Posts tagged "keyboards"
Remember when I was tweaking the layout of my Nine keyboard? Well, the keyboard rabbit hole called to me again, and — long story short — I built and am using a new keyboard: the TOTEM by GEIGEIGEIST. Oops.
Now that I have settled in to using my Nine keyboard (see Part one and Part two), I have been thinking about small tweaks to the layout. I think that you need to use a layout for a reasonable amount of time before you figure out what really works and does not work for you. In my case, I wanted to rethink the one-shot aspects of the second alpha layer.
Remember when I said that I was going to try to tweak Ben Vallack’s Piano keyboard design to fit my hands and use case better? Well, I’ve done it, and am typing this article on it right now!
Before I get to the details, in the interests of full transparency I need to tell you that PCBWay got in contact with me (after I had started designing the board) and offered to sponsor me. I do get similar offers from time to time from all sorts of companies, but very rarely take them up. However, I felt fine about accepting this sponsorship as a) I had ordered the PCBs for the Piano from them (paying for them myself), and was very impressed with their service and the quality of the boards, and therefore b) I had already decided that I was going to order boards in matte black and gold ENIG finish for this keyboard from them before they made the sponsorship offer. The arrangement is that they paid the cost of producing the boards plus shipping, and in return I would write an honest review of their product and service.
So without further ado, here it is. Introducing the Nine keyboard…
I can’t believe how long it has been since I last posted. I have to say that it has been a very tough few months. At times I have to admit that I have found it hard to hold things together, and I have been constantly exhausted, with no energy left over after the cycle of work, eat, sleep (a bit), repeat. Thankfully things are easing a little now, and I am beginning to look forward to a break over Christmas.
Now that I’ve got the energy back for writing, I wanted to post about my latest keyboard adventures: meet The Piano, designed by Ben Vallack.
If you have (or make) a keyboard which is fully programmable, it’s likely that
you will spend a lot of time messing about with programming it: not because you
need to, but just because you can. My little Ferris Sweep has been through
several iterations of layouts this year. I know me, so I would bet no money at
all on this being true, but I think that I might be getting close to the perfect
layout for me with this keyboard. In the process, I have also stopped using
in Emacs in favour of the delightful meow.
Since I last wrote, I have been busy tinkering with the layout for my Ferris Sweep in spare moments.
As Jane Austen might have written (had she been a geek with a keyboard obsession), it is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of keyboard they have built will soon want to build another. Having built three Corne keyboards (two from conventional PCB kits, and one handwired), I was keen to try a different style. I definitely wanted a split, ortholinear keyboard, and one that supported Kailh Choc key switches.
It seems that building keyboards is addictive. After my first attempt, I made another, this time a version with LED lighting. At least, that was the plan. While the soldering for the keyboard itself went smoothly, soldering the LEDs (SK6812MINI 3228 LEDs) was enormously frustrating. These LEDs have tiny contact pads on the back of the unit, so to solder them into the openings in the PCB so that they shine through the switches, you are supposed to create solder bridges from the back of the LED to the PCB.