geekhack

geekhack Projects => Making Stuff Together! => Topic started by: sordna on Wed, 25 January 2012, 21:47:26

Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 25 January 2012, 21:47:26
The Kinesis Advantage is an amazing keyboard that can however be made even better. While the keyboard has 2 fully programmable layers, the 2nd layer is only accessible by pressing the uncomfortable rubber Keypad button to toggle it, or by using a footswitch, which enables the keypad layer momentarily (as long as you hold down the footswitch). I always wanted to have a momentary access to the keypad layer by holding down a normal, conveniently located key, so I decided to mod my beloved Advantage LF.

This wiki has 7 parts.

Part 1: Adding extra switches under the shifts

Under each Shift button, there is room to fit an additional key:

[attach=1]

To do this mod you will need: a couple of cherry MX switches (got mine from wasdkeyboards.com), a screwdriver, dremel with cutting bit (or a drill and files), a hot glue gun (or some kind of glue), and a soldering iron, as well as some wires. This keyboard normally uses cherry switches with pins and diodes, but that's not needed for the extra switches, in fact it's better to use plain switches here since the pins and diodes would get in the way.
First you will need to open up the keyboard, disconnect the keywells by lifting the fastener on the connector and then pulling out the ribbons, and unscrew the 3 screws holding each keywell.
Then you will need to dremel out a square hole from each keywell. I didn't bother making any measurements, just used the loose cherry switches to eyeball the location. You can start with a small square, try fitting the cherry switch, and enlarge the hole as needed till you have a nice tight fit. Note that the square holes need to be far enough from the Shift switches, so that the new keys don't rub against the Shift keys.

[attach=2]

Be careful not to damage the PCB, as I did.

[attach=3]

Above damage caused my left column of keys to stop working, but I fixed it by scraping the PCB and restoring the broken run using solder.

In order to secure the new switches, I decided to use hot glue which is easy to undo, but other kinds of stronger glue like crazy glue, gorilla, or epoxy could be used. I put these switches rotated opposite than the rest of the switches, so that the terminals don't bump into the PCB.

[attach=4][attach=5]

Then I used the dremel on the case, to make room for the new keys. You need to put a keycap on the switch and try out the keywell on the case, to make sure you cut enough. The red circle shows the piece I cut off of the case:

[attach=6]

Since this keyboard supports a 3-action footswitch, these 3 actions are very easily accessible and marked as FS1, FS2, FS3 on the main PCB. Each of these, when closing circuit with GND (black wire), activates that particular function. FS1 is initially mapped to Left Shift, FS2 to momentary Keypad activation, and FS3 to Keypad Enter. These are the default mappings upon keyboard reset, and are remappable like any key on the keyboard. If you are interested in adding extra keys for whatever other function like Windows keys etc, you could use the footswitch leads and remap them to your heart's content; they are independent "keys" and won't affect your regular Left Shift or Keypad Enter. For my purposes I used the wire that corresponds to the keypad. I simply jammed 2 pairs of wires on the green and black terminals right on the molex connector. I joined 2 pieces of green wire, as well as 2 pieces of black wire on one end (to make 2 Y cables), and tinned them with solder so they hold up and also become thick enough to make a snug fit at the top of the connector:

[attach=7]

I then soldered the other ends onto the switches. You can also see the PCB repair on the left.

[attach=8][attach=9]

Here is what the keyboard looks like with the keycaps still off the new switches:

[attach=10]

And here is the final result:

[attach=11]

The mod took me about 2 hours to do, and I think it's worthwhile enhancement to this fantastic keyboard!


Part 2: Adding extra switches in the thumb area

It's been already a week since I added the first pair of switches, and I've been itching to add more.
To do this mod you will need: 2 switches with pins and diodes (I'm making these PCB mounted), a mini breadboard (perforated / solderable) PCB (http://www.amazon.com/Solderable-BreadBoard-matches-tie-point-breadboards/dp/B0040Z6OK6), a screwdriver, a drill, a dremel with cutting bit, a soldering iron, and some wires.

This little PCB was big enough to cut in 2 pieces and accommodate both halves of the keyboard. It can be held by existing screws, no gluing needed. However longer screws would be better, since the original ones won't reach all the way in.
First you cut the breadboard in half (this depends on what kind of breadboard you get your hands on of course), you align the Kinesis thumb PCB so that the diagonal edge is parallel to the breadboard PCB holes, you mark the locations the screws will go through, and you drill the holes:

[attach=12]

Note I also had to round the breadboards' corners closest to the keywells with the dremel, because they were bumping into the keywell's curved PCBs.

Then you take the dremel and cut out square areas from the top of the case as shown in the photo below. Care must be taken not to interfere with the keywell mount point.

[attach=13]

The openings should be just large enough for a keycap to fit through. You will notice that the keywells partially obstruct the way to the breadboard:

[attach=14]

So you need to set the keyboard upside down, remove the breadboards (if you attached them) and cut out some of the keywell edges so there's no obstruction any longer.
You don't need to remove the keywells to do this. The result will look like this now:
[attach=15]

and here it is with the breadboard PCBs screwed on again:
[attach=16]

Now the tricky part is mounting the switches at the right spot on the breadboards so they are aligned with the case openings. You will need to screw the breadboards in, take a switch (preferably with a keycap on it) and see where it should sit. Note I'm using switches with pins and diodes for the sole reason of mechanical stability. The pins prevent the switch from rotating, and the diodes when soldered will help hold the switch more securely to the PCB so it doesn't fly off when pulling keycaps.

[attach=17]

You can also see some markings I made on the breadboard to tell me where the pins/terminals/diodes will go. Unfortunately, while the diode terminals and one of the switch terminals will be aligned with the breadboard holes, the plastic pins, the other switch terminal, and of course the center cylinder of the switch fall in-between the breadboard holes, so you need to drill the breadboard in 4 places for each switch (with holes of varying size) to make everything fit:

[attach=18]

Here are the 2 breadboard pieces with the switch pins/terminals squeezed in:

[attach=19][attach=20]

After the switches are squeezed onto the breadboards, it's time to screw them back onto the keyboard

[attach=21]

Now I had some alignment issues, the switches turned out to be too north:

[attach=22]

So I decided to enlarge the breadboard screw holes, to allow for wiggle room of the breadboards. You can see the enlarged holes here; I ended up enlarging the corner one even more after this photo:

[attach=23]

After alignment, I took some red wires and made a Y cable, which went into the top of the molex connector and jammed along the FS1 footswitch terminal (which has a default mapping of shift). The ends of the Y cable were soldered onto the new switches, and for ground, I used the yellow wires and soldered them onto the black ground wires off of the previously installed switches (under the shifts).

[attach=24]

And here is the final result, a Kinesis Advantage LF with 4 extra cherry MX red switches! 2 for keypad access, and 2 for shifting with the thumbs. The new thumbswitches can also be mapped to anything else, like windows keys, tab, escape, whatever.

[attach=25]

This mod was more involved than the first one, mainly due to the PCB aligning and drilling for the switches. It took me a little over 3 hours.


Part 3: Adding extra thumb switches near the middle of the keyboard

To take advantage (pun intended) of the still unused FS3 footswitch, I decided to add the final 2 extra switches this time near the middle of the keyboard. To do this mod you will need 2 switches with pins and diodes, a drill, a dremel with cutting bit, a soldering iron, strong glue such as Gorilla glue / Crazy glue / epoxy, and some wires.

There are some obstructions near Alt/End/PgDown so I chose to place them next to Home and PgUp. I find it a quite comfortable location anyway (for a less often used key). First I cut the case roughly, making the initial cuts small so I could adjust in any direction later.

[attach=26]

Then I drilled the thumb PCBs - one of them had a conveniently placed hole that I enlarged. I used the Home and PgUp switch pins as a guide to "aim" the proper drilling location for the large central switch holes. It's a good idea to sacrifice a switch by cutting all its pins/terminals (except the center stem bulge) for the sole purpose of making sure the center hole is in the perfect location. If a hole is off, you can enlarge it with a drill to the proper direction, and besides, the rest of the pins/leads and glue will hold the switch well in place.

[attach=27]

By using another switch, I figured where to drill the other holes for the diodes and pins. I had to try the switch and enlarge the holes until everything could go through and the switch could be fully seated. I decided to solder the (useless in this case) diodes to the dead area of the PCB for the purpose of mechanical stability, and let the actual switch terminals hang off the edge of the PCB. One of them has to be completely bent so it can clear the PCB and protrude enough to be soldered to a wire.

[attach=28]

With the help of a switch and keycap on it, I further enlarged the case cuts, so that the keycap can comfortably go through the openings. This is the time to also make sure the keycap looks dead-on centered while the switch is fully seated on the PCB.

[attach=29]

I scraped the PCB green insulation at the location the diodes were to be soldered, to expose the metal. I just held a drill bit in my hand to do it, the insulation scrapes off pretty easily:

[attach=30]

I then glued the switches in place, with Gorilla glue. Hot glue isn't strong enough in this case, and the diodes to be soldered would only hold the switches on one side, which wouldn't be secure enough to withstand pulling keycaps. Here is how I chose to orient the switches (differently than the rest) so that the diodes are on the PCB:

[attach=31]

After gluing, I soldered the diodes, and also soldered wires on the switch terminals. These wires lead to the FS3 terminal of the molex connector, and to GND.  I chose to connect them to the GND on the perforated PCB used in part 2, just to keep the wires short.

[attach=32][attach=33]

Here is the final result, a Kinesis Advantage LF with 6 extra switches, bringing the total number of keys in this keyboard to 92 ! 

[attach=34]

My current mapping of the extra keys is the following:



Part 4: Taking advantage of the 6 unused spots available on the matrix

According to the dmw's excellent article (http://humblehacker.com/blog/20100720/hacking-the-kinesis-contoured-keyboard/) (copy/pasting screenshot here for easy reference):

[attach=35]

... pairs 1+6 and 1+11 on the left hand ribbon, as well as pairs 4+3 and 4+6 on the right hand, are unused. By successively shorting those pairs with a jumper, I verified that all 4 "hidden" keys are usable. Shorting them produces a "click" sound, with no event recorded by the xev program for the pairs on the right hand (these "keys" behave similar to the dead Caps Lock in keypad mode). On the left hand, it gets more interesting, 1+6 is mapped as an additional Left Shift, and 1+11 is mapped as Num Lock!

All these 4 "keys" are valid remapping destinations. So on my LF that I tried this on, I remapped A to 4+3, B to 4+6, J to 1+6 and K to 1+11 as an experiment, and when out of remapping mode, I confirmed that shorting those pairs, produces the remapped keystrokes.

[attach=36]

Similarly, there's 2 more spare "keys" to be found, this time on the thumbcluster ribbons; 1+5 on the left (by default mapped to left windows key) and 4+7 on the right (by default mapped to some kind of macro: Escape 1 2). This brings the grand total of hidden remappable keys to 6 !
That means: Together with the 3 footswitch terminals, you can add a total of 9 individual keys/actions (all of them remappable) by simply tapping on existing wires!
Below are shown the 6 spare keywell matrix spots on the main PCB side. I decided to glue header pin connectors on the main PCB, and connect them to these spots, for easy connecting/disconnecting switches using jumpers.

[attach=37][attach=38]

I even added 1N4148 diodes so I don't have to worry about using diodes on the keys themselves. The photo below left, shows the header pins simply hotglued to the side of the main PCB on my modded LF. The photo below right, shows an older Kinesis Classic I first did this on where I actually drilled the PCB edge, and used gorilla glue to secure the pins.

[attach=39][attach=40]

Here are the spots connected to the actual keys, so now all 4 of my extra thumb keys are individually remappable:

[attach=41][attach=42]


Part 5: Adding palm keys

Since the last 2 spare spots on the matrix were still available, I decided to add 2 more keys, to be used with my palms. I went with arcade buttons which looked big and comfy, and settled on the Japanese 30mm Seimitsu PS-15 buttons, because there were the shortest profile ones I could find (they only need 21mm clearance inside the case).
[attach=43]

I drilled pilot holes on the case (positioned at 20mm from the south edge of the keyboard and 78mm from the side edge). I now think putting the buttons closer to the sides of the keyboard (70 - 75mm) would be better. I used a small step drill to enlarge the holes, and then took a big step drill bit which goes up to 1"3/8 in 1/16" increments, and drilled 1"3/16 holes which was perfect for these 30mm buttons. I drilled the case from the top, and used the drill on the bottom as well, to get rid of any burrs. Drilling was quick and effortless, and the holes came out very clean with no sanding required.
[attach=44][attach=45]

The button simply snaps into place thanks to the 2 tabs it has on the sides. It's easy to unmount as well by pressing on the tabs and pushing it out.
[attach=46][attach=47]

I then wired the buttons to the spare matrix spots of the thumb clusters, which means both these buttons are independently programmable! The final result looks good too.
[attach=48][attach=49]

I initially mapped them as shifts, but later wired the right one to operate as keypad shift. These buttons are really comfortable with their smooth curves, and actually remind me to avoid anchoring my hands down while typing. I can still rest my hands very comfortably when not typing, and the button location actually helps reduce hand pronation. You can do this mod independently of the rest, without any need for soldering if you like, by using quick connects to hook wires to the buttons and connecting their other end to the FS/GND terminals on the molex connector as described in part 1 of this wiki. I did just that on my 2nd LF keyboard:
[attach=50][attach=51]

Adding palm keys was much easier than all the other key additions mentioned in this wiki, and seems to have the highest ergonomic benefit as well. Highly recommended!

Part 6: Adding additional arcade buttons

After a few years, I felt my work keyboard could use a couple extra keys, after all I had only added palm keys to it. However I didn't want to go to the trouble of adding cherry switches, so I decided to add 2 small arcade buttons and got me some Sanwa OBSF-24.
This time I hooked them up to the spare thumbcluster matrix spots - not on the main PCB but on the thumbcluster PCBs.
I unscrewed them, flipped them over, and confirmed the spots (same positions as mentioned in part 4, except in the opposite end of the ribbons).
[attach=52]
I decided to solder pins to them for easy hookups, including a diode in same fashion as with my cherry switch additions.
[attach=53]
Drilling the case was super easy, using a step drill again. I didn't take measurements for the placement, but I started drilling the case from the inside, trying to place the keys as close to the thumbclusters as possible but without bumping into the PCBs. I mapped these keys as Escape and Windows (Super in linux), and they are meant to be hit with the thumbs.
Note: Those ugly black things I stuck inside the keyboard are sound dampening material scraps.
[attach=54][attach=55]

I will be adding 4 arcade buttons to all my future Kinesis Advantage keyboards. Here are some photos of my older Classic I did this mod recently on. You can see how the Sanwa OBSF-24 switches are quite a bit longer and need more clearance inside the case compared to the Seimitsu PS-15. There is enough clearance where I placed the Sanwa, but for palm keys I think only the Seimitsu PS-15 (or the GameFinger HBFS-30 (http://www.gamerfinger.com/hbfs30.html) will fit.

[attach=57][attach=58][attach=59]

 Below are my two Advantage LF keyboards for comparison:
[attach=56]


Part 7: Kinesis Advantage2

I received my Advantage2 LF when it first came out, and it has some awesome features such as on-board v-drive mountable on your computer, that allows firmware upgrades and holds key remaps in simple, editable text files. You can remap keys the traditional way as well on this keyboard.
Of course I gave it the palm key treatment. Most of the description covered in the earlier parts of the wiki still hold. The Advantage2 has different PCBs but they have similar spots to hook up keys to. The main PCB has 4 such spots, and by default they are mapped as F21/F22/F23/F24 function keys, which means you can remap them using [F##] tokens in the v-drive qwerty.txt or dvorak.txt map files. I soldered 1N4148 diodes and wires (harvested from an old IDE hard drive cable) as follows:
[attach=61]
Each of the thumbcluster PCBs has a usable spot too, below photo has the details. The picture also includes the v-drive tokens for the footswitch connectors. A total of 9 extra keys can be added to this keyboard, all individually remappable!
Unfortunately the spot on the right thumbcluster does not have a v-drive token, but you can remap it on the keyboard itself (with Progm+F12), however if the keyboard loses power you have to remap it again. The other 8 spots on the keyboard don't have this problem since they all have a dedicated v-drive token and their mappings get saved in the v-drive relevant .txt file.
[attach=60]
Final results below. I am using the palm keys as left/right shifts, the left small button as End (my normal end is mapped to Escape), and the right small arcade button as left Windows key [kp-lwin] (by default accessible via the F1 key in the keypad layer) which I end up using as Compose (Multi_Key) on Linux. 4 extra buttons are enough for the time being; as you can see I have wires ready for 2 more, but I doubt I will use them any time soon.
If this article inspires you to do any of these mods, please post your photos in the thread!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 25 January 2012, 22:49:34
Sordna,

#1) That work looks familiar :)
#2) You are an animal! A Dremel???? Holy Crap! I did all my work with a drill bit for the initial hole, and hand filed the rest. You are a brute!
#3) The pcb damage is about 95% unavoidable. All my boards have it overlapping where the switch needs to be. Unlikely to not need to cut into it, but it could happen. Rotating the switch is a non-issue.
#4) You need 2 custom keys from WASD...no lagging, get on it!  "BAD" and "ASS". The key type info is in my mod article I think....

Neat stuff, let us know what you think of it in practice in a few days.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 25 January 2012, 22:56:33
Quote from: input nirvana;499267
#2) You are an animal! A Dremel???? Holy Crap! I did all my work with a drill bit for the initial hole, and hand filed the rest. You are a brute!
#3) The pcb damage is about 95% unavoidable. All my boards have it overlapping where the switch needs to be. Unlikely to not need to cut into it, but it could happen.

Argh, I wish you had told me this. I went by your encouraging "drill baby, drill" and bam, cut that trace. I was more careful on the other side of the board.

Seriously, a dremel is perfect for this job. I used 2 bits, one was a dremel 9902 carbide-tungsten bit for the cutting, and the other a 953 grinding bit for smoothing the edges out. What kind of glue did you use?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 25 January 2012, 23:24:14
I used high-temp hot glue. I really can't see a reason to use anything else. You need the ability to be able to remove a faulty switch. Hot glue is perfect since the switch is plate-mounted anyhow.

You have big brass ones. No way I would use a high rpm tool on the Kinesis. I'll stick with making the slow, initial drill hole and then hand file. I'm a nit-pik and the mod needs to look like it was manufactured original.

The wires worked well in the Molex, right? What gauge did you use?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 25 January 2012, 23:29:28
Not sure of the gauge, I used thin wires from a standard phone cable piece, but tinned the ends with solder and made them thick enough for a snug fit.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 25 January 2012, 23:32:20
So they are not stranded? I think they are 24 AWG, which is mostly what I use, either stranded or non-stranded.

Oopsy!
[ATTACH=CONFIG]38602[/ATTACH]
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 26 January 2012, 00:02:08
The right PCB doesn't have traces on that edge. It's the left that needs the extra care.
Anyway, my only concern is how well the glue will hold up when I pull keycaps a few times. If it doesn't hold long term, I might resort to gorilla glue or epoxy.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 26 January 2012, 00:09:12
The switch is plate mounted, so it's pretty firm to begin with, then the hot glue just binds it up like crazy. I've had no issues, I don't think you will either. It's like the rest of the switches, you don't want the solder/pcb holding it together. If you use Gorilla/epoxy, you'll never be able to get the switch out.

I was just showing that pic from my mod article. The breach is virtually unavoidable. I had to intentionally make the small cut on each pcb. I didn't sever the trace on the other keywell, but it's close. Fortunately, traces are no big deal.

On to the the thumb clusters!!!!!!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 26 January 2012, 00:13:08
Thumb clusters are next. I want to shift with my thumbs to relieve the pinkies. Also, an extra modifier next to the T and Y keys to be hit with the index finger wouldn't be bad either.
By the way, I got these perforated PCBs that I can probably secure close to the thumb clusters with the thumb PCB screws, and could mount extra switches that way. We shall see.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 26 January 2012, 00:44:47
Quote from: sordna;499325
Thumb clusters are next. I want to shift with my thumbs to relieve the pinkies. Also, an extra modifier next to the T and Y keys to be hit with the index finger wouldn't be bad either.
By the way, I got these perforated PCBs that I can probably secure close to the thumb clusters with the thumb PCB screws, and could mount extra switches that way. We shall see.

I've been looking at the long key possibility (like Super Ergo Dox) to the inside of each keywell (inside TG and YH). One, not two on each side. A little tough. Will need to be somewhat flush with case. The internals are the difficult part, a piece has to more or less be molded, or it will be scabbed together crap. Or two single keys in those locations could be ideal. I had thought to put the not-often-used-keys KEYPAD toggle on the left and PROGRAM on the right (upper locations).
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 26 January 2012, 00:58:37
Anyway, I now mapped my num row to do F keys when I hold down the new (let's call them K-Shift) buttons. So I got touch-typable F keys and mouse keys when I hold a kshift down. Not exactly a Touchstream experience, but getting closer!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 26 January 2012, 01:08:05
K-switch...sounds like the name of a popular club tranny from the city, lol. I like it. More spunk than my Fn key name.  :)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Icarium on Thu, 26 January 2012, 06:59:17
Hm...have you tried a less invasive method first? I'm thinking about something like the NEO layout with simply more layers...Maybe the arrow keys would also be nice for switching layers. Footswitches don't sound so bad either. Hm. Where to start? :)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 26 January 2012, 09:03:31
Yes, I tried de(neo) briefly but unless you are German it's weird. So I have been using us(altgr-intl) which has 2 layers and configured dual modifiers, capslock and altgr to access the 2nd layer. But I had to sacrifice caps lock and right alt, so I prefer to have extra keys. I'm thinking to add 2 more!

Footswitches are good, yes, I have a couple of them, but they force you to keep your feet in one place, so whenever try to used them after a while I get tired and move my legs away.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 26 January 2012, 11:03:44
Foot switches, on paper, are the awesome, convenient, ergo solution. In reality, many people I've heard from (mostly men) move around so much that the foot switches become a disadvantage. I'm no different, I'm a squirm-monkey :)  Personally I've noticed I use them without issue, only when I'm hyper-focused on a short-term burst of whatever. This is a half hour of number crunching through a problem or projection. So for me foot switches as a small, fractional, part-time solution at the most.

I'm a fan of a third layer, when possible.

I'm not a fan of hundreds of keys all over the place like an organ (the musical instrument), but the Kinesis has the ripe opportunity for several additional keys, provided they are  within the non-reaching finger range.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 26 January 2012, 11:13:48
Can you dig up that Kinesis matrix you had?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 26 January 2012, 11:34:17
8 x 12 is the what I have.

The key layout is in the notebook that is misplaced. It can be determined if I use an opened up board. The part that is not straight forward are the thumb clusters and where they fit in to the matrix.
Title: extra thumb keys
Post by: sordna on Thu, 26 January 2012, 22:04:06
In this photo you can see my idea about extra thumb keys. It's fairly easy to fasten a little breadboard PCB with existing screws, and optionally hot-glue some extra support. Depending on how far you space this PCB from the case, you can solder the switch onto it, or cut a square off and use it as a mounting plate. The case will be dremel'ed as usual.
 
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 26 January 2012, 22:10:00
Quote from: sordna;500219
The case will be dremel'ed as usual.

Big brass balled animal.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 26 January 2012, 22:11:23
Yeah, in  fact I'll fasten the PCB, then dremel both the case and the PCB at the same time! What better way to align the openings?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 26 January 2012, 22:16:05
!!!!!!!!

We are so different. Of course you will be done in 2 hours, and I in 2 days.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: erw on Fri, 27 January 2012, 07:26:08
You guys are awesome :-D

Thanks for the guide.. I'm much less reluctant to try it now...

How do you order MX swithces from WASD and what do they cost? (and which types are available? (I'd like to have one of each, just to play with...)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 27 January 2012, 09:18:01
Um, they have a website where you can order stuff? Just go to wasdkeyboards.com -> products -> parts and you'll see them, they have 4 kinds. They range from $0.80 to $2.00 each, depending on the quantity and switch type. Their international shipping for small parts is great too.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: erw on Fri, 27 January 2012, 11:36:05
Weird, dont know how I missed it. Yes, their shipping is good.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 27 January 2012, 14:57:08
I ordered a blank numpad keycap set from WASDkeyboards. Guess why...
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 27 January 2012, 15:45:55
Kinesishack.org

wanna ergo?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 27 January 2012, 15:52:49
Hey I googled "kinesishack" and got a page about replacing a Kinesis PS/2 controller with a "hublehacker" one:

http://humblehacker.com/blog/20100814/hacking-the-kinesis-contoured-keyboard-part-ii/
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Dox on Fri, 27 January 2012, 15:57:50
Great mod, he got some good info on the matrix (http://humblehacker.com/blog/20100720/hacking-the-kinesis-contoured-keyboard/) too.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 27 January 2012, 16:07:27
Ya, Dmw is bay area local, and has posted in my Split Kinesis Mod project. I have his Humblehacker info cited and linked as well.

EDIT--- You guys are late to the party, that info has been linked in the project article forever. I feel like Ripster, no one reads the "wiki" in the mod article :)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 02 February 2012, 00:35:17
Added part 2 in the wiki: Adding thumb switches. Yes, my dremel was busy again. THIS SENTENCE HAS BEEN TYPED BY HOLDING DOWN MY NEW THUMB KEYS!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 02 February 2012, 01:06:13
Quote from: sordna;506107
Added part 2 in the wiki: Adding thumb switches. Yes, my dremel was busy again. THIS SENTENCE HAS BEEN TYPED BY HOLDING DOWN MY NEW THUMB KEYS!

YOU ARE SUCH A GEEK HACK.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: boli on Thu, 02 February 2012, 02:37:01
Quote from: sordna;506107
Added part 2 in the wiki: Adding thumb switches. Yes, my dremel was busy again. THIS SENTENCE HAS BEEN TYPED BY HOLDING DOWN MY NEW THUMB KEYS!

Only just now noticed this thing has a comments area :)

Good work once again Sordna!

When I saw the picture I was wondering what keys you put there, because that location looks as if using the tip of the thumbs to press the keys would feel quite unnatural/awkward (requires excessive thumb bending or "propping up" of the whole  hand). But with "normal" positioning they key could be pressed with the upper part of the thumb, between its first and second knuckle, which I'd think wouldn't work well for many key actions (like typing a single character). For something like Shift, which needs to be held down, I guess it can work. What's your experience so far?

Having Shift on the thumbs is pretty nice, I did a quick test a day or two ago and put Shift on my left Enter (usually Delete, consult layout pic in my sig if in doubt).
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 02 February 2012, 02:43:40
I would like to put the keys higher up, so they would be hit by the thumb knuckle, but the keywell mounting screw is there, that's why I moved them down.
So yes, the keys are hit between the 1st/2nd knuckle, which isn't ideal. I sometimes move my hand down, so I hit them with the 1st knuckle, and sometimes I move my hand up, so I hit them with my palm/second knuckle! Perhaps I should have placed the new keys 2cm lower, they would be held down easier that way. It would be sort of like a "palm key", which I.N. and I have been talking about recently. Maybe I'll do that with another keyboard sometime.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 02 February 2012, 16:18:35
I'm re-thinking this, and the thought I'm having needs someone elses perspective because I'm busy and too unfocused to think this through.

The possible palm key could be hit with the 'ball of your index finger' where it meets your palm. I'm initially thinking it would be for a function like the KEYPAD toggle, ESCAPE, or an occasional one-hit type key. The right key could even be the PROGRAM key, using your thumb and pivoting your hand for the other keys you need to hit at the same time, or the left and use two hands for programming changes.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]39348[/ATTACH]
On the very edge of the case/keywell, between the two arrow keys. The idea being that it frees up more valuable key locations for more frequently used keys. The good: won't hit it by accident. The bad: it affects your finger placement on home row. It's just one thought, I'm certainly not married to it.

The best way I've found for 'testing' key locations is to put a little square piece of tape and attempt to hit it while typing.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 02 February 2012, 16:55:18
Well, such a location is ok only for a seldomly hit key, because you have to either extend all your fingers to hit it, or move your hand and hit it with the base of the palm. I'm more interested in finding an easily hit key, perhaps this location is better:

Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 02 February 2012, 18:40:01
I've been using a Kinesis with the foam palmrests for about 6 months now, so it's hard to 'feel' how that key will be. The only concern is not pressing it by accident. Height may be critical on the placement, but I can't tell with the foam pads on my board. I'll have to switch to a different board without the rests next week to try it.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Mon, 06 February 2012, 12:37:16
Gosh, previously lost posts are back, but new posts are gone. Sounds like restore from a newer backup than last time was done today. Need to redo part 3 of this wiki since it was lost.
Title: part #3: adding keys near the middle of the keyboard
Post by: sordna on Mon, 06 February 2012, 17:33:49
I redid part #3 and also took the opportunity to add some more pics.

http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:26579#Part+3:+Adding+extra+thumb+switches+near+the+middle+of+the+keyboard

[ATTACH=CONFIG]39502[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]39503[/ATTACH]
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 09 February 2012, 13:25:47
I'm having trouble deciding how to mod my next keyboard... should just get rid of the keywell mount, and put the new switches flush with the underside of Backspace and Enter keys? Since I would be using a perforated PCB again, it wouldn't be a problem to secure the keywell to that with a screw. My worry is that I might be confusing the new keys with space and backspace while typing, since they would be so close and feel almost identical.

The other option I'm considering is to mount them lower, to the base of the thumb (sort of like a palm key).

Has anyone attempted my mods yet, or variations to them? I'd love to hear about it!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 09 February 2012, 14:38:51
Quote from: sordna;510342
I'm having trouble deciding how to mod my next keyboard... should just get rid of the keywell mount, and put the new switches flush with the underside of Backspace and Enter keys? Since I would be using a perforated PCB again, it wouldn't be a problem to secure the keywell to that with a screw. My worry is that I might be confusing the new keys with space and backspace while typing, since they would be so close and feel almost identical.

The other option I'm considering is to mount them lower, to the base of the thumb (sort of like a palm key).

Has anyone attempted my mods yet, or variations to them? I'd love to hear about it!

I've created a monster! lol

EDIT----Can you show in a pic the proposed key locations? Be careful with any key under/lower of the BACKSPACE-DELETE or ENTER-SPACE keys. Your thumb will hit them, so the keys will need to be almost flush with the case. :(
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 11 February 2012, 20:32:20
I found the perfect USB port for a Kinesis PS/2 -> USB conversion:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-A-Female-to-B-Female-Keystone-Jack-White-WP-C17WH-/270735407064 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-A-Female-to-B-Female-Keystone-Jack-White-WP-C17WH-/270735407064)

In other places the part number is 333-110

[attach=1]

It should mount very easily and securely in the case, and a bluecube adapter will plug right in the back.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 11 February 2012, 20:55:13
PS/2 male cable plugged into (or disassembled and hard wired) into Blue Cube, plugged into #33-110 that is mounted into case wall at tunnel, with a detachable male type A/male type B USB cable to computer. Right?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 11 February 2012, 21:33:25
All is correct, except I plan to dremel a square opening to fit this USB port. I will leave the round opening as it is for the RJ11 cable and will just cut the PS/2 cable off.

EDIT: this page has useful USB pin-out info, with photos: http://www.accesscomms.com.au/reference/usb.htm
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 11 February 2012, 21:52:32
Are you going to hard wire the PS/2 cable to an opened Blue Cube?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 11 February 2012, 21:55:37
No, I think it will be easier to just solder a PS/2 connector to the appropriate wires off the molex, and plug it into the unmodded blue cube.

EDIT: This looks like the only loose PS/2 connector I have seen, I'd rather use that than a cut-off one from an existing cable.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/200712958802
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 11 February 2012, 22:19:31
Just take the PS/2 cable you are hacking off the back of the Kinesis (about 6" with the male plug) and solder or wire the 4 wires to the Molex?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sun, 12 February 2012, 11:11:44
Palm keys do exist:
http://www.veyboard.nl/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velotype

According to the article, this is an orthographic chord keyboard allowing the typical user to type around 200WPM, so it sits in between the traditional keyboard and the stenotype (300WPM).

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/ba/Velotype.jpg)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Icarium on Sun, 12 February 2012, 13:24:53
This is the current state of my cheap Kinesis emulation using a Tipro:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]40271[/ATTACH]

I got rid of the arrow keys in favor of pressing a palm key and ESDF. In the current state the palm keys are somewhat too low or too close to the other keys so it doesn't feel all to great. The two sides are also too close together so I will have to redo the entire thing with another Tipro once I have it. (Currently I only have a half-stagger second.)
It definitely feels better than using a staggered keyboard, though.
The Tipro software is pretty nice for experimenting even though it is a bit LOWKRO.

Next I'm going to remove the numbers from the uppermost row and add a palmkey numpad on the right.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sun, 12 February 2012, 17:20:23
I like what you did with the tipro. But you'll do a palmkey numpad? How is that possible, I don't think the palm can push more than 3-4 keys.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Icarium on Sun, 12 February 2012, 17:23:19
Quote from: sordna;512736
I like what you did with the tipro. But you'll do a palmkey numpad? How is that possible, I don't think the palm can push more than 3-4 keys.

Hrhr, sorry what I mean is if you press the palm key on the left you get arrow keys under ESDF on the right you get a numpad. :)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sun, 12 February 2012, 17:24:16
Ah, your palm keys will do layer switching. Neat!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Icarium on Sun, 12 February 2012, 18:28:16
Quote from: sordna;512741
Ah, your palm keys will do layer switching. Neat!


What I can't decide now is whether I want to use touchpads (as mentioned before) or just a couple of ordinary MX reds (maybe 4 or 6 per side) under the usual Kinesis palm pads for the switches. Will come down to how hard it is to read the state of the touchpads with a microcontroller.

Anyway, trackpoint mod first. :)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 15 February 2012, 22:13:26
I added quick connectors to the 4 spare spots on the matrix, and rewired my 4 extra thumb keys to take advantage of them (instead of using the footswitch leads). Documented this in new part 4 of the wiki.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 15 February 2012, 22:25:50
So at this point, every physical key you've added (6) to your keyboard can still be individually remapped just like every other key on the Kinesis! That is very cool, even if the odds are high that symmetrical pairs will be the same (ie:modifiers).

Diodes not needed for foot switch connections? I didn't add and didn't have any issues, but that keyboard is currently offline and not being used, so I'm not certain what the actual status is of the configuration.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 15 February 2012, 22:43:11
Actually the keys under the shifts are the only ones left that go to the footswitch (both go to the FS2 terminal for momentary keypad access). So my 6 new keys can be remapped to 5 different actions. Anyway, I'm already taking advantage of this, the new thumb key to the right of the Home has now become an End key (since my original End is always mapped to Escape for vim). Also, my right semi-palm key is now mapped produces an R_Shift instead of an L_Shift :-)

I doubt diodes are needed for the footswitch connections. I did verify that diodes work (they activate the action one way, and don't activate if turned the other way) so if we discover any ghosting issues we can add them, but it's unlikely.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 16 February 2012, 00:11:38
I was reviewing and according to the matrix, it seems there may be 4 additional hidden keys in the thumb clusters. Can you test/confirm this?

Left------2+4 and 1+5
Right-----4+7 and 6+8
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 16 February 2012, 00:43:32
Are those numbers for the thumb cluster 10-wire ribbons? I can try it next time I open up a keyboard. By the way, I'm curious, what are you typing on usually these days, are you using a Kinesis or something else?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 16 February 2012, 00:51:32
Daily driver Kinesis Advantage/browns, stock/un-modified. How Boring! I just have a mish-mash of doubleshot, singleshot, some 50A o-rings, some not, and a bunch of WASD keycaps to determine what will work for replacements, but that seems to be about wrapped up thanks to Boli/Erw/Kps and crew. Ever notice how mechanics drive classic cars that are halfway restored? That's me with my daily driver Kinesis and the crazy keycaps. I even have the "6' keycap off! Ghetto!

Yes to the wire info.

I just realized I have a keyboard that is fully intact and open....I go find a wire and test right now.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 16 February 2012, 01:05:06
Quote from: input nirvana;515885
I just realized I have a keyboard that is fully intact and open....I go find a wire and test right now.

You mean, you don't open up your daily driver? That's the one I open up usually, it's only 6 screws... I don't even unplug it from the computer, except when modding it
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 16 February 2012, 01:15:51
On the left thumb cluster I short 2+4 ("return") and 1+5 ("command") and get the audible click.
On the right thumb cluster I short 4+7 'I think' ("ESC" "1" "2") and 6+8 ("forward delete") and get the audible click.

To test, I remapped the 4 locations. The remapping affected the actual "return" and "forward delete" keys. The "ESC-1-2" keys were unaffected and the one hidden key was successfully remapped. The "command" has no key, and and the hidden location was successfully remapped as well. It seems that there are 2 possible hidden keys, one on each thumb cluster. The other location on each thumb cluster appears to be 'connected' to the corresponding key switch locations ("return" and "forward delete").

It also seems that even though this is on a 30,xxx PC model (not Mac or Mac switchable, firmware ver. 03/06/99 2.48A) that it does in fact have a "command" key for Mac use!

This should be done on an Advantage.

P.S.----I don't open my daily driver because I have 4 others that are available or already open :)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 16 February 2012, 02:04:22
Ok, I did it:
On the left, 2+4 does Return however when I remapped M to 2+4, my regular Return on the right side started producing M. So it's not usable, except if you want to add an extra Return key on the left. However, 1+5 produced Super_L (left windows key) which can be remapped without interfering with the Keypad layer PrtScr (which also produces Super_L when the keyboard is in PC-nonwindows mode which I use and which doesn't normally have any windows keys in the thumb clusters). Good find!

On the right, 4+7 produces Escape (followed by 1, followed by 2, followed by release of Escape) and is remappable without interfering with the regular Escape, but 6+8 produces Delete which if remapped, remaps the regular Delete as well.

So we have 2 remappable keys in the thumb cluster matrix 1+5 on the left, and 4+7 on the right. That brings the grand total of hidden remappable keys to 6 (or 9 if you count the footswitches). Nice !!!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 16 February 2012, 02:38:54
Quote from: sordna;515913
On the right, 4+7 produces Escape (not sure what you mean by (Esc 1 2) and is remappable without interfering with the regular Escape,

It produced a "12" in a text editor I have open, and on a keyboard viewer, "ESC", "1", "2" would all get highlighted. This is on a 30,xxx series keyboard.

2 more extra keys....I'm thinking there are more than will ever be needed.

The one nice find on the older board is the "command" (as it showed on the keyboard viewer) if it actually sends that signal, or, I guess a "windows" key. Either way it available without going  into the 2nd layer.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 16 February 2012, 02:48:45
Since you remapped it successfullay in your 30k series, it's no bother that it does ESC-1-2 by default.
Anyway, good job mate, we've been making great progress recently!

Hey, it's time you started adding more keys and take advantage of the spare matrix spots we found. Extra keys (especially thumb keys) are GREAT!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 16 February 2012, 02:49:37
[ATTACH=CONFIG]40731[/ATTACH]

Maybe now with all the 'extra' keys, I can go back to my idea of using Mousekeys and remapping for dedicated mouse clicking switches just below the thumb cluster.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 16 February 2012, 02:54:29
Sounds neat, and with 6 spare spots, you can have those 3 keys I see in the picture on both sides, with every single key individually remapabble. And the keys under the shifts go to FS2 for momentary keypad access. Slam dunk!
PS. The extra thumb keys will need diodes; I'll add them along with header pins on the front edge of the main PCB sometime.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 16 February 2012, 03:02:50
Diodes, yes.

I was trying to remember when I did the keypad shift from the foot switch/power block....there may be surface mount diodes or something somewhere to address ghosting. I never had an issue and I used the switches very often for doing heavy 10-key for about 2 months.

My original idea was for the Trackpoint in the right keywell, and the 2 or 3 mouse keyswitches under the left thumb cluster. Trying to keep hands on the home row. Now can use o-rings for low-travel mouse key switches.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 16 February 2012, 03:05:53
For mouse switches I'd use cherry blues.

Hmm, I went back to the logs and actually you are right, I get ESC 1 2 in my Advantage LF. In fact it's Escape held down, followed by press and release of 1, followed by press and release of 2, followed by release of Escape. Sounds like some kind of macro to me.
I wish I tested the remapping more carefully, I can't tell if I got a single letter or multiple letters emitted when I remapped that key to a letter.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 16 February 2012, 03:22:50
I got a single letter.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 16 February 2012, 03:45:47
Ok, then it remaps cleanly... needs more testing to make sure it behaves properly, I guess I'll do that as soon as I have time to glue and solder more 2 more pairs of header pins. Then I can simply move one of the new keys connectors over.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 16 February 2012, 21:26:43
Cherry blue with o-rings to limit the key travel....that sounds like a good idea if using a key switch mouse key works well. I don't know what would be better.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 16 February 2012, 22:12:45
Mouse buttons gotta click!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 24 February 2012, 11:46:43
Here's a nice button for a palm key, the Seimitsu PS-15: (http://www.canadianjoysticks.com/seimitsu-ps-15-solid-colour-30mm-snap-in-pushbutton/) arcade button with comfy domed plunger and low profile underside, so it should fit in the rather shallow palmrest area. Cherry switches are too much hassle to mount anyway; a panel mount arcade button key is a 30 minute mod. Thinking of making a right palm key do momentary keypad shift (eg for one handed mousekeys mousing) and the left would do Shift.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Icarium on Sat, 25 February 2012, 16:27:27
Ooohhh...that would be awesome! Do it now! I was thinking about making a little cherry matrix and putting it under the palm rest pads but I'm currently too busy trying to figure out the electronics part of a trackpoint mod....
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 25 February 2012, 17:36:38
What trackpoint? Laptop or desktop or-? Pics?

Hopefully the button feels precise, not too much slop :(
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 25 February 2012, 17:45:53
Quote from: Icarium;525912
Ooohhh...that would be awesome! Do it now!

I will, some buttons are on their way to me.

BTW for trackpoint on kinesis discussions, post followup info here! (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:8110&do=comments&page=16)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Icarium on Sat, 25 February 2012, 18:18:46
Quote from: input nirvana;525995
What trackpoint? Laptop or desktop or-? Pics?

Hopefully the button feels precise, not too much slop :(

I've got a few from old IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads...
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 26 February 2012, 20:24:04
As I think about it more, I don't believe any 'slop' in the arcade button (if there is any) would be much of an issue at all. So I retract my earlier concern :)

Since you've used your added keys for a while, do you have any thoughts/preferences on key type/slope in the different positions? (ie: R1, R2, R3...)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sun, 26 February 2012, 20:39:42
Well, under the shifts I used domed keys, so they are bottom-row profile which is fine of course. For the ones near the middle of the keyboard, I used numrow size keys, to match the Home and PgUp keys they are next to. For the extra thumbkeys that are closer to the hands (next to the Backspace and Enter) I currently use an extra tall pair (ctrl/alt) from another contoured keyboard, because they are otherwise hard to hit since I placed them between the 1st/2nd thumb knuckles rather than under a knuckle. I will improve that positioning on other keyboards I modify.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: glitchathon on Wed, 29 February 2012, 01:23:05
Hey sordna
Rather than hijack the keypoard thread...
- the 3d model is no problem. Machine shops like iges or stp files as they import into their program.
- as far as i can see the verticals are 1.25x, same as the shift and tab so i will use the right spacing.
- ok i misunderstood one thing. You want to mount into the same mounting holes inside the chassis? I think the only way this will work easily is if this is placed over the keywell area. First of all, a flat piece takes up more room then the curved keys... Imagine pulling the kinesis straight... It will elongate at the standard .75" 1x spacing. I think the only way for this straight flat piece to work and fit well and get that thumb key is to just place it over the keywell area and use adhesives of sorts. It would be even easier to cover the f keys and remap them. This way a metal piece has more area to adhere to.
- when i am done i can scan it to scale and have you print it and place it over your keybd.

Edit: i reread and realized u need the f keys... Hmm it is quite hard to get a flat piece to work with this curved design. I still say to place it over the keywell area and adhere to the top plastic on the inner and near side. And then find some creative way to come up from the outer side to meet the plate and support it.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 29 February 2012, 01:33:38
I have one apart right now and am looking at it. There are a few fit/finish issues that are a bit messy with a flat keywell in the existing case. Some I can see how to work with, and a couple I can't figure what to do. This needs a careful re-think on whether to include the F-key row or not. I think it may work better adding them to the keywell plate. It seems like more work, but I think it may actually be LESS, not to mention work better.

My .02.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 29 February 2012, 01:44:14
Welcome to our neighborhood, glitchathon !
I realize a flat plate will have slightly bigger dimensions, so I'm willing to cut the case a bit to accommodate it, but for sure I want the plates inside the case, not on top of the keyboard. If you look at the article, you will see I've been cutting the case already to accomodate extra keys. :-) I am undecided about the rubber keys now, leaning toward leaving them alone for now, and same goes for the existing thumbswitches, and this is because I want to avoid the extra work involved.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: glitchathon on Wed, 29 February 2012, 02:35:20
Ah yes i realize now you are willing to hack the case up! I still am unsure how to make it fit right. But i suppose i can do a rough layout with the right features and spacing. You can then add holes easily with a drill for mounting.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 29 February 2012, 04:54:54
Glitchathon.

Great name :)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: glitchathon on Wed, 29 February 2012, 13:23:17
thanks input nirvana:)

sordna,

[ATTACH=CONFIG]42187[/ATTACH]

is this it?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 29 February 2012, 13:49:53
Haha sweet! I would need to print it and see how it fits, I think the plate to the right of the thumb key needs to be narrower though, otherwise it will hit against the thumbcluster PCB.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Pyrolistical on Wed, 29 February 2012, 15:27:27
I don't get it. You are making flat key wells but keeping the key layout unchanged?  Why not line up everything and make a true matrix?

IMHO the Kinesis didn't have a true matrix only because it is concave
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 29 February 2012, 15:32:41
Line it up with what? The layout is unchanged (with the exception of adding 4 extra keys per side, so that the flexible keywell PCB could be used (desoldered from the old keywell). Otherwise we'd have to hand-wire the entire matrix and find those connectors and ribbons, and I'm not sure if they are easily available, any ideas?

Anyway, we could change the layout and potentially add a "wave" pattern similar to the truly ergonomic, but perhaps a more subtle one.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Snarfangel on Wed, 29 February 2012, 17:03:11
This is an open question to anyone with an opinion. What do you think the best thumb cluster setup is? Not specifically which characters are mapped in which position, but more for the general layout of the cluster.

For example, two big buttons next to each other:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]42206[/ATTACH]

Three big buttons and two smaller ones:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]42207[/ATTACH]

One big button and several smaller ones:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]42209[/ATTACH]

Two big buttons surrounded by several smaller ones:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]42208[/ATTACH]

The latter with one of the corner buttons missing:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]42210[/ATTACH]

Totally crazy number of thumb keys:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]42211[/ATTACH]

Or some other configuration?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 29 February 2012, 17:16:13
I would pick 2 or 3 big buttons surrounded by several smaller ones.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: glitchathon on Thu, 01 March 2012, 13:12:07
Quote from: sordna;531042
Haha sweet! I would need to print it and see how it fits, I think the plate to the right of the thumb key needs to be narrower though, otherwise it will hit against the thumbcluster PCB.

ok i will take some material out and get back to you in another day or two.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: glitchathon on Thu, 01 March 2012, 18:45:36
[ATTACH=CONFIG]42370[/ATTACH]

here is a dwg you can print to scale and see if it is right.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 01 March 2012, 19:28:28
Thanks! I'll try it out as soon as I find some time.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 07 March 2012, 02:40:34
Quote from: glitchathon;532583
(Attachment) 42370[/ATTACH]

here is a dwg you can print to scale and see if it is right.

I just printed the pdf and it came out to scale! I made a mirror image for the other side with ImageMagick:
Code: [Select]
convert sordna_custom.pdf -flop sordna_custom_flip.pdfIf I overlay the page on a regular flat keyboard, the spacing is right. On the kinesis though it appears larger than I expected; which illustrates how the bowls' curve really puts the switches close together. I should glue the printout on a piece of cardboard to try it out, maybe even mount some switches and/or keycaps on the cardboard too ... anyone else tried it?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Findecanor on Wed, 07 March 2012, 12:18:55
But why?

The curves in the key wells is the whole point with the Kinesis.
What did I miss?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 07 March 2012, 13:01:38
I always wanted to try flat but angled (tented) plates on the Kinesis. I'm not sure if I will like it better, possibly not, but it's interesting and new plates is a way to securely add more keys, especially a whole extra column of keys.

Anyway, for the time being I've been busy adding palm keys:

(http://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26579.0;attach=3388;image)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 07 March 2012, 14:30:09
Ok, ok hot shot. Don't be so nonchalant about it. More pics, internals, wiring, specs, and assessments.
Get on board the GEEK-Hack X-Press.

Damn that's hot ! ! ! !
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 07 March 2012, 18:38:53
Japanese arcade buttons, Seimitsu PS-15 ! I will be rip-o-metering them or I might use a precision scale to measure their force (how come nobody thought of that yet) ?
Anyway, didn't wire them yet :-) I'll update the wiki with Part 5 about them, when I'm done. First assesment: unobtrusive and comfy, they don't bother me at all and they are nicely rounded and smooth. I'll use them for modifiers (shift and/or keypad shift) so I can even rest my hands on them when I'm not typing. When I'm typing, their presence reminds me to avoid anchoring my hands down (which is a bad habit) and also reminds me to rotate my hands outward, reducing pronation. It's an ergonomic slam dunk!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: glitchathon on Wed, 07 March 2012, 18:44:02
hey guys... wanted to get your thoughts on the lack of stabilizers on the Kinesis. I have never seen a Cherry pcb-mounted stabilizer up close, but I am interested in the possibility of clipping the leads and pins (if any) of a stabilizer and then double-sticking it to the PCB of the Kinesis (for the double-wide keys). After removing the pcb-mount lead/pins and filing/sanding it down, is there good flat material to stick double-sided tape to?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 07 March 2012, 18:47:49
You could use crazy or gorilla glue; I doubt double-stick tape will be good enough. I doubt even glue will be good enough when you start pulling caps.. It's probably best if you actually drill the PCB and install the stabilizers properly. You can restore any broken runs on the PCB by soldering wires.
But IMO stabilizers are not needed because it's pretty easy to hit the keys center.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: glitchathon on Wed, 07 March 2012, 19:35:08
double-sided tape should work just fine (at least some of the stuff i have used in the past). if I pull a key, I am prepared to pull the stabilizers off... that is no problem.
During normal operation there is virtually nothing pulling on the stabilizer. The question remains, is there glue/tape surface on these things? I have never seen one and I was just curious if my idea was viable before i went and ordered some.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 07 March 2012, 19:38:28
If you really WANT stabilizers...they really aren't required.

Tape: No, don't bother, not designed for that, although some of the industrial 3M stuff is pretty rad.
Glue: Possibly, if you glue a solid pad. No crazy glue, it's crap. Gorilla or equal.
Drill: Yea, baby, just do it!

Really looking forward to seeing the arcade buttons in action!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 08 March 2012, 01:09:23
Ok, the palm key mod is completed and part 5 of my wiki is up! I also took the opportunity and install 2 more header pin pairs, for easy access to the spare thumbkey matrix spots, which is what I wired the arcade buttons to. I updated part 4 of the wiki with the latest photos, showing the new headers, correct diode orientation etc, to make it easy to follow.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: glitchathon on Thu, 08 March 2012, 01:22:25
Hehe ok i don't want to hijack this thread. Apparently you guys are thinking of doublesided tape from Target when i was thinking of industrial grade stuff. We use this stuff in our production facility along with various types of adhesives. A piece of plastic attached to a circuit board using high grade double sided tape is a very fine choice. Trust me on this :-) we make products with 10 year warranties and go through rigorous testing. In any case i will just buy a few stabilizers and see. As i never saw one up close i just was not sure whether or not there would be enough surface area to attach a piece of tape.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 08 March 2012, 04:48:59
It seems these arcade buttons are best used in thumb or palm spots, not finger spots? Yes?

The button activation...how much movement, rock, sound does it make? Is it a positive activation? I like the reduction of pronation!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 08 March 2012, 12:19:45
They have 3mm travel, with activation half way. Need about 50grams of force for activation and 90grams to bottom out. They are mostly linear, except right after activation the force jumps because presumably you start bending the 2nd leaf or whataver it is inside the switch.
They are arcade buttons, so suitable to hit with any finger! I dig them and it's an easy mod, I'll probably mod my work keyboard and add just 2 arcade buttons and nothing else, since it's my easiest key addition to date!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 08 March 2012, 12:47:25
Arcade button as Kinesis palm key=ridiculously insightful. A++

After a month of use, I'll want to know feedback on possible ideal button size, fine tuned placement, any other thoughts. This may be an "ergo-changer" of the "thumb cluster" magnitude.

Your thoughts of arcade buttons for mouse buttons? (not at palm location)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 08 March 2012, 13:19:33
You know we've been discussing palm keys for ages, and I have been thinking how to mount cherry switches in the palm area, but then I got the button idea from this guy, who used (smaller) arcade buttons for mouse buttons:
http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?17582-My-Kinesis-Keyboard-mod
I think they will work fine for mouse buttons, just bear in mind they don't click. There are many sizes and colors to choose from!

Do you know if there exist any table top or stick-on surface buttons? That would be ideal for someone who doesn't want to mod the keyboard; they could just stick buttons in the palm area, and hook them up to the RJ11 footswitch connector.

EDIT: Found some at PI Engineering (http://www.piengineering.com/accessories/switches.php) for their X-Keys USB switch interface, like this "Buddy Button" or the other shapes and sizes they have.
(http://www.piengineering.com/pigraphics/Products/Switches/Buddy_800.jpg)
They are outrageously expensive though, like $59-$79 or more per button! Compare to $2 - $5 for arcade buttons.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 09 March 2012, 01:35:29
I've spoken with Pi quite a number of times regarding their oem Ymouse pcb and licensing. I noticed at that time with some of their items, they are priced at government rates. :( Disappointing. Find a China unit :)

I need to get some of your style arcade buttons soon. It's a Kinesis-mod breakthrough :)

This is a big deal.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 09 March 2012, 02:01:55
I'm loving these buttons and the placement too. They actually make the keyboard more comfortable! For science, you can try a different brand. Go to Amazon and search for Sanwa buttons, some even have prime 2-day shipping! Note the Sanwa's are about 1cm longer, so you will probably have to bend their leads, I think whatchamccallum has done the same (http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?17582-My-Kinesis-Keyboard-mod&p=342378viewfull=1#post342378):

(http://geekhack.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=17948&d=1304662387)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 09 March 2012, 12:29:43
Oh dear, I'm getting the crazy idea to add 2 more arcade buttons, next to the ones I put already. Must resist!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 10 March 2012, 03:18:14
Here is my other LF, just added arcade buttons to it as well. Did it completely solderless and it took less than 30 minutes total, highly recommended mod! Left button goes to FS1 (shift), right button goes to FS2 (momentary keypad access). No other mods on this keyboard. From now on if I'm only adding 1 pair of keys to a contoured keyboard it's gonna be palm keys, they are simply AWESOME !

(http://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26579.0;attach=3390;image)

EDIT: Here is a gimped photo, with placement ideas for multiple arcade buttons. I wouldn't put so many of course, but up to 4 total is reasonable, and it's way easier than adding cherry switches. Thoughts? Ideas?
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 10 March 2012, 22:05:57
Quote from: sordna;540897
EDIT: Here is a gimped photo, with placement ideas for multiple arcade buttons. I wouldn't put so many of course, but up to 4 total is reasonable, and it's way easier than adding cherry switches. Thoughts? Ideas?
(Attachment) 43472[/ATTACH]

First thought? Looks like a spider with eyes all over its head :) Too lazy to web search a good pic though :(

Even though I have not done this mod myself, I believe the palm actuated arcade buttons are a major ergo game changer. The finger/thumb arcade buttons can be great for non-oft used/farther away buttons, which is also great for an easy target to hit, but I think the couple palm buttons for oft-used buttons (ex: SHIFT) are huge. Taking away pinky work and not wasting the precious thumb keys. Excellent. This is almost exclusively a Kinesis only "feature" due to the unique case design.

MODS THAT PROVIDE MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS TO THE KINESIS DESIGN:
1-Integrated pointing device (by far the single largest ergo improvement, HANDS DOWN!!!)
2-Split into two halves (increases comfort)
3-Palm arcade buttons (major ergo feature for oft-used buttons)
4-F-keys as mechanical switches (allows for real touchtyping and increases convenience)
5-All other mods add a fraction of what the above mentioned items do to the overall functionality and design of the Kinesis keyboard. (My opinion)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 10 March 2012, 22:59:26
Pointing device. Yes, I now have wired the right palm key on both my LFs for keypad and with mouskeys I can do one-handed mousing. I find myself using it a lot more than if I had to hold down one of the kshifts with my pinky.

I must say I am very intrigued by the micro joystick uberben mentioned here (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:8110&p=540719&viewfull=1#post540719).
Other small joysticks are a possibility as well.

(http://sigma.octopart.com/10529597/image/Austriamicrosystems-N35P112.jpg)(http://www.pieterfloris.nl/shop/img/p/318-348-thickbox.jpg)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 11 March 2012, 01:49:57
Quote from: sordna;541963
Pointing device. Yes, I now have wired the right palm key on both my LFs for keypad and with mouskeys I can do one-handed mousing. I find myself using it a lot more than if I had to hold down one of the kshifts with my pinky.

I must say I am very intrigued by the micro joystick uberben mentioned here (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:8110&p=540719&viewfull=1#post540719).
Other small joysticks are a possibility as well.

Great work on the one handed mousing combo you came up with. I'll copy your mod and compare :)

The other options from Uberben are intriguing.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Dox on Sun, 11 March 2012, 08:43:37
A blackberry trackball (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9320) could be something to consider too.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]43529[/ATTACH]
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Icarium on Sun, 11 March 2012, 16:55:25
Quote from: Dox;542161
A blackberry trackball (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9320) could be something to consider too.
(Attachment) 43529[/ATTACH]

The problem with trackballs is that you need space for the mechanics while trackpoints can basically be at the end of a long ..uh...stilt. So you can place them in-between the keys. I have yet to do it. Damn.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 30 May 2012, 18:21:50
Here's my work keyboard, with palm keys being the only modification:

(http://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26579.0;attach=3392;image)
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 30 May 2012, 20:28:58
Looks so nice and clean! Extremely nice. I wrote what I thought about it on Deskthority and I'm too lazy to re-type.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 30 May 2012, 20:50:57
It is very clean and natural feeling. It could as well be a regular model from the factory as far as I'm concerned. My pinkies are extremely relieved by this mod.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 30 May 2012, 22:12:32
I'm clicking on this thread title when it's in the right column...and I'm being blocked, but when I go into the Modifications subforum I have access to this thread. That's what happens with my wiki too....but you didn't change the name of your wiki article....
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 31 May 2012, 00:11:02
Yeah, i get the same problem :-( Not only that, I no longer have access to add attachments to the article, and I no longer see the Protection controls either.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 31 May 2012, 00:39:19
Well now I know it's not because I changed the name of my wiki, and you know your wiki isn't the only one affected.

iiiiiiiiiiiMMMAAAAAAAAAAAAAVV!!!!
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Icarium on Fri, 01 June 2012, 02:21:33
So you're still loving the palm keys? I still haven't done that mod but I think I'm going to order the keys right now.
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 01 June 2012, 02:35:58
I'm trying to add the pic Sordna posted of his work keyboard on my wiki, but it's not working well :(
[ATTACH=CONFIG]52001[/ATTACH]
Title: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 01 June 2012, 09:56:33
Quote from: Icarium;605379
So you're still loving the palm keys? I still haven't done that mod but I think I'm going to order the keys right now.

Loving is an understatement. These keys are an absolute necessity, I regret not having done it earlier. I would position them slightly closer to the edges of the keyboard though, see the main article for details.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sun, 02 September 2012, 03:05:38
I just restored my article, finding and putting back all the images.
Enjoy and please share similar Kinesis mods of your own!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: jpd on Sun, 02 September 2012, 11:17:12
A great article.  I describe how I added my extra keys at http://www.playagaingames.com/interesting/dvorak/modifications/ (http://www.playagaingames.com/interesting/dvorak/modifications/), and I was please to see Sordna update his article with all the pictures as a response.  Good stuff.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sun, 02 September 2012, 21:55:37
Thanks for motivating me to restore my article and welcome to Geekhack !
I can see from your nice web page that we are both Advantage LF users, on Dvorak, and with extra keys added !!!
Surprising you haven't joined GH earlier. It's a great site, I like the Ergonomics as well as the Mods (Making stuff together) sections the most.
Have fun and keep in touch!
Here's another valuable Kinesis-related article by Input Nirvana, with TONS of good info:
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=8110.0

Hopefully he will restore some of his photos... I N, are you listening ?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 03 September 2012, 03:26:30
Hats off to the 2 added keys, Jpd. Those were the only 2 I added so far. We'd like to hear your longer term thoughts (60-90 days) as a form of critique and/or additional ideas.

My heavily modded split Kinesis is packed and I won't be able to assemble till the end of the year it seems.

As far as the wiki article...Soarer copied the pics before the rootworm incident, and emailed me the pics...so I can restore the article. When I do, I'll clean it up and make it a proper article rather than the 'thinking out loud' rambling mess that it is. I'm not sure when I can do this.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: uberben on Mon, 03 September 2012, 15:43:14
As far as the wiki article...Soarer copied the pics before the rootworm incident, and emailed me the pics...so I can restore the article. When I do, I'll clean it up and make it a proper article rather than the 'thinking out loud' rambling mess that it is. I'm not sure when I can do this.

Share the burden! That article was is a huge inspiration and I'm sure many of us want to see it restored. Why don't you post the pictures publicly somewhere (Dropbox? Imgur? Flickr?) and grant some of us access to help you restore it and clean it up?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 03 September 2012, 16:53:14
Yes...I'll see about doing that. There is some very hard to find information in that wiki. Peeps need to see it. Took a looooong time to figure out some of that stuff.

I tried to change a font in the Everything Kinesis wiki just now, and it won't allow the change. I'll need to pm somebody to ask about that, then open it up so you guys can add/delete/edit accordingly.

Something that I really liked hearing was Sordna offering his longer term assessment of the palm keys. It's one thing to hear a positive review after a few weeks, quite another after a couple months when the honeymoon is over. I only wish I had the time, or at least one other person had done it by now to get the second "hit"...I think this provides valuable validation. I was speaking with Kinesis a couple months ago about a couple design items of theirs and the palm key idea I think is one of the two (also the integrated track point idea) almost revolutionary ideas to a Kinesis keyboard.


Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kps on Mon, 03 September 2012, 18:58:39
I'm in the process of modifying a keyboard to use 1u keys on the outside columns, plus an extra switch in the corner. I used a nibbler to expand the hole in the plastic frame inward, and to make the new hole, and cut-and-pasted the PCB as shown below. The intended caps are sphericals from Round 4, and I thought I'd post this now since that group buy is finally closing at the end of this week.
[attach=1]
[attach=2]
[attach=3]
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 03 September 2012, 22:01:33
I had never thought about making the outside column key caps smaller and closer. Interesting.

The key caps you are eliminating are DCS 1 and DCS 3 both 1.25x. They would be replaced with the same key caps but in a 1x width. You may have just figured out a partial solution to the difficult key caps procurement problem :)

I'm not sure there is a viable reason the outside columns need to be 1.25x key caps.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Mon, 03 September 2012, 22:53:04
My guess is the outer keys are wider so they are easier to hit, since the pinkies have to jump to get to those columns.

About the palm keys: Honeymoon is over, till death do us part is where it's at. Having them on both home and work keyboards I can testify:

They are wonderful. They are a necessity. They blow footswitches and extra pinky keys out of the water.

This is my work keyboard by the way, note this was a solderless mod that took under 30 minutes.

(http://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26579.0;attach=3390;image)(http://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26579.0;attach=3392;image)
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 03 September 2012, 22:57:49
About the palm keys: Honeymoon is over, till death do us part is where it's at. Having them on both home and work keyboards I can testify:

They are wonderful. They are a necessity. They blow footswitches and extra pinky keys out of the water.

I'll take that to the bank.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kps on Tue, 04 September 2012, 08:43:45
The key caps you are eliminating are DCS 1 and DCS 3 both 1.25x. They would be replaced with the same key caps but in a 1x width.
I'm taking a bit of a gamble with the Round 4 sets, since the profiles are not all the same as the stock Kinesis, but I do want spherical caps if it's at all practical. My hope is that it will work out since the differences in cap heights (a millimeter or two) are small compared to the variation in sizes of hands that are able to use the stock board comfortably.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 04 September 2012, 22:39:10
Interesting point about the key cap differences and hand sizes...

I'm looking forward to this. Maybe you take a few more pics of the process (or you already may have) and put a short wiki on it? I'd like to incorporate the mod into my wiki as well. It's more valuable than at first glance, as my split Kinesis may be eventually caseless. It will still have the palmrests and the palm keys.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kps on Thu, 06 September 2012, 10:26:02
Yes, eventually. The next visually interesting step will probably come after the R4 keycaps arrive, which is still months away.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 29 December 2012, 00:22:03
Custom maltron with palm rests acting as palm keys!!!

http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=28162.msg749462#msg749462
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: dn on Wed, 30 January 2013, 21:04:41
I love my Dremel 4000 like a father would love his child.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 31 January 2013, 19:21:15
I will attempt to add palm keys to the ErgoDox (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=22780.0) after I get it and put it together. Hopefully our orders will be fulfilled fast. I am eager to compare it to the Kinesis "bowls".
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 02 February 2013, 19:22:50
I was happy to see that a Kinesis owner in Sweden (bjarven of Deskthority) did the palm key mod:
http://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/adding-extra-keys-to-your-kinesis-advantage-t1872-30.html#p93735

(http://deskthority.net/resources/image/6367)

Hope to see more of that!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: vatin on Sat, 09 March 2013, 05:11:04
Thank you!!! Palm keys prove to be very useful!!!
I bought the switches off ebay.
Instead of connecting to the circuit board, I hardwired it by soldering both switches to the green and red foot switch wires. In doing so I have to cut the wires since I do not plan to use foot switches.  Both palm keys are permanently soldiered to act as keypad shift, no reprogrammable, because that's the only thing I want them to do.

Anyway the end result is satisfactory. I reprogrammed the function keys to the mechanical keys so I wouldn't have to touch the shameful rubber keys again (for a nearly 300 dollars keyboard).

(https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1265620/IMG_20130226_180603.jpg)
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 09 March 2013, 22:31:52
Cool! I'm noticing you placed them under the thumb clusters almost, do you push them with your thumb, or the palm ?  The position you chose seems like it would work for both.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sun, 14 April 2013, 12:58:05
Another palm key mod posted here (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=39152.msg852513#msg852513) !

(http://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39152.0;attach=18741;image)
Title: Re: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: vatin on Mon, 22 April 2013, 13:47:53
Cool! I'm noticing you placed them under the thumb clusters almost, do you push them with your thumb, or the palm ?  The position you chose seems like it would work for both.

I push them with my inner palm. However I have very small hands. Reduces hand movement. I put them there because it is easy to follow a guide drawn from the openings of the thumb cluster.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 22 August 2013, 10:26:16
I'm now wondering, has anyone put palm keys on the ErgoDox, or other keyboards besides the Kinesis Advantage ?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 29 August 2013, 01:28:35
Thanks to a couple of posts in other threads (here (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45353.msg948338#msg948338) and here (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=40567.msg1019185#msg1019185)) I became aware of the HBFS-30 arcade buttons.
They seem to have only 20mm depth inside the case (better than the Seimitsu PS-15 at 21.3mm) AND they use Cherry MX switches that can be swapped !
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hbfs-30-the-all-new-arcade-button-with-cherry-mx-keyswitch

Now if they start selling them on Amazon how nice that would be.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: uberben on Thu, 29 August 2013, 09:11:20
What kind of switches are in your Seimitsu switches? The switches I got (cheap no-name ones from AliExpress, 10 for $10 or something) have an imitation Alps switch. I have some spare MX browns, so I decided to try a key swap. I just shaved off about 1 mm from the long edge of the switch hole and the MX snapped right in. I also had to trim the stem of the button cap.

Before the swap, the depth of the switch (from the mounting surface to the bottom of the switch leads) was about 21.3 mm. After the swap, this distance is 15.0 mm. (The distance from the mounting surface to the top of the cap is about 7 mm, but I don't think that was included in your measurements.)

I was hoping that the snaps on the side of the cap would help stabilize it, but unfortunately the cap is still a bit wobbly. This could probably be fixed by transplanting a key stem, 3D printing one, or making a new one out of a moldable plastic or something. Perhaps I could even use hot glue.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Fri, 06 September 2013, 03:02:14
sad thing is that those HBFS-30 switches are not on sale anywhere :(

Besides the Seimitsu PS 15, does anybody knows of any other 30mm switch that has a small body to fit in the kinesis palm mod?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 06 September 2013, 13:37:40
What kind of switches are in your Seimitsu switches?

This kind:
(http://www.arcadeshop.de/images/arcade-micros-ps14d.jpg)

Don't know much about them, looking at a spare on the top it says "4 - J" and on the bottom it says "1B" and also has a logo that says "<TKC>"

So, do the browns work well on your buttons?  That sounds like a great solution if it does!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: uberben on Fri, 06 September 2013, 16:47:25
The button top is kind of wobbly, but I'm sure that could be remedied. If someone has a 3D model of a cherry cap stem, I could print one out and graft it onto the arcade button.

I don't have this button installed in anything, so for all I know it might work well enough as is. I just haven't been able to bring myself to put any holes in my case yet. I tend to fear the lack of undo, but getting a replacement case to me here in Canada should be under $50, so I should just do it. Worst case, I have a top case to experiment with.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 07 September 2013, 01:44:21
I understand, I had regrets after I drilled my case... REGRETS I DIDN'T DO IT SOONER !
Just make sure the placement is right, stick some quarters on your case or something, to get a feel of where you want the palm keys, before you start drilling.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: uberben on Sat, 07 September 2013, 11:15:50
I have had stacks of quarters taped to my case for about 3 months now. I moved them around a bit the first week, then they stayed put the rest of the time. I'll hunt around for a stepped drill bit and just do it.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 07 September 2013, 11:22:25
Ok, post pictures when you are done please. And don't worry, it's a super easy and clean mod.

BTW if there's one thing I miss when using my ergodox, compared to the Advantage, it's the palm keys. It's going to be tricky to add them on the ergodox ... say have you tried buttons that could be attached to the surface?  I wonder how something like the Buddy button (http://www.piengineering.com/accessories/wswitches.php) would work out, although it's rather huge and ridiculously expensive, PI Engineering sells one button for like $60 !
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Fri, 20 September 2013, 20:21:09
Sordna, Where do you rest your palms when typing? since with the palm buttons use that area. Are you really never resting your arms while typing?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 20 September 2013, 23:23:47
Sordna, Where do you rest your palms when typing? since with the palm buttons use that area. Are you really never resting your arms while typing?

When I actively type, I have my palms off the keyboard. It's the proper way to go to avoid RSI issues. But in the pauses between typing, I do put my hands down, and there's plenty of space for that. Besides, even if I rest of the palm keys themselves, they are both Shift buttons, so it doesn't cause an issue.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Sun, 22 September 2013, 05:10:31
I did tape 3 US quarters at the positions suggested, and I just keep resisting the urge of putting my hands down, even for lazy typing. I know it's bad. Right now I'm on recovery of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. (So I have just a month with the Kinesis)

I actually thought of the palm buttons as an alternative of my current workflow, and surprise, you had done it, and shared even the switches that can fit inside... Thanks! (I already ordered and received mine)

My current workflow: Im very used to the inverted T of  regular keyboards, and is hard for me to really get used to the keys originally on the Kinesis. Also, using Command, Alt, control and Shift all the time for selecting and copying text, is not really friendly on the default Kinesis layout. So Right now Im using my trusty ControllerMate to do some extra layers, and pressing the key of DELETE to convert jkli in the arrow keys, and asdf as Shift Ctrl Alt Command, that way I can edit the text and move it around with all the modifiers without leaving the home position.

What I want to do is to make the palm buttons turn on this special layer (Maybe using the keypad layer all reprogramed).
But Im afraid of screwing my keyboard with the mod.  I found that resting my palms on top of the buttons does not hurt me, but resting them on the sides, with natural position (non pronation) it does hurt... weird.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Sun, 22 September 2013, 05:13:11
And Sordna, will you replace the ugly plastic Function keys??? The only downside I see is that it will raise the height of the keyboard a little more
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sun, 22 September 2013, 21:31:54
And Sordna, will you replace the ugly plastic Function keys??? The only downside I see is that it will raise the height of the keyboard a little more

No, I very rarely use F keys, and besides I mapped my number row as F keys in the keypad layer. So while I would welcome proper F keys in a future Advantage keyboard, it's not worth the effort for me to make a custom mod.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Wed, 25 September 2013, 00:19:56
Well, I'll wait for the weekend and finally dremel the Kinesis on your footsteps.  :thumb:
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 25 September 2013, 01:20:34
Well, I'll wait for the weekend and finally dremel the Kinesis on your footsteps.  :thumb:

I have had stacks of quarters taped to my case for about 3 months now. I moved them around a bit the first week, then they stayed put the rest of the time. I'll hunt around for a stepped drill bit and just do it.


Ok, folks, just go ahead and do this. Extra keys are somewhat tricky (some more so than others), but adding palm keys is ridiculously easy. Not even soldering is necessary! Anyway, whatever part of the mods you do, please post photos of the results along with your impressions!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Wed, 25 September 2013, 19:03:52
I will. Im just waiting for the weekend to do it (and the step drill bit I got on amazon).
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Sat, 28 September 2013, 16:30:56
Sordna, I finally got to do it! I followed the instructions and got no problem at all!

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Sat, 28 September 2013, 16:42:02
Exactly what I did:

Made a mark on 71mm from the sides, 21mm from the bottom. Then made a guideline for the drill (done with a dremel)

[attach=1]

Then used the step drilled, and soon came to see a plastic support was in the way! So I just kept drilling and completely removed it.
[attach=2]

Re-assembled the keyboard and push in the buttons. There was no need to twist the terminals, since it fitted perfectly.
[attach=3]

Added cables to the buttons, by soldering them.
[attach=4][attach=5]

Crammed in the keyboard cables: each button one cable to Ground, the other to FS2.
[attach=6][attach=7]


Close the keyboard and Done!
[attach=8]

Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Sat, 28 September 2013, 16:48:01
Since I'm using the palm buttons as foot switch, this is the layout I'm using. There are some keys without a function in the keyboard layer, so I map them to the ones not used, so I do not press any other key by mistake. So the blank keys in the images do absolutely nothing when pressed.

[attachimg=1][attachimg=2]

The multimedia keys are handled with ControllerMate. Those keys are mapped to 3 keys I never use: PrintScr, Scroll Lock and Pause/Break.
Then the default driver assigns no function to them, and finally, a programming layer that assigns the wanted value.

Look that Play/Pause is done via SHIFT+Print Screen
[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Tue, 01 October 2013, 08:54:10
Nice ! Congratulations and thanks for posting excellent photos!
How does it feel having those palm keys ? Also, do you think you would make one of them be regular shift, or will you keep them both as a layer shifter? One one of my keyboards I have it like that, on the other they are both shifts!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Tue, 01 October 2013, 14:14:32
Well, I do not know If I want to set it as shift. I know my pinkies will thank me, but I find the asymmetry of different functions not very Ergonomic... But I will think about it.

The only thing I can say is: I love them!

Next steps: make it USB only, add 1/4" mono phone jacks to accept conventional midi keyboards sustain pedals (have so many of those) and thinking in making it bluetooth...
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: uberben on Tue, 01 October 2013, 14:37:47

Next steps: make it USB only, add 1/4" mono phone jacks to accept conventional midi keyboards sustain pedals (have so many of those) and thinking in making it bluetooth...


I've been thinking of the bluetooth mod for a while now. I've got some parts kicking around, but haven't really had a chance to plow through and do it. I've started with hasu's tmk_keyboard firmware (https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard). It at least had support for a bluetooth module in addition to USB (using a Bluegiga WT-12, I think). I have suspicions that it might need some efficiency improvements to get a usable battery life, but the keyboard is big enough that a large battery can be added in the mean time.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Tue, 01 October 2013, 17:12:18
the problem is to be able to remove the battery without having to open the keyboard, or just to have it recharge via usb. I know it's a bit more tricky than it sounds... That's why is not my next thing to do  :p Actually, splitting the Kinesis to be able to give more angle is more a priority than bluetooth.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: uberben on Wed, 02 October 2013, 11:36:19
Ya, I've got a lithium battery and charger breakout board in my parts bin for this. but if the power consumption is too high, I'll need to have it plugged in most of the time to charge anyway. Making it rechargeable shouldn't be the hard part. It will be making the code power efficient.

Anyway, I finally put some buttons in my board.

(http://i.imgur.com/88ujqQw.jpg)

I was impressed with how clean a hole the step drill bit makes, even my super cheap aliexpress.com ones.

(http://i.imgur.com/ICptHOX.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/TybyL9N.jpg)

I drilled at about 75mm from the sides, 21mm from the bottom to avoid drilling out the support, but as you can see, the support is super short compared to the buttons. I think the support is just vestigial plastic from the original Kinesis that had the controller board integrated with the thumb switches.

(http://i.imgur.com/1kvYceN.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/Ffotp1M.jpg)

I decided to install one button with the stock switch and one with a Cherry MX. So far the wobble in the modded button isn't very noticeable, but I'll update once I've actually used them for a bit.

Also, note to self (and future modders): make sure your drill  is charged before disassembling your keyboard.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Wed, 02 October 2013, 13:05:19
Looks nice in white!!!

So you modded the button to a cherry?
I don't know if it's even worth for a palm button, but I'll wait to see what you report.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: uberben on Wed, 02 October 2013, 13:20:55
I suspect it would be better with something stiffer/more clicky than a brown, but I'll give it some time. I have a bunch of spare buttons so figured I might as well try it.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Wed, 02 October 2013, 13:22:49
Please keep us updated... And the step drill is nice, isn't it? I didn't know about it until sordna posted it in the instructions.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 02 October 2013, 20:48:32
Wow, the palm buttons on the white look like it came from the factory !
So how is the palm key experience uberben as you use the keyboard ?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Wed, 02 October 2013, 21:30:16
I just made my PS2 Kinesis a USB only one http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=49256.0 (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=49256.0). I think I can put 3 Phone Jacks http://www.switchcraft.com/productsummary.aspx?Parent=68 (http://www.switchcraft.com/productsummary.aspx?Parent=68) under the usb connector to add a keyboard to the function I wish, without opening the keyboard. And since 1/4" phone jack is the standard of electronic music keyboards, I can use 3 of the many pedals that I have as pedals (and new ones are cheaper and more resistant than the ones from Kinesis).

But, maybe leave that space for a small USB Hub? What do you guys think?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: uberben on Thu, 03 October 2013, 08:27:07
Nicely done. I didn't realize that boards that new even came as PS/2.

But, maybe leave that space for a small USB Hub? What do you guys think?

If you are thinking that you want to do a bluetooth conversion down the road, just keep in mind the USB hub will really only be useful when you have the board plugged in. You can't do USB over bluetooth. Having said that, I can see the hub being useful if you will be semi-regularly plugging in your board, and if you have a massive battery in there you could potentially use it to charge your phone when not acting as a true hub.

Also, I think hasu's tmk firmware is getting support for USB devices as inputs, so you might be able to plug a generic USB mouse in and get that to show up over bluetooth. Again, since USB devices aren't designed to be power efficient, it will probably kill your bluetooth battery time, but I'm just thinking out loud here.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Thu, 03 October 2013, 12:42:34
I got an idea of something useful for this palm mod:

What about adding a 3 way switch to the back of the Kinesis, (actually, 2 of this switches) so we can choose the function of each palm button (FS1, FS2 or FS3). This way, we can change modes without opening the keyboard!  What do you guys think?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Thu, 03 October 2013, 12:54:50
Nicely done. I didn't realize that boards that new even came as PS/2.

Sorry, I made a mistake. It was 2002, not 2012  :-[ I fixed it already.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: uberben on Thu, 03 October 2013, 12:56:34
That would definitely work, but it might be simpler to just use the programmable functions of the keyboard to remap the keys. The only unique key I'm aware of on the foot switches is the keypad shift, and I think it is remappable to any footswitch, so as long as one of the palm keys is connected to that FS wire, you should be able to remap any foot switch (or other) action to either palm key.

Some nice big toggle switches would look pretty sweet on a Kinesis, though.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Thu, 03 October 2013, 13:03:48
So each palm button should go to a different switch and they should be set by remap?

Is that how you have it? I currently have them both in the same FS, but your idea seems better!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: uberben on Thu, 03 October 2013, 13:16:47
I currently have them on the same switch too, but will probably set them to different ones and map them to the same if I want them to stay the same. I think Sordna talks about this a bit near the beginning of his original post.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Thu, 03 October 2013, 13:25:06
I can't seem to be able to remap the FS to other buttons  :-[
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: uberben on Thu, 03 October 2013, 13:55:59
Huh. I thought this was doable, but it has been a long time since I used my actual foot switches, and I haven't used my palm keys in different positions yet. Perhaps your toggle switch idea is the better solution.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Thu, 03 October 2013, 14:03:57
Huh. I thought this was doable, but it has been a long time since I used my actual foot switches, and I haven't used my palm keys in different positions yet. Perhaps your toggle switch idea is the better solution.

Yes, you can remap them, BUT, I just tried mapping FS1 to FS2. and it does activate the keypad, BUT stays on! That's a major problem. I can remap to any other keys, but the keypad only while pressed is only working on FS2. I think the toggle idea may be worth explore just for that.

Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 04 October 2013, 20:24:07
The only key function that cannot be remapped is momentary keypad shift (FS). However the FS "button" itself can be mapped to do other things.
If you hookup your palm key to FS, you can remap it to do anything else, but no other key can be remapped to do the FS momentary keypad shift function. (if you try, it will work as a toggle instead of momentary).

So, always use FS at least for one of the palm keys. I currently have both my palm keys mapped to work as SHIFTS, but one of them is wired to FS so at any time I can remap it to do momentary keypad shift.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Fri, 04 October 2013, 21:24:49
Well, mine are both wired to keypad. I think I will leave them like that for now, until I put a toggle switch
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Mon, 25 November 2013, 00:28:25
Hey Sordna,
Have you tried adding palm keys to your ErgoDox?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Mon, 25 November 2013, 16:22:44
Hey Sordna,
Have you tried adding palm keys to your ErgoDox?

No, although I have thought about it many times. If you do it let me know!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Tue, 26 November 2013, 01:10:39
Hey Sordna,
Have you tried adding palm keys to your ErgoDox?

No, although I have thought about it many times. If you do it let me know!

Well, the issue may be finding a fitting Button!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Legorandir on Thu, 30 January 2014, 15:14:24
sad thing is that those HBFS-30 switches are not on sale anywhere :(

Seems to be availlable here:
http://www.gamerfinger.com/
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Thu, 30 January 2014, 18:35:43
sad thing is that those HBFS-30 switches are not on sale anywhere :(

Seems to be availlable here:
http://www.gamerfinger.com/

Damn! I just order a bunch of SEIMITSU PS-15 for some mods...
But thanks for the notice!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Squeaky Wheel on Sun, 08 June 2014, 13:07:43
Adding palm buttons is badass! I'd love to add a couple to an Ergodox (there's room for two more keys on each PCB). The Ergodox already has custom firmware for NKRO (stenography!!!) and adding palm buttons would allow us to incorporate ideas from Velotype.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 08 June 2014, 13:12:57

Adding palm buttons is badass! I'd love to add a couple to an Ergodox (there's room for two more keys on each PCB). The Ergodox already has custom firmware for NKRO (stenography!!!) and adding palm buttons would allow us to incorporate ideas from Velotype.

Yes, it's really innovative and a unique method of input. I toyed with incorporating them into a "flatboard" but not much reason for me to do that. Lol
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Squeaky Wheel on Sun, 08 June 2014, 14:17:38
Plus I'm using the full hand case for the ergodox, so it really shouldn't be too hard, give or take some diodes and extra wiring...if anyone manages to do this mod, I'd love to know.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 08 June 2014, 14:58:37
Plus I'm using the full hand case for the ergodox, so it really shouldn't be too hard, give or take some diodes and extra wiring...if anyone manages to do this mod, I'd love to know.

At Keycon there may be something like that being shown, but I'm not sure as of yet.

Do you still use ControllerMate?

Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Squeaky Wheel on Sun, 08 June 2014, 19:25:58
Plus I'm using the full hand case for the ergodox, so it really shouldn't be too hard, give or take some diodes and extra wiring...if anyone manages to do this mod, I'd love to know.

At Keycon there may be something like that being shown, but I'm not sure as of yet.

Do you still use ControllerMate?


ControllerMate? Huh?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Mon, 09 June 2014, 16:18:22
Plus I'm using the full hand case for the ergodox, so it really shouldn't be too hard, give or take some diodes and extra wiring...if anyone manages to do this mod, I'd love to know.

At Keycon there may be something like that being shown, but I'm not sure as of yet.

Do you still use ControllerMate?


ControllerMate? Huh?

I use ControllerMate for the Kinesis to assign combos for special keys (audio keys mostly). I havent seen a reason to use it with the ergodox. I have additional palm keys that I got for my Kinesis mod and thought of putting it in the ergodox. They do not fit, they need to be even less depth.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Squeaky Wheel on Tue, 10 June 2014, 21:00:38
So is casing the only barrier to adding palm keys to the ergodox? The electronics is sound?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Tue, 10 June 2014, 21:07:39
So is casing the only barrier to adding palm keys to the ergodox? The electronics is sound?

Yes. Actually, you must have received an extra Diodes with you ergodox kit from Massdrop, so you must have all you need.
You can even assign it to a key that already exist on the keyboard, so you can still use the Massdrop Ergodox Configurator.

it's just thing of finding the right buttons, and modding your case.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Squeaky Wheel on Tue, 10 June 2014, 21:42:38
I was thinking (big) space bars could also be used as palm buttons. Also, I hope one day to replace the casing anyway, with something prettier (bamboo?). Any idea what the electronics would look like?

I'm using Hasu's TMK firmware.

Anyway, if someone does manage to adapt this mod to the 'Dox (even if it involves using a completely different case) I would love to know. It would be invaluable for those of us using it for stenography.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: hweller on Fri, 07 November 2014, 11:12:12
Inspired by this thread I have spent some time testing options on an old Kinesis Classic and after finising the design I started cutting and drilling my Kinesis Advantage.  I have fitted palm-shift and palm-keypad-shift keys as well as installing the innards of a Kensington SlimBlade trackball in the centre.  I have surrounded the trackball with two sets of mouse buttons so that the ball and buttons can be used with either hand.  The slight asymmetry in the positioning of the mouse buttons is a consequence of the location of the optical sensors on the trackball cup interfering with the switch bodies.  I am using the excellent GamerFinger Cherry MX switches for both the palm keys and the mouse buttons http://www.gamerfinger.com/hbfs30.html.

Overall I am very pleased with the result and would recommend the installation of the palm-shift-keys to anyone using a Kinesis Advantage as they are quite easy to fit.  I would also recommend the centre trackball but it is very tricky to fit and requires quite a bit of butchering of the keyboard case and SlimBlade internal structure.

Currently I am unable to attach the image as I keep getting the 500 error and loosing the text.  I will post it as soon as this problem is fixed.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 07 November 2014, 11:15:49
Congrats on the Kinesis mod. It's a substantial improvement. I'm currently using my "non-modded" Kinesis and it feels so wrong. Once you've put the palm keys in the keyboard, you'll miss not having them otherwise (laptop).

Look forward to seeing your pics!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: hweller on Fri, 07 November 2014, 11:17:13
(http://i.imgur.com/1mjgVNg.jpg)
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: hweller on Sat, 08 November 2014, 10:01:41
Here is what I had to do to the case and inside to fit the switches and trackball:
(http://i.imgur.com/unUhAxG.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/SLEkR2u.jpg)
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kurplop on Sat, 08 November 2014, 11:12:31
Hweller-  Beautiful work on the Slimblade mod!  How did you attach the ball cup to the Kinesis body? Did you sandwich the body between the chrome ring and the beige cup housing or use some other method. I did something similar with a Slimblade and find it is very natural and comfortable to use. What functions do you have the 6 buttons around the ball set up for?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: hweller on Sat, 08 November 2014, 11:26:20
Hweller-  Beautiful work on the Slimblade mod!  How did you attach the ball cup to the Kinesis body? Did you sandwich the body between the chrome ring and the beige cup housing

Exactly, the only disadvantage is that the ball is slighly lower with respect to the chrome ring but I have not found that a problem.

What functions do you have the 6 buttons around the ball set up for?

They are the two sets of the three mouse buttons, one set for each hand.  The two just below the ball are both left mouse button, the outer two below the ball are both the middle button and the two above the ball are the both the right mouse button.  So for your right hand you use the left pair below the ball and the right button above the ball and vice versa.  I tried several arrangements on the prototype I built from an old Kinesis Classic and this was the best, particularly with the smaller GamerFinger switches containing MX reds.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Scoox on Tue, 17 February 2015, 00:22:29
Wow, some truly awesome mods in this thread! I first experimented with two footswitches to momentarily enable keyboard layers (e.g. symbols layer, numbers layer, embedded arrows, etc). This worked really well and in addition I was able to type caps when pressing both footswitches simultaneously. Recently I have started experimenting with thumb modifiers on a Japanese keyboard (which has a bunch of extra thumb keys). While footswitches took me no time to master, I am finding the thumb modifiers a lot harder to master, so I am wondering how palm switches compare.

The main problem is that when the index, middle, ring and pinky fingers move away from the home row to reach for other keys (especially keys that are more than one key away), the whole hand moves and naturally the thumbs have to follow. For example, on a normal keyboard when I press the number 8 key with my right index finger, my relaxed right thumb ends up over the N key, instead of the Space key. Things get tricky when you need to press more than one key with the same hand, because the thumb modifiers perceived location changes relative to the other fingers depending on which key combination is being pressed, which makes developing muscle memory really difficult. To mitigate this, standard keyboards have modifiers on both sides.

By contrast, footswitches are always in the same place, that is, directly under the feet, so you
 and that have experimented with footswitches and &)))thumb modifiers as a replacement for footswitches, so the need to develop any form of positional muscle memory is automatically removed.

My question is, does anyone have experience with all three solutions (thumb modifiers, palm modifiers and footswitches)? I am really interested in hearing your experiences. There are some keyboard mods on this thread with two palm buttons for each palm, does this mean you cannot rest your palms on keyboard? How usable are the palm buttons when the hand is reaching for numbers row keys?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Scoox on Tue, 17 February 2015, 00:55:58
When I actively type, I have my palms off the keyboard. It's the proper way to go to avoid RSI issues

I disagree. Having my hands constantly suspended in mid-air puts a lot of strain on my shoulders and upper back. My arms and hands are considerably more relaxed when my palms are resting on something. On a properly designed ergonomic keyboard, e.g. one using layers, only the fingers would need to move, while the palm stays put, so there would be no benefit in floating my hands.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: hweller on Tue, 17 February 2015, 02:43:22
My question is, does anyone have experience with all three solutions (thumb modifiers, palm modifiers and footswitches)? I am really interested in hearing your experiences. There are some keyboard mods on this thread with two palm buttons for each palm, does this mean you cannot rest your palms on keyboard? How usable are the palm buttons when the hand is reaching for numbers row keys?

First I tried footswitches then added pinky keys for keypad shift, then added additional thumb keys for shift and finally palm switches for both shift and keypad shift -- the palm switches will hands down!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Scoox on Tue, 17 February 2015, 04:01:18
My question is, does anyone have experience with all three solutions (thumb modifiers, palm modifiers and footswitches)? I am really interested in hearing your experiences. There are some keyboard mods on this thread with two palm buttons for each palm, does this mean you cannot rest your palms on keyboard? How usable are the palm buttons when the hand is reaching for numbers row keys?

First I tried footswitches then added pinky keys for keypad shift, then added additional thumb keys for shift and finally palm switches for both shift and keypad shift -- the palm switches will hands down!

Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

BTW you have two palm buttons per hand, are your hands floating directly above the buttons while you type, or do you rest them between the key bowls and the palm buttons, and move them back only when you need to use the palm buttons?

On my normal keyboard I remapped the left control key to be enter. This key is roughly directly under the base of my pinky, so it feels very natural hitting this key with that part of the palm. Do you think a configuration like this (below) would work well on the Kinesis? The red circles indicate buttons, the red X indicates no button there.

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/98636804/Forums/GeekHack/2015-02-17-175803 Button positions.png)
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: hweller on Tue, 17 February 2015, 04:15:18
>  are your hands floating directly above the buttons while you type

Yes.  Actually I found that when I hand the palm pads fitted I rested on them too much and started to get pain in the part of my palms below my pinkies and now I have the palm switches for shift I cannot rest my palms while typing which I find is much better and I don't get any pain in any parts of my hands.

Personally I would not like to have buttons on the upper part of my palm but I cannot say if this would work well for you.  What I can say is that I don't use the outer palm-key at the moment as I don't use the keypad anymore.  However, a button in this position is usable and it could be mapped to something.  Alternatively, a single palm button located between the two I have would also be good if only palm-shift is needed.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Scoox on Tue, 17 February 2015, 06:00:54
Actually I found that when I hand the palm pads fitted I rested on them too much and started to get pain in the part of my palms below my pinkies and now I have the palm switches for shift I cannot rest my palms while typing which I find is much better and I don't get any pain in any parts of my hands.

Thanks, did you get pain because you were resting your palms against the sharp edge of the bowls? Or was it some kind of RSI?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: hweller on Tue, 17 February 2015, 06:48:23
I tended to rest the sides of my palms (below my pinkies) on the palm pads while typing.  It felt the most comfortable position for me and operated like this for some years before the pain set in.  The problem is it is very difficult to break this kind of habit but adding the palm shift buttons forced me to change to using arm rests rather than palm rests which is MUCH better, at least for me.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Scoox on Tue, 17 February 2015, 07:13:26
Thanks for the info. Sounds like either that part of the keyboard is too hight, or the tenting angle not steep enough. Either way, it means that on the Kinesis Advantage that is not a good place to put a button because it would be too easy to press accidentally.

Regarding the soreness, I think I am familiar with that pain, I got that on the heel of my hand from intensive mousing, and it got quite quite uncomfortable at a point. Using arm rests solved the problem.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 17 February 2015, 23:51:55
I like seeing trackball mods on Kinesis...it lends itself to trackballs well.

I'm thinking of a trackpad AND the pointing stick that's in the keywell (on my mod) so there are options depending on what you're doing (personal preference) along with the palm keys. I like the addition of the 4 instead of the 2.


Nice!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Arcanius on Tue, 21 April 2015, 03:56:15
I've gone through this thread numerous times over the past years, but now that I'm planning on doing the same thing, I finally realized how good of a guide it is! So thank you for it. I have a couple of questions though:
I don't understand matrices and NKRO that well, so I'm wondering exactly where the diodes are going in part 4. I'm guessing they're going from pin x to the switch? So that current will go, for example, pin 1 ->| switch ---- pin 11?
Also, how much depth is available for the arcade buttons? You used PS-15 switches, but would one be able to fit PS-14 or Sanwa OBSF switches, which go about 10mm deeper?
 
P.S. Does anybody have a guide or picture series on replacing the rubber function keys with Cherry switches a la The Mothership?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 24 April 2015, 12:46:19


P.S. Does anybody have a guide or picture series on replacing the rubber function keys with Cherry switches a la The Mothership?

I had photos of me doing this. Try my article and follow the link at the top to the photos. There may be pics of what I did.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sun, 26 April 2015, 11:40:25
I've gone through this thread numerous times over the past years, but now that I'm planning on doing the same thing, I finally realized how good of a guide it is! So thank you for it.

You're welcome! Glad to hear my guide is of use to folks!

Quote
I'm wondering exactly where the diodes are going in part 4. I'm guessing they're going from pin x to the switch? So that current will go, for example, pin 1 ->| switch ---- pin 11?

Exactly. The photo in the OP shows the diode orientation; in all cases the diode cathode (marked side) points to the switch.

Quote
Also, how much depth is available for the arcade buttons? You used PS-15 switches, but would one be able to fit PS-14 or Sanwa OBSF switches, which go about 10mm deeper?

The PS-15 switches fit comfortably. I suspect deeper switches will fit if you bend their terminals flat onto the switch. Please do try it and post your results in this thread. Good luck and please share pictures!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 28 August 2015, 01:29:39
My latest creation

(https://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=36195.0;attach=109704;image)
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 28 August 2015, 01:36:04
That's a very WHITE Kinesis, LOL.
I'm on Tapatalk so I can't easily see your other pics, but did you install the buttons closer to the bottom edge of the keyboard?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: kaltar on Fri, 28 August 2015, 01:59:20
My latest creation

Show Image
(https://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=36195.0;attach=109704;image)


I just do not like that color at all!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 28 August 2015, 08:35:01
That's a very WHITE Kinesis, LOL.
I'm on Tapatalk so I can't easily see your other pics, but did you install the buttons closer to the bottom edge of the keyboard?

No, I installed them closer to the outer edges of the keyboard (70mm from edge to hole center) and find it much better. Here is the previous one (78mm):
(https://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26579.0;attach=3393;image)
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: curious on Sun, 03 January 2016, 16:52:26
I know I did something wrong, but I'm not sure what I did wrong. 

I added the two joystick palm switches, and attempted to put them in the place of the footswitch connectors FS1 and FS2.  I'm not sure where it went wrong, but the new buttons don't seem to do anything that I can tell....

Help me geekhack you're my only hope.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 03 January 2016, 17:33:54
Stop, drop, and roll.

It's really easy, so check everything again.
-do you know what to expect with FS1 and FS2?
-check the connections with a multimeter
-confirm each piece is functional by checking with a different connection.

The adding of these switches is a flawless mod, shouldn't be any problems, just hook up and type!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Mon, 04 January 2016, 12:27:34
I added the two joystick palm switches, and attempted to put them in the place of the footswitch connectors FS1 and FS2.  I'm not sure where it went wrong, but the new buttons don't seem to do anything that I can tell....

If you turn on the click sound on the keyboard, so you hear it when you press the palm switches? (Do they register?)

Bear in mind the switch needs to go between one of the FS terminals and GND.

You should be able to simulate keypresses even by merely connecting FS1 or FS2 to ground using a jumper wire.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sun, 05 June 2016, 12:40:58
Kinesis liked and tweeted one of my photos (they kindly asked my permission too):
https://twitter.com/kinesisergo/status/738079692381528064

Hope palm keys become more common!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 17 June 2016, 21:23:32
Hi folks, got my tools out again after a looong time and added 2 more arcade buttons to my work keyboard, smaller ones this time. Check part 6 which I just added in the OP. Now my work keyboard has 4 extra keys... still less than my home keyboard which has 8, but they will suffice. They are mapped as Escape and Windows keys (I'm using PC mode with 2 regular Alt keys in the thumb clusters).
(https://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26579.0;attach=140074;image)
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Megavvolt on Fri, 22 July 2016, 17:59:17
How do you guys use these diodes?
upd: Found the answer in Section 4 of the guide. Did not really understand the logic so will follow the guide (cathode to the switch as in the picture).
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 10 August 2016, 01:23:48
How do you guys use these diodes?
upd: Found the answer in Section 4 of the guide. Did not really understand the logic so will follow the guide (cathode to the switch as in the picture).

It's not necessarily "cathode points to switch". It depends on how the current is supposed to flow. For the particular PCB points I chose to solder the diode on, they diodes are oriented like this. If I were to swap the wire and diode on any switch, the orientation of the cathode would be toward the PCB. Basically the way I found the orientation is by trial. I touch the diode ends to each spot pair on the PCB both ways, and noted which orientation registers a keystroke (or makes a click sound if you have the keyboard sounds turned on). I then decided to use the particular PCB points that allow to orient the diodes with the cathode toward the switch (for no particular reason, although I did take care that I do this consistently for all of them).  So there's no science/advanced logic here, just simple trial to find which way works.  If you made this mod, please share some pictures of the result !
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 10 August 2016, 01:29:17
Here is a pic of an old Kinesis Classic where I did the 4-arcade button mod (see part 6 of the OP)
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Megavvolt on Sun, 21 August 2016, 17:56:45
If you made this mod, please share some pictures of the result!
Thank you for the explanation! I am still in the middle of everything - added the trackpoint today, hope to add the buttons this week. I only need two extra buttons (plus 3 footswitch buttons of course) - could you please take a look at the picture and tell if I'm going in the right direction?

Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sun, 21 August 2016, 22:57:37
Thank you for the explanation! I am still in the middle of everything - added the trackpoint today, hope to add the buttons this week. I only need two extra buttons (plus 3 footswitch buttons of course) - could you please take a look at the picture and tell if I'm going in the right direction?



Hmm not sure what 4 points to in the picture. Also on the right hand side pin #11 should be the second from the bottom, it looks like you marked the very bottom one. This picture I made is pretty high res, open it all the way to see:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26579.0;attach=3349;image

Before soldering I actually hooked up the keyboard to the computer (keyboard opened up) and tested the contact pairs to make sure I get the right ones (and the diode orientation properly). Of course I disconnected the keyboard during soldering itself.
By the way another place you can solder is the thumbcluster PCBs. Those can be unscrewed and flipped over without disconnecting any ribbons. I recently added Part 6 (adding extra arcade buttons) where I posted this picture:
(https://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26579.0;attach=140046;image)

Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Megavvolt on Mon, 22 August 2016, 08:00:40
Thank you for pin 11 - indeed I missed that one!

As for pin 4, my soldering is not perfect and I prefer using through holes in PCB. I traced #4 to the nearest through hole and that's where I am going to solder the diode. I am just not 100% sure if I located #4 in your picture correctly.

I also plan to add a PS2 to USB converter and a trackpoint (already done) to this PS2 keyboard, so I don't plan to connect it to the computer in the nearest 4-5 days. Thought I'd solder everything first.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Mon, 22 August 2016, 09:42:11
Thank you for pin 11 - indeed I missed that one!

As for pin 4, my soldering is not perfect and I prefer using through holes in PCB. I traced #4 to the nearest through hole and that's where I am going to solder the diode. I am just not 100% sure if I located #4 in your picture correctly.

Yup you got #4 right and tracing it to a different location on the PCB looks good as well.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Mon, 22 August 2016, 09:46:30
By the way in these PCBs the square solder points indicate pin #1 and then the nearest opposing one is pin #2, and continuing in a criss-cross fashion you have pins #3, #4, etc. So the odd ones form one row and the even another in these connectors.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Megavvolt on Wed, 31 August 2016, 08:04:13
Sordna - as requested in "Suggestions for Advantage keyboard".
:)

Buttons assignment (left to right):
Enter
Keypad
Alt-F4
F10 ("exit" in some of the programs I use quite often)
Esc


P.S. As for the trackpoint, I had to use a nail file to round one of the corners. For attachment, I used 3M VHB adhesive tape and PP granules (they melt at around 160C/320F), and you can easily clean this stuff off your soldering iron using a cotton swab while the iron is still hot.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 31 August 2016, 09:45:51
Sordna - as requested in "Suggestions for Advantage keyboard".
:)

Buttons assignment (left to right):
Enter
Keypad
Alt-F4
F10 ("exit" in some of the programs I use quite often)
Esc


P.S. As for the trackpoint, I had to use a nail file to round one of the corners. For attachment, I used 3M VHB adhesive tape and PP granules (they melt at around 160C/320F), and you can easily clean this stuff off your soldering iron using a cotton swab while the iron is still hot.

Awesome stuff, thank for sharing photos! What is the PCB next to the trackpoint module ? And how is the whole thing connected to USB ?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Megavvolt on Wed, 31 August 2016, 11:08:31
The PCB is the controller I took from Lenovo SK-8855 keyboard (bought it off eBay new for $78 - would love get it cheaper but couldn't find any). The flexible cable came from the same keyboard.

Pictures of the internals kindly provided by davkol:
https://deskthority.net/photos-f62/lenovo-thinkpad-usb-keyboard-with-trackpoint-aka-sk-8855-disassembly-t9556.html

Challenges using Lenovo Trackpoint drivers:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=8971.msg2221282#msg2221282

1. I bought a PS/2 to USB converter, stripped it bare and used it to convert Kinesis from PS2 to USB.
2. Bought a simple 4 port USB hub, -//- and used it to connect both USB devices (trackpoint&keyboard) to my laptop.

Here's the USB cable I used (a super sweet cable by the way - had to cut off the micro USB connector and can testify that VCC and Ground wires in that cable are really really thick. Data+ and Data- wires are reasonably thin which makes for a reasonably small diameter of the cable. It would indeed make a good USB charging cable. The cable is also very nice to the touch (has a rubber-like outer shell):
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Ugreen-Micro-USB-Cable-1m-2m-3m-Sync-Data-Charger-Cable-for-Samsung-Galaxy-S3-S4/32391749504.html
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Megavvolt on Sun, 06 November 2016, 09:18:25
Hi guys,

I keep getting a strange numpad button issue: when I press the button and try entering a numeric value nothing comes up.
I need to release and press the button again (sometimes even a couple of times) for it to start working.
Every time I press the button the numpad led lights up so I am sure the button is not at fault here.

Any ideas?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sun, 06 November 2016, 22:11:04
Hi guys,

I keep getting a strange numpad button issue: when I press the button and try entering a numeric value nothing comes up.
I need to release and press the button again (sometimes even a couple of times) for it to start working.
Every time I press the button the numpad led lights up so I am sure the button is not at fault here.

Any ideas?

Haven't encountered this problem. Maybe Kinesis tech support can help?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Salt Peanuts on Sat, 03 December 2016, 10:09:47
So if I just want to add two sets of buttons, I could just use the foot switch connections, correct (e.g, FS1 and FS2)?  Also, anyone know if the setup is same similar on Advantage2?  I'll try this first on my Advantage but if it works well, I'd want want to do the same with my Advantage2.

Now, only if HBFS-30 would get back in stock.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 03 December 2016, 11:25:32
So if I just want to add two sets of buttons, I could just use the foot switch connections, correct (e.g, FS1 and FS2)?

Yes. You can even wire multiple buttons in parallel on 1 spot. What multiple spots gives you is independent remapping for each spot.

Quote
Also, anyone know if the setup is same similar on Advantage2?  I'll try this first on my Advantage but if it works well, I'd want want to do the same with my Advantage2.

Hoped someone would ask :-)  Yes, it works pretty much the same. The FS connector looks a bit different. Here are the pinouts and the v-drive tokes for remapping via file:

6-SW2 v-drive token: [rp-kpent]
7-GND
8-SW1 v-drive token: [mp-kpshf]
9-SW3 v-drive token: [lp-tab]

Quote
Now, only if HBFS-30 would get back in stock.

Haven't been able to find HBFS-30 either, but the Seimitsu PS-15 work great and have stood the test of time for me!

Here's my modded Advantage2 by the way:

Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Salt Peanuts on Sat, 03 December 2016, 13:40:50
Thank you for the information (and detailed instructions), sordna.  Time for me to source some buttons, wires, and quick connects.  Oh and stepped drill bit - figures I only have a small one.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Salt Peanuts on Thu, 15 December 2016, 20:37:18
sordna, is there any particular reason you went with Sanwa for 24mm buttons instead of Seimitsu buttons, like PS-14?
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 16 December 2016, 01:01:51
sordna, is there any particular reason you went with Sanwa for 24mm buttons instead of Seimitsu buttons, like PS-14?

No, I just wanted to try Sanwa and the keyboard has enough depth in that spot. So various types could be used there. It is the south part of the keyboard that needs extra short ones like the Seimitsu PS-15.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Salt Peanuts on Tue, 20 December 2016, 16:34:41
Have successfully added two arcade buttons to make Advantage.  It appears I made minor errors on measurement so the locations are not quite same, but pretty close.  I was going to do the same to Classic and Advantage2 when my kids came home so I'll have to wait till later.

EDIT - Got around to doing the same to Adv2.  I guess I can't measure for **** - the one on the left is slightly lower again.  Also, the button locations on Adv2 is lower than Adv1 as well.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 21 December 2016, 10:22:05
Have successfully added two arcade buttons to make Advantage.  It appears I made minor errors on measurement so the locations are not quite same, but pretty close.  I was going to do the same to Classic and Advantage2 when my kids came home so I'll have to wait till later.

EDIT - Got around to doing the same to Adv2.  I guess I can't measure for **** - the one on the left is slightly lower again.  Also, the button locations on Adv2 is lower than Adv1 as well.

Cool, photos please!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Salt Peanuts on Sat, 24 December 2016, 07:02:03
(http://i.imgur.com/i4Cci6R.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/Yx93jYB.jpg)

I haven't done this to my Classic yet since one of the Seimitsu PS-15 button i bought is sticking.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 24 December 2016, 16:01:12
Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/i4Cci6R.jpg)


Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/Yx93jYB.jpg)


I haven't done this to my Classic yet since one of the Seimitsu PS-15 button i bought is sticking.

Nice work! I like your key caps too.
About the sticking button, you can open it up and see if it's the switch or the outer button sticking, in which case you could file it or something...
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Salt Peanuts on Sat, 24 December 2016, 19:28:48
Nice work! I like your key caps too.
About the sticking button, you can open it up and see if it's the switch or the outer button sticking, in which case you could file it or something...

Thanks!  The keycaps are combination of PBT DCS (the gray modifier keys), DSA Homing Dish and SA (Ctrl/Alt keys) from PMK, and Gateron PBT blank sets.  Bit of a pain as you need two Gateron sets for each board, thanks to needing two NumPad Enters and NumPad 0's for the thumb clusters.  You end up with a pile of leftovers.

I've opened up the sticking button and it's the outer button sticking, but haven't been able to figure out how/where it's sticking as it only sticks when pressed at a certain angle.

Also bought Seimitus 24mm buttons but haven't decided if I'm actually going to install them yet.

On a related note, found out there's adapter to use Cherry switches in Sanwa OBSF/OBSC buttons.  Unfortunately, OBSF/OBSC buttons are too tall (I think) for the palm button locations.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: themoon on Thu, 17 May 2018, 01:43:48
Here's my modded Advantage2 by the way:

Can you please add pics of the soldering for Advantage2 - for the palm keys? This is the only mod I'm probably going to make, but a bit scared of ruining the keyboard with my soldering 'skill'  :-X
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Fri, 18 May 2018, 11:12:41
Here you go, I used pair 1+6 for the left palm button (mappable as F24 in the v-drive) and 4+6 for the right (mappable as F22)
[attach=1][attach=2]
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: themoon on Fri, 18 May 2018, 22:36:28
Here you go, I used pair 1+6 for the left palm button (mappable as F24 in the v-drive) and 4+6 for the right (mappable as F22)
(Attachment Link) (Attachment Link)

Thanks a lot, that's exactly what I've been looking for!
Now to wait for gamefingers to arrive, and one of my advantages will have another advantage against other keyboards :)

Those little resistors (?) - are they needed when soldering just one key to the same pin?

I was hesitating to use the foot switch connector primarily due to some reports that on Mac os it was impossible to use keys on a switch as modifier keys, while it works just fine on win. Maybe I got it wrong or it would be solveable by using key trampling software, such as a karabiner. Using karabiner with Kinesis anyway - supported remapping/macro functions are just not enough for me.

Will post a pic here when mod is complete.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Sat, 19 May 2018, 01:04:09
Footswitch actions are remappable to any key including modifier keys. By default one of them is mapped as shift already. I doubt there is any issue. Contact Kinesis support, they would know for sure. It's harmless to try it for yourself; get a footswitch, or just use a wire and touch different pairs of contacts on the RJ11 connector.

Those "resistors" are 1N4148 diodes. They are not really necessary, I just added them to simulate the Cherry switches Kinesis is using, which have built-in diodes for N-key rollover (I think it's actually 6KRO on these keyboards). I don't play games and haven't tested it, so it's mostly for completeness; your extra buttons will work without them.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Thu, 24 May 2018, 16:33:18
Added part 7 to the wiki: extra keys on the Kinesis Advantage2. The main PCB can handle 4 extra keys, the thumbcluster PCBs another 2, and the footswitch 3, for a total of 9 extra keys, all of them individually remappable. Enjoy!
(https://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26579.0;attach=196285;image)
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: themoon on Wed, 13 June 2018, 11:58:01
Here are the results of the mod. I've done it to both of my adv2's :)
Palm button location is not really ideal, but the key I chose for the mod (gamefinger 30) did not want to fit
in locations depicted in other photos here. It must be a bit taller.

Now I want to use QMK firmware and going for PCB designed by Stapelberg. Has anyone got any experience with it? What I wonder if palm keys I added (f22 and f24) will be recognized by QMK.
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: sordna on Wed, 13 June 2018, 12:17:22
No clue about QMK firmware, but your work looks great!  BTW you can always bend the button terminals if the buttons are are too tall, that should help. How do you like the palm keys / what actions did you map them to ?
BTW recent firmwares on the Advantage2 support mouse clicks (the keyboard registers as a pointing device too in that case), that' s really cool, letting folks know if they haven't noticed!
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: themoon on Wed, 13 June 2018, 12:27:36
Also thought about bending terminals, but even so keys were too tall to place them where I wanted. Anyhow, I'm pretty fine with current location too.

I'm using them as ctrl's on Mac, but this does not tell the whole story, as most of the modifiers are remapped at OSX level by Karabiner Elements. QMK here is an attempt to make this remapping software-independent and thereby cross-platform.

Built-in macro and remapping functions are not bad but waaay too limited IMO.

P. S. Thanks for the detailed info and inspiration in this topic! :)
Title: Re: Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
Post by: Phenix on Wed, 13 June 2018, 14:17:21
[GB] Kinesis Contoured/Advantage/2 QMK mod kit R2: still open http://reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/8n8y7n/gb_kinesis_contouredadvantage2_qmk_mod_kit_r2/g

Here is a GB for Staplebergs.

Arcade buttons will be usable - they are treat as „just another „mx“ switch. Only thing needed is to change the makefile and keycap to use them.