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Until recently I wouldn’t have called myself a keyboard enthusiast.

I do like keyboards, especially ergonomic ones, and have always been in search for the best option but until recently even the most feature rich board didn’t have what I was looking for so I didn’t really keep up on it.

What good were individual mechanical presses or RGB LEDs if it wasn’t ergonomic?

That changed when Annie and I went on the Comcastro podcast and one of the hosts introduced me to the Ergodox.

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The Ergodox is an insanely customizeable ergonomic keyboard designed by a user named Dox of the GeekHack keyboard forums.

The board is open source and uses the Teensy 2.0 arduino controller. To get this keyboard you have to order the parts and solder it all together yourself.

Luckily it’s pretty tolerant to amature soldering.

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Every few months there is a group buy at Massdrop.com to help bring the prices down, but it’s been a while since they did that and I didn’t want to wait. I ended up ordering everything I needed on my own.

The first diodes I used were surface mounted. This is a popular for the ergodox but it was beyond the soldering tools I had so I used some solder glue instead.

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Because these are on the bottom side of the board, gravity kept pulling them making the connections iffy. I ended up ordering some through-hole replacements and now it runs solidly.

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Another victim of my “good enough” solder kit was the USB attachment.

The points were too small for the needle I had, but I was able to bypass it and built the cable permanently in. This is less of a fix and more of a feature because the cable I used is short and perfect for my needs.

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I often use my desk for other builds and need to move the keyboard away. I added a single port to make the cabling clean.

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The keycaps commonly used for this are black and labeless. I was able to use them, but I didn’t like the visual style. I thought it made my computer look a little too elite so I replaced them.

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I programmed the right side to be double duty of num pad and die-cut side stickers to make that clear.

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I decided to use the labeled home, end, page up, and page down keys instead of the intended 1.5 keys because I found having them smaller causes less mistakes.

Luckily it looks like the board intended this to be an option because the text nicely aligns.

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There are a lot more options for the thumb in this design, I chose to keep the most used ones blank and low profile, while the outer ones are labeled and higher.

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I take my hands off the homerow keys all the time, so these are actually perfectly placed for the other hand to access. I do this when working with After Effects, Flash, and Premiere, now all the next frame keys are near each other.

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The board is programmable to a ridiculous degree. I programmed mine with three different layout styles, the mostly unused function keycaps make that clear.

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Because my desk is metal I needed to dampen the noise and discourage scratches so I added some pads to the feet.

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I made these with some velcro I had sitting around.

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You can get a good look at the extended arms on the top that I added. The screw used are standard so there are a lot of ways you can tent the board.

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Some double stick tape and the a hole punched into some pads I found online finish the set.

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After having this board for about 2 weeks I can safely say that I love it! This is the best keyboard I’ve ever used and I’m already looking to build another for work.

The only reason I don’t already have two is I suspect there is work on a 2.0 version that allows backlighting to be a standard feature I plan to wait a few months before ordering another.

It even looks great with my Scifi Scroll wheel.

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This is totally an input device of the future.

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