Building a FW device into a desk?!

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Building a FW device into a desk?!

Postby TorbenGB » 09 Dec 2015, 13:38

I was just reviewing the material I have for my last remaining FW device -- a DigiTouch/MacNTouch -- and the thought struck me:

What if I cut a recess into my desk that perfectly matches the DigiTouch surface?

I'm thinking I'd have to use a router like this one to route a rectangular recess into my desk. Then I would take the MacNTouch out of its DigiTouch enclosure and drop it into that recess. I would put the USB cable through a small hole and connect it to an extension underneath the desk.

Assuming that I could even do this job in a halfway decent manner, it would be immensely cool to have a touch console completely flat with the desk surface!

Has anybody done this before?

Image (but obviously a matching shape!)
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Re: Building a FW device into a desk?!

Postby Meesters » 10 Dec 2015, 22:56

Not yet. I thought about it though but with the recess on the bottom of the desk. Making use of the capacitive function of the keyboard you could operate it by typing/gesturing on your desk. In this way you make the desk a keyboard. But this is going to be very difficult I think and you need something to display the letters.

I did make an Ergodex (keyboard like device) in my desk also using a router. I do not have anymore experience with a router than this. Because the Ergodex uses induction I put an opaque glass plate between the buttons and the base (receiver). So the routing did not had to be that precise because you can't see the carving. Making the corners just right is going to be difficult I think.

Keep us posted.
Last edited by Meesters on 11 Dec 2015, 17:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Building a FW device into a desk?!

Postby TorbenGB » 11 Dec 2015, 09:33

I remember the Ergodex - I thought it was a cool idea! Did you make any photos of your build?

I have absolutely zero experience with using a router (the woodworking kind) and I would probably ask a friend for help. I think the corners would have to be hand-carved but the real trick is to make the edges nice when the desk is not made of solid wood but rather some IKEA style material. It'll probably be ugly as hell... but then again, I'm offering my DigiTouch for sale so it might remain a thought experiment. I don't know ... I'm torn!
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Re: Building a FW device into a desk?!

Postby Meesters » 15 Jan 2016, 23:30

Here are some pictures.

DSCF0121.JPG


This is the Ergodex with the top part, bottom part and the sensor board. At the back is the glass plate that is going on top. The top part has the keys that can be placed on the glass.

DSCF0124.JPG


This is the desk with a piece cut out with a router. The board go´s into the recess where there is also a hole for the usb cable. The glass plate is placed on top of this.

Did you decide already if you are going to make something with your Digitouch?
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Re: Building a FW device into a desk?!

Postby TorbenGB » 16 Jan 2016, 09:49

Meesters wrote:Did you decide already if you are going to make something with your Digitouch?
Thanks for those photos, it looks like a nice fit!

I didn't decide to make it. I've put it in the marketplace, haven't gotten around to Ebay yet. As useful as the DigiTouch is, my biggest challenge is that I don't use the US layout and I miss some international characters - I find that even the printed layout doesn't fully match and I can never find the backslash. Bottom line is that I don't really use it and it should go to a home where it gets more appreciation.
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Re: Building a FW device into a desk?!

Postby The00Dustin » 18 Jan 2016, 12:13

TorbenGB wrote:As useful as the DigiTouch is, my biggest challenge is that I don't use the US layout and I miss some international characters - I find that even the printed layout doesn't fully match and I can never find the backslash. Bottom line is that I don't really use it and it should go to a home where it gets more appreciation.
I don't know if I've said this to you before, so at the risk of repeating myself, and especially if it could be helpful to an interested buyer in your locale, you may be able to work around one or both of those issues. For instance, if the DigiTouch is reprogrammable with the same utilities the other FingerWorks devices were, then you could probably fix the layout to match your computer with some effort. Alternatively, assuming the layout doesn't match because you are using a non-US English layout, you could switch to the "US - International" layout. This would presumably make the backslash line up right while simultaneously giving you access to many international characters. For instance '+a gives me á and '+A gives me Á while `+a gives me à and etc. ~ and ^ and " also have this behavior for certain letters, and many symbols are also served with CTRL+ALT and CTRL+ALT+SHIFT, for instance CTRL+ALT+S gives me ß and CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+Z gives me Æ. This is in Windows, and there are some characters I can't get with this layout in Windows, like ń (used charmap to get that), but I think the "US - International" layout in Linux is even more effective.
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Re: Building a FW device into a desk?!

Postby TorbenGB » 18 Jan 2016, 14:15

The00Dustin wrote:
TorbenGB wrote:if the DigiTouch is reprogrammable with the same utilities the other FingerWorks devices were
Oh absolutely; it's simply the good odl MacNTouch device in a plastic case and an USB cable attached.

My challenge is that I have a Dvorak layout on it (and I have a loose US Qwerty sticker I could use instead) and neither of these fully meet my international requirements (admittedly, it's a mouthful: æøåÆØÅäöüÄÖÜß), and the US Int'l is nice for occasional use but really a hassle for everyday use.

Even if all of that was not a problem, the fact remains that I didn't use my TSLP a lot anyway - so in the end it seems that I am not really wired for zero-force typing. I will sell it if a buyer shows up - on Ebay it'll surely get sold, I just need to get around to it.
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