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Does Anyone Here Use Mechanical Keyboards?


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#21 ac12

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 05:55

I had several of the big single unit ergo keyboards 10+ years ago but I ruined all of them by spilling drinks on them...they were just too big and I was too clumsy.  The new Microsoft Ergo board is very nice.

 

If you want an ergo Star Trek style mechanical keyboard there is always the Advantage Pro which uses Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches (you will need a big desk though): 

 

kinesisadvantagepro.jpg

 

I am a CPA too though I haven't done accounting in a couple of years now but I found that I like a separate 10 key better than one attached to my keyboard as I like to be able to push one out of the way when I don't need it. 

 

When I was working I used these in the office because they didn't make much noise and I could fit a notepad or calculator in the middle:

 

kinesis_corporation_freestyle2_keyboard_

 

 

That Advantage Pro looks pretty intimidating.

I think I would have trouble with the 2-piece keyboards.  How do you keep them in place?

 

Hmm, for these keyboards, a separate 10-key pad would be needed.

Now the search for a decent 10-key pad.  The ones that I have are "tolerable" membrane keys that I use when I take my laptop on the road.

 

Looks like I'm also going to have to upgrade my KVM switch to a USB KVM switch.


Edited by ac12, 26 August 2015 - 05:56.

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#22 Keyless Works

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 06:06

cache_400_320_0_100_100_16777215_ac210us

 

I have one of these but in beige.  They use Cherry MX brown switches.  I like the 000 button which this one obviously doesn't have but if you use a 10 key a lot this one is the best I have used.  I checked the current prices and I am sorry to say its $60...I can't believe I paid so much for a 10 key...but in looking for others I see the Cherry branded ones aren't any cheaper. 

 

http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/shop/low-force-keypads-for-pc/ 



#23 ac12

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 18:24

 

cache_400_320_0_100_100_16777215_ac210us

 

I have one of these but in beige.  They use Cherry MX brown switches.  I like the 000 button which this one obviously doesn't have but if you use a 10 key a lot this one is the best I have used.  I checked the current prices and I am sorry to say its $60...I can't believe I paid so much for a 10 key...but in looking for others I see the Cherry branded ones aren't any cheaper. 

 

http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/shop/low-force-keypads-for-pc/ 

 

The  000  key makes more sense than the  00  key that some of the old calculators had.

Though I guess the  00  key was for even dollar amounts.

Why not have both  000  and  00  keys, yeah I know takes up space.

 

hmmm more to think about.


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#24 VinnyCordeiro

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 01:44

I have a Cherry G80-3000 with Cherry MX Black switches and a custom-made (by me) 60% keyboard with Gateron Blue switches. Right now I'm designing a custom numpad.



#25 Keyless Works

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 02:56

Cool do you have pictures of the board?



#26 ksm

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 08:10

Why I use mechanical keyboard?

 

Mechanical keyboard is a fine instrument, just like fountain pen.

Of course it is much sturdier, and much more resistant to abuse, I do not mind letting someone else to use my keyboard.

But just like fountain pen, mechanical keyboard requires proper skills (touch typing) and light touch to be fully appreciated.

 

In the 80's most keyboards were mechanical. Touch typists learned that you do not have to press a key all the way down  to get it registered. Each switch type has its switching point (usually between quarter and half way pressed), and some travel below switching point.

This is very important for RSI sufferers. One can type on mechanical keyboard without subjecting one's fingertips to plastic on plastic impacts.

 

Kinesis Advantage Pro shown above is a Maltron keyboard rip off. It's layout is beneficial for CTS sufferers. It allows to touchtype without forcing one's hands into unnatural position. I couldn't afford two such keyboards (one for work, and one for home) therefore I've use ErgoDox keyboard.

 

Me typing on ErgoDox keyboard:

 

 

Cheap membrane keyboards that took over the market in 90's need to be "bottomed out" (it means pressed all the way down) to register key press. Plastic on plastic impact of mechanical keyboards (woe of uninitiated typists) is replaced by plastic on rubber impact, but there is no way to avoid it.

Most of computer user who learned to type in 90's or later, do not know how to type without bottoming out. They mush the keys forcefully.

It's just like kids who have never written with anything other than ballpoint and have muscle cramps because of too forceful grip.


Edited by ksm, 27 August 2015 - 08:28.


#27 VinnyCordeiro

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 13:57

Cool do you have pictures of the board?

 

Of course I do!

 

FhTyFvC.jpg

 

The PCB. I sent that one to a guy I knew through GeekHack (an specialized mechanical keyboard forum), I got 6 boards from the prototype run.

 

spqX3CO.jpg

 

The assembled keyboard. Don't mind the mess, nor the rubber dome keyboard: this was my first own mechanical keyboard (and when the photo was taken it was still unprogrammed, so the rubber dome was still necessary). The Cherry keyboard was bought later.



#28 VinnyCordeiro

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 03:06

Forgot to say that the previous keyboard uses Gateron Blue switches, Tai-Hao ABS doubleshot keycaps and an Awesome face cap from KeyPop.

 

And today I soldered more 3 prototype keyboards:

 

original_2015-08-29%2023.21.30.jpg

 

The beige keycaps are the original caps from my G80-3000 keyboard, which is using GMK Triumph Adler (TA) keycaps (I'm using TA spacebar on this board, due to the G80-3000 stems being located in weird places). The orange-black keycaps are Tai-Hao PBT doubleshot. Finally, the last keyboard is using Ivan's GMK Dolch as base and GMK Red Esc from EliteKeyboards, but since this set is a leftover from Geekhack's group buy, it is incomplete (some caps were sent to buyers who got their caps scratched/missing). Because of that I'm using GMK TA Caps Lock cap and the numpad 0 cap as the left Shift (I already bought a new Shift in yellow from EliteKeyboards to put there).

 

These 3 new keyboards all uses Gateron Black switches.



#29 mcgeechan

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 20:47

I use an original IBM M series Keyboard - in my work I am based less than 5 miles from IBM's old manufacturing plant in Greenock Scotland, as such our IT graveyard at work was filled with old M series Keyboards that were actually made in the town. I spoke to the former IT director (who was actually an accountant) and convinced him to let me take them off their hands rather than paying to get the old IT gear disposed of.

I have a stack of 8 of them so If I ever get a problem I can just switch keyboard, they are all over 20 years old, and only had one fail and of that it was only the space bar.



#30 GordonOZ

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 21:02

Yikes when I read the title of this topic I had visions of the old teletype machines we used back in the 60's and 70's for the input of mainframe data and sending telegrams.... so you actually mean a cable keyboard... :)


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#31 Keyless Works

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 05:33

 

 

Kinesis Advantage Pro shown above is a Maltron keyboard rip off. It's layout is beneficial for CTS sufferers. It allows to touchtype without forcing one's hands into unnatural position. I couldn't afford two such keyboards (one for work, and one for home) therefore I've use ErgoDox keyboard.

 

You are right that Advantage Pro is based of a Maltron design but I don't know who in their right mind would buy a Maltron...they use Cherry Blacks, aren't programmable, and cost $700+.  It's a bad keyboard at $100 much less $700. 



#32 Keyless Works

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 05:35

Forgot to say that the previous keyboard uses Gateron Blue switches, Tai-Hao ABS doubleshot keycaps and an Awesome face cap from KeyPop.

 

And today I soldered more 3 prototype keyboards:

 

 

 

The beige keycaps are the original caps from my G80-3000 keyboard, which is using GMK Triumph Adler (TA) keycaps (I'm using TA spacebar on this board, due to the G80-3000 stems being located in weird places). The orange-black keycaps are Tai-Hao PBT doubleshot. Finally, the last keyboard is using Ivan's GMK Dolch as base and GMK Red Esc from EliteKeyboards, but since this set is a leftover from Geekhack's group buy, it is incomplete (some caps were sent to buyers who got their caps scratched/missing). Because of that I'm using GMK TA Caps Lock cap and the numpad 0 cap as the left Shift (I already bought a new Shift in yellow from EliteKeyboards to put there).

 

These 3 new keyboards all uses Gateron Black switches.

Wow very nice they look even smaller than my HHKB...I don't think I can afford to go down this rabbit hole though haha...out of curiosity why did you choose Cherry Blacks?



#33 ksm

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 05:53

You are right that Advantage Pro is based of a Maltron design but I don't know who in their right mind would buy a Maltron


Those whose purchase is subsidized.
In Poland this keyboard is available in one online shop only. That shop specializes in supplies for the disabled.

#34 VinnyCordeiro

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 15:52

Wow very nice they look even smaller than my HHKB...I don't think I can afford to go down this rabbit hole though haha...out of curiosity why did you choose Cherry Blacks?

 

Gateron blacks. There were a group buy of these switches on another forum. Purchased them at $0.24/switch, already including shipping. And I chose blacks because I didn't want to annoy my family with the blue's clicks.

 

But then an extra pack of blues were made available and I wasn't able to resist... ;)

 

These boards are the same size as Vortex Poker II keyboards, slightly smaller than HHKB. Now I'm looking for an IBM Model M in Brazilian layout (ABNT2), but they are difficult to find.



#35 Keyless Works

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 20:03

Ah I miss read your post.  I am not familiar with Gateron switches.  I can definitely understand clicky switches being too loud.  The model Ms are quite loud as well but I enjoyed mine.



#36 VinnyCordeiro

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 23:50

Ah I miss read your post.  I am not familiar with Gateron switches.  I can definitely understand clicky switches being too loud.  The model Ms are quite loud as well but I enjoyed mine.

 

As the Cherry switches' patents are already expired, some companies started to make clones. Gateron is simply the best one to the moment, in a way some people are saying they are better than Cherry. I don't have any complaints.

 

I have used Model M keyboards at college, they are amazing.



#37 pollandakuma

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 23:21

I did not know Mr. Unroyal Warrant is into mechs too! I love your blog.

 

Anyway, I will revive this thread and say that I have a Poker 2 with MX clears.

 

And also, Gateron is still very popular, but makes like Zealios and MOD switches are competing :D


Edited by pollandakuma, 28 September 2016 - 23:37.

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#38 pollandakuma

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 23:26

Well I tried a Matias Mini Tactile Pro with ALPS switches and a Fujitsu Happy Hacking Pro 2 with Topre switches against my Cherry red switch keyboard and Unicomp keyboard and I am sorry to say the most expensive least practical keyboard won:

 

img_2961.jpg

 

Hey hey hey, it's quite the practical layout. Topre is indeed the best of the best!

 

Have you thought about going for the blanks for the aesthetics? And adding some artisans? :)


Edited by pollandakuma, 28 September 2016 - 23:35.

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#39 pollandakuma

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 23:30

Interesting keyboards.  I like some of the mechanical keyboards, but none have the ergo shape option. 

I've gotten too used to using an ergo keyboard, that I won't use a straight keyboard if I have a choice.

Now you guys have me looking at keyboards.

 

I looked at the Happy Hacking keyboard, but I CANNOT give up the 10-key pad, to get a smaller keyboard.  I use the keypad too much and just HATE to use the number row.  Hey what do you expect from an accountant, I need the 10-key pad.

 

Ergodox mate, ergodox

 

Edit: This might be interesting https://geekhack.org...p?topic=83313.0


Edited by pollandakuma, 28 September 2016 - 23:34.

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#40 pollandakuma

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 23:39

Forgot to say that the previous keyboard uses Gateron Blue switches, Tai-Hao ABS doubleshot keycaps and an Awesome face cap from KeyPop.

 

And today I soldered more 3 prototype keyboards:

 

original_2015-08-29%2023.21.30.jpg

 

The beige keycaps are the original caps from my G80-3000 keyboard, which is using GMK Triumph Adler (TA) keycaps (I'm using TA spacebar on this board, due to the G80-3000 stems being located in weird places). The orange-black keycaps are Tai-Hao PBT doubleshot. Finally, the last keyboard is using Ivan's GMK Dolch as base and GMK Red Esc from EliteKeyboards, but since this set is a leftover from Geekhack's group buy, it is incomplete (some caps were sent to buyers who got their caps scratched/missing). Because of that I'm using GMK TA Caps Lock cap and the numpad 0 cap as the left Shift (I already bought a new Shift in yellow from EliteKeyboards to put there).

 

These 3 new keyboards all uses Gateron Black switches.

 

Is... is that Dolch...

 

Gateron linears are indeed nice. but why did you need so many linears 60%s?


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