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Thursday, December 25, 2014

A keyboard for stargazers - The Razer BlackWidow Chroma

Razer, a computer peripherals company, recently included an illuminated keyboard in its portfolio. Although it was primarily made for the gamer scene, it has many useful features for stargazers.

Image: The Razer BlackWidow Chroma keyboard

This keyboard is suitable for astronomy applications since the red light keeps the eyes adapted in the darkness. Each key can be separately set to a specific color  (see image). The keyboard can be dimmed.

Stargazers may want to:
  • set all alphanumeric keys in red
  • set control keys in light red
  • set often used letters (e.g. N, G, C, M, _, I, m, a, g, e) in dark red
  • turn off all keys usually not really needed (see image)
to improve the work with MaximDL, TheSky, or AstroArt at night. All these settings make things easier at night when every key stroke counts.

The keyboard can connect the personal razerzone.com internet account of the user in order to share his/her settings across other Razer devices. It supports the import / export of the settings on a hard drive. My own settings are available for download on my site.

This modern keyboard is built like a tank. It works on Mac and Windows, even on old Windows XP machines.

Some years ago, I have developed a free app (RedScreen.exe) to also protect eye adaption during your astronomy sessions. If you like, you can download it here for free.

Thanks for reading.

Panagiotis Xipteras

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