A first look at the new keymat


EvilDragon

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Well, after we had some pictures of the keymat yesterday, it's time for some video today :)
Sorry about the quality - I recorded it at home during last night, and it was too dark for the camera.
 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MmeOIYr4yjM?feature=oembed
Now - the most important thing: How does the keymat feel?

I'm happy to tell you that the keys itself feel great!
The flat plastic caps have rounded edges, so they're not too sharp, and the material feels very nice.
The look of it is also gorgeous.

The action buttons also feel great. They're not totally flat, they have a little convex curving which feels nice. They are a bit higher than the keyboard keys, but I probably want to make them a bit more high.

The mat itself is a bit less stiff than Pandoras mat, so the keys are a little lighter to press.
However, tactile feedback isn't great yet. It seems the travel distance for the keys and especially the action buttons is not far enough.
This can easily be proved: When the keymat is lying on a flat surface, the keys feel a bit squishy when you press them.
If you put the keymat on a flat surface but have a hole below the key you want to press, then it feels great. A perfect proof that the carbon pad reaches the PCB before the button is fully pressed.

My guess is that the manufacturer followed my design guide for the travel distance WITHOUT the carbon pads - and then, with the carbon pads added on top, the travel distance went lower.

That's no big deal though, I can easily measure how much travel distance is missing and it will be removed for the next sample.
After all, that's what samples are for - if you were sure everything worked from the very beginning, then you wouldn't need samples :)

So, all in all I'm very happy with the first sample. It looks great, it feels great, it fits perfect, the lighting works fine and only the travel distance needs to be increased.
That's a good start!
 

rygD

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Thanks for the video.  I am glad the issue with travel distance can be fixed.  

I know you said the printed case is thicker, but is there still a chance that after the changes are made the keys won't be able to be fully pressed unless one pushes into the hole (beyond the surface of the case)?  

I am pretty sure this was considered and many measurements were made and all info sent to case and keymat companies, it just looked a bit off when you had it in the printed case.

Thanks again for staying up late to make a video for us.  I am a bit jealous of some of the hardware you have.  I am going to watch again so I can try to see what is on your shirt. Edit: Found it.
 
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Wrath Of Khan

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The key-mat looks very professional. I think it will add to the overall aesthetic of the Pyra. 
 

codifies

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after all the hyperbole and drama of the keyboard layout thread its nice to see an uncluttered easy to read layout - that no doubt will make others have a screaming fit, but hey its uncluttered and it looks *really* smart, its going to be a device to be proud of ! :-D
 

Caine

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after all the hyperbole and drama of the keyboard layout thread its nice to see an uncluttered easy to read layout - that no doubt will make others have a screaming fit, but hey its uncluttered and it looks *really* smart, its going to be a device to be proud of ! :-D

I would argue that you can see that because of all the hyperbole and drama in the keyboard layout thread. That said, yes it looks great.
*Sigh*...such a long wait to go...
 

codifies

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after all the hyperbole and drama of the keyboard layout thread its nice to see an uncluttered easy to read layout - that no doubt will make others have a screaming fit, but hey its uncluttered and it looks *really* smart, its going to be a device to be proud of ! :-D

I would argue that you can see that because of all the hyperbole and drama in the keyboard layout thread. That said, yes it looks great.
*Sigh*...such a long wait to go...
you could be right but... http://www.loopyoutubevideos.com/v/Wzr12gBrXA8?start=124&end=129
 

EvilDragon

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Thanks for the video.  I am glad the issue with travel distance can be fixed. 

Just measured them: The travel distance is 0,3mm too little. No big deal to fix, but changes usability a lot :D
 

ibisum

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One of the reasons I'm so supportive of the Pandora/Pyra projects is because you are such a great guy, Evildragon - thanks for sharing these details with us and keeping us all the loop.  I'm sure future F/OSS analysts are going to look back at this project for enlightenment on how to handle a F/OSS hardware project properly .. 
 

Sebzy

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Keyboard looks great and thanks very much for the video.
Would it work to have the solder mask was left exposed at three or four points around the key contacts to facilitate addition of some snap tactile metal domes if folk want that satisfactory click? Travel sacrifice of about 0.03

 
 

rygD

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Keyboard looks great and thanks very much for the video.
Would it work to have the solder mask was left exposed at three or four points around the key contacts to facilitate addition of some snap tactile metal domes if folk want that satisfactory click? Travel sacrifice of about 0.03

 

I was thinking the same thing a while ago, but I don't know how easy it would be for users to do a mod like that (I don't know much about how that works).  I figured if ED and others considered it important it would have come up, and I was more interested in other keyboard related issues getting fixed instead of trying to add another factor to the keyboard discussions.  I would still love for this to happen.
 
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