Author Topic: Ergo Pro going senile  (Read 11771 times)

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Offline kshopper

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Ergo Pro going senile
« on: Thu, 18 May 2017, 12:50:44 »
My <2 year old Ergo Pro has developed an increasingly worsening condition where pressing certain keys on the left-half results in multiple keypresses being sent by the keyboard.
It started out as certain keys not working at all (~, 5, F1, F2). Then it started constantly sending F1/F2 when certain other keys were pressed, now it has become completely un-useable due to the multiple keypress issues, all over the course of about a week.  :(

This keyboard has been my office keyboard since the end of May, 2015 and has never been dropped or had any liquids spilled on it.  I contacted Matias support but they said they only have a 1 year warranty, and I would like to buy a replacement at a slight discount?  Very very disappointed in this response. The keyboard is like new, built like a tank, but has some stupid IC issue or something that makes it a worthless pile of junk. I love this keyboard, but cannot fathom a world where I pay Matias $200+ dollars every couple years for the privilege of using it.   :'( :-[

I'm somewhat handy with electronics so I'm kind of faint-hoping I can repair this keyboard myself.  So far I took apart the left section and didn't see any obvious issues with the board, traces, or solder joints. I tested each of the problem switches and they are working fine, only showing continuity on my multi-meter when the switch is actually depressed.  I also tried a different USB cable and headphone cable with the keyboard, no change.

The current behaviour is:
- leftmost column keys work fine: 1 a q z
- 2nd column, each keypress adds 'F1':  , 2(F1) w(F1) s(F1) x(F1)
- 3rd column, each keypress adds 'F2':  3(F2) e(F2) d(F2) c(F2)
- 4rd column adds '5' to each keypress:  45 r5 f5 v5
- 5th column adds '5' to each keypress:  55 65 g5 b5

So I'm thinking it's either the IC that reads the keypress circuits and translates it to the output for the headphone jack (appears to be a Sonix SB8F26E64K6 microcontroller), or a similar IC on the receiving end of the headphone cable on the right side of the keyboard.

Would anyone here have any suggestions on how to proceed? Faced similar issues?  Is this a one-off or a design flaw?

Meanwhile I'm shopping for a replacement that has a reliable track record. No way I can afford to support Matias again with this astounding lack of support on what is otherwise a brilliant keyboard.




« Last Edit: Thu, 18 May 2017, 13:00:43 by kshopper »

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Ergo Pro going senile
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 18 May 2017, 17:41:05 »
People who have built their own keyboards have experienced issues like this. I think they are usually caused by there being a short somewhere between rows/columns or by a faulty diode.

I would look for some metal particle or similar that cold have bridged two solder joints.
Smoking is an act of violence. I defend myself.
Daily driver: Phantom (Lubed Cherry MX Clear, Lasered Cherry PBT keycaps with Row A. Plastic "Frankencase". Custom firmware, Swedish layout)

Offline Fleat

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Re: Ergo Pro going senile
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 24 May 2017, 14:30:42 »
Just a little background first - I was one of the early preorders of the Matias Mini Quiet Pro in January of 2013. The Mini was delayed significantly so I ended up getting the Matias Quiet Pro for PC first and eventually a Mini later.

Both of those keyboards ended up suffering the dreaded multiple key presses and I was essentially told to go fluff a duck by Matias with a measly discount to repurchase a clearly defective product. It was only recently that I decided to look at Matias again because of some interest in a wireless mechanical keyboard (and the limited options out there), and I was not surprised to now see Amazon flooded with reviews with the same issue I experienced many years back.

I have now owned around 20 mechanical keyboards and the Matias ones are the only ones that ever had debilitating issues that meant I couldn't use them anymore. It is a shame really, because I truly enjoyed the typing experience of the Matias switches.

Anyone else out there with a similar experience from a recently purchased Matias board?

Edit: After 6-7 years of being registered I popped my post cherry on a rant. I guess I had some pent up frustration surrounding this experience :mad:
« Last Edit: Wed, 24 May 2017, 14:39:04 by Fleat »

Offline nemui

  • Posts: 13
Re: Ergo Pro going senile
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 02 June 2017, 12:22:20 »
My Ergo Pro had the same multiple keypress issue as yours out of the box, and over the months it started spreading to other keys as well, so...I understand the feeling!

Some things I did to try to alleviate the problem:

1) Slot a card under the keycap and press a few times so as to "straighten" it out (suggested by Matias helpdesk when I emailed them about this issue).
Efficiency: Didn't work at all, so I don't think it was a misalignment problem.

2) Use petroleum jelly on the stems (also suggested by Matias helpdesk).
Efficiency: Nope!

3) Jiggle the switch around (my own invention out of desperation)
Efficiency: Worked...but only for a while before it came back with a vengeance.

4) Find the right angle to press the key so that it only types once!
Efficiency: Quite good, as long as you can remember to press the key exactly at that angle all the time!

Maybe one of the methods will work for you, I'm not sure, but maybe give it a go if you're feeling up to it! I'm not handy at all, so I didn't try to take the keyboard apart or anything like that.

As for the phantom keypresses, I've never been able to solve those either.

My faulty key is 3 and it recently spread to the w row. Also, the keyboard sometimes inserts a 6 or 7 without my fingers being anywhere near the number row. Also also, my \ key died (completely unresponsive) a few months ago without any reason whatsoever. I thought hey, I can live without that key! and continued using the board. Finally, just last week, my ; key died as well. Alas, since I cannot live without that key, and the keys on this board cannot be programmed, I've had no choice but to retire my dearly beloved Ergo Pro and switched to another board, because, like you, I simply could not justify paying that price (plus international shipping in my case) again for the possibility of a repeat of this. :(

The typing experience was soooo goooood though. How I wish I could continue using it!

@Fleat
Completely understood your rant as well! Now that you've popped your post cherry so to speak, join us in the other forums too! :) You've gotta have a lot to share with those 20 mech boards of yours!

Offline chx

  • Posts: 5
Re: Ergo Pro going senile
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 04 June 2017, 03:42:29 »
Same issue here! The t was first repeating -- I guess it didn't catch the "up" -- then it didn't work well, I was using a SIM card ejector for a while to nudge it and it worked for a while and then it died completely and I did buy a replacement and while I was unaware of the discount I did get a decent $60 discount. It's annoying for sure but there is no choice in keyboards these days:
  • Lenovo has stopped manufacturing laptops with the seven row classical keyboard in 2011. The 2012 models can be hacked to accept these but later ones can't. There's some hope for a Retro this fall but that's it. Oh and there are some Chinese laptop hacks from 51nb... I would love to buy an X320 but is impossible to get.
  • Motorola Droid 4 was the last to have a landscape keyboard in 2012. There's some hope in the form of a Moto Z keyboard mod https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/keyboard-mod-a-physical-keyboard-for-the-moto-z. I did back it up, if it works out (you can never know with crowdfunding) and then later dies your only hope is that they have leftovers. There is zero choice.
  • While there are two vertical keyboards on the market, the Kinesis Freestyle w/ an Ascent and the Matias Ergo Pro, travelling with the Kinesis is a pain because the Ascent is heavy AF because it's steel. Travelling with the Ergo Pro is a joy, on the other hand. There is zero choice.

We live in a keyboard winter with some small run, obscure manufacturers keeping small shelters. I have said before and will say again: I would readily pay thousands of dollars for a current hardware ThinkPad with the old keyboard. What's $140 every two years compared to that. At least I can. If this is a common issue, I will buy 2-3 Ergo Pros to make sure I have spares. I have a spare ThinkPad T420 as well. You need to stock up in the winter.

Ps. Now I typed a few days on the Kinesis again and back on the Ergo Pro OMG what a difference in typing experience.
« Last Edit: Tue, 06 June 2017, 21:39:30 by chx »

Offline auburntigerrich

  • Posts: 0
Re: Ergo Pro going senile
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 27 November 2017, 10:12:33 »
Thanks to everyone for confirming my suspicions.  My 2nd Matias Ergo Pro (the Windows flavor) is exhibiting the same symptoms.  I'm getting repeated E's every 3rd or 4th press.  My first one (that I RMA'ed in August 2017) was giving me repeated R's, and then injecting the occasional 6 or 7 whenever I hit anything in the YUIOP[] row.

Popping off the offending keycap and blowing a tornado of air in there fixes it for a day or two, but then it is back to its old tricks.

Sadly I can't find another quiet mechanical ergonomic model out there that gives me the arrow cluster and the home/end/pgup/pgdn cluster, so I'm going to try one more RMA..... hopefully this time I'll get one from a different production run.

Offline ryahirv

  • Posts: 93
Re: Ergo Pro going senile
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 19 December 2017, 11:21:53 »
Thanks to everyone for confirming my suspicions.  My 2nd Matias Ergo Pro (the Windows flavor) is exhibiting the same symptoms.  I'm getting repeated E's every 3rd or 4th press.  My first one (that I RMA'ed in August 2017) was giving me repeated R's, and then injecting the occasional 6 or 7 whenever I hit anything in the YUIOP[] row.

Popping off the offending keycap and blowing a tornado of air in there fixes it for a day or two, but then it is back to its old tricks.

Sadly I can't find another quiet mechanical ergonomic model out there that gives me the arrow cluster and the home/end/pgup/pgdn cluster, so I'm going to try one more RMA..... hopefully this time I'll get one from a different production run.


Hi - Say, how's it going with your Ergo Pro?

I had 2 of them in the past and both had many key repeat issues and I finally gave up. I hear they claim they've fixed a lot of that with 2017 models, but Amazon reviews seem to indicate that the problems are still there.

How's it been for you on the latest RMA?

I have a 2017 model supposed to arrive today but I'm considering sending it right back as I just don't want to go down the route of unreliability again if its' still an issue.

Thanks so much

Offline chx

  • Posts: 5
Re: Ergo Pro going senile
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 14 March 2018, 14:31:36 »
I bought my second, new one, 2017 June. The right half needed replacement after Space died, the left half replacement will be mailed out tomorrow, it's again "t" repeating forever but also the Shift being dead. I will report how soon the 2018 ones die because with the two halves now I will have a 2018 keyboard, I guess.

Offline Gerk

  • Posts: 445
Re: Ergo Pro going senile
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 21 June 2018, 20:25:27 »
I'm on my third Ergo Pro.  The first one was one of the original ones and I had some issues with the placement of the right control key (or whatever it was before it was a control key) so I ended up changing that one up for a second gen one and ended up buying back the original one from their warehouse for a discount to keep as a backup board.  Both of them started to exhibit strange sort of behaviour with ghosting, both injecting 7's into various common words constantly, like "the" which would become "th7e" pretty consistently.  Also other odd misses of some of the "programming" keys like [ ] ' " ; : ... enough so that I swore off the them and retired both of them.

Then ... and not sure what I was thinking, I pulled one out of mothballs a couple of months back to try it out again and I forgot how much i liked the hardware (and also forgot how much they made me crazy with the ghosting and missing keys).  So then I got a little crazy and decided to buy a new one and try the soft touch model or whatever it's called.  And guess what ... out of the box it has a strange ghosting type issue (sort of) ... the caps lock light randomly gets suck on.  Not getting caps when it comes on, just lights up and is very hard to get it to turn off.  Sometimes having to toggle the caps lock key on and off 3-4 sets of times to get it to go off.  And then within a couple of minutes it lights up again.

Reached out to support and they are sending me a replacement keyboard.  Again.  I will say here what I said to support ... I LOVE the hardware layout and keys but guys, for the price of these boards you really have to get on the quality control.  If it wasn't for funky control issues these things would last forever.  I kind of regret buying yet another one as I suspect even if this new one has the caps lock light issue resolved I suspect that it's going to end up with other similar issues again in a pretty short amount of time like the previous ones had.

Such a shame because no one is building them with this kind of layout anymore.  I have zero interest in re-learning new key layouts or having funky thumb key clusters or whatever ... I just want a split ergo board in a traditional layout with good mechanical keys ...

Typing right now on a Microsoft Surface keyboard (which makes me crazy for other reasons, like going to sleep constantly so every time I try to type something if it's been a few minutes I have to look and see if it's actually working or just go back when finished typing and re-add the first 4 words that it missed while it was waking up).  Not to mention that scissor keys are nowhere near as nice as cherries or alps style.

Maybe between all of us geeks we can figure out a way to just build our own controllers for these ergo pro's and call it a day?
Rosewill RK-9000RE (reds) | Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent (browns) | Leopold TKL (browns) | F21-7D "Mechanical Keyboard" (Blue Alps) | Filco Majestouch TKL (blues) | Goldtouch V2 x 2 | Matias Ergo Pro

Offline pcssolutions

  • Posts: 0
Re: Ergo Pro going senile
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 09 July 2018, 13:17:26 »
My Ergo Pro is about 3 months old, and since last week, when I that I type with the letter "r", about 20% of the time, I would get double to triple "r"s.

I google for repeating keys Ergo Pro and it has led me here.  Since my keyboard is under a year, I should get a replacement or repair, but like other here, I sure don't want to spend $200 every couple years for a split keyboard.

Offline Gerk

  • Posts: 445
Re: Ergo Pro going senile
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 09 July 2018, 13:23:32 »
So I did end up getting a replacement keyboard from their support and I have the same issues with it.  I've also now seen that I'm getting an occasional '9' ghosted in, most often when I'm typing keys in the vicinity of it (like with p's and y's and u's) and I know I'm not accidentally hitting it myself.  This seems to be just like my two old boards that both ghost in the number 7 in the middle of words like 'the'.

Again it's a shame as I LOVE the hardware, but the firmware seems to need some work.  I'm waiting to hear back from support how I can return them for a refund (I still have both boards).
Rosewill RK-9000RE (reds) | Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent (browns) | Leopold TKL (browns) | F21-7D "Mechanical Keyboard" (Blue Alps) | Filco Majestouch TKL (blues) | Goldtouch V2 x 2 | Matias Ergo Pro