What do I have/need to get started?
- An Access-IS keypad. Mine is Access-IS AKE120807/1/M. It has 15×8 keys with plate-mounted Cherry MX Black switches and a set of relegendable keycaps (including some 2x caps). It's PS/2 (with passthrough).
- A desktop with 32bit MS Windows XP and a native PS/2 port. This might be different in case of USB keypads.
- The SoftProg application, my installer is Setup_Softprog_4_06.msi. SoftProg templates may be useful in some cases, but not mine.
- Patience, because SoftProg is full of annoying bugs.
Start a new layout. Pick a template accordingly to the model of your keypad. Look at protocols first, then pick your layout. Check the thumbnail on the right. (TODO screenshot) A window with the layout opens inside the SoftProg window. Once you configure the layout to your liking, hit the keyboard button on the right. (TODO shortcut)
Play with the editor first. It's a PITA to use, because of minor, but nasty bugs. For example, you have to remap a key, configure it's legend and so on in certain order, because SoftProg won't apply changes otherwise or may even map some rubbish to the key, instead of doing what you want. (TODO list necessary steps, incl. layers)
How to use double or bigger keys instead of single 1x keys? Make a "drag'n'drop" box with your pointing device. The edges of selected keys ought to turn blue. Invoke context menu and select the kind of key you want. (TODO screenshot) Using bigger keys actually disables the switch to the right/bottom. I've given up on doing this, because keys spread over more MX Black switches are too stiff anyway, modding the keyboard to turn switches into stabilizers or even add stabilizers would be too much work, and I think it's better to use 1x keycaps of different profiles instead.
Bad news, only standard ~105 keys (and macros consisting of them) are supported. No multimedia keys or F13+. T_T Menu is called WinApp.
The keypad supports two layers, which means you can map two things to each key. In theory, you can use up to two keys to switch between these two layers, either can be a modifier or a toggle. In practice, there's a bug in SoftProg, that makes it possible to use more keys for switching layers. (TODO steps to reproduce the bug) Any of the keypad's three leds can be configured to indicate, whether the extra layer is active, or not. (TODO screenshot)
Save often. Saved layouts are just text files (.spf extension) that look like C headers. (TODO investigate the format) When you load a saved layout, SoftProg probably won't remember autorepeat settings for any key. I don't think it matters. IME it's okay to simply enable autorepeat in keyboard settings, and then ignore each key's autorepeat checkbox.
You can export your layout into a different kind of text file (.spt extension). It's contains one hexcode per line. I have no idea how is this useful.
Okay, that's all for now. Updates coming soon, hopefully.
This is my "ergo" board: