Author Topic: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions  (Read 38218 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Data

  • Posts: 2417
  • Location: Orlando, FL
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #150 on: Fri, 28 October 2016, 11:28:03 »

I'll update later with some videos comparing all the case materials and the sliders soon.



Yesssssssssss

Can't wait for this.

Offline zslane

  • Posts: 1814
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #151 on: Fri, 28 October 2016, 11:42:57 »
Alright, manufacturer contacted.

From the looks of it, these should also be compatible with the new, upstroke-damped sliders that we made just for my boards. That's really exciting, thanks for the tip!

Usually click leaves can be adapted to be tactile non-clicky as well. Would that be the case with these?

Offline mushman

  • Posts: 41
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #152 on: Fri, 28 October 2016, 16:32:41 »
Any problems with using O-Rings?

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #153 on: Fri, 28 October 2016, 22:54:34 »
Alright, manufacturer contacted.

From the looks of it, these should also be compatible with the new, upstroke-damped sliders that we made just for my boards. That's really exciting, thanks for the tip!

Usually click leaves can be adapted to be tactile non-clicky as well. Would that be the case with these?

I have no idea. I've confirmed with the manufacturer that these click leaves are in fact an option, and that they have a new and improved design for the leaves. I'll try them out and report back what I find.

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #154 on: Fri, 28 October 2016, 22:56:17 »
Any problems with using O-Rings?

For downstroke damping? No, this won't work for the same reason that it won't work on the Novatouch: the slider is larger than the O-ring. The inside of the slider has a place that looks like an O-ring could go there but that's where the spring goes. A soft landing pad of some sort is the best option. I was thinking of making some using a hole punch and an old bicycle inner tube, and tacking them down with some adhesive.

Offline zslane

  • Posts: 1814
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #155 on: Fri, 28 October 2016, 23:55:45 »
A soft landing pad involves taking every switch apart though, right?

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #156 on: Sat, 29 October 2016, 06:42:15 »
A soft landing pad involves taking every switch apart though, right?

Yes.

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #157 on: Sat, 29 October 2016, 07:33:00 »
It's a little early for this, but, I wanted to share some details about the upcoming group buy since I've received so many questions about it.

tl;dr: I'm working with Massdrop for this.

Now, before you throw me your slings and arrows, read on below as I explain why this is the right choice for this group buy.

More
As much as I love keyboards, I already have two other full time jobs: being an engineer, and being a dad. If we're bringing these boards to market I need help.

I explored five options for the group buy:
Importing the boards myself;
Becoming an Amazon seller;
Working with a retail partner;
Working with a corporate partner, and;
Working with Massdrop.

Here is what became of each option.

Importing the boards myself signs me up for a huge workload. I would need to incorporate, file taxes, keep accurate records, buy insurance, and deal with all shipping logistics myself. This would yield the most profit, and may be the route I go if these sales are extremely successful (think thousands of boards on a regular basis), but is the most work. This is what Ellipse is doing for his sales, and, I don't know how he is making it work (apart from charging quite a lot for his boards).

Becoming an Amazon retailer is almost as much work as importing boards myself, and requires me to deal with RMAs and other nuances of the Amazon seller agreement. They would make shipping easier but also take a bigger cut.

Working with a retail partner - and making myself a reseller - is an attractive option so long as I can find a good partner. The one partner I contacted, MechanicalKeyboards.com, stopped answering e-mails after a couple of days. If these sales go well it's possible that you'll see these boards in inventory on their site. But, I expect that, like me, they're waiting to see how the group buy goes.

Working with a corporate partner - such as, say, Das Keyboard or (shudder) Razer, would mean working with an established player to incorporate this switch design, either as a full time employee or an independent consultant. This is a route I have only barely explored. I'd love to, for example, collaborate with Input Club in the future if they'll have me. HaaTa and I have already chatted about these boards a bunch, and HaaTa does have a couple of samples.

So, that leaves Massdrop. HaaTa gave me a contact there that he's worked with in the past. I met with them in person last week and really liked what I saw.

Massdrop knows keyboards. They understand the community really quite well for a private company. The employees who tried the Hall Effect sample I brought loved how smooth it was.

Massdrop knows manufacturing. I'm working with a Chinese partner to make these boards. The model of the group buy falls perfectly into the pattern that they've established with countless other buys. This is a turn key operation for them.

Massdrop knows customer support. Say what you will, but, they're able to warehouse items, break them down for shipping, and provide support and updates in a way that I simply cannot with the time I have available at the moment.

Finally, the Massdrop folks are not profiteers. Yes, their services do cost something, but the company's profits don't come from stealing from the keyboard community. They come from running lots of group buys, all the time. (Did you know they have like 100 employees?)

All of this comes together to provide me a way of having these keyboards reach as many people as possible. I can point non-keyboard enthusiast friends at the site so they can buy it!

I did raise the issue of international shipping concerns directly with Massdrop in person. They regret how much bad press they have received to this end. The facts are that: their only distribution center is in New Jersey (in the US), and, as a business they need to comply with all applicable laws regarding customs reporting. If international shipping is a huge concern perhaps I can work with a European partner much further in the future. (I did suggest to Massdrop that they open a European distribution center. I don't think this will happen any time soon.)

The delay at this point is directly related to having final prototypes in hand. To proceed with the group buy, Massdrop requires product photography of final or near-final versions. I was ready to go with this until (a) my samples were delayed, and (b) the manufacturer canceled the ABS body option. I'm now on a day-to-day delay until I receive a sample of the replacement acrylic body option for the TKL boards.

Hopefully I've convinced you that Massdrop isn't a bad option. Here's the bottom line: working with a partner lets me focus on what I do best: product design and engineering work to bring you the best possible Hall Effect keyboard, unlike any other on the market. :thumb:

Offline Data

  • Posts: 2417
  • Location: Orlando, FL
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #158 on: Sat, 29 October 2016, 11:16:37 »
Massdrop is a little controversial here at GeekHack but I'm personally a huge fan.  They are the lowest risk, easiest point of entry for anyone bringing a new product or design to the keyboard market, and they're very enthusiastic about it. :P

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #159 on: Sat, 29 October 2016, 12:46:14 »
Nobody's perfect. But, given the options, it was Massdrop or bust. I've tried to be clear about my reasoning in my previous post - click [ more ] to read the full story.

I fully stand behind my group buy. If you're having some problem with Massdrop, let me know about it.

Let's not turn this into a Massdrop review thread, please! If you have more you'd like to say please chime in here:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=85522

There is a very similar thread on DT on this topic: https://deskthority.net/review-f45/massdrop-customer-support-t14887.html

Offline chicken

  • Posts: 19
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Gallus gallus domesticus
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #160 on: Sun, 30 October 2016, 09:20:42 »
I personally like Massdrop, because I can yell at Massdrop support if something goes wrong. Hopefully shipping wont take forever.

Offline mushman

  • Posts: 41
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #161 on: Sun, 30 October 2016, 10:54:34 »
tl;dr: I'm working with Massdrop for this.

If I had a suggestion it would be to cap the order quantity for the first couple of group buys.  The initial MagicForce 68 drops were a cluster **** due to underestimating the demand for the board.  I think some folks were waiting around a half a year for their board!

Offline chicken

  • Posts: 19
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Gallus gallus domesticus
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #162 on: Sun, 30 October 2016, 12:26:44 »
Wait, will the tung oil option be offered in the Massdrop?

Offline Data

  • Posts: 2417
  • Location: Orlando, FL
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #163 on: Sun, 30 October 2016, 15:01:31 »
tl;dr: I'm working with Massdrop for this.

If I had a suggestion it would be to cap the order quantity for the first couple of group buys.  The initial MagicForce 68 drops were a cluster **** due to underestimating the demand for the board.  I think some folks were waiting around a half a year for their board!

Not a bad suggestion, actually.  Has this company given any indication of their manufacturing capacity?  It could be a factor if orders blow up.

Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #164 on: Mon, 31 October 2016, 13:26:05 »
I'm fine with MassDrop.  The downside for me is that I've got to add tax into every purchase but the upside is dealing with a company used to these types of things.

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #165 on: Mon, 31 October 2016, 21:35:34 »
tl;dr: I'm working with Massdrop for this.

If I had a suggestion it would be to cap the order quantity for the first couple of group buys.  The initial MagicForce 68 drops were a cluster **** due to underestimating the demand for the board.  I think some folks were waiting around a half a year for their board!

Not a bad suggestion, actually.  Has this company given any indication of their manufacturing capacity?  It could be a factor if orders blow up.


They can handle about 500 keyboards at a time pretty well.

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #166 on: Mon, 31 October 2016, 21:36:14 »
Wait, will the tung oil option be offered in the Massdrop?

I've decided to go with a low odor option - either untreated or wax - for the bamboo boards. The tung oil has a strong smell!

Offline mushman

  • Posts: 41
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #167 on: Mon, 31 October 2016, 22:00:22 »
Wait, will the tung oil option be offered in the Massdrop?

I've decided to go with a low odor option - either untreated or wax - for the bamboo boards. The tung oil has a strong smell!

What are the consequences of not treating the board?

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #168 on: Mon, 31 October 2016, 22:13:21 »
An untreated board will be somewhat less water resistant and more prone to damage. It's just like a cutting board!

Speaking of which, if untreated, cutting board oil (or mineral oil) works very well to treat bamboo. :D

Offline ankushg

  • Posts: 15
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #169 on: Tue, 01 November 2016, 00:50:53 »
Is firmware programmability still something that we can expect for these boards? I noticed it was mentioned earlier in this thread, but hasn't really come up again.

Offline Pennyz

  • Posts: 26
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Vegeta
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #170 on: Tue, 01 November 2016, 05:20:50 »
This wooden keyboard looks very fresh.
I ♥ Night Caps.  I ♥♥♥ Bro Caps

Offline Data

  • Posts: 2417
  • Location: Orlando, FL
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #171 on: Tue, 01 November 2016, 06:21:27 »
An untreated board will be somewhat less water resistant and more prone to damage. It's just like a cutting board!

Speaking of which, if untreated, cutting board oil (or mineral oil) works very well to treat bamboo. :D

I love bamboo cutting boards, so...   :D

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #172 on: Tue, 01 November 2016, 08:33:50 »
Is firmware programmability still something that we can expect for these boards? I noticed it was mentioned earlier in this thread, but hasn't really come up again.

Not yet, for two different but equally boring reasons.

Short term: the manufacturer sees "MCU" and "firmware" as some off the shelf part that they can drop in, similar to "LED" or "Hall sensor". This means that they end up picking parts based on cost, and not on capabilities. It's crappy, and I've told them this, but their best answer is "oh, we're going to maybe get a firmware programming UI tool for you later". It's not great, but it's the truth.

Long term: if things go really well I can build a fully custom board around a common MCU and open source firmware. That's what I want, that's in the end what you want, and that's what will work best for everyone. I can't promise that any time soon.

Offline FoxWolf1

  • Posts: 836
  • 154
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #173 on: Tue, 01 November 2016, 08:41:25 »
I've confirmed with the manufacturer that these click leaves are in fact an option, and that they have a new and improved design for the leaves. I'll try them out and report back what I find.

Aha, if this happens, I might wind up having two Hall Effect boards...

I won't say for certain, since a) I'm kinda broke ATM and b) I won't give "automatic purchase" status to any keyboard without a TrackPoint, but it'd be very tempting.
Yeah, okay then.

Offline Spopepro

  • Posts: 229
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #174 on: Tue, 01 November 2016, 09:44:30 »

I love bamboo cutting boards, so...   :D

Bamboo has a very high silica content. Great for making it strong and resist wear. It will also bludgeon the edges of your knives.

In other news, while this isn't the form factor I prefer, I'm tempted. This is some good work xmit.

Offline ankushg

  • Posts: 15
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #175 on: Tue, 01 November 2016, 10:21:16 »
Is firmware programmability still something that we can expect for these boards? I noticed it was mentioned earlier in this thread, but hasn't really come up again.

Not yet, for two different but equally boring reasons.

Short term: the manufacturer sees "MCU" and "firmware" as some off the shelf part that they can drop in, similar to "LED" or "Hall sensor". This means that they end up picking parts based on cost, and not on capabilities. It's crappy, and I've told them this, but their best answer is "oh, we're going to maybe get a firmware programming UI tool for you later". It's not great, but it's the truth.

Long term: if things go really well I can build a fully custom board around a common MCU and open source firmware. That's what I want, that's in the end what you want, and that's what will work best for everyone. I can't promise that any time soon.

Damn, this is a pity. Definitely understand that it's outside of your control, but unless we can be sure to receive some firmware programming tool, I'll probably have to pass on this go-around 😔

Offline parablol

  • Posts: 10
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #176 on: Tue, 01 November 2016, 21:21:15 »
Is firmware programmability still something that we can expect for these boards? I noticed it was mentioned earlier in this thread, but hasn't really come up again.

Not yet, for two different but equally boring reasons.

Short term: the manufacturer sees "MCU" and "firmware" as some off the shelf part that they can drop in, similar to "LED" or "Hall sensor". This means that they end up picking parts based on cost, and not on capabilities. It's crappy, and I've told them this, but their best answer is "oh, we're going to maybe get a firmware programming UI tool for you later". It's not great, but it's the truth.

Long term: if things go really well I can build a fully custom board around a common MCU and open source firmware. That's what I want, that's in the end what you want, and that's what will work best for everyone. I can't promise that any time soon.

 :eek:

I'll have to hold off on buying one until there's a concrete way for converting one of these to a Dvorak layout. Either via DIP switch or re-programmed firmware.

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #177 on: Tue, 01 November 2016, 22:04:31 »
Again, my long term goal for this project is: aluminum body, aluminum plate, USB 3.0, and complete open source firmware.

This takes time - like, a year - so if things go well and people still seem really excited about it I'll start moving in this direction.

Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #178 on: Tue, 01 November 2016, 23:09:29 »
Hall Effect based Freestyle / VE.A board (minus the insane price) would be fantastic.

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #179 on: Thu, 03 November 2016, 11:52:43 »
Here's a teaser shot of the production ready bamboo case with XMIT Keyboards logo and hidden screws! I'll take some more photos tonight.
151998-0

Online AMongoose

  • happy workman user
  • Posts: 142
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #180 on: Thu, 03 November 2016, 12:10:41 »
The keycaps look way better, very interesting look to it.

Offline Data

  • Posts: 2417
  • Location: Orlando, FL
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #181 on: Thu, 03 November 2016, 12:25:52 »
Here's a teaser shot of the production ready bamboo case with XMIT Keyboards logo and hidden screws! I'll take some more photos tonight.
(Attachment Link)


Offline reececonrad

  • Posts: 1294
  • Location: Tennessee - USA
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #182 on: Thu, 03 November 2016, 12:47:12 »
I definitely like it better without screws showing, but with the screws gone the border looks too large to me.

If it cannot be lessened for practical reasons, could do something to alter all of the empty space like add a fine border/line around the keys. (Kind of simulating a traditional plate dropped into a frame maybe?)  It would break up the one large empty space into two.  Is the logo printed or branded/burned?

Obviously a printed border line wouldn't work because it would wear off.

Great work on refining this board, just one area I noticed that could use attention if the option was available
:)

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #183 on: Thu, 03 November 2016, 13:03:12 »
Thanks for the feedback. There will be no design changes between now and the group buy. Perhaps next time.

The logo is engraved on the front and back of the board.

Offline dwolvin

  • Posts: 21
  • Retired squid in SanDog.
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #184 on: Thu, 03 November 2016, 18:56:05 »
Have you tried the black keys on the bamboo case?  Might look nice, not a huge fan of white keys (dunno why).

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #185 on: Thu, 03 November 2016, 20:08:51 »
Have you tried the black keys on the bamboo case?  Might look nice, not a huge fan of white keys (dunno why).

I have. They work. I don't have photos but the manufacturer did. Strangely I really like the way the white looks on the bamboo. I usually hate white key caps!

For the group buy, the bamboo board will come with white key caps, but for a little extra you can get a spare set of black key caps (or vice versa for the other boards).

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5223
  • Location: 34.04 N 84.47 W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #186 on: Thu, 03 November 2016, 20:12:14 »

For the group buy, the bamboo board will come with white key caps,


The nice ones in your recent post or the heinous ones in the original post?
James McGill Buchanan decided he needed to influence policy at a deeper level. In the ensuing years, he sought to lead an economic and political movement in which he stressed that “conspiratorial secrecy is at all times essential” to mask efforts to protect the wealthy elite from the will of the majority. In September 1973, Buchanan held the inaugural meeting of the International Atlantic Economic Society, arguing for the need to “create, support and activate an effective counterintelligentsia” to reshape the way people thought about government. He believed the center-left controlled academia and “effectively indoctrinated political actors in both parties,” MacLean writes. To fight back, conservatives needed to develop new surrogates who could be “indoctrinated” in turn with right-wing ideas, and then “mobilized, organized and directed” to disseminate them.
Seeing the name eventually led her to rooms full of documents that made clear how “operatives” had been trained “to staff the far-flung and purportedly separate, yet intricately connected, institutions funded by the Koch brothers and their now large network of fellow wealthy donors.” - Nancy McLean 2017

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #187 on: Thu, 03 November 2016, 21:31:56 »

For the group buy, the bamboo board will come with white key caps,


The nice ones in your recent post or the heinous ones in the original post?


I expect the same ones that I posted in today's photograph.

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #188 on: Thu, 03 November 2016, 23:45:12 »
So, I took some more photos and sent them to my friends at Massdrop. They said it would be better to just send them the boards and let their professional photographers have at it. So, my three final prototypes are in a box now, heading out tomorrow.

But something surprising happened. Now, don't get me wrong, I like these boards plenty, but with previous iterations there was just enough wrong with them to not make them great daily drivers. Maybe the stabilizers were binding. Maybe there was rattle or clicking or pinging. Maybe the upstroke was too loud.

But, for the past few days, I've been dogfooding the acrylic 87-key 50g variant of the board. I'm glad I did - I worked out some important firmware discrepancies that made it into my written manual.

Now that it's packed up ... I miss it! I'm back on my Hypersphere'd Novatouch for a little bit. It's just a touch too heavy, and somehow feels slower.

I mean, take my review with a grain of salt since I'm trying to sell them, but these are wonderful boards. I've been using them for hacking and writing exclusively for the past few days. I just fly on them. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming refined clicky and tactile versions. For now, since I have some spare sliders, I'm going to retrofit an older prototype with updated parts to get a daily driver for the time being.

If the group buy goes really well I'll offer a 104-key option as well, this was a popular request!

Offline Data

  • Posts: 2417
  • Location: Orlando, FL
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #189 on: Fri, 04 November 2016, 06:46:05 »

Offline whiteduck

  • Posts: 209
  • Location: minnesota
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #190 on: Fri, 04 November 2016, 10:37:57 »
fancy
-wd

Offline FoxWolf1

  • Posts: 836
  • 154
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #191 on: Fri, 04 November 2016, 16:09:06 »
So, I took some more photos and sent them to my friends at Massdrop. They said it would be better to just send them the boards and let their professional photographers have at it. So, my three final prototypes are in a box now, heading out tomorrow.

But something surprising happened. Now, don't get me wrong, I like these boards plenty, but with previous iterations there was just enough wrong with them to not make them great daily drivers. Maybe the stabilizers were binding. Maybe there was rattle or clicking or pinging. Maybe the upstroke was too loud.

But, for the past few days, I've been dogfooding the acrylic 87-key 50g variant of the board. I'm glad I did - I worked out some important firmware discrepancies that made it into my written manual.

Now that it's packed up ... I miss it! I'm back on my Hypersphere'd Novatouch for a little bit. It's just a touch too heavy, and somehow feels slower.

I mean, take my review with a grain of salt since I'm trying to sell them, but these are wonderful boards. I've been using them for hacking and writing exclusively for the past few days. I just fly on them. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming refined clicky and tactile versions. For now, since I have some spare sliders, I'm going to retrofit an older prototype with updated parts to get a daily driver for the time being.

If the group buy goes really well I'll offer a 104-key option as well, this was a popular request!

For what it's worth, I've been using mine-- with a really old draft of the switch-- as my daily for several months now. Yes, the early prototype switches do have a lot of, shall we say, "character", and needed quite a bit of breaking in before I felt OK typing on them, but there are a couple of reasons why I've been reluctant to swap it out:

a) The speed. Yes, it's a real thing.

b) The worry-free nature of using a board that is chatterproof, spillproof, etc. My regular mechs, and even my capacitive board, always seem to be having this or that go wrong with them. Eventually, a person gets tired of that (at which point buying an almost completely unknown Hall Effect keyboard from a supplier in China is a completely normal reaction, right?).
Yeah, okay then.

Offline dwolvin

  • Posts: 21
  • Retired squid in SanDog.
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #192 on: Tue, 08 November 2016, 11:53:55 »
Any news or new pictures?  I'm drooling a bit, and I don't think it's distemper...

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #193 on: Tue, 08 November 2016, 12:09:11 »
I mailed the prototypes to Massdrop for their product photographers to have at them. Rather than ruin the surprise, I want to see what they come up with first!

Offline dwolvin

  • Posts: 21
  • Retired squid in SanDog.
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #194 on: Tue, 08 November 2016, 16:50:23 »
Fair enough!

Offline dwolvin

  • Posts: 21
  • Retired squid in SanDog.
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #195 on: Wed, 09 November 2016, 18:42:03 »
Hope you don't mind- posted this up at [H].  Cant wait, if there are remotely reasonable I'm in for one day one.  I have never been excited for a  keyboard, and am laughing at myself a bit...

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #196 on: Wed, 09 November 2016, 21:13:38 »
I don't mind at all, but, what is [H]?

With some luck these could be up for sale on Massdrop early next week! :thumb:

Offline Data

  • Posts: 2417
  • Location: Orlando, FL
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #197 on: Thu, 10 November 2016, 07:17:40 »
The only [H] I know is HardOCP -- very old PC hardware community.

http://www.hardocp.com/

I wasn't aware that they dabbled in mechs.  I don't see a subforum for it.
« Last Edit: Thu, 10 November 2016, 07:19:33 by Data »

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #198 on: Thu, 10 November 2016, 07:36:26 »
Huh. Sure enough:

https://hardforum.com/threads/looking-for-something-different-hall-effect-inbound.1916819/

There is a small keyboard community there. I'll try to chime in there when I can.

I'm guessing lots of folks over on Reddit will be interested in this project but I don't have a great "in" over there. Once the drop is live I'll check in on Reddit periodically, and, follow the Massdrop discussion thread.

Offline XMIT

  • formerly jsoltren
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: Austin, TX area
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #199 on: Thu, 10 November 2016, 07:50:56 »
...I've created an account over on [H]ardForum but can't post until some administrator comes and gives me "post" permissions. Ah well.

I'm working on a Web site and a Twitter account as well. When this goes live I'm expecting lots of questions, and especially, lots of the same questions. I'm happy to answer them! But time spent answering the same questions repeatedly is time I don't spend on board stuff, so, I'll create an FAQ or something.

Also, I've written a manual for the boards that I'll post somewhere convenient. It's not /quite/ done yet, there are still a few tweaks I want to make!