ErgoDox Phase III

Testing, Part 3

Previously - Phase III - Testing, Part 2

RGB Underglow

Work on my building my test ErgoDox is complete. I knew going into this build that I would need to improvise a lot, since this type of build (RGB Underglow) is not officially supported. I’ll say that the decision to order two PCBs was a good one. Knowing that the first board was for testing and experimenting removed a lot of my stress. Typically when attempting something like this I’m quite stressful that I’ll somehow destroy the board during the build. Given that I had 2 complete sets of PCBs + electronics made me worry free.

Final assembly went as I expected. The USB breakouts worked great as a replacement for the standard TRRS connections, and the RGB underglow looks great.

Notably, I did need to make a custom USB cable for this build, featuring mini USB B connectors on both ends, and wiring with 5 wires instead of USB’s standard 4.

I chose Cherry MX blacks for this test build, topped with sculpted SA profile Modern Selectric keycaps from Clueboard. This is my first time using SA profile keycaps, thus far I’m in love with them. I’ve been eyeing several SA profile keycap sets over the past year, this is the first time I’ve pulled the trigger. These keycaps will likely end up on the final production board.

I’ve began using this test board as my daily driver, to accustom myself to the layout. I’m very pleased with how easily I’ve picked up the style for using this board. I find the main keys to be pretty easy to get used to, and I’ve finally found an ortholinear layout that I like. I am still getting accustomed to the thumb clusters though.

My current keymap has (from left to right) backspace and delete on the left hand 2u keys, and enter and space on the right hand. Reaching the thumb cluster has proven easy enough, but I find myself inadvertently hitting enter instead of space. The only real quibble I have is with the right hand. For some reason I just can’t get comfortable with it. Typically when typing on any board, my hands float above the board. Obviously with a full-hand ErgoDox the intent is to rest one’s wrists on the board - to that end, I find myself leaving my left hand resting on the board, but I can’t get comfortable resting my right hand on the board. I find myself floating my right hand while typing because my right hand has difficulty reaching several of the outermost modifier keys if my hand is resting on the board. I imagine that with time I’ll either become accustomed to leaving the left hand resting and my right hand floating, or I’ll get used to the ErgoDox layout and rest my right hand on the board.

Moving forward, I simply need to finalize my modifications to the case design, order the carbon fiber plate, and assemble the final production board. Assuming I order sometime in the next few weeks I should be on track for completion of the production board by October.

List of all ErgoDox Build Posts

Typed on ErgoDox Test Board