F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards

ytirohtksek

06 Jun 2021, 19:38

Ellipse, if we add a low serial after we've already ordered, is it sure to be added or do we need to email you too?

User avatar
Sheepless

06 Jun 2021, 22:59

Chyrosan22 just published the trailer for his F77 review.

User avatar
raoulduke-esq

06 Jun 2021, 23:40

Sheepless wrote:
06 Jun 2021, 22:59
Chyrosan22 just published the trailer for his F77 review.
Mrs. raoulduke-esq:

“He made a trailer… for his review… of a… keyboard?”

Me:

“Yeah he didn’t get earlybird so we have been waiting forever for this!”

Mrs.:

“But he made a trailer…”

Me:

“It’s for the F77- the beige one you liked more than all my other buckling spring boards.”

Mrs. “Oh!!”

User avatar
Sheepless

06 Jun 2021, 23:53

I can't wait for the 20th, to see how much swearing is involved!

cwcowell

07 Jun 2021, 05:51

Help needed with a buckling spring issue.

One key on my F77 snaps onto the barrel solidly, but doesn't buckle the spring when I press it -- it just slides down without an audible or tactile click, like a Cherry MX Red switch, and it doesn't activate the key.

I've looked in the manual and watched the troubleshooting videos. When snapping the keycap on, I make sure to hold the keyboard vertically with the space bar toward the top, so the outward-facing end of the spring is in the right position to seat with the inside of the keycap. I've fixed a similar problem with other keys using this technique, so I understand how it's supposed to work. But for this one key, that strategy doesn't help.

Moving on, I pulled the spring off the flipper knob of the problematic key, hoping to turn the spring around and re-attach it upside-down. I notice there's a small (10 degree?) bend in the spring, and I wonder if that is what's preventing it from buckling?

Regardless of whether the bend is causing the problem, I can't seem to re-attach it to the flipper knob. I've stuck a sewing needle down the middle of the spring to keep the spring placed on top of the flipper knob, and then I try the "slide your tweezers down the spring, starting from fairly low down" strategy. But it fails to slide onto the knob, or maybe fails to stay attached to it. I can't tell if the opening of the spring has been stretched wider so it's not tight enough to stay attached to the knob (seems unlikely, since it was pretty hard to pull off of the knob originally), or if I'm not pressing it down with enough force on the tweezers, or what.

I don't have any screwdrivers skinny enough to fit down the middle of the spring, and I'm not clear on how the chopstick method is supposed to work.

Does anyone have suggestions for reattaching the spring to the flipper knob?

Ellipse

07 Jun 2021, 18:51

Here is the link to Chyrosran22's video for those who want to check it out. I especially liked the stop motion type animation with the keys and the synchronization of the animation of the keys with the music.
cwcowell if there was a bend in the spring it was probably damaged somehow, maybe from installing a key and the spring getting caught, or from removing the spring. Did you twist the spring in a counterclockwise manner when removing it? If you are saying that you just pulled off the spring, that may have been the issue. Unfortunately there is no fixing a damaged spring - it needs to be replaced with one from your First Aid Kit or extra springs.

ytirohtksek feel free to PM me or email me to double check, but usually I update the orders database right after receiving any serial upgrade because I have to change the serial as well for that keyboard.

cwcowell

07 Jun 2021, 19:49

Ellipse wrote:
07 Jun 2021, 18:51

cwcowell if there was a bend in the spring it was probably damaged somehow, maybe from installing a key and the spring getting caught, or from removing the spring. Did you twist the spring in a counterclockwise manner when removing it? If you are saying that you just pulled off the spring, that may have been the issue.
Ellipse thanks for the response.

Good news: 10th time was the charm. I finally managed to tweezer the spring back onto the flipper knob, and despite the minor bend it works fine now. I didn't do anything differently to re-attach it -- it just magically worked. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

BTW, great, great, great keyboard that I enjoy using every day.

Also, a neat thing I discovered: mapping the keys immediately above the left-arrow and right-arrow to "page up" and "page down" gives you ThinkPad-like behavior, which is convenient for scrolling around text, code, or web pages.

Fractal

09 Jun 2021, 04:44

Hi, I just got my keyboard today (with preinstalled keys), and my right arrow key isn't working. I've tried reinstalling it dozens of times following the procedure in the video, and nothing looks or sounds wrong with the spring. I didn't buy a first aid kit, and I don't by any means feel confident disassembling the keyboard to figure out what's wrong.

I'm also having issues with multiple quick keypresses registering in the wrong order. Is this a problem that can be fixed by modifying the firmware? (I have QMK)

I'd really appreciate if someone could please help me, because I'm really not happy right now.

edit: I tried opening the signal monitor app, and the number for the problem key is increasing a little bit but not very much when it's pressed or removed; is that a problem with the PCB?

Ellipse

10 Jun 2021, 06:57

Recently I have been exchanging emails with someone who has followed the manual carefully and with permission I am posting some photos of their Model F setup to open up the inner assembly, as some flippers got stuck after the keyboard was bounced around in shipping (!). The setup was so nice that I thought it would be worth sharing! Certainly nicer and cleaner looking than my own setup!
setup (1).jpg
setup (1).jpg (532.76 KiB) Viewed 2302 times
setup (2).jpg
setup (2).jpg (548.41 KiB) Viewed 2302 times
As a general note to everyone, please do follow the written manual for troubleshooting. It will save you headaches trying to reinvent the wheel when the fastest path to getting things up and running has already been figured out and documented. I've personally inspected over 1,000 new Model F keyboards and have documented the quickest ways to get things up and running, having learned many of these methods reading on the DT, GH, and r/MK forums over many years.

If anyone has any additional troubleshooting tips not found in the manual please do share here so that I can update the manual.

And if anything is not clear in the manual please do suggest what to change.

(I've been messaging Fractal over email. It's likely that the 16th column containing only that one bottom right key is in need of being touched up on both the controller side and on the large capacitive PCB. Same situation with the right Ctrl key on the F62 by the way. It's odd that the soldering gets damaged during shipping because I test each key 100% before mailing out each keyboard.)

reqozuxu

10 Jun 2021, 08:25

Sheepless wrote:
06 Jun 2021, 23:53
I can't wait for the 20th, to see how much swearing is involved!
+1 I have the same goal! :D

goofy9x

12 Jun 2021, 18:43

Wazrach wrote:
03 Jun 2021, 10:37
I-I purchased mine even earlier, with a low serial! *sweats*
Have the shipping notification email come to you? I haven't received mine, yet. :cry: My custom S/N order was placed later than yours, but the same day as ironicmoustache

User avatar
Wazrach

12 Jun 2021, 18:55

goofy9x wrote:
12 Jun 2021, 18:43
Wazrach wrote:
03 Jun 2021, 10:37
I-I purchased mine even earlier, with a low serial! *sweats*
Have the shipping notification email come to you? I haven't received mine, yet. :cry: My custom S/N order was placed later than yours, but the same day as ironicmoustache
Nah I'm still waiting. I added some stuff since (after making sure it's all in stock), and was told it wouldn't make a difference to my wait.

I ordered black keycaps and springs so I can use my F77 again, as well as one of those beautiful true red F62 cases.

I'm so, so excited.

goofy9x

12 Jun 2021, 19:21

Wazrach wrote:
12 Jun 2021, 18:55
goofy9x wrote:
12 Jun 2021, 18:43
Wazrach wrote:
03 Jun 2021, 10:37
I-I purchased mine even earlier, with a low serial! *sweats*
Have the shipping notification email come to you? I haven't received mine, yet. :cry: My custom S/N order was placed later than yours, but the same day as ironicmoustache
Nah I'm still waiting. I added some stuff since (after making sure it's all in stock), and was told it wouldn't make a difference to my wait.

I ordered black keycaps and springs so I can use my F77 again, as well as one of those beautiful true red F62 cases.

I'm so, so excited.
Yeah, me too. First thing I check every morning is my inbox.
My order is also nothing out of ordinary: industrial grey F77 with HHKB lay out, regular keyset, a first-aid kit and some more bumpers.
It's "nice" to know that I'm in good company :D
Please keep us updated!

User avatar
Wazrach

12 Jun 2021, 19:44

goofy9x wrote:
12 Jun 2021, 19:21
Wazrach wrote:
12 Jun 2021, 18:55
goofy9x wrote:
12 Jun 2021, 18:43


Have the shipping notification email come to you? I haven't received mine, yet. :cry: My custom S/N order was placed later than yours, but the same day as ironicmoustache
Nah I'm still waiting. I added some stuff since (after making sure it's all in stock), and was told it wouldn't make a difference to my wait.

I ordered black keycaps and springs so I can use my F77 again, as well as one of those beautiful true red F62 cases.

I'm so, so excited.
Yeah, me too. First thing I check every morning is my inbox.
My order is also nothing out of ordinary: industrial grey F77 with HHKB lay out, regular keyset, a first-aid kit and some more bumpers.
It's "nice" to know that I'm in good company :D
Please keep us updated!
Nothing wrong with appreciating the simpler things xP Do you have experience with the HHKB or did you just like the look of the HHKB layout?

goofy9x

13 Jun 2021, 02:27

Wazrach wrote:
12 Jun 2021, 19:44
goofy9x wrote:
12 Jun 2021, 19:21
Wazrach wrote:
12 Jun 2021, 18:55


Nah I'm still waiting. I added some stuff since (after making sure it's all in stock), and was told it wouldn't make a difference to my wait.

I ordered black keycaps and springs so I can use my F77 again, as well as one of those beautiful true red F62 cases.

I'm so, so excited.
Yeah, me too. First thing I check every morning is my inbox.
My order is also nothing out of ordinary: industrial grey F77 with HHKB lay out, regular keyset, a first-aid kit and some more bumpers.
It's "nice" to know that I'm in good company :D
Please keep us updated!
Nothing wrong with appreciating the simpler things xP Do you have experience with the HHKB or did you just like the look of the HHKB layout?
:)
No, for now it's just purely esthetic things. However I think concept is very reasonable, so that's enough for me.
What do you think about beam style keyset? I'm all for it but not sure with its compatibility with HHKB layout.

User avatar
arcanius

13 Jun 2021, 05:31

It's been about a year now since I got my Industrial Model F77, serial 27, and have almost exclusively praise for the keyboard in my time using it. Maybe it's time to show it off.

Image

I bought the keyboard as a Model M and Selectric owner & lover, but having never tried a Model F (or beam springs :( ). The intent was for this board to be my daily driver, and to last until I'm old and decrepit. With that in mind, I bought the first aid kit as well as an extra set of keycaps for when the first inevitably wears down.
As a tinkerer, I made a few special modifications myself. I think there have been enough reviews on here that everybody knows this is an awesome keyboard, so I'm mostly just going to talk about how I've made F77 #27 my own.

The HHKB layout with split backspace is best-suited for my needs. If Ellipse had made an F107, you can be sure I'd have bought it.
I have ordered a bunch of custom legend and Mopar blue keycaps for the board, which I'm waiting on to receive separately. It was worth the extra shipping to get the board early along with blank dark grey caps.
I've used my '92 Model M two-piece keys for alphanumerics; using the IBM pebble keys alongside the dark grey and pearl would have looked too busy in terms of colour scheme. I don't need legends, but this way others can type on the board if needed. I don't like the single-tone, no-legend look anyways.

You'll notice that my Enter key is a bit scuffed up (it always looks worse in pictures): this is unfortunately how it came from factory, and I'm afraid that rubbing at it with a magic eraser might only further degrade the texture instead of making it more uniform, so I haven't tried. If anybody has any tips on this one, I'll gladly listen.
The only other barely negative thing I can say about the keyboard is that the powder coating on my bottom case is noticeably more heavily textured than the top case. This obviously is not visible in daily use, so I don't much care.

I own all of two artisan caps, both of which I keep on the board. The googly-eyed frog was a present from my partner, part of an inside joke, and the Dwarf Factory Duckie was a joint purchase with her: we wanted to have a matching keycap on our boards. Hers lives on her GMMK. Both my keys have been modified: I dremelled out the MX stem and depthed the underside to fit a buckling spring stem, which is epoxied in. Some might cringe at the irreversible damage to the precious artisans, but at the end of the day, they're pieces of plastic, and I believe that caps should be used on keyboards, not framed for display.
Image
The disadvantage with MX keys on buckling springs is that the caps sit quite tall; the froggy only somewhat so, but the duckie is probably 10mm taller than the adjacent keys. For my use, this is fine, since I keep them both on special keys. And hey, they do look nice, might as well show 'em. The frog is a toggle for the numpad layer, and the duckie is Esc and when held, a Fn key to assist in using the F1-F12 block. (LT function in QMK)

Initially I was using the original xwhatsit firmware, which served me well, with the exception of an occasional bounce here or there. As soon as QMK beta got announced, I hopped on that, eliminating the bouncing as well as allowing more custom layers and features. One of those features is a pseudo-NumLock LED, telling me which Numpad layer is active, or when Esc is held long enough to trigger Fn. The translucency of Froggy really helps with seeing the LED despite it being placed on the northeast corner of the key, between the columns and slightly above the top row. The LED and its wiring is held in with hot glue (ugh) and electrical tape, so that it's all removable without damage to the barrel or back plates.
Image

I made a full leather top cover for the keyboard in case I needed extra protection for the powder coating, but haven't been using it. It's kind of ugly in dark brown; black would have suited the keyboard better. The leather strip at the bottom portion sees a lot of hand contact when not using a wrist rest. It's held on with double-sided poster tape that shouldn't damage the coating when removed. One day I'll go find a small strip of black leather or try to dye the leather I already have.

The cable is just a paracord cable I soldered up, about 7ft long, with a YC8 connector. I didn't love that the original cable wasn't detachable from the keyboard, which is a nice feature to have for when I want to clean the board or clear my desk for other things. I made another cable in grey paracord, but a bit of colour never killed anybody.

I'm so glad I discovered this project. It was a long wait, but totally worth it. I'm now anxiously awaiting the arrival of the printed keycaps. Since receiving the keyboard, I've only very rarely used any of my other boards. It's a total beast of a keyboard, especially with QMK, and well worth its price. I can't see myself replacing it in daily use with anything except maybe beam springs (but those come with their own disadvantages). A massive thank you to Ellipse and all the others who made this project a reality!

User avatar
Wazrach

13 Jun 2021, 22:31

Wow, the dark grey caps really go well with the industrial grey!

ashtronaut

16 Jun 2021, 21:54

Does anyone have recommendations for a travel case for the compact kishaver? I have to travel in a couple months, so something that fits it snugly and has space for the USB cable would be great.

Ellipse

17 Jun 2021, 06:35

Thanks for the detailed review arcanius!

Regarding the travel cases, early on in the project I was thinking of ordering some but never proceeded. In my research I recall that it might be best if it comes with that kind of cubed foam that can easily be cut to contour to the keyboard dimensions.

Based on some very strong recent feedback from a major keyboard reviewer, who is also a forum member here preparing a new Model F review, I have posted a draft video and am looking for feedback:

"Dead simple Model F Keyboard Layout Customization in 16 minutes: QMK and Via"

After viewing from start to finish, is this sufficient as an introductory video, with the encouragement to review the detailed QMK and Via manuals for further exploration?

I am greatly looking forward to the upcoming review video as I think it will be another great Model F keyboard review, maybe one of the best and most thorough! The amount of research and effort that goes into this reviewer's work is very comprehensive and it shows that a lot of research and care was put into each video. Kind of reminds me of the old very well done, deeply thorough tech reviews I would read when deciding on computer parts to build my next system. Even articles specifically discussing hardware LUT calibration on my computer monitor screens and how to optimize color accuracy, for example.

As a note the comments in the below video are not directed at any one person, and please do not bother or contact the reviewer as reviewers should be unbiased and independent without pressure to change anything they say.

I have been emailing back and forth a lot with the the reviewer in question, who replied to me that they figured things out as of now but that the firmware customization process was extremely difficult and that this would be reflected strongly in the commentary. I agree that no one should have as much of a negative experience with the Model F as this reviewer - it should never happen and if it does it should be at least mentioned.

However, I was completely surprised by this note. I haven't heard of complaints that people spent over an hour in frustration just trying to figure out how to update the layout in recent months, with the latest documentation. I think both QMK and Via are great and easy to work with in my opinion and am very grateful to pandrew and darkcruix for improving the xwhatsit Model F experience.

I am worried. My main concern is that people interested in the Model F will view the video and develop a false opinion on the difficulty of the firmware, which will make them not consider any Model F keyboard, original or new. Also not an insignificant note, based on my email conversations I'd say less than 10-15% of Model F users make even one layout change in the firmware (I believe many use Autohotkey or similar key remapping software instead for simple mappings, or the built in Apple remapping settings for command/option/etc.).

This new video I believe shows that the Model F firmware can be set up in minutes for most users and that it's easy to do and does not require opening up the keyboard.

I understand fully that a review ought to be based on the reviewer's subjective personal experience with the product as possibly one of the most important factors, but with something like a Model F keyboard which has been around for decades without the ability to reprogram layouts and the focus of this project being a hardware reproduction of Model F keyboards, I feel that the focus of any Model F review can include comments on personal experiences but ought to concentrate on how a typical user's experience would be going forward with the Model F hardware, not as much on the add-on firmware features that appeal to more of a power user customizing firmware (I'd consider any Model F firmware customizer as a power user). In my experience most people I've messaged with like the Model F for the typing experience, with the outstanding amount of programmability as a plus for some.

Admittedly as noted before, the documentation should have been fleshed out much earlier. I think the primary part of a keyboard review should be about the keyboard experience that 85-90% of Model F users have, which is just using the keyboard without firmware-level key remapping, though I understand that every feature should be easily accessible in any product.

Why scare people away from the Model F by skewering an experience that nearly no one has had or will ever encounter with respect to reprogramming firmware? I guess the question is if (a big if) the new video and the manuals are sufficient for 99.9% of those "power users" new to QMK and Via on the Model F, should the emphasis of any Model F review be on a typical user's experience who is yet to try out the xwhatsit controller on a Model F and will come across this new video in the manual before starting if they want to make some layout changes?

Please let me be clear: my intention is not to denigrate, intimidate or call for change with anyone in particular but to discuss what is the essential usefulness of a Model F to most people and how much of a review should focus exclusively on what's most important to most people. I would be saddened if thousands of people are turned away from the IBM and new Model F keyboards because of insufficient firmware documentation. I am hopeful that this new video might have changed the reviewer's experience had it been made earlier, and will help out everyone going forward.

Please do keep the comments respectful and considerate, and not directed at any one person or mentioning any names. My intention is only for a generalized discussion on keyboard reviews.

User avatar
Bjerrk

17 Jun 2021, 07:38

My initial experience with QMK on the Model F was also a bit of a hassle and did include some amount of swearing.

However, with the right documentation, this could surely have been avoided, and it would be a bit of a mistake to let that overshadow the absolute keyboard goodness that is the new Model F.

Looking forward to the review, Chyros! :-)

User avatar
troglotype

17 Jun 2021, 08:07

Ellipse wrote:
17 Jun 2021, 06:35

Admittedly as noted before, the documentation should have been fleshed out much earlier. I think the primary part of a keyboard review should be about the keyboard experience that 85-90% of Model F users have, which is just using the keyboard without firmware-level key remapping, though I understand that every feature should be easily accessible in any product.
The lack of proper documentation that allows non-technical users to calibrate and change their keyboard layout was and – to some extent – still is is a major weakness of your project. The firmware changes and then the (very welcome!) switch to QMK (thanks, pandrew) and the addition of VIA (thanks, darkcruix!) made keeping documentation up-to-date difficult for you. Personally, I wasn't frustrated by the situation and I'm sure that darkcruix's manual will provide all the necessary documentation.

Hence I can understand if a "certain reviewer" became frustrated by the situation. But if this means that his or her review will feature even more of his or her colorful language, I'm not really concerned ;-)

Edit: About that video you posted. The problem for non-technical users (I am one of them) is not so much with using QMK or VIA once it's set up. Their problem is with (1) understanding the concepts and basic functions and (2) setting up the necessary environment on their operating system. And this operating system might not be Windows but might be macOS or Linux or BSD. Also, if I need to watch a 16 minute long text-heavy video to understand / do something, that something is NOT dead simple...
Last edited by troglotype on 17 Jun 2021, 08:42, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
an_achronism

17 Jun 2021, 08:19

If you are sincerely looking for feedback, I'll just be brief and point out that presenting a solution as a silent "video" composed of 16 minutes of text walls is inadvisable and extremely unlikely to change anything or help anybody. If it were me, I'd record it as spoken instructions over a screen capture showing the software being used in real time. This white text over black background with screenshots thing isn't very user friendly imo.

mode1ace

17 Jun 2021, 08:47

I'd also do a nice PDF, searchable text is a much better medium for documentation for most users.

User avatar
darkcruix

17 Jun 2021, 09:27

mode1ace wrote:
17 Jun 2021, 08:47
I'd also do a nice PDF, searchable text is a much better medium for documentation for most users.
I am working on the more comprehensive documentation around VIA as soon as I find some moments outside of my day-job and family. As the keyboards are delivered using the VIA extension to QMK and can be adjusted accordingly using the VIA application, I think it is the best one to document for new starters. People shouldn't require to flash the firmware to make layout adjustments or add a macro.
For the more advanced users, I will have an in-depth doc in the technical manual around QMK itself at a later stage.

If the reviewer had issues with the firmware usage - that is fixable and should be fixed. That is what the keyboard community does. I have no idea, what the exact issues have been, but we'll address them.
I hope it won't turn away people initially - for me it is still the best keyboard I have ever owned and for many people it could be the same (No, I don't have any stakes in the brand new model f keyboard or have ANY financial interest as many of you know).

soyuz

17 Jun 2021, 10:40

If you want this to be simple, you should be flashing with VIA out the door and telling people "Install this and use the graphical remapper". More advanced users will know how to write their own QMK anyway.

16 minute "dead simple" videos are not the answer mate.

mode1ace

17 Jun 2021, 10:44

Or make it an option people can request. Many of us are 100% fine with DIYing it and would rather keyboards be shipped asap.

User avatar
arcanius

18 Jun 2021, 04:14

I've seen a reviewer complain about the software hassles they've had with the new keyboard, and I do understand where they're coming from. I spent a lot of time tweaking small things in QMK before being completely satisfied. I didn't have any complaints about that because it was expected and it's worth the reward for me to put time into making everything perfect for my use. As a previous QMK user, it didn't seem any more or less difficult than other boards.

That said, it's easy to forget that this keyboard was heavily supported by the Deskthority and GH (& maybe r/mk) groups (or so I imagine; Ellipse can correct me if I'm wrong), where your typical poster is not at all your typical keyboard user. As enthusiasts in any domain find out, the average person who might be interested in the subject is nowhere near as committed or ready to take the time to work for the product: they want the product to work for them out of the box. And if reconfigurability is a feature, they want it to be an easy feature to use, not to have to tinker in their keymap.c file to make it work.

Ellipse, I think the video is a great step towards simplifying the process for those who aren't hardcore enthusiasts, and along with all the new documentation that's come out in the last while, should provide users with more skills to customize their keyboards without having to deep dive quite as much. It definitely looks way easier than the way I usually do it, tweaking files and recompiling & flashing, cross-referencing QMK documentation.

The problems may come when QMK might not cooperate (rare nowadays, especially with GUIs), when atmega drivers act up, and all the other small niggles that can crop up. This is just the modern keyboard controller world, especially when dealing with QMK, which is much more powerful than it is simple or intuitive.

Ellipse

18 Jun 2021, 05:35

Small update: XT foam now available to order

Thanks for everyone's feedback so far. I will reply to a few points below but I wanted to update the thread to note that I have ordered a stamping tool for the IBM XT foam as quite a number of folks were asking for it.

As a note the priority is very low for the XT foam and I will only be focusing on mailing out everyone's non-XT orders over the coming months, so please expect these to go out around year end and not earlier if you are interested.

This will be another group buy style order like with the beam spring and displaywriter beam spring controllers, where I will tally up the orders and send them to the factory when the tooling is complete (expected in several months from now). For the group buy orders I have subtracted $10 from the price; I will order some extras to sell for maybe $10 to $20 more for those who are late to the group buy, to help very slightly ameliorate the project cost overruns including all the DHL Express mailing of the key sets a month or so ago.

https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/product ... f107-f122/

I would also like to note that a Model F user pointed out to me that the QMK toolbox reportedly had malware and was not fully open source so out of an abundance of caution I have updated the manual to use Atmel Flip's free software in its place (it is not open source either though).

My thoughts on the discussion so far - please do keep the feedback going!

I am hoping for some more feedback on the video itself. So far one feedback is that the video is a good first step and another feedback is that narration should be added to the video (anyone here with a microphone and a mellifluous voice? haha) but the main question is are all the steps in the video logical and easy to follow?

arcanius I agree that part of the issue is the learning curve associated with QMK and Via, and the other (maybe more important part) is the special workarounds required for the Model F as we wait for the firmware project coordinators to accept the Model F code into the main branch of their project. Once that happens some of these extra steps can be shortened or eliminated.

I want to push back a bit on some claims about the documentation. I agree that a more simplified documentation could have been produced and fleshed out more by me but the documentation provided by pandrew and darkcruix is excellent and very thorough, many pages long, and I don't think anyone could say that they are inadequate. Every contributor to the firmware has done a great job in my opinion, though maybe I could have added more prominent links to these documents so they could be found more easily - maybe some people thought they did not exist (I have recently updated the manual on the project web site to help address some issues).

The definitive Model F manual (a darkcruix production) is available at: www.bucklingspring.com

pandrew’s Model F QMK manual can be found here: viewtopic.php?p=480196#p480196

mode1ace - Currently the comprehensive Model F Manual PDF at the above link is being updated by darkcruix with these steps, so people will have an option for both PDF and video.

soyuz I agree with you that the ideal would be installing Via as the factory default in the future but currently it is incompatible with the diagnostic tool I use to confirm 100% functionality with each key on each keyboard within seconds - the pandrew tool linked to in the video description and in the manual on the project web site.

Another issue with Via - I am not aware of a way to quickly change between default layouts without having to reflash the firmware anyways. For example let's say an F77 user wants to switch from the 0-9 right side block to the Ins/Del/etc. right side block. If Via is currently on the keyboard, the user can manually change each key in that block without needing to reflash, but in under a minute the user could have flashed another precompiled Via firmware in my zip file (in the video description) with the desired right side block.

Until the diagnostics are resolved I will only flash firmware that I can do this rapid test with and can confirm it works with the firmware that was loaded, so as to avoid extending the time required for each QC. Flashing the firmware is fast though and should take under a minute after you've downloaded Atmel Flip and the pandrew tool.

Compared to the far more complicated text-based keymap.c and other layout modifications in other methods, learning the basics of customizing and flashing a firmware in about 8 minutes for each of the two firmwares in the video and staying entirely within GUIs is relatively fast and simple and I don't think it could be any simpler given the limitations of the currently available resources. If there is an easier way to work with these firmwares than what I have described, given the current limitations, please do share some recommendations.

mode1ace from the beginning I have decided to only ship keyboards that have been QCed by me after being QCed by the factory. I do not ship kit keyboards or untested keyboards as it's far easier for me to fix something in front of me as it is going through the QC process and I have all the tools in front of me.

RaoulRod

18 Jun 2021, 14:16

Ellipse, I think what you have done is awesome and amazing with these F77/62 projects!

I think might be a way to use your quick 100% key quality control check AND have the preferred firmware on there keyboards.

Why not set up a script all that as soon as the QC is finished it reflashes the keyboard? Reflashing the keyboard can be a quick process for people who have done it before (I reflashed mine, but it took longer than 1 minute because the instructions aren't completely clear on a couple of points).

However, if you set up a script or just added it to your workflows it shouldn't add too much time to the shipping process.

User avatar
Wazrach

18 Jun 2021, 22:06

Ellipse wrote:
18 Jun 2021, 05:35
Small update: XT foam now available to order
Would you ever considering making the foam thicker? I suppose it's not true to the originals, but god I love 3mm foam in my keyboards now. It makes them sound much more solid than the original stuff that IBM used. I think it provides more compression so that the keyboard still feels consistent after opening it a few times.

Post Reply

Return to “Group buys”