Switching Key Caps

Is it possible to switch those rounded caps in the control keys to just the regular flat ones? I’m finding it really hard to tell where to put my thumbs with no defined place to set them and I keep ending up in between two keys.

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There are little bumps on the backspace and space keys; I use those to orient my thumbs.

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Personally, I think I’ll likely rest my thumb in the valley between two of the thumb keys. Hard for me to say with absolute certainty, since I just got my keyboard on Saturday and haven’t had a lot of time typing on it yet. But with my thumb in that valley I can easily and quickly access the key to the right or the left. And that gives me more flexibility than if I were to rest my thumb on top of the thumb home key. Almost like having two home keys for each thumb.

That said, you could replace those keys if you want with more conventional keycaps. You just need to make sure they are keycaps for the Matia key switches the Model 01 uses and not for the more ubiquitous Cherry MX key switches. I’m about 99% sure the two different key switches use different stems for mounting the keycaps. There may also be an issue given that those key switches are on an arc that there’s not enough clearance for the square key caps. But without some exact measurements or just trying it I couldn’t say for sure.

P.S. My suggestion would also be to give the “built-in” keys a try for a bit longer before switching them out. It takes time to get use to new things, especially when it’s replacing something we’ve used daily for many years. And in time, you will likely get use to them… and perhaps even coming to love them :slight_smile:

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Yeah, I have a set of clear Cherry caps and they’re different. I just find that when I go to hit these rounded ones I don’t know where to put my thumb. That being said, sometimes when I just type and don’t think so much about what my fingers are doing and just let them do their thing, I don’t have a problem, so it may just be mind over matter. I love this keyboard though. The way the keys are different levels and heights is pure genius. I’ve been typing since I was 14 and I’m 62 now so I’m flexible in some ways and others not so much, but I’ve never felt anything like this. It’s just heaven.

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I’ll echo others and suggest giving it more time. I rushed out to change the layout as soon as I got my keyboard, but later forced myself to try the default layout and found I really like it. Maybe the same will happen to you with the keycaps? If you’re dead-set on it, I believe regular keycaps would fit, but as I can’t find my spare ALPS blanks, I can’t verify. Any replacements would obviously not match the overall visual theme of the keyboard.

While I don’t have this problem, I can see the argument for standard cylindrical keycaps. I wonder why they weren’t used? They still could have all been given the same profile to allow swapping them around. And the promo photos on the site actually have cylindrical caps in those positions.

I find that when I just type and don’t think about what I’m doing, which is normal, they don’t matter. It’s only when I stop and think that my brain says, wait a minute, something’s different. It’s like trying not to scratch an itch LOL!!

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Be careful if you do try to use standard ALPS keycaps - J&K mentioned in one of the backer updates putting some significant effort into getting the force required to remove the keycaps just right (and it is!). My Atreus uses the same switches, with standard blank keycaps, and requires a LOT of force to remove. In fact, enough that the build docs strongly suggest de-soldering the switches before trying to remove the caps:open_mouth: I tried with a spare cap and extra switch, and while I didn’t have a way to measure the force required, it was significant.

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Yup. There’s a LOT more story here. Most of it is still pretty traumatic.

Our key spacing is such that regular ALPS caps will not work on…pretty much any key, except possibly the Palm key. While our left-to-right spacing is at least 19mm in most cases, Our back-to-front spacing is 18mm. The thumb keys are smaller than standard, to make the arc fit better, too.

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This is true. The keycaps I have are from Signature Plastics, and they were pretty tight. Not nearly as tight as the caps on my keyboard with Cherry clears, though. Now there was a switch I hated …

I second Gaye’s wish for different keycaps for the thumb keys.

That’s the only real disappointment I have with the Model-01 – the rounded off thumb keys – at least for things that can’t be fixed by reprogramming.

I think they should be sculpted like the other keys so that the thumb easily rests in the centre of them. In my typing tests so far I find it very very difficult to hit them squarely without looking at them directly (even the space key with the little pin on its top). I frequently hit two together (though that may be helped somewhat when I move the shift keys back to pinky position).

I wish they were a bit more rectangular too, like the tab and enter keys, but changing that now would require more milling of the cutout in the cover.

The function keys are a bit too tall for the shape of my hands too (meaning I press them too easily without noticing), but that might be alleviated by putting a small pad on the outer palm area (something I feel I’ll need to do to protect the wood finish regardless, especially in the summer months).