geekhack Community > Keyboards

How to allow Membrane Keyboard to push more than 3 Keys?


Hi, I'm SUPER new to the keyboard community and was wondering on what I would need to do for allowing my Membrane Keyboard to have more than 3 keys pushed.
Keyboard - Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600

Reasoning: I have a loud hand-me-down mechanical keyboard that I've always hated, looking to go back to my old Membrane Keyboard but there is a few issues.
The sole reason why I stick to Mechanical is because I have push to talk on Discord (loud area, only talk when needed). I'd head back to my Membrane but using it for games really messes up inputs. I use CAPS LOCK to talk and while playing, pushing WASD and Space to Jump or CTRL to Crouch. All those inputs just cancel out when I need them the most. Another reason for switching back is for my GF, my fast typing and loud keyboard make it unbearable to be around. I still like the feel of the slim membrane keyboard but we both know I can't use it.

Cannot afford the better Mechanical Keyboards or even get better switches and lube for the keys (whole reason for the hand-me-down). I thought buying my cheap 14$ Keyboard and wiring it up myself would save me a lot.

I saw a video about wiring up a membrane to add more than 3 key inputs YEARS ago but I can't find it anywhere anymore. I'm having a hard time finding where to start or if its actually even possible to do it.
This will be my first time wiring anything as I have no knowledge on what goes where.
I just have flux, soldering iron, and a heat gun.

TLDR; How do you wire up a membrane keyboard to allow more than 3 Inputs for gaming?

why not get a keyboard with silent mx switches. They are more silent then a membrane keyboard.

It will depend on the membrane type if there's a way to change the wiring layout.

Since you can't really add diodes to a membrane (as far as I know), some boards use what's called a 6+2 or modified nkey rollover, lots of various names and layouts but the gist is that instead of "2", "W", "S", and "C" being on the 3rd column they move "W" over to a different or even extra column. Same for "A", "S", "D", they move "A" to the top row (not exact, this is just an example). Basically they break them up into completely different column/rows from other commonly pressed keys allowing the controller to more easily identify them. Doing this means that you either software to remap keys when done but it's also dependent on being able to modify the membrane and the controller being able to handle it (being an office keyboard it's unlikely and the only way to fix that is a new controller).

Personally, given the amount of effort this requires, along with tools and such, and the minimal chance of it working once all is done, I wouldn't bother.

That said,
A big part of your problem is your use of Caps Lock, as mentioned about A,S,D, being on one row, you're compounding the problem by adding a 4th key to the mix. Pick a key on a different row/column and you might fix your problem.

I know your plight, I exclusively set my caps lock to ctrl. think you have 2 real options, and a meme option.

You can try and add diodes onto each trace for each switch, but, with it being a membrane, you would basically be jeopardizing the fragile matrix.

Presuming the mechanical board you have is a cherry board, get some o rings to dampen the switches.

The meme option, presuming the cherry switch is clicky, desolder every switch, disassemble it, and take your soldering iron and weld the click jack to the stem and get some orings. I did that with this extremely cheap 60% I used to carry around while I was in high school. Replacement switches from china are really cheap as well.

Chinese keyboards are really cheap now, if you do not want to ruin your current keyboard.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version