Author Topic: ErgoDox - Custom split ergo keyboard.  (Read 917812 times)

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Offline ped

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #750 on: Tue, 12 June 2012, 03:24:57 »
No. Only the right side may be used independently of the other, or at least that is the way it is being designed right now. For the left side to be active, it must be connected to the right side via TRRS cable. The reason for this is that it was decided early on by Dox, I think, that only one controller would be used, which means that one of the halves had to be chosen as the 'host' half, so to speak.

Offline OrangeJewce

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« Reply #751 on: Tue, 12 June 2012, 07:06:31 »
Quote from: Zifle;611832
In that case, I would like to register my interest as well!
Speaking of, which time frame are we looking at at this point? A couple of months, a year ... ?

I wouldn't be able to afford in the next two or three months, but later in the year, I'd most likely have the finances to cover it.

I've been thinking, not sure whether this has been discussed previously, as I haven't followed the thread the whole way through, will we be able to use either side of the board independently of the other? I could see myself / others wanting to use it as a gaming pad, without having to necessarily have both sides on the desk.

Dox had suggested that the case prototype should be arriving shortly. I am not sure if there will be a second round of PCB prototypes (move thumb keys), after that there isn't really a huge amount of work left from the hardware side. I would say it is looking like it will be in the next 2-3 months as opposed to 6-8. Maybe Dox can chime in here.

Cheers,
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ErgoDox Blue, ErgoDox White

Offline Zifle

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« Reply #752 on: Tue, 12 June 2012, 15:01:45 »
Quote from: ped;611868
No. Only the right side may be used independently of the other, or at least that is the way it is being designed right now. For the left side to be active, it must be connected to the right side via TRRS cable. The reason for this is that it was decided early on by Dox, I think, that only one controller would be used, which means that one of the halves had to be chosen as the 'host' half, so to speak.

That makes sense, although I'm slightly sad to hear the outcome, given my previous reasoning. Regardless, that alone should not be a reason to pass on something like this ^^

Quote from: OrangeJewce;611923
Dox had suggested that the case prototype should be arriving shortly. I am not sure if there will be a second round of PCB prototypes (move thumb keys), after that there isn't really a huge amount of work left from the hardware side. I would say it is looking like it will be in the next 2-3 months as opposed to 6-8. Maybe Dox can chime in here.

Cheers,

Sounds good, looking forward to seeing upcoming pics of a more finished device!
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Offline alaricljs

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« Reply #753 on: Tue, 12 June 2012, 15:06:54 »
Don't forget that with sufficient desk space and a properly sized cable you just put the left half where you want it and tuck the right half out of the way (or vice versa).  If you choose to do your own case you could even devise a scheme to stand that half on edge so even less desk space is needed.
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Offline bpiphany

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« Reply #754 on: Tue, 12 June 2012, 15:17:38 »
I think would be possible to make both halves identical using the same PCB for both the left and right half. It looks to me like there would be enough room to fit both the Teensy as well as the other IC there on top. If the PCB was done this way it would be possible to choose to use any or both halves, and also which half the USB cable would be running to.

The controller parts from the Teensy can be bought elsewhere and surface mounted, this saves some space. The ATmega chips can be run on their internal 8MHz oscillator as well, cutting the number of required components down. I've been experimenting successfully with this today =) This requires reprogramming some fuse bits though, which in turn requires reloading the bootloader, both which requires a programmer unit... And the stock bootloader as well as the LUFA one are both 4kB.

Offline OrangeJewce

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« Reply #755 on: Tue, 12 June 2012, 15:59:13 »
Quote from: PrinsValium;612147
I think would be possible to make both halves identical using the same PCB for both the left and right half. It looks to me like there would be enough room to fit both the Teensy as well as the other IC there on top. If the PCB was done this way it would be possible to choose to use any or both halves, and also which half the USB cable would be running to.

The controller parts from the Teensy can be bought elsewhere and surface mounted, this saves some space. The ATmega chips can be run on their internal 8MHz oscillator as well, cutting the number of required components down. I've been experimenting successfully with this today =) This requires reprogramming some fuse bits though, which in turn requires reloading the bootloader, both which requires a programmer unit... And the stock bootloader as well as the LUFA one are both 4kB.

This topic was discussed a long time ago and it was determined that only one controller was going to be used. But everyone is more than welcome to customize their Dox however they Feel! (I think your mod would be sick, if you ever undertake it as a project :thumb:)

Cheers,
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ErgoDox Blue, ErgoDox White

Offline bpiphany

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« Reply #756 on: Tue, 12 June 2012, 16:31:44 »
This would really not change anything (other than the PCB layout). There could be separate USB controllers on either side, or one controller and a slave side (either side being the slave/master), or a single PCB could be used as a one handed keyboard of left or right hand type. This would also double the number of same design PCBs which may or may not have an impact on price. If there are huge amounts already this doesn't make too big a difference. The main problem is the possible need to use a serial programmer to set up the controller chips. This would likely have to be done by someone from here in bulk before shipping them out to people.

I'm of course more than willing to help out with what I know about chip programming, bootloaders, PCB design and all.
« Last Edit: Tue, 12 June 2012, 16:39:37 by PrinsValium »

Offline dorkvader

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« Reply #757 on: Tue, 12 June 2012, 22:15:30 »
Quote from: PrinsValium;612175
This would really not change anything (other than the PCB layout). There could be separate USB controllers on either side, or one controller and a slave side (either side being the slave/master), or a single PCB could be used as a one handed keyboard of left or right hand type. This would also double the number of same design PCBs which may or may not have an impact on price. If there are huge amounts already this doesn't make too big a difference. The main problem is the possible need to use a serial programmer to set up the controller chips. This would likely have to be done by someone from here in bulk before shipping them out to people.

I'm of course more than willing to help out with what I know about chip programming, bootloaders, PCB design and all.
I may have brought up having identical PCB's. The issue is that it still has to work with it "flipped". You could maybe do this with a lot of settable jumpers (like: Set to "A" for LH and "B" for RH). Also, Trace routing becomes difficult, and the cherry keyswitches are not symmetrical, so you'd need an extra hole per switch.

Then, having the possibility of chosen controller per side was discussed. This idea had much more going for it, as it's actually somewhat feasible. I don't think anyone came up with a decent plan to implement this (I think HW implementation is the best, so the controller doesn't "know" any better. Having a "master and slave" controller setup was rejected as well (Is it even possible with teensy?)

Anyway, if you come up with a good implementation for this, I don't see any reason to not include the capability.
---

So other than ugly shapeways plastic, has anyone come up with a good place to make the case?

Offline bpiphany

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« Reply #758 on: Tue, 12 June 2012, 23:28:36 »
I don't think you need to do almost anything at all to get it to work flipped. But I just woke up and may not have thought this through all the way. Just mount the USB controller on one side and let the slave IC location be empty, And vise versa on the other side.

The switch is unidirectional by construction. They would be the only components needing to switch side. Through hole diodes are of course "flip symmetric" as as well (Internal diodes could still be used if they are mounted "backwards").

The flippable footprint should be no problem. Internal diode and LED holes also line up when it is flipped.

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 52840[/ATTACH]

Offline REVENGE

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« Reply #759 on: Wed, 13 June 2012, 00:12:36 »
Having the ability to build either side as the "main" board would be fantastic.
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Offline uberben

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« Reply #760 on: Wed, 13 June 2012, 01:36:10 »
Quote from: PrinsValium;612439
I don't think you need to do almost anything at all to get it to work flipped. But I just woke up and may not have thought this through all the way. Just mount the USB controller on one side and let the slave IC location be empty, And vise versa on the other side.

The switch is unidirectional by construction. They would be the only components needing to switch side. Through hole diodes are of course "flip symmetric" as as well (Internal diodes could still be used if they are mounted "backwards").

The flippable footprint should be no problem. Internal diode and LED holes also line up when it is flipped.

(Attachment Link) 52840[/ATTACH]

This sounds doable to me. It has a lot of advantages, but will require much more careful layout.

Offline Salisen

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« Reply #761 on: Wed, 13 June 2012, 07:23:51 »
You could have a 10x10 matrix for the switches, perhaps, and seperate it into two 5x10 halves.  Divert one of the matrices through the connector (would have to be 16 way) to the other side.

From each switch on the board, have traces running to the IC, and to the connector, total of 4 traces for each.

For each pin on the connector, have one trace running to the IC, and one running to the switches through an array of jumpers (you'd need 16 total, I think).

For the slave board, the jumpers would be present and an IC would not, so all IC connections would be redundant, leaving only the traces to the connector.

For the master, the jumpers would be left empty, traces would run from the IC to the set of switches on that board, and from the IC to the connector.

I don't think you'd have the option of putting the IC on either board though.  On one of the two it would have to be underneath as opposed to on top, or the pins would be the wrong. The Teensy is quite tall, so you'd make the keypad unnecessarily thick.
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Offline bpiphany

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« Reply #762 on: Wed, 13 June 2012, 07:32:39 »
I was thinking of using SMT components to rebuild the "Teensy". And I am pretty confident the slave IC comes in a smaller SMT package as well.. I know DOX wrote the part number somewhere but I can't seem to find it again =P

You would only need to do a regular key matrix and trace rows and columns to both the serial slave IC as well as the USB controller. Then choose which side to solder the controller/slave IC to. The traces to the other would only end up unconnected. It will look funny that the traces from the slave IC will lead to the connector, and from there down to the controller again =D There should be no need for jumpers anywhere, I think when trying to figure this out in my head...

Offline OrangeJewce

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« Reply #763 on: Wed, 13 June 2012, 07:44:59 »
While I think the discussion about multi-controller and symmetrical PCBs is fantastic, and these ideas sound awesome, short of Dox completely renegging on this major design decision all of these proposals are going to stay in the realm of vaporware. I just don't see him having invested in several PCB prototypes just to do an overhaul on the PCB design, and because work has begun on the case prototype, it wouldn't make sense to push the project back further. TBH I really want to see the final product (pics!), not to mention have it in my hands in 3 months as opposed to another year for a redesign.

Cheers,
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ErgoDox Blue, ErgoDox White

Offline bpiphany

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« Reply #764 on: Wed, 13 June 2012, 07:57:08 »
Quit being so negative.. geesh, and by the way
Quote from: Dox;607456
Otherwise, everything went well. With the thumb keys a bit closer, it will be perfect!

Looks like there may be a PCB redesign whether you like it or not.. It is pretty quick by the way. And I do think DOX had meant to do more work on the PCB as it was. Those prototypes don't look like a finished product at all...

Offline OrangeJewce

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« Reply #765 on: Wed, 13 June 2012, 09:30:50 »
Quote from: PrinsValium;612585
Quit being so negative.. geesh, and by the way

Looks like there may be a PCB redesign whether you like it or not.. It is pretty quick by the way. And I do think DOX had meant to do more work on the PCB as it was. Those prototypes don't look like a finished product at all...


Firstly, let's not make this personal. I wasn't attacking you, or your ideas. I was simply stating that the decision regarding these most recent proposals had already been made a long time ago, and that bringing them back from the dead had very little chance to change anything. I'm not going to argue about what Dox may or may not do in the future, because I am not him, nor can I control what he does. That being said and based on what I read earlier, when Dox makes a decision he tends to stand by it. You're welcome to critique me as much as you want, but in this case I feel pretty confident in saying that neither multiple controllers, in any configuration, nor flippable PCBs are going to make it into the feature set of the ErgoDox hardware.

Secondly, shortening some traces on a PCB does not count as a total redesign. In fact, Dox was going to do the mod himself on the PCBs by simply cutting the thumb section and doing a little bit of hand-wiring...

Quote from: Dox;602337
I think that the thumb keys are a bit too far out. The 3 furthest keys are hard to reach and my thumb is a bit too stretched in the standard (thumb on space) position.
I will put them closer for the case prototype. I will cut the thumb from the PCB and hand wire it to test it.


I implore you to start seeing what is there, as opposed to what your mind wants you to see.


Until the man himself intervenes here, I'm done discussing hardware. Firmware and UI, I'm all ears, because very few decisions have been made. ic07 and I have expressed that we are open to new ideas and features for it, and thus encourage discussion along those lines.

Cheers,
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ErgoDox Blue, ErgoDox White

Offline dorkvader

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« Reply #766 on: Wed, 13 June 2012, 09:46:04 »
Could be some excellent ideas for the ergoDOX V2

With the flippable PCB, how does it work out what with that extra chip? Also, one could have two locations for the Teensy, depending on what hand/side you have, you could use different holes across the top.

Offline bpiphany

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« Reply #767 on: Wed, 13 June 2012, 10:19:06 »
I PMed DOX to ask if I could have a look at the schematics. I'll wait and see what he says. I don't want to interfere with his work if he doesn't want me to. But really, I think a flippable PCB is quite simple to put together. That being said without me having given it a decent try.

The Teensy can be mounted on either side really. Since it is through hole it only needs to be mounted upside down if changing side. The only slight annoyance this comes with is reaching the reset button on it. That is easily solved with a hole in the PCB. This I have done before =) Bending the legs backwards on that other IC is probably not a good idea though...

Offline ic07

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« Reply #768 on: Wed, 13 June 2012, 14:48:29 »
Quote from: alaricljs;612141
Don't forget that with sufficient desk space and a properly sized cable you just put the left half where you want it and tuck the right half out of the way (or vice versa).  If you choose to do your own case you could even devise a scheme to stand that half on edge so even less desk space is needed.


Or for an extra ~$25 and a little work, you could put a Teensy and a TRRS connector in an altoids can, and use that for the right hand side :) .

Offline dorkvader

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« Reply #769 on: Wed, 13 June 2012, 20:11:36 »
Quote from: ic07;612818
Or for an extra ~$25 and a little work, you could put a Teensy and a TRRS connector in an altoids can, and use that for the right hand side :) .
Whoah, that's brilliant, I hadn't considered that.

Now I want like 5 more of those teensy's.

Offline mSSM

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« Reply #770 on: Sat, 16 June 2012, 16:28:28 »
As regards the switches:
7bit is currently doing a group buy of cherry switches (both plate and PCB mounted) over at deskthority:
http://deskthority.net/marketplace-f11/cherry-mx-taking-pre-orders-t2760.html

Just thought it's worth mentioning. Of course getting in on that group buy depends on the time frame we are looking at as regards the final production of the dox. :-)


How many keys we are actually going to have?


EDIT: Silly me, he has a thread here at Geekhack as well, in the group buys section.
« Last Edit: Sat, 16 June 2012, 17:09:50 by mSSM »

Offline dorkvader

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« Reply #771 on: Sat, 16 June 2012, 22:22:08 »
I count 36 keyswitches per hand from the images DOX posted here:
http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?22780-Interest-Check-Custom-split-ergo-keyboard&p=602321&viewfull=1#post602321

So that's 72 total, right?

Offline ic07

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« Reply #772 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 01:17:05 »
Quote from: dorkvader;615204
I count 36 keyswitches per hand from the images DOX posted here:
http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?22780-Interest-Check-Custom-split-ergo-keyboard&p=602321&viewfull=1#post602321

So that's 72 total, right?

Pretty sure it's 38 per hand = 76 total.  (I cheated a little though, since I looked at how many were mapped in the firmware before I looked at the picture again to make sure). :)

Offline mSSM

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« Reply #773 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 07:14:24 »
Well, now I am certainly tempted to justs join that group buy. Which switches do you think would fit the ErgoDox best? I am thinking either linear MX Reds, or alternatively clicky MX Blues or MX Whites (I like their sound better).
« Last Edit: Sun, 17 June 2012, 07:31:46 by mSSM »

Offline OrangeJewce

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« Reply #774 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 07:20:45 »
Quote from: mSSM;615421
Well, not I am certainly tempted to justs join that group buy. Which switches do you think would fit the ErgoDox best? I am thinking either linear MX Reds, or alternatively clicky MX Blues or MX Whites (I like their sound better).

Answer: Get two! One with reds and one with whites!

Cheers,
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Offline ironman31

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« Reply #775 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 11:14:49 »
If it doesn't end up being too much, I might get two sets of PCBs and one case to just change them out with different switches.
Keyboards:
IBM Model M Space Saving Keyboard (Used), HHKB Pro 2 (White, Lettered), Realforce 87U all-45g in White, Filco Majestouch 2 TKL with Cherry MX Browns, Model F PC/ATNoppoo Choc Mini (MX Browns), Model F XT, IBM Model M 1397735 (bought NIB), (2) Siig Minitouch (GHSS) one with XM, one with complicated ALPs (modded),2 Dell AT101W, Cherry G80-11900HRMUS (modded with MX browns)



Pointing Devices:
Logitech G500, Evoluent VerticalMouse 3, Logitech G5, CST 2545W, Microsoft IntelliMouse Trackball, Logitech M570, Logitech MX revolution


Offline Surger

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« Reply #776 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 07:29:27 »
I've just scanned this thread and am most definitely interested in the keyboard that is being developed. Glad to see all the knowhow on geekhack is being put into practice! Add me to the list.

I've been on a quest for a better keyboard for many years and have tried *all* the usual suspects and failures, only to get more dissapointed. I'm currently compromising on a Kinesis Freestyle and concluded that separation is more important to me than angling/tenting, etc. If only it had better quality keys...

While I tried to grasp as much of the current status/development as I could, I may have missed some info, since obviously I couldn't read every single message in this thread. So forgive me if one of my comments has already been dealt with. Maybe it would be an idea to add some more FAQs on the website?

First, I agree with most of the development decisions, layout, functionality, etc. Congrats on your efforts of merging the best aspects of all current mediocre keyboards ;-)

Costs: I consider 300 dollars or more perfectly acceptable. I'm at the keyboard over 10 hours a day. I pay top money for the best ergonomic chair I can find and use high quality monitors. Why save on what I consider the most important aspect of computing: a comfortable input device. Honestly, I'd pay a lot more for any keyboard that met my needs. Quality, durability, flexibility outweigh costs.

Build: Can't really figure out how this will work. Are we supposed to order certain parts ourselves and finish the keyboard? Or will certain community members do this? My technical/engineering knowhow is too limited to do this. I can imagine this will be a mayor obstacle for people who are interested in the final product.

Functionality: While I understand the choice for compactness and minimalistic design, I find the lack of Function keys a serious flaw. Before you jump on me, let me explain. To me, a keyboard geared at heavy PC users should focus on being ergonomic in all aspects, including minimizing the usage of a mouse or pointing device. I use Alt+ Control + Function key combination hundreds of time a day in all sorts of programs and can't imagine using a keyboard that doesn't have these. It would drastically slow me down. (Does everybody seriously use a mouse to close a program when Alt+F4 is within reach?)

Adding these to a different layer or reassigning them doesn't really solve the problem: If I have to switch layers, use a combination, switch back, I'm doubling the amount of keys I have to use. If I'd assign them to the number keys, other shortcuts (such as Control+1 through 4) in Outlook are gone.

I fully understand that this contradicts some of your initial design/functionality choices, but still wanted to share my thoughts, mostly because I'm surprised this hasn't been discussed in more detail. ;-)

Maybe adding a X-keys device (key stick, XK-24) for Function keys... ?
Still interested in the keyboard though.... Hell, I'd buy a few just to keep you guys motivated!
« Last Edit: Tue, 19 June 2012, 07:51:48 by Surger »

Offline mSSM

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« Reply #777 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 07:41:04 »
Quote from: Surger;616929
Functionality: While I understand the choice for compactness and minimalistic design, I find the lack of Function keys a serious flaw. Before you jump on me, let me explain. To me, a keyboard geared at heavy PC users should focus on being ergonomic in all aspects, including minimizing the usage of a mouse or pointing device. I use Alt+ Control + Function key combination hundreds of time a day in all sorts of programs and can't imagine using a keyboard that doesn't have these. It would drastically slow me down. (Does everybody seriously use a mouse to close a program when Alt+F4 is within reach?)

Something like that heavily depends on the operating system you are using, does it not?

For my day to day tasks I mainly use mutt and vim in a terminal multiplexer (tmux), Firefox with the Pentadactyl plugin, and PDF readers such as llpp or mupdf, where all of the mentioned programs have vim-like keybindings. My window manager (Xmonad) also has vim-like keybindings.

I _never_ use the mouse, and I do not even rely heavily on Alt, Control or function keys (CTRL is my most heavily used key).

While I certainly understand your need to cut back on using the mouse, your operating system (Windows of some flavour, I figure), is not really meant for that kind of work. But even so, if you use appropriate programs, you have don't have to have special functions keys.

I don't really understand what more keys you need on that keyboard. What's missing?

Offline alaricljs

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« Reply #778 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 07:51:56 »
Quote from: mSSM;616931
While I certainly understand your need to cut back on using the mouse, your operating system (Windows of some flavour, I figure), is not really meant for that kind of work. But even so, if you use appropriate programs, you have don't have to have special functions keys.

I don't really understand what more keys you need on that keyboard. What's missing?

So you're saying change his entire workflow and the programs he uses in order to suit the keyboard?  That's a bit silly.  

I'm interested in this project because of the engineering involved, so my opinion is not one coming from a potential user...  That said, I wouldn't buy a keyboard without F-keys.  I've been pondering designing my own board and am sorely tempted to include a 2x5 set on the left (ala Sun type-5) to have more keys.  This way I can have all the f-key combos for the programs I use and then all my own combos for other uses.
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Offline OrangeJewce

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« Reply #779 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 08:07:46 »
Quote from: alaricljs;616934
So you're saying change his entire workflow and the programs he uses in order to suit the keyboard?  That's a bit silly.  

I'm interested in this project because of the engineering involved, so my opinion is not one coming from a potential user...  That said, I wouldn't buy a keyboard without F-keys.  I've been pondering designing my own board and am sorely tempted to include a 2x5 set on the left (ala Sun type-5) to have more keys.  This way I can have all the f-key combos for the programs I use and then all my own combos for other uses.

Even as a Windows user and developer, I never use the F'n keys. Maybe I'm just not pro enough for that kind of thing, but if I really needed a certain set, I don't think it's unruly to add a few keystrokes to switch to a different layer which, say, has remapped the numrow to f'n keys, and then when finished jump back to the base layer. I understand your hesitance about not having the F'n keys, and while custom layers may not be the perfect solution, it's a heck of a lot better than nothing. This board, tbh, is probably not the most ideal for a Windows user, but it can definitely work. Still getting 2 if I can!

ic07, YGPM.

Cheers,
IBM Model M 1390120, Otaku Unicomp+RGB, CM QFR Green, Ducky YOTD Red, SSK MKII,
ErgoDox Blue, ErgoDox White

Offline Djuzuh

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #780 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 08:11:29 »
Depending on the price, I might be interested too. I'll see :s.

Offline OrangeJewce

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #781 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 08:19:50 »
Quote from: Djuzuh;616942
Depending on the price, I might be interested too. I'll see :s.

Save for a while! It's going to be an amazing board, and there may never be another run of them again! ;)

Cheers,
IBM Model M 1390120, Otaku Unicomp+RGB, CM QFR Green, Ducky YOTD Red, SSK MKII,
ErgoDox Blue, ErgoDox White

Offline Djuzuh

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #782 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 08:23:14 »
Quote from: OrangeJewce;616949
Save for a while! It's going to be an amazing board, and there may never be another run of them again! ;)

Cheers,

But… But… All those other amazing GBs and boards?*:(

Offline Surger

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #783 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 09:09:46 »
Quote from: mSSM;616931
While I certainly understand your need to cut back on using the mouse, your operating system (Windows of some flavour, I figure), is not really meant for that kind of work.


Windows, which is perfectly suited for cutting back on using the mouse. You'll find that you can operate practically all commonly used Window functions and programs with a huge number of shortcuts (and many of these use the Function keys). The majority of casual PC users doesn't know this and doesn't use them, but I believe many professionals in text entry/editing related jobs DO use these. By excluding Function keys, these potentials buyers are - maybe - lost.

Quote from: OrangeJewce;616941
...I don't think it's unruly to add a few keystrokes to switch to a different layer which, say, has remapped the numrow to f'n keys, and then when finished jump back to the base layer. I understand your hesitance about not having the F'n keys, and while custom layers may not be the perfect solution, it's a heck of a lot better than nothing. This board, tbh, is probably not the most ideal for a Windows user, but it can definitely work.


Yes, obviously it can work, which is why I'm definitely interested, but - like I said - it will decrease efficiency.

Are there any numbers on which OS people who are interested are using? While I appreciate this keyboard may be intended/designed more for other OS, if (at any point) this project would turn more commercial, considering the needs of Window users may make the difference between success and failure. Just by sheer numbers of potential buyers.

Ah well, I'm guessing there's no chance in hell adding Function keys will be considered at this point... and I certainly don't want to sidetrack this initiative, so moving on!

Offline OrangeJewce

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #784 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 09:16:07 »
Quote from: Surger;616971
Windows, which is perfectly suited for cutting back on using the mouse. You'll find that you can operate practically all commonly used Window functions and programs with a huge number of shortcuts (and many of these use the Function keys). The majority of casual PC users doesn't know this and doesn't use them, but I believe many professionals in text entry/editing related jobs DO use these. By excluding Function keys, these potentials buyers are - maybe - lost.



Yes, obviously it can work, which is why I'm definitely interested, but - like I said - it will decrease efficiency.

Are there any numbers on which OS people who are interested are using? While I appreciate this keyboard may be intended/designed more for other OS, if (at any point) this project would turn more commercial, considering the needs of Window users may make the difference between success and failure. Just by sheer numbers of potential buyers.

Ah well, I'm guessing there's no chance in hell adding Function keys will be considered at this point... and I certainly don't want to sidetrack this initiative, so moving on!

Surger,

     Unfortunately, as I told someone else who wanted to make some hardware changes, the design has pretty much been set in stone. That doesn't mean a v2 won't ever happen, but for this go around, there won't be any additional keys on top of the 76. It was proposed early on that more keys were added, but sadly it wasn't to be. I can tell you that the OS numbers will likely be skewed. Many of those who frequently chime in on the forums strike me as Unix/Linux developers. AFAIK I am one of the few who do Windows development. This doesn't mean that many do not use MSFT products, only that at work, where the greatest use of the keyboard occurs, a linux environment is preferable, and they use an editor like Vi/Vim, which allows them to pretty much never use a mouse.

I apologize in advance for any characterizations of the community. I do not mean any disrespect, as I love Unix ans work with it daily. These are just my impressions. I hope that you pick one of these up, I feel pretty confident it is going to fill a very unique and desired niche in the Keyboard market.

Cheers,
IBM Model M 1390120, Otaku Unicomp+RGB, CM QFR Green, Ducky YOTD Red, SSK MKII,
ErgoDox Blue, ErgoDox White

Offline dorkvader

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #785 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 09:28:55 »
I'm probably going to have function keys for the ones on the edges (and maybe the bottom). The "inside" two keys can be modifiers (for obvious reasons) you could also assign some of the keys near the thumbs to funciton keys.

I see how people don't like not having an extra row of keys across the top, but I don't think it's really needed, especially with so many assignable keys at your disposal. You can tailor the layout to include your most commonly used keys in the most easily hit positions. If you want, I can Download a graphics program and show you on the image.
---
To answer another one of your questions (I should add a FAQ: Good idea) It will likely be sold as a "parts kit" form, but several members, myself included, are willing to do the assembly, though I imagine most will want some money for their time. My goal would be to get as many of these ergoDOX's in the hands of people as possible.

Offline Surger

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #786 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 10:08:26 »
OrangeJewce, thanks for your comments. Yes, I gathered that most users here were developers, and appreciate they have different needs. Don't mistake my comments for criticism; just offering a slightly different perspective from a different potential target group.
 
Quote from: dorkvader;616983
I'm probably going to have function keys for the ones on the edges (and maybe the bottom). The "inside" two keys can be modifiers (for obvious reasons) you could also assign some of the keys near the thumbs to funciton keys.

Yes, I can see that as an option. I will certainly try to 'work around' the missing f-keys. No need for an image; I can think of several solutions, such as positioning my X-keys (http://www.piengineering.com/xkeys/xk24.php) in between the two sections.

Quote from: dorkvader;616983
To answer another one of your questions (I should add a FAQ: Good idea) It will likely be sold as a "parts kit" form, but several members, myself included, are willing to do the assembly, though I imagine most will want some money for their time. My goal would be to get as many of these ergoDOX's in the hands of people as possible.

OK. Excellent. Completely agree with compensating members for their time and effort!

Offline OrangeJewce

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #787 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 10:44:13 »
Quote from: Surger;617009
OrangeJewce, thanks for your comments. Yes, I gathered that most users here were developers, and appreciate they have different needs. Don't mistake my comments for criticism; just offering a slightly different perspective from a different potential target group.
 

Yes, I can see that as an option. I will certainly try to 'work around' the missing f-keys. No need for an image; I can think of several solutions, such as positioning my X-keys (http://www.piengineering.com/xkeys/xk24.php) in between the two sections.


OK. Excellent. Completely agree with compensating members for their time and effort!

The great thing, in my opinion about this community, is that they are willing to go so above and beyond what normal forums do for their members. For instance, we have I think 4 developers working on the firmware and layout modifying GUI (myself included). Just recently the community came together to help a member out who had an immediate need to come up with some capital to help is sick dog, and GH rallied around him through direct and keycap donations to help raise the funds. The reason I bring any of this up is that many of us really just like giving back to the community of Mechanical enthusiasts, and so we give our time and money without expecting something in return. That's why I really enjoy coming to GH. But this is just my take on that issue. I don't think it's wrong at all that GH offers services to its members for a fee, just that what really amazes me about this place is how the community will come together to help each other out and to really innovate in the mechanical world, like with this project!

No worries Surge, I was merely clarifying some of why certain design decisions were made, and to hopefully put some of it in perspective for you. I am a Windows guy. At work, all the other developers tease me because I am stuck doing UI and automated testing, which has to be MSFT side, solely because that's what our customers use and we have to cater to their needs. I really enjoy that role, but I also understand that it's rather unique unless you're working on a very large windows application which has many collaborators. So I am with you in trying to make the keyboard for those of us who aren't hacking away at Unix programs frequently. That is why I took the lead in trying to develop a UI for people to modify, create, and share ErgoDox layouts. effh is helping me out by doing some of the interpreting work between the firmware hex and the output which will be edited in my program.

Anyways, I'll get off the soap box now, I only meant to say that there are others who are Windows dominant, and I do see why the F keys would be very useful for you.

Cheers,

OJ
IBM Model M 1390120, Otaku Unicomp+RGB, CM QFR Green, Ducky YOTD Red, SSK MKII,
ErgoDox Blue, ErgoDox White

Offline mSSM

  • Posts: 50
[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #788 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 11:00:17 »
Quote from: Surger;616971
Windows, which is perfectly suited for cutting back on using the mouse. You'll find that you can operate practically all commonly used Window functions and programs with a huge number of shortcuts (and many of these use the Function keys). The majority of casual PC users doesn't know this and doesn't use them, but I believe many professionals in text entry/editing related jobs DO use these. By excluding Function keys, these potentials buyers are - maybe - lost.

I understand perfectly well that you can have those functions in Windows, and that people who actually care about what their OS is capable of will use those features.

However, the workflow you have mentioned is very specific to the needs of Windows users, and there are many people on Geekhack and especially in this thread who do not need the functions-keys (the amount of people using HHKBs and Pokers here speaks volumes).

So, I believe a rewrite of the firmware and a redesign of the PCB as well as the keyboard's case to accomodate function keys would not really be adequate.

Offline Surger

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #789 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 11:26:17 »
Thanks for elaborating, OJ. Perfectly clear.  

By the way, is stating my intention to buy enough or do I need to do something to be added to an 'official list'.
Just want to make sure I don't miss out...

Offline OrangeJewce

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #790 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 11:28:30 »
Quote from: Surger;617043
Thanks for elaborating, OJ. Perfectly clear.  

By the way, is stating my intention to buy enough or do I need to do something to be added to an 'official list'.
Just want to make sure I don't miss out...


Dork will add you to his list I'm sure. When the time comes, You'll get a PM for more information regarding payment etc.

Cheers,
IBM Model M 1390120, Otaku Unicomp+RGB, CM QFR Green, Ducky YOTD Red, SSK MKII,
ErgoDox Blue, ErgoDox White

Offline bpiphany

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #791 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 11:31:24 »
Adding a "function modifier key", much like a shift or ctrl key that only momentarily turns on the function layer when pressed, shouldn't add to much discomfort using F keys. F keys on a regular keyboard are far enough away to lose home row anyways.

Offline Djuzuh

  • Posts: 1127
[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #792 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 11:53:42 »
Quote from: PrinsValium;617050
Adding a "function modifier key", much like a shift or ctrl key that only momentarily turns on the function layer when pressed, shouldn't add to much discomfort using F keys. F keys on a regular keyboard are far enough away to lose home row anyways.

you can even use a switch lock for this key \o/

Offline bpiphany

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #793 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 12:09:40 »
Quote from: Djuzuh;617070
you can even use a switch lock for this key \o/

Why on earth would you want to do that?

Offline Djuzuh

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #794 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 12:10:33 »
sorry, meant a mxlock swtch >>

Offline bpiphany

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #795 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 12:41:02 »
Quote from: Djuzuh;617077
sorry, meant a mxlock swtch >>

Why on earth would you want to do that?

Offline Djuzuh

  • Posts: 1127
[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #796 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 13:03:21 »
so you don't need to hold the button down?

Offline OrangeJewce

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #797 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 13:27:29 »
Quote from: Djuzuh;617106
so you don't need to hold the button down?

The other option is to implement it as a type of "fn" key commonly seen on lenovo/laptop keyboards. This would have to be done on the firmware level, and I do not think that the GUI will be able to control that directly in its first iteration. If you want it try to make a feature request on the Git repository!

Cheers,
IBM Model M 1390120, Otaku Unicomp+RGB, CM QFR Green, Ducky YOTD Red, SSK MKII,
ErgoDox Blue, ErgoDox White

Offline bpiphany

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[Interest Check] Custom split ergo keyboard.
« Reply #798 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 14:26:52 »
Without having looked to close on the code, I think it should be really simple adding a if(my-fun-layer-key is pressed) send function key; else send regular key; This should be possible to do on a higher level than the I/O communication between the keyboard halves. And on this higher level nothing is particularly tricky to do yourself.

There should probably be some way of accessing the function keys no matter what. Although I use them next to never myself, sometimes they are actually necessary.

Offline OrangeJewce

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« Reply #799 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 14:56:58 »
Quote from: PrinsValium;617147
Without having looked to close on the code, I think it should be really simple adding a if(my-fun-layer-key is pressed) send function key; else send regular key; This should be possible to do on a higher level than the I/O communication between the keyboard halves. And on this higher level nothing is particularly tricky to do yourself.

There should probably be some way of accessing the function keys no matter what. Although I use them next to never myself, sometimes they are actually necessary.


I think this is something to talk to ic07 about, and that someone should post on the codebase. I will dig up a link when I get home about it

Cheers,
IBM Model M 1390120, Otaku Unicomp+RGB, CM QFR Green, Ducky YOTD Red, SSK MKII,
ErgoDox Blue, ErgoDox White