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SpiffChorder Wiki

Spaceman Spiff's Chording Keyboard Experiment (or SpiffChorder for short) is an experimental platform for creating a USB chording keyboard. A chording keyboard or Chorded keyboard is an input device where characters can be typed by pressing multiple keys at the same time. A popular design is the 7-key chorder, where one key is used for each of the index finger, middle finger, ring finger and pinky, and 3 keys for the thumb. This can be used with either the left or right hand (or a chorder can be used for each hand, effectively doubling the typing speed). The current incarnation of the SpiffChorder is a 7-key chorder, although because of the easily changeable chord-maps, fewer keys can be used as well. An 8-key version of the hardware will be created soon, for the twidlette. In order for this to work, there will be the possibility to map some keys to modifiers, such as shift or alt.

Both the hardware design and software/firmware for the SpiffChorder is open, and you can make modifications as you see fit. The license is based on Objective Development's license, which is now GPL, but with the addition that the hardware is documented and open as well.

Objective Development's AVR USB driver is a firmware-only implementation of the low speed USB standard (USB 1.1) which can be used on cheap AVR microcontrollers from Atmel.

The hardware for the SpiffChorder is very simple, and consists mainly of an ATmega8, a 12MHz crystal, and a few passive components for interfacing with the USB port. Apart from this 7 switches are connected, and optionally 3 LEDs for indicating the internal state.

Additional information is available at, but this is slightly outdated.

Mikkel Holm Olsen AKA Spaceman Spiff

Greg Priest-Dorman

spiffchorder/forside.1200445429.txt.gz · Last modified: 2008/01/15 20:03 by priestdo
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