Author Topic: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad  (Read 9111 times)

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Offline nkallen

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[IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 09:48:42 »
262024-0

Memphis 25
Macropad with Integrated SpaceMouse

A SpaceMouse is a fantastic tool to be more efficient in 3D modeling, sculpting, and CAD. With 6 degrees of freedom, you can easily navigate models or views. Unfortunately, existing products have too few buttons or an awkward layout and can be inefficient to use for keyboard-heavy applications like Blender.

The Memphis 25 solves these problems. It combines the efficiency of traditional typing while offering the SpaceMouse in a convenient position that requires no hand travel.

INTERESTED? FILL OUT THIS FORM: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe9BVK88NCTenOH5ibCGeYGq7Ijna-SShYcuPeLzznO3Agblw/viewform?usp=sf_link

Features:
  • Custom-designed PCB with USB-C, integrated USB-hub, ESD protection
  • QMK support
  • Acrylic, sandwich case
  • 1 rotary encoder
  • 1 extra USB-C 2.0 port for other devices such as USB keys or another keyboard.

262018-1

Prototype
I have made several prototypes with various layouts to find a nice ergonomic balance. Here is a photo of the current prototype I use with a Blender-focused keymap. This sits comfortably to the side of your keyboard or tablet!

What’s Included


Tentatively, this will be sold as a kit that includes: the PCB (SMD components soldered), the case, one rotary encoder, and knob. You will provide your own 3DConnexion SpaceMouse Compact (approximately $150 US), 25 Cherry MX compatible switches, and keycaps. I'm also considering selling this completely assembled, but I need to see what the interest is.

Instructions will detail how to teardown and mount the Spacemouse, etc. You would then solder the switches and the rotary encoder.

(I have also designed a hot-swap PCB, which would require soldering only the rotary encoder. However, note that the switch plate is not secured, so the switches can come out if you e.g., drop the device.)

262020-2

Colors


The switch plate and rotary encoder knob are powder coated in RAL colours. There will be three choices: yellow, pink, and blue.

262022-3

Plate/Weight


One of the bottom layers of the Memphis sandwich is a sandblasted copper plate. It has a small aperture through which you can see the surface mounted components of the PCB. With the plate, the keyboard is approximately 800g

Special Thanks


Josh Johnson for patiently helping me to design the PCB. And to the supportive community on the Keyboard Atelier discord.
« Last Edit: Fri, 12 February 2021, 04:24:49 by nkallen »

Offline MIGHTY CHICKEN

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 09:54:03 »
Funky, but me like

Offline Devilosis

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 10:23:14 »
I don't understand the need for a rotary encoder, but otherwise, everything looks great.
Also, do you have any target price in mind yet?

Offline xeon3175x

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 10:35:45 »
Neat, original idea. Looking forward to see how this turns out


Offline ddrfraser1

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 10:39:24 »
I don't fully understand the utility but it looks great. Good work.

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 10:53:04 »
I don't understand the need for a rotary encoder, but otherwise, everything looks great.
Also, do you have any target price in mind yet?

The encoder can be used for things like brush size when sculpting. However, I will admit it's partly decorative.

The price will depend on how many I sell. There are significant discounts with a larger volume. I think $150ish is where this will pencil out but it could easily be +/- $50

Offline Raravin

  • Posts: 100
Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 11:52:43 »
I think keep either the mouse or the encoder. I am looking for something like this but having both in the same area and so close seems slightly a hindrance.  Looking forward to it though.

Offline keeganzero

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 12:06:23 »
Not for me, but I can understand the use case and it's interesting/different.

Offline ycanales

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 12:39:46 »
Interesting! How does the mouse thing works? It’s a trackball?

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 12:56:24 »
I think keep either the mouse or the encoder. I am looking for something like this but having both in the same area and so close seems slightly a hindrance.  Looking forward to it though.

Well I appreciate the feedback but given the way the space mouse is held it's impossible to accidentally hit the encoder. It can't get in the way if that's your worry. This video might be useful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySLfuQc-j5U

The knob is not as easy to reach as a key on the home row but it's useful to have sometimes.

Offline Dazon

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 13:29:29 »
I love this SO MUCH. I'm in in in!!!

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Offline elfick

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 13:31:21 »
Can you post a photo with your hand on the prototype to provide a better idea of how the hand position will work with the keys and mouse?

Offline Kokaloo

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 13:33:58 »
Hey this is pretty interesting. I think this would benefit from being able to tent, at least add some holes on the right side to be able to use feet like these or something of the sort.

Offline Alejo1707

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 13:50:14 »
Sold!

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 15:02:26 »
Hey this is pretty interesting. I think this would benefit from being able to tent, at least add some holes on the right side to be able to use feet like these or something of the sort.

Tenting might be doable. But I'm a little unclear how the specific product you linked to helps. Aren't they just normal feet?

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 15:28:34 »
Can you post a photo with your hand on the prototype to provide a better idea of how the hand position will work with the keys and mouse?

262030-0

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 15:30:30 »
Someone asked me to post a picture of what raw metal looks like. The following is my first prototype ... the actual layout and mounting is a bit different now, but I think raw metal can look great with the right keycaps

Offline Chippy

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 11 February 2021, 18:46:45 »
Hey this is pretty interesting. I think this would benefit from being able to tent, at least add some holes on the right side to be able to use feet like these or something of the sort.

cone feet bad
This and the swiss cheese keyboard is the next generation of keyboards

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 12 February 2021, 03:23:14 »
A little comment since there's been a tiny bit of confusion on the IC form, and it's my fault:

The spacemouse is typically held in the left hand and the mouse in the right. This is how right-handed people use it. I would call this a "right-handed" configuration.

I am considering offering a "left-handed" version, i.e., one designed for people who use a mouse with their left-hand. So if you're a lefty, you can indicate you're interested in the "left-handed" version.

Offline hvontres

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 13 February 2021, 01:24:07 »
Definitely something I will need to keep an eye on. Do you need to modify the spacemouse at all or is it a straight drop in? I have an older one (a space pilot with the display and some extra buttons) and it is quite the lifesaver working with NX.
Henry von Tresckow

               
1986 Model M 1390131, 1987 Model M 1391401 , 1993 Model M2 Modded Reddragon k556(work keyboard)

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 13 February 2021, 04:51:03 »
Definitely something I will need to keep an eye on. Do you need to modify the spacemouse at all or is it a straight drop in? I have an older one (a space pilot with the display and some extra buttons) and it is quite the lifesaver working with NX.

You will have to disassemble the spacemouse and mount it. It's a relatively easy process, there are only a few screws. I will provide instructions or a how-to video.

Offline Extra Fox

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 15 February 2021, 14:32:27 »
Oh my goodness. I didn't opt for the SpaceMouse Pro, which is probably what I should have done in retrospect, so this would be an awesome second chance at adding some of that functionality.
I'm signing the IC form now.
A-a-ron

Offline gaiden

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 10:13:21 »
I have an old space navigater will it work with that?

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 10:19:06 »
I have an old space navigater will it work with that?

I haven't checked, but - unlikely. The mounting mechanism is designed for the SpaceMouse Compact (Wired), which is the cheapest one if you're thinking of upgrading

Offline Alejo1707

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 11:08:21 »
I have an Ergo MX will it work?

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Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 11:40:20 »
I have an Ergo MX will it work?

You can use an ergo mx alongside the spacemouse/keyboard... However you cannot use an ergo mx in place of the spacemouse knob if that is what you are asking.

Offline Pelicram

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 13:18:44 »
Does this work with the wireless spacemouse compact?

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #27 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 13:44:58 »
Does this work with the wireless spacemouse compact?

Unfortunately no, this is designed for the Spacemouse Compact Wired. The wireless has a slightly different mounting system and I can't support both simultaneously. I'm optimising for the user who wants to buy a new or used spacemouse compact wired (the cheapest option, $130 on amazon) to set this keyboard up.

Offline pastelnostalgia

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #28 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 13:51:37 »
Very interested. Love the look. Pink and yellow plates are my favorites. Filled out the IC form.

Offline Vibex

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 14:02:27 »
I don't haven any need for this, but would still consider picking one up. I always love trying new input devices!

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #30 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 14:14:32 »
I don't haven any need for this, but would still consider picking one up.

lol hell yeah

Offline paperassgasket

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #31 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 22:30:56 »
This is ****ing neat.
I have literally no idea what I'd do with it <stares at bins and bins full of unbuilt macropads> but I want one.

Offline Extra Fox

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #32 on: Wed, 17 February 2021, 17:17:04 »
The SpaceMouse can be used for a lot of different applications, but really excels in 3D CAD as a way to manipulate the model you're working on. I use one a lot with Fusion 360 and it's indispensable.
A-a-ron

Offline MoarCoffeePlzzz

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #33 on: Wed, 17 February 2021, 23:59:02 »
I'm located in Memphis.. Curious to the story behind the name?

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 19 February 2021, 12:04:51 »
I'm located in Memphis.. Curious to the story behind the name?

"Memphis" was the name of a (mostly Italian) design trend in the '80s

Offline careless_esper

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 22 February 2021, 09:16:01 »
The keyboard world needs more Memphis-inspired designs! I love this—definitely in for one! Would you consider adding red and turquoise options?

Like the frames here:


or the accents here:
.

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 22 February 2021, 13:38:22 »
The keyboard world needs more Memphis-inspired designs! I love this—definitely in for one! Would you consider adding red and turquoise options?

Thanks! And yes I may be able to do one-off colors, I have to talk to my powder coating dude about the cost. But it has to be a RAL color - which, in my opinion, the blues are a bit limited.

Offline careless_esper

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 23 February 2021, 09:54:25 »
The keyboard world needs more Memphis-inspired designs! I love this—definitely in for one! Would you consider adding red and turquoise options?

Thanks! And yes I may be able to do one-off colors, I have to talk to my powder coating dude about the cost. But it has to be a RAL color - which, in my opinion, the blues are a bit limited.

Awesome! Really looking forward to this!

Offline davec

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #38 on: Tue, 23 February 2021, 15:34:14 »
This looks very cool. In fact, I think you may have made the ultimate ZBrush controller -- the knob is essential for quickly changing the Draw Size. When might these be available? Also, I would guess most people already have the wireless version on their desk, any chance of an edition that uses the SpaceMouse Wireless?

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 24 February 2021, 09:20:15 »
This looks very cool. In fact, I think you may have made the ultimate ZBrush controller -- the knob is essential for quickly changing the Draw Size. When might these be available? Also, I would guess most people already have the wireless version on their desk, any chance of an edition that uses the SpaceMouse Wireless?

Since the electronics and case are nearly finished (modulo some tweaking) I hope to have these ready more quickly than a typical group buy. That said, it still takes times to make boxes and instructions etc. etc. So I encourage you to sign the IC form, and I'll keep you posted via email.

I'm not sure yet about spacemouse wireless support. My recollection is that the plastic mounting device has a different shape. It's not impossible to support, but I need to make a slightly separate design for it. The problem is I don't want to have a dozen different design for people.

I'm not sure yet what the market for these devices is. Is it for people who want to save money at all costs and want to re-use whatever they have, or for people who don't mind buying a second (cheaper) spacemouse to make a new device?

Offline HappyB0T

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #40 on: Wed, 24 February 2021, 23:31:04 »
This **** is bananas. It totally looks like Pee-Wee Herman's weapon of choice. Really crazy out there and fun design!  :cool:

Offline davec

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #41 on: Fri, 26 February 2021, 22:46:26 »
Quote
So I encourage you to sign the IC form, and I'll keep you posted via email. ...
Is it for people who want to save money at all costs and want to re-use whatever they have, or for people who don't mind buying a second (cheaper) spacemouse to make a new device?

Form filled out. Great point about target audience -- the SpaceMouse Wireless has great resale value, so folks could always sell them and get the Compact one for inclusion in the kit, or just chalk it up as an additional cost (still less than the SpaceMouse Enterprise). And, unfortunately, there is no 3Dconnexion device "perfect" for sculpting, even the quite pricey Enterprise model, with all its keys, lack the necessary dial for draw size. I'm currently using a Spacemouse Wireless with an XP-Pen AC-19 Shortcut Remote right in front of it (the cable would get in the way here) which has ten keys and a dial (just enough for ZBrush). https://www.xp-pen.com/product/81.html

Are there two cables coming off of your protoype? How is the output from the SpaceMouse combined with the custom keys and knobs?

This is a USD$199 device with a color LCD screen and WiFi built in, if someone just wrote a driver for this it would be close to over (missing an axis or two though):



Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #42 on: Sat, 27 February 2021, 12:17:21 »
Are there two cables coming off of your protoype? How is the output from the SpaceMouse combined with the custom keys and knobs?

There is only one cable coming from the device... The keyboard is also a usb hub and if you open up a Spacemouse there is an internal USB-to-JST that I'm using. Hope that's clear.

You can see how this works on a spacemouse enterprise here, they're all basically the same

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/spacemouse-pro-teardown/?action=dlattach;attach=147931;image

Offline davec

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #43 on: Sat, 27 February 2021, 17:17:09 »
You can see how this works on a spacemouse enterprise here, they're all basically the same
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/spacemouse-pro-teardown/?action=dlattach;attach=147931;image

Good to know, thanks for clarifying. Seeing the torn-down Enterprise gave a wild idea: One can get a SpacePilot for around USD$50 on eBay currently, which includes 21 buttons (including four very nice Esc, Ctrl, Alt, and Shift keys), a B+W LCD display, and a mounting point for a SpaceMouse style controller (plus some "spare parts" for same). What about dropping in the current SpaceMouse Compact controller and circuitry where the SpacePilot one used to bolt up, and adding a custom board to translate the 21 existing buttons, PLUS a knob added just to the left of the "Dom" button?



Let me know what you think.

(Or, for folks with the Enterprise, a small adhesive wireless USB dial?)

Offline hvontres

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #44 on: Sat, 27 February 2021, 18:11:52 »
You can see how this works on a spacemouse enterprise here, they're all basically the same
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/spacemouse-pro-teardown/?action=dlattach;attach=147931;image

Good to know, thanks for clarifying. Seeing the torn-down Enterprise gave a wild idea: One can get a SpacePilot for around USD$50 on eBay currently, which includes 21 buttons (including four very nice Esc, Ctrl, Alt, and Shift keys), a B+W LCD display, and a mounting point for a SpaceMouse style controller (plus some "spare parts" for same). What about dropping in the current SpaceMouse Compact controller and circuitry where the SpacePilot one used to bolt up, and adding a custom board to translate the 21 existing buttons, PLUS a knob added just to the left of the "Dom" button?

Show Image


Let me know what you think.

(Or, for folks with the Enterprise, a small adhesive wireless USB dial?)
The main problem you are going to face with a SpacePilot is going to be drivers going forward. I managed to get mine working on Win10 but at some point I am afraid that won't work anymore. And without up to date drivers, application support might go away as well. I needed to manually copy the NX11 files to NX12 to keep mine working. The hardware still works though. The funny part is I never really used the buttons that much. I tend to use it to fly around a part or an asembly with my left hand while using the mouse to select stuff while zoomed way in.
Henry von Tresckow

               
1986 Model M 1390131, 1987 Model M 1391401 , 1993 Model M2 Modded Reddragon k556(work keyboard)

Offline davec

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #45 on: Sun, 28 February 2021, 14:34:38 »
The main problem you are going to face with a SpacePilot is going to be drivers going forward.

Apologies, I could have been clearer -- I meant using a modern SpaceMouse unit, with controller board, from this year placed into the chassis of the SpacePilot (where the original controller was located), and then using the rest of the SpacePilot as "spare parts" to wire its keys into a new USB controller board. Admittedly, depending on how the SpacePilot is constructed, it may be more trouble than it's worth. :)

I hear you on the drivers thing -- I also have a SpacePilot (eBay, $39) connected right next to the keyboard here that I'm typing on.

And, I think that for 99.9% of applications out there, "keys" are certainly a "nice-to-have", though for ZBrush, lots of keys, and a dial, are pretty much essential. For instance, to switch from one brush to another, you have to type for example B-M-V, and then B-C-B. Also, there are NO traditional view controls -- you can get something similar to a Right view by holding shift and doing a careful right-click & drag; it feels like a bit of a work-around, and having the dedicated view and fit buttons on the 3Dconnexion immediately brings a never-implemented feature set into the program that's then hard to leave behind. Like if the save view keys on the Enterprise work, that would be a game changer.
« Last Edit: Mon, 01 March 2021, 02:44:36 by davec »

Offline nkallen

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #46 on: Mon, 01 March 2021, 04:00:28 »
The main problem you are going to face with a SpacePilot is going to be drivers going forward.

Apologies, I could have been clearer -- I meant using a modern SpaceMouse unit, with controller board, from this year placed into the chassis of the SpacePilot (where the original controller was located), and then using the rest of the SpacePilot as "spare parts" to wire its keys into a new USB controller board. Admittedly, depending on how the SpacePilot is constructed, it may be more trouble than it's worth. :)

I appreciate your suggestions but perhaps I should be clearer on what the goals are for this project.

I want to make something that combines the best of a traditional keyboard with a spacemouse. This is for applications that rely on a lot of keybindings. I want your hands to rest on the home row (just like a keyboard) when you're not using the mouse and I want hand travel to be virtually zero when you're switching back and forth. I want to rely on existing muscle memory for typing rather than having ctrl/shift/alt be in non-standard places, or having 10 buttons hit by your thumb. I also don't want to build a product where I'm using a 10+ year old discontinued (and hard to obtain in volume) component.

Once those goals are achieved -- typing efficiency + spacemouse efficiency + easy to build/purchase it's then also important to me that this product is affordable (e.g., not a $500 collector item) and that it looks cool (for my taste) and distinctive.

Offline i luv chuletas

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #47 on: Mon, 01 March 2021, 11:21:38 »
Damn, love this product idea for video editing projects. Def keep both the encoder and mouse units, I can see how that could be so useful for scrubbing/timming/cutting clips.

I hope this gets to see the light of day man, very interesting concept!

Offline davec

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Re: [IC] Memphis 25 - The Spacemouse macropad
« Reply #48 on: Tue, 02 March 2021, 02:07:24 »
Once those goals are achieved -- typing efficiency + spacemouse efficiency + easy to build/purchase it's then also important to me that this product is affordable (e.g., not a $500 collector item) and that it looks cool (for my taste) and distinctive.

Sounds good, looking forward to seeing the final product. In the short term, I thinking about a KY-040 rotatory encoder mounted to an Arduino Pro Micro in a stylish 3D printed housing affixed to one of the bigger recent 3Dconnexion devices.