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How to make a external keyboard key?

Im looking to have an external key pad (connected with usb) with only one button, so that it has its own key function and can be independently bound to any program in your computer. Think of it as an external alt key or ctrl key that can be used for hot keys It can even be an existing key on the key board but more preferably its own key. If anyone thinks they can do this DIY please let me know, Thanks!

Hack a USB game pad or other controller?  I've run across a few "alien" game controller things at thrift stores.  The Nostromo Speedpad, the "The Claw", for example.  The Claw is rare, and the Speedpad is probably too desireable to just chop up.  Girder is a program that lets all kinds of input devices interface with Windows programs.

There's ways to trigger stuff from the parallel (printer) port.  That should take a minimum of hardware, just a switch and maybe a resistor.  An analog game port also has provision for several input buttons; Girder could work with that.

It's also possible to make an input device using a USB-capable microcontroller, but that's probably overkill.  Here's one:
http://www.madhacker.org/usb_hid_keys.htm
I couldn't reach the site just now, but it's preserved at Archive.org:
http://web.archive.org/web/20080413123624/http://www.madhacker.org/usb_hid_keys.htm

Probably the easiest solution is to get an "eco-button" off ebay and follow this instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/How_to_Hack_the_Eco_Button_to_do_other_things/

There are similar gadgets out there that can be tweaked in the same way.
lemonie7 years ago
See this keyboard hack. You can either wire in a button to your existing keyboard, of hack another one apart. "Independently bound to any program in your computer" would have to be done with software if it's not a common key-command already.

L