***I will be editing this single post with updated information, solutions, thoughts, work-arounds.***
WASD Keyboards Kinesis Key Cap Project
First, let me thank WASD Keyboards for all of their help and support. Ever since the beginning, they've been informative and have provided solutions. Without their efforts, some of these projects would be dead-in-the-water. Plus WASD still has areas they are evolving into that will further be of interest to GH.
This post is a work in progress and what I have done currently. I need to add more pics with close ups and edit. I'm trying to get all the info and the steps to get to the 'perfect' point. What we've discovered is that many keys were the same, a few aren't, some of which are still ok, and a few that need a work around. The few that may not be an exact match, I will be using for a week or two to see if I notice or get used to the differences.
Direct key cap replacement:
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The key caps that can be replaced with EXACTLY the same key caps ONLY, are shown in this photo. There are 6 key cap 'types' so far and they are color coded (mostly). Red, orange, grey, and white single keys, and the two long grey keys which are also different from each other (they should have been 2 completely different colors for this example). For the right hand keywell/thumb cluster the "SPACE" key is an 'enter' key on a num pad. The "ENTER" key is an 'R1 1x2' key. The 10 Black and blue keys with legends in this picture are original Kinesis key caps that don't have an exact replacement (yet). At this stage, everything is as original, no changes.KEY ISSUE #1
(affects 6 keys-pinky keys)
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The extreme right row, lower 3 pinky keys match R2 which is the same profile as a "G" and "H" key but are 1x1.25 instead of 1x1. The replacement keys are about 1mm taller front skirt than the original Kinesis keys (which affects the slope) These are R1 1x1.25. Note the 2 red arrows to show the slightly high key corners. The bottom key it's not an issue, the top key you may graze the high corner. This key may not be an issue\problem, I'm just trying to get the exact replacements as a first choice.OPTION: Need R2 1.25 keys that have the actual same slope of key top. (HELP: you can compare with the "G" or "H" key, should be same exact top slope and height). I don't believe this designation key cap exists as a 'standard key'.KEY ISSUE #2
(affects 2 keys-pinky keys)
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The extreme right row, upper most singlepinky key is a NUM 1.25 version of the NUM/P2 row key. So it's different than the 3 keys below it. At this time we are using the same key as the lower 3, so it's 'flatter' and not facing you as much as the original Kinesis key. The upper corner key is such a low-use key, this may be acceptable.OPTION: Need a NUM/F-key that is 1.25. (HELP: you can compare with a "NUM" or "F-key" key, should be same exact top slope and height).KEY ISSUE #3
(affects 8 keys-home row)
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The 4 home row keys (blue) are spherical. I don't know if this is for ergo purposes, for home row identification, or a little marketing, but I'm thinking it may be for the latter two choices. Since WASD had no spherical keys we used the same profile as the orange row (R3/P3) above, because they are the 'flattest' slope. I believe the spherical keys are available, we just need to source them. Here is an observation/possible solution:
If you look at the entire home row (HJKL:") the key to the very left and the very right are the profile (R2 or P4 on kps chart) which also is a standard key. Yet the 4 keys that the fingers rest on are zero slope/slant. Maybe this is not as much for ergonomics as it is just for the identifying of the home row finger positions. If that is the case, those home row keys could either be 1) stay as the sphericals, or 2) have the same "ergo" profile as the left and right key (R2/P4) but have a nubbin for identifying. I should have recognized this sooner when I was at WASD Keyboards. I have replaced the R3 we put on at WASD with R2/P4 and I think it's very good, maybe better than the R3.OPTIONS:
1) find Spherical
2) R2(HELP: you can swap and compare and offer opinions)KEY ISSUE #4
(affects 4 keys-thumb cluster single keys)
The two keys at the top of the cluster are very tall (see P1 on KPS chart). The slope is not a problem, it's available, but not in a key of that dramatic height. I'm working on changing some other key heights for a work around. Since we didn't have any of the 2 highest keys, I'm playing with adjusting all three key heights. In the pictures above, you can see the original Kinesis keys with legends, and the 2 lower keys that are the appropriate keys for those positions (red and grey keys). What I've done to keep the staggered height, is to remove the highest keys and move the keys "up" a spot to see if it will all work together. There are a couple ways to do this, and I'm looking for what's best.
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We will need to (ideally) get the exact keys, but just short of that, what we have here will work. I need a couple days of using it on one hand to see how any differences may affect usage.
The key on the left is an R2/P4 on kps chart, the middle key is the NUM/Fkey/P2 on kps chart, and the key on the right is the extra tall P1 on kps chart, and seems to not be a standard key. Perhaps someone can measure the tallest keys on the Race?
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1) Need correct key height/slope (see KPS chart for measurement)
2) develop work around with multiple key adjustments (not as bad of an idea as it sounds)
(HELP: you can swap and compare and offer opinions)
Fun Factoid: I found out at WASD Keyboards that the original doubleshot keys (allegedly from Cherry) appear EXACTLY like Signature Plastics doubleshots, they look exactly like the key caps for the Kinesis keyboards. They were only offered in white, but it just so happens that WASD has a bunch of black doubleshots many that fit Kinesis...they look good
Good thing for WASD I don't like legends, or I woulda been stashing those bad boys in my pockets till I jingled out his store!
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WASD Keyboards has the following colors, laser, etching available (if not more that I don't know about):
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And keys can always be Rit Dyed for more combinations like purple, pink, safari stripes or camo.
I am still going to be making resin key caps for the Kinesis sometime this spring. Who knows what will happen? If it can be made to be high-quality, and easily, might do it and have WASD sell them.
Key issue #1-No problems and can't tell a difference.
Key issue #2-No problems but I can tell a difference. These two keys are very low use, so I'm going to say that the difference is negligible.
Key issue #3-No problems, I am currently using the R2 and am used to it.
Key issue #4-This I have not had the time to address
Boli, the human guinia pig, has ordered this from WASD Keyboards as the first test set. This set is lacking the 4 tall modifier keys (CTRL, ALT/OPT, WIN/COMMAND)
- 10 R4 (1w)
- 12 R3 (1w)
- 12 R2 (1w)
- 18 R1 (1w)
- 8 R1 (1.25w)
- 2 R1 1x2 (2w)
- 2 NumpadEnter (2w)