My DIY keyboard collection ( or how I became a KB-geek...)

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off

26 Apr 2012, 22:46

rodtang wrote:When I first saw this I thought it was gonna be another person who will be here one day to show some pics of his awesome stuff and never be seen again but this is some really great info, keep up the good work.
You gotta make 'em stay, at least those that come bargin' in with stuff like this! :lol:

And regarding I2C vs SPI, don't see him needing those two extra lines I2C would grant on a usb bus, but seeing there's already code out might make it interesting nonetheless.

Nice thumbbuttons on the split version of your first (first pic in OP at least) board :D though ML's (and I assume you didn't make it with so much space that MX's including caps can fit nicely) and on that single right handed design in the bottom, does that frontmost button actually sit slightly lower?
Now i'm starting to get curious, you didn't by any chance make your ML design with MX spacing or did you?
hehehehe, you DID! N1.
ML for MX.png
ML for MX.png (30.63 KiB) Viewed 7532 times
just (quite) a few cuts and it can fit switches that bind less :D

Also, regarding your giveaway, I'd definitely say get them to those that got you to make them in the first place; on second thought, getting them actually used might be best, so make sure they do.

edit1: Oh and Dox, nice to see you around here!
*ofc you don't know me, but I've lurked enough GH threads to know you/r work; nice! ;)

edit2:
[ERGO-RANT_START]
Just to make it clear I'm not begging to nab your designs (nor ergodox/key64); I'm definitely gonna be ending up with some type of ergoboard, but the first step in that is trying to find nice relaxing fingerpositions; ofcourse using the work that others have already done; basically reinventing the wheel while building on the shoulders of giants; so when I read that you'd been going back n forth with colleagues about ergonomics, it really peaked my interest, but didn't yet want to ruin the thread with talk on that; now it's that time though:
Tell me, what have you learned so far from your experiments and all that you've read on those matters?
I'm still even attracted to a convex board for the fingertips; initially thought your latest had that until I saw your hand on it, and decided that having the front slanted for thumbs is more essential; yet it's still alluring to test out, even in the face of the ergonomics that the DataHand set forth, namely, short movement using the fingertip's surroundings.
I know that convex could potentially make it very tricky to actually press down on thing without having to bring your fingertips back to those points (i.e. curling your fingers in).
[ERGO-RANT_END]

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suka
frobiac

26 Apr 2012, 23:33

Well, I wasn't so sure when you mentioned it but you're right, I first had ML designs with wider MX spacing before shrinking it down and thus making it a lot less desirable.
uploadfromtaptalk1335475704210.jpg[/attachment ] Another promising design I never followed any further as complicating the layout with additional depth per column seemed not so much better than the simpler alternatives. Tilted thumbuttons are great though, but need to be closer together to be comfortable... [attachment=1]uploadfromtaptalk1335475945226.jpg
uploadfromtaptalk1335475704210.jpg
uploadfromtaptalk1335475704210.jpg (61.77 KiB) Viewed 7518 times
Attachments
uploadfromtaptalk1335475975016.jpg
uploadfromtaptalk1335475975016.jpg (56.9 KiB) Viewed 7518 times
uploadfromtaptalk1335475945226.jpg
uploadfromtaptalk1335475945226.jpg (54.92 KiB) Viewed 7518 times

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off

26 Apr 2012, 23:42

while you're taking pics, could you do a sideshot of that one?
'cause it's a true mindfsck for me atm; the top pic vs the bottom one 'render' completely different things in my head xD

noted that small (custom?) caps are required for that thumb-block on the middlepic.

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hasu

27 Apr 2012, 03:44

Wow... beautiful keyboards totally. Great hacks!
I'm very inspired.

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suka
frobiac

27 Apr 2012, 09:36

off wrote:while you're taking pics, could you do a sideshot of that one?
'cause it's a true mindfsck for me atm; the top pic vs the bottom one 'render' completely different things in my head xD

noted that small (custom?) caps are required for that thumb-block on the middlepic.
Sure, here they are (please excuse the bad quality): I put a pen under it to show its warp, it was of course intended to be tilted upwards with the pinky row staying on the desk. But in this position, the "X" on the thumb and the center middle finger "#" are level with the ground, while other columns are offset in two directions and the outmost ones also tilted slighly.
All in all a promising idea, but from my experiences overly complicated...
Seen from front, X and # are flat on the ground
Seen from front, X and # are flat on the ground
Front.jpg (249.6 KiB) Viewed 7486 times
Notice the individual offsets per column
Notice the individual offsets per column
Side.jpg (249.27 KiB) Viewed 7486 times
Should be tented with pinky row on desk during use, of course
Should be tented with pinky row on desk during use, of course
Back.jpg (237.94 KiB) Viewed 7486 times
I also made keycaps for both ML and MX, but only very simple flat ones in different sizes you'll notice in some of the pictures - but switched to designs using standard cherry ones as that was another lesson learned: the well-shape and very smooth finish helps a lot in constantly re-orienting your fingers in the right position. It was more difficult (but not impossible) to adjust to the rougher flat surfaces of for example above winged design.

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suka
frobiac

27 Apr 2012, 10:14

Here's an old blender source with several prototypes - sorry, I haven't got access to the warped, smooth one atm but I'll post it when possible. These are simply demonstrators, no guarantee dimensions are exact and tested for this file...
Thats inside...
Thats inside...
proto.png (112.84 KiB) Viewed 7474 times
Attachments
kb-prototypes.zip
Blender source of above 3 models in early state
(775.95 KiB) Downloaded 184 times

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off

27 Apr 2012, 14:01

suka wrote:
uploadfromtaptalk1335475975016.jpg
That one still screws with my head. Thanks for showing the side though, that really shows the way I 'see' the first pic of quoted post correctly.

What do you mean by "the warped, smooth one"? A diy keycap (different version of the one in the top right of that blender capture)?

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suka
frobiac

27 Apr 2012, 15:28

off wrote:What do you mean by "the warped, smooth one"? A diy keycap (different version of the one in the top right of that blender capture)?
Sorry, getting confusing with all the models : I mean the Black one above with the hole for the thumb

User avatar
off

11 May 2012, 12:04

suka wrote:
off wrote:What do you mean by "the warped, smooth one"? A diy keycap (different version of the one in the top right of that blender capture)?
Sorry, getting confusing with all the models : I mean the Black one above with the hole for the thumb
Hihi, guessed you meant a keycap. ;)
And you can just press 'delete' on a post if you feel so inclined, somewhere next to edit in the bottom.

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CeeSA

11 May 2012, 20:27

great, i am speechless.

could you give some technical information about the trackpoints you use?
You use IBM trackpoint you stated, but i like to know more about pin assignment and so on.

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suka
frobiac

11 May 2012, 23:55

I used two different trackpoints from scrapped laptop keyboard replacement parts: While different PCBs are used, both employ a design as described in a pdf from Philips "Microcontroller with TrackPoint microcode from IBM" (TPM754) that I found on http://www.datasheetarchive.com/TPM754* ... datasheets. The serial numbers on the PCB did not really help as I found no references to them anywhere, but the TPM754 (or its A revision) seem to be used in most TPs I have come across so that should be a good start

I am not sure 100% about the larger, left one in the pictures, but I think it also had the same pin assignment as the lower one I recently built into my keyboards:

red: RESET
brown: unknown
black: DATA
white: unknown
gray: GROUND
purple: VCC +5V
blue: CLOCK
green/yellow/orange: 3 Buttons

It can then be registered in my firmware as a normal PS/2 mouse, or most likely even directly attached to a PC if you solder a plug to the appropriate pins and attach some buttons.
Back
Back
IMG_20120511_233654.jpg (722.23 KiB) Viewed 7363 times
front
front
IMG_20120511_233634.jpg (572.96 KiB) Viewed 7363 times
Excuse the bad picture quality, if you need more details feel free to ask.

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off

25 Jun 2012, 23:29

Useless bump for justice.

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hasu

27 Jun 2012, 05:41

You can get specification of TrackPoint here.
http://wwwcssrv.almaden.ibm.com/trackpo ... nload.html

You may be interested in TrackPoint specific PS/2 commands described in this spec. It seems you can invert axis, calibrate and even configure ADC with the commands! :o

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suka
frobiac

27 Jun 2012, 12:44

Thanks, hasu, for reminding me - I already knew about the documents there, just never bothered to delve deeper into the matter as everything was working quite well, or so I thought. But now I couldn't help but try to implement a PressToScroll feature to get rid of my nasty manual scroll wheel emulation, and it works wonderfully!

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Icarium

27 Jun 2012, 15:39

So what does PressToScroll do? Does it switch to scrolling if you press it harder or something?

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suka
frobiac

27 Jun 2012, 17:33

Yes, the track point now acts as both horizontal and vertical scroll wheel if pressed down harder than normal - sweet!

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off

27 Jun 2012, 17:42

Sweet indeed, damn!

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Icarium

27 Jun 2012, 17:55

That sounds very nice! And you read additional force data with your custom controller to do that?

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suka
frobiac

27 Jun 2012, 18:13

No, only had to set some register in the TP via PS/2 commands to enable PressToSelect as it is called in the IBM docs, and played around with the related button masks until I received button 4-7 events, which neatly scroll in any app and OS. No further adjustments in my code were needed,quite simple...

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suka
frobiac

27 Jun 2012, 19:52

For all interested parties, I cleaned my current tree a little and set-up a new repo at github.com - don't expect clean or re-usable code yet, it is not at all in a state I'd like to have it, but rather a snapshot of my WIP.

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hasu

28 Jun 2012, 18:42

Thanks for sharing your code, suka.
I cloned repo to my local PC and will look into later!

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Input Nirvana

29 Jun 2012, 03:25

Outstanding work, outstanding thread, at many levels. Thanks for the many photos and the sharing. The Trackpoint info is very valuable.

I'll dig in the details when I have more time.

jesse

11 Aug 2012, 07:33

I know I'm rather late to the party here, but wow. There's lots of great stuff here. Thanks so much for what you've already shared. Is there any chance you could be enticed into posting (or checking into a github repo) more of your designs?

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suka
frobiac

30 Nov 2012, 18:02

Long time - no post, but mainly because the BlueCube is still performing nicely and I have felt no real pressure to change anything at that setup during the last months of use. But inspired by the hypermini designs of 7bit I decided I needed another project for the upcoming winter nights, and also a more portable minimal board with the custom AdNW layout. Plus a chance to give MX clears a try - or will it be reds in the end :?:

Anyways, as described in the hypermini thread I feel that the symmetric staggered 7bit layout is a good ergonomic choice, given the constraints that come with simplicity, and will build one the next weeks.
Half a board - teensy and trackpoint will go in the middle
Half a board - teensy and trackpoint will go in the middle
7bit.JPG (769.63 KiB) Viewed 6317 times

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Ascaii
The Beard

30 Nov 2012, 18:12

I was going to ask if you have use for some trackpoints...I am sitting on a pile of 100 g81 desko boards with trackpoints, that will most likely end up in the trash.
The actual trackpoint "footprint" is tiny and connects to the pcb with a ribbon cable. The two mouse buttons are on a seperate ribbon cable, attached to that white plastic piece. PCB plug attached.
Attachments
121101-154750.jpg
121101-154750.jpg (100.23 KiB) Viewed 6314 times

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7bit

30 Nov 2012, 18:21

Ascaii wrote:I was going to ask if you have use for some trackpoints...I am sitting on a pile of 100 g81 desko boards with trackpoints, that will most likely end up in the trash.
The actual trackpoint "footprint" is tiny and connects to the pcb with a ribbon cable. The two mouse buttons are on a seperate ribbon cable, attached to that white plastic piece. PCB plug attached.
Ascaii, I'm currently designing a PCB with a hole in the middle to make use of a track point!

Please don't throw them away...
:cry:

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suka
frobiac

30 Nov 2012, 18:22

Well, I was going to use my last original IBM one for this, but yours look much better suited for a custom design. With their smaller footprint I guess you could even fit them between the switches without having to increase the base height for the PCB. Thanks for your offer, PM sent.

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Ascaii
The Beard

01 Dec 2012, 11:15

7bit wrote:
Ascaii wrote:I was going to ask if you have use for some trackpoints...I am sitting on a pile of 100 g81 desko boards with trackpoints, that will most likely end up in the trash.
The actual trackpoint "footprint" is tiny and connects to the pcb with a ribbon cable. The two mouse buttons are on a seperate ribbon cable, attached to that white plastic piece. PCB plug attached.
Ascaii, I'm currently designing a PCB with a hole in the middle to make use of a track point!

Please don't throw them away...
:cry:
Yeah, i figured that already :)
Im still trying to figure out what to charge for them, because it is a bit fumbly and takes some time to take em out. Desko loves hot glue.

As for putting them between switches, you should be able to do it, but only before the switches are soldered in, since they bulge in the middle.

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philpirj

03 Dec 2012, 11:48

@Ascaii: Used trackpoints cannot last forever. Can we to figure out where this component is produced, maybe is can be bought separately? Hall effect sensors I have found aren't cheap at all ($25 cheapest), while resistive ones cannot detect pressure force.

@suka: Thanks for this great project and sharing it with us. I got inspired by your work.

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Ascaii
The Beard

03 Dec 2012, 11:56

philpirj wrote:@Ascaii: Used trackpoints cannot last forever. Can we to figure out where this component is produced, maybe is can be bought separately? Hall effect sensors I have found aren't cheap at all ($25 cheapest), while resistive ones cannot detect pressure force.

@suka: Thanks for this great project and sharing it with us. I got inspired by your work.
They were assembled by cheops electronics in germany: http://www.cheops-elektronik.de/

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