Author Topic: Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!  (Read 116174 times)

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Offline cfishy

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Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #50 on: Sun, 27 June 2010, 13:52:19 »
What are the dimensions? get it so that you can look up catalogs. i should mention that tim tyler, the god of keyboard hackers, uses a micro switch that clicks. see his webpages for details.

p.s. after the intermission all the keyboard pictures look like bras and boob holders.

Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #51 on: Sun, 27 June 2010, 14:59:09 »
I think it's about .5" pretty tight.
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Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #52 on: Sun, 27 June 2010, 17:39:23 »
Disregard.
Cherry switch fits perfectly after cutting into keywell plate mounting.
Pic to follow in article.
« Last Edit: Sun, 27 June 2010, 17:42:43 by input nirvana »
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Offline dfj

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a microcontroller hack
« Reply #53 on: Sun, 27 June 2010, 22:16:33 »
I suspect you will do well to consider one of the firmware solutions so as to be able to map yer keys to matrix easily - I tried out mnemonix's code and it it worked for me. Not certain when it will be supporting the trackpads and nipples, though. If yer a coder, then this might be some decent fun, if not, that X-thing mentioned above might support more devices.
  For just the keyboard matrix, the open-source diy solutions are pretty cheap. Alternatively there is the teensy++, but we haven't ported full membrane keyboards to there yet. I'm going to be attacking that problem in the next week or so, so depending on how fast your project is moving we might get the teensy support to you in time. I don't have any trackpad/nipple devices, so I am not likely the ideal person to do the support fer that. I do know how to mix multi-device into the HID, though - so we'll need to see what happens, I suppose.

  Anyway, awesome mod, love do see folks do a great job on the physical layer.

dfj
Fave Switch manus: IBM, Topre, Matias, ...

Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #54 on: Mon, 05 July 2010, 14:37:41 »
I'm pretty interested in the options you listed. I'd like to be kept in the loop. I'm not a coder, so many of the electronic aspects are out of my reach. Those changes can be implemented in Phase II once the current mods are done in a few weeks as time allows.

Thanks!
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Offline dmw

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« Reply #55 on: Tue, 13 July 2010, 23:16:29 »
I don't know how I missed this before, being a kinesis fan and all.

Great work on these mods, and the documentation!  Oh, and the intermissions!  Keep them coming. ;)

I know dfj has already offered, but I've also got a firmware that works on the teensy++.  With it, you have pretty complete flexibility in defining different maps and multiple layers.  I'm using it in my humble hacker keyboard, and chimera15 has had it working on his "Scratch build mini" prototype.  I even have plans to mod my Kinesis with it.  So if you want to go that route, let me know.  I'd be happy to help get you going.

Just thinking out loud here, but it might be interesting to have each half have its own controller, so they could ostensibly be used individually (one-handed).  You could then have a high-speed serial (non USB) link between the two halves to use them in two-handed mode.  Obviously it complicates things, but it could be cool.  I've been pondering a split-design for the next version of my keyboard.

Anyway, thanks for posting all this.  Keep it up!  Can't wait to see the final product.

Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #56 on: Tue, 13 July 2010, 23:59:33 »
You missed it because it started as a question about a Trackpoint for the mod (hence the misleading thread title). I didn't know it would evolve into detailing the whole process.

I'm totally-super-interested in taking the programing a new controller route, but I will be a burden to someone like a wet bag of sand since I am not a programmer. So much can be done at the firmware level, I'm bumming because it seems mostly out of my reach. (I wish I was at least the worst programmer in the world, then I would be better than I am now) lol

Also keep in mind, although the keyboard is Mac/PC switchable...I'm looking at it from mostly a Mac perspective. I went Mac 4 years ago when they changed to the Intel chip...I'm pretty happy.

My mod has taken so long mostly because I've had to research almost every step I've taken, (plus being busy with life) there's really nothing on the web about cutting these in half, but everybody seems to want to do it. Hopefully documenting will help someone since it wasn't there for me. I'll be ready to wire it up in a few weeks. I want to be done in another month or so with the current Kinesis (Phase I). If possible, I would like to put wireless and a custom controller into the second Kinesis end of this year (Phase II). I'm building up to making a wireless Datahand with a custom controller beginning of 2011 (Phase III).

I've been all over your Humble Hacker, and now Chimera15s scratch build. Some of your works show me what needs to be done, so "thanks" to you guys!

I think it's time for an intermission :)
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Offline dmw

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« Reply #57 on: Wed, 14 July 2010, 18:48:53 »
Quote from: input nirvana;202475
I'm totally-super-interested in taking the programing a new controller route, but I will be a burden to someone like a wet bag of sand since I am not a programmer. So much can be done at the firmware level, I'm bumming because it seems mostly out of my reach.


I'm working on making my firmware more friendly for non-programmers.  It's not totally there yet, but I'm still happy to help you get set up.  You really don't need to know any programming at all.  Currently, all you have to do is edit some text files that define the keyboard matrix, and what you want to map to each key.  It's pretty straight-forward, but even if that turns out to be a challenge, you can just tell me what you want, and I'll make the changes for you.  Since you're not a programmer, I can just build a firmware to your specs, and send it to you.  All you would have to do is load it onto the controller and try it out. And if you use a teensy++, getting the firmware onto the controller is a breeze - no special tools needed.

Also, as far as platform (Mac vs. PC), it's completely irrelevant to the firmware.  You map whatever keys you want however you want.  I'm also on the Mac, and my humble hacker keyboard has its keys mapped for the Mac by default.

I took some time today and mapped out the matrixes of four of the six key sets in my kinesis.  I ordered another Teensy++, and I plan to wire it up as soon as I get it.  So it should be pretty easy to go from that to a firmware for your board.

Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #58 on: Wed, 14 July 2010, 21:07:38 »
Even cooler then :)  I'm pretty capable, I just need some basic tools/resources/understanding and I can go from there probably with a few prompts/corrections along the way. The Contoured is totally worthy of experimental enhancement mods. Kinesis may incorporate some of them in the updated version they're working on.

I want to proceed, not just from a "mod the Contoured" position, but from an overall knowledge-fiddle around-experiment position as well. Firmware is the last frontier, and definitely the foundation (other than creativity) for these projects. I'll go back to some of my notes of what I thought would be most worthwhile.

One future issue is the Trackpoint, and trying to get it to be more responsive with less effort, more than software settings allow.

Count me in. I'll be ready to start on this new aspect seriously in a couple weeks.

Thank you!
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Offline dmw

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« Reply #59 on: Thu, 15 July 2010, 23:27:19 »
Great!  Just let me know when you're ready to go.

Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #60 on: Wed, 21 July 2010, 01:16:41 »
It looks like the Humble Hacker firmware/programability/remapping exceeds that of the Kinesis Contoured in most, if not all aspects. I assume it would allow for a distinct "macro" key? Have at least 2 on board layouts (qwerty + colemak), AND embedded layers (keypad and misc.). What about wireless, in the hardware, not as an add-on dongledoodle? Compatible?
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Offline dmw

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« Reply #61 on: Wed, 21 July 2010, 05:40:48 »
Quote from: input nirvana;204773
It looks like the Humble Hacker firmware/programability/remapping exceeds that of the Kinesis Contoured in most, if not all aspects.


Mostly.  Currently, the only way to remap the keyboard is by building and installing a new firmware.  On-device programming (with the 'program' key) is a planned feature, as is programming the keyboard from the host (without replacing the firmware).

Quote
I assume it would allow for a distinct "macro" key?


Is this like the 'program' key, or do you have something else in mind?

Quote
Have at least 2 on board layouts (qwerty + colemak), AND embedded layers (keypad and misc.).


Yes, definitely.  My keyboard has QWERTY, Dvorak, Programmer Dvorak, Colemak, and four layers invoked by Fn keys.

Quote
What about wireless, in the hardware, not as an add-on dongledoodle? Compatible?


I'd have to research that.  I haven't yet done anything with bluetooth.

Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #62 on: Wed, 21 July 2010, 12:03:03 »
Quote from: dmw;204794
mostly.  Currently, the only way to remap the keyboard is by building and installing a new firmware.  On-device programming (with the 'program' key) is a planned feature, as is programming the keyboard from the host (without replacing the firmware).

Hmmm....version 1.0.0.1? :)

Quote from: dmw;204794
this like the 'program' key, or do you have something else in mind?

Sort of. A dedicated MACRO key instead of using SHFT, CTRL or ALT/OPT so the keyboard "knows a macro is coming". A "macro" on/off mode with indicator led.

Quote from: dmw;204794
yes, definitely.  My keyboard has qwerty, dvorak, programmer dvorak, colemak, and four layers invoked by fn keys.

Sweeeeeet!!

Quote from: dmw;204794
i'd have to research that.  I haven't yet done anything with bluetooth.

I have a link in the article to someone doing wireless, but he is using PC, and there may be MAC drivers needed that don't exist (yet).
http://www.keyboardmods.com/search/label/kinesis
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Offline dmw

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« Reply #63 on: Thu, 22 July 2010, 13:04:28 »
Quote from: input nirvana;204842
Hmmm....version 1.0.0.1? :)


Believe me, this can't come soon enough ;)  Given the choice, which would you rather have first: programming from the host, or on-device programming?  My vote is for the former.

Quote
Sort of. A dedicated MACRO key instead of using SHFT, CTRL or ALT/OPT so the keyboard "knows a macro is coming". A "macro" on/off mode with indicator led.


I think what you're calling a MACRO key is what I'm calling a Mode or a Fn key.  Let me explain a bit what you can expect, using terminology that I've adopted.

There are three things that you can bind to a key: a Map, a Macro, and a Mode.

  • Map:  This is just your general key mapping.  For example, say you're building a Colemak layout.  You can bind what would normally be the 'E' key to 'F'.  
    Code: [Select]
    Key:3D Map:f_and_F              tl:"F"
    Additionally, you can add modifiers, so if you want an "Undo" key, you can do this:
    Code: [Select]
    Key:3F Map:z_and_Z        tl:"Undo"
  • Macro:  This is a string of one or more Maps.  With this, you can create multi-key macros.  I have one that types "HumbleHacker I" when I press Fn4+F15.  I also have one that will transpose two adjacent characters.  It looks like this:
    Code: [Select]
    Key:4D Macro:                   tl:"Transpose"
              Map:RightArrow
              Map:x_and_X
              Map:LeftArrow
              Map:v_and_V

  • Mode:  This links a key to another layer.  There are two types, momentary and toggle.  Momentary modes are only in effect while the mode key is held.  Here's a momentary Mode key definition that invokes my Fn1 layer:
    Code: [Select]
    Key:3A Mode:Fn1 type:momentary  tl:"Fn1"
    Toggle modes... well, they toggle.  Here's an example that toggles Colemak on and off:
    Code: [Select]
    Key:1E Mode:Colemak type:toggle br:"Colemak"
The quoted strings above, preceded by 'tl:' and 'br:', are just labels that would show up in a printable keymap image, or in a graphical remapping utility.

Quote
I have a link in the article to someone doing wireless, but he is using PC, and there may be MAC drivers needed that don't exist (yet).
http://www.keyboardmods.com/search/label/kinesis


It would be great if someone devised a good wireless solution by the time I'm ready to implement it.  Btw, good idea to include a collection of links in your article.  I found the list very useful.

Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #64 on: Fri, 23 July 2010, 01:14:52 »
Programming: I alternate from big picture, then I focus on details. I'm not in any particular hurry, so at this point it doesn't matter much which might be available first.

DMW-speak:
Map: Matrix, scan codes and what pops out the other end.
Re-map: Do it with the Contoured.
Modifier: Got it.
Macro: A MODE/FUNCTION key is part of a sequence that can be used to initiate a macro. (I said MACRO KEY previously)
Mode (or FUNCTION): Just like the KEYPAD which toggles the embedded layer on the Contoured and similar to a modifier key that is momentary.

Did I get it right? We're talking more the same now?

I was thinking of a single MODE/FUNCTION key that would only be used for initiating all macros. It would toggle on (via thumb), and if there is only one additional key entered, there would be over 80 macros available, and would toggle off automatically. (Hmmm, maybe just a sticky key?) In addition to all the standard key combos. Plenty?
« Last Edit: Fri, 23 July 2010, 01:37:32 by input nirvana »
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Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #65 on: Wed, 09 March 2011, 01:51:04 »
In the pointing device integration arena...

I've been using a Kensington Expert Mouse Pro and MouseWorks on Mac lately, and it is a slick combo. There are Direct Launch buttons (6), a scroll wheel that clicks and can be made to scroll horizontally with the click, 4 mouse buttons that can be made to control 6 features with chording, and of course the trackball. MouseWorks allows for a lot of control and easy adjustments to sensitivity, features, etc. A PC and a Mac version too.

I've had the thought of disassembling the Kensington, and incorporating the mainboard/inputs to the Kinesis Split Project. I believe MouseWorks will only work if it recognizes a Kensington main board or device. Logitech has similar and of course there are other 3rd party pointing device software makers...USB Overdrive, Steermouse and ControllerMate as well.

I would like to use the Logitech Hyper Scroll wheel instead of the Kensington scroll wheel and see how it will all interact.
« Last Edit: Wed, 09 March 2011, 01:54:41 by input nirvana »
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Offline bluecar5556

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« Reply #66 on: Wed, 09 March 2011, 05:46:10 »
Here is my split Kinesis Contour Classic (advantage) keyboard mod, thanks to your inspiration!  You rock!!

Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #67 on: Sun, 12 June 2011, 01:19:06 »
Adding 2 "Fn" keys, 1 to each keywell, to allow for temporary activation of the embedded layer (not like the "keypad" key) Each key will be in the extreme lower left/right position under the "shift" keys. I'll use the circuit for the footswitch to bring that functionality to the keys. This allows for possible moving the F-keys down to the numbers row, and/or media key additions while keeping an ergo setup/layout. Still have a kink or two in the idea phase to work out.
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Offline sordna

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« Reply #68 on: Sun, 12 June 2011, 01:30:12 »
Cool idea. I recently tried mousekeys ("xkbset m" on linux) which makes the numpad act as a mouse, mainly to click with the embedded "5" (or K key), so having a momentary numpad activator under the left shift would be awesome!
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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« Reply #69 on: Sun, 12 June 2011, 01:46:15 »
I was going to wait for that feature by using a different chip/firmware on the 2nd version of this keyboard mod, but after you posted about the footswitch option, it just finally clicked that I might as well go ahead and piggyback the circuit now (why wait with good ideas?) within the existing keyboard. I won't have to lose that functionality in the footswitch if it's wired from the same point on the pcb. The footswitch functions are remappable.

We make a good team Sordna!

Yes, Mousekeys is a cool tool, I've used it as well, it needs to be part of this mod for ergo purposes.
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
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Offline sordna

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« Reply #70 on: Sun, 12 June 2011, 01:53:12 »
Great :-)
Hey, you were thinking about trying an Advantage LF with the red switches, did you get it after all? Would be interested to hear your impressions when/if you try one.
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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« Reply #71 on: Sun, 12 June 2011, 02:01:05 »
I've been away from home 90% of the time for 6 months, it's been hard to keep up with most things let alone advance any personal projects. I'll be returning this month and as soon as life is normalized, I'll get some reds and see how they feel before I commit further. They seem like they might be an improvement or maybe just neutral (but different), but not a step backwards. It seems like a no-lose experiment at this point :)
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell                     Proudly GeekWhacking since 2009
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Offline sordna

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« Reply #72 on: Wed, 15 June 2011, 18:24:32 »
I have now enabled Mouse Keys permanently, and mapped (virtual) numpad-5 to (regular) Caps Lock.
Which means my Caps Lock does mouse clicks now. Seems easier on the right hand to relieve it from clicking. Basically I move the mouse with the right hand, and click with the left (by hitting caps lock). Dragging / drawing feels much more relaxed!
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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Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #73 on: Sat, 18 June 2011, 00:39:42 »
I'm using the Trackpoint on the right hand in the key well, and the 2 mouse buttons are by the left thumb. I have found that "breaking up" the point-and-click to be beneficial. I'm planning on converting the 2 mouse buttons to 2 keyboard keys with less travel (double O-rings?).
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Offline sordna

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Split keyboard using 2 Access-IS POS matrix programmable keyboards
« Reply #74 on: Thu, 07 July 2011, 17:10:40 »
Have you seen this? I just stumbeld on it at deskthority (click on the image to see the article).





Looks cool! This company makes some neat 48 key square matrix keyboards too:
http://www.access-is.com/programmable_pos_keyboard.php#EPOS_Matrix

I wonder if these are available in the US. They are configurable/programmable it seems!
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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« Reply #75 on: Thu, 07 July 2011, 19:30:34 »
I saw these and found them available at some level in the U.S. I played phone tag with them around the holidays, and promptly forgot about it :(

My interest was with the electronics/firm-software of the 48 key model, not so much the physical layer. I don't have any info or specs on these items. If this could be a possible stand-in on this project, I'll look to grab a unit.
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
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Offline sordna

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Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #76 on: Wed, 27 July 2011, 19:43:52 »
Just saw your other post, looking forward to what the weekend brings! In the mean time, can you let me know who in the US you found carrying the Access-IS keyboards? I'd like to ask them about prices and such. Thanks in advance!
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 EverythingIBM

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Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #77 on: Wed, 27 July 2011, 21:28:12 »
What's up with that potato?
I think it's a potato.
Keyboards: '86 M, M5-2, M13, SSK, F AT, F XT

Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #78 on: Thu, 28 July 2011, 11:55:43 »
The potato is the control.
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
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Offline EverythingIBM

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« Reply #79 on: Thu, 28 July 2011, 19:24:47 »
Quote from: input nirvana;388783
The potato is the control.

 
Okay there, spud...
Keyboards: '86 M, M5-2, M13, SSK, F AT, F XT

Offline sordna

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internals of 3 different Kinesis contoured keyboards
« Reply #80 on: Sun, 28 August 2011, 23:17:03 »
Here are internal shots of a Classic (top left), Model 110 (top right), Advantage LF (bottom).
Looks like only the newer models (s/n 70,000 and later) are suitable for the "pyramid mod" where you cut the halves and bend them, leaving the controller in place. Also, it looks like vintage models like the 110 will not support keywells with MX reds, since they offer them in 2 styles, and the model 110 is obviously a 3rd style:

4691-0

I was hoping to do the pyramid mod on the Classic, but it's probably not possible, unless I find ribbon cable exntensions ...
« Last Edit: Sun, 23 September 2012, 02:29:10 by sordna »
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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« Reply #81 on: Mon, 29 August 2011, 00:05:33 »
The models #100, #110, #120 have a different internal design. The 4 LEDs are not in the center row and the thumb clusters are part of the main board.
Model #130 was the start of the "modern" internal design, and they have serial numbers in the low #30,000s' if not lower. Some have the 4 LEDs  on the main board (the most current) and some earlier ones in the #30,000 range have a slightly smaller main board and thumb cluster pcbs with "ears" that have 2 of the 4 LEDs each. But the thumb clusters are on 2 separate pcbs that are not part of the main board pcb. You can see an example in the mod article, I think I have the serial #s listed as well.

You can cut the halves and bend anything from Model #130 and newer. (Approx. SN# 30,000 and newer)

The MX reds are offered in 2 styles and that is a pinout issue with the main board. I don't know, but the pinout may be the same on the earlier #100, #110, #120 main boards even though they look dramatically different. It would require a longer ribbon cable from Kinesis, they would know what to send based on the serial #. If this is possible.

The ribbon cables used to be available from Kinesis, there is a pic in the mod article of a black Advantage in the Gallery combined with a Comfort Keyboard base. He used extension cables from Kinesis. I have more pics or a link if you want.
« Last Edit: Mon, 29 August 2011, 00:14:49 by input nirvana »
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Offline sordna

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Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #82 on: Mon, 29 August 2011, 00:23:03 »
The top left keyboard in the picture, has serial in the 40,000s. The keywell PCBs plug directly in the controller board. Are you sure they can be bent? I think these thin PCB "peninsulas" that plug into the controller board will break, are they really that flexible? On the newer USB keyboards, you can see actual ribbons that can easily be bent as much as you want. Please send me the links you mentioned.
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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« Reply #83 on: Mon, 29 August 2011, 00:33:05 »
I'm sorry I didn't address/clarify the "bending" accurately, there was a lot going on in that post. 30 degree "bending" of the pcb is not good :) I was referring to the small form factor main board that allows for the board to be split. There are two male and two female connectors and 2 ribbon cables needed to extend. Parts are needed no matter what.

Follow this link from mod article:

http://dbenamy.blogspot.com/2010/01/most-expensive-keyboard.html

Also, I don't know when the ribbons replaced the long pcbs into the main board. I had observation notes in a Day-Timer notebook that is now missing :( It had some valuable info that took a few years to gather including proprietary info that had been figured out and sketches for solutions. I'm so sad. I believe the USB Advantage series started at SN#50,000.
« Last Edit: Mon, 29 August 2011, 00:50:02 by input nirvana »
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Offline Lanx

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« Reply #84 on: Wed, 31 August 2011, 12:34:44 »
Quote from: input nirvana;406747

http://dbenamy.blogspot.com/2010/01/most-expensive-keyboard.html

Also, I don't know when the ribbons replaced the long pcbs into the main board. I had observation notes in a Day-Timer notebook that is now missing :( It had some valuable info that took a few years to gather including proprietary info that had been figured out and sketches for solutions. I'm so sad. I believe the USB Advantage series started at SN#50,000.
wow that mod is full of ugly, i can relate.

Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #85 on: Wed, 31 August 2011, 14:43:24 »
Yea, esthetics were not the primary motivation :)
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
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Offline sordna

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« Reply #86 on: Sat, 21 January 2012, 12:19:37 »
Got some switches from WASDKeyboards... I'm thinking to add 4 keys, 2 under the shifts, and 2 in each thumbcluster (next to the backspace and space). I plan to connect them to the footwsitch leads, since they offer 3 different functions (momentary keypad on each side of the keyboard under the shifts, and either Shift or Windows/Super key function in the thumb clusters... footswitch actions are remappable anyway).

Not sure if I'll mess with the F keys, how did you cut square holes in those metal plates to do that? Also, how did you mount the extra switches under the shifts?
« Last Edit: Sun, 22 January 2012, 01:49:30 by sordna »
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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« Reply #87 on: Sun, 22 January 2012, 04:39:41 »
Drill baby, drill!

For the 2 switches under the 'shift' keys, I lined the top/bottom and left/right grids of the switches above and to the side and carried those lines into the empty area for the new switch. That gave me a near perfectly positioned square for the new switches. I approximated near center and slowly drilled a hole big enough to insert a file. A set of small files with various profiles cost $5-$15 at hardware stores. Harbor Freight has them for about $5 what costs $16 at Home Depot for a package of about 6-7 files. Some other hardware/hobby stores sell them individually as well. I use a combination of flat files and square files. Very easy, and I'm a detail nit-pick for this type of thing. If the hole is too small, the switch gets squeezed and won't operate well. If the hole is too big, well, you screwed the pooch. As you get close, just keep test fitting till it's right. You can use a little hot glue just like Kinesis does to lock in the switch. You will want to note where the switch corner pops out on the back side, it may need to touch the pcb on the keywell and you'll have some fiddling to get it in correctly. Really no big deal though. And the angle of the switch will be fine in the mounting in the keywell, No other mod needed.
 
For the F-key plates I had to do some serious measure and mark, insert and evaluate. several times to get the positioning correct. These are not absolute. I needed to cut the case holes FIRST to do this. You have a couple decisions as far as exactly where the switches are positioned. Obviously, I wanted them as "in-line" with the matrix as possible. You also can decide to slightly angle the plate when you put it back in (toward you/away from you). Then using the same spacing as between cherry switches, mark the lines that result in squares (it will look like grid paper) and drill a hole in the middle and file.. Use hot glue to lock in the switch. This will be tedious if you have metal plates, if you have the plastic/fiberglass, it goes much quicker. If for some reason you make a massive mistake, the piece can be replicated from almost anything (unlike the keywell). Regardless, this won't get done in one evening.

I have had NO regrets, and NO 'I should have left it alone' thoughts. I seemed the thing to do before I did it, as I was doing it, and after I did it. It's the way the keyboard should come, no doubt about it. I have not done it to my one-piece Kinesis yet, but I will when I finish deciding on the volume/multi-function knob mod, then do them at the same time. This summer is an exciting time for my Kinesis projects. I am confident you will be thrilled and ask yourself "Why didn't they do this???". I'd say the quality of my modding/adding of the switches came out about 99%, and that's good in my book.

In a day or so I can take some things out and take some better pics that might be better illustrations for you, if you like.

As far as the other keys in the thumb area...depending where you want them, there are some potentially challenging considerations due to the existing pcb locations. Decide on key locations first, then worry about how to make it work. Can you post a pic with the exact key locations marked with tape or photo editing?
« Last Edit: Sun, 22 January 2012, 04:41:49 by input nirvana »
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
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Offline sordna

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« Reply #88 on: Sun, 22 January 2012, 11:25:33 »
Thanks for the tips, they will be useful! Here is my goal, I used gimp on a random photo I got on the web to show you the intended switch locations. If the thumb ones don't work out in that position, I can move them a bit lower, where the monster board on your article has them.

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 38265[/ATTACH]
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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« Reply #89 on: Sun, 22 January 2012, 12:40:11 »
On driling/filing:
What worked best was to use a larger/largest drill bit that fits into the square, so you file less since filing takes all the time. The small hobby files are perfect for the corners, curves, and finish, but will take a loooong time to remove material. I use the red handles (4"-9") for removing more material and the grey handle (about 4") for the clean up and finish. Once you are more dialed in, you can bevel the edges of the holes/case....I'm very proud of that :)
Hint: To cleanly square the corners, don't use the square file, a triangular works best.

I have not been able to note any difference between cheap ass files and premium files for this work, so feel free to save money. I recommend getting files with the handles or ones that have the removable handle-grips, it will give you much better control, make it more pleasant, and save your fingers.
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 38280[/ATTACH]

The switches in the thumb clusters have 2 clearance issues:
1- It's a tight squeeze (on the interior) due to one of the keywell attaching posts.
2- The added switch needs to be mounted, and that is even a tighter squeeze due to the thumb pcb and the keywell plastic.

These are difficult issues to address. I am going to 'tilt' the thumb cluster (a la Maltron) as you and I discussed many moons ago, and I believe that will ease the placement of that particular switch.
« Last Edit: Sun, 22 January 2012, 12:43:25 by input nirvana »
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Offline Input Nirvana

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« Reply #90 on: Sun, 22 January 2012, 13:05:19 »
I'm looking into adding the media volume knob/buttons (upper right) just above the right thumb cluster on the Kinesis:

A Dell RT7D30 or RT7D40.
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 38285[/ATTACH]

Or a Griffin Powermate.
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
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Offline sordna

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Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #91 on: Sun, 22 January 2012, 21:04:57 »
Ok, just ordered some dremel cutting bits, I found my dremel but it only has cutting disks. The bits should be perfect for the job. Also getting breadboard (perforated PCB) which I'll probably cut / glue with epoxy alongside the thumbclusters to mount and solder the extra thumbswitches onto.
« Last Edit: Sun, 22 January 2012, 21:20:51 by sordna »
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 sordna

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Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #92 on: Mon, 23 January 2012, 13:52:22 »
So, I'll hook up the extra switches to the footswitch leads as I mentioned earlier. Since I like mirrored keys, the 3 actions the footswitches provide (2 of them being remappable) are enough for 6 keys on the keyboard! No need to mess with the matrix.
 
What do you think is the best way to tap into these colored wires?

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 38357[/ATTACH]

Perhaps something like this ?
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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« Reply #93 on: Mon, 23 January 2012, 22:52:39 »
I think the foot switch wires were labeled FS1, FS2, FS3 and were red, green, yellow, in that order. You need to confirm this (I can't find my Kinesis notebook).

I piggy-backed the added switch wires into the Molex connector. My thought was that it was completely reversible and clean (without a trace...). On the other board (the non-split super-mod) I might consider using a tap-splice, it's a little easier. In principle I don't care for them since they cut into stranded wire, which just seems poor, you know? But they work great with car stereos, lol
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
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Offline sordna

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« Reply #94 on: Wed, 25 January 2012, 22:17:18 »
I modded my LF, typing this post on it! Made a wiki with photos:
How to add extra keys to your Kinesis Advantage
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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« Reply #95 on: Mon, 06 February 2012, 22:16:31 »
So you have tapped into the foot switch connections (3) for your added keys. That allows for 3 re-mappable keys (or as dual modifiers).

We need to see about piercing the existing Kinesis matrix, there are 2 spots that are specially reserved for 2 additional keys as it is. How do we get the info about what needs to be done to alter the firmware to allow access to these 2 keys in the matrix? This would be some of the most significant on a Kinesis to date.
« Last Edit: Mon, 06 February 2012, 22:26:40 by input nirvana »
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Offline sordna

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« Reply #96 on: Mon, 06 February 2012, 22:27:15 »
Tell me which leads on the PCB (or wires on the ribbon cables) correspond to those 2 hidden switches, and I could tap them and find out.

I'd also like to know which leads correspond to the Pro "lock" switch, do you know?

EDIT: Some matrix info here:

http://humblehacker.com/blog/20100720/hacking-the-kinesis-contoured-keyboard/
« Last Edit: Mon, 06 February 2012, 23:37:55 by sordna »
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 sordna

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Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #97 on: Wed, 08 February 2012, 19:32:44 »
Ok, so according to the dmw's excellent article (copy/pasting part of it here for easy reference):

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 39787[/ATTACH]

... pairs 1+6 and 1+11 on the left hand ribbon, as well as pairs 4+3 and 4+6 on the right hand, are unused. The article says there are 2 "hidden" keys, and maybe that is the case for the older keyboards, but on my very new Advantage LF, successively shorting those pairs with a jumper, I discovered that all 4 "hidden" keys are usable! Shorting them produces a "click" sound, with no event recorded by the xev program for the pairs on the right hand (these "keys" behave similar to the dead Caps Lock in keypad mode). On the left hand, it gets more interesting, 1+6 is mapped as an additional Left Shift, and 1+11 is mapped as Num Lock!

Anyway, all these 4 "keys" are valid remapping destinations. So on my LF that I tried this on, I remapped A to 4+3, B to 4+6, J to 1+6 and K to 1+11 as an experiment, and when out of remapping mode, I confirmed that shorting those pairs, produces the remapped keystrokes.

That means: No mucking with the firmware is required to take advantage of the 4 hidden keys. Together with the 3 footswitch terminals, you can add a total of 7 individual keys/actions (all of them remappable) by simply tapping on existing wires!

Note: the newer ribbon connectors have all 13 leads exposed on the side, so it is easy to try out combinations with a 24gauge single strand jumper wire.

Next exercise is to determine the best location for permanently tapping (soldering wires) into these pairs, any volunteers?

I'm looking for possibly better locations (maybe on the main PCB?) otherwise the keywell connector pins will have to do:

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 39812[/ATTACH]
« Last Edit: Thu, 09 February 2012, 10:38:34 by sordna »
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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« Reply #98 on: Wed, 08 February 2012, 21:38:17 »
RE: BREAKTHROUGH INFORMATION POST

Please confirm for a benchmark:
-firmware version
-first 2 digits of LF keyboard serial number

It will be interesting to see how far back this will work (firmware ver/serial #)

There is a keywell pin out change at serial 70,000, but not a firmware version change. I have LF keywells for pre-#70,000 serial number I can check in a day or two. I also have serial # in the 30,000's
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Offline sordna

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Kinesis Advantage - Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!
« Reply #99 on: Wed, 08 February 2012, 23:22:26 »
Quote from: input nirvana;509754

Please confirm for a benchmark:
-firmware version

copyright 1986 - 2003 by interfatron-bbc, ltd., rev 2.67 03/09/03

Quote
-first 2 digits of LF keyboard serial number

80

Quote
It will be interesting to see how far back this will work (firmware ver/serial #)

There is a keywell pin out change at serial 70,000, but not a firmware version change. I have LF keywells for pre-#70,000 serial number I can check in a day or two. I also have serial # in the 30,000's

My transplant experiments say otherwise. No pinout change, at least not between 40,000 and 80,000. See this post
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