Argh, sorry to hear that. That’s a bummer, it sounds like I’ll have to use them flat them since I don’t have access to a 3D printer or woodworking tools. Really disappointed that something so basic is overlooked in something that costs this much.
It’s not overlooked, it’s more that the keyboard.io folks had to make a determination about what would be the most generally-useful thing and they’re a small manufacturer working with a billion moving parts of suppliers.
I do wish the default tenting stands were a bit better but they were clearly designing for broadly-useful rather than handling a specific use case. As jesse said earlier in this thread they tried coming up with a better solution for the tented joiner with built-in supports but it wasn’t a good experience, and I’m glad they moved forward on producing the product rather than succumbing to even more delays than they’d already been inflicted with.
Also, mechanical keyboards are expensive to make and produce especially at this scale.
This is why we chose to add the tripod mounts on the bottom centers of the two halves of the keyboard. Mounting the keyboard on something using those mounts should not cause the weight of the combined keyboard to pull the whole thing down. There are numerous third-party tripod mount accessories that can get you all sorts of angle and position options.
It has to be supported at the same angle it would be if you were using the stands.
Do you have a link to one of these third-party ones that could act as a substitute? I couldn’t find one that is short enough (the closest I could find is a 2" one, which is still too high) Other than using them flat, I’d probably just stuff enough paper or cloth scraps until the entire hollow space below the keyboard was filled up if I really wanted to keep tenting them, but I’ll probably just end up using them flat if it’s so troublesome.
Eh, I kinda still want to use them on the table, though. I’m not trying to mount them on my armrests or anything like that. (Basically like how the product is displayed on the actual product page in tented configuration, minus the octopus stands…)
Using just the base plate of a tripod with a ball joint might work if I can find one that’s the exact right height. If not, I’ll just go with a box under each keyboard half to support the center section and stuff paper and bits till it doesn’t have any unsupported weight.
You might also be able to find a couple of wedge-shaped blocks of wood. At some point, if things ever calm down, I want to try to offer some one-angle wooden stands that fit with the rest of the keyboard and get the bottom edge closer to the table.
To the best of my ability to do that, I’d say it is. Before I came up with a solution for feet I experimented with different thicknesses of paper coasters and stacks of sticky notes, and during those experiments any incorrect height of the center bar was easily determined because of the creaking noise the center bar made if it was stressed while typing.
My ersatz feet are actually segments of wine cork that I cut a little long, attached with hot glue, and then filed down a little at a time until the whole assembly was stable and the attachment to the center bar seemed neutral, neither held too high (outer feet not making secure contact with the desk surface) nor too low (the whole thing seeming “sprung” against the center bar).
Long story short: observations are consistent with the tented center bar being supported at the right height, neither too high nor too low. The bowing isn’t significant (at least not yet) but it is observable to the naked eye and can be confirmed with a straight edge.
And TBH this leveling process seemed much easier than trying to align the octopod stands, which sure seemed like a cool idea before I tried to use them. Without the center bar the two halves of the keyboard regularly separated from each other and had to be pushed back together; with the center bar I never felt like I was getting the stands at the right angle. Using the tented center bar and supporting it from underneath seemed like the best solution for my desk height and preferences, but the bowing I’m seeing now would indicate otherwise.
So I’m not exactly proud of my craftsmanship, but I just used the foam that came with the Keyboardio packaging:
Is this enough support?
I wouldn’t rely on it long term. The foam will start to compress. As is, type on it, if the center bar flexes, then it’s supporting some of the strain, and you might deform your case over time.
Whelp. Well, I might just take a stack of A4 paper and cut that down to size then. Should be denser.
I’ve McGuyver’d some stands using “carpenter’s wedges” from my local hardware store. They’re hard black plastic wedges with a suitable angle. I’ve glued 3 of them together for each side, drilled a hole for a bolt that fits the tripod mount, and attached some adhesive non-slip pads to stop it sliding on the desk.
I don’t have my keyboard connected using the center bar.
For the curious, here are the wedges that I used: https://www.bunnings.com.au/builders-edge-22mm-black-builders-wedge-10-pack_p1141694
They don’t cover the entire underside of each keyboard half, but I suspect the coverage isn’t too far different to the octo-feet, and I figure that if they’re attached to the tripod mount they’re likely to be supportive in the right spot.
That’s a lot more elegant than what I ended up doing:
- https://www.amazon.com/Clean-Clear-Absorbing-Sheets-Count/dp/B003V57Q5I?th=1 (I had these lying around)
- Plastic packaging was triangular and wedge-shaped.
- I have spare tape and post-it notes lying around as well.
- The result: https://imgur.com/a/d3mgVG6
So far, seems to work surprisingly well. But thanks for linking the setup.
Thanks Tom A,
I’ll be picking 6 of those wedges up…
If you get the same wedges that I did, making the hole for the bolt, and an inset to accommodate its head + a washer was the messy and inelegant part. I don’t have a dremel or anything similar, so I used a hand-chisel to carve away some plastic for the bolt head and washer.
What about if you use the keyboard in your lap? I find the tenting bar much more comfortable than the flat bar for this purpose, but I don’t want to warp the enclosure.
I’ve found that my custom tenting stands work with it in my lap just fine. The problem with using the tenting bar alone with a lap configuration is that unless you take the bar on and off when you remove the keyboard from your lap you’ll still be putting the keyboard’s weight on the bar when it’s sitting on your desk or whatever, and that will still warp the wood.
But what about using just the tenting bar in your lap without any sort of additional custom stands? I’m wondering if that will warp the wood in a not-covered-by-warranty sort of way. Seems like it would - but then again, the keyboardio website seems to condone using the flat bar when you have the keyboard in your lap, and that doesn’t seem like it’s much better supported (when it’s in your lap).
As for desk use, I took a big stack of business cards and pushed them under the bar to find exactly the correct height, then taped them together to make a support “brick” that I simply place underneath. Works splendidly.
Thanks for sharing! Guess I’d better stop doing that…
I agree with the comment elsewhere on this thread that the issue could be better explained in the user manual - yes, it says not to use the tent bar by itself, but it seems like “because that can warp the wood” is an important piece of information that’s left out there. (I thought the reason for the warning was that it was kind of wobbly and could damage the tent bar, and given that the tent bar seems very replaceable, I didn’t worry about that too much. Had I known there was risk of warping the enclosure itself, I would have taken the warning far more seriously.) No major issues here, but I could see someone else making the same mistake, and if I hadn’t stumbled upon this thread…