Sunday, August 2, 2009

Kinesis freestyle

This keyboard has two notable advantages over the kinesis contour: it's cheaper, and it's more accommodating of wide sh0ulders as the two halves of the keyboard can be significantly separated. You do lose a few features for the lower price- no programmability, no curved keywells, no integrated USB hub, no support for footpedals. Currently, I have this keyboard disassembled to experiment with pieces of it. Here's some pictures of the internals, as requested. The function keys are on the same matrix as the letter keys. I added the internals of a 4-port USB hub, de-soldered one of the 4 ports' connectors and soldered the keyboard's original USB connection directly to the pads of that connector. The keyboard is the then connected to a computer via the hub PCB's USB connector. Sorry for the rotated images, this was a quick update.

2 comments:

  1. I'd like to know more about this. Could you post pictures of the freestyle's internals? Are the hotkeys on the left side on a separate board, or do all keys go into an opaque chip? I'd be curious if there is any way to reprogram the hotkeys on the left side.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry, I'm not sure where the left half of the keyboard is right now, but if I remember correctly, it's laid out similarly to the right half that I've pictured above (i.e. all the keys in the half are part of the same matrix) If I find the left half, I'll update this post. If you just want to change the action of certain keys, it seems like that would be easy to do in software- in windows use autohotkey, in linux use your window manager, in osx I'm not sure, but a tool similar to bettertouchtool might allow key remapping.

    ReplyDelete