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.

11 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.

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  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.

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