Discussion:
[lopsa-tech] Bluetooth keybaords
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Dan Ritter
2017-06-06 00:10:06 UTC
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I started a new job last week (yay!) and I'm trying to improve my work
setup. The new work desktop is running Ubuntu 16.04 (not my first choice,
but usable) and I'm trying to get a good wireless keyboard set up. The
Lenovo wireless I have isn't terrible, but it's not all that great either.
I spent time trying to get my Varmilo VB87M to pair with no success. The
only machine I've ever gotten to pair was a friend's MacBook Pro.
So, I would like to be able to pair my existing nice keyboard, or I'm
looking for suggestions on good 87-key keyboards, preferably with mechanical
switches. What do the wizards of LOPSA recommend?
My main suggestion is to start by finding the keyboard you
really want to type on, and then figure out how to connect it.

Since you have a keyboard you like, and it isn't working with the built-in
bluetooth, try an external USB bluetooth adapter. They typically run
under $15, and tend to be instantly supported by modern Linux.

-dsr-
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John Stoffel
2017-06-06 02:02:14 UTC
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Matt> I started a new job last week (yay!) and I'm trying to improve
Matt> my work setup. The new work desktop is running Ubuntu 16.04
Matt> (not my first choice, but usable) and I'm trying to get a good
Matt> wireless keyboard set up. The Lenovo wireless I have isn't
Matt> terrible, but it's not all that great either. I spent time
Matt> trying to get my Varmilo VB87M to pair with no success. The
Matt> only machine I've ever gotten to pair was a friend's MacBook
Matt> Pro.

Matt> So, I would like to be able to pair my existing nice keyboard,
Matt> or I'm looking for suggestions on good 87-key keyboards,
Matt> preferably with mechanical switches. What do the wizards of
Matt> LOPSA recommend?

I've been really happy with my CODE keyboard from WASDkeyboards.com,
so much so that I have one for work and one for home. An ex-coworker
is a little bit upset with me since I lent him one and he ended up
getting one as well. And possibly a second.

Personally, I don't care for wireless since they just want more and
more batteries, but that's just my feeling, not a strong suggestion.
But seeing as how you're having problems... a corded one isn't bad.

I do wish the CODE was equipped with a row of function keys on the
LEFT side in a vertical arrangement. Makes it a little wider, but
since the mouse is on the right and it's a 10keyless model, I'd be
happy. Even putting a volume knob on that side would be nice as well.

And I'm a lefty who can only use a righty mouse. Strange.

John
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waz0wski
2017-06-12 00:24:04 UTC
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Filco makes good mechanical keyboards w/ Cherry MX switches
The Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 Tenkeyless[1] might work for you.
Looks like you can purchase from mechanicalkeyboards.com[2] or keyboardco[3] with your switch-of-choice


Some other BT-enabled TKL mech boards you can search for:
- Varmilo VB87M
- KB87

Alternatively, depending on how involved you want to get, you could scrounge up one of the ez-key 1.2 devices from adafruit to convert any HID device to use Bluetooth -- here's an example buikd w/ a Model M[4]

Here's a couple other self-made usb-hid<->bluetooth adapters
http://hackaday.com/2016/09/04/convert-any-usb-keyboard-to-bluetooth/
https://imgur.com/a/TJrMv


[1] http://www.diatec.co.jp/en/det.php?prod_c=2642
[2] https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=2024
[3] http://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard/filco-convertible-2-tenkeyless-tactile-action-usa-ascii-keyboards.asp
[4] https://learn.adafruit.com/convert-your-model-m-keyboard-to-bluetooth-with-bluefruit-ez-key-hid/overview
I'm picky about how I set up my workstation. I bought longer DisplayPort and USB3 cables so I can move the guts off of my desk. I also dislike dragging keyboard and mouse cable across my desk. And, I'm a righty who uses a mouse left handed.
So, I really would like to find a good wireless tenkeyless keyboard. Bluetooth preferred since I already have a bluetooth dongle plugged in to the front of the machine. The Lenovo keyboard I'm currently using has a ten key pad, a mediocre feel, and uses another RF dongle.
-- Matt
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