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    Vortex Race 3?

    • Started by stratacast1
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    • Registered: 13-Jan-2018
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    I am considering the Vortex Race 3 keyboard as my next keyboard if I can convince myself that I need it over my Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S PBT..I like it because it has the Colemak layout built in, and it looks like it has some programmable functionality if I want to set up Mod-DH on it. I majorly want it for the 75% layout, built in Colemak, and I am considering going back to MX Blue switches from Brown, as I find I like typing on Brown more, but the keystroke is too light for me (I have a heavy keystroke so I inadvertently hit keys sometimes, not so much the case on MX Blues). I was wondering if anyone uses this keyboard, what their thoughts are on the keyboard itself, DSA-style keycaps, or if they have alternatives with the 75% style layout as this one does, even if they aren't DSA-style keycaps

    https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/in … ail&p=2447

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    The problem with built-in Colemak is that it will be built-in vanilla Colemak – no ergo mods, no Extend etc. That won't quite do these days... ;-)

    If I were to buy a new board these days, I'd make sure it was TMK/QMK compatible so I could do pretty much whatever I wanted with it.

    Last edited by DreymaR (27-Mar-2018 08:28:52)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    It's nice to see Colemak being sufficiently recognised that some keyboards are starting to come with it being built in. But ultimately I agree with DreymaR: it doesn't mean very much in practise as I'd also need all the other bells and whistles I've come to rely on. Living without Extend at this point would seem like some kind of perverse hell imposed as punishment for terrible crimes committed in numerous past lives.

    That keyboard looks nice and is a good as a full featured yet portable unit. But nowadays, I could never again buy a keyboard with a stupidly long space bar.

    Last edited by stevep99 (27-Mar-2018 09:55:07)

    Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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    stevep99 said:

    Living without Extend at this point would seem like some kind of perverse hell imposed as punishment for terrible crimes committed in numerous past lives.

    I'm so stealing that.

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    I'm still gutted that I never experienced the joy of extend, but I believe it is because I already have the joy of emacs

    I don't believe it makes sense to have both - it would be cognitive and motor overload?

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    I think the extend discussion is quite unrelated (you can implement extend and ergo mods on any layout?), and we should welcome any recognizition Colemak is getting with hardware implementations like this, rather than waving it away.

    That being said, this keyboard looks really nice.  Does anyone have experience with it?

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    Oh, I do welcome the recognition! I just wouldn't have any use for such a board. It's programmable, but probably not enough for my needs. So it falls between chairs.

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    But would you use it with Qwerty scancodes?

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    bph said:

    I'm still gutted that I never experienced the joy of extend, but I believe it is because I already have the joy of emacs

    I wonder if it would be possible to create a Emacs-like Extend implementation? I've only had very limited experience of Emacs, and don't know how its aficionados use it, so I can't really judge.

    Last edited by stevep99 (27-Mar-2018 16:00:17)

    Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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    in linux there is the ability to make other apps behave like they understand emacs key bindings but its a bit hit and miss

    I constantly mix up key bindings outside of emacs with emacs ones (but never the other way round for some reason)

    all the stuff you can do with extend has an emacs equivalent - so it would be agony  to maintain in your brain

    a bit like being equally fluent in qwerty and colemak, i.e. rare..

    plus, emacs sucks up all the good extend layer enabler keys

    Last edited by bph (27-Mar-2018 16:13:17)
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    Thank you all for the input! I am looking at programmability as a requirement, otherwise it won't be too much different than my current one. I'm also curious about DSA keycaps. I think it's cool that all the caps are uniform in shape and size so they can be moved around the keyboard. Added bonus if I feel like having the layout properly printed on the right keys (which would be great for those moments of finger-pecking). To what DreymaR said about TMK/QMK, I've found that it's really only DIY kits that support that. Which is fine, I actually am considering that route too to make an even greater excuse to get a new keyboard haha. I really like the 75% layout though, and I see the KDB75, but I think the price will be too high ($155 for kit, $60ish for switches, $60-$100 for PBT caps)...plus it looks kinda fat. And I'm curious about the Preonic looks good, but I just couldn't see myself missing all those keys for things like gaming...maybe I could get used to it otherwise. White Fox looks good, but again, missing function keys (and apparently the super key isn't really a super key, but used to access different layers, bummer for GNOME desktop usage, more than likely changeable though), so...touch decision. If anyone has other keyboard recommendations that'd be great!

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    bph said:

    in linux there is the ability to make other apps behave like they understand emacs key bindings but its a bit hit and miss

    I constantly mix up key bindings outside of emacs with emacs ones (but never the other way round for some reason)

    all the stuff you can do with extend has an emacs equivalent - so it would be agony  to maintain in your brain

    a bit like being equally fluent in qwerty and colemak, i.e. rare..

    plus, emacs sucks up all the good extend layer enabler keys

    Yeah, emacs is great... ...as long as I have evil-mode activated ;) I don't know I'm mostly using emacs now lately, but I can do editing so much faster with evil than I ever could with the modifiier heaviness of the standard keybinds.

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    ghen said:

    But would you use it with Qwerty scancodes?

    • ANSI only?!?
    • Dedicated arrow keys I don't need (well, they could be remapped but they aren't in a good position for that to be useful)
    • Programmable but not in a useful way to me
    • Comes with Colemak but not Colemak-CAW
    • No Extend (well, duh, but still)

    Nah, I wouldn't. I'd get a non-programmable or properly programmable board. As I said, it falls between chairs for me. To get Colemak-CAW+Extend out of any USB keyboard I use my TMK QUICKIE device.

    Interestingly, the scan codes aren't QWERTY. They're just keyboard scan codes. It's the OS that make an actual layout out of them, QWERTY or otherwise. For instance, the virtual key codes don't come from the keyboard but from the OS. ;-)

    So in theory, remapping the scan codes of a keyboard is "cheating". But hey, it works so I'm not complaining.

    Last edited by DreymaR (28-Mar-2018 09:27:34)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    DreymaR said:

    • ANSI only?!?

    Who the heck would make an ANSI only keyboard?

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    Any keyboard can be made arbitrary programmable with a USB-USB remaper (Quickie). So limited programmable keyboards are not very useful I think - better to buy a non-programmable one and use with either software remapping or a USB remapper.

    I think 60%-ish is generally about the right size.

    Keycaps with same profile would be interesting for those of us who still want the labels in the right place. I've never used such a keyboard so I don't know what tactile effect it has?

    Last edited by stevep99 (28-Mar-2018 10:05:05)

    Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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    I'm not entirely sold on 60%. Mainly because I game still and it'd be weird to go modifier + Fx or whatever. Kinda why I want 75%. I could go with a TKL again. I've never tried keycaps of the same size and shape before either...but I'm curious. People say they prefer them over OEM or Cherry caps, but it's all subjective. I do have a certain company of a certain name in my backyard who makes keycaps. Maybe they'd let me try something on site if they do that. What's this remapper that you speak of?

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    I owned a 60% and try as I might, I couldn't grow to like it

    They look cool but man are they cramped compared to something a bit more traditional

    I'm currently on full size rubber dome and all things considered (i.e. inc. price) its the best option for me

    It works, its wireless, its spacious, its very good value and (dare I say it) mechanical switches are vastly over-rated

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    stratacast1 said:

    What's this remapper that you speak of?

    One of these. They are great for emergencies / using other people's setups.

    Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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    Skim my USB-2USB Big Bag topic to see some nice QUICKIE remapper options.

    Last edited by DreymaR (29-Mar-2018 17:56:08)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    Hmmm interesting options for the future! I decided to pull the trigger on the Vortex Race 3. LOVE it!

    I went with Cherry MX Clear switches, which are heavier keys and have a bit more of a tactile bump compared to MX Browns. They are also alarmingly more quiet in comparison. This is actually a board I'd be happy taking into public areas and not feel bad about being loud :) I also think I like DSA style keycaps more than OEM style keycaps. So now at this point I'm getting used to having my Home, Insert, Delete, etc. keys being in different locations. This keyboard was also easy peasy at setting up MOD-DH on a layer. So now I have default QWERTY, Colemak, and I am learning MOD-DH now as I type this :) which, I still have troubles with B and V hehe

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    Get Extend, and you'll never worry about Home/Ins/Del/etc placements again! ;-)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    DreymaR said:

    Get Extend, and you'll never worry about Home/Ins/Del/etc placements again! ;-)

    If I'm seeing this right, you're basically turning the capslock key into a modifier so you can have access to all those extended keys right at the home row area?

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    Yes. It's similar to the Fn layer of some keyboards. But the true power of it lies in the home row modifiers that allow comfortable chording. Read about it in my Extend topic.

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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