Custom Mounts - What are your ideas?

(Blake Jones) #21

Serial number 106 arrived today, and I’m happily typing on it now. (and apparently hitting “enter” too quickly…)

Right now I’m trying out the super-tiny mount system that I mentioned a few days ago: two ball joints, two male-to-male connectors, and one “barrel connector” in between. My impression after about ten minutes of use is that it has a lot of potential. Here’s a couple pics:

It wants to slide forward a bit, and my legs definitely can’t be sloped forward, but otherwise it sets stably tented on my lap. It could probably sit on a desk as well, but there it would be even more inclined to slip around.

What I’d really like is some sort of clamp that could grab onto the barrel and attach to a desk at an adjustable height. Anyone have ideas for this?

(Mark Vedder) #22

Awesome. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on them after some usage.

Today I explored the idea of making my own floating arm supports out of aluminum. I just worry that the plastic of the ErgoRest I mentioned above will not be sturdy enough.

FedEx estimate says my keyboard will arrive on Halloween :jack_o_lantern: Here’s hoping I get just such a treat and not a trick! Then I can start trying out some of my crazy ideas.


My Opinion: You should ditch the ErgoRest idea.

I feel like I started at a similar place to where you’re at now:

Arm RESTS are called arm “rests” for a reason. They are meant for when you are passive. You should be switching from hovering over keys typing to thinking with arms rested and back again as a optimal workflow.

While there are studies on the benefits to arm-rest-mounted keyboard halves, there is not study on the long-term effects of resting all your weight on one part of your arm for hours at a time days at a time.

I would recommend getting to “natural” as a position as possible unless you have special needs due to some kind of injury (consult a doctor or professional).

For me I keep hearing the words repeated at an national Ergonmics conference I crashed recently:

“Your next position is your best position”.

I feel articulated arms is the near-term solution to this problem, and can imagine a future where these arms are automated just like sit/stand desks. In fact, I wish my sit/stand had a scheduler so I could schedule different times of the day to sit/stand.

At any rate, I would shy away from locking your arms and torso in any one position unless you have a physical restraint to do so. Aim for something that will maximize your movement throughout the day (I saw a YouTube review on ErgoRest that the user felt it was hard to move and restricting his movement).


One thing I learned is you can build your own RAM mount. So, you could have a two-sided clamp on double ball-hinges with the standard ~3-inch femur between. If that’s enough distance for you, and it has enough clamp to grasp your I-beam bar, it should work fine.

(Mark Vedder) #25

Hmm… You raise some good points. Ironically I was seeing the ErgoRest idea as providing me with motion. I see them as a way to get the keyboard to move with me and not so much as a place to rest my arms. The keyboard could move as I move my arms around. So the halves wouldn’t always be a consistent distance apart. And there would be some change in the distance from my body. But it would be on a flat plane… and that could be a problem. To combat that I could periodically adjust the height… but in reality would I actually do that throughout the day? Probably not. It’d be nice if I could tension the arms so they move up and down with me.

Ultimately what I would love to achieve is to have each of the Model 01’s halves to be at my fingertips no matter where my arms are… As if they were attached to my hands, but without my arms carrying the weight… as if they were floating in mid-air. Then I could at one point be typing with my arms out in a conventional way, and at other times have them down by my side like in the last image I posted in the opening post to this thread. But ultimately that’s a dream… But I want to come as close to that as possible.So I saw the ErgoRest concept as a way to get the keyboards to move with me (by attaching the M01 to the arms and not stationary on a desk), not so much as a way to support my arms. But I would likely actually be using them to support my arms all day. And you raise some very valid points that’ll need to be taken into consideration.

Thanks for the input @leoj3n, it is very much appreciated.

I like that quote.

(Blake Jones) #26

One thing I learned is you can build your own RAM mount.

Oh, like, two of these and one of these? That’s a great idea, thanks.

I haven’t looked over all the resources on your big list above, but do you know if there are other places that sell comparable parts? Ram’s “small” Tough Claw only goes down to 5/8" clamping diameter, and the barrel connector I have is 1/2".


For a quick solution I’m trying these clamps:

Seem sturdy enough (ordered one just to see, got another 2 on order)… will have to be ‘above’ table. I ordered the 3rd and a little iPhone holder to try use my iPhone as a track pad: using - clamped to the keyboardio as thats the biggest annoyance for me so far… having to loose touch with the keyboard.


I do remember seeing a band you could tighten around motorcycle handle bars and that had the ball attachment.

UPDATE: @blakej here you go

You can better see the parts in this GoPro version:

(Blake Jones) #29

Thanks. I actually ordered an EZ-Strap Base and double-ball adapter earlier this evening, with the goal of hooking it up to my Arkon clamp. If that doesn’t work, I’ll probably try this next.

UPDATE: that EZ-Strap Base uses RAM “snap link” balls, which are 3/4" in diameter; as far as I can tell, there’s no connector between this ball standard and the 1" rubber balls that most of the other RAM mounts (and my Arkon clamp) use. :frowning:

It looks like this is the base of the two things @leoj3n mentioned in the previous comment. Gonna order one of those now.

(davidreynolds) #30

I have an Apple magic trackpad and you can get hold of windows drivers from the bootcamp installer. They work on my work laptop and another couple of machines I have tried.

It is a flat plate with no moving parts and reacts to very little pressure, so minimal force mounting. Worth a look if you are looking for a mousing alternative.

Waiting for my model 01 delivery very soon!

I’m also looking at custom mounts - thanks for the ideas!

(Jennifer Leigh) #31

Turns out the Joby gorillapods are pretty awesome for typing in bed. I set one over each thigh and can rearrange at whim so they stay at the angle most comfortable from moment to moment.


(Andrew Gallagher) #33

In contrast to many of the excellent ideas here, I’ve been using a low tech solution. The tented centre bar isn’t sufficiently load bearing to use on its own. On the other hand, the octo feet are solid but quite bulky.

So I stuck a cardboard box to the bottom of the tented bar. If it is exactly 2cm thick it takes all the pressure off the connection. And then you can use any flat surface, such as a beanbag breakfast tray.

It’s not quite armrest mounted, but it comes out about the same position.

A better tented stand
(JP) #34

When I get some time this weekend or next, of whenever, I plan on cutting a piece of wood to place under or screw to the center bar. I was thinking the same thing, apply a little too much pressure and you might snap that center (tented) bar. Will post pics but don’t hold your breath.

(Jesse) #35

If you’re going to go that route and have the ability to cut wood at reasonably precise angles, you could create a slightly larger bar with holes you could use to screw into both tripod mounts.

(JP) #36

hmm. I have friend’s with nicer toys than my own, I may have to pay them a visit… but that will have to wait till I get a second M01 or my 3rd M01 to leave for them to prototype with.

(kajsa.anderson) #37

I think I need to bring my keyboard with to my parents’ place for Thanksgiving and make use of some of the goodies in Dad’s shop. :slight_smile: This is the type of thing I had in mind, but for some reason I was thinking of hooking into the slides instead of mounting to the tripod mounts, which makes much more sense, and would let me get rid of the octo-feet, which as others have noted are a little too wide. I’ve been contemplating trimming the toe of the foot that edges up against my mousepad, which would let me keep my mousepad an inch closer to the keyboard, but I think I like this idea better.

(amos) #38

If you have a router you might be able to route out the wood and treat it as a center bar instead of attaching it to a center bar?

(amos) #39

Nevermind, I read the other descriptions, and I like the idea of using the tripod mounting holes instead. I think that two wooden blocks with a tongue and groove setup between them would be even better. You could then have the two halves slide together for smaller work areas or be able to take them apart if you want to spread your hands a little.

(JP) #40

K.Andersen, if you end up doing this take pictures (and measurements please), I’m not into reinventing the wheel, if I get to it, I’ll do the same.