Author Topic: Could use some advice on the best fit for me.  (Read 1663 times)

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Offline seriouslybr0

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Could use some advice on the best fit for me.
« on: Thu, 03 September 2015, 10:04:55 »
So long story short I have terrible hands. I got a pok3r with clears and I absolutely love it but it feels straining to use. Throughout my life I've broken most bones in my hands and long term will probably end up having bad arthritis. I love my keyboard though and I love computers in general and that won't change.

My next board will definitely be a custom one but as there are a lot of choices I'm wondering what would be a good option that would put less strain on my fingers. As for switches I just don't know if I can get down with reds. I enjoy the tactile bump of clears but it doesn't seem viable for me long term. I'm also considering switching to dvorak because I heard that takes a lot of strain off of the fingers as well.

For reference my right hand is definitely the hand that feels lousy sooner. I appreciate any feedback

Thank you

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Could use some advice on the best fit for me.
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 03 September 2015, 10:10:47 »
Have you tried modified clears? You can replace the springs in the Clears to retain the nice bump but have a lighter actuation force. Finding aftermarket springs or looking into the Zealio switches might be something you're interested in.

Posture, typing technique, desk setup, taking breaks, and stretches are also something that might help you.

Finally you may want to look into ergonomic keyboard layouts to see if one works for you.

Unfortunately there's no way of know what is the best fit for you. You have to figure that out for yourself because ergonomics is very personal and unique to each person.
Please check out TactileZine.com!

Offline seriouslybr0

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Re: Could use some advice on the best fit for me.
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 03 September 2015, 10:17:06 »
yeah I'm definitely leaning towards modded clears.

I'm thinking I'll have to do some trial and error to find the lightest usable spring for the clears.

I'm also debating something like an ortholinear keyboard, maybe the plank so I don't have to move my hands as much. Even typing on a ****ty rubberdome at work I feel strain in my right hand though /:

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Could use some advice on the best fit for me.
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 03 September 2015, 10:20:01 »
Definitely worth a shot. And if you want to try a layout without buying a board, you can always make a mockup out of cardboard just to test the layout a little. Lowtech way to try something new out :).
Please check out TactileZine.com!

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Could use some advice on the best fit for me.
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 03 September 2015, 10:23:16 »
Do you bottom out with the clears? When I first started using them I bottomed out all the time then eventually I figured out I could just sort of glide over them, it makes them much lighter.

Offline seriouslybr0

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Re: Could use some advice on the best fit for me.
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 03 September 2015, 10:32:50 »
Do you bottom out with the clears? When I first started using them I bottomed out all the time then eventually I figured out I could just sort of glide over them, it makes them much lighter.


I'd say I bottom out about half of the time. I've been trying not to although I think the strain is more from damage in my hand than the heavy spring. At this point I'm trying to figure out a good setup I can build that will put the least amount of strain on them.

Offline seriouslybr0

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Re: Could use some advice on the best fit for me.
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 03 September 2015, 10:33:52 »
Definitely worth a shot. And if you want to try a layout without buying a board, you can always make a mockup out of cardboard just to test the layout a little. Lowtech way to try something new out :).

Oh geeze I never even thought to do that. I'll definitely make a point to do that before choosing a build

Offline hoggy

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Re: Could use some advice on the best fit for me.
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 03 September 2015, 14:53:27 »
Don't forget that the keyboard is only part of your setup. Do you use the mouse with your right hand?

Dvorak is fantastic compared to qwerty, but it can be a difficult transition, it was for me at least.

The split poker - 4 looks interesting if you like 60% boards, but probably won't be out for a while.

You should consider seeing a doctor about the pain, it might not be what you think it is.

Take a look at text expansion software, it can really cut down on the typing you need to do.

Can you describe the pain in more detail?
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline seriouslybr0

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Re: Could use some advice on the best fit for me.
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 04 September 2015, 09:50:18 »
Don't forget that the keyboard is only part of your setup. Do you use the mouse with your right hand?

Dvorak is fantastic compared to qwerty, but it can be a difficult transition, it was for me at least.

The split poker - 4 looks interesting if you like 60% boards, but probably won't be out for a while.

You should consider seeing a doctor about the pain, it might not be what you think it is.

Take a look at text expansion software, it can really cut down on the typing you need to do.

Can you describe the pain in more detail?


I get like an aching pain and it kind of feels like my hand grows stiffer as the pain does. I'm positive it's not the keyboards fault specifically but I would like to mitigate the issue with a new build eventually.

Offline heedpantsnow

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Re: Could use some advice on the best fit for me.
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 04 September 2015, 11:00:35 »
I've got similar issues as you in my left had (crushed it while working on my old jeep).  Gets tight when weather changes, etc.

These guys have given you some great advice.  I would echo:
See a dr - especially if you have good insurance, this is important for your health as he can recommend therapy, etc. to help.  This is also important legally, as having documentation is key for any sort of disability benefit.
Invest the time in workspace ergonomics - desk/chair/monitor/keyboard position, pointing device
Go for a lighter switch and try not to bottom out - the modified clears are a good example, but also the 65g Zealios might be a good choice for you.
Investigate voice input - these have come a long way in the last few years; it's still cumbersome to navigate the computer but if you are doing long strings of text (email, papers, etc.) then this can help you a bunch. 
I'm back.

Espresso machine overhaul: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78261.0

Carbon Fiber keyboard base: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54825

Offline Oobly

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Re: Could use some advice on the best fit for me.
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 04 September 2015, 12:59:04 »
I've got similar issues as you in my left had (crushed it while working on my old jeep).  Gets tight when weather changes, etc.

These guys have given you some great advice.  I would echo:
See a dr - especially if you have good insurance, this is important for your health as he can recommend therapy, etc. to help.  This is also important legally, as having documentation is key for any sort of disability benefit.
Invest the time in workspace ergonomics - desk/chair/monitor/keyboard position, pointing device
Go for a lighter switch and try not to bottom out - the modified clears are a good example, but also the 65g Zealios might be a good choice for you.
Investigate voice input - these have come a long way in the last few years; it's still cumbersome to navigate the computer but if you are doing long strings of text (email, papers, etc.) then this can help you a bunch.

+1 to all the points above.

I'd go so far as to recommend going even lighter, with 62g Zealios and some lube for them. They're smoother and this makes them feel even lighter than 62 ErgoClears even before lubing, but they still have the same tactility. You should also investigate the trampoline mod, inserting little pieces of rubber into the switch stems to reduce bottom-out shock. I recommend the silicone balls from IMSTO since they're consistent and easy to install (http://imsto.cn/index.php?route=product/product&path=61&product_id=88).

In terms of board designs, there are a few options that can reduce the amount of finger movement required, such as the Atreus (http://atreus.technomancy.us/) and I'd recommend learning your character layout of choice on something like that, assuming you can put together a set of layers that suits you (it's a minimalistic board).

If you learn a layout that's very different from QWERTY on a proper ergonomic board, it won't affect your normal typing skills, so you can still type on a normal board whenever required.

Another advantage of such a small ergo board is that it's portable, so you can carry it with you if you know you'll need to type for while wherever you're going.

I like Cherry profile keycaps (specifically GMK doubleshots or Gateron PBT) on really small boards, but this is just a personal preference.
Buying more keycaps,
it really hacks my wallet,
but I must have them.