Author Topic: Kinesis Contoured Keyboard  (Read 7060 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 11:37:38 »
I recently purchased a used Kinesis Classic; I am still trying to get used to the new layout, however my main problem with the board is the use of Cherry Browns. I have a somewhat limited experience, however I believe that blue switches are more to my taste. What switches are used in the more modern of the Kinesis contoured range?

Offline washuai

  • Posts: 410
  • Location: SF
    • http://home.earthlink.net/~haruai/
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 11:43:01 »
I guess with a name like unicomp, no surprise that you'd prefer clicky.  To my more limited knowledge Kinesis are only in yummy chocolate flavor.  Is the touch too soft for you or you just really miss the clicky?

You could mod it to use blues . .
⌨(home)Realforce 87U ⌨(backup) Filco Majestouch 104 Brown ⌨(backup)Cherry G80-8200LPDUS ⌨(work)Leopold FC200RT/AB
☛CST L-Trac-X ☛Logitech Wireless Optical Trackman ☛ Razer 3500 dpi ☛MS Explorer DeathAdder

Lay-a-bouts:  ⌨Full 109 Key Virtually Indestructable  Keyboard ⌨Compaq Radio Quack GYUR84SK
Wishlist: ⌨KBDmania Pure ⌨Déck 82 ice/frost/toxic/royal ⌨Ricercar spos G86-62410EUAGSA ☠ ✞⌨miniGuru(s) ☠
 ✐Intuos or Cintiq

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 11:48:13 »
I think that my opinion is somewhat skewed by my new-found inability to exceed about 40 wpm using the slightly new layout, however I find that there is less tactility than I am used to (perhaps).

I am unsure as to whether this is attributable to the wear of the old board, however it feels rather linear in response, not something I am immediately taken by.

Offline washuai

  • Posts: 410
  • Location: SF
    • http://home.earthlink.net/~haruai/
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 11:53:55 »
If you find the force graphs, the tactile bump on browns is less perceivable.  Yes, I've read older cherry browns have less tactility.  I'd have to search, but someone on here compared really worn cherry browns to po' man cherry reds.
« Last Edit: Sun, 06 June 2010, 12:03:54 by washuai »
⌨(home)Realforce 87U ⌨(backup) Filco Majestouch 104 Brown ⌨(backup)Cherry G80-8200LPDUS ⌨(work)Leopold FC200RT/AB
☛CST L-Trac-X ☛Logitech Wireless Optical Trackman ☛ Razer 3500 dpi ☛MS Explorer DeathAdder

Lay-a-bouts:  ⌨Full 109 Key Virtually Indestructable  Keyboard ⌨Compaq Radio Quack GYUR84SK
Wishlist: ⌨KBDmania Pure ⌨Déck 82 ice/frost/toxic/royal ⌨Ricercar spos G86-62410EUAGSA ☠ ✞⌨miniGuru(s) ☠
 ✐Intuos or Cintiq

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 12:00:09 »
As for modification, I could certainly, given the ability to obtain the parts, give it a go. I note that a user has done exactly the transformation mentioned with some ease, however it required purchasing some parts from Kinesis (hopefully still available) and the switches themselves (I do not know where to purchase these).

I am only really considering this because the typing position is quite nice, if I can become proficient with the keyboard then I am sure that it will be nice to work with in future.

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 12:50:52 »
Rather strangely I am now having some problems with the board. It seems that some of the left hand keys are triggering multiple presses in a somewhat sporadic manner (although the superfluous key triggers seem to be consistent given the initial key pressed). I have opened the board up and taken out any rubbish inside, however it was rather clean and I would doubt that this could be the source of such an issue. The only other nice possibility is that the PS/2-USB adapter is malfunctioning.

Is this a common error? I am assuming that this board is rather old, however I have no real experience with this sort of thing.

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 13:01:10 »
I have no PS/2 port; I am currently using a second adapter that I have; I hope that this continues to work.

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 13:19:07 »
I type this with some trepidation, however it does seem that the change of adapter has made the functionality fine. All I now have to do is to stop typing "b" for "v" and "n" for "m" (I will have to wait a few weeks until I can use my Cherry blue board and become painfully aware that I dislike the switches on this board). The typing position is good, particularly the rather sensible use of the thumbs.

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 13:25:57 »
I was using the one that was unexpectedly received with the board, however now my Model M does not have an adapter, however I am less likely to use it.

Offline Infinite north

  • Posts: 162
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 13:43:04 »
There is a test to see how good your usb dongle is. all you have to do is hold both shift keys and type "the quick brown fox jumped over a lazy dog".

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 13:46:11 »
One amusing feature of this board is the audible clicking sound that is created internally by the keyboard. Which other keyboards do this? Is there some way that I can disable this feature (I have not got any manuals or instructions with this board)?

Offline Input Nirvana

  • Master of the Calculated Risk
  • Posts: 2313
  • Location: Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area/Best Coast
  • If I tell ya, I'll hafta kill ya
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 13:56:15 »
key click audible tones on/off:
press "PROGAM" and "\"

find user manual here:
http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/support/contour-ps2-manual.pdf
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell                     Proudly GeekWhacking since 2009
Staying in touch via Tapatalk VIP                                        Thanks much, Smallfry  
I AM THE REAPER . . . BECAUSE I KILL IT
~retired from forum activities 2015~

Offline Infinite north

  • Posts: 162
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 15:03:29 »
Oops jumps I mean. I never understood why it has "the" in it twice.

Offline Infinite north

  • Posts: 162
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 15:11:55 »
6% less text

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 16:29:55 »
Now, this is very strange.

After I changed the adapter the keyboard was working fine; I was doing typing for circa 1 hour earlier.

Now the keyboard is having a similar fault to the previous and the built-in laptop keyboard stops functioning once the error is thrown on the Kinesis until I remove the Kinesis from the computer completely.

The only difference between now and a few hours ago is that I opened the media player to play a video. I assuming that the error is software related as I have tried all the reset features for the keyboard (to ensure that I am not in some strange mode) and the errors are so strange. What could the problem be? I run Ubuntu 9.10, for reference and have only been using Firefox, Evolution and Totem today.

Edit: So, it seems that the reason for the laptop keyboard not working is that the Kinesis is sending imaginary key presses to the computer continuously after it throws an error. The reason this is strange is that it seemed to be working fine earlier today.
« Last Edit: Sun, 06 June 2010, 16:41:17 by unicomp »

Offline Zalusithix

  • Posts: 165
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 16:40:12 »
The only thing I can think of is the Contour is sending a modifier key such as ctrl or alt and not letting it up. That would prevent either keyboard from functioning normally (and might appear to be completely unresponsive at first). Outside of that, I don't see how it would be possible without the OS royally messing things up.

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 16:48:50 »
I'm running Ubuntu so I cannot run the file (unless I emulate or something).

Effectively I am trying to convince myself that this keyboard is not totally bricked (as I bought it about 2 days ago).

Offline Zalusithix

  • Posts: 165
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 16:56:52 »
Going by your edit, you say its sending imaginary key presses. Can you verify  what presses those might be? If its a modifier, hitting the modifier again on the Kinesis should rectify the problem. At least it does on my USB based Advantage. (And the problem is very rare there - maybe once a month, and typically in gaming situations where I have many keys down at once)

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 17:00:07 »
I have now unplugged the Kinesis, however the problem was that basically pressing numerous keys on the right-hand side of the board caused there to be registered multiple presses which seemed to be followed by some continuous press. For instance, I pressed "i" if I remember correctly, the computer must have registered, possibly among other things, the "Windows key" which I have mapped to launch terminal, then I see that "A" is being continuously registered in the terminal (until I unplug the board). However pressing something like "o" was clearly registering, among other things potentially, a "Pause/Break" (I have this mapped to calculator).

Offline Zalusithix

  • Posts: 165
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 17:12:43 »
Odd... Unfortunately, I can't really offer much help with something like that. I've never experienced a regular letter key get stuck on my Kinesis. I have a feeling the only way you'll get a clear answer as to whether the keyboard is bad or not is to test it on a machine that has a PS2 port. However, even if it was good, you'd still be stuck with a keyboard that doesn't seem to work with any of the usb/ps2 adapters that you have and as such it'd be rather useless for your laptop.

Getting a USB based one should fix the problems, but that would cost more money, and you're obviously iffy on the cherry browns... Granted Kinesis does have a 60 day money back guarantee if you did decide to try a new one, so you're not totally screwed if you can't come to like them.

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 17:18:40 »
The thing that is annoying is that I purchased this from eBay; advertised as "used" and has seemed to work for several days however now appears to just not work.

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 17:33:43 »
Quote from: ripster;190367
Hmmm.... sure would be nice to find someone with a PS/2 port just to eliminate for sure that it isn't one of the dongles acting up.

In this post  Ricercar said the Blue Cube solved some of his Kinesis problems.


Interesting, I am also using a Thinkpad. I will have a look into a different adapter. It will be about a week before I can get a PS/2 port possessing computer to test anything on.

Offline Input Nirvana

  • Master of the Calculated Risk
  • Posts: 2313
  • Location: Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area/Best Coast
  • If I tell ya, I'll hafta kill ya
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 06 June 2010, 19:28:37 »
You should do a memory reset, so you can start with a clean slate. Rule that out before you spend a lot of time.
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell                     Proudly GeekWhacking since 2009
Staying in touch via Tapatalk VIP                                        Thanks much, Smallfry  
I AM THE REAPER . . . BECAUSE I KILL IT
~retired from forum activities 2015~

Offline Forsaken

  • Posts: 45
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 07 June 2010, 03:43:28 »
Definitely try the full memory reset. I had the "stuck key" behavior on mine (advantage pro) from where I didn't understand how to remove a macro, and had simply made a key a macro for itself (a = a). Sometimes if a key is macro for itself, it'll loop that way, and it'll definitely lag in registering when you press it.

Another thing, it seemed a bit funky sometimes with numlock off. I've always left numlock on, and not had any issues with the board whatsoever after resolving the macro confusion.

(btw, the correct way to remove a macro is to enter macro program mode, press the key or keys that triggered the macro, then simply exit macro mode without entering any other keystrokes, do NOT macro the key back onto itself lol)

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #24 on: Mon, 07 June 2010, 03:58:08 »
I have already done the full factory memory reset and it seemed to make no difference. I am currently awaiting the arrival of a new adapter for the board, hopefully this will sort everything out.

Offline Forsaken

  • Posts: 45
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #25 on: Mon, 07 June 2010, 04:08:58 »
Good luck then. It really is a very comfortable board to type on once you adapt, it's worth the learning period IMO.

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 09 June 2010, 07:13:43 »
I have now tried with the "Blue Cube" adapter and it seems to make no difference to the functionality.

However, I notice that now the error is triggered whenever I plug the keyboard into the computer (regardless of adapter, it would seem); this is as opposed to previously it would function fine until a key in the right hand was pressed.

I am now thinking that this is almost definitely going to be an internal problem. What can I do?

Offline Input Nirvana

  • Master of the Calculated Risk
  • Posts: 2313
  • Location: Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area/Best Coast
  • If I tell ya, I'll hafta kill ya
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #27 on: Wed, 09 June 2010, 18:32:45 »
I wonder if it might be a dirty or bad switch.

You may want to consider opening the keyboard. Is that something you are comfortable doing?
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell                     Proudly GeekWhacking since 2009
Staying in touch via Tapatalk VIP                                        Thanks much, Smallfry  
I AM THE REAPER . . . BECAUSE I KILL IT
~retired from forum activities 2015~

Offline unicomp

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 119
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #28 on: Wed, 09 June 2010, 18:35:46 »
I have spoken to the seller who has agreed to allow me to return the board for a refund. I am somewhat perplexed, however I will just look for another board at some point in time I suspect. Thanks for the help.

Offline ricercar

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 1697
  • Location: Silicon Valley
  • mostly abides
Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
« Reply #29 on: Wed, 09 June 2010, 20:02:54 »
Blue cube adapts fine on Kinesis that operate correctly. This Kinesis is obviously broke.
I trolled Geekhack and all I got was an eponymous SPOS.