Tuesday, May 22, 2018

There's a new member in the stenomod family

Stenomod is still evolving. During the past month I've developed a new, smaller stenomod based on the 3x10 keyboard form, inspired by the Gherkin. I've lived with the result for a couple of weeks and am very happy with it. In fact I'm only using the TinyMod now. It looks like this:

It uses the same switches, keycaps, and processor as the classic and the hinge, but has only 25 keys instead of 34. The whole row of number keys is gone, replaced by one number key between O and E for the thumb to press. It's 7 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches by about one inch tall.

Since there are fewer parts and it's easier to make, I'll be charging less. $160 USD plus shipping. For the immediate future I'll be stocking all three, "classic", "hinge", and " TinyMod". The classic and hinge will still be going for $200 USD.

So now, when you make an order, email me with your shipping address and the model you'd like to buy.

As always, my email address is  stenomod@gmail.com  and I'm very happy to answer any questions you might have.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Stenomod is Evolving

The stenomod hinge model has a slightly new look. In an effort to do less 3D printing, I've redesigned the printed circuit boards so that the diodes are hidden between the key switches and the color is black instead of green. Now only the small Arduino board is covered by a 3D printed case.

The little case is on the left hand side.This particular keyboard doesn't have it's ribbon cable installed yet, but it's the same ribbon cable as before.

The wood decks have changed a bit too. They're thinner and I'm not drilling them anymore. Instead I'm using standoffs to lift the PCB just high enough off the deck to clear the protruding pins on the solder side of the board.

The result is better looking to my eye. And the construction is simpler.

For now I'll still be making the "classic" model with the old PCB's and the drilled out decks. Only the "hinge" model is changing.

Each version will still cost $200 USD. I hope the changes will be well received.

If you have an opinion, please let me know in the comments section.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Yes! I'm still here!

I see that it's been quite awhile since I posted to this blog. People tend to email me asking if I'm still making and selling stenomods. The answer is yes.

I'm currently making two types, the "classic"...

...and the "hinge"...

That last picture shows a hinge model sitting on a camera tripod. I'm not selling those.

Here is a hinge model folded up...

See? No tripod, just the keyboard.

Each model is being sold for $200 USD. Shipping in the US is $13.65 and in most cases, to other countries it's about $24 USD.

A stenomod only does one thing. It's a steno machine, not a qwerty keyboard. It only knows one serial protocol. It's meant to be used with Plover on your computer. Once Plover is installed and configured for TX Bolt protocol, it just works without any further configuration. If you don't already know about Plover, you should visit the Open Steno Project.

I hope this is helpful. If you have more questions, email address is stenomod@gmail.com so don't hesitate to ask.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Stenomod Changes

I'm finding 3D printing to be somewhat of a nightmare. Sure, it's a great way to make a prototype quickly. But to rely on it for manufacturing, even at the small-scale of the stenomod, is probably a mistake. The printer needs too much maintenance and baby sitting. If it quits working suddenly, what am I supposed to do?

Well, what I'm doing right now is starting to phase out 3D printing. I'm going back to using a drill press on the wood deck for the bottom part of the keyboard. For now I'll still make the top half with a 3D printer. Maybe eventually I'll have acrylic parts made for the top half, but for now I'm just minimizing the need to use a 3D printer, not eliminating it completely.

This applies to the hinge model as well as the classic. I've made a prototype of a wood bottomed hinge model for my own use. If I like it well enough in the next week or so, then I'll start making them all this way. I expect to like it just fine, by the way.

Here's what the prototype looked like as I put it together:

I used a drill press to make space under each solder joint so the PCB can fit flush to the deck and be well supported.

Now the PCB fits nicely.

The plastic top fits over the PCB, flush with the deck.

And finally the hinge is installed. In the prototype here I've used bolts that are a quarter inch too short, so the nuts don't quite fit. I'll fix that soon.

The classic model looks much the same, but I'm still using a 12 x 5 1/2 inch deck. For the hinge I'm using 3 1/2 inches wide instead. This older deck looks about the same, except now I'm using the drill press for all the cutting and not using a router at all.

I hope you like the change! It's going to make my life easier I think, even with all the drilling and lacquering. A drill press pretty much runs forever and needs very little maintenance. A 3D printer is something else entirely!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Back in business, again!

I'm working on getting ahead in inventory now. Ready to take orders anytime!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Taking another break

I'll be away from the office again for about a week and will be unable to fulfill orders during that time. I think I'll have email the whole time, so I'll be happy to talk to you about stenomods, I just won't be able to sell you one until after September 1, 2017. I'm sorry if this causes any inconvenience. I'm hoping to be able to run without any significant gaps in service for a long time after that.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Back in business

I'm back from vacation and slowly getting caught up with assembling stenomods. If you're ready to buy one, I'm ready to sell you one now, so let me know.