daskeyboard product management

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

31 Dec 2019, 04:53

A little bit of news here: I'm going to be helping daskeyboard with their 2020 product offerings in a pretty formal capacity. I (very vaguely) hinted about this a few weeks ago:

viewtopic.php?p=456777#p456777

So, please, shoot me your slings and arrows about the 5Q, or let me know what you'd like to see in a future daskeyboard offering. We've already got some ideas, both some fairly boring ones and some pretty damn crazy ones!

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Elrick

31 Dec 2019, 07:17

XMIT wrote:
31 Dec 2019, 04:53
So, please, shoot me your slings and arrows about the 5Q, or let me know what you'd like to see in a future daskeyboard offering.
The 5Q is an RGB - ABORTION best left in the bin after it's been chopped and pulled out of the factory's orifice. It shouldn't of even been allowed to draw breath upon this planet in the first place.

Also the switches are like an attempt at making something tactile but FAILS immensely. Logitech even gave up on that switch design before they moved on over to using kailh switches.

Now there is the new frontier of switches that actually do give tactile or clicky feeling without going all RGB crazy.
XMIT wrote:
31 Dec 2019, 04:53
We've already got some ideas, both some fairly boring ones and some pretty damn crazy ones!
JUST choose better switches for the feeling during long typing sessions, instead of short facebook postings, for the moronic or the twitter clowns online.

Get back to making real keyboards that use fantastic feeling switches that many would want but all too few companies deliver. You may wonder why so many instead go for Korean Keyboards with excessively expensive designs that last forever. Because they supply something every other company has continued to fail.

Keyboards that the end user can hot swap their own switches to use for the future and that is what's required as we go forth and obtain new switches to use inside our old keyboards.

A keyboard once purchased has to be kept for more than one year and can adjust their desire to install new switches to change their ongoing preferences.

If Das could do that for the future then I would buy one. I doubt that would ever happen here because they would rather concentrate on the 'idiot brigade' and their love of RGB lighting and facebook postings instead :( .

xxhellfirexx

31 Dec 2019, 07:47

Here is my wishlist:

Plate mounted switches
Use screws, not clips.
No glossy plastic
Save key maps and macros without additional software
Open source firmware for enthusiasts to tinker with
Pbt keycap option with standard bottom row
Detachable cable (coiled/sleeved)
Lock indicators beside keys
Variable distance actuation
Optional backlight model
Tenkeyless with optional numpad and macropad

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

31 Dec 2019, 21:43

Elrick, it's always interesting to hear from you, that's for certain.

The 5Q is a controversial keyboard for sure. I wasn't involved in the design or manufacture of it.

It was certainly built around RGB backlighting as the primary feature. They feel really different from say MX Brown. I think it's the fact that they have a lot of preload in a short amount of travel. This is the force curve for the Logitech Romer G Tactile:
Logitech Romer G Tactile Force Curve
Logitech Romer G Tactile Force Curve
Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 14.35.48 .jpg (48.28 KiB) Viewed 3318 times
(from https://www.logitechg.com/en-us/innovat ... tches.html)

A nice keyboard has to have good feel, first and foremost.

Continuing on about switch selection: daskeyboard caters to a couple of markets. One is a group of people who just want a nice keyboard and want to use it as is. Another is a group who really wants to customize every little thing. There is a cost associated with being able to change switches. I'm not just talking about the added bill of materials cost: hot swap sockets are another potential failure point.

I'd personally like to have a really nice, quiet, tactile, full travel switch.

xxhellfirexx, I have a very similar wishlist. I don't like to put lock indicators on keys themselves because I like to remap Caps Lock to Control. So having my Control key light up for no good reason seems silly.
Last edited by XMIT on 06 Jan 2020, 17:15, edited 3 times in total.

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Elrick

02 Jan 2020, 00:54

XMIT wrote:
31 Dec 2019, 21:43
A nice keyboard has to have good feel, first and foremost.
Das should make you their Design Manger of their firm.
XMIT wrote:
31 Dec 2019, 21:43
I'd like for us to have a really nice, quiet, tactile, full travel switch that let's say 80% of customers would be delighted to use as is.
Good to see us on the same page here. Make sure you find some decent tactile switches (which are quiet) like the latest Zilent's in the 67g range (they are worth the price and are near perfection for feel, yes that awesome feeling).

That would indeed make this future Das Keyboard something to buy and own for most here on DT ;) .

Also make it match the styling of 1970's keyboard's that were used at NASA. Or at least match the unique IBM Beamsprings but using the standard ANSI or ISO layout of today. Just design a casing that attracts the price and makes it far heavier than anything else being sold on the market today.

Many believe a HEAVY keyboard is worth the higher price tag, like a full Aluminium Custom Keyboard.

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abrahamstechnology

02 Jan 2020, 01:08

Make a board like the Dell AT101 but with Tai-Hao doubleshot keycaps, with both an Alps clone and MX versions. No backlight just a basic good keyboard design.

You can have a budget version with a plastic plate all the way up to higher end with stainless steel plate and wireless models.

Also a TKL version with a matching numpad would be nice too.

davkol

02 Jan 2020, 13:42

Das Keyboard was originally advertised to typists and I can get onboard with that for the most part: so, make an ergonomic keyboard. Okay, that might not have the mass appeal, but there's certainly a big demand for something like Microsoft Natural, which has been a mainstream success too.

On technical level, I like the Input Club's new Hall-effect project and the trend of moving to more open software/firmware in general (Keyboardio, UHK, even Wooting to a certain extent).

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

02 Jan 2020, 22:11

Make a board like the Dell AT101 but with Tai-Hao doubleshot keycaps
I appreciate the classic styling of the AT101 series as well but it's not quite the aesthetic we're after. Full sized, sure, but with cleaner lines (not a curve on the side) and narrower bezels (not a giant forehead). Tai-Hao caps are pretty pricey for what you get. The daskeyboard font may be a bit /too/ modern sometimes but Helvetica isn't really what I'm after either.
with both an Alps clone and MX versions
Why offer 2-3 okay key switch options instead of one really good one? I'd rather us focus one one really excellent switch that becomes the next Zealio or Holy Panda instead of offering a mediocre Alps mount option. MX mount isn't perfect but it's the most compatible. (I'm personally a huge fan of Topre mount.)
Tenkeyless with optional numpad and macropad
Also a TKL version with a matching numpad would be nice too.
That's certainly something to consider! A good numpad needs to be part of the design from the start to get it just right.
make an ergonomic keyboard
The ergo market is already pretty crowded. Plus, this is pure bias, but I don't much care for Ergo boards even though I have a few in my collection (IBM M15, Cherry G80-5000, Apple Adjustable Keyboard, etc.).

A technical note: there are some interesting projects that try to solve the problem of how to deal with a split keyboard cleanly on the host. I'd like to see where these go.
Last edited by XMIT on 06 Jan 2020, 17:16, edited 1 time in total.

davkol

02 Jan 2020, 23:52

I come across people who just want a MS Natural (Ergonomic 4000) clone but "mechanical" almost every day. Their options are extremely limited to the best of my knowledge. If they don't want to learn a different layout like ErgoDox, it's only
  • Kinesis Freestyle Pro (Edge if they want backlight),
  • Matias Ergo Pro (unless the switches start to chatter or it fails for some other random reason),
  • Mistel Barocco (split Pok3r or now a 75% version too),
  • UHK (if they don't mind 60% and spending about $400),
  • apparently Dygma Raise now too (it was a crowdfunding campaign too),
  • some weird stuff imported from China or
  • a couple of DIY kits (Quefrency, VE.A, if you really stretch it then TGR Alice).
That's like 2-3 decent options for 60% to 75% form factor.

If someone wants a standard tenkeyless or full-size, tough luck. Fixed split with tilt is not really an option either. Keycap compatibility is often limited for no good reason. (OTOH some of them could use larger modifier keys.) Analog switches? AFAIK only CM & Aimpad have crowdfunded a 'ControlPad'.

Even I would love to see a modular full-size keyboard that would let you use it as both MS Natural and Kinesis Freestyle or drop some module for gaming/editing/… (The modules being locked together using magnets, of course.) That with some analog switches.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

03 Jan 2020, 01:00

I mean, certainly there is market demand for ergonomic keyboards. I'd want it to be something that uses normal-ish switches, something that has a normal-ish layout, something that has something a little bit more than just a split without being insane, and something that fits into the rest of the product line nicely.

You did qualify with "don't want to learn a different layout". So the classic Kinesis board and some newer options like the keyboard.io Model 01 are out.

Again, I don't use ergo boards, but the M15 is one of my personal favorites. The Apple Adjustable Keyboard had some interesting ideas but I think forcing the spacebar to be fixed was a poor choice (and let's not even think about the function keys...).

If you see us do an ergo board, it will be tasteful, for sure. But we have to work on doing what we do well before moving to other things.
Last edited by XMIT on 06 Jan 2020, 17:16, edited 1 time in total.

Findecanor

03 Jan 2020, 01:33

(Bah. I accidentally reloaded. Second attempt)

Some good ideas I have collected, that I'd like more keyboards to have:
• Programmable. Stored on keyboard. Available as file on mountable file system that also has firmware (Kinesis Advantage2, if they haven't patented it). File system becomes available with a key combo, so as to not auto-mount all the time.
• Universal USB Type C hub. Ports on left and right (vintage Apple, Sun, etc...), and middle, all of which could connect to the upstream host, or daisy-chained peripheral (mouse, numpad, etc.). No more cable gutter.
• Has DIP switches (or whatever) to swap Caps Lock and Control, or even to make Caps Lock an additional Control, and comes with keycaps to match this. (KUL). If there are lock-lights under keycaps, they are under both keycaps and only one gets lit to reflect the setting (also Ducky)
• Similarly, the "Nordic" layout version of the keyboard comes with additional keycaps so we don't get a weird jumble of symbols. (Some cheap rubber dome keyboards do this! Why can't you?)
• USB suspend means suspend for real, following the USB spec. The backlight goes off. The hub shuts off (so that a jittery mouse on a shiny surface would not automatically awake the machine).

If backlit (although I'd rather see Das go back to its roots and do BLANK keyboards):
• Have keycaps that are readable with the backlight off
• Use switches with light guide that lits up the centre of the keycaps (Omron Gamma-Zulu, Flaretech), or invent some light-guide for Cherry MX-style switches that transfers light to the keycap and not to the sides.
• Use an ambient light sensor to adjust intensity and colour temperature, but do also allow intensity and colour temperature to be configurable: away from everything else.
• Allow configuration of backlight to change on press of Fn, to highlight that layer.
• Proximity sensor to shut off backlight when user AFK (Logitech Craft)
• Allow configuring change of locking state to change colour and/or blinking state of sideglow. (A more visible indicator that that pesky Caps Lock has been activated again ... ;) )

If wireless:
• Fn+Ctrl+0,1,2,3,4 to switch between USB host, BT 1, BT 2, ... It's the best scheme I've seen. (HHKB Hybrid, but not only).
• If the keyboard has a USB hub, act as USB host and compound BT device in BT mode. (only when USB-connected)
• Battery compartment that fits both AA/AAA or a rechargeable battery, but not both at the same time. The keyboard would charge a rechargeable battery but not attempt to recharge AAA batteries.

Other:
• Make it low. Not with low-profile switches. I just prefer to avoid unnecessary bulk under the PCB/plate sandwich. (But you could bully Cherry to develop tactile, damped "Cherry MX Low Profile" switches. ;) and then make a semi-low profile keyboard)
• Consider gasket mount of plate with PCB hanging down from it. USB port/s should be on breakout boards anyway.
• I've heard about some Outemu Ice switches that should be tactile with damped sliders (similar to Zilents but less expensive), but I have not been able to get any. I would like to see a switch like this become more mainstream.
• Make it classy looking.
davkol wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 23:52
I come across people who just want a MS Natural (Ergonomic 4000) clone but "mechanical" almost every day.
...tenkeyless ... keycap compatibility ... modular...
XMIT wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:00
But an ergo board isn't currently on the product horizon.
I have been working on a design that would satisfy most of those requirements but I'd want to let it be available for the DIY crowd. Might still be too radical for Das also, but I suck at getting things done.
Last edited by Findecanor on 03 Jan 2020, 03:01, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Elrick

03 Jan 2020, 02:39

XMIT wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 22:11
Make a board like the Dell AT101 but with Tai-Hao doubleshot keycaps
I appreciate the classic styling of the AT101 series as well but it's not quite the aesthetic we're after. Full sized, sure, but with cleaner lines (not a curve on the side) and narrower bezels (not a giant forehead).
Disagree with you strongly here about having a 'Giant Forehead' on a keyboard because that is what serious typists want. The slim line look belongs in the bin, along with all anorexic regurgitation of that failed and tired concept.

WE want a fully sized keyboard without the trimmings because there is a whole market out there of copied slim-down versions from Cherry, Corsair and Razer all copying that very same, stagnant look.
XMIT wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 22:11
Tai-Hao caps are pretty pricey for what you get. The daskeyboard font may be a bit /too/ modern sometimes but Helvetica isn't really what I'm after either.
Happy if you asked Max Keys or SP to produce SA styled key-caps in PBT. That alone deserves serious contemplation rather than using laser etched cheapo junk, like what your employer had used in the distant past.
XMIT wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 22:11
I'd rather us focus one one really excellent switch that becomes the next Zealio or Holy Panda instead of offering a mediocre Alps mount option. MX mount isn't perfect but it's the most compatible. (I'm personally a huge fan of Topre mount.)
Agreed because the MX mount can use a variety of key-cap profiles and colours. Although having an authentic Alps Keyboard again with all PBT key-set, would give me an instant stroke of excitement and at my age could not afford that level of happiness and death, at the same time.
XMIT wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 22:11
make an ergonomic keyboard
The ergo market is already pretty crowded. Plus, this is pure bias, but I don't much care for Ergo boards even though I have a few in my collection (IBM M15, Cherry G80-5000, Apple Adjustable Keyboard, etc.).
Ergo keyboards have a very tiny market for customers and users hence you have to design and manufacture a keyboard that the 'majority' would want to own and use on a daily basis.

Again, we need a robust and heavy keyboard design (no slim line junk design allowed here) that would entice the older, very rich retirees to buy yet again.

All PBT key-set sitting on Zilent switches of varying spring weights or what ever latest clicky and loud Switch that will be available. Avoid anything made by Cherry because that would indeed cause me to zip up my wallet, concerning any future Das purchases forever more. They will submerge into Razer and Corsair keyboard market line, which all belong in Hell burning atop Satan's pile of failed junkware.

Don't let your employer take the cheap route here because if they want to entice money for their product line then they MUST deliver a serious keyboard look reminiscent of IBM Beamsprings.

Just show your new Boss what those keyboards fetch on Flebay at the current moment...... Ancient designs that don't work on any PC today, yet see what they're worth despite that major impediment.

Hak Foo

03 Jan 2020, 03:09

Sell me the board I have now, but with better keycaps :P. An ANSI-modded Omnikey with a modern PCB and controller.

* Normal 103-104 layout plus a side bank of 12 keys for macros. The left side bank is a great position for many macros or conveniences like media controls because it's still reachable while riding WASD for gaming.
* Decent "typist who wants you to know he's typing" switches (Matias click, Hua-Jie, maybe Kailh Box Jade) Yeah, you can't do buckling or beamspring but you can get next closest.
* Programmable with config stored on board, so you don't need to drag around an iffy-quality macro tool or try to support it on (NetBSD/Haiku/FreeDOS)

I like the "forehead" because it's a good place to prop up notes (think of when you're enterring your tax forms)

Findecanor

03 Jan 2020, 03:25

Elrick wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 02:39
XMIT wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 22:11
Make a board like the Dell AT101 but with Tai-Hao doubleshot keycaps
I appreciate the classic styling of the AT101 series as well but it's not quite the aesthetic we're after. Full sized, sure, but with cleaner lines (not a curve on the side) and narrower bezels (not a giant forehead).
Disagree with you strongly here about having a 'Giant Forehead' on a keyboard because that is what serious typists want. The slim line look belongs in the bin, along with all anorexic regurgitation of that failed and tired concept.
I agree in part. I do like the look of a classic "banana"-curved keyboard case, like what the Dell AT101 has.
The "no frills" classic (and blank) keyboard is kind of what Das got famous for once upon a time. It used to be its brand identity - to stand out ... by refusing to jump on trends. Classic style in a time when the mainstream M$ keyboard (and the followers') looked like a puddle of melted ice-cream.
The keyboards with blank keys felt like they were kin with the HHKB, but full-size. Keyboards for pro's, for hackers.

The ideal would maybe be a curved case with keycaps with skirts adjusted to match (like what AEK/II has) but that would require a custom keycap profile and would perhaps be asking for too much.
The curve would invoke the feeling of a classic keyboard, but to be modern the borders should not be too wide.

For standard keycaps, I would instead like to propose the BTC 51xx for inspiration, with its more subdued S-curve and border widths that I find ideal. I think that it would look better with somewhat more rounded edges though. I'm biased because my daily driver has a modified BTC case - with edges that I have rounded. :P. It sits quite low, but the internals are also actually somewhat sunken (both in original BTC and in my keyboard) which makes it look slimmer than it really is. (My keyboard's curve is also accentuated by the bottom row being Row A profile, which is higher than the row above it. The gaps are from the mods being done by hand)
profile.jpg
profile.jpg (1.02 MiB) Viewed 3051 times
You could also look at the aforementioned HHKB's curved top case. It has standard Topre keycaps after all, with no curved skirts. But an S-curve would work better when the function-key row is the same profile as the numeric row.

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Elrick

03 Jan 2020, 04:25

Hak Foo wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 03:09
I like the "forehead" because it's a good place to prop up notes (think of when you're enterring your tax forms)
The 'Forehead' is where it's at.

You can also keep numerous pens and pencils at bay above your keys always available for some personal input elsewhere in the Warehouse or Workshop.

Everyone thinks that you ONLY need keys and nothing else but these morons always forget that the keyboard only provides input into the PC system and you still need to use other equipment to make notes and rewrite orders and forms.

It's the 21st century and the pen or pencil is still required in the REAL World.
Last edited by Elrick on 03 Jan 2020, 23:13, edited 3 times in total.

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Elrick

03 Jan 2020, 04:26

Elrick wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 04:25

Re-pressed the same key again. See how pathetic I can be with all the ankle-biters getting in the way at home.

Can't wait for my next tour of Duty.

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Darkshado

03 Jan 2020, 07:06

For all the criticisms some have towards Cherry, their "gold crosspoint" contacts shouldn't oxidize like I've seen on that 4C with Greetech switches, keep that in mind with respect to longer term reliability.

Some other ideas...
a plate mount TKL with relatively narrow side bezels: short of an ergonomic keyboard à la MS Sculpt Ergo it's an acceptable solution to keep my mouse close by and my right shoulder happy
quality keycaps: e.g. thick PBT dye subs; with perhaps a laser option for custom and low-volume international layouts - I could mix dye-sub QWERTY alphas, arrows and mods with lasered caps for the remainder of my typically unavailable Canadian French layout

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abrahamstechnology

04 Jan 2020, 04:13

XMIT wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 22:11

I appreciate the classic styling of the AT101 series as well but it's not quite the aesthetic we're after. Full sized, sure, but with cleaner lines (not a curve on the side) and narrower bezels (not a giant forehead). Tai-Hao caps are pretty pricey for what you get. The daskeyboard font may be a bit /too/ modern sometimes but Helvetica isn't really what I'm after either.
You could try something along the lines of an IBM Preferred Pro keyboard, it has a little whoosh in the top that serves as a pen holder, plus a built in wrist rest (maybe make it removable in yours). In fact, a lot of mid 2000s rubber dome keyboards have pretty pleasing and unique case designs. Just use some of those for inspiration and give them a proper mech interior.

Tai-Hao has done keycaps for a lot of the great boards of old. They are a veteran in mechanical keyboard industry, and I am not sure where you are getting the "pricey" thing from, their caps are already some of the cheapest. Even Matias's crappier lasered caps cost around $20 more than a set of Tai Hao (they make cherry mount also). The price will obviously be much cheaper per set if an OEM like you commits to buy a large quantity of sets. Also, Helvetica is a very good font. Modern mech fonts scream "edgy 12 year old fortnite player", it's high time we return to the tried and true proper keyboard font.
Why offer 2-3 key switch options when you can't get one right? I'd rather us focus one one really excellent switch that becomes the next Zealio or Holy Panda instead of offering a mediocre Alps mount option. MX mount isn't perfect but it's the most compatible. (I'm personally a huge fan of Topre mount.)
Check out Durock's line of switches. They are even making a silent linear now, they could make a silent T1 switch.
Tenkeyless with optional numpad and macropad
Also a TKL version with a matching numpad would be nice too.
That's certainly something to consider! A good numpad needs to be part of the design from the start to get it just right.
Perhaps you could use rare earth magnents to attach the numpad to either side of the keyboard you want. Possibly make the nav cluster a detachable module too.

Last thing: for the numpad you should use all 1u keys so you can have a backspace, tab equals, and 00 keys. I rebuilt a G80 with a numpad like that and it's very useful for data entry (one of my co workers uses it now).

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

04 Jan 2020, 21:21

Some really good ideas here. Design is all about compromises. If you try to make a keyboard for everyone... you end up with something that looks an awful lot like a Dell rubberdome. Responding to Findecanor here. I'll respond to the others as well, I promise! :ugeek:

I think it's really good when some of the bigger keyboard brands hang out here to try and learn. I haven't seen CM Bram on here in ages. I wonder if he's still at CM. (pmkftw, on the other hand...)
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
(Bah. I accidentally reloaded. Second attempt)
(Ugh. I hate it when my posts get clobbered. I almost always compose in a separate text editor to avoid this problem.)
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
Programmable. Stored on keyboard. [...]
At this point I'd prefer programmable with flash storage to say DIP switches. The switches add cost and complexity. The way I see it, if someone wants to configure their keyboard, they are a power user, and can figure out how to use the software configuration tool or a keyboard shortcut.

No USB storage. People are already accusing daskeyboard of having key loggers. Even if they are just trolls, I don't want the hardware to even allow this. Hence selecting parts with just enough flash.
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
Universal USB Type C hub [...]
I agree. The questions is if I want to have three or five (!) USB ports, and if I want them to all be on the rear edge or if I want any on the sides. I don't see side cable exits being used too often. Apple keyboards with ADB did this, it was neat.
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
Has DIP switches (or whatever) to swap Caps Lock and Control, or even to make Caps Lock an additional Control, and comes with keycaps to match this. (KUL). If there are lock-lights under keycaps, they are under both keycaps and only one gets lit to reflect the setting (also Ducky)
No DIP switches. But yes, some standard mods are CapsLock<->LCtrl, Win<->Alt, `~ <-> Esc, and Backspace <-> \|. I do believe that key caps should have legends with the actual function of the key so I'd like to include, if nothing else, macOS modifiers, CapsLock/Ctrl swaps, and of course an XMIT key for Enter.

I really don't like the idea of lock LEDs under keys. The Model M didn't have them, why should we? I like having the keyboard state anunciated in one place. Granted, if the keyboard is itself backlit, this would just be a firmware feature.
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
Similarly, the "Nordic" layout version of the keyboard[...]
If we do PBT dyesubs or lasering or something where you don't need new tooling for glyphs: sure. Expect that initial offerings will just be US-ANSI.
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
USB suspend means suspend for real, following the USB spec
Educate me, since it's a long time since I've looked at the spec and am too lazy now: which part, exactly?

I'd still like the keyboard to be able to wake the host from suspend if possible.
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
If backlit (although I'd rather see Das go back to its roots and do BLANK keyboards) [...]
I think there has to be room in our lineup for backlit and non-backlit keyboards. The new 4C uses black-on-slate PBT dyesubs, Topre style. I think that's the best compromise for most users. We'll probably make a non-printed key cap set available, perhaps at a discount if bundled with a keyboard.

Backlighting, if there, has to be good. Really good. I'm talking about pretty fast PWM refresh rates, fairly fine grained backlight adjustment, and possibly four-color LEDs (RGB+white).

There's substantial investment with Omron switches (Gamma Zulu is an Omron switch). I'm going to see what we can do to improve on the existing design. A matte black plate really cuts down on distracting reflections. The dream would be OLEDs embedded in the key top but I think that's a long ways away.

Ambient lighting sensing is a really interesting idea, as is user sensing. DMA and I were talking about using capsense for this at the Norcal Keyboard Meetup not too long ago.
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
If wireless[...]
These are good suggestions.
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
Other[...]
I agree with the keyboard being low. Some people (like me...) have big legs and like to type with the keyboard practically on the lap so reduced Z-height here is nice. Some other people (like me in the past) use a keyboard tray with a negative tilt.

Gasket mount is an interesting idea. We do want to build a quiet keyboard.

I'd love to do a fairly mainstream keyboard with dampened tactile switches. I'm trying out some BOX Royals right now and am enjoying them. Zilents would be neat - I may offer these for a high end, limited run board. But Zilents are expensive. I don't know what switch manufacturer we'll use.

Whatever daskeyboard makes needs to look really sharp. The daskeyboard 3 and 4 had some controversial styling. The 5 was a bit more conventional. I'm going for something fairly timeless.
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
I have been working on a[n ergo] design
I'd love to see it!
Last edited by XMIT on 06 Jan 2020, 17:19, edited 1 time in total.

Findecanor

04 Jan 2020, 23:54

XMIT wrote:
04 Jan 2020, 21:21
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
Programmable. Stored on keyboard. [...]
No USB storage. People are already accusing daskeyboard of having key loggers. Even if they are just trolls, I don't want the hardware to even allow this. Hence selecting parts with just enough flash.
I understand that position. The big point is otherwise that you would be able to configure the keyboard from any operating system — not just those which you have written the configuration tool to.
I'm a Linux user myself, and Linux isn't just one platform: distros are more or less incompatible between one-another. Gaming keyboard's config programs are usually Windows only.
For over a year I couldn't configure my Wooting One (kickstarter backer) only because the configuration program was Windows 64-bit only and my only Windows machine had 32-bit Windows. And I can't change anything on it now either ... and I think the reason might be that the keyboard's original firmware is now too old for the latest config program to be able to upgrade it to the latest firmware. :roll:
XMIT wrote:
04 Jan 2020, 21:21
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
Universal USB Type C hub [...]
I agree. The questions is if I want to have three or five (!) USB ports, and if I want them to all be on the rear edge or if I want any on the sides. I don't see side cable exits being used too often. Apple keyboards with ADB did this, it was neat.
Apple put them either facing back, on the bottom or on a separate "hump" at the back. I don't like USB ports that are on the actual side where the cable would get in the way for the mouse. (That point got lost in edit, sorry)
XMIT wrote:
04 Jan 2020, 21:21
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33
USB suspend means suspend for real, following the USB spec
Educate me, since it's a long time since I've looked at the spec and am too lazy now: which part, exactly?
I'm referring to power draw, which could get important if leave it plugged into a smaller laptop or BT adaptor.
If there is backlighting or sideglow, it should be off. DIY keyboards with QMK firmware are especially guilty of this.
If you have mechanical switches then polling the keyboard now and then doesn't draw much.
XMIT wrote:
04 Jan 2020, 21:21
Backlighting, if there, has to be good. Really good. I'm talking about pretty fast PWM refresh rates, fairly fine grained backlight adjustment, and possibly four-color LEDs (RGB+white).
Do RGBW LEDs exist in that size?

I have to apologise: when I had written "configurable colour temperature" before, I had the entire colour hue wheel in mind, not just the range between blue and yellow, but somehow I repeated what I had written before.
What I really meant was "adjustable white level". I think that could compensate for the problem that some keyboards have with LED intensity not being balanced. Even if you buy good LEDs, there are sometimes bad batches and I suspect that LEDs could drift over time.

Otherwise, I think light bundling is a matter of diffusion and keeping all LEDs on a key on the same matrix column so that they flicker in unison.

BTW. One thing I had forgotted to propose is a "Lock screen" key. That key seems to become quite mainstream on rubber dome keyboards now.
Oh, and one more thing: I have noticed in discussions that there are people who prefer left Windows key, right Windows key and who also like the Menu key. It would be nice if these could be configurable as well (in the config program. Would be fitting to have on a DIP switch otherwise ;) )
Some people do actually avoid buying a keyboard if the Fn key has bumped the wrong key for them.
Myself, as a Linux user I have the Menu key mapped to Compose (in the OS), and I use it a lot.

User avatar
Elrick

05 Jan 2020, 10:06

XMIT wrote:
04 Jan 2020, 21:21
I'd love to do a fairly mainstream keyboard with dampened tactile switches. I'm trying out some BOX Royals right now and am enjoying them. Zilents would be neat - I may offer these for a high end, limited run board. But Zilents are expensive. I don't know what switch manufacturer we'll use - I'm evaluating some right now.
Don't quibble about PRICE, when it comes to Keyboard Hardware here.

If those that value true excellent switch feels - then money is no object whatsoever. That's coming from a Convict Country that uses funny money to buy EVERYTHING on this planet and it's literally worthless. The Canadian dollar is worth far more than our pathetic currency. Monopoly money is even worth more than ours......
XMIT wrote:
04 Jan 2020, 21:21
And, of course, it does need to look really sharp. The daskeyboard 3 and 4 had some controversial styling. The 5 was a bit more conventional. I'm going for something fairly timeless.
Look XMIT all of the previous releases by your Company weren't even in the hemisphere of decent design and a lot of reviewers highlighted that fact. I know you're getting paid to paint them up but lets get factual here, their previous designs SUCK major league and only Razer stands out in front as truly horrid-lame junk with Das placed in second position.

Don't start delivering another Razer styled coloured model and pretend it's different, we're not that dumb here on DT. YOU need to seriously design a keyboard that doesn't copy the rabid junk already available, so throwing out another lame keyboard with a re-badged Das sticker on it, would indeed waste everyone's time on this wondrous planet.

Either do something really unique and up to par or simply go back to bed and sleep it off. Forget about trying to save their lazy arses if all they want is another Razer-rebrand keyboard instead.

squizzler

10 Jan 2020, 23:16

Switch technology seems to be gaining traction as a major differentiator with various optical and hall effect getting a lot of attention. Same with analogue.
Findecanor wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:33

• Make it low. Not with low-profile switches. I just prefer to avoid unnecessary bulk under the PCB/plate sandwich. (But you could bully Cherry to develop tactile, damped "Cherry MX Low Profile" switches. ;) and then make a semi-low profile keyboard)
One way to lower the stack height of switches plus caps might be to standardise on the keycap mounting used by your Omron 'Gamma zulu' switch. Those keycaps have a central void for backlighting - where Cherry put the MX stem - and fasten onto the edges of the switch slider. Might it be possible to package the mechanical parts into this void thereby reducing the stack height at the expense of lighting?

There are other mounting types than MX available, some of which might allow lower stack height, but adopting this one in particular would allow Das to stick with one for their full range.

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

13 Jan 2020, 18:05

I can't say too much more at the moment, other than:

- I've read the entire thread.
- There are some really neat ideas here!
- I'm doing everything in my power to make the next daskeyboard offerings really great.

User avatar
Elrick

15 Jan 2020, 03:35

XMIT wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 18:05
I can't say too much more at the moment, other than:
- I'm doing everything in my power to make the next daskeyboard offerings really great.
Every confidence that this next Das release won't be a total failure like their previous disaster's simply because they are at least smart enough, to rely upon XMIT to deliver their next money making design.

Something that finally looks like a decent sized keyboard for enthusiasts. It has too be the Battle-ship of Keyboards for any long term typing or Gaming experience.

The 'Click" is all important and how it resonates or not, is the final achievement ;) .

Findecanor

23 Jan 2020, 08:53

One more thing just for completeness, although I think XMIT is already aware:
* Real NKRO.

Do let your firmware developer read this (from the Wiki):
The trick to supporting both boot and NKRO is for the keyboard to expose two interfaces — one boot interface and one NKRO interface — but to not send (valid) reports on both at the same time. The change-overs happen when the boot keyboard receives "Set Protocol" requests, which (some) BIOS:es and all fully-fledged operating systems send.

Soarer's Converter and firmware employ a variation of this trick, known to work with both Windows, MacOS and Linux. The 6KRO "boot" protocol is sent always but the report descriptor for that interface describes it as containing no keys. Therefore, only a BIOS (which does not read report descriptors) would read from that interface but ignore the non-boot interface, and vice versa.
These tricks are also implemented in TMK/QMK and Kiibohd.

Here is the report descriptor used in Kiibohd, with notes on quirks in host USB stacks.

However, Windows does not officially support all HID usage page 7 keyboard codes on a "Keyboard" interface. But you can apparently still use some of those other codes by sending them on a separate "Generic HID" interface, if you chose to support them.

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

23 Jan 2020, 18:08

daskeyboard's existing firmware "solves" this with a 6KRO/NKRO toggle. The reason for this is that some KVMs are incredibly picky and may not be happy with a keyboard that exposes two interfaces. They may, or may not, send a request. Some commercial KVMs are quite old, too.

The current firmwares are outsourced. I'd love to ship a board with QMK (or Kiibohd, or Kaleidoscope) in the future. I don't think it will be easy to get fine grained changes like these into the current firmwares.

USB stack differences are a special hell indeed. macOS's Fn key handling is just, wrong. Who puts USB vendor ID specific code in their USB stack? Apple, that's who. Thank goodness for Karabiner.

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

23 Jan 2020, 18:10

I'll add: the direction that Kiibohd is going is to use HID-IO. I haven't looked too closely but I think this involves a boot interface and a sideband that is way more robust, and talks to a host side driver and daemon. That way you can get native shifted characters, native Unicode input, modifiers jumping across keyboards, analog input, new modifiers, the works. But it does require client support.

User avatar
AdrianMan

26 Jan 2020, 08:43

Add options for :
Smooth & silent & tactile switches
Smooth & silent & liniar switches

Dampening foam inside case maybe between pcb+plate to eliminate hollow&reverb
Good lubed stabilizers
White/beige matte cases
Good thick keycaps with a lower comfortable profile (cherry/leopold/realforce)
Detachable cable
A bit of programabillity and key mapping
Fullsize&TKL&60% with standard layout at least
High profile cases
Option for plastic/pom plate
No shiny , creaky & clips plastic cases

User avatar
Elrick

26 Jan 2020, 12:37

AdrianMan wrote:
26 Jan 2020, 08:43
Add options for :
Smooth & silent & tactile switches
I'll buy it, if provided. If you can rip off Zilent's in 67g capacity then watch this keyboard fly out from the factory as soon as it's made.
AdrianMan wrote:
26 Jan 2020, 08:43
Dampening foam inside case maybe between pcb+plate to eliminate hollow&reverb
Good lubed stabilizers
White/beige matte cases
Goes without saying here. Definitely would be very nice to acquire something covering all those mentioned.
AdrianMan wrote:
26 Jan 2020, 08:43
Good thick keycaps with a lower comfortable profile (cherry/leopold/realforce)
Not really worried at all if it goes with MX fittings because you can always buy whole key-sets from GMK, SP or MaxKeys.

But if it's priority fittings which only Das Keyboards use then it MUST have a decent key-set in the SA Profile and nothing with slim line junk, really despise DSA rubbish styles. Bloody awful in every respect.
AdrianMan wrote:
26 Jan 2020, 08:43
Detachable cable
A bit of programabillity and key mapping
Fullsize&TKL&60% with standard layout at least
High profile cases
Option for plastic/pom plate
No shiny , creaky & clips plastic cases
YES if XMIT can deliver these items in a single keyboard then Das might have an actual winner keyboard not produced in deacdes. It would be a miracle because he did mention the owner is an A-hole and with them, it's their own misguided view that matters above everyone else's.

Hence why Das will always be just a surviving entity, waiting for Chapter 12.

Atlantic

26 Jan 2020, 12:50

100% honest feedback. I don't care about anything else as long as it comes with the POM keycaps featured on the DAS 2 (G80-3000)
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