Moonlander Keyboard (Mechanical) (Ergonomic) (Split) (Ortholinear)

Ah cool! I thought it might have been something to do with that packet that contains the keycaps ‘j’ ‘I’ ‘f’ (what are they for?)

I want one too! In fact I want to explore trying to customise the keyboard a bit as it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing keyboard in the world :laughing: If I had the chance I think I would jump at the chance to buy that Bear - sometimes a compromise in favour of aesthetics is worth it in my opinion :blush:

Love that pic - the oranges and blues are such a nice combo! (What lights are you using again? Phillips?)

Surprised that it’s almost as low as the Atreus. I’ll be curious to see what it looks like on my desk (I’m worried it’s going to be too big and take up too much space, tho it doesn’t look too big in your photos).

The ‘j’ and ‘f’ are without the homing bumps if you do not use qwerty. The one that looks like an ‘I’ is actually an extra blank. All the blanks have that slit to let the LED light through.

That is a gorgeous board. :heart_eyes:

The room lights are Philips. The light strip attached to the desk is from Vocolinc.

https://www.amazon.com/VOCOlinc-Multicolor-Adjustable-Assistant-SmartGlow/dp/B07QNNW1Y6

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I like the size quite well.

It’s much bigger than the Apple standard keyboard, although that is why I bought it.

The extra keycaps are so you can reorganize the layout with or without home row key bumps. I have experimented with QWERTY & Colemak, and I am trying to stick with Colemak. This post is the longest thing I have typed today! Here is my layout: https://configure.ergodox-ez.com/moonlander/layouts/4DRlQ/Qjowp/0

I will probably tweak it a lot before I am satisfied.

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Ah right… thanks! I forget about the bumps, they are barely noticeable on Apple keyboards :laughing:

I really want one :cry:

I’ve added them to my wish list. Although I’m not sure whether it would be a good idea for my desk as part of it is in front of a window :upside_down_face:

Yeah the Apple Keyboard is a bit on the small size, I hate how the arrow keys are so squashed (and dismayed they did the same with the new MBP keyboard).

I am going to try Colemal DHm as well I think. Your layout looks cool, keep us updated on any changes Brent! Wonder if it would be worth both you and @foxtrottwist creating a Journal (in our #community:journals section) on your experience with ortho/mechanical keyboards? I reckon that sort of thing is always interesting for others :nerd_face:

Looking at your pic, it does seem quite large. I wonder how useable it would be without the wrist rest and the two side/angle attachments? I was planning on using it like that in Qwerty first just to get used to it a bit - not sure whether that would be a good idea tho :thinking:

I tried QWERTY and found the ortholinear layout demands I re-learn everything anyway! :laughing:

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That’s exactly what I’m hoping for too Brent - might finally get me to proper touch type :rofl:

Not trollin <promise!> but that keyboard reminds me of oven gloves :joy: :relaxed:

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How are you getting on with your Moonlander folks?

Saw this which I thought you might find interesting…

I can’t get that out of my head now!!

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Ha I thought lobster :lobster: claws when I first saw it! :rofl:

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Great find, thanks! I finally got a chance to watch this video and I did find it both interesting and very helpful. I’m still getting use to the Moonlander. And though I have been enjoying it, I felt that it was 1) not friendly to smaller hands and 2) couldn’t quite get it into a comfortable position in general.

Now, I was working through these issues as there was an adjustment period for the Atreus as well. But I have to say this video propelled me quite a bit further in this regard. I had resisted moving the two halves further apart or rotating the halves, especially coming from the Atreus. Taking some cues from this video has solved a lot of issues for me.

Adjusting the position of the two halves has made it easier to reach the buttons on thumb clusters in addition to making my typing faster and more accurate in general. :slightly_smiling_face:

Here’s a pic of my current setup after watching the video.

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Yeah that was definitely an interesting video - I was actually planning on using it more like in the second photo of your post here! However I guess the further apart they are the more they need to be positioned the other way, as per that video and your latest pic.

Also for smaller hands don’t they advise raising the two thumb/side bits? Does that help for you at all?

It does make the keys on the thumb cluster closer but also (for me anyway} awkward to hit. Plus if possible I’d like to take advantage of the tenting.

I find that moving the two halves apart and rotating them outward is more comfortable overall and I am able hit all the keys more reliably. Maybe its not so much that my hands are smaller, but more that I just needed to position it correctly.


The measurement is approximate.

I can comfortably/naturally rest my thumb on the first key of the cluster. Easily reach the second. It’s a stretch to reach the third but very doable (at least now that I have repositioned the halves). That being said I still leave them blank in my layout. Technically I could reach all those before, but it didn’t feel good.

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It’s looking big again now :joy: does it feel big/oversized?

I really don’t want it to dominate my desk :confused: I am going to reserve judgement for now but think I might be happier with that Bear :shushing_face:

Please continue to keep us posted on how you’re getting on Law - I am enjoying reading your progress with it :smiley:

How are you getting on @brentjanderson?

Speaking as someone who has primarily used Mac keyboards over the past decade, it doesn’t feel oversized. Obviously nowhere near as thin or as small of a foot print as a Mac keyboard, but nonetheless still very reasonable. Especially for what it provides by way of comfort and the ability to customize the firmware and to an extent the hardware.

Remember, you can take off the wrist rest and the thumb clusters. And since you can put your mouse and in my case trackpad in-between the two halves (I find this adds to comfort as well) there is some savings in desk area there.

@AstonJ Is it the foot print that mainly concerns you?

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I think it’s that together with how it will ‘feel’ on my desk - i.e the aesthetics/feng shui. I have noticed quite a few times that when I have an untidy desk my productivity suffers, the untidier or more cramped it is the more I am affected! When everything is clear and tidy I work much better for some reason :confused:

It’s good to know that it doesn’t feel oversized for you as someone who’s used to Mac keyboards :smiley:

I just wish they’d hurry up and send me it now to put me out of my misery :rofl:

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Quite well - still deciding if I want to continue working on Colemak or stick to QWERTY. I have been using Colemak for a few minutes each day, gradually getting more and more practice in. I’m surprised at how quickly I have been able to pick it up enough to be useful.

I would say that it does occupy a fair amount of space on my desk, but I also don’t mind a messy workspace (and should probably do something about that).

My favorite parts have been:

  1. Caps lock is now backspace. This should just be default on any keyboard - when was Caps lock useful?
  2. The thumb clusters are surprisingly comfortable to me, and wonderfully useful. I miss them on my normal apple keyboard.
  3. Macros and customizing the layout. Having a 10 key, qwerty, colemak, and a function layer (including customizations for navigating slack, controlling mic and video in zoom, and browser tab navigation) has been awesome. Not to mention “shift cadet” (it sends a parenthesis when you tap the shift key).

The worst parts so far:

  1. I don’t know how much the ergonomics are helping yet. It’s nice to stretch out, but I’m still figuring out the right way to not tax my left wrist so much.
  2. The arrow keys - I’ve been so used to using the arrow keys along with command keys to navigate and edit documents. The arrow key placement isn’t natural on this, and I haven’t figured out a better place for them (maybe another layer with a different modifier). This has been tough enough for me that I installed Vim keybindings in VS Code to navigate around. Not sure if I’ll figure out the arrow keys or Vim bindings first!

I’m really pleased with it overall, though, and I really enjoy using this to get work done.

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Glad to things are going well. I’m still trying to figure placement for stuff. I feel like this might be a life long journey :sweat_smile:

Like you I was very used to navigating with the arrows keys even in… vim :see_no_evil::hear_no_evil::speak_no_evil: (I know, I know). Here’s my layout. I decided to add the arrow keys to their own layer with modifier buttons.

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Glad to hear you are enjoying it Brent! :+1:

If you’ve gotten quite used to it by just a few minutes a day I imagine it would become second nature if you made it your full time layout for a few weeks - well, according to @Dusty’s article anyway:

In the Colemak community, there is an approach called Tarmak, where you change only 3–4 letters at a time, progressing only after you have regained proficiency. This is not a bad approach, but the majority of successful switchers are in the cold-turkey club (myself included, 3 times). The way this works is that you find a period of several consecutive days where you can minimize commitments and you aren’t at work. This could be vacation time, a long weekend holiday, the grandparents are in town to watch the kids, you name it. You go after the layout in as full-time a manner as possible, and you try to hit 30 WPM. Many people can do this in just a couple days of dedicated practice. You then take your 30 WPM to work and grit your teeth through one tough week. After that, you relax, use the layout full-time, and the speed comes naturally. That’s it.

Try it, I dare you! :joy: :nerd_face:

Why is it impacting your left wrist?

I would do as Law has done:

I’ve heard people do that for numbers on ortholinear keyboards too - as they’re closer to numpads (something I miss from my old Apple keyboard!)

Don’t say that :rofl: I just want to get to something good without having to fiddle around too much :upside_down_face:

I’m leaning into it more, although I swap to QWERTY when someone else is waiting on a longer response to something.

The moonlander isn’t, I got this keyboard to help with wrist pain that had begun to develop.

@foxtrottwist - I am copying from that layout. What a great idea to put command keys on home row!

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I prefer linear home row arrows to cluster style (I use home position rather than Vim position). The argument for cluster is finger strength, I suppose, but I’ve been right arrowing with 5 for several years now, and it doesn’t bother me at all. I feel the same way about numbers—I prefer home row to numpad layout. When it comes to comfort, reducing finger movement seems to trump everything else for me. My layout for reference.

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