Author Topic: Thoughts about split space bar?  (Read 1922 times)

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Offline geauxflying

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Thoughts about split space bar?
« on: Mon, 31 May 2021, 02:06:53 »
I'm starting a Boston Keyboard build, a very nice board. It looks like Pylon has done a great job with it. This is my first keyboard build (not my first experience soldering, or building anything... but my first time to solder a keyboard, so should be fun).

My best modern keyboard until now has been a GMMK full size, with Kailh Box Pink switches. I HATED the way the space bar sounded on the GMMK with the box pink switches, I had to change the space bar switch back to Gateron Brown (all the other switches are Kailh Box Pink). The problem was on the return of the spacebar. I'm assuming that this is more a function of the stabilizer rather than the switch (since none of the other keys do it) but it made a terrible racket when released, and it doesn't now that I changed the space bar back to gateron brown. Since the Boston Keyboard from Pylon will accommodate a few different bottom row options, I'm considering using one of the split spacebar options (2.25/1.25/2.75) to mitigate space bar noise. Would this be worth it? Does anyone else use a 3-piece space bar? What do you do with the key assignments? Are they all spaces, or do you use backsp/somethingelseinthemiddle/space?

I'm kind of leaning towards Kailh Box Pinks again- they are the closest thing I have found to a Model F in a MX-style switch. I like the slight sound, and very good tactility, but I still seem to bottom out more than I think I would prefer. I wouldn't mind them being a little heavier, but I don't think I want to get a lot louder... I would just use a model F if it's going to be louder. I wouldn't mind a tactile switch, but I haven't experienced ANY that I think are truly "tactile." Cherry MX clears have been the best tactile switch I have found so far.

Offline MIGHTY CHICKEN

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 31 May 2021, 11:17:26 »
I'm sure it'll probably sound better.
Key wise, I usually would have Space, FN, Another layer key
but this is a big board, so I don't know if you will need the layer keys

Offline haplopoda

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 31 May 2021, 13:34:15 »
I use split spacebars on my daily driver (DZ60 with wooden case) solely because of the sound, haha. The way I assigned them was space on tap and layer on hold on the 2.25u and 2.75u keys, and the middle one is space only. I rarely use them for layers though, since I have most of the keys I need on a 60% without layers, but it would be hard to go back to normal spacebars since split spacebars sound much better for me.

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Offline Volny

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 31 May 2021, 21:38:07 »
Take the spacebar keycap off your current keyboard and type some stuff. And if you use any programs that require spacebar for more than just typing a space (eg. dragging canvas in Photoshop, jumping in games), then use those for a few minutes too. Every time you go to hit space, take note of where you do it. Removing the keycap obviously isn't necessary but (through the formidable power of frustration :D ) will make you hyper-conscious about your finger placement.

For example, if you're like me, and you find that you almost always hit the rightmost 25% of the spacebar, then it would make little sense to make the left and middle keys duplicate spacebars. Better to use that prime real estate for something that will actually benefit you, like a faraway key you use a lot (eg. DEL, ESC, F2, F5) or a macro (eg. by using a simple Autohotkey script, I've converted my Fn key to popup a Google search box, automatically filling it with any text I have selected - very handy!). At the very least, making the little 1u key into another spacebar seems a waste to me. My guess is that your thumbs would gravitate toward the bigger spacebar(s) and the 1u one would remain almost entirely unused.

Offline geauxflying

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 06 June 2021, 20:33:48 »
Take the spacebar keycap off your current keyboard and type some stuff. And if you use any programs that require spacebar for more than just typing a space (eg. dragging canvas in Photoshop, jumping in games), then use those for a few minutes too. Every time you go to hit space, take note of where you do it. Removing the keycap obviously isn't necessary but (through the formidable power of frustration :D ) will make you hyper-conscious about your finger placement.

For example, if you're like me, and you find that you almost always hit the rightmost 25% of the spacebar, then it would make little sense to make the left and middle keys duplicate spacebars. Better to use that prime real estate for something that will actually benefit you, like a faraway key you use a lot (eg. DEL, ESC, F2, F5) or a macro (eg. by using a simple Autohotkey script, I've converted my Fn key to popup a Google search box, automatically filling it with any text I have selected - very handy!). At the very least, making the little 1u key into another spacebar seems a waste to me. My guess is that your thumbs would gravitate toward the bigger spacebar(s) and the 1u one would remain almost entirely unused.

LOL, this is brilliant, I did it! It only took about 30 seconds to figures out that 99% of the time I'm striking the space bar directly below the "N" key with my right thumb. I don't think I use my left thumb for anything when typing.

Offline Volny

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 06 June 2021, 22:26:11 »
Cool :)

I was exactly the same. It came as quite a surprise to me, actually. I assumed I would press spacebar all over the place, but turns out that I don't really need a 6.25u spacebar -  a 1u spacebar would be enough   :D

Offline gh_pp

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 07 June 2021, 16:43:28 »
I have gone full split spacebar layout and won't be going back to full size spacebar

See my review here

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=112840.msg3049463

and another research here

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=109459.msg3044379


QFR brown x2, Realforce 45G, Type-S, Keycool 22 blue

Previous keyboards: 55G, IBM Model M, Dell AT101W, Fujitsu FKB4725, G80-3000 clear, QFS green, QFS blue

[WTB] Custom keyboard build

Offline Leopard223

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 07 June 2021, 20:20:35 »
I personally would have loved to use split fpacebar but I found that I often hit the spacebar in the middle.

Offline azzipa

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 07 June 2021, 20:25:26 »
I personally would have loved to use split fpacebar but I found that I often hit the spacebar in the middle.

me too, actually, as a thumb tapper. so i was thinking about a new layout: either 2/3/2 or 2/2.25/2 (for 7u and 6.25u, respectively)

Offline gh_pp

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 07 June 2021, 23:42:12 »
I think 2/3/2 would make the most sense, but my guess is that the 2.25 1.25 2.75 or 2.75 1.25 2.25 combo is adapted because in most keycap sets you'd get those concave 2.25 2.75 shift compat kits that you can use for those spots.

That's a practical consideration, but I found that those shift keys being concave are actually not comfortable to use with your thumb.

And hunting down 1.25u convex key is very difficult.
So my opinion is that 2/3/2 or 2/2/3 would be better (granted, you'd have to get separate mini spacebar kit, but you'd have much better chance of getting 3u convex, 2u convex)

QFR brown x2, Realforce 45G, Type-S, Keycool 22 blue

Previous keyboards: 55G, IBM Model M, Dell AT101W, Fujitsu FKB4725, G80-3000 clear, QFS green, QFS blue

[WTB] Custom keyboard build

Offline CosmosAtlas

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 09 June 2021, 03:37:16 »
Below are my thoughts based on my personal experience with split space bars.

Keyboards I've used with split spacebar:

- Tina variant C (real HHKB, i.e., 6u spacebar version)
- 0.01 Z70 keyboard
- KBD Maja (Alice "clone")

The most important thing:

Know the exact position where your fingers press the spacebar!!

Know the exact position where your fingers press the spacebar!!

Know the exact position where your fingers press the spacebar!!

Repeated three times for highlight.

When you have decided on the splits for your spacebar, make sure that you fingers press somewhere in the middle of the spacebar keys. Otherwise it'll be very uncomfortable, because you either often miss clicked due to your fingers naturally lies between two keycaps or you have to readjust where your fingers are to press the space bar.

Now when you have chosen a split spacebar location that does not interfere with your natural way of pressing the space key. The worst scenario of the split spacebar issue is you are not using the splits. While you gain no benefits from it, it also dose no harm to your existing way of using keyboards. It might feel a bit different than using the large spacebar, but from my personal experience, it doesn't really matter that much.

Now for the utility point of having split spacebars (again, based on my personal experience):

When I'm tying, I exclusively use my right thumb to press the spacebar. And my pressing location is somewhere under the "B" and "N" key on an ANSI keyboard. However, when gaming, I have to use the left hand for pressing the spacebar in games (as many games needs to use the spacebar).

Now here is the issue, if I want a split spacebar layout, I need to have two spaces anyway for both my left and right hand when gaming and typing. So the split essentially does nothing besides adding an additional key between the spacebars for FN use. Meanwhile, as a HHKB user, I've already have the habit of using 1.75u right shift + FN or the bottom right key as FN. So essentially, the split spacebar layout gives me no improvement over existing layouts.

However, after time, I've discovered a great usecase for split spacebars. Having spaceFN on the right spacebar. Previously, I've used spaceFN and really liked it, but because how spaceFN works it conflicts with gaming, so I had to move away from it. Now with split spacebar and with me exclusively using the right hand for space, I can set the right space to be spaceFN and left space untouched (i.e., normal space). Which worked super nicely.

Personally, I didn't stick with this usecase, because I switch keyboards like every other day and prefer to have a uniform layout on every keyboard so switching between them will be agnostic.

Hope my input based on personal experience helps with your decision.

Offline Zobeid Zuma

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 23 June 2021, 08:24:59 »
I've been using split spacebar layouts for several years now, sort of become my trademark.  I've built two Banana Splits, a Clueboard, a whole series of DZ60s, and just recently got a System76 Launch.  It's got to the point where a non-split board is a nuisance to me.  (I try to backspace and just get spaces instead.)

My greatest success has been with the 2¼—1¼—2¾ split, on the Banana Split and DZ60.

I always configure these as:  BACKSPACE—FN—SPACE

I find that this is the best possible place for a FN key.  In particular, it's great for holding down with my left thumb while using my fingers to operate a nav cluster.  Mine is based on ESDF instead of WASD, and my hand stays in its home position.

I also found that configuring FN-SPACE to register as DELETE is convenient.

Offline geauxflying

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 24 June 2021, 21:58:51 »
Brilliant thanks! This is very helpful.

Offline Countdown

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 25 June 2021, 22:02:41 »
I personally would prefer to have a non-split spacebar, but that’s just my opinion and you should try it out yourself just in case.

Offline Learis

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 27 June 2021, 09:56:12 »
For those of you who don't like the 1.25 being in the middle, I own the epomaker gk68xs. It has a 2.75, 2.25, 1.25 layout for its split spacebar module. It works great; no worries about your thumb hitting the center key anymore.

The keyboard itself is obviously on the entry level mass produced side (you can find it on amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/EPOMAKER-Hot-swap-Bluetooth5-1-Mechanical-Dye-subbed/dp/B08FB1FQ9K/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=epomaker+gk68xs&qid=1624805689&sr=8-3]epomaker gk68xs). But with no other options really available with this split spacebar layout, it's really quite nice. Bluetooth and hotswap capabilities. Beware that the backspace is one unit further to the right on it than normal. I programmed my left space to be backspace so this doesn't bother me, but it's absolutely noticeable if you plan to use backspace where it normally is.
« Last Edit: Sun, 27 June 2021, 10:44:09 by Learis »
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Offline wonderp

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 29 June 2021, 22:08:03 »
No.

Some thing about it just deeply unnerves me.

It just looks dumb
I bought a Razer keyboard and I regret my purchase with every word I type. That’s twenty three regrets just for this signature.

Offline azzipa

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 01 July 2021, 14:26:48 »
I think 2/3/2 would make the most sense, but my guess is that the 2.25 1.25 2.75 or 2.75 1.25 2.25 combo is adapted because in most keycap sets you'd get those concave 2.25 2.75 shift compat kits that you can use for those spots.

That's a practical consideration, but I found that those shift keys being concave are actually not comfortable to use with your thumb.

And hunting down 1.25u convex key is very difficult.
So my opinion is that 2/3/2 or 2/2/3 would be better (granted, you'd have to get separate mini spacebar kit, but you'd have much better chance of getting 3u convex, 2u convex)

i'm thinking i would like to try 2.25/2.75/2 (or whatever, but that's where my thumbs hit) on a tsangan style bottom row. now i just need to find a board in my budget that supports it. thinking i might order oblivion and get the space bar kit for a future build. thanks  :thumb:

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 01 July 2021, 14:30:04 »
It's great for people who make a lot of mistakes.
"We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles." – The bold and brilliant dream which excited the founders of this Nation still awaits its consummation. Ours was the first society openly to define itself in terms of both spirituality and of human liberty. It is that unique self–definition which has given us an exceptional appeal, but it also imposes on us a special obligation: to take on those moral duties which, when assumed, seem invariably to be in our own best interests.
The American dream endures. We must once again have full faith in our country – and in one another. I believe America can be better. We can be even stronger than before. Let our recent mistakes bring a resurgent commitment to the basic principles of our Nation, for we know that if we despise our own government we have no future. We recall in special times when we have stood briefly, but magnificently, united. In those times no prize was beyond our grasp.
But we cannot dwell upon remembered glory. We cannot afford to drift. Our Government must at the same time be both competent and compassionate. Our Nation can be strong abroad only if it is strong at home. And we know that the best way to enhance freedom in other lands is to demonstrate here that our democratic system is worthy of emulation. To be true to ourselves, we must be true to others. We must not behave in foreign places so as to violate our rules and standards here at home, for we know that the trust which our Nation earns is essential to our strength. 
– excerpts from Jimmy Carter inauguration speech 1977

Offline jcoffin1981

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 03 July 2021, 20:58:03 »
The smaller space bar will have less wobble.  I'm not sure why the standard is 6.25 anyway.  The other bar would be great to have as an Fn or another programmable function.   I only use my right hand for spacing, and I'm sure I could make do with 1.5u or 1.75u.
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Offline geauxflying

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Re: Thoughts about split space bar?
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 04 July 2021, 14:10:24 »
I went for it. We’ll see how I get used to it. Just built this. Boston Keyboard.