poker 2 + o-rings

monday, 4 may 2015

rubber o-ring dampeners with clickety Cherry MX Blue switches improved the typing experience on the Filco Majestouch significantly, by mitigating the bottoming out of the keystroke, whilst shaving a hair off the keystroke travel.

Cherry MX Red switches on the Poker 2 are linear switches with no tactile actuation point. They are silky smooth and have the lightest activation sensitivity which can be trying to type on if one rests the fingers heavily on the keys. But if you can develop a light touch, Cherry MX Reds let your fingers type effortlessly.

Having no tactile actuation point like the Cherry MX Blues, it is very easy to bottom out the Reds. O-rings applied to the keycaps provide..

  • Dampening of the key at the bottom of the keystroke, cushioning the finger
  • Reduction of the key travel
  • Subtle key return “bounce” back, if you bottom out
  • Silencing of keyboard plate ringing caused by bottoming out

It is possible to develop a very light touch on the Cherry MX Reds, rhythmically dancing over the keys without bottoming out when one is in the typing “zone”. Shortening the key travel distance helps cultivate the muscle memory and finger sensitivity. Conversely, O-rings also make mashing the keys quicker for those who like bottoming out the keys as they type.

The improved finger motions of the Colemak Curl mods inevitably brought attention to the mechanical action of they keyboard itself. With a set of thick “blue” and thin “red” O-rings, the Poker 2 layout can be finger tuned..

key travel

(max) no O-rings  >  red  >  blue  >  red + red  >  blue + red (min)

(double) “red + red” O-rings: character set..

`~ = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 [ ] Tab - Q W F P B J L U Y ; ' Del Esc / A R S T G M N E I O Enter \ Shift X C D V Z K H , . Shift Ctrl Win Alt Space Backspace Fn Pn Ctrl

(combined) “blue + red” O-rings: pinky modifiers..

`~ = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 [ ] Tab - Q W F P B J L U Y ; ' Del Esc / A R S T G M N E I O Enter \ Shift X C D V Z K H , . Shift Ctrl Win Alt Space Backspace Fn Pn Ctrl

(single) “blue” O-rings: dampened thumb keys (in inverted position, except Pn)..

`~ = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 [ ] Tab - Q W F P B J L U Y ; ' Del Esc / A R S T G M N E I O Enter \ Shift X C D V Z K H , . Shift Ctrl Win Alt Space Backspace Fn Pn Ctrl

The key travel is shortened for the keys requiring finger reaches and slight hand movement – I have smallish hands. Larger hands may prefer single or double “red” O-rings all around. The modifier keys – Shift and Ctrl – benefit especially from the shortened key travel because they are held down – which is tricky to sustain at the actuation point without bottoming out – rather than struck.

Not everyone likes O-rings. Some like mashing the keys to the bottom plate and the sound it produces. For myself, the ergonomic Colemak Curl mod with tuned key travel and a practiced light touch make for effortless and quiet typing – though, I sometimes augment the experience with software generated typewriter sounds!

keyboard slope

the final ergonomic tweak is to alter the keyboard tilt to a negative slope.

Most keyboards have a positive slope or forward tilt. Some, like the Tex aluminium case for the Poker 2, also have a flat position. The Tex case can be fitted with four tiny rubber domed feet to provide a low profile, making the keyboard appear to hover over the desk – quite eye catching!

However, placing the large rubber domed feet (which would normally be applied to the back) to the front of the keyboard case, imparts a slight negative slope or backward tilt. This allows for a much more relaxed wrist angle position (with the keyboard on a tray at the proper height). Comfort over looks! (it doesn’t really look that odd, the angle being slight, but enough to be effective).

This keyboard will be connected to every computer I use from here on in. And the new “Cherry” profile keycaps on the way, with their lower profile, should refine the typing experience even more!

»»  colemak mod-dh

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