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How to make hardware based key macros?


I want to produce a keyboard-like device that combines useful key combinations like Ctrl+Alt+Delete and Alt+F4 into a single set of keys (One key for each macro).

I have no experience of programming, so I wanted to gut a keyboard, and splice all the "positive" terminals for each key onto eachother, then have a switch (The button) leading the "negative" wires to a negative terminal. Since, in this case, the Alt key would be used twice, I was thinking that adding a diode to the Alt's "positive" wire before the other keys were spliced on, and splicing the F4 key's "positive" on before the diode would prevent the Ctrl+Delete being sent too when attempting an Alt+F4. Fairly confusing description, so I've tried to explain in the diagram.

In short, would this work, or does each key need its corresponding "positive" and "negative" terminals to be left alone? Cheers in advance!

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frollard5 years ago
you'd need a quadruple pole single throw switch -- like shown, 4 separate switches that hit at the same time, but do NOT connect directly to one another.

Seriously easiest would be to get a program designed to perform key macros. You don't need to program anything - just looking at sourceforge and download.com you'll find BAZMILLIONS of 'hotkey' 'macro' and 'keyboard shortcut' programs which do this with little to no thought involved.
Shadow Of Intent (author)  frollard5 years ago
I know how much easier that would be, but I want to have it easily swappable between computers and laptops, so that there is no need for installation (Although there may be portable versions) and I wont need to worry about software restrictions or OS compatibility should i use it on a public computer. I wanted a physical switch that i could spray paint red and have as a sort of "Panic button", maybe even with flip up plastic lid (That would tie in perfectly with your throw pole idea).

Another key macro I would love to have would be [Num Lock] [alt-255] [alt-255] [alt-30] [enter] [alt 30] [alt 255] [alt 30] to achieve a triforce, but that would be an entirely different matter (Requires sequential button pushes rather than all at once)

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Again, software is the way to go...it really is. Portableapps, and/or a thumb drive is way easier to move around than a keyboard.
Shadow Of Intent (author)  frollard5 years ago
I guess that's the best option. Do you know of any apps (Preferably portable) with a UI which shows multiple virtual buttons which can be individually macroed? Similar to a flash sound board is what I'm thinking of.
i will post ow to do that when i get enough parts i will make a copy paste box