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The Combimouse is currently being developed and is expected to go on sale sometime in 2017. It has been under development for a long time in to overcome ergonomic, manufacturing and battery life issues. These issues have now been resolved.

The proof of concept phase is over. We are now working on the Design For Manufacture phase. When that is complete the Industrial design will be completed by a suitable design company. The project plan has an overview of the project.

To keep the download size of this webpage to a minimum, the Monthly status updates just provide summaries. For details please go to the linked Facebook articles.

Monthly Status Update by Ari Zagnoev - Prototype almost complete (2 February 2017)

For a lot more details and photographs on this month's activities please go to Facebook.

This month I worked hard and made a lot of progress. Please see the photos in the Facebook link. The prototype is almost complete and I hope to have it ready by the end of February so that we can start speaking to potential investors.

Monthly Status Update by Ari Zagnoev - Keyboard membranes received - Left Combimouse design essentially complete(31 December 2016)

For more details on this month's activities please go to Facebook.

In this Facebook post I have uploaded some photos which include photos of the Left Combimouse, and some other photos.

I have received the Keyboard membranes. The membrane for the Left Combimouse has no errors. The design and assembly of the Left Combimouse is mostly complete and I will be returning to the Right Combimouse soon.

This month I also looked at a number of other things as described in the Facebook post.

Monthly Status Update by Ari Zagnoev - Worked on Lithium Battery, Right Plastics, Firmware, Proximity sensor, keyboard membrane and other aspects(30 November 2016)

I have posted the same update to Facebook.

This month I worked on many aspects of the right Combimouse design. It is all coming together well after spending time on the CAD design. There are a number of minor tweaks, but in general it is looking very good.

I possibly should have had a new right plastics made using 3D printing, but the design is very similar to the previous version that I decided to save costs by hand modifying the previous plastics. It is now okay but as I said possibly I should have had a new plastics made.

I gutted the insides because I no longer need the complex replaceable battery compartment. That was a good decision to move away from the Alkaline replaceable batteries which was a nightmare. Initally that design only used one battery which was a problem. So I hacked the design to somehow include two batteries which made it very complex. Now with the built in rectangular LIPO battery it is much simpler. I would say that the AAA alkaline battery solution was just not possible. Using the LIPO battery is straight forward as I am using it in it's simplest configuration ie. single cell and conservative charging. You have probably heard of problems with Lithium batteries but that is when companies are pushing them too hard. When used conservatiely they are easy to use and safe.

I have contemplated using the same rechargeable LIPO battery on the left Combimouse. In the short term there are advantages in that the plastics design is much simpler which significantly reduces the start up tooling costs. However in the long term it will add a few dollars to the sale price, so probably the best solution is to use Alkaline batteries. I'm still thinking about it but I am leaning towards Alkaline batteries.

I have made many changes to the right Combimouse plastics design and I am very happy with the results. It now is much better in all respects. The previous version incorporated many unexpected design changes and it became too complicated - definitely wasn't suitable for production.

One of the big changes is the move to a Bluetooth module. This has also turned out very well. Using the latest technology has many benefits.

Another change was to replace the oboslete proximity sensor IC. This new IC is much easier to use, very low power consumption and of course not obsolete.

I haven't yet implemented the keyboard. I only ordered the new flexible membrane keyboard circuits a week ago and should receive them mid December. I had completed the design some time ago but was trying to find a suitable manufacturer. I ultimately used the manufacturer that I had used before. The problem was that this time they charged US$450 whereas before they only charged US$100. I still have a few other things to work and so it isn't too much of an issue that I will only receive the membranes in two weeks.

The one thing I will be working on is making the Gazelle (ie. the prorprietary protocol dongles). I am having some problems getting them to work.

I have also purchased a LASER cutter. I will be using that to make various parts. It is a cheap Chinese cutter and I have to assemble it and get it working. It comes disassembled with no instructions :-) I was aware of this as I had read about it online and many people have posted instructions. It should be okay.

As I don't yet have the keyboard working I am unable to test Bluetooth which requires a keyboard to enter pairing codes.

There are many other aspects that I have been working on. It is nice to see it all going together as everything is now designed from scratch to integrate properly. The previous version incorporated many incremental design changes and it was compromised and definitely not suitable for production. It was useful as a proof of design in terms of usability but wasn't suitable for production.

As I said I have been working on many aspects of the design and I think I have covered everything in this monthly status update.

Monthly Status Update by Ari Zagnoev - Worked on Firmware - Mouse and Keyboard commands working - Took a break :-) (31 October 2016)

I have posted the same update to Facebook.

This month I took a week break. First in a long time.

This morning I got the mouse working. I also have keyboard commands working. I've been lazy and haven't yet ordered keyboard flexible membrane circuits. Our previous supplier quoted high for prototypes so I am looking for an alternative. This is now urgent as most everything else is almost ready. I have now found a Chinese supplier and we have just started discussions.

So until I get the flexible membranes I can't fully test the keyboards.

I have ordered Lithium Iron batteries and will follow up on the order.

I am reusing the old plastics as the design is similar. I will hand make the various changes.

I did struggle with a few firmware issues but that is to be expected. I haven't yet tested Bluetooth as I need a full keyboard to enter pairing codes.To pair with Bluetooth all the numeric keys need to be available. Each Combimouse half is a separate Bluetooth device so each Combimouse only has half the numeric keys. All the numeric keys are required for pairing so I will have to implement the missing numeric keys as second function.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev - All CAD work is essentially complete. Working on firmware - keyboard commands working (30 September 2016)

I have posted the same update to Facebook.

With this prototype version I am designing everything to be suitable for production. It will still need to go through professional industrial design but I am laying the groundwork for that.

I have been working on all aspects simultaneously to ensure that everything will integrate properly.

All CAD work is essentially complete. I sent off a quote for the flexible membrane circuits and key labelling rub ons. The initial quote was US$900 for both of these. I am going to look for a cheaper quote.

The 3D redesign of the right Combimouse is essentially complete. I think I will order plastic prototype soon. This will be made using 3D printing. 3D printing isn't ideal as it needs some cleaning - it is stepped. CNC would be better but it is more expensive. For now 3D is more than good enough.

I have received the new circuit boards. I have identified suitable Lithium batteries but haven't ordered them yet
I have the firmware working for the Left Combimouse and that is now probably complete. I need to receive the flexible membranes to test it fully.

I am now working on the firmware for combining the keyboard and mouse functionality for the Right Combimouse.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev - I have started work on Bluetooth and Lithium battery (31 August 2016)

For a more detailed update please read this Facebook post.

The current prototype works well and it is possible to take it to manufacturing, however it would be expensive and risky. One issue is emission testing and certification. To overcome that I am moving to Bluetooth and using an off the shelf Bluetooth certified module.

I also had a problem with the current prototype with respect to the battery. Moving to a rechargeable lithium battery solves those problems.

I have had a minor setback in that the keyboard technology I am using on the current prototype has reliability issues. I will be changing back to conventional keyboard technology. See the Facebook post for more details.

The new PCBs have been designed and I will be receiving them next week. I will post photos when I receive them.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev - We are finalising the Business plan - Prototype is ready for Demonstration (31 July 2016)

The status update below is the same as the update to Facebook.

I have completed the business plan. Simon Herron who is an accountant and is one of the shareholders is currenlty reviewing the business plan. It is useful to have him on the team as Roger and I prefer the technical side while Simon's forte is the business side.

While completing the business plan I looked at ways of reducing costs. We need a fairly high investment. While doing this I realised that moving to an internal rechareable Lithium battery would have significant cost savings. Development would be a lot easier and tooling for plastic injection moulding would also be a lot cheaper. These two costs were very high. They are still high but now reduced. It would also make it quicker to get into production. It will add about US$3 to the retail price which in the long run is not a good choice but that has been thought about carefully.

Similarly during this cost cutting exercise I found that changing to Bluetooth would also reduce costs signifcantly. During this exercise I also realised that with my previous solution I would not have been able to encrypt keyboard comms from both Comibmouse parts.

The prototype is now ready and once we have finalised the business plan we will start looking for investors.

In the meantime I have started designing the next version that will incorporate Bluetooth and the rechargeable Lithium battery. I expect to complete the hardware design within a week and will then get all the hardware made. I will then need to port the firmware code.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev - I have been updating the Business plan - Will be using Bluetooth (30 June 2016)

The status update below is the same as the update to Facebook.

This month I spent time updating the Business Plan and getting quotes.

All electronic products must be certified to check that they don’t radiate too much and that they work properly when subjected to radiation from other products. This is a very expensive process. This led me to look into Bluetooth. There are many pre certified Bluetooth modules which dramatically reduces the cost of development and means we can get into production quicker. However, as I pointed out in my previous Facebook post, Windows 7 users will have a problem. If this is a problem please let me know.

I have been using Combimouse most of the time and it is great! I do have a quirk and that is the 7 key isn’t working. I’m just lazy and it should be easy to fix.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev - I am testing the Prototype and making improvements (31 May 2016)

The status update below is the same as the update to Facebook.

I am still testing and making minor improvements. I have now started testing by people who have never used the Combimouse before. Last week someone successfully tested the Combimouse. There is still a problem with sticky keys in which some keys don't always work. This is because it's not a production device and so is not considered to be a real issue. I can improve these bad keys and will do so.

I need to have the prototype tested by a number of people. I learnt some useful things by last weeks tester. The good thing was that within an hour he was using the Combimouse fluently.

Ari Zagnoev

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev - I am testing the Prototype and making improvements (30 April 2016)

The status update below is the same as the update to Facebook.

This month I finally completed the prototype and started testing it. It is always exciting to use it again after a few months break while it was being worked on. It works very well and it is very exciting.

The homepage of this website now shows this prototype. The prototype is black because that is the most convenient colour for prototyping. We still need to decide on the colour/s for the production Combimouse.

The previous prototype was flimsy, hand made and the design was not production orientated.

I have found something that can improve typing and I am currently making the change. It should take a a few days to implement. Ideally I should have more plastics 3D printed but it is getting expensive, so I will have to make the changes by hand. It is a pity because it currently looks so good but the change is to the bottom and it will have to do. I don't want to go into detail because I feel that we have given away a lot on the website and it is possible that someone may be interested in copying.

Ari Zagnoev

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev - Prototype is almost ready (31 March 2016)

The status update below is the same as the update to Facebook.

The Left Combimouse prototype is ready. The Right Combimouse prototype is almost ready. I need another week or two. It depends on the component that I have been waiting for.

I was hoping to post a photo of the Right prototype in time for this month's update but I need a few more days.

Then it should be fully working and I will be able to start testing.

Ari Zagnoev

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (29 February 2016)

The status update below is the same as the update to Facebook.

The Left Combimouse prototype is now ready.

I am currently working on the Right Combimouse and I am confident that it will be ready in a few weeks.
This is the first time that I am using 3D printed plastics and it gives the prototype a professional finish and closely represents a manufacturable product. I am also now concentrating on detailed design of the inside and bottom. There will still be some design details to be worked out but for the most part DFM (Design For Manufacture) is ready.

However the design company that has quoted to professionally complete the DFM have quoted quite high, which I suppose is to be expected as they have the experience. They only provided a quick quote as they require funding for a comprehensive quote. Once they do look at the completed prototype I am confident that the quote will come down.

So my focus is to complete the prototype and take it from there.

Ari Zagnoev

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (31 January 2016)

For a more detailed update please read the Facebook post.

This month I mostly worked on updating and refining the CAD design. I spent a lot of time on detail, refinements and improvements. There are still a number of minor design issues that I need the Design Company to resolve but otherwise it is now essentially complete.

The Design Company has now quoted using this latest design. I discuss this in the Facebook post.

Now that I have updated the CAD design I decided that it would be a good idea to get a new set of Right Combimouse plastics printed. There were many minor errors in the previous version. Also this time I designed everything together so now everything fits together properly.

I have ordered the new plastics and should receive them soon.

My aim is to get the new prototype ready together with the updated business plan so that I can approach investors.

All these delays of course are frustrating but still I see the work done as progress. There haven’t been any setbacks and the CAD design is now far advanced. The new prototype will look like it has come off the production line.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (31 December 2015)

For a more detailed update please read the Facebook post.

I am currently assembling the latest prototype that will look like it came off the production line. It is looking very good.

While I am assembling the latest prototype I am also working on the 3D design drawing. The Design Company had said they would quote some time ago but have been too busy. So I have taken the opportunity to work on the design. It is now almost complete. They will now be able to provide a more accurate quote and I think it will be less then what they would have quoted before because there are fewer unknowns.

I prefer not to talk about investors and any negotiations.

I am very confident and it is inevitable that we will find an investor to help us commercialise the product.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (30 November 2015)

I have identified a potential design company that will team up to manufacutre the Combimouse. They are currently quoting.

I am also improving on the prototype to make it more presentable to potential investors.

For more detail please read this Facebook post..

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (31 October 2015)

This month I have been working on updating the business plan and cleaning up the prototype.

Once the business plan is complete we can start approaching VCs. It appears that VCs take their time and it could be a few months before a deal is done. I did think that possibly we should have started earlier but the prototype wasn't complete and that could have been seen as a risk. The prototype is now complete and cleaned up which makes it that more impressive.

I have duplicated this update on Facebook.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (30 September 2015)

I am now using the prototype full time and it works well.

It's time to update the business plan and start looking for investors to help us complete the start up phase.

For details of what I did this month please read this Faceobook post.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (31 August 2015)

I am working on adding a second battery to the right Combimouse and it is almost done. For more details please read this Facebook post.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (31 July 2015)

This month I increased the standby battery life. I am now working on increasing the active battery life. I struggled with this. The only solution is to add a second battery to the right Combimouse. I previously didn't think this was possible but now that I am forced to do it I have managed to find a way. I will need to design and have a new PCB manufactured which should take two weeks.

This month I also fixed a problem in which the Right Combimouse would from time to time reset.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (30 June 2015)

This month I worked on increasing the standby battery life of right Combi. I have almost completed this task.

I discuss this a bit more in this Facebook post.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (31 May 2015)

For a detailed summary of this months progress please read this Facebook post.

I am close to using the prototype Combimouse full time. It is always exciting to get back to using it after making the numerous refinements I list in the Facebook post.

Now that I am close to finishing the prototype there is a need to be confidential which I once again discuss on Facebook.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (30 April 2015)

I received the new right Printed Circuit Board and it is now fully operational. There doesn't seem to be any problems at the moment.

I need to finish up with the prototype and start testing, but I must address some issues. They are not difficult and shouldn’t take long. I talk about these issues on Facebook. .

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (30 March 2015)

This month I struggled with persistent problems on the right Combi PCB. You can read about it on our Facebook page.

To overcome these problems I will be redesiging the PCB as I discuss in this Facebook post.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (28 February 2015)

I am still making the changes mentioned in last month's update. There is one minor problem which I should sort out soon and then I'll start the second round of testing. It is frustrating that things are going slowly, but there is definite progress.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (29 January 2015)

The prototype is now ready and I am testing. When I am happy to use it full time we will start looking for investors to get into production.

I made a video which shows the power of the Combimouse. It's as good as it looks!

During testing I found a number of minor problems which I'm working on. You can read about this on this Facebook post.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (31 December 2014)

This is a summary of the status. For more details please read the status posted to Facebook.

I was hoping to finish the prototype and start testing by today, but I need a few more days. There are still two faulty keys on left Combi and I need to make the left space bar configurable as either a space key or backspace key.

There are still three outstanding design issues that need attention and they are discussed in detail in the Facebook post.

I have spent a lot of time with attention to detail and it is paying off. I say to myself what has been the big deal, it now just works. It's easy to forget all the annoying problems of the past.

Intermediate Status Update by Ari Zagnoev(8 December 2014)

I normally post a status update to this Combimouse webpage at the end of every month. Today I have posted a lengthy intermediate update to Facebook here.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev (30 November 2014)

The prototype should be ready within a few weeks. I will then test it and see whether I can use it full time. I'm sure that as I test I will need to make changes and refinements. Then it will be a matter of looking for investors.

I still need to do a couple of minor things to complete the prototype but none of them are risky. One such task is to label the keys with dry transfer. I hare ordered custom dry transfers which I will receive this coming week.

Some of the keys don’t always register a key press but that should be easy to resolve. There are also a couple of minor firmware bugs that need to be resolved.

I need to make the left Combimouse a few mm lower. It is 5mm higher than my Apple keyboard and I don't like it. This will take a few days.

As a reminder one of the objectives of making this prototype was to complete most of the R&D and so reduce the investment risk. I am confident that this has mostly been achieved. The one area that still needs some R&D is the plastic design. The latest prototype has been designed to be manufacturable and suitable for plastic injection moulding, however some details need to resolved by an expert. The cost of the moulding tool may be high and this needs to be looked into..

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev(30 October 2014)

I am now tweeting regularly. If you are interested in what I am working on from day to day you can follow our Twitter account.

This month I have been concentrating on the scroll wheel. It was frustrating trying to find the right combination of parts and a good solution. One of the problems is that the scroll wheel must always be active and must not waste battery. Due to a limitation of the microprocessor interrupts this is difficult (the processor is level interrupted and not edge interrupted). For now the scroll wheel is only active during mouse mode which requires that the right unit is gripped. This isn't ideal as it is more convenient to lightly grip a mouse when scrolling. This will be fixed in the future. Another problem I encountered was with the parts available to me to implement the scroll wheel and I reworked the prototype a number of times. I now have a good solution, but it still needs to be tested with a fully assembled right Combi.

The new flexible membranes were shipped yesterday. They had to remake them because they made a mistake on the first run, so there was a delay of 2 weeks. With these new membranes I will be able to make the left Combi prototype. In addition I have found a way of reducing the moment of innertia for the right Combi and I need the new membrane to implement this.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev(29 September2014)

I am now tweeting regularly. If you are interested in what I am working on from day to day you can follow our Twitter account.

Right Combi should be fully functional within a few weeks. There will still be refinements but it will be good enough to demonstrate to investors. Right Combi can be used together with a normal keyboard. So for testing and demonstration the right hand can be on Combi while the left hand can be on any keyboard.

There was an error when I specified the flexible membranes. I was able to work around the error and use the right membrane, but the left one was unusable. Last week I ordered a new set of membranes which should arrive in 4 weeks. I will then be able to make the left Combi. In addition I have found a way of reducing the moment of innertia for the right Combi, but I will have to wait for the new set of membranes to implement this improvement.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev(28 August 2014)

On the 18th of August I provided a detailed status update in this blog. As noted in the blog I have made good progress and I now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In the blog I had noted that I had problems with the right Combi plastic. I have now made a new plastics and it is okay - it was a case of one step back and two steps forward. Now it's on to the keyboard module.

Detailed Status Update by Ari Zagnoev(18 August 2014)

I have uploaded a blog in which I go into a lot of detail on the work over the last year and I give a detailed status update.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev(30 July 2014)

I now have all the sub-circuits on the Right Combi PCB workiing. So the mouse sensor is working, the radio is working and the proximity sensor is working. I haven't started on the brake which I'll leave to later. I am now integrating these functions by working on the overall right Combi software. At the moment I am working on reducing power consumption by putting the processor to sleep whenever possible, for example between key press and key release.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev(30 June 2014)

This month i did the following. 1)Adapted the reference software solution from Nordic and combined keyboard and mouse commands for the right Combi. I now have simulated keyboard and mouse messages being sent from the right combi to the dongle. 2) Successfully interfaced via the I2C protocol with the proximity sensor on the right Combi. I have read working and am working on writes.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev(31 May 2014)

Now that I have settled in and got my development up and running, I am going to resume regular end of month updates.

Previously I had got the left Combi communicating with the Dongle but it was unreliable. I have now solved this problem and it works well. We have moved to a new microprocessor/radio technology and as usual it takes time to find the quirks and familiarise ones self with something new. We are also using a new mouse sensor IC from Pixart Imaging and a new proximity sensor from Freescale Semiconductor - this is necessary as the previous Combimouse prototype used old technologies.

We have found a new supplier for the keyboard sub-assembly (ie. keys, scissors mechanism and membrane) which is even lighter than the previous sub-assembly. I will now be incorporating this new keyboard technology and hopefully there will be minimal issues to overcome.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev(12 May 2014)

I have now settled in Melbourne and finally got internet access. Melbourne is a vibrant city and is second after Sydney as a financial hub in Australia. I will now continue working on the prototype so that the Combimouse is ready for investment and commercialisation.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev(12 March 2014)

I am moving to Melbourne. One of the reasons is that there is better investment opportunity in Melbourne. I was planning on completing the prototype before moving but had to move before it is completed. Unfortunately this means I will be unable to work on the project for a couple of weeks or so but we will be in a much better position to continue the development once the move is complete.

Status Update by Ari Zagnoev(1 February 2014)

Printed circuit boards have been made. Software is being developed for the new technologies. We almost have the left Combimouse PCB working and sending keyboard commands to the dongle and onto the computer.

Click here to view a photo of the prototype Left Combimouse PCB and dongle. The Right Combimouse PCB has not been included because that is where all the interesting technology is and we would like to protect this IP as long as possible.

In the photo you can see an IC at the top left of the larger PCB. This is the combined microprocessor and radio. It is the only IC on the board. Above it if you look carefully you can see the antenna which is a track on the PCB. The dongle shown is a development dongle. The production dongle will be smaller.

We do have a problem with funding and I have agreed to fund the development of the prototype and to not draw a salary. I am working full time on Combimouse. Due to lack of funding we are unable to contract out work and have to work inefficiently, but we are commited to completing the protoytpe. This means that scheduling has slipped as can be seen on the Project Plan. Completion of task 5 has slipped from January to March.

Status Update (21 December 2013)

We have received the prototype circuit boards and they are currently being populated. Software will then be written.

Keyboard flexible membrane circuits have been made. There was a minor error in the requirement specification and another iteration will be necessary, however the membrane can still be used to evaluate the technology. The keyboard technology being used has a number of advantages most importantly light weight. There are however some ergonomic issues which need to be looked into and they are the relatively high 65gms of force required to press the keys. We think that 50gms is optimal. The other issue is the lack of cushioning at the end of the keystroke.

Status Update (25 November 2013)

Electronics design is complete and will be evaluated soon. Printed circuit boards will be ordered soon and the software port from Cypress to Nordic will commence soon.
Keyboard flexible membrane design currently being evaluated by keyboard supplier.

Status Update (28 October 2013)

It is necessary to upgrade the electronics because the current prototype has a battery life of under two weeks.

There were two options for the microprocessor/radio technology: upgrade to latest Cypress technology or change to Nordic. There were many pros and cons to each, but In the end, we've decided on Nordic.

The internal mechanical design for the right Combi is almost complete and will be prototyped together with the new electronics.
The new circuit board for the right Combi is currently being designed.

Status Update (19 September 2013)

A keyboard supplier has been found that will manufacture the custom Combimouse keyboard. The quote for tooling is US$40K. Tooling is the custom machinery that has to be created that will be used to manufacture the custom Comibmouse keyboard.

Their price for supplying the keyboard modules is very reasonable and it will enable us to sell the Combimouse for under US$120. This price includes a reasonable profit margin and if necessary we could drop the price slightly.

Status Update (18 August 2013)

We have completed the proof of concept phase and are looking for investors to help us manufacture the Combimouse.

The scroll wheel on the right part is not yet functional. The left part is not yet functional. An older prototype left part is fully functional. The base microprocessor and radio technology is using old technology and will be upgraded.




Combimouse Pty Ltd