Thursday, 19 March 2020
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Hi Everyone,

Since the recent development with ZZ Inc. I'm trying to secure as much replacement parts as possible. I'm hooked on my keymouse track and can't imagine ever using something else again. If my unit ever dies I think I'll just make an arduino/raspberry system to work as a keymouse rather than going back to "the old uncivilized" ways :)

But, hopefully it'll be many good years before that happens, and I think some components will simply mechanically wear out from use. For the keymouse track, these are the trackballs and bearings:


Does anyone know where I can get these items? It's difficult enough as it is to find replacement trackballs, and those that are available are usually 34mm and up. Keymouse track seems to use a very rare 25.8mm dimension. I've looked everywhere and were unable to find any. ZZ Inc. is not responding to emails/facebook messages, otherwise I'd just buy it from them.

Alternatives are to buy other trackballs, I've found some that use a 25.0mm trackball, but they're about $100 each.
2 years ago
·
#2058
Accepted Answer
Hi Kresimir,
We still have decent inventory of these parts, so if you order them on our site we can ship them. The main part we are out of right now is the Main PCBs. If anyone knows how to make Arduino or similar work with our parts for both Mouse and Keyboard, we would consider creating a variation of our 3D models to accommodate.
2 years ago
·
#2061
Yeah, and as a fellow software guy, I can relate :) custom PCB and managing hardware inventory sounds like a major pain :)

Regarding the mouse input, that's one of the reasons I'd go with one of the pcb's being an arduino and one as a RPI (a RPI zero can also act as a HID device so that could be used instead of an arduino)
You could just take an existing trackball like Logitech m570, stript the parts and hook it in the RPI's usb port, then have a custom python script transform the mouse input and send it as HID events. It sounds easy in my head, but it's not like I have attempted it so I may be wrong;

yeah, QMK could be a nice start, but given all the Keymouse features, it may be best to go custom in the lung run
2 years ago
·
#2060
The business model you just described is one we are thinking a lot about. We love using our KeyMouse devices, but we may shift the website to be more of a community of builders that can build, buy, sell to each other through our site (maybe we get a commission in the middle like Amazon or something). We know there are thousands of variations of the products that can be built using the components. Ultimately we just want to get out of hardware manufacturing (and hopefully still have a good business somehow), but we love using the devices, and we know many of you do so we want to make sure it continues on. We honestly believe there is a good future for KeyMouse still. Using an Arduino type PCB would be a good step in the right direction since it can be acquired on Amazon in low volumes, and we don't have to buy big batches of PCBs. We can buy Arduino boards on Amazon at less than half the price of our COST because we buy in such low volumes of our custom PCB's comparatively.

P.S. Thanks a ton for your offer to do some programming on the firmware. Maybe we could start with something like QMK or similar and build on it. The part I don't know about is the mouse. We sub-contracted our firmware programming so we're not that familiar with it ourselves. We do desktop and web software. If you have anything for us to test we'll get some Arduinos and try assembling one. Honestly switching to an Arduino style PCB would be great since we wouldn't have to inventory them. Looking back we should have explored this more early on instead of a custom PCB. Our PCB is really nifty and can do a lot of neat stuff, but long term using more off the shelf components is a good idea. I guess we learn as we go :)
2 years ago
·
#2059
Oh, I just assumed you weren't selling anything anymore; I'll go and order a bunch of stuff right now :)

Regarding making an arduino/rpi version of keymouse, I'm fairly confident it can be done. I've done some research on the subject and have some experience programming both arduino and RPI. I think I can get it to work with an arduino micro acting as a HID device, while the RPI driving all the logic.

The basic idea (USB only, with a cable between the keymouse units)

  • The arduino micro would be placed in the right keymouse housing, only forwarding input from the keyboard matrix and mouse sensor to the RPI.
  • The RPI would be placed in the left housing, read input from the left keyboard matrix and mouse sensor, as well as forwarded input from the arduino micro
  • The RPI would do keycode transformation, macros, mouse speed, scroll speed etc, and forward raw input events back to the arduino so it can send HID events to the PC
  • the configuration software would be hosted on the RPI in a webpage format so no config software needs to be installed on the PC, you just access it via browser and a lan connection via usb or similar.
  • Not yet sure about bluetooth but RPI can do that, it's just a pain to set it up


It's not as efficient as Keymouse' PCB ofcourse, but it could do the trick and should function more or less like the current keymouse models.

In fact, I think it could be a new business model for you, have the buyer acquire the arduino and RPI, 3D print all the parts and assemble the device themselves, you would charge the user for the IP license and maybe basic parts like trackballs, Key switches with a mini PCB etc.
You could set up a list of active people/businesses willing to 3D print parts for a price, or do the 3D printing yourselves as you have done so far.

I would be willing to donate my time and programming for free to make this happen if it'll mean you can stay in business and continue working on Keymouse, it's such a wonderful product, the world deserves to enjoy it, not just us lucky few that have managed to get our hands on a keymouse unit :)
2 years ago
·
#2058
Accepted Answer
Hi Kresimir,
We still have decent inventory of these parts, so if you order them on our site we can ship them. The main part we are out of right now is the Main PCBs. If anyone knows how to make Arduino or similar work with our parts for both Mouse and Keyboard, we would consider creating a variation of our 3D models to accommodate.
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