This is an improved version of my tiny keyboard for stenography with Plover.
While using the previous version I discovered the following issues:
- my pinkies are moving too far (yes, I am a bit spoiled with Dactyl-Manuform and Let's Split boards.)
Pressing -TD and -SZ with any other right-hand keys (except the thumbs) required my palm spreading, which is a bit of a problem for me.
- index fingers and thumbs were working overtime as well. Thumbs had to press two keys all the time, so they had to move much more that the regular QWERTY typing with Dactyl-Manuforms.
In this version I brought keys closer so my tired fingers can move as little as possible.
Another thing I noticed was the force required to press the Matias switches when more than one button was used with one finger. Those switches seem to be harder if the force is applied sideways. That is in the steno one finger can be pushing from one to four keys. Looks like in the normal position (i.e. like this "=") the keys require greater force than if they are placed sideways. That is not their intended movement anyway. The switches are great, don't get me wrong - there is not the manufacturer's fault at all, the switches are superb. It is a simple math - 2 or 4 multiplied (what was the gF for a single key?) plus the friction from the misplaced pressure point, and the keys are hard push.
Surprisingly enough was the sideways push was not so hard, so I decided to rotate the switches to help with the most frequent scenario in steno - two keys in the same rows are pressed with one finger. Yes, that felt much better.
Also it allowed to bring the keys closer, thus limiting the pinkie and thumb movements.
The result is (not so surprisingly now) closer to the Stenograph Reporter machine layout.
Internally it is the same OLKB Planck-based keyboard. No changes from the original design there.
I only added the detachable cable - could not make up my mind how the cable should go, so just added two USB connectors on the left and in the middle, where the keys left some space along the back wall, just enough for the USB connectors.
They both can be used, one at the time of course.
Please note this thing is still a work-in-progress, the keytops are being printed at the moment of publishing.
UPD 20181019: added a picture with the connection diagram in it.
IMPORTANT: the case top part has to be mirrored in either X or Y direction.
I happened to leave it this way in the original project.
That is the right hand side has to have more keys than the left one.
The case (both top and bottom) can be printed as rough as is acceptable.
I printed them with .3 mm layers.
No raft or support is needed for them.
You may scale it 0.5-1% up, the original design considered the PLA shrinkage, but it is a bit too tight.
You may add the support - just to keep the USB holes covered.
As for the keytops - they better be printed on a raft. That makes the bottom side nicer.
The best result was when I printed them one by one.
No supports needed.
Keys are combined in pair to facilitate the printing, otherwise the tongue would require support. Snip off the link between the tops once it is cools down a bit.
When I tried to print the whole set of tops at once - there was too much webbing which spoils the edges making them scratchy.
0.1 mm layers were worse than 0.3 mm, not so much of an improvement on the working surface but more webbing and sharper corners.
So I had to send the same file 12 times of the original file.
Bill of Materials (from the comments)
Link to the Fusion 360 project
Why so many downloads?
I noticed unusual spike in downloads for that keyboard immediately after its publication.
Would someone share the source of that interest?
Is there a user group or something?