Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic keyboard + Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by navaira, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #1
    Hello,

    is anybody here using the Sculpt keyboard?
    [​IMG]
    I love the keyboard and how it feels, it's a great update for my MS Natural Ergonomic 4000, but... it uses a wireless USB receiver. And that is a major PITA. I've tried all USB slots I have by now, and with all of them it works for a while, and then it suddenly starts missing keystrokes.

    I installed the IntelliType driver but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I've read that some people suggest a USB extension cable so that the receiver can be as close as possible to the keyboard, but that kinda defeats the whole point of having a wireless keyboard. Why MS didn't decide to use Bluetooth is beyond me.

    Anyway -- does anybody have experience with this keyboard? Did you have receiver problems? The USB receiver operates at 2.4 GHz -- can that be the source of the problem? (I used to have Magic Mouse problems until I switched my wi-fi to 5 GHz, problems disappeared) Is there some setting somewhere that can help? I really like the keyboard, but the intermittent connection problems are baaaad. (I bought the mouse-less model, as I like my Magic Mouse and don't want a replacement.)

    Thanks for any response!
     
  2. Cassady macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Sqornshellous
    #2
    I know this is an old thread - but took the plunge and ordered one. Should arrive tomorrow. Really hoping this works and doesn't give too many issues on Sierra.
     
  3. navaira thread starter macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #3
    I have no issues with it at all other than how bad the USB reception is. Best keyboard I ever used, as far as I am concerned Microsoft is a great manufacturer of keyboards, they should stick with that business ;)
     
  4. Cassady macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Sqornshellous
    #4
    Appreciate the reply. The USB reception was the thing I was most worried about - along with some claiming issues when MacOS updates came through (some of the function keys not working etc.).

    1.) How bad is the USB connection issues? My current Kanex Multisync (BT connection) is driving me up the wall, with it frequently dropping, and my needing to repair again - is it as bad as that?

    2.) Did you need to do anything funny i.t.o. remapping keys?
     
  5. Cassady macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Sqornshellous
    #5
    Arrived a few moments back. So far, so good. Could remap ALT/CMD using System Preferences, and used BTT for the function keys... Connectivity A-OK, straight out of the box.

    I type quickly, but not as a touch-typist. Biggest adjustment seems to be my having to use my right hand to hit "h", whereas it was always the pointer of my left hand that hit it before... Enter key is a bit small, and I automatically hit the delete key, rather than backspace, which is just to the left of it... But sure it won't take too long to swing around...
     
  6. navaira thread starter macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #6
    I use Karabiner to remap the keys – I use it on the Macbook the same way, and when I connect the Macbook to the monitor (with USB hub) I have to switch between Karabiner settings. But Sculpt fixed my RSI completely (and before it Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 did).
     
  7. laydros macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #7
    Old thread, but in case anyone else finds this, there is a trick for USB.

    Basically USB 3.0 interferes with RF used for the connection. You don't need a USB extension cable to get the receiver closer to the keyboard, you just need a USB extension cable to get the receiver a little bit further from the USB 3.0 port, or use a USB 2.0 port if available.

    I've had less issues with Logitech non BT devices, but still some.
     
  8. turbineseaplane macrumors 601

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #8
    Interesting… Which extension are you using?
    Are there some that just stick a little further out of port and that does the trick?
    I'd like to not have a cable hanging out unless that is what it requires?
     
  9. Val-kyrie macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    #9
    So is anyone using the Sculpt successfully on MacOS 10.13 (High Sierra) with or without Karabiner?

    I am interested in purchasing the Sculpt but there are a lot of mixed reviews, including issues with compatibility.

     
  10. navaira thread starter macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #10
    Me, with Karabiner indeed. No issues.
     
  11. Val-kyrie macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    #11
    Thanks for the reply. One last question. Are you able to use the f-keys for special functions (e.g. screen brightness)?
     
  12. navaira thread starter macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #12
    Only as they are mapped. Karabiner-Elements (Sierra+ version) doesn't react to me trying to remap them. But then to be honest I rarely use those, unless I'm on a laptop.
     
  13. scarab0 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2017
    #13
    Just noticed this thread and I also have that keyboard.

    OP, make sure you unplug your USB HUB from the Mac. I also have the problem with missing keystrokes whenever I add my usb hub. I often time think that the battery might be on the low end and therefore am looking for software from microsoft to install on the mac but there is none :(
     
  14. Darf Nader macrumors newbie

    Darf Nader

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    #14
    Anyone know what the steady red LED light between the split space bar means? It turns on the moment I put fresh batteries in it and stays on so I don't think that it is a connection issue. This is the second Sculpt that I have had that this has happened, but the last one was at work so I just swapped it out as I was unable to find anything on line to indicate what this means, let alone fix the problem.

    I should point out that the underside of the keyboard from where the red LED is gets warm to the touch after a few minutes. This is probably a bad sign. Both of these keyboards that had this happen were not even a year old!
     
  15. navaira thread starter macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #15
    Oh? That exists? Never saw it! Maybe it's Microsoft's sorry attempt at backlight... (the only fault this keyboard has)
     
  16. Darf Nader macrumors newbie

    Darf Nader

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    #16
    No, it looks like a pair of bright red LEDs between the split space bar and they will stay lit until the batteries die. The light heats the back of the keyboard as well so I suspect there is a short. I wish I could find out what it means so I could take it apart and try to fix it. This is the Sculpt that I have had that has done this. It’s basically dead.
     
  17. o.bulkin macrumors newbie

    o.bulkin

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2018
    #17
    Is this with USB-3 or USB-2? I can't get mine working, and I'm wondering if it's the issue described by @turbineseaplane.
     
  18. davidmartindale macrumors regular

    davidmartindale

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Location:
    PNW, USA
    #18
    I have intermittent connectivity issues with all MS wireless keyboards and mice that use the dongle on both Macs and PCs. I think MS just doesn't make a good wireless adapter
     
  19. eltoslightfoot macrumors 6502a

    eltoslightfoot

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #19
    Interesting, do you have it near something that is interfering with it? I use the sculpt keyboard for both my desktop and my macbook pro, and the only time I had trouble is when I had a lot of metal around it interfering with it.
     
  20. Paul Himes macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    #20
    The connection was terrible when I had the receiver plugged into the back of my iMac. Now I have it plugged into a USB hub on my desk next to the iMac, and the reception is perfect. It seems like the iMac was blocking the signal.
     
  21. ergoego macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    #21
    So it works fine for you on Mojave?
    I'm thinking about buying the Sculpt but can't seem to get a straight answer on how well it's working with the current OSX.
     
  22. Paul Himes macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    #22
    Yes, on Mojave on a 2014 iMac.

    If you're ordering it from somewhere with a decent return policy, I'd say it's safe to give it a try.
     
  23. ergoego macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    #23
    Thanks! Will give it a try then.
    Most of the alternatives are a lot more expensive. The R-GO Tools split keyboard being the one exception, but it seems to come without options to create (negative) keyboard tilt.
     
  24. navaira thread starter macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #24
    I bought an extension cable to make sure nothing is between the keyboard and receiver, and as long as I don't move further than 3 meters or so (10 ft) it works perfectly. Not to mention that since the first post I am still using the same two batteries it came with (I don't use the number pad).
     
  25. Darf Nader macrumors newbie

    Darf Nader

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    #25
    Yes, this seems to be a common problem that affects the the quality of the RF signal and therefore the performance of the keyboard. I found that when I had the USB dongle attached the back of my mac mini and the keyboard was on an ergonomic tray under my desk and outside of the "line of sight" from the computer (which shouldn't matter), I couldn't get a reliable connection at all. I ended up using the USB hub built into my monitor and plugging the dongle into one of the ports on the side of the monitor so that it was "out in the open" and was farther away from devices that might be affecting its ability to receive the signal from the keyboard. (I don't know where the physical transmitter is located inside the keyboard, but having less "stuff' in the way solve all of these problems. I did find that even having 3/4" of MDF (the wood amalgam that is used to make Ikea desks) between the keyboard and the transmitter was enough to interfere with reliable operation.

    Also, it may be that having a powered USB hub rather than a hub that just uses power drawn from the USB port it's plugged into might actually help its reception. I have no hard evidence to back this up, but anecdotally I found that plugging the dongle into a powered USB hub appeared to work more reliably than using a non-powered one.
     

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24 August 7, 2015