Author Topic: Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds  (Read 5453 times)

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Offline dzd

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« on: Sat, 21 January 2012, 11:53:04 »
I just tried out some different switches (with and without dampeners) on a regular rectangle board, at the store. The reds were way too soft for my liking. The blues with dampeners were my favorites. So, I figured that reds just aren't for me.

But then I also just installed red rubber dampeners on my Kinesis Advantage w/ browns - and I like it way better than without the dampeners. Now, I am wondering if I'd like it even more if I had red switches! Aggh! But then again, how would I really know unless I tried it? Wish I could try it without great expense... :(

BTW - can I order some red switches from WASD and switch a few out on my Advantage to try them out? I haven't done any surgery to my kb yet, and don't really want any major surgery.

I think on a flat keyboard, I probably prefer some tactility/click. But I guess like one of you pointed out in this thread, your switch preferences might differ on a contoured board: http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?26324-Considering-a-Kinesis-Advantage-Purchase&highlight=kinesis+red

So... can you order a brand new Advantage and ask them to use reds? How much extra is it?

I'm not excited about ordering just the keywells and having to replace them myself, even though some of you say it's not hard. :ohwell:  Anyway,  I might have need for a 2nd Advantage down the line, and would prefer to just have it arrive to my doorstep with the reds in them.


One more thing - the reds really require less force than the browns? I thought the specs say they're pretty much the same. But I do figure that the little bump might provide some extra resistance. Also, the click still kind of tingles my nerves, and I'm wondering if the reds would be comfier because of the lack of the click sensation.

And I just ordered a Truly Ergonomic with blues - now I'm wondering if I might actually prefer that with reds too... Jesus. Now I am seeing the ever-widening aspect of keyboard/input lust.

Offline sordna

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 21 January 2012, 13:25:57 »
Advantage with reds is available, just not shown on the Kinesis website. But they make it, change $325 for it, and call it the Advantage LF. If you send Kinesis an email they will tell you how you can order it. Click my sig to see the first one ever made :-) I appreciate tactile switches on flat keyboards, but on the Advantage I much prefer the red switches, it just suits it better since you have to hit keys at different angles on the keywells, and you don't have that "bump" aggravating your tendons.
Regarding browns vs reds they have the same spring force (45g at the actuation point) but the "bump" of the browns needs about 55grams to overcome. This results in a heavier switch. Anyway, reds+o-rings+audible click (for feedback) is pure bliss for me. Good luck!
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 dzd

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 21 January 2012, 13:52:44 »
Whoa - so you're  the one who helped bring the Advantage LF to Geekhackers? I bow to you on that one. :)  I will check your other thread(s) on that. Thanks for all the info.
 
I guess when the time is right, I'll be pursuing an Advantage LF. Let's see how well I will make peace with my current modded Advantage.

I actually just asked TE to change my order to reds - hope they catch it on time. The dampeners seem to be a game changer - since they shorten the key travel (is that the right term?) and make the landing soft, now I can see myself liking reds for all day long keyboard use. After putting the dampeners on the browns, they really seem like they might as well be red - I don't think the bump has as much purpose anymore.

Blues with dampeners will still be great fun for macro keypads, for play kb's, etc.


Now I think it's too bad that there seem to be no numeric keypads out there w/ reds. I hope WASD might have something like that soon. I like how they don't charge extra for reds (at least not for a custom kb order), and I love all the customizable keycaps stuff.

Offline Input Nirvana

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 21 January 2012, 14:00:21 »
Dzd: You went direct to the source with Sordna. Sordna-Support is the best!

I have limited experience with flat keyboards, and all I can say is I personally like reds and browns on Kinesis. I'm not sure, but I may not be too picky with the switches. Also, I don't have any RSI issues.
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
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Offline dzd

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 21 January 2012, 16:32:45 »
Ya - I'm grateful for all the help and info here. I don't think GH was around back when I had my first big keyboard quest many years ago.

Offline Lanx

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 21 January 2012, 20:19:17 »
U can swap the thumb area of Kinesis without desoldering the rest is plate mounted.

Offline sordna

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 26 January 2012, 22:38:04 »
Hey Lanx, where have you been? I could use your feedback/ideas on adding extra keys. This board is proving very mod-friendly.
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

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 26 January 2012, 22:41:56 »
Quote from: Lanx;495889
U can swap the thumb area of Kinesis without desoldering the rest is plate mounted.

Pop the top and swap the stems only, it's EZ!
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
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Offline sordna

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 26 January 2012, 23:10:40 »
[video=youtube;GivKt63dLvA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GivKt63dLvA[/video]
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 boli

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 27 January 2012, 02:44:18 »
Quote from: Lanx;495889
U can swap the thumb area of Kinesis without desoldering the rest is plate mounted.
Quote from: sordna;500298
[video]

Cheers guys, time to make my semi-LF Advantage into a fully-LF. :)
Keyboard: Kinesis Ergo Advantage (two LF editions with red Cherry switches, one regular with brown switches)
Keyboard layout: basically Colemak, with some remapping to end up with my custom Kinesis Advantage layout
Typing test profiles: typeracer.com / hi-games.net / keybr.com

Offline Lanx

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 27 January 2012, 04:25:06 »
i always thought 2 keys right below end/pgdown near the edge would be a good use of the thumbs and keep your hands on the home key (i think these would also be away from the pcb board too), basically you'd make a right angle of your thumb/index finger in order to press it (or the "loser" sign).

Offline Input Nirvana

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 27 January 2012, 10:51:59 »
Quote from: Lanx;500449
i always thought 2 keys right below end/pgdown near the edge would be a good use of the thumbs and keep your hands on the home key

I have tried this, it's ok, but there are some restrictions. You need to have the keys almost flush with the case, or those added keys will be hit when pressing keys in the thumb cluster.

I have a pic in in Split Mod article in my sig and I mention the issue with the key height.
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry

Offline Icarium

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 27 January 2012, 10:56:26 »
Let me just commend you on this article here. Except for the myriad of boob and butt distractions it is the most useful kinesis modding resource by far. You should add some links to those other mods.

Edit: Let me emphasize that I _am_ a big fan of the boobs and butts. I just can't remember the contents of the article. :p
I had a sig once but it's gone. It used to display an icon of a Kinesis. Just imagine that.

Offline Input Nirvana

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 27 January 2012, 11:00:09 »
What boob 'n butt distractions? Boobs 'n butts ARE the article!

The keyboard modding is the only distraction I see here.
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry

Offline boli

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 29 January 2012, 03:43:15 »
Quote from: input nirvana;500676
What boob 'n butt distractions? Boobs 'n butts ARE the article!

The keyboard modding is the only distraction I see here.

:D

Back to the topic, I just exchanged the thumb keys on my semi-red Kinesis with reds, so it's a full red now. Switching just the top of the switches is easy enough indeed, though I did manage to lose a spring... ;)
Keyboard: Kinesis Ergo Advantage (two LF editions with red Cherry switches, one regular with brown switches)
Keyboard layout: basically Colemak, with some remapping to end up with my custom Kinesis Advantage layout
Typing test profiles: typeracer.com / hi-games.net / keybr.com

Offline sordna

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 29 January 2012, 10:14:32 »
wasdkeyboards.com sells individual red switches. Did your open up the switches from the top of the case, or did you unscrew and remove the thumb PCBs for easier access?
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 boli

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 29 January 2012, 13:15:02 »
Cheers, I still have 3 spare red switches since Kinesis sent me 15 extra with the red key wells, and I used 12 only. As a result I also have 11 complete browns, as well as one incomplete brown.

I opened up the case right away and unscrewed the thumb PCBs. It's much easier to get the top off the switches if coming from the side rather than the top. I used a small screwdriver to pop them off. Also if I'd tried to do it with the keyboard "closed" I'm pretty sure I would have dropped a spring or another bit into the case, which would have meant I'd have to open it up anyway. :P
Keyboard: Kinesis Ergo Advantage (two LF editions with red Cherry switches, one regular with brown switches)
Keyboard layout: basically Colemak, with some remapping to end up with my custom Kinesis Advantage layout
Typing test profiles: typeracer.com / hi-games.net / keybr.com

Offline dorkvader

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 29 January 2012, 15:27:44 »
Quote from: boli;502459
Cheers, I still have 3 spare red switches since Kinesis sent me 15 extra with the red key wells, and I used 12 only. As a result I also have 11 complete browns, as well as one incomplete brown.
That's a product of kinesis's good service, I take it. I suppose you could add some extra switches to the keywells like what sordna has done.
http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:26579
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Offline boli

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 29 January 2012, 16:50:52 »
Quote from: dorkvader;502538
That's a product of kinesis's good service, I take it. I suppose you could add some extra switches to the keywells like what sordna has done.
http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:26579

Aye, Rick from Kinesis was very nice, he also pointed out Input Nirvana's thread about replacement key caps, as Kinesis no longer sell blanks themselves. Will have to tell him about the pop-topping thing, much easier than resoldering. :)

As for the extra switches, I've been thinking about that. An easily accessible extra layer to remap stuff to does sound useful indeed. I don't have a dremel or glue gun, other than that it looks very feasible. I guess I'll have to sort something out once I get the WASD key caps. :)
Keyboard: Kinesis Ergo Advantage (two LF editions with red Cherry switches, one regular with brown switches)
Keyboard layout: basically Colemak, with some remapping to end up with my custom Kinesis Advantage layout
Typing test profiles: typeracer.com / hi-games.net / keybr.com

Offline boli

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 13:36:00 »
I told Rick at Kinesis about the pop topping technique, so hopefully future switch changers will get this info right when ordering. :)

I also told him that it's a shame the momentary keypad activation can only be had with a mod like sordna's or a foot switch, and that this'd be something worth considering for an Advantage 2. He replied with this:
Quote
Eventually for our new Contoured keyboards, whenever that will be (we are currently in development), they will have true mechanical key switch function keys. No more rubber keys. One of things we want is to be able to remap the keypad key as well, so you can find an easier location rather than reaching up there or using a footswitch.


Good news indeed! Of course I hope he meant momentary activation too, not just the current toggle. Will update if I get an answer... Anyway, good to hear they're working on it and fixing a few things. :)
Keyboard: Kinesis Ergo Advantage (two LF editions with red Cherry switches, one regular with brown switches)
Keyboard layout: basically Colemak, with some remapping to end up with my custom Kinesis Advantage layout
Typing test profiles: typeracer.com / hi-games.net / keybr.com

Offline sordna

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 14:08:54 »
Woah! Best keyboard-related news I've heard in a long time!
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

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 17:44:50 »
"Eventually for our new Contoured keyboards, whenever that will be (we are currently in development), they will have true mechanical key switch function keys. No more rubber keys. One of things we want is to be able to remap the keypad key as well, so you can find an easier location rather than reaching up there or using a footswitch."  

It will be after all of us at GH design, put together, troubleshoot and test run all the improvements for them :0)
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry

Offline dorkvader

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #22 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 20:22:55 »
I'd help!

This is big news., If they come out with one, I'd probably buy it. I still haven't gotten around to touching the rubber "keys" on yours Sordna. :p
"Curiosity ... strikes me as being one of the most genuine of emotions."

Offline dzd

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 30 January 2012, 20:42:38 »
Quote from: input nirvana;503598
It will be after all of us at GH design, put together, troubleshoot and test run all the improvements for them :0)

It does seem like all these ergo kb companies should consult with GH to help engineer their designs before finalizing them.

Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #24 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 01:58:26 »
Quote from: dzd;503766
It does seem like all these ergo kb companies should consult with GH to help engineer their designs before finalizing them.

Kinesis monitors the Kinesis Contoured mods threads...so I guess you could say at least some of them already are :)
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry

Offline boli

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 02:57:25 »
Quote from: input nirvana;503598

It will be after all of us at GH design, put together, troubleshoot and test run all the improvements for them :0)

Quote from: dzd;503766
It does seem like all these ergo kb companies should consult with GH to help engineer their designs before finalizing them.


I'm not sure it would ever get finalized. ;) Only half joking... I guess we can all agree that the rubber keys suck, opinions on other stuff might be less unambiguous, after all we are quite a particular kind of people. :) Nevertheless I'd obviously love the opportunity to share my opinion with the engineers.

What's your wish list? I'm actually hard pressed to think of something new/revolutionary. The following stuff has all been discussed I think.

  • F# keys with mechanical switches
  • F# keys closer to key wells, ideally as an extra row on top (there's space for 12 same size keys, one of which might be Esc, so the other keys (PrintScr, ScrollLock, Pause etc.) could go in the unused area between the two key wells)
  • Momentary keypad layer activation available for remapping (toggle is less important but can't hurt to have that remappable either)
  • Extra keys in lower left and right corners (same as sordna's mod)
  • Possibly more thumb keys (hard to say where to put them though, current setup seems pretty well thought out)
  • Possibly software to remap stuff in firmware, which could allow remapping of only the normal or only the shifted layer of keys, for example to make a programmers num row (where symbols are the normal output, and numbers are the shifted output). I guess something like this would make development and usage a lot more complex, so do I really need this?
Keyboard: Kinesis Ergo Advantage (two LF editions with red Cherry switches, one regular with brown switches)
Keyboard layout: basically Colemak, with some remapping to end up with my custom Kinesis Advantage layout
Typing test profiles: typeracer.com / hi-games.net / keybr.com

Offline Icarium

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 04:22:00 »
Here's an obvious improvement: Put in real atmega32s for the controller. If you could just open it up flip a dip switch and put in your own firmware...well that would just be so amazing....
I had a sig once but it's gone. It used to display an icon of a Kinesis. Just imagine that.

Offline Lanx

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #27 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 09:57:04 »
Quote from: input nirvana;503994
Kinesis monitors the Kinesis Contoured mods threads...so I guess you could say at least some of them already are :)

yea, too bad the R&D in Kinesis consists of 1 hamster in a wheel.
1. lets make a white ps/2 clone of the maltron
10 years go by
lets make it usb
5 years go by
oh lets make it black

i maybe be off on the time, but i mean really... get some innovation lol, there's no such thing as if it ain't broke don't fix it in the ergo world, i think we're all always looking for the best keyboard, but we're the super minority too, compared to this board, we seem to be the 1% lol.

Offline dzd

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #28 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 11:22:51 »
Quote from: boli;504027
I'm not sure it would ever get finalized. ;) Only half joking...
Agree with you there! :)

Quote from: boli;504027
What's your wish list? I'm actually hard pressed to think of something new/revolutionary.

Someone must have mentioned this somewhere already:

    Alternative keycap sets!! The Kinesis' physical key layout really needs some!

I have a Qwerty/Dvorak model - but the dual labels are annoying - and I don't even need the Qwerty labels, TYVM!!

A kb that claims to be one of the most ergo really should really offer more keycap layout options - or hang their heads in shame (only half joking there too! And this applies to TE too - though you guys mentioned that was a future promise.)

Quote from: Lanx;504181
yea, too bad the R&D in Kinesis consists of 1 hamster in a wheel.
1. lets make a white ps/2 clone of the maltron
10 years go by
lets make it usb
5 years go by
oh lets make it black

True!

Given the hundreds of millions of everyday kb users out there, I really can't believe that there are not millions more demanding a more ergo one (and thus propelling us to more real "innovation").
« Last Edit: Tue, 31 January 2012, 11:34:39 by dzd »

Offline dzd

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Kinesis Advantage w/ Reds
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 11:33:40 »
Quote from: Lanx;504181
yea, too bad the R&D in Kinesis consists of 1 hamster in a wheel.
1. lets make a white ps/2 clone of the maltron
10 years go by
lets make it usb
5 years go by
oh lets make it black

True!

Given the hundreds of millions of everyday kb users out there, I really can't believe that there are not millions more demanding a more ergo one (and thus propelling us to more real "innovation").