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25% 16 MM Stenward - The Worlds Smallest Stenoboard

Discussion in 'CNC Projects' started by robertfontaine, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. robertfontaine


    Sep 25, 2017
    Likes Received:

    This is going to be a little project in support of Plover an open source stenography software.
    Professional Stenoboards tend to cost well over a $1000 dollars and software is generally as or more expensive. The opensteno project has been muddling along for quite a few years and has had a few keyboard builders support the project over time but the number is small as this is a niche of a niche and there is no significant market so there is no real point in mass manufacture. I expect to lose money and will most likely open source the designs at the end.

    I have been outsourcing and ordering piece parts from China and the time lags are truly painful although likely a good pace for me as I don't have tons of hours to dedicate at any one time.

    While I save up for a CNC machine (likely a slightly oversized C-Beam/Sphinxish kind of thing) I have started my project:

    V1 is likely going to be an acrylic middle sandwiched by stainless steel plates

    I have the pcb's in hand and custom plates on order, I have spec'ed out custom springs from a mfr in China to modify the switches Kailh speed silvers and G20 keycaps dremeled to fit the reduced 16mm switch footprint (normal spacing is 19mm).

    I am making 5 initial prototypes in order to test out different switches and keycaps (1 for me and 4 to mail them out for folk to test)

    I will likely be done by christmas with all the piece parts outsource (fingers crossed)

    V2 Will move the Arduino and USB electronics off the daughterboard and onto the pcb so that I can reduce that height of the keyboard. I will likely model some custom keycaps. I am partial to a couple of designs



    The case will likely be a simple aluminum shell with a plate of this style

    I will outsource my PCBs but I'm kind of hoping I can mill the cases, plates and keycaps myself

    v3 ... Unfinished and the reason I am posting here (imagination required)

    Having done some really basic milling in V2, I am hoping to try V3...

    Single piece case about 14mm deep with a recessed bevel top 2mm ( 1.2 mm thick ) and a screw down plate on the bottom. Anodized or clear coated.

    In a perfect world, I will integrate a raspberry pi 0 w into the design and provide the ability to use the keyboard as a fully standalone stenography keyboard/computer (Stenpberry)




    v4, 5, 6, 7
    Then a Plerkhin (standard keycap size) and a Splitkin (split keyboard) with more standard 19mm spacing (ala Gherkin)
    and/or a Plerkberry, Splitberry, Stenit etc...

    If I ever get to be good at this cnc stuff I would love to prototype something along the lines of the infinity ergo, a lever based ergonomic stenography machine that is truly sexy but has as many moving parts as a typewriter and 10 times the electronics as a keyboard. I love the form factor and the idea of using magnet based hall effect switches fascinates me.

    #1 robertfontaine, Oct 6, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
    MaryD likes this.
  2. MaryD

    MaryD OpenBuilds Team

    Apr 13, 2016
    Likes Received:
    I've never seen a stenographer's keyboard. This is very interesting.

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