Additional keyboard for Macros

Keyboardenthusiast

04 Mar 2019, 12:58

Hi,

I hope you can help me. I have been searching for a keyboard that I can add to my normal keyboard and freely program it. Also with macros.

Until now I could verify with Cherry that Multiboard V2 keyboards with chipcard reader could do that. There is a lot of gaming stuff on the market, but they seem not so much perfect for my purpose. And I am pretty much not sure how they work together with another keyboard and how they can be configured. Information is sparse. There seems to be stuff like that: Koolertron AE-SMKD72-AQ. But it can take only 8 macros. I cannot just use Autohotkey because I want to use my normal keyboard with the normal functions.

Maybe someone knows a cool technical solution? The Cherry Multiboard V2 costs around 130 € in Germany. I do not need the card reader, but it has MX switches plus 100+ freely programable keys :-) It is ok for me to spend around 100 € for a similar product which may not be sooo huge. I think one needs a device where the key configuration is done onboard and not via a macro software for Windows?

Bye
Tassilo

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

04 Mar 2019, 16:25

You could opt for the Cherry G81-8308, which has a standard layout plus 24 programmable keys, but it is somewhat limited in scope as you can only program strokes from keys which the keyboard itself has, and above all - it has crappy MY switches.

What you are looking for is clearly Tipro. Tipro is a Slovenian manufacturer of point of sale equipment and noticeably keyboards and keypads. Their software is freely available, very mighty (e.g. you can program Unicode characters), and it is required for programming, but the programmed configurations are stored in the keyboard itself, which can then be used on any computer (whatever its operating system). They feature plate mounted MX black switches. They exist with 32, 64, 96 and 128 keys.

Just to make you drool, here is a pic of my daily driver, composed of 3 Tipro units: a staggered unit in the middle, coupled with a 8x8 matrix on either side. Every single cap (even the space bar) is freely programmable exactly as you want, and this in 4 layers. The physical layout has not been changed since I made the pic 3 years ago, but many many keys have been reprogrammed and caps changed since.

Image

If buying a Tipro keyboard, be sure to get one with a USB (as opposed to PS/2) controller if you want to program it with a 64 bit Windows computer, though (as said, once programmed you will be able to use it with any computer).

Of course I'll glady answer any questions :mrgreen:

User avatar
Darkshado

05 Mar 2019, 07:39

Say "macro" three times in a row to summon kbdfr :P

Taran from LTT also uses lots of macros with three TMK USB-to-USB controllers and some Autohotkey shenanigans:
We could argue against his rubberdome keyboard choices (2x Logitech K120 and an Azio L70) but not against TMK.

User avatar
vvp

05 Mar 2019, 12:10

Kinesis Advantage has macro support.
Open firmwares have macro support as well if you can build a keyboard or replace the controller yourself.

Lanrefni

05 Mar 2019, 13:59

BFO-9000 for when you need 108 keys of programmed however you want it with full NKRO.
If you have no inclination to manually edit .c files QMK Configurator allows you to design your layout then compile it,you then download the completed hex and flash the boards,it's pretty easy to figure out.

This is mine,it's what replaced my Cherry RC128BM.

Image

If you don't mind the lack of NKRO you can get a Cherry RC80B or a RC128BM from Amazon for very reasonable prices,both of those however will require a 32 bit copy of Windows to program,see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18949 for my work around on that issue.

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

05 Mar 2019, 18:47

Lanrefni wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 13:59
[…]
If you have no inclination to manually edit .c files QMK Configurator allows you to design your layout then compile it,you then download the completed hex and flash the boards,it's pretty easy to figure out
.
I confess I have not the slightest idea how to compile anything and even less how to flash a board. And I certainly wouldn’t want to learn what all that stuff is just in order to be able to program macros - when Tipro can be used off the shelf.
[…]
If you don't mind the lack of NKRO you can get a Cherry RC80B or a RC128BM from Amazon for very reasonable prices,both of those however will require a 32 bit copy of Windows to program,see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18949 for my work around on that issue.
As a matter of fact, those Cherry keyboards are in fact Cherry branded Tipro boards :lol:

And as said before, you can find Tipro boards with USB controllers which you simply connect to your 64 bit computer and simply start programming using the free Tipro software (which you won’t even need to use the keyboard, as the programmed macros are stored in an internal non-volatile memory) without all that editing, compiling and flashing fuss:
https://www.ebay.de/itm/201433062035

User avatar
swampangel

05 Mar 2019, 19:02

kbdfr wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 18:47
I confess I have not the slightest idea how to compile anything and even less how to flash a board. And I certainly wouldn’t want to learn what all that stuff is just in order to be able to program macros - when Tipro can be used off the shelf.
There's a web based editor https://kbfirmware.com/ (pick "GH60" if you'd like to play around) which will give you a firmware file.

Then you plug in your teensy (or other controller board) via usb and click a button in an app to flash the firmware.

The Tipro process may be easier, but the two sound similar enough in practice.

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

05 Mar 2019, 19:46

So I visit a based-web editor giving me a firmware file, then plug in a teensy (well, I would first have to purchase such a thing), open an app and click a button to flash the firmware.
What do I do then with the teensy? Does it have to be connected to my keyboard? And when yes, how? Do I have to open the board? And is it a simple plug-in solution, or do I have to find out matrix configurations or pin assignment or (God forbid!) solder anything?
And when I want to reprogram a key, do I go through the whole procedure again?
(I am a simple keyboard user, not a computer specialist.)

With a Tipro board (directly connected to my computer), I simply open the Tipro software, (which automatically recognizes my keyboard’s physical configuration), program my stuff on-the-fly (without having to resort to such bizarre things as RSFT() or PSCR), and can even read my macro in plain text. I then upload the configuration to the keyboard, done.
Reprogramming a key goes the same way.

All I need is my off-the-shelf Tipro keypad, which can be used alongside with my usual keyboard.

Did I ever mention I rather appreciate Tipro boards? :mrgreen:

User avatar
zrrion

05 Mar 2019, 21:03

If you didn't suggest tipro I was about to! If you need a bunch of macros just get a big macropad. Repurposing a regular keyboard is something in would do if I happened to have the usb-usb converter on hand sure, but its not something I'd recommend. (If only tipro had other switch options though)

User avatar
Menuhin

05 Mar 2019, 21:42

kbdfr wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 18:47
Lanrefni wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 13:59
[…]
If you have no inclination to manually edit .c files QMK Configurator allows you to design your layout then compile it,you then download the completed hex and flash the boards,it's pretty easy to figure out
.
I confess I have not the slightest idea how to compile anything and even less how to flash a board. And I certainly wouldn’t want to learn what all that stuff is just in order to be able to program macros - when Tipro can be used off the shelf.
[…]
If you don't mind the lack of NKRO you can get a Cherry RC80B or a RC128BM from Amazon for very reasonable prices,both of those however will require a 32 bit copy of Windows to program,see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18949 for my work around on that issue.
As a matter of fact, those Cherry keyboards are in fact Cherry branded Tipro boards :lol:

And as said before, you can find Tipro boards with USB controllers which you simply connect to your 64 bit computer and simply start programming using the free Tipro software (which you won’t even need to use the keyboard, as the programmed macros are stored in an internal non-volatile memory) without all that editing, compiling and flashing fuss:
https://www.ebay.de/itm/201433062035
One caveat is that Tipro with USB controllers are 2KRO boards, and there are some key combinations you cannot program with their macro software, e.g. any key combo with "SHIFT" involved, and some others.

I still like my Tipro boards - functional Cherry blacks keyboards that are functional and cool to display some keycaps.

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

05 Mar 2019, 23:15

Menuhin wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 21:42
[…]
One caveat is that Tipro with USB controllers are 2KRO boards,
That is correct. If there is a combination which triggers the beep, you simply program it on another key.
and there are some key combinations you cannot program with their macro software, e.g. any key combo with "SHIFT" involved, and some others.
[…]
Not sure what you mean, I have a whole bunch of macros involving "Shift" combos, for example "LeftAlt+LeftControl+LeftShift+T" (which opens a specific application), or "LeftShift+D" (which produces, what a surprise, a capital D). I even just programmed "RightShift+D" just to check, and it also produces a capital D.

Lanrefni

05 Mar 2019, 23:56

kbdfr wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 18:47
Lanrefni wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 13:59
[…]
If you have no inclination to manually edit .c files QMK Configurator allows you to design your layout then compile it,you then download the completed hex and flash the boards,it's pretty easy to figure out
.
I confess I have not the slightest idea how to compile anything and even less how to flash a board. And I certainly wouldn’t want to learn what all that stuff is just in order to be able to program macros - when Tipro can be used off the shelf.
[…]
If you don't mind the lack of NKRO you can get a Cherry RC80B or a RC128BM from Amazon for very reasonable prices,both of those however will require a 32 bit copy of Windows to program,see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18949 for my work around on that issue.
As a matter of fact, those Cherry keyboards are in fact Cherry branded Tipro boards :lol:

And as said before, you can find Tipro boards with USB controllers which you simply connect to your 64 bit computer and simply start programming using the free Tipro software (which you won’t even need to use the keyboard, as the programmed macros are stored in an internal non-volatile memory) without all that editing, compiling and flashing fuss:
https://www.ebay.de/itm/201433062035
I apparently missed that the OP was in Germany,in that case I agree with you about grabbing a USB Tipro,I thought he was in the US,finding USB Tipros over here is a pain,and when you do find them they are not cheap.

Also building my board was very fun,typing on a board you put together and programmed yourself is very satisfying. :mrgreen:

User avatar
Menuhin

06 Mar 2019, 09:56

kbdfr wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 23:15
Menuhin wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 21:42
[…]
One caveat is that Tipro with USB controllers are 2KRO boards,
That is correct. If there is a combination which triggers the beep, you simply program it on another key.
Then perhaps that is not particularly about the "Shift" combo - what is the general pattern that may trigger the beep?
Now if I remember correctly, if I want to modify a key which is place already on a non-base layer, e.g. "=" is on layer 2, and I want a "+" by reaching layer 2 using the layer modifier key "L2" with a "Shift" - the beep will trigger.

Lanrefni

06 Mar 2019, 10:05

For my RC128BM it was hitting S,D,and either of the 2 switches under Space with this layout-https://imgur.com/KGEcHTu ,I could trigger the beeping with that pattern any where on the bottom 3 rows,it used to drive me nuts how often I'd get the beeeeep when I'd try to hit a combination of keys.

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