Saturday, November 17, 2018

TinyMod2


This is enough change to warrant calling it TinyMod2 I think. Mostly the microcontroller has been moved under the PCB. There's no need to cover it with a 3D printed "case" anymore. I believe it looks much better without 3D printing, sleeker and smoother. There are also more standoffs for support. It's much more rigid. It feels more solid to write on this way. I'm very happy with the current keyboard and I hope you will be too.



The internals haven't changed. The firmware still supports two protocols, TX Bolt serial and NKRO keyboard. On my Windows machine I'm using NKRO because I can unplug and plug it back in without problems. For testing a new keyboard it's no problem to just plug it in and use it. It's just another USB keyboard to the operating system. On my Linux laptop I still use TX Bolt because NKRO is too laggy with Ubuntu 18.04. I don't know why, but it is.

For the time being at least, this will be the only keyboard I'm offering. If you're desperate to have one of the old classics or the hinge, we can negotiate something probably, but I'm not going to stock them anymore.

Price for the TinyMod is still $160 plus shipping. I'm going to try to have a few ready to go at any time. Just send me an email with your shipping address and I'll send you a PayPal invoice. Email me with questions or comments anytime. My email address is at the top of the screen.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Another Improvement to TinyMod

TinyMod has a new microcontroller now that allows the firmware to support both TX Bolt serial protocol and NKRO keyboard protocol. The serial protocol has served stenomods fine so far, but there are times when NKRO keyboard protocol is better. For one thing, keyboard protocol is supported by all operating systems without having to install any drivers. Both Windows and Mac require a driver to be installed now in order to use the serial port, which can be a hassle. Plover should work for the new TinyMod on Windows, Mac, or Linux*, without installing any drivers.



The newest TinyMod comes with a jumper installed to make it boot into NKRO keyboard mode. If you remove the jumper and rebootIs the keyboard, it will be in TX Bolt serial mode. Without the jumper the keyboard should behave as TinyMods have always behaved. You won't notice any difference.

Jumper in NKRO keyboard position outlined

Price is the same, $160 USD plus shipping. Email me at stenomod@gmail.com if you'd like to order one. Please include your shipping address.

* Ubuntu 18.04 users should be aware that as of the writing of this post there a problem with Plover and NKRO on that platform where response is very, very slow. For the time being I recommend using TX Bolt serial for Ubuntu 18.04. And remember that in Linux no drivers need to be installed even for TX Bolt serial.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

TinyMod Update



I've been using a TinyMod exclusively for the past two months. There was some question in my mind about whether or not I'd get used to or even like having the number key as the center thumb key and whether or not I would find it to be ergonomic enough. The answer is YES to both questions.

I don't think I can stress enough how much I like having the number key in the thumb position! I was pretty good with numbers before, but I feel much more fluid and confident doing numbers using my right thumb. I added a dictionary to make reversing pairs of numbers easier, see former post for details.

https://stenomod.blogspot.com/2018/06/some-helper-files-for-tinymod.html

I haven't had any issues with my wrists either. This layout seems to be very good for my hands. This is something that varies from person to person of course, but the small layout can be very comfortable!

As you can see, I've also replaced the wood bottom with a bare printed circuit board and covered the Arduino with a little plastic case. It's even more compact than before, both a little smaller and a little lighter.



Price is still $160 plus shipping. $200 for the hinge or classic models. Email me at stenomod@gmail.com with your shipping address and which model you want if you're interested.



Sunday, July 15, 2018

Stenomod Continues to Evolve

I'm always looking for ways to make stenomod better in some way. I have realized finally that I can replace the wood decks on a hinge or a TinyMod with an unstuffed copy of the PCB. The materials cost a little more than the wood and lacquer, but it makes for a more solid platform and consistent look.

Here's what the latest hinge model looks like.



And here it is from another angle.



You can see the unused holes and circuitry on the bottom.



I'm sure this is not the last version in the evolution of the stenomod, but I'm pretty happy with it for now. I hope you are too!

As before, the hinge will be $200 plus shipping, which is $13.65 in the US and around $23.50 out of the US. Prices in USD. If you'd like to buy one email me at stenomod@gmail.com and tell me which model as well as your shipping address so I can figure shipping. I'll send you a PayPal invoice that you can pay with a PayPal account or with a credit card.

I still have some of the classic model, which has a wood deck and a 3D printed case. Same price. I also have the TinyMod for $160. Check previous posts for pictures of those.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Some Helper Files for TinyMod

I you're using the stenomod I have two things that might make things a little better. First, when writing numbers it's hard to press #EU with just the one thumb in order to reverse pairs of digits using Plover. I made a dictionary that substitutes #E instead. I'm using only my right thumb on the # key, so this works very well for me. Of course you may be doing things differently.

Next, I made a TinyMod skin for the layout display plugin. The layout look much more like a TinyMod now. It should also work well if you're using a Gherkin, which uses the same position for the number key.



You can find both files, thumb_numbers.json and TinyMod-layout.json on github at https://github.com/CharleyShattuck/Plover-Dictionaries

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about this.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

There's a new member in the stenomod family

Stenomod is still evolving. During the past month I've developed a new, smaller stenomod based on the 3x10 keyboard form, inspired by the Gherkin. I've lived with the result for a couple of weeks and am very happy with it. In fact I'm only using the TinyMod now. It looks like this:



It uses the same switches, keycaps, and processor as the classic and the hinge, but has only 25 keys instead of 34. The whole row of number keys is gone, replaced by one number key between O and E for the thumb to press. It's 7 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches by about one inch tall.

Since there are fewer parts and it's easier to make, I'll be charging less. $160 USD plus shipping. For the immediate future I'll be stocking all three, "classic", "hinge", and " TinyMod". The classic and hinge will still be going for $200 USD.

So now, when you make an order, email me with your shipping address and the model you'd like to buy.

As always, my email address is  stenomod@gmail.com  and I'm very happy to answer any questions you might have.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Stenomod is Evolving

The stenomod hinge model has a slightly new look. In an effort to do less 3D printing, I've redesigned the printed circuit boards so that the diodes are hidden between the key switches and the color is black instead of green. Now only the small Arduino board is covered by a 3D printed case.



The little case is on the left hand side.This particular keyboard doesn't have it's ribbon cable installed yet, but it's the same ribbon cable as before.

The wood decks have changed a bit too. They're thinner and I'm not drilling them anymore. Instead I'm using standoffs to lift the PCB just high enough off the deck to clear the protruding pins on the solder side of the board.



The result is better looking to my eye. And the construction is simpler.

For now I'll still be making the "classic" model with the old PCB's and the drilled out decks. Only the "hinge" model is changing.

Each version will still cost $200 USD. I hope the changes will be well received.

If you have an opinion, please let me know in the comments section.