Saturday, November 27, 2021

New Options for TinyMod


Stock TinyMod

I will still be offering the TinyMod4 as it's been for the past year or so. It has 35cN Gateron clear switches which are reasonably light but a little bit noisy. This is a good keyboard for a steno beginner. It will still cost $160 plus shipping.

Quiet TinyMod

The new option is the quiet version of TinyMod4. The only difference is that it has Durock "silent" switches and the springs have been changed to 20cN. Though they're called "silent" switches I would say rather that they're very quiet. They have a solid feel to them and a pretty light touch. It took me a long time to like the feel of 20cN, but now I'm very happy with them. You might find that you press a lot of keys by accident for awhile because of the light touch. Because the switches and replacement springs cost more and it's extra work swapping springs, I'll be charging $200 plus shipping for the quiet model.


Shipping in the United States is USPS Priority Package with tracking and delivery time of several days. The cost is $8.30 $9.20.

Shipping out of the States has been flaky lately it seems. I lost one 1st Class Package to the UK all together several months ago, and another one took over a month is to arrive. This is without tracking. So since then I've been encouraging people to choose USPS Global Express Package. This has tracking and gets there in a matter of a few days. No problems with it yet, except of course that it costs in the range of $140. I'm not willing to guarantee delivery of the cheaper 1st Class Package, so that would be entirely your risk. I'm sorry, but that's how it is. 1st Class Package International costs about $25.

We've had success lately with the USPS Priority and USPS Priority Express as well as the more expensive Global Express Guaranteed options. Priority costs somewhere around $40 USD to most countries.

To Order

Email me. You'll find my address in the upper right corner of this page. Tell me which version you want and give me your shipping address. I'll send you a PayPal invoice which you can pay with a PayPal account or with a credit card. Of course you can just email me with questions at any time.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Back in Business

I have parts now. I've caught up on backlog, so I should be able to get you a TinyMod pretty quickly now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Waiting on Parts

I did manage to make and sell a few TinyMods in July, but due to some bad timing on my part, plus not discovering that my internet provider had a spam folder that I could only access via webmail, I'm out of keycaps and won't be able to get more until mid-September. I'll be using the time to build up an inventory (everything but the keycaps) so I can be ready to ship keyboards quickly when the parts arrive. If you already have appropriate keycaps and want to order a TinyMod without them, for say $20 off, then email me. Otherwise I really don't want to take money until I'm sure of having a product to ship. I'm happy to make a waiting list for people who want a TinyMod and are willing to wait however.

I want you to know that I'm frustrated by this. I really like being the vendor who can get you a steno keyboard ASAP. I'm hoping that I can plan better in the future and make that be true again.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Taking a Short Break

I'm waiting on some parts and just generally need a break. It's been so busy lately! So I won't be able to ship any keyboards until close to the end of the month (late July). I'll still be reading my email though, so feel free to ask questions. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

A Pattern for Stroking Symbols with Plover

Unless I use them on a very regular basis, I have trouble remembering the strokes for many of the symbols and punctuation. I figure that if they follow a pattern they should be easier to remember. Awhile back on the Plover Discord Elzed suggested such a pattern for (), [], and {}. I've extended it to include many more symbols.

The idea is that each symbol has a pair of strokes. The first stroke of a pair has -FPLT in the right hand, and the second stroke has -RBGS in the right hand. The -FPLT strokes allow a leading space before the symbol but supress the trailing space. Strokes with -RBGS supress the leadings space but allow a trailing space. This make it easy to do such things as (this) without having to fiddle with spaces. The left hand part of each stroke is either mnemonic or has a memorable shape to help me remember it. Here is the JSON file to show how it's done.

"KPH-FPLT": "/{^}",
"KPH-RBGS": "{^}/",
"KW-FPLT": "{\"^}",
"KW-RBGS": "{^}\"",
"KWHR-FPLT": "{=^}",
"KWHR-RBGS": "{^=}",
"P-FPLT": "%{^}",
"P-RBGS": "{^}%",
"PHR-FPLT": "+{^}",
"PHR-RBGS": "{^}+",
"PR-FPLT": "({^}",
"PR-RBGS": "{^})",
"PRAFPLT": "<{^}",
"PRARBGS": "{^}>",
"PW-FPLT": "|{^}",
"PW-RBGS": "{^}|",
"PWR-FPLT": "[{^}",
"PWR-RBGS": "{^}]",
"SKP-FPLT": "&{^}",
"SKP-RBGS": "{^}&",
"SKWR-FPLT": "_{^}",
"SKWR-RBGS": "{^}_",
"STRAFPLT": "*{^}",
"STRARBGS": "{^}*",
"T-FPLT": "'{^}",
"T-RBGS": "{^}'",
"THR-FPLT": "~{^}",
"THR-RBGS": "{^}~",
"TK-FPLT": "${^}",
"TK-RBGS": "{^}$",
"TKPW-FPLT": "@{^}",
"TKPW-RBGS": "{^}@",
"TPH-FPLT": "#{^}",
"TPH-RBGS": "{^}#",
"TPR-FPLT": "{\\{^}",
"TPR-RBGS": "{^\\}}",
"TW-FPLT": "`{^}",
"TW-RBGS": "{^}`",
"TWR-FPLT": "{\\^}",
"TWR-RBGS": "{^}\\",
"WR-FPLT": "-{^}",
"WR-RBGS": "{^}-"

Here's the logic behind the left sides of the strokes:

KPH the shape looks a bit like /
KW q for quote "
KWHR eQuaL for =
P Percent for %
PHR PLus for +
PR PaRen for parentheses ( )
PRA the shape looks a bit like < >
PW the shape looks a bit like |
PWR BRacket for [ ]
SKP the Plover brief for "and ", for &
SKWR the shape looks a bit like _
T Tick for '
THR TiLda for ~
TK Dollar for $
TKPW the shape is reminiscent of @
TPH Number for #
TPR FRench bracket for { }
TW the shape looks a bit like `
TWR the shape looks a bit like \
WR the shape is reminiscent of -

I'm not saying this is the final word, just that it's what I'm using right now. The file is available at  and is called symbols.json.

See  for help understanding the JSON file above.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Assembling a TinyMod4

TinyMod has been updated again, but only slightly. It looks nearly the same. It behaves exactly the same. The changes are to make assembly easier and more robust. The diodes have been replaced with an MCP23017 i2c port expander. The microcontroller has been moved out from under the key switches, for easier assembly and repair. The switch footprints now only allow MX style switches and the switches fit better, requiring less solder. The firmware has been rewritten to accommodate the port expander. If I hadn't told you I'm not so sure you'd notice the difference.

The first step is to solder in the i2c resistors and the headers for the microcontroller.

Then we solder in the slider switch and the port expander from the back side. A rubber band holds the MCP23017 in place as we tack it at the corners.

The firmware is flashed into the microcontroller, which is then soldered into the headers on the bottom side.

Now it's good to set the protocol switch to NKRO, plug in the microcontroller and short each of the key switches to see if the right characters come out on the screen.

Once we know things are working so far, we start inserting the key switches, then solder them in. You can see the port expander here too. It's sitting between two rows of switches.

The bottom plate of the keyboard is just another bare PCB with spacers. That's a nut driver for 4-40 machine screws in the upper right corner. I 3D printed it.

Join the two halves like this, then bolt them together with the 4-40 nuts.

The final product looks like this after inserting the keycaps. I feel as though this is pretty close to being a final version. We'll see about that.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

How to Buy a TinyMod

It's been pointed out to me that I didn't say anywhere on the main page just how to go about ordering a TinyMod. This post is a temporary solution. I'll try for a more long term one later.

To order a TinyMod, send me an email at  saying what you would like (a TinyMod) and giving me your shipping address. I need this to figure the shipping cost, but also I don't necessarily want to rely on the address that PayPal gives me. I'd rather hear it from you.

Once I get the email, I'll send you back a PayPal invoice. The invoice will be for $160 plus shipping, which is $7.90 in the US and around $24 elsewhere. Those are US dollars. You can pay the invoice with your PayPal account if you have one, or by credit card. PayPal will process credit cards.

Shipping is with the US Postal Service, Priority Package. In the US it should arrive in two or three days. Out of the US it's more like 5-10 days.

This somewhat unconventional way of doing things allows me to keep from having to accept credit cards myself as well as from having to set up a website. It's working well for me for now.