Tex Yoda II TrackPoint Mechanical Keyboard Kitsearch

Tex Yoda II TrackPoint Mechanical Keyboard Kit

Tex Yoda II TrackPoint Mechanical Keyboard Kit

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Does anyone know about the origin and makeup of the actual TrackPoint in this? Is it the same as the TrackPoint on a ThinkPad? Notably:

1. Is it based on a rigid Strain Gauge or movable Force Sensitive Resistor?
2. Does it have the ThinkPad programming and motion algorithms?

I worked with the inventor of the TrackPoint at the IBM Almaden Research Center, and I worked on some of the advanced motion algorithms that Lenovo inherited when they split off the ThinkPad business from IBM in the 90's. If it has these algorithms and ergonomics, it's very interesting. If not, it's not worth it for the "TrackPoint."
DeviceNode
Good point about the algorithms. Does anyone here know how this TrackPoint "feels" when compared to a ThinkPad's?
Make one of these with the same 99 key layout as the kira and I'll give you all of my monies.
For anyone considering this, also look into a RollerMouse Red. It's not cheap, but I love mine and it operates under a similar principle--but I find that the roller bar is easier to use than the Thinkpad style nub. Also works with your existing keyboards. (Sent from my Lenovo Thinkpad.)
experimentjon
Agreed. I used it with my TKL keyboard before I got the Tex Yoda II. It's a good (though not cheap...) alternative if you already have an end-game keyboard.
experimentjon
Some people don't find the TrackPoint comfortable or intuitive. But you have to properly train yourself before you make that decision. Scientifically, the TrackPoint is much more physiologically ergonomic than the RollerMouse. You have to train yourself for 20-30 minutes with a pointing-intensive activity like playing solitaire. Then come back to it the next day after the training has set in your brain and see how it feels. Occasional use won't train you the way an intensive session will.
I'd jump for the cheaper, fullsize version.

With a trackpoint onboard, anything under 18" W is fine, as that can fit just fine on a rack shelf or almost any keyboard tray.

Seriously though, at $260 I was expecting to see Topre when I scrolled down. Many custom Cherry keyboards costing less than 1/2 of this, most with more switches on board. I'm open to hearing why this custom kit costs an extra $150.
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This IS a chinese manufacturer.
Having the trackpoint right there (vs a trackball) does make a difference. Absolutely no moving your hands from home-row if you need to move your mouse. This is especially for Thinkpad fans (which I'm an example of; the only reason why I haven't moved to a Mac OS is because of Thinkpads and their trackpoint/keyboard). The Ergodox is it's own thing, as it's a split ortholinear and would require some adaptation from someone who might split time with using a laptop.

I echo smallbit's point that Tex makes a great keyboard: the aluminum low-pro case is amazingly built, and feels super stable. The plate is screwed to the case, rather than to the PCB, which adds to the really solid feel of the keyboard. This is compared to a few other enthusiast boards I have (e.g. the Anne Pro, a custom DZ60). Even the whitefox doesn't feel as premium.

There are Unicomp Enduropros full-size keyboards with trackpoint, but I don't think it's a programmable board, nor is the trackpoint really good. I can vouch for the Tex Yoda's trackpoint (latest iteration; the previous iteration broke on me) as being equivalent, of not better than a real Thinkpad's trackpoint.
And in true classic ThinkPad style, it's a TKL!

Which is great for people who like TKL. I don't like these puny keyboards. I need function keys and a numpad.

I do really like the kit idea, though, I built a mech numpad a year or two ago and it was a pretty fun experience! Don't know if I'd want to solder a whole keyboard...

Hopefully we see a full variant later on, this would be really handy for keeping both hands on the keyboard, would be especially awesome at work.
Jackal-Frost
Technically, this is in 60% format, not TKL (TKL is a full-size minus numpad).

However, a newer ~75% format (i.e. with function row and arrow keys) Tex keyboard will be coming out soon (the Tex Kodachi), which mimics the old-school 7-row Thinkpad keyboard layout as much as possible.
chewgl
Yep, you're completely right about that, my mistake.

That's good to know, I might be intrigued by that, but I'd still have to use a separate numpad, which is a hard proposition for a nearly 300 dollar keyboard kit...
what exactly do the three buttons under the space key do ?
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the middle button also activates scroll when used with the trackpoint. very nice for browsing.
chewgl
Thats handy. I don't see many mouses with a third click and no wheel.
Is there a way I can get just the circuit board & electronics? My son poured water on mine and now it's dead :(
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I'm looking for the PCB and plate. Do you still have yours, or how to email Justin?
gmichael52
justin (at) tex (dash) design (dot) com (dot) tw

or contact me at chewgl (at) yahoo (dot) com for more details on the PCB.
Any chance of ordering one without switches or even without switches+keycaps since it's a kit? I have plenty of both and can make the cutouts in anything. I'd rather save a bit of money.
why pay $260 for a kit when you can get it built for $281?
mkstr
I assume you are referring to this page https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_list&c=515 . This drop is for the LED version, which sells for $299 there (assembled). Still not great, but with free shipping, at least for me in the states, it's not insignificant. I'd also rather assemble it myself, but I realize that's not for everyone.

EDIT: Also all the versions on that page are sold out except for Cherry MX Green