yellow corne

tuesday, 17 march 2020

the Coronavirus had just been a serious news event that erupted shortly before i completed my first Corne keyboard build. Its threat was very real but it was half way around the world and still an abstraction.

Now, almost three months later, the reach of this disease has impacted the globe, political responses, notwithstanding. In that time the Corne keyboard has been my daily driver and i have built two more!

box yellows

the Gateron “Box” Yellow keyswitches really grew on me over the course of their usage, much to my surprise. i have always gravitated towards light linear keyswitches but found the force curve of these “yellow” keyswitches quite additive to my fingers. The “thock” of their bottoming out sound too added a nice signature.

For my next build, i decided to combine the “Box” Yellow springs with Cherry Silent Reds, my favourite keyswitch. The Gateron keyswitches are very smooth but part of this resides in the looseness of their stem play. Cherry tolerances are tighter and do not exhibit the degree of wobble Gateron switches do.

Gateron manufactures their own line of “silent” switches but differ in design to the Cherry’s. Cherry Silents are dampened by rubber pads on the stems for both the down and up strokes – the Gateron’s only for the down stroke. Also, i am uncertain whether Gateron’s Silents use the exact same springs.

Adding the “Box” Yellow springs to the Cherry Silents combined the attributes of both keyswitches – the force curve of the Gaterons and the dampening of the Cherry Silents. While a combination of two desirable characteristics, i have to admit, my initial reaction was surprisingly indifferent. They were neither light dampened keyswitches nor playful “thocky” keyswitches. It was as if while typing the brain was expecting either or.

It took a couple days but this combo now feels exactly as i had hoped and has established itself as my new finger reference.

column stagger

the Corne keyboard exhibits less column stagger than the Chimera Ergo 42, the outer column none at all. This does not feel less ergonomic to these fingers, and reaching the outer Z and X with the ring finger (in deference to using the pinkie) feels totally natural.

As well, the slight canting of the thumb keys betters the parallel positioning on the Chimera design in terms of feel.

While not wireless, i personally do not see this as a disadvantage. While the Chimera has phenomenal battery life, the issue of batteries remains (with low battery keystroke irregularities), as well as, wireless receiver placement. No such issues with a USB and TRRS connections, other than cable aesthetics. Six of one, half dozen another.

i really like this keyboard. Plus, it’s fun to build!

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