[GB] Model MF - GB CLOSED

Pick our controller... Voting ends on Friday

The mini-xWhatsit that WCass shrunk down. It uses the same mini-controller design as Ellipse's F62/77, but with a connector meant to slip onto our PCB (inverted running parallel to the backplate)
16
30%
The CommonSense that DMA has recently put together. This is young yet, but has the most long term promise (not a question). It will have a very similar connector (possibly perpendicular vs. parallel slip-on mount)
37
70%
 
Total votes : 53
@lot_lizard: I haven't checked this thread in quite a while. Looking at the recent posts about the springs has me somewhat confused about the goal and where you are now regarding the weight, sound, and feel of the switches. What I would hope for in the MF SSK and MF full-size is something very similar to the weight, sound, and feel of the switches in my XT board.
Hypersphere
User avatar

Unread post02 Mar 2017, 00:10

User avatar
X
Hypersphere
 
Posts: 3469
Joined: 24 Jun 2013, 23:47
Location: USA
Main keyboard: Silenced & Lubed HHKB (Black)
Main mouse: Steelseries Rival 300 Black
Favorite switch: Topre 45/55g Silenced; Various Alps; IBM Model F
Club member: 0038
 
lot_lizard wrote:On the spring front... I've been busy and forgot to post. I've ordered 55g versions as well. Those that previously ordered will get them instead of the 45g versions I currently have unless you PM me otherwise. I'll sit on these 45s for another day/need down the road.

Can we do a split, let's say F-row worth of 45g ones, for academic purposes?
alh84001
User avatar
v.001

Unread post02 Mar 2017, 01:29

User avatar
X
alh84001
v.001
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: 14 Feb 2016, 18:38
Location: EU-HR-ZG
Main keyboard: unsaver
Main mouse: logitech m305 / apple trackpad
Favorite switch: BS
Club member: 0150
 
alh84001 wrote:Can we do a split, let's say F-row worth of 45g ones, for academic purposes?
Sure... I can just throw some of the 40-45g in with the others so you can play around with them. Disclaimer... they are nuts light. I land back home later this evening, and we will be back to having some progress
lot_lizard
User avatar

Unread post03 Mar 2017, 15:10

User avatar
X
lot_lizard
 
Posts: 1327
Joined: 20 Feb 2016, 03:36
Location: Minnesota
Main keyboard: Indy SSK Model MF
Main mouse: Logitech Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Beamspring
Club member: 0153
 
Cool. On both counts.
alh84001
User avatar
v.001

Unread post03 Mar 2017, 16:34

User avatar
X
alh84001
v.001
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: 14 Feb 2016, 18:38
Location: EU-HR-ZG
Main keyboard: unsaver
Main mouse: logitech m305 / apple trackpad
Favorite switch: BS
Club member: 0150
 
 
I'm feeling a degree of nervousness about the 55g springs: I quite like my M's usual 60-80 or wherever they're at as I'm not a touch typist, I like resting my fingers on the keys and I like the nice loud clattery noise! If I'll still get all those things then that's fine, but I'm hoping they won't make the keyboard feel much more "trigger happy" and quiet.
vometia
User avatar
irritant

Unread post04 Mar 2017, 03:01

User avatar
X
vometia
irritant
 
Posts: 106
Joined: 05 Apr 2013, 15:54
Location: Somewhere in England
Main keyboard: Unicomp SSK & Filco M2 with novelty keys
Main mouse: Roccat Malarky
Favorite switch: Avocent Thingy
Club member: 0184
 
Hypersphere wrote:Looking at the recent posts about the springs has me somewhat confused about the goal and where you are now regarding the weight, sound, and feel of the switches. What I would hope for in the MF SSK and MF full-size is something very similar to the weight, sound, and feel of the switches in my XT board.
The replacement springs were an experiment. We decided since we were making completely new ones altogether, that we would try lighter tensions (50-55g vs. 60-65g of stock Fs) because no one knew what the result would be. I undershot the math, and they came in at 40-45g. I have since ordered new ones that will come in at 50-55g and 60-65g now that we truly know what the result will be by playing with the spring characteristics. All in the name of !!science!!


Everyone will get the original goal of 50-55g unless you send me a PM stating otherwise. I will throw in a small number of 40-45g just so you can get an idea of the difference. To be honest, you (everyone) might like more than you are expecting. It's an intriguing but unique result. I actually think that 50-55g will be a "sweet spot"
lot_lizard
User avatar

Unread post05 Mar 2017, 08:30

User avatar
X
lot_lizard
 
Posts: 1327
Joined: 20 Feb 2016, 03:36
Location: Minnesota
Main keyboard: Indy SSK Model MF
Main mouse: Logitech Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Beamspring
Club member: 0153
 
This may have been answered previously, but in case the lighter weighted springs turn out generally preferred by the community, will it be possible to run a spring-and-hammer-assemblies GB for people who might wish to upgrade their Model Fs?
Scarpia
User avatar

Unread post05 Mar 2017, 09:50

User avatar
X
Scarpia
 
Posts: 511
Joined: 12 Jan 2016, 14:51
Location: Sweden
Main keyboard: SSK / RK RC930-87
Main mouse: Logitech MX Anywhere 2
Favorite switch: Topre, Alps SKCM Brown
 
@lot_lizard: Thanks for clearing up my confused mind about the springs!
Hypersphere
User avatar

Unread post05 Mar 2017, 14:45

User avatar
X
Hypersphere
 
Posts: 3469
Joined: 24 Jun 2013, 23:47
Location: USA
Main keyboard: Silenced & Lubed HHKB (Black)
Main mouse: Steelseries Rival 300 Black
Favorite switch: Topre 45/55g Silenced; Various Alps; IBM Model F
Club member: 0038
 
Scarpia wrote:This may have been answered previously, but in case the lighter weighted springs turn out generally preferred by the community, will it be possible to run a spring-and-hammer-assemblies GB for people who might wish to upgrade their Model Fs?
Since I know how these will turn out, I ordered the 50-55g in proper bulk. There won't be any future runs because it is so expensive to have springs produced (even 1). I ordered 40k of the 50-55g to drive the price per down, so we should be covered from here on out (or at least a VERY long time). They will be for sale on mfDrop.com going forward (not up yet). They won't be as cheap as they were here, but the prices on the ecomm site will always be "cheap".


The goal of this LLC will always be break even. Any funding we raise will go directly into the hobby somehow so I can net essentially zero with it on taxes. We might actually be better off being a true "non-profit" in regards to taxes (501c3), but that is a slippery slope. We could donate boards to the community, make charitable donations to other non-profits, etc... but that is more bookkeeping than I want to fart with. For a while at least, we will be a "business" that claims an EBITDA of $0.00
lot_lizard
User avatar

Unread post05 Mar 2017, 15:04

User avatar
X
lot_lizard
 
Posts: 1327
Joined: 20 Feb 2016, 03:36
Location: Minnesota
Main keyboard: Indy SSK Model MF
Main mouse: Logitech Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Beamspring
Club member: 0153
 
Spring & Hammer

Spring&Hammer_sm.jpg
Hypersphere
User avatar

Unread post05 Mar 2017, 15:38

User avatar
X
Hypersphere
 
Posts: 3469
Joined: 24 Jun 2013, 23:47
Location: USA
Main keyboard: Silenced & Lubed HHKB (Black)
Main mouse: Steelseries Rival 300 Black
Favorite switch: Topre 45/55g Silenced; Various Alps; IBM Model F
Club member: 0038
 
Hypersphere wrote:Spring & Hammer
ooh... I like that. Where were you 3 weeks ago with that idea? ;)

I liked "barrel spring" (first choice), but the .com was taken. "Spring and barrel" is there (I hate typing "and" in a url though). Your hammer bit reminds me of hammermade. For those that don't know... This IS one of the great up and comers. They are local to me (but are getting big now), and a shout out to my friend Jason, but these are the greatest shirts on planet earth. http://www.hammermade.com
Last edited by lot_lizard on 06 Mar 2017, 07:56, edited 1 time in total.
lot_lizard
User avatar

Unread post05 Mar 2017, 16:35

User avatar
X
lot_lizard
 
Posts: 1327
Joined: 20 Feb 2016, 03:36
Location: Minnesota
Main keyboard: Indy SSK Model MF
Main mouse: Logitech Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Beamspring
Club member: 0153
 
Well, of course, the Spring&Hammer thing this was a crude attempt to mimic the classic "Arm&&Hammer" brand (so named by the company founder, Armand Hammer).

arm&hammer_sm.jpg


I usually prefer writing out "and" as well, but the original used the ampersand symbol.
Hypersphere
User avatar

Unread post05 Mar 2017, 16:46

User avatar
X
Hypersphere
 
Posts: 3469
Joined: 24 Jun 2013, 23:47
Location: USA
Main keyboard: Silenced & Lubed HHKB (Black)
Main mouse: Steelseries Rival 300 Black
Favorite switch: Topre 45/55g Silenced; Various Alps; IBM Model F
Club member: 0038
 
would be really nice if you could make updates in the OP or at least in one of the several placeholders, as I am still lost in the 30 pages of this thread.
alienman82
User avatar

Unread post05 Mar 2017, 19:14

User avatar
X
alienman82
 
Posts: 164
Joined: 01 Jun 2015, 02:28
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Main keyboard: Cherry G80-5000 ISO
Main mouse: Zowie EC1-A
Favorite switch: Vintage MX Brown
Club member: -
 
lot_lizard wrote:The goal of this LLC will always be break even

Careful with that. IRS may come to you after 3 years, say "it's hobby, man!" and tax all your expenses. I somehow think you know this already, but still - that's a thing to watch out for.

As far as non-profits go.. 501(d) is the way. Church of The Holy Spring!
DMA

Unread post05 Mar 2017, 19:24

X
DMA
 
Posts: 356
Joined: 23 May 2016, 06:24
Location: Seattle, US
Main keyboard: T420
Main mouse: Trackpoint
Favorite switch: beamspring
 
alienman82 wrote:would be really nice if you could make updates in the OP or at least in one of the several placeholders, as I am still lost in the 30 pages of this thread.
I agree to this... I've been lazy. Apologize...


I have had and will have a horrid work schedule for another couple of weeks. We have some "surprise acquisitions" that I am accountable for that require travel. I did finally get my beamsprings out to DMA (will PM you a tracking number), and a few miscellaneous PCBs. The perfect storm of "anti-progress" from my end. Attempting to keep the boulder moving, but certainly lack luster for me
lot_lizard
User avatar

Unread post05 Mar 2017, 21:29

User avatar
X
lot_lizard
 
Posts: 1327
Joined: 20 Feb 2016, 03:36
Location: Minnesota
Main keyboard: Indy SSK Model MF
Main mouse: Logitech Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Beamspring
Club member: 0153
 
LLC. Hmm. For now XMIT Keyboards is a sole proprietorship. I've always said "keyboards first, politics later". I really should spend some time at some point talking to a lawyer about possible business entities but I'm too much of an anti-authoritatian hacker to really give a shit or take it seriously. People are getting keyboards they love, that's all that matters to me for now. So good luck with all of that.
XMIT
User avatar
[ XMIT ]

Unread post06 Mar 2017, 01:14

User avatar
X
XMIT
[ XMIT ]
 
Posts: 3234
Joined: 21 Dec 2014, 15:32
Location: Austin, TX area
Main keyboard: XMIT Hall Effect
Main mouse: CST L-Trac Trackball
Favorite switch: XMIT 60g Tactile Hall Effect
Club member: 0093
 
XMIT wrote:
I really should spend some time at some point talking to a lawyer about possible business entities


It would be well worth $100 for a consultation to keep yourself out of trouble, but I never had the impression that you are raking in a huge amount of money there.

The MF project, on the other hand, say at least 200+ kits @ $200+ each, that multiplies out to some serious money.
fohat
User avatar

Unread post06 Mar 2017, 13:21

User avatar
X
fohat
 
Posts: 2085
Joined: 07 Oct 2011, 02:09
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Main keyboard: Model F 122-key terminal
Main mouse: Microsoft Optical Mouse
Favorite switch: Model F Buckling Spring
Club member: 0158
 
Couple of updates... neither overly pleasant to report. I checked with our foam producer, and they are still attempting to produce the die for stabilizers that wrap each of the barrels. I told them we needed progress by the end of the month, but of all our producers (we have several), we have the weakest ties to them and are "low volume". I will make some proper threats if I don't see some pictures of a roll die soon. We can certainly move to another entity based on commitments.

The boxes are produced (die is complete, boards are struck), but they are waiting on a printing plate to arrive. My fault, but I wanted to make these feel a little nicer by having a logo. That appears to have caused a 1-2 week delay in finalizing our packaging.

I am traveling again for work (will be again for the next week, possibly 2), but have both prototype boards with me. I have been pounding on them in the evenings, and things seem to be working quite well. When I return, I will have the plates go into production I think (it's time... no foreseeable issues).

All that remains then is the electronics (controller and PCB). The controller seems to be doing very well. I am not a BLAZING typist, but churn around 90-100 wpm consistently, and I haven't seen hiccups. This split spacebar is taking me a bit to get used to though. I like it, but it's very light compared to the normal 7u. I have a couple of changes that I still need to document and send to WCass regarding pass-through hole placement and "branding", and then we will send those off. Eventually we need to decide on the controller front what to do. I didn't help matters by sending DMA the beamsprings later than I had hoped, but eventually we will need to vote. Worst case, we move forward with this to have something in hand and have another buy later if CommonSense proves out on the MF as well. I have quite a bit of faith in DMA's work though, and don't want to be hasty.

We are getting closer. My work schedule for travel has been HORRID and for that I apologize, but we are at least in the "field goal range" if you follow American Football. If we would have been clairvoyant, we could have waited 1-2 months for the GB, but if we took that strategy... we would never pull the trigger in the first place.
lot_lizard
User avatar

Unread post09 Mar 2017, 17:32

User avatar
X
lot_lizard
 
Posts: 1327
Joined: 20 Feb 2016, 03:36
Location: Minnesota
Main keyboard: Indy SSK Model MF
Main mouse: Logitech Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Beamspring
Club member: 0153
 
Thanks for the updates.
E TwentyNine
User avatar

Unread post09 Mar 2017, 17:46

User avatar
X
E TwentyNine
 
Posts: 405
Joined: 07 Feb 2013, 23:44
Main keyboard: AT Model F w/ Tenkeyless mod
Main mouse: Logitech M310
Favorite switch: Beam spring
Club member: -
 
Great update, lot_lizard. Thanks as always for keeping us informed. It's too bad about the foam supplier. I hope they get everything going soon. The delay in the packaging doesn't seem a problem to me, since we haven't even started electronics production yet.

I hope we can get an update from DMA here. I'd like to know where CommonSense development stands in relation to this project (form factor, USB daughter card compatibility, etc.)
Techno Trousers
User avatar
100,000,000 actuations

Unread post09 Mar 2017, 19:44

User avatar
X
Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations
 
Posts: 764
Joined: 14 Jun 2013, 01:16
Location: California
Main keyboard: IBM Model F-122
Main mouse: Mionix Naos
Favorite switch: Capacitive Buckling Spring (Model F)
Club member: 0159
 
..since you asked..
QFN chips are sitting at my table, PCBs are supposed to be delivered tomorrow.
Just got my hot air gun from the mailbox and used it to desolder my first attempt at SMD soldering (placed the chip 180 degrees to proper position :) ).

So over the weekend I should know if the hardware is ready.
DMA

Unread post10 Mar 2017, 04:12

X
DMA
 
Posts: 356
Joined: 23 May 2016, 06:24
Location: Seattle, US
Main keyboard: T420
Main mouse: Trackpoint
Favorite switch: beamspring
 
 
The bringer of PSoC
Image
I am so excited and impatient about this that I laid out my ssk with winkeys... I think it looks fantastic, and I cant wait to build this.
mike52787
User avatar
Alps Aficionado

Unread post10 Mar 2017, 04:15

User avatar
X
mike52787
Alps Aficionado
 
Posts: 391
Joined: 02 Jul 2016, 21:48
Location: South-West Florida
Main keyboard: Whatever I feel like using!
Main mouse: Redragon Mammoth
Favorite switch: Capacitive BS, Vintage Black, Alps SKCM Cream
Club member: 0166
 
DMA wrote:So over the weekend I should know if the hardware is ready.

Awesome, thanks! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
Techno Trousers
User avatar
100,000,000 actuations

Unread post10 Mar 2017, 05:18

User avatar
X
Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations
 
Posts: 764
Joined: 14 Jun 2013, 01:16
Location: California
Main keyboard: IBM Model F-122
Main mouse: Mionix Naos
Favorite switch: Capacitive Buckling Spring (Model F)
Club member: 0159
 
mike52787 wrote:Image
I am so excited and impatient about this that I laid out my ssk with winkeys... I think it looks fantastic, and I cant wait to build this.


1x1 winkeys with only one each side looks so amazing

unicomp should have done it like that from the start.

they have seen the light and it is like that now :)
andrewjoy

Unread post10 Mar 2017, 11:56

X
andrewjoy
 
Posts: 4449
Joined: 11 Apr 2012, 16:27
Location: UK
Main keyboard: Novatouch (PBT caps) , Model F 122 Terminal
Main mouse: EC Technology 1600dpi / DXT Vertical
Favorite switch: MX Mount Topre / Model F Buckling
Club member: 0167
 
DMA wrote:..since you asked..
QFN chips are sitting at my table, PCBs are supposed to be delivered tomorrow.
Just got my hot air gun from the mailbox and used it to desolder my first attempt at SMD soldering (placed the chip 180 degrees to proper position :) ).

So over the weekend I should know if the hardware is ready.

I love SMD soldering. Very relaxing work. Hot air makes it so much easier though.
drevyek
User avatar

Unread post10 Mar 2017, 12:06

User avatar
X
drevyek
 
Posts: 158
Joined: 20 May 2016, 22:52
Location: CAN-AB
Main keyboard: Model M
Main mouse: Steelseries Kinzu v3
Favorite switch: Buckling Springs
Club member: 0179
 
mike52787 wrote:Image
I am so excited and impatient about this that I laid out my ssk with winkeys... I think it looks fantastic, and I cant wait to build this.

So are you going to hack away the spacers?

WKL +winkeys is the best way to lay out winkeys.
drevyek
User avatar

Unread post10 Mar 2017, 12:09

User avatar
X
drevyek
 
Posts: 158
Joined: 20 May 2016, 22:52
Location: CAN-AB
Main keyboard: Model M
Main mouse: Steelseries Kinzu v3
Favorite switch: Buckling Springs
Club member: 0179
 
andrewjoy wrote:
mike52787 wrote:Image
I am so excited and impatient about this that I laid out my ssk with winkeys... I think it looks fantastic, and I cant wait to build this.


1x1 winkeys with only one each side looks so amazing

unicomp should have done it like that from the start.

they have seen the light and it is like that now :)

We can only hope. Unicomp needs to see the light on better dyesub methods as well, I bought 4 of those diamond caps and 2 were terribly misaligned. These arent perfect either, but are the best of 4.
drevyek wrote:So are you going to hack away the spacers?

WKL +winkeys is the best way to lay out winkeys.
Yeah, I am. 1.5u mods with 1u winkeys is the best layout ever. it looks SO GOOD compared to the asymmetrical fuckup that is 1.25u mods with 6.25u spacebar. It should be easy to cut the blockers out of the case, and this case is in pretty banged up condition, so we won't be losing a good case.
mike52787
User avatar
Alps Aficionado

Unread post10 Mar 2017, 12:15

User avatar
X
mike52787
Alps Aficionado
 
Posts: 391
Joined: 02 Jul 2016, 21:48
Location: South-West Florida
Main keyboard: Whatever I feel like using!
Main mouse: Redragon Mammoth
Favorite switch: Capacitive BS, Vintage Black, Alps SKCM Cream
Club member: 0166
 
Mmmkay, I've managed not to burn the chip with me mighty air gun!

Compiled and uploaded firmware, key monitor shows something - but what it shows and how usable it is - I'll only know tomorrow. Or, technically, "later today", because it's 00:17 already.
Stay tuned!
DMA

Unread post11 Mar 2017, 08:17

X
DMA
 
Posts: 356
Joined: 23 May 2016, 06:24
Location: Seattle, US
Main keyboard: T420
Main mouse: Trackpoint
Favorite switch: beamspring
 
 
The bringer of PSoC
Update: found a mistake in PCB tracing, greenwired it (man those 0.4mm pitch tracks are hard to solder!), found that I removed too much bypass caps - greenwired those too. Works like a charm!
Will make final prototype PCB in a couple of days and send to oshpark.

Software seems harder than it seemed 2 weeks ago - those macros are quite hard to get right, especially at 1000CPS. You need to actually delay key releases to make sure system will see the keypresses - which means xwhatsit macro engine is not that reusable. Like, not at all reusable. I do like the idea of the macro having "after keypress" and "after release" parts though.

Pretty confident in getting standard 1-layer keyboard software working in 3-4 days of coding though, including debugging. Need to find those days somehow.
Mostly worried for the USB suspend-resume there. Firmware has a bootloader, so everything will be field-upgradable. But macros, layers and expansion header handling will take time. Especially because I don't have any solenoid boards and not planning to.
DMA

Unread post13 Mar 2017, 06:47

X
DMA
 
Posts: 356
Joined: 23 May 2016, 06:24
Location: Seattle, US
Main keyboard: T420
Main mouse: Trackpoint
Favorite switch: beamspring
 
 
The bringer of PSoC
So I landed back home late last night, and will fly out again early Tuesday morning. I meet with our metal fabricator friends Monday afternoon to get in their queue. After originally thinking I had already done that via email, they want to meet in person to discuss the MINOR changes I would like to see in the production run. As much as anything, our desire for a new black makes them want me to pick out a new one before agreeing to everything from a cost perspective. They really aren't making much here either, and they want to factor in the cost of whatever we choose if it is a non-standard paint for them (I get it).

Not sure how many are following the "workshop thread", but DMA received our beamspring. FINALLLLLLLY. This was a hiccup on my end. I haven't been around (like at all), so my wife has been nice enough to handle my parcels. I had her mail out a couple of things to various folks, but for some reason she didn't send DMA's out (in fairness to her, I only typically RECEIVE large boxes). She unpacks, discards the box, and leaves everything out for me. She knows if things just sit in boxes, they historically will stay in boxes, and that is a bit of a "hangup" for her. When we finally worked out what had happened, she was nice enough to repack one beamspring and accessories in the largest box she could find (smaller than the original), and send out. Moral... sorry for the delay, but wanted you to realize the backstory.

DMA is having success there on the CommonSense front for the alternate controller. For those that haven't been able to follow why this is interesting... I will attempt to explain without technical details. The legacy xWhatsit (which is still brilliant) relies heavily on hardware (MANY electrical components) to map capacitive sensing back to something modern computers can use. DMA has proposed, and is succeeding at, using software against essentially a single chip to perform the same function. This has real benefits not only now (smaller form factor, somewhat less power consumption by the controller itself, functional flexibility, cheaper to produce, etc...), but certainly in the future since software by its nature is extensible. It's a big deal... if it works!!!

DMA's CommonSense (brilliant name) thread is here if you are wanting to follow. Keep in mind going in, you will learn a lot, but this is a topic that isn't for the faint of heart: https://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/commonsense-controller-better-capsense-for-the-ibm-type-f-t13988.html

I will let DMA give you more technical details as to the benefits, but wanted to help everyone understand why it is so interesting from a higher level. And understand why we are waiting to produce the controllers since the timing of this was so intriguing. We won't delay much longer... and we will vote, but we wanted to give this the opportunity to flush out a bit to really understand our options
lot_lizard
User avatar

Unread post19 Mar 2017, 12:43

User avatar
X
lot_lizard
 
Posts: 1327
Joined: 20 Feb 2016, 03:36
Location: Minnesota
Main keyboard: Indy SSK Model MF
Main mouse: Logitech Anywhere MX
Favorite switch: Beamspring
Club member: 0153
 
PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Myoth and 48 guests