A low-tech hack to help the crappy keyboard
#1
Lightbulb 
Hello! So I noticed that my Pinebook's case seemed very flexible, and that when I flexed the bottom case like an arched bridge, the spacebar + modifier keys on my Pinebook's crappy keyboard suddenly started working very well. 

My hunch is that the bottom case just isn't as stiff as expected, and that the extra slop is making the keys "bottom out" before they register a keypress. (The lipo pack is also not stiff and has a "hinge" in the middle that lets the whole machine bend/flex quite a bit.)





So here's my hacky fix: add something to stiffen it!
I had a bunch of 3mm (nominal; actual ~ 3.5mm) plywood scraps around, and put a few of them on top of the lipo module. 

You could use anything that is stiff when bent along its long axis. There's more room than you'd think. 
Try not to put anything behind the trackpad, or it will impede the press-to-click. (I'd love to impede the scroll-to-zoom, but that's another story...)

[Image: pinebook-keyboard-shims.jpg]

Before, my left modifier keys (including Shift and Ctrl, grr) were just terrible. Like I had to mash them so hard that I could barely hit the other key I was trying to modify. And the spacebar only worked if I hit it dead in the center, hard. Now these keys work normally, with the minor exception of the spacebar missing a keypress at the extreme ends now and then.

The laptop sits slightly less evenly on a flat surface. Not bad. Just rocks a tiny bit. I mostly use it on my lap, so this isn't a concern for me. It looks ever so slightly bulgier in person, but it's more subtle than you might think for a laptop with a piece of wood inside it.

[Image: pinebook-keyboard-bulge.jpg]

Looking forward to someone telling me this is a terrible idea Wink but for me it is working well! Hope this helps you too.
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#2
(08-05-2017, 08:25 AM)combs Wrote: Hello! So I noticed that my Pinebook's case seemed very flexible, <snip>

Looking forward to someone telling me this is a terrible idea Wink but for me it is working well! Hope this helps you too.


Its not a terrible idea;  but, you have misidentified the root cause of the 14"keyboard failure.

...  the root cause is that the keyboard bubble domes are too small for the available key travel;  the keys bottom out before they "make" unless they are pressed firmly in the exact center of the key.

The keyboard module is fastened securely by a zillion plastic rivets from the top bezel and then supported by a metal shield which is already very stiff.  Placing additional materials inside the case not only makes it heavier, but also warps the case which may cause damage to the lipo, boards, or even the keyboard module itself.

I am in the process of replacing the keyboard module on my pinebook to the original version ( high key travel, larger bubble domes );  I will update the forum when I get this laborious process complete.  

As always , your Pinebook is your Pb, do with it as you see fit ...  

Dodgy
marcushh777    Cool

please join us for a chat @  irc.pine64.xyz:6667   or ssl  irc.pine64.xyz:6697

( I regret that I am not able to respond to personal messages;  let's meet on irc! )
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#3
On mine, the metal shield is flexible. Perhaps our Pinebooks differ?
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#4
(08-05-2017, 09:59 AM)combs Wrote: On mine, the metal shield is flexible. Perhaps our Pinebooks differ?


Nope, they're the same;  the metal shield is flexible ONLY if you loosen the plastic rivets holding it;  but again, the real support for the keyboard module comes from the top bezel across the entire keyboard, and that top frame is very tough... in fact, its what makes changing the module so difficult because each and every plastic riviet between each and every key has to be very carefully removed without damaging the bezel;  and the shield has to be removed the same way without damaging the shield !!

Confused
marcushh777    Cool

please join us for a chat @  irc.pine64.xyz:6667   or ssl  irc.pine64.xyz:6697

( I regret that I am not able to respond to personal messages;  let's meet on irc! )
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#5
perhaps my plastic rivets were loosely attached at the factory. I don't know for sure. I do know that my whole bottom case is flexible, and flexing it makes the keyboard work better. Adding a shim does too. ymmv!
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#6
combs, I think I will try your method, because I write a lot on PB and it is very annoying. Have you fasten that wooden plates some way or just inserted it and it is solid enough?
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#7
(08-07-2017, 05:11 AM)Wizzard Wrote: combs, I think I will try your method, because I write a lot on PB and it is very annoying. Have you fasten that wooden plates some way or just inserted it and it is solid enough?

No fasteners needed for mine
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#8
Ok, I tried it, I inserted some plastic foam there and it seems a little better, even the space button sometimes works when I press it not only in the middle, the other keys too Smile
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#9
(08-05-2017, 11:06 AM)combs Wrote: perhaps my plastic rivets were loosely attached at the factory. I don't know for sure. I do know that my whole bottom case is flexible, and flexing it makes the keyboard work better. Adding a shim does too. ymmv!

Yeah, on mine the plastic rivets have only gone through on the outer perimeter, the 'inner' rivets haven't even gone through the plate, so are doing bugger all. Meaning I'm lucky my 11" one doesn't have any issues!! It's worth checking if you are having problems with the keys... if the metal plate is warping or isn't secured as well on your unit, some foam packing (like what Wizzard did) should help by bonding it all together and stopping it from flexing Wink
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#10
I am just a little afraid because the plastic is an insulating material, if it wont cause some overheating or even fire during the charging, but the first charge this night was successfull Smile
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