PinePhone Keyboard update [April 24/04]
#21
I am just going to put this here since on the blog post it was apparently missed:

The pipe and backslash positions on the Psion-like PinePhone keyboard are in completely unusable positions. They should be on the “:”/“;” key as the two Fn special functions, with the Insert Fn function moved to L:

   
(Alternatively, the pipe and backslash would also fit nicely on the P letter key, or both ";"/";" and P keys if you want to keep the second special slot free for whatever reason)

In general special characters should be close to their original positions (and this is based on US ANSI or ISO UK, I assume), so top-left for pipe and backslash just completely messes up anyone’s muscle memory and vague idea of where these keys are supposed to be. It’s just not a usable spot at all. I heard this was done to avoid special extra functions on the letter keys, I think such odd constraints due to very minor visual concerns are bad and should be discarded.

Also compare the Gemini PDA’s US/UK layout, which is similarly cramped but makes sure to follow this rule of keeping things close to their original spot, and accordingly, places pipe and backslash as well as the quotes and everything close to where they usually are, even if of course all in slightly unusual spots as is avoidable for such a cramped layout. It also doesn't try to keep the letter keys clear, likely since that would lead to a worse layout like the proposed PinePhone one.

As a way less important suggestion, it would also be cool if the special second-Fn-function were to be accessible via Fn+Shift+Key too and not just AltGr+Key, since that is again closer to how US/UK layouts usually work that don’t need use of something in AltGr’s vicinity to activate any “normal”/non-international special characters. I know AltGr will be less weird for our EU folks so I don’t think it’s bad AltGr exists, just would be nice if its use wasn’t required for non-international uses. (If that is already how it’s intended to work then cool!)

Also, the way the layout was put together seems sadly quite rushed. I understand if this can no longer be fixed, but a way better way would have been to ask for feedback on the blog and give a month's time. Then others like me who weren't in the chat at the exact right time could have given this feedback more timely. I do find it a bit weird to call it "community approved" or "agreed upon" when so many people missed the feedback window.
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#22
(04-23-2021, 06:19 PM)pfeerick Wrote: Looks great Luke. Glad to see progress is being made. It certainly made me laugh though when I saw that the keyboard was thicker than the phone... it makes perfect sense though when you realise there's a battery as well as the keyboard there though. It's nice how the pinephone seems to snap in as if it were a replacement back panel.

How does this charge (as I notice there's no picture of the right side)? Does it have any priority in which battery charges first? (i.e charge the pinephone battery before the keyboard battery) Is there any room for future expansion... i.e. can the lora backplate be integrated into that as well? wireless charging?

So you charge it via the USB-C port on the keyboard. That will charge both the keyboard battery and the PinePhone itself. Not sure what the chagrining priority is (I'll ask), but I think that the charging goes: keyboard battery -> PinePhone battery.

It is my understanding that officially there isn't any room for expansion inside, same pins are used for Wireless charging, fingerprint scanner and keyboard - not sure if you could hack up something stackable. I guess we'll find out in the next few months Smile
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#23
(04-24-2021, 07:58 AM)e1337 Wrote: ...

None of that makes sense to me -- backslash and pipe are not anywhere near the semi-colon/colon key on my keyboards they are near left-shift. Those two symbols may be near the semi-colon/colon key on your keyboard. Bottom line: trying to make a rule from this or implying there is a pattern amounts to fail.

As is, I think the layout that has been decided on is a good compromise.
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#24
Looking good, Just wondering about charging, is the charging speed from the keyboard to the phone, any different than using the usb-c port in the phone?

If I plug the usb-c port in the keyboard will it charge faster than the usb-c port on the phone, will it charge the same, or slower because the charge has to go through the pins when getting to the actual phone?

Does the speed depend on what battery it's charging? If I'm charging the keyboard 's battery because the pinephones battery is full, would the keyboard charge faster if I plugged it in using the keyboard slot, and the same if I'm charging the pinephone's battery rather than the keyboard, would it charge quicker using the pinephone slot, or the keyboard slot, or is it all virtually the same?

Thank you!
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#25
Will you support japanese and korean keyboards?
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#26
This looks great! Can't wait to pick one up.
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#27
(04-24-2021, 08:28 AM)Luke Wrote: It is my understanding that officially there isn't any room for expansion inside, same pins are used for Wireless charging, fingerprint scanner and keyboard - not sure if you could hack up something stackable. I guess we'll find out in the next few months Smile

That's what I thought... but if the keyboard works over I2C, that is a multi-device bus, so you can have multiple devices all on the one bus Wink Making an-all-one quite possible... hopefully someone accepts the challenge! Big Grin
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#28
(04-24-2021, 10:10 AM)PhoenixLandPirate Wrote: Looking good, Just wondering about charging, is the charging speed from the keyboard to the phone, any different than using the usb-c port in the phone?

If I plug the usb-c port in the keyboard will it charge faster than the usb-c port on the phone, will it charge the same, or slower because the charge has to go through the pins when getting to the actual phone?

Does the speed depend on what battery it's charging? If I'm charging the keyboard 's battery because the pinephones battery is full, would the keyboard charge faster if I plugged it in using the keyboard slot, and the same if I'm charging the pinephone's battery rather than the keyboard, would it charge quicker using the pinephone slot, or the keyboard slot, or is it all virtually the same?

Thank you!
I would expect the battery in the keyboard to be chargeable at 0.5C, so ~2.5A/5V. That would consume most of the available power from a typical USB-PD charger (assuming the charging circuit will use 5V). There would be some 2.5W left for the use by the phone itself, which is so so for use but not for charging.

The rest is anyone's guess at this point. Anyway, I don't think keyboard charging circuitry can control when the power gets to the phone all by itself. It would be best for usability if both charging controllers were controlled by the SoC somehow. Otherwise there will be a plenty of weird edge cases.
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#29
I would prefer the aesthetic of blank keycaps. Maybe with the exception of the pine key.
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#30
(04-24-2021, 08:50 AM)lot378 Wrote: None of that makes sense to me -- backslash and pipe are not anywhere near the semi-colon/colon key on my keyboards they are near left-shift. Those two symbols may be near the semi-colon/colon key on your keyboard. Bottom line: trying to make a rule from this or implying there is a pattern amounts to fail.

The backslash and pipe for me are on the right side, one row above and to the right of the semi-colon/colon key... but this is because I have the ANSI 101/104 layout keyboard, which is standard for this part of the world. You probably have the 102/105 layout keyboard, which puts the backslash and pipe on the bottom left, as well as some other funky layout changes. i.e. as highlighted with the red keys on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboard_l...NT_JIS.png

At the end of the day... as I'm sure has been mentioned somewhere, they are sticking with the ISO layout for now (presumably because there's more customers who want ISO than ANSI), and will consider ANSI layout if the turnover for the keyboard is sufficient.


(04-24-2021, 08:43 PM)megous Wrote: Anyway, I don't think keyboard charging circuitry can control when the power gets to the phone all by itself. It would be best for usability if both charging controllers were controlled by the SoC somehow. Otherwise there will be a plenty of weird edge cases.

What it could control is which charges first, just like my Asus Eee Pad used to. When you plugged the charge lead into the keyboard, and the tablet was docked, it would charge the tablet battery first, and then the keyboard battery... thus if you unclipped it from the keyboard, the tablet battery would have had as much of a charge as it could get.

I agree with the rest though... but actually suspect that both chargers will be in parallel, so will need a beefy charger to charge at maximum amperage for each, or the keyboard charge rate limited.
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