I really should draw my optimal layouts... how many Fn-style modifiers does that controller support?
Only one additional layer.
I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to the logistics regarding what it would take to produce production keyboards...but for what it's worth, you have the full support of geekhack. If we can be of assistance, just let me know. (we need a go to keyboard here)
Thanks. There's a lot to do to make this production ready. I didn't think it through yet fully but plan to during the next days.
(I'm thinking of this from a production standpoint. Buying TrackPoint IV keyboards to rip them apart to integrate the pointing stick = wasteful.)
Thanks for the Alps tip, I didn't know that. I think you can buy original Trackpoints. The company who manufactures them didn't care to respond to my emails though, grrrr.
all I can say is if the guy who launched metadot could do it on a whim with no previous manufacturing experience, then I think any of us can. Just a matter of getting the funders together with the lawyers
He never manufactured anything himself though. It still might be the right thing to do these days.
There's only 2 things I'd request changing on the design above --
1) that the capslock key be a normal flat-top key and not the 2-step or '2-level' style
2) that we throw in the normal 12 function keys along the top.
The flat capslock key won't work on this board
, because the key won't go down very well when pressed on the lower part. It would need a level bracket then.
WRT to function keys I could build an extension module with function keys and cursor block from the left over G80 parts. I could even use the original G80 controller with that and feed it into the USB hub. Like a docking module. But accessing the function keys with Fn and number is perfectly intuitive? If you really need them you could use the number row for function keys and program a Fn numpad somewhere using the number row keys. The keycaps even have the same slant.
So, really, what we need to do is optimize the layout. Of course, the Caps key will be used for different things by different people. I'm thinking of mine as a navigation lock (implemented as a shift - I know there's versions of the Cherry MX that support physically locked keys,) now, with the editing block on the home row and the row immediately above it, with the arrow keys on WASD.
I'd use Fn for accessing function keys...
Of course, that begs the question... do I really even need two separate Fn shifts? The only inaccessible keys with that layout would be the numpad, which... isn't really needed all that much (except for Alt codes, but I use those rarely enough that I can use charmap instead.)
So, here's what I want on the top row:
Esc should be the `/~ key in Fn mode
1 through =/+ keys should be F1 through F12 in Fn mode
(I'm guessing this is how the top row is already implemented...)
W should be Up Arrow
U should be Insert
I should be Home
O should be PgUp
CapsLk should be a physically locking Fn
A should be Left Arrow
S should be Down Arrow
D should be Right Arrow
J should be Delete
K should be End
L should be PgDn
Leave it alone.
Keys should be in this order:
Ctrl Win Alt Space Menu RtFn RtAlt RtCtrl
RtFn shouldn't be physically locking. It'll be useful for when I quickly need to navigate in the middle of something, but don't want to lock it down.
(And, I want Menu there because that's as close to the spacebar as I can get it, perfect for using it as a scroll button.)
Top row is as you said.
Rows 2-4: I like the WASD idea. What do you think of the NEO
navigation layout? This is for an ISO keyboard though.
Row 5: Do you want to use Menu as a middle mouse button ("scroll")? I'd probably swap Menu and RtFn because I like to press Fn with the thumb... However, the keys in the bottom row are all the same size and re-programming is quickly done.
I might actually try this during the next days.
so basically you want the HHKB style with some modifications; I actually want a perfectly normal layout lol! I do my shortcuts with autohotkey so I need the standard layout else it messes up my hotkeys.
so there should be an hhkb version and a regular version...
It would be easy to provide a few layout files. And you can pull the lower row keys without a keycap puller because the edges are not hidden.
You know, is that your attempt at a Geekhack logo, or something else, lowpoly? (It IS supposed to be a G, after all.)
No, the original name I had in mind also starts with a G.
Also, I think it goes without saying that we want full 6-key rollover on this thing.
This thing is gonna be low enough volume that I doubt it'll add all that much to the cost.
(That is the problem with the Cherry vs. Alps thing, it'll add significantly to the cost to add another keyswitch type, unless they can use the same PCB... but they'll still need different keycaps.)
I have some ideas for a switch design, I'll have to see how this works out.
The pcb layout has to be done anyway, nKey rollover just adds some complexity. And the diode switches should be more expensive.
So, if it were a Cherry-based board, I'd want 59 MX1A-E1DWs (blue, with diode, PCB mount,) 1 MX1A-31DW (alternate action, with diode, PCB mount,) and 1 MX1A-F1DW (green, with diode, PCB mount.)
Rollover is not that good right now. It currently depends on using additional rows and columns.