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  • How does a keyboard work?

    I have 6 KVMP switches for my install for PC, audio, and device switching. I have one system that is created to create 6 different environments via Centrafuse. Problem is there is no way to assign keyboards to a specific display. Basically the only route to go is with the onscreen keyboard. Problem is the KVMP requires a physical keyboard to control it.

    It specifically needs the Scroll Lock, Enter, K, U, S, 1, and 2 keys. All the others I don't need. Basically I want to create custom arm rest controls to use the KVMP switches but I obviously do not want to use the whole keyboard.

    How does a keyboard work, so I can take one apart and only use the keys I need. I want to buy small buttons and make a small panel but not sure how to wire them up. Can someone help?
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  • #2
    Originally posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
    How does a keyboard work, so I can take one apart and only use the keys I need. I want to buy small buttons and make a small panel but not sure how to wire them up. Can someone help?
    You need to solder onto each individual button....usually its a thin strip of plastic with a circuit board printed on it....buttons press directly against it...for the most part your best bet is an old keyboard and some hacking.

    or...use a tiny keyboard (like a numpad) and remap the keys
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    • #3
      You should be able to...

      Kybds are usually a multiplexed matrix of keys - a bit like a 12-key keypad being 7 lines in a 3x4 layout.

      Isolate the decoder/clocking chip and its relevant tracks, add the momentary-on keys, and that should do.
      Unused "keys" & their tracks need not be connected (except if pull-up/down resistors are required).

      Or you may be able to make or use a simple ASCI encoder (CR = 1101, 2 = 110010 etc) (but scroll lock??)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
        You need to solder onto each individual button....usually its a thin strip of plastic with a circuit board printed on it....buttons press directly against it...for the most part your best bet is an old keyboard and some hacking.

        or...use a tiny keyboard (like a numpad) and remap the keys
        It has to be a keyboard. Nothing else will work with the KVMP switch. I cant remap keys either because the switching is done by the device.

        Is there a way to get ride of the plastic pads? So its only the controller. I have to be able to tuck it into each door.

        Originally posted by OldSpark View Post
        You should be able to...

        Kybds are usually a multiplexed matrix of keys - a bit like a 12-key keypad being 7 lines in a 3x4 layout.

        Isolate the decoder/clocking chip and its relevant tracks, add the momentary-on keys, and that should do.
        Unused "keys" & their tracks need not be connected (except if pull-up/down resistors are required).

        Or you may be able to make or use a simple ASCI encoder (CR = 1101, 2 = 110010 etc) (but scroll lock??)
        When ever you explain stuff you confuse me to death OldSpark. Your too technical, lol.

        What about those flexible keyboards? I notice its just a controller and then the keys on the side. Would that be easier to hack into?
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        • #5
          Originally posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
          When ever you explain stuff you confuse me to death OldSpark. Your too technical, lol.
          I'll do us both a favor and desist. You can PM if you want my tech stuff.

          I thought "pushing with fingers presses on switches that in turn...." was not quite the KVM or signalling info you were after.

          Yes - LOL! But I do expect people to ask for clarification when needed. Either that - or longer replies....

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          • #6
            Originally posted by OldSpark View Post
            You should be able to...

            Kybds are usually a multiplexed matrix of keys - a bit like a 12-key keypad being 7 lines in a 3x4 layout.

            Isolate the decoder/clocking chip and its relevant tracks, add the momentary-on keys, and that should do.
            Unused "keys" & their tracks need not be connected (except if pull-up/down resistors are required).

            Or you may be able to make or use a simple ASCI encoder (CR = 1101, 2 = 110010 etc) (but scroll lock??)
            technical to HiJackZX1 translation:
            if you remove the keys you don't need things should still work.... theres also different ways to wire your buttons into the keyboard (the ascii encoder stuff hes talking about is how keyboards work pretty much)



            theres two ways you can go here-neither are ideal but the circuitry in these things are so tiny its kinda hard to have other options:

            1) remove all the keys you don't want - it will look funny but still work fine
            2) solder into very specific places on the board and wire in custom buttons (something flexable is harder to do that with due to the plastic insulation).....an old low-tech keyboard would work best.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by OldSpark View Post
              I'll do us both a favor and desist. You can PM if you want my tech stuff.

              I thought "pushing with fingers presses on switches that in turn...." was not quite the KVM or signalling info you were after.

              Yes - LOL! But I do expect people to ask for clarification when needed. Either that - or longer replies....
              Im happy for your advice, Im just saying, you have to dummy it down for me so I understand. Everything Ive learned about computers is self taught, so when you start getting technical, I have no clue because I don't know the "lingo". I didn't mean for the post to sound like I didn't want your advise, I just don't understand your advice.

              Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
              technical to HiJackZX1 translation:
              if you remove the keys you don't need things should still work.... theres also different ways to wire your buttons into the keyboard (the ascii encoder stuff hes talking about is how keyboards work pretty much)

              theres two ways you can go here-neither are ideal but the circuitry in these things are so tiny its kinda hard to have other options:

              1) remove all the keys you don't want - it will look funny but still work fine
              2) solder into very specific places on the board and wire in custom buttons (something flexible is harder to do that with due to the plastic insulation).....an old low-tech keyboard would work best.
              I'll go into heavier detail, maybe my first post was a little sketchy.

              There are 6 KVMP switches. Each one is for a user to be able to switch between Dual Zone and Multi Zone PC. The KVMP switches are the devices that do the actual switching, so the keyboard plugs directly into that. Then I will make a custom 7 button panel with small keys to fit my arm rests. The keyboard will be mounted on the inside of the door, it will not be accessible at all. I dint want to put a big keyboard on the inside of each door, that would be crazy! So I want to limit it to the keyboard controller and the 7 buttons I need to make it into a small little device. Now in the past I have taken one apart. I saw a controller, and two plastic sheets, each with a bunch of metal and dots. The dots were connected by strips of metal. My assumption is that when the two sheets make contact at the point pressed, thats how the thing knows what to do.

              I guess where I am lost is that it looks like on each sheet all the keys are combined, so it works by resistance? Like maybe how long it takes the signal to get to the controller? So if I cut away what I don't need, the paths will be broken and the keyboard will not work correctly right?

              What about if I buy a keyboard that has the keys I need, reduce it to the controller and two sheets. Then solder the buttons I need, then carefully fold the sheets up so it can fit into a tiny mountable package?
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              • #8
                im betting you'll melt it every time.....trust me i've been doing this for years and i wouldn't even attempt it

                how bout taking the easy route and using these:
                http://www.ultimarc.com/ipac1.html
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                Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
                  im betting you'll melt it every time.....trust me i've been doing this for years and i wouldn't even attempt it

                  how bout taking the easy route and using these:
                  http://www.ultimarc.com/ipac1.html
                  What is it? It looks software driven, or is the software only to program the firmware. Have you used one?

                  I took a keyboard apart. I think I understand. Basically it works by a certain combination off pads being pressed on the controller?

                  Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

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                  3x Perixx Touchpads
                  3x 7 inch Screens
                  1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                  1x Win 7 PC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
                    What is it? It looks software driven, or is the software only to program the firmware. Have you used one?

                    I took a keyboard apart. I think I understand. Basically it works by a certain combination off pads being pressed on the controller?

                    nope its programmable hardware-i've used them in arcade machines before. wow you got lucky with that keyboard-that shouldn't be too bad...you just have to figure out the binary encoding for each of the keys you need to be able to press.
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                    Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
                      nope its programmable hardware-i've used them in arcade machines before. wow you got lucky with that keyboard-that shouldn't be too bad...you just have to figure out the binary encoding for each of the keys you need to be able to press.
                      No, I didnt get lucky, its a SEGA Dreamcast keyboard I had laying around, lol. So I guess they are all not like this? My only concern is that the KVMP switch will know the i-pac is not a keyboard, and therefor not work. Im also confused at how its programmed. It looks like the programmer for it goes by something else for key presses.
                      Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                      1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                      4X MK808b
                      3x Perixx Touchpads
                      3x 7 inch Screens
                      1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                      1x Win 7 PC

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                      • #12
                        Use the i-pac. It is a keyboard to the computer. You can use a software program to get it to emulate and remember keypresses you want it to emulate.

                        So, for example, you can connect a simple momentary switch to the terminals on the pac, plug it into the USB port and have that button send key presses like k, v, m, or a combination like ctrl-alt-del. To the computer it looks like a keyboard.
                        http://http://www.ultimarc.com/ipac1.html
                        Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                        I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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                        • #13
                          I do not think the ipac will work. Because the ipac is external->computer, but hijack needs external-->kvm-->computer

                          So the KVM is actually doing the decoding. If all the keys look like they are linked together it is probably a matrix. So it scans rows by row (or column by column) hundreds if not millions of times a second and when something has changed on the scan row/column, it knows something has been pressed.

                          Is the KVM a USB device? If so I might be able to help you out...
                          Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                          1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                          30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                          15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                          Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bugbyte View Post
                            Use the i-pac. It is a keyboard to the computer. You can use a software program to get it to emulate and remember keypresses you want it to emulate.

                            So, for example, you can connect a simple momentary switch to the terminals on the pac, plug it into the USB port and have that button send key presses like k, v, m, or a combination like ctrl-alt-del. To the computer it looks like a keyboard.
                            http://http://www.ultimarc.com/ipac1.html
                            The automation is actually something I wanted! So that the user doesnt have to sit there and remember all the sequences to do a command. So thats a step in the right direction!

                            Originally posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
                            I do not think the ipac will work. Because the ipac is external->computer, but hijack needs external-->kvm-->computer

                            So the KVM is actually doing the decoding. If all the keys look like they are linked together it is probably a matrix. So it scans rows by row (or column by column) hundreds if not millions of times a second and when something has changed on the scan row/column, it knows something has been pressed.

                            Is the KVM a USB device? If so I might be able to help you out...
                            I think Toaster understands the setup, thanx for chimming in. That is exactly right, the KVM is what is doing all the decoding. It listens for the sequences in certain key presses. Because this is a KVMP, it has a ton of commands. If I can put them all into a sigle key press would be awesome. I am scared though that the KVM will know something is up and simply not work.

                            The KVM is a USB device, to be specific, its this one, http://www.iogear.com/product/GCS1732/

                            The two front USB ports are for mouse and keyboard, and only a keyboard can go in keyboard, and only the keyboard port can control the KVM. The rear ports are for any device, which I am using for touchscreen.
                            Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                            1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                            4X MK808b
                            3x Perixx Touchpads
                            3x 7 inch Screens
                            1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                            1x Win 7 PC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Do you have a fusion brain?
                              Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                              1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                              30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                              15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                              Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

                              Comment

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