Author Topic: Dampers for ergo keyboards  (Read 2753 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Architect

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 254
  • TECK Lover
Dampers for ergo keyboards
« on: Fri, 20 January 2012, 07:14:22 »
I'm trying to learn about the o-ring option for Cherry keys, my understanding is that they are used to reduce key noise. I'm wondering, what if any affect do they have for ergo minded keyboardists?

Do they change the inertial weight in any significant way?
Do they work with any Cherry stem keyboard?
Where is a good place to get them?
General thoughts on using them on a Kinesis or TE?

Thanks, I would't mind quieting down the keyboard a bit.
TECK 209 Blank Keys; Leopold Number Pad; X-Keys Professional; X-Keys 84.

Offline oneproduct

  • Posts: 857
  • Location: Montreal, Canada
  • @Ubisoft
Dampers for ergo keyboards
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 20 January 2012, 10:19:04 »
More so than key noise I find that they are more about stopping the impact of "bottoming out" as it cushions the landing a bit. It does reduce noise when doing this but releasing the key still causes noise as the spring expands and the stem hits its upper limit.

It doesn't change the weight, but it does reduce the key travel distance which I find to be fairly noticeable (others disagree). I found that I like this on blue switches but not on any others. I guess it's because blue switches must be pressed down lower before they actuate, though I can't explain exactly why this makes me enjoy o-rings on them. Honestly, I can't stand blue switches without the o-rings on but with them they are actually pretty nice. Several other Kinesis users here use o-rings on their keyboards, I have a LF and I haven't actually tried putting them on it but I did try on another keyboard I have with red switches and I didn't like it.

They should work on any Cherry stem keyboard. I haven't heard about anybody saying otherwise.

You can get them at WASDkeyboards.com and they come in hardness ratings of 50A or 40A and cost $14 or $17 respectively for a pack of 125. There's also some for sale in the group buys section and the classifieds for much cheaper but I they are made of an "inferior" plastic and/or are not as soft (people seem to like the soft 40A). If you are interested in trying I have 34 spare 40As from WASDkeyboards.com (enough to cover the alphabetical/punctuation cluster on a traditional layout) which I was trying to sell for $4 shipped which is a cheaper per unit price.
« Last Edit: Fri, 20 January 2012, 10:21:13 by oneproduct »
Layout: Colemak
Fastest typing speed: 131 WPM on typeracer, 136 WPM on 10fastfingers.
Daily driver: Filco Tenkeyless MX Brown with ergonomically weighted, lubed springs.
Ergo keyboards: Truly Ergonomic, Kinesis Advantage, Ergodox

Offline sordna

  • Posts: 2245
Dampers for ergo keyboards
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 20 January 2012, 11:07:20 »
Architect, there's tons of threads here explaining everything about o-rings. The site search works, and even better google search for "o-rings site:.geekhack.org".
You can start by clicking o-ring in my sig. If you don't want to spend to much time get these to try, they are excellent:

http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/keyboard-accessories-2/cherry-mx-rubber-switch-dampeners.html
Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 LF with Cherry MX Red switches / Extra keys mod / O-ring dampening mod / Dvorak layout. ErgoDox with buzzer and LED mod.
Also: Kinesis Advantage Classic, Kinesis Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline Architect

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 254
  • TECK Lover
Dampers for ergo keyboards
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 20 January 2012, 18:24:17 »
Quote from: sordna;494890
Architect, there's tons of threads here explaining everything about o-rings. The site search works, and even better google search for "o-rings site:.geekhack.org".
You can start by clicking o-ring in my sig. If you don't want to spend to much time get these to try, they are excellent:

http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/keyboard-accessories-2/cherry-mx-rubber-switch-dampeners.html

I'm aware of the search function, thx. Maybe I didn't make it clear I'm specifically looking for a perspective on them from an ergonomic perspective.
TECK 209 Blank Keys; Leopold Number Pad; X-Keys Professional; X-Keys 84.

Offline sordna

  • Posts: 2245
Dampers for ergo keyboards
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 20 January 2012, 18:30:39 »
That has been covered too. Myself and ohters are using o-rings not for the sound dampening so much, but for the softer landing; to avoid the jarring impact to the bones and tendons. Again, 40A o-rings from WASD are top notch, they soften the landing but still provide tactile feedback telling you that you bottomed out. They also have a minimal impact on key travel (some people like short key travel and use thicker o-rings but I don't think that's ergonomically beneficial). Also, some other alternatives like the soft landing pads, are too soft, and as a result you cannot easily tell if you bottomed out or not while typing, even though some people find them very comfortable. But to me they are equivalent to pillow-top plush mattresses which aren't very good for your back.
Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 LF with Cherry MX Red switches / Extra keys mod / O-ring dampening mod / Dvorak layout. ErgoDox with buzzer and LED mod.
Also: Kinesis Advantage Classic, Kinesis Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

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
Dampers for ergo keyboards
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 20 January 2012, 19:24:16 »
I saw WhiteFangs group buy an hour before cut off and was excited (how sad!) to have the opportunity to try different o-rings softness and thickness compared to the ones I already have. I doesn't seem like a big deal, but on something so personal as the feeling in your fingertips...it's worth the extra effort to get as dialed in as possible. I really look forward to hearing what several of you say about the different key travels/softnesses....the mere thought I can possibly improve on the already incredibly awesome Kinesis is mind blowing :)
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 Architect

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 254
  • TECK Lover
Dampers for ergo keyboards
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 25 January 2012, 10:44:46 »
So I got the blacks (50D) on one TE keyboard, the reds (40D) on another and the final one is stock, all next to each other on separate computers. The stock one happened to get a set of Cherries that are a little sticky and clackier than most which accentuates the difference.

After a day or two I'm not sure what to feel about it.

  • One, I bottom out more than I thought. I don't know how anybody types without bottoming out in some form or fashion. Even doing a fast trill on the piano I'm pretty sure I bottom out
  • It does reduce the general noise.
  • It does improve the solidity of the keyboard in a nice way.
  • Psychologically it does feel like it's bottoming out earlier, regardless of what it really is doing.
  • I prefer the Red 40D over the 50D, seems softer but it is probably placebo/psychological




It's unclear if it's more ergonomic or not, other than (I believe) ergonomics goes beyond movement and includes fit and finish (try working in a ugly environment compared to a clean beautiful one). At any rate I like it and will outfit all my keyboards, even though the value seems a little questionable so far.
TECK 209 Blank Keys; Leopold Number Pad; X-Keys Professional; X-Keys 84.

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
Dampers for ergo keyboards
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 25 January 2012, 14:08:06 »
I have the 50A, I bought them at the onset of the O-ring craze, before all the other options had been thrown out in the open. I would like to get the 40A at some point. As far as actual typing, you don't notice much of a difference between the two?
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 boli

  • Posts: 342
Dampers for ergo keyboards
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 25 January 2012, 14:21:08 »
The WASD video made me curious so I ordered some 40A ones, together with a set-and-a-half of blank key caps for my Kinesis Advantage. Looking forward to trying it all out, but shipping will take some time, as I took the cheapest option. :)
Keyboard: Kinesis Ergo Advantage (two LF editions with red Cherry switches, one regular with brown switches)
Keyboard layout: basically Colemak, with some remapping to end up with my custom Kinesis Advantage layout
Typing test profiles: typeracer.com / hi-games.net / keybr.com

Offline sordna

  • Posts: 2245
Dampers for ergo keyboards
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 25 January 2012, 15:05:29 »
Quote from: input nirvana;498849
I have the 50A, I bought them at the onset of the O-ring craze, before all the other options had been thrown out in the open. I would like to get the 40A at some point. As far as actual typing, you don't notice much of a difference between the two?

It's a very small difference. I like 40As better. They are pink too, so easier to spot when you drop them on a keyboard :-)
Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 LF with Cherry MX Red switches / Extra keys mod / O-ring dampening mod / Dvorak layout. ErgoDox with buzzer and LED mod.
Also: Kinesis Advantage Classic, Kinesis Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard