Unicomp SSK delayed, new Model M design coming

User avatar
sharktastica

29 Mar 2020, 20:46

TLDR:
  • The "Mini M" has been delayed (by about 6 weeks), but they still close to finishing with "over a thousand sets" of parts produced.
  • The modular connection for the Mini is USB Type A
  • Whilst not NKRO, the Mini's membrane layout has been optimised to reduce "the possible number of phantom keys"
  • A new compact 104/105 key Model M is coming and will be on sale 31st March - basically, an SSK with the tenkey part readded
  • The new compact full-size weights 1.67kg (3 lbs. 11 oz. in funny units), and they say it'll be the most rugged keyboard they have
  • The new compact does not have the updated membrane or modular connection (at least, not right away)
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Source: https://www.facebook.com/PCKeyboard/pos ... 2426444717
Last edited by sharktastica on 29 Mar 2020, 21:10, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
depletedvespene

29 Mar 2020, 20:56

Even limited reprogrammability on the new units would be the one addition that is still lacking.

I'll still be getting mine when they start churning out ISO SSKs, though. :-D

User avatar
sharktastica

29 Mar 2020, 21:03

Agreed about the reprogrammability, but I'm still excited to get my one. Above all, I was really hoping for Type C more than anything. But still, it's not like we've lost a feature (just could have been better). I suspect Type C mods will happen (should be easy enough to do).

The new compact is really interesting though, especially since it brings the design language of the family closer together - since the Ultra Classic was made with tooling repurposed from a Japan-only Model M, it always did look out of place compared to its bigger and smaller cousins (I still liked them though). Speaking of, they didn't clarify if the Ultras were going to be discontinued.

stormcrash

30 Mar 2020, 03:38

Oh wow, wasn't expecting them to announce a new full size board! Looks like an SSK that grew back a numpad, or a Classic that's gone on a slight diet. Really hope they get enough interest to stock the pearl color for the Tenkeyless and New Model M, though I must say these new models look much nicer in black than the older ones

kmnov2017

30 Mar 2020, 14:11

I'd say these new model need to be in industrial grey....

User avatar
daedalus
Buckler Of Springs

30 Mar 2020, 14:37

I've long wondered what a 101/104-key case with the same bezel dimensions as the SSK would look like. This looks miles better than the current 5576-C01 case they use right now.

My one gripe with this announcement is that SSK is using a USB-A connector on the keyboard side. This is a no-no from the USB spec point of view, and may make it harder to acquire replacement cables in the long run. If they had used Micro USB, they would have got latching inside the connector itself, as well as providing a much more standard cable design. USB-C is also pretty stable and has the advantage of being easier to insert.

User avatar
sharktastica

30 Mar 2020, 15:04

daedalus wrote:
30 Mar 2020, 14:37
I've long wondered what a 101/104-key case with the same bezel dimensions as the SSK would look like. This looks miles better than the current 5576-C01 case they use right now.
Agreed. I don't think the old case was necessarily bad though, it just never fit in with the family's design language (nor does it really fit with the other 5576 keyboards for that matter).
daedalus wrote:
30 Mar 2020, 14:37
My one gripe with this announcement is that SSK is using a USB-A connector on the keyboard side.
Yeah, that's a funny decision on their part. Again, it's not like we've lost a feature, it's just it could be so much better. Micro or Type C would have allowed peeps to simply reuse their artisan USB cables, removing a possible barrier to entry to other keyboard enthusiasts. Anyway, a modern SSK is still a deal for me, so I'm just going to consider a Type C mod once I get mine.

kmnov2017

30 Mar 2020, 15:56

For all those missing a USB C - for whatever reason! - you can use this https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3302325 ... hweb201603_

kmnov2017

30 Mar 2020, 18:04


Tim

31 Mar 2020, 09:18

That bottom row though .. why?

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

31 Mar 2020, 09:22

kmnov2017 wrote:
30 Mar 2020, 18:04
Here's the new model M - https://www.pckeyboard.com/page/product/UT40U4A
Does anyone else feel like their listing for a new product is almost insulting? No description at all, and they only included one image.

kmnov2017

31 Mar 2020, 09:27

Redmaus wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 09:22
kmnov2017 wrote:
30 Mar 2020, 18:04
Here's the new model M - https://www.pckeyboard.com/page/product/UT40U4A
Does anyone else feel like their listing for a new product is almost insulting? No description at all, and they only included one image.
It's not insulting, but incompetence. Its no different for their other products.

User avatar
depletedvespene

31 Mar 2020, 14:58

kmnov2017 wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 09:27
Redmaus wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 09:22
kmnov2017 wrote:
30 Mar 2020, 18:04
Here's the new model M - https://www.pckeyboard.com/page/product/UT40U4A
Does anyone else feel like their listing for a new product is almost insulting? No description at all, and they only included one image.
It's not insulting, but incompetence. Its no different for their other products.
Hey, at least this one doesn't have an "image coming soon" placeholder, which then proceeds to remain in place for eight years (and counting, as is for some of the products on sale).

User avatar
depletedvespene

31 Mar 2020, 15:01

Tim wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 09:18
That bottom row though .. why?
They probably didn't care to make the effort of switching from the current 5.75u space bar to a 5.5u one (making the new mod 1.5U instead of the nonsensical 1.25u). Not to say anything of split space bars...

User avatar
zrrion

31 Mar 2020, 20:38

We have the same discussion about the bottom row like every week. Its so they can support tsangan and a more modern 3/SB/4 layout with a single barrel plate.

User avatar
depletedvespene

31 Mar 2020, 20:40

zrrion wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 20:38
We have the same discussion about the bottom row like every week. Its so they can support tsangan and a more modern 3/SB/4 layout with a single barrel plate.
We know. Let us complain, nevertheless. :mrgreen:

User avatar
zrrion

31 Mar 2020, 20:43

Idk, it feels weird to complain about when its a simple cap swap to get the correct bottom row.
Unless I am mistaken and people want a 3x 1.25u/SB/4x 1.25u bottom row?

User avatar
depletedvespene

31 Mar 2020, 21:02

zrrion wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 20:43
Idk, it feels weird to complain about when its a simple cap swap to get the correct bottom row.
Unless I am mistaken and people want a 3x 1.25u/SB/4x 1.25u bottom row?
Older Unicomp Model M keyboards had 'em. I certainly prefer the 1.5/1.0/1.5 disposition.

Tim

31 Mar 2020, 21:54

depletedvespene wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 21:02
zrrion wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 20:43
Idk, it feels weird to complain about when its a simple cap swap to get the correct bottom row.
Unless I am mistaken and people want a 3x 1.25u/SB/4x 1.25u bottom row?
Older Unicomp Model M keyboards had 'em. I certainly prefer the 1.5/1.0/1.5 disposition.
This is my preference too: 1.5/1/1.5 - SB - 1.5/1/1.5 because it mostly resembles the original M layout (with extra 1U keys).
So my remark was directed at the weird 1.25U key next to the spacebar. It looks out of place in my opinion.

User avatar
Half-Saint

01 Apr 2020, 00:05

Why not just use a full size USB B connector? It's rugged and easy to insert yet hard to accidentaly yank out, the cables are cheap and easy to find. I always felt that the micro USB connector looks and feels out of place on a full size computer keyboard.

stormcrash

01 Apr 2020, 00:16

Half-Saint wrote:
01 Apr 2020, 00:05
Why not just use a full size USB B connector? It's rugged and easy to insert yet hard to accidentaly yank out, the cables are cheap and easy to find. I always felt that the micro USB connector looks and feels out of place on a full size computer keyboard.
According to a reply from Unicomp to a comment on the Facebook post, the B connector was too large, and micro too fragile

Findecanor

01 Apr 2020, 01:44

kmnov2017 wrote:
30 Mar 2020, 15:56
For all those missing a USB C - for whatever reason! - you can use this https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3302325 ... hweb201603_
That would only work if you plugged a A-to-C cable into the C-to-A adaptor.

If you would connect it to a Type-C host port (A-to-C adaptor and C cable, or a single A-to-C cable) then things could get messed up electrically.
I'd think that A-to-C cables is what people would use to connect the keyboard to their laptops that don't have Type A sockets ... in the wrong direction. But A-to-C cables are not made to be plugged in the wrong direction!

Type-C cables carry an additional "Configuration Channel" (CC) wire for determining the direction of current, max current, orientation and other things.
A C-to-A adaptor has the CC line connected to VBUS via a pull-up resistor whereas the host expects a C-to-B cable in which the CC line is connected to GND via a pull-down resistor.
A passive C-to-C cable itself contains no resistor, but an active cable would have a circuit connected to the CC line.
stormcrash wrote:
01 Apr 2020, 00:16
According to a reply from Unicomp to a comment on the Facebook post, the B connector was too large, and micro too fragile
Some Micro B sockets are more fragile than others. The classic type is SMT only and you shouldn't use that one, but there are Micro B sockets now that also have through-hole pins on the shield for more stability.
And you could still use Mini B sockets where all pins are through-hole soldered.
Last edited by Findecanor on 01 Apr 2020, 02:02, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
depletedvespene

01 Apr 2020, 01:51

Tim wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 21:54
depletedvespene wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 21:02
zrrion wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 20:43
Idk, it feels weird to complain about when its a simple cap swap to get the correct bottom row.
Unless I am mistaken and people want a 3x 1.25u/SB/4x 1.25u bottom row?
Older Unicomp Model M keyboards had 'em. I certainly prefer the 1.5/1.0/1.5 disposition.
This is my preference too: 1.5/1/1.5 - SB - 1.5/1/1.5 because it mostly resembles the original M layout (with extra 1U keys).
So my remark was directed at the weird 1.25U key next to the spacebar. It looks out of place in my opinion.
Me too. 1.5U would have been better (and the resulting 5.5U space bar then should have been split into two 2.75U keys).

Findecanor

01 Apr 2020, 02:06

depletedvespene wrote:
01 Apr 2020, 01:51
Tim wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 21:54
depletedvespene wrote:
31 Mar 2020, 21:02


Older Unicomp Model M keyboards had 'em. I certainly prefer the 1.5/1.0/1.5 disposition.
This is my preference too: 1.5/1/1.5 - SB - 1.5/1/1.5 because it mostly resembles the original M layout (with extra 1U keys).
So my remark was directed at the weird 1.25U key next to the spacebar. It looks out of place in my opinion.
Me too. 1.5U would have been better (and the resulting 5.5U space bar then should have been split into two 2.75U keys).
IMO, a bottom row should have a pair of keys of the same type in the same size!

User avatar
depletedvespene

01 Apr 2020, 02:09

Fine, let's just go with:

1.5/1.0/1.5/1.5 / 4 / 1.5/1.5/1.0/1.5

User avatar
Half-Saint

01 Apr 2020, 08:57

stormcrash wrote:
01 Apr 2020, 00:16
Half-Saint wrote:
01 Apr 2020, 00:05
Why not just use a full size USB B connector? It's rugged and easy to insert yet hard to accidentaly yank out, the cables are cheap and easy to find. I always felt that the micro USB connector looks and feels out of place on a full size computer keyboard.
According to a reply from Unicomp to a comment on the Facebook post, the B connector was too large, and micro too fragile
I would prefer an SDL connector anyway but a B should fit just fine. Oh well, too late now.

User avatar
wobbled

01 Apr 2020, 09:41

USB A is absolutely fine.

I don't understand why Micro was ever used, it is the flimsiest connector I've ever seen. One slightly wrong move of the cable when its not mounted to a case will rip your connector off the board.
Not suitable at all for seemingly 'rugged' keyboards.

kmnov2017

01 Apr 2020, 11:49

wobbled wrote:
01 Apr 2020, 09:41
USB A is absolutely fine.

I don't understand why Micro was ever used, it is the flimsiest connector I've ever seen. One slightly wrong move of the cable when its not mounted to a case will rip your connector off the board.
Not suitable at all for seemingly 'rugged' keyboards.
I also believe USB A was the best choice - sturdiest of all. Honestly, I still don't see why people care about connectors - especially USB C? Why the fascination?

Findecanor

01 Apr 2020, 13:24

I think people want the electronics industry to standardise on USB-C mostly so that they won't need to have fifty-eleven different types of USB cables like they have to now.
They are also reversible and more sturdy than most Micro-B, which are surface-mounted only. Through-hole Micro-B does exist, as does reversible Micro B but those are rarer.

User avatar
Half-Saint

01 Apr 2020, 16:02

IMO the keyboard doesn't even HAVE to have a removable cable. I mean, let's be honest here - it's a gimmick. How many times do most users unplug the keyboard cable on the keyboard side? Yeah, that's what I thought.

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