The ongoing saga of a TREG user - tlrogers

That’s a relief! Thanks for the quick response. I change machines and locations frequently at work, and being able to use my mouse/presenting remote via USB is a must in some cases, so, naturally I already have a BT dongle for the mouse/presenter and I can’t wait to throw a TB into the mix. I honestly cannot express how helpful the TB will be (if or when it ever finds me).

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Time for another update. I missed last week.

Well, tonight I am typing for the first time on my 2nd TREG unit. Over the past 2 weeks I started noticing some issues where I would see misinterpreted characters. Initially I thought they were my mistakes but I started noticing that f would show on the screen when I definetely would type g and sometimes f when trying to type v. I seemed to start after a firmware upgrade but I went gack to a previous firmware version and was still seeing the issues. A few others started appearing as well.

I communicated with WT about the issues and sent them some diagnostics to show the issue. With the recent hardware updates they believed that my TREG unit was showing some of the characteristics that were surfacing that caused the investigation and change to the manufacturing process.

I was still using the unit all the time and just dealing with the intermittant mistypes. It was sometimes a struggle when the f would continue to show after repeated g character presses.

In the end after a couple firmware adjustments WT felt it best to send me a new TREG unit that had the keycap updates as well as the manufacturing process change to reduce strain and the shield lamenation. I just received it and I can tell a difference in the typing. I don’t know if it is due to it being new again and I have just broken in the first unit but I am definetely not getting the mistyping. Time will tell whether that will resurface.

I will keep the original TREG unit and do some comparison tests but primarily switch to the new unit and then send the old unit back in a week or so.

On the work front my usage of the TB for VB and SQL has been a little slower transition than straight typing. Mainly because I am still hunting and pecking for the special characters. I haven’t gotten my brain to switch to getting my most commonly used special characters. I’ll get there and it will be primarily mileage. I would say for development I am about 75% my normal speed at this point.

From a general typing perspective I am 95+ % back to full speed and definetely for some keystroke combinations I am way above my previous speed as I continue to become more comfortable with the TB. I was getting frustrated at auto-correct so I’ve turned it off of all of my devices to force me to correct my mistakes to become faster at correctly typing and that was when I started seeing the greatest improvement to my typing. I couldn’t be so lazy in my typing since I would allow the devices to correct my typos.

I have found though that the last word delete is amazing for correcting mistakes. I went back to my old keyboard today because I had a deadline and had to crank out code fast so for a couple hours I used my old ergo keyboard for the first time in a month. I found I was able to transition back to it but paragraph navigation was way slower and correcting mistakes in typing was way slower since I don’t have the delete last word keystroke (or at least I do not know it). Anyway, I was able to knock out what I needed but for many things it was still slower (just faster at the special keys because of muscle memory). I did tend to make more mistakes at typing than I normally do which was surprising. I was a faster typist with more mistakes. Funny how that is now.

Can I say that this new keyboard just feels better… Let’s hope it is not simply a new keyboard feel and that it is due to the adjustments ghat have been made from the TREG user feedback to make the units better.

I’ll try to let you know at least weekly how it is going.

Ciao for now.

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You’ve missed quite a few :wink:

Yep. I’ve become quite dependent on auto-correct. I need to proofread a lot more and I haven’t transitioned to it. There are words i mistype all the time.

I’ll improve…

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Well, tonight I am typing for the first time on my third TREG unit. Before I go into the background that caused me to go from my second unit to my third in 11 days, I first want to show you that one of the blade stands appears to be the new design. It is much thicker than the original ones as I now have dealt with 6 of them… Here are some pics, hot off the presses


As you can see the thickness is quick different. As I press on the sides I feel quite a difference in strength between the old and new designs. Excited to finally see the new design in the wild.

Now onto the week with the second unit. It was great. It worked amazing all week. I did a lot of development last week and the second unit worked without incident. Then last Friday I went to a meeting and used the TB without incident the entire hour and then transported it back to my desk the same way I always did and the TB did not work when I got back to my desk. The space blade would initially light up through the initialization and then would not light up any more. I wouldn’t see the lights when switching jump slots or using layers. It appeared that random characters would show up on my iPhone but only after long delays after typing. I could not get anything to type on my work desktop.

Over the weekend I had many communications with WT (They are great to work with). I did some basic tests and then did more on Monday trying to better understand what was happening that was causing the issue. Since I had the original unit still, I was able to swap out parts between the two and I was quickly able to determine that the right blade on the second unit had gone bad. Only characters from the left blade would show up on the screen after a long delay after typing and nothing would appear from the right blade.

When I switched the right blade from the first unit to the second unit’s space blade and left blade it worked again. After communicating further with WT I sent back the original unit’s left blade and space blade and the second right blade and kept the rest so that I could keep going with TB as my only KB.

I still have no idea what happened to the right blade. I’m hoping I find out once they run further tests on the unit. I have been doing significant coding this week and had to print out the special characters blown up to help me have a cheat sheet to find them as necessary. I am improving and am hoping that in a couple weeks I can stop using it.

Hopefully third one is the charm.

I do not know what other hardware changes there are on my third unit but have asked WT to determine. As with any piece of technology there will be glitches. My first unit did not have any of the hardware improvements. My second one had the latest improvements. I would assume my third one also has the same improvements along with one of the thicker stands…

Onward and upward.

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Quick update tonight. I finally decided to make some modifications to the layers layout tonight to deal with issues I have been having in my workflow with Word, Excel, and even SQL. At work I spend a lot of time editing text and I have historically used Ctrl-Left, -Right, -Up, -Down, -Home, and -End many times in conjunction with shift to select text and/or cells.

The initial layout was just not allowing me to execute it as fast as I thought possible with the TB. Because of this I worked through a couple iterations and implemented the following tonight…

On the main edit layer I have added page up and page down which used to be in the edit green layer in the up and down position.

I made most of my changes to the green layer. The arrows in the green layer align to the ctrl-up, ctrl-down, ctrl-left, and ctrl-right. I then added beginning and ending of the paragraph to the top and the home and end to the bottom.

As soon as I loaded this iteration up I went back to the Excel work I was doing and immediatelu saw a significant improvement to my workflow with the intuative location of the functions. I realize that the default layout for these keys may have benefits for others but this layout allows movement and selection very fast as the select layers work as well with these characters.

From a TREG unit update…

Reminder that I am on my third TREG unit. The only issue I am seeing are sporadic issues where characters will repeat right in line with what appears to be bluetooth connectivity issues between the TB and my work laptop or my work desktop. Both of these are running Windows 7 with a dongle I purchased off of Amazon. I have tried various positions of the desktop. The desktop seems to have 1-3 issues a day and the laptop only seems to have about 1 issue a day. Easily resolvable when they occur … just a little annoying.

At this point my typing is on par with what I can do on a regular keyboard. My text editing and Excel work was already faster on the TB than my keyboard and now with the above improvements the TB blows my regular keyboard away and I have been pretty good with Excel for a long time. I am excited to go into work tomorrow with the changes I just made to the editing layer.

Time will tell if I begin to see the issues I saw on TREG units 1 & 2 (which both had earlier hardware improvement and the current TREG 3 has all the latest improvements mentioned by WT) but at this point I have no reason to ever use a regular keyboard again… especially if I can get my LAIRD dongle working so I can move from computer to computer with the TB (I haven’t had any more time to dedicate to try to get it working since my other dongles appear to almost be working perfectly). As long as I continue only using my iPhone, iPad Pro, Laptop, Desktop, Kids MacBook Pro, or my wife’s macbook Pro I am locked and loaded. I am still using 4 of these six devices multipe times a day for multiple hours a day with the TB. The two MacBook Pros I am only using sporadicallupy but have not seen any TB issues with those two devices ever. I also never have had issues with the iPhone or the iPad Pro I am typing this on right now.

From my end life is pretty good. I just hope WT is seeing the same success from all the other TREG users so that they can move very shortly into general release so that I can get the two units I actually ordered, the first on 1/13/2015. The second one I ordered on 8/1/2015 (no realizing it will most likely only need to be a backup one since a single unit should work just fine across all my devices).

Here’s to hoping for a happy holidays or a very happy beginning of the new year with general shipping happening.

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Since you are the only person with new hardware reporting any problem (one I don’t consider to be a TB issue since it seems limited to a dongle on systems that can’t support the proper BT directly), I was wondering if you have any chance - or could make a special effort to do so - to see how it worked with a windows machine which does support the required BT.

It would be a big plus if the problem went away in that situation. If it didn’t, then I guess the next thing would be to see if the version of Windows is the critical issue.

I have 4 Win 10 machines (Sony Vaio and Lenovo) and the only one I have had any problems with is the IdeaCentre Stick which plugs into the HDMI port of a monitor or TV and i believe the problem is a lack of resources as it has almost below minimum specs. With the others I have had no problems connecting or keeping a stable connection.

@dabigkahuna, I don’t have access to other windows devices and as I stated in another post I am working 14-16 hour days right now and that will continue. The amount I am doing even now for TREG is cutting into sleep time generally. My testing is specifically just using it all the time during my normal workday and life out of work.

What could help me is determining a way to get my Laird working (with minimal time on my side) so that I could get a second dongle working and test it instead to see if the repeating issues go away.

I went through purchasing 4 sets of dongles in addition to the Laird before I found one that worked with the TB on my Windows 7 machines. Even though the 2nd and 3rd sets were the correct BT stack (at least what was advertised for the dongle).

I spent probably 10 hours over 4 days trying to get the Laird working using macs and windows devices and was never able to get the Laird to see the TB even before I could get it to be in HID mode. I am pretty technically savvy, but for some reason it is not working.

Any TREGer up for helping me out? I am definitely willing to sacrifice one of the BT slots on the TB for the Laird. I would even be willing to ship it to another TREGer (with approval from WT) if someone could focus on getting the Laird setup in HID with my TB. Then I would try to only use the Laird and move the dongle around.

My main risk in shipping the TREG and Laird to get things moving is that this is my 3rd unit and having to ship it off with each unit to get the Laird working would be less than optimal.

I want to help out, my bandwidth is just pretty limited for the next 6 months.

Did you try and use the VM that was put together for this purpose? You are the first I have heard of that has not been able to get a Laird dongle working when following that approach. I have managed to get several Laird dongles working in HID mode (although not all for use with the TextBlade) and never had any real issues.

One point to note when using the VM approach is that you do NOT want the host system to try and see the dongle at the `Bluetooth level - you want this to all happen within the VM.

I can only echo what was said above as it took a couple of hours earlier this week to configure my Laird BT820.
Whilst I can’t say that the pair.sh script worked for me, manually pairing the TB worked after a couple of attempts using the necessary bluetoothctl commands.

As I reported on the dongler slack channel, the pairing process did not complete successfully until I ran a bccmd command to pull the keys from the dongle. Probably pure coincidence that the next attempt to pair worked!

If you were struggling with the VM method, then perhaps you could give the Windows method a go since I’ve also uploaded the BT8xx key pairs to the dongler channel that can be used with the pstools that were already uploaded.

Yep, went the VM route on Windows and Mac.

@mp3monkey, I only worked 13 hours today… I am willing to try to get the Laird dongle working. I can probably spend no more than an hour tonight so I can spend time with family.

I brought my windows laptop home from work and have a 2010 macbook pro. I have previously tried numerous times on both devices to get the Laird connected to the VM…

Will look at the latest information to see if I can succeed.

No luck on MacOS… All the installs are fine but the VM running pair.sh goes bizerk.




The disconnect on the end was when I switched the textblade to my iPhone to start typing this…

Fail #2…this time on Windows. Getting an error when trying to connect the Laird to the VM

I have continually received this error from the beginning of time on the VM in windows on my work laptop.

Ugh! Work to get the Laird working in hid to find a way to validate whether my cheap Amazon dongle is the culprit for my rare but intermittent repeating character problem went from bad to worse.

I tried stuff from the tregers and with the Windows method of installing drivers and enabling hid and after 3 hours my laird no longer lights up and now my normal dongle for the laptop that I had removed during the laird work no longer functions. I just spent an hours trying to remove all the drivers and reinstall the drivers for the dongle that I’ve been using to no luck. neither light up when connecting to the laptop any more…

Good times.

Looks like for the first time in months on my laptop I will be using the keyboard when I go into work in 4 hours to get an early start on the day and tomorrow is packed so no way to try and troubleshoot to get the dongle working again first thing… No time yet.

Sorry guys. Looks like this won’t help the troubleshooting cause.

Friends don’t let friends use microsoft :P. Just say no.

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Well it has been a while since I’ve done an update on my progress with my TREG TB. Work has been crazy. The best thing that happened was when WT sent me a new TREG with a preconfigured Laird dongle. Up to that point I was beginning to see frequent duplicate/repeating keystrokes that I was assuming was the fault of the cheap dongle I had purchased from Amazon. As soon as I received the dongle the repeating characters all but stopped (it has happened one time since).

This week I was able to installed a driver checker for my work laptop and in performing all the updates automagically my Bluetooth 4.0 driver started working. For the first time I saw the TB in the built in Bluetooth “Add device”. I am now typing on the TB with my Windows 7 laptop without any dongles.

Work is great. Since I received the Laird from WT I have not used anything other than the TB at work for both the laptop and the desktop.

The dongle is still required for my desktop as it does not have any Bluetooth capabilities.

It is interesting, the TB is just the data entry tool. I hate when occasionally need to use a standard keyboard. I am constantly trying to use layers on std keyboards now and grumbling when I need to use the legacy methods of editing, selecting, number keys, it is definitely less effective to use a standard keyboard. I am getting better at the special characters but there are still characters I am looking at the keyboard to find.

More and more people of my acquaintances are interested of when WT starts production release. I haven’t had anyone who has “purchased” a TB and has joined the club of those who are in various levels of “patiently” waiting.

Life is good.

I can say for at least myself (with this latest version of the TB TREG unit), I feel more comfortable saying I would be happy if this was the actual production released, over the counter purchased, TB.

Here is to a hopeful early 2017 production release of TB.

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If your on Windows you could try the emulation approach. Nowhere near as good as an actual TextBlade, but it does work. Would be interested in your feedback if you happen you try.

It seems interesting but I would rather say good riddance to legacy keyboards.