Author Topic: SP DCS row 5 (tall function row); row-shifted keycaps  (Read 3946 times)

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Offline jacobolus

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SP DCS row 5 (tall function row); row-shifted keycaps
« on: Tue, 25 November 2014, 15:45:56 »
I got a bunch of Signature Plastics blank keycaps of various profiles, including a bunch of DCS row 5 (extra-tall F-key row), and Iíve been enjoying them. Mini review:

These keycaps are basically like other DCS keycaps: same texture, same general shape, same plastic thickness, same stem dimensions, etc.... just taller. Theyíre basically the same height and top angle as SA row 2, so if you have some of those and some DCS keycaps, you can get a pretty good idea what DCS row 5 is like.

Hereís a screenshot of SPís PDF page:

If you use a standard DCS profile, I highly recommend adding these to the F-key row, especially if you have a 75% / TKL / similar keyboard with no gap or only a small gap between the number row and the F-key row. The additional height step will make the keys easier to reach, and also make it a lot easier to press the F keys without running your finger into the number row (though this isnít so much of a problem on a full-size board with >.5u gap between number row and F row).

But speaking for myself, I have an even better use for them.... helping us row-shift the keycaps for the home row and all the rows beyond. (Check out the photo at the top of this post.)

Basically, Iíve been rocking a profile like the following, on a test keyboard:

Itís great! Highly recommended for anyone who can live with blank keycaps or is willing figure out how to get this dyesubbed (because I donít think the tooling exists to do this with doubleshots). Basically, as I reach my finger outward, every key in the QWER row and number row is noticeably easier to type. I get less hand/finger motion and less fatigue, because I can use my fingers in a part of their range of motion where the muscles are stronger.

If you donít have any DCS row 5, but you do have some SA row 1/2, I still recommend doing this, with a profile of {F row: SA row 1; number row: SA row 2; QWER row: DCS row 1; ASDF row: DCS row 2; ZCXV row: DCS row 4; bottom row: whatever you prefer}.

Itís a similar improvement IMO to the improvement you get by switching from DSA (bleh, so much extra work for the fingers) to DCS. If you like DCS/Cherry profile and dislike DSA, I think youíll love a row-shifted profile.

For more on this general concept, see