Keyboard case, v1.0

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by johnmcd, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. johnmcd

    johnmcd Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm a consultant, and my Slate is just about perfect for the work I do. I use it to take notes at customer sites, do presentations (with a USB->DVI/VGA adapter), watch videos, read and edit docs, etc. One of the big parts of my job is creating content for customer - reports, assessments, etc. - for which I need a keyboard/mouse (handwriting a 50-page report is not an option for me :cool:), so like most of you I've been trying out various keyboards and mice. I also spend a lot of time on airplanes, so I can't use Bluetooth (true for the majority of airlines right now), and space on those airline trays is pretty limited, so I wanted a trackpad/track pointer instead of a mouse. Finally, I wanted access to additional USB ports for things like USB drives, external Ethernet, etc, which means a USB hub. I'd love to see a slim keyboard/pointer case that would connect to the Slate's cradle connector (ala the HP TC1100 keyboard) and leav the USB port free, but since that's not available I decided to make my own, which I thought I'd share. Note that this is V1.0 - I'll probably keep trying out other options and improving it.

    Anyway, I started with the base, which is just a Staples 1" Better binder made out of black plastic with a rubber spine/hinge. Coincidentally, it's the exact same width as the Slate's stand case, which is what I wanted to attach it to. I cut the front half to be the same height as the Slate case, and I cut off the back, leaving 1 1/2" or so for a couple of velcro squares. That allows me to attach and remove it from the Samsung stand case easily. The keyboard is one I got from DealExtreme (78-Key Compact Slim USB Keyboard - Black (160CM-Cable) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme) and have used on other slates - it's almost the same width as the slate, and it's easy to type on. For the touchpad I used an Adesso Easy Cat 2 (Amazon.com: Adesso Easy Cat 2 Button Glidepoint Touchpad (Black): Computers & Accessories, and for the USB hub I used a Targus ACH63US USB mini-hub (http://www.amazon.com/Targus-ACH63US-Super-Mini-4-Port/dp/B0009OAP98).

    The keyboard has a 3/8" extension underneath on the front to elevate it, which just happens to be the same thickness as the USB hub. I cut some wood spacers and attached them to the bottom of the keyboard to allow it to sit level and cut part of the base to re-route the keyboard cable underneath. The USB hub has a jack for power input, which I wanted to have access to in case I wanted to use a power-hungry device like an external CD/DVD drive, so I created a customer cable with a mini-USB jack on one end and the appropriate power plug on the other. I then had to customize the USB cables for the keyboard and trackpad to make the the right length. Here's a picture of the bottom with everything in place:

    [​IMG]

    I used Scotch/3M double-stick outdoor carpet tape to hold everything in place; it's really stong, and since it's a prototype it lets me re-use some of the components later on. I then attached everything to the base:

    [​IMG]

    I used some more 3/8" wooden pieces with a cut-up mouse pad on the top as a palm rest on the bottom. The black plastic tab on the cable slips in between the back of the slate and the stand case to hold the cable in place when in use. Here's a side view that shows the USB hub ports - note that the two ports on the opposite side are used for the keyboard and trackpad:

    [​IMG]

    And here's a pic of the whole thing connected and deployed:

    [​IMG]

    The whole unit is a little over 5/8" thick, and you can easily flip the stand case closed and fold it all up to carry around. Right now it's a prototype, so I'll use it for a few weeks and see what I can improve. It meets all my requirements - USB-based, one connection to use, small footprint and extra USB ports.

    John
     
  2. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Nice work! I'll need to look into this.
     
  3. timpaatkins

    timpaatkins Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hehe, maybe you would have been better off getting a Mac air/ultrabook...
     
  4. johnmcd

    johnmcd Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Yep - except for all the notetaking in meetings, freestyle diagramming while presenting, marking up documents, etc. :cool:
     
  5. johnmcd

    johnmcd Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Quick update - the rubber spine on the binder I used isn't quite non-slip, so I had to stick on a couple of pieces of spare egrip stickers I had to keep the unit from sliding down while it's resting.

    John
     
  6. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    Inspired my this post, I've created my version of the Keyboard Case v 1.0

    Table Stakes: Samsung Stand Case

    Additional Items:

    CaseCrown Faux Leather Book Cover (Black) Clip On Case for Apple MacBook Air MC969LL/A 11.6-Inch Laptop

    Amazon.com: CaseCrown Faux Leather Book Cover (Black) Clip On Case for Apple MacBook Air MC969LL/A 11.6-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION): Electronics

    RockSoul Bluetooth Keyboard for Android and Windows

    Bluetooth Keyboard for tablet PC (OS /Android 3.0/WIN 7) - my Rocksoul.com

    Self-adhesive Velcro (4 Squares)

    Black Duct tape

    I started by trimming the CaseCrown case sleeve for the MacBook Air keyboard and trackpad. Next it has a trap door to elevate (and venelate) the case and I cut that off and extended the opening to accomodate the RockSoul Keyboard riser, I secured it with the duct tape and velcro'd the stand case to the other half allowing the stand case to still function.

    WP_000115.jpg

    WP_000116.jpg

    WP_000118.jpg

    WP_000119.jpg

    WP_000120.jpg


    It is more form and function over looks :)
     
  7. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    WOW...no love for the keyboard case ;)
     
  8. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    If you used a image hosting site so we would actually be able to see the pictures of it, maybe there would be some ;) as it is now the image attachment system on this forum (among a myriad of other things) is utterly broken...

    after refreshing the images a dozen times they showed up, it looks alright but seems to be more of a prototype; I would have used stainless steel or [thin] copper sheet metal instead of that tape :p (it would need some spacers to keep it from ever scratching the screen though, but it would look infinitely better)


    If I end up keeping the Motion F5 I got I think I'll be making something similar; though maybe something more along the lines of the IBM TransNote Pen Computing Magazine: IBM ThinkPad TransNote
     
  9. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    That's surreal man- I just stumbled on that TransNote page yesterday for the first time. A neat concept. Way ahead of its time.
     
  10. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    Agent9 - I tried to use my SkyDrive hosting, but the forum would only do links and I hate the free image hosting sites....

    I will most likely buy some vinyl (matching to the top) and use that to cover the bottom :)
     
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