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

Admiral

26 Jul 2020, 23:28

That looks nice. Wish the compacts' USB connectors were flush with the case but what can you do. Just have to be more careful when connecting the cord.

I do have a question. My spacebar seems really quiet compared to my other keys, like the spring isn't buckling, and so when I tried to remove it like in his video it seems to come off without a lot of effort but mine seems stuck. Not sure what the spacebar could be stuck on except for the metal tabs, but that shouldn't prevent me from pulling the spacebar out. :|

EDIT: Well, I guess it was the wire stabiliser and the angle of the barrel insert on the spacebar from when I try to take it out that makes it stuck. Got it off, so now I just got to reattach it. :)

EDIT 2: Got it back on. And now I can hear the barrel buckle. Was kinda interesting with it the other way, but I didn't think it would work that way. Man I went through two scares there with the Spacebar clips holding the wire. When I first took it out of the keyboard and it was stuck due to the angle I thought I broke it, but didn't. Then later I was taking the wire out just because and as I was stretching the wire it flung itself across the room :lol: Thank God it was fine.

Sp33ls

27 Jul 2020, 00:30

Hypersphere wrote:
22 Jul 2020, 00:26
@rgleas: You've summed up quite nicely why the HHKB form factor and layout is so highly praised...
The F62 in the HHKB configuration has what I regard as the ideal form factor and layout served up in a heavy-duty package with arguably the best-ever clicky switches.
For those who have transitioned from Standard to HHKB Split Backspace and Split Shift, what're your thoughts?

After initially ordering a compact F77, I decided to instead change to a standard F77 and a compact F62 (both Standard layout).

After seeing so many preferences for the F62 over the F77, and notes that once you adapt to the HHKB layout on a 60%, you no longer have an urge to use a full-sized keyboard, I'm rethinking my choices... :lol: lol. Maybe, I'd ultimately be happier with an HHKB Kishsaver; keeping a compact HHKB F62 as a spare. A bit of a pricey gamble for someone who has never tried HHKB. :)

Thoughts?

User avatar
Hypersphere

27 Jul 2020, 01:03

Sp33ls wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 00:30
Hypersphere wrote:
22 Jul 2020, 00:26
@rgleas: You've summed up quite nicely why the HHKB form factor and layout is so highly praised...
The F62 in the HHKB configuration has what I regard as the ideal form factor and layout served up in a heavy-duty package with arguably the best-ever clicky switches.
For those who have transitioned from Standard to HHKB Split Backspace and Split Shift, what're your thoughts?

After initially ordering a compact F77, I decided to instead change to a standard F77 and a compact F62 (both Standard layout).

After seeing so many preferences for the F62 over the F77, and notes that once you adapt to the HHKB layout on a 60%, you no longer have an urge to use a full-sized keyboard, I'm rethinking my choices... :lol: lol. Maybe, I'd ultimately be happier with an HHKB Kishsaver; keeping a compact HHKB F62 as a spare. A bit of a pricey gamble for someone who has never tried HHKB. :)

Thoughts?
Well, I dithered forever before taking the HHBK plunge. Glad I finally decided to give it a try. Now, I find it difficult to use any other layout or form factor. Consequently, I have remapped most of my keyboards -- even full-sized ones -- to something as close as possible to the HHKB layout. I do this in several ways, including installing an internal Teensy or Orihalcon ProMicro and using Soarer's converter, using an external Hasu converter, or employing remapping software such as ATNsoft Key Manager for Windows or Karabiner for Mac.

One thing you could do is use keyboard remapping software on your existing keyboard to see how you like the HHKB layout before making a commitmnet to purchase a hardware version. Your remapped keyboard will, of course, not be quite the same as an actual HHKB or HHKB-mapped F62, but it can help give you an idea.

Among the several reasons why I favor an actual HHKB or F62 is the 60% form factor. I have a rather severely injured right shoulder, and reaching for the mouse becomes painful, especially when using a full-size board and even when using a TKL board. However, even for those who do not have right-shoulder problems, it is more efficient not to have to reach quite as far to use the mouse. In addition, it feels more natural to center the keyboard in front of the monitor(s). In my case, I use a triple-monitor setup, and I like to center the keyboard in front of the center monitor.

Another advantage of the F62 (and other completely programmable keyboards) is that you are not stuck with any single layout. If you don't like the classic HHKB configuration, you can easily change it to something else. Nevertheless, I would urge anyone to give the HHKB layout a fair trial of at least several days. In coming up with this design, Prof. Wada gave it a great deal of thought, borrowing some features from other keyboard designs and adding some of his own.

BucklingSprings

27 Jul 2020, 01:51

Hypersphere wrote:
24 Jul 2020, 21:45
@BucklingSprings: I share your enthusiasm for the Ellipse Model F reproductions. However, whereas Cherry mx (and clones) are my least favorite type of switches (although in my estimation silent linears are the best among these), I think there are keyboards employing mx-type switches that have excellent build quality -- Filco comes to mind, for example.

Other boards that I can enjoy in a rotation with my new F62 include Alps-switch boards in excellent condition (such as my Northgate Omnikey 101 with white pine Alps and Leading Edge DC-3014 with blue Alps). Most of all, I still take great pleasure in typing on my HHKB Pro Hybrid Type-S, which I use for quietly taking notes during teleconferences.
@Hypersphere: congrats - the Northgate and the Leading Edge are a collectors dream (I think). For me personally I
want to be convenient and just buy new keyboards - rather than putting in the work to find, clean, repair and so on.

I agree that there are other modern boards with good build quality out there - not like Ellipses reproductions - but still
solid and good.

There seems to be another project to recreate new beamspring switches. But this project seems to be stagnant.
@Ellipse: your energy level, optimism and work ethics are admirable. Tip to the hat, Sir.

BucklingSprings

27 Jul 2020, 02:03

Hypersphere wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 01:03
Sp33ls wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 00:30
Hypersphere wrote:
22 Jul 2020, 00:26
@rgleas: You've summed up quite nicely why the HHKB form factor and layout is so highly praised...
The F62 in the HHKB configuration has what I regard as the ideal form factor and layout served up in a heavy-duty package with arguably the best-ever clicky switches.
For those who have transitioned from Standard to HHKB Split Backspace and Split Shift, what're your thoughts?

After initially ordering a compact F77, I decided to instead change to a standard F77 and a compact F62 (both Standard layout).

After seeing so many preferences for the F62 over the F77, and notes that once you adapt to the HHKB layout on a 60%, you no longer have an urge to use a full-sized keyboard, I'm rethinking my choices... :lol: lol. Maybe, I'd ultimately be happier with an HHKB Kishsaver; keeping a compact HHKB F62 as a spare. A bit of a pricey gamble for someone who has never tried HHKB. :)

Thoughts?
Well, I dithered forever before taking the HHBK plunge. Glad I finally decided to give it a try. Now, I find it difficult to use any other layout or form factor.
Similar thing for me. I am so glad that I ordered the F-77 with HHKB layout. I could not be happier with it. I am using vim all
day long and the HHKB layout works really well for me.
I personally don't like using the function layer for anything other than the F keys (because those are rare). So - I think that I
would miss the nav cluster on an F 62.
But this is soooo personal. You probably really need to try it out for a while to see what is more important to you: have the
keyboard centered in front of you with space to the right or the nav cluster.

Ellipse

27 Jul 2020, 04:51

Hypersphere wrote:
26 Jul 2020, 22:08
USB-C Panel-Mount Connector Installed in my newest Ellipse F62 Keyboard:

For those who might be interested in installing a panel-mount USB-C connector in your standard-case F62 or F77 keyboards, I have posted an easy method with some pics in a new thread in the Workshop Section of DT:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=24286&p=468806#p468806
Thank you for sharing this guide Hypersphere!

PRIPARA_PLAYER

27 Jul 2020, 07:20

Does the classic case not have a detachable cable? The store page said the cable was replaceable via a USB-C port, but is that on the inside of the case? If so then I'll probably have to do the same mod once mine arrives.

User avatar
Hypersphere

27 Jul 2020, 13:09

PRIPARA_PLAYER wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 07:20
Does the classic case not have a detachable cable? The store page said the cable was replaceable via a USB-C port, but is that on the inside of the case? If so then I'll probably have to do the same mod once mine arrives.
No, the classic case does not have a cable that is detachable from outside the case. However, if you wanted or needed to replace the cable that is included with the F62 or F77 classic case keyboard, you could do so by opening the case, removing the screw that holds the cable clamp in place, and unplugging the USB-C cable from the receptable on the keyboard controller.

In contrast, the mod that I have described is a way to install a panel-mount connector in the classic keyboard case that is accessible from the outside -- i.e., giving the keyboard a detachable cable.

PRIPARA_PLAYER

27 Jul 2020, 14:22

My current keyboard has a usb-b mount and I usually detach it at least once a day, so I guess I'm gonna have to install a panel mount as well. Thanks for the guide!

User avatar
Hypersphere

27 Jul 2020, 14:44

PRIPARA_PLAYER wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 14:22
My current keyboard has a usb-b mount and I usually detach it at least once a day, so I guess I'm gonna have to install a panel mount as well. Thanks for the guide!
You are very welcome! Although the guide describes installation of a USB-C connector, the general procedure could be adapted for other types of connectors, e.g., USB-A, USB-B, mini-USB, micro-USB, etc. It would just be a matter of incorporating the appropriate adapters.

Shihatsu

27 Jul 2020, 18:43

Heya Ellipse, can you give an update regarding the Dye Sub process?

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Hypersphere

27 Jul 2020, 19:12

Feet:

Here is a pic of the self-adhesive feet that I attached to my F62:
feet2a.jpg
feet2a.jpg (68.99 KiB) Viewed 912 times
The front corners have small hemispherical bumpers. The rear corners have conical bumpers. I like the cone-shaped feet, because you can get the desired height with a smaller base than would be the case with hemispherical ones.

The two screws on the back of the case are the mounting screws for the USB-C connector that I added in order to have a detachable cable, as detailed at the link below:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=24286&p=468806#p468806

Ellipse

27 Jul 2020, 20:10

Thanks Hypersphere for posting the photos of the custom bumpers. That's the first photo I've seen of them!
Shihatsu wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 18:43
Heya Ellipse, can you give an update regarding the Dye Sub process?
The factory continues to work on dye sublimation and additional QC work on the second container shipment of the early bird round. They succeeded with the actual sublimation this month (see nice sublimation quality example below) but need to work on optimizing the jig for proper alignment of all keys. Essentially they make a test jig and then make another one, and do this as many times as needed (it is not inexpensive!). Vertical alignment is consistent within tolerances for 7 of the 8 samples (except "S" - all legends need to be repositioned lower on the key tops of course), but horizontal alignment consistency in these samples is not yet acceptable. I was hoping that they would be finished by now but they need more time.
Attachments
2020 07 Dye sub test1 - Copy.jpg
2020 07 Dye sub test1 - Copy.jpg (141.13 KiB) Viewed 892 times

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Hypersphere

27 Jul 2020, 20:33

Yep, the legends are too close to the top, and horizontal placement is inconsistent. The weighting of the typeface also seems too heavy. I am looking at the legends on my IBM XT keys, and they appear to be thinner.

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darkcruix

27 Jul 2020, 20:56

Took a photo of my F107 keys and put them next to the picture (resized it for exact fit) and I can also say that the weighting is about 15% off. Could also be dye bleed - the picture resolution isn't high enough to check this.
G-check.jpg
G-check.jpg (32.86 KiB) Viewed 862 times

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Hypersphere

27 Jul 2020, 21:12

Thanks, @darkcruix! Your photos confirm what my poor eyesight was telling me.

However, the thick font on the new key doesn't look like dye bleed to me. It seems too consistent. It's as if they were using bold face or some heavier variant of Helvetica.

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darkcruix

27 Jul 2020, 21:17

Hypersphere wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 21:12
Thanks, @darkcruix! Your photos confirm what my poor eyesight was telling me.

However, the thick font on the new key doesn't look like dye bleed to me. It seems too consistent. It's as if they were using bold face or some heavier variant of Helvetica.
You are right, when you look at the left curve in the G, it has a different angle. Here is the font family of Helvetica in Light, Regular, Bold followed by Helvetica Neue in Light, Regular, Medium, and Bold
Screen Shot 2020-07-27 at 21.16.44.jpg
Screen Shot 2020-07-27 at 21.16.44.jpg (37.46 KiB) Viewed 854 times

Ellipse

27 Jul 2020, 21:38

As a note these new Model F legends are not Helvetica but a custom drawn font similar to Helvetica, as worked on by forum member Zed. Zed did an outstanding job matching the old IBM custom drawn fonts. darkcruix's example appears to be a unicomp cap which use the Helvetica font and not the old IBM fonts, to my knowledge.

The new production keys will be using a mix of the XT / F122 one piece key cap legends which are extra bold compared to Model M and Unicomp sets. The samples are a little too thick in the weighting I believe and the final ones should be a bit thinner.

Below are some high resolution scans of my F122 6110344 from 1984: what the new XT type caps should look like, compared to the samples.

As a note my original keys were scanned and narrowed by mistake during the editing, so they should be slightly wider than what is pictured.
2020 07 Dye sub test1 - Copy - Copy 2.jpg
2020 07 Dye sub test1 - Copy - Copy 2.jpg (217.84 KiB) Viewed 842 times

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Hypersphere

27 Jul 2020, 21:55

@Ellipse: Thanks for the explanation. I like the font on my original IBM XT keys.

The custom font reminds me of the font on the IBM P70. The keyboard on this luggable used SKCP Alps switches and the keycaps were very thin. The font had a bolded look compared to that on the IBM XT keyboard.

It appears that the letters on the new keys are not only bolder than the F122 letters, but somewhat smaller as well -- is this so, or it this an artifact of the scan?

Ellipse

27 Jul 2020, 22:12

Nope it's just my quick sizing and stretching of the keys for the above image. These legends are an exact match in person to the size of the originals (but a little too thick in these sample tests), from the tests I have done.

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darkcruix

27 Jul 2020, 22:19

Thanks for the info and I went back and put all keycap variants on the scanner ... and ... yes, you are right ... the originals are different and I had a newer one on the F107 ...

The left one is the original
Thanks so much for thinking about every detail ...!!!!
007.jpg
007.jpg (37.21 KiB) Viewed 807 times

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Hypersphere

27 Jul 2020, 22:38

@darkcruix: Thank you again.

@Ellipse: Another vote for QMK. For my second F62 setup, I went straight to QMK beta and flashed the chip with my previously configured hex file. No fiddling with current thresholds; everything was immediately ready to go. I've also experienced no spurious keypresses or unresponsive keys.

jujubii

28 Jul 2020, 06:40

does the spacebar on the f77/f62 remove like the unicomp/model m spacebars? (it's the last button i need to complete my floss mod)

if not, is it easily removable? i haven't the slightest clue because my f77 came with the spacebar installed :oops:

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darkcruix

28 Jul 2020, 09:46

jujubii wrote:
28 Jul 2020, 06:40
does the spacebar on the f77/f62 remove like the unicomp/model m spacebars? (it's the last button i need to complete my floss mod)

if not, is it easily removable? i haven't the slightest clue because my f77 came with the spacebar installed :oops:
It is like on the Model M, but be careful with the removal (to not bend the wire). Ellipse has optimized the wire for perfect sound. In my case, I have removed them on two keyboards and it was no issue at all to attach it again without changing sound or feel.

ash152152

28 Jul 2020, 14:41

I know it is impossible to make all keys feel the same.
But, Any way to slightly adjust the key weight?
Because there is a key on my board which is significantly lighter than others.

Ellipse

28 Jul 2020, 21:25

Hypersphere wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 22:38
@darkcruix: Thank you again.

@Ellipse: Another vote for QMK. For my second F62 setup, I went straight to QMK beta and flashed the chip with my previously configured hex file. No fiddling with current thresholds; everything was immediately ready to go. I've also experienced no spurious keypresses or unresponsive keys.
Based on the excellent feedback so far I'm thinking of switching to QMK for keyboard shipments going forward, at least for now. Everyone who has had an xwhatsit firmware issue and moved to QMK seems to have their issue resolved.

What's the current status of having solenoids, buzzers, and Lock LEDs (including simultaneous solenoid + lock LED), using the same pins as specified in the xwhatsit manual? I remember someone posted a code to add solenoid support but was wondering if it is on the QMK GUI.

User avatar
Hypersphere

28 Jul 2020, 22:33

@Ellipse: Yes, I think that it would be good to go with QMK. However, I have not been back to the QMK beta GUI; for my second F62 setup, I simply flashed the chip with my previously configured hex file. In addition, I have not tested QMK with solenoids, buzzers, and Lock LEDs -- I do not have any of these items on my F62 or F77 boards. It would be best to check with pandrew, tentator, darkcruix, or kmnov2017.

Sp33ls

29 Jul 2020, 01:12

Ellipse wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 20:10
The factory continues to work on dye sublimation and additional QC work on the second container shipment of the early bird round.
Could you briefly (high level) expand on their improvements are with the additional QC work? Is things like improving consistency with chassis quality, or?

Just genuinely interested in the journey. :)

BucklingSprings

29 Jul 2020, 01:58

Ellipse wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 20:10
Thanks Hypersphere for posting the photos of the custom bumpers. That's the first photo I've seen of them!
Shihatsu wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 18:43
Heya Ellipse, can you give an update regarding the Dye Sub process?
The factory continues to work on dye sublimation and additional QC work on the second container shipment of the early bird round. They succeeded with the actual sublimation this month (see nice sublimation quality example below) but need to work on optimizing the jig for proper alignment of all keys. Essentially they make a test jig and then make another one, and do this as many times as needed (it is not inexpensive!). Vertical alignment is consistent within tolerances for 7 of the 8 samples (except "S" - all legends need to be repositioned lower on the key tops of course), but horizontal alignment consistency in these samples is not yet acceptable. I was hoping that they would be finished by now but they need more time.
@Ellipse
the legends look very sharp to be. No visible bleeding or fuzzyness at the edges.
On the white keys the legends look so dark that they appear almost like photo shopped.
On the perl keys they have a slightly bleached look - perhaps there is light reflection that
causes this effect.

Thanks for the update. The most diligent project in the world is coming together :)

BucklingSprings

29 Jul 2020, 02:05

darkcruix wrote:
28 Jul 2020, 09:46
jujubii wrote:
28 Jul 2020, 06:40
does the spacebar on the f77/f62 remove like the unicomp/model m spacebars? (it's the last button i need to complete my floss mod)

if not, is it easily removable? i haven't the slightest clue because my f77 came with the spacebar installed :oops:
It is like on the Model M, but be careful with the removal (to not bend the wire). Ellipse has optimized the wire for perfect sound. In my case, I have removed them on two keyboards and it was no issue at all to attach it again without changing sound or feel.
A while ago Chyrosran22 released a typing demo video with 6 different model-f keyboards. At the beginning
(when you hear the sound of all 8 boards) you can make out the thundering, indescribable, no comprimises THUD
sound of the F 107 spacebar.
My F77 produces exactly that sound :)

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