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Tek Gear Twiddler2.1 User Manual

Made by: Tek Gear
Type: User Manual
Category: Video Game Controller
Pages: 13
Size: 0.44 MB

 

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Twiddler2.1

USER MANUAL Rev. 1.7

Copyright @ Tek Gear, Inc. 1992, 2000, 2010 All Rights Reserved

Twiddler and Twiddler2.1

TM

 are trademarks of Tek Gear, Inc. 

 


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Contents

GETTING STARTED

 ......................................................................................3

Overview 

........................................................................................................3

The Strap

 .........................................................................................................3

 

Changing to Left-Hand Use ..................................................................3

 

Getting Started: Left or Right? ..............................................................3   

 

How to hold the Twiddler ......................................................................3

THE KEYBOARD

 ............................................................................................5

Typing On The Twiddler

 ............................................................................ 4

 

Single Keys  ............................................................................................4

 

Chords  ...................................................................................................5

 

Repeating Keys  ....................................................................................5

 

Key Notation  .........................................................................................5

 

Labels  ....................................................................................................6

 

Speed Tip ................................................................................................7

 

Another Speed Tip  ................................................................................8

 

Thumb Keys  ...........................................................................................8

THE MOUSE POINTER

   ...............................................................................10

Mouse-clicking  ................................................................................................10

Installing and Programming the Twiddler

  ...................................11

Key Assignment Notation  ...............................................................................11

Key Chord Mapping  .......................................................................................12

Mouse Chord Mapping  .................................................................................12

 


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GETTING STARTED

Overview

The Twiddler2.1

TM

 provides the same input to your computer as both a conventional 

keyboard and a mouse. To do this the Twiddler uses twelve keys on the front and four keys on 

top plus a NavStick. The top keys are for your thumb and your other four fingers operate the 

front keys. The Navigational Joystick, or NavStick, under your thumb, performs the pointing 

function of a mouse. The Twiddler is designed to be operated by only one hand while the 

hand not holding the Twiddler is free for other tasks.

The Strap

There is a soft fabric strap that extends from a slot in the side of the Twiddler’s case and 

attaches to a Velcro pad on the bottom. This strap goes around the back of your hand and 

holds the Twiddler in posi tion for typing or pointing. When you receive your Twiddler, the strap 

will be set up for right-hand use, but it may be easily readjusted for left-hand use.

Changing to Left-Hand Use

To adjust the Twiddler for left-hand use, first remove the strap from its Velcro fastener on the 

bottom. Next, grasp the strap close to the slot and slide the end of the strap out of the slot. It 

is designed to be a snug fit. Then slide the same fitted end of the strap into the matching slot 

on the opposite side of the Twiddler. Be sure to insert it all the way into the slot.

Getting Started: Left or Right?

Which hand should you use for the Twiddler? The first inclination is to use it in your dominant 

hand. But you may wish to put off this decision and try the Twiddler with each hand and 

think about how you will be using it before you decide.

Here are a few things to consider:

 

1. What do you want to be able to do with the hand not holding the Twiddler?  

 

 

If you want to take pencil-and-paper notes, you may wish to try the Twiddler in your 

 

non-writing hand.

 

2. Does your normal computer work involve fine control of the pointing device (such 

 

as CAD or drawing programs)? 

 

 

If so, you may want to use the Twiddler in the hand that has the best drawing control. 

 

In any case, you may wish to experiment with each hand to see which suits you best.

 

It is always easy to change the strap to the other side. The Twiddler key layout is 

 

designed to work equally well in either hand.

How to hold the Twiddler

How you hold the Twiddler is a matter of personal taste. It is designed to accommodate 

a wide range of hand sizes and shapes. The following guidelines may help you find a 

comfortable position:

In general, the strap goes around the back part of your hand, between your knuckles and 

wrist, and attaches to the Velcro fastener on the bottom of the case.  Do not make the strap 

 


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too tight. You should adjust the strap so your fingers fall naturally and easily over the center 

column of keys (the keys with the small guide-bumps on them).

You will notice that your thumb is resting on the top inside corner of the Twiddler. When 

the strap is adjusted correctly, it is loose enough so that your hand can be removed and 

re-inserted without detaching the strap from the Velcro. Rotating the Twiddler toward or 

away from your palm adjusts the angle of operation to accommodate longer or shorter 

fingers; and the angle of the strap on the bottom of the Twiddler can also be adjusted for 

your comfort. In fact, one way to find a comfortable position is to remove the strap from the 

bottom, set the Twiddler’s angle, and then re-attach the strap to the Velcro pad. The fastener 

on the bottom helps to hold the desired angle of the Twiddler.

When you have adjusted the strap and angle so that your fingers fall naturally over the 

center column, you will find that the left and right columns of keys are an equally short 

reach for your fingers. If the strap is too tight, the closest column may cramp your fingers. If 

the strap is too loose, the column farther away may be hard to reach.

The Keyboard

The Twiddler keyboard is designed to do all the work of a standard computer keyboard plus 

a lot more. With only sixteen keys, the Twiddler accomplishes this by chording.

On a piano keyboard you can play a single note by striking one key or play a chord by 

playing a number of keys at the same time. The Twiddler works in a similar way. You can type 

a character or command with a single key or with a combination of keys called a chord. 

Using various single keystrokes, or chords, you can type all the letters, characters, symbols 

and commands found on a standard keyboard. In fact, the Twiddler actually offers you over 

a thousand different programmable chords. And, since most of these key combinations are 

not preset at the factory, you can customize your Twiddler by making your own assignments 

to these chords. You can even override factory-preset key/chord/character assignments 

through the Twiddler Configurator Java software included on the Flash Drive inside your 

Twiddler, or at Handykey.com

Typing On The Twiddler

Single Keys

There are twelve keys on the front of the Twiddler arranged in three columns and four rows. 

Each key in the center column has a tiny bump which makes touch-typing easier by letting 

you know immediately, by touch, which key your finger is pressing.

You can comfortably rest your thumb on the inside 

corner of the Twiddler, in a relaxed position.

You don’t need to grip the Twiddler. By resting the 

thumb as shown, and applying gentle outward 

pressure, you will keep the Twiddler steady and 

reach the keys more easily.

 


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Repeating Keys

On a standard keyboard, when you hold down a key it generates a repeating character. To 

repeat characters in the same way on the Twiddler, press and release a key or chord and 

then quickly press and hold down the same key or chord. When you do this the desired 

character will repeat as long as the key or chord is held down. The repeat delay is set in the 

Twiddler Configurator on the Config Tab.

Key Notation

This user’s guide and Twiddler Configurator uses a special notation to show you how to 

type each character and command with a factory-preset chord. As you face Twiddler’s 

twelve-key layout, you will find four keys (labeled SP, DEL, BS, and ENT) arranged in a column 

on the left. This column is designated “L”. The four keys in the middle column (E, F, G, H) are 

referred to as “M”. And the four keys on the right (A, B, C, D) are designated “R”.

Each unique chord is defined by a four-symbol sequence indicating which key is pressed 

in each of the four rows ordered from top to bottom. If no key needs to be pressed in a 

particular row, a zero (0) in the sequence will indicate that. Remember that the first symbol 

in the chord notation refers to a key in the top row pressed by your index finger, the second 

symbol to a key in the second row assigned to your middle finger, the third symbol to a key 

in the third row pressed by your ring finger, and the fourth symbol to a key in the bottom row 

reached by your little finger. 

For example, to type a lowercase letter “a”, your index finger must press and release the key 

at the right end of the top row, while no other keys need to be pressed in the next three rows. 

So, the notation for “a” is ROOO.

Each of your fingers are assigned to a specific row of three keys 

across. Your index finger presses the keys marked A, E, and SP 

(space) in the first or top row. Use your middle finger to press B, F, 

and DEL (delete) in the second row. Your third (ring) finger is for the 

C, G, and BS (backspace) keys in the third row. And your little finger 

(pinkie) is in position for the keys in the fourth or bottom row-D, H, 

and ENT (enter). Press and release any of these keys singly to type 

the charac ter or command with which the top of the key is labeled.

Chords

The Twiddler does not register a keystroke until you release a key 

or keys. For example, when you press the “A” key on the Twiddler 

and hold it down, nothing happens. But when you release the “A” 

key, a lowercase letter “A” appears on the screen. When you press a 

group of keys as a chord, its assigned character does not appear 

on the screen (or its assigned command is not issued) until you 

release at least one of the chord’s keys. Because characters are 

generated by the release rather than the initial press of a key, you 

do not have to worry about whether you have pressed all the keys 

in a chord at exactly the same instant.

 


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Similarly, you can type the lowercase letter “k” by pressing and releasing (with your index 

finger) the left key in the top row, no keys in the next two rows, and (with your little finger) 

the right key in the bottom row. This chord is designated by the notation LOOR. OOR is the 

notation for typ ing the letter “k”.

Labels

Black, red, blue, and green labels on Twiddler’s keys can remind you how to type the most 

common characters and commands.

A white  label on a key refers to the character or command you type when you press and 

release that key alone. To type a lowercase “a”, you press and release the key labeled 

with a white “A”. To type a lower case “b”, press and release the key labeled “B”; and so 

on for keys labeled C, D, E, F, G, and H. Similarly, keys marked SP (space), DEL (delete), BS, 

(backspace), and ENT (enter) issue the designated command when pressed and released 

singly.

You will find a colored dot above each top row key. Red marks the top left key; blue 

marks the top middle key; and green marks the top right key. To the right of each key in 

the remaining three rows you will find a column of three labels whose colors-red, blue, 

and green-correspond with the colors of the top row dots. Matching colors indicate a 

dotted-key/labeled-key chord which types the labeled character.

FINGER KEYS

 are indicated by a group of four symbols: 0, L, M, 

and R.

These symbols repre sent key presses in ROWS 1, 2,3, and 4 (top to 

bottom). 0 means no button pressed in that row; L means the Left 

button is pressed; M means the Middle button is pressed; and, R 

means the Right button is pressed.

Example: LOOR means the LEFT Button in ROW 1 and the RIGHT 

button in ROW 4 are pressed. No buttons are pressed in ROW 2 or 

ROW 3.

This example types the letter k.

 


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Remember that, after you have pressed all the keys in a chord, you may release them 

together or in any order.

You will find a complete list of factory-preset letters, characters, symbols, and commands in 

the Key Chord Mapping tab of the Twiddler Configurator.

Speed Tip

Here is a tip to speed up the way you type a series of letters which have chord labels of 

the same color: Keep holding down the top row key with your index finger while your other 

fingers form chord after chord with keys on the lower rows. 

For example, press the left key in the top row under the red dot 

and the right key in the next row beside the red label “I”. When you 

release the two keys you have typed the lowercase letter “I”. Note 

that the label “I” is red to remind you that the red-dotted top row key 

is part of the “i” chord LROO.

Here is a second example. Press the top row key under the green 

dot together with the key in the third row just to the left of the green 

exclamation point “!”. When you release both keys you have typed 

an excla mation point “!“ (ROLO).

 


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Try this example. Type the word “pin”.

First press the chord for lowercase “p” (LOLO)--a red-labeled chord. Then lift your ring finger 

from the third row while continuing to hold down the red-dotted key in the top row with 

your index finger. (Notice that a “p” appeared when you released your ring finger.) Now 

use your middle finger to press and release the right-hand key in the second row. (Note 

that it is next to the red label “I”.) You just typed a lowercase “I” (LROO). Again, keeping the 

red-dotted key down, release your middle finger from the second row and reach with your 

little finger for the middle key in the bottom row (labeled with the red “N”) to form the chord 

for lowercase “n” (LOOM). Finally, release both top and bottom keys. This technique will help 

you type faster by avoiding unneces sary finger movements. You can use this with many 

combinations of letters: st, ry, in, 10... 

Another Speed Tip

The Twiddler offers you another typing short cut. You can use factory-preset chords to type 

some of the commonest English words or letter sequences: the, of, to, ed, and, in, ion, and 

ing. The key nota tion for these chords can be found in the Key Chord Mapping tab of the 

Twiddler Configurator.

Thumb Keys

In addition to the NavStick, there are four keys on the top rear of the Twiddler case. In 

clockwise order they are labeled NUM, ALT, CTRL, and Shift. These thumb keys take part in the 

chording and combine with the twelve front keys to form addition al chords.

Chords using the NUM key include the numer als. You hold down the NUM key with your 

thumb and complete the chord by pressing additional keys on the front. 

 


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To see how it works, try holding down 

NUM with your thumb while your other 

fingers consecutively press and release 

the following keys: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, SP, 

DEL.

You have just typed the numerals 

1,2,3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0.

The ALT key accesses the same 

functions as an Alt key on a 

conventional computer keyboard. For 

example, to issue the command Alt-x, 

you simply form a chord, including the 

ALT key and pressing and releas ing the 

chord for the letter “x” (MLOO).

When you form chords by holding 

down NUM and ALT together, the front 

keys A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, SP, DEL, BS, ENT 

output the codes for Function keys F1 

through F12.

 


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In similar fashion the CTRL key acts like the Ctrl key on a standard keyboard. To type Ctrl-Alt-

Del, for example, simply press and release the CTRL key together with the ALT key and the 

front key labeled DEL.

Likewise, the Shift key, as you would expect on a conventional keyboard, allows you to type 

capital let ters. When you form a chord which includes the Shift key with your thumb, the 

same key or chord you ordi narily use to type a lowercase letter will instead produce the 

same letter in uppercase.

It is important to note, however, that the Shift key (like all the thumb keys) does not just shift 

the front keys to upper case, but fully participates in the chording function. For example, the 

word “the” is assigned to the chord ORRO. If you press Shift + ORRO, however, you get “The”. If 

the thumb button labeled “Shift” just shift ed characters, you would get “THE”.

The Mouse Pointer

The NavStick on the Twiddler is your mouse. Press 

the button with your thumb to move the pointer 

on your screen. When you take your thumb off the 

Navstick, the onscreen pointer stays where it is.

Mouse-clicking

When you move or press the NavStick, the 

Twiddler goes into mouse-mode. This means 

that the front keys now function as mouse 

buttons. (Imagine a mouse with 12 buttons.) 

The “A” key is now the left mouse button and 

the “SP” key is the right mouse button. Press 

and release the “A” key to left-click on an on 

screen object. Press and release the “SP” key 

to right-click on an object. The “E” key is also 

a left click button, with the dif ference that it 

stays in mouse mode after it is released.

When you need to double-click with a left 

mouse button you can press and release 

the “E” key twice, or simply press and 

release the “B” key. This is a very convenient 

way to double-click. (Since the “A” key exits 

mouse mode when it is released, you can’t 

use this to double-click.) If you need to 

click-and-drag, the Twiddler will emulate a 

left mouse button being held down when 

you press and release the “D” key. Press “D” 

again to “lift” the virtual left mouse button. 

Similarly, a right mouse button is virtually 

“held down” when you use the “ENT” key 

and “lifted” by again pressing ENT. 

 


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The “C” key issues a left-Ctrl-click and the “G” key pro vides a left-Shift-click.

By default, the Twiddler stays in mouse  mode for a period of time after you release the 

mouse but ton. (This may be adjusted by the user. See Programming the Twiddler, below) This 

enables you to position the pointer on the screen, release the NavStick, and then click on an 

object. 

Here is an example of a common situation: You are typing a memo and you wish to insert 

a word two lines above. Press the mouse key and move the point er where you wish to insert 

the word. Remove your thumb from the mouse pointer and it stays in mouse mode until you 

press the “A” key (left-click). This sets the cursor in the selected location and automatically 

exits mouse mode back to keyboard mode so you can start typing immediately.

Installing and Programming the Twiddler

The Twiddler comes programmed with the standard default chord mapping.  We have 

found that this chord mapping is the most efficient setup for most users of the Twiddler.  If you 

would like to change or add chords,  Twiddler Configurator software is available online at 

www.handykey.com.

Configurator  is the program used to configure the Twiddler.  If you have Java installed, you 

should be able to launch Configurator by double clicking on it. Open Configurator then 

plug in the Twiddler. When you plug the Twiddler into your computer for the first time, it will 

enumerate as a standard USB Keyboard device and USB Mouse Device only.  In order to 

enable the onboard USB Flash disk, where your config files are located, hold any of the 

front keys down when you connect the USB connector to your computer.  A drive letter 

corresponding to the Flash Drive should be shown in your file explorer.  It is a 2MB FAT12 

formatted drive.  There are two files on this drive: factory.cfg and twiddler.cfg.  

Be sure to load the current configuration by selecting File>Open>twiddler.cfg, located on 

the Twiddler Drive or you will be starting from a blank file.

The Twiddler Configurator  software is only needed to edit the chord mapping that the 

Twidder uses.  This software is not required to be present on the computer that you use the 

Twiddler on.

Key Assignment Notation

The table shown in the Twiddler Configurator shows the default assignments of symbols, 

functions, or commands to chords formed by pressing and releasing thumb and finger keys. 

The thumb keys designations are as follows: 

O = No thumb key pressed

S = Shift

N = NUM

NA = Both NUM and AL T are pressed

NS = Both NUM and Shift are pressed

 


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Key Chord Mapping

Once you have loaded twiddler.cfg you can print out the entire chord mapping and 

settings for the Twidder.  In Configurator, click on File>Print.   This should give you a single 

page printout for reference.

Click on the Key Chord Mapping Tab to configure the key part of the Twiddler.  On the left 

hand side of the screen you will see a list of the currently programmed chords and their 

associated key codes.

To edit one of the chords just click on it.  In the right pane, a graphic of the Twiddler layout 

will appear with the appropriate keys shaded.  If you would like to change the mapping, 

click on the keys you would like to press instead of the current chord.  The key buttons are 

toggles, click once to change its state, on or off.  Only one key per row is allowed.

Remember to click the Save button to save the new chord to the configuration file.  You 

may wish to save your changes to a new .cfg file. This way you can have many custom 

configuration files suitable for different applications. The Twiddler will use twiddler.cfg only.  

Store your other configurations with different file names.  Also, remember to back them up to 

another drive just in case you reformat your Twiddler.

To create a new chord, click on the New Chord button at the top of the screen.  A new line 

will be entered into the left pane and will be designated O OOOO with no key mapping 

associated with it.  Type the key map you would like in the Key Mapping field.  The toggle 

the keys and thumb buttons you would like to use to invoke this chord. Once complete, click 

save.

To Delete a chord, click on the chord that you would like to delete and then click on the 

delete chord button at the top of the page.

Mouse Chord Mapping

Mouse chord mapping is done exactly as the Key Chord Mapping outlined above except 

you are controlling mouse chords. 

 


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Tek Gear Product Warranty Information

Tek Gear warrants the Twiddler2.1 against defects in material or workmanship as follows: Tek 

Gear will repair or replace the unit at no charge for a period of one (1) year from the date 

of purchase. The decision to repair or replace will be the sole discre tion of Tek Gear. Units 

should be sent prepaid to Tek Gear with a valid RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) 

number clearly marked on the outside of the package. An RMA can be obtained by 

contacting Tek Gear Technical Support via phone, fax or email. Technical Support can be 

reached (9:00AM to 5:00PM CST M-F) at Phone: (204) 988-3001, Fax: (204) 988-3050, email: 

support@tekgear.com.

You must retain the dated sales slip or invoice as evidence of purchase date.

Repair or replacement as provided under this warranty is the exclusive remedy of the 

purchaser. Tek Gear shall not be liable for any incidental or conse quential damages for 

breach of any express or implied warranty on this product. Except to the extent prohibited 

by applicable law, any implied warranty of merchantabil ity or fitness for a particular 

purpose on this product is limited to the duration of this warranty.