Random Characters get typed

Comments specifically about the keyboard devices.

Moderator: The00Dustin

Random Characters get typed

Postby personwholives » 31 Mar 2011, 00:07

Whenever I am using my touchstream lately, I get a lot of random keypresses. And not just while typing. Sometimes while I don't even have my hands on the keyboard. When it starts happening, even the backspace key produces some random letter or number. This is starting to bug me. Generally, the letters that are typed at random come from the left side of the keyboard, and are intermittent. Unplugging the keyboard or doing a palm reset usually makes the problem go away for a while, but it always seems to come back. The diagnostics don't show any errors.

This board has had issues with the ribbon cable in the past, though these have been resolved, and is on a custom stand which is a bit flimsy. I can try changing anything that might help track down the issue. I really would hate this board to die, though I suppose I could try and use it for parts to fix another board, if it came down to that. Any thoughts?
personwholives
Hang-around
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 07 Feb 2011, 23:42

Re: Random Characters get typed

Postby TorbenGB » 01 Apr 2011, 10:16

My work TSLP acts similarly. I have to "palm" it several times daily. It seems to be mostly a question of static, and sensitivity to electromagnetic fields.

I found that removing other nearby cables helped. I have a regular keyboard on my desk as well and when I place it in front of the TSLP then the keyboard's cable hovers over the TSLP, often causing erratic behaviour. I also moved my cell phone away a bit, just to the end of the desk instead of right next to the keyboard. Also, when I've been walking in the office (we have carpeting), the TSLP is not very cooperative until I palm it.
TorbenGB - webmaster & forum admin
User avatar
TorbenGB
Site Admin
 
Posts: 518
Joined: 26 Apr 2005, 00:07
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: Random Characters get typed

Postby The00Dustin » 01 Apr 2011, 10:45

I try to always ground myself before touching my TSLP, both to limit this and to prevent being grounded to (and frying) one of the sensitive chips in the TSLP. That said, mine might have been doing some pretty random input yesterday, but I'm pretty sure it's weather and static related. I seldom get random stuff out of mine, and when I do, it's usually just a small amount, and not necessarily when it's being touched, but yesterday it was definitely when being touched (but not typed on). It was almost like it was picking up gestures that weren't being done. I reset mine at work fairly often when the mouse functions start acting weird (using two fingers with index as click, pinky as right click, and thumb as middle click starts to give me right click no matter what), but I attribute this to static buildup too, and sometimes a 5x palm to reset works, but I usually just go ahead and unplug and replug.
The00Dustin
Grizzled Veteran
 
Posts: 183
Joined: 28 Apr 2005, 22:07

Re: Random Characters get typed

Postby TorbenGB » 01 Apr 2011, 13:18

I have my "mouse" set that way too and I see the same effects, plus when typing then random wrong characters are produced.

How are you grounding yourself? I have no useful metal parts (like a radiator I could touch) near my work desk.
TorbenGB - webmaster & forum admin
User avatar
TorbenGB
Site Admin
 
Posts: 518
Joined: 26 Apr 2005, 00:07
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: Random Characters get typed

Postby personwholives » 01 Apr 2011, 15:31

I usually ground myself on the computer case or the metal shelving unit. However, this morning when I walked into my office, I noticed that the unlock dialog was displayed on my computer with two random characters in it. My office was still locked, so it's not like someone else typed them or anything. As I was approaching, the escape key must have been hit, as the dialog went away. But still, that's a little weird. Could have been interference from one of the other devices on my desk I suppose, but I doubt it.... I guess I'll try moving my headphones and other things away from it....
personwholives
Hang-around
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 07 Feb 2011, 23:42

Re: Random Characters get typed

Postby The00Dustin » 01 Apr 2011, 17:08

I also ground myself to my computer. In my office, my computer's case has a lot of plastic, so I reach to the back of it (and often get shocked, making me glad I didn't forget that time).
The00Dustin
Grizzled Veteran
 
Posts: 183
Joined: 28 Apr 2005, 22:07

Re: Random Characters get typed

Postby personwholives » 06 Apr 2011, 21:01

I've been having fewer random key presses since I cleaned the board, but I'm still having the occasional issue with it. The difference is that now they're only coming from the top left side of the board, esc and 1-5, mostly. These keys are also less responsive when I type, which is starting to worry me some more. I'm occasionally getting random noisy sensors on the left side of the board as well. Since all the problems are on the left side, I'm wondering if this could still be a cable issue. Either way, I've had to switch to a more reliable board at work (my only fully functional one), and I'll have to spend some time this weekend trying to get one of my other two boards working for use at home.

I decided to rerun the diagnostics to see what it said, and this is my new result:
Code: Select all
Diagnostic Report for TouchStream ST/LP  ver 1.6:
ERROR: Left Sensor Mux Malfunctioning (Bits 0x1)
ERROR: Found 80 bad sensors
ERROR:    Run Diagnostics again, keeping surface free of hands and liquids.
ERROR:    If sensor ERRORs persist, contact support@fingerworks.com
  Sometimes cleaning fluids or hands on surface can temporarily
   cause a few false-positive High/Low/Noisy sensor readings below.
  However, blocks of 16 or more H/L/N sensors indicate
   hardware failure that must be repaired at the factory.
  |0      |8      |16     |24     |32     |40     |48     |56     |64     |72     |80     
0 HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH------------------------------------------
1 HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH------------------------------------------
2 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
b ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
c ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
d ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
e ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
f ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loaded 1243 Key/Gesture Mappings SUCCESFULLY
    Keymatrix#: 32
Testing Complete.
personwholives
Hang-around
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 07 Feb 2011, 23:42

Re: Random Characters get typed

Postby nomaded » 11 Apr 2011, 21:56

I would suggest cleaning the typing/pointing surface again. I have found that cleaning them helps with stray static that seems to show up in the spring and in the fall.
@nomaded

TouchStream Mini - February 26, 2002 - Sold
TouchStream Stealth - March 18, 2002 - Windows 7 Ultimate (home)
TouchStream MacNTouch (white) - July 23, 2003 - Retired
TouchStream LP - March 31, 2004 - In storage
TouchStream MacNTouch (silver) - December 1, 2004 - In storage
Stenovations Digitouch (dvorak) - 2007 - Windows 7 Ultimate (work)
Stenovations Digitouch (dvorak) - 2007 - In storage
nomaded
Smarty Pants
 
Posts: 131
Joined: 27 Apr 2005, 04:11
Location: MA

Postby personwholives » 12 Apr 2011, 17:04

I tried that, not much luck. I'm going to take it home, where I might be able to work with it a bit better, hopefully. And if not, I guess I'll have to see what I can do about fixing another board.
personwholives
Hang-around
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 07 Feb 2011, 23:42

Re: Random Characters get typed

Postby The00Dustin » 13 Apr 2011, 00:53

I'm not certain, but it seems like a bad ribon cable has been the cause of that particular section being faulty more often than not. However, it could also by that the chip used to communicate between the two boards got zapped (I'm thinking that when it gets zapped the entire left half dies, but again, I'm not sure).
The00Dustin
Grizzled Veteran
 
Posts: 183
Joined: 28 Apr 2005, 22:07

Re: Random Characters get typed

Postby dongadoy » 14 Apr 2011, 20:37

After having lost two TouchStreams likely to static zaps, I've trained myself to touch a grounded wire when returning to my keyboard. So far so good.
Touchstream LP since 1 Oct 2003
I was snow.surfer in the old world.
dongadoy
Regular
 
Posts: 32
Joined: 08 Mar 2006, 14:36

Re: Random Characters get typed

Postby personwholives » 18 Apr 2011, 20:20

The00Dustin wrote:I'm not certain, but it seems like a bad ribon cable has been the cause of that particular section being faulty more often than not. However, it could also by that the chip used to communicate between the two boards got zapped (I'm thinking that when it gets zapped the entire left half dies, but again, I'm not sure).


Yeah, I was considering replacing the ribbon cable in that unit anyway. Figure I'll make a longer one to give me more positioning options, and also see if that helps with the issue. As I said before, this board has had some ribbon cable issues in the past.
personwholives
Hang-around
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 07 Feb 2011, 23:42


Return to Keyboards: TouchStream, MacNTouch, Digitouch, Mini

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron