Author Topic: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop  (Read 87865 times)

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Offline Zekromtor

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #500 on: Thu, 01 December 2016, 20:10:49 »
Holy crap. That thing looks great, but it sounds even better if you used the actual sound of it in the intro to that video. I didn't deserve to be named in that video after going AWOL for a month. New house = lots of work and no time.

Did you refinish the metallic ring around the trackball? I don't see any issues in the later pics. It's probably plastic and a ***** to redo though.

Are the thumb keys responding fast enough now? Would you consider thinning them to reduce their mass or is that not the issue?

Is it too soon to ask if there are any little (or big) things that are bugging you that you wish you'd changed?

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #501 on: Fri, 02 December 2016, 18:28:38 »
Holy crap. That thing looks great, but it sounds even better if you used the actual sound of it in the intro to that video.

No, the sound is a recording I made at the last minute on my AlumaPlop. I had P6 in pieces when I thought that a typing sound effect would be good to add to the intro. By the way, I type about 1/10th that speed. I was just randomly hitting keys. It's not even timed very well with the video. :-[

I didn't deserve to be named in that video after going AWOL for a month. New house = lots of work and no time.

I'm just glad you were AWOL and not missing in action. While I appreciated all of the comments and suggestions I got, yours and tufty's were the most influential in the direction P6 took.


Did you refinish the metallic ring around the trackball? I don't see any issues in the later pics. It's probably plastic and a ***** to redo though.

That ring was pretty wasted by the time I finished the build, I had another one laying around that I used.


Are the thumb keys responding fast enough now? Would you consider thinning them to reduce their mass or is that not the issue?


I got the thumb keys down to about 3-3.5grams. The weight isn't an issue. I lubed them and that made them slide very smoothly (I would occasionally get some sticking of I'd hit a far off corner before). If I could complain (though I'm not), I'd say that the full 4mm travel seems slow and excessive compared to how snappy the other switches are with a <3mm travel.

Is it too soon to ask if there are any little (or big) things that are bugging you that you wish you'd changed?

Yes, it's probably too soon but I'll answer anyways.

Appearance—   It looks great but when I take pictures it shows off flaws that are all but invisible to the naked eye. The Cerakote seems a step down from the black anodization when seen magnified.

I'm not happy with the final fit of the wood wrist rests. There were minor gaps that I thought I could fill with sawdust and finish but it just isn't quite right (again under magnification). Also, I had to do additional sanding after adding the thickness of the glue and I was afraid of scratching the Cerakote so the wood ended up a bit higher than the aluminum. 

Function— Not much to complain about that. The alpha switches feel perfect for me—fast responsive, good sound. Of course that's subjective. I'll be interested in getting other opinions. When Ic07 helped me load the firmware he seemed to really like the feel.

The ring switches are smooth but feel like I may have gone too far with the O-rings and lube because it's a lot quieter than the alphas.
For some reason, a few of the ring caps sit a little higher than the rest. I actually like the functionality of the higher ones more. I may address that at some future time.

No regrets about the 0.65" vertical pitch; the keys are very easy to reach. The thumb keys are spaced just right for my hands.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with it. :thumb:



 

Offline Zekromtor

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #502 on: Fri, 02 December 2016, 19:41:17 »
I'm taking another look at that final pic, and I think the color scheme is just perfect. The tungsten on the ring caps was an excellent choice. The alumaplop never did it for me cause I need wrist rests, but this sucker is compact and fully functional. Bravo.

Offline tufty

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #503 on: Sat, 03 December 2016, 07:04:50 »
this sucker is compact and fully functional. Bravo.

I agree.  It's the best thing ever, and I need one.
« Last Edit: Sat, 03 December 2016, 07:33:19 by tufty »

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #504 on: Sat, 03 December 2016, 09:04:27 »
The alumaplop never did it for me cause I need wrist rests, but this sucker is compact and fully functional. Bravo.

I need the wrist rests too. I avoided the rests on the A'plop for portability but have them integrated in the tray on my desk.

this sucker is compact and fully functional. Bravo.

I agree.  It's the best thing ever, and I need one.

Thanks guys. If you weren't happy with the results I would have regretted embarrassing you by listing you in the credits.

Tufty— Good news! I sent out a letter to a Mr. Soludo Charles and he informed me that he has your money ready for transfer. He only needs an account number and a $250 "good faith" advance. All indications are that things will proceed smoothly upon receipt.

Offline Phenix

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #505 on: Sat, 03 December 2016, 09:10:21 »
you should run an GB. seriously.
Winter is coming.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #506 on: Sat, 03 December 2016, 09:11:43 »
you should run an GB. seriously.

I'd love to if there were a way to produce them economically.

Offline alienman82

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #507 on: Sat, 03 December 2016, 09:40:14 »
removed.
« Last Edit: Thu, 01 March 2018, 13:30:51 by alienman82 »

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #508 on: Sat, 03 December 2016, 15:09:56 »
you should run an GB. seriously.

I'd love to if there were a way to produce them economically.

if you adapted it to use DSA you probably could

It's one thing to make a prototype of a design and another to produce it at a reasonable cost. There are several things about my design that make production expensive. Some of them could be solved, others probably not. It all depends on what features others consider important.

I think you're right alienman, about standardizing the switches/caps. Clearly, a major investment in time resulted from my decision to use unconventional spacing between switches. The whole egg crate/pushrod design is a very inefficient way to solve a problem that many people don't think exist in the first place. The closer caps may also take longer to get use to when already familiar with standard spacing. I think it makes sense but it could go in the interest of economy.

The cost of the Slimblade is a major expense. Sure, it replaces an additional pointing device but adding it to the price of the keyboard makes it appear unfairly expensive compared to a stand alone keyboard.

To have a comfortable tenting angle, and thumb key placement, multiple PCB's are necessary—another cost. Hand wiring might make sense in a kit but would be inefficient in production.

The wood rests feel great but add another material and another step to the process.

The cost of a multi angled and contoured body is unquestionably the most expensive single item. It could possibly be stamped out of sheet metal, cast out of aluminum in sand moulds, resin cast, injection molded, or made out of fiberglass. All of these options are possible but either set-up costs would be astronomical for a small run or individual pieces would be time consuming to make. On top of that, the end product would probably be lacking the elegant details and feel of a milled unit.

A cheaper alternative would be an angular shell, similar to the Estrille. It lacks the aesthetics of P6 but it would be much simpler to produce.

In the end, to make an affordable production model of P6, I think one might have to remove the elements that make it P6.


I am curious and would appreciate your responses. What do you find appealing about Planet 6? What feature(s) are unimportant to you? Can you see any advantage by having a ring of switches around the trackball? How important are ergonomics in this design? Do you like it purely for aesthetic reasons? Can you conceive of any merit in having the reduced vertical pitch between switches? Is the presence of a trackball something that would make you not give P6 a second thought? 

I welcome your feedback, positive and negative.




 

Offline tufty

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #509 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 06:05:27 »
From my viewpoint, it's mainly an aesthetic thing - you've created a thing of great beauty; the enormous amounts of time, care and attention to detail that you've spent in making a keyboard to your requirements is enough for it to be a success in its own right.

For my own usage, I'm not sure if it would really work.  I'm uncertain of the value of the unconventional spacing, compared to, for example, spending the time to make a fully contoured key bowl à la Maltron.  I'm almost certain that, due to cost concerns, a hypothetical mass-produced P6 would probably have to go with conventional spacing and (main board) keycaps.

The buttons around the trackball would absolutely find a use, even for a non-CAD person like myself.  And they look great.
Wooden palm rests have to stay.  As you say yorself, they feel good.  And they look great.
**** angular.  for a start, it's a hipster Javascript framework, and anyway, the curves are a part of the beauty of what you have, its a really good playoff of "organic" curves and machine porn.

For a "mass" production, I'd suggest:

- Cast the body oversize in Al, doesn't need to be particularly pretty; sand casting would do as long as the casts can be finished down, but would add an extra step.  If cast in a "hard" mould, all the "fitment" stuff can be cast direct to size. 
- If rough cast, CNC mill all the fitment parts (palm rest and key plate holes, etc) but leave unfinished.
- Stamped steel or Al plates for the main board, plate & pcb mounting for ML switches *with standard caps*.  Can be soldered up as a single unit "off board" if you're clever.  You're clever.
- Probably resin cast keyring and thumb switches.
- Keep the wooden palm rests.  Cut to shape to fit the body (pretty much a quick bandsaw job followed by some disk or belt sander work for fine fitment), temporary fit to the body, rough shaping with flap disk in hand grinder.
- CNC mill finish pass on body with its palm rests fitted.
- Disassemble, cerakote / varnish, assemble, ship.

But that sounds like work, and it would still (probably) be economically non-viable.  To cover your costs you'd probably be in the high hundreds of bucks per board.  Probably a grand or so, and you'd have a P6 with plastic keys.
« Last Edit: Sun, 04 December 2016, 06:08:25 by tufty »

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #510 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 06:42:21 »
Lots of good thoughts tufty. I think that overall what people like is that it is a custom one off keyboard that is aesthetically pleasing with attention to details and that has some unique features like the integrated trackball surrounded by switches. Most of your manufacturing suggestions would streamline the process without significantly hurting the appeal. Even with that, I think that it would still be too expensive to find a big enough market to support set up costs.

I think it's time for us to move on and devote our attention to something else, tufty. How about a better mousetrap?

Offline tufty

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #511 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 09:55:55 »
I dunno.  Better mousetrap has been done and done again, but datamancer manage to sell their crappy steampunk ergonomic atrocities for huge amounts of money.  Even the flat maltrons are the better part of 500 bucks a pop.

Personally, I don't have the cash to splurge on stuff like that, but some people obviously do.

I'd suggested CNC finish milling for "mass" production, but if you were only making a few, you could lose the cost of CNC and hand-mill instead.  It would take more time, obviously, but for a one-off at a grand or so, it might be worth your while.  Basically, it would be a question of time reduction.  Getting plates laser or water cut should be relatively cheap.

The main effort in getting your time down would be repeatably casting to relatively tight tolerances.  Investment casting could do that, but then you need access to ceramics technology.  You'd probably end up having to make a ceramic multi-shot mould (you'd likely have to pay for the oven time, but it's a once off cost).

Another option, which would make it not quite as P6, would be to machine the main block, palm rests and all, from hardwood.  Increased machine time, but I can see selling a unique "organic" ergo keyboard for ridiculous money.

You'd have to want to do it, though.  I can see why that might be a stumbling block.  After all, the journey is the interesting bit - banging out the same thing over and over again gets old pretty fast.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #512 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 10:12:08 »
Hand milling a hardwood body with flat metal inserts does make a lot of sense.  I tried milling a walnut case and the plate cut outs are too weak to be reliable.

Truth is, it would just be a labor of love. If it were about money I'd do a whole lot better at my day job.

Offline Moistgun

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #513 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 10:45:36 »
+1 to nominate for keyboard of the year.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #514 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 10:55:14 »
+1 to nominate for keyboard of the year.

Nice of you to say. Thanks. I think I'd have to win KOTM first though.

Offline Moistgun

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #515 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 15:35:47 »
+1 to nominate for keyboard of the year.

Nice of you to say. Thanks. I think I'd have to win KOTM first though.

Oh you'll see  :rolleyes:

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #516 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 15:51:16 »
+1 to nominate for keyboard of the year.

Nice of you to say. Thanks. I think I'd have to win KOTM first though.

Oh you'll see  :rolleyes:

Unfortunately, I don't know who my competition is yet. I think there holding back the big guns until the end.

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Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #519 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 16:20:54 »
Thanks.

Offline iamtootallforthis

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #520 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 17:43:32 »
Thanks.

You deserve it man! The amount of work to make your own board is ridiculous. Especially after all the remakes of parts, test etchings and the anodizing issues.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #521 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 21:22:13 »
Well, if there's a prize for taking a beating, I guess I do deserve that. Thanks  IMTTFT, for the nomination. It spared me the impropriety of nominating myself. :-[

Offline Zekromtor

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #522 on: Tue, 06 December 2016, 02:14:53 »
if you want to take it to market and have it appeal to the masses, you're going to have to replace the trackball with something else (even tho the trackball is probably better than everything other than a mouse or pen tablet) and reduce the number of dedicated capslock keys to below 3

in all a seriousness, it's the definition of a custom. it's not gimmicky enough to get viral support. it's not shaped like a heart, it's not a steam punk typwriter, it's a perfectly refined ergonomic split tented keyboard w/ radial buttons and a giant effing trackball in the middle, lol. For Kurplop. By Kurplop.

Offline echo_spartan

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #523 on: Tue, 06 December 2016, 13:48:13 »
This looks absolutely incredible. I am seriously blown away and it inspires me to want to make my own keyboard of my dreams. I only wish I had access/technical know-how for all those tools  :p

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #524 on: Tue, 06 December 2016, 16:42:56 »
if you want to take it to market and have it appeal to the masses, you're going to have to replace the trackball with something else (even tho the trackball is probably better than everything other than a mouse or pen tablet) and reduce the number of dedicated capslock keys to below 3

in all a seriousness, it's the definition of a custom. it's not gimmicky enough to get viral support. it's not shaped like a heart, it's not a steam punk typwriter, it's a perfectly refined ergonomic split tented keyboard w/ radial buttons and a giant effing trackball in the middle, lol. For Kurplop. By Kurplop.

Yes, I agree that the trackball immediately turns off a lot of people. Some because they've tried them and didn't like them and others because they don't want to leave the familiar that they're comfortable with. If I could use a mouse for extended periods of time without discomfort, I wouldn't use a trackball. Even though I use a trackball almost exclusively, when I have to use a mouse I find I'm still quicker and more accurate with it. The trackball does have other advantages though, such as that it doesn't require as much area to function in. Regarding the crack about the capslock, I've seen the light and think I may be able to get by with just one. :'(

You nailed it when you say that it was custom designed for me. In designing it for mass appeal, I would have done something completely different. That doesn't mean that it wouldn't be a perfect solution for many others; just a much smaller group. I would equate custom building a keyboard to my custom homebuilding work. The needs, likes, and budget of my client are factors that are a key part of the design, often applicable to only them.
 
This looks absolutely incredible. I am seriously blown away and it inspires me to want to make my own keyboard of my dreams. I only wish I had access/technical know-how for all those tools  :p

Welcome to the geekhack forum. This is a great place for keyboard enthusiasts, and if you ever need answers or help with your KB related problems you won't have far to look for good people ready to assist.

Thanks for the kind words. I've been inspired by so many people's work and I'm glad if I can give back some of that motivation to others.

Offline tufty

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #525 on: Wed, 07 December 2016, 00:37:53 »
I've seen the light and think I may be able to get by with just one sixteen

fixed that for you.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #526 on: Wed, 07 December 2016, 04:44:08 »
I've seen the light and think I may be able to get by with just one sixteen

fixed that for you.

OBVIOUSLY A MAN WHO KNOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF YELLING. Thanks for rescuing me from a temporary lapse into insanity.


Offline tufty

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #527 on: Wed, 07 December 2016, 11:28:31 »
YOU'RE WELCOME.  BUT YOU USED THE WRONG CAPSLOCK ON THE "E" IN "YELLING".  IT'S AN EASY MISTAKE TO MAKE BUT MEASURES WILL BE TAKEN IF IT HAPPENS AGAIN

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #528 on: Fri, 09 December 2016, 11:36:02 »
  I'm uncertain of the value of the unconventional spacing, compared to, for example, spending the time to make a fully contoured key bowl à la Maltron.

A few thoughts about key wells like those found on the Maltron and Kinesis Advantage:

I had the opportunity to try an Advantage, in fact I own the old Kinesis Contoured keyboard which Sordna sent around the world for people to try a few years ago. While I liked the thumb positioning better than the ErgoDox, I didn't care much for the bowls. My hands felt a bit claustrophobic and I unexpectedly found the finger movement less desirable than the ErgoDox's. I have pretty bad finger dexterity and found the varied vector paths awkward. This is not a criticism at all about the bowl shape in general, only an issue I experienced because of my limitations. Interestingly enough, the curves reduce the realized vertical spacing at the cap tops to a distance pretty close to my keyboard's spacing.

To further elaborate on this, I prefer a motion that hammers down on keys that are set in a parallel path rather than a motion that more resembles a poking or stabbing effort, particularly apparent on the upper rows. Again this is due to my fine motor limitations rather than a design flaw in a bowl design targeting the general public.

The same principle holds true for me with the thumb key action. I've seen designs that rely more on the gripping or curling of the distal parts of the thumb rather than a lateral movement hinged almost exclusively in the thumbs proximal region. Again, my superior large motor control is both quicker and more accurate than the former.

Because of the above, for those desiring a sculpted or curved profile, I think it makes more sense to accomplish it with the caps rather than at the plates. I made minor height deviations between rows to provide clearance but in some ways find it less necessary with 5 or less rows, particularly with reduced travel switches. The varied height also not only looks a bit erratic on a staggered column arrangement but it also can cause operational problems when traversing fingers between columns, e.g., moving finger almost laterally from a low #3 row cap to a higher #4 cap would require a finger lift to avoid hitting the side of the higher cap.

And while I'm on the whys of design, let's talk trackballs.

On an earlier keyboard I made with an ErgoDox, I heard criticism about my incorporating a trackball. I think one comment was something like, "What is this, the 80's.".  I had several reasons and I'd like to share them here.

First is footprint. A mouse, though small, requires a fair amount of space to operate. This is not a major problem on most desks but can be on a tray. I've found several advantages in using a tray, from being able to control height and negative slope to quick adjustability and the ability to get the keyboard out of the way when unneeded. A trackball shines when used on a tray.

Second is proximity to the keyboard. My center located trackball is 3 1/4" from home position with either hand on the AlumaPlop and slightly less on P6, which is very convenient. The center positioning also allows ambidextrous use.

Third is that I simply like the operations of the Slimblade.

And finally it's tactility is better for me than a trackpad. Because of the loss of a certain amount of sensitivity in my hands, I find that running my fingers over a flat pad just doesn't offer enough feedback. To further complicate things, my work leaves my hands sometimes so heavily calloused that the capacitive sensing doesn't register my hands reliably. I have the same problem with fingerprint recognition devices.


I guess I'm just providing more evidence that, as Zekromtor noted, "It's a keyboard designed by kurplop for kurplop". (paraphrased)
 

Offline tufty

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #529 on: Fri, 09 December 2016, 12:47:57 »
Can't fault much of what you're saying, in terms of personal fitment and all.  I'm 100% with you in terms of trackballs vs mice and touchpads, too.  However...

for those desiring a sculpted or curved profile, I think it makes more sense to accomplish it with the caps rather than at the plates

I can't disagree with this more.  The point of a curved profile is that the desired force vector for key actuation changes to the most comfortable vector given the curvature of the finger at any one point.  Making a curved profile by using taller and shorter caps keeps the actuation vector vertical, at which point the "curve" you've made is counterproductive; it means you're hitting the keys off-axis, at best you're doing more work and at worst you'll get keystroke misses. 

I agree that a curved profile with a column staggered layout makes cross-column moves harder, but (at least for me) that implies using only 8 columns (possibly 10, if you overload the index with a second, non-staggered, column).

But yeah, diff'rnt (key)strokes for diff'rnt folks...

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #530 on: Fri, 09 December 2016, 15:13:48 »

for those desiring a sculpted or curved profile, I think it makes more sense to accomplish it with the caps rather than at the plates

I can't disagree with this more.  The point of a curved profile is that the desired force vector for key actuation changes to the most comfortable vector given the curvature of the finger at any one point.  Making a curved profile by using taller and shorter caps keeps the actuation vector vertical, at which point the "curve" you've made is counterproductive; it means you're hitting the keys off-axis, at best you're doing more work and at worst you'll get keystroke misses. 


I get your point and agree that a force perpendicular to the cap face makes sense.The way I profiled my caps is in some way the opposite of a fluid curve. They are more stepped than ramped and their purpose has more to do with finger clearing the cap below it. It is very subtle but was necessary given the closer vertical spacing. A simplified description would show the home row flat and roughly the same height as the low side of the remaining sloped caps with the high side of the sloped caps nearer the bottom of the keyboard.

Tufty,   In spite of your strong opposition to my position, I still respect your opinions and welcome any other future but futile attempts at poking holes in my theory of keyboard design. ;)

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #531 on: Fri, 09 December 2016, 15:18:29 »
Tufty, do you use a keyboard with key wells? If so could you further elaborate on your experience with it. I'm not trying to be critical of its design. It just didn't work for me.

Offline tufty

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #532 on: Sat, 10 December 2016, 02:16:34 »
I don't currently use a keyboard with wells.  I've used both kinesis and maltron boards with wells, however.

I didn't find them a magic bullet, and found the "far side" keys no more comfortable than on a flat board.  The near side keys were far more comfortable, though.  There's probably room for a "half-bowl" keyboard, which is what I've been pondering.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #533 on: Sat, 10 December 2016, 04:47:39 »
Is this what you mean? Where the curve flattens past home row?
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Offline tufty

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #534 on: Sat, 10 December 2016, 06:14:35 »
Yeah, pretty much that.

Offline sinusoid

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #535 on: Sun, 11 December 2016, 07:35:19 »
Hey guys, same feeling about well vs. half-well keyboard.

You get much more comfortable and faster keypresses on the keys in the bottom row (closer to palm). You can comfortably make the palm rest really close to the keys, so you curl up your fingers inwards to press the keys on the bottom row.
The keys outwards are really NOT comfortable, regardless of position. The most comfy thing to do was to arrange them in a staircase manner, each next outward row ascending compared to the previous one, but with minimal change to the pressing angle. This may cause wrist pains though, because you need to tension up the whole upper part of your hand to reach these, as opposed to pushing the whole hand forward with the forearm when they're laid out flat.

Source: I made several really dirty mockups of this, trying to push the idea to the extreme, like this one here
Also, typing at a 20 degree inverted angle for a few months now, and never trading back for anything less (G81, spring-modded Cherry MY's, 9 centimeters raised on the front, with makeshift foam palmrests. It's really really ugly, but works like a charm)

On a final note: Kurplop, with this one, you've reached the endgame. Of the sequel. Before it was released.

Offline vvp

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #536 on: Sun, 11 December 2016, 07:59:20 »
Well, i like it curved both in the back and the front.  The bottom curve is obvious: one hardly could hit the 2nd row below home row without moving the hole hand if it is not curved. I like the top curve too since it makes keys nearer. No need to reach so far.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #537 on: Sun, 11 December 2016, 08:53:26 »
Well, i like it curved both in the back and the front.  The bottom curve is obvious: one hardly could hit the 2nd row below home row without moving the hole hand if it is not curved. I like the top curve too since it makes keys nearer. No need to reach so far.

I should probably restate that my preferences should not dictate how others should think about what's best for them. My pompous bombast was in fun.

vvp, you make a good point about the lower rows. Even my fingers would likely benefit from that but I personally require more effort to use the top keys in a contoured arrangement. I do sometime use my thumbs to hit the bottom row and on those occasions the contours would work against the natural thumb path.

Another thing to consider is that almost any Ergonomic keyboard design is more difficult to use if your not in the prescribed position and the more we deviate from the standard rectangular, flat design, the harder it is to use. I've seen this in practice when others test a ergo board from a standing position. The split design, skew, tenting and staggered columns all work against them. I don't think it's just the unfamiliar layout either. No big deal as long as you alone are using it, but at those infrequent times, when someone else has to enter their password for example, it is crazy hard to use.

« Last Edit: Sun, 11 December 2016, 09:28:07 by kurplop »

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #538 on: Sun, 11 December 2016, 09:25:21 »
Hey guys, same feeling about well vs. half-well keyboard.

You get much more comfortable and faster keypresses on the keys in the bottom row (closer to palm). You can comfortably make the palm rest really close to the keys, so you curl up your fingers inwards to press the keys on the bottom row.
The keys outwards are really NOT comfortable, regardless of position. The most comfy thing to do was to arrange them in a staircase manner, each next outward row ascending compared to the previous one, but with minimal change to the pressing angle. This may cause wrist pains though, because you need to tension up the whole upper part of your hand to reach these, as opposed to pushing the whole hand forward with the forearm when they're laid out flat.

Source: I made several really dirty mockups of this, trying to push the idea to the extreme, like this one here
Also, typing at a 20 degree inverted angle for a few months now, and never trading back for anything less (G81, spring-modded Cherry MY's, 9 centimeters raised on the front, with makeshift foam palmrests. It's really really ugly, but works like a charm)

On a final note: Kurplop, with this one, you've reached the endgame. Of the sequel. Before it was released.

Thanks. Based on your comments, I suspect that you, like me, have a limited tolerance to wrist extension. Mine is quite severe whereas I can only bend my right hand back about 5º past straight and anything beyond straight causes some discomfort. I like your physical mock ups. They're very helpful in finding out how well theory holds up to practice.

I'm sure that all of us who have gone through this process of trying to find the best possible arrangement have discovered that some compromises are necessary. We want something as solid as a rock yet travel friendly. Personally fitted to our hands and at the same time perfect for others.  Unobtrusive yet tented, split, and skewed. In the end, our final decisions reflect our priorities. For me, I put a premium on being able to easily slide my hands a minimal distance from typing position to the pointing device.

These recent exchanges have been helpful to me and who knows, maybe Planet 6.01 will see some out of plane bottom keys.  :eek:


Offline Zekromtor

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #539 on: Tue, 13 December 2016, 19:24:16 »
I agree with the observations Kurplop has made about the well design. The stab motion of the finger simply cannot be performed with the same dexterity as the more typical downward hammer motion. In the end, however, it is a compromise that can either be a benefit or a detriment depending on your typing style:

-If you type with your palms firmly planted on their rests, like I do (which is typically frowned upon, but this is coming from dogma derived from flat keyboard usage), then there it is still better to have more keys within your natural range of motion, even if the stabbing motion required to get to them isn't quite as efficient. You'd typically only want rare-use keys on your top rows at any rate.

-If you float over your keyboard then the well design in arguably is undesirable, even a fake well with key caps. I don't have a strong opinion on this, however, since I don't practice this style, so I'll leave that up to those who do to comment on, but one of the main advantages of this style is the ability to use a hammer stroke on all keys. It's probably up to user preference in this case whether they'd prefer a fake curvature via keycaps or are more typical vertical step (where each row is physically higher than the previous, also which can be achieved via caps and a tilted board), but I think Kurplop's theory that curvature is disadvantageous is most applicable here.

Ultimately, I've only found benefit to the vertical curvature of the well, and though you can become comfortable typing with a full bowl design, I just don't think it's optimal. Similar to column staggering, it can throw off your ability to use the same key with different fingers which in some instances is very advantageous. For people with planted palms in particular (less so when floating because accuracy is more difficult to achieve), I think they'll all benefit from decreased vertical and horizontal spacing, only combined with with a vertical well shape if they are OK with accessing their extra top row(s) with a less than optimal stroke. I'd rather have an extra pokey row, than no row at all. There are pics of my keyboard where I've done just this somewhere on here.
« Last Edit: Thu, 15 December 2016, 15:46:15 by Zekromtor »

Offline hrinfinity

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #540 on: Fri, 16 December 2016, 03:45:47 »
I'm a little late, but congrats on finishing the build! I was fortunate to catch a peek of this keyboard at the Socal meet and I'm thrilled with the end result.

Great work, hope I can see the final product in person soon :thumb:
TGR-Jane CE | FC660C | DK9008 Snake

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #541 on: Fri, 16 December 2016, 04:38:36 »
Great to hear from you. It sure seems like a long time ago when we first got together with Badwrench, HeroinBob, and Sent in Huntington Beach then later at the meet ups.. I think that I was predicting to have it done in another month but I was off by a factor of ten.

As you can see, I made a quite a few changes in the design since then but it is still recognizable. Thanks for the kind words.

Offline Badwrench

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #542 on: Fri, 16 December 2016, 07:12:21 »
That was a lot of fun.  We should do that again some time.  I am sure Nubbinator knows a good place to meet up somewhere in Orange county. 

Sent from my LG-H811 using Tapatalk

wut. i'd buy a ****ty IBM board for that green V2

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #543 on: Fri, 16 December 2016, 13:11:16 »
That was a lot of fun.  We should do that again some time.  I am sure Nubbinator knows a good place to meet up somewhere in Orange county. 

Sent from my LG-H811 using Tapatalk



Sounds great. I'd like to get together with you guys. I'm pretty busy through the end of the year. How does January sound?  Should we invite all local GHers?

Offline Tye

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #544 on: Fri, 16 December 2016, 13:28:16 »
Just wanted to say that I come to this thread for inspiration. I'm not interested in collecting heaps of keyboards but I love watching the creative process as an individual creates their "perfect device".
Gorgeous, gorgeous work you did with the Planet 6.

Offline Badwrench

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #545 on: Fri, 16 December 2016, 14:15:51 »
That was a lot of fun.  We should do that again some time.  I am sure Nubbinator knows a good place to meet up somewhere in Orange county. 

Sent from my LG-H811 using Tapatalk



Sounds great. I'd like to get together with you guys. I'm pretty busy through the end of the year. How does January sound?  Should we invite all local GHers?

Some time in the new year works for me.  Pretty busy with family in town the next couple weeks. 
I am always down to meet new people that share the same hobbies.  Maybe do a good gastro pub or something that has good beer, but won't discriminate from the younger members that might want to join us?
wut. i'd buy a ****ty IBM board for that green V2

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #546 on: Sat, 17 December 2016, 10:20:56 »
Just wanted to say that I come to this thread for inspiration. I'm not interested in collecting heaps of keyboards but I love watching the creative process as an individual creates their "perfect device".
Gorgeous, gorgeous work you did with the Planet 6.

Thanks for saying that. BTW, I really like the trackpoint mod you did on your ErgoDox.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Planet 6 - The start of a new keyboard by kurplop
« Reply #547 on: Sat, 17 December 2016, 10:22:32 »
That was a lot of fun.  We should do that again some time.  I am sure Nubbinator knows a good place to meet up somewhere in Orange county. 

Sent from my LG-H811 using Tapatalk



Sounds great. I'd like to get together with you guys. I'm pretty busy through the end of the year. How does January sound?  Should we invite all local GHers?

Some time in the new year works for me.  Pretty busy with family in town the next couple weeks. 
I am always down to meet new people that share the same hobbies.  Maybe do a good gastro pub or something that has good beer, but won't discriminate from the younger members that might want to join us?

That sounds good. First of next month we'll post something.