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Most narrow keyboard available of any kind? My ideas so far.

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:37 pm
by Jason_25
I have been searching for keyboards to use in a pocket device. ... b+keyboard
This is a Pocket PC clip on keyboard that may use USB internally but would needs to be partially disassembled for sure. See the pinout here:
This shows USB data connections but I'm not sure if the keyboard internally uses the USB HID protocol or not. ... o+keyboard
This may work but is expensive, rare and may be somehow Iphone-only.
This is bluetooth and battery powered but is almost perfect otherwise. I could setup bluetooth keyboard auto-connect and wire the battery leads to my main battery as a solution. Unfortunately it seems sold out right now and I could only see a few questionable retailers to buy it from. If nothing else I might get a prepaid card and buy one of these from a few different places in the hopes that I actually receive one some day.

Things like this look like they would fit the bill but they don't: ... h+keyboard
This is actually a huge 4.5" wide clunky keyboard. The ones above are all in the 3 inch range and smaller.

By the way, the reason it seems like many of these don't exist is Blackberry. They strongarmed the Typo keyboard manufacturers into never making another keyboard. Even though they were far from the first people to envision a mobile device with a keyboard on the front. See the Dynabook:

Thanks for any input you can give, so to speak.

Re: Most narrow keyboard available of any kind? My ideas so far.

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:31 pm
by Ronaldlees
input you can give

Well, I have a "pazzport sized" keyboard that is without bluetooth. I don't recommend non-bluetooth in a crowded area, or in an area with neighbors. Using a non-bt keyboard one day, my terminal was taken over and somebody (unknown) - was probing my subnet with the ping utility. He/she may have been using his/her own wireless keyboard device, not realizing he/she was executing the ping utility on my machine, but it was surreal watching somebody else type into my terminal. I put all the simple no-auth/low-crypt/no-crypt keyboards away for another day (eventually they'll be OK to use).

Re: Most narrow keyboard available of any kind? My ideas so far.

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:22 pm
by Jason_25
I have the larger USB Pazzport with the integrated trackpad which works nice but is too large. I think there is a wireless and Bluetooth version of most of their items with the exception of this very small keyboard.

I have since found some Chinese clones of the Typo keyboard and I managed to also get a Typo 1. No luck on the tiny Pazzport. I also did not want to gamble on the Pocket PC stuff since it would require some pretty heavy modifications if it worked at all. Finally, I found some keychain sized Bluetooth game controllers and those work really well even when taken apart to be even smaller.

Someone really needs to make a tiny keyboard with a USB interface. Bluetooth is definitely awkward to use when you are integrating the device straight into a portable. Not just because of security as you have pointed out but it bothers me having two batteries, a fragile wireless connection and increased power usage compared to USB. Additionally, tiny keyboards are just not one of those things you can make yourself. My paranoid mind says that these are not available not just because of patent lawsuits but because they would enable someone to actually build a device that is better than a current smartphone. We can't be having that.

Re: Most narrow keyboard available of any kind? My ideas so far.

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:33 pm
by Ronaldlees
I'm glad you found what you were looking for. The Pazzport size is already a little smaller than my old fingers can operate, so I'm not looking to go even smaller :-)

But, I could envision a DIY keyboard that would be really small. It'd be just two pieces of tinned-hole prototype PCB board with little springs (likely found on Amazon) - between them and little plastic plungers with stop bars thru them. It would be about 1.5x2 inches or less (depending on how many keys you'd want). The interface could be anything - a traditional 8051 or just straight GPIO - and would'nt be BT or wireless.