On palm rest pointing device

#1

I wanted to share a solution for an easy to reach mini touchpad mounted onto the palm rest. It can be operated e.g. by the middle finger without lifting the palm off the rest. As my keyboardio is fixed at the arm rests of my chair and disappears under the table when typing, operating the touchpad is way easier than reaching for a trackpad on the table…

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(Christopher Auer) #2

This is awesome! If I would have one wish for the Model 01, it would be a pointing device that I can reach without leaving the home row. This comes pretty close.

Do you click via the touchpad or the keyboard? How accurate is the touchpad? Sometimes I need to do some more precise work. Have you also tried to fit in the larger version?

Thanks!

#3

I use keyboard and touchpad for moving the pointer and clicking. The choice depends on where to move and what is to be done.

The keyboard is used e. g.
× for small movements relative to the current position
× for large jumps to different regions of the screen (-> warping)

The touchpad is used e. g.
× for pixel wise movements (smaller than minimum pointer displacements corresponding to one key press)
× for mid size movements (smaller than ~ 1/4 screen)
× for selections (rectangular areas) (warping is good for this purpose too)

× for scrolling (can also be done comfortably by assigning mouse scroll functions to keyboard keys…)

Clicking is mainly done with the keyboard (fn+ left ctrl/bksp/cmd) but also with the touchpad, again depending on the use case.

Sometimes I do selections by keyboard clicking combined with touchpad movement.

The larger version of the touchpad should also fit on the palm rest - you could try with a cardboard dummy…
I opted for the ‘mini’ version for a minimum of middle finger bending to reach the center of the touchpad.

With pointer acceleration set to maximum (xinput) the screen can be traversed diagonally with one repositioning of the finger.
Accuracy is not affected by this setting.

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(Christopher Auer) #4

Thanks for the info!

I’ve just ordered the mini version (though it should take a while until it gets to Germany). I think that for extensive mouse work I will stil use my Logitech ergo trackball. But for in between stuff, the small touchpad is golden.

Christopher

#5

I got mine three days after ordering - for European destinations they send from the UK. This way no hassle with import duties neither (still pre Brexit…).
You are right, for some mouse only applications there is a Slimblade trackball on my desk, too.

#6

@christo-auer Where did you order it?

(Christopher Auer) #7

I’ve ordered it here: http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/
Though, I is still on transit from the US.

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#8

Ok, cool. Can you do a little review of the touchpad when you get it? I would like to get a second opinion before I buy it.

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(Christopher Auer) #9

After a long wait, I finally got the mini version a few weeks ago. Here you can see where I attached it:


It works really well and has some really nice features (scrolling, tapping, etc.). It is connected via a PS/2-USB adapter to the PC. This may also be the reason why the official software (Windows-only) to adjust the settings is not working.
I’ve adjusted my Keyboardio layout such that Fn+F is a a left click, Fn+D a middle click and Fn+S a right click (symmetrical to the right hand with which I usually operate the mouse).

For quick operations, I use the trackpad and for longer mouse operations I use my trackball. Interestingly, I also started to use the Fn+F/D/S keys on the Model 01 when pointing with the trackball.

Pros of the trackpad:

  • surprisingly accurate
  • flexible: put it where you want using the velcro
  • onobtrusive, perfectly fits on the Model 01
  • plug-and-play (no drivers needed)
  • clever features that make working with such a small trackpad easy (see also http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/mini_touchpad.php)
    Cons:
  • still, it is very small and I feel strain when working longer with the trackpad
  • the surface is not perfectly smooth which makes precise movements hard (leading to strain)
  • settings software does not work with this version

Ultimately, it is too small for me. So I’ve ordered the medium-sized one (directly from UK this time) and placed it at the same location (using the velcro I already had in place from the small one):


This one I got yesterday and it works as expected. In contrast to the small one, it is directly connected via USB and the settings software (with tons of settings) works. So far it feels more comfortable than the small one.

The same pros and cons apply as for the small one except that the settings software works and it is larger — and therefore more comfortable but also more obtrusive.

In summary, it is nice addition to the Model 01 and a regular pointing device.

If anyone is interested in the small trackpad, I have one for sale in Germany :slight_smile:

Christopher

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(ArleyM) #10

Can you elaborate on the pc only limitation? Software only exists for that, or for sure doesnt work on mac?

(Christopher Auer) #11

There touchpads work out-of-the box on Windows and macOS (can’t say anything on Linux). There software to fine-adjust the settings works only on Windows.

#12

Thanks for the review @christo-auer. I’m fairly tempted to buy the middle-sized one myself now.

Their website for their UK office (http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/eu) seems to be down though.

(Christopher Auer) #13

@rumpel: you have to click on the flags in the upper right corner of http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/ and select “Europe”. Then the order is handled by the guys in UK (not the must intuitive thing…)

(Taylor) #14

Slightly off-topic, but I’m loving your set up. What are using for keyboard mounting and cable management? Are you running into any issues having mounted your keyboard like this? It’s too bad that the keyboard and touchpad are not wireless…

#15

I use two of the Arkon mounts (http://www.arkon.com/product/RM0861420-camera-clamp-mount.html) that have been mentioned several times on this site.
The mounts are fixed to the vertical pillars of the arm rests.
The height, position and angle of the keyboard halves are adjusted in a way that the forearms rest on the arm rests (swiveled inwards) of the chair. The palms rest on the palm rests while forearm and back of the hand form a straight line. The angle between upper arm and forearm is approx. 90°.
The patch cable connecting the two halves is just as long to fit under the seat of the chair.
USB cables of keyboard and touchpad are twisted slightly and run to the jacks of the screen. They are long enough to pull the chair out from under the table and sit down.
A downside of the Arkon mounts is the missing locking device preventing the keyboard halves from rotating around the axes of the 1/4" mounting bolts (when accidentally pushed).
Apart from that I find that typing in the resulting position is quite comfortable.

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#16

@Taylor You might be interested in the bluetooth adapter, it’s been confirmed working with the Model01.
See The Model 01 is a USB keyboard and does not have Bluetooth

Don’t know about the touchpad though.

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