or i am blind…

Offline Input Nirvana

  • Posts: 3372
  • Location: Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area
  • If I tell ya, I'll hafta kill ya
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 01:27:45 »
Unlikely, but not impossible. What are the differences?
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry

Online Razer1987

  • Posts: 55
  • Location: Levallois, France
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 01:37:23 »
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 34923[/ATTACH]

without any measuring device but only my eyes a flat space and a flat plastic card, i see it like that

Offline Input Nirvana

  • Posts: 3372
  • Location: Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area
  • If I tell ya, I'll hafta kill ya
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 01:44:00 »
First off, the pic I sent is of the right hand keys. The 4 keys on the far right are the 1.25 wide keys (_-,|\,"', shift) so they should not be the same as any other keys in the group. See?

And the two bottom rows are different keys, they are similar, but different.

Take another look, confirm you are doing the RIGHT HAND key well.. before we proceed.
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry

Online Razer1987

  • Posts: 55
  • Location: Levallois, France
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 01:46:00 »
sorry, my picture is for the left hand… with the thumb keys of a right hand… it's 1,25 from row 2 this is why i put the same number, let me redo it in 5min

Online Razer1987

  • Posts: 55
  • Location: Levallois, France
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 01:51:42 »
no need for picture, i am stupid i read it as a left hand…

the only difference between us is that i don't see any difference between G and H

Offline Input Nirvana

  • Posts: 3372
  • Location: Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area
  • If I tell ya, I'll hafta kill ya
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 01:54:58 »
There is a difference, but it's small. You can easily live with the very bottom row being the same key cap as the row above. I was at WASD and had gotten some key caps for my split Kinesis mod, and I noticed some of the key caps were the same. Exactly. Unfortunately I was in a rush and had to leave before I was done, otherwise I could tell you which key caps they are.

I was going to have WASD etch Klingon characters onto the key caps :)
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 34924[/ATTACH]
« Last Edit: Wed, 14 December 2011, 01:58:00 by input nirvana »
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry

Online Razer1987

  • Posts: 55
  • Location: Levallois, France
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 01:57:41 »
it is really weird because both are from R1 (i can read it under the key), that's mean that kinesis doesn't use the same family keycaps or the same manufacturer for these keys.

Offline Input Nirvana

  • Posts: 3372
  • Location: Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area
  • If I tell ya, I'll hafta kill ya
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #27 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 02:00:25 »
What is the serial number on the bottom of your board?
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry

Online Razer1987

  • Posts: 55
  • Location: Levallois, France
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #28 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 02:01:48 »
86119ub

Offline Input Nirvana

  • Posts: 3372
  • Location: Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area
  • If I tell ya, I'll hafta kill ya
kinesis advantage keycap replacement limitations
« Reply #29 on: Wed, 14 December 2011, 02:11:02 »
Ah-ha!

Look:

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 34925[/ATTACH]

Kinesis has changed key cap manufacturers. The black one on left is from #82000 and the white one is from #35000. The black one does not have the R1 designation. And on #82000 the two bottom rows are the SAME.
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry