[Product news] Assembled ErgoDox with warranty available for pre-order

Hey guys,

We're manufacturing the ErgoDox! Here's a quick rundown:

1) Right now - pre-orders for $180 (no keycaps) / $190 (with keycaps).

2) Once we hit 100 pre-orders, we're going IndieGogo ($200 per keyboard -- the lower prices will no longer be available). IndieGogo target is $50k.

Once we hit that target, it's on to manufacturing!

We teamed up with a Taiwanese manufacturer that has 20 years of experience making heavy-duty mechanical keyboards. We've done a complete mechanical redesign on the case - it looks the same, but now can be injection molded (not just printed).

Getting good reception so far. Website is at http://www.ergodox-ez.com and there's also a reddit thread at http://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/2xzzyi/keyboard_spotting_ergodox_finally_getting/. Happy to answer any questions.
Tadersy

Unread post06 Mar 2015, 17:07

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Cool project.

What does your tooling cost for the injection molded case? Do you have an example picture showing something else that your Taiwanese manufacturer has produced?

Have you figured out FCC certification? If you’re selling an assembled product you need this from what I understand, and it costs at least a few thousand dollars. (MassDrop has gotten around it by just selling hobbyist kits.)

What type of switches are you going to use and how will you source them?

Are you just using the existing Ergodox PCB design and using Teensies, or are you making a new PCB with the controller integrated? If the latter, who is designing your PCB?

Are you going to make any changes to the Ergodox firmware? Do you have any plans for graphical configuration tools, or are you going to just piggyback on MassDrop’s web thingy?

Who is going to handle tech support? As one example, the Truly Ergonomic Keyboard people got in way over their heads and their tech support was/is terrible (because don’t have / can’t afford to hire enough staff to handle it), causing many of their customers to despise them. When selling hobbyist kits to enthusiasts, you can somewhat let forums handle support, because anyone who can solder together their own keyboard and flash their own firmware is usually savvy enough to figure out how to fix things or how to independently find someone who can help. But if you start selling fully assembled products, you’ll potentially hit a much wider market including less technically competent customers who need a lot of hand holding. Even selling kits to hobbyists, MassDrop gets a fair amount of flak for tech support issues on products like the Ergodox, and they have a bunch of VC funding and a team of tech support staff.

Do you have a plan for distribution? Even shipping out 100 units is a pretty big pain in the ass, and winds up more expensive than you might expect.

What keycaps are you including? In particular, what are the shapes/profile on the thumb keys? Will you include stabilizers with the thumb keys?

I suspect you’ll need to hit a pretty big scale (much bigger than 100 units) for this to pay for itself. Do you have some outside funding, or are you just capitalizing it yourself and hoping to make money a year or two down the line?

Are you going to open-source your case designs (CAD files etc.)? All the parts of the Ergodox are released under a GPL v2 license, so to stay within the spirit of that, everything should probably be open sourced. (Not sure what the precise technical legal requirements are, it’s probably a bit tricky to figure out since GPL is a license designed for software, but the general spirit isn’t hard to understand.)

Have you tried locating Dox (the original Ergodox designer) to ask him for feedback?

I suspect you might have trouble convincing people to trust your project with their money without some evidence that you can deliver, since it doesn’t seem like either of you have any hardware experience, but I wish you all the best luck.
jacobolus

Unread post06 Mar 2015, 19:35

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A lot of questions. Let's see now.

What does your tooling cost for the injection molded case? Do you have an example picture showing something else that your Taiwanese manufacturer has produced?

Tooling costs in the tens of thousands of USD. Their other work is OEM so it doesn't have their logo, but I might be able to get some photos if there's more demand here. They make mechanical point-of-sale keyboards, not consumer products. Stuff that gets much harder use.

Have you figured out FCC certification? If you’re selling an assembled product you need this from what I understand, and it costs at least a few thousand dollars. (MassDrop has gotten around it by just selling hobbyist kits.)

Of course. The product will be CE/FCC certified.

What type of switches are you going to use and how will you source them?

We're currently offering MX Blue, Red, Brown, and Black ($15 extra per keyboard). Looking into Green and Clear. Sourcing (and some of your other questions) are internal issues that have nothing to do with the product, and I won't be going into those.

Are you just using the existing Ergodox PCB design and using Teensies, or are you making a new PCB with the controller integrated? If the latter, who is designing your PCB?

ErgoDox with a Teensie. We could have made it cheaper, but it was important for us to offer a 100% exact ErgoDox without having to start explaining various differences, even though it is not the most economical design to produce at scale. We only had to change the case.

Are you going to make any changes to the Ergodox firmware? Do you have any plans for graphical configuration tools, or are you going to just piggyback on MassDrop’s web thingy?

No changes to the firmware. We won't be offering our own configurator at first, but we may develop one later.

Who is going to handle tech support?

A two-tier tech support structure. I, personally, am on the front line. Erez Zukerman, ezuk.org. Then we have an established RMA procedure with the manufacturer, who has their own support staff for hardware issues. The product comes with a full warranty (something Massdrop doesn't offer, of course).

Support is absolutely crucial for me with this project, which is why I'm putting myself on the line here, full name, website and all. I may hire other support staff later on, if/when demand justifies it -- but until that happens, it's all me, and that's not because of lack of funds.

Do you have a plan for distribution? Even shipping out 100 units is a pretty big pain in the ass, and winds up more expensive than you might expect.

Again - this is an established manufacturer. Of course logistics are handled. We'll have two global distribution hubs (US and international). I'll be publishing a complete breakdown of shipping costs to various countries in the next few days.

What keycaps are you including? In particular, what are the shapes/profile on the thumb keys? Will you include stabilizers with the thumb keys?

No stabilizer, and this is the first time this has been asked re the profiles. There's an option to get the board with no keycaps ($180 for pre-order). If many other people ask re the thumb key profile, I may do a backer-only survey on IndieGogo to determine them for this run.

I suspect you’ll need to hit a pretty big scale (much bigger than 100 units) for this to pay for itself. Do you have some outside funding, or are you just capitalizing it yourself and hoping to make money a year or two down the line?

The IndieGogo target is $50k. If we hit that, we're going to make it happen 100%. The project costs significantly more than $50k, and we have the capital.

Are you going to open-source your case designs (CAD files etc.)? All the parts of the Ergodox are released under a GPL v2 license, so to stay within the spirit of that, everything should probably be open sourced. (Not sure what the precise technical legal requirements are, it’s probably a bit tricky to figure out since GPL is a license designed for software, but the general spirit isn’t hard to understand.)

IANAL - this is something for our lawyers to figure out down the road. We will definitely comply with any license terms we're undertaking.

Have you tried locating Dox (the original Ergodox designer) to ask him for feedback?

Dox made his approach re redistribution/manufacturing very clear in the licensing and terms -- didn't see a point in bugging him, tbh.

I suspect you might have trouble convincing people to trust your project with their money without some evidence that you can deliver, since it doesn’t seem like either of you have any hardware experience, but I wish you all the best luck.

Many thanks. We both have a public and established presence on the Web, and so far trust has not been an issue. Pre-orders are thankfully flowing in at a rapid pace at this point, and we're on track to making this happen.
Tadersy

Unread post06 Mar 2015, 20:23

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Tadersy wrote:We're currently offering MX Blue, Red, Brown, and Black ($15 extra per keyboard). Looking into Green and Clear. Sourcing (and some of your other questions) are internal issues that have nothing to do with the product, and I won't be going into those.

Gotcha. I’m just asking because from what I’ve heard basically every keyboard vendor has been finding sourcing cherry switches to be a nightmare, with lead times on purchases directly from Cherry in the 12–18 month range. As a result, some vendors are ending up buying switches from some middle-man for double Cherry’s pricing or more. I’m sure if you’ve been paying attention to keyboards the last few years you’ll have noticed many keyboards switching from Cherry MX to Kailh, Gaote, Gateron, etc. switches.

ErgoDox with a Teensie. We could have made it cheaper, but it was important for us to offer a 100% exact ErgoDox without having to start explaining various differences, even though it is not the most economical design to produce at scale. We only had to change the case.

Yeah, it’s not really a reasonable design except as a hobbyist DIY project (for example, it wastes a huge amount of space, and the flippable PCB thing is totally unnecessary complication for a commercial version), but I guess it makes sense to make as few changes as possible. Keeps your design and debugging costs to a minimum.

Who is going to handle tech support?

A two-tier tech support structure. I, personally, am on the front line. Erez Zukerman, ezuk.org. Then we have an established RMA procedure with the manufacturer, who has their own support staff for hardware issues. The product comes with a full warranty (something Massdrop doesn't offer, of course).

Good luck! I don’t envy you being a single person handling tech support for a product. If you manage to sell the 300+ keyboards it sounds like you’re aiming for, that sounds like a pretty stressful support job.

What keycaps are you including? In particular, what are the shapes/profile on the thumb keys? Will you include stabilizers with the thumb keys?

No stabilizer, and this is the first time this has been asked re the profiles. There's an option to get the board with no keycaps ($180 for pre-order). If many other people ask re the thumb key profile, I may do a backer-only survey on IndieGogo to determine them for this run.

Massdrop has mostly sold Ergodoxes with DSA keycaps from Signature Plastics (with separate sales of DCS profile keycaps). On the upside, these keycaps are sturdy PBT, but on the downside, the flat profile is IMO quite suboptimal to type on, and SP charges a pretty penny for keycaps. (The keycaps are a quite significant part of the cost of buying an Ergodox through MassDrop.)

Which keycaps you’re planning to provide is actually quite a big deal for how nice the keyboard ends up being to use. The Ergodox has in my opinion many design problems from an ease-of-use / ergonomics perspective, but the keycap profile used makes a huge difference toward making it less broken. (The thumb section design still kind of sucks IMO even with the perfect keycaps, but it’s a lot better than with all flat ones.) To take another example, the keycaps used for the thumb keys on the Kinesis Advantage are just silly.

Are you going to have printed keycaps, and if so what kind of printing? What material will your keycaps be? For enthusiasts here, such seemingly minor details actually make a big difference.

Are you going to open-source your case designs (CAD files etc.)? All the parts of the Ergodox are released under a GPL v2 [edit: v3] license, so to stay within the spirit of that, everything should probably be open sourced.[...]

IANAL - this is something for our lawyers to figure out down the road. We will definitely comply with any license terms we're undertaking.

This answer sounds sort of like “we’ll do the bare minimum we think we can legally get away with, the original spirit be damned.” Or to be more charitable, “we never considered this before.”

Sorry to sound combative/negative on this point, but treating open source projects with respect is something I believe in strongly.

So far as I know, Dox never made a cent on the Ergodox, and when it became much more popular than he ever expected and started to be sold as commercial kits, he ended up leaving the forums here and at geekhack. He left before I was really active in the community, so I haven’t ever directly interacted with him in any way. I have no idea how he feels about MassDrop, etc., whether he’s happy about the many people who have enjoyed using Ergodoxes, whether he feels bitter or taken advantage of, etc.

Thus, the only evidence I know of about his intentions is the GPL v3 license he put his work under. There’s nothing in the GPL that says people shouldn’t make money selling free-software products, but it is very clear about not being incorporated/extended into a closed product. In particular, the GPL v3 (which I just checked, is what the Ergodox stuff is licensed under) was very explicitly designed to prevent people from “cheating” its spirit by wrapping GPL code in closed proprietary wrappers, the way happened with many GPL v2 projects (in the most famous example, Linux).

In practice, I’m sure Dox has no desire to sue anyone, so I’m sure it would be possible to build closed extensions to the Ergodox without a resulting legal dispute. And IANAL and so I have no idea how well adapted the GPLv3 is to cover hardware projects. But I personally feel that any direct Ergodox derivatives should be as open as possible to respect the spirit of the license.
Last edited by jacobolus on 06 Mar 2015, 23:44, edited 1 time in total.
jacobolus

Unread post06 Mar 2015, 22:36

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As you are supporting warranty, I suppose that you are going to make it difficult to customize the keyboard. I suppose no cutouts for opening switches and no stabilisers.
Otherwise if this had been a DIY project, I would have suggested holes under the 1×2 keys for installation of PCB-mounted stabilisers and for allowing the user to change a 1×2 key into two 1×1 keys.

Are the keycaps going to be Signature plastics DSA profile like in the picture? ABS or PBT?

How are going to do with firmware? Are you going to offer a configurator for the standard firmware like Massdrop does, a fixed layout or are you going with another firmware?
Findecanor

Unread post06 Mar 2015, 23:32

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I’ve heard basically every keyboard vendor has been finding sourcing cherry switches to be a nightmare, with lead times on purchases directly from Cherry in the 12–18 month range. As a result, some vendors are ending up buying switches from some middle-man for double Cherry’s pricing or more. I’m sure if you’ve been paying attention to keyboards the last few years you’ll have noticed many keyboards switching from Cherry MX to Kailh, Gaote, Gateron, etc. switches.

That's interesting. Could you cite some more specific examples? I'd like to take a deeper look into this. I do believe our supply chain is fine, but I still find this interesting. "every keyboard vendor" and "many keyboards" is a bit vague to go on. :)

Good luck! I don’t envy you being a single person handling tech support for a product. If you manage to sell the 300+ keyboards it sounds like you’re aiming for, that sounds like a pretty stressful support job.

Well the main thing here is offering people quality support. To me, that really starts with personal accountability and clear communication, so that's why I'm putting myself on the line like this. If I get so much traffic and support request that I can't field it properly, of course I'll get help (but it'll be high-quality help).

Which keycaps you’re planning to provide is actually quite a big deal for how nice the keyboard ends up being to use.

For sure - that's why there will always be an option to buy the keyboard sans keycaps and provide your own. I think that's really the best as it leaves things totally open (and reduces purchase price). If you do go with our keycaps, we'll be offering Signature Plastic PBT keycaps, profile isn't 100% set in stone yet. Might do a backer-only survey on that.

Are you going to have printed keycaps, and if so what kind of printing? What material will your keycaps be? For enthusiasts here, such seemingly minor details actually make a big difference.

No printed keycaps at first; material is PBT.

This answer sounds sort of like “we’ll do the bare minimum we think we can legally get away with, the original spirit be damned.” Or to be more charitable, “we never considered this before.”

Sorry to sound combative/negative on this point, but treating open source projects with respect is something I believe in strongly.

This is the main reason I wanted to reply to this on a Saturday morning. :) Made me realize my communication wasn't so clear. Let me explain:

The original work we've done so far is a complete mechanical redesign of the case for industrial manufacturing (injection molding). Releasing this will only benefit large-scale industrial competitors who are able to cover tooling costs (in the tens of thousands USD). And yes, I absolutely do not want to release this, as the maker community has nothing to gain here, and I only stand to lose. We are not going to violate the terms of the GPL, and if we have to release it we will, but I won't lie and say that we want to release a change that will only benefit large-scale industrial competitors.

Edit March 8: We will release the redesigned case, open-source. :)

If we ever make a change that could benefit the maker community, such as firmware improvements, we will most definitely open-source it. Not just from a legal standpoint, but because I want to and I believe we should.

I hope that makes things a bit clearer.
Last edited by Tadersy on 08 Mar 2015, 17:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post07 Mar 2015, 05:31

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Findecanor wrote:As you are supporting warranty, I suppose that you are going to make it difficult to customize the keyboard. I suppose no cutouts for opening switches and no stabilisers.
Otherwise if this had been a DIY project, I would have suggested holes under the 1×2 keys for installation of PCB-mounted stabilisers and for allowing the user to change a 1×2 key into two 1×1 keys.

Yeah... Well, you can always cut it open of course, but we won't be able to respect the warranty. Just like any other piece of hardware really.

Are the keycaps going to be Signature plastics DSA profile like in the picture? ABS or PBT?

There's always going to be a no-keycap option. The keycaps we provide will be PBT. DSA or DCS -- not 100% sure yet, I think I'll take a community vote from the backers to decide.

How are going to do with firmware? Are you going to offer a configurator for the standard firmware like Massdrop does, a fixed layout or are you going with another firmware?

The keyboard will ship with stock firmware and work QWERTY out of the box. The actual controller is a Teensy exactly per the spec, so you can load it with any other firmware and customize it to your heart's desire. In other words, flash away. We won't be offering a configurator of our own initially, but maybe later on (it's the same hardware Massdrop offers, only with a warranty, cheaper, and no soldering required - so their configuratot should work if you want to use it).
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Unread post07 Mar 2015, 05:34

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Welcome to DT. Let's bombard you with questions. Yeah, the lights are a bit harsh, but this is an interrogation room you know. So, when did you last see the victim alive?

I think people are suspicious of companies embracing the ErgoDox in general. Dox got burned by MassDrop (from what I can tell from the incomplete surviving record) and left the project without leadership. To be honest, I'd steer clear of it as there's an IP minefield that, although dormant, could get nasty if companies start to make claims against eachother. Who owns what? Where is Dox? Why are we still hung up on a dead project?

I've nothing against the ErgoDox, it's a nice attempt among many at a radical split ergo design, but I do wonder why startups are attracted to it. Why not invent your own thing that you can then evolve and share on your own terms? Does the ErgoDox really have so much cachet that it's worth swimming with lawyers?
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Unread post07 Mar 2015, 08:52

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Welcome!
Have you contacted pjrc regarding Teensie availability? Will he be able to cover demand?
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Unread post07 Mar 2015, 10:29

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PJRC can handle orders of 100 at a time, for sure, and likely more. We did a group buy of >100 a while ago and got a dollar discount on every Teensy. I remember the several bags of 25 individually wrapped Teensies that JDcarpe sent my way for European distribution.

Speaking of which: shipping from inside the EU is highly preferred over here. We get squeezed by the balls over customs on anything like a keyboard. Importing them from outside the EU costs us almost TWICE as much, and generally keeps Europeans out of US hosted group buys.
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Unread post07 Mar 2015, 11:10

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Muirium wrote:I've nothing against the ErgoDox, it's a nice attempt among many at a radical split ergo design, but I do wonder why startups are attracted to it. Why not invent your own thing that you can then evolve and share on your own terms? Does the ErgoDox really have so much cachet that it's worth swimming with lawyers?

I think it’s a combination of (a) it has some name recognition, people have seen it, at least a few thousand kits have been sold, and there’s a tiny ecosystem of compatible keycaps, cases, wrist rests, bags, etc., and (b) it takes no new design work, and the people coming in don’t have any particular expertise about keyboard ergonomics, ability to design something different, or budget to undertake (or outsource) such design. [No slight intended to the OP here: very few people do have the desire/expertise to tackle new keyboard designs, and there’s certainly room for vendors who just want to take an existing design and build it cheaper / with different case.]

There are folks like keyboard.io who are making their own design, because they have spent a lot of time thinking about the problem and have the skills to tackle it.
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Unread post07 Mar 2015, 18:25

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Tadersy wrote:The original work we've done so far is a complete mechanical redesign of the case for industrial manufacturing (injection molding). Releasing this will only benefit large-scale industrial competitors who are able to cover tooling costs (in the tens of thousands USD). And yes, I absolutely do not want to release this, as the maker community has nothing to gain here, and I only stand to lose. We are not going to violate the terms of the GPL, and if we have to release it we will, but I won't lie and say that we want to release a change that will only benefit large-scale industrial competitors.

If we ever make a change that could benefit the maker community, such as firmware improvements, we will most definitely open-source it. Not just from a legal standpoint, but because I want to and I believe we should.

My guess is that it’s something of a gray area from a strict legal perspective, since the GPL is a license expressly designed for software, internally refers to the works it covers as “programs”, and calls the modifiable forms of the work “source code”, etc. I honestly have no idea whether the CAD designs for a plastic case would properly be considered “the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it” as far as the GPL is concerned.

However, I think the spirit/intent when someone puts their work under the GPL is fairly clear, even if it turns out they technically picked the wrong license to enforce their intentions, and from an ethical perspective I think the right thing to do is release such materials. There’s no part of the GPL which exempts aspects of the design that someone thinks would only help well-capitalized corporate competitors but not DIY hobbyists. The whole bargain of building on GPL licensed projects is that you benefit from the work of others, and in return you put the rights to your additions under the same terms.

Finally, you might be surprised the uses that “the maker community” could find for e.g. 3D case models. There are a lot of sharp people with diverse skills in this “maker community”, including folks who mill their own 3D metal/wood/plastic cases, folks who build 3d visualizations in software, folks who rebuild and repurpose and extend all kinds of hardware, etc.

Anyway, sorry to keep going on about this. I won’t say more about the subject here. I’m not trying to derail your thread.
Last edited by jacobolus on 08 Mar 2015, 03:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post07 Mar 2015, 19:13

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Tadersy wrote:That's interesting. Could you cite some more specific examples? I'd like to take a deeper look into this. I do believe our supply chain is fine, but I still find this interesting. "every keyboard vendor" and "many keyboards" is a bit vague to go on. :)

Here’s QWERTim at Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeybo ... e_in_2015/

I’ve talked to several other keyboard vendors about this, and heard second-hand from several people who have talked to others. I won’t get into details because I’m not sure which parts are public information.

But just look at the circumstantial evidence available. It’s not for nothing that Logitech contracted Omron to make them a new switch, so many vendors are switching to Kaihua switches (including Razer for whom they made a slightly different specially branded version), or that there’s so much chatter about Gateron and Gaote switches, etc., or for that matter people starting to use Matias’s switches.

The exciting part of the mechanical keyboard market growing beyond Cherry’s ability to keep up is that we’ll hopefully see some new switches to try and some more variety in the market. Previously everything related to keyboards had been on a slow downhill slide since 1995 (or since 1975 according to some folks around here).
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Unread post07 Mar 2015, 19:37

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1985 or thereabouts. Depends on the company. Things were definitely all to shit by 1995!
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Unread post07 Mar 2015, 21:21

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I think it’s a combination of (a) it has some name recognition, people have seen it, at least a few thousand kits have been sold, and there’s a tiny ecosystem of compatible keycaps, cases, wrist rests, bags, etc., and (b) it takes no new design work, and the people coming in don’t have any particular expertise about keyboard ergonomics, ability to design something different, or budget to undertake (or outsource) such design. [No slight intended to the OP here: very few people do have the desire/expertise to tackle new keyboard designs, and there’s certainly room for vendors who just want to take an existing design and build it cheaper / with different case.]

There are folks like keyboard.io who are making their own design, because they have spent a lot of time thinking about the problem and have the skills to tackle it.

I see it a bit differently, tbh. The ErgoDox is a validated product. It has an existing audience, and the design itself has been field-tested. It's not perfect, but it's certainly good. And that's a great starting point. The license terms it's been released allow iteration. It makes sense to me to start from something I (and customers) know is good, and go from there, rather than completely invent yet another new keyboard. Especially when there is such an obvious need in the marketplace for a reliable, mass-produced ErgoDox you can just buy and plug in.
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Unread post08 Mar 2015, 09:16

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About the Cherry supply chain issues: Looked into this. Lead times can be long, but fortunately, we have quite a bit of logistical backup here. Our partner is a major Cherry customer and it looks like we can indeed source Cherry in sufficient quantities.
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Unread post08 Mar 2015, 09:32

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jacobolus wrote:However, I think the spirit/intent when someone puts their work under the GPL is fairly clear, even if it turns out they technically picked the wrong license to enforce their intentions, and from an ethical perspective I think the right thing to do is release such materials. There’s no part of the GPL which exempts aspects of the design that someone thinks would only help well-capitalized corporate competitors but not DIY hobbyists. The whole bargain of building on GPL licensed projects is that you benefit from the work of others, and in return you put the rights to your additions under the same terms.

Anyway, sorry to keep going on about this. I won’t say more about the subject here. I’m not trying to derail your thread.

I just wanted to say we've reconsidered this point and we're going to release our redesigned case under GPLv3. We're open-sourcing it, and we didn't consult with any lawyers - just gave it some more thought.
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Unread post08 Mar 2015, 17:13

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Tadersy wrote:I just wanted to say we've reconsidered this point and we're going to release our redesigned case under GPLv3. We're open-sourcing it, and we didn't consult with any lawyers - just gave it some more thought.

Good move, really. About the only ways it's likely to be cloned are 3D printing at home (not really a threat to you) or by someone in a country (*cough* CHINA *cough*) that plays fast and loose with IP rights and who is nearly impossible to sue.
Mal-2
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Unread post08 Mar 2015, 20:43

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Mal-2
 
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Wow, that’s pretty cool. I talked to several keyboard designers about what they thought about GPL + hardware in the last few days, and basically everyone was like “why would anyone use GPL for hardware?” Most of them seemed to agree GPL probably wouldn’t apply to stuff like CAD models, though none of us are lawyers, so who knows.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of case design you guys come up with.
jacobolus

Unread post09 Mar 2015, 05:22

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i think their site is live

http://www.ergodox-ez.com/

im guessing those pics have the case
SL89
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Unread post09 Mar 2015, 05:33

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By the way, the two links under who are you to your two home pages are both broken (pointing at e.g. http://www.ergodox-ez.com/clkn/http/lnct.org/ instead of http://lnct.org/)
jacobolus

Unread post09 Mar 2015, 06:04

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jacobolus wrote:By the way, the two links under who are you to your two home pages are both broken (pointing at e.g. http://www.ergodox-ez.com/clkn/http/lnct.org/ instead of http://lnct.org/)

If you click them, they actually work fine. :)
Tadersy

Unread post09 Mar 2015, 08:09

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Yes, GPL was meant for software. There are similar licenses available for "open hardware".
Findecanor

Unread post09 Mar 2015, 16:23

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Fuck you Google for ruining YouTube!
Findecanor wrote:Yes, GPL was meant for software. There are similar licenses available for "open hardware".

However, since the original hardware was GPL3, the licensing terms are not theirs to change. Whether or not it's the right or best license is a moot point now, unfortunately.
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Unread post09 Mar 2015, 18:15

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Tadersy wrote:
jacobolus wrote:By the way, the two links under who are you to your two home pages are both broken (pointing at e.g. http://www.ergodox-ez.com/clkn/http/lnct.org/ instead of http://lnct.org/)

If you click them, they actually work fine. :)

No, I’m telling you because I did click them, and they led me to a page which says “We're sorry, but the link you followed appears to be invalid.” (In both Firefox and Safari, in case you’re wondering.)
jacobolus

Unread post09 Mar 2015, 23:24

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They work for me — the page seems to have some stupid JavaScript code that sends you to a URL other than the one written into the href property. Copy/paste the URL and you get the error described. I will never fathom why people persistently abuse every technology they lay their fingers on.
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Unread post10 Mar 2015, 00:46

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Thanks guys; looking into the link thing... Any weirdness is introduced by the service we're using - we just wanted plain links there, no JS.
Tadersy

Unread post10 Mar 2015, 08:05

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Will you sell parts to those who want to assemble themselves?

In particular, I imagine many DIYers in the forum would like a cheaper option for an Ergodox case, and since you are injection-molding yours, they should be significantly less expensive than current options.

I could also see people wanting a PCB with all the components surface-mounted in advance (perhaps without the Teensy). No one wants to surface-mount all those diodes. I could see people who want to buy the PCBs already done, but want to customize their case (the reverse of the above situation).

Obviously the warranty issues would be more complex, but this would be a nice way to contribute to the community as well, offering options not currently available.

p.s. I also had trouble with the links.
trauring
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Unread post12 Mar 2015, 11:43

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Hey Trauring,

We won't be selling these as parts -- only fully-assembled keyboards. That's pretty much the whole point of the project. :) I think FalbaTech sells a PCB with all the components surface-mounted in advance.

Re the links -- thanks... Their support told me there's not much I can do on that. :\ We're almost at the point of launching the campaign, at which point this site will become just a redirect to the IndieGogo campaign.
Tadersy

Unread post15 Mar 2015, 06:50

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Tadersy, Falbatech just sells bare PCBs, although they will add diodes and such as a service. I assume this is not done by machine, however. I think in the end, what most people would like is a cheaper option for the case, which is impossible to produce cheaply right now using prototyping techniques (3D printing, laser/water-cut acrylic sheets, CNC milling).

I understand the idea is a fully-assembled keyboard, but I guess if you're releasing the injection molding design, then perhaps someone else can take up manufacturing it. Seems like if it's going to be out there, it might as well come from you, however. I would also presumably lower your cost for case production if you could get hundreds more people to buy the cases in addition to those buying full keyboards.

As a fully assembled product, however, I really don't understand why you're only offering blank keycaps. If the idea is to allow a broader range of people to buy the ErgoDox keyboard, then I would think many of that broader range would want printed keys. Many of the people that use blank keys are the same people that would attempt assembling their own keyboard. You also suggest that people can buy the version without keycaps and add their own, as if it's so easy to source ErgoDox keycaps (it is not). I would think you're trying to solve the supply issues and would thus offer printed keycaps as an option. Adding SKUs is always problematic, but I wonder what most people who plan on buying your keyboards actually want - perhaps a poll would help figure out what kinds of keycaps people want – I could always be wrong.
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Unread post15 Mar 2015, 08:10

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