Prolific Hackaday.io member [Michael Gardi] has hit upon the biggest problem with making reprogrammable macro pads — the legend situation. What do you do when the whole point is that the keys can so easily be changed?
There are a couple of options: blank keycaps and memorization, re-legendable keycaps, and little screens instead of keycaps. Surely there has to be another way, and [Michael] has discovered one: a tile-based system of descriptors.
As you can see, the labels are removable 3D-printed tiles that swap out with ease thanks to tiny magnets. But these aren’t just tidy labels. Inserting a new label automatically changes the macro! Each tile holds a “simple numeric value” which maps it to a macro when inserted and detected by a Hall effect sensor. I can’t wait to hear these tiles click in action during a demo video, which I can only hope is forthcoming.
Life Human-Sized Key Switch
So what are we going to call this, a box-less box brown? Although [i_like_miniwheats] says that this giant key switch is based off a C3 Tangerine, which makes it linear. I sure do love over- and under-sized things, and this is no exception.
[i_like_miniwheats] was tasked with building a huge cardboard version of something tiny for a college art class. To our mutual delight, they chose the mechanical key switch for their study. Apparently it is sturdy enough to stand on its little nubbin and pins, just like the real switch that adorns the third picture (look carefully).
[i_like_miniwheats] says that this took 25-30 hours to build, not to mention the time to lube the thing. Just kidding — it was lubed with blood, sweat, and tears. My only wish is that it could be actuated, but that would have taken several more hours.
The Centerfold: A Bit of a Departure — Suffer!
I’m not telling you to suffer, mind — that’s just the name of this macro keyboard, which is so insanely cute, especially in this Fisher-Price My First Keyboard color scheme, that I had to tuck it in the middle here.
Here are the dirty details — that’s the Suffer PCB from Kiser Designs (that is currently sold out, sorry, but restocking in November), a 3D-printed MFR2-style case, Tecsee Coral switches, and a bunch of YMDK 9009 blank keycaps plus a few from Signature Plastics/PMK.
Do you rock a sweet set of peripherals on a screamin’ desk pad? Send me a picture along with your handle and all the gory details, and you could be featured here!
Historical Clackers: the Sholes & Glidden
You’ve probably heard that Christopher Sholes invented the QWERTY layout to prevent type bars from jamming together. While that may be up for debate, Sholes definitely invented a interesting typewriter along with his mechanic buddy Carlos Glidden and Sholes’ coworker Samuel Willard Soule.
This was the first commercially viable typewriter, first completed in 1867 and made available in 1873. The Sholes & Glidden set several standards in typewriter design, the four-row QWERTY layout among them.
Aesthetically speaking, they resembled sewing machines of the era and even featured treadles that returned the carriage/stand. This is because Remington eventually picked up the design, refined it, and made it available to the public. They were made in the same factory where Remington built their sewing machines.
Eventually the treadle was replaced with a side lever and later, a top lever. Thus three different models were produced and are now referred to as the Flywheel model, the Side Lever model, and the Top Lever model. Another innovation of the Sholes & Glidden was the circular upstrike typebar arrangement, though of course this evolved into the half circle of later machines.
ICYMI: A Nubbin For Next to Nothin’
In what must have been quite a nerve-wracking undertaking, [notshitashi] added a trackpoint nubbin to their Glove80 wireless split.
The Glove80 is a lovely keyboard, and although [notshitashi] only had to drill into the detachable palm rest, the quest is nonetheless scary.
[notshitashi] started with a trackpoint module from Ali, but had to trim it down a bit to fit the palm rest. Not surprisingly, it took burning through a few modules to get it just right.
For some reason, [notshitashi] calls this a “cheap and dirty hack” simply because the trackpoint module is a separate, wired USB HID. But what are you gonna do when stock ZMK doesn’t support pointing devices yet? Cheap and dirty nothing; this is freaking elegant in my book.