Author Topic: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?  (Read 982 times)

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Offline FRGMNT

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Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« on: Fri, 03 March 2017, 00:33:30 »
The Ergodox has been out for a few years and the only thing holding me back from purchasing one is waiting to see if they will release a version with the thumb cluster keys positioned better. Anyone know if a split keyboard like that has come out or if there are any plans for one in the works? My wrists are painfully desiring to stop bending unnaturally, but I love typing on my HHKB.
 

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 03 March 2017, 01:04:56 »
There's the Mu-Tron..

And if you HAD TO.. you can mod a switch into that spot of the ergodox.. power drill, a little glue..

Offline LuX

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 03 March 2017, 05:23:15 »
Have you actually tried an Ergodox, or are you just assuming it's bad. I held away from buying one for years because I was convinced that I wouldn't like it, but in the end it's not as bad as I thought, quite good actually.
Good luck finding a Mu-Tron... I would suggest keyboard.io as an alternative. The physical layout looks somewhat more comfortable than the Ergodox, but I haven't actually used one so it's just an assumption.

Online algernon

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 03 March 2017, 06:36:28 »
I can hearthily recommend the Keyboardio Model 01. Its thumb arc + palm key combo is in every way superior to the ErgoDox thumb cluster.

I write this as someone who has been using an ErgoDox EZ as his daily driver for almost a year, and as someone who typed thousands (still increasing) of words on a Model 01 prototype. It's a lot better, and not just the thumb cluster.

Mind you, the ErgoDox is still a huge improvement over pretty much any non-split keyboard, even if its thumb cluster ain't perfect. So if you don't want to wait for the Model 01, the ErgoDox is still an option.

Another option is the Diverge 3, for example. There may be others, but as I'm not interested in DIY kits, I likely miss or ignore a lot of them.
« Last Edit: Fri, 03 March 2017, 06:41:10 by algernon »

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 03 March 2017, 09:34:18 »
The Diverge3 might be the alternative that most closely matches what you are asking for.
Keyboardio is not out yet.

There are a few more keyboards that are split but with regular row-oriented layout though. I think the Mistel Barocco, Matias ErgoPro or the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard (not released yet) would be the most interesting if you want a compact layout like the HHKB.
The µTron is the only one of these with Topre switches but the keys are smaller than on regular keyboards.

Do check out the reviews at Xah Lee's site. That's a pretty good list and shows also non-split ergo keyboards.
« Last Edit: Fri, 03 March 2017, 14:51:03 by Findecanor »
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Offline hoggy

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 03 March 2017, 13:37:20 »
The only other board I can think of is the Esrille.
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 03 March 2017, 14:55:25 »
Yeah, but the Esrille is not split into two separate halves.

The ErgoDox got its thumb cluster from the Kinesis "Contoured" line, the latest model being the Kinesis Advantage2. It is also not split.
I find the thumb cluster to be a little bit better on it, but not very much so.
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Offline davkol

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 03 March 2017, 15:50:57 »
Also, Katy and Dactyl.

Offline vvp

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 03 March 2017, 16:36:58 »
The ErgoDox got its thumb cluster from the Kinesis "Contoured" line, the latest model being the Kinesis Advantage2. It is also not split.
I find the thumb cluster to be a little bit better on it, but not very much so.
Of course Kinesis' thumb cluster feels better. it is 9 mm nearer in the XY plane than on ergodox. It is also about 4 mm higher than the bottom pointing finger key. Kinesis thumb cluster is also about 3 mm moved in the negative Y axe direction (i.e. about 3 mm nearer to the typist body) compared to Ergodox. This makes it a bit nearer to the user's palm.

As for as Katy keyboard, I moved thumb cluster nearer to the key well by about 2.5 mm more in XY plane (compared to Kinesis). Also my thumb cluster is about 12 mm deeper compared to Kinesis ... and moved about 4 mm in the positive Y axe direction ... again when compared to Kinesis.
The last move in the Y direction looks "stupid" but it makes the bottom thumb cluster keys (which do not exist on Kinesis) easier to reach. The Alt key is still acceptably reachable since both Alt and Ctrl keys are moved nearer to the keywell by about 7.5 mm.

Just some data to get a better idea since I spend a lot of time measuring these things in the past.

Offline FRGMNT

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 03 March 2017, 16:52:48 »
Have you actually tried an Ergodox, or are you just assuming it's bad. I held away from buying one for years because I was convinced that I wouldn't like it, but in the end it's not as bad as I thought, quite good actually.
Good luck finding a Mu-Tron... I would suggest keyboard.io as an alternative. The physical layout looks somewhat more comfortable than the Ergodox, but I haven't actually used one so it's just an assumption.

Never got the chance to try an Ergodox, but I tried typing with my thumb positioned out to where it would roughly be on the Ergodox. Pretty sure I wouldn't like it as I've already got CMC joint problems from sports.

I can hearthily recommend the Keyboardio Model 01. Its thumb arc + palm key combo is in every way superior to the ErgoDox thumb cluster.

I write this as someone who has been using an ErgoDox EZ as his daily driver for almost a year, and as someone who typed thousands (still increasing) of words on a Model 01 prototype. It's a lot better, and not just the thumb cluster.

Mind you, the ErgoDox is still a huge improvement over pretty much any non-split keyboard, even if its thumb cluster ain't perfect. So if you don't want to wait for the Model 01, the ErgoDox is still an option.

Another option is the Diverge 3, for example. There may be others, but as I'm not interested in DIY kits, I likely miss or ignore a lot of them.

The Keyboardio looks like a strong contender. My only issue might be how tall the unit is. I use my keyboard on a tray under my table, and there is only about 4 inches of clearance. Leaning more towards the Diverge since it is DIY so I can put in my preferred Zealios switches. I just wished the side pinky buttons were at least 1.75u, but I'll take 1U keys rather than constantly stretching my thumb. (I'd imagine FPS gaming to be pretty fatiguing after a while).

Another option would be for me to not use the thumb cluster for a spacebar and use the key under "v" since that's where I naturally rest my thumb on normal keyboards. I'm also in a weird position where I use my right thumb for space and my left for when I game. Probably will need to utilize layers for when I switch between the two.

« Last Edit: Fri, 03 March 2017, 17:19:31 by FRGMNT »

Offline davkol

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 03 March 2017, 18:18:00 »
The best thing you can do is print out the layout, put some keycaps on it, and try to fake typing or reaching for keys.

It's helpful not only because of the thumb clusters, but also because of column offset in columnar layouts. For example, I've learned this way, that Diverge is nearly unusable for me, because my index fingers aren't long enough (different people have different digit ratios).

Online algernon

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 04 March 2017, 01:46:07 »
I can hearthily recommend the Keyboardio Model 01. Its thumb arc + palm key combo is in every way superior to the ErgoDox thumb cluster.

I write this as someone who has been using an ErgoDox EZ as his daily driver for almost a year, and as someone who typed thousands (still increasing) of words on a Model 01 prototype. It's a lot better, and not just the thumb cluster.

Mind you, the ErgoDox is still a huge improvement over pretty much any non-split keyboard, even if its thumb cluster ain't perfect. So if you don't want to wait for the Model 01, the ErgoDox is still an option.

Another option is the Diverge 3, for example. There may be others, but as I'm not interested in DIY kits, I likely miss or ignore a lot of them.

The Keyboardio looks like a strong contender. My only issue might be how tall the unit is. I use my keyboard on a tray under my table, and there is only about 4 inches of clearance.

According to their kickstarter campaign, the height is about 25mm, so about an inch. My prototype appears to be a little taller than that (from bottom to top of a keycap): ~35mm, still well under 4 inches.

Leaning more towards the Diverge since it is DIY so I can put in my preferred Zealios switches.

I've not tried Zealios yet, but the Quiet Clicks are easily the best switch I ever had the pleasure to type on. Each to their own, though =)

Offline RominRonin

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 04 March 2017, 14:30:43 »
I still haven't got round to making a pcb for the katana, might that work?

Offline vvp

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 04 March 2017, 16:35:34 »
I just wished the side pinky buttons were at least 1.75u, but I'll take 1U keys rather than constantly stretching my thumb.
1U keys are better. They are easier to obtain and they make keyboard smaller!  And the main point is that they are not harder to hit than wider keys since they are near (next to the pinkie home column). Don't allow narrower outer pinkie columns discourage you from Diverge 3.
My personal problem with Diverge 3 would be the outer pinkie column staggering. The Esc and - keys suck. Those columns should be staggered the same (or a tiny bit more) as the normal pinkie column. Also pinkie columns staggering of ˝U is on the small side for a flat keyboard.

Offline FRGMNT

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 05 March 2017, 18:33:45 »
The best thing you can do is print out the layout, put some keycaps on it, and try to fake typing or reaching for keys.

It's helpful not only because of the thumb clusters, but also because of column offset in columnar layouts. For example, I've learned this way, that Diverge is nearly unusable for me, because my index fingers aren't long enough (different people have different digit ratios).

Yeah, tried that out, and the Ergodox is overall a better layout. It's not bad at all for gaming it seems if I just move my space to either keys under 'C' or 'V'.

1U keys are better. They are easier to obtain and they make keyboard smaller!  And the main point is that they are not harder to hit than wider keys since they are near (next to the pinkie home column). Don't allow narrower outer pinkie columns discourage you from Diverge 3.
My personal problem with Diverge 3 would be the outer pinkie column staggering. The Esc and - keys suck. Those columns should be staggered the same (or a tiny bit more) as the normal pinkie column. Also pinkie columns staggering of ˝U is on the small side for a flat keyboard.

Printed out the layout to try and the pinkie column staggering didn't make any sense to me either. Overall I like the Ergodox more.

I'll probably hold off from the Keyboardio for now until a more customized alternative is available. For now I decided on an Atreus 62. It's not split but it still provides a nice angle for my wrists. I'll probably get an Infinity Ergodox on the next drop... for research...


Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 05 March 2017, 22:01:50 »
The reason the ergodox thumb cluster feels so odd,  is because the majority of users are not tented high enough.


On a flat keyboards, any key that would require the thumb which is further away would force the wrist to twist inwards to reach, it is this twisting which feels odd..

This is the reason why the space bar on flat keyboards are so long to begin with and reach so deeply into the palm area..

But on an ergodox, because it mimics the kinesis style thumb clusters,  the distance CAN BE increased because in the tented configuration, the cluster does not require wrist twisting..


If  you are using the Ergodox @ the Proper tenting angle (50-55 degrees)the thumb cluster is perfect and easy to reach....




Offline LuX

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 06 March 2017, 10:38:05 »
Or maybe, I don't know, it takes time to get used to the distance. Especially for someone who is used to keeping their thumb under the palm. Ultimately I find the thumb placement on the Ergodox more natural than having to constantly contract the thumb muscles, but beyond the first thumb button it's definitely a bit of a stretch. For games you'll want to use ESDF instead of WASD.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 06 March 2017, 14:50:45 »
Or maybe, I don't know, it takes time to get used to the distance. Especially for someone who is used to keeping their thumb under the palm. Ultimately I find the thumb placement on the Ergodox more natural than having to constantly contract the thumb muscles, but beyond the first thumb button it's definitely a bit of a stretch. For games you'll want to use ESDF instead of WASD.

for games, i just switch that last 1x button to spacebar. because the ergodox has layers.. hahahahaha

Offline weazen

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 06 March 2017, 16:20:46 »

If  you are using the Ergodox @ the Proper tenting angle (50-55 degrees)the thumb cluster is perfect and easy to reach....


Completely agree with this. I used a Kinesis as my daily driver for 5 years before switching to the Ergodox about a year ago. At first, I absolutely HATED the Ergodox. But after tweaking it and figuring out what angles worked well for me, I can't imagine going back now.

Finding a comfortable tenting angle makes all the difference on the Ergodox.

Offline cribbit

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 06 March 2017, 17:47:09 »
I much prefer an arc of keys, all 1u. Building it myself.
I typed this post on my Slanck. I also developed a stronger, cleaner, easier handwiring method.


Offline dantan

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 10:46:04 »
Are there tenting solutions around for a high angle for keyboards with straight edges unlike the ergodox? Is there any way of taking a mistel barocco or kinesis freestyle, and matching that with a tenting stand at 45 degrees? At such a height I can't use normal risers.

Offline cribbit

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Re: Is there an Ergodox with better thumb cluster locations?
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 12:53:13 »
Are there tenting solutions around for a high angle for keyboards with straight edges unlike the ergodox? Is there any way of taking a mistel barocco or kinesis freestyle, and matching that with a tenting stand at 45 degrees? At such a height I can't use normal risers.

Could try building a base yourself.
I typed this post on my Slanck. I also developed a stronger, cleaner, easier handwiring method.