Author Topic: fixing the ergodox thumb section  (Read 31835 times)

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Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #150 on: Wed, 10 December 2014, 21:33:19 »
Quote
Put the number row into alignment with the columns. Personally I think this is worse functionally, but possibly better aesthetically (though there are so many gaps and funny shapes on this keyboard that I don’t think it’s a big deal. I’m -0.5 on that change.
Here is a picture of the columns in the staggered layout, as you have them now. Testing each key for comfort, 7, 8 and 9 all felt quite comfortable. Looking at the natural curve of my hand, I instantly could tell why. As my fingers extend they naturally spread apart, and land almost perfectly with the the locations of the 7, 8 and 9 staggered keys. However, when it came to the 6 and 0, each was somewhat painful (The 6 more than the 0).
You’ve got me: my personal preference is to actually not use those for numbers, but for some other purpose (with numbers on a layer near the home row, e.g. in a numpad-type layout). Therefore if the “6” key is harder to reach it’s not too big a deal, I can put something uncommon there. I still think they work okay for numbers though. That 6 is still *much* closer than on a standard keyboard (at least half a key, given the difference in hand orientation). As for the “0”, I don’t think pushing it outward is too big a problem if you’re pressing it with a pinky. If you wanted to press it with your ring finger, then it would make some sense to bring it tightly in.

Offline teshdor

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #151 on: Wed, 10 December 2014, 22:43:45 »
Quote
Put the number row into alignment with the columns. Personally I think this is worse functionally, but possibly better aesthetically (though there are so many gaps and funny shapes on this keyboard that I don’t think it’s a big deal. I’m -0.5 on that change.
Here is a picture of the columns in the staggered layout, as you have them now. Testing each key for comfort, 7, 8 and 9 all felt quite comfortable. Looking at the natural curve of my hand, I instantly could tell why. As my fingers extend they naturally spread apart, and land almost perfectly with the the locations of the 7, 8 and 9 staggered keys. However, when it came to the 6 and 0, each was somewhat painful (The 6 more than the 0).
You’ve got me: my personal preference is to actually not use those for numbers, but for some other purpose (with numbers on a layer near the home row, e.g. in a numpad-type layout). Therefore if the “6” key is harder to reach it’s not too big a deal, I can put something uncommon there. I still think they work okay for numbers though. That 6 is still *much* closer than on a standard keyboard (at least half a key, given the difference in hand orientation). As for the “0”, I don’t think pushing it outward is too big a problem if you’re pressing it with a pinky. If you wanted to press it with your ring finger, then it would make some sense to bring it tightly in.

My roommate has enormous man hands, so we can put him in the large hand category. He liked the position of all the keys in the staggered row with the exception of the pinky finger, which he thought felt awkward, but not painful. He types on a standard IBM style keyboard, and mentioned that he uses his left hand to type numbers 1-7. Not very scientific, but worth something.

Offline teshdor

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #152 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 09:44:47 »
ARM? I thought it would be Teensy/Arduino like most customs. That way we can reuse most of the firmware source code (and forks) we already have.
HaaTa’s firmware works on ARM. ARM chips are just as cheap (or even slightly cheaper), just as small, and much more powerful, and there’s a lot more work going into the ARM world these days. I think it makes more sense as a way forward in the future.

Are you referring to using a teensy 3.0/3.1/ McHCK with THT, so users can easily solder it to PCB? Or having the boards preassembled with the ARM processor from the factory, like they are doing with HaaTa's Infinity keyboard? How much does preassembly add to the cost? Since Ergodox uses a reversible design, would that be one ARM processor on every board, or two separate boards for each hand? Or perhaps, you are considering users hand soldering the ARM processors? If cost isn't too much, I think preassembly (ARM, diodes, USB) would lower complexity and increase adoption to users who fear hand soldering diodes. HaaTa's and MassDrops price point for the Infinity was quite low, so I think there may be some merit there.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #153 on: Sat, 13 December 2014, 18:39:16 »
Here’s a pic where the comparison to the Ergodox is a bit more realistic: in practice, the change to the stagger between columns on these designs makes it more comfortable to orient the hand straighter relative to the columns, so comparing showing the same angle as the Ergodox (as some previous images in this thread did) is a bit misleading.



The version on the left here should have enough keys to fairly closely copy existing layouts from TKL boards.

Or compared to a standard keyboard, with a couple of columns on the standard keyboard duplicated so you can effectively compare:




Vs. a similar comparison between a standard keyboard and the Ergodox itself:
« Last Edit: Sat, 13 December 2014, 19:42:37 by jacobolus »

Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #154 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 03:35:16 »
Here’s a diagram that might be a bit clearer to compare (but maybe harder to see the layout on top):

« Last Edit: Wed, 17 December 2014, 03:45:09 by jacobolus »

Offline araif

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #155 on: Sun, 25 January 2015, 10:50:01 »
is there any progress on this?

Offline Data

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #156 on: Mon, 26 January 2015, 14:53:50 »
Here’s a diagram that might be a bit clearer to compare (but maybe harder to see the layout on top):
Show Image

Show Image


I have to say, I really like this.  I hope it gets made some day.

Offline steve.v

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fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #157 on: Mon, 16 February 2015, 20:26:16 »
In my opinion, the h, n & y keys should be lowered to a height between the ring and pinky columns. It seems your thumb sections aren't much of a change compared to the ergodox. I personally would prefer a horizontal 1.5-2.0 space bar key right below the letter n so the thumb isn't stretched too far out and the wideness of it will accommodate wrist movement. Typing on my hhkb, I noticed my alternating thumbs can sometimes hit in different spots on the spacebar depending on the stretches. 1 year with the ergodox, I miss the long spacebar the most.
« Last Edit: Mon, 16 February 2015, 20:35:55 by steve.v »

Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #158 on: Mon, 16 February 2015, 20:59:51 »
In my opinion, the h, n & y keys should be lowered to a height between the ring and pinky columns.
Can you explain why? On the couple people’s hands I tested, that makes the N more annoying/harder to reach, while making the Y a bit easier. Not sure the trade-off is really too helpful.

Quote
It seems your thumb sections aren't much of a change compared to the ergodox.
Yep, the goal is not to be radically different, but clearly a spiritual successor to the Ergodox, just with some tweaks. The difference is instead of 1 key falling slightly too far away for a small-to-medium-sized hand to hit comfortably, now instead you get one key that falls right where the thumb does, plus one more key a bit closer than that. In practice, I’ve found this makes a huge difference for me, and even more for my wife, whose hands are smaller than mine.

Quote
I personally would prefer a horizontal 1.5-2.0 space bar key right below the letter n
If you go look at the first page, a number of such layouts were proposed. I tried several of them out on paper and made quick acrylic prototypes of a couple, and wasn't super enthusiastic about them.

Offline davkol

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #159 on: Tue, 17 February 2015, 06:10:59 »
I wanted to post this a long time ago, but have forgotten the context in the meantime. Anyway, it's the stock ErgoDox with 80 keys and a mix of keycap profiles. Alphas are obviously Cherry; I've harvested 1.5x modifiers from winkeyless OEM keyboards (some BTC here) for the inner columns; thumb clusters have old tall F-row keys (from OEM keyboards, such as Chicony 5191) at the top and bottom-row Cherry caps rotated 180° at the bottom. The tall thumb keys create an illusion of tenting and eliminate a lot of thumb strain from the "flat" motion (can't think of better wording atm) IME.

91070-0

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #160 on: Wed, 11 March 2015, 02:18:48 »
I've been thinking about these "one size fits all" ergonomic designs and came to the conclusion (purely theoretically, without even reading anything) that it doesn't work.

As fingers extend naturally the distance between the tips widens so it makes sense to have the finger areas set out kinda like \|l// where bigger hands will want the keys near the top of the spread and smaller ones near the bottom.  Have one disproportionate finger?  No problem!

The thumb cluster could remain static as the finger keys would move away an appropriate distance by design.

Has anyone tried making a plate with long slots for switches along with spacers to go between them?  I might give it a go, shouldn't be expensive to get cut...
                               
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #161 on: Wed, 11 March 2015, 02:27:46 »
I've been thinking about these "one size fits all" ergonomic designs and came to the conclusion that it doesn't work.
Well, that goes without saying. To hit everyone requires probably at least 3 distinct sizes, ideally with some keyswitches/keycaps that can be spaced a little closer than the standard ones. But we can do reasonably well for maybe 70% of hand sizes.

Like any generic design (i.e. something not targeted at a single specific person), there are a bunch of compromises here.

Quote
As fingers extend naturally the distance between the tips widens so it makes sense to have the finger areas [spread out]
Yeah, check out this prototype:


Quote
Has anyone tried making a plate with long slots for switches along with spacers to go between them?  I might give it a go, shouldn't be expensive to get cut...
Some people have tried something like that. I don’t have a link handy, but if I remember I wasn’t too impressed with the mechanical design. Give it a shot though, maybe you can make something work.

Offline petrock

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #162 on: Tue, 17 March 2015, 10:22:21 »
Hey I have been following this thread for a while and was thinking of making some CAD models of your design in this picture here (http://i.imgur.com/173wo6I.png). I was actually thinking of making a pair for myself because I've used Ergodox before but they just felt off somehow. Anyone interested in the models? After I finish them I can post them here.

Offline teshdor

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #163 on: Wed, 18 March 2015, 12:18:08 »
Here’s a diagram that might be a bit clearer to compare (but maybe harder to see the layout on top):
Show Image

Show Image


I have to say, I really like this.  I hope it gets made some day.

The more I use my Ergodox, the more I miss physical F1-F12 keys and an arrow pad. I think this layout is good enough to try moving forward wit a PCB design, and churning out some prototypes.

Offline jamadagni

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #164 on: Fri, 24 July 2015, 22:24:13 »
Hey I have been following this thread for a while and was thinking of making some CAD models of your design in this picture here (http://i.imgur.com/173wo6I.png). I was actually thinking of making a pair for myself because I've used Ergodox before but they just felt off somehow. Anyone interested in the models? After I finish them I can post them here.
Yes I'm interested. Please post it. Also please include tenting of about 15° though I'd like to have Jacobolus chime in on that as well.

His apparent deep research and that he has given a lot of thought to this appeals to the academic in me!

I want to call this the ErgoJax (for Jacobolus)! :) From my lesson in trying to call my layout the ErgoMax, I googled for the word, and apparently some lurker has that username on some minor websites, so one can't be too much worried about that.

Offline Zustiur

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #165 on: Sat, 15 August 2015, 22:20:48 »
I've just reread this thread after several months' gap. This thread is what originally inspired me to start my own custom board: ZusDox. At the time when I started this project I had a few statements from this thread firmly in mind.
* Move the thumb cluster closer to the palms
* Move the pinky columns 'down' in the y axis - closer to the body
* Reinstate F# keys

Now that I have built and used the first functional prototype, I've come back here to reexamine the thumb clusters specifically. I can finally understand benefits of Jacobolus's designs that were incomprehensible to me before. Even with my latest revision, 3 of the 1x thumb keys would be unreachable.

I'm having a real battle with myself today regarding direction. I'm torn between minimizing and the desire to keep certain keys so that I don't have to relearn.
The idea of moving shift and ctrl keys to the thumbs scares me but at the same time I'm really tempted to drop the bottom row entirely and move all of those functions to the thumbs.

Other than space, backspace, delete and enter, what else usually gets relocated to the thumbs?

Offline vvp

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #166 on: Sun, 16 August 2015, 05:53:32 »
Other than space, backspace, delete and enter, what else usually gets relocated to the thumbs?
In my case, it is shifts. It takes about 2 weeks to completely adjust if you go cold turkey (without training).

Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #167 on: Sun, 16 August 2015, 13:10:10 »
Putting shift either on the thumb or on or directly adjacent to a finger home position is a big advantage. I had a fun prototype layout where the shift keys were directly to the side of the home index finger keys (in a QWERTY context, think G and H), but moving them directly to the side of the home pinky keys works pretty well too. A thumb shift is probably best overall.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #168 on: Sun, 16 August 2015, 13:12:20 »
Now that I have built and used the first functional prototype, I've come back here to reexamine the thumb clusters specifically. I can finally understand benefits of Jacobolus's designs that were incomprehensible to me before.
:-)

Prototypes are a great help to understanding. I think people trying to make a new layout should try to first come up with a system where they can iterate on layouts as quickly as possible and test out lots of ideas physically, with their hands.

Offline Zustiur

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #169 on: Sat, 22 August 2015, 23:33:46 »
Prototypes are a great help to understanding. I think people trying to make a new layout should try to first come up with a system where they can iterate on layouts as quickly as possible and test out lots of ideas physically, with their hands.

Indeed. If only that were easy. I think those best placed to do that kind of experimentation are people with ready access to laser cutters. I can knock up a new CAD design in a few hours now, but cutting that design out of cardboard (or anything more substantial) is a real chore.

I liked the little prototype picture you showed:

Has there been any more development on that idea? The more I read your posts the more I feel that you've really looked into these things in greater detail than the rest of us. I'm very interested in what your (personal) ideal design would be when you're not constraining yourself to Ergodox compatibility/familiarity. I'd love to see both a flat and a tented (with differently angled thumbs) design based on that concept pic.
What angles were you using between the columns?
Am I right in thinking that the {[, }] keys in that picture are to be hit with the ring finger rather than the pinky?

Offline AKmalamute

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #170 on: Sat, 05 September 2015, 16:31:06 »
 Alright I'm gonna weigh in, having read close to nothing of this thread.

 That's because I've never had a problem with the ergodox thumb clusters. Well, yes I have they're too close together and I keep mashing the wrong key. The version with the angle in it, so you'd use the tip of your thumb for the cluster buttons, would probably help but I have a plain old stainless steel encased ergodox.

 My problem has been this: that bottom row is all but unusable. The corner key maybe but after that there's at least three in the center I can't reach without taking my hand completely off the keyboard, reorienting to find which one I want (using novelty keys on that row isn't helping this step ;) ) then re-center on my bumpless dvorak layout's home row which itself has oddly proven difficult.

May I present my current attempt at fixing this problem? I've only typed a little bit on it, and haven't moved the keys yet to reflect what they do now, but once I get used to the bottom row right hand being off a step (left hand was okay after a few hundred words -- of course, almost nothing I normally type uses those keys / letters, so...)

Input of course, would be welcome. If you'd like to compare to what my fingers are used to, this would be the link to follow.

I like where I've put backspace / delete, but space/enter being right next to each other was the other reason I changed -- too many typing mishaps. This way if I mash the wrong key, nothing gets printed so it will be easier to correct, and I almost never mashed the backspace when I was reaching for the space. (almost)

HHKB-lite2, Dvorak user

Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #171 on: Sat, 05 September 2015, 18:43:23 »
AKmalamute:
> Alright I'm gonna weigh in, having read close to nothing of this thread.


You should at least skim it and look at the pictures. :-)

> That's because I've never had a problem with the ergodox thumb clusters. Well, yes I have they're too close together and I keep mashing the wrong key.

Not sure what you mean by too close together. But anyway, that’s fine. I find that on the people I’ve tested, who have hand sizes ranging from small to above average, the Ergodox thumb section is a poor layout, with a weird gap where the thumb naturally falls, and several completely unreachable keys. For very large hands, or particular people, it might work a bit better. Use what you like.

> My problem has been this: that bottom row is all but unusable.

This problem is addressed by several of the layouts proposed in this thread.

e.g.


> May I present my current attempt at fixing this problem?


Still far from ideal. The thumb keys are still just as far out horizontally but now are also awkwardly close to the finger keys. Pressing most of them is going to take scrunching your hand up or moving it quite a bit.

(By the way, you should screencap your proposals and embed the images directly. Then it’s much easier to follow than clicking on links and navigating back and forth between pages.)
« Last Edit: Sat, 05 September 2015, 18:47:33 by jacobolus »

Offline AKmalamute

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #172 on: Sat, 05 September 2015, 19:27:45 »
> You should at least skim it and look at the pictures. :-)

 Oh I've glanced through it, but I get the impression there's a lot of serious thought going on in here, that is in a direction that rapidly loses my interest.

> Not sure what you mean by too close together.

 I mean, I'd like to add, say 0.1u between each of the thumb-columns. Yes that puts them farther out (and at 5'6" I hardly have 'large' hands ... not sure what I've done with them that my thumbs work differently than the people you normally meet ...) but with my former layout (I've screen-capped before and been told my screen is illegible so I figured links would be less painful than .jpegs) what I found with the right hand cluster, was whenever you wanted to use one, roll a D20:

on 1-16, you get a space.
on 17 through 19, you get a carriage return. If this was not what you were wanting, reroll, and the space's range is extended, eating one from the CR chance.
on a nat-20, backspace over whatever you just typed. if this was not what you wanted, flip a coin. tails, you add a carriage return as if that had been your roll. heads, you add a space and reroll normally.

 Notice anything? Like, it doesn't matter what you wanted to start with, the thumbs just give you random keystrokes? After a year of owning an ergodox, that's my opinion of them as they stand now. Random gibberish.

> > My problem has been this: that bottom row is all but unusable.
> This problem is addressed by several of the layouts proposed in this thread.
>
>e.g.
> Image inlined...

 Nope. Nope, nope nope. That one would be worse.

 Honestly, if I were to do my own layout, I'd get rid of the 1u thumb keys entirely, and move the two 2u keys out, away from the hand about half a u. Maybe a quarter, with that 0.1u gap between them. It might be that increasing the angle would be an improvement, but I'm a little less convinced of that. Short of increasing the number of planes so the thumb can be used dexterously instead of just for side-mashing, I at least should simply not rely on thumb buttons for anything important.

 Haven't tried any of this yet, but I may since I'm hoping to make a model-F ergodox once the related GB gets underway.
« Last Edit: Sat, 05 September 2015, 19:31:46 by AKmalamute »

HHKB-lite2, Dvorak user

Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #173 on: Sat, 05 September 2015, 22:00:15 »
AKmalamute
> Notice anything?


Apparently your typing is intermediated by a cruel dungeon master.

> Nope. Nope, nope nope. That one would be worse.

My strong recommendation is to build some prototypes out of laser-cut acrylic or something, or at least make some paper printouts. It’s really hard to judge what is better or worse without actually trying it

> Short of increasing the number of planes so the thumb can be used dexterously instead of just for side-mashing,

“Side mashing” actually uses the strongest muscles in the thumb. It can be done at a faster rate and with similar precision compared to other types of thumb motions. The ideal “side mash” angle is a bit more to the side than the plane of the keyboard though. Take a look at the shape of the Maltron to see a pretty good position and orientation for this type of motion. On a flat keyboard, using slightly taller keycaps for thumb keys is helpful.

Offline RominRonin

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #174 on: Wed, 24 February 2016, 14:43:35 »
I've read through many of the first page of this thread, and was inspired to whip up a prototype. jacobolus, I tried a minimal layout that probably isn't the most ergonomical, but is aesthetical (because that's important to many people too). Here are a couple of photos:



and along with an earlier attempt, with two extra buttons beyond the thumb:



What I like about this thumb layout it the minimal case that can be printed. I also think it's important that the case (and a pcb) could be made to be symmetrical - at least as far as the switch plate goes - by adding a mirrored cluster on the opposite site to the thumb cluster.

Having never used an ergodox, or any keyboard that utilises *that* thumb cluster layout, I find it hard to think or develop ideas beyond my current use cases right now. I hope once I finish this build I can contribute more to this thread (and the larger keyboard community).
« Last Edit: Thu, 25 February 2016, 02:19:22 by RominRonin »

Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #175 on: Wed, 24 February 2016, 16:24:26 »
I've read through many of the first page of this thread, and was inspired to whip up a prototype.
Fun!

Note that by using the [img] tag (e.g. [img]http://i.imgur.com/5SbhlWJ.jpg[/img]), you can directly embed images in your forum posts:



Quote
What I like about this thumb layout it the minimal case that can be printed.
Pretty compact.

Some ideas:

* With the stagger as you have it now, it’s clear that you intend the hand to still come in at a slight angle to the board. That’s not an unreasonable idea in the context of a flat plate construction where all the keys for separate fingers are at the same vertical height. Personally, I like having the hand angled a bit straighter to the columns, and as a consequence I don’t want any stagger between index finger columns, and I want a more aggressive stagger for the pinky.

* The top corner keys on both inside and outside need a bit of a lunge to reach, either moving the hand off the home position or rotating the wrist outward. I’d make sure to stick relatively uncommon functions in those positions, and probably nothing that requires a modifier on the same hand.

* The innermost column keys are going to be slightly tricky to hit accurately (they’d be easier with slightly wider keycaps or at least wider spacing between them, or fewer. But your design is probably a reasonable compromise if you want that many keys.

* I think you might benefit from moving the arrows slightly over to give your thumbs easier access to 2x1 keys, instead of poking over the top of the inside arrow.

* The thumb section isn’t my personal cup of tea, but I think it should work reasonably well. You have 3 keys on each hand which are pretty accessible.

Overall, definitely better than a standard keyboard.  :thumb:

I’d love to hear your further impressions after you’ve used it for a while.

Offline berserkfan

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #176 on: Wed, 24 February 2016, 20:05:55 »
. I hope once I finish this build I can contribute more to this thread (and the larger keyboard community).

You so called prototype, when it becomes a fully tested PCB, I guarantee you many people in the community will be interested. I suggest you do a group buy for the PCB when you want to put it into production, because making 1 PCB is often the same price as 3, and only twice more expensive than 10.

You will have an order for 2 sets (4 PCBS) from me alone.
Most of the modding can be done on your own once you break through the psychological barriers.

Offline RominRonin

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #177 on: Thu, 25 February 2016, 02:18:31 »
Quote from: jacobolus
Note that by using the [img] tag (e.g. [img]http://i.imgur.com/5SbhlWJ.jpg[/img]), you can directly embed images in your forum posts:
Ah THAT's what those tags do! Thanks.


Quote from: jacobolus
* With the stagger as you have it now, it’s clear that you intend the hand to still come in at a slight angle to the board. That’s not an unreasonable idea in the context of a flat plate construction where all the keys for separate fingers are at the same vertical height. Personally, I like having the hand angled a bit straighter to the columns, and as a consequence I don’t want any stagger between index finger columns, and I want a more aggressive stagger for the pinky.
Interesting. I've never used an ergodox before but I thought the stagger seemed too subtle. I didn't consider the angle of my hand in relation to the board would have informed that subtlety. I guess my thumb arrangement relies on a slight angle (between the hand and columns). Otherwise, my thumb in its natural position would be restricted by the DT keys.


Quote from: jacobolus
* The top corner keys on both inside and outside need a bit of a lunge to reach, either moving the hand off the home position or rotating the wrist outward. I’d make sure to stick relatively uncommon functions in those positions, and probably nothing that requires a modifier on the same hand.
Good point.
I'm currently using a pair of function layer modifiers that double as the space and backspace keys (just like spacefn), so I rarely move my fingers from home row.


The introduction of more thumb keys and an additional inner column on each plate means the outer keys (columns) are currently redundant. Personally I'll either assign them to standard keyboard functions (so a lay-person can use the board) or use them as function layer toggles (or both, I guess!).


Quote from: jacobolus
* The innermost column keys are going to be slightly tricky to hit accurately (they’d be easier with slightly wider keycaps or at least wider spacing between them, or fewer. But your design is probably a reasonable compromise if you want that many keys.
I've used another custom board for several months now with no inside keys. For this project I wanted to include them for the sake of experience. Others have also made the point that wider or taller keys would have been a better choice. It'll have to be one for revision 2.


Quote from: jacobolus
* I think you might benefit from moving the arrows slightly over to give your thumbs easier access to 2x1 keys, instead of poking over the top of the inside arrow.
You're probably right. Though I keep thinking about the potential for a symmetrical key layout. Maybe I could move the thumb keys OUT by 1/4u instead?


Quote from: jacobolus
* The thumb section isn’t my personal cup of tea, but I think it should work reasonably well. You have 3 keys on each hand which are pretty accessible.
I'll see how it goes in testing. In terms of the design, there's room for additional thumb keys if I go for wider inner keys (or just a second inner column of 1u keys).


Quote from: jacobolus
Overall, definitely better than a standard keyboard.  :thumb:

I’d love to hear your further impressions after you’ve used it for a while.
Thanks for the extensive feedback, I'll be back when I've used the board for a while.





Quote from: berserkfan
Quote from: RominRonin
. I hope once I finish this build I can contribute more to this thread (and the larger keyboard community).

You so called prototype, when it becomes a fully tested PCB, I guarantee you many people in the community will be interested. I suggest you do a group buy for the PCB when you want to put it into production, because making 1 PCB is often the same price as 3, and only twice more expensive than 10.

You will have an order for 2 sets (4 PCBS) from me alone.
Wow, I wasn't expecting that! I'll need to improve my grasp of PCB design first though.

Offline berserkfan

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #178 on: Thu, 25 February 2016, 10:33:15 »


Quote from: berserkfan
Quote from: RominRonin
. I hope once I finish this build I can contribute more to this thread (and the larger keyboard community).

You so called prototype, when it becomes a fully tested PCB, I guarantee you many people in the community will be interested. I suggest you do a group buy for the PCB when you want to put it into production, because making 1 PCB is often the same price as 3, and only twice more expensive than 10.

You will have an order for 2 sets (4 PCBS) from me alone.
Wow, I wasn't expecting that! I'll need to improve my grasp of PCB design first though.
[/quote]

If you have the interest and time, check out samwisekoi's Gh36 thread. Lots of people have worked on that PCB so it is really sound. You might be able to use that as a starting point.

GH36 required 1 teensy shared between two sides. But if you use 1 teensy per side, you can have far more options and probably designing would be easier.
Most of the modding can be done on your own once you break through the psychological barriers.

Offline rsac

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #179 on: Sat, 19 March 2016, 19:15:47 »
I made a mockup of your design (plus arrows) and ergodox using paper and a weak double sided tape. I wanted to understand better the key positioning, especially the thumb keys. It is not as good as an acrylic mockup where I can press down the keys, but at least let's me iterate the position of the keys very easily (and is much cheaper).

131592-0131594-1

Well, for example, I think the current column stagger on the Ergodox is a significant design flaw. Increasing the amount of column stagger allows the hand to be positioned at a much straighter angle to the columns, and brings the thumb keys much closer to the natural resting position of the thumb.

I disagree. The column stagger in ergodox works well with the hand hand positioned at a slight angle, with the pinky and ring finger more contracted (so it is easier to reach higher keys) and the index finger more extended, because it can easily extend even more straightening the hand. It is basically the same that I do in a non-column staggered keyboard, but without the horizontal staggering I can easily target the number and bottom rows.

131596-2131602-3

When you increase the vertical stagger to make the hand straight, the spreading motion to reach the numbers favors/requires your spread number row placement, and the lateral motion of the index finger asks for the adjacent column to be on the same height as the FJ column (or a little higher maybe, more on that latter). On the ergodox staggering, because the hand is angled, the index also moves a little down relative to the keyboard when moving sideways. All in all, both your and ergodox layouts are quite internally consistent.

131598-4131600-5

However I liked the Ergodox stagger more. I'm finding some keys harder to reach with the index and pinky fingers in your design, because the hand starts of as more extended. Curled fingers reach longer, and the bottom row is not much of a problem. Also, the increased middle finger stagger makes a little more awkward to use an inverted T arrow in a FN layer on keys ESDF.

Offline rsac

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #180 on: Sat, 19 March 2016, 19:52:33 »
After experimenting, here the thumb key arrangement that I reached based on the original stagger of ergodox:

131604-0131608-1131610-2

The key above the leftmost thumb cluster key should probably be removed. I couldn't find a good place for it, and it is the hardest one to hit. It could be placed above the right arrow by moving it a bit lower into a inverted T formation. Either way, this modified ergodox retains the same number of keys than the original, but with no 2u key and the addition of a arrow cluster (but it kinda "ruins" the bottom row some people like). The bottom right most key in the main cluster should probably be an 1u key like the rest to reduce the need for special keys, but that 1.5u key there is not bad either.

I think this is a pretty good design. You see that it is pretty similar to the hack done by this user:

131606-3

I also tried to make a version jacobolus second prototype with less stagger for the middle finger. This also corrected the insufficient stagger for the pinky because my hand position changed a little. On the other hand, I had to adjust the thumb keys position to match my new hand position.

At that point I finally realized that I can move the thumb keys anywhere I want (with reason) just by adjusting the stagger! This has more or less been talked about before in this topic, but I didn't absorbed it at the time. So I went about raising a little the A column, dropping a little the G column, and adjusting the number row spread to alter a bit more my hand position for optimal packing of the keyboard (and a little less extended hand)! This is the final design I reached:

131612-4131614-5131616-6


Compared to the modified Ergodox it has one less key per side, and more or less keeps a pretty nice bottom row for people who like a linear arrow cluster. On the other hand the slightly spread number row may turn off some people (it isn't much worse to pack it, but this way is more comfortable). I plan to use a 1u key in the F5 place, as in the photo, both because the row height that I want and because I'm short one 1.25u key to complete both sides of this board symmetrically.

Take in mind the limitations of my prototyping. I'm not 100% sure if the Tab and F4 keys will be easy to press with the thumb w/o hitting the keys under it, especially the F4 (I'm not even sure if I should keep that key). I was also preferring to hit the thumb keys with my knuckle, because they are hard. When over a key switch will I prefer smaller key caps a little higher up to hit with the tip of my thumb? A large 1.75u space bar may not be such a good idea with the problem of hitting it off-center (it is the biggest key w/o any stabilization). On the other hand, I can always change to a smaller key afterwards, but it will not be so optimally placed. I'm not sure if I can make a hole to fit safely both sizes.

The Tab key is relatively easy to hit if you float your hand up a bit, but is bad for holding while hitting other keys, so ctrl can't be put there, for example. In order of easiness of hitting, there is Shift, Ctrl, FN 1, and then I'm not sure anymore but probably Tab as I don't use a wrist rest. Tab can also be hit fairly easily by the index finger, as can F4 if needed.
« Last Edit: Sat, 19 March 2016, 19:58:35 by rsac »

Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #181 on: Sun, 20 March 2016, 01:24:24 »
The column stagger in ergodox works well with the hand hand positioned at a slight angle, [...] It is basically the same that I do in a non-column staggered keyboard,
Fair enough.

The issues I have are (1) the switch axis is not parallel to the direction of finger flexion, (2) even with such a hand placement, the the closer-in pinky keys and the further-away index finger keys get hard to reach and in general the index finger ends up with a flexed proximal joint at the top of a key, making it weaker and less comfortable (luckily the index finger is pretty strong, so this isn’t a complete dealbreaker), (3) flexing the index finger at the second joint lands it on the bottom key of the middle-finger column, etc. [a row-staggered keyboard accommodates this: the fingers go from FDS to CXZ and from JKL to M,. when you flex them], (4) on the Ergodox itself, that puts the thumb keys even further away, when they’re already too far for comfort for small-to-medium hands when the hands are straight (not necessarily a problem if you move the thumb keys).

Quote
I'm finding some keys harder to reach with the index and pinky fingers in your design, because the hand starts of as more extended.
The fingers should not start out extended. They should start out in a neutral position, which is a kind of quarter-circle arc shape, with the distal phalanges at a maybe 70–85° angle to the direction of the forearm, depending on your specific body shape and typing style.

Quote
the increased middle finger stagger makes a little more awkward to use an inverted T arrow in a FN layer on keys ESDF.
If you want an inverted T (or in this case more like a diamond shape) Use DSCF instead. :-)

For instance:


Or better, use middle and ring fingers as left/right (or right/left, depending on which hand and your preference), and put up/down on the index finger and thumb, respectively.

Quote
At that point I finally realized that I can move the thumb keys anywhere I want (with reason) just by adjusting the stagger!
Something like that, yep. It’s even easier if you can adjust the vertical height of the keys in different columns.

* * *

Your result looks pretty good. If you make a working prototype, let us know how it goes!

Quote
I'm not 100% sure if the Tab and F4 keys will be easy to press with the thumb w/o hitting the keys under it,
They’re going to be fine, IF you make sure to use extra-tall keycaps. Something like SA or “OEM” profile keys when the rest of the caps are DSA/DCS/Cherry profile, or if you can find some, maybe the extra-tall F-row caps from Cherry or DCS profiles.

Quote
When over a key switch will I prefer smaller key caps a little higher up to hit with the tip of my thumb?
My preference is to use the side of the whole distal phalanx of the thumb to press the primary thumb keys.

If you ever get the chance, I recommend borrowing a Maltron keyboard for a few days, and trying to understand why they chose their particular position and angle of thumb keys.

Quote
A large 1.75u space bar may not be such a good idea with the problem of hitting it off-center
1.75u will be okay without stabilizers (2u really isn’t). I think 1.5u works slightly better though. YMMV.

Quote
The Tab key is relatively easy to hit if you float your hand up a bit, but is bad for holding
It will be totally fine as a modifier/shifter if you use an extra-tall keycap.
« Last Edit: Sun, 20 March 2016, 14:56:10 by jacobolus »

Offline LuX

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #182 on: Sun, 20 March 2016, 05:17:58 »
Nice layouts jacobolus. Almost makes me want to cancel my ErgoDox and build my own keyboard.
I'm beginning to worry that the thumb cluster is too far apart for me as I like to hold my thumb closer to my palm rather than have it extended.

Offline vvp

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #183 on: Sun, 20 March 2016, 11:24:09 »
Quote
I'm not 100% sure if the Tab and F4 keys will be easy to press with the thumb w/o hitting the keys under it,
They’re going to be fine, IF you make sure to use extra-tall keycaps. Something like SA or “OEM” profile keys when the rest of the caps are DSA/DCS/Cherry profile, or if you can find some, maybe the extra-tall F-row caps from Cherry or DCS profiles.
+1
Even 3-row thumb clusters work quite well if you are careful about keycap height differences.

Offline rsac

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #184 on: Mon, 21 March 2016, 00:08:07 »
Quote
I'm finding some keys harder to reach with the index and pinky fingers in your design, because the hand starts of as more extended.
The fingers should not start out extended. They should start out in a neutral position, which is a kind of quarter-circle arc shape, with the distal phalanges at a maybe 70–85° angle to the direction of the forearm, depending on your specific body shape and typing style.
It is the neutral position, not completely extended. My middle finger may be more at a 85° angle, but my index and pinky fingers are less angled than that in relation to the forearm. In the ergodox they might be more curled up, maybe. I'm not sure. It might just be how accustomed I'm by the regular keyboard hand position.

Another explanation is that the direction the hand extends helps to reach diagonal keys with the index finger, like the Y. And the pinky finger opening a bit radially also increases it's reach.
Quote
If you want an inverted T (or in this case more like a diamond shape) Use DSCF instead. :-)

Or better, use middle and ring fingers as left/right (or right/left, depending on which hand and your preference), and put up/down on the index finger and thumb, respectively.
The first suggestion is interesting. That uses an even more radical stagger for the middle finger also.

I was unsure if I would like the diamond shaped arrows over the inverted T that I'm familiar, so I did a hybrid in the layout I printed. And I quite liked that hybrid so I'm keeping it in my dedicated arrows. The FN layer arrows are more of an experiment also, but I may grow up to like them so an acceptable positioning is important. For now I think I will go with my reduced stagger anyway.

Quote
Your result looks pretty good. If you make a working prototype, let us know how it goes!
I already have all the parts for hardwiring it (though I might substitute the teensy by another part coming by mail), minus the case that I need to design. I will make a topic with my project in Making Stuff Together! in the coming weeks.

Quote
They’re going to be fine, IF you make sure to use extra-tall keycaps. Something like SA or “OEM” profile keys when the rest of the caps are DSA/DCS/Cherry profile, or if you can find some, maybe the extra-tall F-row caps from Cherry or DCS profiles.
I have a OEM set, but shinny thin ABS. But I guess it is usable for the F4 key position. The texture difference might even be a good thing.

Quote
Quote
The Tab key is relatively easy to hit if you float your hand up a bit, but is bad for holding
It will be totally fine as a modifier/shifter if you use an extra-tall keycap.
The trick seems to be to press that key with the tip of my thumb, so I can still reach the bottom row of the keyboard with the same hand. The tall OEM keycaps I have help a little as they have a wider top. Well, I will see when in actual use.

Quote
My preference is to use the side of the whole distal phalanx of the thumb to press the primary thumb keys.

If you ever get the chance, I recommend borrowing a Maltron keyboard for a few days, and trying to understand why they chose their particular position and angle of thumb keys.

1.75u will be okay without stabilizers (2u really isn’t). I think 1.5u works slightly better though. YMMV.
Ok, so the part before the widest part of the thumb (the knuckle)? I doubt I will ever have the chance to touch a Maltron...

I would also love triangular rounded keycaps just especially for thumbs, like Esrille and Keyboard.io have. I also noticed they are a bit wider than normal, even in the base. I might be overestimating the precision of my thumbs with this relatively packed design. I'm not sure if spacing more my 1u wide thumb keys is the answer though... probably not. On the other hand Maltron and Kinesis had packed thumb clusters for a long time and people don't seem to mind. But they are not as spread out laterally...

Offline b0f0

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #185 on: Mon, 21 March 2016, 01:03:57 »
Just asking, is these thread somehow a base for the future ergodox 2 maybe ? It seems like you are doing a good job and you think a lot about how to fix the present ergodox. I ordered my ergodox just a few days ago, still wainting for the package. When I get it I will also comment how it is with usability of thumbs on ergodox.
To me the biggest mistery is how do you guys or the developers of ergodox, take in the information for different hand sizes. What I mean to ask is when you develop a keyboard how do you know that the developed keyboard will be okey for all hand sizes. Not to mention we have different lenghts of fingers and so on. Also the thumbs are different sizes. I guess this part is realy difficoult to develop.
How do you apply different hand and finger sizes when developing an ergonomic keyboard like ergodox ? Just asking because it came to my mind.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #186 on: Mon, 21 March 2016, 01:05:29 »
[...]but my index and pinky fingers are less angled than that in relation to the forearm.[...] It might just be how accustomed I'm by the regular keyboard hand position. ¶ Another explanation is that the direction the hand extends helps to reach diagonal keys with the index finger, like the Y.
If you put your hand on a standard keyboard with all the fingers in a relaxed position, your fingers will land on e.g. JIO; keys, not JKL; (more realistically, they won’t exactly be centered on the keys, but you get the idea). Moreover, with your wrist not-fully-pronated (i.e. wrist and top of hand not strictly parallel to the keyboard plane, but angled a bit down toward the outside) so that the pinky is resting comfortably, the index finger ends up noticeably more flexed at the first joint (i.e. the joint at the base of the finger, the metacarpophalangeal [MCP] joint) than the other fingers are. This reduces the strength and agility of the finger.

If you made a standard-layout one-piece row-staggered keyboard, but increased the vertical height of the 567RTYUFGHJVBN keycap tops by e.g. 2 millimeters (maybe more for 567TY), then your index finger could be in a posture much closer to the rest of your fingers, and wouldn’t need to do as much reaching to get to the key tops. The Y and T keys (and especially the 567 keys) would still be a somewhat further stretch than ideal, but noticeably better than before

If you have a column-staggered keyboard with split halves, and full control of the positioning of the keys (at least in 2 dimensions plus sculpted keycaps, but even better in all 3 dimensions), then you can accomplish much the same thing by turning and “tenting” the whole keyboard half, so that your forearm can be much less pronated and so that the columns are roughly aligned with the direction of finger flexion/extension. By shifting the columns relative to each-other so that when you put each finger in a neutral-ish position it rests right on the top of a home row key, you can optimize each finger’s ability to reach keys across multiple rows, and have the strength to press them. Ideally, you want a very aggressively sculpted keycap profile, with a significant step between the home row and further away rows. This lets you extend your fingers at the middle joint (the proximal IP joint) to reach the top of further-row keys without needing to flex the MCP joint too much except when actually pressing the key.

I am partial to using keycap profiles with an extra tall F row, and then shifting the last 2–3 rows down by one. In the diagram below, purple outline is standard DCS profile. The green outline is row-shifted DCS, where the ASDF row has keycaps from the QWER row, the QWER row has keycaps from the 1234 row, and the 1234 row has keycaps from an extra-tall F row. The black outline shows a hypothetical even more aggressive keycap profile:


[This is all easier to explain in person with some ability to point to parts of the hand and move around in 3d space and so on, or even with some video/picture support; text is a crappy medium. I’m too lazy to make a bunch of graphics about it right now though.]

Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #187 on: Mon, 21 March 2016, 01:07:22 »
Just asking, is these thread somehow a base for the future ergodox 2 maybe ?
Hopefully yes. It’s not something that will happen without a considerable amount more work (mostly organizational/administrative kind of work) though.

Quote
how do you guys or the developers of ergodox, take in the information for different hand sizes.
The only way to do this is try a prototype keyboard out on a bunch of people, and see what they think.

The Ergodox itself was primarily designed by and for one person (Dox).

Offline alexjj

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #188 on: Mon, 28 March 2016, 15:14:16 »
I just found this thread after searching for thumb issues with ergodoxes. It was reassuring to find it wasn't just me being odd. I really want to use my ergodox but after 20 minutes of using it my shoulder is so sore it makes me feel nauseous. I've got an Ergodox EZ with the tenting, but no matter what way I adjust it or tent/tilt it I cannot get rid of the pain. It's definitely the thumbs though. I thought about moving space and enter to the last key on the 1u row, that'll probably fix it but then there's no point in having the ergodox.

Offline rsac

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #189 on: Fri, 15 April 2016, 23:43:21 »
So, I still haven't started to build the design I talked previously, I'm changing it again:

+1
Even 3-row thumb clusters work quite well if you are careful about keycap height differences.
(Attachment Link)
Looking the thumb cluster of Loonie and remembering what vvp said made me want to try this stepped and non-curved thumb cluster style. And I quite liked it. I didn't like Loonie's aggressive staggering though, so I replaced that for the Ergodox one. Latter I saw that something similar to this stepped thumb cluster is also used in the 80key Ergodox mod and people who did it seem to like.

134558-0

It is very compact, meaning less thumb stretching. The difference in height and the different motions for different keys, both sideways and arcs, makes easier to hit a key and go back more precisely to hit another, even with the smaller spacing between them. It fulfills the minimum of 4 thumb keys per side that I wanted with a large margin.

I'm designing a flat board, so 3 levels like vvp is probably a stretch, though I'm kinda doing it with the higher F4 key there. For it being hit by the thumb it probably depends on having some space on the sides and it can also be precisely hit by the index finger using the thumb at space as guide. I will also probably enjoy the plenty of empty space above (and due to the height difference below too) the space key. That is present in my other designs too, but now I think a 1u key is probably sufficient given that.

After that I tweaked a bit the design to have a more visually appealing thumb cluster but still retaining the same form factor. Just increased the stagger a tiny bit compared to the Ergodox, and there I have the (hopefully) final ErgoSquare!

134562-1

Those images have 80keys packed in that little space, more to show what is possible than anything, but I will probably discard 2 or 3 per side when I build mine. Still, I'm clearly erring on the side of more keys when in doubt even with 74 keys total, as I'm not sure if I can live w/o a dedicated arrow cluster.

This design also ended up in a nice format for cheap mass production (it was not my fist goal). I think it is a real shame that all those ergo boards are so expensive. The PCB of each side could be a neat 13cm x 13cm square (hence the name) with everything SMD. It also makes the case, packaging and shipping cheaper. I see no reason why something like it couldn't be sold for $150 (plus shipping) assembled by a Kickstarter project like the one that did the EZ Ergodox. And it could get to even less than $100,00 if the lower cost enables a larger scale than previous Ergodox experiences. I expect that my personal BOM for this project will be around $120 (I actually spent about double of that, but I have material to make almost three keyboards), plus lots of time. The biggest costs being the Acrylic case (a injected plastic one could be $5) and the two colour blank PBT keyset.

One detail though is that I will not be doing a PCB and this design won't have any natural place to put a teensy or maple mini, so I will extend a bit one of the upper sides for that. I will also use that space to latter put a small LCD screen. It will end up looking a bit like the Ergodox Infinity.

I also tried to make it so that it is easy to provide keycaps for it from any standard full-size key cap kit. I'm not sure if I succeeded, as counting with the arrow keys, it theoretically needs a lot of 1u bottom row keys. And the F4 key benefits from a higher key from a different profile. But most of the keys bigger than 1u could be replaced by 1u keys with little to lose.
« Last Edit: Sat, 16 April 2016, 18:43:06 by rsac »

Online Phenix

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #190 on: Mon, 25 April 2016, 11:23:52 »
I would suggest making all keys on the left (and mirrored on the right) 1.25u. If needed you can let off left/right arrow.

I assume this will be nicer (and more like the ergodox..)
Winter is coming.

Offline rsac

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #191 on: Mon, 25 April 2016, 18:04:20 »

I would suggest making all keys on the left (and mirrored on the right) 1.25u. If needed you can let off left/right arrow.

I assume this will be nicer (and more like the ergodox..)
Two reasons why I'm not keen on this:
- I don't have that many 1.25u keys
- I can use higher profiles for them. I liked it with cherry D row on home row and E row for the other two above.

I'm putting a wider key on the bottom row because the different nature of the movement to reach it. You need to move your whole hand to the side to press it, while the other keys you mostly only move your pinky finger. Thus a larger area to hit is more needed there, I think. The regular US keyboard on the right side also has 1u keys for home and upper rows, but longer key for the bottom row.

I'm finishing designing the case, I will be able to test it soon (TM).

Online Phenix

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #192 on: Mon, 25 April 2016, 18:09:14 »
OK. Sounds better after you described it..

typos due to my touch screen are possible

Winter is coming.

Offline Scoox

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #193 on: Sat, 07 January 2017, 00:44:22 »
Personally I find 3 keys for each thumb is more than adequate. On my Ergodox I'm only using one of the thumb keys, and two of the bottom row keys as thumb keys. I find most of the thumb keys to be too far to reach comfortably, even though I have very long fingers. I've also attached an extension to the thumb key I use; without this simple hack I probably wouldn't be using my Ergodox now.

156985-0

I rely on layers and I put my modifier keys along the top row of both hands, so for example, the key that normally is "1" on a standard keyboard is the Windows key, key "2" is Shift, key "3" is Ctrl, key "4" is Alt. The same for the right hand but mirrored. This way both hands have access to all modifiers, and any combination of modifiers can be pressed comfortably with one hand (quite handy for mouse modifiers!).

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #194 on: Sat, 07 January 2017, 00:55:24 »
Personally I find 3 keys for each thumb is more than adequate. On my Ergodox I'm only using one of the thumb keys, and two of the bottom row keys as thumb keys. I find most of the thumb keys to be too far to reach comfortably, even though I have very long fingers. I've also attached an extension to the thumb key I use; without this simple hack I probably wouldn't be using my Ergodox now.

(Attachment Link)

I rely on layers and I put my modifier keys along the top row of both hands, so for example, the key that normally is "1" on a standard keyboard is the Windows key, key "2" is Shift, key "3" is Ctrl, key "4" is Alt. The same for the right hand but mirrored. This way both hands have access to all modifiers, and any combination of modifiers can be pressed comfortably with one hand (quite handy for mouse modifiers!).

I've taped a piece of cardboard there in the beginning myself..

But eventually i realized that it's really unnecessary.


If you've not gotten over this difference in spacing,  YOU WILL, if you keep using the ERgodox..



It only feels odd, because the normal muscle routine to hit the key is different than what it would take with the new spacing..



However,  this will be a problem if you use your ergodox (untented).

While you shouldn't be doing that.. untented,  it's more the rotation of the wrist that makes this difficult, because it's a slight extension of the thumb + a rotation..

when you're tented , there's no rotation,  it's just a slight extension , and easy to get used to..


But when it's flat..  you have to rotate out for the outside keys, then back in to hit space.

Offline Yotaka

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #195 on: Mon, 09 January 2017, 03:21:27 »

Separate left and right hand design,who are using this? how do you guys feel about this?
Personally I think this might be good if you spend time and get used to this,
 but for combination key, most time  need one hand for this, instead of two hands to balance the pressure.