Plum Nano75 Electrastatic Capacitive Bluetooth RGB Keyboard

hexpyws

29 Apr 2017, 20:52

zslane wrote: That light will go off when the battery is fully charged.

The only indicator of battery level that I know of is when the battery gets low the light under the ESC key will blink.
Ok - Thx

Do you what size this spacebar is?
Wanting to get these hi-profile keycaps and it has 6.25u spacebars (or 7u in extra kit)

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x ... rer=JKJA4T

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zslane

29 Apr 2017, 20:55

The Plum has a standard 6.25u spacebar.

hexpyws

29 Apr 2017, 20:55

zslane wrote: The Plum has a standard 6.25u spacebar.
Thx

I'm about to give the programming software a try.

Is there a particular version of Windows that's optimal for that?
I have several to choose from around the house.

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zslane

29 Apr 2017, 21:58

I'm pretty sure it will work with anything Windows 7 or newer. I run it under Windows 10 myself.

The programming software is a little confusing, but I was able to get the hang of the basics after a few trials. One thing I would recommend is putting your keyboard into Pro mode and then in the software do a Read All so that the software starts with each key mapped to the proper starting value before you make changes.

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zslane

29 Apr 2017, 22:21

What I'd really like is a description of the keyboard's sleep/wake behavior.

How long before it goes to sleep? And what is the wake up sequence? Is there a particular key combination I should be pressing to wake the keyboard? How long does it take before it is able to send characters over Bluetooth again? Do I have to press Fn+F10 again to reconnect to my iPad?

What I'm noticing is that after a long period of inactivity, the keyboard seems to go into a low-power sleep state, which is fine. But when I wake the iPad, the keyboard isn't talking to it anymore. I press a key but nothing happens. After a while and enough keypresses they are talking again but I really don't know what I'm doing.

Unfortunately the user manual doesn't talk about this aspect of the keyboard, and I am just randomly pressing keys trying to get it to talk to the iPad again. I'd really like to know the proper wake-up procedure.

hexpyws

01 May 2017, 19:56

@zslane: I haven't yet gotten time to try out the software, but do you know if you can switch which key is the Fn key?

I'm a Mac guy and would love to have the Fn key be where the normal CTRL key is, which I place where Caps Lock is on my different machines. Then I could have a Command Key on both sides of the space bar, as on normal Mac keyboards.

I'm really used to using Command with both hands depending upon which of many different key combos I'm hitting in different tasks.

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zslane

01 May 2017, 20:16

Yes, you can assign FN anywhere you want. I currently have it in the Caps Lock position and I also have it swapped with R-Alt so that R-Alt is where it usually is (next to the spacebar) and FN is the next key over. Keep in mind that your remapped keys only work when the keyboard is switched over to Pro mode.

hexpyws

01 May 2017, 20:17

zslane wrote: Yes, you can assign FN anywhere you want. I currently have it in the Caps Lock position and I also have it swapped with R-Alt so that R-Alt is where it usually is (next to the spacebar) and FN is the next key over. Keep in mind that your remapped keys only work when the keyboard is switched over to Pro mode.
Beautiful… That's just what I wanted to hear thank you

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zslane

02 May 2017, 09:32

So here's a quick update on the waking issue. I noticed that in the programming software, there are three commands you can assign to keys under the category of Power. One of those is "Wake". So I assigned Wake to FN+Menu to see what it would do.

I tested it just now, after the keyboard had been idle for a while (at least 30 minutes, I estimate). When pressing a key didn't wake the iPad, I pressed FN+Menu and then spacebar again. The iPad woke up immediately. So I believe that FN+Menu woke the keyboard, which then allowed the spacebar to wake the iPad as it would normally (when the keyboard isn't in its sleep state).

Wake problem solved. Though I'd still like to know how much idle time it takes for the keyboard to enter its sleep state.

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zslane

02 May 2017, 20:43

Here's a quick pic of the painted board, which I have nicknamed Plum M075:
plum_m075.jpg
plum_m075.jpg (296.81 KiB) Viewed 2347 times
It turns out there's no room inside the case for dampening material. The result is that the switches produce a very loud and pronounced thock sound when typing (I am an inveterate bottom-out typist). Now, I know that Topre switches are famous for their thock sound, but I find that in reality, a genuine Topre board has more of a softer fopp sound. The sound of the Plum is kind of satisfying in its own way, but at work I am a little self-conscious about how loud the thock is.

hexpyws

02 May 2017, 20:54

Very nice!
Did you talk about the painting process/what was involved used anywhere that I missed?

I've been thinking about going down that road at some point - Bit too white for my liking at stock

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zslane

02 May 2017, 21:06

No, I didn't document the process. But it is identical to the process I used for painting my RealForce RGB case top white.

1. Open case and remove board. (This is actually harder than you might expect)
2. Spray multiple coats of VHT vinyl dye "Buckskin Tan" (10 minutes of drying between coats).
3. Allow 24 hours for dye to fully cure/harden. (I should have waited 7 days, but I just couldn't wait that long to start usingit.)
4. Rub down case with soft cotton rag to smooth out all the surfaces.
5. Reassemble keyboard and case.

One tricky bit is that the little white switch that sets the board's "mode" (Office, Media, Pro) will fall out once you remove the daughter board from the case bottom. It takes a little finesse to get it back into position just right while you re-mount the daughter board when reassembling everything.

This board will be for home use. I plan to get another one of these for work and just leave it white. It will get Round 4 SPH keycaps.
Last edited by zslane on 03 May 2017, 02:52, edited 1 time in total.

hexpyws

02 May 2017, 21:29

Very nice! Thanks for sharing!

I also just procured a 2nd 45g Nano 75 RGB (lightly pre-owned)

I'm not sure they are going to make anymore.
Mech Greenhand had commented in a PM to me somewhat to that effect, but maybe I misread what he meant.

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zslane

02 May 2017, 21:47

He told me a few days ago via Aliexpress messaging that he expected to get some more "in a month". I hope that's true. I need one more!

hexpyws

02 May 2017, 21:55

zslane wrote: He told me a few days ago via Aliexpress messaging that he expected to get some more "in a month". I hope that's true. I need one more!
Non-RGB and wired though, yeah?

That's what I'd heard - Basically wired Nano75 non RGB

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zslane

02 May 2017, 22:31

Well, I certainly hope not. The context of the message chain with him was my order for this version of the Plum (the one I messed up and needed the correct firmware binary for).

I need it to be white. I need it to be Bluetooth because it doesn't work wired to an iPad. Don't care about the RGB and wouldn't mind if it were gone, but I need the current model. Trying to find a used one may prove difficult.

hexpyws

03 May 2017, 01:42

@zslane: Thanks for the tips on the programming - Done with little fanfare in about 10 minutes.

Have my Mac centric pro setup rolling like a charm.

What an amazing keyboard and that Programming software takes it over the top as now I don't need any software or macro programs to make the keys do what I'm looking for - Much more reliable!
Total dream! Love this thing!

Now just need my keycaps to arrive next month hopefully! (https://www.massdrop.com/buy/33791)

I also couldn't resist the Matt30 Hi-Profile drop that might make it by the end of the year (https://www.massdrop.com/buy/37451)

Image

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zslane

03 May 2017, 02:51

Yeah, I'm heavily invested in /dev/tty. Looks like a really promising keycap family and set.

I really like this keyboard too. I only wish it were a little quieter when bottoming out.

hexpyws

03 May 2017, 03:04

Yeah, as much as I enjoyed legit Topre boards over the years, the options on these Plums just blows them away for my needs.

1. Much cheaper entry price
2. Form factors not available in genuine Topre
3. Full programmability (also not available unless a custom HHKB or something)
4. Bluetooth wireless - Only HHKB variant has that in legit Topre I believe
5. MX Keycap compatibility (huge!)

There's just so much to love about these clones!

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zslane

03 May 2017, 05:37

Can't really argue with you there. The build quality is a bit lower, but so is the price.

If I could wave a magic wand and make a few changes/improvements, they would be:

1. Eliminate RGB backlighting.
2. Make the bottoming out of the switches as quiet as a RealForce/NovaTouch.
3. Make a true 60% version.

Keep the white case, keep the Bluetooth, keep the programmability, and definitely keep the MX compatibility! I wouldn't even have given this board a first look, much less a second one, had it not been for the MX compatibility.

hexpyws

03 May 2017, 05:53

I really do wonder if all legit Topre's would be more popular if they had MX compatibility.

I think the keycap switching is a big deal in the mech keyboard demographic.

hexpyws

03 May 2017, 06:05

Anyone have any commentary on the battery life on Bluetooth?

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fruitalgorithm

03 May 2017, 11:28

I haven't used this as my main keyboard, so I can't say how long this lasts with continuous usage. I use the Plum Nano 75 on my iPad and with my media center and have to recharge it every two weeks I'd say.

hexpyws

03 May 2017, 17:28

fruitalgorithm wrote: I haven't used this as my main keyboard, so I can't say how long this lasts with continuous usage. I use the Plum Nano 75 on my iPad and with my media center and have to recharge it every two weeks I'd say.
Interesting - That's pretty good all in all
I may try and do a test at home and use it wireless on purpose.

Will report back if I do so

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zslane

03 May 2017, 19:17

Mech Greenhand posted a battery time of 90 hours with the RGB lighting disabled, and about 6 hours with it turned on. But that was the old BT 3.0 model. He believes that with the new low energy BT 4.0 in the newer models, battery life could be as much as 10x longer, which I think we can agree is a stretch.

However, even 300-350 hours (approx 2 weeks, as fruitalgorithm estimates) is pretty good, and probably due in large part to the fact that the keyboard drops into a low-power state sleep mode after a certain amount of inactivity time (the amount of time I don't know and have never seen documented anywhere). I have found it useful to map a key to the Wake function to make it easier to instantly wake the keyboard up. I don't believe there is a default key mapping to this function, and without it, I have found that pressing a key will initiate some sort of waking process, but it takes a long time to actually wake up and reconnect to my iPad.

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paecific.jr

04 May 2017, 05:12

This intrigues me. It will probably be too much for me though. I'm also slightly scared to try Topre, it could convert me.

hexpyws

04 May 2017, 05:16

paecific.jr wrote: I'm also slightly scared to try Topre, it could convert me.
It will - it's awesome

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drakche

04 May 2017, 09:15

hexpyws wrote:
paecific.jr wrote: I'm also slightly scared to try Topre, it could convert me.
It will - it's awesome
I blindly pulled the trigger on a bigger plum and I can say it feels amazing. Especially after a dome swap.

Best impulsive buy as of yet. :D

Sent from my Redmi Pro using Tapatalk

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cookie

04 May 2017, 12:21

Plum != Topre

I've some fake domes lying around, willing to try them out but I am convinced that a Plum can and will NEVER feel like a genuine Topre switch.

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Laser
emacs -nw

04 May 2017, 12:37

cookie wrote: Plum != Topre

I've some fake domes lying around, willing to try them out but I am convinced that a Plum can and will NEVER feel like a genuine Topre switch.
Never is such a strong word ... :mrgreen:

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