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      Nice build!

      I wanted to build the most ergonomic and mind-blowingly efficient keyboard out there

      There is still some way to go. There is quite a body of research that shows that tenting a keyboard is very important for ergonomics, particularly for avoiding wrist issues. Hands with the palm up are pronated and compress the median nerve. Similarly a mild level of negative tilt an be good.

      At any rate, I have built many keyboards by now, mostly because it’s fun. But for daily work, I use a prebuilt keyboard. They are more robust (dropping a USB plug on the exposed microcontroller can fry it, always socket it) and generally have better tenting and mounting options.

      And once I used a key well keyboard, there is no way back to flat keyboards. I started with a Kinesis Advantage, but use a Glove80 now. Key wells, plus a great palm rest, and high levels of tenting provide ultimate comfort.

      I still have my Ferris Sweep, but I only have to type on it a short time and I start feeling discomfort.

      Disclaimer: I am not a health specialist.

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        I did add a tenting setup after I wrote this blog - and like you said, I can’t go back to a flat keyboard now!

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      After I developed a mysterious pain in the ball of my hand and twinges in my wrists I looked into ergonomics for typing. My summary of what I found via web-searches is to look at, in order

      1. Fixing posture
      2. Using a split keyboard
      3. Using a tented keyboard
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        1. Switch to a better layout
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          None of the ergonomics articles/videos I referred to mentioned layout. From this I infer it doesn’t have a significant impact on ergonomics.

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            Same, I have gone quite a bit through ergonomics literature, and there is virtually no research on layouts.

            Though I found from practical experience that the frequent letters N and T are awkward diagonal index stretches because they are on the outer index column. With row stagger you can cheat a bit. But with column stagger it’s more comfortable to use a layout that puts these on the home row.


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              I’m not sure if that isn’t due to economics instead of ergonomics. Personally, I switched from regular German to neo2 and it helped for me. I type less strained and cramped on it.

              I assume that it’s mostly due to the additional layer for programming symbols and not the more ergonomic placement of letters. Although, that is definitely also noticeable for me now when I go back to qwerty.

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          Switching to a different layout can help, but the improvement is marginal, compared to the benefits of fixing one’s posture, and using more ergonomic hardware. If anything, then better and/or smarter keybinds help more than a new layout: if you can get rid of chording, or unnecessary load on pinkies (doesn’t require a layout change, you only need to move the modifiers to better places - like your thumb - to see big improvements).

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      Didn’t expect to see this here—glad you’re enjoying it!

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        Thanks! Credit goes to you for the design :P

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      The layers are quite similar to what I’ve done with split keyboards, but I would suggest that “shift alt super ctrl” on home row should be “ctrl shift alt super” instead. It’s minor, but when key presses are spelled out, ctrl usually comes first, followed by shift, and those two are both “pinky keys” on normal keyboards (hence, the first keypress in the sequence).

      I’m looking at options to replace the micro controllers in my KeyMouse Track (split with trackball) pair with something that would support QMK/VIA. It’s an almost perfect design, but they seem to have gone dark, so I need to figure out options for the future. I’ve also been looking at Wylderbuilds; they seem to have some impressive options available for building. Getting at least one trackball incorporated is ideal, but it’s not clear how to best do the left/middle/right click option for the trackball.

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        I use Ctrl with the index finger since it’s one of the most used modifiers. Shift is on the pinky only for convenience reasons. My idea was to have the more common modifiers on the stronger fingers. I think you can get away with using a binding on one of the layers for mouse clicks - as long as the layer modifier and the mouse buttons are on opposite halves, you should be good.

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          On my setup, I use Cmd the most (macOS), so it’s naturally on the forefinger (but also because that seems to be the keyboard order, i.e. ctrl shift opt cmd). The KeyMouse Track has dedicated mouse buttons that are hidden among the keys; you can see them in this pic https://www.keymouse.com/images/sliders/KeyMouse_Track---01b-800x468.png inside the RTFG and YUHJ clusters, but I haven’t seen such an option with any other custom builds, so I’m not sure how to replicate that if I wanted to.

          I do love having all the modifier keys on home row on one hand, so the thumb on that hand switches to the appropriate layer, and the four fingers are available for all of the modifiers, and the other hand can then is then free to do what it needs to.