Ergodox

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Gabriel Holmes

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Jan 22, 2014, 10:49:32 PM1/22/14
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From the looks of it, Ergodox finally has full NKRO, and at least one person is using it for Plover:

http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=53245.msg1195642#msg1195642

Now if only someone could start manufacturing some. Maybe the camp in New York City could be a big "make your own keyboard"-a-thon.

Fubrite

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Jan 23, 2014, 2:04:38 PM1/23/14
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Gabriel Holmes

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Jan 23, 2014, 6:49:20 PM1/23/14
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Maybe one of the NYC folks could test one of these? That would be great...

Fubrite

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Jan 24, 2014, 3:11:53 AM1/24/14
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Sorry, thats 187 euros, rather than dollars....

Gabriel Holmes

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Jan 26, 2014, 9:30:22 AM1/26/14
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I've been in contact with the guy who's using his Ergodox with Plover. He's tested it and it really does have 128 key rollover. This should work quite nicely, especially with some cosmetic modifications, like the laser cut steno keys. Clearly this is WAY more than sufficient! Note that with his layout, the QWERTY home position and the Plover home position are the same; so you can gradually learn Plover "on the job." That has to count for something.

Mirabai Knight

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Jan 26, 2014, 4:41:01 PM1/26/14
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That's awesome! Any chance we could get photos/video? I'd love to put
it up on the Plover blog.
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Gabriel Holmes

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Jan 27, 2014, 8:48:38 AM1/27/14
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I'll get right on that. OK if he contacts you?

BTW, Massdrop says the next Ergodox "group buy" is in February. Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Shayne Holmes

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Jan 27, 2014, 4:31:15 PM1/27/14
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...and the MassDrop group buy is live! https://www.massdrop.com/buy/ergodox

Note that their lead time for shipping is a couple of months, due to sourcing all the components. Also, you have to assemble it yourself. (Think 'lightsaber.')

Mirabai Knight

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Jan 27, 2014, 4:34:34 PM1/27/14
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Yeah! I'd love to hear from him!  plo...@ploversteno.org

On Jan 27, 2014 8:48 AM, "Gabriel Holmes" <holm...@gmail.com> wrote:
I'll get right on that. OK if he contacts you?

BTW, Massdrop says the next Ergodox "group buy" is in February. Happy Valentine's Day!!!

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Gabriel Holmes

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Jan 27, 2014, 6:34:58 PM1/27/14
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Did he ever get in touch with you?

Gabriel Holmes

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Jan 27, 2014, 6:35:51 PM1/27/14
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Would anyone be willing to put together some Plover-ready Ergodoxes?

Shayne Holmes

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Jan 27, 2014, 10:35:22 PM1/27/14
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Hmm, turns out Gabriel is referring to me! I've been running slightly modified firmware on my Ergodox to give full NKRO and remap the thumb buttons and others so that the default key mappings fit better on the Ergodox. I've attached a simple diagram showing the mapping.

I'm not sure that photos really go very far toward getting exciting or anything: my Ergodox looks just like all the others, and my keys aren't labeled. The fit is good for Plover, though, with the thumb buttons placed well.

I'd be happy to answer questions about it if y'all are curious.

Shayne

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Scoon

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Jan 28, 2014, 7:02:15 AM1/28/14
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I'm so glad I decided to read this thread. I was initially holding out for the stenosaurus, but this is pretty much my ideal implementation :)

Mirabai:

I really hope the next design is based on this, there are so many (so many!) reasons why it would be an awesome idea:

*Open source
*Split for ergonomics
*If you decide not to continue with steno, you still have a perfectly functioning qwerty keyboard
*Solves the problem I am worried about of tucking my thumbs all the way under my hands to do AO or EU
*Reprogrammable, so it can adapt as plover software updates
*You still have access to regular modifier keys (Esc, Ctrl, function keys etc) even when in steno mode
*Can switch between qwerty and steno with the push of a button (ie switching the C, V, N and M keys to be under the thumbs instead of on the bottom row)
*Is roughly the same price-point as what I was expecting the SS to sell for anyway (at least as part of this massdrop)
*Popular with programmers / geeks / gamers, so potential for cross promotion of steno
*If you can find a way to print and assemble these en-masse, you would get a whole bunch of sales to regular gamers / geeks
*Is super cool

Not to say that the SS prototype isn't super cool. I know you guys have put an immense amount of work into it, but for me the Ergodox is already where I want the SS to be :)

Shayne:

I've spent the last couple of days researching and I just have a couple of questions; firstly I understand it can be programmed to be truly NKRO, but isn't that impossible with USB keyboards? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember reading somewhere that only PS2 connected keyboards were capable of that. Secondly, what software do I have to load in order to get NKRO capability? Can I still use the massdrop keymapping widget? Also, do you have any recommendations as to which colour cherry switch is best for typing?

Cheers,
Scoon

Brent Nesbitt

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Jan 28, 2014, 9:12:56 AM1/28/14
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I am curious about the best cherry-mx switches as well.  What would someone with experience recommend?

I have a Sidewinder, and a regular steno machine, and I find the keys on the Sidewinder very stiff compared to the steno machine, so my fingers tend to get tired, and the stiffness often causes the keys to "rock" under the keytoppers so that I hit unintentional keys.

My thought is that the lighter the touch the better.  And no need for the "click" feedback either.  Maybe red or brown?

Shayne Holmes

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Jan 28, 2014, 12:46:29 PM1/28/14
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Re: USB and NKRO, here's a page from Hasu's TMK firmware documentation that contains more than I know about it: https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard/blob/master/doc/USB_NKRO.txt

The NKRO mode used in TMK is the bitmap protocol discussed in the doc, and it works great on my Windows 8.1 box, but not on the BIOS or in Windows Recovery. (Note that you can switch NKRO modes on the fly, so this isn't much of a problem.)

The MassDrop keymapper gives you benblazak's firmware, which doesn't support NKRO (yet). So you have to build the TMK firmware. This means (1) you have to edit your layout in C, which actually isn't nearly as bad as it seems, and (2) you have to build it on your own. I recently posted a bunch of links on building TMK for the Ergodox here: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=53245.msg1208692#msg1208692

Shayne

On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 4:02 AM, Scoon <scoon.m...@gmail.com> wrote:
...

Shayne Holmes

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Jan 28, 2014, 12:49:08 PM1/28/14
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My switches are MX clears, but they are a bit stiff as well, particularly for two-key pinky combos. I don't have any MX browns or reds to compare, but I'm thinking about browns because I appreciate the sensory feedback for traditional typing.

Shayne

Gabriel Holmes

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Jan 28, 2014, 11:17:01 PM1/28/14
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Just so we're all clear, Shayne have never met and aren't related.

Scoon

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Jan 29, 2014, 1:34:30 AM1/29/14
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I'm in a bit of a pickle at the moment because there's only 2 days left on the massdrop for the ergodox, and I can only choose between black, blue or clear. Ideally I hear everyone raving about brown for typing, but I have absolutely no experience with NKRO keyboards (at least not consciously) to compare. I understand that the clears are like "stiff browns" but I don't want it to make me fatigued. However I don't want a bunch of accidental keypresses becuase keys are too easily activated. Agh!

I guess a good question would be how do they compare to the cheap rubber dome keyboards in terms of feel. Would you say that clears are even stiffer than that? 

-Scoon

Shayne Holmes

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Jan 29, 2014, 10:09:47 AM1/29/14
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I think the best guide on the differences between the switch colors is this one:

http://deskthority.net/wiki/Cherry_MX

In my experience, rubber domes are less crisp than MX clears.

Scoon

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Jan 29, 2014, 4:32:31 PM1/29/14
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Phew ok just bit the bullet and ordered one with clear switches :)

I read through all of the information in your links, and although there was a lot of jargon that I was unfamiliar with, I have installed arch from scratch before so am confident that I will be able to follow directions. 

I'm just hoping that (once I get my ergodox and put it together, which may be some time :P) that if I run in to trouble I can find the right help :)

Cheers,

Scoon

Gabriel Holmes

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Jan 30, 2014, 12:56:58 AM1/30/14
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I just ordered one too!

Drew Neil

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Jan 30, 2014, 5:53:07 AM1/30/14
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Me too!

Even though the main page only listed Black, Blue and Clear switches, I was presented with more choices when customising my kit. I opted for Cherry Brown switches at $20 extra, since that’s what I’m used to using.

Drew



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Shayne Holmes

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Mar 7, 2014, 3:01:21 PM3/7/14
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I just swapped out springs on my Ergodox clear switches, and the new 55g springs I got from Originative are a delight. In particular, they make the double pinky strokes (DZ) much easier and reduce the incidence of missing one of a cluster (e.g. the L key in TKEUPBLGT for digit). If you're on clears, the 55gs are recommended!

Gabriel Holmes

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Mar 10, 2014, 5:58:03 PM3/10/14
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Care to show a picture?

Shayne Holmes

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Mar 11, 2014, 6:18:36 PM3/11/14
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Attached! It just looks all normal-like, since the springs are inside, but rest assured, they feel great!

Shayne


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ergodox.jpg

Gabriel Holmes

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Mar 20, 2014, 11:03:03 PM3/20/14
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I'm very much looking forward to getting mine!

Shaan Iqbal

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Mar 23, 2014, 8:03:05 PM3/23/14
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How much did you lot buy your Ergodoxes for? They're currently $199 with the current massdrop. Good deal?

Should I go red switches for the lightness? Hmm.

Shayne Holmes

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Mar 24, 2014, 1:47:51 PM3/24/14
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Got mine for about 225 on the used market, but I consider that a pretty screaming deal...

Keep in mind that Massdrop will charge extra for key caps ($44), so factor that in.


On Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 5:03 PM, Shaan Iqbal <shaani...@gmail.com> wrote:
How much did you lot buy your Ergodoxes for? They're currently $199 with the current massdrop. Good deal?

Should I go red switches for the lightness? Hmm.

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Gabriel Holmes

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Mar 26, 2014, 11:08:17 PM3/26/14
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Mine just shipped!!

Gabriel Holmes

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Mar 29, 2014, 11:12:53 AM3/29/14
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Another interesting thing about the Ergodox: it has the potential to be a sort of "universal" steno: mathematically, there are certainly enough combinations (including the impossible ones) and it's shaped in such a way that it could be suitable for "ploverized" versions of Stenotype's main rivals: Palantype, Velotype, and Grandjean. All without leaving the home row!

Nate

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Mar 31, 2014, 12:57:17 PM3/31/14
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It looks hard to press 4 keys with one finger though.  Is that an issue or not?

-Nate

Shayne Holmes

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Apr 1, 2014, 10:37:59 PM4/1/14
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The pinky column and its neighbor aren't staggered relative to each other, so no worries about alignment. As for the physical force, it depends on what springs are in your keys. I swapped mine out for lighter ones, but I don't think that's necessary for everyone.

Gabriel Holmes

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Apr 1, 2014, 11:44:29 PM4/1/14
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Mine arrived this week...along with a promotion in my day job. I can't wait to start putting the thing together.

Gabriel Holmes

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Apr 5, 2014, 5:38:50 PM4/5/14
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It's built! It looks like you can press the Teensy button by sticking a paperclip through the hole, so there shouldn't be any need for disassembling the thing if I'm trying to adapt it for Plover.

Can someone who's already done this walk me through how to program the Teensy? Thanks...

Drew Neil

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Apr 24, 2014, 6:02:48 PM4/24/14
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My ErgoDox kit arrived a couple of weeks ago. I finished assembling it yesterday and have been enjoying getting to know the keyboard. Shayne Holmes kindly helped me to get the NKRO firmware built and installed on the ErgoDox. I’ve written up how I did it here:

I’ve been trying out Plover with the ErgoDox, and it feels great! Previously I was using a Filco Majestouch, which worked ok but felt pretty uncomfortable. I’m finding the dedicated thumb keys of the ErgoDox to be a great improvement. Also, the split hand arrangement lets me adopt a better posture. All in all, I’m pretty pleased with my purchase.

Has anyone else recently started using an ErgoDox with Plover? I know Gabriel has.

Drew



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Gabriel Holmes

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Apr 27, 2014, 11:38:58 PM4/27/14
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Drew, those instructions are fantastic. Nice and clear, which is exactly what was needed here.

I can't wait to start on this later this week. We missed a couple diodes the first time we assembled it, it should be up and running later this week.

Thanks again.

Gabriel Holmes

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May 10, 2014, 7:37:36 PM5/10/14
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I'm happy to report that my ergodox WORKS for using plover! It turns out that I didn't need to compile it from source. All I needed was the eep file and the hex file that Shayne provided.

Gabriel Holmes

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May 16, 2014, 10:44:56 PM5/16/14
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  I would be happy to make a couple more of these, all set for using with Plover... If you are not too far from me...

grytiffin

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May 21, 2014, 10:23:51 PM5/21/14
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ErgoDox is once again (5/21/14) on Massdrop. I just ordered one and if it's a good fit I'm going to use it with plover. I ordered the Cherry red switches, thinking they were somewhat quiet (compared to blue?), and didn't require as much force.  


On Saturday, March 29, 2014 9:12:53 AM UTC-6, Gabriel Holmes wrote:

grytiffin

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May 29, 2014, 9:48:46 PM5/29/14
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Gabriel Holmes

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May 30, 2014, 8:32:45 AM5/30/14
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Good to know. I've been thinking of hooking up with a local makerspace near me to use as my "shop."

Gabriel Holmes

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Jun 1, 2014, 10:30:14 PM6/1/14
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A thought on the layout: there are a number of keys playing the role of the number bar. Why not put an extra -Z key above -T and an extra -S key above the D? That way we could definitively say that all 8,388,608 technically possible strokes are physiologically possible (whether TZ or DS are phonotactically possible is another matter. But it would still be handy for conflict resolution, no?)

Ed

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Jun 2, 2014, 4:49:27 AM6/2/14
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Hi Gabriel,
Your interesting layout idea deserves its own heading.
(Also, it's not specific to only 1 type of keyboard.)  
I intend to post some comments under the heading:
"an extra -Z above -T and an extra -S above D?"
________________________________________________________

Mirabai Knight

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Jun 2, 2014, 10:21:49 AM6/2/14
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I suppose if you trained yourself to press the number bar with your
left hand whenever you wanted to write the digit "9" rather than just
doing it all with your pinky, you could free up that key, but I don't
really see the advantage. When I want to write a word ending in ST, I
just use FT, which works in practically every case. And I have small
hands, but it's tough for me to reach the number bar area above the D
with my pinky unless I shift my entire hand over to the right. Again,
when I want to write words ending in SD, I just use FD. So I don't
think that change would help me much.

Gabriel Holmes

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Jun 2, 2014, 10:03:36 PM6/2/14
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Well, I guess it's not unique to a specific type of keyboard, if people wanted to start messing with the code -- but the nice thing about having the keyboard be fully programmable, is that it's just a matter of modifying Shane's layout so that there's an extra semicolon above the P and an extra left bracket. No need to mess with Plover. It's not uncomfortable at all, with the keys aligned on the Dox.

Gabriel Holmes

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Jun 18, 2014, 10:59:17 PM6/18/14
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 Well, it is working now!

 Thanks!

Pandora

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Feb 6, 2015, 1:29:12 PM2/6/15
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Can you please tell me where you found the files because I've been trying to figure this out for days.

Ted Morin

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Feb 10, 2015, 10:52:14 AM2/10/15
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Pandora, why don't you build the files? It's pretty easy to do if you follow the guide. Should take 3 hours max... if you are having a lot of trouble. It can be done easily in 30 minutes or less if you are familiar with the command line.

If you can't figure it out, I can build them for you. Let me know.

Gabriel Holmes

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May 22, 2015, 7:34:57 AM5/22/15
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So it looks like the new iteration of the Ergodox, "Ergodox Infinity" might be converging with the stenosaurus a bit:

1. You can get Mattias keyswitches
2. It comes with the diodes already soldered
3. It's NKRO by default.

Wheee!!!!

grytiffin

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May 28, 2015, 3:05:41 AM5/28/15
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Yeah, that's exciting.  I have the switches from crowd supply, and the keyboard is on order (coming in December??).  My current ergo has mx red, which are good ... but clearly require more force then the new Mattias.  

Maybe the next step will be an extra raspberry-pi type controller inside the ergo; just big enough to run plover and output steno. 

Corey Jewett

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Jun 8, 2015, 3:59:35 AM6/8/15
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I have an Ergo from the May 2014 massdrop. I was able to use the massdrop configurator and their build of the Ben Blazak ("stock") firmware to create a layer on my Ergo specifically for Plover. This firmware has 6-key NKRO support. It appears that I managed to land on exactly the same layout as several other users. Made it part way through Learn Plover lesson 1 on it. Other than being phonetically challenged it seems to be working fine.

Theodore Morin

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Jun 8, 2015, 11:11:38 AM6/8/15
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Corey, if you are using Ben’s firmware then you will find that when you start typing strokes that have more than six keys, you will not be able to type them. For example, try SPWHRAOEUPL for “sublime”.


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dragon788

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Jan 2, 2016, 4:22:06 PM1/2/16
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Hi guys, hasn't been any activity here for a while but as the ErgoDox EZ (and maybe Infinity) are shipping, I've had a hand at taking Shayne's Modifications (thanks to Neil's writeup) and I'm looking at integrating them with the default EZ firmware (qmk_firmware by jack of OLKB.co). I'm currently shaving some yaks trying to get an easier compile environment for anybody looking to do Teensy/avr setup, but you will find the work on my fork of qmk. Right now it is living on a branch as it would probably make sense to move the Plover layer to its own keymap rather than the default where I'm hacking. https://github.com/dragon788/qmk_firmware_ez/tree/dragon_mod

The beauty of this Plover layout is definitely that it "takes over" your keyboard and prevents mis-strokes if you would hit other keys because they are mapped to no-ops. If you need to flip back to regular typing its just hitting the layer toggle button.
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