Author Topic: KAT Ergo Kit Guide (Feedback welcome)  (Read 4765 times)

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Offline NoPunIn10Did

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KAT Ergo Kit Guide (Feedback welcome)
« on: Mon, 13 April 2020, 10:48:04 »
Edit 04 Aug 2020: Note updates below.

KAT has come on the scene in a big way for Ergodoxian keyboard users.  Its MOQ pricing structure means that specialized kits aren't left high-and-dry.

However, some of the KAT kits for Ergo are making mistakes in their contents.  This is somewhat understandable, as it's a new profile, and it's not entirely clear what legends people actually want.  Most kits seem to copy an existing GB's mods, and therefore they retain the mistakes made in prior kits.

Below, I have assembled a guide for building an Ergo mods kit with legends.  You should probably not include everything shown below, as that may get too pricey.  Where there are many options, I have roughly organized keycaps based on popularity informed by my own experience as well as the survey I ran last year.  (Note that KAT uses different row numbering than GMK/SA as referenced in the link).

Keyboard Layout Editor Diagram for KAT Ergo Kit

The biggest mistake currently being made is in the thumb cluster 1u keys.  Thumb cluster 1u keys should be R2 for KAT, even though the 2u keys are R1.  This is because R2 is the flattest row for KAT, similar to SA's R3.  Similarly, 1.5u vertical keys should also be R2.  Bottom-row 1u keys can either be R1 or R2: R1 is probably the best option. With R2 you can merge the set of legends for the thumb cluster 1us and bottom-row 1us, potentially making a less expensive kit.

When making a blank Ergo KAT set, the thumb clusters can optionally include 4x R3 keys (for the keys immediately above the verticals), but that's just too much variety to handle with legends.


« Last Edit: Tue, 04 August 2020, 14:42:56 by NoPunIn10Did »

Offline UggNot

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  • Location: Baltimore, MD, USA
Re: KAT Ergo Kit Guide (Feedback welcome)
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 13 April 2020, 11:30:13 »
The only thing I might add is for the bottom row 1u keys, consider including more than 1 of some of the legends. I personally use 2x OS keys (although 2 matching novelties would work just fine) and 2x ALT keys.

My bottom row (sol and sol2)

1.5u CTRL, 1u OS, 1u ALT, 1u DEL, 1u FN
1u ALT, 1u OS, 1u dot, 1u CTRL, 1.5u ENTER

The 1u dot I would never expect to be there.
I currently use an artisan for it. It is actually a duplicate .> key because my ring finger slips pretty regularly.

Overall though this guide is damn near perfect.

Offline harlekein

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Re: KAT Ergo Kit Guide (Feedback welcome)
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 30 April 2020, 04:17:59 »
This is making me think about other ergo layouts as well. My daily drives is Corne, but this applies to all thumb clusters. I believe thumb keys should either be convex, low or at the very least incline upwards so your thumb doesn't hit the edge.

On Cherry profile it's very common to use R4 upside down for thumb keys and I thought for KAT I would do the same where necessary.

I'll have KAT Milkshake on my hands soon (hopefully) and it will be my first time with KAT, so I'm curious to see how that works out.


Offline NoPunIn10Did

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Re: KAT Ergo Kit Guide (Feedback welcome)
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 04 August 2020, 14:41:42 »
Update, 04 August 2020

After using KAT in person, rather than looking at diagrams, I can confirm my suspicion that either R2 or R1 works for the bottom row, though R1 is slightly better.  R2 is still required for the 1u keys in the thumb cluster.

In the diagram presented above, there are a handful of errors, but I'll draw attention to two:
  • The minus/underscore 1.5u key in R4 is more popular than equals/plus, not the other way around.
  • Two R2 1u bracket keys are actually advisable, provided that your mod colorway doesn't match your alpha colorway.

It has come to my attention that this guide, while comprehensive, may be a bit difficult for a newcomer to comprehend.  As such, I've prepared a simplified version of the guide that applies its core principles to a skeletal KAT ergo kit.  As it says in the image, use this as a starting point, not as a standard.


Offline UggNot

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Re: KAT Ergo Kit Guide (Feedback welcome)
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 06 August 2020, 23:41:32 »
There would be an advantage to using R2 for the bottom row. If the bottom row and the thumb cluster used the same profile, then one could swap those keys around freely which would allow for more diverse layouts.

When I look at the sample youíve posted here I feel like Iíd still have to get an ortho set to fill out my bottom row, but if the bottom row were to be R2 like the thumb cluster all the keys I need are included.


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Offline NoPunIn10Did

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Re: KAT Ergo Kit Guide (Feedback welcome)
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 10 August 2020, 18:52:59 »
There would be an advantage to using R2 for the bottom row. If the bottom row and the thumb cluster used the same profile, then one could swap those keys around freely which would allow for more diverse layouts.

When I look at the sample youíve posted here I feel like Iíd still have to get an ortho set to fill out my bottom row, but if the bottom row were to be R2 like the thumb cluster all the keys I need are included.


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As per my longer guide, thatís a completely valid option. After using KAT in person, I can attest that the bottom row angle is less sharp than SA; itís still not a great option for thumb keys, but itís slightly better than R2 as a bottom row profile in general, even on an uninclined keyboard.

And again, this is meant as a starting point based on the data Iíd collected. We who use Ergodox and similar are fairly used to not getting exactly what we want, even from a good kit.