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Thread: Project announcement for mini keyboard and trackball combo

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate AngryMan's Avatar
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    Project announcement for mini keyboard and trackball combo

    Here we go again:
    as some of you may already have seen, I modded/built/fabricated a keyboard and trackball combo controller using;
    a Sammy PS2 controller with keyboard built in,
    a mini handheld trackball (usb)
    a mini 4 port USB hub,
    lots of plastic,
    some bondo,
    and a butane hot knife.

    the thread related to the keyboard used for that mod can be found here, but you will have to dig a ways to get to my description of that project, or you can just go here for a pictorial view of the proccess ( www.angrymods.com/carpc/controller )

    this unit works very well for controlling the carpc, but it has its limitations. it is a bit clunky, not my best craftsmanship, and the keys are tiny, soft rubber, not very "positive" so typing on it can be a bear.
    right now my current controller is being used in the house for the mame arcade machine, www.angrymods.com/mame so this project will be expediated as a result of the need for a controller in the car.

    This leads me to project number two.
    I have priced out the nice little "ikey" controller, and at 25$ it is too steep. it lacks the extra buttons that the itype2 has, and the itype2 can be purchased for 9.99 though EB, or other sites online, and finally, - since I am going to butcher it anyway - Ill take the newer 9.99 itype2 instead.
    (these buttons press really nice compaired to the keys on the sammy controller. nice positive click sounds when pressing. )

    now, I have one of these joysticks apart on my workbench at home, and just like the sammy controller, the itype2 has the USB keyboard on a circuit board of its own, completely seperate from the PS2 joystick electronics.

    how the unit works, is by hard wiring the usb keyboard and the usb trackball into two ports on a 4 port usb hub. this way the unit has only one wire from it, and it also provides the awesome feature of giving me a handy place to plug in my jump drive to sync up new mp3s into the carpc.

    I have considered building this one using a trackPAD instead of a trackball, but as a huge fan of trackballs, the ball just seems more natural. if I went with a trackpad, the unit would be a bit larger in overall area, but it would be a lot thinner, so I may very well build one with a trackpad in the future, but for now, trackball it is..
    I will be creating some sketches of the possible layout I will use on this mod, and will upload them soon.

    the best place to find these mini usb trackballs is on ebay. (unless any of you know a better supplier, by all means contribute
    I wish I could get my hands on some better, cheaper, or even smaller of these things, so if you know of any, please let me know!

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate AngryMan's Avatar
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    project announcement

    some more info:


    the itype controller is made by nyko, and it has macro keys on the top for up to four programmable macros.
    http://www.nyko.com/nyko/support/pro...x?t=faqs&i=103
    my first guess is that I will NOT be able to program the alt-f4, control+escape, CAD, etc with these macros, due to the lack of these buttons exsisting on the board itself. however, I will use software to bind these to the f8-f10 keys

    here is the manual for the nyko itype2 controller
    http://www.nyko.com/Nyko/InstructionManuals/iType2.pdf

    one thing I will be looking into, is the possibility of "unlocking" buttons that dont appear to exsist on the board itself. this could be possible, if the manufacturer of the keyboards proccessing chip built a "full functional keyboard controller" or if they built one that was specifically, and ONLY made to be used in the ikey/itype. thanks to the way that keyboard controllers use a "matrix" to refine how many pins must be on the chip, I will be able to use a probe to hunt down potentially unused keys, and if I find any, I will add these to the board for sure. (possibly adding buttons, or just remapping the macro buttons)

    (I will also document this proccess for other gadjeteers out there)

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate AngryMan's Avatar
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    good news

    well, turns out the keyboards chip is a Cypress cy7c63413, USB keyboard controller with 18row, 8 column matrix, and a built in PS2 mouse controller on it. hooking up a ps2 mouse would be as easy as connecting the vcc and ground to the same ones coming in from the USB and connecting pins 3 and 38 to the ps2 mouses data and clock lines.

    there are a metric butload of available pins on this thing, so I am sure I will be able to unlock additional keys, and remap those silly macro buttons at the top to something I want them to be.

    does anyone else here have trouble posting? it seems like the longer the post is that I type, the more likely it will be that it will just vanish when I try to post.
    serves me right for not copying it to notepad before I hit the dreaded post button...

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate
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    AngryMan, I"m so glad to see you revived your project. I was going to try to see where you had purchased the sammy because i wnte to attempt something similar. Staples used to sell the 1 handed trackball mice things (for laptop users). I haven't been back to check and see though.

    I really want a small keyboard mouse keyboard as well and would love to see how your constructions and findings go. I wish so bad i still had access tot eh vacuum former where i graduated. I coulda made a mold for you out of balsa foam and then pull it. TOo bad I wasn't as hardcore into carpc stuff back in 99/00 ( i was just gettin started with my first one hardcore in 02).

    Anyway, keep us updated!

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate AngryMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by defsquad
    AngryMan, I"m so glad to see you revived your project. I was going to try to see where you had purchased the sammy because i wnte to attempt something similar. Staples used to sell the 1 handed trackball mice things (for laptop users). I haven't been back to check and see though.

    I really want a small keyboard mouse keyboard as well and would love to see how your constructions and findings go. I wish so bad i still had access tot eh vacuum former where i graduated. I coulda made a mold for you out of balsa foam and then pull it. TOo bad I wasn't as hardcore into carpc stuff back in 99/00 ( i was just gettin started with my first one hardcore in 02).

    Anyway, keep us updated!
    right on, thanks for the encouragement. I am trying to juggle this project along with a ton of others, and somtimes it is hard to manage the time. right now I am shopping for a couple of the trackballs, about the cheapest I can find them is here, http://www.acortech.com/.sc/ms/dd/ee/1661/5587158
    for 12$ with free shipping(ps2 only). the itype2 joysticks are only 9.99 from EBworld, and a usb hub is only 10$ at walmart(only if I go with usb).
    but Today was payday, so you can bet Ill be ordering what I need right away.

    as for molding. oh man, I havent done any of that before, but that sounds like it would be a ton of fun.

    Ill keep updating as the project progresses

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate AngryMan's Avatar
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    OK, here we go, I sketched out a few preliminary "designs" for the controller and here is what I have come up with.
    first, a more compact design, utilising a lot of the plastic that was on the original joystick to begin with. this design adds some buttons in various places, buttons that I will map to things like CTRL and ESC right beside each other, and Alt and Tab next to each other on the other side. other buttons could be used for arrows, macros, other things I have not yet desided on.

    this design also incorporates a "mouse wheel" as well, - and while this may actually be only wishful thinking, I am going to really consider putting in the extra work it will take to incpororate that feature.

    next I have a more spacious design with the trackball and buttons pushed out to the sides. the hard part about this design will be the construction of the actual plastic. I wont be able to use/salvage the majority of the plastic that is on the original stick, so a lot more 'fabrication' will be going into this one than the compact design.

    see what I mean?

    and finally, this design was a really basic mockup of what it would be like if I molded the keyboard onto an alps glidepoint. I didnt go all out with this one, because I really wasnt planning on going this route, but I figured I would put it together so we could get a good judge of dimensions on it, and maybe get an idea of what it would feel like.

    now that I look at it, I think I probably should have put the keyboard on top, because trying to type anything on that board with nothing to hang onto, and having all that extra weight hanging off the top would probably be a real pain. but hey, it was just a mockup right?

    anyway, I am open to suggestions in any case. if anyone has some ideas or thinks of anything Im not, please let me know!


    additional links: I save these scetches as a pdf if anyone is interested looking at the finer details.
    http://www.angrymods.com/carpc/contr...r_sketches.pdf
    and I do all my drawings in Corel Draw if anyone cares, and I could upload my work if anyone wants to edit them, etc etc.

  7. #7
    Phillie Escalade182's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Phillie Escalade182's Avatar
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    I would also put the buttons for the glide above the glide so its not out of the way. but im too lazy too fix it.

  9. #9
    Phillie Escalade182's Avatar
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    ok, fixed.
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  10. #10
    Phillie Escalade182's Avatar
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    i kind of like your original better though. its like a smartphone or something..

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