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 Post subject: Prospective buying questions: Phantom key drops/switching?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:00 pm 
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I have a few concerns before buying a keyboard. I'd greatly appreciate some help answer them; thank you!

Do phantom key drops (or key presses, or key switching) occur? e.g. these forum posts seem to indicate such a problem has been found with gaming and mitigated in the past, but did not say to what extent the problem had been fixed with more esoteric, non-gaming keypresses:

http://www.deckkeyboards.com/forum/view ... ht=phantom
http://www.deckkeyboards.com/forum/view ... ht=phantom

The last two keyboards I bought fail to type the following words:
'mount' becomes 'moutn' (or 'mou')
'sounds' becomes 'sousdn'
'without' becomes 'withotu'
And this is reproducible 100% of the time, and is not due to human error. These other keyboards are dropping and/or switching keys based on when I release keys I've already pressed. (This is a problem for me, because I'm a fast typer, at about 500-800CPM ~ 100-160WPM; for example, 'mount' is typed in 0.1 seconds. I typically release an alphanumeric key no later than 1-2 keypresses later, however some cheaper keyboards can't handle this.)

I'd like to know if anyone with similar typing speed knows if this problem exists?

Also, perhaps an engineer could warn me if there may be problems with some esoteric shortcuts of mine?:

caps lock + control + P
caps lock + control + ;
(here, caps lock has been remapped to be a useful modifier key; one of these doesn't work on the otherwise-good Apple Pro keyboard I'm currently using)

control + alt + upArrow + leftArrow
(the post above says that upArrow + leftArrow work, but I'm concerned about combining it with modifier keys)

What is the maximum number of simultaneous keypresses? e.g. could I do:
caps lock + control + alt + j + i

I use these shortcuts (caps lock + [somekey]) to avoid having to move my hands all the time to the arrow keys and pgup/pgdn and home/end (makes text and code editing much easier). For example, capsLock + ctrl + ; is for tabbing (ctrl+pageup) in Firefox. Ctrl+alt+arrows is for moving between virtual desktops in Compiz Fusion. Etc.

Also, might anyone foresee a problem remapping the `/~ key as a modifier key... probably the alt key (and making the alt key be the meta key)?

-----------------

Another concern is how hard the keys are to press. On some days when I do alot of coding, my hands can get very tired. Some manufacturers give pressure ratings -- how much pressure must go into pressing a key before it clicks... What is the Deck's rating? (At the risk of sounding unpopular, I'm a fan of the X-switch laptop-style keyboards because they take only a little force to push and the little noise they make.)

-----------------

Another concern is how much sound the keyboard makes?

Thank you!

-----------------

( Also let me say that I am absolutely shocked that the Deck website addresses all questions I would like to know about my keyboard. No other manufacturer or reseller talks about key printing rub-off-ability, phantom key drops (in forum), schematic, LED lighting distribution, satisfaction guarantee, and all the 10+ little things geeks would want to know before buying. Well done! It almost makes me want to buy the keyboard just to support the community and sales practices... :D

Two suggestions:
1) Use CSS display:none property for the booby-trap forms during user registration
2) Add an extra key right of the `/~ key (many people only tend to use 2" of their spacebar key)
3) Add pressure and sound to FAQ )


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:13 am 
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OK here we go...I will try to answer all of your questions in the order they appear in your post. Let me know if I miss something.

Quote:
Do phantom key drops (or key presses, or key switching) occur? e.g. these forum posts seem to indicate such a problem has been found with gaming and mitigated in the past, but did not say to what extent the problem had been fixed with more esoteric, non-gaming keypresses:


It has been fixed to my knowledge with everything besides the Fire 82 key; it will be fixed shortly with the next batch of production. The USB spec lets you have 6 simultaneous key presses at a time plus modifier keys; the PS2 spec is unlimited. Our keyboards are at this limit and there is no way for it to be increased (some manufacturers have some sort of 'memory' marketing gimmick where it is supposed to let you get more key presses at once, I have not tested it but I would tend to think it would cause more problems than good down the road).

I have also tested all of the key combinations you have given as examples and can only find a problem with 'without' because it is longer than 6 characters and may not work for you if you are using USB, however this is true of every keyboard on the market and not just ours. There should be no problem pressing any 6 keys plus all of the modifier keys (alts and ctrls) for USB (unlimited for PS2).

Quote:
Also, might anyone foresee a problem remapping the `/~ key as a modifier key... probably the alt key (and making the alt key be the meta key)?


I can't see a reason this would be a problem unless you use the ~ character.

Quote:
Another concern is how hard the keys are to press. On some days when I do alot of coding, my hands can get very tired. Some manufacturers give pressure ratings -- how much pressure must go into pressing a key before it clicks... What is the Deck's rating? (At the risk of sounding unpopular, I'm a fan of the X-switch laptop-style keyboards because they take only a little force to push and the little noise they make.)


The switches in our Deck keyboards are Cherry MX linear switches. They have an operating force of 2.1 oz. ± 0.7 oz. which compared to a laptop-style scissor switch is probably much higher depending on the manufacturer (I could not find generic specs but I am sure it is much lower). Compared to your x-switch laptop style keyboards it will no doubt feel different, however in my experience your fingers get used to the extra required force and the keys seem to 'loosen up' over time making it easier to type on down the road. One other interesting fact about this: the switches in a Deck board are rated at 50 million cycles while your laptop keyboard has maybe 1 million so while it takes more force to press you will be able to use it continuously instead of buying 50 laptop style throw-away products.

Quote:
Another concern is how much sound the keyboard makes?


It does make more sound than a 'quiet'-style keyboard or a laptop keyboard. To me it is right in between an old IBM clicky-keyboard and a modern membrane-style 'quiet' keyboard. The sound comes from the switch bottoming out and making plastic/plastic contact giving you a nice click sound. Otherwise our switches are silent and do not have the spring sound an old IBM clicky would have. I do not have a decibel rating or anything more significant but I am sure others would tell you it is louder than your average keyboard. Most people consider this a fair tradeoff for the long life rating and the fantastic appearance of the LED backlighting including myself but to each their own.

Again pleaset let me know if I missed anything, I tried to cover it all. Also thanks for the kind word about our site and the suggestions, both have been taken in for consideration and are appreciated greatly :) .

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http://www.deckkeyboards.com - The best backlit keyboards on Earth
http://www.tg3electronics.com - Parent company of Deck, leaders in custom industrial keyboards


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:42 pm 
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DeckGuy Adam wrote:
Quote:
Do phantom key drops (or key presses, or key switching) occur? e.g. these forum posts seem to indicate such a problem has been found with gaming and mitigated in the past, but did not say to what extent the problem had been fixed with more esoteric, non-gaming keypresses:


It has been fixed to my knowledge with everything besides the Fire 82 key; it will be fixed shortly with the next batch of production.


Hi Adam,

Sorry to hijack the thread, but is there any way the scroll-lock issue can be addressed in the next production run? That key seems to becoming the standard for KVM interaction, and not having it as an option (software solutions will not work here) is very limiting. Prior threads had proposed to have FN+Somekey send the appropriate key code.

To chime in about key noise, I recently found a new IBM Model M at a flea market while traveling abroad. It is much noisier than a Deck to me. I agree that the keys you use are a nice balance between great feel and noise level.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 3:00 pm 
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Not sure about the Scroll Lock feature mterlouw, that is one I would really like to see as well (I have 2 KVMs in front of me right now) but we are pretty heavy on 82 key inventory and no changes would happen until that is exhausted so it may be a while. If we do make a change to our 82-key Deck I will be sure to include that on the top of my list.

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Deck Guy Adam
http://www.deckkeyboards.com - The best backlit keyboards on Earth
http://www.tg3electronics.com - Parent company of Deck, leaders in custom industrial keyboards


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 Post subject: Re: Prospective buying questions: Phantom key drops/switchin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:17 am 
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Ninjagecko wrote:
Also, might anyone foresee a problem remapping the `/~ key as a modifier key... probably the alt key (and making the alt key be the meta key)?
Mine is currently alt without any problems. As far as I've seen, a Deck can be remapped as easily as any other keyboard (barring those with their own software, of course); I remap about 20 keys on both my Windows and Linux boxes without problems (including pgup/pgdn, largely because of tabbing in Firefox, actually). I don't use meta, so I haven't remapped anything to it, but I've had no trouble mapping things to shift, ctrl, and alt; meta shouldn't be any different.

I'd like to put in another vote for a thinner space bar with more keys on either side of it, for what it's worth. But that's only because I don't play many games any more. I don't think you could really fit more than one more button on the left side of the space bar without potentially causing problems for gamers (and because of where I hit the space bar, I wouldn't want more than one more button on the right, so I'd selfishly vote for that).

Edit: To add another user's opinion of the volume, I'll just reiterate Adam's comment: it's between the modern quiet keyboards and the old buckling spring keyboards. It is definitely audible, but it's not loud or anything.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:34 am 
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Thank you everyone very much for your time.

DeckGuy Adam wrote:
It has been fixed to my knowledge with everything besides the Fire 82 key; it will be fixed shortly with the next batch of production.


:?: To see if I read that right... everything is phantom-keydrop-resistant now, except the Fire 82-key keyboard, which will be updated in the next production batch? -- I can get an Ice 82-key and it will have the hardware updates and all?

(Thanks in advance this time!)


Last edited by Ninjagecko on Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:34 pm 
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DeckGuy Adam wrote:
Not sure about the Scroll Lock feature mterlouw, that is one I would really like to see as well (I have 2 KVMs in front of me right now) but we are pretty heavy on 82 key inventory and no changes would happen until that is exhausted so it may be a while. If we do make a change to our 82-key Deck I will be sure to include that on the top of my list.

Great, thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:11 am 
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DeckGuy Adam wrote:
Not sure about the Scroll Lock feature mterlouw, that is one I would really like to see as well (I have 2 KVMs in front of me right now) but we are pretty heavy on 82 key inventory and no changes would happen until that is exhausted so it may be a while. If we do make a change to our 82-key Deck I will be sure to include that on the top of my list.


I am curious if it is at all possible for 82-key owners to get the scroll-lock via a firmware upgrade? I am not well-versed in keyboard technolgy but just a (wishful) thought... I really like my deck 82 at home and I am looking into getting a second one for work, but the scroll lock is a must at work, again due to KVM...

Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:27 am 
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It is possible but it is probably not something we are planning to do in the near future. This would be a next generation feature change only.

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http://www.deckkeyboards.com - The best backlit keyboards on Earth
http://www.tg3electronics.com - Parent company of Deck, leaders in custom industrial keyboards


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:35 am 
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Quote:
To see if I read that right... everything is phantom-keydrop-resistant now, except the Fire 82-key keyboard, which will be updated in the next production batch? -- I can get an Ice 82-key and it will have the hardware updates and all?


Sorry I missed this reply. The answer is yes, everything is phantom-keydrop resistant with exception to the Fire 82. Do keep in mind that USB is limited by specification to 6 keys plus modifiers (alts, ctrls) for a total of 10 simultaneous key presses. Some other companies have software or hardware solutions but they are costly, complicated and not commonplace which is why we haven't gone that route (plus 6 keys is generally enough isnt it?).

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Deck Guy Adam
http://www.deckkeyboards.com - The best backlit keyboards on Earth
http://www.tg3electronics.com - Parent company of Deck, leaders in custom industrial keyboards


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