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Lynx CAT

The Lynxware CAT is a set of split input devices built with mouse switches, open sourced by Ape_Devil of Lynxware.

KBD.news
Published January 25, 2024
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Stanislaw Kirpicnikow aka Ape_Devil's original cat project ("gamepad or shortcut-tool") was featured back in 2021, but he apparently made good progress with this pretty unique family of input devices, turning the CAT into a full-fledged split keyboard on steroids.

According to the author, the Lynxware CAT is a computer input device with different modules, which, together with the software provided, is a flexible system that accommodates the individual needs of any user.

Pic:

The board sports mouse switches with 3D printed blank caps by the way, so it's for touch typers. In addition, it may act as a keyboard-mouse, similar to projects like the Lapa, Mouseky, Dichotomy, etc.

The best thing about the CATs? They are available both as open source for the more tech-savvy folks and as prebuilt products for the less DIY-minded.

Specs

  • 42-62 keys, columnar layout
  • mouse switches
  • BPI-Leaf-S3 controller (ESP32-S3)
  • 3D printed case
  • optional joystick, horizontal encoder, mouse, gyroscope

Replaceable modules make this tool very versatile: joystick, scroll wheel, mouse, gyroscope can be added on demand.

E.g. you can have a thumb module with a joystick or an all-key version with 11 buttons:

Pic:

The finger modules come with 20 keys per half, or 17 if you'd like to swap the inner column for a roller encoder.

Pic:

Other than that, additional parts like the mouse or gyroscope module, and exchangeable palm supports in different sizes make this system even more flexible:

Pic:

On my set up I have a mouse in the right and a gyroscope in the left device. […] Gyro is there just to flex but keyboard and mouse in one is awesome, but I am obviously biased – Stanislaw.

The brain of the CAT is a Banana Pi, the low-powered BPI-Leaf-S3 development board with ESP32-S3 MCU.

As the software, the author made (and open sourced) LYNXapp, a Python based multilingual interface for setting up your CAT.

Pic:

As of my understanding, the originally Arduino based firmware is written using PaltformIO (setup tutorial).

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Published on Thu 25th Jan 2024. Featured in KBD #152.


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