40% to Freedom!

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So I have my full-size. I have my TKL. I have my 68%. I have my 60%. And now for the next step down. I really want to get a 40% but I have to say that I'm a little afraid of getting an ortholinear and not liking it. To try to combat this I was thinking about getting a staggered 40% (JD40, Bantam-44). I know most of these boards are kits that I would have to wire myself and that is another issue. I have never soldered a thing in my life!
All that said; I would love to get some feedback from those that know way more than I on the matter. How do you like the staggered 40% boards. Does that Planck take a lot of getting used to? Any tips for someone just starting out soldering?
Thanks in advance!
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Makami
4176
Jun 2, 2016
Hi,
don't know where you're living. To try out the liking of staggered boards it might be nice to get a cheap Tipro (in Europe) for testing.
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One can even build a cheap "Ergodox" for the poor ones :)
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They've four programmable layers to fool around. Don't know if @Wodan still has some to sale: https://deskthority.net/for-sale-f55/tipro-kmx-128-blowout-sale-t13261.html They pop up at ebay every other day for cheap (~ 10 bucks), too.
http://www.ebay.de/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=tipro&rt=nc&LH_PrefLoc=2&_trksid=p2045573.m1684 Cheers and have fun
Makami
4176
Jun 3, 2016
Hi,
if you want to experience/emulate layer layouts/shortcuts with your keyboard and running Windows you may try this: https://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/adding-fn-layer-to-any-keyboard-and-understanding-60-t13580.html - http://martin-stone.github.io/touchcursor/download.html
Highly recommended
cbalcom03
283
Jun 3, 2016
thats great thanks
zndr
596
Jun 1, 2016
I love the planck, I swap back and forth between a few boards that aren't ortho and the planck. It's a great experience and it's not too hard to get used to.
Anakey
69
Jun 1, 2016
I am going to put small magnets inside the planck case and also on the switch tester so that i could have it on either side and it would stay still being attached to the planck itself by the magnets. I did also think of sometime in the future about trying to bypass the chip on the switch tester itself and try and wire the switch tester directly into the planck connecting the planck and the tester using the usb cable so then i would have basically 3 extra columns that i could plug in if i needed them. But I am not sure that that would be possible.
cbalcom03
283
Jun 1, 2016
That is brilliant. I want to do the 40% as well and from the sounds of things I might consider the Planck. But was thinking of doing the same thing and having a numpad to the right. I know that defeats the purpose of going even smaller but i just love the way they look! Thanks
Anakey
69
Jun 1, 2016
I am going to put small magnets inside the planck case and also on the switch tester so that i could have it on either side and it would stay still being attached to the planck itself by the magnets. I did also think of sometime in the future about trying to bypass the chip on the switch tester itself and try and wire the switch tester directly into the planck connecting the planck and the tester using the usb cable so then i would have basically 3 extra columns that i could plug in if i needed them. But I am not sure that that would be possible.
Anakey
69
Jun 1, 2016
I really found the Planck by acidant really, saw Barnclues' video review of the Planck (40% and the Preonic(50%) and what got me most was the programming of the layers, I am wanting to dip my toes into programming and i thought that it would be fun to also do something practical that i would use on a daily basis. I didn't like the look of the case style of the Preonic, so i got myself a Planck. Since then i even went and bought some Zealios switches, got blues with my Planck as i already have blues on my current keyboard (Razer Blackwidow ultimate 2012) but i wanted to try the zelios and see what all the fuss is about. I know what keycap set i want, the SA Carbon when it eventually drops on Massdrop again so then i will have a keyboard that is small and compact for travelling, with the switches that i want, the keycaps that i want and the layout that i want that will probably be unique to me. For the number row, I got myself the Vamillo switch tester from the recent massdrop, it also has the function of a number row so i can use that alongside my Planck.
cbalcom03
283
Jun 1, 2016
That is brilliant. I want to do the 40% as well and from the sounds of things I might consider the Planck. But was thinking of doing the same thing and having a numpad to the right. I know that defeats the purpose of going even smaller but i just love the way they look! Thanks
cbalcom03
283
Jun 1, 2016
Thanks for all the info. I do think I am going to pull the trigger on something next time there is a drop on Massdrop. I don't think it's something I would be using for work but I still want one to just for travel and what not.
Jedi
880
Jun 1, 2016
The Planck is a fantastic mini me for the mech head. It's programmable and relies on layers to really give you the greatest benefit from its use. For someone who has not quite gotten the idea of layers for alternate keys, it can take a bit of getting used to maybe. For just regular typing say like right now posting on a messaging board, the Planck is fantastic. For the business user who regularly uses the number strip, works with function keys, and generally uses a desktop with a dual monitor setup, ehh might be a bit too compact.
The best way to get started soldering is to buy a key tester like the ones normally found on massdrop and other sites. No need for fancy soldering weapons. Check out jack's videos, he's got mostly a solder iron and a brown box made to allow easy access to your solder. Google melting temps and watch a few videos on people soldering their board. Once its done you'll be proud you built it.
cbalcom03
283
Jun 1, 2016
Thanks for all the info. I do think I am going to pull the trigger on something next time there is a drop on Massdrop. I don't think it's something I would be using for work but I still want one to just for travel and what not.