Animus 2.5 released, NKRO returns with improvements, mouse controls added, Arbites update upcoming, May-June batch update and general current state affairs updates

In Uncategorized by blahlicus

It has been really busy for the past couple of months and I had been neglecting the blog for quite a bit, so I’m just giving a general update on everything, this blog post is divided into three parts below:

  • Animus/Arbites update details
  • May/June batch updates and current shipping statuses
  • General affairs

Animus update details

Animus 2.5 has been completed and is now being released, it brings a long a huge amount of backend improvements but the most apparent changes for end users will be the addition of mouse controls, the re-enabled and improved NKRO module, and BIOS/legacy compatibility for the new HID module.

A lot of the HID improvements are from nicehood, an Arduino code contributor. Here’s the official release with source code under Apache 2.0, a permissive license. Copy and pasted below are the official patch notes from GitHub.

New features:

  • Mouse Controls: Movement, scroll wheel controls, mouse clicks (left, right, middle, back, next)
  • New NKRO implementation from nicehood/HID
  • New HID keyboard implementation from nicehood/HID, works in BIOS

New features for developers:

  • HID code abstraction layer added to adopt different HID modules and libraries
  • Modified HID library from nicehood (source) now used as default HID module
  • Keyboard lock status now detectable in animus (capslock, scroll lock, number lock, etc)

QoL improvements:

  • Increased 30% gravitas

Arbites update details

Arbites 2.5 will be released in a day or two also with quite a few improvements, a firmware updater is now embedded in Arbites itself, it uses the 1200 baud reset trick on the Atmega32u4s and uploads precompiled hex binaries via AVRDUDE, this was a necessary improvement to allow easy firmware upload to existing devices because the new Animus 2.5 uses external libraries, making it a lot more complicated for non-technical users to update their firmware.

The firmware updater is quite well made and I really like how it turned out, firmware updates now take around 10-20 seconds instead of ~40-50 seconds via the Arduino IDE.

Mouse keys are added to the “specials” tab under the key menu of Arbites, allowing all the controls for the mouse.

May/June batch updates and current shipping statuses

May/June batch are still being shipped off at the moment, as most of you who emailed me know, I am currently moving offices at the moment and that’s causing a lot of delays on the May June batch, most orders should complete by the first week of September by the latest.

Once the office move is completed, the shipping period should reduce significantly since I can finally work in a dedicated place instead of in my living room with boxes filling up literally 75% of the living room. (Rent is very expensive in Hong Kong)

General Affairs

Just to give an update on what I am actually doing for the past months, here’s a general affairs update:

I am in contact with a bag/pouch manufacturer which specialises in making stuff like computer carrying cases, laptop sleeves, mousepads, and wrist-rests, I am hoping to create some custom carrying cases for the Diverges and also some custom wrist rests for some of the keyboards.

The next generation Animus 3.0 is getting developed and a part of that technology is getting transferred to the Animus 2.5 release, Animus 3.0 has been a pain in the arse to develop because I’m targeting STM32 microcontrollers and they are very hard to develop for if you want advanced HID capabilities with abstraction.

Project Legio’s CNC case designs and schematics are all finished, but I still need to work out the PCB trace and layout, hopefully a prototype of sorts could be done before the end of 2017.