Split ergonomic keyboard project

heuristicist

07 Apr 2013, 21:21

I've now similarly tented mine on my copy of The Iliad & The Odyssey :)

zet13

09 Apr 2013, 07:25

I still don't know how to solder but I couldn't resist, I ordered one :ugeek:

heuristicist

09 Apr 2013, 07:49

Best way to learn is to do it. And now you have a reason to :D

zet13

09 Apr 2013, 08:46

For the first try I will have to do a masterpiece ~_~ I'm a little afraid but it doesn't seems insurmountable.

eviltobz

09 Apr 2013, 10:35

As a poor solderer, the best advice I can give is don't get a cheap, low wattage soldering iron. I've had a few of them, the sort where the iron is connected straight to the plug, and they had issues melting the solder when holding it against the tip for a few seconds. I then switched to one with a little base station that has a heat control on it, still cheap, just not _really_ cheap, and my soldering skills suddenly improved by about 100 times ;)

zet13

09 Apr 2013, 12:04

ok thanks for the advice, I'll go check for a not so cheap one ;)

Dreadwyrm

09 Apr 2013, 13:07

The DCS keycap group buy is out at Massdrop! :mrgreen:

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/ergodox-keycap-1

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vvp

09 Apr 2013, 14:18

As for as soldering. It is very easy. Here is so much info about it that you cannot need more for ErgoDox (especially if you look at all 3 parts): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYz5nIHH0iY
Actually it is probably too much info there ... and it is long. Though, if I recall it correctly, he did not mention home made flux (rosin + alcohol). May be it is too amateurish for EEVBlog :)

Inspired by the posts here, I'm thinking about building a modified ergodox myself. It should be more compatible with standard keycaps (and has 4 more keys to fill in the whole matrix 10x8). The thumb cluster is nearer to the center. 1x2 keys are dropped in favor of 1x1.5, and most of 1x1.5 is dropped in favor of 1x1. It should be working well even with 1x1 or 1x1.25 instead of the few 1x1.5 still there. Proposal of the part of Layer3 which keeps the switches is here (screen shot from qcad):
myErgoDox.png
myErgoDox.png (3.99 KiB) Viewed 3675 times

ic07

09 Apr 2013, 22:06

vvp wrote:... (and has 4 more keys to fill in the whole matrix 10x8) ...
To be technically accurate, the matrix (in the firmware) is really 6x14 (= 84 positions) -- but the layout code is only set up to use 80 (see this for which positions are missing).

I'd have to double check (just to be completely sure, if it mattered), but it'd probably be pretty trivial, in software, to use the extra 4 positions. The redefinition of the linked macro, and (of course) a custom layout would probably do it.

If anyone cares :) .

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vvp

10 Apr 2013, 13:40

ic07 wrote:
vvp wrote:... (and has 4 more keys to fill in the whole matrix 10x8) ...
To be technically accurate, the matrix (in the firmware) is really 6x14 (= 84 positions) ...
Interesting, thanks for the correction. I intend to go with a different physical matrix (either 10x8 or 5x16), drop I2C and the port expander and just connect it with a piece of (centronix) parallel port cable (directly soldered - no connectors).
I'm also thinking about basing it on this FW: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=37991.0
I'm not sure yet.

heuristicist

11 Apr 2013, 03:12

I'd like to get some labelled keycaps, but it does seem to be rather expensive. $70 at WASD plus shipping will get me a full regular 104 set which won't get me all the caps I need. Given the configurability of this keyboard, organizing a labelled group buy would be difficult, especially with DCS caps.

However, it occurred to me that, even with DCS caps, there will be a great deal of overlap in terms of what keys are desired. For example, all of us on QWERTY layouts would need the same main keys, and even with different layouts for the extra keys we still may have plenty of overlap to move things around.

Once I've finalized my (layer 0) layout---and I'm getting there, I haven't changed anything in L0 for a while---I'm thinking I'll start asking for people to share their final layouts with me, and then write some code to figure out which caps would be required in large enough quantities for a GB. That way we can all (hopefully) get in on some cheap caps for the majority of the ones that we need, and then separately purchase the extras that we require. What do you all think of this idea?

For the record, my current layout is here:
https://www.massdrop.com/ext/ergodox/?r ... 9e005fc277
The basic principle is to keep things as much like a regular keyboard as possible, and try and put the remaining keys in sensible places.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions for what to do with the keys presently used for direct-underscores and the second +/= key, I'm all ears :D

ic07

11 Apr 2013, 06:53

vvp wrote:Interesting, thanks for the correction. I intend to go with a different physical matrix (either 10x8 or 5x16), drop I2C and the port expander and just connect it with a piece of (centronix) parallel port cable (directly soldered - no connectors).
I'm also thinking about basing it on this FW: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=37991.0
I'm not sure yet.
Hmm. Thanks for the link, I hadn't stumbled across that firmware yet. Dunno why you'd want to drop I2C... but if you're happy with a parallel port cable, all sorts of firmware options open up to you, lol - some more mature than mine at the moment, especially regarding USB code. You might want to take a look at Hasu's, if you haven't yet. Best of luck with your mod :-)

eviltobz

11 Apr 2013, 10:16

My Ergodox order arrived the other day :)

Sadly a bunch of bits were missing :(

Fortunately Massdrop are being fantastic with their customer support, even to the point of offering to cover any extra customs charges incurred. I'm of the opinion that you can only tell how good a company is by how they cope with when things go wrong and they are being extremely helpful and accommodating. I know that a number of people on these boards were somewhat distrustful of having a company handling a group buy, but with the level of care & service that I'm getting from them I'd have no qualms recommending that people who fancy a doxen of their own should jump in on their second round.

TDub

11 Apr 2013, 11:39

Mine is through customs it seems, hopefully I can pick it up tomorrow :)

bjarven

11 Apr 2013, 13:16

I got mine two days ago, I did most of the soldering yesterday but there's plenty left to do... I've go the aluminum case and it's far from a perfect fit, in the end I'll probably end up spending more time shaping the case then soldering. Happy to do it though, the end result looks promising! :)

Findecanor

11 Apr 2013, 23:56

I picked up my ErgoDox PCBs today and found a flaw in the layout. The soldering pads/holes for using 1-unit keys on the outer columns are wrong and switches will not fit in those positions.
Not a problem for those who had ordered the whole kit.. but not so fun for those of us who wanted to use other key sets. (I'm not a fan of flat keys)

You could cram down the switches, but then one leg on each switch would be crimped and folded under the switch and I am not sure that that would not make them lean downwards. You could perhaps drill new holes, but they would not help with stabilising the switch and you would have to solder a short wire.
Also, you can't use PCB-mounted switches there, so you would have to make a custom plate or you would destroy traces when drilling mounting holes - traces that would have to be replaced with wires or by extending the legs of the diodes to touch the switch legs.
I'm not sure that it would be impossible, but it is far from straightforward.
eviltobz wrote:Fortunately Massdrop are being fantastic with their customer support, even to the point of offering to cover any extra customs charges incurred.
Yours too, huh? They had declared the value of my PCBs and shipping too high ... 6€ extra in charges.

AloisiusFauxly

12 Apr 2013, 03:34

eviltobz wrote:I'm of the opinion that you can only tell how good a company is by how they cope with when things go wrong and they are being extremely helpful and accommodating.
Just don't tell webwit.

They missed the bolts from my case, and they're sending me a set free of charge, which is what I would expect from a good company.

Aleksander

12 Apr 2013, 13:05

Is there a CAD file of the layer in the case that has the switch-holes?

ic07

12 Apr 2013, 20:12

Check out the "Acrylic Case Designed by Litster" http://www.ergodox.org/Downloads.aspx

Aleksander

13 Apr 2013, 10:56

Thanks!

xauser

13 Apr 2013, 11:02

Arrived yesterday, extremely heavy, I do 10wpm :), so much fun
Attachments
ergodox.jpg
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wasabah

13 Apr 2013, 15:33

Hey guys,
I received a notice from German customs today. It says "Keyboard parts" with a value of 90 USD.
But I ordered two keyboards and paid a lot more.
I also have to present the bill at the customs. Is this going to be a problem?

Zifle

13 Apr 2013, 15:58

My set (for one board) was also marked at $90, although I didn't have to confirm the amount, so I had no problem. You might want to talk to massdrop, since they're the ones that marked it at a lower price.

mintberryminuscrunch

13 Apr 2013, 16:44

wasabah wrote:Hey guys,
I received a notice from German customs today. It says "Keyboard parts" with a value of 90 USD.
But I ordered two keyboards and paid a lot more.
I also have to present the bill at the customs. Is this going to be a problem?
If you show them the invoice they just recalculate the fees. You won't have to pay a fine, if that's your worry.

hoggy

13 Apr 2013, 18:04

Talk to massdrop, maybe they will give you a 'bill' for 90 dollars... :grin:

zet13

13 Apr 2013, 19:01

xauser post us a vidéo now please !!! :D

wasabah

13 Apr 2013, 21:12

hoggy wrote:Talk to massdrop, maybe they will give you a 'bill' for 90 dollars... :grin:
you think they would?

Aleksander

13 Apr 2013, 22:04

So I got mine a few days ago and looked through it and the stuff I ordered was there, and some misc cables and a info-card about the teensy.
and after reading about some of you guys missing stuff I took another look.

My order was 1 set of keycaps and 2 PCBs (left+right)

What I received was 1 set of keycaps, 4 PCBs, one set of screws for a case, one I/O-expander, one cable to go between the sides, 2 USB-cables and one teensy "leaflet"

So I guess they had a few beers to many during the packing..

bjarven

13 Apr 2013, 23:23

I finished mine today. :) Not that many problems during the assembly, but i got a bit scared when i plugged it in the first time... The right hand worked without the left but with both plugged in it would not be recognized as a keyboard at all. It turned out the capacitor in the left bord touched the aluminum case. And they warned about that in the instructions so it was a dumb mistake... Anyway, works like a charm now!

I put on kinesis keycaps instead, i prefer to have them in different profiles instead of all the same.

Do I have to push the button on the teensy to remap the keybord?
Attachments
155685_10151337580692751_1951120346_n.jpg
155685_10151337580692751_1951120346_n.jpg (104.6 KiB) Viewed 3172 times

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sordna

14 Apr 2013, 00:34

Nice! Yes, you need to push the button on the teensy the first time, so make sure the layout you load has a key (preferably in some layer) that programs the teensy, so you can do it without the actual teensy button going forward. I drilled some holes in my top cover, just in case I need to push that button without opening the case. It came handy when I programmed the teensy blinky program by accident :-)

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