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My Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard 4000

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Lianne van de Ven TM-Town Profile


I work with SDL Trados Studio 2017

Fix for the sticky, stiff, noisy spacebar problems with Microsoft's natural ergonomic keyboard 4000

Here is a solution for the problems most of us have experienced for many years with the spacebar of this favorite keyboard. I recently bought a new ergokeyboard despite these problems, replacing a Logitech Wave that was causing wrist pain. The spacebar of the ergokeyboard is hard to press evenly and smoothly, and it makes annoying clicking noises, standing out among all other very smooth and quiet keys. Leaving the keyboard as it comes out of the box is not an option.

I opened up the new keyboard by removing the ALT, B and N keys and then the spacebar, using a pointy knife with a stiff blade and popping them up from underneath. The spacebar can be removed from the bottom in the center. I used an old ergonomic keyboard to analyse what was causing the problem and to test out solutions - and they work!!

Click on images for larger view.
Remove the spacebar with a thin stiff blade. It is helpful to remove both alt keys next to the spacebar also, as well as the b and n keys. They all easily pop up by prying underneath without damaging other parts of the keyboard. remove spacebar
Use a 6 mm (1/4") wide rubber band and cut two pieces of about 10 mm (3/8") long. Use super glue to glue these two small pieces of rubber band on top of the two outer hollow posts or "stoppers" on the keyboard. This is what causes MOST of the noisy tapping!! See next image. rubber band
As has been suggested as a solution by other people, I added padding at the top edges, using double-sided 3M foam tape which is about 2 mm (1/16") thick, removing the protective strip on only one side (!) to tape it to the keyboard. I have seen others using a piece of a mousepad, which is a little thicker. microsoft ergonomic keyboard spacebar
Cut a 2 x 5 cm (25/32" x 2") piece of paper out of a 5 x 5 cm (2" x 2") sticky note and roll it up in a tiny roll. I wrapped it around a toothpick. Make sure to make a straight line and cut it straight to get the right lenght for the roll. Other paper should work too, but this has the right thickness/stiffness. sticky note
Place this tiny roll in the center stud of the spacebar. The roll of paper will stick out about 2 mm (1/16") and the spacebar will activate the contact point better, inside at the bottom of the receiving post. Now, put the spacebar back in place. See next. stud
Keep the bar tilted forward and make sure that the two "arms" of the "coathanger" (as Microsoft seems to call it) are directed backwards and rest in front of the L-shaped plastic brackets. The arms will slide underneath the brackets when you click the spacebar in place, but first make sure that the stud with the roll of paper rests in the receiving post. Press the spacebar down until it clicks in place. replace spacebar
Replace the other keys. Pay attention to the N-key which has a small coathanger as well. Its arms need to slide under their plastic brackets too.



THAT'S IT! Type away. I have been using it for two years now, without any complaints whatsoever.
You'll be surprised!!



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