Author Topic: Plico: The Folding 40%  (Read 4323 times)

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Offline FletchINKy

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Plico: The Folding 40%
« on: Tue, 27 September 2016, 10:35:12 »
Video overview here:

After switching almost fully to 40% keyboards, my wrists started to miss my split keyboard, but every time I went back I couldn't do the standard stagger. I was adjusted to the matrix layout, and didn't want to switch between them. Obviously I needed a split 40%!

But the more I planned, the more I realized that part of the 40% appeal was the portability it afforded. I didn't want more pieces and more wires, I wanted exactly what I had, but more ergos. So I started designing hinges to fold up the keyboard, set it up at whatever angle I chose, and like my M15, lock in place so I could keyboard in my lap. Also, no wires. I wanted the wires enclosed somehow.

So after months of on an off planning, I came up with some designs which all failed miserably, and needed to be redone a few times until I got a solid and working hinge!

Then it was jut a matter of joining it to the existing split 40 plans, and confirming all the tolerances for space for all the stuff going into it, and room for the wires to move inside without breaking or straining themselves or anything else.

The RGBs were somewhat perfunctory, but I went with them anyway because people like them, and it's hard not to take advantage of the acrylic and no-pcb design that lets so much light through. But since I frequently use this plugged into my phone for coding on the go, I set the backlight to default off, as it drains my phone battery. As some of you may have noticed, this lead to me testing if Easy AVR can use the backlights as indicator lights when the backlights are turned off. It can!


Here are some earlier pics while it was not yet wired.

http://imgur.com/a/Un0c9

Offline Phenix

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 27 September 2016, 10:55:29 »
Thats an neat build!
are you planning an pcb / an GB for that?
Makes me want to try out 40ish
Winter is coming.

Offline AMongoose

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 27 September 2016, 11:02:52 »
Nice little keyboard!

Do you still find you fully split board significantly more comfortable or is the hinge enough?

Offline infiniti

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 27 September 2016, 11:58:02 »
Very interesting build you have there! :thumb: :thumb:

Offline FletchINKy

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 27 September 2016, 12:03:53 »
are you planning an pcb / an GB for that?

Not currently. I'm a little shy of making PCBs because of the cost. I'm sure my fears are unfounded.

I've come up with several techniques to keep the handwiring time down, and am using the advantage of clear builds and no PCB to really show the light of the backlighting.

That said, there are several designs which should have PCBs... if only for ease of production... Where was my copy of KiCad???

Offline FletchINKy

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 27 September 2016, 12:06:21 »
Do you still find you fully split board significantly more comfortable or is the hinge enough?

The only thing I miss about my full split is having a notepad right in front of me  ;D

I haven't really missed anything ergonomic, and it opens up the possibilities of typing on uneven surfaces like my lap or in bed, which I could never get splits to do well. I've somewhat modeled after my IBM M15, which allowed me to type like that. I'm working on the next vertical articulation of the hinge!  :cool:

Offline AMongoose

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 28 September 2016, 05:48:01 »
Do you still find you fully split board significantly more comfortable or is the hinge enough?

The only thing I miss about my full split is having a notepad right in front of me  ;D

I haven't really missed anything ergonomic, and it opens up the possibilities of typing on uneven surfaces like my lap or in bed, which I could never get splits to do well. I've somewhat modeled after my IBM M15, which allowed me to type like that. I'm working on the next vertical articulation of the hinge!  :cool:

Interesting, how far away do you tend to keep it from you when typing on a desk?

Offline FletchINKy

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 29 September 2016, 07:13:12 »
Interesting, how far away do you tend to keep it from you when typing on a desk?

Usually on a split I'm shoulder width, but with the Plico, my hand moves in about a foot.

My wrists are much straighter with the Plico, and I can type in more places (in the car, in bed, etc) like this, but technically this should make no difference to my back/shoulders. My understanding is that ergonomically, your back/shoulders don't like your arms being so close together.

Offline tobsn

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 04 October 2016, 18:39:46 »
now the middle part needs to be flexible so you can angle each side and possibly clap it together ;)

Offline FletchINKy

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 06 October 2016, 10:01:43 »
now the middle part needs to be flexible so you can angle each side and possibly clap it together ;)

Truly, the next part is to make it flexible across the other axis. Eventually the goal is to match the IBM M15 movement.

Offline tufty

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 07 October 2016, 05:03:48 »
IIRC, the M15 has  ball and socket joint, I would have thought a doubly-lockable UJ would be better.

Nice work, by the way.

Offline FletchINKy

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 07 October 2016, 21:31:54 »
IIRC, the M15 has  ball and socket joint, I would have thought a doubly-lockable UJ would be better.

Nice work, by the way.

Thanks!

Yes, the M15 has a ball socket joint, and it's awesome. Even mine with a small crack in it is very strong.

I can't see a way to ball joint it that way though without copying the design directly. The nearest I've come in my designs is to emulate the universal locking ball joints used in photography like this: http://www.scarletstarstudios.com/art/sven_pix/2006/03.18.06_joint1.jpg and just have a free short external wire connecting the two.

What UJ are you thinking of?

Offline tufty

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 08 October 2016, 03:44:18 »
Ah, yes, that's nice, and easy to do, to boot.  I was thinking something like this, but with the possibility of tightening / locking either pivot independently.



As long as you can live with a reduced mobility (20 or so in each direction) and have access to a lathe, you should be able to make a self-contained, lockable ball joint that swallows the cable as well, something like this but drilled through :

http://www.automotioncomponents.co.uk/en/catalog/rotary/ball-socket-joints/lockable-ball-and-socket-joints/r3540#

Offline FletchINKy

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 08 October 2016, 09:16:53 »
Ah, yes, that's nice, and easy to do, to boot.  I was thinking something like this, but with the possibility of tightening / locking either pivot independently.

Show Image


As long as you can live with a reduced mobility (20 or so in each direction) and have access to a lathe, you should be able to make a self-contained, lockable ball joint that swallows the cable as well, something like this but drilled through :

http://www.automotioncomponents.co.uk/en/catalog/rotary/ball-socket-joints/lockable-ball-and-socket-joints/r3540#

Awesome idea! If I get access to a lathe, then I could increase the ball diameter and joint on the female end, and get more degrees of mobility.

Definitely an interesting design, and it would keep the wires internal. I know some machine shops in the area, and might be able to get joints turned out relatively inexpensively once I prove a design.

Offline tobsn

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 10 October 2016, 05:36:11 »
I think you would just need a double joint that is connected via a disc... but not sure if that exists off the shelf

Offline FletchINKy

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Re: Plico: The Folding 40%
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 11 October 2016, 21:53:43 »
I think you would just need a double joint that is connected via a disc... but not sure if that exists off the shelf

Eh. Everything I do winds up being custom :))  guess I'm just stubborn like that!