Author Topic: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB  (Read 79195 times)

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Offline Matias

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[IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 01:00:02 »
69966-0



This is a new 60% keyboard based on Matias ALPS switches -- which are available in both clicky and quiet versions.  You'll be able to buy it as individual components you can use to build one yourself, or fully assembled by us (no effort required).

PC and Mac layouts are shown below, along with preliminary case drawings.



69968-1



      Arrow keys + PgUp / PgDown / Home / End

The Matias 60% has fewer compromises vs. the Poker and others out there...  You get not only arrow keys, but a full Nav Cluster, which is unheard of on a keyboard this small.



69970-2



      Awesome new 3/4u and 1.5u PBT keycaps

All of the above is possible because of the special 3/4u and 1.5u PBT keycaps we designed, and because ALPS switches can support 3/4u spacing (Cherry switches cannot).


      Cherry support for top 4 rows of keys

Having said that, we plan to offer Cherry switch support for all the keys above the bottom row, since they all use standard spacing.  This will make it much easier to find replacement keycaps.



78500-3




78502-4




78506-5




78504-6




78510-7




78508-8



      Right Fn & Menu / Option keys (for those who want them)

We understand that some people may NOT want full Nav key support.  If that's you, the kit will also support Arrow keys + Fn + Menu / Option keys on the right side.  Just solder in two switches instead of four.

Fn-Arrow keys will also map to PgUp/PgDown/Home/End to accommodate people used to that.



70125-9



      Programmability

We had requests for programmability.  In the spirit of that, we are supporting system-side Fn layer macros.  The keyboard itself will not be programmable, but each key in the Fn layer will have its own unique keycode, which you can capture and assign to a macro on your PC/Mac.  The side benefit of this is that you can assign different macros for different OSes, allowing you to use the same keyboard on multiple OSes, without conflicts.

Further in the programmability vein, we will be posting the mechanical specs of the PCB, so if you really really REALLY want it programmable, you can buy the case/plate/stab/keycap parts and make your own electronics using a Teensy or whatever.


      DIP switches for swapping Ctrl / Caps Lock and others

You will be able to set various options via DIP switches.  Ctrl / Caps Lock will be swappable, as will Esc / Tilde for the Fn layer.  You'll also be able to set the layout to PC or Mac (shown below).


      Please post with the options you want...

Please post your interest in each of the categories of options below.

Keycaps:
  • PC
  • Mac
     
  • ANSI
  • ISO
  • JIS

Nav Cluster:
  • Full Nav Cluster (option A)
  • Arrow Cluster (option B)
  • Arrow Cluster WITHOUT Delete next to Shift key (option C)

Switches:
Pre-Assembled or Kit:
  • Fully Assembled Keyboard
  • DIY Parts
  • Both



69974-10




70123-11




70131-12




69980-13




69982-14




69984-15




69978-16
« Last Edit: Tue, 14 October 2014, 18:02:04 by Matias »

Offline lenardBone

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 06:06:29 »
Tickle me interested:
PC
ANSI
Full Cluster-Option A
Quiet Switches
« Last Edit: Thu, 10 July 2014, 03:51:34 by lenardBone »

Offline spiceBar

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 06:18:51 »
This is truly awesome, Edgar.

A novel approach to the 60%, bringing it on par with the beloved TKL layout. I can see that everything has been carefully pondered, and you have listened to the community.

A daring design, but with very very few compromises. Not flashy, just designed with a lot of care for the small details, those that really matter. Designed to be productive and efficient. I can see it becoming a standard.

Naturally I really want one.

It already does everything I need, I believe. But just to be sure, a few questions:

- Will it be compatible with both USB and PS/2?

- Will Fn-CapsLock return a special code also? I think ALL keys pressed in combination with Fn should return an individual dedicated code, except Ctrl, Shift, and Alt.

- Will it be possible to get one fully assembled from you with Cherry switches on the upper ranks already soldered in (and no keycaps for these ranks if you prefer)?

- If not, will it be possible to get one fully assembled from you EXCEPT for the Cherry switches that we would have to solder ourselves?

Having Cherry switches as an option for the upper rank is a requirement for people who are not going to use the QWERTY layout, unless you are prepared to sell keycaps for a wide range of languages. With Cherry switches, we can easily source the keycaps from somewhere else and you don't have to deal with the trouble of stocking/restocking them.

My interests are:
- PC keycaps just for the bottom row
- ANSI
- Full nav cluster (Option A)
- Fully assembled with Cherry switches on the 4 top ranks
  or
  fully assembled with no switches on the 4 top ranks.
- Quiet switches

And I would love to see mockups from other angles (but I guess you are working on this already).

Offline hjkl_over_wasd

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 07:13:08 »
The basic idea is great. It's something I've actually been looking for: A 60% PCB for Matias switches.

Personally, I'm not sure what to think of the dedicated nav-keys and really like the Poker II way of doing it with the PN key and programmable layer.

The only reason for wanting to use a teensy is to have firmware defined ctrl/esc functionality for the caps-lock key. Ctrl when held down, but Esc if pressed and released. With this feature in place, it's really important to leave `~ in place for all us *nix users. Having such features defined by software, 3rd party or via the OS, is really just a clunky compromise, since nothing is more portable than having everything defined at the firmware level.

If you could have this available to the user through DIP switch settings, I would buy your keyboards in a heartbeat and would probably be able to live with the added clutter of dedicated nav-keys.

And *thick* PBT caps of course. I would easily pay an additional $90 bucks to get solid thick PBT keycaps bundled with the keyboard.

Offline BearManJim

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 08:02:25 »
Yummy!

- PC / ISO
- Full Nav Cluster (option A)
- Clicky ALPS
- Fully Assembled Keyboard
« Last Edit: Thu, 10 July 2014, 06:29:34 by BearManJim »
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Offline daerid

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[IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 09:45:25 »
Yup. Definitely interested.

RealForce 87UB55 | CODE Clears 104 | CODE Clears 87 | Infinity w/ Clears | Unicomp Ultra Classic
Previous boards: RealForce 45g 87UB | HHKB 2 PRO | Leopold FC660C | Filco MJ2 87 (Browns and Blacks) | CM QFR (Blues and Reds) | Filco MJ2  Linear-R | Poker (Reds, Browns, Blacks, Ergo Clears) | Dell AT101W | Matias TP3
Other: G403 | G Pro | Rival 700 | Castor | G502 | G602 | G600 | MX Master | Zowie EC1 CL  | Sensei | IE 3.0 | Kinzu 2 | Perf MX | Imperator | G500 | Apple Magic Mouse

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Online geniekid

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 10:08:44 »
Interested in PC/ANSI/DIY-nav/DIY-assembly.

The layout for this is interesting because it solves the lack of navigation through dedicated keys instead of through layers.  Basically you have to move your hand farther away from the home row, but in return you don't have to do chords to navigate.  I firmly believe in layers (I use R-Alt+OKL; on my TKL), but I'm excited to try this out.  At the very least I will have a very interesting Alps board to mod :)

Offline dorkvader

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 10:40:37 »
I am absolutely interested.

This will be awesome!
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Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 10:53:42 »
I've been interested for what seems like forever. So happy this is finally coming out :D.

I'd like to see the following for my own board:

Keycaps:
PC, ANSI

Nav Cluster:
Full Nav Cluster (option A)

Pre-Assembled or Kit:
DIY Parts

Would be great to have both options on the assembly and nav cluster though since options are always good. Is the case going to be polycarbonate like your other keyboards or a different material more like the Filco or Poker?
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Offline Heliosphere

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 11:02:33 »
I'm interested. PC, ANSI, option A, pre-assembled. DIY is also fine, but I don't have much experience in putting a kb together and programming a teensy.

Offline duckfeet23

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 12:31:59 »
Interested!
Interested in PC/ANSI/DIY-nav/DIY-assembly.
« Last Edit: Sun, 06 July 2014, 12:44:54 by duckfeet23 »

Offline JaccoW

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 13:05:01 »
That looks great Matias. I even like the smaller arrow keys. Though regular sizes would make replacing them a lot easier.

Keycaps:
PC
ANSI

Nav Cluster:
Full Cluster (option A)

Pre-Assembled or Kit:
Pre-assembled

I know it is a bit late to change it now but may I suggest taking a look at the Sony keyboard layout:


Smaller arrow keys that have been shifted down slightly so they still feel like a separate island.
Fn + arrow < for Home
Fn + arrow > for End
Fn + arrow ^ for Page Up
Fn + arrow v for Pagre Down

It's the same on the Leopold FC660 and it's really intuitive, especially for text editing.
« Last Edit: Fri, 11 July 2014, 03:18:30 by JaccoW »
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Offline terrpn

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 13:20:40 »
KEYCAPS.............
More

Luga G80-1865/MX Reds + Dolch G80-1813/MX Blues + G80-3700HQAUS + DK9008G2 Pro/MX Browns Thick PBT + DK9008G2 Pro/MX Clears Thick PBT +  QFR TKL/Ghetto Greens + Cherry G80-1800/MX Blues + IBM Model M SSK Bolt Modded + IBM Model M + IBM Model F + IBM AT F + Cherry G80-1000 (HAD)/MX Vintage Blacks + Razer BWU/MX Blues + Leading Edge DC2214/Blue Alps + Compaq MX11800/Browns + Chicony 5181/Monterey Blues + Chicony 5161/MX Black Cherry Clone + Focus 2001/White Alps + Chicony 5191/White Futabas + Olivetti ANK27-101 + Dell (Old Logo) AT101/Black Alps + NMB RT8255C+/Black Space Invaders + Unitek K260/Green Alps + Apple M0116/Orange Alps + AEK II M3501/Cream Alps + AEK M0115/Orange Alps + NEC  APC412/Blue Sliders + NEC APC410/Blue Sliders + Omnikey /White Alps + Wang/Yellow Alps (Omrons) + Laser/White SMK + Fame/Blue Aruz + AEK II M3501/Salmon Alps + Zenith ZKB-2R/Green Alps + Wang 724/Orange Alps + DK1087/Green Alps + Zenith ZKB-2/Yellow Alps + Dell Old Logo AT101/Salmon-Pink Alps + Leading Edge AK1012/White SMK's + Magitronic SK-1030/White (Linear) Futaba's + Packard Bell/White (Clicky) Futaba's + Datacomp DFK101/White  Alps + SGI AT101/Dampened White Alps + NMB AQ6RT-72511/Grey Space Invaders (Hi-Tek) + Datacomp/Blue Alps + Phillips 2812/White Space Invaders (Linear) + Dah Yang K251/Vintage MX Blues + Chicony 5161/DS Caps/Vintage MX Blue + Archie-NMB AQ659ZRT-725/Black Space Invader (Tactile) + IBM Model M 71G4644 (RD) Bolt Modded with Soarers Converter + IBM Model M Silver Label 1390131 + Cherry G80-1501/Vintage MX Clears + Focus FK8000/Linear Futabas + Gateway 2000 Anykey Programmable/Maxi-Switch + Dell GY13PVAT101/Dye Sub Caps/Salmon Alps + Chicony 5161/White Alps + AST K0B101/Slider over RD + Qtronix QX-32H + Everex/NMB RT8255CW+ Black Space Invaders-Split Erase + Tandon/NMB AQ659ZRT-101A/Beige Space Invaders + Cherry G80-11903 MNRUS/MX Blacks + Apple IIGS A9M0330/SMK Whites + WYSE PCE/MX Blacks + Chicony 5160AXT/Clicky Futaba + Cherry G80-0528/Vintage MX Blacks + Dell AT101/Linear (Modded) Black Alps

Offline HPE1000

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 13:30:18 »
Interested for sure  :)

Offline RED-404

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 13:41:30 »
Keycaps: PC/ANSI or JIS
Nav Cluster: Arrow Cluster (option B) but A still looks badass
Pre-Assembled or Kit: Fully Assembled Keyboard

Please don't cost too much I don't think my wallet can take it.
« Last Edit: Wed, 13 August 2014, 13:24:10 by RED-404 »

Offline spiceBar

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 16:00:09 »
That looks great Matias. I even like the smaller arrow keys. Though regular sizes would make replacing them a lot easier.

Keycaps:
PC
ANSI

Nav Cluster:
Arrow Cluster (option B)

Pre-Assembled or Kit:
Both

I know it is a bit late to change it now but may I suggest taking a look at the Sony keyboard layout:
Show Image


Smaller arrow keys that have been shifted down slightly so they still feel like a separate island.
Fn + arrow < for Home
Fn + arrow > for End
Fn + arrow ^ for Page Up
Fn + arrow v for Pagre Down

It's the same on the Leopold FC660 and it's really intuitive, especially for text editing.

This has been discussed at length in a separate thread.

Fn with the arrows to do Home/End/PgUp/PgDn is an inferior solution because we already have chords to do on the left hand with Ctrl and Shift for basic text editing.

One of the most important advantage of Matias' solution is that it has a full navigation cluster!

And if you really don't want the full navigation cluster, as you know, you have option B.

Offline belac

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 17:00:53 »
very interested

Offline dante

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 20:18:16 »
Not interested, sorry Matias :(

The whole point of 60% [IMHO of course...] is minimal movement from the home row.  You should be able to do most text navigation/editing without having to move your hand very far.

For example: Put the FN key where the right ALT is.  From there add cursor navigation on the IJKL or OKL: keys for example.

Take heart - I plan on picking up a KBParadise V60MTS (it uses your switches) when it is released so either way you get my money.

Offline mashby

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 20:29:02 »
Never imagined a bottom row quite like that. You've truly blown my mind and I'm definitely curious. Don't know that it'll become my daily driver, but I've very curious and this board is ever so clever. Nicely done!


Keycaps: Mac, ANSI

Nav Cluster: Arrow Cluster (option B)

Pre-Assembled or Kit: DIY Parts

Offline HPE1000

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 20:31:53 »
Oops

PC
ANSI
Option B
DIY

Offline Matias

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 20:43:02 »

Thanks to everyone who's replied so far!

Answers to your questions/comments are below...

I'll check back daily, and do a summary reply at the end of each day -- so feel free to post more questions if you have them.




This is truly awesome, Edgar.

A novel approach to the 60%, bringing it on par with the beloved TKL layout. I can see that everything has been carefully pondered, and you have listened to the community.



Thanks, that was the goal...  TKL usability in the space of a 60%.  :)





- Will it be compatible with both USB and PS/2?



It will be USB, but if you really need PS/2, you can use one of these StarTech adapters (also available from eBay and Amazon)... 







- Will Fn-CapsLock return a special code also? I think ALL keys pressed in combination with Fn should return an individual dedicated code, except Ctrl, Shift, and Alt.

- Will it be possible to get one fully assembled from you with Cherry switches on the upper ranks already soldered in (and no keycaps for these ranks if you prefer)?

- If not, will it be possible to get one fully assembled from you EXCEPT for the Cherry switches that we would have to solder ourselves?

Having Cherry switches as an option for the upper rank is a requirement for people who are not going to use the QWERTY layout, unless you are prepared to sell keycaps for a wide range of languages.



Fn-Caps Lock will return a unique keycode along with all the other non-modifier keys.  Fn-Arrows will map to PgUp/PgDown/Home/End to accommodate people used to that.

We won't be offering partial assembly -- that's too logistically difficult for factory production.  However, one of the PCB options will likely have all components except switches, so you solder on whichever switches you like.

We will be selling ALPS keycaps soon, in both white and black, with the following legends...

  • ANSI - US
  • ISO - UK
  • ISO - German
  • ISO - Nordic
  • ISO - French Canadian
  • Blank




The only reason for wanting to use a teensy is to have firmware defined ctrl/esc functionality for the caps-lock key. Ctrl when held down, but Esc if pressed and released. With this feature in place, it's really important to leave `~ in place for all us *nix users. Having such features defined by software, 3rd party or via the OS, is really just a clunky compromise, since nothing is more portable than having everything defined at the firmware level.



Will consider adding this.

In any case, Caps Lock / Ctrl will be switchable via a DIP.





And *thick* PBT caps of course. I would easily pay an additional $90 bucks to get solid thick PBT keycaps bundled with the keyboard.



Just to clarify, bottom row is thick PBT, but top 4 rows are ABS -- we will offer PBT for those as soon as we have tooling.





Would be great to have both options on the assembly and nav cluster though since options are always good. Is the case going to be polycarbonate like your other keyboards or a different material more like the Filco or Poker?



If we get enough people wanting assembly for A and B options, we'll offer both.  Currently it's trending towards A.

Our plan was to do the case in ABS like Filco & Poker, but if the cost difference is small, we'll upgrade it to polycarbonate.





I know it is a bit late to change it now but may I suggest taking a look at the Sony keyboard layout:
Show Image


Smaller arrow keys that have been shifted down slightly so they still feel like a separate island.
Fn + arrow < for Home
Fn + arrow > for End
Fn + arrow ^ for Page Up
Fn + arrow v for Pagre Down

It's the same on the Leopold FC660 and it's really intuitive, especially for text editing.



Yes, it will work that way.





Please don't cost too much I don't think my wallet can take it.



Cost will likely be in the $120 to $150 range, depending on how many we sell.


« Last Edit: Sun, 06 July 2014, 20:49:10 by Matias »

Offline Matias

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 20:58:17 »

Never imagined a bottom row quite like that. You've truly blown my mind and I'm definitely curious. Don't know that it'll become my daily driver, but I've very curious and this board is ever so clever. Nicely done!



Thanks, I'm pretty encouraged by the reactions so far.





Not interested, sorry Matias :(

      ...

Take heart - I plan on picking up a KBParadise V60MTS (it uses your switches) when it is released so either way you get my money.



No worries.  I don't want to compete with other projects.  This one hopes to fill a different need -- full Nav Cluster.


Offline nubbinator

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 21:14:11 »
Is bottom row bigger than 1 unit tall or is it just a scale thing?

Offline trizkut

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 21:23:08 »
Is bottom row bigger than 1 unit tall or is it just a scale thing?

They look like 1.5u tall, which makes sense since the small buttons I think are 0.75u

Offline Matias

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 21:26:13 »
Is bottom row bigger than 1 unit tall or is it just a scale thing?


Ctrl/Fn/Win keys are 1.5x1u.  Alt keys are 1.5x1.25u.  Spacebar is 1.5x4.5u.  Nav keys are 0.75x1u.


Online geniekid

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 21:42:33 »
Never imagined a bottom row quite like that. You've truly blown my mind and I'm definitely curious. Don't know that it'll become my daily driver, but I've very curious and this board is ever so clever. Nicely done!

I think you pretty much summed up my feelings about this.  Don't think it's better than my current layouts, but too curious not to try it out!  Especially since it's Alps!

Offline HotKillerZzz

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 22:25:45 »

Keycaps:
PC, ANSI

Nav Cluster:
Full Nav Cluster (option A)

Pre-Assembled or Kit:
Both

Offline Pacifist

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 22:26:39 »
Keycaps:
PC
 
ANSI

Nav Cluster:
DIY Parts for both

Pre-Assembled or Kit:
Both

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 22:35:51 »
If we get enough people wanting assembly for A and B options, we'll offer both.  Currently it's trending towards A.

Our plan was to do the case in ABS like Filco & Poker, but if the cost difference is small, we'll upgrade it to polycarbonate.

This is completely personal preference but I really don't like the look of polycarb in cases. Hoping you'll stick to ABS :D.
Please check out TactileZine.com!

Offline Matias

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 06 July 2014, 23:35:36 »
If we get enough people wanting assembly for A and B options, we'll offer both.  Currently it's trending towards A.

Our plan was to do the case in ABS like Filco & Poker, but if the cost difference is small, we'll upgrade it to polycarbonate.

This is completely personal preference but I really don't like the look of polycarb in cases. Hoping you'll stick to ABS :D.



You'll likely get your wish.

However, also I want to see how the texture on the Ergo Pro turns out.  It's polycarbonate but not shiny, so we may be pleasantly surprised.
« Last Edit: Mon, 07 July 2014, 00:38:43 by Matias »

Offline TLeigh92

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 03:55:20 »
PC
ISO
Option A
Fully assembled

This looks great Matias, very interested.

Offline AKmalamute

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 10:45:42 »
Of course you'd start this over a holiday weekend...

Still interested. PC / ANSI / DIY kit.

Maybe I didn't catch it, but what microcontroller will this have? Something with a TQFP attached directly to the board, I'd need baked on there's no way other than solder-paste to attach that many wires at once ... but if it's got its own daughter board, like the Teensy -- I can attach that, no problem.

HHKB-lite2, Dvorak user

Offline brhfl

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 14:12:55 »
Think I'd actually be interested in two of these - a Mac/ANSI w/ cluster B, and a Win/ANSI w/ cluster A.

I'd also like to put in a strong vote for the aforementioned caps-lock as ctrl/esc trick... As someone who spends a lot of time in POSIX-style shells (including using Vim and Vimlike keybindings in zsh), tilde, escape, and ctrl are all pretty important to me.

I'd vote polycarb if that was a thing to vote on too, but, y'know.

Question: Will the right alt be swappable via DIP switch to be context menu primarily, and alt on fn layer? I guess that can be handled in software as well, never really had to do that one before... But my Windows time is largely in Acrobat where using that key is the only way to avoid the mouse much of the time...

Offline FrostyToast

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 14:16:57 »
That giant spacebar has me intrigued. Wish this had an aluminum housing as well.
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Offline Matias

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 19:31:29 »

Wish this had an aluminum housing as well.


Would consider it if enough people asked for it, though it might be quite expensive -- in the $100 to $200 range just for the case.





I'd also like to put in a strong vote for the aforementioned caps-lock as ctrl/esc trick... As someone who spends a lot of time in POSIX-style shells (including using Vim and Vimlike keybindings in zsh), tilde, escape, and ctrl are all pretty important to me.


Okay, perhaps we can make this the default behaviour when Esc is swapped into the Fn layer in favour of ~`.  In other words...

  • Default setting is Esc with ~` in the Fn layer.
  • Setting the DIP to swap ~` out of the Fn layer also turns quick-press-of-Ctrl into Esc.
  • Set another DIP to swap Caps Lock and Ctrl.

Anybody have any objections to this?





Question: Will the right alt be swappable via DIP switch to be context menu primarily, and alt on fn layer? I guess that can be handled in software as well, never really had to do that one before... But my Windows time is largely in Acrobat where using that key is the only way to avoid the mouse much of the time...


Likely not, but if you need this, you could always cut the trace lines for that key, and solder a jumper from the switch pins to the pads of the Contextual Menu key in the matrix.





Maybe I didn't catch it, but what microcontroller will this have? Something with a TQFP attached directly to the board, I'd need baked on there's no way other than solder-paste to attach that many wires at once ... but if it's got its own daughter board, like the Teensy -- I can attach that, no problem.


It'll have our proprietary controller, 48-pin LQFP package.

« Last Edit: Mon, 07 July 2014, 19:35:29 by Matias »

Offline Matias

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 20:12:31 »

I'd also like to put in a strong vote for the aforementioned caps-lock as ctrl/esc trick... As someone who spends a lot of time in POSIX-style shells (including using Vim and Vimlike keybindings in zsh), tilde, escape, and ctrl are all pretty important to me.


Okay, perhaps we can make this the default behaviour when Esc is swapped into the Fn layer in favour of ~`.  In other words...

  • Default setting is Esc with ~` in the Fn layer.
  • Setting the DIP to swap ~` out of the Fn layer also turns quick-press-of-Ctrl into Esc.
  • Set another DIP to swap Caps Lock and Ctrl.


Okay, just thought of a better approach.  How about this...?

  • Setting the DIP to swap Caps Lock / Ctrl also turns quick-press-of-Ctrl into the Fn layer of Esc/~`.
  • If the Esc/~` DIP is set to Esc, then Fn+Esc or quick-press-of-Ctrl will do ~`
  • If the Esc/~` DIP is set to ~`, then Fn+~` or quick-press-of-Ctrl will do Esc

The advantage of this way is that you only get the trick when Ctrl / Caps Lock are swapped, preserving the "normal" behaviour for everybody else.  The other advantage is that you get to choose whether the trick gives you ~` or Esc.

Any objections to this approach?


Offline AKmalamute

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 21:26:47 »
The advantage of this way is that you only get the trick when Ctrl / Caps Lock are swapped, preserving the "normal" behaviour for everybody else.  The other advantage is that you get to choose whether the trick gives you ~` or Esc.

Any objections to this approach?
Sounds reasonable -- as one who will definitely swap CAPS for Ctrl early on  :rolleyes:

Your microcontroller -- will it be fully reprogrammable, like the MD page for the Ergodox...? I'm not enough of a nut to insist on source code for everything -- I just want hardware dvorak and I fully recognize I'm in the minority on that part.

HHKB-lite2, Dvorak user

Offline Heliosphere

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #37 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 21:34:14 »
What would I need in order to put together a DIY kit?

Offline Matias

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 21:35:21 »

Your microcontroller -- will it be fully reprogrammable, like the MD page for the Ergodox...? I'm not enough of a nut to insist on source code for everything -- I just want hardware dvorak and I fully recognize I'm in the minority on that part.



Not programmable, but can probably do hardware Dvorak via a DIP.


Offline AKmalamute

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #39 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 21:49:00 »
Not programmable, but can probably do hardware Dvorak via a DIP.

Thank you for considering it, then. Do you guys still / ever make a hardware-dvorak board? Seems I had an old bookmark to your company back when I was saving up for a fancy keyboard and was having a heck of a time finding dvorak boards -- the more so when I wanted more than a different keyset.

HHKB-lite2, Dvorak user

Offline Matias

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #40 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 21:49:18 »

What would I need in order to put together a DIY kit?



Kit would be something along these lines...

  • PCB   (no components)
      or
    PCB   (presoldered components but without switches)
      or
    make your own PCB from our mechanical specs.
     
  • Plate + Stabilizers
  • Case
  • Keycaps

You can buy switches from us or from somebody else.

Each of the above will be available separately, so for example, if you want a 2nd case in green, you can buy 2 and paint the 2nd one.



Offline Matias

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #41 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 21:51:51 »
Not programmable, but can probably do hardware Dvorak via a DIP.

Thank you for considering it, then. Do you guys still / ever make a hardware-dvorak board? Seems I had an old bookmark to your company back when I was saving up for a fancy keyboard and was having a heck of a time finding dvorak boards -- the more so when I wanted more than a different keyset.



Yes, we make this one...  (very nice feel but not mechanical)

      http://matias.ca/dvorak


Offline Heliosphere

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #42 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 22:03:50 »
Awesome, would a DIY kit be lower priced than an assembled kit?

Offline Matias

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #43 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 22:17:41 »

Awesome, would a DIY kit be lower priced than an assembled kit?



It's difficult to say at this early stage, but probably yes.  DIY would save you on the assembly cost, but there's extra cost/hassle associated with sorting & packing individual components for safe transport.


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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #44 on: Mon, 07 July 2014, 22:34:05 »
While I probably wouldn't be buying one I really like the design of this board.  It cures all the fears I have of going down to a 60% from full size.  Even though I have bought into the SmallFry 40%. 

If I was to purchase one it would be PC, ANSI, Option A, In a DIY kit.  The only thing I would want pre soldered is the SMD stuffs.
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #45 on: Tue, 08 July 2014, 00:27:50 »
I don’t want one of these specific layouts, but I do want to try a big pile of the new keycaps when they come out. :-)

Overall nice work though.

Offline trizkut

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #46 on: Tue, 08 July 2014, 02:15:24 »
Looks interesting. 

PC
ANSI
Full Nav Cluster (option A)
Quiet, but perfectly fine with Clicky as well
Both <--  This would imply assembled with option A with DIY parts for option B, right?
« Last Edit: Sat, 12 July 2014, 06:20:25 by trizkut »

Offline Matias

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #47 on: Tue, 08 July 2014, 02:32:46 »

Full Nav Cluster (option A)
Both <--  This would imply assembled with option A with DIY parts for option B, right?



"Both" means you're interested in a pre-assembled unit, but also in buying DIY parts.

Our expectation was that most people would want option A, and we'd offer that pre-assembled or DIY.  Option B would be DIY only.  However, if enough people also want option B pre-assembled, we'll offer that as well.

Last time I checked, we were running 2:1 in favour of option A.


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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #48 on: Tue, 08 July 2014, 07:04:46 »
That looks great Matias. I even like the smaller arrow keys. Though regular sizes would make replacing them a lot easier.

Keycaps:
PC
ANSI

Nav Cluster:
Arrow Cluster (option B)

Pre-Assembled or Kit:
Both

I know it is a bit late to change it now but may I suggest taking a look at the Sony keyboard layout:
Show Image


Smaller arrow keys that have been shifted down slightly so they still feel like a separate island.
Fn + arrow < for Home
Fn + arrow > for End
Fn + arrow ^ for Page Up
Fn + arrow v for Pagre Down

It's the same on the Leopold FC660 and it's really intuitive, especially for text editing.
+1

simpler is better
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Offline Matias

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Re: [IC] - Matias 60% ALPS keyboard with Cherry-compatible PCB
« Reply #49 on: Tue, 08 July 2014, 08:17:18 »

Okay, looks like the Full Nav Cluster (option A) is only attractive to PC users.  The (admittedly few) Mac guys are choosing option B.

So, based on feedback so far and some discussions we've had internally, I've introduced a third option C, which is Arrow keys without the Delete key next to the right Shift key...

      http://matias.ca/60

This option should be more appealing to Mac guys, and perhaps even some of the option B voters.  Ideally, by the end, I'd like to narrow it down to just two options for the GB.

Let me know what you think...


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