Supported hardware

From Plover Wiki

Having a dedicated steno device is helpful for ergonomics and speed. This page lists the types of steno hardware (writers/machines/keyboards) that Plover supports.

For most users, we recommend one of the commercially available hobbyist writers. All of the listed writers are perfectly adequate! Choose one that's in stock and within your budget. Plover also supports:

Commercially available hobbyist writers

See also: choosing a hobbyist steno writer.

Product Name Manufacturer About Javelin?(embedded steno) Price (USD)
TinyMod Charley Shattuck TinyMod

Open source hardware. A smaller, nonsplit version of the Stenomod that omits the number bar in order to reduce costs and size. The center vowel key is used as a number bar replacement. See Mirabai’s review.

Stock status (January 2024): In stock

No $140 (stock)
$180 (silent)
International site
Nolltronics Nolltronics Ecosteno

A machine whose mission is to be the best value option on the market. It has low-profile Kailh Choc switches with 20g actuation force. It features USB-C connectivity and an aluminum backplate with a solid tripod mount.

Stock status (June 2024): In stock

No $95
International site
Nolltronics Multisteno

The premium version of the Ecosteno, the Multisteno features 42 Kailh Choc (Pro Pink) switches with 20g actuation force, USB-C connectivity, an aluminum backplate, and a solid tripod mount.

Stock status (June 2024): In stock

No $170
Asterisk StenoKeyboards Asterisk

A split, unibody steno keyboard with touch capacitive sensors (Adjustable sensitivity). Traditional steno machine layout with top number bar.

Stock status (June 2024): In stock

Yes $50
The Uni The Uni

A split, unibody steno keyboard that comes pre-assembled with Gateron Clears (35g).

Stock status (June 2024): In stock

Yes $100
Polyglot StenoKeyboards Polyglot

A steno keyboard made for both steno and Qwerty. Has QMK. More switches enable normal typing in Qwerty mode or extended steno layout.

Stock status (June 2024): In stock

Yes $125
Starboard Stenography Store Starboard

An ergonomic steno keyboard with choc pink key-switches and can be screwed onto a tripod.

Stock status (June 2024): In stock

Yes $90
SOFT/HRUF Splitography Scott Urueta SOFT/HRUF Splitography

Open source hardware. Its keycaps are injection molded and fit on Matias keyboard switches. The name is the steno representation for, and is pronounced as, “soft love”. The SOFT/HRUF uses Matias Red switches (~40g actuation). With third-party springs and removing the switch’s internal leaflet, it is possible to reduce the force required to actuate.

Stock status (June 2024): Out of stock (source)

No $138

To set up one of these with Plover, see setting up a hobbyist writer with Plover.

See also: out of production writers.

Stenotype machines

Supported protocols

Plover supports several protocols that are in use by various machines:

  • Stentura serial: most machines by Stenograph and many others.
  • Gemini PR serial: typically any recent machine made by the Neutrino Group, such as the Piper, Revolution, or Infinity series.
  • ProCAT: protocol used by all ProCAT machines.
  • TX Bolt: an older protocol supported by some machines as a primary or secondary protocol.
  • Treal: used only by the Treal from Word Technologies.
  • Passport: used only by the Passport Writer from Advantage Software.

This means that, in theory, many machines work with Plover.

Known supported stenotypes

The following machines have been confirmed by users to work with Plover after actually trying it:

Product Name Manufacturer Protocol/Connection Comments
Elan Cybra Student Stenograph Stenograph USB OR TX Bolt (serial)
Flash, Blaze, Impression, and Xpression ProCAT ProCAT (serial, maybe) (For Blaze and other Windows CE-based writers) USB cannot be used with Plover, it is only to transfer files created on the Blaze to your PC or CAT software. USB does not work on Windows 10, only Windows XP (with ActiveSync), and Windows Vista/7/8 with WMDC.exe (Windows Mobile Device Center). Both are abandonware. You need an RJ11 (male) to DB9 (female) to use this writer.
Flash Writer ProCAT TX Bolt Press Mode (far right button), click Setup, then press the Emul button. Display should read Emulate: Baron
Gemini2 Neutrino Group Gemini PR (serial)
Gemini RT Neutrino Group TX Bolt Must start a job on screen or in Infinity2
Lightspeed Stenovations TX Bolt (serial over USB/Bluetooth) Baud rate 9600
Lightspeed Touch Stenovations Gemini PR, TX Bolt (USB only) Must use provided “Lightspeed Zenith” software, not the “Lightspeed” software from the Stenovations website. Protocol can be changed depending on the “Writer Mode” setting in options. Choose “Model II and Model III” at startup.
Infinity Ergonomic Neutrino Group Gemini PR (serial over USB/Bluetooth) Baud rate 115200
Infinity Genesis Neutrino Group Gemini PR (serial)
Passport Advantage Software Passport (USB)
Passport Touch Advantage Software USB, Bluetooth While in “Emulation Mode”: Stentura over Bluetooth or TX Bolt over USB 
Revolution Grand Neutrino Group Gemini PR (serial)
Stentura 400 SRT Stenograph Stentura (serial) Setup Instructions
Stentura 200 SRT Stenograph Stentura (serial)
Stentura 500 Stenograph Stentura (serial)
Stentura 8000 and 8000LX Stenograph Stentura (serial)
Stentura Protégé Stenograph Stentura (serial) OR Stenograph USB Works with the plover-stenograph plugin for USB. For Stentura serial: connect Serial-to-USB cable to serial port of Protégé. Setup Instructions for Serial
Tréal Word technologies Treal (USB)
Wave Stenograph Stentura (serial) OR Stenograph USB Requires Stenograph drivers to do serial on Windows. All platforms can use the plover-stenograph plugin. Make sure “serial protocol” on the Wave is set to “Stentura”.
Luminex II Stenograph Stenograph USB OR Stenograph Wi-Fi All platforms can use the plover-stenograph plugin for USB or Wi-Fi. Make sure the machine is connected to the same local network to use Wi-Fi.

Standard keyboards

If you cannot purchase a steno keyboard, you can also use a standard computer keyboard.

See: using a standard keyboard with Plover.

Video game controllers

See: Video game controllers

DIY steno writers

See: DIY steno writers