Author Topic: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled  (Read 5939 times)

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Offline JohanAR

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Looking to buy a couple of keyboards for work and home, not necessarily the same model.

Lately I've developed some kind of finger joint pain which I hope will get better with a more ergonomic keyboard at work. It would be nice with easier access to {[]} which require Alt Gr + 7 through 0 on a Swedish keyboard. Some Ctrl combinations are also a bit painful and I never use Caps Lock so I wouldn't mind losing that. I'd really like to try columnar or matrix layout, and then I think it should probably be split or at least a bit angled so that the fingers line up with the columns.

At home I spend most of my computer time gaming, with occasional typing and programming, so I'd rather have more physical keys within easy reach of my left hand. Doesn't have to be identical to they keyboard I get for work as long as the layout is similar enough that I won't get too confused when going between them.

As for switches I've only really tried Cherry MX Red and Black, where I thought the Blacks were too stiff for my taste. I'm not opposed to different brands and tactile switches but it would be nice to try them before I order a new keyboard with them. Maybe if someone suggests something I might like I could try to find a cheap second hand kbd with that type of switch.

So in summary:
1. Column or matrix layout
2. Split or angled
3. Silent low resistance switches
4. Can do some soldering (not surface mounted) if necessary

Keyboards I've been looking at:

ErgoDox family. Seems like an over all good keyboard, though it looks like the thumb cluster is a bit too far to the side. Lacks F-keys which is a minus for gaming but doesn't matter for work. I'd probably go for an ErgoDox Infinity in this case since I'm a bit paranoid about latency introduced by the I2C extension used in the other models. I know several people has posted that they experience no latency but I've found that people experience this differently. Problem with Infinity is that I just missed a Massdrop so it might take too long time to wait for a new drop + delivery.

Axios looks like an awesome ErgoDox fork but it could take years until those are available...

Dactyl. Another possible solution to the ErgoDox (potential) thumb issue and combines the good parts of DSA (easy to get) and sculpted (easy to reach) keycaps. Would be a top contender for work kbd if I could buy a prebuilt or kit somewhere. Ordering 3d printed case, sourcing the electronics and building it is a bit daunting.

Atreus62. Probably another good work keyboard, but I don't understand the staggering of the innermost columns. Looks like B and N are in even worse positions than on a regular layout.

The SHARK. Looks like everything I want in a keyboard except it's a one of a kind DIY project so I probably won't be able to get one.

Let's Split. Doesn't have column staggering but I wouldn't mind trying it.

Diverge TM 2. Same as above but it feels like it should have raise/lower keys (like Let's Split) instead of the 2u thumb buttons

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 12 July 2017, 15:55:10 »
The thumb cluster is not a huge issue if you are tented properly with the ergodox at high angles ,  greater than 35 degrees..  I use 55 degrees personally.


Once you get tented,  and you have the board at the proper height..   2 inches below your elbow while your arm is fully at rest..    Then the whole LAYOUT issue becomes inconsequential,


the layout simply doesn't matter that much once the larger alignments are in place..  wrist, shoulder/elbows.. 



Offline vvp

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 00:40:36 »
Kinesis Advantage or Maltron 3D are acceptable off-the-shelf keyboards. Except the case when you require high tenting like tp4. Then you need to cut them in the middle :)

Online algernon

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 01:33:10 »
ErgoDox family. Seems like an over all good keyboard, though it looks like the thumb cluster is a bit too far to the side. Lacks F-keys which is a minus for gaming but doesn't matter for work. I'd probably go for an ErgoDox Infinity in this case since I'm a bit paranoid about latency introduced by the I2C extension used in the other models. I know several people has posted that they experience no latency but I've found that people experience this differently. Problem with Infinity is that I just missed a Massdrop so it might take too long time to wait for a new drop + delivery.

The latency reported way back in the past does not exist with recent ErgoDox models. It certainly does not exist with the EZ. As far as I remember, even back in the past, the latency was a combination of bad cable and buggy firmware. Neither of those is the case with the EZ, there has been many attempts at finding latency on the EZ, without success. Don't discard a high quality product because a few people had issues with their hand-built keyboards. The two aren't comparable. So I'd still consider the EZ, because it is a very well made, and high quality keyboard, with awesome support. It also ships assembled, and fast, and has a sweet tenting/tilting kit. I own two, they are my daily drivers for over a year now, and am loving them.

I would also suggest looking at the Keyboardio Model 01, which is entering mass production, and should ship in Q3 (so likely sooner than an Infinity ErgoDox). Comes pre-assembled, is column staggered, split, can be tented or tilted, comes with Matias Quiet Click switches (which are a lot quieter than my Gateron Browns in the EZ). Compared to the ErgoDox, it has a better thumb cluster, and a palm key (which is incredibly good!). The firmware is pretty much on par with QMK & KLL that power the EZ and the Infinity Ergodox respectively. The tooling around it is a bit behind (ie, no web-based layout editor yet), but that is being addressed, and by the time the keyboard ships, tooling should be in a much better shape too.

I have a Model01 prototype, and once the final product ships, that will replace my EZ at home as my daily driver (work will remain on the EZ for the foreseeable future).

Offline vvp

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 04:33:05 »
I do not know. Keyboardio's thumb cluster is fine but its palm key is poorly placed. Too far away from palm. Almost in the middle of a thumb. What part of your hand do you press the palm key with?
People who added a palm key on their Kinesis advantage did a better job.

Online algernon

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 04:55:01 »
I do not know. Keyboardio's thumb cluster is fine but its palm key is poorly placed. Too far away from palm. Almost in the middle of a thumb. What part of your hand do you press the palm key with?
People who added a palm key on their Kinesis advantage did a better job.

I haven't tried a Kinesis, let alone one with a palm key, but the Model01's palm key feels just fine for me. I press it with outer side of my palm, if I remember correctly (I can verify once I'm home - at work at the moment, and I honestly don't remember how I press the key. I haven't been paying attention to it since reaching my ErgoDox EZ level of speed & comfort on it).

Offline JohanAR

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 08:32:07 »
I'll definitely look into tenting if I get a split keyboard. Not sure I can get the kbd below elbow height without radically changing my work position though, as I like to have the desk pretty high and rest my entire lower arms on it. Used to have problems with shoulder and elbow and sitting like this was one of the things that remedied it.

The Kinesis Adv2 does look good, and it might be easiest to get for work since it's available in stores here. It's awfully expensive though ($430 excluding sales tax, but that would only apply if I bought one for myself) so I'd have to check with my employer how much they are willing to spend.

Sounds promising that ErgoDox latency has been investigated. Have any links on hand? I did google it earlier, when I came across the post where someone claimed that the cross connect could add 13-16 ms (IIRC) based on analyzing the code and his own calculations. Don't know how much has been changed since then, or even if he was correct to begin with.

I was going to add the Model 01 to the list but I didn't have time to finish post. It might sound silly but I don't care for the esthetics of this board. I'm not too fond of maple and I think black plastic + leds look very out of place embedded in the solid wood. Maybe they'll manage to arrange custom laser engravings so I can at least have my Swedish layout but the specialized cap profiles will make it impossible to get different colors etc. from a 3rd party such as WASD or SP.. Perhaps I ought to not care about looks and focus on ergonomics though I would of course prefer to have a kbd that's both a joy to use and to look at

Diverge 3 also fell off the list mostly due that I don't like the look of it, though also because it has the same innermost column offset as the Atreus62 and I2C communication between halves which raises the same latency questions and the ErgoDox.

Online algernon

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 09:12:39 »
The Kinesis Adv2 does look good, and it might be easiest to get for work since it's available in stores here. It's awfully expensive though ($430 excluding sales tax, but that would only apply if I bought one for myself) so I'd have to check with my employer how much they are willing to spend.

It's cheaper than a laptop, and lasts a lot longer. If your company gives you a work laptop and/or a monitor, a keyboard should be well within affordable.

Quote
Sounds promising that ErgoDox latency has been investigated. Have any links on hand? I did google it earlier, when I came across the post where someone claimed that the cross connect could add 13-16 ms (IIRC) based on analyzing the code and his own calculations. Don't know how much has been changed since then, or even if he was correct to begin with.

13-16ms, that must have been terrible hardware or firmware. Such delays do not happen with the EZ. Let me see if I can dig some threads up... will report back in a bit.

Quote
I was going to add the Model 01 to the list but I didn't have time to finish post. It might sound silly but I don't care for the esthetics of this board. I'm not too fond of maple and I think black plastic + leds look very out of place embedded in the solid wood.

They also offer translucent white blanks, and they look - at least in my opinion - super good with the wood, with or without LEDs being active. With blank whites, you can set up pretty much any colorway, and the desire to try a different keycap set drops significantly.

Quote
Maybe they'll manage to arrange custom laser engravings so I can at least have my Swedish layout but the specialized cap profiles will make it impossible to get different colors etc.

White blanks, and both problems are solved. You can set the layout to anything you want, and the caps being blanks, they won't even interfere. With split & ergonomic boards, I'd recommend blanks anyway, because there's a high chance you'll want to customize the layout at least a little.

Offline Phenix

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 09:39:38 »
i use a ergodox daila. i dont got to know latencya!
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Online algernon

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 09:45:14 »
Quote
Sounds promising that ErgoDox latency has been investigated. Have any links on hand? I did google it earlier, when I came across the post where someone claimed that the cross connect could add 13-16 ms (IIRC) based on analyzing the code and his own calculations. Don't know how much has been changed since then, or even if he was correct to begin with.

13-16ms, that must have been terrible hardware or firmware. Such delays do not happen with the EZ. Let me see if I can dig some threads up... will report back in a bit.

This is what I could quckly find on the topic. That comment is pretty reassuring. If I combine it with not finding any lag reports with the EZ, I'm pretty darn sure that the issue simply does not exist, and must have been a case of bad cable or buggy firmware or both.

Another source, wherein profet23, who built quite a many ErgoDoxes, says he never experienced delays, either.

For the record, 13-16ms is huge. My EZ does at least two full scan cycles by that time, if not three, a delay of such magnitude would be noticable by anyone who types at a reasonably fast speed, or games a fair amount. If there would be such issues, that would have came out during QC, anyway.

I'm not sure how QMK works in this regard, but I'd assume it works similarly to Kaleidoscope (which powers the Keyboardio Model01), in which it polls the other half synchronously, to the best of my knowledge: so if there's a latency, it will affect both sides. Now, with the Model01, I could get down to 3ms scan cycles, with the EZ, to about 5-6ms if I remember correctly. If the EZ polls the other half synchronously as well, then this pretty much rules out 13+ms delays.
« Last Edit: Thu, 13 July 2017, 09:51:59 by algernon »

Offline hoggy

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 13 July 2017, 14:43:02 »
How about TouchCursor - you could map 'shift and space' for most keys, and make the [] keys easier. 
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http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline JohanAR

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 15 August 2017, 09:35:41 »
Back from vacation now, so I can continue deliberating which kbd to get.

Well, there's probably no extra latency with the Ergodox, just my paranoia :) The thing is that it's really difficult to notice input lag unless doing side-by-side tests or properly measuring it, seems like the brain is very good at compensating for it.. For example I played FPS games using a wireless mouse for a year without noticing any lag, but when I switched to a corded mouse it felt like the pointer was moving before I had moved my hand.

On a semi-related note I just read that InputClub is working on making the ErgoDox Infinity generally available: https://www.reddit.com/r/ergodox/comments/6ti8kt/building_my_first_infinity_need_advice_please/dlkz6sb/

TouchCursor seems like a nice idea, and there's probably something similar for Linux, but I'd prefer a hardware solution that I can bring to work where I'm not able to install arbitrary software.

Offline iMav

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 15 August 2017, 09:42:53 »
I've used a Kinesis Advantage for years.  Can't recommend it highly enough!

Offline pluplog

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 18 August 2017, 02:33:29 »
I too, type on a Kinesis on a daily basis. It can be a week or two to getting used to it, if you can try it first, say at a meetup, before you take the plunge that would be ideal. I use one at home with foot pedals, while at work I operate off a standing desk so I have the palm mods.
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Offline Phenix

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 18 August 2017, 03:39:58 »
is The Kinesis Advantage working on Win7 for you?
I got one, and it doesnt like Win7 - any idea to fix that?

(Im thinking about installing teensy-like controller - if I would be more advanced at setting up code I  would use a feather, as I  like BT)
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Offline hoggy

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 20 August 2017, 00:37:29 »
Mine works fine with win 7, what is it doing / not doing?
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Offline Phenix

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 20 August 2017, 02:22:52 »
Mine works fine with win 7, what is it doing / not doing?
- it only gets displayed as 'usb device'
- beeps on every click
- doesnt write
- leds light up
- it is resettable (leds light combo works)
- still doesnt write.

my idea was to Teensy mod it.
Ideally with the feather for bluetooth.. (tough there are no straight guides for Advantage-Bluetooth-mod) and add a trackpoint as well.

Likely this will be PITA as I am bad at firmware..
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Offline hoggy

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 20 August 2017, 03:11:42 »
Kinesis's support is very good.  Well worth getting in touch with them.
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Offline vvp

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 20 August 2017, 05:18:38 »
Kinesis had some problems with Advantage1 and Win7. It works fine for me though.


Offline Phenix

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 24 September 2017, 12:37:47 »
Trade it in for a classic, all my kinesis boards are ps2, only.

Didnt found a Classic Contoured for sell.. sadly, as white looks imho quite nice
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Offline JohanAR

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 25 September 2017, 03:13:36 »
Asked my boss about getting a Kinesis Adv. and first she said she'd order one for me but the day after she changed her mind, citing some expense limiting within the company. However, there was one a Kinesis in a storage room in one of our offices that I could have, she said. But when I managed to contact someone working in that office it turned out that the keyboard was nowhere to be found.

As for my home keyboard I'm building a Nyquist. Perhaps matrix layout isn't optimal but it was pretty cheap and I'll probably build something ergo-shaped, possibly an Iris, later.

Offline vvp

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #22 on: Mon, 25 September 2017, 04:59:40 »
However, there was one a Kinesis in a storage room in one of our offices that I could have, she said. But when I managed to contact someone working in that office it turned out that the keyboard was nowhere to be found.
Of course it was nowhere to be found. Such a comfy keyboard was already grabbed by somebody :))

Offline pr0ximity

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 25 September 2017, 06:34:36 »
What kind of finger joint pain (which joint)? Do you know what causes it?

I've not heard of split or ortho keyboards helping with finger joint pain before, is why I ask. Doesn't make sense to me right off, so I'm curious to hear more. Maybe if you're talking knuckle pain from your fingers splaying out?

I'm also skeptical that a higher desk resting your arms at presumably a wide angle will be better in the long run for your shoulders and elbows. You typically want to strive for more neutral posture, from my understanding.
« Last Edit: Mon, 25 September 2017, 06:37:44 by pr0ximity »

Offline OfTheWild

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #24 on: Mon, 25 September 2017, 22:59:40 »
There are a whole bunch of really really affordable ortho boards getting produced by u/that_canadian and bakingpy / keeb.io both regular boards like the Eco, and then a bunch of split and split ergo boards. Definitely a great way to go if you're interested in testing out this style board but you dont want to drop a ton of money on something.

it only took me 23 minutes to type this post on my Planck! I'm going to wear out that backspace key until I stop hitting cv and nm. Fun times.
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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 26 September 2017, 01:34:07 »
Where in Sweden are you? If you are in Stockholm, I could let you test my Kinesis Advantage (not Advantage2).

I have known programmers that switched to an English layout when programming, just to get the {[]} symbols more accessible.
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Offline JohanAR

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 26 September 2017, 02:36:47 »
Where in Sweden are you? If you are in Stockholm, I could let you test my Kinesis Advantage (not Advantage2).

I have known programmers that switched to an English layout when programming, just to get the {[]} symbols more accessible.

Thanks for the offer but I'm in Gothenburg so a little too far. Going US/UK layout would probably help but I would also like to have a fully programmable keyboard with layers (so I don't have to move my hands if I need arrow keys etc.) and I kind of like they DIY aspect too :)

What kind of finger joint pain (which joint)? Do you know what causes it?

I've not heard of split or ortho keyboards helping with finger joint pain before, is why I ask. Doesn't make sense to me right off, so I'm curious to hear more. Maybe if you're talking knuckle pain from your fingers splaying out?

I'm also skeptical that a higher desk resting your arms at presumably a wide angle will be better in the long run for your shoulders and elbows. You typically want to strive for more neutral posture, from my understanding.

Yes, what you call knuckle pain might be more correct, I thought knuckles and joints were pretty much the same. The worst is when I have to curl my thumb to hit AltGr + 7,8,9 or 0 for {[]} but I also experience some discomfort when pressing the letter B or doing some Ctrl/Super combos. These could be alleviated by switching to US/UK layout, as Findecanor suggested, moving my entire hand when typing B and getting better at using the opposite hand modifiers when pressing combos but I think getting a proper ergo board would be even better.

I did suffer some pain in other finger joints as well but that got better when I managed to find a Dell scissor switch kb to replace the stiff HP rubber dome I was given at work. I also brought a gaming mouse from home which required less click force than the standard office mouse.

My position is similar to [this](http://www.ucop.edu/risk-services/_images/ergo/correct-posture-p.png) except I sit very close to the desk so I use it as arm rests instead of the chair. I also move around and sit in weird positions because I don't like sitting in the same position for many hours but I haven't had any problems with back/shoulders/elbows/wrists the last ~13 years

There are a whole bunch of really really affordable ortho boards getting produced by u/that_canadian and bakingpy / keeb.io both regular boards like the Eco, and then a bunch of split and split ergo boards. Definitely a great way to go if you're interested in testing out this style board but you dont want to drop a ton of money on something.

it only took me 23 minutes to type this post on my Planck! I'm going to wear out that backspace key until I stop hitting cv and nm. Fun times.

I'm familiar with keeb.io but I'll have to look up that_canadian. How long have you been using the Planck? Keep practicing! :)

Offline pr0ximity

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #27 on: Tue, 26 September 2017, 06:13:46 »
What kind of finger joint pain (which joint)? Do you know what causes it?

I've not heard of split or ortho keyboards helping with finger joint pain before, is why I ask. Doesn't make sense to me right off, so I'm curious to hear more. Maybe if you're talking knuckle pain from your fingers splaying out?

I'm also skeptical that a higher desk resting your arms at presumably a wide angle will be better in the long run for your shoulders and elbows. You typically want to strive for more neutral posture, from my understanding.

Yes, what you call knuckle pain might be more correct, I thought knuckles and joints were pretty much the same. The worst is when I have to curl my thumb to hit AltGr + 7,8,9 or 0 for {[]} but I also experience some discomfort when pressing the letter B or doing some Ctrl/Super combos. These could be alleviated by switching to US/UK layout, as Findecanor suggested, moving my entire hand when typing B and getting better at using the opposite hand modifiers when pressing combos but I think getting a proper ergo board would be even better.

I did suffer some pain in other finger joints as well but that got better when I managed to find a Dell scissor switch kb to replace the stiff HP rubber dome I was given at work. I also brought a gaming mouse from home which required less click force than the standard office mouse.

My position is similar to [this](http://www.ucop.edu/risk-services/_images/ergo/correct-posture-p.png) except I sit very close to the desk so I use it as arm rests instead of the chair. I also move around and sit in weird positions because I don't like sitting in the same position for many hours but I haven't had any problems with back/shoulders/elbows/wrists the last ~13 years

Ah I see what you mean by a higher desk and resting your arms now, makes sense.

And yup, ergo board sounds like it might help out :) Lots of people complain about pain in the outer joints of their fingers which I think is, as you mentioned, caused more by stiff keypresses.

Carry on!

Offline vvp

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #28 on: Tue, 26 September 2017, 08:39:00 »
Shifts belong on thumbs :)
Get a keyboard with thumb buttons so that you can move all modifiers on thumbs.

Offline Phenix

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #29 on: Sat, 30 September 2017, 12:26:45 »
Shifts belong on thumbs :)
Get a keyboard with thumb buttons so that you can move all modifiers on thumbs.

For Germans eg: definitely. For writing English it’d more important to have space, enter, backspace... on the thumbs
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Online algernon

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #30 on: Sat, 30 September 2017, 16:31:14 »
Shifts belong on thumbs :)
Get a keyboard with thumb buttons so that you can move all modifiers on thumbs.

For Germans eg: definitely. For writing English it’d more important to have space, enter, backspace... on the thumbs

You can have it all on the thumbs, thankfully! Shift & Backspace on one thumb, space & enter on the other, and voila. Making your shift one-shot, you won't have any chording problems, thus there is little need for a second shift! ;)

(For the record, I'm writing English and Hungarian with a layout where *all* modifiers are on the thumbs, and so are backspace, enter, and space, among other things. It works like wonder.)

Offline JohanAR

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 02 October 2017, 05:43:07 »
Got an email saying that they managed to locate the keyboard (previously referred to as a used Kinesis sitting in a storage room) so I went over there to get it. Turns out it actually was a Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic keyboard  >:D

Offline Phenix

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 12 October 2017, 16:13:14 »
Shifts belong on thumbs :)
Get a keyboard with thumb buttons so that you can move all modifiers on thumbs.

For Germans eg: definitely. For writing English it’d more important to have space, enter, backspace... on the thumbs

You can have it all on the thumbs, thankfully! Shift & Backspace on one thumb, space & enter on the other, and voila. Making your shift one-shot, you won't have any chording problems, thus there is little need for a second shift! ;)

(For the record, I'm writing English and Hungarian with a layout where *all* modifiers are on the thumbs, and so are backspace, enter, and space, among other things. It works like wonder.)

I know. I have it setup like (ergodox:)
backspace, shift --- enter, space (on the 2u keys)
Interestingly I prefer using modifiers in the left-bottom corner, so not quite on the thumbs..
Dunno why.

OneShot keys are awesome, love em
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Offline JohanAR

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Offline hoggy

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #34 on: Sat, 21 October 2017, 02:15:31 »
Nice!  Glad you got there in the end.  I like your view from the office too.
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline abfackeln

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #35 on: Sat, 21 October 2017, 21:25:46 »
is The Kinesis Advantage working on Win7 for you?
...
- beeps on every click

I have been using a Kinesis Advantage for a few years now.  Originally on Win7 and I had no problems.  Well, I say no problems but what I mean is that I was able to figure out a way to fix it relatively quickly.  For example, once it was stuck in some media mode where all the F-keys would do silly things like boot up a browser, and once I also had the "beeps on every click" problem.  But so far every problem I have had was fixed by some magic key-combination which was found on the troubleshooting page of the Kinesis site.  For example, this:

Quote
To disable the “click” noise, press and hold the Progrm key and tap the piples/backslash key (the key directly to the right of the letter “P”).
https://www.kinesis-ergo.com/support/technical-support/faqs-advantage-keyboard/

It looks like there is a known problem on the original advantage keyboards with win7 and usb3.  the suggested work-around is to use usb2, if you can.  I suspect I never had usb3 on the win7 box I was using.

Offline SamirD

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #36 on: Wed, 01 November 2017, 22:48:00 »
Victory at last!
Awesome!  Has it helped with the pain?

And I have to second that your view is quite nice.  :thumb:  It's always nice to have what I call 'the human fishbowl' to clear your head and relax you.  :cool:

Offline JohanAR

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #37 on: Fri, 03 November 2017, 02:45:06 »
Victory at last!
Awesome!  Has it helped with the pain?

And I have to second that your view is quite nice.  :thumb:  It's always nice to have what I call 'the human fishbowl' to clear your head and relax you.  :cool:

Yep, much better already. Thumb joints still feel a bit numb (constantly, not just while typing) but the pain is gone. Pressing shift with pinkies is a little uncomfortable, not worse than a regular keyboard and probably only because I had some joint pain before switching to this board. Still fine tuning my keymap but I haven't found a way to put shift on a thumb button that allows for easy access to all shift+modifier+letter combos

Typing speed is slowly recovering and I still make more mistakes than usual, but it still feels more natural to type on this board. I just have to add some dampening material to the insides to reduce the resonance in the case and maybe lube these MX browns which I find kind of scratchy. Wish there was some cheap way of dampening the upstroke of the keys

I got real lucky getting this desk at work :) It's a big company and I could've gotten one in the middle of a room or facing away from the windows

Offline Phenix

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #38 on: Fri, 03 November 2017, 06:08:03 »
Victory at last!
Awesome!  Has it helped with the pain?

And I have to second that your view is quite nice.  :thumb:  It's always nice to have what I call 'the human fishbowl' to clear your head and relax you.  :cool:

Yep, much better already. Thumb joints still feel a bit numb (constantly, not just while typing) but the pain is gone. Pressing shift with pinkies is a little uncomfortable, not worse than a regular keyboard and probably only because I had some joint pain before switching to this board. Still fine tuning my keymap but I haven't found a way to put shift on a thumb button that allows for easy access to all shift+modifier+letter combos

Typing speed is slowly recovering and I still make more mistakes than usual, but it still feels more natural to type on this board. I just have to add some dampening material to the insides to reduce the resonance in the case and maybe lube these MX browns which I find kind of scratchy. Wish there was some cheap way of dampening the upstroke of the keys

I got real lucky getting this desk at work :) It's a big company and I could've gotten one in the middle of a room or facing away from the windows

now you should mod your kinesis to QMK so that you can do fancy stuff like remapping and tap-dancing..

https://www.reddit.com/r/mechmarket/comments/7a5j47/gb_kinesis_qmk_mod_kit_using_stapelberg/
Winter is coming.

Offline JohanAR

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #39 on: Fri, 03 November 2017, 08:29:15 »
now you should mod your kinesis to QMK so that you can do fancy stuff like remapping and tap-dancing..

https://www.reddit.com/r/mechmarket/comments/7a5j47/gb_kinesis_qmk_mod_kit_using_stapelberg/

It's fairly easy to remap using the default firmware and I've changed the layout quite a bit already. Though the more I've learned about advanced keyboarding the more I've come to see the shortcomings of hardware keymaps and layers, as you'll always be limited by USB HID and your sw keymap. I've used the Kinesis' extra layer to relocate arrows, F-keys and a few others but to go further I think I have work with Linux software keymaps.

Offline SamirD

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #40 on: Fri, 03 November 2017, 09:34:09 »
Victory at last!
Awesome!  Has it helped with the pain?

And I have to second that your view is quite nice.  :thumb:  It's always nice to have what I call 'the human fishbowl' to clear your head and relax you.  :cool:

Yep, much better already. Thumb joints still feel a bit numb (constantly, not just while typing) but the pain is gone. Pressing shift with pinkies is a little uncomfortable, not worse than a regular keyboard and probably only because I had some joint pain before switching to this board. Still fine tuning my keymap but I haven't found a way to put shift on a thumb button that allows for easy access to all shift+modifier+letter combos

Typing speed is slowly recovering and I still make more mistakes than usual, but it still feels more natural to type on this board. I just have to add some dampening material to the insides to reduce the resonance in the case and maybe lube these MX browns which I find kind of scratchy. Wish there was some cheap way of dampening the upstroke of the keys

I got real lucky getting this desk at work :) It's a big company and I could've gotten one in the middle of a room or facing away from the windows
That's good to hear that the pain has stopped on the thumb--that means that you're no longer damaging the nerve.  I think one of the recommended relief methods for my brother's carpel tunnel before he had surgery was to use cold compresses to help the swelling of the nerve, which is what is causing your numbness.  I know it won't be possible to do this at work, but if you can do it for 15mins a day after you get home, I think have a good chance to heal completely back to normal.  :thumb:




Offline natas206

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #41 on: Fri, 03 November 2017, 11:04:23 »

Typing speed is slowly recovering and I still make more mistakes than usual, but it still feels more natural to type on this board. I just have to add some dampening material to the insides to reduce the resonance in the case and maybe lube these MX browns which I find kind of scratchy. Wish there was some cheap way of dampening the upstroke of the keys

I got real lucky getting this desk at work :) It's a big company and I could've gotten one in the middle of a room or facing away from the windows

It sounds like you would prefer the "LF" model, which uses Cherry Red switches. I am a Cherry Red convert myself after typing on Browns for 10+ years.  Rather than replacing the keyboard entirely with an Advantage-LF or the new Adv2-LF (which has many improvements such as mechanical function keys and all new electronics & firmware), you could either buy replacement Left & Right Cherry Red keywells directly from Kinesis and some thumb key switches, or you can get a "bare parts kit" for only $40 (availible for both original Advantage and newer Advantage2) and source your own key switches. Here is a good blog from a user who converted their Advantage to Cherry Blues using a bare parts kit that you may find useful.




Regarding Windows 7 - there is a compatibility issue with the original Advantage keyboard and Windows 7 USB 3.0 driver. It wasn't always the case but at some point there was a Windows update that must have changed the USB 3.0 driver and caused the Advantage to fail (all four LEDs stay on, only the hub is identified). But as others have pointed out there are work-arounds (either convert it to PS/2 and use a USB adaptor (you can get a "cable conversion kit" from Kinesis) or there may be some settings in the BIOS of the computer that could allow the keyboard to work (see USB 3.0 issues).
« Last Edit: Fri, 03 November 2017, 11:06:43 by natas206 »

Offline moosedawg

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #42 on: Fri, 03 November 2017, 22:33:11 »
Nice!  Glad you got there in the end.  I like your view from the office too.

Yay! Congrats! I too was noticing the nice view you have from your office. Is that the used Kinesis, or did your company finally buy one for you? Either way, glad you were able to get one. And definitely your joint pain most likely comes from how hard you have to smash the keys on a rubber dome keyboard. Mechanical switches are the only way to go, IMO.

Offline JohanAR

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #43 on: Sun, 05 November 2017, 02:14:17 »
That's good to hear that the pain has stopped on the thumb--that means that you're no longer damaging the nerve.  I think one of the recommended relief methods for my brother's carpel tunnel before he had surgery was to use cold compresses to help the swelling of the nerve, which is what is causing your numbness.  I know it won't be possible to do this at work, but if you can do it for 15mins a day after you get home, I think have a good chance to heal completely back to normal.  :thumb:

Thanks! I'll look it up. I think I have more arthritis-like problems rather than carpal tunnel, or maybe there's some overlap between the two.

It sounds like you would prefer the "LF" model, which uses Cherry Red switches. I am a Cherry Red convert myself after typing on Browns for 10+ years.

I probably would. I'm using MX reds at home and I'm building a new kbd with silent reds. Problem is that the Kinesis belongs to my employer and I'm not sure if I'll be able to buy it from them if I go somewhere else, so I'm reluctant to put any money into it. Thinking about lubing the browns and installing some dampening inside the case though.

If I had bought it directly I would likely been able to swap it for a LF version (the one with Swedish layout was only available with browns but it wouldn't matter much if I got one with US) since we have a law allowing you to return goods bought online within 30 days for any reason. But I asked my boss, who talked with the guys in the IT department, who placed an order with some external company that buys things for us, who then bought the keyboard from the online store that has them. Just feels like too much trouble to go through

Yay! Congrats! I too was noticing the nice view you have from your office. Is that the used Kinesis, or did your company finally buy one for you? Either way, glad you were able to get one. And definitely your joint pain most likely comes from how hard you have to smash the keys on a rubber dome keyboard. Mechanical switches are the only way to go, IMO.

I don't think the used Kinesis ever existed. Someone probably heard "ergonomic keyboard" and thought of that other one they dug up

Offline natas206

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #44 on: Mon, 06 November 2017, 10:56:49 »
If I had bought it directly I would likely been able to swap it for a LF version (the one with Swedish layout was only available with browns but it wouldn't matter much if I got one with US) since we have a law allowing you to return goods bought online within 30 days for any reason. But I asked my boss, who talked with the guys in the IT department, who placed an order with some external company that buys things for us, who then bought the keyboard from the online store that has

I see. Not that matters much now but the Swedish version is only different due to the firmware version and several Swedish labeled key caps. You could take any non-Swedish version of the keyboard, like the LF, download the necessary firmware and either get the Swedish key caps directly from Kinesis or just label them yourself. Here is the default Swedish layout (looks like there are 12 or 13 key caps different from the standard US layout).   



Offline JohanAR

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #45 on: Tue, 07 November 2017, 09:04:57 »
Didn't realize you were the Kinesis rep until now. You should make a version of the keyboard with silent reds :) So far my coworkers haven't complained but my keyboard is definitely the loudest in the team. I think it would also be good if you managed to reduce the amount of resonance in the case for Advantage3

As for me, I think it should be possible to get a tool and open up all the switches and put silent red stems in them. Ought to be cheaper than replacing the keywells, easier than re-soldering each key and I'd get silenced switches that aren't normally available. The housing for MX brown and (silent) reds are identical, right? Maybe I'll do it if I can buy this kbd from my employer eventually, or if I find really cheap silent red stems somewhere

Offline Phenix

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #46 on: Tue, 07 November 2017, 09:31:04 »
Didn't realize you were the Kinesis rep until now. You should make a version of the keyboard with silent reds :) So far my coworkers haven't complained but my keyboard is definitely the loudest in the team. I think it would also be good if you managed to reduce the amount of resonance in the case for Advantage3

As for me, I think it should be possible to get a tool and open up all the switches and put silent red stems in them. Ought to be cheaper than replacing the keywells, easier than re-soldering each key and I'd get silenced switches that aren't normally available. The housing for MX brown and (silent) reds are identical, right? Maybe I'll do it if I can buy this kbd from my employer eventually, or if I find really cheap silent red stems somewhere

Please tell us if that works, afaik the keywells are plate mounted..
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Offline natas206

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #47 on: Tue, 07 November 2017, 10:56:22 »
Didn't realize you were the Kinesis rep until now. You should make a version of the keyboard with silent reds :) So far my coworkers haven't complained but my keyboard is definitely the loudest in the team. I think it would also be good if you managed to reduce the amount of resonance in the case for Advantage3

As for me, I think it should be possible to get a tool and open up all the switches and put silent red stems in them. Ought to be cheaper than replacing the keywells, easier than re-soldering each key and I'd get silenced switches that aren't normally available. The housing for MX brown and (silent) reds are identical, right? Maybe I'll do it if I can buy this kbd from my employer eventually, or if I find really cheap silent red stems somewhere

Eh, I wasn't very impressed with the "silent" switches. I think that word has a completely different meaning when it comes to keyboards. A more honest name would be something like "Cherry slightly-muted-Reds".  I think if we sold a version of our keyboard with "silent" switches advertised, we would have a lot of disappointed customers.   

Personally, I prefer Cherry Reds with rubber O-rings installed on the thumb keys which I tend to bang away more than I do with the alpha/numeric keys, plus I do like the "thud" sound it generates for the space key, but that's just me :)

 

Offline JohanAR

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #48 on: Wed, 08 November 2017, 04:47:30 »
Please tell us if that works, afaik the keywells are plate mounted..

Ahh, didn't think about that. Never opened any switches before but I looked it up and it seems like this operation would be impossible because of the plate mount :(

@natas206 did you try them in an Advantage prototype or some other keyboard? I have a few that I haven't installed in a keyboard yet and I think the switch itself is quite silent but the final key stroke sound will probably depend just as much plate material/thickness and case construction.

Offline natas206

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Re: Help me decide on ergonomical keyboards, pref. ortho + split/angled
« Reply #49 on: Wed, 08 November 2017, 10:57:45 »
Please tell us if that works, afaik the keywells are plate mounted..

Ahh, didn't think about that. Never opened any switches before but I looked it up and it seems like this operation would be impossible because of the plate mount :(

@natas206 did you try them in an Advantage prototype or some other keyboard? I have a few that I haven't installed in a keyboard yet and I think the switch itself is quite silent but the final key stroke sound will probably depend just as much plate material/thickness and case construction.

Testing a key switch outside of a keyboard isn't a very good test because all Cherry switches are virtually silent (besides the clicky types). The noise people are referring to when it comes to mechanical keyboards is the sound that is caused when bottoming out of the key and the release of the key, which you're not going to hear when pressing a single key switch outside of a keyboard.   "When you press the key all the way down, also known as bottom-out, the keycap stem will hit the switch box. This produces the infamous and most noisy “clack” sound" (link to informative blog) Installing rubber O-rings or soft pad will reduce the "clack" sound (and typically creates more of a "thud" sound).  PCB or Plate mounted also makes a difference as well.


Cherry let us test some "silent" Reds when they first were designed. I installed some on a keywell of an Advantage keyboard (standard Reds on one keywell, silent Reds on the other keywell) and the difference was minor and certainly wasn't silent (they are more "muted" and I'm sure some people may prefer this sound over standard switches, but to me calling them silent is more of a marketing term).

btw, I still think your best bet is to get the bare parts and install your own switches, which really isn't that hard to do (time consuming, yes, but not too difficult). This is what is included in the kit.  Insert your switches and diodes like so and solder them.
« Last Edit: Wed, 08 November 2017, 11:08:47 by natas206 »