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geekhack Projects => Making Stuff Together! => Topic started by: technomancy on Thu, 13 February 2014, 21:24:01

Title: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 13 February 2014, 21:24:01
So this is the Atreus, my first attempt at a keyboard design. I've been using the Ergodox for a few months now and love it to death, but I do a lot of working from coffee shops and such where it's cumbersome, and the Ergodox isn't great for typing on the couch. So I thought I'd give a shot at a lighter, more travel-friendly design after starting to play around with laser cutting and learning how approachable it can be.

As this is intended to be complementary to the Ergodox, I went with a single-piece design instead of two split-hand pieces. The keys for each hand are rotated a bit like the MS Natural, but with a columnar staggering approach, because the Ergodox has taught me to hate staggered rows with a passion. The staggering is slightly more pronounced than what the Ergodox uses, (I have big hands) but the column spacing is the same.

To further reduce the size I moved the digits to the fn layer, which might turn out to be super annoying in practice, but I'm willing to experiment and see how it works for me. This design puts a lot more keys under the thumbs like the Ergodox, (huge space bars are silly) but it doesn't have a physically separate cluster for the thumbs.

Anyway, once my shipment of switches arrives I'll be off to the local hack space to cut the case and start wiring the matrix. But I'm interested in review and comments on the design. Right now the case is just three acrylic layers, but I might add another on top of the plate to make it thicker. I've only done small-scale laser cutting before, so I'm probably making a bunch of newbie mistakes, but I'm prepared to learn from mistakes and iterate quickly. I'm going to do my best to document every step so others can follow along if it turns out to be a decent design.

More details and files are on GitHub: https://github.com/technomancy/atreus
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: regack on Fri, 14 February 2014, 07:54:33
I haven't had much experience typing on the column staggered layout yet, I keep not using my ergodox, but it looks neat.  You have a very similar layout to the mini ergo that MOZ has been working on over here : http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=48718.0   
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: lcs on Fri, 14 February 2014, 08:00:51
Very nice. I'm eagerly waiting for one of the 'portable' doxes to be available :3
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 14 February 2014, 10:51:01
You have a very similar layout to the mini ergo that MOZ has been working on over here : http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=48718.0

Yeah, I like the look of Moz's design, but I have some reservations about the hinge. It's probably fine for most usage, but I want to have something that can sit on my lap while I type, and I don't think he's going for that. It would be cool (and stronger) to have the hinge fold on the Y axis instead, but I don't think it's possible to do a design like that with layered acrylic, so I went with a more traditional shape.

Also I'm just impatient; I want to hack on something now rather than wait around for a PCB. Switches are scheduled to arrive today, so I'm hoping to do some lasering this weekend.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: SpAmRaY on Fri, 14 February 2014, 10:54:49
Any thoughts of putting any switches, trackball, buttons, etc in the middle area?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: yasuo on Fri, 14 February 2014, 11:03:37
nice design looks Japanese M System but 40% maybe need added horizontal thumb
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 14 February 2014, 11:12:58
Any thoughts of putting any switches, trackball, buttons, etc in the middle area?

I would looooove to mount a scroll wheel there. Future revisions will probably include attempts at this, but I want to get the basics working first.

Scroll wheels are a bit tricky to mount though because the quadrature encoder's IR detectors seem to require pretty precise placement, so I've been thinking about other ways to do scrolling with analog inputs. Oddly enough I haven't been able to find much in terms of analog buttons that vary the voltage based on how much force is applied, but if I could find a switch that did that it might be easier than mounting a scroll wheel. Maybe I'm just using the wrong search terms or something. Pointers to prior art here would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Binge on Fri, 14 February 2014, 12:19:04
I don't mean to be lame... but I created a simple two-rod insert for my ergodox and it makes travel very easy.

Have you considered modifying your dox to suit travel?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: peterstock on Fri, 14 February 2014, 13:12:05
Looks good to me :)  I'm making a keyboard which has a similar design. I've made the staggered columns have different spacing though - none for the inner column for the index finger to reach across to, but quite a lot for the pinky column - that seems to match the shape of my hands. Like the 2nd from back in this picture:

http://www.key64.org/keyboards/ipsj021.jpg

You've got to love those keyboards - why have these designs not taken over the world by now?

Maybe you might also like some thumb keys a little more towards the middle of the board? My thumbs seem to rest a way out from my fingers rather than straight below the index finger.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: tlem on Fri, 14 February 2014, 13:45:49
I would add screw holes to the bottom left and bottom right.  You may need a gap in one of the layers for the usb cable, depending on how you build it.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 14 February 2014, 15:11:32
Have you considered modifying your dox to suit travel?

Travel is only part of it; the other aspect is having something I can put on my lap when I'm on the couch. I don't think a two-part keyboard can ever work for that.

But in any case, the adventure of building something is at least half the point.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 14 February 2014, 15:17:34
I would add screw holes to the bottom left and bottom right.  You may need a gap in one of the layers for the usb cable, depending on how you build it.

Oops; haha. My first rev had a gap up there, but I redid the design to more of a wing shape and forgot to reintroduce it. Also good call on the extra screw holes.

Which reminds me, how difficult is it to modify the acrylic without a laser cutter after it's cut? Say if I wanted to add another screw hole or something, can I do that with a hand drill, or is the material too fragile?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Oobly on Sat, 15 February 2014, 08:49:42
Looks like a nice design. I agree with peterstock about the staggering of the pinkie and extra index finger columns, I found I need a lot more stagger on the pinkie column than I originally planned and not much at all on the extra index finger column.

Also, thumb keys rock. Especially for modifers, layers, space and enter.

You can drill acrylic (or cut it with a jigsaw), but watch it's not too cold when you do. Cracks really easily when cold. Be sure to make a starter dent with a punch to guide the bit so it doesn't travel or use a drill press if you have one.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Binge on Sat, 15 February 2014, 11:23:48
Have you considered modifying your dox to suit travel?

Travel is only part of it; the other aspect is having something I can put on my lap when I'm on the couch. I don't think a two-part keyboard can ever work for that.

But in any case, the adventure of building something is at least half the point.

Great answer!  I do not want you to think I see this as fruitless :)  Very cool that you are making this happen!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: MOZ on Sat, 15 February 2014, 15:25:08
Looks good! I can help with the PCB if you want, PCB prototyping is relatively cheap and you can always try to get some "backers" here on GH to further increase your test group and bring down prices.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: riotonthebay on Sat, 15 February 2014, 15:26:22
Looks good! I can help with the PCB if you want, PCB prototyping is relatively cheap and you can always try to get some "backers" here on GH to further increase your test group and bring down prices.

I've be quite interested in prototyping this and pitching in!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: OldDataHands on Sat, 15 February 2014, 19:44:21
Looks sufficiently similar to: http://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/onehand-20-keyboard-t6617.html
that you might start with two of those PCBs as a really easy prototype.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 15 February 2014, 20:07:35
Looks good! I can help with the PCB if you want, PCB prototyping is relatively cheap and you can always try to get some "backers" here on GH to further increase your test group and bring down prices.

That's very kind of you to offer, but personally I don't have any ambitions beyond getting a nice keyboard for myself and documenting a solid design so others can build something similar, so I'm planning on skipping the PCB step entirely for my own purposes. I'm also planning on iterating quickly on design tweaks, which is a lot easier to do if each new design only involves cutting a few new layers of acrylic at the hackerspace downtown.

Running a group buy could get prices down on the acrylic cuts, but given that there are a number of similar projects out there, I don't think it makes a lot of sense right now. It's easy enough for anyone who lives near a laser cutter to put their own together without a group buy I think, especially as it's looking like the total cost could come in under $100 without any volume discounting.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 15 February 2014, 20:15:31
Looks like a nice design. I agree with peterstock about the staggering of the pinkie and extra index finger columns, I found I need a lot more stagger on the pinkie column than I originally planned and not much at all on the extra index finger column.

Thanks Oobly! I'm super impressed by your design and would love to branch out in the future to one with angled thumb clusters since it looks like a much more natural fit, but I don't think that's practical with layered acrylic, and I want to stick with that material for my first design.

I brought the pinky down (and the middle finger column up) a fair bit compared to the Ergodox layout, which I'm considering my baseline. I might drop it further for my next revision if that proves to be insufficient, but it's already forcing the spacer layer to be pretty thin, and I don't know if I want to increase the overall dimensions quite yet.

Putting the inner index column at the same level as the index column doesn't really make sense for my usage patterns--on the Ergodox (which has it somewhat lower) I find I'm always hitting the bottom half of keys in that column, so I feel like having it lower is a safe bet. But again, this probably won't be my final revision, so there's always room for more tweaking in mark II.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 15 February 2014, 22:28:46
I've be quite interested in prototyping this and pitching in!

I hope I didn't come off as too dismissive in my previous post about the group buy. I'd be thrilled to have others testing out my design and using it; I just think that since it's relatively cheap and interest levels will likely be low with a number of concurrent similar projects, others who want to build it should be able to just go for it on their own.

I picked up some acrylic today and will have my case cut tomorrow or the day after, so though wiring and firmware will take a while longer I'll at least be able to comment on the feel and ergonomics of the design even if it isn't live. At that point I might make a few further adjustments, but I'd encourage anyone who's interested and has access to a laser cutter to just jump right in without having any larger coordinated efforts.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: jdcarpe on Sat, 15 February 2014, 23:07:07
Your design is somewhat unique, in that is is one-piece and non-rectangular symmetric staggered column design. I always like the PCB approach over direct wiring, but then again, I've never designed my own PCBs before -- someone had always helped me with that part. It seems if you can get a few people interested, prototyping costs can be split amongst several people.

If it were me commissioning a PCB of your design, I would go with through hole components (Teensy, diodes), and have the option for the bottom two switches on the inside columns to be a 2-unit vertical, as in a tenkey enter.

I'm sure you know this already, but if you are making the switch plate from acrylic, I recommend 3mm thickness for rigidity, and hot glue the switches in place, since they won't lock in.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sun, 16 February 2014, 00:05:04
I'm sure you know this already, but if you are making the switch plate from acrylic, I recommend 3mm thickness for rigidity, and hot glue the switches in place, since they won't lock in.

Interesting; I had planned on 6mm for the switch plate and the spacer layer since that's what my Ergodox has. I suppose 3mm would result in a lighter total weight, but I'd be worried I wouldn't have room for wiring the matrix. We'll see how it goes, I suppose.

I hadn't given any thought to the glue--I expect to make a few revisions to the case design, which makes me a bit reluctant to glue the switches. I wonder if there are any good options that are less permanent. Do you expect the looseness of the switches to be a problem in the short term of a few weeks while I experiment with cases?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: jdcarpe on Sun, 16 February 2014, 00:43:08
6mm will surely be fine, I just hoped you hadn't planned on using 1.5mm acrylic. :)

And you can always try it first without glue, and if they come loose from the plate, glue them at that point. I believe hot glue will lose adhesion when exposed to alcohol, so it should be easy to remove.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PJE on Sun, 16 February 2014, 20:45:08
I've been building a small one hand (OneHand) or two hand (TwoHand) keyboard which looks very similar to your concept.

(http://creativephotoeffects.com/pje/TwoHand.jpg)

I have two Teensy controllers, one in each half, and depending on if one or two units are interconnected. Full details are in a thread on Deskthority.

I've built the units onto an acrylic base, which holds them in position. I currently have the two units at a much wider angle (90deg) than your drawing.

The split thumb keys act as modifiers selecting numbers (right hand) or cursor movement (left). I feel you could make a very usable keyboard with your layout, but l'd investigate the key stagger as others have suggested.

I'm now looking at 3D printing a base to hold my two piece design, I may look at hinging the halves to give the best possible ergonomics.

Your one piece design will be much easier to program, and be more reliable than a two piece arrangement. I like each half of the keyboard being tented slightly, l've not tried a flat style.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Oobly on Mon, 17 February 2014, 02:58:21
Obra has a sort of similar design board: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=52639.0

It's got added thumb and palm buttons.

Another thought about acrylic mount plates. It may be possible to use a 1.5mm switch mount plate and glue it to a 6mm (or any thickness you want) plate that has oversize switch holes (say 1-1.5mm all around). So the switches mount correctly to the 1.5mm sheet and are held firmly by the supporting thicker plate. You can probably even have cutouts in the 1.5mm plate to allow for opening the switches when mounted, due to the support being really close.

You can make your own acrylic glue by dissolving shavings of the actual material you are working with in a solvent.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Mon, 17 February 2014, 21:31:10
So! I just got my case cut today and loaded it up with switches and caps to see how it feels. Pretty happy with how it looks so far! https://secure.flickr.com/photos/technomancy/tags/atreus

The keys are definitely loose enough that I'm going to need to glue them it, so I'm relieved to hear that hot glue can be dissolved. For my fingers, the inner index column feels just right; when I move my index finger inward, it goes down a fair bit. But I feel like the pinky column could be dropped a bit further too. However, the top plate doesn't have quite enough clearance even as it is (I had to sand it down to let the lower corner keys even bottom out) so I might have to increase the overall size to drop that column.

Anyway, my next step is to wire up the matrix and start hunting for firmware. I was planning on using this Teensy 3 I have on hand from a previous project instead of a Teensy 2, but not many existing firmwares support the 3. Working on getting https://gitorious.org/kiibohd-controller to compile presently.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: jdcarpe on Mon, 17 February 2014, 22:02:49
Looking great! I am following your progress with great anticipation. I really love seeing the steps you are taking to make this all come together.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: MOZ on Tue, 18 February 2014, 01:35:57
Looks excellent!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: clickclack123 on Tue, 18 February 2014, 06:13:27
That looks really nice, great for travel/cafe/couch!

It's amazing to see how many different ideas there are of the "perfect" keyboard, and inspiring to see that people are actually capable of designing and custom-building their own amazing, professional-quality keyboards at home nowadays.

How much does it weigh?

My ideal porta-dox would have two thumbswitches for each hand though.  :cool:
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: clickclack123 on Tue, 18 February 2014, 06:40:13
I would looooove to mount a scroll wheel there. Future revisions will probably include attempts at this, but I want to get the basics working first.

Scroll wheels are a bit tricky to mount though because the quadrature encoder's IR detectors seem to require pretty precise placement, so I've been thinking about other ways to do scrolling with analog inputs. Oddly enough I haven't been able to find much in terms of analog buttons that vary the voltage based on how much force is applied, but if I could find a switch that did that it might be easier than mounting a scroll wheel. Maybe I'm just using the wrong search terms or something. Pointers to prior art here would be appreciated.

I'd also love to find a source for good scrollwheels that are easily mounted. There's a real hole in the market for this I think. I bought an extra logitech revolution mx which has the best scroll wheel I've ever found (you can switch it between clicky and super free-spinning by pressing the wheel switch). I'm intending to take it apart later and hopefully get the wheel working while mounted inside a custom keyboard.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 20 February 2014, 00:05:00
Put it together a bit more and realized that the Teensy 3 I was planning on using won't work for this because it has headers soldered onto it, which take up too much room even when bent outwards. So I ordered a Teensy 2, which was kind of a relief because I hadn't realized that most of the existing firmwares out there don't work on the 3--I was starting to worry that I'd have to write my own. I've adapted the TMK firmware for my layout here: https://github.com/technomancy/tmk_keyboard/blob/atreus/keyboard/atreus/keymap_atreus.c but my Teensy hasn't arrived for me to test it on yet.

I did start the matrix wiring process today. It took me about an hour to do a single side; the main tedious part was cutting and stripping the ends of the insulated wires for the columns. All in all not bad though.

Now once I finish the diodes all I've got to do is sit around and wait for the shipping in the microcontroller.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: peterstock on Thu, 20 February 2014, 03:25:38
I hate to say it, but I think you've put your diodes in series when they should be wired in parallel :(  Diodes are cheap though!

I found this helpful, with good pictures:
http://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/brownfox-step-by-step-t6050.html
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 20 February 2014, 10:17:17
I hate to say it, but I think you've put your diodes in series when they should be wired in parallel :(  Diodes are cheap though!

Welp! I was even reading that the night before I wired this thing; just wasn't paying attention. I think I can fix it without re-wiring the whole side though. Thanks for catching this before I ended up wiring both sides.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 20 February 2014, 23:04:55
Re-wired the matrix now in what looks like the proper parallel way, and I've tested it all with a multimeter; all checks out! Also my new set of keycaps arrived today, so I can put my black ones back on my Ergodox, though I saved a few black caps for the bottom (non-alpha) row of the Atreus.

It's down to just waiting for the Teensy now; wishing I had expedited that shipping.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 20 February 2014, 23:27:44
How much does it weigh?

My ideal porta-dox would have two thumbswitches for each hand though.  :cool:

Without the microcontroller or USB cable, it weighs 365g. This is with 3mm top and bottom layers, a 6mm spacer and a 4.5mm plate.

Actually the eight inner most keys of the bottom row are all meant to be hit with the thumbs, though only six (fn, backspace, ctrl, alt, space, and enter) are easily reachable from a neutral position. I love the heck out of my thumb keys on my Ergodox, so I made sure the Atreus also takes advantage of the wonderful flexibility of the human thumb.

Hitting the lower outer corners with the pinkies (shift and super) feels like a bit of a stretch now that I'm playing with it. Might need to move those to the thumbs; I don't have anything all that important on the stretch thumb spots (currently esc and page up) so that could be a good swap.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 22 February 2014, 18:18:16
It's aliiiiiiiive!

Just finished wiring the Teensy in, and it's working! Pretty excited. I made a few more goofs (turns out when you turn over the plate, all the columns are reversed; who would have thought!) but I was able to correct that in firmware. I'm going write up more details about the assembly process, but there's nothing about that  specific to my design. The clearance is really tight on the Teensy with a 6mm spacer layer; in fact I had to sand down the USB micro connector that went into the Teensy in order to get the case closed, but eventually it did.

Made a few minor layout modifications--while fn is important on a 40% layout, turns out it's still less important than shift, so that got moved closer to the thumbs, as did the super key. I've been teaching myself to prefer ctrl-I instead of tab (by removing the tab keycap from my ergodox) since tab is a stretch on this layout. I'm sure I'll have some more tweaks to the layout once I've been using it for a while, but it's looking pretty good for now.

If anyone wants to try their hand at one of their own, let me know. Would be very interested to hear how it goes.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: clickclack123 on Sat, 22 February 2014, 18:36:53
Congratulations! Good on you! It must be satisfying to type on something that you created, designed and built!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: peterstock on Sun, 23 February 2014, 13:51:00
Yay! ^_^

Looks very smart with the keycaps on :D
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sun, 23 February 2014, 21:46:12
After typing on it for a while I'm pretty happy with it. I haven't done any coding with it yet, so I'll have to wait to give an experience report for regarding punctuation-heavy things. I find myself still a little hesitant when needing certain of the modifiers, but I feel like that will just come with time. Sometimes I'll accidentally try to use my pinky for shift, etc.

One thing I miss from my Ergodox is having a "Teensy reset" key; if that's a feature of the tmk firmware, I haven't been able to find it yet. So all my firmware changes require pulling the case apart, which is a little annoying.

The other annoyance is that it seems to draw more power than my Ergodox--despite having fewer switches and no IO expander, it cuts out periodically every so often when I'm using it with my Thinkpad on battery power. Plugging into AC power fixes it, so I'm thinking it's drawing more current than the laptop is providing. It's a low-voltage chipset, which is great for battery life, but might be causing this as it doesn't seem to be occurring on other laptops. I'll have to see if there's anything I can do with the TMK firmware to reduce power consumption; I know it has a lot of extra features I'm not using.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: jdcarpe on Sun, 23 February 2014, 23:31:31

One thing I miss from my Ergodox is having a "Teensy reset" key; if that's a feature of the tmk firmware, I haven't been able to find it yet. So all my firmware changes require pulling the case apart, which is a little annoying.

By default, you press both shifts and Pause. I can't remember where you change that setting.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: clickclack123 on Sun, 23 February 2014, 23:33:14
One thing I miss from my Ergodox is having a "Teensy reset" key; if that's a feature of the tmk firmware, I haven't been able to find it yet. So all my firmware changes require pulling the case apart, which is a little annoying.

That would be annoying.

Teensy key is part of tmk: have a look at this (https://github.com/shayneholmes/tmk_keyboard/blob/simon_layout/keyboard/ergodox/keymap_simon.h).

You need to add these lines to the relevant parts of your keymap.h file:

Code: [Select]
enum function_id {
    TEENSY_KEY,
};

static const uint16_t PROGMEM fn_actions[] = {
    ACTION_FUNCTION(TEENSY_KEY), // FN4 - Teensy key
};

void action_function(keyrecord_t *record, uint8_t id, uint8_t opt)
{
    keyevent_t event = record->event;

    if (id == TEENSY_KEY) {
        clear_keyboard();
        print("\n\nJump to bootloader... ");
        _delay_ms(250);
        bootloader_jump(); // should not return
        print("not supported.\n");
    }
}

And also put a FN0, or whatever entry number it is in the Actions list, onto whatever key you want it to be in the layout. I snipped the other lines out of the code I just quoted, but it was FN4 on that layout.

Like jdcarpe said, you could also just use LShift+RShift+Pause (or was it Esc?). LShift+RShift+H will bring up a help menu on your screen if you are running hid_listen.exe. LShift+RShift is called the Magic Key (https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard#magic-commands), and can be changed if you want.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: jeffgran on Mon, 24 February 2014, 09:17:07
This is awesome. Nice work.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Wed, 26 February 2014, 15:56:42
Teensy key is part of tmk: have a look at this (https://github.com/shayneholmes/tmk_keyboard/blob/simon_layout/keyboard/ergodox/keymap_simon.h).

You need to add these lines to the relevant parts of your keymap.h file: [...]

Perfect! I only have one shift key, but I was able to add reset using ACTION_FUNCTION: https://github.com/technomancy/tmk_keyboard/commit/cb4ea37a2e6b03519269b8be5c1ed5a0b785e9de

I posted a more comprehensive overview on my blog if anyone's looking for details: http://technomancy.us/173 I still want to spend a bit more time documenting the assembly process on GitHub and investigating the power issues when my laptop isn't plugged into AC, but apart from that I'm pretty much done. Really happy with how it's turned out.

Thanks to all geekhackers both here and on the freenode channel for your encouragement and advice!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Thimplum on Wed, 26 February 2014, 18:22:05
That looks quite amazing, to be fully honest. I remember back in the good 'ol days, aka last summer, when I didn't have school and I'd spend all day reading awesome threads like these and then proceeding to troll them as best I could.



Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: LadyPecs on Wed, 26 February 2014, 22:04:06
Oh my that thing is awesome. <3 I want it. Good job!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 01 March 2014, 23:35:43
I published a nice photo guide to the assembly process if anyone is interested in following along at home. Please let me know how it goes if you try it; happy to take feedback.

https://github.com/technomancy/atreus#assembly

I was also able to get the power issues figured out with some help from TMK, so I think this is a wrap.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: clickclack123 on Mon, 03 March 2014, 02:02:58
I published a nice photo guide to the assembly process if anyone is interested in following along at home. Please let me know how it goes if you try it; happy to take feedback.

https://github.com/technomancy/atreus#assembly

I was also able to get the power issues figured out with some help from TMK, so I think this is a wrap.

Congratulations!

I'm curious, how do the keys feel with an acrylic plate? Any different to a metal plate?

Also, what was the power issue and how did you fix it?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Mon, 03 March 2014, 10:38:22
I'm curious, how do the keys feel with an acrylic plate? Any different to a metal plate?

Also, what was the power issue and how did you fix it?

Sadly I haven't really tried any boards with metal plates in a long time other than a Model M, which is obviously completely different. The main point of comparison I have is to my ErgoDox. Since it's designed to sit in your lap, typing on it isn't as solid as it would be on a desk, but this is by design. Probably has more to do with the total weight though.

The power issue was apparently due to the microcontroller trying to suspend itself in low-power states, which can be turned off in the firmware makefile: https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard/issues/45#issuecomment-36297926
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: SonOfSonOfSpock on Sat, 08 March 2014, 17:55:10
This looks really nice. Congrats!

Looking at the bill of materials, I'm surprised it turned out so inexpensive. I guess that might be expected with a 40% design.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: john71 on Thu, 20 March 2014, 17:38:49
Looks good and clean. You have done a nice piece of work.

Now that you have your little board a bit longer, how is it to work on?
i mean writing code, and what language?


Greetz John

Not native english...
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: ideus on Thu, 20 March 2014, 17:46:48
I've been building a small one hand (OneHand) or two hand (TwoHand) keyboard which looks very similar to your concept.

Show Image
(http://creativephotoeffects.com/pje/TwoHand.jpg)


I have two Teensy controllers, one in each half, and depending on if one or two units are interconnected. Full details are in a thread on Deskthority.

I've built the units onto an acrylic base, which holds them in position. I currently have the two units at a much wider angle (90deg) than your drawing.

The split thumb keys act as modifiers selecting numbers (right hand) or cursor movement (left). I feel you could make a very usable keyboard with your layout, but l'd investigate the key stagger as others have suggested.

I'm now looking at 3D printing a base to hold my two piece design, I may look at hinging the halves to give the best possible ergonomics.

Your one piece design will be much easier to program, and be more reliable than a two piece arrangement. I like each half of the keyboard being tented slightly, l've not tried a flat style.


Could you please share a link to your thread at DT? I like your design, personally the large size of ergo boards prevent me to try some of them, also the lack of portability. Yours look small and quite portable. Thank you for posting.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PJE on Thu, 20 March 2014, 18:48:56
Could you please share a link to your thread at DT? I like your design, personally the large size of ergo boards prevent me to try some of them, also the lack of portability. Yours look small and quite portable. Thank you for posting.
My OneHand project is detailed at:

http://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/onehand-20-keyboard-t6617.html

I have mounted two units on a plexiglass base to make a unit very similar to this project with a few keys missing... I'm playing around with different angles between the halves.

I'm also thinking of making a custom TwoHand design with a center CPU board with two 2x1 thumb buttons and the connections to the two identical half keyboards. This would provide two extra thumb keys and also simplify the programming. I intend to use a $5 Pro Micro in place of the two Teensy boards to keep the cost down.

I'm coming to like this type of keyboard, and being fully programmable I can fix any small usability issues in software. I still have to work out all the keys and symbols with my initial code. I can see the benefits of a few more keys, but I'm trying to keep the size to a minimum.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 20 March 2014, 19:15:32
Now that you have your little board a bit longer, how is it to work on?

For writing English (email, chats, etc) it is wonderful; I have no complaints.

For programming, it can be a little more awkward. With my dvorak layout, mostly I miss having forward slash and minus not easily accessible without the fn key. But on the other hand, the position of parentheses and curly braces is actually better than what it is on a traditional layout since it's on the home row, so it's a trade-off.

Typing dotted numbers right now is *very* annoying (like 127.0.0.1) because you have to go back and forth between the fn layer and the unshifted layer. I might make a separate layer just for a numpad to address this.

I still make mistakes every so often where I hit the wrong modifier (fn where it should have been shift or something like that) but that is probably because I don't use this board every day; my Ergodox is still my daily driver.

If I could add two keys (dash and slash) without increasing the size of the board, I probably would. But I don't think it's worth adding an entire column just for those. I don't use ESC, tab, or pageup/pagedown that much, so I'm debating replacing those, but they are in inconvenient locations for touch typing, so I'm not sure that would be an improvement.

On the other hand I'm learning Forth (possibly in order to write my own firmware) and coding in Forth on the Atreus is wonderful since it uses very little punctuation. All in all I'm very pleased with it; there are a few annoyances, but I think you'd have the same issues on any board this small; compromises just come with the territory. It's so much better than the internal keyboard on my laptop that I can't complain.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PJE on Thu, 20 March 2014, 19:53:12
Typing dotted numbers right now is *very* annoying (like 127.0.0.1) because you have to go back and forth between the fn layer and the unshifted layer. I might make a separate layer just for a numpad to address this.
On my layout holding the left 'space' changes the right side to a number pad with a period. I also added automatic matched brakets, etc. which enter both opening and closing brackets and then moves the cursor back between them.
I'm very busy at the moment and haven't had time to really nail down the complete layout.

With the PCB arrangement I'm designing, I may also be able to incorporate your design as an option - replacing the 2x1 switches with two 1x1 keys.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 20 March 2014, 20:52:39
On my layout holding the left 'space' changes the right side to a number pad with a period. I also added automatic matched brakets, etc. which enter both opening and closing brackets and then moves the cursor back between them.

Oh interesting. The auto-pairing stuff I just do in Emacs already... but I've read about keys that can act as a modifier or as an insertion key depending on whether they're tapped or held down, but I'd forgotten about it. That definitely opens up the playing field a bit! I don't know if TMK supports that, so I might just wait till I've got my own firmware working before trying that. My firmware is a ways away from working, but I've pushed what I have in-progress here: https://github.com/technomancy/orestes
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: bearcat on Fri, 21 March 2014, 00:06:56
This is a great design!  I really love it!  and nice job on the hand wiring :)

...
For my fingers, the inner index column feels just right; when I move my index finger inward, it goes down a fair bit. But I feel like the pinky column could be dropped a bit further too.
...
It seems like nearly everyone who's done a vertical board has said they should've dropped the pinky row more :)  I ended up putting mine almost 3/4 of a key lower on v2, after looking closer at suka's prototypes...

If you do decide to do a PCB, i'm in for one!  I recommend checking out upverter or circuits.io; they work well enough, are a lot easier to use, and they're free.

Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 21 March 2014, 18:22:56
Quote
It seems like nearly everyone who's done a vertical board has said they should've dropped the pinky row more :)  I ended up putting mine almost 3/4 of a key lower on v2, after looking closer at suka's prototypes...

You know, initially I felt like it was too high, but after using it for a while it feels about right because I realized I don't actually hit the top key in the pinky column with my pinky, but with my ring finger. So the pinky is just responsible for three keys: the home row key, and the two beneath it. If I dropped it further it would make the very bottom key more difficult to press, which would be a drag since that's currently where I have Enter.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: bearcat on Fri, 21 March 2014, 18:54:28
I don't hit that key with my pinky either, even when i've moved it down... ;)

But I also don't have anything else important for my pinkies to do where you have the enter key, so, no problems! :D
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PJE on Fri, 21 March 2014, 18:59:12
You know, initially I felt like it was too high, but after using it for a while it feels about right because I realized I don't actually hit the top key in the pinky column with my pinky, but with my ring finger. So the pinky is just responsible for three keys: the home row key, and the two beneath it. If I dropped it further it would make the very bottom key more difficult to press, which would be a drag since that's currently where I have Enter.
Hi technomancy, I'm coming to a similar conclusion. I was considering moving the outer row down, but I may hold off or reduce the distance I move the column down on the next version of my keyboard.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: clickclack123 on Fri, 21 March 2014, 21:41:01
On my layout holding the left 'space' changes the right side to a number pad with a period. I also added automatic matched brakets, etc. which enter both opening and closing brackets and then moves the cursor back between them.

Oh interesting. The auto-pairing stuff I just do in Emacs already... but I've read about keys that can act as a modifier or as an insertion key depending on whether they're tapped or held down, but I'd forgotten about it. That definitely opens up the playing field a bit! I don't know if TMK supports that, so I might just wait till I've got my own firmware working before trying that. My firmware is a ways away from working, but I've pushed what I have in-progress here: https://github.com/technomancy/orestes

TMK supports everything! I'm sure it is possible, I'm planning to add this to my ergodox soon. You'd have to use a FN macro.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: john71 on Sun, 23 March 2014, 10:34:43
Typing dotted numbers right now is *very* annoying (like 127.0.0.1) because you have to go back and forth between the fn layer and the unshifted layer. I might make a separate layer just for a numpad to address this.

For the dotted numbers, you stil got some free keys on your fn layer.

I like the design and smal form factor, would it be hard to ad two more thumb keys without messing up the feeling?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sun, 23 March 2014, 14:36:47
For the dotted numbers, you stil got some free keys on your fn layer.

I like the design and smal form factor, would it be hard to ad two more thumb keys without messing up the feeling?

All the free keys currently on the fn layer fall through to modifiers on the main layer, which I need to keep open for certain combinations. I think there's one on tab that I haven't put in the documentation, but the bottom row isn't really suitable for touch typing anyway.

It might be possible to swap the 1.5x thumb keys with two 1x ones, but it would be very tight and might require adding a few more mm to the overall width. I might experiment with that idea if I were building a second, but the upper keys in those columns would be a bit of a stretch to hit.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Wed, 02 April 2014, 11:48:10
Typing dotted numbers right now is *very* annoying (like 127.0.0.1) because you have to go back and forth between the fn layer and the unshifted layer. I might make a separate layer just for a numpad to address this.

If I could add two keys (dash and slash) without increasing the size of the board, I probably would. But I don't think it's worth adding an entire column just for those.

I just remapped this yesterday, and I'm happy to report that moving dash and slash to the default layer has helped a lot. Because shift-dash is underscore and shift-slash is question mark, it allowed me to get rid of those keys on the fn layer. I moved pageup/pagedown to the fn layer, but that hasn't been that annoying since I can use space and backspace to page up and down in the browser. (Though I would still really like to have a scroll wheel.) I now have a period key on the fn layer, which helps with entering numbers. It also freed up another fn layer key I hope to use to switch the board into Forth interpreter mode once I get my firmware working. (Currently I've got the Forth interpreter running on the board, but none of the keyboard-specific code has been written yet.) I guess the take-away is that putting keys on the default layer which don't do anything different when you use them with shift (like pageup/pagedown) is kind of wasteful in a space-starved setting like this.

I also moved all the digits to a numpad-style arrangement on the fn layer rather than the traditional across-the-top row. Though it's taken some getting used to due to muscle memory around change-workspace bindings, it's a lot faster for typing numbers.

https://github.com/technomancy/atreus#layout

Anyway, just thought I'd mention that in case it helps anyone else who's designing a layout for a 40%.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PJE on Wed, 02 April 2014, 16:26:45
https://github.com/technomancy/atreus#layout

Anyway, just thought I'd mention that in case it helps anyone else who's designing a layout for a 40%.
Excellent work!  The TwoHand derivative of my OneHand keyboard is very similar, and I'll look at your key mapping as an option.

I'm currently designing the V2 PCBs and I've placed two 1x1 keys over each of the 2x1 keys as an option, which other than the slight stager difference would match your layout other than the middle thumb buttons.

I'm also working on a center mounted PCB holding a laptop style touchpad with two 2x thumb buttons which holds the PCB. This would be combined with the two matrix PCBs which can hold their own CPUs or be scanned by the central PCB.

You can see my progress on my thread on Deskthority.

Custom keyboards can get very addictive...


Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: john71 on Fri, 04 April 2014, 14:54:54
I like the new layout.
I try to find a way to get a french layout in your 40% build,its not that easy.

Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Constantine on Fri, 11 April 2014, 21:36:47
Just thought I should say "thanks" for an inspiring thread! :)

I just finished building my Atreus "clone" today: see http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=57007 (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=57007).
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: clickclack123 on Fri, 11 April 2014, 22:38:02
Just thought I should say "thanks" for an inspiring thread! :)

I just finished building my Atreus "clone" today: see http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=57007 (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=57007).

Link doesn't work, and Constantine only has 1 post (this one) when I go into his Profile page??
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Constantine on Sat, 12 April 2014, 00:08:55
Just thought I should say "thanks" for an inspiring thread! :)

I just finished building my Atreus "clone" today: see http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=57007 (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=57007).

Link doesn't work, and Constantine only has 1 post (this one) when I go into his Profile page??

Looks like the post I linked to is still in the "Awaiting Approval" stage :-(
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Vibex on Sat, 12 April 2014, 13:50:24
This looks awesome. I have no soldering skill whatsoever though and have no idea how to do any of this stuff. Would any one be willing to build me one? If so PM me and we can discuss it further. ;D
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nuclearsandwich on Sat, 12 April 2014, 13:58:10
Technomancy, I'm pretty jealous your Thinkpad still works. Nice to see you pop up in new corners of the internet. <3

This looks awesome. I have no soldering skill whatsoever though and have no idea how to do any of this stuff. Would any one be willing to build me one? If so PM me and we can discuss it further. ;D

I'm planning on making one of these puppies over the summer. If it actually happens I'll make two. I may also try and design a PCB for it since I prefer the solid feel of Plate + PCB. This would delay me actually making one though so who knows!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Vibex on Sat, 12 April 2014, 14:01:48
Technomancy, I'm pretty jealous your Thinkpad still works. Nice to see you pop up in new corners of the internet. <3

This looks awesome. I have no soldering skill whatsoever though and have no idea how to do any of this stuff. Would any one be willing to build me one? If so PM me and we can discuss it further. ;D

I'm planning on making one of these puppies over the summer. If it actually happens I'll make two. I may also try and design a PCB for it since I prefer the solid feel of Plate + PCB. This would delay me actually making one though so who knows!
Cool, if you actually build one just let me know.  :)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Constantine on Sun, 13 April 2014, 13:23:31
Link doesn't work, and Constantine only has 1 post (this one) when I go into his Profile page??

I think the link to the thread I started (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=57007.0) should work now.

(Sorry about the noise earlier.)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sun, 13 April 2014, 15:41:40
I'm planning on making one of these puppies over the summer. If it actually happens I'll make two. I may also try and design a PCB for it since I prefer the solid feel of Plate + PCB. This would delay me actually making one though so who knows!

Great to hear from you. Keep us posted on your progress; hope you're able to put together something cool.

I'd like to link out to all the builds of the Atreus from people all over in the Atreus readme, so either let me know here or via a GitHub pull request and we'll try to get a canonical listing of all Atreus users.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Constantine on Tue, 22 April 2014, 11:10:21
Last weekend I decided to clean up the case design I used in my build so that I can make it available to others. I used a closed-cource tool to create the design, though, and thought that my .dwg file could become useless if DraftSight is no longer available.

After some googling I found OpenSCAD and put together a configurable Atreus case design. I could keep polishing it, but I think it's time to release it.

So, this is a teaser. I'll release the .scad file tonight if I have the time.

Here are some possibilities. Going from one to the other requires changing one or two lines.

[attach=1]
Atreus

[attach=2]
Atreus with 45 degrees between halves

[attach=3]
Atreus with a number row

[attach=4]
Atreus for aliens with 6 fingers

PS: One reason to do this was to document all design decisions that went into this case: row and column spacings, column staggering offsets, hand separation, the angle between the halves, etc.
PPS: I think this could be useful for making custom keyboards other than the Atreus.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Constantine on Wed, 23 April 2014, 00:57:18
The promised OpenSCAD script is available here: https://github.com/ckhroulev/atreus/tree/case/case/openscad

technomancy: I also created a pull request on GitHub. (My fork includes both this case design and the one I used for my build.)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Wed, 23 April 2014, 21:51:35
Here are some possibilities. Going from one to the other requires changing one or two lines.

Very cool! I had no idea the programmatic definition of a design like this was even possible. I couldn't get it working using the version of OpenSCAD that comes with Debian Wheezy, but once I built from source it loaded just fine. I merged your pull requests, so the old .svg can now be considered the "v1" design. Will have to update the readme to make the distinction between the two and explain how to make modifications like that. Of course, you can't change the row/column count without also changing the firmware accordingly, but that shouldn't be too difficult to explain.

It would be cool to add the logo back in, but I don't know how that would work with this format; for the boards I build I will probably just stick it back in using Inkscape before I send it to be cut unless you have some ideas of how to do this.

It's funny; this is literally the first time I've used org-mode for a readme, primarily because I figured this was a purely personal project where I wouldn't be getting any outside contributions, so I wouldn't have to use the least-common-denominator of Markdown. But it looks like you know more about org than I do.

Are you using the standard keymap from my TMK fork? I never actually got around to testing that, so I'm curious if it works. It hasn't been updated with the latest layout that has a the digits in the numpad arrangement, which is a lot nicer IMO.

I'm planning on cutting a wood case this weekend; I might add photos of that, but if you'd like to add some of yours instead that would be fine. Once I get to assembly of my second board I'll update the assembly instructions to mention the magnet wire approach; it looks a lot more tractable. I'll also add mention of using the diode legs themselves to connect the columns; I wasn't able to get photos of this the first time around since I wired them in series instead of parallel. (On the other hand, having a photo of what *not* to do might help.)

Thanks for contributing your design!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Vibex on Wed, 23 April 2014, 21:55:33
Last weekend I decided to clean up the case design I used in my build so that I can make it available to others. I used a closed-cource tool to create the design, though, and thought that my .dwg file could become useless if DraftSight is no longer available.

After some googling I found OpenSCAD and put together a configurable Atreus case design. I could keep polishing it, but I think it's time to release it.

So, this is a teaser. I'll release the .scad file tonight if I have the time.

Here are some possibilities. Going from one to the other requires changing one or two lines.
(Attachment Link)
Atreus for aliens with 6 fingers
Really like that 6 finger version.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Constantine on Sat, 26 April 2014, 15:35:23
Here are some possibilities. Going from one to the other requires changing one or two lines.

Very cool! I had no idea the programmatic definition of a design like this was even possible. I couldn't get it working using the version of OpenSCAD that comes with Debian Wheezy, but once I built from source it loaded just fine. I merged your pull requests, so the old .svg can now be considered the "v1" design. Will have to update the readme to make the distinction between the two and explain how to make modifications like that. Of course, you can't change the row/column count without also changing the firmware accordingly, but that shouldn't be too difficult to explain.

Yes, I should have mentioned the OpenSCAD version. (I used OpenSCAD 2013.06 running on Mac OS X.)

It would be cool to add the logo back in, but I don't know how that would work with this format; for the boards I build I will probably just stick it back in using Inkscape before I send it to be cut unless you have some ideas of how to do this.

Oh, I forgot about the logo. I'll add it back and create another pull request. (Pasting the logo into the DXF file is trivial. Adding it to the OpenSCAD script is a little more work, but OpenSCAD can import (some) DXF files, so adding it to the "configurable" design is not an issue either.)

But it looks like you know more about org than I do.

I'm not sure about that. :-) I use org-mode for my private notes, which are (usually) a mixture of LaTeX and Maxima, in the "reproducible research" kind of way. The rest of org-mode I know very little about.

Are you using the standard keymap from my TMK fork? I never actually got around to testing that, so I'm curious if it works. It hasn't been updated with the latest layout that has a the digits in the numpad arrangement, which is a lot nicer IMO.

Well, I can't even say that I "use" my Atreus yet all I use it for so far is typing drills. (I can't just switch over -- not yet: my productivity at work would go down too much.)

I am using your TMK firmware fork. I had to tweak the layout quite a bit, though.

The main changes I made are these:

I'm sure that's just a matter of habit, but restoring the symmetry of modifier keys was very important for me.


*** Layer 0 layout
|-----------+-----+------+----+---------------+---------------+---------------+----+---+---+-------|
| Q         | W   | E    | R  | T             |               | Y             | U  | I | O | P     |
| A         | S   | D    | F  | G             |               | H             | J  | K | L | ;     |
| Z         | X   | C    | V  | B             | Control/Space | N             | M  | , | . | /     |
| Escape/L2 | Tab | LAlt | L1 | LShift/Delete | Meta/Space    | RShift/Delete | L1 | - | ' | Enter |
|-----------+-----+------+----+---------------+---------------+---------------+----+---+---+-------|

*** Layer 1 layout
|-------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---|
| !     | @   | |     | {   | }   |     | /   |   7 | 8 | 9 | * |
| #     | $   | ~     | (   | )   |     | &   |   4 | 5 | 6 | + |
| %     | ^   | `     | [   | ]   | --- | \   |   1 | 2 | 3 | ? |
| Reset | --- | ---   | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | . | 0 | = |
|-------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---|

*** Layer 2 layout
|-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----------+------+------------+-------+-------------|
| --- | --- | --- | --- | --- |     | Page Up   | ---  | up         | ---   | Volume Up   |
| --- | --- | --- | --- | --- |     | Page Down | left | down       | right | Volume Down |
| --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | ---       | prev | play/pause | next  | Mute        |
| --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | ---       | ---  | ---        | ---   | ---         |
|-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----------+------+------------+-------+-------------|

As I mentioned in the other thread, I wrote some elisp code to turn these org tables into C code I can paste into keyboard_atreus.c.

I'm planning on cutting a wood case this weekend; I might add photos of that, but if you'd like to add some of yours instead that would be fine. Once I get to assembly of my second board I'll update the assembly instructions to mention the magnet wire approach; it looks a lot more tractable. I'll also add mention of using the diode legs themselves to connect the columns; I wasn't able to get photos of this the first time around since I wired them in series instead of parallel. (On the other hand, having a photo of what *not* to do might help.)

Great! Do post about your progress!

If you'd like to use my photos, that's great. (There could be a gallery of Atreus builds, right?) If not, that's great also.

Regarding the magnet wire approach: it can be a real pain in the neck to strip insulation from magnet wire, so I would recommend using the solderable kind (see http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=solderable+magnet+wire&rt=nc (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=solderable+magnet+wire&rt=nc), for example). Thin should be fine.

If you do have regular (not solderable) magnet wire already, 22-gauge is probably the thinnest I would use. (I came up with a trick that let me sand the insulation off at regular intervals relatively quickly. Let me know if you want me to describe it.)

Thanks for contributing your design!

Hey, that's what open source is about! I'm happy to give something back.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sun, 27 April 2014, 23:35:51
Well, I can't even say that I "use" my Atreus yet all I use it for so far is typing drills. (I can't just switch over -- not yet: my productivity at work would go down too much.)

Oh, bummer. It took several weeks for me to get up to speed, but I was able to ease into it from the Ergodox first. Getting used to the column staggering probably took as long as getting used to the fn layer, but I tackled those two learning curves independently.

I am using your TMK firmware fork. I had to tweak the layout quite a bit, though. ...

Very cool. I had considered this a while back but never really looked into it since I feel like I'm not all that pressed for space anymore after getting rid of pageup/pagedown. But it sounds like that would open up a lot more options.

I mentioned a while ago that I was writing my own firmware in Forth. I got my Forth interpreter running pretty well on the Teensy, but unfortunately it can't load more than about a quarter of the firmware program before running out of memory. It turns out 2.5kb of RAM is really not much room! I suspect a Forth pro could make it work, but this is my first exposure to Forth and my first real C code, so I've given up on that for now. I may pick it back up if I order a Teensy 3, which has comparative boatloads of RAM, or I may use it in another microcontroller project when I need to do something more complex than scanning a matrix of switches.

In the mean time I ported the Forth firmware I'd written back into C and have been using it for the last week or so. It's still missing debouncing, but apart from that it works pretty well for being 85 lines.

https://gitlab.com/technomancy/atreus-firmware/blob/master/atreus.c

I ended up attempting to rewire my original board using magnet wire and failing. At first I thought it was due to the thinness of the wire, but I replaced the magnet wire with regular wire and it was still emitting spurrious codes. It turned out it was because I changed the pinout to use consecutive pins on the Teensy. I thought it would be easy to change the pinout in TMK, but the way I have it configured I think TMK is using some of the pins for serial debug output or something, interfering with the switch reads. Anyway, long story short it's a bit of a hassle for me to switch back and forth now, so I'm just going to add debouncing to my firmware rather than try to debug the spurious keycodes I was getting from TMK on my board. It's a bit unfortunate that I've effectively forked the pinout though; I didn't realize it would cause an incompatibility with TMK. I'll probably adjust my firmware to work with the TMK pinout for future boards.

I did like the magnet wire a lot and hope it works out for the next board I build. Unfortunately I didn't know to look for solder-friendly magnet wire; I had to burn the enamel off using a candle, and it was a bit tricky to get the solder to stick.

The wooden case I got cut turned out really nicely. The photos show it decked out in caps I stole from my Ergodox, but I've got another set in the mail coming from Signature Plastics.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/technomancy/14004353426/

This one simply has the spacer in 6mm and the rest in 3mm; I'll see how that feels to wire up in terms of room.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: jacobolus on Mon, 28 April 2014, 00:08:08
I mentioned a while ago that I was writing my own firmware in Forth. I got my Forth interpreter running pretty well on the Teensy, but unfortunately it can't load more than about a quarter of the firmware program before running out of memory. It turns out 2.5kb of RAM is really not much room! I suspect a Forth pro could make it work, but this is my first exposure to Forth and my first real C code, so I've given up on that for now. I may pick it back up if I order a Teensy 3, which has comparative boatloads of RAM, or I may use it in another microcontroller project when I need to do something more complex than scanning a matrix of switches.

In the mean time I ported the Forth firmware I'd written back into C and have been using it for the last week or so. It's still missing debouncing, but apart from that it works pretty well for being 85 lines.

https://gitlab.com/technomancy/atreus-firmware/blob/master/atreus.c
Awesome. I need to make my own keyboard firmware at some point in the next few months, and Forth might be just the ticket; certainly a lot of fun to hack on. Ill use a Teensy 3.0 or 3.1, so the memory shouldnt be a problem.

Then again, Im not totally sure that Forth is the best fit; I plan to define the functionality as much as possible in some declarative way (maybe as my own little DSL), and Ill need a pretty complicated state machine. Since I have only a tiny bit of Forth experience from years ago (plus some random PostScript experience) it might ultimately be easier to stick to C.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Wed, 14 May 2014, 00:05:36
https://gitlab.com/technomancy/atreus-firmware/blob/master/atreus.c

I ended up moving this project to GitHub just because GitLab's readme rendering is pretty lame.

https://github.com/technomancy/atreus-firmware

I also just yesterday implemented what I'm calling "double-duty" fn: when you hold fn with another keypress, it acts as a momentary shift to layer 1, but when you just tap it, it brings you to layer 2 till you tap it again to go back to layer 0. So far it's been pretty handy. I wasn't able to make it work satisfactorily with three layers until I added that, which meant falling back to my laptop's internal keyboard for function keys. I sent the second wooden one off to a friend who should receive it later this week, so it'll be interesting to get more feedback about how it works for others.

I'm considering opening it up for orders from others too. If you're interested in ordering one, please check out http://atreus.technomancy.us and fill out the form there. I don't want to set expectations too high since I have no idea what demand would be like or if I'll get tired of building these after three or four, but I'm curious how many others would be interested in buying one.

Also very interested to hear advice from anyone else who has had experience selling handmade keyboards; I'm sure I could learn a lot. Thanks to everyone for your feedback and encouragement so far.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Tue, 22 July 2014, 11:13:53
I ordered the plywood version of the case from Ponoko over the weekend.

I'm now deciding what switches to use. A coworker has a CODE keyboard with the Cherry MX Clears, so I'm tempted to go that route. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nuclearsandwich on Tue, 22 July 2014, 11:28:39
I ordered the plywood version of the case from Ponoko over the weekend.

I'm now deciding what switches to use. A coworker has a CODE keyboard with the Cherry MX Clears, so I'm tempted to go that route. Thoughts?

Clears feel nice. They are heavier than the more common switches so be aware of that if you're a lighter typist. I really enjoy the tikka takka the MX Blues make in the little birch case. I have also grown fond of the linear modifiers. Something I didn't expect to like. So if you want to give that a try make sure you pick up five or so black switches.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Tue, 22 July 2014, 12:53:56
My daily driver is a Happy Hacking keyboard, and side by side, the Cherry MX Clears are closest to the Topre switches than anything else in our office that I could try.

Is there a reason to use blacks as the modifiers over reds? Are the reds too light to match well with the clears?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 22 July 2014, 12:59:37
I'm now deciding what switches to use. A coworker has a CODE keyboard with the Cherry MX Clears, so I'm tempted to go that route. Thoughts?

Personally I'm of the opinion that clears are best for people who can't afford to make a lot of noise at work with blues, but obviously it's a very subjective point, and tastes vary a lot. Being able to try them before you commit helps a lot.

Is there a reason to use blacks as the modifiers over reds? Are the reds too light to match well with the clears?

I originally picked blacks just because they were easier for me to source than reds. But blacks will probably go better with clears because they share the same spring weight. And since all the modifiers are under your thumbs anyway, the lighter springs of the reds aren't really an advantage like they would be if you had modifiers on your pinkies; your thumbs are strong enough not to get fatigued.

Good luck with your build! If you post about it on your blog or some such, let me know and I'll link to it from the Atreus readme on GitHub.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Tue, 22 July 2014, 13:11:10

Personally I'm of the opinion that clears are best for people who can't afford to make a lot of noise at work with blues, but obviously it's a very subjective point, and tastes vary a lot. Being able to try them before you commit helps a lot.


Oddly enough, I've got a CM Quickfire here at work with blues and don't really like it. It could be that the cheap key caps ruin it. The keys just feel loose and too light compared to my Happy Hacking keyboard.

I'll let you know when I get to the point of having something to show! I'm probably still a week out from the case arriving, at the earliest. In the meantime, I'm helping teach a friend who bought an Ergodox kit how to solder.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nuclearsandwich on Tue, 22 July 2014, 14:55:34

Personally I'm of the opinion that clears are best for people who can't afford to make a lot of noise at work with blues, but obviously it's a very subjective point, and tastes vary a lot. Being able to try them before you commit helps a lot.


Oddly enough, I've got a CM Quickfire here at work with blues and don't really like it. It could be that the cheap key caps ruin it. The keys just feel loose and too light compared to my Happy Hacking keyboard.

I'll let you know when I get to the point of having something to show! I'm probably still a week out from the case arriving, at the earliest. In the meantime, I'm helping teach a friend who bought an Ergodox kit how to solder.

Blues are rather high in pitch relative to older clicky switches like Alps or Buckling Springs and that certainly puts people off. I find the blues in the Atreus to be quite "chattery" but the wooden case dampens them some. I don't like swapping keycaps on hand wired boards but I might do so later this month to sound test between Retro DSA (ABS plastic) and Granite (PBT plastic) on the Atreus to see if they sound a lot different.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Thu, 24 July 2014, 14:05:25
On the topic of key caps: Where did you all purchase yours? I'm mostly interested in PBT since I've found I prefer those on the happy hacking-style keyboards.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 24 July 2014, 14:25:48
On the topic of key caps: Where did you all purchase yours? I'm mostly interested in PBT since I've found I prefer those on the happy hacking-style keyboards.

Signature Plastics has a PBT set that's unreasonably cheap; only US$18 for 52 caps.

http://keyshop.pimpmykeyboard.com/products/full-keysets/dsa-blank-sets-1

The only downside is it only has one 1.5x key, and the Atreus needs two.

I've been thinking about making a variant of the case that uses 1x caps for the inner thumb keys so this wouldn't be an issue but haven't gotten to it yet. It wouldn't be quite as nice looking but it'd be a bit more logistically convenient.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nuclearsandwich on Thu, 24 July 2014, 16:00:58
On the topic of key caps: Where did you all purchase yours? I'm mostly interested in PBT since I've found I prefer those on the happy hacking-style keyboards.

Signature Plastics has a PBT set that's unreasonably cheap; only US$18 for 52 caps.

http://keyshop.pimpmykeyboard.com/products/full-keysets/dsa-blank-sets-1

The only downside is it only has one 1.5x key, and the Atreus needs two.

I've been thinking about making a variant of the case that uses 1x caps for the inner thumb keys so this wouldn't be an issue but haven't gotten to it yet. It wouldn't be quite as nice looking but it'd be a bit more logistically convenient.

If you request an extra 1.5x key from SP in your order, they might offer you a way to get a second 1.5x key
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: jdcarpe on Thu, 24 July 2014, 16:12:19
On the topic of key caps: Where did you all purchase yours? I'm mostly interested in PBT since I've found I prefer those on the happy hacking-style keyboards.

Signature Plastics has a PBT set that's unreasonably cheap; only US$18 for 52 caps.

http://keyshop.pimpmykeyboard.com/products/full-keysets/dsa-blank-sets-1

The only downside is it only has one 1.5x key, and the Atreus needs two.

I've been thinking about making a variant of the case that uses 1x caps for the inner thumb keys so this wouldn't be an issue but haven't gotten to it yet. It wouldn't be quite as nice looking but it'd be a bit more logistically convenient.

If you request an extra 1.5x key from SP in your order, they might offer you a way to get a second 1.5x key

Let's say you ordered the Standard Base Set of DSA PBT keycaps in Black (NDY), and you need an extra 1.5x key for the Atreus...

- Go to http://www.keycapsdirect.com/key-capsinventory.php

- Follow the instructions there to add part number 303133 and description "DSA - 1.5X - BLACK (NDY)" to the text blocks beside where it says "Family - DSA: ABS and PBT Keys"

- Pay with Paypal

- Enjoy your $1 (plus shipping) 1.5x keycap!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nuclearsandwich on Thu, 24 July 2014, 16:44:39

Personally I'm of the opinion that clears are best for people who can't afford to make a lot of noise at work with blues, but obviously it's a very subjective point, and tastes vary a lot. Being able to try them before you commit helps a lot.


Oddly enough, I've got a CM Quickfire here at work with blues and don't really like it. It could be that the cheap key caps ruin it. The keys just feel loose and too light compared to my Happy Hacking keyboard.

I'll let you know when I get to the point of having something to show! I'm probably still a week out from the case arriving, at the earliest. In the meantime, I'm helping teach a friend who bought an Ergodox kit how to solder.

Blues are rather high in pitch relative to older clicky switches like Alps or Buckling Springs and that certainly puts people off. I find the blues in the Atreus to be quite "chattery" but the wooden case dampens them some. I don't like swapping keycaps on hand wired boards but I might do so later this month to sound test between Retro DSA (ABS plastic) and Granite (PBT plastic) on the Atreus to see if they sound a lot different.

So I tried swapping the keycaps just now and the keycap is sturdier on the MX mount than the switch is in the switch plate and I like typing on the Atreus too much to rip out solder joints trying to change keycaps so I'll wait to try the granite until I disassemble this one to add a PCB. In the meantime, here's a short phrase typed on the Atreus with doubleshot DSA keycaps.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 24 July 2014, 17:39:23
- Enjoy your $1 (plus shipping) 1.5x keycap!

It'd be nice if there were a way to combine the shipping for the two orders, since IIRC they charge like US$8, but I couldn't find a way to do that. Maybe if you contact them via email they could arrange it.

-Phil
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nuclearsandwich on Fri, 25 July 2014, 02:34:53
- Enjoy your $1 (plus shipping) 1.5x keycap!

It'd be nice if there were a way to combine the shipping for the two orders, since IIRC they charge like US$8, but I couldn't find a way to do that. Maybe if you contact them via email they could arrange it.

-Phil

The last time I called SP out on absurd shipping calculations they refunded the entire shipping price for my order. So yeah, definitely say something if shipping looks whack.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Sun, 27 July 2014, 09:31:41
If you request an extra 1.5x key from SP in your order, they might offer you a way to get a second 1.5x key

I'm going to try requesting the standard base set without a spacebar and with an extra 1.5x key.

Otherwise, I'm thinking about just grabbing 2x of their transparent or translucent 1.5x keys and putting mode LEDs under there. Not that I really look at my thumbs while typing or would need to see it to know I'm holding fn.

In other news: My plywood case from Ponoko should be here tomorrow!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nuclearsandwich on Sun, 27 July 2014, 09:42:10
If you request an extra 1.5x key from SP in your order, they might offer you a way to get a second 1.5x key

I'm going to try requesting the standard base set without a spacebar and with an extra 1.5x key.

Otherwise, I'm thinking about just grabbing 2x of their transparent or translucent 1.5x keys and putting mode LEDs under there. Not that I really look at my thumbs while typing or would need to see it to know I'm holding fn.

In other news: My plywood case from Ponoko should be here tomorrow!

That sounds like a sweet contingency!

Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Mon, 28 July 2014, 17:57:15
Not much yet but this came today:

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5567/14769295254_25c04810ac_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/ov7uVC)IMG_3162 (https://flic.kr/p/ov7uVC) by Matt Gauger (https://www.flickr.com/people//), on Flickr

I have everything but the key caps at this point. Time to start building!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Tue, 29 July 2014, 12:32:55
More Atreus questions: What screws / nuts are you guys using for the Ponoko plywood design? I've got tons of bike hardware (which is all M3 AFAIK) but the bolts are too thick. I suppose I should just take one of the wooden L's to the hardware store and find something that works, but there's surprisingly few hardware stores I can get to here.

Looking forward to contributing back to the project by submitting a PR to update README with some of these answers  :thumb:
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 29 July 2014, 13:10:28
More Atreus questions: What screws / nuts are you guys using for the Ponoko plywood design? I've got tons of bike hardware (which is all M3 AFAIK) but the bolts are too thick.

That's weird; M3 is what I'm using. Maybe you have M5s?

Some of the hardware stores around here charge a lot more for metric sizes, so I've had some luck substituting 4-40 screws. But definitely take the case with you when you look for screws so you can tell for sure.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nuclearsandwich on Tue, 29 July 2014, 14:33:20
More Atreus questions: What screws / nuts are you guys using for the Ponoko plywood design? I've got tons of bike hardware (which is all M3 AFAIK) but the bolts are too thick.

That's weird; M3 is what I'm using. Maybe you have M5s?

Some of the hardware stores around here charge a lot more for metric sizes, so I've had some luck substituting 4-40 screws. But definitely take the case with you when you look for screws so you can tell for sure.

I've got an Olander (http://www.olander.com/) near me and we can get just a ton of anything. However, you can only get it in tons. I went to get 3 M2s once and the guy just gave me a sad look and said it wasn't worth his time to invoice me and just let me have them.

If we want to get a bunch of stuff at once I can mail it to you Technomancy to include with the kits as well as send some tim mathiasx.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Tue, 29 July 2014, 17:01:44

I've got an Olander (http://www.olander.com/) near me and we can get just a ton of anything. However, you can only get it in tons. I went to get 3 M2s once and the guy just gave me a sad look and said it wasn't worth his time to invoice me and just let me have them.

If we want to get a bunch of stuff at once I can mail it to you Technomancy to include with the kits as well as send some tim mathiasx.

I've been to the Fastenal store near here when we had a project using 80/20 extruded aluminum at work.
Similar situation when we wanted 5x of a particular bolt: It was easier just to take them as samples, according to the guy at the register.

That said, Fastenal is fairly far away in an industrial park that I can't get to easily by bike. Car culture  :(
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 29 July 2014, 21:44:59
If we want to get a bunch of stuff at once I can mail it to you Technomancy to include with the kits as well as send some tim mathiasx.

Thanks for the offer; I've actually had good luck picking up screws on eBay. Once you get into lots of 100+, the price for a bag of screws or nuts or diodes or whatever is quite reasonable.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Wed, 30 July 2014, 11:25:26
Just picked up some bolts and nuts on eBay based on this. Thanks for the tip!

Edit: It was definitely a difference of M3 versus M5. Thanks @technomancy!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Wed, 13 August 2014, 12:38:14
I've been making more progress, slowly. I'm currently helping my friend build his Ergo Dox kit from Massdrop, which has been a good learning experience.

Here's a not-so-great picture of last night's progress, now that I've got the finish (marine/boat polyurethane) to an acceptable place.

(http://i.imgur.com/dZ9GaI0.jpg) (http://imgur.com/dZ9GaI0)

(Ignore the old remnants of my garage's history as someone else's auto repair shop on the desk ;) )
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Wed, 13 August 2014, 12:42:03
Looks great! Now comes the hard part. =)

I've written an improved assembly guide and posted it at http://atreus.technomancy.us/assembly.pdf

You might find this useful as it's a bit more detailed than what I've got on GitHub. Please let me know if you have any feedback on it.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Wed, 13 August 2014, 12:42:50
Oh nice! Thanks for the link!  :thumb:
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Wed, 13 August 2014, 18:05:34
Any thoughts on why to only use MX Blacks for the modifiers shown in the PDF? I assumed that almost all the closest-row keys were modifiers; but I can see that ctrl, alt, fn, and shift are clearly "modifiers" while the others aren't, necessarily.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PJE on Wed, 13 August 2014, 20:35:17
I've been working on my OneHand/TwoHand PCB design, and I'm now stuck by how similar it is to half of this design... The vertical stager of the middle column is a little smaller on my design.

(http://www.creativephotoeffects.com/pje/V2Top.png)

One keyboard half can scan the other. The only issue would be the design would have two 2x thumb keys on each half.

It would be easy for me to create a PCB matching this layout with the additional key if anyone would be interested.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: jdcarpe on Wed, 13 August 2014, 20:43:59
It would be easy for me to create a PCB matching this layout with the additional key if anyone would be interested.

I would definitely be interested. I'm ashamed to say I haven't yet built up the One Hand PCB you sent me, but I am planning on making something similar to Technomancy's Atreus here, but with the spacing from the ErgoDox. I would love to be able to use your PCBs with the case.

(http://i.imgur.com/conuxo4.png)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Wed, 13 August 2014, 22:58:57
I assumed that almost all the closest-row keys were modifiers; but I can see that ctrl, alt, fn, and shift are clearly "modifiers" while the others aren't, necessarily.

No, on a board this small you really don't have the luxury of duplicating modifiers on both sides of the board. So it's just a single ctrl, alt, fn, shift, and also super. (aka gui, command, windows, etc.) Gotta have room for space, backspace, tab, enter, esc, and a couple bits of punctuation. Of course, you can reconfigure it as you like, but I don't think you'll be able to fit everything you need in the top three rows.

If you're asking why I used blacks just for the modifiers, it's because they're not intended to be tapped like the regular keys are, so blues (or clears or whatever) make sense for them. But space, backspace, etc all benefit from tactile feedback.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Sat, 16 August 2014, 14:25:35
technomancy:

The new guide is really great. I enjoyed the technique of bending the diodes to carry all the positive connections. It reminded me of building BEAM bots (http://www.beam-wiki.org/wiki/Main_Page) back in the day and other somewhat sculptural/structural soldering projects.

However, I've now hit a question:

How should I wire up the two thumb buttons? Looking at the Github wiring diagram, it looks like the middle columns would be wired as so:
(board flipped over as in instructions)
 
(http://i.imgur.com/H8EFgIN.png) (http://imgur.com/H8EFgIN)

(where orange are the diodes and red lines are the legs. Sorry, I'm not much of an artist...)

I'm also not sure whether the rows are connected across the gap. It looks like they are in the microcontroller step, but that's not mentioned earlier.
It might be that the image in the Microcontroller step uses the diodes in a reverse orientation (and older Atreus images on Github use diodes on the columns rather than the rows?)

So far so good though! Here's my progress. I've realized I probably need to wire to the positive side of the inner diodes, but I can always rearrange those or use new diodes in their place if the legs aren't right.
(http://i.imgur.com/6c66pGF.jpg) (http://imgur.com/6c66pGF)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 16 August 2014, 17:11:53
How should I wire up the two thumb buttons? Looking at the Github wiring diagram, it looks like the middle columns would be wired as so:

Yeah, this image is exactly right. I should probably do a more detailed image than the one in the PDF since it's a bit confusing.
 
I'm also not sure whether the rows are connected across the gap. It looks like they are in the microcontroller step, but that's not mentioned earlier.

This is covered in the end of section 5: "Once youve connected the left side of each row to the Teensy, youll need to connect the right side of the row to the left. Be sure that these connections
all go to the positive side of the diodes and dont touch un-insulated column connections."

Maybe that's a bit unclear? Open to suggestions for how the wording could be improved. You could do it earlier, but I think having the top rows connected might make the column wiring more difficult.

So far so good though! Here's my progress. I've realized I probably need to wire to the positive side of the inner diodes, but I can always rearrange those or use new diodes in their place if the legs aren't right.

This is about right, but it looks like the leftmost column of each side is missing a diode. There should be one diode for every switch. For instance, on the far left, it looks like the positive legs of the column 2 diodes are connected directly to the column 1 pins, but there should be a diode in between them.

I wire mine outwards-in on both sides, but you've wired left-to-right on both sides. This is completely arbitrary, and it works fine either way, but I could see how it might be confusing. Will try to clarify this.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Sat, 16 August 2014, 17:40:35
This is covered in the end of section 5: "Once youve connected the left side of each row to the Teensy, youll need to connect the right side of the row to the left. Be sure that these connections
all go to the positive side of the diodes and dont touch un-insulated column connections."

Maybe that's a bit unclear? Open to suggestions for how the wording could be improved. You could do it earlier, but I think having the top rows connected might make the column wiring more difficult.

Got it. That makes sense. Maybe that should be its own section to call attention to it? It's short, but important.

This is about right, but it looks like the leftmost column of each side is missing a diode. There should be one diode for every switch. For instance, on the far left, it looks like the positive legs of the column 2 diodes are connected directly to the column 1 pins, but there should be a diode in between them.

I wire mine outwards-in on both sides, but you've wired left-to-right on both sides. This is completely arbitrary, and it works fine either way, but I could see how it might be confusing. Will try to clarify this.

Aha. That makes sense. I'll redo those left-most columns. Thanks!

-- Matt
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PJE on Sun, 17 August 2014, 13:49:32
I've modified my OneHand PCB to allow it to be used in a Atreus style arrangement.

(http://www.creativephotoeffects.com/pje/Atreus.png)

The 2x thumb keys can be split into two 1x keys, and the 1.5x bottom row keys can also be replaced by 1x keys. The vertical stagger of the columns may be a little different from the standard Atreus design.

For more information see me Deskthority  (http://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/onehand-20-keyboard-t6617-210.html#p178929)thread.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Sun, 17 August 2014, 19:41:42
Did more soldering tonight. Verified everything for continuity and no shorts with my multimeter. I just need to finish up the wires to the columns and I'm done with wiring!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Tue, 19 August 2014, 13:35:59
Finished!

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3869/14949137106_21a836ab5c_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/oM1eDd)IMG_3218 (https://flic.kr/p/oM1eDd) by Matt Gauger (https://www.flickr.com/people/44662715@N00/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5592/14785511628_5827e18f92_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/owxBuh)IMG_3220 (https://flic.kr/p/owxBuh) by Matt Gauger (https://www.flickr.com/people/44662715@N00/), on Flickr
(There's even more photos if you follow the link over to my flickr)

Works great! Just getting used to the layout. I've been using dvorak.nl (http://dvorak.nl) to learn the home row on a traditional keyboard, but now I need to move into learning other keys. Switching to dvorak to break my brain of staggered-layout bad habits.

Will probably blog about it this weekend if I have time (I'm at a conference this weekend.)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 19 August 2014, 14:18:23
Finished!

Nice work! Definitely interested in a write-up on the blog. Once you've got that let me know and I'll link to it from the Atreus readme.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Wed, 20 August 2014, 08:57:51
Has anyone figured out a case for their Atreus? I'm carrying mine around in a cardboard box with some foam padding, but trying to find something a little more resilient and also as small as possible. I seem to be carrying a lot of stuff back and forth to the office on my bike lately, so smaller is better in my case.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Sun, 24 August 2014, 07:56:41
Happy to report that I've figured out a case, too. After measuring and searching Amazon for things like otter boxes and tupperware, I happened to look at CD cases and found that the Case Logic 48-disc case (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00011KM3I/) should fit the Atreus. And, it's cheap! Now that I've received it from Amazon, I can confirm that the Atreus fits great after cutting out the CD folios. It's not a completely crush-resistant hard case, but it works.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Wed, 27 August 2014, 21:19:03
I had some time tonight to polish this up and get it posted:

http://blog.mattgauger.com/blog/2014/08/19/atreus-my-custom-keyboard/

 :thumb:
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 28 August 2014, 00:09:00
http://blog.mattgauger.com/blog/2014/08/19/atreus-my-custom-keyboard/

Nice; thanks. I'll link to this from the Atreus readme.

For my own board, I have a laptop case with plenty of extra room, so it fits nicely in there. But that looks like another good way to go.

I noticed your case doesn't have the logo. Did you grab the files before this was merged https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/pull/8 or is there still somewhere in the repo that has the logo-less files?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PJE on Thu, 28 August 2014, 07:08:05
I had some time tonight to polish this up and get it posted:

http://blog.mattgauger.com/blog/2014/08/19/atreus-my-custom-keyboard/

 :thumb:
Nice write up. I've also been playing with OpenSCAD to visualize keyboard layouts for my OneHand/TwoHand project.

One comes out looking like the Atreus design, especially if you swap the thumb button for two 1u keys, which is an option.

(http://creativephotoeffects.com/pje/3D/Lrg2.png)

I've tented the two halves on the TwoHand design. I'm just about to pull the trigger on buying the PCBs.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: jdcarpe on Thu, 28 August 2014, 08:45:32
http://blog.mattgauger.com/blog/2014/08/19/atreus-my-custom-keyboard/

Nice; thanks. I'll link to this from the Atreus readme.

For my own board, I have a laptop case with plenty of extra room, so it fits nicely in there. But that looks like another good way to go.

I noticed your case doesn't have the logo. Did you grab the files before this was merged https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/pull/8 or is there still somewhere in the repo that has the logo-less files?

I'm not sure if the problem is on my end, or what, but when I go to https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/tree/master/case/dxf and download the case.dxf file, I can't open it in either AutoCAD or QCAD. :(
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Constantine on Thu, 28 August 2014, 11:14:59
I'll add my two cents here (since I'm the one responsible for the "Mark II" case design and corresponding DXF files).

Regarding case.dxf: it seems to open just fine using QCAD version 3.6.4 and DraftSight V1R5 on Mac OS X. This http://gallery.proficad.com/tools/autocad-viewer.aspx online viewer works for me, too.

Regarding the Atreus logo: case.dxf has the logo, case-quartered.dxf, ready-for-ponoko.svg, and the OpenSCAD design do not.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: jdcarpe on Thu, 28 August 2014, 11:34:01
I'll add my two cents here (since I'm the one responsible for the "Mark II" case design and corresponding DXF files).

Regarding case.dxf: it seems to open just fine using QCAD version 3.6.4 and DraftSight V1R5 on Mac OS X. This http://gallery.proficad.com/tools/autocad-viewer.aspx online viewer works for me, too.

Regarding the Atreus logo: case.dxf has the logo, case-quartered.dxf, ready-for-ponoko.svg, and the OpenSCAD design do not.

Apparently, the fault lies in my lack of knowledge of how to use github. I was going to the case directory and right clicking on the case.dxf link, and Save As. That was giving me an HTML file. When I went to the main repository, and clicked Download ZIP, I now have a .dxf file I can open.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Thu, 28 August 2014, 18:02:47

I noticed your case doesn't have the logo. Did you grab the files before this was merged https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/pull/8 or is there still somewhere in the repo that has the logo-less files?
Regarding the Atreus logo: case.dxf has the logo, case-quartered.dxf, ready-for-ponoko.svg, and the OpenSCAD design do not.

I used ready-for-ponoko.svg from what I remember.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Sat, 30 August 2014, 14:20:30
I was inspired to try Vibex's JWUP layout on the Atreus after reading this blog post: http://blog.keyboard.io/post/93901487184/what-you-and-i-missed-at-keycon-2014

So I've pushed a JWUP layout to Github if anyone else wants to try: https://github.com/mathias/atreus-firmware/blob/jwup_layout/jwup.json -- the main difference is that I have the row 3, col 3 key mapped to comma instead of enter like Vibex's smallfry, since I prefer the enter key where it is on other Atreus layouts. Layers 2 and 3 are the same as default Atreus QWERTY and Colemak layouts.

There's also a fork of my friend's typing tutor (that he wrote to practice his Twiddler keyboard) https://github.com/mathias/ttype/tree/jwup -- The string on ttype.c line 121 finds /usr/share/dict/words words that include the home row + m & d keys, since that's as far as I am in learning the layout.

If anyone finds these things useful, let me know  :thumb:
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Vibex on Sat, 30 August 2014, 21:33:45
I was inspired to try Vibex's JWUP layout on the Atreus after reading this blog post: http://blog.keyboard.io/post/93901487184/what-you-and-i-missed-at-keycon-2014

So I've pushed a JWUP layout to Github if anyone else wants to try: https://github.com/mathias/atreus-firmware/blob/jwup_layout/jwup.json -- the main difference is that I have the row 3, col 3 key mapped to comma instead of enter like Vibex's smallfry, since I prefer the enter key where it is on other Atreus layouts. Layers 2 and 3 are the same as default Atreus QWERTY and Colemak layouts.

There's also a fork of my friend's typing tutor (that he wrote to practice his Twiddler keyboard) https://github.com/mathias/ttype/tree/jwup -- The string on ttype.c line 121 finds /usr/share/dict/words words that include the home row + m & d keys, since that's as far as I am in learning the layout.

If anyone finds these things useful, let me know  :thumb:
Cool to see someone else trying my layout. I have since moved away from the 40% layout and made a new version to fit on standard sized boards. Still fiddiling with it, but I find it nicer to type on so far.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Sun, 31 August 2014, 08:43:21
Cool to see someone else trying my layout. I have since moved away from the 40% layout and made a new version to fit on standard sized boards. Still fiddiling with it, but I find it nicer to type on so far.

I definitely felt the improvement over Dvorak on same-finger-multiple-keys-in-a-row movements. But now I'm tempted to do my own analysis and come up with something of my own design, probably before I spend too much more time learning either Dvorak or your JWUP layout.  :)) :thumb:
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Vibex on Sun, 31 August 2014, 08:57:31
Cool to see someone else trying my layout. I have since moved away from the 40% layout and made a new version to fit on standard sized boards. Still fiddiling with it, but I find it nicer to type on so far.

I definitely felt the improvement over Dvorak on same-finger-multiple-keys-in-a-row movements. But now I'm tempted to do my own analysis and come up with something of my own design, probably before I spend too much more time learning either Dvorak or your JWUP layout.  :)) :thumb:
Go for it. :thumb: Like I said, I'm still making changes to it on a fairly regular basis. I find designing things like this to be a ton of fun, so it' pretty much constantly changing.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Mon, 01 September 2014, 09:02:22
So I ran into a funny issue, technomancy. I have already been flipping Ctrl and Alt in my layouts because they made more sense flipped, and then I realized that my Ctrl and Alt keys didn't match what the atreus-view function was outputting.

I don't think I wired my switches backwards, going off the PDF and this image from the repo (and assuming that the board is flipped over to work on it):

(https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/raw/master/thumb-diagram.png)

When flipped over, the key on the left is in row 3 and the key on the right is on row 4. Still, with the default firmware spots for Ctrl and Alt, I'm getting alt on the right and Ctrl on the left. I just opened it up to confirm that the left key is on row 3 and the right is on row 4 as far as wiring.

Any idea why this might be happening? Or is it just something that I have to swap in firmware? (Even though it's odd that atreus-view gives me the wrong mapping because it is expecting the opposite?)

Edit: Thinking about it: the firmware is right -- right-side-up, my left thumb key is in the 4th row, and the right thumb key is in the 3rd row. With Alt in the third row mapping and Ctrl in the 4th row mapping, it behaves as it should. It must be that they're backwards in atreus-view

Edit edit: If indeed that's the issue, I submitted a PR over on Github to fix it. Definitely needs to be verified that I haven't wired my board wrong, though.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mondoman712 on Mon, 22 September 2014, 10:52:21
Hey, I'm planning on building one of these. Will I have problems if I use a Teensy 3.1? Its a lot easier for me to get one, and I can do some programming.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Melvang on Mon, 22 September 2014, 11:03:08
Hey, I'm planning on building one of these. Will I have problems if I use a Teensy 3.1? Its a lot easier for me to get one, and I can do some programming.

Firmware designed for use with the Atmega32u4 will not work on the 3.x Teensy.  The 3.x uses an entirely different chip.  The 3.x can work as a keyboard controller but the common third party firmware will not work on.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Mon, 22 September 2014, 11:10:52
Hey, I'm planning on building one of these. Will I have problems if I use a Teensy 3.1? Its a lot easier for me to get one, and I can do some programming.

I have an experimental firmware I'm using on this with the Teensy 3. It's not quite as polished as the mainline firmware.

https://github.com/technomancy/orestes/tree/teensy3

I am using this on my second Atreus, and it's to the point where I can spend a full day on it without much trouble. There are a few debouncing bugs you run into occasionally, but it's usable. This firmware has a Forth implementation on board, and my plan is to move as much of the logic as I can from C to Forth, but that has only just begun. Right now I'm the only one using it though.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mondoman712 on Mon, 22 September 2014, 11:28:03
I have an experimental firmware I'm using on this with the Teensy 3. It's not quite as polished as the mainline firmware.

https://github.com/technomancy/orestes/tree/teensy3

I am using this on my second Atreus, and it's to the point where I can spend a full day on it without much trouble. There are a few debouncing bugs you run into occasionally, but it's usable. This firmware has a Forth implementation on board, and my plan is to move as much of the logic as I can from C to Forth, but that has only just begun. Right now I'm the only one using it though.

Is there much programming to do? I can see you've done a lot but is most of that your forth implementation. I've done some C before and I'd like some new programming projects anyway.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Mon, 22 September 2014, 11:50:44
Is there much programming to do? I can see you've done a lot but is most of that your forth implementation. I've done some C before and I'd like some new programming projects anyway.

If your goal is to just get a working keyboard, it's just a bit of tuning and tweaking here and there. If your goal is to have a keyboard programmed in Forth, there's lots of work remaining, and I would be happy for some help. But it's a pretty weird project, so I wouldn't be too surprised if it's something that only appeals to me.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mondoman712 on Mon, 22 September 2014, 11:53:30
If your goal is to just get a working keyboard, it's just a bit of tuning and tweaking here and there. If your goal is to have a keyboard programmed in Forth, there's lots of work remaining, and I would be happy for some help. But it's a pretty weird project, so I wouldn't be too surprised if it's something that only appeals to me.

I'm more of a LISP guy myself, but I guess I'll just get it working before I start trying some fancy stuff.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Mon, 22 September 2014, 17:52:35
I'm more of a LISP guy myself, but I guess I'll just get it working before I start trying some fancy stuff.

Normally I am too, but Forth is just a better fit for low-level microcontroller stuff. But yeah, lots to do just building the device before you get into the programming bits.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: cdelahousse on Wed, 01 October 2014, 02:43:20
I've decided to build a modified version of the Atreus. My work gives its employees access to a laser cutter.

My process is OpenSCAD (.dxf) -> Inkscape (.svg) -> Illustrator (wood cut out).
On my first try, I learned that OpenSCAD does not use mm as units, so the plates were WAY too big. I scaled them down to ~80% on my subsequent cuts. I tested switch fit using cardboard and then once I got the scaling right, I cut the template out of wood again.

Everything is now fitted with keycaps. Nothing is soldered or glued. I'm unhappy with the angle of the halves. I'd like to angle my elbows out more, so I'll be rotating the halves in. Also, I find my thumb rests a lot lower than where keys are.

I'm using 6mm birch plywood planed down to around 4.5mm. The sections are assembled using M3 nuts and bolts, but I'll try 6-32 screws soon.

Wood is cheap and my access to the laser cutter is plentiful, so I'm going to iterate a lot.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: cdelahousse on Wed, 01 October 2014, 02:55:58
Pictures:
http://imgur.com/a/2X0Jp

Sorry, I'd upload them, but the forums software seems to suck.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Fri, 03 October 2014, 10:00:43
Pictures:
http://imgur.com/a/2X0Jp

Sorry, I'd upload them, but the forums software seems to suck.

Looking good!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 03 October 2014, 11:10:35
I've decided to build a modified version of the Atreus. My work gives its employees access to a laser cutter.

Nice. I'm jealous; I think it would be a lot of fun to iterate on designs if I had laser access like that. This is when the programmatically-generated shapes of openscad will really pay off; you can tweak the inputs to your heart's content and see what you like best.

I'm using 6mm birch plywood planed down to around 4.5mm. The sections are assembled using M3 nuts and bolts, but I'll try 6-32 screws soon.

Cool. All the builds so far have been with a double-thickness spacer, but I feel like if you're using a thicker switch plate then the switches will be more recessed in the plate, and you might not need as thick of a spacer. But it might still be a little tight on space, so keep that in mind as you wire it. I have used M3 screws and also 4-40 screws (since metric can be hard to find in the uncivilised US) so you might try that instead of 6-32.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 25 October 2014, 14:26:11
I've been working the past couple weeks on a PCB design in KiCad. I just finished running all the traces out, and as far as I know it looks decent, but I've never done any PCB work before. I wonder if anyone who is familiar with this could take a look and let me know if I've made any newbie mistakes?

    https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/blob/master/atreus.kicad_pcb

Due to limitations and bugs in KiCad I ended up writing a program to place the switches and diodes with the proper rotation and placing since I didn't want to do all the trig by hand:

    https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/blob/master/atreus.rkt

The KiCad PCB format was revamped and uses s-expressions now instead of some crazy one-off format; I was really impressed with how easy it was to work with. The traces are done by hand though.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nuclearsandwich on Sat, 25 October 2014, 17:01:38
This is way cooler than anything I could have done! Thanks for sharing it!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 25 October 2014, 23:53:39
This is way cooler than anything I could have done! Thanks for sharing it!

Thanks! I've spoken to a few other folks and have a few modifications I'm going to do before fabrication:

* thicker traces (3mm)
* move the diodes to the side instead of sitting under the switches
* avoid routing traces through diode through-holes
* keep traces closer together and don't let them get to close to unconnected through-holes

Hopefully I should have something ready to produce soon.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Sun, 26 October 2014, 13:43:09
Don't remove the through holes under the switches so in-switch diodes can still be used.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 28 October 2014, 00:03:57
Don't remove the through holes under the switches so in-switch diodes can still be used.

I might support that in a future rev, but I don't want to get fancy in my first version. I just pushed out the latest with a number of changes:

* Diodes in between columns
* More clearance around traces, thicker traces
* Labels, license
* New microcontroller

I found the Pololu A-Star micro, which uses the same atmega32u4 as the Teensy 2, but costs a bit less, uses the Arduino bootloader, and uses USB micro, so the combination of all of those factors made it pretty compelling. (The USB Mini cables I'm currently using are very annoying because the thickness of the connectors is greater than the spacer thickness I'm using, so you have to sand away some of the plastic on the connector before you can close the case. Micro cables don't have this problem.) I've got one on the way to evaluate, and once I OK it, I'm going to put in an initial smaller order for fabrication. If that checks out I'll go into a larger run.

http://gerblook.org/pcb/LekeNX4kKAD7GURqFJuktS
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Tue, 28 October 2014, 12:55:47
I like the design a LOT, though I'd really like to see the option for the 2x thumb keys on each side, perhaps an option with rear mounting the controller so the upper 2 keys have clearance?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Tue, 28 October 2014, 14:10:05
For those looking at doing the one hand design, this is a much better option to the teensy cheaper, smaller, and microusb http://www.studica.com/us/en/dfrobot/beetle-1pc.html
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 31 October 2014, 00:27:56
I like the design a LOT, though I'd really like to see the option for the 2x thumb keys on each side, perhaps an option with rear mounting the controller so the upper 2 keys have clearance?

Thanks. Again, I think that's a good idea, but I don't feel confident enough in my PCB design skills to want to add features like that before I know my design is solid.

I just submitted the board for a small run of fabrication, and I'm pretty excited to see how it turns out. Made some very minor adjustments to the design above, mostly just turning the middle thumb switches so they might work with 1.5x Alps caps which can't be rotated 90 degrees like Cherry.

http://gerblook.org/pcb/zqMY66AEsKz3xehSrdoDV6

Fingers crossed!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Thu, 06 November 2014, 16:21:20
technomancy, does the new PCB have mounting holes or are you just working on the PCB for now with a plan for a new case when you've got the PCB ironed out?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 06 November 2014, 21:47:57
technomancy, does the new PCB have mounting holes or are you just working on the PCB for now with a plan for a new case when you've got the PCB ironed out?

The holes for the switches should hold it in place once the switches get soldered. If that doesn't work I might consider some changes to the spacer layer to hold the PCB in place; I'm just going to have to wait and see once I get them delivered.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Thu, 06 November 2014, 22:13:28
Makes sense; the key switches will go into the key plate and then the PCB soldered behind that, like an Ergo Dox? I guess I hadn't thought about still needing a key plate with a PCB.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nuclearsandwich on Fri, 07 November 2014, 01:54:45
Makes sense; the key switches will go into the key plate and then the PCB soldered behind that, like an Ergo Dox? I guess I hadn't thought about still needing a key plate with a PCB.

It's a bit harder to find PCB mount cherry switches too, although I think mechanicalkeyboards.com has them now. You definitely need PCB mount switches (they have plastic pins for stability) to go plateless as you otherwise put too much strain on the switch pins. Alps / Matias switches need a switchplate always.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Thu, 13 November 2014, 09:34:53
Slight changes for my preference, I'm going to probably test this out this weekend on my laser cutter.
(http://i.imgur.com/XY4LgHs.png)
case size is actually a bit smaller than the original, and has 3 more keys.  I liked 5 more angle on mine for personal comfort.

I was also thinking about adding another key or two to the blank area at the top to show off artesan keys ;)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Thu, 13 November 2014, 13:36:27
Ok, had to increase the height by 0.13" but managed to fill the space pretty well.
(http://i.imgur.com/gHW3WOf.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/dL4CfiK.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/z7NrfJu.png)
covers everything I need except F keys and arrow cluster, both easy to access by Fn
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 14 November 2014, 14:10:38
This looks cool, but I think you'll need to make some revisions to the design before it's practical. The main problem is that you don't have any space left for the microcontroller, so I'm not sure how you'd wire this without doubling the thickness and just laying it on top of some of the switches. You might be able to fit something in the triangle gap in the middle, but you've got a screw hole there. And you also have to leave room for the head of the USB cable above the microcontroller.

You're also going to have a lot of trouble typing with fn that position; you really need it to be under the thumbs or you won't be able to hit any fn-layer keys with your index finger. Depending on the programs you use, you might also have the same problem with alt; this layout definitely isn't feasible for Emacs users. You'll probably also need to fit tab and super in somewhere.

I've avoided the "two layers of thumb keys" design because obra claims it was "a total bust" when he tried it on his Mark 4 (http://blog.fsck.com/2013/12/better-and-better-keyboards.html) but of course YMMV.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Fri, 14 November 2014, 14:20:18
PCB space is not a problem, I'm going with an atmega 32u4 directly on the board (in the area between enter ctrl and fn on the backside).  Using these daughterboard things just seem like a waste if you're going through the trouble of designing a pcb anyway, and one surface mount component is manageable. USB is onboard, and comes out above the Alt key.

For the most part, since I added in enough keys to cover my applications, including the numbers, I'm not going to be using the Fn key for anything except the F keys and brackets, I don't use those much. Also, the location of Fn and Alt are both fairly close to the index finger position, I never liked using my little finger for those anyway.  I'll give it a try and if its a bust, it can be easily reprogrammed.
Worst case scenario, Fn gets moved to the "? /" position, though I really like the idea of having only 1 set of mods which are accessible by both hands.

The higher thumb keys are really made for the index finger, you rarely use space and ctrl, or enter and backspace at the same time, it shouldn't be a problem.

The only real issue I foresee is that I may find the home row to be too low for my comfort, and swap the number row down to the bottom to shift the home row to the middle of the keyboard.

This is pretty much a modified version of what I use on my ergodox: (http://i.imgur.com/o6kc8wY.png)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 14 November 2014, 15:01:35
Oh right; I forgot that you were going to design a PCB to go with it. For kits there's a strong incentive to avoid SMD, but if you're constructing just one for yourself that's not a problem. That would take care of the space issues, provided you add a USB port rather than keeping the connector inside the board. I don't think the fn placement is tenable, but that's a change you can make after production in firmware, so you can play around with it to find what works for you.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Wed, 19 November 2014, 23:02:35
I just got my PCBs a couple days ago. They're glorious! It's amazing what a difference it makes on the construction time--I was able to build two keyboards in less time than it took to build one previously, and it's a much less frustrating process.

On the first build I found a big problem--placing the microcontroller above the PCB took up too much room, so the case wasn't able to close. This is a pretty easy fix though; it's just a matter of adding a notch that allows the microcontroller to only overlap with the PCB where the pins need to be soldered, the body of the microcontroller can be seated much lower down. I've made this change to the PCB design for future orders, but by breaking out a hacksaw I was able to make it work with the ones I've got on hand.

The second problem is that I was getting a bunch of spurious key presses after I made the notch and assembled my second attempt. Testing with a multimeter, all the connections seem to check out fine, so I suspect this is actually due to switching to a new microcontroller (the A-Star micro vs the old Teensy design).

The one drawback of the new microcontroller is that it doesn't have a reset button on it but a reset pin instead. Because of the height issue, the microcontroller ends up being behind the PCB instead of on top of it, which means the reset pin isn't exposed. So I've added access to it through the PCB, but for my existing boards I'm going to have to run a couple pieces of hookup wire down around the bottom of the PCB so you can tap them together to reset the board without pulling all the switches off to get to the other side of the microcontroller.

So I need to step through the firmware in a bit more detail to figure out what's going on with the spurious key codes being sent, but I'm still glad for the progress. If there's enough interest, I may offer the case+PCB combo for people who would rather provide their own switches and keycaps.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 22 November 2014, 22:53:16
Finally got my firmware issues sorted out. I've pushed the changes to work with the PCB pinout and A-star microcontroller out to the firmware repo, and everything looks great. Hoping to put in another order for a bigger batch of PCBs tomorrow.

I went public about selling the kits on Twitter and got over 600 hits in 24h along with a bunch of orders, so it appears there's strong demand. Still got a few hiccups in the supply chain, so there'll be some delays in orders, but I'm feeling pretty good about how it's gone so far. The main thing I need to do is update the assembly instructions--I'm changing the kit so that the customer does the finishing of the wood, and also they need to reflect the PCB-based construction.

Of course if anyone from GH is interested and has custom requests that aren't on the order site, just let me know; I can probably accomodate them.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mondoman712 on Tue, 25 November 2014, 08:44:58
Hi

I'm halfway though building mine and I noticed you updated the assembly instructions to the new PCB version. Could you send me the old version somehow? I didn't save a copy and I'd like to check some things. Thanks
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 25 November 2014, 10:25:14
Sure. There's a link within the new instructions, but it's available at http://atreus.technomancy.us/assembly-hand-wired.pdf
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mondoman712 on Tue, 25 November 2014, 10:34:34
Ah i didn't see that thanks
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: cdelahousse on Fri, 28 November 2014, 19:24:57
Wow, it has been cool to see all these developments! I too have iterated on a slightly new design.

I noticed that a lot of space was being wasted up top, so made the top line hug the keys a bit more. I also didn't like the staggered keys, so I straightened them.

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Mon, 08 December 2014, 20:01:26
Just got the rev2 PCBs over the weekend. They contain the larger notch, so that a hacksaw is no longer required, (such a relief!) and the reset pin of the microcontroller is now exposed properly. This means that it's no longer required to run hookup wire down to the bottom of the board to expose a backup reset, which is nice. Ideally the hardware reset should never be needed once the firmware is first flashed, but it's there in case you really need to recover from a firmware bug without taking all the switches off.

I've documented the various revisions that the design has gone through here, with the current version being Mark 3.1:

https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/blob/master/changelog.md

Yes, my prototypes are named NX-01, etc.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: cdelahousse on Mon, 08 December 2014, 21:22:52
Very Cool. What are you using as your PCB supplier?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: cdelahousse on Mon, 08 December 2014, 21:23:46
Also, what inspired you to move away from the teensy?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Mon, 08 December 2014, 23:31:46
Also, what inspired you to move away from the teensy?

Mostly it is about the micro-USB instead of mini-USB. With mini, I had to take the USB connector and use sandpaper to get rid of most of the plastic, but micro fits a lot more nicely into the case with no hassle. They are both ATmega32u4 boards, so the firmware needed very little adapting.

The PCBs are from seeed; they were recommended by PJE and obra both. I've been pleased with the quality.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Ari Gold on Sun, 18 January 2015, 01:31:47
Hey,

Any chance you would only sell the pcb?

And I assume the controller is mounted on top like the switches right?
So I could build a low profile case, compareable to gon or jd40 design?

Have you considered sourcing for the controller chips and having them presiderend on the main pcb? Same goes for the diodes. And perhaps led support.

Kind regards,
Thomas
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sun, 18 January 2015, 07:02:09
Any chance you would only sell the pcb?

I might in the future, but right now I've still got a backlog that I want to take care of before making things more complicated.

And I assume the controller is mounted on top like the switches right?
So I could build a low profile case, compareable to gon or jd40 design?

The controller daughterboard is mounted on the PCB like the switches, yeah. I'm not sure what you mean by a low-profile case; the limiting factor in the case size is the height of the USB cable. If you found a very thin USB micro connector you might be able to get the spacer smaller than 6mm at which point the limiting factor would be the PCB+A-Star micro. But the case is already very thin; only 12mm plus the top plate. The top plate is purely cosmetic and could be omitted, but it wouldn't result in making it thinner in practice since you already have the keycaps contributing to the height in that direction.

Have you considered sourcing for the controller chips and having them presiderend on the main pcb? Same goes for the diodes. And perhaps led support.

I don't have any intention to add LED support. I've considered putting the controller straight onto the PCB, but it wouldn't really save much money; the A-Star micro is already extremely cheap.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: pepijndevos on Thu, 05 March 2015, 15:12:06
I'm considering this keyboard as an alternative to my crappy TECK.
Two questions:

Is the ErgoDox still your primary keyboard?
How do you like living without the number row in practice?

I admit I only partially read this thread, so maybe I missed something.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 05 March 2015, 18:37:03
Is the ErgoDox still your primary keyboard?
How do you like living without the number row in practice?

I don't really use my ErgoDox much anymore, personally. But that is at least partially because I've moved, and I haven't had a big desk of my own for a while. I certainly don't miss having the extra keys these days though. When I was using the Ergodox more, was considering porting the Atreus layout to it so I could use the same numbers and punctuation arrangement.

Maybe I'm just weird, but I actually prefer having the numbers on the fn layer in the numpad arrangement. I could never touch-type them accurately along the top because you have to leave your home row position, and now I'm a lot more accurate.

If you've tried an fn numpad on a laptop and hated it, I don't blame you--typically laptops screw this up by shifting the numpad one row up--123 on the middle row instead of 456. This basically negates the convenience of having a numpad in the first place; the numpad on the Atreus works a lot better.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: kejadlen on Thu, 05 March 2015, 18:48:44
I vastly prefer the numpad over the numrow, to the point where I don't bother mapping any numrow keys on my Ergodox (https://github.com/kejadlen/tmk_keyboard/blob/master/keyboard/ergodox/keymap_planckeus.h (https://github.com/kejadlen/tmk_keyboard/blob/master/keyboard/ergodox/keymap_planckeus.h)).
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: pepijndevos on Wed, 18 March 2015, 03:47:33
I'm more worried about punctuation than actual numbers.
I want dedicated parentheses and brackets ;)

To make things worse, punctuation is the only thing I don't type blind.
I can never remember which number contains my & or % signs.

But on the other hand, it can't be worse than the TECK, so maybe I'll buy one.
Your kit is certainly less of a hassle than getting ErgoDox parts.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Wed, 18 March 2015, 04:11:31
I'm more worried about punctuation than actual numbers.
I want dedicated parentheses and brackets ;)

I put dedicated paren keys on my Ergodox, and it's kind of cool. But think about this though--would you rather have parentheses on a dedicated key where you have to reach your fingers out for it, or would you rather have it on the home row fn layer? After getting used to it, I find I much prefer having it on the home row personally.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Thu, 19 March 2015, 22:49:25
(http://i.imgur.com/ZYGknG6.jpg)
So far I'm liking this setup!  Got the DeepSpace keycap set on and it looks pretty good.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Oobly on Fri, 20 March 2015, 04:04:16
Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/ZYGknG6.jpg)

So far I'm liking this setup!  Got the DeepSpace keycap set on and it looks pretty good.

That's simply blue-tiful! <cringeworthy pun, I know>

Lovely little board you have, must be very satisfying to use :D
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: vivalarevolucin on Fri, 20 March 2015, 06:55:42
Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/ZYGknG6.jpg)

So far I'm liking this setup!  Got the DeepSpace keycap set on and it looks pretty good.

How did you get the extra keys?  Hand wiring instead of using the PCB?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Fri, 20 March 2015, 07:28:02
Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/ZYGknG6.jpg)

So far I'm liking this setup!  Got the DeepSpace keycap set on and it looks pretty good.

How did you get the extra keys?  Hand wiring instead of using the PCB?

Custom plate, PCB, and case.  I did a slight variation on the whole thing using a PCB that has just the atmel chip on it instead of the whole microcontroller.

Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Tshort on Fri, 20 March 2015, 09:31:18
Awesome!! Are you willing to share your case and pcb designs like technomancy did (github or elsewhere)?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Fri, 20 March 2015, 10:20:23
Yeah, I should probably set up a github account for it, I almost lost the PCB files after my last revision.
(http://i.imgur.com/2qaMKAR.png)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Sun, 22 March 2015, 11:23:40
I just ordered a prototype batch of 7 PCBs for this board, here's hoping they work right!  If anyone is interested in a board I could send you one for $25 for the bare board, or $30 with the SMT stuff done (what it cost me + USPS postage).  Be aware that you'd be ordering a prototype that may not be 100% working, it is untested, and I wouldn't mind a bit of assistance with the testing.
I'm doing an interest check on a group buy on these too: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=70205
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Fri, 03 April 2015, 13:04:53
Boards are in, they look good
(http://i.imgur.com/YJK3l7c.jpg)

Waiting on the rest of the SMD components to arrive...

While I'm waiting, I went ahead and added support for in-switch LEDs, ALPS switches, and SMD diodes to the next revision.  Pending the success of the first 2 revisions, in revision 3 I'm going to try adding bluetooth HID and a rechargeable battery to it.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: daftendire on Fri, 03 April 2015, 13:52:07
 :thumb: This looks like a fun little board. If I knew how to program I would be all over one of these early PCB's
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: neverused on Fri, 03 April 2015, 14:50:52
I'll take a populated prototype board of there is one left
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Fri, 03 April 2015, 15:05:58
I'll take a populated prototype board of there is one left

I've still got a few unclaimed, I'll let you know after the rest of the components come in.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: neverused on Fri, 03 April 2015, 15:06:47
I'll take a populated prototype board of there is one left

I've still got a few unclaimed, I'll let you know after the rest of the components come in.
Awesome thanks!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Fri, 03 April 2015, 15:08:21
:thumb: This looks like a fun little board. If I knew how to program I would be all over one of these early PCB's

They're running the same chip as the teensy, so programming should be pretty easy, they are compatible with the TMK firmware now ( https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=41989.0), and I hope to expand that to some of the other formats available here on geekhack.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: tecknut on Fri, 10 April 2015, 16:48:30
Boards are in, they look good
Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/YJK3l7c.jpg)


Waiting on the rest of the SMD components to arrive...

While I'm waiting, I went ahead and added support for in-switch LEDs, ALPS switches, and SMD diodes to the next revision.  Pending the success of the first 2 revisions, in revision 3 I'm going to try adding bluetooth HID and a rechargeable battery to it.

Hey, any chance you could take a pic of the PCB all soldered up? This is pretty awesome!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Fri, 10 April 2015, 20:26:14
Boards are in, they look good
Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/YJK3l7c.jpg)


Waiting on the rest of the SMD components to arrive...

While I'm waiting, I went ahead and added support for in-switch LEDs, ALPS switches, and SMD diodes to the next revision.  Pending the success of the first 2 revisions, in revision 3 I'm going to try adding bluetooth HID and a rechargeable battery to it.

Hey, any chance you could take a pic of the PCB all soldered up? This is pretty awesome!

Sure :)  I just got the last of the resistors in the mail today, I'm just waiting on the mini USB ports now.
(http://i.imgur.com/yKD0e5n.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/AXRq7VJ.jpg)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: neverused on Tue, 05 May 2015, 15:36:48
Just checking in on this, I would love to test one of the pcbs
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: jonlorusso on Tue, 05 May 2015, 16:14:42
Quote
Just checking in on this, I would love to test one of the pcbs

same here!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Tue, 05 May 2015, 16:22:11
I've got the boards done now all the parts are in, but I'm having issues with the firmware, I'm not a programmer, and I can't properly figure it out.  I'm trying to get the TMK firmware going on it.  The hardware, from what I can tell, is good though.  If someone would like a board with/without a plate PM me, it's $35 for the board, $40 with an acrylic plate, at cost of components and shipping (included) if you can help with firmware, I've got 3 spares.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: abjr on Tue, 05 May 2015, 16:31:01
Did you try the code I posted here: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=41989.msg1729637#msg1729637
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: worldspawn on Tue, 05 May 2015, 16:40:38
I sent that over to my programmer buddy who's helping me with it and he said that it looks the same as what he's already using, I don't have the files he's been working on so I am unable to confirm.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 09 May 2015, 01:15:24
Not a whole lot going on (business with the kits is good) but I did just finish a new prototype:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/technomancy/17210673577/

This one uses Matias clicky switches. I've done a Matias prototype in the past, but it was made by hand-modifying a cherry switch plate with a pocket knife, and it was hand-wired. This one is done with a PCB and a proper Alps-compatible switch plate.

I've placed an order for wooden Alps-compatible cases, so when those arrive I'll be all set to start shipping Matias kits! If that goes well I may transition away from Cherry and sell Matias kits exclusively since Matias (as a company) is a lot friendlier to hackers and small businesses; plus I can get keycaps in bulk from Signature Plastics now. Though I may keep a reserve of the cherry kits around for folks who like to customize keycaps; I understand that's still a serious weakness of Alps switches. If anyone feels strongly about this, I'd be interested in hearing opinions.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 09 May 2015, 02:07:53
I forgot to mention that I also built another wooden board with a different wood finishing process; this one involved many layers of lacquer and took several days but looks super sharp.

[attachimg=1]

I'm still learning a lot about wood finishing, but I put up some instructions for the lacquering process here: http://atreus.technomancy.us/case.pdf if anyone wants to take a look. Feedback welcome.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: pepijndevos on Mon, 18 May 2015, 12:22:19
I noticed the link on your website now links to MX blue and Matias Quiet switches. Is this correct?

I can't decide which one to get. I'm now typing on MX brown, which is okay by me.
I read the Matias switches are 60g as opposed to 45g for blues, this worries me a bit, I have very slender hands.
I'm not opposed to tactile clicks, but I don't see the need. I'm not in a sensitive office env and I'm not a dedicated gamer.

The other day I had a discussion about "the customer is king" vs "the expert is king".
In the end we agreed that the expert should tell the customer what he wants, not the other way around.
Post-Steve Apple has a lot more models, where previously you'd get the one model Steve thought was best
So tell me, quiet or clicky?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: suicidal_orange on Mon, 18 May 2015, 12:37:02
The other day I had a discussion about "the customer is king" vs "the expert is king".
In the end we agreed that the expert should tell the customer what he wants, not the other way around.
Post-Steve Apple has a lot more models, where previously you'd get the one model Steve thought was best
So tell me, quiet or clicky?
I'll play expert...

There's a reason blues aren't liked in offices - because more people don't like the noise than do.  You are a person therefore in my expert opinion there is more chance you won't like the noise than you will, so you should go for quiet :))

Seriously though, have you ever heard a blue switch?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Mon, 18 May 2015, 21:02:19
I noticed the link on your website now links to MX blue and Matias Quiet switches. Is this correct?

Yeah, because I haven't been able to source clears, I've changed the switches for the quiet kits over to Matias. I may change for the clicky kits too, but I have plenty of stock of cherry for the time being, so there's no rush to do this.

I can't decide which one to get. I'm now typing on MX brown, which is okay by me.
I read the Matias switches are 60g as opposed to 45g for blues, this worries me a bit, I have very slender hands.

This isn't quite right; blues are 55cN, Matias are 60, and Clears are 65. So they're right in between the existing options. A bit heavier than browns, but I don't really feel like they're hard to press or cause any fatigue.

So tell me, quiet or clicky?

Here's the thing: the only reason I even stock quiet kits is for people who work in offices where they can't make noise. It's hard to explain the feel of clicky switches with words; you really just have to try it for yourself. But IMO the quiet clicks are really just a compromise for people who can't afford to make a lot of noise.

Of course, opinions on this topic vary, but unless you've tried both kinds and already know which you'd prefer, I recommend going with the clicky switches.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: pepijndevos on Tue, 19 May 2015, 02:17:43
Ordered.

I'll be using it at home, so I just hope my family will not hate me.

Kudos for making it easier to get than the (probably way more popular) ErgoDox.
I've been watching the Massdrop for months, and then when I'm on holiday they launch the infinity without notifying me.

Sometimes I see people make an issue about surface mount diodes, backlighting, backplates, and other varieties to mounting the switches.
I'm mildly curious what your opinion is on all that, but in the end I don't care much as long as it works well.

Did you write about the firmware somewhere that I can read?
I found this article that explains the basics: http://atreus.technomancy.us/firmware
But I'm more interested in the history and rationale.
Why did you write it, and why did you write it the way you did?
Is it based on another project, or written from scratch?
I see that parts are written in Lisp, which is super awesome, but you also mention TMK somewhere.
Is the keyboard compatible with other firmwares?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 19 May 2015, 02:59:16
Ordered.

Awesome; thanks!

Sometimes I see people make an issue about surface mount diodes, backlighting, backplates, and other varieties to mounting the switches. I'm mildly curious what your opinion is on all that, but in the end I don't care much as long as it works well.

Personally I'm of the opinion that while surface-mount soldering can be easier if you have the right gear, when you're building a keyboard, you can't get around the requirement to know through-hole soldering, because that's what the switches use. So requiring surface-mount skills limits your audience to those who are more adventurous or experienced because it comes across as being more intimidating. (Whether this is true or not is an open question; I don't personally have experience with SMT, but I know enough about psychology to assert that it's irrelevant when it comes to selling kits.) I'm of the opinion that LED lighting is one of those glitzy features that looks cool and sells keyboards, but increases complexity and cost without any practical advantages. Especially with blank keycaps and with a design as small as the Atreus, it's not difficult at all for you to find the home row with your fingers simply because there are fewer *wrong* places where your fingers could be.

The Atreus supports both plate-mount and PCB-mount switches, so this isn't really an issue. I don't think it's a great idea to mount the switches directly on the PCB without a plate, but I haven't tried any keyboards that do this, so I can't speak from experience. The Atreus PCB itself has no mounting holes on it though, so it relies on the plate to hold it in place.

Did you write about the firmware somewhere that I can read?
I found this article that explains the basics: http://atreus.technomancy.us/firmware
But I'm more interested in the history and rationale.
Why did you write it, and why did you write it the way you did?
Is it based on another project, or written from scratch?
I see that parts are written in Lisp, which is super awesome, but you also mention TMK somewhere.
Is the keyboard compatible with other firmwares?

The story of the firmware is really only written out earlier in this thread, but the tl;dr is that I started with TMK because I just wanted to get something working. TMK had some issues with the low-voltage chipset that my Thinkpad uses; it would cut out and drop keystrokes occasionally, so I started writing my own firmware from scratch. That's the one that's currently recommended in the Atreus docs: https://github.com/technomancy/atreus-firmware. It's just under 200 lines of C. The code is much clearer than TMK, but it is less featureful. Reading through it (especially early revisions) could be a good way to learn how matrix-scanning works. However, once I finish my article series on the Scheme firmware (and finish coding the firmware itself), that would be a much better way to learn. I have another firmware written in Forth, but it doesn't work on AVR, the chip architecture used by every Atreus keyboard except one hand-wired prototype I built up that uses ARM.

The mainline Atreus should work with any Atmega32u4-compatible firmware as long as you supply the pinout configuration. Right now I use TMK primarily because I'm testing out a new feature: the ability to momentarily switch to L2 (shift+fn together) instead of switching to it modally. Once I get the last few bugs in this feature squashed I may begin recommending TMK for new users.

Hope that helps; let me know if you have any other questions.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: pepijndevos on Tue, 19 May 2015, 11:50:43
I must say I'm a bit wary about homegrown firmwares, since even a company like Truly Ergonomic can't get this right.
But as long as it registers exactly the intended number of key presses, a Lisp/Forth firmware sounds awesome.
I'd be happy to contribute to those once I get my board.

Maybe a bit OT, but why can't we have Forth on AVR?
I found a few that run on 8kb+ AVR chips like the one in the Arduino Mega.
But as far as I'm concerned, Forth is just stack based assembly, so why does that consume any RAM at all?
Maybe it's the Forth *interpreter* that consumes the memory.
BRB, writing compiler.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Wed, 20 May 2015, 00:28:50
Maybe a bit OT, but why can't we have Forth on AVR?
I found a few that run on 8kb+ AVR chips like the one in the Arduino Mega.
But as far as I'm concerned, Forth is just stack based assembly, so why does that consume any RAM at all?
Maybe it's the Forth *interpreter* that consumes the memory.
BRB, writing compiler.

Forth is very strange because it straddles the gap between interpreted and compiled languages. A Forth contains both a compiler and an interpreter, (almost like the bytecode engine of a modern VM) and you can't really change this without changing Forth itself at its very core. It's a fascinating design.

The thing is, the Forth runtime that I wrote actually runs on the AVR. It's just that as soon as you load more than a page or so worth of code into it, it runs out of memory. So it's fine on the Teensy3 ARM prototype I built with 16kb of ram, but the atmega32u4 has only 2.5kb, which just isn't enough to load enough Forth to drive the keyboard matrix. But you could maybe put a Forth on an atmega32u4 as long as the primary keyboard control was done in C, and the Forth was just there as an interactive shell for you to repl against, and call C functionality that's been exposed as Forth words. Just a random idea. Forth is a bit nicer than MicroScheme in this regard, since MicroScheme has no repl or runtime eval.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: pepijndevos on Sat, 23 May 2015, 05:23:51
I googled around a bit, and there are some Forths that run on the atmega32u4.
They run as a bootloader and compile to flash instead of RAM.
So you do need an ISP to use it, which might not be practical for the Atreus.
http://amforth.sourceforge.net

Meanwhile I wrote enough Forth to turn on a LED. Not very impressive, but it works.
It's a repurposed Clojure program that turns Forth into AVR assembly, which can be compiled and uploaded with avrgcc and avrdude
https://github.com/pepijndevos/beauforth/tree/avr
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: ImAWildDeer on Sun, 31 May 2015, 12:40:53
I finished building my Atreus with MX Whites a few weeks ago. I really enjoy typing on it, however I'm still very slow and struggle to hit most of my existing Vim keybindings efficiently.


(http://i.imgur.com/d14QyWJ.jpg?1)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Mon, 01 June 2015, 03:25:48
Looking sharp! I've heard good things about the MX whites; maybe I'll try them out some day.

As for the trouble adjusting, just stick with it! It takes several weeks, but eventually you get the hang of it.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Wed, 02 September 2015, 20:45:06
Hello folks.

I created a survey for Atreus users here; I'm interested in hearing how people find the board, what difficulties they had during assembly, etc. Even if you self-sourced or bought a fully-assembled board, I'd like to hear your input.

  http://atreus.limequery.com/index.php/983192/lang-en

thanks,
Phil
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: bcredbottle on Sun, 06 September 2015, 10:55:46
I just got my board. Thanks technomancy!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: gerbercj on Sat, 09 January 2016, 00:22:05
I received my kit in December and built my Atreus over the week between Christmas and New Years. I am using it full-time at work now, and it's going rather well. I'm getting quick, but am still not as efficient as on my Ducky Shine. I have been messing with the firmware, and am feeling pretty good about my layout. If folks are curious, I have a modified fork of the Quantum firmware that I'm using: https://github.com/gerbercj/qmk_firmware (https://github.com/gerbercj/qmk_firmware). It's needs to be cleaned up a bit, but overall it is working well.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mathiasx on Sat, 09 January 2016, 08:27:54
Just checking in to this thread after a long time.

I still use my Atreus frequently, but it hasn't become my daily driver while I'm working. The typing tutor webapp I've used to train on it (as I had to learn my own custom layout, a modified Capewell) says that I can now average around 40wpm, which isn't quite as fast as I'd like.

I may go "full immersion" at some point and put away my other keyboard, as I'm now proficient enough to use this for coding. (Originally, I could only write emails and chat on it, but I had a very hard time with coding because I hadn't yet learn the symbols in layer 2 or where the numbers were.)

I'm also tempted to build another at some point in the future, with the PCB. Building keyboards is addicting, in its own way!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Rhedone on Sat, 09 January 2016, 17:21:23
It really is an inspiring keyboard. If you build more i'm sure there are some lurkers around willing to pay handsomely to take it off your hands ;)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: cy384 on Sat, 09 January 2016, 22:05:23
[attach=1]

Seeing this thread bumped up, I figure'll mention my Atreus build (which I've posted in a few other places).  I made it from matte black acrylic, and then 3D printed a bracket to add bluetooth to it.  Complete details and code on my website (http://www.cy384.com/projects/atreus-keyboard.html) and more pics on imgur (http://imgur.com/a/9Ncdh).  I'm still not entirely comfortable without having a paper reference of the layout, so for convenience I'm going to put together a file to have WASD print some keycaps.

A tip that may be useful to anyone else building a custom keyboard: if you use long nylon screws, you can assemble your board and then use a sharp knife to cut them flush to exactly the right size.  Also, they're soft enough not to scratch whatever surface you use the keyboard on, without adding feet.  They're readily available for cheap in black or white/translucent, and I think you can dye nylon easily to other colors.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Wed, 13 January 2016, 00:45:57
Seeing this thread bumped up, I figure'll mention my Atreus build (which I've posted in a few other places).

Wow, that looks really sharp; good work. The stripe of yellow is a nice touch.

I noticed on your blog post that you mentioned being annoyed by not having easy enough access to the arrows. Normally I never use the arrows, but I started hacking on a game in my free time that needed them, so I created an alternate layout that puts them on the fn layer at the expense of removing a few symbols.


     !    @     up     {    }        ||     pgup    7     8     9    *
     #  left   down  right  $        ||     pgdn    4     5     6    +
     [    ]      (     )    &        ||       `     1     2     3    \
    L2  insert super shift bksp ctrl || alt space   fn    .     0    =


So in order to get the arrows on there, I had to get rid of %, ^, |, and ~, which is a bit of a drag, but you can still hit them by using fn and shift together. Depending what you're doing, you might replace pageup and pagedown with some of these chars.

This is in the atreus-firmware repo (https://github.com/technomancy/atreus-firmware (https://github.com/technomancy/atreus-firmware)) as "layout_qwerty_alt.h" if anyone wants to give it a spin. I've been using it for a while, and it feels pretty good, but I'd be interested in getting some more feedback. There is some discussion about it on GitHub here too: https://github.com/technomancy/atreus-firmware/issues/26#issuecomment-169280024 I could possibly end up making this the default fn layer if people like it a lot better.

Also I do have a very limited supply of assembled boards back up for sale at http://atreus.technomancy.us just FYI.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: cy384 on Wed, 13 January 2016, 10:38:14
For me, I've never developed the habit of using a number pad, so giving up the space on the right hand was an easy choice (with a number row across the top instead).  A few characters ended up requiring fn+shift to get to, but I'm okay with the trade off.  My current L1:

Code: [Select]
1       2      3       4        5                      6       7       8        9        0
 {       }      (       )        `                      =      LEFT     UP     RIGHT      |
 %       ^      [       ]        ~                      +       *      DOWN      &        \
 L2     TAB    WIN    SHIFT     DEL    CTRL    ALT    SPACE     Fn      .        !      ENTER

It's roughly meant to match the more common characters used for programming in the languages I like using (C, python, openscad), and some other tweaks for personal purposes.  I find that having the arrows in a T is slightly more comfortable than an inverted T (while having numbers on top).

Another little thing I've modified lately is using flipped R1 DCS keycaps on the middle of the bottom row, (on the shift, backspace, space, and Fn keys).  The cylindrical profile is a little gentler on the sides of my thumbs.  I tried to 3D print some similarly sculpted 1.5u caps for the middle thumb keys, but haven't ended up with anything great yet.

I'm planning on having WASD custom print a set of keycaps soon, which will hopefully make it easier for me to go full-time on this keyboard.  Once I finish the design I'll upload it somewhere.  A tricky part of doing this was choosing what row of their sculpted cylindrical keycaps I want where; with a few samples, I've decided on this:

Code: [Select]
R4   R4   R4   R4   R4              R4   R4   R4   R4   R4   R4
R3   R3   R3   R3   R3              R3   R3   R3   R3   R3   R3
R1   R1   R1   R1   R1              R1   R1   R1   R1   R1   R1
R4   R4   R4   R2*  R2*  R3** R3**  R2*  R2*  R4   R4   R4   R4

* flipped
** 1.5u keys, keep in mind the rotation needed; tab and \

Also, watch out for using the F and J R2, since those keycaps have homing lines.

Wow, that looks really sharp; good work. The stripe of yellow is a nice touch.
Thanks!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Wed, 20 January 2016, 02:23:08
built mine with matias quiet tactile last week, sanded with 100, 220, 800, and 1500 and then used fast drying spray glossy clear enamel 4 coats on every layer both sides, 2500 sandpaper between two coats. reminds me of quality wood flooring. took very little effort because im LAZY. i did the spray in my currently mostly empty attic storage because weather not acceptable to do outside. used m2 screws with a m3 width m2 tube for a minimal screw look like i did with my ergodoxes. biggest complaint is the spray enamel paint smell of the keyboard is very strong and still there 5 days after i did it

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1595/23849626293_0c7e2cb196_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CkvyZk)

pictures on my flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/panicfx, unfortunately all from phone, deserves better pictures

tmk firmware with default COLEMAK layout, considering some changes

technomancy has been GREAT to do business with, going to build a second one with the legacy cherry mx plate (fyi these ship from technomancy with Matias switches). going to super silence the mx switches, use that one for traveling. need to get a travel case for it. the matias switches were a good idea to ship with on his part, they are the far superior stock switch.

i LOVE this keyboard. i've built a phantom, gh60, infinity ergodox, and atreus in the last 30 days (been busy lol) and i like the atreus i think the best. i started learning colemak last week also and this actually works well, currently at 34 wpm average with the atreus and colemak, completely touch type. no legends. which is far behind the 100wpm i used to get with qwerty.

tried to type on my ergodox yesterday and oddly keep messing up, even though that keyboard has colemak legends. i think im going to make this atreus my primary moving forward and use the left hand of my infinity ergodox for gaming. this little simple 40% is everything i need. i could change my mind in the future given i own 20 keyboards but im going to enjoy my enjoyment. i NEVER thought i would like a 40% board.

biggest regret i have is it comes with all normal ALPS DSA caps and that i couldn't touch type without homing bumps or deep dish so i took a knife to 2 keycaps to make my own homing bump not realizing nobody stocks DSA ALPS. SP were mean to me when i asked. so i ruined fairly rare blank keycaps. its ugly up close but you cant notice from afar. should have used stickers or something temporary. thinking about murdering some deep dish mx caps and gluing alps stems on them.


alright well gg guys, TL:DR the atreus is awesome!

(Attachment Link)

Seeing this thread bumped up, I figure'll mention my Atreus build (which I've posted in a few other places).  I made it from matte black acrylic, and then 3D printed a bracket to add bluetooth to it.  Complete details and code on my website (http://www.cy384.com/projects/atreus-keyboard.html) and more pics on imgur (http://imgur.com/a/9Ncdh).  I'm still not entirely comfortable without having a paper reference of the layout, so for convenience I'm going to put together a file to have WASD print some keycaps.

A tip that may be useful to anyone else building a custom keyboard: if you use long nylon screws, you can assemble your board and then use a sharp knife to cut them flush to exactly the right size.  Also, they're soft enough not to scratch whatever surface you use the keyboard on, without adding feet.  They're readily available for cheap in black or white/translucent, and I think you can dye nylon easily to other colors.

i may copy this bluetooth thing if this board proves to be my endgame primary, looks great, though because its not on the pcb, i worry this wiring would look like a bomb to the tsa (i fly for work), wondering if something could be done to the pcb to simplify it

Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Thu, 21 January 2016, 23:41:27
added a micro to mini usb pigtail so that i can use the large amount of mini cables i own, it also travels better i think this way because i can use super short cables

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1484/24157457829_27c6d25a8b_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CNHhzB)
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1461/24416928852_8dcc070d94_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/DcD9gW)

so far so good on using this thing as my primary, what sucks is now i keep pressing space to backspace when i use a normal keyboard, now i am wanting my future normal keyboards to have split spacebars, its a much better location for it.

i am also starting to hate dsa, i didnt used to hate it but i am learning this keyboard and colemak at the same time and the lack of sculpting sucks even with my ghetto homing bump i keep losing my position, i am pondering buying the matias blank set though its likely a very cheap feeling abs set and pretty expensive at 50USD+ ship
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 26 January 2016, 22:41:01
i LOVE this keyboard. i've built a phantom, gh60, infinity ergodox, and atreus in the last 30 days (been busy lol) and i like the atreus i think the best.

Thanks for the kind words; always makes me happy to see people excited about this.

biggest regret i have is it comes with all normal ALPS DSA caps and that i couldn't touch type without homing bumps or deep dish so i took a knife to 2 keycaps to make my own homing bump not realizing nobody stocks DSA ALPS. SP were mean to me when i asked. so i ruined fairly rare blank keycaps. its ugly up close but you cant notice from afar. should have used stickers or something temporary. thinking about murdering some deep dish mx caps and gluing alps stems on them.

If you want a few replacement Alps DSA caps I can send you some. SP can be difficult to deal with, but they are nice to me because I place orders of 2500+ at a time. =D

i am pondering buying the matias blank set though its likely a very cheap feeling abs set and pretty expensive at 50USD+ ship

I bought this set for an early prototype. The sculpted keys were nice on the thumbs, but not as nice for the other keys IMO; I felt like overall it was a wash. Also very strangely it only included a single homing bump key. But maybe you'll find it more to your liking.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: domsch1988 on Thu, 28 January 2016, 00:00:22
I've got some questions to those who already own this keyboard. My tax return is coming and i will get a new Keyboard. I first wanted a Ergodox (thats what brought me to GH). I think the Atreus looks much nicer, but there are some concerns with a 40% Keyboard:
- Are you able to get all Alphas, Numbers, F-Keys and Modifiers on that thing? I know that you'd have to work with layers, but are you able to get to more complicated shortcuts (like Ctrl-Alt-Del)? As an IT Administrator thats a necessity for me.
- Is the Split far enough apart for you?
- I think the position of the middle buttons is strange. My Thumbs naturally rest on the lowest rows inner most keys. The 2u middle keys seem hard to get to?

Which of the two would you recommend? I am used to split, but normal staggered layout. My work is mostly not writing long texts. My Keyboard is mostly a mouse extension, so heavy shortcut, modifier, win-key and Number use. Ergodox or Atreus? Keep in mind, i'd have to get both to Germany. The Ergodox would need caps added (falbatech), so would be a bit more expensive. I really can't decide here  :'(
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 28 January 2016, 00:47:04
- Are you able to get all Alphas, Numbers, F-Keys and Modifiers on that thing? I know that you'd have to work with layers, but are you able to get to more complicated shortcuts (like Ctrl-Alt-Del)? As an IT Administrator thats a necessity for me.

Ctrl-alt-del is not going to work on the default layout, but you would definitely want to shift this around since the default layout is optimized for programming.

- Is the Split far enough apart for you?

My take is that if you are going to leave it in one place on a desk, the split of the Ergodox is better. But taking the Ergodox around with you is a pain in the neck.

My Keyboard is mostly a mouse extension, so heavy shortcut, modifier, win-key and Number use.

One disadvantage of the Atreus is that each modifier only shows once on it--because the board is so small there is not room for left and right ctrl, left and right alt, etc. So one-handed use is a bit more awkward. And by default the function keys are on L2, which is accessed modally instead of by simply holding a key. But if you take the time to customize your layout and optimize for the kinds of things you need, I'm sure you could make it work nicely.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 28 January 2016, 00:48:29
Oh, also I thought I would mention here that I had to move the Atreus mailing list; the original provider has gone offline. Take a look at http://atreus.technomancy.us/list for details. Unfortunately I was not able to get a list of subscribers from the old provider before they went offline, so I have no way of notifying everyone about the move.

You can subscribe to the new list by sending an email to atreus-request@freelists.org with "subscribe" in the subject.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: domsch1988 on Thu, 28 January 2016, 00:57:44
...

Thanks for the Input, it's much appreciated. I think i'll just have to do some layout testing then. I'll see how i can fit the needed functions on there. How many Layers are supported?

Maybe Ergodox at work and Atreus at home?  :))
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 28 January 2016, 01:33:24
Thanks for the Input, it's much appreciated. I think i'll just have to do some layout testing then. I'll see how i can fit the needed functions on there. How many Layers are supported?

Either 32 or 64, I forget which. But for what you are doing you might prefer the TMK firmware over the default: https://github.com/technomancy/tmk_keyboard/tree/atreus/keyboard/atreus It has better support for enabling multiple momentary layers.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: evangs on Thu, 28 January 2016, 09:57:37
wow, these boards look amazing! nice work.  I've thought about angling my 40% so it would pretty much be this without the columnar staggering.  really cool to see the advancement in the 40 space.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Thu, 28 January 2016, 13:43:43
Atreus #2 !!!
thanks to technomancy for letting me purchase a remaining cherry mx plate

Enamel Varnish finished drying, going to solder later tonight hopefully,

and then i am going to super-silence the switches using a combination of normal switch lube for the sliders, pure grease on the rails and silicone lube for the springs and then using something i hate which are o-rings, the plan is for this one to be used for traveling which in part of the year i do a lot of for work and i don't want to have this thing be really loud when am in something like a board room or a training room. i want to show this thing off but not give a bad impression. i am debating just pulling/de-soldering clears i have already done this to on a keyboard i don't use, would save me so much trouble. whatever TLDR--- gonna use lube

VIDEO, CLICK TO VIEW ON FLICKR
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1538/24045298273_c1354d2574_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CCNrsa)Atreus #2 VIDEO Enamel Varnish Finished Drying (https://flic.kr/p/CCNrsa) by almightyglod (https://www.flickr.com/photos/panicfx/), on Flickr

i did something risky by sanding down the edges which worked with great success in looks, but i did chip off a piece on the top before doing the glossy varnish after sanding, i know it is going to bother the hell out of me forever but whatever, i am using this for travel, its bound to get beat up. i used a ton of enamel on both side of the layers to strengthen it hopefully. i think it looks better than my matias one overall

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1553/24304446319_fcba2f9d3d_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/D2GD8V)

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1681/24376596730_b32d9f698e_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/D95qWw)

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1542/24554347472_e3e8d13be1_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/DpMs3u)

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1701/24376597950_6bf5450610_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/D95riy)

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1482/24645915296_71d4ac2ceb_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/DxSKY5)

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1708/24645915356_363b62cb9f_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/DxSKZ7)

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1665/24376599280_eef506b508_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/D95rGu)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: domsch1988 on Fri, 29 January 2016, 01:00:58
Just ordered my kit after some really nice and informative talk to technomancy  :thumb:
My first custom keyboard, my first 40%, my first Matias keyboard and the first keyboard i'll build myself. So many firsts here   ;D I'm really Stoked to get this beauty.
Since i'm German (need ,,) and might have a different needs than most using this keyboard, i'll keep you updated on my choice for layout. I'm now heavily working on the Layout Editor to get everything sorted before the board arrives  :thumb:
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Sagii on Fri, 29 January 2016, 18:57:12
Just ordered my kit after some really nice and informative talk to technomancy  :thumb:
My first custom keyboard, my first 40%, my first Matias keyboard and the first keyboard i'll build myself. So many firsts here   ;D I'm really Stoked to get this beauty.
Since i'm German (need ,,) and might have a different needs than most using this keyboard, i'll keep you updated on my choice for layout. I'm now heavily working on the Layout Editor to get everything sorted before the board arrives  :thumb:

I'm in the works of building my own modified version of the atreus! Facing the same problem as you, need (Norwegian), which means I'd essentially need a new column. But that makes it bigger ._. and if I want it as small as possible, but still with an extra column it'd be asymmetrical (by adding a column on the right hand side, but none on the left). So many decisions ._. I don't know wether I'd survive with just having on a separate layer. Will definitely be interesting to hear your toughts on it when you get to test it out! May I ask what layouts/layers you've come up with so far?  :)

The atreus is THE most aesthetically pleasing keyboard I've seen to date. I just love everything about it.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 29 January 2016, 21:05:47
I don't know wether I'd survive with just having on a separate layer. Will definitely be interesting to hear your toughts on it when you get to test it out!

I don't speak or type Norwegian, so I can't speak with authority on this, but the new layout has 5 keys on the fn layer that are just shift+number; !, @, #, $, and &. Replacing some of these with Norwegian chars might not be all that big of a deal since you already have to use shift+fn to hit %, ^, ~, and |. You could also consider moving -, /, and ' to the fn layer if the Norwegian chars are used extremely frequently.

If you do decide to add columns, keep in mind that you can probably still use the standard PCB for most of the board and just hand-wire the new columns themselves. The controller does have a few extra GPIO pins that can be used as inputs for new columns.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Fri, 29 January 2016, 21:44:27
so i was in between meetings today and i said **** it, im going to record a video about the atreus, so i indeed made a 26 min video about the atreus

technomancy please forgive me for the cringe worthy comment about the dsa caps, it sounds like some passive aggresive insult in retrospect, but that wasn't the intention, the whole video is me rambling on and all of it is praise of your board, i am hoping i didnt **** up.


https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=79197.msg2032316#msg203231

hd=1
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 30 January 2016, 00:35:36
so i was in between meetings today and i said **** it, im going to record a video about the atreus, so i indeed made a 26 min video about the atreus

Wow, that's quite the rant. (And I mean that in a good way.) It's always good to get feedback, especially this extremely detailed sort.

No worries about the DSA comments; I think it makes sense that there would be some frustration if you are making the switch to Colemak at the same time.

The thing about the case edges is that a lot of "proper" woodworking people are down on plywood, so it's a common thing among laser-cut designs that use birch ply to leave the charring in place because it covers the fact that it's ply. But yeah, I can see there is something about the charring on your first build that is really uneven; I'm not sure why that is. So in that case, yeah, covering it up with some black paint would help. Sanding it down looks good too--I should probably just ignore the trend of hating on ply and embrace it for what it is. (You can build cases out of harder woods, but usually that is done with CNC instead of a laser cutter, and my understanding is it's really difficult to get a precisely-cut switch plate that way.)

You're right that the center thumb keys are a bit hard to fit in with the Matias board. I have a revision to that in-process that I need to finish up, but unfortunately the turn-around for testing changes is very long since I don't live in the US any more where my laser guy is. I have been meaning to add a note to the assembly guide about this though; there are a few tricks you can use to make it go in easier. Thanks for the reminder about that.

The firmware reset key is definitely moving in the next-gen layout I'm working on. (mentioned above in this thread) Would be interested in hearing about how you like that if you get a chance to try it. I haven't added it to my TMK fork yet; maybe I can do that next week. You mentioned print-screen, scroll-lock, and pause; I will add those into some of the blank spaces on L2 before finalizing the new layout. TBH I just totally forgot those keys existed.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Sagii on Sat, 30 January 2016, 05:46:25
I don't speak or type Norwegian, so I can't speak with authority on this, but the new layout has 5 keys on the fn layer that are just shift+number; !, @, #, $, and &. Replacing some of these with Norwegian chars might not be all that big of a deal since you already have to use shift+fn to hit %, ^, ~, and |. You could also consider moving -, /, and ' to the fn layer if the Norwegian chars are used extremely frequently.

If you do decide to add columns, keep in mind that you can probably still use the standard PCB for most of the board and just hand-wire the new columns themselves. The controller does have a few extra GPIO pins that can be used as inputs for new columns.

Actually replacing -, ', / might not be a bad idea. I'll be honest, I never thought of that. I'm about to make a bunch of prototypes and just sit for a while and type on every one of them, to see what I like (Yay laser cutter and cardboard!). I would also consider moving to the punctuation layer (from your standard layouts, that is). I actually don't think it would be a big problem to simply remove $, (, ) simply because when I'm using that definitely means I'm NOT programming. If I'm writing code, I do so in english, meaning would not be necessary.
Also, I've been messing around with the idea of maybe adding an extra column to the right, but also adding the same amount of space on the left, but NOT adding keys. Putting an LCD og some indicative LEDs there instead, just for fun (and symmetry).

I don't know yet tbh, I'll just have to try everything out. On my way to uni, to cut some stuff and get some prototypes out and rollin'.
The input is very much appreciated, so thank you ^^ I'm very new to all this, so I'm like a sponge trying to suck up all the knowledge I can!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 30 January 2016, 20:32:54
I would also consider moving to the punctuation layer (from your standard layouts, that is). I actually don't think it would be a big problem to simply remove $, (, ) simply because when I'm using that definitely means I'm NOT programming. If I'm writing code, I do so in english, meaning would not be necessary.

Ah, yeah. One thing I do with the multidvorak layout I made is that it has different modes; when you first plug it in it is in software dvorak mode, and then you can switch it to hardware dvorak mode (which is really just a different set of layers). You could do something similar with "coding mode" and "Norwegian mode".
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Sagii on Sun, 31 January 2016, 10:44:16

Ah, yeah. One thing I do with the multidvorak layout I made is that it has different modes; when you first plug it in it is in software dvorak mode, and then you can switch it to hardware dvorak mode (which is really just a different set of layers). You could do something similar with "coding mode" and "Norwegian mode".

That's exactly what I was planning to do (if I choose to not add an extra column). Good hearing it's actually possible ^^ I'm thinking of having one layer specifically designed with computer engineering and programming in mind, and another with my psychology studies (read: normal essays etc.) in mind.

As of right now, I think I'm going to find an old essay, and a old program of sorts, then try "copying" those using the prototype I "built", just to get a feel of how "real" writing would feel like. If I find myself getting annoyed by the lack of on the main layer I know I'll have to do something. If not, then great :D
I really hope I'll end up finding that having on a second layer is manageable, 'cause I really like the aesthetics of the original Atreus (you did a hell of a good job, and are still doing one!).
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: domsch1988 on Mon, 01 February 2016, 03:59:33
As i'm working on my layout, i'm getting a bit confused  :confused:
Lets say, i make a Dvorak firmware and flash it to the atreus. Would the language/keyboard selection in the OS make any difference? As i understand it, the keyboard sends direct scan codes for any key. So if i program a key to output a "e", it will write an "e" no matter what the OS thinks should be in that spot, correct?
So is there a way to influence the Atreus layout from the os, or are all changes done through flashing the firmware and the os has nothing to do with the layout?

Sorry if it's obvious, but if you overthink stuff one tends to get lost in the details...
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Mon, 01 February 2016, 07:01:35
Lets say, i make a Dvorak firmware and flash it to the atreus. Would the language/keyboard selection in the OS make any difference? As i understand it, the keyboard sends direct scan codes for any key. So if i program a key to output a "e", it will write an "e" no matter what the OS thinks should be in that spot, correct?

Yeah, the OS has no idea what position the key you pressed is in; all it gets are scancodes by character.

So is there a way to influence the Atreus layout from the os, or are all changes done through flashing the firmware and the os has nothing to do with the layout?

When I made my dvorak layout originally (softdvorak), I wrote it assuming that the OS would be set in dvorak mode, because I wanted to continue using my internal keyboard. So I had to assume that whatever keyboard I was using would send qwerty-style scancodes because I couldn't change my internal one. So my Atreus actually sends qwerty scancodes for all the letters. However, for some of the punctuation, I can't send the qwerty scancodes; I have to send a different scancode assuming the OS is going to "dvorakize" it for me. For instance, if I want to send =, I need to send the scancode for ], because that's the qwerty key = is on a dvorak layout.

Another perfectly valid choice is to implement fully-hardware dvorak. This allows you to leave the OS in qwerty mode and have the "dvorakness" just be all handled in the firmware. This is not a good choice for a laptop, but it means that you can take your Atreus to your friend's computer and plug it in to type dvorak without messing with their system settings.

The "multidvorak" layout implements both of these strategies and allows you to toggle between the two.

Hope that makes sense.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Tue, 02 February 2016, 16:47:01
xpost,

to further my love hate relationship with dsa. i put retro on here as i originally planned. damn it looks so good
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1712/24780914985_c6ca700798_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/DKNEEV)

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1592/24152747464_2533625f05_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CNi9mq)

video
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1668/24413217769_6e1924fa8b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Dcj86K)

as for the build, i had some pictures i didn't share, may be helpful to future buiders, i forgot to mention i used smd diodes instead of through hole. and because of that, i had to add something to prevent the pcb from moving around so i used pieces of rubber feet between the pcb and the plate, not pictured
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1717/24413256169_3c6c67e0c5_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/DcjjvP)
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1555/24485383300_c889510cb1_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/DiFZp3)
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1679/24687411241_82fffb6fc6_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/DBxrgp)
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1479/24687409291_8258076a22_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/DBxqFM)
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1501/24413251279_9782144d83_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Dcji4v)


Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 02 February 2016, 19:30:52
to further my love hate relationship with dsa. i put retro on here as i originally planned. damn it looks so good

Woooooow that is a thing of beauty. I had no idea 1x tab and backspace keys even existed.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mastermachetier on Wed, 03 February 2016, 16:45:52
(Attachment Link)

Seeing this thread bumped up, I figure'll mention my Atreus build (which I've posted in a few other places).  I made it from matte black acrylic, and then 3D printed a bracket to add bluetooth to it.  Complete details and code on my website (http://www.cy384.com/projects/atreus-keyboard.html) and more pics on imgur (http://imgur.com/a/9Ncdh).  I'm still not entirely comfortable without having a paper reference of the layout, so for convenience I'm going to put together a file to have WASD print some keycaps.

A tip that may be useful to anyone else building a custom keyboard: if you use long nylon screws, you can assemble your board and then use a sharp knife to cut them flush to exactly the right size.  Also, they're soft enough not to scratch whatever surface you use the keyboard on, without adding feet.  They're readily available for cheap in black or white/translucent, and I think you can dye nylon easily to other colors.

Does your case work with Alps?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: aalbinger on Thu, 04 February 2016, 11:02:59
For what it's worth I've begun the process to try and 3D print an atreus case.  The first step to that was converting the existing OpenSCAD files for laser cutting from 2D into 3D.  Results of this can be found as the .stl files here: https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/tree/master/case and in the openscad_3D directory.

My intent is now to split the large models into slightly smaller parts that can more easily be printed in a consumer sized 3D printer.

Opinions welcomed.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mastermachetier on Thu, 04 February 2016, 13:35:32
For what it's worth I've begun the process to try and 3D print an atreus case.  The first step to that was converting the existing OpenSCAD files for laser cutting from 2D into 3D.  Results of this can be found as the .stl files here: https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/tree/master/case and in the openscad_3D directory.

My intent is now to split the large models into slightly smaller parts that can more easily be printed in a consumer sized 3D printer.

Opinions welcomed.

I am really interested in this option I have access to a 3d printer would not mind trying to 3d print a case and test this keyboard out before committing haha.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Thu, 04 February 2016, 15:17:08
3d printed case sounds cool, i love my wooden case you guys can tell,
but i am planning to travel with this thing, so much risk i will hurt this masterpiece, 3d printed case likely to survive better. i was thinking of having a acrylic case cut but yah

man i need to slow down, i was also going to join some group buys.....i need to reevaluate my life, sell some stuff lol
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: domsch1988 on Fri, 05 February 2016, 07:40:26
I have a question concerning my layout creation.
Is it possible, to have a layer lock button?
So, a momentary FN key for a second layer and on that layer a key to lock the layer. Like a Numlock. Id rather not "waste" a key on the main layer (one for FN and one for FN-Lock) but lock it in place when needed from the second layer itself. If thats to complicated, i can try to draw something up...
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 05 February 2016, 08:59:10
Layer lock is definitely possible with the TMK firmware. It would be a bit tricky to code in the regular atreus-firmware, though possible. But I am considering moving to TMK as the default since things like this are a lot easier.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: aalbinger on Fri, 05 February 2016, 14:53:58
For what it's worth I've begun the process to try and 3D print an atreus case.  The first step to that was converting the existing OpenSCAD files for laser cutting from 2D into 3D.  Results of this can be found as the .stl files here: https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/tree/master/case and in the openscad_3D directory.

My intent is now to split the large models into slightly smaller parts that can more easily be printed in a consumer sized 3D printer.

(http://i.imgur.com/esVKQtt.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/BXv4gnp.jpg)

Initial testing of the chopped up printable files.  Seems like this will be a go.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: cy384 on Fri, 05 February 2016, 16:35:23
[attachimg=1]

My custom WASD keycaps arrived today, and I'm quite satisfied.  Attached you can find the Inkscape SVG I used, feel free to modify it for your own layouts.  More comments about the quality of the printing, etc. over on reddit. (https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/44cfnh/alieninspired_keycaps_wasd_minireview/)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: aalbinger on Sat, 06 February 2016, 10:59:31
I think I have the 3D model worked out well enough to print in 2 pieces.

I'm printing in ABS and intend to use acetone in the pin holes to bond the halves together.
(http://i.imgur.com/cuZr4JR.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/tCMVLzs.jpg)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: cy384 on Sat, 06 February 2016, 19:11:12
I think I have the 3D model worked out well enough to print in 2 pieces.

I'm printing in ABS and intend to use acetone in the pin holes to bond the halves together.

Are you not having overhang issues with that?  Also, for the switch plate part, with 3D printing it seems like you should make the plate around the switch holes the right thickness for clipping onto (1.5mm for cherry, 1.0-1.2mm for alps); I've done some experimentation, you don't lose much rigidity if you do something like this:
[attach=1]

If you want (actually, I've already done like half of it...) I'll mess around with the openscad case code and add something like that.  Personally, I think I prefer using linear_extrude for making the 2D stuff into 3D, I'll toss the code up here for discussion once I've got something pretty.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: aalbinger on Sat, 06 February 2016, 21:35:51
Are you not having overhang issues with that?  Also, for the switch plate part, with 3D printing it seems like you should make the plate around the switch holes the right thickness for clipping onto (1.5mm for cherry, 1.0-1.2mm for alps); I've done some experimentation, you don't lose much rigidity if you do something like this:
(Attachment Link)

If you want (actually, I've already done like half of it...) I'll mess around with the openscad case code and add something like that.  Personally, I think I prefer using linear_extrude for making the 2D stuff into 3D, I'll toss the code up here for discussion once I've got something pretty.


I've been an openscad user for almost 3 days.  linear extrude sounds a bit simpler than what I did.  I'd be happy to use someone else's better code I just couldn't find any when I looked.

As to the 3mm vs 1.5mm the 3mm test plate I made holds the switches pretty well but it is true that they don't clip into it and would do best with a bit of glue after being pressed into the plate.  If you have the code to do the 3mm thick plate while with 1.5mm bits around the switches that would be awesome.

-Andrew
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: cy384 on Sat, 06 February 2016, 22:09:11
I haven't completely cleaned/optimized it, but this should let you do a test print of the plate (or the rest of it).  Variables up top are set to some okay defaults.  Edit the stuff near the bottom to print specific pieces.  For the sake of printability I didn't stack all of the layers (to prevent overhangs/support).  Just for fun I uploaded it to Shapeways, which quotes it at about $135; I think I'll stick with my lasercut parts or printing it myself :P

If you want to do a quick print to see how the switch clipping work, I've also attached a 1u demo STL and the openscad script I've used for experimenting on this stuff.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: aalbinger on Sat, 06 February 2016, 22:44:58
I haven't completely cleaned/optimized it, but this should let you do a test print of the plate (or the rest of it).  Variables up top are set to some okay defaults.  Edit the stuff near the bottom to print specific pieces.  For the sake of printability I didn't stack all of the layers (to prevent overhangs/support).  Just for fun I uploaded it to Shapeways, which quotes it at about $135; I think I'll stick with my lasercut parts or printing it myself :P


I like it.  The reason I combined the upper parts was to get enough thickness to bond them together.  To deal with overhangs I've used support in simplify3d.  So far things have printed fairly well.

As to the pricing I agree that Shapeways is spendy.  I haven't priced it with any local 3dhubs but since I have my own printer the cost to print it is somewhat negligible.

Thanks for the files.  I'll probably print them out and compare both versions while awaiting the arrival of my Cherry MX switches.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mastermachetier on Sun, 07 February 2016, 10:31:25
I haven't completely cleaned/optimized it, but this should let you do a test print of the plate (or the rest of it).  Variables up top are set to some okay defaults.  Edit the stuff near the bottom to print specific pieces.  For the sake of printability I didn't stack all of the layers (to prevent overhangs/support).  Just for fun I uploaded it to Shapeways, which quotes it at about $135; I think I'll stick with my lasercut parts or printing it myself :P


I like it.  The reason I combined the upper parts was to get enough thickness to bond them together.  To deal with overhangs I've used support in simplify3d.  So far things have printed fairly well.

As to the pricing I agree that Shapeways is spendy.  I haven't priced it with any local 3dhubs but since I have my own printer the cost to print it is somewhat negligible.

Thanks for the files.  I'll probably print them out and compare both versions while awaiting the arrival of my Cherry MX switches.


I am excited to see the out come of this. Do you think this is a viable option for a case? How long do you think something of this construction can last?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: cy384 on Sun, 07 February 2016, 16:44:46
I am excited to see the out come of this. Do you think this is a viable option for a case? How long do you think something of this construction can last?

In terms of durability, I think it's similar to a laser-cut case, maybe a little tougher since there would be fewer layered pieces.  If you have a printer (or have a close friend willing to do a ton of printing for you), it's a reasonable alternative.  It seems like roughly $5 in plastic and 25 hours for the whole thing on my crappy printer.  Personally, if I were to make another Atreus, I'd go for laser-cut parts, since I think it looks nicer.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: aalbinger on Mon, 08 February 2016, 19:50:02
Acetone bonding of the ABS seems to have worked very well.

Brushed a layer into each pin hole, onto each pin, and onto one face of the joint and then quickly stuck the halves together.  Within about 20 seconds I let go and they were solidly put together.

After that I flipped the part over, brushed acetone on the joint on the bottom and stuck one of my extruder test strips of ABS into the joint.

The whole setup seems well bonded and very stable.  I guess now I hurry up and wait for my Cherry MX switches and diodes.
-Andrew

(http://i.imgur.com/MURZODTl.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/MUtbvcXl.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/ArQn1rJl.jpg)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Mon, 08 February 2016, 23:19:18
very cool man!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: domsch1988 on Fri, 12 February 2016, 11:30:57
Ok, i need some help here. My atreus arrived today. All is soldered up and each and every key works. Since i can't read (so it seems) i soldered my PCB backwards  :confused:
Soo, github says no problem. Just run make SWAPCOLUMNS=yes USB=...
i use Windows to flash. I used the default qwerty via AVRDUDE. I have WinAVR installed. I don't run a make command through AVRDUDE. How do i go about the Column swap on Windows?

Edit: Ok, make is working (kind of). I downloaded the complete firmware, cd into the directory via admin cmd and type make. All i get is errors. If i understand all that correctly i need to specify the target. On Windows /dev/usb... is not available. How do i get the right target (COM6 in my case) to the make command?

Edit: alright guys, i got it to work finally. The makefile had a cp command in it, that didnt work. Fixed it and am now able to compile the firmware. So this is actually the first thing i ever typed on my atreus. Im insanely slow atm, but i already love the backspace placement. Now i just need to find out if i want to switch to dvorak at the same time... :p
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Fri, 12 February 2016, 18:51:41
That's great you got it to work. Welcome to the Atreus Club!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 12 February 2016, 19:47:43
Edit: alright guys, i got it to work finally. The makefile had a cp command in it, that didnt work. Fixed it and am now able to compile the firmware. So this is actually the first thing i ever typed on my atreus. Im insanely slow atm, but i already love the backspace placement. Now i just need to find out if i want to switch to dvorak at the same time... :p

Glad you got this working! If you can provide some detail about what it was in particular that you had trouble with, it would be helpful so that we can make the instructions clearer for others. I don't know much about Windows myself, so suggestions for improvement are very welcome.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: domsch1988 on Sat, 13 February 2016, 02:28:52
Glad you got this working! If you can provide some detail about what it was in particular that you had trouble with, it would be helpful so that we can make the instructions clearer for others. I don't know much about Windows myself, so suggestions for improvement are very welcome.

In the makefile it says:
layout.h: $(LAYOUT_DEPENDS)
   -cp -n  layout_qwerty.h layout.h

in the case of windows, the -n option is not available. After deleting it, everything went fine. Maybe you could also get a little more in depth on WinAVR. Its rather easy to use, but you could write down that you have to open a command prompt, go to the atreus project folder and run make. Apart from that, everything went really smooth. Im really happy with how it turned out. Ill now order some birdseye maple veneer to make it look better. Maybe some staining and clearcoating and this things a looker  :D

Man, the layer definition is getting me. I tried to insert a 3rd layer. I set one key to call PRE_FUNCTION(3) and defined the layer3 array. All it does is crashing the chip. I then have to unplug the board and plug it in again. Any help on getting a second momentary layer to work? And can someone tell me how to get layer two to act momentarily rather than locking?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: domsch1988 on Tue, 16 February 2016, 01:11:30
Is no-one able to help me out on my layer Problem? Not having a second momentary layer is really the only thing holding me back in using the atreus as my daily driver at work. For most things its fine currently, but i have to keep a full size near by for some of the more obscure characters... Should i just switch to tmk firmware? And if so, does tmk support the pcb flip or would i have to program the board backwards?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 16 February 2016, 01:38:13
Is no-one able to help me out on my layer Problem? Not having a second momentary layer is really the only thing holding me back in using the atreus as my daily driver at work. For most things its fine currently, but i have to keep a full size near by for some of the more obscure characters... Should i just switch to tmk firmware? And if so, does tmk support the pcb flip or would i have to program the board backwards?

Oh sorry; I thought I already mentioned this but maybe it was in another thread. Adding multiple momentary layers to the atreus-firmware codebase is non-trivial. I would highly recommend moving to TMK; it does have support for the reversed PCB pinout; check the readme.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: domsch1988 on Tue, 16 February 2016, 01:42:22
Oh sorry; I thought I already mentioned this but maybe it was in another thread. Adding multiple momentary layers to the atreus-firmware codebase is non-trivial. I would highly recommend moving to TMK; it does have support for the reversed PCB pinout; check the readme.
Thank you for your help  :thumb: Im slowly getting the hang of the 40% idea. I need to shuffle some things around, but until now the general concept has been nothing but awesome. I would like to thank you again for improving my workspace just that little bit more  ;D Now on to finding caps  :))
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: domsch1988 on Tue, 16 February 2016, 08:11:42
So, instead of shuffling the whole layout around, i just took the plunge and switched too Dvorak. From my usual 80 words per minute i got down to 9... After 1 hour of serious practice, I'm back to around 20 if i really concentrate. After 15 Minutes my head is spinning from trying to not type qwerty   :confused:
I think your Dvorak Layout is way better for german typing than the default one. The symbol placement is more logical too. Really impressive  :thumb:
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Wed, 17 February 2016, 21:13:28
So i have decided i want a much more durable one, instead of wood, i really like the atreus, its a truly genius layout, but the wood thing is making me scared to travel with it, i traveled with it for the first time last week and i kept checking if it was ok. it also makes a wood flexing sound if i put enough pressure on the board, i know its not breaking but it is sometimes like fingernails on a chalkboard

what i would like to do is have it like the ergodox infinity and have a metal plate with the rest of the sandwich being acrylic, its an extremely solid set up that way with no flex.

but i have no idea how i would go about getting that done, especially the metal plate, or how much it would cost.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 18 February 2016, 21:02:51
So i have decided i want a much more durable one, instead of wood, i really like the atreus, its a truly genius layout, but the wood thing is making me scared to travel with it, i traveled with it for the first time last week and i kept checking if it was ok. it also makes a wood flexing sound if i put enough pressure on the board, i know its not breaking but it is sometimes like fingernails on a chalkboard

I haven't done any work with metal, but you should talk to platypus; I think he has either had one cut or at least priced it out.

If it's just a matter of strength, firstly remember that the amount of force the board is subjected to is proportional to its size. A larger board needs more strength because the force put on it at the edge can have a greater effect due to leverage, whereas with a small board there is very little leverage. Secondly I would consider acrylic; if you have a plate cut in 4.5mm acrylic (as my first prototype had) it will be extremely sturdy. You could even do a 6mm plate, though I'm not sure that will work with the PCB; the pins might not poke through enough. I have done it in the past, but only hand-wired.

But if you do get something made in metal, I would definitely be interested in hearing about it.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 18 February 2016, 22:01:45
but i have no idea how i would go about getting that done, especially the metal plate, or how much it would cost.

I talked to platypus, and he said that http://www.bigbluesaw.com/ is probably your best bet if you don't have anything local.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Fri, 19 February 2016, 01:13:20
but i have no idea how i would go about getting that done, especially the metal plate, or how much it would cost.

I talked to platypus, and he said that http://www.bigbluesaw.com/ is probably your best bet if you don't have anything local.
Thanks, I'll look into this hopefully soon.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: domsch1988 on Mon, 22 February 2016, 02:35:00
Im thinking about joining the current drop for the Tai Hao Caps. Apart from being  to many and wrong legends, the stem should fit, shouldn't it?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: prod on Wed, 24 February 2016, 01:43:21
Last year I happened to find a photo of Atreus,whitch quite appealed to me because of its appreance and practical design.So if you allow,I will ask my friend redesign an Atreus with Kimera Core PCB (the Kimera Core also used in Golbat:https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78080 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78080)) ,which,I think,will be more than fascinating.  ;D
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Thu, 25 February 2016, 19:01:11
Last year I happened to find a photo of Atreus,whitch quite appealed to me because of its appreance and practical design.So if you allow,I will ask my friend redesign an Atreus with Kimera Core PCB (the Kimera Core also used in Golbat:https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78080 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78080)) ,which,I think,will be more than fascinating.  ;D

That sounds awesome, Like to know technomancy's thought on his design being used.

also be pretty cool if got the Atreus in aluminum sandwich case like they did with the Golbat, the atreus is such a good design, i think it would be popular.

Still using mine as my primary keyboard for the most part, its my favorite keyboard, i am still disliking the wood and want a metal atreus but i need to hold off on spending anymore money for a little bit.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: prod on Fri, 26 February 2016, 07:23:25
Last year I happened to find a photo of Atreus,whitch quite appealed to me because of its appreance and practical design.So if you allow,I will ask my friend redesign an Atreus with Kimera Core PCB (the Kimera Core also used in Golbat:https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78080 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78080)) ,which,I think,will be more than fascinating.  ;D

That sounds awesome, Like to know technomancy's thought on his design being used.

also be pretty cool if got the Atreus in aluminum sandwich case like they did with the Golbat, the atreus is such a good design, i think it would be popular.

Still using mine as my primary keyboard for the most part, its my favorite keyboard, i am still disliking the wood and want a metal atreus but i need to hold off on spending anymore money for a little bit.

I think you might misunderstand me.I did not plan to sell "Atreus with Kimera Core" PCB openly right now.My intention is to make a batch for myself and my friends.
Neither will I do Aluminum Sandwich Case,I planned to make Carbon Sandwich Case for myself,just like my golbat in the photo blew.Maybe CNC Anodized Aluminum Case is also a possible choice,if my friend is also interesting in Atreus.
I just saw technomancy share his source file on github.I think it's a pity that pcb in his Kicad file is not compatible with full LED.Since I used Kimera Core b4,and found it very convenient for DIY,So hereby I kindly ask if technomancy will allow me to improve Atreus PCB.

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Fri, 26 February 2016, 08:58:05
Last year I happened to find a photo of Atreus,whitch quite appealed to me because of its appreance and practical design.So if you allow,I will ask my friend redesign an Atreus with Kimera Core PCB (the Kimera Core also used in Golbat:https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78080 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78080)) ,which,I think,will be more than fascinating.  ;D

That sounds awesome, Like to know technomancy's thought on his design being used.

also be pretty cool if got the Atreus in aluminum sandwich case like they did with the Golbat, the atreus is such a good design, i think it would be popular.

Still using mine as my primary keyboard for the most part, its my favorite keyboard, i am still disliking the wood and want a metal atreus but i need to hold off on spending anymore money for a little bit.

I think you might misunderstand me.I did not plan to sell "Atreus with Kimera Core" PCB openly right now.My intention is to make a batch for myself and my friends.
Neither will I do Aluminum Sandwich Case,I planned to make Carbon Sandwich Case for myself,just like my golbat in the photo blew.Maybe CNC Anodized Aluminum Case is also a possible choice,if my friend is also interesting in Atreus.
I just saw technomancy share his source file on github.I think it's a pity that pcb in his Kicad file is not compatible with full LED.Since I used Kimera Core b4,and found it very convenient for DIY,So hereby I kindly ask if technomancy will allow me to improve Atreus PCB.

(Attachment Link)

i understood what you meant, i was saying that it would be great if that would lead to something like golbat case because i think it would sell, i know understood that you were just talking about the PCB, i am just having wishful thinking.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Mon, 29 February 2016, 05:58:04
Last year I happened to find a photo of Atreus,whitch quite appealed to me because of its appreance and practical design.So if you allow,I will ask my friend redesign an Atreus with Kimera Core PCB (the Kimera Core also used in Golbat:https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78080 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78080)) ,which,I think,will be more than fascinating.  ;D

Sure; as you probably know the license for the Atreus is GPLv3, so as long as your derivative uses the same license, it is legally fair game. But I appreciate you asking. It sounds like the main motivation for this is to support LEDs in each key?

I read through the GolBat page, but I couldn't find many details about the PCB other than the diodes and resistors are soldered in at the factory, and that it is only compatible with Cherry MX. I think it would be a much improved design if it allowed for Alps too, but that is up to you. The Atreus also is a good dealer simpler and more sturdy due to the way the head of the USB cable is housed inside the case rather than having an exposed mini-usb port in the pictures there, so I would recommend keeping that feature, but of course you're free to do whatever you want with it.

Another thing I couldn't find was what kind of controller it uses. Does it have an Atmega32u4 SMD-mounted to it from the factory?

Anyway, it is an intriguing project. Please do keep us in the loop about the progress.
Title: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: prod on Tue, 08 March 2016, 06:22:39
Here is the sample PCB of Atreus with Kimera Core.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Wed, 09 March 2016, 18:56:57
Cool
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Rhedone on Thu, 17 March 2016, 06:13:55
Here is the sample PCB of Atreus with Kimera Core.

I dont know if anyone has commented this but if you split this PCB in half it could be a perfect base for a oobly keyboard type build.
Just add some angled thumbclusters and wire the two PCB's together
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 18 March 2016, 04:42:06
I dont know if anyone has commented this but if you split this PCB in half it could be a perfect base for a oobly keyboard type build.
Just add some angled thumbclusters and wire the two PCB's together

The OneHand is already split and would be good for what you describe: https://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/onehand-20-keyboard-t6617.html
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Fri, 18 March 2016, 23:33:56
After gathering some valuable feedback from the community, I've revised the assembly instructions, available here: https://atreus.technomancy.us/assembly.pdf The main change is that the PCB is installed with the labeled side up instead of facing down. This is especially helpful for the Matias switches, which benefit more from being snug against the plate since they don't have mounting posts in them. I also improved the method for connecting the controller; it is much easier and doesn't require pinching as you solder.

I've also completed the transition to TMK as the default firmware and rewritten the firmware readme: https://github.com/technomancy/tmk_keyboard/blob/atreus/keyboard/atreus/README.md There's now a download page on the site if you just want precompiled firmware you can upload with avrdude if you want to skip installing the full compiler suite: https://atreus.technomancy.us/download

I'm very much interested in getting feedback for clarity on these documents if anyone is interested in giving them a once-over. I hope that it will improve the construction experience, especially for more nontechnical folks.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Columnaire on Sat, 02 April 2016, 22:10:11
Hi, if you don't mind me jumping into this thread before it dies, I'm wondering if you ever figured out how to do a "layer lock" function in TMK? I am working on a layout for my Ergodox EZ. What I want is, if I press both Shift keys at the same time, then Caps Lock would engage. Likewise, I have a pair of buttons to engage a layer, and if I press both of them I'd like it to lock to that layer until I press both buttons again.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 05 April 2016, 08:02:43
I'm wondering if you ever figured out how to do a "layer lock" function in TMK? I am working on a layout for my Ergodox EZ. What I want is, if I press both Shift keys at the same time, then Caps Lock would engage. Likewise, I have a pair of buttons to engage a layer, and if I press both of them I'd like it to lock to that layer until I press both buttons again.

You can certainly do layer lock; I've done it, and it is very straightforward. But I don't think you can do it with shift keys; they have to be fn keys. Maybe you could do it by faking it out where it's secretly an fn key, but it just changes you to another layer where all the keys are just shifted versions of what they would be otherwise?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Columnaire on Tue, 05 April 2016, 22:26:47
I mostly got what I wanted using multiple layers -- I think it's the same as what you describe.

The Ergodox has four long buttons on the outside edge of each side of the keyboard, and I have the first three set as Shift/Layer1/Layer2. But if I press the topmost button, then the other three switch to become locking shift keys -- Caps Lock/Layer1 Lock/Layer2 Lock. But the shift actions and the lock actions couldn't actually lead to the same layer because they require different return actions. So I ended up with two Layer1s (A and B) and two Layer2s. Sort of hackish but functionally similar to my initial vision. It's hard to let go of the intuitive reasonableness that pressing both of a shift key would act as a lock.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mteinum on Wed, 15 June 2016, 15:40:19
Hi!

The plan so far:

1. Downloaded the eps file from cy384 (http://www.cy384.com/projects/atreus-keyboard.html) and ordered an acrylic print from ponoko
2. Ordered a slimmed down kit from technomancy
3. Zealio switches: R3 GB https://zealpc.net/products/zealio?variant=6502846147
4. Keycaps: DSA PBT http://pimpmykeyboard.com/dsa-pbt-abs-blank-keycap-sets/
5. ZUS Kevlar USB cable https://igg.me/at/zuskevlarcable/x/10038930

Then... was looking for an alternative switch plate. Big Blue Saw has a sale on 0.125 alu, and I can get all the parts build for $59.80. Will it work? Should I do it?  :-\  0.125" = 3.175mm and that's a bit thicker than the 3mm acrylic.

I have used the atreus_case.scad file from github (https://github.com/technomancy/atreus/tree/master/case/openscad) rendered with OpenSCAD (version 2015.03-3) on OSX, exported to DXF and uploaded to BSS (resized the file from in to mm on the upload page)

[attach=1]

[attach=2]

"Keyboard for self-defence"
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mteinum on Wed, 15 June 2016, 16:50:41
...

EDIT:

It looks like I need another spacer layer?

With two spacer layers we are talking $68.40

Added this to the scad file:

Code: [Select]
/* double spacer */
translate([300, 300]) {
  if (quarter_spacer == true) {
    quartered_spacer();
  }
  else {
    spacer();
  }
}

[attach=1]

[attach=5]

[attach=2]

[attach=3]

---

I have to fill this with rama caps...

[attach=4]

http://rama.works/store/rama-al-w-space-grey-kc-mx

Hello $1k-eyboard
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: adamking0126 on Wed, 29 June 2016, 18:41:13
Hey y'all, I'm interested in the Atreus and like the idea of a totally hackable keyboard.  I'd like to build one but add a 3.5mm jack (or two) for foot switches.  How feasible is this?  I can follow instructions but I'm not really an electronic tinkerer-type.  What do you think?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Wed, 29 June 2016, 20:45:13
Hey y'all, I'm interested in the Atreus and like the idea of a totally hackable keyboard.  I'd like to build one but add a 3.5mm jack (or two) for foot switches.  How feasible is this?  I can follow instructions but I'm not really an electronic tinkerer-type.  What do you think?

Interesting plan. Electrically there is absolutely nothing difficult about this; the problem is finding a good way to mount it to the case, since it's cut from pieces of flat wood. This is why the head of the USB cable is secured inside the Atreus case rather than having a USB port exposed. Of course if you don't mind having another wire hanging out from the case at all times it'd be easy on the Atreus side. (Might still be tricky designing the foot pedal.) I'd definitely be interested in hearing more about this if you decide to pursue it; it's a great idea.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: adamking0126 on Thu, 30 June 2016, 19:30:26
Cool I'll buy the kit in the next few weeks probably.  I was thinking that I'd just take my coping saw and cut a couple extra notches in the spacer.  I'll wire up a couple USB breakout boards and then make my own little micro-usb to 3.5mm mono audio cable adapters which will just always live on the end of the foot pedal cable. 

I'm thinking about this foot switch which uses a mono 3.5mm plug
https://www.amazon.com/StealthSwitch-FS-2-Foot-Pedal-Footswitch/dp/B00QJCAZ1M/ref=pd_sim_147_3?ie=UTF8&dpID=512Z02K6%2B8L&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=EDECGY296TJSPV481XPD

How would I wire in the jacks to the existing matrix?  That's the part I don't really understand.

I appreciate your help with this.
Adam

Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 30 June 2016, 21:16:08
I'll wire up a couple USB breakout boards and then make my own little micro-usb to 3.5mm mono audio cable adapters which will just always live on the end of the foot pedal cable.

I don't think wiring it into USB is a good idea; I would wire the 3.5mm jack straight into the controller. Ideally I'd use a TRRS jack so if you decide to change the foot switch to a double one in the future you don't have to re-wire it. USB should only be used connecting to the computer.

I'm thinking about this foot switch which uses a mono 3.5mm plug, although now that I look at it again, I see it's "momentary" so maybe I need to look elsewhere.

How would I wire in the jacks to the existing matrix?  That's the part I don't really understand.

Well, all the keys in the keyboard already are momentary, but if you want a "caps lock" style foot switch then you'll need one that isn't momentary.

There are a few free pins that aren't connected on the controller board; take a look at PB1, PB2, and PB3 at the bottom middle here: http://atreus.technomancy.us/astar.jpg Most of the keys are wired into a column and a row pin, but in this case if you're only adding 1-3 new switches, you have the luxury of dedicating an entire pin to each switch. So you'd wire one end of the switch into one of these pins and the other into ground. Then in the firmware you'd add a description for a new row with the relevant pins; when the switch is pressed those pins would be connected to ground, which registers them as down.

You could make these changes in TMK, but if you aren't planning on using any of the advanced TMK features it might be easier to add them in the old atreus-firmware codebase, since it's a lot easier to understand.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: adamking0126 on Thu, 30 June 2016, 21:27:29
RE: momentary switches, yeah I was just reading about that and edited my question.  I was thinking that "momentary" meant that it only activated for a moment (ie you couldn't hold it down).

My thinking about the USB was it's a thinner profile and you can get them with holes so you could screw it into the wood:
https://www.adafruit.com/products/1833?gclid=Cj0KEQjwhtO7BRCtwuO9gfTH-fQBEiQAdJ8FY2PzlNASZ6cHzrXd1QzJDwss5zjFIFr_8l_Dz6Vhtc8aAugg8P8HAQ

Because the thickness of a 3.5mm headphone jack alone is already bigger than the spacer, I'd imagine I'd be whittling away some of the layers of wood to allow for the jack to fit in.

Thanks for the advice about the PCB - I'll reread that and take a look once I get the kit.

Adam
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Thu, 30 June 2016, 21:51:03
My thinking about the USB was it's a thinner profile and you can get them with holes so you could screw it into the wood:

Oh, I see; you're thinking of how to mount it into the wood. Yeah a 3.5mm jack is probably not best for that, but I think you can find something better than USB. Then again, I've never tried mounting a port into a wooden case; if I were doing it I'd probably just allow the cable to dangle out of the case a bit and add some strain relief. But if you think you can make it work with the USB port, you can try it.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mteinum on Tue, 05 July 2016, 06:42:20
Status so far:


Weight without switches, but with keycaps; 615 grams

It feels quite solid!  :p

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7400/28102389395_76d6219c14_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/JPj6i6)

Atreus: Big Blue Saw case (https://flic.kr/p/JPj6i6) by Morten Teinum (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mortenteinum/), on Flickr

---

Test photo with the key caps on (no switches, ... well one)

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7368/27488556104_dec50c5f91_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/HT533u)

Atreus: key caps without switches (https://flic.kr/p/HT533u) by Morten Teinum (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mortenteinum/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7402/28000515112_55061d3d7e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/JEiXBW)

Atreus: key caps without switches (https://flic.kr/p/JEiXBW) by Morten Teinum (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mortenteinum/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: stoic-lemon on Tue, 05 July 2016, 07:24:20
My gosh, that looks really cool. Nice job.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mteinum on Tue, 05 July 2016, 08:40:57
My gosh, that looks really cool. Nice job.

Yes! Well, except from soldering the diodes and controller I have mostly been waiting for parts to arrive. Building keyboards is not for the impatient.

I like the rough look of the aluminium. You wonder what jet this was stolen from.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 05 July 2016, 08:41:40
What a beauty. Can't wait to see the final product.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mteinum on Sat, 16 July 2016, 19:03:56
Here we go!

My first DIY keyboard

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/8/7583/28250058732_750d5e0203_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K3mWf9)

Atreus (https://flic.kr/p/K3mWf9) by Morten Teinum (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mortenteinum/), on Flickr

Still waiting for the Kevlar cable, but the kit ed. is fine for now. Next out: Print the cheat sheet (https://atreus.technomancy.us/cheat)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mteinum on Sun, 17 July 2016, 12:40:44
With the rubber feets provided with the kit, it stands rock-solid on my mac. Typing is still a bit slow, but the clue card is of great help.

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8647/27751531833_5bd73f10a1_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/JhiRyM)

Atreus on Macbook (https://flic.kr/p/JhiRyM) by Morten Teinum (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mortenteinum/), on Flickr

Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PollandAkuma on Thu, 25 August 2016, 07:37:37
With the rubber feets provided with the kit, it stands rock-solid on my mac. Typing is still a bit slow, but the clue card is of great help.

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8647/27751531833_5bd73f10a1_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/JhiRyM)

Atreus on Macbook (https://flic.kr/p/JhiRyM) by Morten Teinum (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mortenteinum/), on Flickr

What switches did you put innit?

I also see that you have HHKB :D Are they better than normal mech switches?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: mteinum on Sat, 27 August 2016, 08:26:49
...

What switches did you put innit?

I also see that you have HHKB :D Are they better than normal mech switches?

Black Cherry MX (linear) for modifiers, Zealios 62g (tactile) for the rest.

Did also changed the DSA caps with Modern Selectric SA. This was a huge upgrade when it comes to typing comfort.

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8047/29075070562_40e7879742_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Ligkw3)
Atreus - Modern Selectric (SA) (https://flic.kr/p/Ligkw3) by Morten Teinum (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mortenteinum/), on Flickr

HHKB/Topre

I use the BT as my primary keyboard at work (telco, programming). Very smooth, tactile feeling and with a reasonable amount of noise :) Better? That's no easy question to answer.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Ari Gold on Fri, 16 September 2016, 10:03:26
Last year I happened to find a photo of Atreus,whitch quite appealed to me because of its appreance and practical design.So if you allow,I will ask my friend redesign an Atreus with Kimera Core PCB (the Kimera Core also used in Golbat:https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78080 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78080)) ,which,I think,will be more than fascinating.  ;D
Anyway, it is an intriguing project. Please do keep us in the loop about the progress.

I wish he kept us updated a little more with his project :(
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PollandAkuma on Tue, 01 November 2016, 09:44:54
Arg, I can't get this keeb out of my head. I have to get this at some point. Phil, do you still do cherry plates? you don't have any cherry blacks do you?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 01 November 2016, 10:39:29
Arg, I can't get this keeb out of my head. I have to get this at some point. Phil, do you still do cherry plates? you don't have any cherry blacks do you?

I am keeping cherry-compatible cases in stock precisely for crazy GHers like yourself who have very specific switch preferences! =D

I don't have any cherry caps or switches in stock, but if you want a partial kit where you supply your own, you can order that on the web site. Just specify in the shipping field that you want the case to be cherry-compatible.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: menuhin on Tue, 01 November 2016, 12:39:47
I once considered an Atreus because of its ortholinear and natural hand positioning and its compact size. However, I haven't tried a 40% yet and I haven't tried any ortholinear either.

There are Atreus builds out there that remind me of my interest towards it from time to time. Such as this custom bluetooth build:
(https://i.imgur.com/X0QU1Rz.jpg)
https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/3sgld5/finished_my_custom_bluetooth_atreus/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/3sgld5/finished_my_custom_bluetooth_atreus/)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PollandAkuma on Tue, 01 November 2016, 19:02:36
Oh, and I also wanted to ask if you have any darker woods? I really like darker coloured woods :) and what caps do you think I should get? Should I just get blanks for the bottom row?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PollandAkuma on Tue, 01 November 2016, 19:03:24
I once considered a Atreus because of its ortholinear and natural hand positioning and its compact size. However, I haven't tried a 40% yet and I haven't tried any ortholinear either.

There are Atreus builds out there that remind me of my interest towards it from time to time. Such as this custom bluetooth build:
Show Image
(https://i.imgur.com/X0QU1Rz.jpg)

https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/3sgld5/finished_my_custom_bluetooth_atreus/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/3sgld5/finished_my_custom_bluetooth_atreus/)

I saw that, it's really awesome, truly portable!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 01 November 2016, 19:36:51
Oh, and I also wanted to ask if you have any darker woods?

This is the darkest kind I keep in stock. If you put a note in your shipping field about it when you place an order, I'll get you this kind of case: https://www.flickr.com/photos/technomancy/17305142932

Of course you can stain it darker if you prefer too but it's a bit more work: https://www.flickr.com/photos/technomancy/26704975535/

what caps do you think I should get? Should I just get blanks for the bottom row?

Well, you're never going to find labeled caps that work for the bottom row, so if you get legends for the other rows it's going to be hard to find something that matches and looks nice. That's why I recommend blanks all the way.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PollandAkuma on Wed, 02 November 2016, 18:37:19
Aha, blanks! I assume dsa and g20 blanks are good for Atreus? What profile goes with it?

I saw this in your photos (I swear I'm not stalking you) https://www.flickr.com/photos/technomancy/30438404270/in/dateposted/ and it looks sooooo good. I really can't wait to get my own. Now I'm just considering what switches to get.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: consolation on Thu, 03 November 2016, 04:36:32
Does the partial kit contain everything you need if you bring your own switches and caps? Are there cherry kits still in stock?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: menuhin on Thu, 03 November 2016, 12:25:11
Just found a variant:
(http://i.imgur.com/YeUmb9c.jpg)
https://www.reddit.com/r/olkb/comments/5alrtw/my_new_keyboard_a_cross_between_the_planck_and/
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PollandAkuma on Thu, 03 November 2016, 18:06:57
Just found a variant:
Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/YeUmb9c.jpg)

https://www.reddit.com/r/olkb/comments/5alrtw/my_new_keyboard_a_cross_between_the_planck_and/

okay, I've seen a lot of 60% atreuses but this one tops them all. The layout looks great!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PollandAkuma on Thu, 03 November 2016, 19:01:17
Just found a variant:
Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/YeUmb9c.jpg)

https://www.reddit.com/r/olkb/comments/5alrtw/my_new_keyboard_a_cross_between_the_planck_and/

https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/5azgrr/my_custom_atreus_now_with_dsa_overcast/

He posted again today!
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Sat, 05 November 2016, 15:05:10
Does the partial kit contain everything you need if you bring your own switches and caps?

Apart from soldering gear and wire trimmers you need wood finishing supplies; I recommend buying spray lacquer but if you have your own preference for how to finish the wood that is fine too. There is sandpaper in the kit.

Are there cherry kits still in stock?

Cherry partial kits are in stock, but not any cherry keycaps or switches. In general everyone who wants a Cherry Atreus has really specific requirements, so it's less of a headache if they source those parts themselves.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Mon, 14 November 2016, 15:54:38
Hey everybody; just thought I'd let you know that I've added an option for presoldered Atreus kits to the order form.

The process of building a kit with a presoldered board is much easier; the only soldering you need to do is the switches. This is pretty simple to do and takes less than half an hour: https://atreus.technomancy.us/presoldered (https://atreus.technomancy.us/presoldered) I'm hoping that this encourages others who might not otherwise feel confident in their soldering ability to build a keyboard.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: MandrewDavis on Mon, 14 November 2016, 21:07:29
Do you by any chance, sell the PCB separately?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: technomancy on Tue, 15 November 2016, 10:36:32
Do you by any chance, sell the PCB separately?

Yeah, I can sell it by itself for US$25. If you place an order on the site, just put a note in the shipping field with the specifics, or dm me if you have any other questions. I can sell a presoldered PCB (with the controller and diodes) too if you like.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Tue, 13 December 2016, 21:45:03
(https://c2.staticflickr.com/1/408/31514905281_7641fc7095_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Q1S8nT)

Xpost

Still looks fantastic. I did just opt for the atreus62. But I bring my matias one (not pictured) anytime I travel
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: UncleGary on Wed, 14 December 2016, 13:35:12
Hey Technomancy, I got a couple Atreus kits from you a year ago and really enjoy them, but I wanted to know your thoughts on the best/most practical way for a user to implement bluetooth on one of these.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PollandAkuma on Thu, 15 December 2016, 11:34:43
(https://c2.staticflickr.com/1/408/31514905281_7641fc7095_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Q1S8nT)

Xpost

Still looks fantastic. I did just opt for the atreus62. But I bring my matias one (not pictured) anytime I travel

How's the layout compared to Planck?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Thu, 15 December 2016, 11:41:05
I don't have a planck but I don't think I could do the way the Planck is set up, I need my wrists slightly angled or they hurt. The layout is fully functional and can handle multiple layers fine both momentary and persistant

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nonah on Sun, 18 December 2016, 11:30:55
Figured I should post my Trackpoint Atreus here  :thumb:
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: MandrewDavis on Sun, 18 December 2016, 19:53:03


Figured I should post my Trackpoint Atreus here  :thumb:

Wow that is really cool, are trackpoints supported in TMK/QMK?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nonah on Sun, 18 December 2016, 20:02:32


Figured I should post my Trackpoint Atreus here  :thumb:

Wow that is really cool, are trackpoints supported in TMK/QMK?

Kind of, the support is there if you dig into the firmware a bit, but it was pretty easy  :thumb:
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PollandAkuma on Mon, 19 December 2016, 00:52:57


Figured I should post my Trackpoint Atreus here  :thumb:

Wow that is really cool, are trackpoints supported in TMK/QMK?

Kind of, the support is there if you dig into the firmware a bit, but it was pretty easy  :thumb:

Love it! Got a build log?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nonah on Mon, 19 December 2016, 05:13:31
Love it! Got a build log?


Not really, but I have a couple of pictures so I might put something together  :thumb:
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Tye on Mon, 19 December 2016, 14:21:42
Figured I should post my Trackpoint Atreus here  :thumb:
Please post a few pictures of the insides. This is very pretty. How does your layout handle mouse buttons?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: nonah on Mon, 19 December 2016, 14:55:01
Please post a few pictures of the insides. This is very pretty. How does your layout handle mouse buttons?

I'll whip something up during the holidays (Which begins tomorrow for me :) ), thanks for the nice words!


I use this pull request: https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard/pull/326 (https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard/pull/326), although in QMK.
Basically, whenever I move the cursor the keyboard changes layer for a short while (about 700ms for me), which allows me to but my mouse buttons anywhere I want. This actually works really well.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: alkozu on Tue, 20 December 2016, 08:50:30
Usability wise, how does it feel the track point in the middle with respect to the "standard" position?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PollandAkuma on Wed, 21 December 2016, 03:08:58
Usability wise, how does it feel the track point in the middle with respect to the "standard" position?

Try the Thinkpad :D
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: tobsn on Wed, 21 December 2016, 07:51:44
Figured I should post my Trackpoint Atreus here  :thumb:

I need some more info on this! :D
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: alkozu on Wed, 21 December 2016, 07:56:29
Usability wise, how does it feel the track point in the middle with respect to the "standard" position?

Try the Thinkpad :D

Well, that was exactly my point I know that the trackpoint in the thinkpad is placed such that you can use it without leaving the home row, but here the hand needs to move a little.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Ari Gold on Sat, 31 December 2016, 02:35:24
Do you perhaps have any plans of running a groupbuy for the pcb's with everything but switches soldered on?

Im considering launching one with similar properties as the one poster here with the kimera core, if you'll allow that?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: gammadist on Mon, 23 January 2017, 19:19:10
What's the column staggering like for those of you with small hands? I have frustratingly small hands and was thinking about modifying the Atreus column staggering to be smaller, similar to the Ergodox.

Maybe the column staggering doesn't matter much at all?
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: tomboy on Tue, 24 January 2017, 03:00:17
What's the column staggering like for those of you with small hands? I have frustratingly small hands and was thinking about modifying the Atreus column staggering to be smaller, similar to the Ergodox.

Maybe the column staggering doesn't matter much at all?

I have very small hands, and I find the atreus much more comfortable that a "normal" staggered layout, reaching the keys is so much easier. Never tried an ergodox though, so I can't compare the two.
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PollandAkuma on Tue, 24 January 2017, 13:32:34
What's the column staggering like for those of you with small hands? I have frustratingly small hands and was thinking about modifying the Atreus column staggering to be smaller, similar to the Ergodox.

Maybe the column staggering doesn't matter much at all?

I have very small hands, and I find the atreus much more comfortable that a "normal" staggered layout, reaching the keys is so much easier. Never tried an ergodox though, so I can't compare the two.
Have you tried planck? I'm think about getting a planck :p
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: tomboy on Tue, 24 January 2017, 13:46:53
What's the column staggering like for those of you with small hands? I have frustratingly small hands and was thinking about modifying the Atreus column staggering to be smaller, similar to the Ergodox.

Maybe the column staggering doesn't matter much at all?

I have very small hands, and I find the atreus much more comfortable that a "normal" staggered layout, reaching the keys is so much easier. Never tried an ergodox though, so I can't compare the two.
Have you tried planck? I'm think about getting a planck :p

Customs got hold of my planck stuff, who knows when I'll get it... I'm probably gonna build it for a friend though since I already have a let's split in the making.

So nope, haven't tried yet, but I'm extremely happy with my atreus, I don't really feel like needing more keys, there are 6 I don't even use :)
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: ErgoMacros on Tue, 24 January 2017, 14:03:02
Hi,
I'm looking at different small key count options. Are you willing to share your layout?
Thanks
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: tomboy on Tue, 24 January 2017, 14:08:54
Hi,
I'm looking at different small key count options. Are you willing to share your layout?
Thanks

Here's mine: https://gist.github.com/tomb0y/3aaf8fd3e3bd331346df9a4623000122
Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: sems on Mon, 06 February 2017, 09:36:20
G20 Semiotic on Atreus!

(https://i.reddituploads.com/b2ea453c159441248b28844ce3f1cd5d?fit=max&h=1536&w=1536&s=46dd699cccf77a031eb245548a643530)

Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: Glod on Fri, 17 February 2017, 23:22:06
G20 Semiotic on Atreus!

Show Image
(https://i.reddituploads.com/b2ea453c159441248b28844ce3f1cd5d?fit=max&h=1536&w=1536&s=46dd699cccf77a031eb245548a643530)

Love it

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Atreus, a column-staggered 40%
Post by: PollandAkuma on Sat, 18 February 2017, 17:43:12
G20 Semiotic on Atreus!

Show Image
(https://i.reddituploads.com/b2ea453c159441248b28844ce3f1cd5d?fit=max&h=1536&w=1536&s=46dd699cccf77a031eb245548a643530)


Curious what made you change your mind, seeing you are selling it?