Fully functioning prototype!

A project log for Dactyl Lynx

The Dactyl Lynx is a parameterized, split-hand, concave, columnar, ergonomic keyboard - a fork/rewrite of the original Dactyl keyboard.

david-h-bronkeDavid H. Bronke 02/27/2024 at 10:360 Comments

I finally got the whole keyboard wired up, and have been using it for the past few days. I've made a few modifications along the way to make things work better.

I finally got my favorite switches: Kailh Speed Pink! Unfortunately, despite them being by far the best feeling switch for me, I'm noticing some things I'd rather change.

First, like most clicky switches, they're really loud, and they're bothering my wife somewhat. I like clicky switches entirely for the feel, and I'd actually prefer if they were much quieter.

Second, I've noticed that these switches don't actually actuate at the right point - they actuate a bit before the actual click is felt, which leads to a weirdly disconnected feeling while typing.

Does anyone know where I can find a switch that feels like a Kailh Speed Pink, but is quieter and more consistent between actuation and click? (No, a tactile is not an option - they feel nothing like a good click bar, and if I wanted that, I'd just put my wife's old Gateron Browns back in)

The next thing I needed to do was add more stability. The tripod configuration I had before was fine, as long as I didn't need to press 5 or 6, and as long as I didn't use the thumb clusters. I found that just putting a long bolt in the second part of the connector between the thumb cluster and finger well lent enough stability to make it possible for me to type comfortably. While doing this, I also adjusted the tilt and tenting of the finger wells to make it easier for me to hit the keys.

Finally, I swapped the 2U keys on the thumb clusters so they're easier to hit, and to reduce accidentally hitting the 1U keys in the same row. (since the 1U key next to Backspace switches the default layer between Dvorak and QWERTY)

After those changes, I'm pretty happy with the board overall, but I've been collecting more improvements I'd like to make.

The biggest change I need to make is to add some more grip to the bottom of the support bolts so it doesn't slide around my desk while I'm trying to type. I've ordered some "liquid electrical tape" dip, but it's taking quite a while to come in. I was originally going to get some Plasti-Dip, but that costs something like 5 times as much.

Next, I'm adjustin the relative offsets of the finger columns to match my fingers in resting position a bit better. I've already printed a new piece for this, but since I've also been experimenting with some other changes, I can't use it yet.

I rewrote some of the finger well positioning code to make the inclination angle of the finger well easily adjustable without having to touch multiple pieces of code. I also moved the inner rear support further back for better stability, which necessitated adjusting the thumb connector slightly.

I'm going to be adding the TrackPoint module and the Apple Mighty Mouse trackball next, since mouse keys are awkward to use in most cases.

I also got my hands on a Hall effect PS5 thumbstick, which I'd like to add to the left side, to make this a good replacement for my Orbweaver. The biggest challenge will probably be to find a good location for it. I may opt for a Switch thumbstick replacement instead; we'll see how well I'm able to make this fit.