Author Topic: fixing the ergodox thumb section  (Read 99376 times)

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Offline macroxue

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #200 on: Tue, 16 July 2019, 18:57:56 »
I tried Ergodox and used only the four 2u thumb keys, so having fewer keys is not necessarily a disadvantage. I will like Redox's layout better, especially 1.25u keys next to thumb clusters.

I'm digging this old thread up, because as far as I'm concerned, the Redox keyboard might be a nice solution to fix the Ergodox thumb section:

https://hackaday.io/project/160610-redox-keyboard

Sure, it has fewer thumb buttons, but they're in better places and therefore actually useable.

What do you think?
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Offline rhinestonebones

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #201 on: Wed, 24 July 2019, 21:43:04 »
I'm digging this old thread up, because as far as I'm concerned, the Redox keyboard might be a nice solution to fix the Ergodox thumb section:

https://hackaday.io/project/160610-redox-keyboard

Sure, it has fewer thumb buttons, but they're in better places and therefore actually useable.

What do you think?

The position of the 2 thumb keys (look like 1.5u on the redox?) seem to be in the exact same position as the Ergodox. If anything the problem with the Ergodox thumb keys is not the amount of keys, but rather the distance of the thumb key from the home row hand position, which for most people could stand to be moved closer, so that the first thumb sits under the B key (assuming QWERTY).
That said though, it is a nice alternative to the ergodox, though i don't think it really solves the problem unless you just want less keys, and for that there's a bunch of other alternatives with better thumb placement.

Offline ergonaut

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #202 on: Thu, 25 July 2019, 02:37:10 »
For me, the biggest problem of the Ergodox is that there is this huge gap where the space bar should be, i.e. where your thumbs rest naturally. Thus, even to just hit space, you need to move your thumb. That's what I like better with the Redox; there is this 1.25u (?) key right next to the vertical thumb keys which fills this gap.

Offline RominRonin

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #203 on: Mon, 05 August 2019, 08:51:14 »
For me, the biggest problem of the Ergodox is that there is this huge gap where the space bar should be, i.e. where your thumbs rest naturally. Thus, even to just hit space, you need to move your thumb.

I very much agree with this.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #204 on: Sat, 10 August 2019, 09:05:57 »
The problem is Tenting. If you are not using the keyboard tented @ 55 Degrees, the space bar position requires a slight wrist rotation to hit.

But tented, this is not the case at all, and the position of the space bar feels very natural.

Tenting is a KEY erognomic feature.  if anyone is using the Ergodox Un-Tented,  that's the problem, not the thumb cluster.

The thumb cluster is FINE, it is almost the exact spacing as the maltron,  how come no one complains about the maltron thumb cluster,  BECAUSE , the maltron has a built in slope akin to Tenting an Ergodox.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #205 on: Mon, 12 August 2019, 00:51:01 »
I'm digging this old thread up, because as far as I'm concerned, the Redox keyboard might be a nice solution to fix the Ergodox thumb section:

https://hackaday.io/project/160610-redox-keyboard

Sure, it has fewer thumb buttons, but they're in better places and therefore actually useable.

What do you think?
This is pretty good. Definitely better than Ergodox for most hand shapes. But I think it puts the thumb keys a bit too close to the finger keys (e.g. the one under n/m keys). thatís where the spacebar is on a standard keyboard, but itís not really the ideal spot. I found that it worked best for me to orient 1.25u keys the other way and scoot them a little bit. The second row of thumb keys in each 4-key block is especially a reach (on a standard keyboard, try using your thumbs to press the B key to see how this feels). But if these are used for slightly less common functions and have tall keycaps itís not too bad (their use of uniform DSA caps is a bad choice; but this is something that anyone could fix by just putting different keycaps on).

Making the inner index finger row closer is not helpful (puts the n/b in a less reachable position).

Their stagger for the keys is not as aggressive as I would prefer, making the natural hand orientation on that keyboard a bit rotated relative to the columns.

Compare:

« Last Edit: Mon, 12 August 2019, 01:30:08 by jacobolus »

Offline ergonaut

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #206 on: Tue, 24 September 2019, 09:41:02 »
The problem is Tenting. If you are not using the keyboard tented @ 55 Degrees, the space bar position requires a slight wrist rotation to hit.

But tented, this is not the case at all, and the position of the space bar feels very natural.


Excuse the late reply, life keeps getting in the way of what really matters (i.e. keyboards).

You keep making the point above. I agree with you that tenting is super important for ergonomics. However, I think that even tented, the thumb cluster position on the Ergodox is too far out. For testing purposes, I tented my Kinesis Advantage (using it one-sided, haven't put a saw to it yet), and my thumb still wanted to hit the gap between the keywell and the thumb cluster. Yes, it might be ever so slightly easier hitting the thumb buttons when tented, but still, it would be so much better if they were closer!

Offline ergonaut

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #207 on: Tue, 24 September 2019, 09:46:00 »
But I think it puts the thumb keys a bit too close to the finger keys (e.g. the one under n/m keys). thatís where the spacebar is on a standard keyboard, but itís not really the ideal spot. I found that it worked best for me to orient 1.25u keys the other way and scoot them a little bit.

I agree about the standard thumb key / space bar position being a little bit too close to the finger keys. I really like the fat thumb keys on my MS Sculpt for precisely that reason. However, I'm on the fence about the vertical vs. horizontal orientation of the 1.25u keys, because I think the thumbs like a bit more space in both directions. Since 1.25x1.25 keys aren't really common in the keycap aftermarket (if they exist at all), it will always be a compromise, but I think I'd prefer a horizontally oriented 1.25u-1.5u key with just a little distance (i.e. a small gap) to the finger keys as a space bar.

Offline vvp

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #208 on: Wed, 25 September 2019, 06:15:58 »
Try it and you will see.
I say any key bigger than 1u is either wasting space or is too far away from home position.

Offline ITzNybble

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #209 on: Fri, 27 September 2019, 16:14:38 »
I really like the DMOTE thumb cluster...at least the idea of it 1 u keys surrounding a 1u key, it seems like the most keys for the space and is something we have seen on mice before.... I am still debating building a redox-manuform or the DMOTE...if I could get the DMOTE thumb cluster on (dactly, manuform, redox-manuform) main cluster somehow and make it comfortable that would be amazing. I messed around with all the Clojure stuff and I just haven't had the time to really dig into it as I am doing a big code re-write at work but may keep trying if I get spare time. I agree with tp4tissue, tenting/curvature of keys is the ultimate ergonomic factor After moving to a split keyboard. The first step anyone should take after making sure their desk,chair,monitor config is ergonomically best for them is to venture into a split keyboard THEN or WHEN you switch would be the time to figure out tilting as well. I had a 4 corner fusion on my left wrist about 4 years ago and am just now realizing i NEED a better solution than the standard keyboard...I love the look of 60 and 40 % boards but they still will bring me pain do to the arthritis I already have from before my surgery (broken scaffoid that I didn't know about for years) Anyways that is my rant...I do not feel like spell checking right now so my apologies if there are typos.

Also I am about to just buy a 3D printer as I see myself needing to go throuh multiple iterations to find what works best.....smh... even with plastic keyboards this hobby is draining LOL
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Offline vvp

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #210 on: Sat, 28 September 2019, 07:03:20 »
I agree with tp4tissue, tenting/curvature of keys is the ultimate ergonomic factor After moving to a split keyboard.
Actually, tp4 claims curved keyboard is worse for speed than two split planar halves.

Offline ITzNybble

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #211 on: Sat, 28 September 2019, 08:10:49 »
I agree with tp4tissue, tenting/curvature of keys is the ultimate ergonomic factor After moving to a split keyboard.
Actually, tp4 claims curved keyboard is worse for speed than two split planar halves.
Hmm, i didn't know that, thank you. I would disagree, if one was trained on each system adequately, shorter finger travel and less strain would make me hypothesy? Spelling? That one could type faster over a longer duration.

But that is just a hypothesis,

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Offline vvp

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #212 on: Sat, 28 September 2019, 10:34:08 »
I think a curved keyboard should lead to quicker typing as well. I do not completely understands tp4's reasoning. It was something about hand movement and piano players...

Offline ITzNybble

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #213 on: Sat, 28 September 2019, 12:36:17 »
I think a curved keyboard should lead to quicker typing as well. I do not completely understands tp4's reasoning. It was something about hand movement and piano players...
My guess would be the uniformity of the keys? All on the same plane so force off the press didn't change based on position of the key... But that doesn't seem like it would translate to typing as you can just bottom out and a light and heavy touch result in the same outcome of a key press..... Oh well

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Offline guneyd

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #214 on: Tue, 10 December 2019, 15:48:07 »
I've been looking into (split) ergo keyboards for some time now (months) and the ones I keep returning to are:
- The Sol
- The Iris keyboard (keeb.io)
- Something like the Dactyl/Manuform
- Ergodox-EZ

I currently type on a 65% and I wouldn't want any less keys, even if I could use multiple layouts...


As for my findings so far:

- The Sol: Haven't been able to find that many reviews yet and the Iris seems to be the better option.
- Dactyl/Manuform: Too expensive and complicated to manufacture. I'm a noob when it comes to soldering (though I'm willing to try), don't have a 3d printer and paying someone else makes it still too expensive.
- The Iris: Currently my first pick and I'd love to give it a try (soldering and putting everything together).
- Ergodox-ez: It seems to be the 'easiest' option. You can buy everything in one go and it might be cheaper in the long run, but the thumb section has gotten me scared (even though I've got sausage fingers and might be able to deal with it).

I won't ask about the Ergodox, but with what I've listed above, what would you guys recommend? Are there any other keyboards that come close to what I've already listed and would perhaps be more ergonomical and fixing the Ergodox' shortcomings? I'd love to hear what you guys have to say on the matter :).

Offline ITzNybble

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #215 on: Tue, 10 December 2019, 17:32:47 »
Personally I have a modified version on the dactyl manuform and it is amazing, I have used an ergo dox and it was an easier time learning to type on that, the curved keywell took a bit of getting used to and I still miss a key here and there due to not have a great sculpted keyset on it. I am looking at getting a flat styled ortho split and the iris or a crkd are my two choices, I honestly don't need the number row for most things so a "40" ish layout can work.

I would go for the iris or if you want the most ergonomic a dactyl manuform, but it seems that is a harder option for you at the moment

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Offline jacobolus

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #216 on: Sun, 07 June 2020, 01:44:31 »
> dactyl manuform

The problem with this is that (in my opinion) it uses the wrong thumb motion for the thumb keys.

There are two main kinds of flexing movements a thumb can make. If you put your hands spread out palms down in front of you, these are (approximately) swinging downward in the direction your palms are facing, or curling/squeezing toward the sides from the thumbís starting position toward the fingers.

The Dactyl and Manuform (and several other ergonomic keyboards) opt to use this latter squeezing motion, which is also e.g. the motion used for pressing a gameshow buzzer or video game controller button, but in my opinion the other swinging motion (like the motion used to press a piano key or typical keyboard spacebar) is both itself stronger and faster to trigger, and also gets more assistance from arm movements and gravity. In my opinion this swinging motion is better for striking keys, and for holding modifier keys down the two motions are roughly comparable in convenience. So it is therefore a mistake to switch to the side-squeeze for thumb keys.

This is especially true when the hands are the type of position used for typing; when the hands are curled up gripping a game controller it might be different.

As always, YMMV.

One plausibly effective design might be to have 2Ė4 swing-strike thumb keys plus an additional 1Ė2 sideways squeeze keys tucked in front of (i.e. toward the body from) and a bit above the index finger keys. But I think trying to fit those is more trouble than itís worth compared to just making them roughly in the same plane as the rest. If youíre going to do that you could also add a bottom row squeeze key for each of the other fingers: think of a trigger-like motion. Keeping the keys mostly flat and in the same plane for each hand is a lot cheaper and easier to manufacture though, and the potential advantages of the squeeze keys arenít worth the hassle.

(I also think that the Manuform / Dactyl get the relative positions of the finger keys wrong, following in the tradition of the Kinesis Advantage even though the technology of 3d printing + hand wiring does not face the same manufacturing constraints; this is a result of blindly copying form without starting from a list of criteria/constraints and reasoning from first principles. But thatís a separate question to the thumb section design.)
« Last Edit: Sun, 07 June 2020, 02:12:11 by jacobolus »

Offline ChirsF

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #217 on: Tue, 18 August 2020, 23:14:29 »
I've been talking with the folks making the https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=107942.0 KAT Space Dust set and they are interested in making a Redox layout or supplementary set for an Ergodox. Just a heads up to watch for it.

As a part of helping them I ended up making this image to help show the difference in the layouts. Hopefully this helps someone else.

249883-0

Offline Laughmore

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Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #218 on: Mon, 14 September 2020, 12:37:04 »
What about gaming. Can I enjoy using one (hopefully ergo split) device for everything?

Default WASD position is out with any staggering. With ergo and ortholinear keybs and the left-hand in ESDF position, the pinky can't live and rest easily on shift. So it's not a simple matter of remapping like on a traditional keyboard, where the lateral stagger allows for the shift key to support the left pinky in ESDF. Barely.

I wish there was an ortholinear, non-staggered split like the Viterbi (for F/J touch typing and WASD support) but with a thumb cluster like the Redox. I think I could do all my stuff with that one tool... does this exist in the DIY mech world? (I see some cringe gamerish one handed devices that are sort of close, but no)