HHKB refresh in 2019?

the_marsbar

16 Nov 2018, 13:27

This was also posted on geekhack, but I suppose someone here would be interested too...

It seems like a refresh (whathever that means) is coming in 2019 according to the information in the article here: https://www.keychatter.com/2018/11/13/h ... fall-2019/

I'm curious if they're redesigning the Pro to look like the BT, or if they'll make changes to the BT version too.

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Elrick

17 Nov 2018, 03:56

Maybe they'll include an Aluminium Casing this time.

Or maybe those wanting to spend $1000+USD perhaps a Carbon-Fiber casing, light and indestructible.

Pity they're still sticking with this tiny footprint, instead of going with the normal (standard) sized layout.

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stratokaster

17 Nov 2018, 10:02

Elrick wrote: Pity they're still sticking with this tiny footprint, instead of going with the normal (standard) sized layout.
The layout is HHKB's raison d'être. If you want a bigger Topre board, there are Realforce and Leopold.

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Elrick

17 Nov 2018, 10:38

stratokaster wrote: The layout is HHKB's raison d'être. If you want a bigger Topre board, there are Realforce and Leopold.
You should know by now, taking the piss out on all the HHKB lovers, out there ;) .

It's an Aussie tradition, when it comes to making fun of the Serious Collector's in this style of keyboard....

"Realforce" is and will always be the absolute KING of Thorpie World.

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adhoc

10 Dec 2018, 14:29

I honestly can’t take an aussie poster seriously. You’re all shitposters on the internet. I met an Australian couple once in Japan and they were nice. They didn’t even swear and I was sure that Australian language, in entirety, consists of cunt or mate or a combination of the two.

andrewjoy

10 Dec 2018, 17:47

Possibly for that price they are doing to switch to a metal plate ?

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stratokaster

10 Dec 2018, 17:53

andrewjoy wrote: Possibly for that price they are doing to switch to a metal plate ?
I hope not.

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Muirium
µ

10 Dec 2018, 21:49

Same here. Love the plastic "plate" HHKB feel. Both while typing and carrying!

The only hard material I'd be intrigued to see them try is Elrick's carbon fibre. But even then, it probably wouldn't feel as good. Too much like a Realforce.

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hansichen

10 Dec 2018, 22:28

There is stuff that could be improved: USB C, an improved usb hub, programmability options etc. But I have to agree: the overall feel of a hhkb is nice. It's light but it doesn't feel cheap or anything and you can use it as a nice travel board. Though I wish they would bring some more weight options, 45g topre is too heavy for me :D

Paspie

07 Feb 2019, 21:17

An ISO version (or ANSI keysets for various localisations) would be nice.

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subcat

07 Feb 2019, 21:25

hhkb isn’t hhkb in iso, 100% not happening

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St0ckz

07 Feb 2019, 21:28

Paspie wrote:
07 Feb 2019, 21:17
An ISO version (or ANSI keysets for various localisations) would be nice.
>looks at JIS HHKB

Close enough I guess?

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Muirium
µ

07 Feb 2019, 21:45

Oh yeah, looks totally indistinguishable from ISO to me…
Image
…says the ANSI user.

Honestly speaking, the bizarre placement of both (!?) Fn keys would throw me just as much as the brackets. But what would kill it for me would be the itty-bitty-spacebar (which I love) in the wrong bloody position (which I hate with a thousand mis-spaced suns). Put it under N and M for the love of telltale ABS shine!

I can imagine an ISO HHKB, but it wouldn't be that. Think of the ANSI version, and squeeze the Backspace key up top like they did on the JP. You're still a key short though, aren't you?
Last edited by Muirium on 07 Feb 2019, 21:50, edited 1 time in total.

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depletedvespene

07 Feb 2019, 21:50

subcat wrote:
07 Feb 2019, 21:25
hhkb isn’t hhkb in iso, 100% not happening
It's quite more likely to get HHKB in TIE that in ISO.

But it would still be HHKB, so... :mrgreen:

Paspie

07 Feb 2019, 23:13

Muirium wrote:
07 Feb 2019, 21:45
I can imagine an ISO HHKB, but it wouldn't be that. Think of the ANSI version, and squeeze the Backspace key up top like they did on the JP. You're still a key short though, aren't you?
That key specifically being the pipe key which, in the ISO layout, is moved to the left of Z (with a slimmer left shift). Obviously the right Alt would have to be changed to AltGr as well.

For the UK layout it would be fine. Some European layouts might need more thought due to the extra letters in place of some of the 'punctuation' keys.

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hansichen

07 Feb 2019, 23:38

There are some big issues of the hhkb jp for an iso user:
- the zxc row is shifted by 0,25u and not standard (2u shift instead of 2,25u shift
- no right shift key in a normal/usable position (unless you wanna use the 1u \ key as a shift key
- no 2u backspace
The later two things are obviously due to the JP layout but that pretty much kills it for me. I'll rather adjust to the original hhkb layout than use a JP HHKB.

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Muirium
µ

07 Feb 2019, 23:42

Indeed! I'd forgotten all about the JP's insane non-standard stagger. That alone would drive me nuts!
Paspie wrote:
07 Feb 2019, 23:13
Muirium wrote:
07 Feb 2019, 21:45
I can imagine an ISO HHKB, but it wouldn't be that. Think of the ANSI version, and squeeze the Backspace key up top like they did on the JP. You're still a key short though, aren't you?
That key specifically being the pipe key which, in the ISO layout, is moved to the left of Z (with a slimmer left shift). Obviously the right Alt would have to be changed to AltGr as well.

For the UK layout it would be fine. Some European layouts might need more thought due to the extra letters in place of some of the 'punctuation' keys.
Sure, an ISO HHKB would have to shorten Left Shift down to that (pain in the arse) wee 1.25u key it is on ISO boards everywhere.

Here's the thing about ISO: the extra key it has over ANSI comes from that short Shift. The big Return key that's so characteristic of ISO swallows up most of the space freed up by removing ANSI Return *and* the 1.5u key above it. You're substituting 2 keys for 2 different keys over there. Which an HHKB ISO could do physically just fine, but with consequences in which logical key goes where. HHKB Backspace is a major part of the HHKB's layout genius for me. If you pop that up on the top row, even as a single unit key, something else has to come on down. Backslash, maybe? Tucked next to ISO Return?

But that symmetry! Nah, the true HHKB is and will always be ANSI for me.

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depletedvespene

08 Feb 2019, 00:30

Muirium wrote:
07 Feb 2019, 23:42
Here's the thing about ISO: the extra key it has over ANSI comes from that short Shift. The big Return key that's so characteristic of ISO swallows up most of the space freed up by removing ANSI Return *and* the 1.5u key above it. You're substituting 2 keys for 2 different keys over there. Which an HHKB ISO could do physically just fine, but with consequences in which logical key goes where. HHKB Backspace is a major part of the HHKB's layout genius for me. If you pop that up on the top row, even as a single unit key, something else has to come on down. Backslash, maybe? Tucked next to ISO Return?

But that symmetry! Nah, the true HHKB is and will always be ANSI for me.
Well, far it be from me that I'd want to help improve the HHKB keyboard, BUT... wouldn't that be what the split space would be a natural solution for?
jjlv.png
HHKB ISO with split space (and a second Fn, because DUH).
jjlv.png (14.35 KiB) Viewed 991 times
While we're at it, The left Shift key could be kept short, but moved 1U to the right, and a leftside Fn added on the corner.

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hansichen

08 Feb 2019, 09:29

Nice. Then everybody who actually uses iso would hit the Fn key.

the_marsbar

08 Feb 2019, 09:31

One of my favourite features of the HHKB is the location of Backspace. So...

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HzFaq

08 Feb 2019, 10:16

Regarding an ISO HHKB...

I couldn't get on with the HHKB for a few reasons, mostly around the blank corners and the left shift and missing ISO key so my concession which I've been using for a few years now and really like is the one below. All the fun of the right side of the HHKB with the added functionality of extra keys in the corners and on the left.
Spoiler:
Image
I do break the HHKB out every now and then, but even with a programmable layout, the missing keys kill it for me which is a shame as I really like the feel of the board and switches. The FN layer is one of my own as well, the HHKB FN layer sort of makes sense to me, but I'd been using a FN layout of my own for about 2 years before touching a HHKB and was already institutionalized by that point :lol: .

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hansichen

08 Feb 2019, 10:20

I'm mostly fine with the "missing" keys by now but sometimes I miss my right ctrl key. Especially with some chat software you might need ctrl+enter combos which always require two hands on an hhkb while you only need one hand for it on a "normal" board.

The missing iso key is really unfortunate as it makes you wanna spend another 50$ on a hasu controller...

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Laser
emacs -nw

08 Feb 2019, 10:53

I think Hasu's controller really is a requirement, mapping Enter for dual-action key (RCtrl, Enter) is quite useful indeed :)

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Muirium
µ

08 Feb 2019, 11:00

Bluetooth alone makes it indispensable.

The stock HHKB was a strange experience for me. I knew exactly what I was getting in form factor and layout, loving those to bits. But the USB hub was a nightmare. So much power draw! Managed to put a real dent in my laptop’s run time and wouldn’t work on iPad at all. What a mess! All for a feature I never had any desire at all to use. The irony was this ideal travel sized keyboard became as anchored to my desk as boards twice and more its size. Until Hasu!

Nowadays, I use it on Bluetooth about 100% of the time, and have never run out of juice on the keyboard. My laptop gets hours extra, and the iPad has become a remarkably better suited workhorse for writing. His controller has completely rejuvenated what was always meant to be the perfect keyboard.

The programmability is nice, too. I’ve been making more use of that lately. But honestly for me it’s the Bluetooth that makes it real.

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hansichen

08 Feb 2019, 11:11

The battery time of the hasu controller sounds pretty horrible though. At that price I'd rather buy the original hhkb bt instead.

Do we know whether the USB hub is the reason for the power draw? In that case there should be a noticeable difference between the Pro 1 and Pro 2 boards.

I guess in the end I'll just go with a software solution to get my iso key and save the 50$ for the controller.

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Laser
emacs -nw

08 Feb 2019, 11:26

In theory, you could also use an Arduino Micro (or Teensy) and an Adafruit "BLE SPI Friend" and make your own HHKB alternative controller, with Bluetooth 4 - using QMK firmware, which has support for this combination. And Hasu was kind enough to show how to make a DIY controller, instead of buying his own (section "Hardware Implementation -> (1) DIY Alt Controller" on this page: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=12047.0 )

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Muirium
µ

08 Feb 2019, 11:31

That’s a route I intend to explore for other keyboards, now I’m so hooked on Bluetooth!

Re: battery life. Hasu’s controller has several day battery life for me. I think he was overly cautious in his description and needlessly put many people off. Honestly, I’ve never even triggered the low power warning, let alone run out of juice. I just charge it alongside my other USB devices, in particular the iPad which it so often partners with. Even when I forget, no problem.

Image

Besides, my HHKB is Type-S and AA humpback free!

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hansichen

08 Feb 2019, 11:44

Even charging a keyboard once per week is rather troublesome compared to the ~ 3 months of the original hhkb bluetooth (which is pretty bad itself compared to "normal" keyboards which sometimes last over a year). Custom bluetooth software is sadly pretty bad so far.

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Muirium
µ

08 Feb 2019, 12:42

I believe the hardware is what limits us. The wired HHKB wasn’t designed for power saving. It’s polling away in there, whenever turned on.

Meanwhile, my Magic Trackpad can go a few months on a charge. But when it’s out of juice, I have to find my bloody AA charger. Where’d I put it this time? And why did you have to go and fail NOW ya jammy get?

There’s much to be said for charging via USB *and* functioning while doing so! Reverting to a perfectly usable USB keyboard is the ideal fail safe.

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Laser
emacs -nw

08 Feb 2019, 13:00

The Plum BT versions have a sleep function, and they enter it after some time (~1 hour?) if not used. Using the 'Wake' key (which is probably polled, but much slower, or has some watchdog-like service attached), the keyboard can be woken up when needed again (you can press any other key to wake the keyboard up, but it takes a longer time - which suggests again a much slower polling). Something like this (I'm not sure if it's not already implemented in QMK, I think I saw something resembling this in Wez Furlong's code from which BLE QMK functionality was derived IIRC) is a nice trick that can make the keyboard battery last longer.

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