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Trackpoint shield for splits

Holykeebs offers various popular splits with a trackpoint module.

KBD.news
Published August 12, 2023
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Holykeeb's Idan introduced a new trackpoint module and offers some popular split keyboards like Corne with MX and Choc spacing, and also Sweep, with this new option.

So after the trackball Corne and Sweep here are the trackpoint versions.

My obsession with compact keyboards and pointing devices continues. After going down the trackball rabbit hole and trying various layouts, I wanted to try the ol' faithful trackpoint.[…] after some trial and error, I found a decent setup that packages these to "modules" with the controller and pointing stick sandwiched together so they can be easily added to split keyboards that have a top mounted controller – Idan.

The trackpoint module takes the stock Sprintek SK6707-06, commonly found in Lenovo ThinkPads, and breaks it out to a convenient device to use in DIY keyboards, making the integration easier. It is split to two small PCBs: a sensor + pointing stick that is soldered on top of the microcontroller for easy index finger usage, and a driver that can be hidden below the keyboard PCB. The two connect with a 6 or 11 cm FFC cable.

Pic:

The module is compatible with any keyboard that takes a Pro Micro or similar controller: in addition to VCC and GND, it requires two GPIO pins to function.

Idan found that the position is pretty good for index finger usage and requires minimal stretch. If you've used a trackpoint in the past, you can expect similar movement and sensitivity. Compared to the Pimoroni trackball, the movement is more predictable and smooth, but "really it's a different style because it needs constant force to move".

QMK's mouse keys can be used for mouse clicks, and other customizations such as scrolling mode are also easily doable.

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Published on Sat 12th Aug 2023. Featured in KBD #131.


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