Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard
(12-16-2020, 07:58 AM)captainmorgan Wrote: As I pointed out before, this is a stupid design for a PHONE. You cannot hold it comfortably against your ear to take calls.
If somehow the psion design is the only one within reach of this project, maybe a workaround would be to add a small speaker and microphone at the bottom that activate when the phone is closed and making a call. This way you could close it when calling.

But I think I would *really* prefer a sliding keyboard, it would solve quite a lot of issues
 and you woldn't have to open it every time you use the phone.

I think pine64 should be more transparent on this one. What are the options within reach? How pricey would they be? I would really like to see a global vote. Personnaly I think a trackpoint would really help for convergence.
(12-16-2020, 11:28 AM)eFqLLnGo Wrote: I think pine64 should be more transparent on this one. 

Have we heard anything from them in this thread?
Couldn´t the calling problem on Psion style keyboard be solved simply by having a hole for the speaker on the keyboard part? This way the lid could be closed after answering or making a call and just hold the bottom of the keyboard on your ear. I think I have actually seen this kind of design on some old communicator phone. Pinephones microphone is already on the bottom so I think it would just work.

I have been thinking about a crazy idea of actually ripping the screen panel of Pinephone out and sticking some 3D printed sliding keyboard mechanism under it so the mainboard and battery would be on the bottom and only the screen would slide up. I really don´t know enough about all the electronics inside to actually make this myself but I think it wouldn't be impossible. One tricky part would probably be extending the cables to allow the sliding mechanism. I have inspected that there are quite many components attaching to the screen that are connected with their own cables straight to the mainboard. Maybe the upper piece could have some custom slim pcb with connectors for those cables and they could be routed as one wider cable trough the sliding mechanism and then separate to their places on mainboard. The keyboard could trough some cable to the i2c pins. This design would solve many problems but would be quite tricky to make and normal users probably couldn't install it by themself. I'm just asking if anyone with enough knowledge would be interested in at least thinking if this would be somehow possible to make.
Maybe I should've interacted more here, but my per peeve is non-ortholinear keyboards. Since the main design up to now was ortholinear, I thought I needn't worry much.

However, for whatever reason, the latest design has reverted to a typewriter layout.

As I wrote in my pine64 blog post comment, I find the design promising, though it could be much improved with a few simple tweaks, like aligning most keys on a grid, and maybe putting the enter key in the middle, inspired from the typematrix (

This would make it more natural to move fingers (thumbs, 10 fingers or in-between), easier to touch-type as keys are naturally aligned, and spacing hands a bit more definitely helps on a tiny keyboard like this if you plan to use both hands.

Thanks for fixing the STL download. Which version of SolidWorks should I use so that you can open my files? Would you be open to a suggestion as above before I waste my time on this tomorrow?

A further improvement (that comes at a complexity cost) might be bumper buttons. I too am a bit concerned about how to quickly write something or taking a phone call (both could be solved by allowing the keyboard to flip completely on the back, but could complexify the hinge design.

Here is a quick gimp edit of the original to show what I'm thinking of:    

I had a bit of fun with the labels, but I don't care too much about key placement, since they can be remapped later in software (I certainly hope the firmware allows to do so, even for fn keys: there is plenty of FLOSS firmware for this, the community could port one). Still, I like this quick and dirty one better, though it's not perfect by any means.

what I care about is the key layout. One could even imagine splitting up the spacebar and enter key for those who want to remap them further (having multiple keys act as a spacebar by default), no idea how usable it would be though.

Note: the spacebar isn't centered on my image. It could be made larger/smaller, centered is better. It isn't that important if keys other than A-Z aren't on a grid, though it would be better, and I thought it would be easier as well for PCB and manufacturing.
My reaction to that probably depends on whether the keyboard can be sued for actual typing or not. The 5 keyboard worked for touch typing with very little relearning, and I think going ortholinear and moving the enter and delete keys would break that. If it's more like the Revo where the keys were too cramped and needed too much pressure for touch typing then it's not so much of an issue.
Any chance that the keyboard layout can be changed via setxkbmap? I like using dvorak as my keyboard layout (even on phones) and so a hardware keyboard that can be remapped at some layer would be really nice.
Have we heard any news lately?
The hope of Linux and a KB is what had me ordering a pinephone in the first place.
If the design is not complete I would like to see a I2C shift register and accessable pads before the KB circuitry so we can add in our NFC readers, stuff like IR LEDs without having to cut and solder to traces, as well as passing on the other pogo pins to usable pads so we can add stuff like a Qi charger pad or even a large battery to the backside.
This is for a pine64 hacker enabled audience who are also buying smart soldering irons, the expectation needs to be that we will be ripping these apart and 3D printing new shells or leaving enough room and easily accessible circuitry for hacker expandibility and room for us to stuff small boards inside.
The keyboard they showed seems to be missing quotation marks.
My suggestion/submission based design shown in January Update

[Image: keyboard-revised.png]
Going for the US layout I see...

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