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Thread: Hacking a Keyboard Matrix

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Hacking a Keyboard Matrix

    Hi! I need a 8 key input device with the enter key in a row, like the numbers above the letters on a keyboard.
    Like this:

    I broke apart an old ps/2 keyboard hoping I could pick and choose and rearrange the keys, but the matrix looks intertwined and I'm sure snipping any of the matrix will bust it.

    My project isn't for a car, but this kind of knowledge would only be found in improv hackers like you guys. I'm building a internet radio streamer inside an antique radio. I made a batch file to load winamp stations when a key then enter key is selected. Just need to make the input device. The number keys (1-9) are the perfect spacing to fit into the radio. So I'd like to use those 1-8 and then replace 9 with the enter key.

    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    As an update, my program no longer needs the enter key. So I just need the numbers 1-9, any way to successfully seperate them? Here is the keyboad matrix:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Just follow the lines that go to from the buttons to the pins on the controllor board, really simple, just take a pen and make a line all the way so you can see it easier.

  4. #4
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Corning, NY
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    Alternatively, you can use an IPAC keyboard emulator. They go for about $40 bucks. You just connect the buttons to the terminals on the board and you can program the IPAC to generate any key or combination you want.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I didn't understand how they work, apparently when a upper matrix dot contacts a lower matrix dot the controller sees two unique lines crossed and generates a letter. So if you figure out which two lines need to cross to generate a '1' you can make a switch manually cross those lines. I'll post the finished product when I find some contact switches. Thanks for the replies!

  6. #6
    Newbie Dingo509's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Washington, USA
    Why not just try a small USB number pad? like this...

    Seems to me hacking this would be easier than a full keyboard. And i have seen them at places like walmart for under 10 bucks.

    Progress: Installed and working. Needs some cleanup and trim work done. now for complete integration.
    91 Jeep Cherokee 8" custom lift, 3/4 ton running gear 36" swampers, Snorkel, Onboard air, Onboard Shower. Now with in dash PC!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    It's true, but I had a spare keyboard laying around. Plus I'd prefer to use PS/2 and I think those number pads usually use USB. Thanks for the suggestion though.

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