Author Topic: Inexpensive controller for arrow keys only?  (Read 873 times)

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Offline bovineblitz

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Inexpensive controller for arrow keys only?
« on: Tue, 16 June 2015, 16:49:20 »
A friend of mine needs a 4 key arrow board to use with her feet for a bit due to wrist surgery.  I was wondering if anyone had a suggestion for an easy to set up, inexpensive controller for 4 keys that can be used across computers.  I picked up a picoduino (https://www.tindie.com/products/bobricius/picoduino/) for a similar project a bit ago but cannot for the life of me get Windows to recognize it or get any help, not sure if it's a dud or if I'm just an idiot, but since that isn't working for me are there any other really simple solutions out there?
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Online suicidal_orange

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Re: Inexpensive controller for arrow keys only?
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 16 June 2015, 17:07:22 »
That really is small and it's more than capable of working as a simple 4 key board.  You suggested you may be being an idiot so I'll go with it - are you plugging it in upside-down? There's not much to go wrong other than that...

The easiest boards to use are Teensy 2.0s, but they are relatively expensive and overkill for this task.  We should try and get what you have working first :)  When you say it's not recognised where are you looking, in device manager?
                               
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Offline user 18

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Re: Inexpensive controller for arrow keys only?
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 16 June 2015, 17:12:36 »
Another good board is an Arduino Pro Micro -- you can get them on ebay for under $10 shipped. I've used them without trouble, and they can drive a 64-key matrix fairly easily.

Basic programming is really easy with the Arduino IDE, and I'm sure it's trivial to flash more complex programs manually, although I haven't had to myself yet.
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Offline neverused

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Re: Inexpensive controller for arrow keys only?
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 16 June 2015, 18:39:23 »
There's the adafruit trinket too, they have tutorials to follow if it helps

Offline bovineblitz

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Re: Inexpensive controller for arrow keys only?
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 16 June 2015, 18:59:04 »
That really is small and it's more than capable of working as a simple 4 key board.  You suggested you may be being an idiot so I'll go with it - are you plugging it in upside-down? There's not much to go wrong other than that...

The easiest boards to use are Teensy 2.0s, but they are relatively expensive and overkill for this task.  We should try and get what you have working first :)  When you say it's not recognised where are you looking, in device manager?

I've plugged it in properly, even thought that maybe the data contacts weren't aligning so I hardwired a cable to the device and it still wouldn't work.  It powers up and does its little light blinky thing, but installing all the drivers seems to do nothing in the way of getting Windows to recognize the device. I spent way too much time trying to get it to work, it should be pretty simple from what I understand.  It straight up does not appear in device manager.

I do have a Teensy 2.0 I could use, but yeah that's overkill.  I suppose I could just use it for now and maybe dig up something cheaper that actually works.  I'll look into that micro thing.
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Offline Zukoi

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Re: Inexpensive controller for arrow keys only?
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 16 June 2015, 22:30:33 »
If you do decide to use the Pro Micro with TMK. All you need to do is a little bit of command line to write the firmwarm on the controller.

http://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/how-to-use-a-pro-micro-as-a-cheap-controller-converter-like-soarer-s-t8448.html

Offline shrubkeys

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Re: Inexpensive controller for arrow keys only?
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 22 June 2015, 12:51:19 »
Overkill if you just wanted a $5 microcontroller, but TechKeys Programmable Business Card is a one-stop solution.

Offline bovineblitz

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Re: Inexpensive controller for arrow keys only?
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 24 June 2015, 20:22:50 »
Overkill if you just wanted a $5 microcontroller, but TechKeys Programmable Business Card is a one-stop solution.

Yeah, a little more expensive than I was planning, and the keys are spread far apart so they can be actuated with feet/toes.  I wound up just using a Teensy, which had the bonus of allowing me to add a few extra keys (enter, backspace, alt+tab) that are a pain to use with voice recognition software.
Magicforce 68 with speed coppers
Custom TKL with ergo clears
Das Model S
TKL with Outemu blues
In progress: Click-modded cream ALPS Neutrino build