How do I fit three stabilizers on a PCB?

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ifohancroft

13 Oct 2021, 01:17

I am making my own ErgoDox (although I guess it's no longer an ErgoDox if I change the physical layout) and I'm making it with 3 2U keys on the thumb cluster with PCB mount stabs, but I can't really fit them in.

Two are easy as you can just rotate them with the smaller holes facing one another, but no matter how you rotate the third one, either the holes overlap or there's like 1/5th of a millimeter of PCB between them. Technically I guess the screw part of the last stabilizer doesn't need material everywhere around the hole, but the previous stab needs it for the clipping part.

I either get this:

https://i.imgur.com/yDhN4v6.png

or this:

https://i.imgur.com/H2ITFCe.png

Rayndalf

13 Oct 2021, 02:40

Kinesis Advantages use 2u thumb keys without any stabilizers and they work without issue.

So no shame in leaving out stabs.

User avatar
ifohancroft

13 Oct 2021, 14:29

Rayndalf wrote:
13 Oct 2021, 02:40
Kinesis Advantages use 2u thumb keys without any stabilizers and they work without issue.

So no shame in leaving out stabs.
Oh! Thanks! That's interesting to know.
How do they behave compared to stabilized keys when pressed at an angle/on the side/etc

User avatar
Muirium
µ

13 Oct 2021, 14:30

Not as well, I reckon, and it depends on the height of the caps. Taller caps will give more unwanted lateral leverage / wobble.

Rayndalf

13 Oct 2021, 21:57

ifohancroft wrote:
13 Oct 2021, 14:29
Rayndalf wrote:
13 Oct 2021, 02:40
Kinesis Advantages use 2u thumb keys without any stabilizers and they work without issue.

So no shame in leaving out stabs.
Oh! Thanks! That's interesting to know.
How do they behave compared to stabilized keys when pressed at an angle/on the side/etc
The PCB of my particular Kinesis (Model 130 that seems to be a mix of parts) has holes for installing PCB mount stabs, but no Kinesis I've seen actually have them installed.

Basically since it's a thumb key you aren't "reaching" to press it so in use it doesn't wobble at all. But when I try to wiggle it it wiggles like any unstabilized key.

User avatar
ifohancroft

13 Oct 2021, 23:40

Makes sense.

Does anyone have an idea on how to actually fit 3 stabilizers next to one another on a PCB without making one of the keys a different size?

Is it even possible?

User avatar
kps

14 Oct 2021, 21:31

Rayndalf wrote:
13 Oct 2021, 21:57
The PCB of my particular Kinesis (Model 130 that seems to be a mix of parts) has holes for installing PCB mount stabs, but no Kinesis I've seen actually have them installed.
My KB132MPC has stabilizer holes; my 120 and Advantage don't. I installed stabs on the 132 after breaking a key on the Advantage, which was a nuisance to fix, but haven't got around to drilling the Advantage yet.
stemmity.jpg
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stabbity.jpg
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I don't think there are any available stabilizers that will fit three in a row, but you could use two switches per key, optionally giving one a lighter or no spring.

Lanrefni

15 Oct 2021, 07:03

Signature plastics has 2u POS keycaps that span two switches in DSA and DCS profile,I use the DSA ones with an MX black switch that has the spring cut in half as the second switch and it's pretty smooth.

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Muirium
µ

15 Oct 2021, 11:31

Good point. I have some experience using those two switch Point of Sale caps as modifiers on a ortholinear Access-IS board.

Do they wobble? Yeah. Not in a loose way, though. They’re nicer than an unstabilised regular 2u cap. The effect is different. Regular cap will pivot around its middle, so you get half the cap tilting upwards when you press the other end. POS cap only goes down on the side you press, the other end remains at rest position. It feels less wrong, in short.

Ideal? No. But easy to do, with your own PCB. You do want light springs though. My Access IS is all MX blacks, so my mods feel pretty heavy. I like that, with that specific layout, but it’s something to bear in mind.

User avatar
ifohancroft

15 Oct 2021, 14:29

Thank you Muirium, Rayndalf, kps and Lanrefni.

I guess short from creating my own stabilizer design that doesn't have this flaw, my best bet is to go with plate mounted stabilizers.

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