Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions

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Harshmallow

16 Mar 2017, 17:31

Image

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

16 Mar 2017, 18:53

Thanks for your feedback Wodan! I think every issue you mentioned, came up in some other way, but I like the way that you presented them!. I've got ten pages of feedback that are going into the next version...

andrewjoy

17 Mar 2017, 22:39

It now has the correct caps on.
IMG_20170317_213538.jpg
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Few points.

The sliders on the none default caps are very loose, i have tried doubleshot PBT round 4 and standard cherry caps /
Some switches bind with none standard caps , jamming on the cap for a while fixes it .

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fohat
Elder Messenger

17 Mar 2017, 22:59

andrewjoy wrote:
It now has the correct caps on.
Truly a thing of beauty. I do not usually play the caps game, but that is exquisite.
What set is that, or does it have pieces from more than one?

andrewjoy

17 Mar 2017, 23:01

That is an original round 4 set with the repair kit to make the long keys the right length and profile.

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fohat
Elder Messenger

17 Mar 2017, 23:19

andrewjoy wrote:
That is an original round 4 set with the repair kit to make the long keys the right length and profile.
In other words, unobtainium?

I used to count myself fortunate in not being an MX or Topre fanboy and ignoring that universe, but I plan to get one of these XMIT keyboards as soon as the tactile version comes online, and now I realize that the key cap sets that I would want will be astronomical in price and out of reach.

When you snooze, you lose.

andrewjoy

17 Mar 2017, 23:22

I think the same colors are in the latest round.

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zslane

18 Mar 2017, 00:03

Round 4 SPH was reborn in Round 6, but I'm not sure if there are enough kits in the Round 6 leftovers to cover an entire keyboard at this point.

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fohat
Elder Messenger

18 Mar 2017, 00:56

zslane wrote: Round 4 SPH was reborn in Round 6, but I'm not sure if there are enough kits in the Round 6 leftovers to cover an entire keyboard at this point.
I am probably cooked.

I don't even know how to enter into a group buy, much less navigate the minutiae of cobbling together multiple pieces.

The process has always seemed impossibly byzantine, and that in itself has been a barrier to me.

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Elrick

18 Mar 2017, 02:58

fohat wrote: I don't even know how to enter into a group buy, much less navigate the minutiae of cobbling together multiple pieces.

The process has always seemed impossibly byzantine, and that in itself has been a barrier to me.
I did the Round 5 effort, scary when ordering and YES you will amend your order a thousand times till it finally sits at the correct number for your keyboards.

Very complicated but eventually you will get your keys. I'm no bright spark when it comes to internet usage let alone online ordering but if idiot ME can make a full on key-cap order with 7bit's system, then any monkey with half a brain can do it as well.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

18 Mar 2017, 03:45

FWIW, the Chinese SA clone set by MAXKEY fits the board beautifully. I wonder if I could convince MAXKEY to do Round 4 style colors.

Since Signature Plastics is booked out for two years and rejecting Round 7, I will abandon my plan for XMIT Keyboards to partner with them on any project work any time soon. :o That's unfortunate as I'd like to keep some business within the US but fear that it will be too difficult to do so.

If anyone is keeping track, EnjoyPBT works beautifully on the Hall boards as well. I should have some sets in hand in about a week and will have photos to share with you soon after.

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Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

18 Mar 2017, 04:25

fohat wrote:
andrewjoy wrote:
It now has the correct caps on.
Truly a thing of beauty. I do not usually play the caps game, but that is exquisite.
What set is that, or does it have pieces from more than one?
I was thinking the exact same thing. I went into the 447 page long Round 5/Round 6 thread to try and decipher everything there. From the best of my 'ciphering ability, it looks like there was ordering open for a "Round 6 Round 2" where we could have ordered that color combination, or pretty close (HONEYB/TENKLESS/SPH or HONEYB/TKL/SPH), but ordering closed sometime within the past couple of weeks. And production isn't going to be finished on that until late 2017? Painful. :? :?

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zslane

18 Mar 2017, 04:45

For 7bit's Round 6, the four colors BLUE, SPH (grey), VIOLETT, and CREAM were all produced and delivered to buyers back in January. That was phase 1. All that's left are various and sundry "leftover" kits. Phase 2 consist of the Honeywell colors WHITE, GREY, BLACK, and RED and won't go into production until the end of the year. However, there isn't much left of those kits either. You have to realize that ordering for Round 6 began back in September of 2014. If you're over two years late to the party, you won't find much still hanging around.

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Virtureal

20 Mar 2017, 18:03

Got mine today and except for the fact that it was loose in its box and several caps had been knocked loose everything is good. I like the feel and love the look of bamboo on my wooden desk.

I will be looking forward to hearing more about the software that can be used to program it, especially when it includes the ability to program the function layer (and maybe even the lights :) ) as that is the biggest reason I have for wanting a programming tool.

EDIT: I got the 60% version and I just found a pretty bad implementation detail, which I hope is fixable in firmware and not a hardware limitation. It is currently impossible to select text without using the mouse, probably because the shift keys both have function layer functions. This is just another reason that it is very important that we are able to reprogram the function layers.

EDIT2: No way to Alt+F4 etc either. Modifier keys cannot be used as function layer keys as it just creates so many problems.

stracciatiera

25 Mar 2017, 19:35

I just kind of omnomed through this thread after I watched Chyros’ review. That really sounds like great news, wonder why I didn’t read about it before. I was planning on building a keyboard on my own with used Alps, but I hadn’t hall effect switches in mind (well, there were none, but I didn’t know that either …). I think this clack as a sound fits them well. It would be nice to have the choice between linear and clicky, both dampened like cream/ivory Alps and undampened. I like loud switches a bit more, but am working in an open office, so I’d like to have both.

What I don’t like is this typewriter heritage of shifted rows. I’d like to have a keyboard with a layout like this (still working on it):
keyboard-layout_20170317_neo_d_crop.png
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The nav cluster expanded to a Numpad, the rows aligned vertically and the F-keys on the other side of the main block, so it’s less of a stretch, makes the keyboard more symmetrical and you can push it further away from you when you need space for paper work or whatever. I see, there will be no way that layout will go into production anywhere, so it would be great if the HE keys could be purchased separately.

It would be even greater if the switches indeed evolved into something with removable dampers and click leaves and with adjustable weighting. That would bring key switches to a whole new level.

And thick spherical PBT/POM double shots. Sphericals, hall effect and loud. Best of 70s and 2017.

Maybe with backlighting. I don’t like that unicorn puke neither, but simple white backlighting can be useful.

Oh, and:
andrewjoy wrote: Lets face it , all USB connections apart form full sized A B and C all suck arse, as do most modern connectors, don't even get me started on HDMI ( also known as the i am too cheap to use DVI-D connector), RCA being used over over vastly superior BNC and so on , ok i will stop now.
Exactly my words. I like detachable coiled cables that stay in place when plugged in. That really rules out all modern consumer standards.

andrewjoy

27 Mar 2017, 11:28

stracciatiera wrote: Exactly my words. I like detachable coiled cables that stay in place when plugged in. That really rules out all modern consumer standards.

Apart from displayport.

You could get a custom coiled DIsplayport and they have locking pins.

codemonkeymike

27 Mar 2017, 16:48

@stracciatiera There is a post about detachable cables in the workshop section, you should check that out.

stracciatiera

02 Apr 2017, 01:04

Thanks both of you. Locking pins sounds good.

There is one downside to the HE switches: They use the rare earth element Neodymium, which to produce seems to be quite a dirty business.

Drest

04 Apr 2017, 20:14

Are there any plans on an ISO layout keyboard?

mr_grandis

20 Apr 2017, 21:37

Will you continue to develop the programmable firmware?

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

20 Apr 2017, 21:53

mr_grandis wrote: Will you continue to develop the programmable firmware?
Yes. A bit overwhelmed at the moment with day job and family life but everything is progressing, albeit slowly.

Rama Dwipa

02 Feb 2018, 03:51

is there any progress right now? it has been nearly a year now...

rich1051414

02 Feb 2018, 04:18

Rama Dwipa wrote: is there any progress right now? it has been nearly a year now...
We are awaiting fulfillment of round 2, which you missed :(

Round 2 comes with click leafs.

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Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

02 Feb 2018, 04:23

I'm waiting for my round two TKL keyboard (clicky and tactile FTW) but I'd be interested in hearing if there has been any progress on the programmable firmware. Not sure if that's what Rama meant, though.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

02 Feb 2018, 13:56

I'm sorry to say that I haven't made any progress on true programmable firmware. The keyboard factory does have a key remapping tool that we've been trying to clean up for release for a little while. But it's slow going because they themselves subcontract development of that tool, don't have source code for it, don't have a good sense of what someone actually using the tool would need, are slow to fix bugs, and really have no vested interest in working on it at all once keyboards are sold.

Good news, though, is that the factory thinks they'll finish production by Chinese New Year.

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TuxKey
LLAP

02 Feb 2018, 17:09

XMIT wrote: I'm sorry to say that I haven't made any progress on true programmable firmware. The keyboard factory does have a key remapping tool that we've been trying to clean up for release for a little while. But it's slow going because they themselves subcontract development of that tool, don't have source code for it, don't have a good sense of what someone actually using the tool would need, are slow to fix bugs, and really have no vested interest in working on it at all once keyboards are sold.
i was just looking true the posts and thinking what about program-ability?
I wouldn't blame the manufacturer for not having vested interest in working on firmware/software after the product is sold the same goes for many if not all manufactures out there..Even big names like Samsung has the same with their phones /tv's and so on.. same goes for Logitech with their harmony products..i guess that's what you get in a monetary system focus lies on the quick win not long term.

But what i don't like about most manufactures is their fear of using OpenSource alternatives.
or at least making their products compatible with something like QMK.. And just tell people this board is not programmable but compatible with x-y open source project but we do not support the use of it basically you are on your own.
That would make the product far more appealing then locking it down with virtual chains and saying have fun.!!

btw typing on a board with aftermarket Hasu controller ;-)

7amda

05 Feb 2018, 17:27

does the optical switch seems alot better than this hall effect switch?

rich1051414

05 Feb 2018, 20:24

7amda wrote: does the optical switch seems alot better than this hall effect switch?
No. It is no less complicated technically, but it has more limitations, like problems with being used in direct sunlight.

Not saying anything specific is any 'better' than anything else, just talking solely about inherent characteristics.

7amda

05 Feb 2018, 20:40

rich1051414 wrote:
7amda wrote: does the optical switch seems alot better than this hall effect switch?
No. It is no less complicated technically, but it has more limitations, like problems with being used in direct sunlight.

Not saying anything specific is any 'better' than anything else, just talking solely about inherent characteristics.
IMO i don't see something promising about the hall effect switch. zowie recently made a keyboard based on the flaretech optical switch. I think that optical switch is the future.

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Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

05 Feb 2018, 22:56

This is not the appropriate thread to sell optical switches. Please feel free to create a new thread for discussion about that and to debate contactless switch types.

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