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Yerp

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Anybody ever do anything like this? Seems pretty relevant. I, like everyone, have about eight bonus keyboards lying around.
RockStar

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These guys did it well.
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mwick

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I may just have to give that a try.
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notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #4 
I played around with trying this when I was starting to make custom controls, but I ultimately found that buying an Arduino Leonardo (Arduino's board for keyboard/joystick emulation) was a simpler solution for me. While it could be argued that a keyboard is cheaper if you have one laying around the house, I found the ebay price of $10 for an Arduino Leonardo board was worth not having to take anything apart and mess with the trial and error of getting everything to work.

That being said; if you do make some cool custom controls using this method, please share. More knowledge is always better!

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Thompsolonian

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by notsabbat
I played around with trying this when I was starting to make custom controls, but I ultimately found that buying an Arduino Leonardo (Arduino's board for keyboard/joystick emulation) was a simpler solution for me. While it could be argued that a keyboard is cheaper if you have one laying around the house, I found the ebay price of $10 for an Arduino Leonardo board was worth not having to take anything apart and mess with the trial and error of getting everything to work.

That being said; if you do make some cool custom controls using this method, please share. More knowledge is always better!



This is exactly what we did for our Artemis sim at conventions. Leonardo arduinos, if you're lucky, can be bought in bulk off Ebay for about $3-4 apiece. A lot easier than trying to drill/solder into the keyboard and easy to flash to make it think it's a keyboard.
BigEd

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Reply with quote  #6 
I've done this, hacked a keyboard.  Finding the pin mappings took the longest. Soldering onto the plastic was difficult.  I had to buy a new tip for my soldering iron and thin solder to make it work.  I was trying to make a weapons console (unfinished) and was hard wiring buttons to specific keys.
Angel of Rust

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Reply with quote  #7 
If the keyboard is still in one piece at the start of the project, you can draw out the keyboard matrix arrangement on paper before detaching the controller. That way, you'll know which row and column pins each of the keys occupies beforehand. The row and column traces are usually quite visible (typically on clear plastic sheets) when you open the keyboard housing. If you're amenable to alternative hardware, some cheap tactile buttons can be used instead of the keys. They will be a lot more forgiving when soldering. You can write down on your paper map which key each of the buttons is replacing and then re-wire the row and column pins accordingly. My "2285-" thread has some photos of how I wired some tactile buttons in a keyboard matrix. The only thing it's missing is the keyboard controller.
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