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I have not found an ideal keyboard. Therefore I would like to attempt to build my own.

I have a rough idea of how I would like it to work. It wouldn't be anything like a conventional keyboard. It would be more like the datahand than anything else. I figure I should start by purchasing keys/switches and try soldering them to the USB interface of a torn apart USB keyboard.

Am I on the right track? If so where can I purchase keys/switches? Anyone know any good tutorials that may help?

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What is your idea of an ideal keyboard? If you don't fancy the plethora of non-mechanical key-switch keyboards, perhaps you could give the mechanical key-switch keyboards a go. – ayaz Nov 29 '10 at 6:22
I really like the .com button that iphone has. Saved me quite a lot of time. Maybe a www. button can work too – Enrico Susatyo Nov 29 '10 at 11:29
My ideal keyboard would be one that allows me to use it with my hands and arms resting in any position I find most comfortable at the time; resting on my laptop, hanging down by my side. My left hand over here and my right hand over there. Standing up, reclining. The keyboard should be a more natural extension to my hands, not some rectangular device in front of me I must conform to giving me rsi. My vision is a glove like device which can be worn. Doesn't have to be pretty or something to improve typing speed. Just something which will be more comfortable for my long days at a keyboard. – chris Nov 29 '10 at 20:30
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Digikey - have fun - it's a very ambitious project.

One thing occurred to me regarding re-using the circuitry from an existing keyboard. It may be tuned to the particular characteristics of the switches used in the original for things like debounce, etc. I don't know how much of a difference that will make, but it's something to keep in mind.

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Thank you Dennis. That does get me going. I suppose there could be many complications along the way. My hope is that the complexity is in a similar level as this usb keyboard hack: – chris Nov 29 '10 at 20:32

Could you prototype it by using some of the keys on a conventional keyboard and trying out the drivers you'll need to write. That way all the electronics to scan the keypresses is in place & if you like it you can take it to the next level.

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