Monday, 25 May 2020
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A quick update:
We just finished the design for our new USB only PCB. We have PCB prototypes in production right now, and we will hopefully have them in a few weeks. I will post pictures when they arrive.

Why USB only PCB (which we now call KeyMouse PCB 2.0)?
1. Dealing with wireless & batteries has been the primary cause of support problems for KeyMouse. For a single device it's not too big of a deal, but with a split keyboard keeping both sides in sync with wireless/USB combo is problematic. Just overall too many issues caused by it.
2. Some computer USB ports could not put out enough power for 2 devices + charging the batteries. Charging the batteries while using KeyMouse would put extra power load on the USB port. This would cause sporatic device disconnects where some users had to even remove batteries to get KeyMouse to work.
3. Due to a complex business arrangement (which I will not get into here because it evolved over time), the firmware for our KeyMouse PCB 1.4 is sub-contracted and updates/bug fixes are not fully in our control. There have been some debounce issues we've been trying to get resolved for years, and still don't have a solution. We have full control of the firmware on our new KeyMouse PCB 2.0, which has been in development in the background for quite a while now. It will have more features, more layers, and better macros, etc. Firmware is progressing nicely. We still need to update the desktop software to write layers to it directly.
4. Our new PCB is a Master/Slave setup, so the computer will see 1 device instead of 2. You will still chain the devices similar to when using existing KeyMouse devices (1 cable to computer, and 1 cable between). On existing KeyMouse devices the left/right hand do not communicate to each other through the cable...it's actually a USB Hub to relay the signal to the computer. The new PCB has a communication protocol between left/right hands which will help a lot for reliability and giving us a lot more options. This will simplify a lot of issues particularly on Mac, where it does not recognize modifier keys such as Shift/Ctrl/Alt/Cmd from "other" keyboards (you can't press Shift on left keyboard + Y on right keyboard to get a capital Y). We worked around this by having modifier keys be sent from both left/right hands any time a key was pressed, which works pretty good, but creates other negative side effects. New system will be a lot better. There will still be mouse in both left/right hands which we still can control independently for speed, DPI, etc., but computer will just see 1 device.

Why did we pause production?
1. We ran out of PCB's and hit a point that we wanted to re-evaluate everything. Our primary background is software, and running a software company + hardware company was becoming overwhelming. I've developed software for 25+ years, and trust me, it's a cakewalk compared to hardware. We built KeyMouse because we LOVE to use it ourselves and we're very glad for all your support of the product. The pause of several months has given us some time to evaluate how to move forward better to still offer KeyMouse. Solving some of the issues above with the new PCB will help cut down on time needed for supporting devices. We have also raised the price which will help make the business more self-sustainable. We assemble and test KeyMouse by hand.
2. We had re-designed our Cherry PCB modules with a brand new punch down system for much cleaner wiring inside the devices (enough room for backlight wires) But...we had not tested it fully yet in the field. We just need more time to test this and make sure it's going to be the correct path forward.

What is the path forward for KeyMouse?
1. We are currently waiting for our new KeyMouse PCB 2.0 prototypes to arrive.
2. We will need to make updates to our 3D models to match the new PCB (this part should go pretty quick).
3. We need to update our desktop software to write key layouts to the new PCB.
4. We plan to begin offering devices again once we have had enough time to test and ensure the device is stable with our new PCB and our new punchdown system on the switches - assuming they work smoothly.
5. Long term we hope our modular KeyMouse platform can be used for creating many types of devices - programming, gaming, CAD, 3D modeling, and many more industries. There are many types of devices that could be built with our core components, and we would love for people to use them to create their own input device ideas.
6. We may do some license deals in manufacturing moving forward to free up our time to work more in our area of specialty.

Side note: to cut down on support we will no longer be supporting Chair Mounting for KeyMouse. There are too many types of chairs with various shapes and orientations of the armrests. We will give access to the 3D models of our chair mounting parts, which you can modify and use for 3D printing your own custom parts to mount KeyMouse devices. We actually really like chair mounting, but cannot support all the configurations at this time. Maybe in the future.

Thank you all for your support of KeyMouse. :)
12 months ago
·
#2421
@heber you mention closed software. Does that include firmware? I had assumed the firmware would be open to encourage using the modules for custom non keymouse use cases. Please clarify this. Thanks.

Is the new hardware QMK based?
11 months ago
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#2422
We received the PCBs. There is an issue with the slave device receiving power from the master device (through the serial port). The PCB engineer is in the middle of moving, so he will be checking it out on Monday. There is a circuit on the devices to detect whether power is coming into the device from the USB port or the Serial port, so that the device knows whether it's master or slave. That circuit had some modifications in this last revision. I'm guessing a tweak needs made to that circuit. Frustrating, but I'll let you know when I hear back from the PCB engineer.

In response to the message above about firmware and QMK:
The KeyMouse Software and KeyMouse Firmware is our own written from scratch. The software and firmware do not need to be open source for you to create custom devices with it. The structure of the software is flexible and uses JSON files to define the keys & mouse behavior of the device. We will be adding more features in the Software to help users modify & create their own devices and configure how the buttons are arranged, etc. We're also planning to make a public location for users to share their custom devices as well as 3D printable STL files. Once we resolve the PCB, we will shift our focus to this.
11 months ago
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#2425
Roses are Red
Keymice are black
When oh when
Will you get the PCB back?
11 months ago
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#2429
Roses are Red
Keymice are black
When oh when
Will you get the PCB back?


This has moved pretty slowly, hasn't it?

Fortunately, I have two pair of these, and they are still working like new.

Unfortunately, when I'm away from the office, the m1 MacBook Pro keyboard / touch pad / touch bar is atrocious. Seriously atrocious.
11 months ago
·
#2433
Thanks Heber for the continuous updates!
Great to hear there is overall progress! (2 steps forward and 1 step back is still progress!)

I'm patiently waiting for the ChairTrack to be back in stock to use at the office of my new job! And in the mean-time I'm a very happy user of the ChairTrack working from home for the last few years!

1 request:
Would it be possible to have the same soft-to-the-touch material on the palm rest exactly like the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 has?
(sorry for the off-topic request)

Kind regards,
Paul
11 months ago
·
#2437
Just had this idea: what if the PCB 2.0 has a colorfully RGBW LED on it that shows the color of the layer that is currently active?
Similar to how regular keyboards show Caps-lock is active.
11 months ago
·
#2440
Roses are Red
Keymice are black
When oh when
Will you get the PCB back?


This has moved pretty slowly, hasn't it?

Fortunately, I have two pair of these, and they are still working like new.

Unfortunately, when I'm away from the office, the m1 MacBook Pro keyboard / touch pad / touch bar is atrocious. Seriously atrocious.


Yeah, I have been waiting quite a while. I'm the one with the computer pic a little bit up/down(depending on how you view the replies.)
I honestly finally was able to buy them, and within days of checking I finally got the money I was gonna spend on it, it was out of stock.



Just had this idea: what if the PCB 2.0 has a colorfully RGBW LED on it that shows the color of the layer that is currently active?
Similar to how regular keyboards show Caps-lock is active.


This sounds awesome. Any RGB is a yes from me. I bought a temp half keyboard in the meantime (doesn't do the job), and it has some really awesome LED effects. So, I might eventually try and do something full keyboard.
10 months ago
·
#2447
Keymouse - A Haiku

Where could the PCB be
For I desire a KeyMouse
Too bad it's not free
10 months ago
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#2448
The latest PCB batch is in progress (has been for a few weeks). Hopefully we can get rolling again when the batch arrives in a few weeks from now. Crossing our fingers that everything works right. We were up to version 2.7 with all the bad versions, so we just decided to change the version to 3.0 now, so we can forget about the 2.X nightmares of bad PCB batches. The new software will be 3.x and the new PCB will be 3.x. We'll just shift it over to 3s across the board. KeyMouse PCB 3.0, KeyMouse Software 3.0, KeyMouse Alpha 300. KeyMouse Track 300, etc.
10 months ago
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#2449
Waiting... with baited breath!!!
10 months ago
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#2451
Crossing our fingers that everything works right. We were up to version 2.7 with all the bad versions, so we just decided to change the version to 3.0 now, so we can forget about the 2.X nightmares of bad PCB batches. The new software will be 3.x and the new PCB will be 3.x. We'll just shift it over to 3s across the board. KeyMouse PCB 3.0, KeyMouse Software 3.0, KeyMouse Alpha 300. KeyMouse Track 300, etc.


It's been a long slog. Y'all deserve some good fortune at this point!
9 months ago
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#2462
Do you have a target launch date for the newest version of Keymouse? I've read all the messages about PCB trouble and the other setbacks you've had so I understand this may be impossible to say but I'm curious nevertheless.
9 months ago
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#2464
I tripped on the USB cable hard for the 50th time, and my KeyMouse Track PCB left broke on 2021-03-14. I sent an email to support but they are dead.
I am waiting for PCB 2.0, but can't wait because I am now using Ubuntu laptop for work, and Razer doesn't have Linux support, and can't find something as good as Autohotkey. And I refuse to buy company subsidized wireless keyboard, because it's wireless.

So I bought a PCB 1.0 today. Well done guys, you win. UNBELIEVABLE :D
9 months ago
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#2465
So happy to hear that things are still rolling, Heber! Been a while since I took a look at what you all were up to, but I think about you guys often. My Keymouse is such an essential part of my life and workflow now. I will be jumping up and down when your latest build is in the world.

I'm very sorry about the hellish trials of the PCB thus-far. I hope that this latest batch brings a blissful, bug-free nirvana.
9 months ago
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#2467
Fully agree! I just can't imagine my life anymore without Keymouse Track. I have 2 of them and use them daily! When I use them in the command line work and coding, I get to navigate and type so fast that I feel like I'm in the matrix, fusing with the machine!

Looking forward to the new versions, will buy again, if nothing else then to support the development!
So does that mean we can just replace the PCBs in our Keymouse that have with the new PCBs? Because I have the Alpha s/n 1478. It would be cool if it worked for the ones that I have.
So what you are saying is all we would need to do for the new Keymouse is to purchase the PCB and replace them. I have an alpha that I got in 2018 the new PCBs will work with them?
9 months ago
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#2472
Is it going to be USB-C?
Because the current PCB version uses USB mini (which is larger than USB micro, and about the same size as USB-C).
I have not been able to find magnetic tipped USB mini cables (only USB-C and USB micro).
9 months ago
·
#2473
Just had this idea: what if the PCB 2.0 has a colorfully RGBW LED on it that shows the color of the layer that is currently active?
Similar to how regular keyboards show Caps-lock is active.


Coming back to this: what if, instead of a single LED showing the color of the active layer, the keys themselves have a white and blue and yellow _transparent_ label (i.e.light filter), with RGBW LEDs behind them (not necessarily per key). Such that the keys light up in the layer color and due to the transparent labels in that color only show that color (since that's how light filters work).
9 months ago
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#2474
Is it going to be USB-C?
Because the current PCB version uses USB mini (which is larger than USB micro, and about the same size as USB-C).
I have not been able to find magnetic tipped USB mini cables (only USB-C and USB micro).


after some tinkering got this magnetic connection. used an 8 pin pogo connector and 1 fonken magnetic micro usb cable DSC_0542.jpg

It's a shame keymouse is ignoring me so I couldn't reprint the case to support the connector properly...
Attachments (1)
9 months ago
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#2475
Interesting! I could see it being "magnets all around", i.e. the plug going to the computer being a USB-C capable magnetic connection, and the bridge between the two keyboards as well being magnets on both ends.

Heber?
9 months ago
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#2476
I wound't even need both to be magnetic, if they inset the connector even further (another half inch to an inch would keep the end of the cord from sticking out).

honestly, switching to usb-c (though leave the usb-a that way) would allow us to go magnetic. Having the keymouse tied together with a cable is fine, but being magnetic means that the connection from my chair to the computer can pop out easily. Also, another reason to switch to usb-c is the fact that it's getting hard to find these cables, as almost nothing uses them, but usb-c is everyhwere, and i have tons of them.
9 months ago
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#2477
We used USB Mini B instead of Micro because Mini are stronger and more stable than Micro, especially for a device that is moving around on the desk.
For example: Micro connections on XBox controllers are a pain in the behind, always disconnecting. It could just be my own bad experiences, but IMO Micro USB is a terrible design. USB-C is much better, but we don't have time to put it in for this version of the PCB. It will have to come in a future revision. The magnet idea is cool. I think customers modifying their own devices with aftermarket solutions will be best for now, and could eventually work their way into shipping with the product.
9 months ago
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#2478
I had issues with intermittent disconnection too.. this low-tech solution worked for me...

keymouse connector.jpg
Attachments (1)
9 months ago
·
#2479
We used USB Mini B instead of Micro because Mini are stronger and more stable than Micro, especially for a device that is moving around on the desk.
For example: Micro connections on XBox controllers are a pain in the behind, always disconnecting. It could just be my own bad experiences, but IMO Micro USB is a terrible design. USB-C is much better, but we don't have time to put it in for this version of the PCB. It will have to come in a future revision. The magnet idea is cool. I think customers modifying their own devices with aftermarket solutions will be best for now, and could eventually work their way into shipping with the product.


ohh and PLEASE, for all that is good in this world. PLEASE set the new ones up so that there is a metal thread insert for (machine screws now) to screw into.

i go though LOTS of mouse buttons (it's ok it's worth it) and those screw holes are kinda.... not really useful anymore :)

keep in mind that i use this thing 12-14 hours a day and use the mouse button more than any key or anything else, so it's not like it's a real problem with the hardware.
9 months ago
·
#2480
Exactly! Something to deal with cable strain on the Alpha (not necessary on the Track) would be far more effective than which plug gets used.

For what it's worth, Heber, I've never had an issue with the USB cables on either of mine (Alpha or Track). I have them in two different offices (i.e. two different locations in the US), so I'm either using all one, or all the other. No issues, other than the way-out-of-date software and its flaky support on Mac (which thus far I have been able to work around, although I have no recollection of the details of how I do it ... I think recently I've been using a Windows machine to config the keyboards).
9 months ago
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#2481
i go though LOTS of mouse buttons (it's ok it's worth it) and those screw holes are kinda.... not really useful anymore :)


Use 2-part epoxy and a filler compound (even sawdust works) to fill those holes. Let fully set. Re-drill & tap. Good as new. (I've had to repair more than a few things like this in the past.)
9 months ago
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#2482
Yep, as Cameron suggests, drill out the holes just enough to remove the loose/weak material, and enable you to get a filler to the bottom. Two component epoxy is ideal if you can get it all the way down in the hole, but another option that is sometimes easier to do, is CA glue (cyanoacrylate, i.e. superglue), combined with sodium bicarbonate:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tHhW1XOm2U

You could also set in your own threaded inserts as part of the process.

I concur on asking Herber to use inserts as an improvement to the product when it is built, but like USB-C and other things, they're nice to have and will probably an evolution for a future revision. To recover what you already have now though, the above DIY approach is workable (if a little tedious).
9 months ago
·
#2483
I'm currently trying out these:
https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/21uttwawW-L._AC_SY580_.jpg
In combination with these:
https://tweakers.net/i/-ChBvdan02FOVl3AM9j6tenNGt8=/i/2004226196.jpeg
9 months ago
·
#2485
We have the new PCBs V3, and so far in testing, they are working well. Finally, we have a good batch of PCBs!!! :)

We'll do further testing this week, and hopefully we can start taking orders next week. This is a total re-write of the firmware, and the keys use a new punch down system instead of pins (cleaner wiring to make space for backlight wires). We will list it as "beta" for now, but we think it will work fine. The good news is we have control of the firmware now. The foundation for this new firmware is more solid and more flexible than previously, but has less users, so it's less tested. If you are anxious to buy one, just have a little patience with any minor quirks, and we'll get firmware updates as soon as possible. If you want rock solid, wait a little. It's solid enough for us to use as our primary input devices if that helps.

A few key improvements off the top of my head for Alpha & Track:
1. Backlight
2. Higher resolution 12,000 DPI mouse sensor.
3. USB ports are through-hole mounted (stronger). Should have been on previous design, but now we know and it's fixed. Some users have had USB ports come loose from PCB...hopefully this doesn't happen anymore.
4. Many more layers (previously limited to 6, now the memory is used much more efficiently...at least 10+...maybe 100+ if you need it depending on how many macros you store in the device).
5. Future: will have ability for macros stored directly in device memory instead of needing the KeyMouse Software to be running all the time to intercept keys and type the macro for you. Firmware foundation is in place for this, but not fully implemented yet. Will come in a firmware update.
6. Key debounce is handled much better...when a button goes "bad" I think you will be able to just slightly increase the debounce time (for that button) and get much more life from the button.
7. Left & right hands communicate by serial (using USB mini B to mini B cable), so the computer sees 1 device instead of 2. It simplifies a lot of things.
8. PCB is black. It's just better this way.

Just remember, moving forward we don't have Bluetooth or wireless RF.
Attachments (1)
9 months ago
·
#2486
Once you have the key mouse track up... TAKE MY MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9 months ago
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#2487
Can I replace the PCBS on my existing devices with the new one?

I’m just referring to the electric wiring aspect - not if it mounts exactly the same as the old one - or even the port “windows” on the case… (that essentially will not pose a problem)
9 months ago
·
#2488
@Alon As you mention - the PCB mounting is different, and the ports won't line up, but electrically it should be possible to upgrade an existing device to the new PCB (with old design likely wont be able to get backlight wires to fit, but at least will be on the latest PCB and have access to new firmware updates, etc.). Just might have to use a dremel tool, etc. We are building a 3D model for a "PCB mount adapter" to help (which we will post publicly), but will not be officially supported.
9 months ago
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#2489
"...hopefully we can start taking orders next week..."

So excited about this, you guys!
9 months ago
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#2490
awesoooome!

is the new tracking sensor board also compatible with the old models? I'd maybe order a few spares in case of failure (one already failed, luckily I ordered 10 extra spares :D)
9 months ago
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#2491
Long time listener, first time caller (if you don't count the old UserVoice system). I'm hoping to get an order placed once orders open, and I'm wondering about the status of keycap sets re:

We will be getting into custom key caps, so I'm sure there will be overlap with our future path of product offerings. We already have several versions in stock (Colemak, DVORAK, QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY, Blank). We are also working on a re-legendable key cap (allows users to print their own graphics and insert). See attached link for the current key caps we have in stock. These were designed for our original KeyMouse (with more keys), so they would need re-worked for the current KeyMouse.


Are there new or existing sets that would be compatible here? I'd like to have dvorak or perhaps even arensito keycaps, and I'd rather start with them than end up with my own proprietary configuration that is difficult to remember because it doesn't match witch keycaps that come later.
9 months ago
·
#2492
Thx for the update. Looking forward to buy upgraded model.
9 months ago
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#2493


Just remember, moving forward we don't have Bluetooth or wireless RF.


This broke my heart.
9 months ago
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#2494
So excited for you guys! And me too. Those sound like some great improvements. The mouse resolution upgrade in particular is intriguing to me.
9 months ago
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#2495
@Dustin We have these key cap sets available. You choose which set you want when adding the product to the cart. We have not pursued the custom key graphics further, so this is what we have for now.
KeyMouse Alpha Keycaps
KeyMouse Track Keycaps
9 months ago
·
#2499
Hi there, I've been excitedly waiting for these to come available for a LONG time now (apparently I'm not the only one).
I just have a couple of questions:
1) I noticed that fully assembled units are "out of stock". I don't mind assembling myself (I'm a hardware guy!), but I need a materials list (or perhaps you could add the 'unassembled without 3d printing' as a purchasable item)
2) I'd like the track rather than alpha, but I like how the alpha has fewer keys (and I agree with your reasoning on why). Could I modify the track's 3d model to accommodate fewer keys and make a track version of that? Is that something you'd recommend?
3) Also, is it possible for me to start with, say, just the right hand and use a keyboard on the left hand to save cost while I try it out? What are your thoughts.

thanks!
Rory
9 months ago
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#2500
I just can't wait for them to go on sale after watching this thread for 18 months. I'm starting a new job in a month and a half and would love to have them by then. Bummer about Bluetooth and RF compatibility though.
9 months ago
·
#2501
Rory, what I've done is replaced the outer columns of the track keys with blanks, and left them unassigned, so that I don't do the pinky stretch to those. It has worked out well for me, but I too would prefer to just now have those buttons there at all.

I have both the track and the alpha, and I do prefer the track.
9 months ago
·
#2504
Rory, what I've done is replaced the outer columns of the track keys with blanks, and left them unassigned, so that I don't do the pinky stretch to those. It has worked out well for me, but I too would prefer to just now have those buttons there at all.

I have both the track and the alpha, and I do prefer the track.


Thanks for the reply Cameron. Yes, I'm super keen on the track.
I was wondering if, seeing as the cases are 3d printed anyway, I could just print a smaller case rather than putting blanks in. Do you think that would work?
Do you then map the numbers to the regular letters with a mode shift key or something?
9 months ago
·
#2505
I'm locking this thread, since it's getting really long. Please post new topics into new threads.
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