Knee-deep in production

Knee-deep in production

Important: Please make sure that your shipping address is up to date! You can change it on your Crowd Supply account page. Please also check out the delivery status page.

Hi there, and welcome to our monthly status update!

TL;DR: Since our last update, we’ve sent out mini batches 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15, which is, yet again, the highest volume batch we’ve produced so far, but not as high as we aim for. We had to allow a week of vacation for our staff in the middle of summer. Without the vacation, we’d have likely hit our target volume, so the ramp-up is still not over. Apart from manufacturing, Agent and the firmware keep advancing, and some major progress is expected soon.

Your recent feedback

A monthly UHK update wouldn’t be complete without featuring your awesome feedback.

Our first English review is out on Reddit, which you’re welcome to read! As creators, reading such nice words is all we can wish for.

But Max, the writer of this review didn’t stop there, and pimped his UHK with the third-party Canvas XDA keycap set.

And Max still couldn’t get enough, so he ended up writing a full-blown UHK keycap replacement guide on Reddit! Thanks so much for the great work, Max!

Third-party keycap sets are clearly in the vogue nowadays. We believe the following picture is quite a sight!

And you keep sending us your nice tweets:

Last but not least, even Michael Bolton approves the UHK.

Please keep it up! We love hearing from you.

Agent and firmware progress

We keep pushing Agent and the firmware at a steady pace. Most of these improvements come in small increments, and many of them are under the hood changes, so it’s hard to notice them. But they add up in a big way over time, and every now and then some user-facing changes are committed.

Some of you found it cumbersome to remap keys on all keymaps and/or layers, so we extended the UI of Agent accordingly. The tooltip should speak for itself.

We also added a separator line between the halves, so it’s easier to locate keys.

The above are frontend changes, but there’s a lot more going on under the surface.

Recently, we’ve been working hard on fixing a Windows-specific firmware bug that is responsible for media key repetition, and not letting your computer go to sleep on Windows. We’ve managed to fix this bug, but then a nondeterministic bug emerged which made the UHK hang sometimes only after hours, which turned out to be very problematic to fix. We believe that we did fix it, but I want to test it thoroughly before releasing a new firmware version.

The new firmware release will also contain a major feature: the macro engine! We promised macro support a long time ago, so we’re super excited to make it happen. Agent is already capable of editing macros, but the macro engine of the firmware is a critical piece of the puzzle to make macros actually work on your UHKs.

Let me just say that we’re super focused on implementing the promised features, and even more so on fixing bugs. One reason is that they directly translate to a great user experience. The other reason is that as more and more UHKs make their way to you, we keep getting a lot of reports of the same issues, so fixed bugs directly translate to lower overhead. Please do keep reporting bugs, but always use the latest Agent and latest stable firmware versions.

Running production, developing Agent and the firmware, and answering messages is a lot to deal with at the same time, and as a result, we couldn’t devote time for the modules over the last month. We’re asking for your patience, as we’re rather overloaded nowadays.

Thank you for reading this update! We’ll be keeping you updated on all things UHK, and we’re looking forward to talking with you on 2018-08-16.

By |2018-10-23T19:59:50+00:002018-07-12 20:23|agent, news|33 Comments
Increase your productivity by never leaving the home row. Improve your posture by typing on two, separate keyboard halves. Remap keys in any way you want. Experience how a keyboard can be different, yet familiar.

33 Comments

  1. Andrew Dahl July 12, 2018 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Awesome work! I did have a question on swapping switches. These are through hole switches, right? (vs panel mount — I'm not super well versed in this :-)) And, as such, they need to be desoldered to switch out (say browns to blues), right? Just wondering how difficult this is. I was under the understanding that there were mounts to swap them out easier, but that's certainly on me

    • László Monda July 12, 2018 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      Hi Andrew, and thanks for the nice words! Yes, these are through-hole switches. The switches are actually soldered to the PCB. A desoldering gun is the best tool when it comes to swapping switches, although if possible, simply order your UHK with the switches of your preference and stick with them, because such a modification is potentially invasive, and it's not covered by our warranty.

      • Dmitry Salychev July 13, 2018 at 11:46 am - Reply

        Well, this warranty stuff doesn't look like a way you're following, does it? UHK is for hackers and anyone who wants to tinker with it (including switches replacement, firmware changes, etc.)

        • Andrew Dahl July 13, 2018 at 8:40 pm - Reply

          Certainly doesn't bother me. I mostly wanted to verify I was incorrect in thinking there were mounts (I probably would've switched to blue if I had realized that, but that's 100% my fault)

          Fortunately I already own the tools and have the knowledge for this if I really want to go down that path. Might wait for LEDs, if they're still coming.

          • László Monda July 13, 2018 at 8:55 pm

            Do you mean the backlight upgrade kit? We'd love to offer it in the near future. Would you be interested?

          • Andrew Dahl July 14, 2018 at 12:18 am

            I am and I would!

          • László Monda July 14, 2018 at 11:25 am

            Thanks Andrew! We have actually already received samples from our supplier for the backlight upgrade kit. I'll make sure to include them into an upcoming post, gauge interest, order some, and them offer them for sale.

          • Richard August 6, 2018 at 12:48 pm

            I'm also highly interested in a backlight kit, will buy if you offer one! What colors were the samples?

          • László Monda August 6, 2018 at 1:29 pm

            Hi Richard, We only plan to provide white LEDs. No multiple options planned because we already have so many product options we'd go crazy. You'll be able to use LEDs of other colors if you want to, but you'll have to purchase them separately. We'll probably only provide the backlight upgrade kit after delivering the pre-ordered UHKs, because we have too much to do.

          • Richard August 6, 2018 at 5:31 pm

            I totally understand as I've been following the project ever since I ordered (I realize you have a lot on your hands)! My UHK should be arriving tomorrow according to DHL :)

            I'm not in a hurry to get the backlight, but I'll probably go for red leds, as the wavelength is easier on the eyes at night. Anyway can't wait to start coding with the UHK, so thanks for creating it! Best regards from Helsinki!

        • László Monda July 13, 2018 at 8:47 pm - Reply

          We do support hacking the UHK in many ways, however switch replacement is pretty much the most invasive modification there is. It's like buying a product, tearing it down to pieces, desoldering its major components, then resoldering them. This is a bit too much, even by our standards.

    • Maximilian Hantsch-Köller July 13, 2018 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      A UHK with swappable switch sockets would certainly be bliss. :)

      • László Monda July 13, 2018 at 8:48 pm - Reply

        We'd like to make that happen eventually, but it'd call for a major redesign.

  2. Jos July 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the update. Appreciated!

    Those coloured keycaps of Max are incredibly pretty. Have you guys thought about selling coloured UltimateHackingKeyboard keycaps in the future? I suppose the margins on them would be good without much additional work (the team already done research on good keycaps and their manufacturing materials).

    That would save people like me the hassle of figuring out which keycaps fit with the UltimateHackingKeyboard and which ones are of high quality. I trust the opinion of the UHK team enough by now that when you offer coloured keycaps, I'll know they're quite likely good.

    (As a side note, I hope you guys take a small step back when needed because being overloaded doesn't sound good to me. And while I take mechanical keyboards and typing productivity very seriously, I don't want anyone to become mentally burned out over it. That's not worth it.)

    • László Monda July 13, 2018 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      We'd love to offer more options, but first we need to focus on the current offerings and delivering the pre-orders. We plan to extend product options afterwards.

      Thanks for worrying about us, but we're fine. András takes off the weekends, and I do sports regularly. Frees up my mind. :)

  3. Matthew Mueller July 14, 2018 at 6:43 am - Reply

    Hello László,

    Do you know around when the modules might be finished? Just got my uhk and it is glorious!

    • László Monda July 14, 2018 at 11:06 am - Reply

      Hi Matthew, So glad you're satisfied with your UHK! The current ETA on the modules is the end of 2018.

  4. Karol July 20, 2018 at 8:23 am - Reply

    Hello László,
    I see you do not have your Crowd Supply page anymore so can you tell me which switches are the quietest? I will be using the keyboard at work so I do not want to be thrown out from the open space into a solitary closet…

    • László Monda July 20, 2018 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Karol, Our Crowd Supply page is alive again. Alternatively, you can also purchase from our own webshop.

      • Karol July 30, 2018 at 8:28 am - Reply

        Thank you Laszlo. Saw the new store page and it looks great – will do that.

  5. Igor July 20, 2018 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Hi guys. Awesome keyboard, recently preordered one. One thing I have not been able to find, though, is a pic/video showing whether the bridge cable allows the UHK to wrap around a standard 14-inch laptop nicely (i.e. minimal, if any, tension). I saw a youtube review where the owner only suggested it *might* be possible.
    I've seen the 20-meter-long cable video, which is encouraging, but it would be nice to see what we can do out of the box.

    • László Monda July 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Igor, and thanks for the nice words and your support! Wrapping around a laptop with the standard bridge cable is possible, but it's a little bit of a stretch. We don't offer a longer cable yet, but it's very easy to make / get made one.

  6. Gabriel July 24, 2018 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Hey László! I'm interested in getting a palm rest together with my keyboard that I ordered last year (order 44874) and was wondering what's the best way to place this order so it get shipped together with the Keyboard. Is it possible? If so how should I proceed?

    • László Monda July 24, 2018 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      Hey Gabriel! Simply place a palm rest order with your existing account. We'll ship your orders together. Thanks so much for your further support!

      • Gabriel July 25, 2018 at 9:20 pm - Reply

        Thank you for delivering on the project goals and producing such an amazing product! The reviews looks really promising and I can't wait to get mine. I placed the new palm rest order on Crowd Supply.

  7. Andrew August 4, 2018 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    Wow, two and a half years.
    I got it this morning and have spent the last few hours tinkering and learning how to use it. Build quality is excellent. It feels great. And it will take some time to break the habit of reaching my right hand over to my left where the other half of the keyboard *used* to be. I am seriously impressed.

    I'm using the mouse controls a lot. Would there be any chance of a two-stage acceleration button/combo? I work on multiple screens, constantly going from one to the other. The mouse acceleration button is great for moving a little quicker from one window or spot to next. However if there was an acceleration for smaller movements and one that I could use to zip from one side of one screen to the other side of the 2nd (or 3rd), that would be amazing.

    • László Monda August 4, 2018 at 10:48 pm - Reply

      Hi Andrew! So glad you're happy with your UHK! Two-stage acceleration is not planned, but you should be able to zip leftwards and rightwards with macros. Please upgrade to latest pre-released firmware 8.4.2 via Agent which includes macro support, and give it a try. This firmware version is a pre-release because it's plagued by a bug that occasionally freezes the keyboard. You're welcome to help by reporting the relevant info, so that we can fix it!

  8. Richard August 8, 2018 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Quick question: Might you offer the bridge cable for sale as a spare part in your webshop one day?

    • László Monda August 8, 2018 at 2:26 pm - Reply

      Possibly, although nobody has requested spare bridge cables yet, and the bridge cable has been choosen to be very easy and cheap to replace. It's basically an ordinary phone cable. Please see https://ultimatehackingkeyboard.com/faq#replacing-the-bridge-cable

      • Andrew August 8, 2018 at 5:31 pm - Reply

        So, could I theoretically plug one half of my keyboard into the phone jack in my house and plug the other end in another phone jack in another room…
        set up a mod layer for the *other half* on each half…
        and have two keyboards??? :D

        • László Monda August 8, 2018 at 9:25 pm - Reply

          Exactly! This would be hilarious! :)

          Although I'm wondering whether other phones or appliances are connected to this cable in your house. If so, chances are fair it'd disrupt the communication between the halves. If you want to try this, you're better off only using UHK halves without any appliances, and also make sure that the wiring of the the jacks is cross-over as explained in our FAQ.

          Actually, there may be a technical problem with this. The longer the wire, the higher its parasitic capacitance, which distorts the I2C communication signal between the halves. This may make communication intermittent or it may not work at all. Down the road we'll probably make the firmware even more robust in this respect and we'll throttle communication speed when sensing many communication errors but it's not implemented yet.

          Be sure to make a video and/or pictures, or it didn't happen! :)

  9. Manish October 16, 2018 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    This keyboard looks really awesome. The only feature that I feel is missing is hot-swappable switches. That would allow us to try out different switches without the time-consuming soldering process (and wouldn't void the warranty either. :) ) I know you guys are knee deep in production right now, but is this something you're considering for the future?

    • László Monda October 17, 2018 at 9:00 am - Reply

      Thanks for the nice words! Yes, we plan to implement hot-swappable switches in the future.

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