Test the keymat!


Bernd

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I'd like to test the keymat.

But there are some things that concern me:

* There is no feedback when the button press gets recognised.
That's why the whole testing doesn't make much sense.
Another question is, how long it takes till the first problems occur.
(All my TV remote controlls start to show "numb" buttons after some years.)

* How long will this mailing-chain work, till the keymat disappears.
I've seen many mailing-chains of goods.
But every time the parcel disappeared at one point.
I'm afraid to write it, but its very likely that the keymat will disappear too.

This is why I think it's better for me to wait with the keyboard-test till I get my finished pyra.
 
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gardrek

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Maybe you could set it up so the keys cause the LEDs to light up? Not sure if that'd even be possible without the CPU board, unless you did some sort of hack thing. I imagine the CPU board is not going to be in this because it's too much of an expensive risk compared to the other parts.
 

NetBLOKS

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Let's not make this more complicated and more work than it needs to be for ED.
Just take a piece of wood, roughley the size of the Pyra and glue the keymat on top.
You now have a more than capable prototype for keyboard testing and it won't be a big loss if it disappears on it's way.
The shoulder buttons are not part of the test anyway cause they are located on the mainboard and not influenced by the material of the keymat.
Eventually glue the key seperator of the top part of the case to the wood too, to optimize the feeling of the keys.
 
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Neelix

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The shoulder buttons may not be part of the key-mat itself, they are however an integral part of the keyboard as an input device. Being able to chord the shoulder buttons and keyboard keys was a key factor in the keyboard layout design and selection, and using them together is something I for one would like to be able to get a feel for if given the chance to test to test it.

-Neelix
 

rygD

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Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought this was so we could feel the keymat material since we can't feel it through the internet, as mentioned in the news post. I don't think it is about testing shoulder buttons, or testing input, as much as we all might like to test those (or a full prototype Pyra) just the material.

One thing I would like to see the results of are how long the caps stay on the keys during all this testing and mailing.

Since my location situation at a given time is a bit of an unknown right now I won't be participating. Maybe if I visit somewhere a keymat is also visiting I will be able to convince someone to bring it to a restaurant or something so I can feel/abuse it.
 

Neelix

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Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought this was so we could feel the keymat material since we can't feel it through the internet, as mentioned in the news post. I don't think it is about testing shoulder buttons, or testing input, as much as we all might like to test those (or a full prototype Pyra) just the material.

What are you testing the the feel of the keymat material for if not how it feels to use the keyboard & gaming controls as an input device? Obviously there won't be sufficient electronics to actually hook it up as an input device, but if you don't care how it feels to use it for its intended purpose what's the point in even bothering? (other than sheer novelty value) Ever since the keyboard layout was decided I've been wishing I could get a feel for how it actually feels to use the Pyra's rather unique shoulder button setup as modifiers in conjunction with the main keyboard. To me that constitutes an integral part of the experience as the keyboard layout was designed with shoulder button chording in mind.

-Neelix
 

Swordfish II

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Does it really matter if you test it? Are people actually going to cancel their orders as a result of testing this?

I am not a huge fan of the Pandora keyboard, but not enough to not use it.
 

Neelix

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Understood, but that just means they are slightly loose on the spindle doesn't it? Unless they are unmovable I still think it's worthwhile to have switches behind them.

-Neelix
 

EvilDragon

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Understood, but that just means they are slightly loose on the spindle doesn't it? Unless they are unmovable I still think it's worthwhile to have switches behind them.

No, right now they collide with the plastic before they reach the switch.
The plastic is supposed to stop the shoulderbuttons so that you can't damage the switch by pressing it too hard.
So you can't feel any click without modifying the case.

I also don't have any single Pyra parts here, so I have no switches to solder to. I could only use an older mainboard revision.
 

Grench

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No, right now they collide with the plastic before they reach the switch.
The plastic is supposed to stop the shoulderbuttons so that you can't damage the switch by pressing it too hard.
So you can't feel any click without modifying the case.

I also don't have any single Pyra parts here, so I have no switches to solder to. I could only use an older mainboard revision.

Although I would love to see and feel the keymat in action, I have a suggestion that may not be overly popular. Maybe scrap the plan? If you still do it, I still want in, but let me explain the logic in not doing it.

Assuming 1 day of 'testing' and 2 days in transit (in the mail) between testers, the traveling keymat will have a velocity of approximately 10 testers per month. It is difficult to ship anything thicker than a pencil from city to city for much less than $10. The test keymats would then rack up $100 per month in travel expenses. I'm guessing that there are going to be 50+/- of us that want to be in that line. With two traveling units with one for Europe and one for the US, which would eventually go to other countries, the person on the end of the list is going to see it in about 2.5 months.

So, some alternatives:

1. Sell the extras. Price them at ~40EUR + shipping. If they don't sell in 2 weeks, drop the price 25%.
Part of the genius of this option is that if a Linux user group in a particular city wants to show one off at a gathering, it is well within reach for a member to buy it for a show and tell. There is no worrying about where it is at. The broader question around making this viable has more to do with, "How many have you got?"

2. Put the effort instead into getting the prototypes done and into the wild. Yes, this is obviously a bit self-serving for me.
I have this idea that when prototypes get sent out to developers and the paid prototype pre-orders, those that get them are going to want to talk about them and may be willing to show them off - maybe in person at a local Linux user group meeting or some other such tech gathering. Seeing a keymat in person is good and all - seeing a working standalone unit in person would be the real goal though.

Frankly, after I get my prototype, if a group wants to pool together to cover my airfare and find a volunteer host to let me couch surf a night, I'm not opposed to the idea of visiting a few cities with it. Not overly practical. Yes, I know it would be cheaper to just ship around the prototype. But, considering what they cost, please excuse me for not being too keen on letting it out of my sight - once I actually see it of course.
 

CapcomSuicide

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Happy to take any keyboard that works, not interested in extra testing now. Just get a minimum viable product out please.
 

EvilDragon

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I certainly do want to ship out the keymat, as
Assuming 1 day of 'testing' and 2 days in transit (in the mail) between testers, the traveling keymat will have a velocity of approximately 10 testers per month. It is difficult to ship anything thicker than a pencil from city to city for much less than $10. The test keymats would then rack up $100 per month in travel expenses. I'm guessing that there are going to be 50+/- of us that want to be in that line. With two traveling units with one for Europe and one for the US, which would eventually go to other countries, the person on the end of the list is going to see it in about 2.5 months.

Well, shipping such a small package within a country is less than $10.
I checked with USPS, and it seems to be between $6 and $7.

Even shipping to different countries as international letter will be cheap, no worries here.

And it's not too many who want to test them up front, so there shouldn't be a big deal.

Anyways, here is the ordered list where the keymats will go.
I'll ship it out tomorrow :)

Fahrstuhl
SneHebNor
gbp
el joker
ClockworkCoder
comradekingu
slaeshjag
edgex004
Grench
Mecksg1
second.exodous
xrandr
Neelix
Kolbász
 
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