Georgi: 75$ Fully Assembled 20% With 20g Chocs

Holy! It's been a busy few days!
Check these out!





If you haven't heard I've been working on a economical keyboard for use with plover. It's small, compact, modern and ready to go with 20g Kailh Chocs. Blue PCB and either white or black keys. Fully assembled, tested and loaded with a firmware.

Form factor will be similar to the black Gergo in those images (same depth, different pcb size) with the USB connector on the left hand side. Artwork on the back is a dithered tesselation of birds. The switches are Kailh Low Profile Linears, spring swapped out for 20G Chocs from Sprits store! These are literally lightest spring available for chocs (Spirit is working on pushing that bar even lower!).

With a boatload of help from Stenoknight, Thomas Baart, Ted The French Wizard, Charley and everyone hanging around the Plover discord server this wouldn't have been possible. Extra thanks to Ted for printing a billion keyboard designs all week and helping me lay this out for stenographers! If you're interested in joining the preorder you can find [all that on my store!](https://www.gboards.ca/product/georgi)

But Georgi is a little bit different then your typical steno board, it has columnar stagger. is optimized for height, uses a split design and uses QMK. As with any design there are tradeoffs, so I thought I'd explain them here.

QMK: This firmware has been widely accepted by the keyboard community and has every feature under the sun. It's already used by SOFT/HRUF, supports Gemini and Bolt and is in all respects, fantastic. If you want to change anything with your Georgi, you can do it! We're working on getting web config support going for even easier customisation.

Columnar stagger: Many ortholinear boards have adopted a slight vertical stagger to accommodate the natural stagger of the hand. This is a very ergonomic setup even though it deviates from the proper ortholinear grid used by most steno boards. This layout has been adopted by many DIY boards over the past few years and it is a proven design. The stagger is slight enough that it does not interfere with pressing multiple keys. The TDSZ keys are not staggered for easier tapping.

Dimensions: Because a majority of plover users are using it for non professional use (I think, I'm still getting into steno sorry) having a traditional layout is less  important then comfort and size. Georgi is tiny and will literally fit into your pocket! To facilitate a fallback QWERTY mode, easier configuration and a as yet to be designed case the layout is symmetrical, this also gives a few extra keys to play with for QMK. The lack of a number bar is replaced with a thumb key (much like the TinyMod).

Keycaps: Instead of using G20 caps or custom laser cut toppers, Georgi uses Blank Choc 1us. In addition to bringing down the price these caps are very very square. We've brought them in to reduce the gaps even more and inverted the upper row as there's a very slight lip. The availability of commodity parts is a good feature for longevity.

Switches: Stenography requires light switches, I've been using 20g springs from Spirit since before I undertook this project, it's good to see that the community has started adopting and learning to spring swap! The downside is there are no commodity chocs under 50g, but thankfully Spirit carries 20g choc springs. **As such every Georgi comes with their springs already swapped out and ready for steno**. We're also in talks with Sprit to try pushing that even lower, he is eager to begin testing 5-15g chocs! Georgi is also compatible with MX and ALPS switches if you have a personal preference that you'd like to install. Due to the current offerings of caps, Georgi is designed to use many 1us in place of other sized keys.

Cost: While you can do steno with many boards, I though having another option focused on being low cost would be good for those exploring steno. This has driven many of the design choices made. As opposed to a kit instead this is ready to use with a sane default firmware to increase the audience that has access to it.

Split Design: Like any split board the sides can be moved around, twisted, tented, rotated and all that fun stuff. This increase the ergonomics of the whole device with one downside. Instead of having a single column for *, you now have four different options (by default all of them).

Let me know any questions you might have, It's being sent off to fab shortly but will be available for purchase with my other boards for the future.


PREORDER HERE


Georgi: It fits in your pocket!
-- Germ

3 comments:

  1. Are the large rectangular keys the vowels? Can I remove all non Steno keys or will that hurt functionality?

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  2. These are preorders; what's your sense of when you expect to ship? Weeks? Months?

    ReplyDelete