Author Topic: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!  (Read 140117 times)

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Offline SneakyFrog

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #300 on: Sun, 19 July 2015, 21:31:15 »
Here is my mod to encourage people that are not confident doing this modification themselves. I haven't held a soldering iron or cutting tool in a long time.

For the switch I selected the HBFS-24 with Cherry MX Blue because I like it cliquey.






I did not have a drill bit, the holes are not so clean but it does not show when assembled. However, they are miss-aligned by 1mm on both axis. Next time I'll buy a drill bit for best result, or else I'll try to mask the containing square with coloured tape as a guide.
« Last Edit: Sun, 19 July 2015, 21:48:33 by SneakyFrog »

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #301 on: Sun, 19 July 2015, 21:39:24 »
Buddy, that's great! Only off by 1mm? Hell, our bodies alignment is off by more than 1mm! 
I find it interesting where you placed your buttons, mine are more under the palm like everybody else's. Your location has advantages and I like it better.  I may add buttons on the "outside" like yours in addition to the 2 under the palms then remap. Neat stuff!
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak
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Offline SneakyFrog

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #302 on: Sun, 19 July 2015, 21:47:39 »
I find it interesting where you placed your buttons, mine are more under the palm like everybody else's.

Thanks, I am not use to it yet and not sure what best to map. I am still conscious of hitting the buttons by mistake, also wondering if I should have put them closer to the edges by 5mm. Will try this for a while then post my feedback..

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #303 on: Sun, 19 July 2015, 21:54:19 »
Even closer to the edges?  Seems to me that might be too far and you'd need to move your hands to use them.  They look in a great spot. I'll check on mine where my hands hit. Interesting.
Where did you get your blank keycaps? Kinesis directly? It looks really clean. If you didn't get from Kinesis, where did you get and are they ABS? Are they the "correct" keycap profiles?
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Offline SneakyFrog

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #304 on: Sun, 19 July 2015, 22:06:39 »
Where did you get your blank keycaps? Kinesis directly? It looks really clean. If you didn't get from Kinesis, where did you get and are they ABS? Are they the "correct" keycap profiles?

Got the keycaps directly from Kinesis, however not living in the US I found the ordering difficult and shipping prices to high. Luckily I grouped my order with a friend of mine.



Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #305 on: Wed, 22 July 2015, 22:01:04 »
I'm holding out for a set of blank PBT key caps
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak
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Offline SneakyFrog

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Offline m0j0

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #307 on: Wed, 14 October 2015, 00:54:54 »
Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but it seems to be the most relevant place to ask. Besides ordering an entire set of keys from Kinesis, is there an alternative for drop-in replacement custom keycaps? Earlier posts in this thread mention vendors and supposedly reference part numbers, but the information is so old that I can't really make sense of it.

I'm mostly interested in some custom replacements for the Ctrl, Alt/Option, and Windows/Command keys for my Kinesis Advantage Pro.

Thanks!

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #308 on: Wed, 14 October 2015, 01:04:24 »
Will need to touch base on this. There aren't any "drop in" complete replacements. The info is old but accurate   Also depends on what custom keycaps you want. Share your thoughts!
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak
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Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #309 on: Wed, 14 October 2015, 01:05:48 »
I've been meaning for 2 years to clean up and reformat the article after it got borked by Rootwerm,  but I just haven't done it :(
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak
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Offline m0j0

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #310 on: Wed, 14 October 2015, 02:21:51 »
Will need to touch base on this. There aren't any "drop in" complete replacements. The info is old but accurate   Also depends on what custom keycaps you want. Share your thoughts!

I've been meaning for 2 years to clean up and reformat the article after it got borked by Rootwerm,  but I just haven't done it :(

The backstory is that I work as a software engineer and have spent most of my career doing UNIX/Linux software development. Most of my PCs have been configured for Windows, even though I typically run Linux, or Cygwin when forced to use Windows. Just last week I broke down and bought a MacBook Pro, and I'm hooked. I've reconfigured both my Kinesis keyboards for the Mac layout, and I love it. Unfortunately, my keycaps don't exactly match the new settings, because I have lost my extra "Mac" keycaps that came with my Kinesis keyboards. Even if I did have them, Kinesis stopped putting the word "Option" on the Alt key at some point, and I'm OCD enough that it bugs me that the "Command" key doesn't say "Command", and the "Alt" key doesn't include the word "Option".

I would like to buy four keycaps with just the Apple command symbol (⌘) and the word "Command" (without a "Windows" symbol), and two keycaps with the Apple option symbol (⌥) and the world "Option" (instead of the word "Alt"). Ideally these keycaps would be high-quality drop-in replacements, matching the color and look/feel of the "stock" Kinesis keycaps.

I've considered just buying a full extra set of QWERTY keycaps, just to get the extra Command keycap, and just suck it up and live with the fact that "Alt" doesn't say "Option," and I've also considered just getting a set of blank keycaps, and either leaving them blank, or perhaps trying to get them labeled correctly somehow.  I am a touch typist and don't NEED to see the labels on the keys, but it's sometimes useful when you're trying to do one-handed keyboard short-cuts.

I have zero experience with custom keycaps, so I don't know what the typical cost would be, or what sort of minimum order would be required. Aesthetics are important to me, so I'd cheerfully pay over $5.00 each ($30 for six keycaps) that are EXACTLY what I want, than spend $39.00 for a blank set and have some sort of crude home-drawn label taped on there.

Any ideas where I could start?

Thanks!
-m0j0
« Last Edit: Wed, 14 October 2015, 02:30:00 by m0j0 »

Offline amlai

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #311 on: Wed, 14 October 2015, 02:28:07 »
I would like to buy four keycaps with just the Apple command symbol (⌘) and the word "Command" (without a "Windows" symbol), and two keycaps with the Apple option symbol (⌥) and the world "Option" (instead of the word "Alt"). Ideally these keycaps would be high-quality drop-in replacements, matching the color and look/feel of the "stock" Kinesis keycaps.

Before you make things too complicated, have you tried calling Kinesis? If not, I would just call them up and see if they have any keys in stock that meet your requirements. They tend to keep old parts around and may have exactly what you're looking for. In my experience, they've been very helpful.
« Last Edit: Wed, 14 October 2015, 02:29:54 by amlai »

Offline m0j0

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #312 on: Wed, 14 October 2015, 02:56:47 »
I would like to buy four keycaps with just the Apple command symbol (⌘) and the word "Command" (without a "Windows" symbol), and two keycaps with the Apple option symbol (⌥) and the world "Option" (instead of the word "Alt"). Ideally these keycaps would be high-quality drop-in replacements, matching the color and look/feel of the "stock" Kinesis keycaps.

Before you make things too complicated, have you tried calling Kinesis? If not, I would just call them up and see if they have any keys in stock that meet your requirements. They tend to keep old parts around and may have exactly what you're looking for. In my experience, they've been very helpful.

Yes, Rick said he's going to see if he can find me a couple of "Alt/Option" keycaps, but there was no guarantee. He said that he thought he MIGHT have some laying around. Even if he does, I still think it would be more aesthetically pleasing to have only the Mac logos on the keycaps. I'm well aware that this is a cosmetic desire on my part, and not a real problem, and I hate distracting them too much from people who REALLY need support. They've always been VERY friendly and patient, and Rick has helped me work through several remapping and macro questions, so I don't want to be that "pest" customer that's always bothering him with trivial questions.

Also, I want them to focus on getting the Advantage2 finished and shipped! I was lucky enough have the opportunity to preview a prototype a few months ago, and I will immediately buy two of them when they're released. I won't reveal any new features, but I consider it a HUGE improvement over the existing Advantage series.



Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #313 on: Wed, 14 October 2015, 16:38:14 »
Just say yes to improvements   
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak
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Offline Phenix

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #314 on: Thu, 27 July 2017, 15:23:47 »
all pics are down afais. is a reup possible?
please
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Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #315 on: Thu, 27 July 2017, 15:25:05 »
Is there a link on the first post or two for Imgur?
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak
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Offline Phenix

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #316 on: Thu, 27 July 2017, 19:23:51 »
Is there a link on the first post or two for Imgur?
did I missed them? looked trough but didnt see anything.
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Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #317 on: Thu, 27 July 2017, 21:48:12 »
Uh oh. The link for imgur is down? That's not good. 2 people have the info. Sister,  captbadass , and I have it also, but I'll need to find it.

Are you looking for something specific? Or just in general? The thread got jacked a few years ago and I've never gone back to fix it and add the photos correctly.
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak
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Offline Malachor

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #318 on: Sat, 29 July 2017, 21:27:09 »
Uh oh. The link for imgur is down?
The imgur link is in the second post. Something like the 5th line. And it still works.

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #319 on: Sat, 29 July 2017, 21:30:24 »
I might be able to help if you have some specific questions.
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak
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Offline Phenix

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #320 on: Thu, 03 August 2017, 15:36:32 »
Thanks, found the imgur link finally.
What Im most interest in (by priority
- bluetooth mod
- QMK mod (Stapelberg seems best)
- split in half /Dactyl style
- trackpoint

any idea? (specifically for the bluetooth mod, that's atm top priority)
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Offline sordna

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #321 on: Fri, 25 May 2018, 01:14:04 »
IN, are you still around?  After a looong time I updated my wiki and added a section about adding extra keys to the Advantage2. Scroll down to part 7. It still supports 9 remappable extra keys! Have you acquired an Advantage2 or not yet ?
Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 LF with Cherry MX Red switches / Extra keys mod / O-ring dampening mod / Dvorak layout. ErgoDox with buzzer and LED mod.
Also: Kinesis Advantage Classic, Kinesis Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #322 on: Fri, 25 May 2018, 02:49:44 »
Ya. Still here. Live in Half Moon Bay and am completing the Salesforce Tower downtown.

Iím in Saudi Arabia looking at possibly working on the Riyadh Metro Project, will be back in a week. Will catch up when I return.

Iíve been out of touch mostly, moving, work, busy, girls, etc. but I managed to buy a Kira keyboard on Input Clubs Kickstarter last month!

Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak
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Offline lasttycoon

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #323 on: Wed, 03 October 2018, 16:22:10 »
Any updates here? I figured its best to keep this information all in one place. I have seen several posts around the internet where people are putting SA caps onto the Kinesis. There recently was a new high profile set called MT3 launched on Massdrop with available ergodox kits. The base kit has 8 r1 1.25 keys that could be used for the modifiers on a Kinesis. Any ideas about this? Is anyone using SA or MT3 caps on their Kinesis? I just hate the pad printed legends. I may end up buying the blank caps straight from the Kinesis website if there are no other solutions.
Kinesis Advantage | Ergodox EZ Browns | RK RC930 | DS 3 Blues

Offline taako

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #324 on: Thu, 21 February 2019, 23:02:53 »
Currently in the process of designing my own PCB board and ordering parts to do my own StapelBerg mod. I didn't want to order the PCB off oshpark for price reasons and i wanted to re-implement his PCB in KiCad for my own practice.

I will be modding 1 of two Kinesis Contoured 130's that i have. The one I am modding is "The Essential"  and currently has an AT connector output which goes to a AT->PS/2 adapter and then to a PS/2->USB adapter... very unwieldly.

Does anyone know what the rated lifespan of the cherry browns are? I know these boards were made in the mid 90s but last i tested the keys worked fine. When theoretically do i need to switch my switches?

Also does QMK support Foot Pedals and layers for the kinesis?
« Last Edit: Fri, 22 February 2019, 10:53:54 by taako »

Offline vvp

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #325 on: Fri, 22 February 2019, 03:22:48 »
You can expect the switches to fail after about 10 years of daily use.

Edit: Btw, I estimate that I did only about 1 to 5 million key presses per switch in that time. That is significantly less than the expected durability of 50 million.
« Last Edit: Fri, 22 February 2019, 03:38:36 by vvp »

Offline taako

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #326 on: Fri, 22 February 2019, 10:56:32 »
While disassembling my Kinesis Contoured 130 I noticed that I don't see any diodes on the keywell PCBs. Did the 130 just not have Diodes? how does it stop ghosting from occurring without them? Ore are they somewhere I am not looking?

Offline vvp

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #327 on: Fri, 22 February 2019, 15:32:01 »
My kinesis has them inside the switch housings.

Offline taako

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #328 on: Fri, 22 February 2019, 18:36:33 »
Is that common? How would I test mine? Connect the leads to a multimeter on the diode setting and press it down and check?

I didn't know that cherry browns had built in diodes, that's pretty neat

Offline vvp

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #329 on: Sat, 23 February 2019, 10:30:36 »
Any cherry switch can have diodes inside. Some clones do not support it since they have a different housing shape to support e.g. an SMD RGB diode.

Just look how many leads your switch has. If it has 4 leads soldered to the PCB then the switch contains either a diode for keyboard matrix or a LED for backlight. Pull out the keycap. If the switch has an LED then you will see it very easily. If the switch has an keyboard matrix diode then you can see it inside the switch through the tiny slot (where LED would be).


« Last Edit: Sat, 23 February 2019, 10:32:45 by vvp »

Offline taako

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #330 on: Sat, 23 February 2019, 18:39:37 »
Awesome! Thanks for the Info! It makes so much sense to use the LED as the functional diode as well as adding color. I can't believe I never thought about that! They are diodes after all.

Offline vvp

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #331 on: Sun, 24 February 2019, 04:07:23 »
LEDs are not reused as diodes for matrix scanning because it would require tighter error margins.
If the switch has a LED and the keyboard is more than 2KRO then there is another diode for matrix scanning.

Offline tinyenormous

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #332 on: Sun, 29 December 2019, 14:47:35 »
Is there anyone still following this thread that has a set of replacement keywells for sale? Kinesis stopped selling them and I'd love to see if anyone has a set collecting dust. I'm interested in making a 3d model of it (tweaking layout and then possibly adding a few keys.)

Offline vvp

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #333 on: Sun, 29 December 2019, 16:09:07 »
Just use Dactyl or K84CS or something similar. Or create a model from scratch. There is not much reasons to make it the same as Kinesis. E.g. Kinesis has thumb keys still a bit more far away than needed, there is small stagger on the pinkie columns etc.

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #334 on: Sun, 29 December 2019, 19:38:43 »
I actually have 2 sets of keywells as well as a Kinesis 120/130 I could sell.


Reach out to me PM.
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak
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Offline tinyenormous

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #335 on: Sun, 05 January 2020, 21:00:52 »
I ended up finding an advantage pro for a pretty good price, but when it got here I realized that one row is broken on the right hand. It looks like the 'YUIOP/' row is not responding. I tried resetting the ffc cables and didn't have any luck. Nothing obvious seems to be off on the pcb and the board looks clean (albeit hairy!) Has anyone ever seen/fixed a 'missing row'?

Tomorrow I'll get out a meter and see if the switches are closing properly, but I'm very doubtful that they are all simultaneously failing. I'll take any other debugging tips as well.

Offline vvp

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #336 on: Mon, 06 January 2020, 10:37:59 »
Pin 9 of PR2/J7 connector is not properly connected or the wires corresponding to the pin are broken either on the keywell or the controller PCB. You can try to disconnect and reconnect the connector. If it does not help then get a multimeter and find out where the the wire or pcb trace is disconnected. The switches are almost for sure OK or not the primary reason of the error.
http://humblehacker.com/blog/20100720/hacking-the-kinesis-contoured-keyboard/

Offline tinyenormous

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #337 on: Mon, 06 January 2020, 21:37:46 »
reseating the flex connector doesn't fix it, and swapping the connectors from right to left doesn't either. There is some other fishy behavior like it sending a ton of keypresses when first plugged in that is making me feel like the microcontroller may be partially fried as well. I should have a stapleberg pcb on the way so I can test with that to see if it's hardware or firmware. Kinesis is charging $60 per keywell nowadays, so I guess this is cheaper than buying from them, but it's still not a functional keeb.

One day I could put the questionable keywell from this board into another as a test.

Offline vvp

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #338 on: Tue, 07 January 2020, 02:06:36 »
It is unlikely to be a fried port on the MCU. Based on the matrix layout in the article I posted the columns are shared with keys like 6,7,A,H, ...
and those work. So it is not a bad column driver. On the other side the row is shared with keys: RightAlt, PgUp, PgDown, Pause, Program, Keypad. You did not report those keys being broken so I assume they work. And since they share MCU pin then the MCU pin works as well. There may be a broken trace on the controller PCB. Such an error is consistent with the info you posted so far.

It can be also broken firmware (MCU flash) or the MCU execution unit itself but that is less likely. The behaviour would be likely much more bizarre in such a case.

Notice that the article states that left and right keywells have different connector layout so swapping them is not very useful. Though I think it is unlikely to break something permanently.

Offline tinyenormous

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #339 on: Tue, 07 January 2020, 08:46:19 »
Thank you for your thoughts @vvp! I should have been more clear. I swapped the ffc cable from right side to left side so that I could rule out the cable. That didn't fix the error, so it isn't the cable. I also did try swapping the keywells from left to right, but as you mentioned they are wired differently so that only gave me some glitchy output.
I also did a factory reset of the firmware, but that doesn't rule out the firmware being bad, as that seems to only reset the custom settings to factory spec - not reflash the mcu.

I'll probably wait for the stapleberg pcbs to arrive from china and test it that way. I should probably also make my own post, as opposed to hijacking this one!

Offline vvp

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #340 on: Tue, 07 January 2020, 10:46:15 »
"Factory reset" (Program-Shift-F10) only resets key mappings to the default and clears macros. It is expected that it did not help in your situation.

Offline derpdederp

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #341 on: Thu, 27 February 2020, 06:53:49 »
For trackpad, this seem good http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/ergonomic_touchpad.php
I plan to buy the small one and put between the thumbkey area like below
Show Image

photo credit to: http://endoframe.com/log/2010/07/05/touched/

Nice, I've been wanting to do this forever. Except I want to cut out out a the plastic to form a hole higher up where the Kinesis advantage logo is... I'm thinking of getting the touchpad part from a macbook pro and mounting it inside somehow. Then have a switch on the kinesis somewhere to toggle it.

Offline impaktor

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #342 on: Tue, 08 September 2020, 01:55:30 »
Hi, (sorry for/if necro-posting), but Michael Stapelberg has updated the controller board for the Kinesis (he calls it the "kinT"), I've started a separate discussion on it here:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=108505.0

Offline tinyenormous

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Re: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #343 on: Tue, 08 September 2020, 09:53:24 »
If it weren't for necroposting GH wouldn't have any posts at all nowadays... :(