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geekhack Projects => Making Stuff Together! => Topic started by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 13 December 2009, 11:11:39

Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 13 December 2009, 11:11:39
SEPARATING INTO TWO HALVES  Trial fit all the components to insure they will fit into the keyboard after it is cut in two.(L) It has the 4 green LEDs on the thumbkey PCBs, not the main controller PCB. This makes the split easier since I don't need to move the LEDs now.(R) It also has a small PCB that has an ADB plug (blue tape), Mac/PC selector, and another button on the underside with the power cord:   Desoldered main controller and discovered the option to have the keyboard controller in one case half is not a problem! The case assembles with room to spare. First, the case will be cut in half equally, with the option to do some additional case modding later:   I have all Contoured parts, trackpoint, 4 port microhub, and Apple Mighty Mouse pcb inside the keyboard case. TONS OF SPACE inside the case for the new logic boards, even after it is cut in half:Everything attaches to the top case, the bottom case is not needed for the keyboard itself, except for placing the keyboard on a desk or whateva. The plastic is cut with a slow speed, small tooth, thin blade for cutting "Laminates" to prevent melting and chipping/cracking. I want a perfectly straight and finish line, that's more difficult to achieve. Later, the case will have more cut out of the middle section, but for now, I'm just bisecting it. The case work will involve some fine finish filing of the two enlarged openings for the F-keys, and the new holes below the thumb keys for the mouse buttons, etc.  For cutting the various plastics, a "Laminate" cutting blade produces the best results. This is if you are using a powered cutting tool. The edges of the plastic are perfectly smooth and are of finished quality. I'm starting to file the holes in keyboard case. IT LOOKS GREAT! It's very easy, and has bolstered my thoughts on how the finished keyboard will look. Filing is easy, fast, and you can do anything except "un-file" so go slow. I also realized I can just hand file the key caps that the Trackpoint will be touching. Easier, safer, better results. ASSEMBLY  I'm at the beginning of the wiring stage and I want to see if I am able to eliminate the Mac-PC ADB board before I start the assembly. I am starting to test as much as I can to see what the small pcb affects. There are no ICs on it, just a couple switches. After consulting with Kinesis, they stated it is possible to wire directly into the main pcb and bypass the little Mac-PC port/switch board. But doing so will allow the keyboard to only operate in PC mode.I installed the original components and placed all the added components in their actual places with the bottom keyboard case attached to insure it all fits. It does! Now I can see what needs to be done for the final sculpting of the keyboard case. Then I will secure the added components, pop in the last couple key switches and hot glue, modify the 4 port hub, and start wiring. I am currently making a wiring diagram. The left hand module will be a tight fit with the wiring and the main controller. I still need a Blue Cube, PS2-USB adapter for the trackpoint, and the 18 additional key caps. WIRING: I want to change out the 4 black female connectors on the main controller, or find the matching male connectors. Also the thumb clusters are soldered directly with ribbon cable, which I would like to change to connectors. I want to be able to have the components be swappable.Latest physical configuration:6'-9' USB cable to a 4 port micro hub removed from it's plastic case and installed into the controller housing. Each port used with: 1)-keyboard via disassembled Blue Cube (thanx ripster), 2)-Mac mouse scroll ball, 3)-track point via PS/2-USB converter, 4)-gesture/touchpad or leave as an open USB port. I'll cut off the male USB plug and hardwire the port into the keyboard. I thought about removing the USB plugs and hard wiring, but at this stage that would prevent easy changes, or if something fails...etc. Still thinking about using a Logitech Hyperscroll wheel. So far, using the 4 port hub, I have had a Kinesis Contoured Advantage, Mac Mighty Mouse, Rollermouse with trackpoint connected all working properly for months. Hopefully subtracting the Rollermouse and adding a Hyperscroll wheel or gestures pad will still work electrically. Maybe later a mod can occur where the laser from the mouse is disconnected, etc...This is a 1.1 USB hub. I dunno if there is a need for a 2.0.I think a Logitech RX1500 mouse with Hyperscroll might be an experiment on this keyboard, but probably most likely on the non-split version of this keyboard. Too bad there isn't room for a scroll wheel between 2 keys (between "F" and "G" on QWERTY) which would be ideal. This particular Hyperscroll version allows you to depress the scrollwheel to spin freely or have notched scrolling. Logitech also makes another version Hyperscroll that uses a button next to the scroll wheel to change the scrolling properties.If you haven't tried a Logitech Hyperscroll wheel, you're missing out. They're a slick option. I wanna stick one in my uber-awesome Rollermouse. Contoured programability: The Contoured is no slouch with the programming options. It has 86 physical keys, 43 on each side, the board is symmetrical. All but 2 keys can be re-mapped and there is a second layer of keys making a total of 168 key actions. The two keys are "keypad" and "program" that can't be changed for obvious reasons. The board also allows for macros, sticky keys, and foot switches. Even with all that, there seems to always be something more that's wanted. For instance, the Contoured has an on board Dvorak layout. Great, but I want an on board Colemak layout and I may want the board to go with me to remote locations, and I may not be able to have Colemak at a software level at the remote location. For this, and other reasons, there needs to be even more programability. There is a possibility that additional physical keys may need to be added to the existing matrix. It's been a long time to get to this point:JUST BECAUSE...III  KEY CAPS  There are 11 different sizes, shapes, and pitch of keycaps of a total of 68 keys, not counting the very top row of rubber F keys of course. Keys are white or black just like the case, with the 8 home row keys being blue.Older Kinesis Contoureds had expensive ABS doubleshot keycaps (RIGHT keycap in pics) the side walls (skirt) of the keycaps are shorter than the current ABS non-doubleshot keycaps (LEFT keycaps in pics). You can tell from the side that the wall height is different. When typing, I think there is less of an "open area" for sound to reflect in (like a bell), and therefore slightly quieter when you bottom out/spring noise being amplified/reflected. Also, the doubleshot keycaps are thicker in some areas. These were only available in white (models #100, #110, #120 during the mid-90's). They are very nice feeling without the raised legends and much cleaner in appearance. The surface is textured and feels 'grippy'. Note the close-ups for detail (also the second dvorak legends). Possibly consider Rit dye. [ATTACH=CONFIG]20805[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]20806[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]20852[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]20855[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]22370[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]22371[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]22385[/ATTACH]Here keycap details are shown:[ATTACH=CONFIG]35494[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]35490[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]35491[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]35497[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]35584[/ATTACH]Note rows P5 and P6 are different. On an Advantage model, these two rows use the same key caps. Kinesis originally use doubleshot keycaps, then switched to singleshot to cut costs. The single shots appear to have 2 different key sets, with slight differences in finish size of the caps. Kinesis did not change the specifications. The differences are from different companies making the key caps. So there should be 3 slightly different key cap sets.Key caps are generally available as ABS, doubleshot ABS, and PBT. Regular ABS being the most inexpensive. PBT is a much longer wearing key cap, and ABS doubleshot allows for the legends to be a second plastic that is injected, so the lettering is not a decal or applied on. There is the option of getting replacement keycaps that are different colors, blank, engraved, and from different material. As of January 2012 this is on going: Kinesis Advantage key cap replacement (http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?23446-kinesis-advantage-keycap-replacement-limitations)OFFICIAL PARTS LIST - When I list the symbols, I used both the unshifted and shifted symbols for that key, just to make it easier to see.- The "International Key" produces ßĪ in the U.S. but has \| symbol repeated on the key like the actual \| key.- The legends are based on U.S. and QWERTY. The important information is the actual key caps that are needed, not the legends...they are just for reference.
ORDERING INFORMATION (Signature Plastics option):
 A Kinesis set (with cylindrical instead of spherical home keys):[LIST=|INDENT=1][*=left]10 DCS row 1 1x1..........1 2 4 5 6 7 9 0 Home PageUp[*=left]12 DCS row 2 1x1..........Q W E R T Y I O U P 3 8[*=left]*12 DCS row 3 1x1........A S D F G H J K L ;: End PageDown[*=left]18 DCS row 4 1x1..........Z X C V B N M ,< .> /? `~ \| Larrow Rarrow Uarrow Darrow [[ ]][*=left]4 DCS row 5 1x1............CTRL ALT/OPT Command/Win (the 4 keys at the top of the thumb clusters vary in function depending on OS used)[*=left]2 DCS row 1 1x1.25.......=+ -_[*=left]6 DCS row 3 1x1.25.......Tab \| CapLock '" Shift Shift[*=left]2 DCS row 4 1x2 (turned vertical) (NumPadZero).....Enter Delete[*=left]2 DCS row 4/4 1x2 vertical (NumPadEnter).....Space Backspace[/list]
To have the 8 home row keys as the original 'spherical' keycaps:
 - Only 4 DCS Row 3 1x1..........G H End PageDown
 - Add 8 DSA Row 3 1x1...........A S D F J K L ;:         (these may be a "Deep Dish" key cap)
I disregard the "homing bump" option for the index fingers when using the spherical keys options (see DSA sheet)

A tactile homing "bump" or "bar" can be used on the index fingers of the home row if the spherical keys are not used. Hardly required since the keywells mostly guide your fingers to the correct locations:
- *Only 10 DCS row 3 1x1.....................................A S D G H K L ;: End PageDown
- Add 2 DCS row 3 1x1 with "bump" or "bar".......F J

These key caps are available as ABS or PBT (PBT is a nicer plastic). Doubleshot key caps are also available.
The last choice is color.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]46340[/ATTACH]

- - - THE SPHERICALS, NEED TO CONFIRM IF THE HOME ROW IS A "DEEP DISH" KEY CAP..... (NEED INFO FROM SIGNATURE PLASTICS AND WILL UPDATE).
[ATTACH=CONFIG]46145[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]46146[/ATTACH]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The same exact key caps with the taller skirt (Filco/Costar). Items in red still have the SP designations because I don't know what Filco or equal part number is.ORDERING INFORMATION (Costar/Filco/equal option):
A Kinesis set (with cylindrical instead of spherical home keys):

[LIST=|INDENT=1]
KINESIS CONTOURED PHOTO GALLERYFeel free to copy and use this Kinesis Contoured pixel art some people from Geekhack have made:[ATTACH=CONFIG]21927[/ATTACH]  [ATTACH=CONFIG]21925[/ATTACH]  [ATTACH=CONFIG]21926[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]47730[/ATTACH]You can find these and more: http://http://geekhack.org/showwiki....oard+Pixel+Art (http://http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Keyboard+Pixel+Art)Here are some of the keyboards I've noticed on the web, some of these are heavily modified, some just dressed up...but they all inspire.This guy keeps evolving his board. He built in a touchpad, changed to Cherry MX red (linear, lighter than black) switches, converted F keys to switches, added a dozen additional keys, AIKON controller, indicator lights and hand wired the entire keyboard. The Kinesis "Stealth Battleship", "Black Beauty", "Mogambo Mama", "The Mothership".[ATTACH=CONFIG]21761[/ATTACH] Interesting keycap replacement (note the grey, shorter non-Kinesis keycaps)...He got some additional wiring components from Kinesis and the base from a Comfort Keyboard...Nice, I call it the Kinesis Pyramid...[ATTACH=CONFIG]24830[/ATTACH]Kinesis color key swap!!! Note Ergo Touchpad on black keyboard.[ATTACH=CONFIG]24781[/ATTACH]Custom laser keycaps from WASD Keyboards...[ATTACH=CONFIG]40568[/ATTACH]A LOTTA color (paint, not dye)...    [ATTACH=CONFIG]20437[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]19046[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]22490[/ATTACH]Dye, (not paint) proposed Contoured color scheme from this HHKB. I've always really liked this keyboards look....Integrating touchpads and other pointing devices seems to be a big add.The first pic with the Apple Magic Trackpad at an angle is a near-perfect combo. It looks like it's in the way of the keys, but it's not. [ATTACH=CONFIG]34139[/ATTACH]      [ATTACH=CONFIG]19273[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]22377[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]31540[/ATTACH]Here you can compare the 2 different sizes of the Ergo Touchpad on the Kinesis... Even a Datahand gets an Ergo Touchpad...or a trackpoint (see white trackpoint stick under middle finger on left-hand unit)[ATTACH=CONFIG]20434[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]20982[/ATTACH]Another with a switch change, this time from standard Cherry MX browns to MX blues (clicky)...This one put the F keys in the middle, with a built in touchpad/mouse buttons, very unique...This is wireless, to be split into 2 halves with a pointing stick and touchpad EACH SIDE (note the RF module)...Guess who? (scroll over to find out)I believe I read this is a MIDI controller with a shoulder strap now...OMG! Oh my god! OH MY GOD![ATTACH=CONFIG]34272[/ATTACH]A Kinesis clear/smoke case one-off:[ATTACH=CONFIG]47093[/ATTACH]Neat! Too bad they won't do custom keyboards, but they will take suggestions :) Someone else FINALLY did the same Trackpoint mod!!!!! (see red trackpoint in right keywell)[ATTACH=CONFIG]52604[/ATTACH]Best vacation surprise EVER (I've never been bashful about posting her) :[ATTACH=CONFIG]24597[/ATTACH]This is just an extra easter egg for you that have made it this far (this one is a professional model, I didn't take this pic, and I don't know her)...[ATTACH=CONFIG]32347[/ATTACH]Scratch pad for various miscellaneous ideas and thoughtsCONCEPT': Kinesis Contoured with a RollerMouse Free2. The rollerbar above the key clusters and the buttons/scroll wheel in the center. Pic is almost to scale.[ATTACH=CONFIG]32272[/ATTACH]Pic of The Mothership, with some of my proposed uses for the extra keys to increase the functionality of the keyboard. Add a Griffin Powermate or possibly a smaller turning knob/buttons for a volume cluster installed just above the right thumb cluster next to the key well. Mostly the idea shown below is to have the modifiers available to both thumbs, add momentary KEYPAD (Fn) to both hands, convert the 18 rubber keys to 12 switches and move the 6 remaining keys elsewhere on the keyboard. PRT/SCRL/PAUSE are F13/F14/F15 on MAC. An idea for slightly larger keys (1.5? vertical) just outside the keywells by the T+G and Y+H for low use keys like the KEYPAD toggle and PROGRAM from the function row rubber keys, either one on each side or possibly double-stacked. This is just to offer a graphic example of possible ideas.[ATTACH=CONFIG]41650[/ATTACH]Color schemes:Black-black-black-blackBlack with red accents (red home row keys and 2 thumb cluster keys, or red F row keys)Black with royal blue accentsCover usb cable with a red ParacordBlack braided cable with red ends(red keys computer simulation)[ATTACH=CONFIG]47772[/ATTACH]I am really getting into the idea of a volume knob/multimedia controls being separate, like on this board (Dell RT7D30), and thinking if it can be added to a Kinesis (or maybe just a volume control knob only):[ATTACH=CONFIG]41144[/ATTACH]A Kinesis Advantage with the serial number of #51,xxx still has the keywells without the cable ribbons...the keywells are attached with the pcb extending like a finger from the keywell.A Kinesis Advantage with the serial number of #4x,xxx has the white ribbon cables.....Flash drive to be hard wired into keyboard to show up as a drive. If keyboard is mobile, particular information will travel with board:1-Kinesis User Manual & Quick Start Guide*2-Document (text, photos, links) on that particular keyboards specific modifications*3-Document (text, image) for default programming of extra keys*4-Document (text) user defined for listing of current programming, macros, layout, sequential list of key presses for reprogramming after a memory clearing, etc. (read and write)5-Folder with drivers and software for hardware/useful add ins for another computer6-Document with links in .pdf format so links are clickable7-Folder with pics of pretty girls for wallpaper, etc.[ATTACH=CONFIG]51649[/ATTACH][/font][/list]
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 13 December 2009, 14:53:19
This article has just been fixed (3/14) as far as me being able to have access to fix/correct/edit/clean up/add/re-post pictures. I hope to play with it over a short course of time and get it much more functional asap. I'll add the pics first, then deal with updated content/editing the mess.
I hope the information contained is helpful.


*** Temporary link for photos until I can post/edit appropriately--- 
http://imgur.com/a/TdZya (http://imgur.com/a/TdZya)



  EVERYTHING KINESIS ADVANTAGE
Smoochie Doodle, my little Blue Headed Pionus buddy that I shared the last 10 years with. I miss him so much!
GOALS
The primary goal is to use a Kinesis Contoured keyboard and separate into 2 halves, full adjustability, non-staggered keys, integrated pointing devices, all to make the most comfortable and RSI-proof product possible. It must be high quality, aesthetically pleasing, and an item that is functional and nice enough that people would purchase if it were sold in stores. A well thought out and elegant finish product. In principle, it would be similar to a Datahand (2 fully adjustable halves, integrated pointing device). Too many people hurt just from using keyboards, and that's just crazy.

1-Datahand 2-Datahand being used 3-Datahand mounted on chair arms.
1 23

A-Split Kinesis Contoured B-non-split Kinesis Contoured being used C-Datahand chair mount kit to be used with Split Kinesis.
A B C[ATTACH=CONFIG]25052[/ATTACH]

It should be able to be used on a desk and/or attached to chair arms with 360 degree adjustments. I want to see if different pointing devices can be used, to match personal preferences. There will be some improvements to the keyboard, such as the elastmeric F-keys converted to key switches/key caps. Finally, possibly some upgrades like wireless and added functionality via electronic mods.

One option is to remove the 2 key "bowls" from the case and mounting them to adjustable arms onto each chair armrest. Or I may just cut the keyboard case in half and leave the guts enclosed. I need to integrate a pointing device that is small and allows the hands to stay in/near the home row keys. I'm now thinking a trackpoint is the best option.

I've opted to use a Mac 360 degree scrollball from a Mighty Mouse for page scrolling with the left index finger, a Trackpoint for cursor control with the right index finger, and the 2 mouse buttons with the left thumb. This way the movements alternate between hands.

A Griffin Powermate, touchpad, or modified (shortened) Rollermouse bar are options for alternate input devices to integrate with the keyboard. Pros and cons will be listed and considered.

OTHER IDEAS:
Dampening the keyboard sounds by possibly coating the interior of the case with a rubber coating (like Plasti-Dip/noise dampening products), because there is so much case, and using O-rings the key caps to dampen the bottoming out downstroke, and also the topping out upstroke.

May use wood or metal keycaps for the home row, F-keys, or other special keys so you would more easily know by touch where your fingers are. Custom molding key caps is another option.

May connect a flash drive internally via USB to the non-split mobile version of this keyboard and store copies of any software that can be used on other machines at remote locations so internet access is not required to download. There are many 3rd party software programs, as well as self-implemented tailoring that allow for increased functionality/productivity for any keyboard/pointing device, I'll see what may be more applicable to this mod. Because the Kinesis Contoured has programability and ergo design, several of these programs have little or no value add.

An inline hardware keyboard layout using Colemak may be a good choice for the mobile version of this keyboard.

This keyboard is a Retrobrite project, and may also be a Rit-Dye project/vinyl-dye project, and possibly a sandblast-keycap project. (See links below)

Although I will try my best to build a keyboard that has little compromise, there is a learning curve, and will default this particular project to a proof-of-concept status if for no other reason than to keep it moving along and not drive myself crazy. There is also the chance this particular keyboard (although functional) may never be really complete, as it may evolve into a test-bed for different ideas. I have a second Kinesis Contoured that will be modified in a similar fashion, but not spilt into to halves. The idea being that it could be a "take along/portable" unit, or maybe sold at cost to "get it out there". These keyboards have a long life span, and Kinesis will service/repair them, so I don't want to destroy or permanently damage the overall structure of the keyboard. I want to use this modifying experience so that the next one will be able to be done in a day or two.

I'll document with pics so anyone else can see what there is to do/not to do. I couldn't find much info online when I looked, so I hope this helps someone as a guide or a reference source for these awesome keyboards. I want to provide information so others can have minimum problems. I'm also very open to ideas, questions, assistance, etc.

When the project is complete, I'll grade the 1) effectiveness and 2) quality of how each individual modification works and is implemented:

1)-Keyboard separated into 2 physical halves
2)-integrated trackpoint/mouse buttons
3)-integrated scrollball
4)-F key row conversion to switches/keys
5)-moving of some F key row keys to other locations
6)-adding keys in the thumb cluster area
7)-PS2-USB conversion
 8) -adding of extra USB port(s)
9)-case cutting/modification
10)-chair attachment
11)-any added functionality (electronic, custom controller)
12)-sound dampening the key switches
13)-sound dampening the hollow case sound
14)-upgrade keys to PBT
15)-wireless

Parts used with these projects  with approximate budget values +/-):
-Kinesis Contoured Essential MPC keyboard (ebay $100) Advantage model (Kinesis $300/ebay used $200+)
-Trackpoint IV (PS/2) from IBM KPD8923 keyboard (ebay $20-40) Open to finding another trackpoint source? USB?
-"active" PS/2-USB converter for keyboard/trackpoint (PI Engineering "Y-mouse") ($25-50)
--EDIT--USB Trackpoint from Lenovo Thinkpad USB keyboard (must be modded) (ebay $50?)
-4 port USB micro hub ($5)
-360 degree scrollball from Apple Mighty Mouse (ebay $20)
-Hyperscroll wheel from Logitech RX1500 Hyperscroll mouse (ebay $25) Or a different model of HyperScroll?
-Touchpad or gestures pad ($25-100) Apple Magic Trackpad, Wacom, Ergo Touchpad, or a Mac gestures touchpad?
-Colemak keyboard layout (free)
-added switches, key caps, Blue Cube, electronic material misc. ($60)
-chair/armrest mounting ($100-200)
-Kinesis Contoured Triple Foot Switch ($100)
-wireless is unknown at this time
-inline hardware keyboard layout is unknown at this time
-alternative controller/firmware is unknown at this time

Cherry MX browns are what the keyboard uses, and Cherry reds (linear) are available from Kinesis for about $100 to change out the 2 keywells. There is a thought to use Cherry "ergo clears" a custom combination of brown springs and clear stems that are like browns with a more pronounced tactile feel.

Links for items that are used or notable to these projects (I'll update as project progress occurs):
Keyboards:
http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/ (http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/)http://www.datahand.com/ (http://www.datahand.com/)http://www.maltron.com/ (http://www.maltron.com/)
This is the actual Kinesis Contoured keyboard that is getting cut in half. It has been previously modded:
http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:7955 (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:7955)
Replacing mainboard/programming with hardware/firmware from this source:
http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:6292 (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:6292)
Modernizing AT-PS/2 to USB:
http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?tit...=blue+cube+mod (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:6872&&highlight=blue+cube+mod)
Adding keys ("real" Function keys, etc.):
http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:9519 (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:9519)
Chair/armrest will be important from an adjustability standpoint:
http://somaergo.com/content/chairs/parts/armrests.shtml (http://somaergo.com/content/chairs/parts/armrests.shtml)http://www.industrial-ergonomics.com/shadow_rest.html (http://www.industrial-ergonomics.com/shadow_rest.html)http://www.cyberguys.com/product-det...roductid=10382 (http://www.cyberguys.com/product-details/?productid=10382)
Possible inline hardware keyboard layout:
http://dvorak-keyboard.net63.net/ (http://dvorak-keyboard.net63.net/)  EDIT-This link is no longer active, but if you "search" that actual link, it will locate most needed info.
Alternative pointing devices to possibly build into modification:
USB trackpoint (mod)-
http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:11420 (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:11420)
Rollermouse:
http://ergo.contourdesign.com/ (http://ergo.contourdesign.com/)
Apple Magic Trackpad:
http://www.apple.com/magictrackpad/ (http://www.apple.com/magictrackpad/)
Ergo Touchpad-
http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/ (http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/)
Alphagrip (multi-directional buttons/integrated trackball):
http://www.alphagrips.com/ (http://www.alphagrips.com/)
Products to mount keyboards/input devices to chairs:
http://www.monsta.cc/chairs/ (http://www.monsta.cc/chairs/)http://www.gamechair.net/photos/photogallery.htm (http://www.gamechair.net/photos/photogallery.htm)
Other misc. tweaks:
Embedded layout concepts:
http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:10202 (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:10202)
Some interesting keyboard/layout idea/notes:
http://xahlee.org/comp/ultima...rd_layout.html (http://xahlee.org/comp/ultimate_keyboard_layout.html)
Sandblasting key caps:
http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:6469
 (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:6469)Making key caps from molds:
http://geekhack.org/showwiki....e=Island:23722 (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:23722)
Retrobrite:
http://geekhack.org/showwiki....=l&do=comments (http://http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=l&do=comments)
 Others that have done some extremely cool work on a Kinesis Contoured:
http://www.keyboardmods.com/search/label/kinesis (http://www.keyboardmods.com/search/label/kinesis)http://dbenamy.blogspot.com/2010/01/...-keyboard.html (http://dbenamy.blogspot.com/2010/01/most-expensive-keyboard.html)http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:16112 (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:16112)
One of several links I have of someone removing the main controller and using an Aikon/Limkb:
http://www.otd.kr/bbs/board.php?bo_t...=23992&page=38 (http://www.otd.kr/bbs/board.php?bo_table=album&wr_id=23992&page=38)
Concept keyboards:
http://www.key64.com/ (http://www.key64.com/)http://www.humblehacker.com/keyboard/ (http://www.humblehacker.com/keyboard/)
ErgoDox http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?2...-ergo-keyboard (http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?22780-Interest-Check-Custom-split-ergo-keyboard)
And interesting combination of dual trackballs and dual footpedals: http://www.lorinroche.com/computer.htm (http://www.lorinroche.com/computer.htm)

As you can see from the listings above, GEEKHACK.ORG is a primo site as a source for mods, tweaks, and ideas.



Kinesis Contoured Model History
Kinesis Contoured Models and HistoryCURRENT: (USB)
Advantage Pro MPC/USB-2 memory modules
Advantage MPC/USB-1 memory module
DISCONTINUED: (AT, PS/2)
Professional-2 memory modules
Classic-1 memory module
Essential-0 memory modules (programability is greatly reduced)
Model #130, #120, #110, #100, Natural, Ergo Elan (non-U.S. model), Ergo Elite

The discontinued models (Essential, Classic, Professional) also were available as MPC (Mac/PC switchable) models that had a Mac ADB plug and switch and dual legend Win/Mac function keys. Model #130 came with no sticky keys. All models can have the memory upgraded/downgraded with either 0, 1 or 2 memory modules. Models #100, #110, #120 came with expensive 2 shot (doubleshot) key caps and had the indicator lights at various places on the keyboard rather than the more recent keyboards with 4 lights in a row in the center. #100 had a slightly different case design, and the white keyboard and keys had black legends/logos instead of blue. Dual legended keycaps are available with Qwerty/Dvorak as an add later. The only difference between the Advantage and the Advantage Pro is the silver top case of the Advantage Pro is a black case that is spray painted silver, the Pro has a tiny hidden switch in the thumb cluster to prevent accidental programming, and comes with 2 memory modules instead of 1.

The main controller PCB is the same since 2003.
Firmware is v3.2 from about 2003
On the mainboard the 2 keywell connectors were turned around starting at serial #60,000.
The USB versions of the keyboard started at serial #50,000. Technically, the current keyboard mainboard is still PS/2 (not USB-native), with a daughterboard active PS/2>USB converter. Only the firmware changed, the actual mainboard is the same.

Current goal is a combination of these 3 photos (caseless, separated, extra "real" keys, also note that every mod has a pointing device):
 

Keyboards that are conceptually inspirational for these projects
 Several keyboard options that are very ergonomic by either being split, contoured, layout, programmable...

(LEFT) The Kinesis Freestyle is split, with rubber domes, USB, and is currently manufactured. ($90-$150 new, $40-$90 used)
(RIGHT) The Kinesis Evolution is split, with mechanical switches, came with 0, 1, or 2 touchpads, PS/2, and is no longer manufactured. (was $400-$500 new, $50-$300 used)
The issue with both of these is that the keys are staggered (not ergonomic enough).
 

The Utron, split, very interesting key layout, symmetrical staggering, slightly smaller than normal key caps, and Topre-like key switches. ($550 +/- Asia only)


Typematrix, sleek and portable, shares some similar key layout ideas as the Utron, and embedded extended numeric keypad, rubber dome. ($90)


The Maltron, which uses Cherry black switches, non-programable/no macros. comes in several models (one handed, etc), hand wired in the U.K. complete with astronomical price tags ($500-$800)...
 

A proposed layout that has been circulating the web for a couple years.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]25154[/ATTACH]

The Humble Hacker, (non-production keyboard) a real programmers programmer keyboard which has taken many features into consideration, with programmability, multiple layers, remapping...


The Key64, (a non-production keyboard) that is minimalist in design, uber-ergo, and is programmable to the hilt...
[ATTACH=CONFIG]19446[/ATTACH]

The ErgoDox, a Geekhacker project...obviously inspired by the Key64, while also being split, (non-production board at this time)
[ATTACH=CONFIG]35398[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]35399[/ATTACH]

And then you have this truly unique keyboard solution in a class all its own, the Alphagrip, a quality built keyboard with integrated optical trackball which allows you to not be tied to sitting in a rigid position at your desk, and is easily portable (about $100 new)...I have one of these, and it is SUPER-ergonomic. The same old keyboard/posture rules don't apply. Can't believe the whole world isn't using these yet, the Alphagrip makes perfect sense, perhaps just ahead of it's time. It's excellent for gaming, the thumb-trackball is a joy, and your hands don't move anywhere when typing.
 


[/HR]       THE PROCESS       

(LEFT) The Essential controller PCB with AT connector (white case circa 1998-2002??, KB132PC S/N#32066E)
Notice there is no memory in the slots labeled U2 and U3 in the upper right corner of the board, the 2 key board halves are unplugged from black connectors labeled J7 (left-you can still see the edge of the PCB an inch away) and J2 (right), the 6 wire power cable is already disconnected from the white vacant plug on the left side. It seems to have a 7 wire capability.
(RIGHT) The Model 130 Essential (130EM S/N#30317EM) controller PCB. Note the lack of the 4 resistors for the LEDs on the bottom center. Power is brick-orange connector at the top middle. No memory in slots.
   

Compared to the Advantage with USB connector (black case circa 2008, KB500USB-G S/N#80548UB). Nothing disconnected, there is one memory chip in the U2 slot.


(LEFT) The USB pcb board on the bottom of the case (the Essential does not have this). Is this just a PS/2>USB converter???
(RIGHT) The Mac-PC ADB pcb board on the bottom of the case on the Model 130 Essential. (ADB plug-in, Mac/PC switch, reset button) Per Kinesis: If you remove this pcb, the keyboard will operate in "PC" mode only. BUT, I have not confirmed this.
   

Essential left side keyboard half. The trackpoint will go in the 4 key intersection (between the 2nd-3rd switches down/1st-2nd switches to the left, from the right side-EXCEPT OPPOSITE on the right keyboard half). Sorry for that, this was the picture that was taken :) The space between the switches is 1/4" x 1/4" at the tightest point. I felt better AFTER I wiped the dusty mess with alcohol. Yuk:


The right keyboard half rear view:


The trackpoint will be mounted 2-3 down/1-2 from the right side, pretty much the center of the picture. The PCB "fingers" are not flat, nor on the same plane. I need to make certain there are no traces located on the other (unseen) side or in any possible PCB "layers" in the way of the trackpoint hole that will need to be made. Otherwise..a lot of jumper soldering. The IBM KPD8923 keyboard has a Trackpoint IV.

Things on my mind:
This unit needs to work with USB on a Mac. It's a PS/2 keyboard and trackpoint will be PS/2. A Pi Engineering Y-mouse will be used for computer connection.
I remember reading about Trackpoint drivers for Mac.
Cut 1 corner off 4 keys (Y-U-H-J).
Where to put the 2 or 3 trackpoint mouse buttons? (Under right thumb key cluster?)
Will scrolling work? If not, should a scroll wheel be installed on the left keyboard half? Logitech Hyper Scroll wheel looks interesting and is Mac friendly.
Wireless connection to computer would be nice.
Pitch, yaw, roll, height, extension armrest attachment after electronic functionality tests are passing.

WORKFLOW:
1) Install Trackpoint, then mouse buttons
2) Desolder board connections for separation
3) Add real key F-keys row to each keyboard half (F1-F12, and the 6 other keys)
4) Connect new wire loom (50 leads) from controller to each keyboard half
5) Decide on scrollball, Hyperscroll wheel, touchpad...
6) May add some non-Kinesis keys?
7) Build holders for each half (main keyboard, thumb keys, mouse buttons)
 8) Chair-arm attachments

If this goes well on this proof-of-concept board, I'll do the same thing to my Contoured Advantage and have a few less problems (USB conversions, blah blah).


I - N - T - E - R - M - I - S - S - I - O - N...I

 

If you've sifted through this far, you deserve a break. Enjoy, and keep both hands on your keyboard. :)


  TRACKPOINT 

A few issues with the keys alignment, spacing, and height to determine the Trackpoint height:


Keyboard is apart, trackpoint just needs to be disconnected from power cable. This is definitely the finest rubber dome keyboard I own. If you've never seen a trackpoint out of it's home...here it is. You'll see there is a PS/2 female plug on the trackpoint logic board (silver square lower left) so you can hook up another PS/2 mouse in addition to the trackpoint. The trackpoint dimension is 7/8" from the top or the red nubbin down to the top of the stress unit (black surface with blue line). The 2 mouse buttons are nice micro switches, not contacts on traces. One button is up so you can see the switch underneath:
 

The following are a few pics so you can see the placement and the sizing for the hole relative to the switches. Gotta get another rubber cap, this one is crusty:
 

Attach a flat PCB onto a curved PCB base?:


Plan the trackpoint mounting, and the 4 keys that need the corners nipped off, then to the mouse button placement. The adding of the pointing device, and separating the two halves are definitely the most important aspect of this project. Adding keys, removing the case, etc, is just bonus. The fingers not leaving the home row is the closest this Kinesis will get to a Datahand form in principle.

Trackpoint/Button layout:
I'm thinking the original spot for the TP (YUHJ) is too high (far away) from the only place I can put the 2 buttons (see white piece of paper in photo) which is under the right thumbpad. I have a mens large size hand (when buying gloves). The stretch from under the thumbpad to the YUHJ location requires my hand to adjust, and stretch uncomfortably:
 
 

Now, I'm considering putting the TP at the HJNM location (1 row lower). It might be more difficult, as it looks like there might be some traces on the PCB in the way. There is also slightly less space between the keys. I may mount the TP to a piece of 18 gauge metal (like it was in the donor board, and attach to either side of "the bowl".

The 2 mouse buttons are about 1 mm larger in width than the existing hole in the case at the thumbpad. I'll cut the existing hole lower, then file the width till the mouse buttons fit. I've seen on the Korean sites the quality they put into their case mods, I'll really try to do the same. One of the two screws will attach to the thumpad PCB, the other will need an epoxy extension. One of the four thumbpad standoffs will be lost, I'll need to do something to attach that corner, maybe use a block that pushes from the back of the case.

I've removed the power cord from the donor board (single to split ended double PS2-PS2 keyboard & trackpoint). I'll replace the Kinesis AT power cord with a USB cord. I'll use a Blue Cube (and deconstruct it so it can be integrated with the keyboard controller) to convert the keyboard from PS2 to USB, and an active PS/2-USB for the trackpoint USB conversion. The Kinesis keyboard has 6 leads, a couple are for the RJ-11 connector for optional foot switches.

The 13/64" trackpoint hole is made. The trackpoint fits height, angle, and overall location (HJNM). Unfortunately, there is a trace or two that are in the way, so 2 jumpers will need to be soldered to reconnect the matrix. Obviously, the trackpoint location is fairly non-negotiable. The trackpoint physically fitting is the crucial milestone. If it didn't fit elegantly, the project probably would have been scrapped. Note in the pic with large hole on the key cap side, the hole is actually higher than the intersection point. I did this because the keys tops are not on center (up and down-wise, not side to side-wise) Also, the hole is pushed towards the J key. You will see the J key is of a different profile that the "standard" keys:


Soldered the 2 jumpers (needed when the trackpoint hole was made) and tested. Everything in the keywell works great.



  SCROLLBALL MOUSE 

I'm adding an Apple 360 degree scroll wheel from my mouse in the thumb key area in the vacant corner notch above and to the left of the key switches on the left hand (see pics below). It seems to fit almost perfect (and looks like another key). Plenty of room in the half Contoured case for the mouse logic board. Scrolling with the left index finger or left thumb, mouse cursor control with right index finger on TP without leaving the home row. Thinking about using more of the Mighty Mouse, and having a 3 or 4 button "mouse" functionality built into the Contoured, instead of just a 2 button that comes with the TP. Plus, when that mouse is connected, you get all the Apple functions (in Mac OSX) to customize easily in the system preferences on the TP buttons and Rollermouse buttons. Of course there are a variety of 3rd party sources for added functionality with pointing devices available. I would also love to use the buttonless aspect of the Mighty Mouse (see green conductive traces on inside of mouse shell). I used my Mighty Mouse for the parts since I much prefer using my awesome Contour Designs Rollermouse anyhow, and I see Mighty Mice on Ebay for $15-$20 shipped. Also, I'm just not a big mouse fan:
   


  F-KEY SWITCHES 

Cutting 6 square holes into the metal backplate that was used for the elastomaric Fkeys, and mount Cherry switches and real Fkeycaps. The plate will fit right in again, and very little flex.
 
F key metal plate, filed the holes square and put the switches in place, which will also be hot glued.
   [ATTACH=CONFIG]24316[/ATTACH]

PROPOSED F-KEY MULTIMEDIA MAPPINGS:
F1 bright down
F2 bright up
F3
F4 track back
F5 play/pause
F6 track forward
-------------------
F7 mute
F8 volume down
F9 volume up
F10
F11
F12
------------------
F13
F14
F15


I - N - T - E - R - M - I - S - S - I - O - N...II
That really is one hot squirrel and keyboard. I didn't know coaster squirrels took showers. I guess that explains their very soft and luxurious pelts.
I often wish I was a squirrel. He looks SO darn happy! Just look at his expression!

 


  KEY RELOCATION / ADDITION 
6 of the keys located in the top row in addition to the 12 F keys (ESC, KEYPAD, PROGRAM, PRNT, SCROLL, PAUSE) are being relocated to more ergo friendly and convenient locations around the thumb clusters. I'm adding mouse buttons that should be in the most convenient location. These are some possible positions for the keys:

LEFT KEYBOARD-ESC key upper blue, Program key lower blue (recessed), 2/3 mouse buttons lower blue/white/blue (recessed), note scroll ball
RIGHT KEYBOARD-Keypad key upper blue, Scrl lk+Prnt sck+Pau lower 3 blues (recessed), note red trackpoint
Here is what the added key layout should look like:
 

On the right keyboard half, you can see a light, curved line top to bottom, just to the left of the keys, estimating where I want to final cut each half of the boards.
This what I may do for the 3 keys mounted under the thumb cluster:
 
Pretty much a flush-mount for the 3 keys that are rarely used. May get some of these low-profile, non-marked key caps.

ADDING SWITCHES TO KEY WELLS:
Having keys moved out of the keywell bowls or thumb clusters is counter-productive. Note the penciled in square in the next pic and the case next to the keywell showing the part to be cut out, then the keyswitch test fit without keycap and with keycap, and finally the actual mock-up with a blue key to show the new location. I decided these would best be "keypad shift" (Fn) keys, that act the same way as pressing the footswitch to activate the 2nd layer or keypad, but not toggle it on like the KEYPAD button in the top row does.
   

Rear view of added switch. Now that I added the 2 keys, need to cut the case to allow for the moved keys. Since the 2 added key switches aren't soldered to the pcb, they will be additionally secured with hot glue (same as the new 12 F-keys). Note the 1X1 light key and the 1X1.25 royal blue key.
   [ATTACH=CONFIG]22819[/ATTACH]

Note the blue key, it is in the right key well. I have 2 key caps that have the top angled to follow the tops of the other keys.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]22818[/ATTACH]

2 keys added under the SHIFT keys. They are also the KEYPAD from the footswitch, so they are momentary, not toggle. So they function as the Fn key would accessing the second layer, all Kinesis native. Photos show the switch wiring going to the FS2/GND positions on the main controller board Molex plug. There are 3 foot switches possible and three foot switch wires to the main controller, FS1, FS2, FS3. By tapping off the connection on the Molex, you can retain using a foot switch, AND have keyboard access to those functions once additional keys/switches are installed. Since they are 'piggy-back' on the existing controller, all same features are available as would be with the foot switches, nothing is lost.

The Kinesis keyboard matrix has "hidden" or "unused" spots that can be put into service. There are 4 as part of the two keywells, and 4 as part of the thumb clusters. A caveat on the 4 in the thumb clusters: 2 are completely remappable, but the other 2 are duplicate 'RETURN" and "FORWARD DELETE" keys, and the existing "RETURN" and "FORWARD DELETE" keys will also be remapped. So you can add 6 key locations, and if you choose to, can also add the 3 foot switch connections as keys, for a grand total of 9 fully remappable keys.

There is a chance that there are 2 more available 'hidden keys' in the matrix that holds the F-key row. More information will be posted once this has been verified/disproved.

Here are 6 added keys (circled in red):
[ATTACH=CONFIG]40985[/ATTACH]
See this article for more pics and info:
Adding extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:26579)

Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: lowpoly on Sun, 13 December 2009, 15:23:44
A current production Trackpoint should have the stress unit and the pcb integrated. The shaft will be too short on a notebook unit but you will have three buttons.

I got one from an IBM Trackpoint IV keyboard. Stress unit and pcb are separate. Long shaft, but only two buttons.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 13 December 2009, 15:28:53
The stress unit and PCB combo will be too big for the location :(

Now looking for the IBM Trackpoint lV.

Thank you!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: lowpoly on Sun, 13 December 2009, 16:06:06
There should be pics of both in my Mini thread. The TP IV stress unit isn't much smaller than a modern integrated device.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 13 December 2009, 21:23:20
This image?

(http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/6797/pointingstickpcbyl4.jpg)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 13 December 2009, 21:30:28
I found this pic:

You mention it's for a notebook though. Pretty similar to what you are referring?
(http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/6797/pointingstickpcbyl4.jpg)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: lowpoly on Mon, 14 December 2009, 11:13:28
^^^ That's a current notebook model.

Here's the TP IV:

(http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/2931/03caseinnersz0.jpg)

The one in the middle with the three screws is the stress unit. The long pcb in the lower left is the logic pcb.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 14 December 2009, 21:08:13
I see the M4-1 unit, I see how the unit might be able to work perfectly (length and separate from logic unit), except for being wired directly to the controller board.

I need to check the length of the TP IV post (the key "bowl" curvature creates additional issues).

If I can figure a way to mount the very bottom of one entire key bowl onto this, and use a type of lockout/activate switch, I might be home free!

 (http://www.ikey.com/GetImage.aspx?ProductID=22&IMGSize=L)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: lowpoly on Fri, 18 December 2009, 07:27:23
This looks like a TP IV:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250550285051&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123

Mine was a KPD8923 04K0050. Different FRU# because mine is white, probably.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 18 December 2009, 22:24:32
Cool, thank you. I've been trying to find out which IBM boards have that particular Trackpoint model. There seem to be several options on Ebay in the $40-$60 range. I emailed a couple of the business sellers to see if they had other options (Trackpoint only) or--??

I think I might be able to squeeze the TP in between the Y-U-H-J keys by making a very small angled cut to the corner of each key. I'm also thinking of putting the mouse 2 buttons under the left thumb (similar in concept to what Ricercar is doing in his modding post):
(http://geekhack.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=6029&d=1259739524)

Still want to keep the left hand fingers on the home row if possible. Still has to work together when the whole mess is split in 2 halves.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 18 December 2009, 23:55:44
Lopoly:
Do you know how long the pointing stick is (from top tip of rubber cap down to where the stick meets the base)? I've been trying to locate a schematic unsuccessfully.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 19 December 2009, 21:54:20
Does anyone know if a 2 button Trackpoint can scroll (vert. and horiz.) on Intel Macs? I believe a 3 button will work, but I'm reading that the 3rd button is what allows the scroll function. Is this true?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 24 December 2009, 18:27:42
The process begins:

The Essential controller PCB with AT connector (white case circa 1998-2002??)


Notice there is no memory in the slots labeled U2 and U3 in the upper right corner of the board, the 2 key board halves are unplugged from black connectors labeled J7 (left-you can still see the edge of the PCB and inch away) and J2 (right), the 6 wire power cable is already disconnected from the white vacant plug on the left side. It seems to have a 7 wire capability.

Compared to the Advantage with USB connector (black case circa 2008). Nothing disconnected.


There is one memory chip in the U2 slot.

And the USB board on the bottom of the case


Essential left side keyboard half. The trackpoint will go in the 4 key intersection (between the 2nd-3rd switches down/1st-2nd switches to the left, from the right side-EXCEPT OPPOSITE on the right keyboard half). Sorry for that, this was the picture that was taken :) The space between the switches is 1/4" x 1/4" at the tightest point. I felt better AFTER I wiped the dusty mess with alcohol. Yuk.


The right keyboard half rear view.


The trackpoint will be mounted 2-3 down/1/2 from the right side, pretty much the center of the picture. The PCB "fingers" are not flat, nor on the same plane. I need to make certain there are no traces located on the other (unseen) side or in any possible PCB "layers" in the way of the trackpoint hole that will need to be made. Otherwise..a lot of soldering.

Over the next few days, I'm trying to get an IBM board with a Trackpoint IV that I can remove to measure and test fit. Cross your fingers for me to find something under $50!

Things on my mind:
This needs to work with USB on a Mac. Board is AT, trackpoint will be PS/2. Blue Cube.
I'll have to cut 1 corner off 4 keys (Y-U-H-J). No coffee that day. Buy smaller chainsaw.
Where to put the 2 or 3 trackpoint mouse buttons. (Under right thumb key cluster?)
Will scrolling work? If not, should a scroll wheel be installed on the left keyboard half?
I'm going to need the parts for adding the F keys row on the top of each of the keyboard halves. I think this part is more art than science. We'll see how many times it takes to get this right. I'm guessing 3.
I'll drag some wires for 3 LEDs from the controller PCB to the right keyboard half, and mount...somewhere.
Wireless would be nice. Reeeeal nice.
Pitch, yaw, roll, height, extension armrest attachment after electronic functionality tests are passing.
Everything should be lime green.

If this goes well at this proof-of-concept stage, I'll do the same thing to my Contoured Advantage and have a few less problems (USB conversions, blah blah).

Lowpoly: Thank you for the TP IV suggestion.
Ricercar: Thank you for the Blue Cube info.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 24 December 2009, 18:44:01
The process begins:

The Essential controller PCB with AT connector (white case circa 1998-2002??)


Notice there is no memory in the slots labeled U2 and U3 in the upper right corner of the board, the 2 key board halves are unplugged from black connectors labeled J7 (left-you can still see the edge of the PCB an inch away) and J2 (right), the 6 wire power cable is already disconnected from the white vacant plug on the left side. It seems to have a 7 wire capability.

Compared to the Advantage with USB connector (black case circa 2008). Nothing disconnected.


There is one memory chip in the U2 slot.

And the USB board on the bottom of the case (the Essential does not have this)


Essential left side keyboard half. The trackpoint will go in the 4 key intersection (between the 2nd-3rd switches down/1st-2nd switches to the left, from the right side-EXCEPT OPPOSITE on the right keyboard half). Sorry for that, this was the picture that was taken :) The space between the switches is 1/4" x 1/4" at the tightest point. I felt better AFTER I wiped the dusty mess with alcohol. Yuk.


The right keyboard half rear view.


The trackpoint will be mounted 2-3 down/1/2 from the right side, pretty much the center of the picture. The PCB "fingers" are not flat, nor on the same plane. I need to make certain there are no traces located on the other (unseen) side or in any possible PCB "layers" in the way of the trackpoint hole that will need to be made. Otherwise..a lot of soldering.

Via mail in a few days, I'm receiving the IBM board with a Trackpoint IV that I will remove to measure and test fit.

Things on my mind:
This needs to work with USB on a Mac. Board is AT, trackpoint will be PS/2. Blue Cube may be partial answer. Will a passive PS/2-USB adapter work for the trackpoint?
I remember reading about Trackpoint drivers for Mac, gotta find that again.
I'll have to cut 1 corner off 4 keys (Y-U-H-J). No coffee that day. Buy smaller chainsaw.
Where to put the 2 or 3 trackpoint mouse buttons. (Under right thumb key cluster?)
Will scrolling work? If not, should a scroll wheel be installed on the left keyboard half?
I'm going to need the parts for adding the F keys row on the top of each of the keyboard halves. I think this part is more art than science. We'll see how many times it takes to get this right. I'm guessing 3.
I'll drag some wires for 3 LEDs from the controller PCB to the right keyboard half, and mount...somewhere.
Wireless would be nice. Reeeeal nice.
Pitch, yaw, roll, height, extension armrest attachment after electronic functionality tests are passing.
Everything should be lime green.

If this goes well at this proof-of-concept stage, I'll do the same thing to my Contoured Advantage and have a few less problems (USB conversions, blah blah).

Lowpoly: Thank you for the TP IV suggestion.
Ricercar: Thank you for the Blue Cube info.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 30 December 2009, 17:15:28
I'm expecting the IBM board should arrive any second, so I can remove the Trackpoint for the project.

FYI: I called Unicomp to ask if I could purchase parts, not complete assemblies (whole keyboards). They actually said yes, which is very cool of them. Many manufacturers will not sell parts of their assemblies. Pretty nice for future reference if you need their parts. They didn't seem too hot on being able to make it work though. That kinda brought me down :( Then I thought about how we sent MEN TO THE MOON, I didn't feel so bad after that.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: ricercar on Sun, 02 May 2010, 17:15:27
Sat down and read your article all in one sitting this time. Good text, excellent photos. You're tempting me to do the trackpoint mod on my keeper Kinesis.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 02 May 2010, 21:40:13
If you decide to do that, wait till I pick up the other Kinesis so I can talk you into using a more "gesture friendly" unit like a Wacom or Apple touchpad. :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: ricercar on Mon, 03 May 2010, 00:04:00
I tried the trackpad, but the thumbs aren't able to use it effectively. The rollermouse is--as you suggested--becoming my daily driver with any keyboard, including the Kinesis. I'm seriously thinking of dropping the Kinesis-integrated cursor control, and instead installing the right hand key group in the pic below.

(http://geekhack.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=9622&stc=1&d=1272844159)

The WASD will  be arrows, and the top three keys probably alt/prntscrn/meta.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 03 May 2010, 00:17:31
I was jonesing thinking when I split your board, if I could use the Rollermouse on the right side somehow. :(


Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: ricercar on Mon, 03 May 2010, 18:34:50
I'm a rollermouse lefty.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 08 May 2010, 13:59:50
A lefty? That brings up an interesting point.
Instead of a tp on the right and a scroll ball on the left (outside of the keywell), perhaps 2 tps, one in each keywell. One to scroll, one to move the cursor, and they can be reversed to allow for the backwards copied humans. :)

Here is a link to a work in progress (this is not me):
http://www.keyboardmods.com/2010/04/wireless-split-kinesis-contour.html
He is making 2 separate controllers, splitting the Contour, wireless+recharge battery, duplicate pointing devices...the list goes on.

Since I am a Mac user now, I am sensitive to a few different challenges that I need to make allowances for, so the path to a "universal" split contour with all the bells and whistles is more complex.

I'm hoping some of this will be directly transferable to a double tp mod on a Datahand by this fall. I would like to enlist others towards this project. :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 09 May 2010, 13:34:08
Ricercar, see where I'm going?
The Hacka-Contour gets split, the lower 3 keys you added on L could become almost flush mounted PRNT SCRN/SCRL LK/PAU BRK to replace "lost" keys (see blue keys in thumb group). The "lost" KEYPAD/PROG keys could be placed where the 2 white keys are located in the thumb group. That leaves the ESC key needing a home. The 2 or 3 mouse buttons would be located on the R below the thumb group. I don't know where else to put mouse buttons for the track point(s).

As a mock up, I placed 12 keys as a sizing experiment (kind of a maximum) so you can see where additional keys could be located as another option on each half. Obviously, want to keep key placement ergo and touchtype-able.




So far, as this unit stands, it will be a standard issue Kinesis Contour, with 2 trackpoints added (which are independent of the keyboard and of each other). I have yet to address any firmware, added/different controller, or any other "under the hood" mods. Added keys, wireless, etc. would change that.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: ricercar on Sun, 09 May 2010, 20:55:51
The keys under the left thumb have to be recessed lower than the other thumb keys, or you'll hit them by accident when aiming for the stock thumb keys.

I'm thinking trackball on one index finger and trackpoint on the other, mounted symmetrically over the cloverleaf/command keys.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: odyssomay on Fri, 14 May 2010, 06:37:51
Ugh, scary to start drilling in a kinesis, I wouldn't dare.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 14 May 2010, 09:39:49
I initially thought so too. Then I saw what others were doing on this site and was inspired. Turns out to be not so bad, with planning, it's working out well so far. That's why I post so many pictures and words to show others with doubts (like me) it can be done.

Now I'm more scared of certain freeways :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: ricercar on Fri, 14 May 2010, 16:20:17
Quote from: odyssomay;182263
Ugh, scary to start drilling in a kinesis, I wouldn't dare.

Understandable. My first mod (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:7955) was a successful thought experiment, but ultimately not what I wanted. My TrackPad opening was too large for the TrackPad, and I found that I can't use a TrackPad effectively with my thumbs.  

Strongly recommend more than a day of use with a prototype before you cut an expensive keyboard mod.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: ricercar on Thu, 20 May 2010, 05:01:37
New progress.

Three days ago Input Nirvana traded me some IBM rubber domes with TrackPoints on separate PC boards, so I felt compelled to make something of them.

My goal was simple and easily accomplished. In a perfect world, I'd be able to plant my palms with fingers in the home row, and keep the palms resting on the chassis while moving the cursor too.

My first attempt was a trackpad experiment, as shown in its own thread (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:7955), was mechanically successful, but ergonomically unfeasible. I can't effectively control a trackpad with my thumbs, and a central trackpad required my hands to move for fingers to reach it. And then there's my trackball mod, which is coming along, but the plastic work is slow going.

SO today I mounted a TrackPoint such that I can keep my palm and lesser fingers in their home row position while my index finger controls the TrackPoint. I want to keep my hands on the Kinesis without mousing or otherwise moving my arms. This is accomplished, and the leverage on the stick is sufficient to navigate a two-display configuration.

(http://geekhack.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=10155&stc=1&d=1274348127)

The buttons are not mounted yet. I'm having trouble with placement, so I'm taking that part slow. Initially I positioned the mouse buttons vertically in the space between the thumb key groups, but reaching them required my fingers to move from the home row. Additionally, I'd have to rotate my palm counter clockwise to extend the left thumb; however anything which requires me to twist my wrist is ultimately unacceptable.

The pictured configuration isn't ideal either. I find myself using the index finger for the mouse button, and the middle finger for the TrackPoint, which drags the other fingers out of home position. I'm contemplating mouse buttons between the G key and the TrackPoint stick for my next experiment.

A second photo shows the internals. The small TrackPoint stick PCB is nearly eclipsed by the Kinesis hardware. I had to remove the entire Kinesis internals to make room for the drill and mounting screws. I used the screws from Model M bolt mods, whatever size those are. With longer screws the TrackPoint could be recessed further, such that the rubber collar is flush with the mounting panel.

(http://geekhack.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=10156&stc=1&d=1274348142)

The actual TrackPoint controller board is the long one in the middle. Note it has a PS/2 port. This would totally rock if I could expose it, and keep the ultimate connection to the computer as USB. The plan is to combine the Kinesis controller wire and the TrackPoint controller wire into the one KB+mouse harness from the donor IBM keyboard. I gave an initial pass but the Kinesis keyboard controller has 7 conductors, because it includes the old Apple Desktop Bus (ADB). Therefore the PS/2 wiring is not straightforward as I hoped.

But hey, I can type and I can move the cursor without taking my fingers from the home row.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 20 May 2010, 10:37:51
Keep both hands on home row, and have integrated pointing device. This same concept has been my struggle. How does it work on a Datahand?

My only solution:
Trackpoint cursor control with one hand, buttons and scrolling with the other hand. Spread work to both hands, keeps fingers on home row.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 20 May 2010, 11:17:27
How are the left/right clicks performed?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 20 May 2010, 12:06:17
Ahhh, that's perfect. Ricercar and I will have a tough time trying to match that level of integration. I'm not sure it can be done.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: ricercar on Thu, 20 May 2010, 20:20:09
After a day typing, I'm seriously considering dual trackpoints, one for each index finger. The convenience of cursoring with either hand would far outweigh the cognitive dissonance of Which One Do I Use Now? each time I sat down.

I'm still troubled by button placement. However dual r/l cursors means I can have mouse buttons on each hand: move with one, and click with the other.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 20 May 2010, 20:42:51
I figured dual controls were not as silly as it first seemed. Datahand is similar spreading out the work to 2 hands, so cursor 1 hand, click with the other makes sense provided your hand is NOT on a mouse. Theoretically, it should be a little faster half of the time, and the same speed the other half. Plus, the whole left hand/right hand people thingy.
Title: kinesis fkey pinout
Post by: ricercar on Sat, 22 May 2010, 20:28:34
I traced the Kinesis fkey pinout

(http://geekhack.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=10243&stc=1&d=1274578064)

a-b=esc
a-j=f1
a-k=f2
b-h=f3
f-h=f4
g-h=f5
b-e=f6
c-e=f7 (proprietary macro data)
d-e=f8 (proprietary macro delay)
r-t=f9 (proprietary repeat rate)
s-u=f10 (proprietary disable macro)
s-t=f11 (proprietary program macro)
r-v=f12 (proprietary program remap)
y-x=printscrn-sysreq
v-w=scroll lock
q-r=pause break
o-p=(proprietary) keypad
n-p=(proprietary) program
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 22 May 2010, 20:56:01
Heyyyy...

I needed that to wire and add the missing switches...

Thank youuuu  :)

EDIT----
Here is what I want to do, cut square holes in the metal and insert the F-key switches
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 23 May 2010, 13:52:11
I've gone over the article and done some editing, overall updating (clean up, corrections, clarification, citations, add/delete, progress, etc.). Hopefully it is a bit more cohesive and flows a bit better.

The project has been stalled for a while, but now I've got almost everything needed at this point to proceed. (Whenever those Blue Cubes and Hyperscroll show up)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 01 June 2010, 22:23:26
I'm about ready to ditch the 3 PRNT SCRN/SCRLL LK/PAU BRK switches. Are these even used in the PC world any more?

I would rather add more functional keys than hang onto the old non-used ones just because they are in the boards firmware/programming. The latest Mac keyboards come with F1-F19. The arrangement I have in the pic with the blue keys on the case (8 keys) actually work with the index finger pretty well. The highest key in each of the 2 columns, not so much (they could become the programming buttons). The 3 keys added under the left thumbkey cluster could be where the mouse buttons go, trackpoint cursor on the right hand.


My question is this: What do I need to do to add the extra keys (F13-F18) to the matrix and programming of the keyboard? Is it reasonable, or pretty crazy? Can I add a controller for those keys? Or does the existing controller prevent that? I'm not a programmer/IT person.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: kishy on Tue, 01 June 2010, 22:30:17
Quote from: input nirvana;188798
I'm about ready to ditch the 3 PRNT SCRN/SCRLL LK/PAU BRK switches. Are these even used in the PC world any more?


Print Screen, if you happen to like the ability to take screenshots...

Scroll Lock, I have yet to see a modern use for this. I'll map it to toggle things in games for an easy visual reminder that it's toggled (thanks to the LED).

Pause/Break can be used to pause a POST or the hardware summary page displayed after the POST.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 01 June 2010, 22:39:46
Hmmm, at least 2 of the 3 sound pretty worthless for what they are. Sounds like I just found 3 re-mappable keys! That puts me up to F15 without even trying! And, there are several ways of taking screen shots.

I have some of your Cherry clones from Ricercar (note pics with what appears to be Cherry blacks)   :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: kishy on Tue, 01 June 2010, 22:57:52
Quote from: input nirvana;188801
Hmmm, at least 2 of the 3 sound pretty worthless for what they are. Sounds like I just found 3 re-mappable keys! That puts me up to F15 without even trying! And, there are several ways of taking screen shots.

I have some of your Cherry clones from Ricercar (note pics with what appears to be Cherry blacks)   :)


Lol glad they're going to good use :) I'll have some genuine ones in another unwanted keyboard listed soon (I'd say tonight but it's midnight in 3 minutes, so maybe not "tonight")

Worthless, well, it's all up to interpretation. I'd say Scroll Lock is the only worthless one. There are times when GUI-operated screenshot methods simply can't do it. Pause/Break is a must if you're me, but most people will never use it once in their life.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 01 June 2010, 23:03:54
East coast AND Canada...I guess that explains the exceptionally nice hat!

Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: kishy on Tue, 01 June 2010, 23:31:31
Eh, not really on any coast, but close enough I guess.

My asshat, you mean? Yes, it's rather nice.

I listed that black MX keyboard btw.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: timon37 on Sat, 05 June 2010, 13:23:14
Quote from: input nirvana;188798

My question is this: What do I need to do to add the extra keys (F13-F18) to the matrix and programming of the keyboard? Is it reasonable, or pretty crazy? Can I add a controller for those keys? Or does the existing controller prevent that? I'm not a programmer/IT person.


You're on a mac os x as I understand? I unfortunately don't know much about it but it should be possible to make a custom keymap (it's probably just a text file like on linux) and use it on one keyboard and not the other, that would allow you to take a controller from another standard usb keyboard and use those 100+ keys for whatever you want. You can test if that could work without actually moding anything so it's worth a try. Though it might be problematic to make sure the os applies the right keymap for the right device, especially if you unplug and plug etc.

As for the trackpoint vs datahand, a trackpoint should be much better since the movement speed is proportional to the pressure force and it's not just 8 directions, if I'm not mistaken? Whereas with a datahand you have just 3 speeds and 8+ directions (you can get more by e.g. moving slowly left and fast up). So even if you have to move the hand a bit you get more control and perform the pointing quicker.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 05 June 2010, 14:00:12
I use Colemak as my keyboard layout, which is a software issue. I guess you guys are saying to add the extra keys it would be the same thing but with an additional controller.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: timon37 on Sat, 05 June 2010, 15:09:48
Yeah exactly, an example for linux (http://hektor.umcs.lublin.pl/~mikosmul/computing/articles/custom-keyboard-layouts-xkb.html) macos also uses X so it might be the same. Alternatively it's likely that the kinesys controller has quite a few free keys that just aren't wired up, and if you wired them up they might give you usable scancodes that you could then map to whatever in a custom keymap. But finding them may be time consuming and a bit dangerous. Then again the controller I used at worst reset itself when I shorted the wrong pins so it shouldn't be that dangerous. It's probably safest to search for not fully occupied rows/cols.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 05 June 2010, 19:23:28
I think I got it. If the matrix is 8x12=96, and there are 86 keys, there should be 10 "openings" for 10 additional keys to be added? And the odds are that there are scan codes in the IC.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: timon37 on Sat, 05 June 2010, 19:51:34
Yeah exactly, then again the IC might just ignore them or worse crash if the firmware wasn't written in a safe way, it probably shouldn't corrupt its own code since that is probably stored in separate internal memory, but I can't say much for sure:(
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 05 June 2010, 19:57:15
Hmmmm...
Sounds fun, but possibly hazardous/big time waster.
Maybe just invest in the X-keys DIY board from PI Engineering...and figure out how to integrate it.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 05 June 2010, 20:00:06
Or uses a Mac keyboard controller with the F13-F19 keys already to go.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 27 June 2010, 13:11:08
I've finished the mounting plates for the F keys, the jumpers are soldered, and I have completed filing the F key openings.

I need to install the Escape, Program, and Keypad keys, wire and assemble. I've not been satisfied with any key placement away from the thumb cluster or keywells. In the picture below I show where I've finally decided to put the Program and Keypad keys, under the shift keys on either side (see diamond shaped blue keys on extreme left and right).


The 2 keys are the only non-programmable and non-swappable keys on board. They are used infrequently.

I need a shallow keyswitch because there is very little room at those locations. I would also like a smaller footprint key.

I'm looking, but not too sure what other key/keyswitch options are available that would work? I'm thinking possibly a micro switch, or--?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: cfishy on Sun, 27 June 2010, 13:52:19
What are the dimensions? get it so that you can look up catalogs. i should mention that tim tyler, the god of keyboard hackers, uses a micro switch that clicks. see his webpages for details.

p.s. after the intermission all the keyboard pictures look like bras and boob holders.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 27 June 2010, 14:59:09
I think it's about .5" pretty tight.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 27 June 2010, 17:39:23
Disregard.
Cherry switch fits perfectly after cutting into keywell plate mounting.
Pic to follow in article.
Title: a microcontroller hack
Post by: dfj on Sun, 27 June 2010, 22:16:33
I suspect you will do well to consider one of the firmware solutions so as to be able to map yer keys to matrix easily - I tried out mnemonix's code and it it worked for me. Not certain when it will be supporting the trackpads and nipples, though. If yer a coder, then this might be some decent fun, if not, that X-thing mentioned above might support more devices.
  For just the keyboard matrix, the open-source diy solutions are pretty cheap. Alternatively there is the teensy++, but we haven't ported full membrane keyboards to there yet. I'm going to be attacking that problem in the next week or so, so depending on how fast your project is moving we might get the teensy support to you in time. I don't have any trackpad/nipple devices, so I am not likely the ideal person to do the support fer that. I do know how to mix multi-device into the HID, though - so we'll need to see what happens, I suppose.

  Anyway, awesome mod, love do see folks do a great job on the physical layer.

dfj
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 05 July 2010, 14:37:41
I'm pretty interested in the options you listed. I'd like to be kept in the loop. I'm not a coder, so many of the electronic aspects are out of my reach. Those changes can be implemented in Phase II once the current mods are done in a few weeks as time allows.

Thanks!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: dmw on Tue, 13 July 2010, 23:16:29
I don't know how I missed this before, being a kinesis fan and all.

Great work on these mods, and the documentation!  Oh, and the intermissions!  Keep them coming. ;)

I know dfj has already offered, but I've also got a firmware that works on the teensy++.  With it, you have pretty complete flexibility in defining different maps and multiple layers.  I'm using it in my humble hacker keyboard, and chimera15 has had it working on his "Scratch build mini" prototype.  I even have plans to mod my Kinesis with it.  So if you want to go that route, let me know.  I'd be happy to help get you going.

Just thinking out loud here, but it might be interesting to have each half have its own controller, so they could ostensibly be used individually (one-handed).  You could then have a high-speed serial (non USB) link between the two halves to use them in two-handed mode.  Obviously it complicates things, but it could be cool.  I've been pondering a split-design for the next version of my keyboard.

Anyway, thanks for posting all this.  Keep it up!  Can't wait to see the final product.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 13 July 2010, 23:59:33
You missed it because it started as a question about a Trackpoint for the mod (hence the misleading thread title). I didn't know it would evolve into detailing the whole process.

I'm totally-super-interested in taking the programing a new controller route, but I will be a burden to someone like a wet bag of sand since I am not a programmer. So much can be done at the firmware level, I'm bumming because it seems mostly out of my reach. (I wish I was at least the worst programmer in the world, then I would be better than I am now) lol

Also keep in mind, although the keyboard is Mac/PC switchable...I'm looking at it from mostly a Mac perspective. I went Mac 4 years ago when they changed to the Intel chip...I'm pretty happy.

My mod has taken so long mostly because I've had to research almost every step I've taken, (plus being busy with life) there's really nothing on the web about cutting these in half, but everybody seems to want to do it. Hopefully documenting will help someone since it wasn't there for me. I'll be ready to wire it up in a few weeks. I want to be done in another month or so with the current Kinesis (Phase I). If possible, I would like to put wireless and a custom controller into the second Kinesis end of this year (Phase II). I'm building up to making a wireless Datahand with a custom controller beginning of 2011 (Phase III).

I've been all over your Humble Hacker, and now Chimera15s scratch build. Some of your works show me what needs to be done, so "thanks" to you guys!

I think it's time for an intermission :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: dmw on Wed, 14 July 2010, 18:48:53
Quote from: input nirvana;202475
I'm totally-super-interested in taking the programing a new controller route, but I will be a burden to someone like a wet bag of sand since I am not a programmer. So much can be done at the firmware level, I'm bumming because it seems mostly out of my reach.


I'm working on making my firmware more friendly for non-programmers.  It's not totally there yet, but I'm still happy to help you get set up.  You really don't need to know any programming at all.  Currently, all you have to do is edit some text files that define the keyboard matrix, and what you want to map to each key.  It's pretty straight-forward, but even if that turns out to be a challenge, you can just tell me what you want, and I'll make the changes for you.  Since you're not a programmer, I can just build a firmware to your specs, and send it to you.  All you would have to do is load it onto the controller and try it out. And if you use a teensy++, getting the firmware onto the controller is a breeze - no special tools needed.

Also, as far as platform (Mac vs. PC), it's completely irrelevant to the firmware.  You map whatever keys you want however you want.  I'm also on the Mac, and my humble hacker keyboard has its keys mapped for the Mac by default.

I took some time today and mapped out the matrixes of four of the six key sets in my kinesis.  I ordered another Teensy++, and I plan to wire it up as soon as I get it.  So it should be pretty easy to go from that to a firmware for your board.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 14 July 2010, 21:07:38
Even cooler then :)  I'm pretty capable, I just need some basic tools/resources/understanding and I can go from there probably with a few prompts/corrections along the way. The Contoured is totally worthy of experimental enhancement mods. Kinesis may incorporate some of them in the updated version they're working on.

I want to proceed, not just from a "mod the Contoured" position, but from an overall knowledge-fiddle around-experiment position as well. Firmware is the last frontier, and definitely the foundation (other than creativity) for these projects. I'll go back to some of my notes of what I thought would be most worthwhile.

One future issue is the Trackpoint, and trying to get it to be more responsive with less effort, more than software settings allow.

Count me in. I'll be ready to start on this new aspect seriously in a couple weeks.

Thank you!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: dmw on Thu, 15 July 2010, 23:27:19
Great!  Just let me know when you're ready to go.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 21 July 2010, 01:16:41
It looks like the Humble Hacker firmware/programability/remapping exceeds that of the Kinesis Contoured in most, if not all aspects. I assume it would allow for a distinct "macro" key? Have at least 2 on board layouts (qwerty + colemak), AND embedded layers (keypad and misc.). What about wireless, in the hardware, not as an add-on dongledoodle? Compatible?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: dmw on Wed, 21 July 2010, 05:40:48
Quote from: input nirvana;204773
It looks like the Humble Hacker firmware/programability/remapping exceeds that of the Kinesis Contoured in most, if not all aspects.


Mostly.  Currently, the only way to remap the keyboard is by building and installing a new firmware.  On-device programming (with the 'program' key) is a planned feature, as is programming the keyboard from the host (without replacing the firmware).

Quote
I assume it would allow for a distinct "macro" key?


Is this like the 'program' key, or do you have something else in mind?

Quote
Have at least 2 on board layouts (qwerty + colemak), AND embedded layers (keypad and misc.).


Yes, definitely.  My keyboard has QWERTY, Dvorak, Programmer Dvorak, Colemak, and four layers invoked by Fn keys.

Quote
What about wireless, in the hardware, not as an add-on dongledoodle? Compatible?


I'd have to research that.  I haven't yet done anything with bluetooth.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 21 July 2010, 12:03:03
Quote from: dmw;204794
mostly.  Currently, the only way to remap the keyboard is by building and installing a new firmware.  On-device programming (with the 'program' key) is a planned feature, as is programming the keyboard from the host (without replacing the firmware).

Hmmm....version 1.0.0.1? :)

Quote from: dmw;204794
this like the 'program' key, or do you have something else in mind?

Sort of. A dedicated MACRO key instead of using SHFT, CTRL or ALT/OPT so the keyboard "knows a macro is coming". A "macro" on/off mode with indicator led.

Quote from: dmw;204794
yes, definitely.  My keyboard has qwerty, dvorak, programmer dvorak, colemak, and four layers invoked by fn keys.

Sweeeeeet!!

Quote from: dmw;204794
i'd have to research that.  I haven't yet done anything with bluetooth.

I have a link in the article to someone doing wireless, but he is using PC, and there may be MAC drivers needed that don't exist (yet).
http://www.keyboardmods.com/search/label/kinesis (http://www.keyboardmods.com/search/label/kinesis)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: dmw on Thu, 22 July 2010, 13:04:28
Quote from: input nirvana;204842
Hmmm....version 1.0.0.1? :)


Believe me, this can't come soon enough ;)  Given the choice, which would you rather have first: programming from the host, or on-device programming?  My vote is for the former.

Quote
Sort of. A dedicated MACRO key instead of using SHFT, CTRL or ALT/OPT so the keyboard "knows a macro is coming". A "macro" on/off mode with indicator led.


I think what you're calling a MACRO key is what I'm calling a Mode or a Fn key.  Let me explain a bit what you can expect, using terminology that I've adopted.

There are three things that you can bind to a key: a Map, a Macro, and a Mode.

The quoted strings above, preceded by 'tl:' and 'br:', are just labels that would show up in a printable keymap image, or in a graphical remapping utility.

Quote
I have a link in the article to someone doing wireless, but he is using PC, and there may be MAC drivers needed that don't exist (yet).
http://www.keyboardmods.com/search/label/kinesis (http://www.keyboardmods.com/search/label/kinesis)


It would be great if someone devised a good wireless solution by the time I'm ready to implement it.  Btw, good idea to include a collection of links in your article.  I found the list very useful.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 23 July 2010, 01:14:52
Programming: I alternate from big picture, then I focus on details. I'm not in any particular hurry, so at this point it doesn't matter much which might be available first.

DMW-speak:
Map: Matrix, scan codes and what pops out the other end.
Re-map: Do it with the Contoured.
Modifier: Got it.
Macro: A MODE/FUNCTION key is part of a sequence that can be used to initiate a macro. (I said MACRO KEY previously)
Mode (or FUNCTION): Just like the KEYPAD which toggles the embedded layer on the Contoured and similar to a modifier key that is momentary.

Did I get it right? We're talking more the same now?

I was thinking of a single MODE/FUNCTION key that would only be used for initiating all macros. It would toggle on (via thumb), and if there is only one additional key entered, there would be over 80 macros available, and would toggle off automatically. (Hmmm, maybe just a sticky key?) In addition to all the standard key combos. Plenty?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 09 March 2011, 01:51:04
In the pointing device integration arena...

I've been using a Kensington Expert Mouse Pro and MouseWorks on Mac lately, and it is a slick combo. There are Direct Launch buttons (6), a scroll wheel that clicks and can be made to scroll horizontally with the click, 4 mouse buttons that can be made to control 6 features with chording, and of course the trackball. MouseWorks allows for a lot of control and easy adjustments to sensitivity, features, etc. A PC and a Mac version too.

I've had the thought of disassembling the Kensington, and incorporating the mainboard/inputs to the Kinesis Split Project. I believe MouseWorks will only work if it recognizes a Kensington main board or device. Logitech has similar and of course there are other 3rd party pointing device software makers...USB Overdrive, Steermouse and ControllerMate as well.

I would like to use the Logitech Hyper Scroll wheel instead of the Kensington scroll wheel and see how it will all interact.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: bluecar5556 on Wed, 09 March 2011, 05:46:10
Here (http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?p=308335) is my split Kinesis Contour Classic (advantage) keyboard mod, thanks to your inspiration!  You rock!!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 12 June 2011, 01:19:06
Adding 2 "Fn" keys, 1 to each keywell, to allow for temporary activation of the embedded layer (not like the "keypad" key) Each key will be in the extreme lower left/right position under the "shift" keys. I'll use the circuit for the footswitch to bring that functionality to the keys. This allows for possible moving the F-keys down to the numbers row, and/or media key additions while keeping an ergo setup/layout. Still have a kink or two in the idea phase to work out.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sun, 12 June 2011, 01:30:12
Cool idea. I recently tried mousekeys ("xkbset m" on linux) which makes the numpad act as a mouse, mainly to click with the embedded "5" (or K key), so having a momentary numpad activator under the left shift would be awesome!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 12 June 2011, 01:46:15
I was going to wait for that feature by using a different chip/firmware on the 2nd version of this keyboard mod, but after you posted about the footswitch option, it just finally clicked that I might as well go ahead and piggyback the circuit now (why wait with good ideas?) within the existing keyboard. I won't have to lose that functionality in the footswitch if it's wired from the same point on the pcb. The footswitch functions are remappable.

We make a good team Sordna!

Yes, Mousekeys is a cool tool, I've used it as well, it needs to be part of this mod for ergo purposes.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sun, 12 June 2011, 01:53:12
Great :-)
Hey, you were thinking about trying an Advantage LF with the red switches, did you get it after all? Would be interested to hear your impressions when/if you try one.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 12 June 2011, 02:01:05
I've been away from home 90% of the time for 6 months, it's been hard to keep up with most things let alone advance any personal projects. I'll be returning this month and as soon as life is normalized, I'll get some reds and see how they feel before I commit further. They seem like they might be an improvement or maybe just neutral (but different), but not a step backwards. It seems like a no-lose experiment at this point :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 15 June 2011, 18:24:32
I have now enabled Mouse Keys permanently, and mapped (virtual) numpad-5 to (regular) Caps Lock.
Which means my Caps Lock does mouse clicks now. Seems easier on the right hand to relieve it from clicking. Basically I move the mouse with the right hand, and click with the left (by hitting caps lock). Dragging / drawing feels much more relaxed!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 18 June 2011, 00:39:42
I'm using the Trackpoint on the right hand in the key well, and the 2 mouse buttons are by the left thumb. I have found that "breaking up" the point-and-click to be beneficial. I'm planning on converting the 2 mouse buttons to 2 keyboard keys with less travel (double O-rings?).
Title: Split keyboard using 2 Access-IS POS matrix programmable keyboards
Post by: sordna on Thu, 07 July 2011, 17:10:40
Have you seen this? I just stumbeld on it at deskthority (click on the image to see the article).


(http://i987.photobucket.com/albums/ae356/hoggyboard/Split-both.jpg)
 (http://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=283)

Looks cool! This company makes some neat 48 key square matrix keyboards too:
http://www.access-is.com/programmable_pos_keyboard.php#EPOS_Matrix

I wonder if these are available in the US. They are configurable/programmable it seems!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 07 July 2011, 19:30:34
I saw these and found them available at some level in the U.S. I played phone tag with them around the holidays, and promptly forgot about it :(

My interest was with the electronics/firm-software of the 48 key model, not so much the physical layer. I don't have any info or specs on these items. If this could be a possible stand-in on this project, I'll look to grab a unit.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 27 July 2011, 19:43:52
Just saw your other post, looking forward to what the weekend brings! In the mean time, can you let me know who in the US you found carrying the Access-IS keyboards? I'd like to ask them about prices and such. Thanks in advance!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: EverythingIBM on Wed, 27 July 2011, 21:28:12
What's up with that potato?
I think it's a potato.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 28 July 2011, 11:55:43
The potato is the control.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: EverythingIBM on Thu, 28 July 2011, 19:24:47
Quote from: input nirvana;388783
The potato is the control.

 
Okay there, spud...
Title: internals of 3 different Kinesis contoured keyboards
Post by: sordna on Sun, 28 August 2011, 23:17:03
Here are internal shots of a Classic (top left), Model 110 (top right), Advantage LF (bottom).
Looks like only the newer models (s/n 70,000 and later) are suitable for the "pyramid mod" where you cut the halves and bend them, leaving the controller in place. Also, it looks like vintage models like the 110 will not support keywells with MX reds, since they offer them in 2 styles, and the model 110 is obviously a 3rd style:

[attach=1]

I was hoping to do the pyramid mod (http://geekhack.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=24830&d=1313996793) on the Classic, but it's probably not possible, unless I find ribbon cable exntensions ...
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 29 August 2011, 00:05:33
The models #100, #110, #120 have a different internal design. The 4 LEDs are not in the center row and the thumb clusters are part of the main board.
Model #130 was the start of the "modern" internal design, and they have serial numbers in the low #30,000s' if not lower. Some have the 4 LEDs  on the main board (the most current) and some earlier ones in the #30,000 range have a slightly smaller main board and thumb cluster pcbs with "ears" that have 2 of the 4 LEDs each. But the thumb clusters are on 2 separate pcbs that are not part of the main board pcb. You can see an example in the mod article, I think I have the serial #s listed as well.

You can cut the halves and bend anything from Model #130 and newer. (Approx. SN# 30,000 and newer)

The MX reds are offered in 2 styles and that is a pinout issue with the main board. I don't know, but the pinout may be the same on the earlier #100, #110, #120 main boards even though they look dramatically different. It would require a longer ribbon cable from Kinesis, they would know what to send based on the serial #. If this is possible.

The ribbon cables used to be available from Kinesis, there is a pic in the mod article of a black Advantage in the Gallery combined with a Comfort Keyboard base. He used extension cables from Kinesis. I have more pics or a link if you want.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Mon, 29 August 2011, 00:23:03
The top left keyboard in the picture, has serial in the 40,000s. The keywell PCBs plug directly in the controller board. Are you sure they can be bent? I think these thin PCB "peninsulas" that plug into the controller board will break, are they really that flexible? On the newer USB keyboards, you can see actual ribbons that can easily be bent as much as you want. Please send me the links you mentioned.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 29 August 2011, 00:33:05
I'm sorry I didn't address/clarify the "bending" accurately, there was a lot going on in that post. 30 degree "bending" of the pcb is not good :) I was referring to the small form factor main board that allows for the board to be split. There are two male and two female connectors and 2 ribbon cables needed to extend. Parts are needed no matter what.

Follow this link from mod article:

http://dbenamy.blogspot.com/2010/01/most-expensive-keyboard.html
 (http://dbenamy.blogspot.com/2010/01/most-expensive-keyboard.html)
Also, I don't know when the ribbons replaced the long pcbs into the main board. I had observation notes in a Day-Timer notebook that is now missing :( It had some valuable info that took a few years to gather including proprietary info that had been figured out and sketches for solutions. I'm so sad. I believe the USB Advantage series started at SN#50,000.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Lanx on Wed, 31 August 2011, 12:34:44
Quote from: input nirvana;406747

http://dbenamy.blogspot.com/2010/01/most-expensive-keyboard.html
 (http://dbenamy.blogspot.com/2010/01/most-expensive-keyboard.html)
Also, I don't know when the ribbons replaced the long pcbs into the main board. I had observation notes in a Day-Timer notebook that is now missing :( It had some valuable info that took a few years to gather including proprietary info that had been figured out and sketches for solutions. I'm so sad. I believe the USB Advantage series started at SN#50,000.
wow that mod is full of ugly, i can relate.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 31 August 2011, 14:43:24
Yea, esthetics were not the primary motivation :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 21 January 2012, 12:19:37
Got some switches from WASDKeyboards... I'm thinking to add 4 keys, 2 under the shifts, and 2 in each thumbcluster (next to the backspace and space). I plan to connect them to the footwsitch leads, since they offer 3 different functions (momentary keypad on each side of the keyboard under the shifts, and either Shift or Windows/Super key function in the thumb clusters... footswitch actions are remappable anyway).

Not sure if I'll mess with the F keys, how did you cut square holes in those metal plates to do that? Also, how did you mount the extra switches under the shifts?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 22 January 2012, 04:39:41
Drill baby, drill!

For the 2 switches under the 'shift' keys, I lined the top/bottom and left/right grids of the switches above and to the side and carried those lines into the empty area for the new switch. That gave me a near perfectly positioned square for the new switches. I approximated near center and slowly drilled a hole big enough to insert a file. A set of small files with various profiles cost $5-$15 at hardware stores. Harbor Freight has them for about $5 what costs $16 at Home Depot for a package of about 6-7 files. Some other hardware/hobby stores sell them individually as well. I use a combination of flat files and square files. Very easy, and I'm a detail nit-pick for this type of thing. If the hole is too small, the switch gets squeezed and won't operate well. If the hole is too big, well, you screwed the pooch. As you get close, just keep test fitting till it's right. You can use a little hot glue just like Kinesis does to lock in the switch. You will want to note where the switch corner pops out on the back side, it may need to touch the pcb on the keywell and you'll have some fiddling to get it in correctly. Really no big deal though. And the angle of the switch will be fine in the mounting in the keywell, No other mod needed.
 
For the F-key plates I had to do some serious measure and mark, insert and evaluate. several times to get the positioning correct. These are not absolute. I needed to cut the case holes FIRST to do this. You have a couple decisions as far as exactly where the switches are positioned. Obviously, I wanted them as "in-line" with the matrix as possible. You also can decide to slightly angle the plate when you put it back in (toward you/away from you). Then using the same spacing as between cherry switches, mark the lines that result in squares (it will look like grid paper) and drill a hole in the middle and file.. Use hot glue to lock in the switch. This will be tedious if you have metal plates, if you have the plastic/fiberglass, it goes much quicker. If for some reason you make a massive mistake, the piece can be replicated from almost anything (unlike the keywell). Regardless, this won't get done in one evening.

I have had NO regrets, and NO 'I should have left it alone' thoughts. I seemed the thing to do before I did it, as I was doing it, and after I did it. It's the way the keyboard should come, no doubt about it. I have not done it to my one-piece Kinesis yet, but I will when I finish deciding on the volume/multi-function knob mod, then do them at the same time. This summer is an exciting time for my Kinesis projects. I am confident you will be thrilled and ask yourself "Why didn't they do this???". I'd say the quality of my modding/adding of the switches came out about 99%, and that's good in my book.

In a day or so I can take some things out and take some better pics that might be better illustrations for you, if you like.

As far as the other keys in the thumb area...depending where you want them, there are some potentially challenging considerations due to the existing pcb locations. Decide on key locations first, then worry about how to make it work. Can you post a pic with the exact key locations marked with tape or photo editing?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sun, 22 January 2012, 11:25:33
Thanks for the tips, they will be useful! Here is my goal, I used gimp on a random photo I got on the web to show you the intended switch locations. If the thumb ones don't work out in that position, I can move them a bit lower, where the monster board on your article has them.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]38265[/ATTACH]
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 22 January 2012, 12:40:11
On driling/filing:
What worked best was to use a larger/largest drill bit that fits into the square, so you file less since filing takes all the time. The small hobby files are perfect for the corners, curves, and finish, but will take a loooong time to remove material. I use the red handles (4"-9") for removing more material and the grey handle (about 4") for the clean up and finish. Once you are more dialed in, you can bevel the edges of the holes/case....I'm very proud of that :)
Hint: To cleanly square the corners, don't use the square file, a triangular works best.

I have not been able to note any difference between cheap ass files and premium files for this work, so feel free to save money. I recommend getting files with the handles or ones that have the removable handle-grips, it will give you much better control, make it more pleasant, and save your fingers.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]38280[/ATTACH]

The switches in the thumb clusters have 2 clearance issues:
1- It's a tight squeeze (on the interior) due to one of the keywell attaching posts.
2- The added switch needs to be mounted, and that is even a tighter squeeze due to the thumb pcb and the keywell plastic.

These are difficult issues to address. I am going to 'tilt' the thumb cluster (a la Maltron) as you and I discussed many moons ago, and I believe that will ease the placement of that particular switch.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 22 January 2012, 13:05:19
I'm looking into adding the media volume knob/buttons (upper right) just above the right thumb cluster on the Kinesis:

A Dell RT7D30 or RT7D40.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]38285[/ATTACH]

Or a Griffin Powermate.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sun, 22 January 2012, 21:04:57
Ok, just ordered some dremel cutting bits, I found my dremel but it only has cutting disks. The bits should be perfect for the job. Also getting breadboard (perforated PCB) which I'll probably cut / glue with epoxy alongside the thumbclusters to mount and solder the extra thumbswitches onto.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Mon, 23 January 2012, 13:52:22
So, I'll hook up the extra switches to the footswitch leads as I mentioned earlier. Since I like mirrored keys, the 3 actions the footswitches provide (2 of them being remappable) are enough for 6 keys on the keyboard! No need to mess with the matrix.
 
What do you think is the best way to tap into these colored wires?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]38357[/ATTACH]

Perhaps something like this ? (http://www.amazon.com/3M-Scotchlok-Self-Stripping-QuickSlide-Disconnect/dp/B000K2C53I)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 23 January 2012, 22:52:39
I think the foot switch wires were labeled FS1, FS2, FS3 and were red, green, yellow, in that order. You need to confirm this (I can't find my Kinesis notebook).

I piggy-backed the added switch wires into the Molex connector. My thought was that it was completely reversible and clean (without a trace...). On the other board (the non-split super-mod) I might consider using a tap-splice, it's a little easier. In principle I don't care for them since they cut into stranded wire, which just seems poor, you know? But they work great with car stereos, lol
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 25 January 2012, 22:17:18
I modded my LF, typing this post on it! Made a wiki with photos:
How to add extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:26579)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 06 February 2012, 22:16:31
So you have tapped into the foot switch connections (3) for your added keys. That allows for 3 re-mappable keys (or as dual modifiers).

We need to see about piercing the existing Kinesis matrix, there are 2 spots that are specially reserved for 2 additional keys as it is. How do we get the info about what needs to be done to alter the firmware to allow access to these 2 keys in the matrix? This would be some of the most significant on a Kinesis to date.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Mon, 06 February 2012, 22:27:15
Tell me which leads on the PCB (or wires on the ribbon cables) correspond to those 2 hidden switches, and I could tap them and find out.

I'd also like to know which leads correspond to the Pro "lock" switch, do you know?

EDIT: Some matrix info here:

http://humblehacker.com/blog/20100720/hacking-the-kinesis-contoured-keyboard/
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 08 February 2012, 19:32:44
Ok, so according to the dmw's excellent article (http://humblehacker.com/blog/20100720/hacking-the-kinesis-contoured-keyboard/) (copy/pasting part of it here for easy reference):

[ATTACH=CONFIG]39787[/ATTACH]

... 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. The article says there are 2 "hidden" keys, and maybe that is the case for the older keyboards, but on my very new Advantage LF, successively shorting those pairs with a jumper, I discovered 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!

Anyway, 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.

That means: No mucking with the firmware is required to take advantage of the 4 hidden keys. Together with the 3 footswitch terminals, you can add a total of 7 individual keys/actions (all of them remappable) by simply tapping on existing wires!

Note: the newer ribbon connectors have all 13 leads exposed on the side, so it is easy to try out combinations with a 24gauge single strand jumper wire.

Next exercise is to determine the best location for permanently tapping (soldering wires) into these pairs, any volunteers?

I'm looking for possibly better locations (maybe on the main PCB?) otherwise the keywell connector pins will have to do:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]39812[/ATTACH]
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 08 February 2012, 21:38:17
RE: BREAKTHROUGH INFORMATION POST

Please confirm for a benchmark:
-firmware version
-first 2 digits of LF keyboard serial number

It will be interesting to see how far back this will work (firmware ver/serial #)

There is a keywell pin out change at serial 70,000, but not a firmware version change. I have LF keywells for pre-#70,000 serial number I can check in a day or two. I also have serial # in the 30,000's
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 08 February 2012, 23:22:26
Quote from: input nirvana;509754

Please confirm for a benchmark:
-firmware version

copyright 1986 - 2003 by interfatron-bbc, ltd., rev 2.67 03/09/03

Quote
-first 2 digits of LF keyboard serial number

80

Quote
It will be interesting to see how far back this will work (firmware ver/serial #)

There is a keywell pin out change at serial 70,000, but not a firmware version change. I have LF keywells for pre-#70,000 serial number I can check in a day or two. I also have serial # in the 30,000's

My transplant experiments say otherwise. No pinout change, at least not between 40,000 and 80,000. See this post (http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?18200-Kinesis-Advantage-LF-(Linear-Feel-Cherry-MX-Red-switches)-shipped&p=509551&viewfull=1#post509551)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Thu, 09 February 2012, 01:08:52
I just tried the same experiment on my oldest Classic (serial 40,1xx), which doesn't have the ribbons. I had to pull out the keywells slightlly, to be able to jumper the contacts. Results:

On the left hand, 1+6 produces L Shift, but if you remap it [strike]it remaps the regular left shift key as well. It looks like 1+6 and 2+6 correspond to the same thing (not independent)[/strike] it works fine. However 1+11 produces Num Lock which is independently remappable.

On the right hand, the behavior is exactly the same as the LF, ie 4+3 and 4+6 are dead keys (that only produce a click sound) and are independently remappable.
So it appears that my PS/2 Classic behaves the same way as the new USB LF.

Firmware version of the Classic (PS/2) keyboard:
copyright 1986 - 2002 by interfatron-bbc, ltd., rev 2.60 01/05/02
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 09 February 2012, 01:26:22
Can you get the firmware version of your 40,xxx? And see if the 4 'key spots' are on that controller as well?

My current Advantage has the same firmware version as your LF and is 81,xxx.

I have 4 keyboards in the 30,xxx and 32,xxx serial number range (130, Essential, Professionals)
30,xxx  ver. 2.48a 03/06/99   I will see if this has the 4 'key spots' in the next day or two.

I'm waiting for an email response from Kinesis to confirm the keywell/pcb changes and serial # at which it took place.

Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Thu, 09 February 2012, 01:29:27
Quote from: input nirvana;509935
Can you get the firmware version of your 40,xxx? And see if the 4 'key spots' are on that controller as well?

Didn't you read my previous post, right above yours? I have answers for both your questions in it.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 09 February 2012, 01:40:46
Quote from: sordna;509615
Next exercise is to determine the best location for permanently tapping (soldering wires) into these pairs, any volunteers?

I'm looking for possibly better locations (maybe on the main PCB?) otherwise the keywell connector pins will have to do:

(Attachment) 39812[/ATTACH]

I would consider connecting the same location of the ribbon connector, but on the backside of the main controller pcb for soldering a tap onto the pins. The only reason I say this is because if your keyboard needs to come apart, the keywells can be removed and not be directly wired to any switches. The main pcb is already attached to the power cord/usb board, and the 2 thumb clusters....but if you have wires from the power block to the 2 pinky keys in the keywells, perhaps it doesn't matter.

One thought:
Any wire going from the main board to any of the 6 plug ins, or anything added to the keyboard, could have a plug/unplug electrical connector. So, with some advance planning, a 4 pin, or maybe 8 pin molex can be used for each side now once we determine the maximum possibilities.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 09 February 2012, 01:42:22
Quote from: sordna;509936
Didn't you read my previous post, right above yours? I have answers for both your questions in it.

The 40,xxx and 80,xxx have the same firmware?
And the same 4 key spaces?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Thu, 09 February 2012, 01:58:26
Have you been drinking? In post #96 I said the LF has firmware 2.67, and in post #97 I said the Classic has firmware 2.60, and that 3 hidden keys are usable (pair 1+6 on the left is NOT usable on the classic, rest spots are the same). Please re-read post #96 and #97 :-)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 09 February 2012, 02:06:28
Post #97....wow...never saw it and I've reloaded the page half a dozen times between our 2 threads...

I would like about 5 drinks about now....

So the difference must be in the firmware, since I'm thinking the keywells are most likely interchangeable after 40,000.
(1-I'll get info from Rick on this probably tomorrow and 2-will swap some of my keywell stuff out and 3-test 30,xxx for any hidden keys)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Thu, 09 February 2012, 02:30:41
Quote from: input nirvana;509939
I would consider connecting the same location of the ribbon connector, but on the backside of the main controller pcb for soldering a tap onto the pins. The only reason I say this is because if your keyboard needs to come apart, the keywells can be removed and not be directly wired to any switches. The main pcb is already attached to the power cord/usb board, and the 2 thumb clusters....but if you have wires from the power block to the 2 pinky keys in the keywells, perhaps it doesn't matter.

How easily is the main PCB removed, if we want to solder wires underneath ? It's not glued, is it?

Quote
Any wire going from the main board to any of the 6 plug ins, or anything added to the keyboard, could have a plug/unplug electrical connector. So, with some advance planning, a 4 pin, or maybe 8 pin molex can be used for each side now once we determine the maximum possibilities.

It would be cool if the thumb PCBs had a connector instead of having their ribbon soldered on both ends.

Anyway, regarding easy connections, I would like to install those pin connector pairs (like the ones found on motherboards, for connecting fans, speaker, reset button etc) for the extra key spots on the PCB, to easily connect and move around the extra switch connections.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 09 February 2012, 02:54:29
Quote from: sordna;509960
How easily is the main PCB removed, if we want to solder wires underneath ? It's not glued, is it?



It would be cool if the thumb PCBs had a connector instead of having their ribbon soldered on both ends.

Anyway, regarding easy connections, I would like to install those pin connector pairs (like the ones found on motherboards, for connecting fans, speaker, reset button etc) for the extra key spots on the PCB, to easily connect and move around the extra switch connections.


Main pcb is held in by 1 screw and a positioning pin.

I've often thought of why the thumb clusters were not detachable, since everything else is....so why????

Quick connects...they serve as a connector and as a DIS-connector...can be mounted to a breadboard or wire-to-wire...slick.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Thu, 09 February 2012, 10:45:20
I was planning to get some motherboard header pins / wires, something like this, but I'm trying to find a more reasonable (bulk) packaging/pricing

http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-18-Inch-Internal-Motherboard-USBINT5PINMF/dp/B005G306UK
http://www.amazon.com/SPDIF-Cable-Pin-Sound-Card/dp/B000I9903G

Can you post a link about the quick connects you are referring to? They gotta be small and cheap please :-)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 09 February 2012, 14:42:14
Kinesis keywell info:

1/9/12
Hello,

Yes, that's correct.

There is a difference in the linking cable from the keywell to the main circuit board. Serial numbers starting with a 5 or below have a certain type, everything with a 6 and above has the latest.

-Rick
----------------------------
1/8/12
Hello Rick,

Can you please clarify a question regarding the keywell/bowls/pcb's? I had gotten 2 sets of keywells with red swiches to retrofit into a couple Contoured keyboards. It's my understanding you need the serial number when ordering the keywells so you know which pcb is to be used so the pin order matches the main controller (there are 2 choices). Is this inaccurate? What is the serial number that that change occurred and what was the change? Although I have not done it yet, someone else has swapped a keywell from 40.xxx with 80,xxx and everything seems to check out fine. Maybe the change was at 40,000?


Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Thu, 09 February 2012, 15:11:11
Perhaps the "linking cable change" is the ribbon in the newer vs the pluggable PCB of the older models?
On the other hand, one of my 40k models has the ribbons. And we still didn't get a good answer on how 80k keywells work on a 40k model !  Either way, they said the cable is different, not the keywells, so I doubt a ribbon cable would swap the pin order. Perhaps it's a different "finish" to the cable, since the older models' PCB connectors don't have the fastener tab, and instead require heavy force to squeeze the ribbon in.

EDIT: Hope you will still try fitting your #81k keywells to your #30k keyboards... I actually think they will work. You should also try your pre-50k-intended red keywells, to your #81k advantage, I bet they will work for sure!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 10 February 2012, 00:51:40
I'm totally confused on the entire keywell info. It doesn't make sense...the keywells I have will physically connect to either mainboard connector. I'm confident I was told there was a pin out change, (hopefully there is not, and all keywells can be interchanged) but no matter, I'll confirm that in the next couple days and document. Bottom line, the ribbon cable fits into the connector that the pcb slides into, and it obviously will fit into the other white ribbon connector with the tab. I will try to swap all keywells I can (81k into 30k and 32k, and LF keywells into 81k. I've already used the LF keywells in the 30k and 32k).

I'll see about the connectors. Gimmie a day.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Fri, 10 February 2012, 00:58:31
I just checked the email I had got from Kinesis last year, they said the ribbon cables are different (not the keywells), without further clarifications. So it just might be the ribbon material, or length, or which side the leads are exposed on, not necessarily a pin order change. AFAIK, most ribbons are flat and don't transpose any ordering (except for those old floppy drive ribbons, remember them?) Anyway, will wait for your test results.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 10 February 2012, 01:14:13
Hmmmm.....miscommunication/understanding perhaps. A big one. I'll still try it all out. But still, the ribbon works in either connector, so......? Regardless, I'll be happy to put this to bed.

Here is what I originally thought for the connectors. Molex, which is all I really know about, there must be more options. I've also used the automobile connectors, but they are a little too big for this application. You can get up to 36 circuits (wires). These are their .062 standard stuff. These things are $3-10 for the big ones in electronics stores. Fry's has them.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 10 February 2012, 01:22:37
Hmmmm.....miscommunication/understanding perhaps. A big one. I'll still try it all out. But still, the ribbon works in either connector, so......? Regardless, I'll be happy to put this to bed.

Here is what I originally thought for the connectors. Molex, which is all I really know about, there must be more options. I've also used the automobile connectors, but they are a little too big for this application. You can get up to 36 circuits (wires). These are their .062 standard stuff. These things are $3-$10 for the big ones in electronics stores. Fry's has them.

http://www.molex.com/molex/products/listview.jsp?query=&offset=0&npp=20&sType=z&fs=productname:"standard .062",productseries:or(1625||1772||2004)&channel=Products&autoNav=1&path=cHome%23%23-1%23%23-1~~ncCRIMPHOUSINGS%23%230%23%231v&Itemlist= (http://www.molex.com/molex/products/listview.jsp?query=&offset=0&npp=20&sType=z&fs=productname:"standard .062",productseries:or(1625||1772||2004)&channel=Products&autoNav=1&path=cHome%23%23-1%23%23-1~~ncCRIMPHOUSINGS%23%230%23%231v&Itemlist=)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: boli on Sat, 11 February 2012, 02:28:02
When I ordered the two key wells with Cherry MX reds around Christmas time, Kinesis forgot to ask about the serial number of my board, and so they sent along the old ribbon cables as well:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]40130[/ATTACH]

The two old cables were in the conveniently labeled bag. The brown key well in the back has the newer cable attached to it, as did the red ones.  From the looks of it the leads are exposed on different sides of the cable.

Summary: From the info Kinesis gave and sordna's pictures (http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?18200-Kinesis-Advantage-LF-(Linear-Feel-Cherry-MX-Red-switches)-shipped&p=500011&viewfull=1#post500011) it looks as if there was a key well change between s/n 40'2xx and 40'1xx (direct connect vs. cable connect), and later there was a ribbon cable change at s/n 5x'xxx (changed side of lead exposure). Yet it looks as if all of these can use new key wells, and both older designs work with the old ribbon cables.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 11 February 2012, 09:55:31
Ahh, a picture is a thousand words! Thanks boli, how fortunate it is that Kinesis sent you both kinds of ribbons!
So the old ribbons have the leads exposed on opposite faces, while the new ribbons have the leads exposed on the same face of the ribbon.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 11 February 2012, 11:55:04
Is there a difference with the female pcb ribbon connectors? Do the female ribbon connectors only have contacts on one side or the other, not both?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 11 February 2012, 12:02:51
Those connectors only have contacts on one side. So I guess at #60k they swapped their orientation for some reason. They could have made ribbons with exposed leads on both faces at one edge, then the same ribbon would work with any connector orientation.

Anyway, thinking of a ps/2 -> usb conversion for my classic; I can easily fit a bluecube in the case. Hey, do you know were to find solderable male ps/2 connectors?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 11 February 2012, 12:14:34
Quote from: sordna;511748
Those connectors only have contacts on one side. So I guess at #50k they swapped their orientation for some reason. They could have made ribbons with exposed leads on both faces at one edge, then the same ribbon would work with any connector orientation.

Anyway, thinking of a ps/2 -> usb conversion for my classic; I can easily fit a bluecube in the case. Hey, do you know were to find solderable male ps/2 connectors?

 
Ok, then it all makes sense. The pcb female connector/connector ribbon is the change, and that was at 60,000. So the work around, should there ever be a need for one, is a modified cable (scratch and uncover the leads on the other side of the ribbon, or change the 2 female ribbon connectors. To clarify, the female connector on the keywells became flipped around, not the main pcb connectors?

Other than online search, try Fry's. The only place I've gotten one is from a cable, but that is a bit of work.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 11 February 2012, 12:20:05
EDIT: Kinesis' note on boli's photo talks about serials starting with 5 or below. So you are right, the old ribbons were used up to serial 59,999 and the new starting with 60,000.

What was changed was the orientation of the ribbon connector on the main PCB, not on the keywells. So all keywells with reds Kinesis sells are identical, only the ribbon changes, to match the PCB connector orientation.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 11 February 2012, 12:33:20
I finally got it!!!!!

I'm exhausted.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 11 February 2012, 14:15:33
I tried to find small 2-pin molex connectors but couldn't. However I found something more convenient, motherboard header pins and jumpers. A pair of jumpers can be used as a 2-pin female-female connector. Each of these bags was about $3 at fry's. There's four 40-pin strips in one bag (you can easily break the strips into pin pairs) and 100 jumpers in the other. The pins can either be attached to a PCB and/or soldered onto wires to make quick-connect jumper cables.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]40152[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]40151[/ATTACH]
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 11 February 2012, 20:28:24
I found the perfect usb port for
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-A-Female-to-B-Female-Keystone-Jack-White-WP-C17WH-/270735407064

[ATTACH=CONFIG]40188[/ATTACH]
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 11 February 2012, 21:13:34
Hmmm...and could Gorilla Glue a few jumpers together to make a custom sized wiring/connection block...
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 11 February 2012, 21:33:57
Gorilla glue is drying as we speak :-)
Hey computer parts are great, I also got a floppy ribbon cable for cheap, just to peel wires from it as needed. They will go from the PCB connector leads to the glued pins, for quick-connect access to the hidden matrix spots.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Icarium on Sun, 12 February 2012, 10:10:51
I've lost track of what the article is and where the comments are but I have trackpoints inbound from ebay and an open Kinesis lying on the shelf. This will be wonderful. :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 12 February 2012, 18:58:41
The article is a mess, a product of my messy mind at this point. Eventually as I keep building it and adding links, it will get renamed so it will be internet searchable (I don't think it is right now?).

What are your trackpoint mod plans?
Title: using header pins
Post by: sordna on Mon, 13 February 2012, 15:23:26
Here is what I did, I drilled the PCB at the very edge and glued 4 pairs of these connector pins, then I soldered wires between them and the connector terminals corresponding to the 4 spare spots on the matrix (4+3, 4+6 on the right, 1+6, 1+11 on the left)

[ATTACH=CONFIG]40406[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]40405[/ATTACH]

You can see the 4 connectors, ready to hook up onto switches!

I'll do something simpler on my other keyboards, I'll solder the wires to the connector pins beforehand, and will hotglue them sideways (at an angle) onto the PCB, instead of drilling at these precarious locations (traces are too close).
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 13 February 2012, 15:33:01
Agreed. Drilling/notching on the edge is not comfortable. I've done it SUPER-carefully, and it's 'iffy' at best. I won't recommend it.

Hot glue is perfect to attach the connector pins to the main pcb (the connector pins laying on their side) since there is room on the pcb. I like it. :) Now for the keywell attachment....I don't see a way to make it as clean though :(

I really like having "hard points" on the main pcb to make the connections. As I look and think about it, every effort should be made to have hard points on the keywells also.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Mon, 13 February 2012, 15:55:24
I don't understand, what keywell attachment are you referring to / what hard points do you need on the keywells? I added those pins to the main PCB so we don't have to solder anything on the keywell side of things.

Or are you talking about making the thumbcluster connectors detachable ?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 13 February 2012, 16:28:20
I should have referred to the two pinky keys added on the keywells.
 
I leave out way too much info when I type :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Mon, 13 February 2012, 16:49:05
So you want to carry the signal of keys under the shifts over the existing ribbons, instead of plugging wires onto the main PCB ?
Well, since those keys become glued to the keywells, there's no reason for their wires to be detachable, you can simply hot glue their wires neatly in place, and solder the ends right at the keywell connector solder points.

But you wont be able to do momentary keypad shift with those keys, that function is only available on the main PCB.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 13 February 2012, 17:43:37
I was thinking that the "under shift keys" would be detachable from the main pcb. Hot glue the wires from the key switches onto the keywell to hard point connector pins near the main pcb, and have the wires coming from the main pcb power block with female connectors attached to plug onto the keywells.

Momentary keypad is awesome...gotta keep it.

But you bring up an idea:
Maybe by using a dip switch/or?, can control the connections at the power block verses the hidden matrix? So the non-remappable can be moved? I'm on my phone and having a hard time articulating my thoughts on this.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Mon, 13 February 2012, 18:04:55
Well, you can hot glue header pins pretty much anywhere, no drilling required. So hot-glue pins on their sides on PCBs, solder pins on wires, and use jumpers as connectors between them. Dip switch idea is interesting but too much hassle; it's easy enough to open the keyboard and rearrange the connectors, the main thing is not having to unsolder/resolder things whenever you want to make a change, and these quick connector ideas take care of that.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 13 February 2012, 19:12:14
Yes, a dip switch would be a hassle, so not a first choice. I'm not a fan of them, old technology, but if retrofitting something, it can sometimes be the way to go.

The total 'extra' keys on a Kinesis is as follows, with a couple notes/restrictions:
-4 hidden keys, no limitations to remapping.
-3 footswitch keys (Left Shift, Keypad Enter, Keypad Shift), no limitations to moving/remapping, EXCEPT the default Keypad Shift cannot be moved elsewhere (it becomes Keypad 'Toggle'), but it still can be remapped to become something else at that location.
-Program function key, no move, no remap.
-Keypad function key, no move, no remap, UNLESS you use a foot switch to move, to remap.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Mon, 13 February 2012, 19:42:16
You are correct except for:
Quote
-Keypad function key, no move, no remap.

The keypad function can be assigned to other keys HOWEVER you must use a footswitch (or our extra keys) to do that.

The manual is right, if you have a keypad-footswitch and try to use it as a "source" key during remapping, the destination key will become a keypad toggle.
So the momentary keypad action cannot be remapped, but the toggle keypad action can.

Also, the momentary shift keys/footswitch (or green FS2 lead if you will) can be assigned any function, if you don't need the momentary keypad access.

Hey, before I forget, if we use the extra spots on the matrix, the switches will need diodes to avoid ghosting issues.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 15 February 2012, 03:18:53
As I mentioned elsewhere, keys on the matrix need diodes, and the hidden spots are no exception. Here is the best place to put them IMO, to avoid having to deal with diodes on the extra keys themselves.
I also checked the orientation with an actual diode and noted it on the photo. By the way, as I was playing with the new pin connectors on my Classic, I noticed that all connectors work and are remappable, so my previous finding that one of the hidden spots was not usable was wrong (was probably shorting an additional lead at the time).

[ATTACH=CONFIG]40582[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]40666[/ATTACH]

EDIT: Added photo with diodes actually soldered to the header pin connectors
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 15 February 2012, 16:30:23
So having the diodes in-line allows using Cherry switches that have no diodes, and not having 4 wires to each switch, is that correct?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 15 February 2012, 16:55:50
Quote from: input nirvana;515460
So having the diodes in-line allows using Cherry switches that have no diodes, and not having 4 wires to each switch, is that correct?

Correct! You can use switches with diodes too, you just don't need to wire the diodes, just solder them for stability, if needed :-)
Besides, I used switches without diodes under the shifts, which I connected to the footswitch leads. I may want to connect them to the matrix instead... the idea is to have quick connectors so you can swap wiring around, which is much easier to do when you don't have to worry about the need or not to insert/remove diodes every time.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 15 February 2012, 21:06:25
My num lock led died. Is it 3mm or 5mm? I don't want to remove keywells and PCB again to find what the heck it is :-)
Do you know of any source/part that will have the same size and color hue?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 15 February 2012, 21:44:53
I measured and came up with 3mm. The only way I would know to get the same would be get the exact info from Kinesis, or I bet they will mail 1 or 2, that seems to be the way they are.

LED died....how unusual.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 15 February 2012, 22:38:24
It's the first time an LED on a keyboard dies on me! Thanks for measuring it, I'll probably order an assortment and solder a red or blue one :-)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 15 February 2012, 23:07:13
A Korean Kinesis had been modified with red, white, blue, and a goldenrod color. I thought it was nice from a color-identify perspective. I think he had another led to show power.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Fri, 24 February 2012, 01:57:16
About the scrollwheel. Fitting it between keys won't work. How about fitting it along side the G or H key, in a cutout of that slanted part of the case right next to those keys?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 24 February 2012, 02:58:15
The HYPERscrollwheel can't work on the keywells (it's bigger than 'regular' scrollwheels), there's no room. You are right, the only good spot is alongside the G and H, which is actually perfect. But mounting the hyperscroll unit is a very precise and exacting placement, as it's a sizable unit, you can't really do it twice. The hyperscroll rides in a moveable carriage that is clickable, a very cool design that someone got a big raise for designing, but very unforgiving on a mod. It can be done, but is not for the weak at heart. A I can take a couple better pics and post.

I did a temporary mock up, and the hyperscroll was a sweet combo with the Kinesis. I'm committed to doing it.

There are 2 types of hyperscroll that Logitech makes. One, you press a button to alter the scroll function (wheel spinning freely, or clicking), the other, you press down on the scrollwheel to change that function. I'm a big fan of hyperscroll...now that I've used one, other scrollwheels seem like junk now :(
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Fri, 24 February 2012, 12:33:58
Yes, I too love the hyperscroll on my M500 mouse. Anyway, I just figured a way to do scrolling with the keyboard keys on my linux box, I put this on my .xbindkeysrc

"xte 'mouseclick 5'"
  KP_Enter

"xte 'mouseclick 4'"
  mod4+KP_Enter

Which means keypad enter scrolls down, and super (windows key) + keypad enter scrolls up. So I can scroll this geekhack page while I'm typing on this textbox (since arrows move the text cursor instead) without reaching for the mouse scrollwheel.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 24 February 2012, 13:17:01
Logitech M500 is the hyperscroll I have. I did not purchase the other hyperscroll version yet though I have used it.

Keyed scrolling while text typing! Such a nice solution! (and needed) Must see if OSX offers something comparable as an add.

On the Kinesis split I have an Apple 360 scrollball removed from an Apple Mouse mounted in the left thumb cluster which scrolls the screen, and the trackpoint in the right keywell for the cursor. Not elegant, but very functional for now.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Fri, 24 February 2012, 13:40:16
Cool, can you post a photo of the assembled keyboard to show the final result in action ?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 24 February 2012, 13:58:30
It's been disassembled since late fall :( but will be back in action April/May when I'm not in/out of town so much. I took it apart (this time) for accurate chair mount sizing, hard wire conversion PS/2 to USB, and hard wire a 4 port USB hub rather than just have it plugged in (lot of work for very, VERY little return).

The combo of the tiny scrollball and the trackpoint is very unique, and I struggled for a long time before biting the bullet and just doing it (but it works SUPER well!). I later noted there is a way to move the cursor with the trackpoint, but screen scroll while holding down a key while using the trackpoint. At the moment I've forgotten what that is and I may not have that item noted in this article. I should find the info and post it...anyone using a trackpoint will love it, very useful and makes sense.

I can make a video, that would be fun and inspiring :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 24 February 2012, 14:13:22
Wireless Kinesis info!!!

Check this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDAAb3nLuHo

http://d.hatena.ne.jp/odawara/searchdiary?word=kinesis
GOOGLE TRANSLATE indicates it is not a clean, working BT, but partial:
I've seen lend a Bluetooth keyboard Bluetooth keyboard-Kinesis continued [electronic tools] -
A specification Nde bogus key is connected only 12,345 Well, pardon Tsukkomi.
I just re-wired Bluetooth keyboard was decomposed to buy the other day. If this remains, causing it to 49 key mini keyboard is the same as the number of keys, and not really a practical way.
It is better fun that can be entered into the Kinesis Well iOS in the demo.

Uberben (a quiet Geekhacker) is a part of this:
http://skullspace.ca/wiki/index.php/Custom_bluetooth_keyboard
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 25 February 2012, 12:28:14
INTERESTING POSSIBILITY:
A couple statements from emails with Uberben, and a few notes on his website and this cream has risen to the top....
From website:
"The Kinesis Advantages was found to natively support PS/2 output. This was tested using the PS/2 cable from a Kinesis Essential 132 (the 132 was also found to be capable of outputting USB using the Kinesis Advantages USB cable/board)."

QUESTIONS:
1 - I noticed some of my older AT-PS/2 main pcbs are virtually identical to my newer USB main pcbs. Are all Kinesis main pcbs AT-PS/2 native?
2 - On USB keyboards there is a second pcb with the multiple USB ports on in...is this just a PS/2>USB converter?
3 - Where is the difference made of PS/S verses USB on a board...is it programming or hardware?

Some of this can be checked out fairly easily.

I don't know what happens internally when a PS/2 board uses a USB converter. Passive or active. I'm not knowledgable in these areas :(
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 25 February 2012, 12:33:01
I suspected the same for some time now, my Classic's PCB has something like "cut for USB" printed on it, anyway the LF's PCB looks identical. To me it looks like the USB hub thingy of the Advantage is what does the PS2/USB conversion. Hmm, maybe that's what Kinesis ment when they told dzd that the next gen Advantage will have new electronics; (http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?26389-Kinesis-Advantage-w-Reds&p=515777&viewfull=1#post515777) they will likely go native USB!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 25 February 2012, 12:42:17
If so, then probably the only difference would be the firmware versions, and whatever that affects.

I assume that if it is a PS/2>USB converter...that it is "ACTIVE" verses passive???

I have several Pi Engineering Y-mouse dual PS/2>USB adapters (expensive). They actually allow you to program a couple switches. So maybe one of these wired into a PS/2 Kinesis effectively makes it equal to an Advantage (other than firmware issues). Then again, maybe ANY 'active' converter makes an older model equal to an Advantage? (ie: Blue Cube, Belkin....see Ripsters awesome wiki...I contributed the Y-mouse info).

Is it possible to 'flash' newer firmware from an Advantage to an older model?

EDIT-
Sooo...possibly/possibly not future native USB...what is the real difference? I've read a few issues with USB 3.0....maybe converting PS/2 doesn't work to well with it?

Native/non-native...what is the real difference? Maybe I just need to move on and not concern myself with such things. I wish I knew more :(  I'm just curious if pre-Advantage models deep down in their little pre-USB hearts, are really just Advantage models waiting to be born.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 25 February 2012, 13:20:10
It's pretty obvious it's an active (powered) converter with chips and whatnot. Passive converters are those purple dongles that only rewire stuff around, no?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]41720[/ATTACH]

What do you know, I can read PI ENGINEERING in the right hand side of that little PCB !
Hmm, instead of using a bluecube, I should ask Kinesis if I can order that thing to convert my Classic to an Advantage...

EDIT: By native vs non-native USB I refer to the controller. It's better and simpler for a controller to talk USB directly, rather than talk PS/2 and have another component doing the PS/2->USB conversion. Just like it's better to use a drill with a chuck, rather than an impact driver with a chuck on a hex shark adapter if all you want to do is drill.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 25 February 2012, 13:31:56
Active, passive, yes different, but if they accomplish the same exact result, what's the diff, and why should it matter? Kinesis refers the Pi Engineering Y-mouse as 'THE' PS/2>USB converter to use. Since you can program a couple keys with it, it may even be an upgraded version of what's in the Kinesis keyboard.
 
If Kinesis says 'yes' to adding the usb pcb, then I believe the only remaining issue is firmware. And what's THAT all about?

I've got $200 to spend on a 3 hour lunch for someone to explain a keyboards electronics from input to output. Money well spent.

Curiosity kills a hell of a lot more than just cats.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Sat, 25 February 2012, 15:43:47
Thanks for the shoutout, IN. My reasoning for wanting to go with native USB and Bluetooth is to avoid any glitches in the conversion process. I use a cheap MonoPrice PS/2 adapter with my Kinesis. It usually works well, but occasionally drops keys. The speaker clicks, but the signal is not sent.

Regarding the "cut here for USB" note on the PCB, I seem to recall both the advantage and my essential having that note and neither one having it cut. I'd have to double check though as that was a few months ago.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 25 February 2012, 20:52:54
So PS/2>USB converters may or may not work well? Quality is not guaranteed. Obviously an active converter should hopefully work better than a passive. I guess now the Advantage Kinesis just has a built-in active converter. I think you can achieve the same result with a Y-Mouse according to Kinesis and Pi Engineering.

Facinating.

From the wiki:
(http://geekhack.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=18137&d=1305426297)
VendorID: 05f3 (PI Engineering, Inc.)
ProductID: 0203

PI Industries Y-Mouse PS/2 to USB adapter

- Works with 1990 1391401.
- Claims to support two keyboards, two mice, or one-of-each.
- Multiple units can be "daisy-chained" to allow 2 keyboards and 2 mice at the same time.
- Programmable -- stores some key-mapping settings internally (i. e. right-alt to Windows logo)
- Allows "hot plugging"
- Recommended by Kinesis and Datahand for adapting their keyboards.
- Find specifications and manual on their web page (http://www.ymouse.com/ymouse/whym08.php).

On Pi Engineerings website, they list OEM PS/2>USB converter psb available to go into whatever project item (Kinesis Keyboard?).
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 29 February 2012, 01:33:11
I got this pointing device recently: http://www.ebay.com/itm/140535710825

It's a dirt cheap but very interesting device, has a smooth freely spinning trackball, with clickable scrollwheel, 2 regular buttons, and an optical "eye" which lets it work like a mouse (and the trackball is still accessible on the side). So you can use it as a mouse, or as a stationary trackball, or pick it up and use it as a handheld trackball!
It's very small, so any parts of it will easily fit into a Kinesis case...
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 07 March 2012, 01:35:20
Interesting little jobber. How does it work for you as it is (pre-Kinesis-modded)?

ALSO: I was doing some minor checking on the moved F-keys from the top row to other locations and I noticed the F15 key does not repeat when held down like all the other F-keys on USB on Mac. Any confirmation/ideas?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 07 March 2012, 01:49:11
Works great except it's too small for my hands. That little trackball behaves better than I expected though. However the scroll wheel isn't that great, it's rather sluggish. I opened this thing up, it has 3 optical sensors (for trackball, scrollwheel,  surface tracking)... impressive! Internals are a little shoddy, but it works nice, unlike other no-name mice/trackballs I tried.

No idea about F15. What key / configuration setting makes the Kinesis have an F15 ???
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 07 March 2012, 02:04:59
Print/Scroll/Pause=F13/F14/F15 in Mac, never checked in Windows if it's possible.

Sounds like you're dead on right about that little guy being a decent parts doner for the mod. Gonna follow up with you in a month or two on that for my Kinesis final assembly.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 07 March 2012, 02:16:47
Pause/Break is a "momentary key". Even if you hold it down, it generates a press and a release event immediately (regardless of keyboard).
Looks like F15 on the Advantage inherits that behavior! I would contact Kinesis about that, if it's a bug they should be able to fix it in a future firmware version.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Icarium on Fri, 09 March 2012, 02:49:24
input nirvana: What was your final verdict on the "trackpoint between yuhj or similar" idea?
I think I have time for drilling this week-end.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Fri, 09 March 2012, 22:11:41
I just got some of these (http://sigma.octopart.com/10529597/image/Austriamicrosystems-N35P112.jpg) on sample from the manufacturer (same part used in this breakout board (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10835)). It is a linear style joystick (slides as opposed to rocking) and has an integrated button that clicks when you push the joystick in. Unlike other sliding joysticks that use wipers on variable resistor contacts, this joystick uses a magnet and a 2D magnetic sensor for position information, so it should be more reliable and accurate.

I am thinking of making my own minimal breakout board for it and mounting one or two to my Kinesis near the thumb clusters or the inner edge of the keywells. They feel sort of similar to a trackpoint with regards to the distance it can move and the integrated click would be nice for one of the mouse buttons. A while ago I had also bought some replacement PSP joysticks for a similar purpose, but they don't return to centre well, something that is required for mousing.

Anyway, enough ranting, time for pics:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]43363[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH=CONFIG]43358[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]43359[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]43364[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH=CONFIG]43360[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]43362[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]43361[/ATTACH]
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Fri, 09 March 2012, 23:53:32
Thats' very interesting! So what is needed to make this device act as a USB mouse?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 10 March 2012, 02:50:53
Quote from: Icarium;539935
input nirvana: What was your final verdict on the "trackpoint between yuhj or similar" idea?
I think I have time for drilling this week-end.

I used the YUHJ location, it seemed to fit best to the hand staying on home row.

I had a long multi-point series of responses typed to Uberben, Sordna, and expanding on the above answer, but lost it somewhere in the cloud and don't have it in me to do over. :(
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Sat, 10 March 2012, 08:49:42
Quote from: sordna;540787
Thats' very interesting! So what is needed to make this device act as a USB mouse?


As part of my bluetooth mod, I plan to replace the stock controller in the Kinesis with something designed for low power. I'll be connecting the joystick to that controller directly and coding up the mouse myself.

The one drawback with that smaller unit compared to a TrackPoint is that I likely can't stick it between keys. I might be able to glue on a stick extension, but I fear the torque on that arm will inhibit the sliding action and possibly activate the button when not desired.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 10 March 2012, 23:42:35
Uberben, the location between the N and arrow key, or to next to the right Control key seems fine to me. Will a teensy be able to present either of these joysticks as a USB joystick HID device?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 11 March 2012, 10:50:59
I used an Apple 360 scrollball scavenged from an Apple Mighty Mouse in the notch of the left thumb cluster. It is used for page scrolling. The trackpoint is in the right key well for cursor movement. I wanted to have the trackpoint do both functions by holding down a key for scrolling pages. Can that be possible with these you found, ‹berben?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Sun, 11 March 2012, 12:13:48
Quote from: sordna;541984
Uberben, the location between the N and arrow key, or to next to the right Control key seems fine to me. Will a teensy be able to present either of these joysticks as a USB joystick HID device?

Yes, a teensy should be able to report the joystick as an HID joystick, HID mouse, HID keyboard, HID MIDI controller, just about anything. My plan is to design my own controller board and use the LUFA USB stack (http://www.fourwalledcubicle.com/LUFA.php), but I will be using the same chip as the teensy, and my prototyping board is this one (http://www.ladyada.net/products/atmega32u4breakout/) from Adafruit. I chose it over the Teensy primarily because it is open source (hardware and software), unlike the teensy. I believe the ATmega32u4 chip on those boards can report around 6 simultaneous USB endpoints, so I can use the one controller to do the keyboard, mouse, and even add a gaming mode where the joysticks are actual gamepad joysticks.

Quote from: input nirvana;542236
I used an Apple 360 scrollball scavenged from an Apple Mighty Mouse in the notch of the left thumb cluster. It is used for page scrolling. The trackpoint is in the right key well for cursor movement. I wanted to have the trackpoint do both functions by holding down a key for scrolling pages. Can that be possible with these you found, ‹berben?

I saw your scroll ball mod, which was part of my inspiration for this. The mighty mouse scrollball seems similar to the ball on many older BlackBerries/Android phones. I like the 4-directional scrolling it provides, but I've not been overly fond of the fact it feels like it has notches when it rolls. Scrolling with a TrackPoint is very nice. Variable speed, no need to lift a finger for long scrolls, etc. I plan to implement something like this with my build, either with a toggle on the one joystick or by using a second joystick just for scrolling. There should be no problem getting my joysticks to do this other than having to put time into coding it. My only fear is that the mouse HID standard doesn't implement the smooth scrolling that the TrackPoint driver does. Worst case scenario, I will have choppy scrolling until I implement a custom driver.

Hopefully I can get a proof of concept up soon, but I will probably have to wait to get some PCBs made and it is looking as though my job might hit a busy period soon. I'll try to post a video once I get something going, though.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Icarium on Sun, 11 March 2012, 16:31:57
Quote from: input nirvana;540890
I used the YUHJ location, it seemed to fit best to the hand staying on home row.

I had a long multi-point series of responses typed to Uberben, Sordna, and expanding on the above answer, but lost it somewhere in the cloud and don't have it in me to do over. :(

Well, when you're in it the cloud is actually a fog. ;D
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 30 March 2012, 14:00:42
QUESTION:
The Advantage has a toroid on the USB cable. Is it sort of needed as a safety because of all that the keyboard has going on (USB hub, programming, remapping, etc.)? Or is it just meaningless bling?

Sent to Kinesis tech support today:
1) The toroid on the USB power cable...is it needed because you have the usb hub/programmable/etc? Or just some bling?
2) Is the Advantage actually a PS/2 device with a PS/2-USB active converter (the little pcb with the 2 usb hub ports)?
3) My Advantage in Mac mode, the F15 key does not "hold down" so using it as a volume key was less than ideal. Is that a firmware buggy?

We have the key cap schedule so we can get custom keys from Signature Plastics, but I haven't gotten the newer slightly taller key caps (Costar?) worked out yet, can't find a size/profile anywhere. Industrial espionage secrets.

Hopefully maybe we'll get a tidbit of info to help with a couple things :)
------------------------------------
EDIT - - -

Here is some neat info from Rick....I pieced together a couple emails to get all the info in one place:

"1). The ferrite cylinder is to control radio emissions to pass FCC/CE testing. Lots of other devices has these but some are internal. It's there because of the hub.
2). Yes, we always used the same PS/2 circuit board but when we switched over to USB we simply added a daughterboard converter and changed the firmware. So the circuit board in an older Classic keyboard for example is the same circuit board we use today in our Advantage."

I want to ask if there's a way to update firmware on an older Kinesis. Sounds like using a Y-mouse almost makes an older Kinesis an Advantage. We should look at popping the daughterboard into an older Kinesis and see what happens. :)

I have an email or two circulating about my F15 question....I don't think they intend Print/Scroll/Pause to be F13/F14/F15....I think that's just an OSX mapping. Maybe in the future that can be utilized somewhat differently through firmware. Those keys are legacy anyway.

ADVANTAGE LF INFO:
Another item came up about the Advantage LF. It may be going onto the Kinesis website. They are thinking about making it distinguished from the others by offering it as a black keyboard, with red home row keys (instead of blue), and a black label with 'Advantage LF' in red. Sounds very bold and attractive to me. What do you think? My Advantage with the few red keys from WASD Keyboards looks great!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Fri, 30 March 2012, 18:20:34
Good info and hey I like the red arrow keys idea !
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 30 March 2012, 22:00:12
Kinesis cable clean-up mod:

1) I may push the cord into the case so the other toroid is in the case.
There's a toroid IN the Kinesis, and the other one OUTSIDE the Kinesis. Only the newer Advantage models have the additional exterior toroid because of the USB port hub.

2) I may take the male RJ-11 plug for the foot switch and put it in the case with an RJ-11 female jack mounted to the interior of the case.
Then, for using a foot switch, you can just plug it into the keyboard and not need a female-female adapter. No more dongle!
The older PS/2 Kinesis uses a 6 conductor wire from the main pcb. 4 wires for the PS/2 and 2 wires for the RJ-11 plug. The RJ-11 plug is located near the end of the PS/2 cable, which is a better spot, in my opinion. Who wants a second cord going to the keyboard?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 31 March 2012, 00:46:23
Good ideas. BTW I love the detachable cables on my old #110, female PS/2 and RJ11 ports (mounted on a metal plate). Also the case had metal inserts for the screws, which I like better than coarse thread screws going into the plastic.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 31 March 2012, 01:06:25
Hey yea! Might as well make the USB cable detachable as well. I need to make a plate anyhow :)
Or, replace with a 6 conductor cable and create the 'old style' cable with the RJ-11 near the computer-end, except terminating in USB instead of PS/2! I wonder if having the 2 conductors for the footswitch would do anything to the other 4 USB? I wouldn't think so since they are digital. Noise in the line shouldn't be an issue.

Metal threaded inserts: My split Kinesis has that. Nice feature!

At what point in life did we become such noodlers????

EDIT - - -
Decided. I can use 8 conductor shielded twisted-pair wire that's USB compliant (Ethernet is a higher standard so I suppose I can use that), I'll put male/female USB connectors on the ends and pull 2 additional wires to make a 4" pigtail at the computer end with an RJ-11 FEMALE jack for the footswitch.

Use non-solder cable-plugs/receptacles, but I don't think they are available with overmould plastic casing. Probably need to use heat shrink. Might look nice and clean without the plastic overmould though and black braided cable. Or spice it up with red braided cable to match a few red accent keys on an all black Kinesis.
Examples:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]46540[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]46551[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]46552[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]46550[/ATTACH]
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Sun, 01 April 2012, 14:54:27
Quote from: input nirvana;561731
We should look at popping the daughterboard into an older Kinesis and see what happens. :)

I have done this with the daughter board from a roughly 3 year old Advantage and my Essential 132 and it all seemed to work fine. That is how I discovered PS/2 output on the USB Advantage.

I have a completely unrelated question. Does anyone know the part number (Digikey or other) for either the ribbon cable or ribbon connector for connecting the key wells to the main board? I don't want to destroy my main board when I build my custom controller. I have the 132 with the key wells with integrated edge connector. I am assuming the connector for the edge connector and the ribbon cable are the same. can anyone confirm or deny that?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 01 April 2012, 15:09:36
Quote from: uberben;563683
I have done this with the daughter board from a roughly 3 year old Advantage and my Essential 132 and it all seemed to work fine. That is how I discovered PS/2 output on the USB Advantage.
Awesomeness in Canada. Next question: How are the girls?

 
Quote from: uberben;563683
I have a completely unrelated question. Does anyone know the part number (Digikey or other) for either the ribbon cable or ribbon connector for connecting the key wells to the main board? I don't want to destroy my main board when I build my custom controller. I have the 132 with the key wells with integrated edge connector. I am assuming the connector for the edge connector and the ribbon cable are the same. can anyone confirm or deny that?

I do not know the part numbers :(
The integrated edge connector is when the curved pcb from the keywell has the 'finger' extending out and plugs into the mainboard connector without using a flexible cable/ribbon?

Keywell connectors on the mainboard:
The 'older' black female connectors that accept the pcb keywell 'fingers' have the actual springy contacts on both sides. The connectors are tight enough that they accept and hold the newer white ribbon cables as well. They stopped using these somewhere in the #40,xxx and #50,xxx. I had a #51,xxx with the edge connectors, but Sordna has a #4x,xxx with white ribbons.

The 'newer' white female connectors (with the locking latch) that are for the ribbons only, have the actual contacts on one side only. This is why you need 2 different ribbon cables depending on serial before/after #60,000. Kinesis has those white one-sided connectors either turned 180 degrees, or just with contacts on the opposite side. I think the pcb is the same and the hole pattern is offset so you can't solder the connector backwards, so I guess that means the connectors have the contacts on the opposite side (2 different white connectors).

I believe the connectors to the mainboard are the same....I'd have to compare the pins again and I can't do that right now. The connectors to the ribbon cables (2 typed)/edge of pcb (1 type) are different (total of 3 different types).

** I have this, and can check things for you:
-older black connectors
-after #60,000 newer white connectors
-up to #60,xxx ribbon cables
-after #60,xxx ribbon cables

Do not have the white connectors up to #60,xxx

EDITED HEAVILY....PLEASE RE-READ
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Tue, 03 April 2012, 10:45:56
I emailed Kinesis about the part numbers for the ribbon connectors as parts for my bluetooth controller. Here is the info I got:

Quote
Hello,
 
Connector for keywells & function keys for current Kinesis Advantage keyboards.:
http://www.cvilux.com.tw/aloha/product/a38.pdf
PN: CF01131V000
 
New keywell cable:      
Cvilux. PN FFCB1302T106400-600 FFC CARD CABLE 1.25mm pitch 13 cond. 64mm length 5mm exposed RoHS
 
Thumb key cable: Molex Connector Corporation  WM10-02A-ND
 
Make sure to send us some pictures when you’re all finished.
 
Regards,
 
Rick

I'm not sure about connectors for my 132 where the board edge connects directly to the mainboard (I did ask, but maybe the part is discontinued or something). I will look into finding a suitable replacement when I find some time. Even though I intend to find parts for a custom board, I will try to make them compatible with the original parts' footprints so that they can be sourced as replacements.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Tue, 03 April 2012, 16:01:52
I have another question for all you Kinesis modders. Has anyone make a schematic of the controller board yet? There are scans of the button boards here (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:16112) but not of the controller board. I ask because I am planning on making a little breakout board which can connect to all the button sections, mount into the existing case, and then have a bunch of pin headers to make it easier to integrate with a custom controller, similar to how the teensy and other development boards have a bunch of holes around the edge of the board.

I am asking about the controller schematic because any lines that are shared between the button boards can be combined into a single pin on the breakout board. For the purpose of just making something that works, I could just join arbitrary rows and columns. However, I would like to maintain Kinesis compatibility in case the breakout board is, for example, used to break the Kinesis into two sections while retaining the original controller, thus allowing you to solder onto breakout pins instead of getting long flat ribbon cables.

I'm imagining something roughly like the red outline here (base image borrowed from sordna's post (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:8110&viewfull=1&page=13&do=comments#post513414)):
[ATTACH=CONFIG]47088[/ATTACH]

If no such schematic or key map exists, I will probably just do it myself. I just don't want to duplicate work if it has already been done.  :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 03 April 2012, 16:46:11
Wow. You got part numbers. I didn't think that was a possibility.

I think the diagram may show that the contacts are on one side. We can use that to find the other part number of the connector/ribbon cable with the contacts on the OPPOSITE side (you can see by the pins that the connectors are not turned around).

Just need the 'old style' pcb.... :)

I'm on TEAM UBERBEN!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Tue, 03 April 2012, 19:30:01
Quote from: uberben;565892
I have another question for all you Kinesis modders. Has anyone make a schematic of the controller board yet? There are scans of the button boards here (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:16112) but not of the controller board.
...
If no such schematic or key map exists, I will probably just do it myself. I just don't want to duplicate work if it has already been done.  :)

Well, the button boards connect to the cotroller board, so it's the same info isn't it? Best collection of schematics is by dmw here:

http://humblehacker.com/blog/20100720/hacking-the-kinesis-contoured-keyboard/

I borrowed some of that info and used it to show extra matrix locations in my wiki (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:26579)

 (http://geekhack.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=43065&d=1331186970) (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:26579#Part+4:+Taking+advantage+of+the+6+unused+spots+available+on+the+matrix)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Tue, 03 April 2012, 20:12:14
Quote from: sordna;566072
Well, the button boards connect to the cotroller board, so it's the same info isn't it?


Not quite. Each collection of keys makes up part of a key matrix, but I would find it hard to believe that each one was a unique key matrix. What is more likely is that they are all part of one larger matrix. In fact, I have highlighted some (but likely not all) of these shared connections in red in the image you included.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]47128[/ATTACH]

I had forgotten about the Humble Hacker Kinesis info. Thank you for the reminder. This is likely the info I am looking for and I will confirm next time I have my board open. I have copied the list here for posterity.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]47129[/ATTACH]

Looking at that matrix, I wonder if there are more remappable keys in there that span multiple keyboard sections. there is a nice big gap in rows 1-3 and columns G-L. I can see the gaps where I suspect you found your extra keys (marked with a "**"). If you need any more buttons added, this might give you an idea for where to look :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Tue, 03 April 2012, 20:31:11
One large matrix ... you are probably right! Ok, I'm passing the extra keys torch to you, you will do better than me. Gotta see your post count increase too, I can't believe you're still at 15 :-)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 03 April 2012, 20:36:46
Yes, the individual matrix layouts are part of one large matrix. There may be additional remapable keys, but how many more I don't know, nor if they are blank/have repeated functions.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Tue, 03 April 2012, 20:51:28
Odds are I won't be adding any keys to the stock controller, but I'll try to keep my mods compatible as much as possible so that anything I do can be easily reused.

It does feel a bit strange to only be at 15 posts. I've been lurking for a couple years now, so I guess it is about time I spoke up :)  I should have some more project time in the near future, so hopefully it will become more frequent.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 04 April 2012, 10:06:35
15 posts, that's kinda funny because I was scratching my head at the post count as well...I was thinking "How can that be?". Then I realized part of the contact has been through PM, so from my perspective the 15 didn't hold water. :)

I need to go back to your hacker website and poke around, I saw some neat stuff there.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Mon, 09 April 2012, 16:45:40
Hey IN. I see you are starting a wiki (http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:29886) for all the Kinesis info. Are you looking for some helpers to organize that wiki and keep it updated? I'd be willing to help out a bit.

Also, if you move over the pics of the example mods, I think links to the sources would be really helpful for anyone looking for more info on a particular mod.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 09 April 2012, 19:52:41
Yo!
I am making a wiki "Everything Kinesis Advantage" so it will pop up when the world searches :) I want to have a clean listing of all the various mods (about 10), with one or more detailed examples for each complete with references, photos, links, etc. as well as a link farm for anything of value that is Kinesis related. A collaborative effort is needed to do a thorough job. A couple hardware items I need to re-do and take better photos of (the splitting of the keyboard). The current article was mostly for my own reference and to think things out...I started it 2 years ago-ish. I don't have a time frame, but I thought I would get started with the wiki placeholder, and taking the old article, stripping it down to bare essentials, and building it back up.

So yea, thanks, welcome aboard, I'm game for this :)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: QuinRiva on Fri, 13 April 2012, 20:55:13
IN did you ever take measurements of the keywells for the kinesis?  I'm trying to build a custom split case with Kinesis like keywells out of sheetmetal, I have a few illustrations in the ErgoDox thread (http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?22780-Interest-Check-Custom-split-ergo-keyboard/page35).  I want to get a couple concepts knocked up in the machine shop while I'm waiting for the the keywells to arrive from kinesis, but the only values I have for the spacing of the mounts is rough measurements from photographs, so I was wondering if you happened to take measurements as part of your projects?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 13 April 2012, 21:14:03
No, I have not. There was some rough scaling done for the 4 mounting points of each keywell for the "caseless Kinesis" I want to make, but no other specifics measurements have been done.

EDIT---
I saw your diagrams... I like it...standalone keywell/case combo for each half. Slick as snot!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 19 May 2012, 00:33:53
Thought I'd throw this out there---

I've had the Key Switch Tester for a couple days. It has Cherry browns, blues, blacks, reds, clears, green, "ergo" clears. Kinesis Advantage is available with browns or reds. After trying all the switches head-to-head, I'd say that "ergo" clears are a fine switch option for the Kinesis. Still light to the touch, but with more of a tactile feel. I'm surprised Cherry doesn't make this switch.

I believe someone was going to swap to "ergo" clears at some point. Was it Lanx?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 26 May 2012, 20:00:37
I am not monitoring/participating/contributing on Geekhack anymore.

I have subscribed to this thread, and will be alerted if someone posts here or if a PM is sent to me (Input Nirvana) as well.

I will respond to this thread/wiki and PMs.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 26 May 2012, 20:06:50
Mkawa giving me an infraction yesterday for a girlie pic I posted last September, is the last straw. GH has been going downhill overall, even though a few select things have improved.

I'm over it.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: keyboardlover on Sat, 26 May 2012, 20:12:24
See ya dude...will miss ya :(

Quote from: ripster;600992
Might want to pm iMav in case this is deleted.

Agreed...the more people exposing the truth to the head honcho, the better.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 26 May 2012, 20:14:19
I assume all pics of girls are in the process of being scrubbed? Dunno. Don't care. Not my forum, I was just a guest that didn't follow the rules. Too bad the pic is gone...I'll see if I can post it in the Kinesis article. It was a keeper.

See you on Deskthority. I have Hoggys keyboard I gotta ship, so I better not be too scarce over there or he'll think I'm keeping it!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: keyboardlover on Sat, 26 May 2012, 20:17:30
Well you won't see me there.

When you eventually get bored there, give me a holler.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 26 May 2012, 20:18:38
Nah. Imav started the mods, and it's his forum. He can run around and do something if he doesn't like it. Someone else screwed it up, let someone else fix it if they want to. Not my job.

Most of them are great (I'd give them a hug on their birthday), it's the bad apple that spoils the barrel.

You guys sure jumped on this thread awfully fast! Didn't think you monitored the modifications forum so much.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 26 May 2012, 20:20:38
I'm not "going to" Deskthority....I don't post much there. I was making that reference to Ripster because I need to ship Hoggy his keyboard, and the keyboard correspondence was conducted on Deskthority.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: TexasFlood on Sat, 26 May 2012, 21:02:37
Hope things work out for you Input Nirvana, and hope you'll be back at some point.
You probably won't even see this, hah, so probably talking to myself, sigh.  Oh well...
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 26 May 2012, 21:53:10
TexasFlood-

I'm subscribed to this thread and have notifications turned on, so I'll be alerted when someone posts here, or when PM'd on GH. I'm not 100% off, but about 98% off. There are half a dozen threads that I have my finger on (Kinesis custom keycaps, etc.). I was planning on my time on GH to decrease drastically as I got into the final stages of the Kinesis customizing, which has accelerated this year. A lot of options and people with ideas became involved. At some point most projects get maxed out. The custom split Kinesis has always been my primary, but I've had a few major sideline items come along during the almost 3 years I've been monkeying around with it. I've bought and sold a Datahand, made some solid acquaintances, learned quite a bit (some of it actually valuable), learned about forums, etc. I'll probably kick in here in a few months with some targeted searches to see if something has popped up that applies to one of the many facets of the Everything Kinesis Advantage project. I was about to redo the article with the new title so it appears in search engines....but maybe someone can take that over for me.

As far as some of the changes that have occurred to me recently, some of them have been brewing/building for a couple years...so I need to regroup, make a 5-10 year commitment to a geographical location, pull in any contacts I have left, make new ones, and bust my ass to get something started. I'm 48 so my time is relatively short. I've got to make a lot happen in a short amount of time, or I'll be homeless and eating Alpo at retirement age. I'm highly talented and am a soldier for most things, but I still can't weather much bad luck or take too many risks. I need to find/create some opportunities with some great people, and use resources wisely.

I hope that some peeps still post any mods for Kinesis either here or on GH and maybe link in this thread. This article/discussion is a resource so others can see what has been done.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: keyboardlover on Sat, 26 May 2012, 23:14:51
Everyone's time on this planet is relatively short.

Go in peace brother input nirvana.

Namaste.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 27 May 2012, 17:58:33
FYI:

The Kinesis wiki I've been working on for a couple years that was originally named "IBM Trackpoint questions" before I knew what I was getting into...I tried to copy the entire wiki article over to the "Everything Kinesis Advantage" wiki page I started a month or so ago....but too much reformatting/attachment is needed, and since I won't be spending much time here I just wanted to get it renamed now. So against the cautions on the edit page I went ahead and just renamed the article "Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!"  to see what would happen. If it was all lost...oh well. But it seems that links still go to it...so maybe it's ok. The "Everything Kinesis Advantage" has a copy (that needs drastic formatting) just in case it all blew up. I closed the page so no one would post there. I didn't want it to crash like some scorched earth thingy. Sorry for the forum mess. I created a header on the "Everything Kinesis Advantage" explaining why it's there....maybe someone has a suggestion on how to handle it. I'll deal with it at some point. Or not.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: TexasFlood on Mon, 28 May 2012, 00:26:56
Noticed a bit of my work in there from back in the day in an intermission entry.
It's obviously keyboard related so on topic, :wink:
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 28 May 2012, 01:24:49
Quote from: ripster;601711
Yeah, the Wiki SW blows.

I just copypastad everything to my subforum for better user experience and more control.

Got a link to your offending boobs pic?

I wish...it wasn't specifically boobage, just a girl in lingerie. It was neat, reminded me of someone I went to school with, or got a lap dance from. Whomever deleted it should return it. It isn't their property. Everything I've posted is not in the image manager.

Maybe I should ask for a subforum and just have my one article there.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 28 May 2012, 01:36:47
Thanks, I feel the love. The only love in a month.

I've posted more today since I "quit" yesterday than in the last 6 weeks. LOL But I did finally respond to Mkawas PMs to say what I really thought of this moderation fiasco.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: keyboardlover on Mon, 28 May 2012, 08:15:21
Quote from: input nirvana;601741
Maybe I should ask for a subforum and just have my one article there.

You should...I'm starting to find the sub-forums more and more enjoyable now that the main forum has become a police state.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Lanx on Mon, 28 May 2012, 08:50:34
Quote from: input nirvana;595672
I believe someone was going to swap to "ergo" clears at some point. Was it Lanx?

yea, my daily kinesis driver is (A-Z, thumb cluster) ergo whites, the rest are browns. feels nice and tactile.

sadface on thoughts of leaving.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 28 May 2012, 11:06:23
Quote from: keyboardlover;601825
You should...I'm starting to find the sub-forums more and more enjoyable now that the main forum has become a police state.

I pm'd imav. For future reference.
But if I move my Kinesis wiki to my subforum...it won't show up in web searches, is that correct? I don't want that...it's for peeps that want info on the Kinesis Advantage. When I came to GH 3 years ago...there was nothing on the web at all about it, except a guy that painted the keycaps. So I wanted to clean it up and have it a resource that is accessible.

Quote from: Lanx;601836
yea, my daily kinesis driver is (A-Z, thumb cluster) ergo whites, the rest are browns. feels nice and tactile.

sadface on thoughts of leaving.

I tried the Summer os 2012 Cherry Switch tester...and the ergo clears definitely have merit with the Kinesis Advantage. Interesting. I had thought about using ergo clears on thumbs...but I would need more time. I had the tester for a few days, it came at a bad time for me and I didn't get totally 'into' the switches as much as I needed to.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 28 May 2012, 11:21:37
Note the missing info in the post.....
http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?11539-Soldering-Iron-Station&p=409812&viewfull=1#post409812
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 28 May 2012, 11:30:20
I notice when I click on the "Kinesis Advantage - Everything......." thread header when it is in the right column (meaning that it's the last thread someone has posted in for that subforum) I get a notice that says I'm not allowed to have access. Then I need to open the subforum and select the thread from the list of all threads. I think I may have read about this somewhere before.....sound familiar?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 28 May 2012, 11:43:29
TexasFlood found our girl...

[ATTACH=CONFIG]51648[/ATTACH]

Totally appropriate in a soldering iron thread. Shows value.
(she was a full page size when I had posted her)

Life is short, don't eff it up.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: TexasFlood on Mon, 28 May 2012, 12:05:58
Quote from: ripster;601988
Good job TexasFlood.

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Thanks, but its Grrrrrruff now, try to keep up...
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 28 May 2012, 12:07:33
Thanks all you guys. I've received some really nice supportive pm's and even a couple offers of help. Extremely cool. I'll make it...90 days to regroup and fix issues, moving on to new opportunities.

Ripster, your avatar rocks!

BACK TO KEYBOARDS!
(But only my Kinesis article for me)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: TexasFlood on Mon, 28 May 2012, 12:09:24
Quote from: input nirvana;601993
Ripster, your avatar rocks!

I heard some music yesterday that perfectly matched Ripsters new avatar.
But didn't write it down and now it's gone, sigh. :sad:
There is a Godzilla movie on later today, probably always is on some channel somewhere.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 28 May 2012, 12:11:28
Quote from: ripster;601988
Good job TexasFlood.

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

With your noble permission Input Nirvana I will use your pic here:
http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?31797-Ripster-s-Hoody-and-TShirt-Collection-and-Why-Cafepress-and-Zazzle-Blow&p=601980#post601980


Hahaha! Yea, that's good.
It was a Mkawa and Reaper tag team. Communications from Mkawa. Not sure how the whole system works. Don't care.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Tue, 29 May 2012, 18:27:08
Hey, I don't post much these days, but I will keep subscribed to your wiki, as well as my own. Please do the same, I need you in the "Adding extra keys" article discussion!

Another thing I noticed, (http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?26389-Kinesis-Advantage-w-Reds&p=600147&viewfull=1#post600147) perhaps we finally have a Kinesis employee posting at GH? Says to contact tech support for leftover blank Kinesis keycaps sets.

Hmm, maybe it's not a good time for you to leave after all :-)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 29 May 2012, 18:54:50
That is a pic of the same "smoke" case Rick (from Kinesis) sent me, that I in turn posted in my wki, under the "Gallery" a few months ago. Rick also tld me about the several sets of blank black key caps they found, somewhere between 5-15 sets. I mentioned that somewhere at some point. I would have grabbed at least one set, but I want PBT blanks (the Kinesis deserves this), and, considering us guys, there will be more than the "standard" number of keys anyhow :) So it must be Rick!

As I mentioned a few months ago, as the Kinesis project winds down, my involvement on GH will also. There has been a lot of movement on customizing the Advantage the last 6 months or so, it's almost maxed out...until Kinesis pops out an upgrade!

Later this year I'll have pics and more details when I re-assemble my split Kinesis. I'll have to make a chair-mount for it, since I had to sell my Datahand and chair-mount last month.

I'm about to start looking into a start up...if it could be with customizing Kinesis keyboards I'd be set! I've had some drastic changes that I need to make similar drastic and productive changes to counter. I want to stay in the bay area, so now I need to network from stone cold and see whats out there. I may need to have 2 businesses to try and make up for all I've lost. If it becomes my lifestyle, it'll be easier than just a job.

So I'm still available, but moving on with life and getting into a more involved and productive phase. I regret some of my actions on GH, but I forgive myself my indiscretions...we all make mistakes.

I'll put the wiki in my subforum so I can mot have posts/pics deleted at whim. Hopefully renaming this wiki didn't cause any problems, but I'm clicking on it sometimes and it doesn't link :(
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Tue, 29 May 2012, 19:34:56
I noticed one problem already: If I see this wiki in my Settings / substribed threads link and click on one of the discussion pages (to jump on the last page directly), I get a bad link like this, which doesn't include the title=Island:#### thingie

http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?do=comments&page=15

So I have to click on the wiki title instead to jump to the main article, and then click on the last page of the discussion thread.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 29 May 2012, 20:46:47
Hmmm....I'll ask iMav....  :(
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 02 June 2012, 21:34:36
Something happened to the last wiki entry I made (it's not there) and now I don't have access to edit this article (?). I PM'd iMav about it so maybe it'll get fixed. I don't know if it had something to do with the changing the name of the wiki. So I dunno when/if it's repairable :(
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Soarer on Sat, 02 June 2012, 21:37:29
Same (unable to edit problem) happened to my converter article. Got a message saying 'edit has been submitted for maderator approval' or something like that :-/
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 02 June 2012, 21:46:17
Edit submitted for moderator approval? I don't even have the "edit" tab...it's gone. WTF?? Weird.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: keyboardlover on Sat, 02 June 2012, 21:48:12
Hey did you ever find out what happened to your subforum?

If it's gone for good I'll add a "double shot kinesis set" to my wishlist (http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?31962-KL-s-Keyboard-Wishlist) for you.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Soarer on Sat, 02 June 2012, 21:53:47
Quote from: input nirvana;606465
Edit submitted for moderator approval? I don't even have the "edit" tab...it's gone. WTF?? Weird.

I had the edit tab. I edited the article, then got that message, then the edit tab was gone.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 02 June 2012, 22:03:11
I asked iMav and he said that he was cleaning up member subrorums/etc, and deleted mine since it didn't appear I was using it. and assumed I wouldn't use it based on comments I made on Deskthority. He said he would reinstate my subforum. I don't know what I would have said on Deskthority that gave that impression. I said there and I did here, that my time is greatly decreased 1) because much of my Kinesis info is mostly wrapped up, and 2) I've got some life changes that occupy more time, and different mental focus.

So I'm not clear on everything else that happened, I know Ripster was banned, but I haven't read (and won't) all the threads/posts/misc. regarding the drama. It is what it is, we all make our own beds. Plus...see my explanation above about my time/focus. And, I have a stalker! (I feel 95% better after going to court though). The only thing I really don't like that has been happening is the deleting of posts/threads. Big turn off, like a girl with B.O.

I just want to continue to work on m Kinesis thingy.

And thanks you guys, a lot of very cool PMs have come my way. It's nice to feel the love  XOXOXOXO

BACK TO KEYBOARDS!

Soarer:
Is GH being 'locked down" to prevent dissent/arguments/deletions/misc? I'm not very forum experienced.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Soarer on Sat, 02 June 2012, 22:19:57
I dunno such stuff!

There was a minor case of wiki vandalism, which might be why we can't edit these. No idea who's supposed to be approving edits, or if it's just a temporary measure, or a mistake, or whatever.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 02 June 2012, 22:38:12
Ahh...maybe that's it. Drama. I've had enough of that for a loooong time. If I don't get access, I'll find out if it's everyones wiki's. I don't have the time/energy to re-make it, and if I did, I maybe wouldn't be able to edit that either :(
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: keyboardlover on Sat, 02 June 2012, 22:57:13
Well I added the doubleshot Kinesis set to my wishlist for you anyway.

Cuz you rock. RIP Smoochie.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 02 June 2012, 23:26:15
Wishlist!

I'll see link in a couple mins. I'm downtown and just got something going on with a mid-late 20's very light blond, about 5-2 with a perfect body (like a coiled spring!) killer high heels and form fitting 1 piece dress/skirt. She should be in magazines. PYI: That was my opening line.

I miss Doodle so much. My greatest sadness :(

 EDIT---- Once her group showed up 15 mins later.... the "moment" was diminished. But her glow was worth the time.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: keyboardlover on Sun, 03 June 2012, 07:12:33
Hey after you're done with her send her my way. She sounds hot!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 03 June 2012, 13:33:22
Saw the wishlist....looks fun :)

I'm still thinking I need to see blank PBT keys, maybe from SP, since I have all the key profiles are known. I STILL don't have the source for all the key profiles in PBT :(
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Lanx on Sun, 03 June 2012, 23:52:32
you can guess that there was probably a wiki scramble to prevent ripster from ripping wiki content off of GH, it's prolly fixed now, btw why's it gotta be a wiki? this thread seems fine enough to me. (or is this thread actually the wiki? lol)
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Mon, 04 June 2012, 00:28:18
I have no idea what's going on. Been too busy to review threads here or on Deskthority. I don't want to either, I've had enough BS in my life, I don't need to hear about what may be happening here. I need a break from crap :) So you've given me more info than I knew. I personally don't care if anything I've done is copied, that's the point, to share the info, so if that's the issue, I don't care about that. Besides Ripster is not ergo/Kinesis so his interest in my wiki as a whole is most likely minimal, other than perhaps an interesting tidbit or two.

I just wanna work on my Kinesis wiki whenever. It's not an urgent thing, I was posting a pic and a link about Sordnas mod, and I got locked out. LOL. I'm not cruising the whole forum anymore, I just get notified when someone posts in this thread.

Speaking of which, I'd like to see some more of what you've done, I was going to link in this wiki to yours, mostly due to the radical nature of your mod.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Lanx on Mon, 04 June 2012, 09:38:57
man, just like you i've been busy to the point that i've packed away the kinesis' in rubbermaid containers already, so sadly no progress.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Wed, 06 June 2012, 20:09:59
Wow, I get busy for a month and it seems like all sorts of drama breaks out. I hope all ends on a high note and the Kinesis info keeps up. I'll try to contribute what I can as my project gets underway.

IN: I'll add the thanks for all the info and help you've provided on the Kinesis front.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 06 June 2012, 21:25:27
Yo! I haven't been able to hit your website lately...very busy getting my life back together.

I have edit capability again, and am going to add a couple pics/info/link of Sordnas palm button mod. I'll deleted some fluff that is messy as well. I'm currently pressed for time but would like to do a couple things we had talked about with the controller info and a link to your website. I feel that is very valuable and could be of service. Let me know!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: ryanc on Fri, 08 June 2012, 18:07:50
So, I managed to to add a trackpoint to my kinesis. I posted over in the keyboard forum, but it might get moved/deleted.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 09 June 2012, 00:26:30
See it HERE. (http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?32232-I-successfully-added-a-trackpoint-to-my-Kinesis-Advantage-Pro&p=610007&viewfull=1#post610007)

Really great stuff. Please share more if you can :)

I'm so proud!
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Mon, 11 June 2012, 09:41:07
Quote from: input nirvana;608926
Yo! I haven't been able to hit your website lately...very busy getting my life back together.

I have edit capability again, and am going to add a couple pics/info/link of Sordnas palm button mod. I'll deleted some fluff that is messy as well. I'm currently pressed for time but would like to do a couple things we had talked about with the controller info and a link to your website. I feel that is very valuable and could be of service. Let me know!


Ya, whatever info you need, let me know. I should be at the tail end of my crazy busy schedule now, so hopefully I will be putting some more time into this project soon.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Icarium on Thu, 14 June 2012, 04:44:10
uberben: Is this: http://www.keyboardmods.com/search/label/kinesis your work?
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 14 June 2012, 22:59:50
No, that's not him. That link is for a guy here in the bay area. I posted on that as "GG". Bluecar on GH also posted there.
 
I'll post Uberbens website shortly....if he doesn't do it first.
Title: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Fri, 15 June 2012, 08:01:57
http://skullspace.ca/wiki/index.php/Custom_bluetooth_keyboard
It hasn't been updated in a while as I've gotten real busy, but I'll be back at it in the next few weeks.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 21 July 2012, 13:17:32
Looks like the info/pics have gotten borked due to the site going down. I'll rebuild some of the wiki later. :(
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sun, 12 August 2012, 01:32:24
I wonder if our wiki's stand a chance to be properly revived with photos and such.... sigh
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 12 August 2012, 01:44:20
I was told no.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sun, 12 August 2012, 11:40:30
Are our attachments at least stored somewhere on the server ?
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 12 August 2012, 11:48:38
I don't know all the details of the attachment situation. I think the situation changed from what what thought originally, so I'm confused. I have not followed up with anything. I see some 'archive' forums and such, but I have not had the time to see what it's all about. Soarer backed up all my attachments, so I have a 4-5 of your pics that I used in this article, and I have another couple of yours as well, but that's about it. It is not at all inclusive :(
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 16 October 2012, 00:28:27
I will try to start compiling some new information and reformat the Kinesis article...I sent the mods a PM to see what is here/missing and what options exist to fix and get the projects info more available. I know others have done this, but I've been out of the loop for months. Once I get that squared away, I'll ask a few of you guys to hop in and make it the resource it was meant to be.

IMPORTANT KEYBOARD LAYOUTS (and links to websites)-
-Colemak (http://colemak.com) 3rd most popular layout after qwerty and Dvorak, more efficient than either.
-Workman (http://viralintrospection.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/a-different-philosophy-in-designing-keyboard-layouts) (very Kinesis oriented) Minimizes diagonal movement, keeps fingers in main rows.
-Arensito (http://www.pvv.org/~hakonhal/main.cgi/keyboard) (very Kinesis oriented)
-Malt (http://www.maltron.com/keyboard-info/general-keyboard-information/the-maltron-letter-layout.html) (very Kinesis oriented) Has the "E" key in the thumb cluster and minimizes the bottom row. They show some variations on their website.
-QGMLWB (http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/) from the CarpalX website, there are several layout options....this particular one reflects the least effort used.

LAPTOP TRACKPOINT-
-IBM has quite a few laptop track points that are NOT integrated with the controller boards. It would be nice if there could be a list with a bunch of model numbers compiled (besides the trusty IBMKPD8923). The benefit of the KPD8923 is that it's ready to go. No mod, just plug it in. The laptop units need to be extended and wired. Time is money!


CUSTOM KEYCAPS-
-Still don't have all the answers on PBT
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: mikelanding on Tue, 16 October 2012, 01:07:03
For trackpad, this seem good http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/ergonomic_touchpad.php
I plan to buy the small one and put between the thumbkey area like below
(http://endoframe.com/log/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/kinesis-keyboard-with-touchpad.jpg)
photo credit to: http://endoframe.com/log/2010/07/05/touched/
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 16 October 2012, 10:44:55
Yes.
Have you seen the people that have put the trackpad under/into the case? I have pics, but they are disconnected from the Kinesis article :(
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: mikelanding on Tue, 16 October 2012, 11:49:28
Yes.
Have you seen the people that have put the trackpad under/into the case? I have pics, but they are disconnected from the Kinesis article :(
No. I didnt found any yet. Do you know this touchpad work on Mac OSX? had email them but ni reply yet.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 16 October 2012, 12:01:40
Yes it works with OSX, it's plug and play.

I'll try and post a pic of a trackpad 'built in'
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: mikelanding on Tue, 16 October 2012, 12:04:30
that is good new. i will make a purchase then
How i wish apple trackpad is smaller. haha
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Tue, 16 October 2012, 12:16:21
I have the Apple Magic Trackpad..I use in on my Kinesis sometimes...it's a great trackpad with OSX...I've not used anything better as far as functioninality.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 30 March 2013, 14:06:17
IN any updates on your split kinesis with trackpoint mod ?  I'd love to see a completed photo!
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 18 May 2013, 09:50:43
Regarding trackpads...there is the Apple Magic Trackpad and last summer I saw a Logitech Trackpad that is similar in size. I have not used it but it is multitouch.

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/mice-pointers/touchpads?view=34&a1=1&compproducts=9966,10337

My track point modded Kinesis has been out of commission for a very long time. I got hung up on trying to do all mods at once, got caught up in the details and stopped progressing. Now that life is getting on track I'll pull out and assemble, then deal with the additional mods on a case-by-case basis.

Oddly one of the reasons the Split Kinesis is not my daily driver is because it is split and the way I'd made it, more or less requires it to be chair mounted. I need to replicate the Datahand Chair Mount kit. I have another Kinesis that is not to be split that I have a trackpoint for as well, I should do that...it's pretty much the most awesome way to type on a Kinesis.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 18 May 2013, 12:06:31
Hey IN, when will you repopulate your photos in your article? At least the keyboard-related ones! LOL
Seriously, they are too valuable to miss, please take a day and do it, I had to do the same for my extra-keys article, just dug through my computer and put my photos back... it took a few hours but was worth it.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 18 May 2013, 12:17:00
I just located the photos Soarer sent me. Uberben asked me recently to forward the emails with the photos to him. I'm hoping to get started on it, but I'm having access problems with the original article. A year ago I had started to create a 'wiki' format, but that got blown out by R00tworm. I haven't looked to see anything about the current wiki format/situation, I know it was in transition for a while. I would like to throw the photos plus a few others I had. Good references for peeps.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 18 May 2013, 12:24:40
Not sure what access issues you are refering to. You have been modifying the OP of this thread with announcements and such (last edit shows April 9), so ... have you tried to upload an attachment recently? It should work. Maybe the old attachment references in those square brackets are causing you issues, just delete them (or replace them with your own text labels if you need to remember all the spots that had images).
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 18 May 2013, 12:40:54
The last edit was April 9 2011

I just tried to edit the OP and it says the message is "too big" and won't let me alter it.

I'm forgetting now, but the original kinesis info used to be an article with the thread of posts attached to it....now the original article is the OP. Must have been part of the R00tworm-destroy-archive-rebuild process? No matter I guess. I need to see how to make a new "wiki, or thread or article or..."?
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Sat, 18 May 2013, 12:43:26
2011 ??? Whoops, I didn't bother to look at the year :-)
Hmm, maybe cut the text and paste it in a local document (or email) for safekeeping, and just replace the entire article with a couple of words. If the edit goes through, then you should be able to paste back your stuff (or the most important bits of it) in another edit. Worth the try!
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 18 May 2013, 13:17:58
Yes, I came to a similar conclusion. The important factor is that makes it a lot easier/saves time-energy. That has been a stumbling block for me, need to make things smaller, easier and just get it done. It can always be modified/added later. I'll get on it.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: syntaxfree on Wed, 22 May 2013, 11:43:41
Forgive me if this somehow breaks Geekhack etiquette, but -- I'm new and all that.

I seem to have borked an entire keyswitch (the one on top of PageUp, left of Control) on my second keyboard, one I bought for work and went about switching keycaps far from finer tools like tweezers and such. I eventually lost the spring for this particular key in an attempt to figure out what was wrong, but before that the key was already stuck; I don't know exactly how I borked it originally, except that I pulled it to one side somehow. (When I switched my keycaps for my first keyboard at home, I removed the whole thumb-area group to avoid such occurrences; at work, I had about half an hour to get it running before falling behind schedule).

 How do I source a single key switch appropriately sized for this key? I don't mean keycap, I mean the key innards itself.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Wed, 22 May 2013, 15:48:29
wasdkeyboards sells individual Cherry MX switches:

http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/keyboard-parts-1.html

they do not have diodes or pins like the ones used on the advantage, but the stems and springs are the same.
Alternatively you can get switch replacements from Kinesis. (http://kinesis-ergo.com/)
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: regicide on Thu, 23 May 2013, 01:38:13
For trackpad, this seem good http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/ergonomic_touchpad.php
I plan to buy the small one and put between the thumbkey area like below
Show Image
(http://endoframe.com/log/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/kinesis-keyboard-with-touchpad.jpg)

photo credit to: http://endoframe.com/log/2010/07/05/touched/

I bought one of these for my Kinesis and wasn't very happy with it, the performance was very mediocre; no multitouch and only allowed scrolling along the right edge, it often wouldn't pick up when I was trying to scroll and seemed to sometimes get stuck in scroll mode (wouldn't let me move the mouse, had to unplug to reset it).

I am considering trying to mount my Logitech T650 but it overhangs the front by 2cm, as shown here (apologies for the poor lighting)
(http://i.imgur.com/YUJBJyH.jpg) (http://imgur.com/YUJBJyH)
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 24 May 2013, 00:17:57
Show Image
For trackpad, this seem good http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/ergonomic_touchpad.php (http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/ergonomic_touchpad.php)
I plan to buy the small one and put between the thumbkey area like below
(http://endoframe.com/log/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/kinesis-keyboard-with-touchpad.jpg) (http://endoframe.com/log/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/kinesis-keyboard-with-touchpad.jpg)

photo credit to: http://endoframe.com/log/2010/07/05/touched/ (http://endoframe.com/log/2010/07/05/touched/)

I bought one of these for my Kinesis and wasn't very happy with it, the performance was very mediocre; no multitouch and only allowed scrolling along the right edge, it often wouldn't pick up when I was trying to scroll and seemed to sometimes get stuck in scroll mode (wouldn't let me move the mouse, had to unplug to reset it).

I am considering trying to mount my Logitech T650 but it overhangs the front by 2cm, as shown here (apologies for the poor lighting)
(http://i.imgur.com/YUJBJyH.jpg) (http://imgur.com/YUJBJyH)

Thanks for the information on the Ergonomic Touch Pad. I only used one briefly at an ergonomic store and once again briefly on someones computer, but didn't get to see what it could do besides some clicking/scrolling. There was some buzz about it a couple years ago, but that died out pretty fast. It never gets reviewed anywhere...so thanks :)

LOGITECH:
How do you like the Logitech? I have not tried the Logitech, only the Apple Magic Trackpad...I understand they are similar. Is there any chance you can do a review of the Logitech here on Geekhack, and maybe post in this thread with a link? It would be much appreciated.

Also, I'm sorry the article/wiki is borked and pics missing. I have just relocated the pics and will be repopulating the article and editing/updating it in the next several weeks.

Eye candy:

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: madderoftime on Thu, 27 June 2013, 13:39:00
Following your artical and read through everything but like others all the attachments missing makes some things difficult. Could you send me the pics? I have 2 of the Advantages with the memory upgrades and would LOVE to change out the blasted Fkeys. Would be great to see how you did it.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 27 June 2013, 15:06:15
I will get some stuff done in a week. You can PM me your email/I'll try to get pics loaded. I'm close to getting the article resolved.

I know your pain, that's why I did that mod :)
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Fri, 28 June 2013, 09:05:17
If you are already emailing out some pics, feel free to send them my way to. I will PM you my email too.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: CPTBadAss on Fri, 28 June 2013, 09:07:13
Please upload the pictures to the article. It's unfair to the rest of us that there's three select people who get emailed pictures. I'm tired of using my imagination for this article! :P
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 28 June 2013, 21:59:47
****, you guys are worse that Velicoraptors!

No one's got anything from me yet, but I AM committing to follow up and get the more important stuff to peeps chop-chop quickee.

I think I have everything that was there previously, and some of the stuff that didn't manage to get posted, except for the wiring for the cherry switch F keys. I have a bunch of interesting links, and a few other reference items I've gathered here and there in spite of my absence from GH this past year or so. Stuff will start getting done within a couple weeks.

I need to populate the media wiki Mkawa (hate that Kawa) set up. Haven't done that before, so I need to spend a little time getting my bearings on that.


Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: keeeeenw on Sun, 30 June 2013, 10:26:05
You directed me to your article from my "First Ergo Keyboard" thread. It is exactly what I am looking for. Now, I know much better about the different models of Kinesis keyboards. Thank you for sharing the information!
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 30 June 2013, 11:26:07
This is what Geekhack is all about, it's basically our mission statement.

Working on fixing and filling out the missing stuff.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Poom on Fri, 12 July 2013, 08:13:07
Hi, I was reading the internet about the Kinesis Advantage and somehow almost every reviewers said good things about the "guidebook" that comes with the Advantage, to help adapt to this layout. So im interested. but since I dont own a Kinesis, perhaps somebody has that book and can share?

Thank you so much in advance.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 12 July 2013, 08:41:42
These links are the Kinesis website and the 2 User Manuals:

http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/support/advantage-usb-manual_09-11.pdf
http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/support/advantage-userguide_11-12%20.pdf

You can post a link to the reviews that mention the helpful guidebook....I don't know if they are referring to the user manuals or a 'typing exercises" guide. I don't know if the typing exercises guide is on their website.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: kfmfe04 on Sat, 18 January 2014, 07:13:36
Background

For years, I have bought keyboards with the control key in the caps-lock position.  When I bought a MacBook Pro before I got into mechanical keyboards, I made sure I got a Japanese version so that the control key was "in the right place".  When I bought my first mechanical, a Filco TKL, the first thing I did was to switch the CAPS LOCK to CTRL via software.  So when I got a hhkb a few weeks ago, there was no need to change anything.  I need CTRL is a convenient position due to heavy use of UNIX/Linux/vim.   

After topre, I have no intention of buying any more MX boards except ergonomic ones.  One of those is the Kinesis Advantage LF.

So, my question is, is it possible to swap the CAPS LOCK for CTRL using the Kinesis firmware or do I need to attempt to do this through the OS?
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Sat, 18 January 2014, 08:53:32
This can be done in the firmware. I have done the same. I had to map the right control for some reason, but that might have been to bypass a virtual machine hotkey. (I did the mapping a couple years ago and don't remember exactly why.)
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: derekwtaylor on Fri, 21 February 2014, 12:41:25
FYI, I dropped by the Kinesis office today (turns out it is on my way to work, go figure!) and picked up the LF upgrade kit.

It was about $95 after tax.  They offered to throw in enough reds to replace the thumb switches as well!

Great service.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: kfmfe04 on Sat, 22 February 2014, 00:14:51
VERY NICE!

The LF is one of two boards that I want post-hhkb - the other is AcidFire's Ergodox-like split board.  I expect those two to be my end-game MX boards, stopping my MX collection at 3 (the other is a Filco M2 TKL).

Beyond that, I'll probably only eye Topres.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 26 February 2014, 19:21:14
Thank you CPTBadAss and Photoelectric for getting the article into a form that it can be fixed/updated/pictures loaded after the R00tworm incident of 2012. (it's split into 2 posts, Post #1 and Post #2).

I'll get photos in it first, then start bit by bit with the rest of the editing.

People come for the pics.

Just like porn.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: CPTBadAss on Wed, 26 February 2014, 19:31:17
People come for the pics.

Just like porn.

I see what you did there.

And you're welcome. Now start fixing this young man or I will turn this thread around!
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: nacitar on Thu, 27 March 2014, 16:14:17
FYI, I dropped by the Kinesis office today (turns out it is on my way to work, go figure!) and picked up the LF upgrade kit.

It was about $95 after tax.  They offered to throw in enough reds to replace the thumb switches as well!

Great service.


Couldn't this kit be used as a base PCB for making some sort of curved ergodox?
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: uberben on Thu, 27 March 2014, 16:27:47
Couldn't this kit be used as a base PCB for making some sort of curved ergodox?

I've been thinking about doing this very thing. I'm already working on replacing the controller in my Kinesis and might make it such that I could build up a new one with just the key well kit and some other basic parts. I saw on DT a week or two ago someone that printed a curved keywell which would also be nice, but would not have the curved PCB.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: kaltar on Wed, 23 July 2014, 11:26:48
Couldn't this kit be used as a base PCB for making some sort of curved ergodox?

I've been thinking about doing this very thing. I'm already working on replacing the controller in my Kinesis and might make it such that I could build up a new one with just the key well kit and some other basic parts. I saw on DT a week or two ago someone that printed a curved keywell which would also be nice, but would not have the curved PCB.

The Kinesis comes wired with a matrix (the one that is in the PCB of the ergodox) it would be needed to remove the matrix and solder wires from each key into the PCB. The PCB could be flat on the case of the Kinesis, I do think it fits.

However, If you want it to be in any other place other than the kinesis case (like in ergodox style, hands separated) you would need to do the casing for the wells. That's the real work
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: vvp on Wed, 23 July 2014, 16:31:06
I saw on DT a week or two ago someone that printed a curved keywell which would also be nice, but would not have the curved PCB.
Can you give a link? I plan to post to DT too since that is the place I first announced that I'll try to do it. If I'm very lucky I may have first fully working prototype (but not the final version) in about 2 months.
So far only the case is being done and electronics is only in schemes and on a breadboard. The matrix is hand wired too, the rest will have PCB.
These are the top two parts from the right side. They need to be glued together and also the bottom part needs to be printed. Then the full right case would be done.
[attach=1]
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: jacobolus on Wed, 23 July 2014, 23:36:41
If I'm very lucky I may have first fully working prototype (but not the final version) in about 2 months. So far only the case is being done and electronics is only in schemes and on a breadboard. The matrix is hand wired too, the rest will have PCB. These are the top two parts from the right side. They need to be glued together and also the bottom part needs to be printed. Then the full right case would be done.
Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/7zhHyDq.jpg)
If youíre doing this with an arbitrary 3d-printed case and hand wiring it, you might as well copy the Maltron instead of the Kinesis Advantage. The Kinesis has an inferior design which is mainly necessary because theyíre using a curved PCB, which at scale is substantially cheaper than the Maltronís hand wiring.

In particular, Iím convinced the orientation of many (even most) keys on the Kinesis is quite suboptimal, based on the most natural movements human fingers make. If you take a look at the Maltron, the finger switches are at different heights vertically, but they are mostly oriented in approximately the same direction. Whereas in the Kinesis Advantage, the switches all sort of point inward toward the center of each hand. The result of this is that to press keys on the kinesis, you need to press outward as well as downward, which typically requires force from your whole hand, rather than from the main joint at the base of the finger which is the main joint used to depress any keyboard key.

edit: I think the Maltron number and function rows have a bit of the same problem, and would actually be better if they were positioned about the same as now but with their orientation adjusted to be more similar to that of the other keys. But of course itís worth testing a few designs directly against each other. You might find that you still like the way the Kinesis keys are laid out, even when your technology allows you more flexibility than theirs does.

Also, I think both Kinesis Advantage and Maltron could use a bit of stagger between columns.

[If you can, I recommend finding someone with a Maltron and borrowing it for a few days, or at least trying to type on it for a few minutes. Itíll be more obvious in person.]

Also, I recommend thinking carefully about what position and orientation is most comfortable for your thumb keys. I donít think you have that optimally figured out either.

(The Maltron isnít perfect, IMO, but itís pretty good.)
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 24 July 2014, 00:09:00
Thanks Jacobolus, valuable insight. A careful direct comparison of Matron vs Kinesis is  valuable data.  I'm also of the belief that a 3D printed key well that is perhaps not the exact Kinesis key well may be a more optimum ergo solution.

So much has evolved in the time span of the last 3 years that I'm of the opinion a Maltron key well should be attempted via 3D printing. Also, perhaps a slight modification to the exact positioning, but I'm not astute as to what that should/could be, other than an adjustable thumb cluster.

After Keycon, I have the idea to re-engineer the Split Kinesis, and strip off the case...using key wells only.

Then, on to the ULTIMATE INPUT (DEVICE).

Stay tuned.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: vvp on Thu, 24 July 2014, 06:52:29
I did not know there is difference like this (less angle stagger, more height stagger) between Maltron and Kinesis. It looks insignificant to me. Small differences in the angle of force vector to the switch axe should not matter (i.e. (1-cos(α)) is almost zero for small α). But if I ever get a chance to type on Maltron then I'll be able to really comment on it.
Reachability of the keys looks much more important.
This is the 6th version of the keywell and I'll stick with it at least till the first fully working prototype. Surprisingly, I especially like the thumb cluster. Much better than the kinesis' one in my opinion.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 24 July 2014, 07:52:28
Hoggy has comparison pics of Kinesis/Maltron that help show these differences. He has some notes/observations that are specific to the key well and thumb cluster differences.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: kaltar on Tue, 29 July 2014, 07:58:51

Then, on to the ULTIMATE INPUT (DEVICE).

Stay tuned.

Do you accept credit cards?
(https://quenya101.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/shut-up-and-take-my-money-23274.jpg)
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: ryanc on Fri, 01 August 2014, 19:33:39
Kinesis has sold people unpopulated PCBs before. I know there's at least one guy who's used them to build a cherry mx blue kinesis.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: ryanc on Fri, 01 August 2014, 19:36:56
...also, I have a working kinesis with teensy based controller instead of the stock one...
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 01 August 2014, 19:38:17
Can you elaborate on what you've done with the controller?
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: ryanc on Thu, 28 August 2014, 10:50:42
http://michael.stapelberg.de/Artikel/kinesis_custom_controller

I am actually the one who bought out his spare PCBs.

(https://i.imgur.com/jAkHIFe.jpg)

Things of note:

* Ribbon cables to thumb clusters have been made detachable

* Some of the extra GPIOs are brought out via a cable to be connected to a trackpoint (firmware already shows up as a composite keyboard/mouse) and foot pedals.

* Button is to reset the microcontroller

* It has blue LEDs

* It does currently work as a keyboard
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 28 August 2014, 10:58:07
Fantastic work, thanks for posting link! Excellent Kinesis upgrade, nicely documented.

This is a great option, I need to look at more carefully.

Any chance this can come to Kiibohd meeting this weekend? :)
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: ryanc on Thu, 28 August 2014, 11:22:28
BTW, I just posted this to see if anyone is interested in working on a more refined replacement controller. http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=62246.0
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: swaziloo on Sat, 18 July 2015, 16:43:11
I realize I'm resurrecting an old thread here, but it's the best place I could find.

I'm a hair away from pulling the trigger on the replacement controller boards from OSH Park (https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/BwWRYP5c) to upgrade an old PS2 Kinesis Classic QD (KB133PC/QD.) My main goals are to make the Kinesis connect via USB (I tried the adapter route, and it sucks) and convert to an external USB connector. I have some experience building and programming my ErgoDox and Atreus keyboards, and though I'm not a pro, I'm not averse to the challenge (or risk.)

My questions for you guys with more experience than I:
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: SneakyFrog on Sun, 19 July 2015, 21:31:15
Here is my mod to encourage people that are not confident doing this modification themselves. I haven't held a soldering iron or cutting tool in a long time.

For the switch I selected the HBFS-24 (http://www.gamerfinger.com/hbfs24.html) with Cherry MX Blue because I like it cliquey.

(http://i.imgur.com/MMINzgT.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/vpsoJvn.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/7GEYM52.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/pRcInqQ.jpg)

I did not have a drill bit, the holes are not so clean but it does not show when assembled. However, they are miss-aligned by 1mm on both axis. Next time I'll buy a drill bit for best result, or else I'll try to mask the containing square with coloured tape as a guide.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 19 July 2015, 21:39:24
Buddy, that's great! Only off by 1mm? Hell, our bodies alignment is off by more than 1mm! 
I find it interesting where you placed your buttons, mine are more under the palm like everybody else's. Your location has advantages and I like it better.  I may add buttons on the "outside" like yours in addition to the 2 under the palms then remap. Neat stuff!
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: SneakyFrog on Sun, 19 July 2015, 21:47:39
I find it interesting where you placed your buttons, mine are more under the palm like everybody else's.

Thanks, I am not use to it yet and not sure what best to map. I am still conscious of hitting the buttons by mistake, also wondering if I should have put them closer to the edges by 5mm. Will try this for a while then post my feedback..
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sun, 19 July 2015, 21:54:19
Even closer to the edges?  Seems to me that might be too far and you'd need to move your hands to use them.  They look in a great spot. I'll check on mine where my hands hit. Interesting.
Where did you get your blank keycaps? Kinesis directly? It looks really clean. If you didn't get from Kinesis, where did you get and are they ABS? Are they the "correct" keycap profiles?
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: SneakyFrog on Sun, 19 July 2015, 22:06:39
Where did you get your blank keycaps? Kinesis directly? It looks really clean. If you didn't get from Kinesis, where did you get and are they ABS? Are they the "correct" keycap profiles?

Got the keycaps directly from Kinesis, however not living in the US I found the ordering difficult and shipping prices to high. Luckily I grouped my order with a friend of mine.


Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 22 July 2015, 22:01:04
I'm holding out for a set of blank PBT key caps
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: SneakyFrog on Thu, 23 July 2015, 01:25:47
I noticed https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=29875.0 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=29875.0)
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: m0j0 on Wed, 14 October 2015, 00:54:54
Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but it seems to be the most relevant place to ask. Besides ordering an entire set of keys from Kinesis, is there an alternative for drop-in replacement custom keycaps? Earlier posts in this thread mention vendors and supposedly reference part numbers, but the information is so old that I can't really make sense of it.

I'm mostly interested in some custom replacements for the Ctrl, Alt/Option, and Windows/Command keys for my Kinesis Advantage Pro.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 14 October 2015, 01:04:24
Will need to touch base on this. There aren't any "drop in" complete replacements. The info is old but accurate   Also depends on what custom keycaps you want. Share your thoughts!
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 14 October 2015, 01:05:48
I've been meaning for 2 years to clean up and reformat the article after it got borked by Rootwerm,  but I just haven't done it :(
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: m0j0 on Wed, 14 October 2015, 02:21:51
Will need to touch base on this. There aren't any "drop in" complete replacements. The info is old but accurate   Also depends on what custom keycaps you want. Share your thoughts!

I've been meaning for 2 years to clean up and reformat the article after it got borked by Rootwerm,  but I just haven't done it :(

The backstory is that I work as a software engineer and have spent most of my career doing UNIX/Linux software development. Most of my PCs have been configured for Windows, even though I typically run Linux, or Cygwin when forced to use Windows. Just last week I broke down and bought a MacBook Pro, and I'm hooked. I've reconfigured both my Kinesis keyboards for the Mac layout, and I love it. Unfortunately, my keycaps don't exactly match the new settings, because I have lost my extra "Mac" keycaps that came with my Kinesis keyboards. Even if I did have them, Kinesis stopped putting the word "Option" on the Alt key at some point, and I'm OCD enough that it bugs me that the "Command" key doesn't say "Command", and the "Alt" key doesn't include the word "Option".

I would like to buy four keycaps with just the Apple command symbol (⌘) and the word "Command" (without a "Windows" symbol), and two keycaps with the Apple option symbol (⌥) and the world "Option" (instead of the word "Alt"). Ideally these keycaps would be high-quality drop-in replacements, matching the color and look/feel of the "stock" Kinesis keycaps.

I've considered just buying a full extra set of QWERTY keycaps, just to get the extra Command keycap, and just suck it up and live with the fact that "Alt" doesn't say "Option," and I've also considered just getting a set of blank keycaps, and either leaving them blank, or perhaps trying to get them labeled correctly somehow.  I am a touch typist and don't NEED to see the labels on the keys, but it's sometimes useful when you're trying to do one-handed keyboard short-cuts.

I have zero experience with custom keycaps, so I don't know what the typical cost would be, or what sort of minimum order would be required. Aesthetics are important to me, so I'd cheerfully pay over $5.00 each ($30 for six keycaps) that are EXACTLY what I want, than spend $39.00 for a blank set and have some sort of crude home-drawn label taped on there.

Any ideas where I could start?

Thanks!
-m0j0
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: amlai on Wed, 14 October 2015, 02:28:07
I would like to buy four keycaps with just the Apple command symbol (⌘) and the word "Command" (without a "Windows" symbol), and two keycaps with the Apple option symbol (⌥) and the world "Option" (instead of the word "Alt"). Ideally these keycaps would be high-quality drop-in replacements, matching the color and look/feel of the "stock" Kinesis keycaps.

Before you make things too complicated, have you tried calling Kinesis? If not, I would just call them up and see if they have any keys in stock that meet your requirements. They tend to keep old parts around and may have exactly what you're looking for. In my experience, they've been very helpful.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: m0j0 on Wed, 14 October 2015, 02:56:47
I would like to buy four keycaps with just the Apple command symbol (⌘) and the word "Command" (without a "Windows" symbol), and two keycaps with the Apple option symbol (⌥) and the world "Option" (instead of the word "Alt"). Ideally these keycaps would be high-quality drop-in replacements, matching the color and look/feel of the "stock" Kinesis keycaps.

Before you make things too complicated, have you tried calling Kinesis? If not, I would just call them up and see if they have any keys in stock that meet your requirements. They tend to keep old parts around and may have exactly what you're looking for. In my experience, they've been very helpful.

Yes, Rick said he's going to see if he can find me a couple of "Alt/Option" keycaps, but there was no guarantee. He said that he thought he MIGHT have some laying around. Even if he does, I still think it would be more aesthetically pleasing to have only the Mac logos on the keycaps. I'm well aware that this is a cosmetic desire on my part, and not a real problem, and I hate distracting them too much from people who REALLY need support. They've always been VERY friendly and patient, and Rick has helped me work through several remapping and macro questions, so I don't want to be that "pest" customer that's always bothering him with trivial questions.

Also, I want them to focus on getting the Advantage2 finished and shipped! I was lucky enough have the opportunity to preview a prototype a few months ago, and I will immediately buy two of them when they're released. I won't reveal any new features, but I consider it a HUGE improvement over the existing Advantage series.


Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Wed, 14 October 2015, 16:38:14
Just say yes to improvements   
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Phenix on Thu, 27 July 2017, 15:23:47
all pics are down afais. is a reup possible?
please
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 27 July 2017, 15:25:05
Is there a link on the first post or two for Imgur?
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Phenix on Thu, 27 July 2017, 19:23:51
Is there a link on the first post or two for Imgur?
did I missed them? looked trough but didnt see anything.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Thu, 27 July 2017, 21:48:12
Uh oh. The link for imgur is down? That's not good. 2 people have the info. Sister,  captbadass , and I have it also, but I'll need to find it.

Are you looking for something specific? Or just in general? The thread got jacked a few years ago and I've never gone back to fix it and add the photos correctly.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Malachor on Sat, 29 July 2017, 21:27:09
Uh oh. The link for imgur is down?
The imgur link is in the second post. Something like the 5th line. And it still works.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Sat, 29 July 2017, 21:30:24
I might be able to help if you have some specific questions.
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Phenix on Thu, 03 August 2017, 15:36:32
Thanks, found the imgur link finally.
What Im most interest in (by priority
- bluetooth mod
- QMK mod (Stapelberg seems best)
- split in half /Dactyl style
- trackpoint

any idea? (specifically for the bluetooth mod, that's atm top priority)
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: sordna on Fri, 25 May 2018, 01:14:04
IN, are you still around?  After a looong time I updated my wiki and added a section about adding extra keys to the Advantage2. (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=26579.0) Scroll down to part 7. It still supports 9 remappable extra keys! Have you acquired an Advantage2 or not yet ?
(https://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26579.0;attach=196285;image)
Title: Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
Post by: Input Nirvana on Fri, 25 May 2018, 02:49:44
Ya. Still here. Live in Half Moon Bay and am completing the Salesforce Tower downtown.

Iím in Saudi Arabia looking at possibly working on the Riyadh Metro Project, will be back in a week. Will catch up when I return.

Iíve been out of touch mostly, moving, work, busy, girls, etc. but I managed to buy a Kira keyboard on Input Clubs Kickstarter last month!