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Replace-ability / hackability of ergo pro



The ergo pro looks near to perfect for me, but one thing puts me off: over the years I've had a succession of keyboards. When I find one that works for me I don't want to switch - but keyboards break, models go out of production and get replaced with ones I don't like as much, and sometimes companies do stop trading.  I would love to find a keyboard and then never switch again.

The ergodox seems to promise a solution: an open source design that I can be confident can be repaired for a long time to come.  But, I'm pretty sure I'd prefer the ergo pro (both key switches and layout).

So, is there any prospect of replacing the electronics in this keyboard with some generic replacement?  I'm not keen to spend lots of time doing that unless I have to because (perhaps, at some point in the future) replacements can no longer be bought from Matias, but if do have to, I want to know it's possible without it becoming a major project.

Though I imagine the electronics for mechanical keyboards should be fairly standard -- except for key counts -- presumably the unusual part of this one is the need to multiplex the signal (and carry power across) the audio cable to the other half?

Depends on which parts you want to replace; the switches and most of the caps are standard ALPS. The odd shaped ALPS caps (bottom row, F-keys, nav) are never going to be made by anyone else, and there's no good way to make your own. If you made your own PCB for either half you'd either have to replace the PCB in each half or reverse engineer their communication protocol to have the halves talk to each other.

I really love my Ergo Pro, I can't stand typing on anything else, but the lack of programmibility is an issue for me (I'm working around this with Karabiner, but a firmware upgrade would be a vastly superior solution). I'm seriously considering rolling my own PCBs for it so I can run the ErgoDox firmware. If I ever get to it you can count on a forum post here. I should really ping Matias and see if he'd sell the boards w/o the PCB for this purpose.

Omg pleaseee reiterate this on the 60% matias thread. Both layouts sort of require full programmability.


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