EngineersBuddy Wireless Keyboard, Mouse and Macro Recorder.

This instructable explains how to use the Engineers Buddy, keyboard, mouse and macro recorder. This Android application works in conjunction with the Enginners Buddy keyboard and mouse emulator hardware module. The module will work with any HID compliant device or operating system , such as Windows, Mac or Linux. It uses bluetooth communication to turn any Android phone/tablet into a wireless keyboard and track pad control, with the ability to record all keystrokes.

Recording creates a file that can be played back, through the same bluetooth module, using the free Commander Macro Player app*, thereby providing process automation, without the need to install software on the host system.

The app is also ideal for technicians who work on kiosk systems, tills or servers with no keyboard attached. The Engineers Buddy hardware, is small and light enough, to clip onto a key ring or belt loop. Far more convenient than carrying a keyboard and mouse around.

*The Commander Macro Player app is available here:-

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=appi...

Instructions on how to use it are available here:-

https://www.instructables.com/id/Commander-Macro-P...

Step 1: What You Will Need

Firstly you should acquire the EngineersBuddy hardware. Instructions on how to build it are available here:-

https://www.instructables.com/id/Engineers-Buddy-Bl...

or it can be purchased here:-

http://www.leadervision.co.uk/other-products/buy-t...

You will need an Android device on which to run the app. On first use pair your phone/tablet with the hardware. Ensure that your Engineers Buddy hardware is connected to the computer that you are working with. The processor board LED should illuminate and the bluetooth module LED should flash. Initiate a bluetooth device search in the Android settings. The Engineers Buddy will appear in the device list as Engineers Buddy or BT04-A or HC-06. The password will be set to '1234' or '0000'.

You will also need to download the Engineers Buddy keyboard and mouse app and install it on your Android phone/tablet.

It can be purchased from Google Playstore here:-

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=appi...

Step 2: Using the Keyboard Screen

Ensure the Engineers Buddy hardware is connected to the computer and paired with your Android device.

When you open the app you will be presented with the keyboard layout in illustration(1). Press the key in the top left corner with the red bluetooth symbol on it. This will bring up the available paired devices list as shown in illustration(2). Tap on the device in the listing to connect. The app will return to the keyboard layout and if the connection was successful, the bluetooth symbol will turn green. If the connection failed an error report will be displayed, just try again, occasionally it takes more than one attempt.

You may now use the app to control your device and record macros. Most keyboard functions replicate a normal keyboard but some keys lock without being 'held' so that 'CTRL+ALT+DEL' can be invoked sequentially with one finger. These keys will change to red when they are latched, illustration(5). Tapping any of these keys a second time releases them. The keyboard has a key, to the right of the space bar in illustration(1), which is a composite of the Apple and Windows logos. This is the SuperKey and performs the same functions as the Windows Winkey and the Apple Command key. This also latches and can be used in conjunction with all the other keys to provide shortcut commands on both the Windows and Apple Mac operating systems. Pressing and holding the 'SuperKey' toggles it in and out of 'AltGr' mode, illustration(5), providing accents which appear when the 'AltGr' key is latched. In the bottom left hand corner there is a key displaying a mouse icon, illustration(1). Tap this to invoke the trackpad style mouse function. When the shift key is pressed this becomes the UK/US keyboard layout selector. It displays the current setting as a flag, illustrations (3) & (4), tap to change.

Step 3: Using the Trackpad Screen

Tap the mouse icon key referred to in step2 to invoke the trackpad style mouse function. When in trackpad/mouse mode, illustration(1), all usual trackpad functions are supported. Tapping anywhere on the pad is the equivalent of a left click, which is also available using the top left key with the mouse icon. Right click is achieved by clicking the key on the top right. 'Holding' either left or right mouse buttons is achieved by tapping the relevant key with both a mouse and padlock icon, it will go red while it is 'latched', illustration(2). Tap again to release.

There is a settings key which allows adjustment of the mouse response, illustration(1&2). A mouse icon associated with a speedometer icon offers 'slow', 'medium' and 'fast' response, illustration(3). A tick indicates the current setting. Tap desired setting to change.

The keyboard icon, illustration(1&2), will return the app to the keyboard layout.

Step 4: Recording Keystroke Macros

The app must be on the keyboard screen to start recording. The trackpad facility can be used during a recording session but mouse movements or button activities will not be recorded. When the shift key is pressed the space bar becomes the 'record' key, illustration(1). The record function is only available when the keyboard layout is set to UK. Tapping the space bar while it displays 'Start Recording' will release the shift key and start the recording process, the space bar will display 'RECORDING', illustration(2). The space bar still operates as a space key while it displays the recording status. When the shift key is pressed, during a recording session, the option to 'Stop Recording' is displayed, illustration(3). Recording can be stopped and restarted during any session where the app remains active and the output file will contain all recorded actions. The recording process automatically creates a file called 'Commander.ebm' in the download directory of the device running the app. This file has to be renamed before restarting the app if it is to be saved. This can be done using the Android file manager. It is possible to use the 'home' key on your device to view/edit the output file, or run other apps, without stopping the EngineersBuddy app. Resuming the EngineersBuddy session will continue to append recorded actions to the existing output file.The output file is automatically deleted when the EngineersBuddy app initialises after it has been stopped. If selected, the 'AltGr' key is disabled during recording because the Commander Macro Player will not recognise the characters.

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