Pocket Reform Custom Keyboard Layout?

Haven’t received my Pocket Reform yet, but I was digging through about the keyboard, and layout - I use a rather custom ortholinear layout with a few layers (I have a few ortho keyboards, preonic sized and bigger, ortho is the biggest reason I bought this laptop) I saw the keyboard was customizable on part of the marketing, and hit buy.

I was browsing another thread about how to use the reform (MNT Pocket Reform Essentials) and it mentioned a lot of very custom binds specific to the device (power, brightness adjustment, etc) - this brought up some warning flags about customization, as I don’t wish to interfere/reduce functionality (quite the opposite).

I also would really like to use my own layout that I’ve adapted/fine tuned to my own preferences, but I am concerned about those laptop specific functions - are they hard wired/re-assignable/do i need to be concerned? (Please tell me I can use QMK…)

Most importantly, are layers supported for the keyboard?

Bonus query in the event this gets seen by someone at MNT: I would love to purchase some custom keycaps! Different colors/blanks/anything you can offer. I would guess the keycaps are specific to the device (reduced size/profile and all that), but if they are a standard size I can order elsewhere I’d like to know what to ask for…

All of the key bindings for brightness/volume are defined for sway (if you use sway) in ~/.config/sway/config

Holding the hyper key activates a second keyboard layer. Where hyper-1 is F1, hyper-2 is F2, etc. So hyper+super+1 is F1+super.

In the sway configuration super+F1 is configured to run brightnessctl to adjust the brightness down, etc.

There is support for 2 layers in the firmware, and it should be easy to change the layout, recompile, and flash a new firmware. If you want to see, the layers are defined here

Although this is no QMK it is not too bad to change and recompile even if you don’t program in C. And if you can program in C you can do a lot of other things like running game of life in the OLED :slight_smile:


I haven’t used sway, happy to give it a go though, as I’m a huge fan of i3. (on i3 right now actually) - just haven’t bothered with wayland yet as everything I do simply works on x11… Sway was the plan if I ever found a reason to try wayland.

And yep! thanks for the link, that looks totally doable/editable. I don’t see anything about the power function, and I don’t see any way to put the board into a debug mode/accept new firmware mode… That is actually kind of nice to not have to worry about typos/not including it… Assuming they are hardwired in.

I do wonder how much space is available for layers and such, some keyboards don’t have support for more than a handful of layers (my idobao id75 complained when I tried to add more than 3 layers but my preonic can go for a lot more than that…)

I guess I’ll just have to start poking around and figure it out when it gets here. Very excited :slight_smile: was originally slated to ship in may but happy to get my hands on it when I can.

Thank you!

i’m also interested in layers and stuff, but personally i’m probably going to consider “software-level” solutions like GitHub - kmonad/kmonad: An advanced keyboard manager or GitHub - jtroo/kanata: Improve keyboard comfort and usability with advanced customization

sounds like messing up the firmware (however fun!) might be more complicated. As the keyboard is literally tied to the machine that’ll be good enough

I use a couple of software solutions for my mouse as I play video games with a very customized control scheme, and I dont have an easy way to swap between games/applications other than software for my mouse.

To add to your list for software solutions, you may also want to look into the (abandoned, but works like a charm) application evrouter - evrouter | BedroomLAN (last updated 2004) - I have a shortcut to swap my keyboard and mouse around so that the mouse does keyboard inputs and the keyboard does mouse inputs… (I like mouse1 and 2 as forward/backward, not every game allows me to bind it…) Still use the firmware to swap my keyboard around, but that is an interesting thought to just use software all around.

Some things I have run into in the past with software solutions is sometimes the… id? changes between reboots with software stuff (so you have to reassign things after reboots, not as permanent), and sometimes applications literally do not care - they will pull the “raw” input somehow - no amount of software tinkering would let me change where the “w” key is for example in a game I tried to play onceuponatime…

Anyway! good luck, just wanted to put out my .02

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