DIY usb input device pcb

I want to make my own USB input device so i can make my own buttons for KM triggers. Does anyone know if there is a small USB powered print available that can work with KM and on which i can connect my self made buttons to?

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Interesting project. I’d love to see you write up what you get going (perhaps an Instructable, or posting here would be great too).

I would probably start with something like an Arduino. According to Using an Arduino as an input device you can set it up as a HID device.

If you use the Keyboard code, but change it enough that the system does not recognise it as a keyboard, and then Keyboard Maestro should be able to see the keys using the USB Device trigger without them being seen by the system as key presses.

I have not looked at any of the code to see what is involved in the HID device section. Basically as long as for any button a single HID bit goes on and off when you press and release the button, then Keyboard Maestro should be able to detect it.

Hi Peter,

Thanks for your answer. But you think much too complicated with an Arduino. I already have success with a Contour Shuttle

If i don’t install the driver KM will see the buttons and can use it as a trigger. Not the dial.
But if i want to use the scroll wheel i have to install the driver and then the buttons are not seen by KM anymore.

So i am looking for any USB device that is not a keyboard but is seen by KM as USB device. A pcb would be ideal but it could also be any device that i can break apart.

Sorry, it was my understanding you were asking for something you could “connect to my self made buttons”.

You can use an XK-24 or probably any of the other keyboard like that.

Yes, generally, if they are more than just on/off buttons, then Keyboard Maestro cannot see them, and if you install the driver, then the driver may well take exclusive control of the device and block Keyboard Maestro from seeing them.

The XK-24 is what i like to make myself, in another way. So, i just need the interior electronics of that, without the switches. Do you know if there are experimenting boards available that will do that? Or any other cheap keyboard that i can break apart that will not be claimed by the MacOS?

I don’t know of anything. There might be. As I said, I would start with something like an Arduino or Raspberry Pi or MCUnode or the like, whatever could be used as a HID device, and go from there. But it would not be a trivial project.

Sounds like an interesting project. :smile:

Since I don't know your use case or purpose of wanting such a device, I just wanted to make sure you know of other options for easily triggering a number of macros, just in case they might work for you.

IAC, you could have your macros triggered by both your device buttons and one of the above.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

Thank you Michael,

I am aware of these other triggers. Thanks anyway.

The purpose will be a small 10 button table top remote control for controlling some things in Pro Tools when i am recording on location. I’d like to stay away from my laptop keyboard as much as possible as a wrong keystroke can make the recording accidently stop.

Therefore i need to make my own USB device. Just like the aforementioned XK-24. But i want to make my own design.

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Would such a thing be recognised by KM?

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Probably. There is no way to tell without testing it (unless someone else has one).

It sounds like you are wanting what I wanted. I bought a Korg nanoKEY2 for exactly this reason (real cheap on Craigslist etc). Then just use MIDI Note input as triggers. Easy! The option is there to hit the Octave +/- buttons to have many "pages" of these buttons.

I should also note that the Korg nanoKEY2 is class compliant and so does not require any driver installation.

Still waiting for PNL to offer a paid "Full MIDI Implementation" KM upgrade expansion. :wink:

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If you have specific MIDI features you want added, consider adding to this topic:

It looks like the Korg device would send Control Change messages which will be useful as a trigger. Anything else?

A post was merged into an existing topic: [Feature Request] Add MIDI CC message

That's a nice idea Renton! Will look for it. Just for the fun.

It is not what i was looking for because i want to create my own knob-device, just need the interior electronics to which i can connect my switches to. When it is finished (in a few days) i will post some pics here.

It turned out this device has 8 keys that are working with KM:

The x-y is not seen by KM but the rest of the buttons are. (There are two on the back as well) If you open it up there is a small pcb and the connections to the buttons have a spot on which you can solder a wire.

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I made this device out of a Contour Shuttle Express.

I use this this to control ProTools when i am recording on location. I want to keep off my laptop keyboard as much as possible but still be able to do some actions that involves mouse clicks or key combinations. This way it is easier. Thank you Keyboard Maestro!

Only part that does not satisfy me is the rewind and ff. For some reason KM does not HOLD DOWN a button in an action but repeats it, or it is not low level enough into the system. I don't know what's going on. I ended up using ControllerMate for that.

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I can also add this controller to the list:

xin mo controller board

Google for it. They are widely available. I have the one player version and KM sees 13 buttons. They supply cables and connections for it too, very easy.

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11 posts were split to a new topic: Using the Esplora hardware device with Keyboard Maestro

Here is an Instructable for making a Bottle Cap Keyboard from an Arduino mini and a few parts.

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Haha, funny.

I tried this one; Does NOT work, in the sense that KM does not see it as a USB device

It works on a pc. So the unit is ok.