A New ErgoDox

I originally chose the EZ because I wanted a keyboard that would let me switch between QWERTY and Plover, and would let me adjust it for different ergonomics on different days.

Knowing that the EZ was the keyboard that would best meet my needs, I spent most of my energy deciding which switches would give the best experience for both Plover and QWERTY. I decided on the Kailh Speed Silver switches. These activate quickly, though they use a heavier spring than the Gateron Whites that I’m used to.

Part I: Fast Delivery and Impressive Packaging

It took less than two weeks from the order date until it arrived at my door. Notice that it came without keycaps.

This saved a few dollars, and the time required to pull the stock keycaps and replace with with G20s.

It’s hard to read in the picture, but this is v. 3 of the ErgoDox EZ

I ordered this one without the tenting pegs. They’re visually appealing, but I have them on my first EZ and never use them.

Part II:  The Firmware
One of the benefits of using an ErgoDox is that the firmware can be reprogrammed. This allows the user to define the layout of the keys, and to switch between multiple layouts with a keypress. This is important (but not essential) for the Plover user. The easiest way to do this is on the ErgoDox EZ Graphical Configuator, found here:

You can use the Configuator to build your own layout (notice the tabs for different layers), or you can search for and download someone else’s layout here:

When using Plover, I prefer the vowel keys to be assigned to the 4 thumb keys on the ErgoDox.

The link below has a tutorial on how to use the Graphical Configurator and how to install the .hex firmware file that it produces.

Part III: Mounting the EZ on a Tripod

After using several professional steno machines on a tripod, I realized that a tripod mounted keyboard provides benefits for both the amateur stenographer and the typical QWERTY typist.  For me these benefits include better ergonomics as well as having more desk space to organize my work.  A side benefit is that the cat never goes to sleep on the keyboard.

Below is the process I used to mount my ErgoDox to a tripod. I built this a couple years back for a previous ErgoDox EZ.  Note that I while I started with a prebuilt mounting system from a used Infinity steno machine, all of the tripod and bracket parts in the picture could be bought off the shelf or manufactured in a garage.

I purchased this machine on ebay some years back. I used it off and on for a couple years, but found that I preferred the ErgoDox.

The mounting brackets connect to ball joints. Here’s a picture with the steno machine removed.  It may not be clear on the picture, but there are two bolts that go through the bottom of the L-bracket (an L shaped piece of metal) and screw into the bottom of each half of the steno machine.

Because the EZ doesn’t have holes in the bottom I’ll need a platform for each half of the keyboard to rest on.

I used pine for the platform because I had a pine board in my garage.

A workable fit … but they might slide off when the keyboard is resting at an angle. Notice the tenting pegs. This was my first EZ.

Adding brackets to keep it from moving around when resting at an angle. Smaller brackets and super glue would work, but I  used what was handy. I mounted the brackets with screws on the bottom of the pine.

Here are the platforms being connected to the tripod. Notice the bolt coming up from the bottom on the left half?  I ended up putting it down through the top.

For some reason I decided to cover the platforms in duct tape. There are probably more elegant ways to do this but I was primarily focused on functionality and durability. Orange was the first color I came to when I went digging around in my garage.

Another one from a different angle.

The ErgoDox EZ on a tripod

From a different angle.

With this new EZ I have a tripod mounted Plover/QWERTY machine for use at home, and another one for my office at work. They’re excellent Plover machines and have the added benefits of being ergonomic and off the desktop.