2022 Dec 01

UHK 60 v2 production progress

By |2022-12-01T15:48:04+01:002022-12-01 15:48 CEST|manufacturing, news|0 Comments

Hi there, and welcome to this short and slightly late monthly UHK status update!

We’ve been effectively catching up with pending orders in November and closing the gap. We expect to catch up fully in January.

New orders are expected to ship in January, and we’ll update the delivery status page every weekend.

Following are some recent tweets, starting with Tony's beautiful palm rest build.

Thanks for reading this update! We’ll keep you updated on all things UHK and plan to publish the next update at the end of December.

2022 Nov 18

Agent 2: Next-level UHK and module configuration

By |2022-11-23T21:02:59+01:002022-11-18 16:43 CEST|agent, features, firmware, howto, modules, news, tech talk|15 Comments

TL;DR: Say hi to 12 layers per keymap, module speed and acceleration settings, and loads of advanced features, mostly enabled by the new smart macros functionality of the latest UHK Agent and firmware releases.

I don’t usually write dedicated posts about new releases, but this is a major one, we’ve been working on it for a year, and it delivers a huge punch that can elevate your UHK experience to the next level, so it mustn’t go unnoticed.

A summary of new features to whet your appetite:

  • Extended the original four layers per keymap with four regular layers (Fn2, Fn3, Fn4, Fn5) and four modifier layers (Shift, Ctrl, Alt, Super).
  • All modules: speed and acceleration settings, axis locking settings, per-layer navigation modes
  • Key cluster module: Added the ability to fine-tune or disable the behavior of the mini trackball.
  • Trackpoint module: Fixed occasional trackpoint pointer jumps and made it easy to stop drifting if it occurred.
  • Touchpad module: Implemented pinch-to-zoom, two-finger scrolling, doubletap-to-drag, and made the tap action configurable.
  • Advanced configuration scenarios via smart macros, such as configurable modifier layer triggers, mouse key axis skew, and LED fade timeout
  • Super-advanced configuration scenarios via extended macro commands, such as variables, loops, double tap actions, and runtime macro recording.
  • Implemented N-key rollover.
  • Made accelerate and decelerate actions work with modules.
  • Fixed USB descriptors which caused high CPU load on Macintosh computers.

Let’s go over the main features, but first, install the new Agent. Then it’ll upgrade your UHK to the new firmware.

12 layers per keymap

Instead of 4 layers, you can now have 12 layers per keymap.

You can enable/disable any of the above layers per keymap except for the base layer, which is mandatory.

The Fn2, Fn3, Fn4, and Fn5 layers work just like the existing layers, but Shift, Ctrl, Alt, and Super are modifier layers.

On modifier layers, you can map alternative actions per key, which trigger when the key is pressed with the relevant modifier. For example, now you can implement the Programmer Dvorak layout solely on the UHK.

Credit: “The Case for the Programmers’ Keyboard Layout” by Zachary Johnson

Smart macros introduction

You’re probably already familiar with regular macros, which are a sequence of macro actions, such as keypresses and mouse movements.

Smart macros, however, enable the advanced customization of your UHK and its modules. See the following screenshot, which shows a macro named $onInit containing a command macro action that contains multiple macro commands:

$onInit is a special macro name. It's a macro event that executes each time your UHK gets powered and when you save its configuration.

"set module.trackball.baseSpeed 1" is a macro command that sets the base speed of the trackball module to 1.

Macro commands work in any macros, not only in macro events, and you can bind them to any key. This way, you can make Fn+1 set your trackball base speed to 1, and make Fn+2 set it to 2, for example.

Interactive smart macro editing

Adjusting values by editing text is tedious. This is why we created a smart macro sidebar that can be opened on macro pages. This sidebar contains easy-to-read documentation and provides interactive widgets that make configuration a breeze.

When clicking on a macro command action, the widgets of the smart macro sidebar display the actual values of the commands, and module-specific widgets appear. You just have to interact with these widgets, hit the usual “Save to keyboard” button, and your settings will be applied immediately.

I strongly recommend you delve into these settings, as they can make a huge difference. The default sensitivity settings of the modules are reasonable, but by tweaking them to your needs, you can make them so much more usable. Maybe, just maybe, you can finally get rid of your mouse.

Advanced configuration scenarios

Besides $onInit, there’s also the “$onKeymapChange {keymapId}” macro event, such as $onKeymapChange QWR, which is executed when the QWR keymap is activated.

This event enables you to have keymap-specific settings, which allows for many advanced use cases. For example, different operating systems have different mouse sensitivity. This feature allows you to have different speed and acceleration settings for your mouse keys and modules via different operating system-specific keymaps.

Believe it or not, I’m still scratching the surface. If you really want to go crazy, you can use the set "macroEngine.extendedCommands 1" command to enable the extended macro engine, allowing for variables, loops, and countless advanced commands. If you’re comfortable with delving into manual pages, check out the extended macro engine user guide and reference manual.

Smart macros history and credit

Smart macros have an interesting history, starting out as Karel Tuček’s UHK firmware fork on GitHub.

Karel wanted special firmware features, and he originally (ab)used the text macro actions of Agent by making the firmware interpret the lines starting with the $ character as special commands. He’s essentially implemented a command interpreter in the UHK firmware that allowed for his advanced use cases.

I saw his efforts early on, and I was impressed, but I considered his work quite niche and wasn’t too interested. (In retrospect, I can see that his advanced commands are used and loved by many.)

Then it struck me that smart macros could enable the configuration of many UHK and module features without developing Agent, which is a huge win, as adding new features both to Agent and the firmware takes a ton of work. Exposing new features only via the macro engine of the firmware is so much easier. 

I came up with the idea of macro events and making smart macros a first-class citizen in Agent, then implemented the smart macro sidebar. Karel has implemented the acceleration driver of the modules, macro events, and, nowadays, pretty much everything that has to be done with firmware logic. His work is hard to overstate.

As an interesting trivia, the macro command editor of Agent might feel familiar. This is because we use Monaco editor, which also powers Visual Studio Code. In a way, Agent became an integrated development environment, supporting a special keyboard language whose interpreter runs in the UHK firmware.

The future of smart macros

I eventually want to expose basic smart macro settings, such as module settings or the LED fade timeout, not only via the smart macro sidebar but dedicated Agent widgets for better usability.

Nonetheless, we’ll keep and extend the currently available smart macro commands and settings because they allow for advanced configuration scenarios.

I plan to gradually move the extended macro commands from the current markdown macro documentation into the smart macro sidebar of Agent to make them easier to digest and not hide them behind the set "macroEngine.extendedCommands 1" command.

Closing words

To this day, we’ve released 60 Agent versions and 66 firmware versions, and we’re still going strong. I’m excited about our progress and grateful to our wonderful customers for their support. We keep moving forward because of you.

Thank you for reading this update! As usual, we plan to publish a manufacturing update around the end of the month. Stay safe!

2022 Oct 31

UHK 60 v2 production progress

By |2022-10-31T18:34:23+01:002022-10-31 18:34 CEST|manufacturing, news|20 Comments

Hi there, and welcome to this short monthly UHK status update!

We’ve been effectively catching up with pending orders in October and keep closing the gap.

New orders are expected to ship in January 2023, and we’ll update the delivery status page every weekend.

We’re delighted to hear from UHK 60 v2 customers as they receive their orders. If you got your UHK, tweet about it, or it didn’t happen!

Thanks for reading this update! We’ll keep you updated on all things UHK and plan to publish the next update at the end of November.

2022 Sep 30

UHK 60 v2 production progress

By |2022-09-30T16:51:47+02:002022-09-30 16:51 CEST|manufacturing, news|47 Comments

Hi there, and welcome to this short, monthly UHK status update!

We’ve been effectively catching up with pending orders in September and keep closing the gap.

New orders are expected to ship in early November, and we’ll update the delivery status page every weekend.

We’re delighted to hear from UHK 60 v2 customers as they receive their orders. If you got your UHK, tweet about it, or it didn’t happen, even if you're a unicorn!

Thanks for reading this update! We’ll keep you updated on all things UHK and plan to publish the next update at the end of October.

2022 Aug 31

UHK 60 v2 production progress

By |2022-08-31T17:36:22+02:002022-08-31 17:36 CEST|manufacturing, news|13 Comments

Hi there, and welcome to this short, monthly UHK status update!

We’ve been effectively catching up with pending orders in August and keep closing the gap. There was a week-long pause in production at the end of August due to a delayed part which we'll receive tomorrow. Apart from that part, we're well-stocked, and we expect a strong September in terms of production.

New orders are expected to ship in late October, and we’ll update the delivery status page every weekend.

We’re delighted to hear from UHK 60 v2 customers as they receive their orders. If you got your UHK, tweet about it, or it didn’t happen!

And last but definitely not least:

Thanks for reading this update! We’ll keep you updated on all things UHK and plan to publish the next update at the end of September.

2022 Aug 01

UHK 60 v2 production progress

By |2022-08-01T20:14:23+02:002022-08-01 20:14 CEST|manufacturing, news|15 Comments

Hi there, and welcome to this short and slightly late monthly UHK status update!

We’ve been catching up with pending orders in July and closing the gap. We couldn’t catch up as rapidly as in June because our busy elves of the assembly team were on a much-deserved vacation, but they’re back stronger than ever. We expect August to be a strong month in terms of production.

New orders are expected to ship in October, and we’ll update the delivery status page every weekend.

We’re delighted to hear from UHK 60 v2 customers as they receive their orders. If you got your UHK, tweet about it, or it didn’t happen!

Thanks for reading this update! We’ll keep you updated on all things UHK and plan to publish the next update at the end of August.

2022 Jun 30

UHK 60 v2 production progress

By |2022-06-30T23:35:59+02:002022-06-30 16:02 CEST|manufacturing, news|2 Comments

Hi there, and welcome to this short monthly UHK status update!

We’ve been catching up quicker than ever with pending orders in June and effectively closing the gap. There’s not much else to say regarding production as everything went very smoothly.

New orders are expected to ship in October, and we’ll update the delivery status page every weekend.

We’re delighted to hear from UHK 60 v2 customers as they receive their orders. If you got your UHK, tweet about it, or it didn’t happen!

Thanks for reading this update! We’ll be keeping you updated on all things UHK and plan to publish the next update at the end of July.

2022 May 31

UHK 60 v2 production progress

By |2022-05-31T22:22:51+02:002022-05-31 22:22 CEST|manufacturing, news|12 Comments

Hi there, and welcome to this monthly UHK status update!

In May, we shipped about as many UHKs as we sold; thus, we couldn't catch up with pending orders effectively. Our PCB contract manufacturer has moved to a new facility, which put UHK 60 v2 assembly on a halt due to a temporary shortage of PCBs. Our contractor has successfully migrated, and UHK 60 v2 production will resume this week.

On the flip side, we've been preassembling modules, palm rests, and various subassemblies over the past two weeks, so we expect to ship many, possibly a record number of orders, in June.

New orders are expected to ship in September, and we'll update the delivery status page every weekend.

If there's an ultimate modder, Roger has earned the title as he transformed his UHK 60 v1 like no one else. He added foam and replaced the key switches to minimize their noise. Then he replaced the USB Mini-B connector with an easily accessible USB-C connector and added a magnetic connector for increased convenience. In true keyboard modder's fashion, Roger also replaced his keycaps. Now comes the crazy part: he added Bluetooth to his UHK without any visible bulk, like it's a factory feature. Mad props to Roger, and check out his post if you're interested in modding.

We're delighted to hear from UHK 60 v2 customers as they receive their orders. If you got your UHK, tweet about it, or it didn't happen!

Thanks for reading this update! We’ll be keeping you updated on all things UHK and plan to publish the next update at the end of June.

2022 May 01

UHK 60 v2 production progress

By |2022-05-01T22:12:34+02:002022-05-01 22:12 CEST|manufacturing, news|13 Comments

Hi there, and welcome to this monthly UHK status update!

We keep catching up with pending orders, although slower than anticipated because the current global affairs slowed down parts shipping from our suppliers like never before. Thankfully, we've got the parts we were waiting for; we're stocking up and focusing on delivering pending orders as quickly as possible.

New orders are expected to ship in July, and we’ll update the delivery status page every weekend.

We’re delighted to hear from UHK 60 v2 customers as they receive their orders. If you got your UHK, tweet about it, or it didn’t happen!

Thanks for reading this update! We’ll be keeping you updated on all things UHK and plan to publish the next update at the end of May.

2022 Mar 31

UHK 60 v2 production progress and review

By |2022-03-31T20:00:15+02:002022-03-31 20:00 CEST|manufacturing, news|26 Comments

Hi there, and welcome to this monthly UHK status update!

We keep catching up with pending orders, even though parts have been flowing in slower than anticipated due to Covid in China. As a result, we’ve been preassembling UHK subassemblies and modules in the last couple of days, but UHK 60 v2 shipments will resume the next week.

New orders are expected to ship in June, and we’ll update the delivery status page every weekend.

No UHK 60 v2 reviews have been done yet because customers come first, and we’ll only send units to reviewers after shipping every pre-order. But we’ve made an exception with Simon Høiberg because his enthusiasm is contagious, and we didn’t want to stop his momentum.

Apart from his great energy, Simon’s review is very informative and insightful, and it also showcases the modules and his configuration, so we highly recommend watching it.

We’re delighted to hear from UHK 60 v2 customers as they receive their orders. If you got your UHK, tweet about it, or it didn’t happen!

Thanks for reading this update! We’ll be keeping you updated on all things UHK and plan to publish the next update at the end of April.

Title