Saturday, September 17, 2016

Announcing the Stenomod!

Stenomod is the name of my relatively inexpensive keyboard for amateur stenographers. For now, this blog will be where I make announcements and generally discuss the product.

I also plan to make posts showing how I build the keyboards and how the firmware works.

I'm not planning to use a website at first, just this blog. I assume my customers will all hear about this by being members of the Plover community. In case you're not, please start here at the Plover blog .

For those who are interested, I'll describe the machine.

It's only a steno machine, not an ASCII keyboard at all. You need to use Plover or other software on your computer to make it work. With Plover it will act as a full keyboard, but you need to learn steno in order to actually use it.

It uses the TX Bolt protocol at 9600 baud, N, 8, 1, over the FTDI USB-serial converter on board. The controller is an Arduino Metro Mini from Adafruit. Don't expect to hack it into an ASCII keyboard. The top row of keys are all wired together to be the number bar. The red keys in the middle are all wired together to be the * key. The left most S keys are also wired together. If you get one, plan on using it as a steno machine, nothing else.

That being said, I think it's a very simple and pleasant to use steno machine. The key switches are Gateron clears, 35 gram force to depress. These are among the lightest and smoothest key switches available. The keycaps are G20s from, mostly flat and the gaps between them are very small. That's good.

It's a split keyboard, mounted to a wooden deck at the spacing I like best. If you'd like to experiment with other ergonomic positions, you can remove the PCBs from the deck and add rubber feet. Or maybe you'd like to cut the deck in half to separate the two hands however you'd like. That would be up to you. I'm very comfortable with it this way.

In the next post I'll say how much they cost and how to order one. I'm almost ready!


  1. Hey charlie. Great Work. It serves the purpose of an affordable steno machine. But it would be great if you can make a plastic cover for the exposed electronics parts. Both for the safety of the electronic parts and for the user being hurt by the pointy ends.