[Photos] some more ergonomic keyboards

Image
Starting from the top and working clockwise-
Kinesis Freestyle
Comfort Keyboard
Orbitouch
Datahand
Maltron 3D with trackball
Maltron Right Handed
Goldtouch Keyovation

And in the middle -
Alphagrip AG5
Twiddler 2.1

It's not as impressive as Webwit's collection, but I'm quite happy with it... for now...

I would have added the Kinesis Advantage - but it's at work.
hoggy

Unread post26 Dec 2011, 15:01

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I've always been interested in the Right and Left handed Maltrons, how is it to type on one?
Swede

Unread post26 Dec 2011, 18:33

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You need a Fingerworks Touchstream to round off your collection. Oh, and a Truly Ergonomic !
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Unread post26 Dec 2011, 21:19

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Swede wrote:I've always been interested in the Right and Left handed Maltrons, how is it to type on one?

The fingers need to 'reach' a fair bit, but the hand stands fairly central. The 3D is much like a kinesis, but the fingers need to straighten out more - towards the screen - in comparison. I haven't spent anywhere near enough time on it to type - can barely hunt and peck.
sordna wrote:You need a Fingerworks Touchstream to round off your collection. Oh, and a Truly Ergonomic !

Both would fit very nicely! Actually, I was contemplating a combi mouse recently, seems like they are trying to get finding to build the thing. It's been on the "top 10 weird keyboards" sites for a long while now.
hoggy

Unread post26 Dec 2011, 22:39

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Swede wrote:I've always been interested in the Right and Left handed Maltrons, how is it to type on one?

Takes a little while to get used to, I'm selling one in the for sale section.

Nice collection BTW.
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Unread post27 Dec 2011, 00:08

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Holy shit Hoggy! Look at you! LOL :)

You now owe an in-depth Kinesis vs Maltron 3D comparison. How do you like the trackball? Is it model 89 or 90? And the Alphagrip, is that the new unit with the optical trackball that came out a couple months ago?

I will still be doing an Alphagrip mod next year, making it adjustable and want to add programming. What's your wpm?

And don't worry, when I figure out how to create the large palmrests for the Datahand, you'll be the first to know.
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Unread post27 Dec 2011, 09:32

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Everything Kinesis Advantage=http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=8110.0

Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks, guys!

Yeah, the Maltron vs Kinesis write up is top of my list. Only got the Maltron in the last few days. The last owner couldn't get it working because he was using the cheapest adapters known to man. Haven't used it yet apart from to check the keys. It's an 89 - and I'm not keen on the layout as it is - have to get busy with the AHK...

I gave up using the Alphagrip (it's an older model, sadly) - it's just a little bit too small for my hands causing me to move around the device more than I'd like. That said, I got upto 20+ wpm quite quickly - more manufacturers should look at the form factor - has a lot of promise. The trackball is really well placed. Programmability would make it into a really solid product.

I feel really guilty about leaving the datahand in a cupboard. If you make palmrests you'll find me in the queue...
hoggy

Unread post27 Dec 2011, 12:23

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Maltron 89 model...is it the Malt layout? Or are you referring to some other aspect of the layout? Proword Joe has been a great resource of in-depth Maltron info, check his threads if you already haven't.

Can you tell me how different/similar the Maltron key caps and the Kinesis home row keys caps are? I need help with the Kinesis key cap replacement thread on Geekhack so we can replacement sets. Info is appreciated.

The Alphagrip (an understated winner only a couple heartbeats from stardom) only had very, very minor differences. The second model had a slightly improved trackball speed response, and the third went a step further and improved the trackball more so with the optical upgrade. I've been in touch with Mike from Alphagrip (heck of a nice guy) and the issues you mention are known and possibly may be worked on. My goal is to take the Alphagrip, cut in half (left/right) and put a type of ball-joint in the middle to spread it further apart, and allow some adjustability. I have not figured how to allow for the larger grip size.

Your Datahand in the cupboard, mine in it's original box, we are some sad Datahand owners.
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Unread post27 Dec 2011, 16:49

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Everything Kinesis Advantage=http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=8110.0

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All of the Maltron caps are the same profile - spherical. I'll get the two side by side later this week and get back to you with a few more details.

It's the qwerty layout, but the symbols are on different numbers to the iso/ansi layouts. The pics are all that good, but they were taken before removing the keycaps so I could clean them - I just wanted the pic to help me put them back.

Image

Image
hoggy

Unread post27 Dec 2011, 17:22

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Arrrh, I was watching this one on ebay. I suspected that when the seller said it didn't work, it really just needed a decent adaptor.

I feel the same about the 89 layout; if I had to buy a new Maltron I'd get an ANSI 90.
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Unread post27 Dec 2011, 21:11

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How is the OrbiTouch to type on?

P.s., is that the right-handed Maltron that I sold you?
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Unread post27 Dec 2011, 21:34

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Great collection! Still need to add a Maltron to mine. Never got an orbiTouch because it seems more for people who have no control over their fingers or worse. It seems rather restrictive otherwise. The one-hand Maltron also seems to be from the war victim category. I got two Fingerworks Touchstreams, if someone is looking for one and offers me a good trade I might give up one.
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Unread post27 Dec 2011, 23:56

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Trade or cold, hard, cash baby?
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Unread post28 Dec 2011, 04:34

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Everything Kinesis Advantage=http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=8110.0

Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Hoggy and Jim66:

Please compare the thumb clusters on the Maltron and Kinesis. I don't have a Maltron and am doing a thumb cluster mod to the Split Kinesis Project. I'm adding a couple keys and tilting the cluster. I may consider moving it a fraction as well.

Any thoughts, pros/cons, wild dreams, comparisons will be helpful.
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Unread post28 Dec 2011, 04:45

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Everything Kinesis Advantage=http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=8110.0

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input nirvana wrote:Hoggy and Jim66:

Please compare the thumb clusters on the Maltron and Kinesis. I don't have a Maltron and am doing a thumb cluster mod to the Split Kinesis Project. I'm adding a couple keys and tilting the cluster. I may consider moving it a fraction as well.

Any thoughts, pros/cons, wild dreams, comparisons will be helpful.

Sadly, I no longer own a Kinesis, so any comparison I make will be from memory. As soon as I jump on the Maltron, the first thing that I think is that the thump clusters are much lower down (I'm not sure if this makes sense) than they are on the Kinesis. I don't feel like my thumbs have to travel/stretch as far to get to space. They feel like they are letting my hands rest in a more natural position while I'm typing.

Firstly, I'd say that the thumb clusters on the 89 are better than the 90 series in some ways but worse in others.

1). I like the ctrl location on the 89.
2). Backspace needs to be swapped with enter on the 89.
3). There is no need for two space on the 90.
4). I prefer the arrow cluster on the 90.

Image

Image

Things that are cool:

1). The "E" on the thumb in the Maltron layout.
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Unread post28 Dec 2011, 12:03

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A few piccies...

Image
Image

Image
Image
Image
The thumb clusters are lower (vertically from the desk surface) on the Maltron than on the Kinesis. I think that Kinesis raised the thumb cluster to encourage the wrist to twist towards 45 degrees away from horizontal. This means on the Maltron the thumb is held further away from the fingers compared to the Kinesis.

Oh, and my Kinesis needs a dust.

Image

The Maltron keywells require a lot more reaching with the fingers. The keycaps are all the same profile, so the well is formed by the placement of the switches alone. The Kinesis use a combination of curved PCB and unusual keycaps to form the well. The home keys on the Kinesis are different to the others...

A notable feature is use of cherry switches for the function keys. Kinesis, please copy this.

Image

Having cursor keys in the thumbwells is amazing!
hoggy

Unread post28 Dec 2011, 20:25

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input nirvana wrote:Trade or cold, hard, cash baby?

Trade preferred.
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Unread post28 Dec 2011, 21:42

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Jim66 wrote:How is the OrbiTouch to type on?

P.s., is that the right-handed Maltron that I sold you?

The orbitouch isn't very nice. I guess if you need it, you need it. I remember watching a video of a guy learning to type on one. He had his own office -
It's too noisy for most offices.

Well spotted on the Maltron front - That's the one. It's in much nicer condition than the 3D...
hoggy

Unread post28 Dec 2011, 21:54

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Excellent Maltron 3D do you know where to buy (nice price) a original set for it (mine)...

thanks

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1744
adrien239

Unread post28 Dec 2011, 22:40

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Maltron 3D black
layer bépo
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
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8 Xkeys sticks (108 keys)
hoggy wrote:The Kinesis use a combination of curved PCB and unusual keycaps to form the well. The home keys on the Kinesis are different to the others...

Not that unusual. Most keys are quite standard that you should be able get from most key manufacturers. Most key caps have precisely the same profile per key as on most keyboards with Cherry MX and ALPS switches. The home keys are different only so that they would be easier to locate. The keys for 3 and 8 are weird though: they are row 2, not row 1 as the other keys on the number row. Three of four 1.25 wide keys on the leftmost and rightmost columns are row 3 which is quite uncommon. The most unusual keys would be the top rightmost/leftmost key, Ctrl, OS and Alt keys: they have a profile for a row above the numeric row.

Edit: I had remembered it wrong about the 1.25 wide keys.
Last edited by Findecanor on 30 Dec 2011, 18:49, edited 2 times in total.
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Fuck you Google for ruining YouTube!
adrien239 wrote:Excellent Maltron 3D do you know where to buy (nice price) a original set for it (mine)...

thanks

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1744


Have you tried contacting Maltron? They used to have something on their website about selling keysets if you changed your mind on the layout and I know they've just done a run of keyboards for Turkey so they should be able to help out. No idea on the cost though.
hoggy

Unread post29 Dec 2011, 04:23

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Thank you I asked them just yesterday waiting the answer

I asked SP and it is 550€
Waiting for an answer from WASD
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Unread post29 Dec 2011, 12:14

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hoggy wrote:
adrien239 wrote:Excellent Maltron 3D do you know where to buy (nice price) a original set for it (mine)...

thanks

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1744


Have you tried contacting Maltron? They used to have something on their website about selling keysets if you changed your mind on the layout and I know they've just done a run of keyboards for Turkey so they should be able to help out. No idea on the cost though.

Yeah, I remember seeing this. They also say that if you change from Windows to Mac, they will send you the correct caps for your Maltron for free.

I would say that Maltron are you best bet (although you could obviously get more attractive keycaps made elsewhere).
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Unread post29 Dec 2011, 20:16

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I'm waiting for maltron answer...............
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Unread post29 Dec 2011, 21:40

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Adrien239,

I'd be interested in Maltrons response...

I want to remap the 3D - 89 layout seems a bit daft in places. Also half the keys have yellowed unpleasantly.
hoggy

Unread post01 Jan 2012, 23:03

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ok I'tell you as soon as they reply..........
adrien239

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Holy shit! This thread did some excellent work on the Kinesis/Maltron comparison!!!! I've been dead for 3 months so I missed it.

Webwit: Yea, a trade is the way to go...money is so ordinary.

Hoggy and Jim66: Great info, I need some time to review. Thank you so much. The info is still relevant and needed.

Since it was mentioned while I was gone, here is some info someone may find useful I have posted on GH http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:8110 for the Kinesis exact key cap replacement:

OFFICIAL PARTS LIST
- When I list the symbols, I used both the unshifted and shifted symbols for that key, just to make it easier to see.
- The "International Key" produces §± in the U.S. but has \| symbol repeated on the key like the actual \| key.
- The legends are based on U.S. and QWERTY. The important information is the actual key caps that are needed, not the legends...they are just for reference.

ORDERING INFORMATION:
A Kinesis set (with cylindrical instead of spherical home keys) from Signature Plastics:
10 DCS row 1 1x1..........1 2 4 5 6 7 9 0 Home PageUp
12 DCS row 2 1x1..........Q W E R T Y I O U P 3 8
*12 DCS row 3 1x1........A S D F G H J K L ;: End PageDown
18 DCS row 4 1x1..........Z X C V B N M ,< .> /? `~ \| Larrow Rarrow Uarrow Darrow [[ ]]
4 DCS row 5 1x1............CTRL ALT/OPT Command/Win (the 4 keys at the top of the thumb clusters vary in function depending on OS used)
2 DCS row 1 1x1.25.......=+ -_
6 DCS row 3 1x1.25.......Tab \| CapLock '" Shift Shift
2 DCS row 4 1x2 (turned vertical) (NumPadZero).....Space Backspace
2 DCS row 4/4 1x2 vertical (NumPadEnter).....Enter Delete

To have the 8 home row keys as the original 'spherical' keycaps:
- Only 4 DCS Row 3 1x1..........G H End PageDown
- Add 8 DSA Row 3 1x1...........A S D F J K L ;: (these may be a "Deep Dish" key cap)
I disregard the "homing bump" option for the index fingers when using the spherical keys options (see DSA sheet)

A tactile homing "bump" or "bar" can be used on the index fingers of the home row if the spherical keys are not used. Hardly required since the keywells mostly guide your fingers to the correct locations:
- *Only 10 DCS row 3 1x1.....................................A S D G H K L ;: End PageDown
- Add 2 DCS row 3 1x1 with "bump" or "bar".......F J

These key caps are available as ABS or PBT (PBT is a nicer plastic). Doubleshot key caps are also available.
The last choice is color.
DCSFamily.jpg
DSAFamily.jpg


These key caps are the same size (height) as the original doubleshot and singleshot keys that SP used to supply to Kinesis. Then Kinesis switched suppliers and the keys have the same shape and profiles, but have slightly taller skirts. This only affects the appearance...you see less of the keywell under the keys with the taller caps.

- - - THE SPHERICALS: NEED TO CONFIRM IF THE HOME ROW IS A "DEEP DISH" KEY CAP..... (NEED INFO FROM SIGNATURE PLASTICS AND WILL UPDATE).
- - - And there is still the option I'm still working on to get the same exact key caps with the taller skirt (Filco/Costar).
Attachments
Kinesis-kps-chart-adapted-for-SP.png
Input Nirvana
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Unread post31 Mar 2012, 10:14

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Everything Kinesis Advantage=http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=8110.0

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Some serious work there Nirvana! Very clear.

If you need anything else (measurements or whatever) - just give me shout.
hoggy

Unread post31 Mar 2012, 16:57

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A ridiculous amount of time, trial and error, and people involved to get that mess above. Something a simple email from Kinesis could have saved. At least it's available so no one else has to do it again. Sigh.

I'll dig in sometime this next month or so and lay things out with the Kinesis thumb clusters. I'll have at least ONE question :)
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Unread post31 Mar 2012, 18:45

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Thought it was time for an update...
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