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Last post Author Topic: could two numeric keypads work at the same time  (Read 21146 times)

nudone

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could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« on: May 02, 2010, 07:00:21 PM »
i'm using a logitech g11 keyboard at the moment - i wanted the extra programmable keys down the left hand side - but now i'm beginning to hate it as it encroaches on my mouse area.

so, i'm considering getting a keyboard without numeric keys down the right hand side - plus a separate numeric keypad i can place at the left of the keyboard (out of the way of the mouse).

it looks like i can get all of my programmable key functions back by using autohotkey - probably a lot more than what i currently have.

what i'm wondering, though, is this: could a second numeric keypad be used whilst the 1st is still connected - the 2nd using programmable keys unique to itself.

the idea is that one keypad would have numlock on and the other numlock off - can these two states exist at the same time?

i know it's a long shot (and dumb) but it would be the cheapest method, by far, for getting an extra programmable keyboard into the system.

or has anyone a better idea for adding extra keys that doesn't cost a premium price?

skwire

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2010, 08:04:04 PM »
You would almost certainly have to use the HID stuff to make something like this work:  http://www.autohotke...orum/topic41397.html

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2010, 12:10:33 AM »
marvellous. at least, it wasn't a completely insane idea. i may try getting a numeric keypad first and testing everything out. if that doesn't work then i know to start thinking of other solutions.

thanks for that info. i never expected it to look so feasible.

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2010, 12:39:22 AM »
looks like this product will do what i want: http://www.amazon.co...72864704&sr=8-19

Quote
The KBC 3700B Cherry keypad is ideal for people who need an additional keypad added to their system.The unit incorporates a female PS/2 port at the rear, allowing both the keypad and a PS/2 keyboard to be plugged into the computers PS/2 keyboard port at the same time.The unit also boasts 4 re-legendable, freely programmable keys and all the other keys can also be reprogrammed, or left as standard keypad keys.No drivers needed. No setting up required.Programing - Hold down [Numlock] and the key you want to program, release and type what you want the key to output, then press [numlock].Reset - Hold down [Numlock], [-] and [Enter].

i think i will still get a basic/cheap numeric keypad first to see if that can be made to work alongside my current onboard numeric keys.

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2010, 12:55:02 AM »
just thought of another possible solution (which i can't try until i get back to my main pc). i could plug another usb keyboard in to the machine whilst also keeping the current logitech keyboard plugged in.

with a bit of luck i can fit both on the desk at the same time and just use the programmable keys on the logitech and use the standard keys from the smaller keyboard.

if that works, i'll consider remapping the whole set of keys on the logitech using the method skwire mentioned above.

now that would be amazing.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2010, 12:57:22 AM by nudone »

steeladept

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2010, 07:19:42 AM »
Another idea is to look at the Gamer Pads.  I don't have a link at the moment but I have seen what basically looks like blank number pads that are designed to be programmable keys.  They are sold primarily to hard-core gamers who are looking for more programmable keys for their games.

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2010, 10:28:40 AM »
hmm, i'd not thought about those smaller gamer pads (if that's what you mean). i'd looked at the full-size gamer keyboards with extra WASD style key areas. i was half tempted to go for one of those - before deciding they weren't quite right.

i've just had a quick look at game pads on amazon and there might be some potential there - they are cheaper than the "programmable" keypads but look like they'll do the same - if not more.

so, good idea, steeladept.

mouser

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2010, 10:36:04 AM »
Quote
i could plug another usb keyboard in to the machine whilst also keeping the current logitech keyboard plugged in. with a bit of luck i can fit both on the desk at the same time and just use the programmable keys on the logitech and use the standard keys from the smaller keyboard.

nudone that is sounding crazy.  :P

i think it makes more sense to look for one of these fancy customizable keyboard accessory devices that give you a set of customizable programmable keys that we have talked about in the past -- they are like supercharged external numpads with more keys.

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2010, 11:16:16 AM »
it is crazy - but that is part of the appeal. :)

if the price was right, i'd like to have a proper programmable small keypad - it's just the cost that is making me look for alternatives.

from amazon, i can get a (decent) looking small keyboard (without numeric keys) and a numeric keypad for about £50.

to buy a "programmable" numeric/small keypad is around £50 on its own. possibly a lot more (triple the price) if i get something that looks serious.

a "game" keypad is about £30 to £60. i'm still considering one of these.

or, i just see what happens by combining my current keyboard and an additional smaller keyboard. the cost of that would be £40 - plus the potential of programming a stupid amount of keys using the HID method that skwire mentioned.

i'm going to try things out tomorrow with a spare keyboard. the chances are that trying to position two keyboards near each other isn't going to work - OR, it could be fantastic.

i suppose, really, the cost isn't such a problem - as i'll be using these things everyday so i may as well spend whatever it requires to get what i want. but, i do like the ridiculous idea of having two keyboards...

cranioscopical

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2010, 01:41:21 PM »
the chances are that trying to position two keyboards near each other isn't going to work - OR, it could be fantastic.
I can hardly wait to see your set-up when you pull out all the stops and augment the manuals with a pedalboard!

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2010, 03:06:44 PM »
 :D i've seen a couple of pedalboards (probably the same one really) whilst looking at what's available - they aren't cheap, of course.

BUT...

i could, perhaps, put one of the keyboards on the floor and use that as a programmable pedalboard. cranioscopical, you are a genius (i've probably said that before).

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2010, 05:02:56 AM »
okay. both keyboards work at the same time (no great surprise there) but there isn't really a good way of positioning them (no great surprise there either). i've also had another look on the autohotkey forum and it looks like two numeric keypads working together has been done already (one with numlock on, one with it off - looks like people have already got several input devices working at the same time, whether it be multi-mice or multi-keypads).

so, i just need to decide what to do. too many options at the moment...

1. keep the current keyboard and just shove it to the left - so i type at a bit of an angle - is this stupid? it's cheap.

2. try chopping the numeric key area off from my current keyboard - might "brick" the keyboard. this would be cool if it worked.

3. buy short width keyboard and a numeric keypad (maybe two keypads) - i'd jump at this but i can't find a short width keyboard with a good key layout AND back lighted keys. plenty of rubbish cheap back lighted keyboards though.

4. buy an Emprex Cheetah Professional Gaming Keyboard 9051H (see image below). for about £50. i've picked this keyboard out as it has illuminated keys, programmable keys, numeric key area removed. so, it sounds like the perfect choice - but, it just makes me think i should try chopping up my logitech g11 board first as it will be the same result (if i don't break it).

emprex-small.jpg

(i think i'm going to try chopping the numeric key area off from my current keyboard - after seeing if i can get used to typing at an angle.)

skwire

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2010, 05:29:54 AM »
I'm thinking we need to see some pictures of your various setups so we know what we're dealing with here.  =]

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2010, 05:36:37 AM »
I'm thinking we need to see some pictures of your various setups so we know what we're dealing with here.  =]
:) i'll upload some photos in a few hours from now...

Innuendo

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2010, 07:24:29 AM »
I think in your situation I'd just go find a Belkin Nostromo n50. They've been discontinued in favor of newer models, but still packs a lot of functionality in the small space it takes up & the software has 3 'shift states' (holding down a modifier key gives an alternate config to every other key on the gamepad) so you can have triple the functionality per key.

They can be picked up for a song these days, but getting a little harder to find.

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2010, 07:44:55 AM »
hmm, maybe. are you recommending the pad on price or because it's better than the newer pads, Innuendo?

the belkin pad is rather like all of the other gamer pads though (from what i can see) - and they just don't seem like the perfect solution. or, they might be perfect - without having one next to me i can't really imagine if they are better than a numeric keypad.

the logitech g11's programmable keys just seem to be in the right place, with a nice layout - three lots of 3 x 2 keys (18 keys in all and 3 modes, giving 54 programmable keys) - and bang next to the the standard keys. i love all that but i hate how logitech have designed the keyboard so that its edge extends beyond anything sensible.

i know i'm being ridiculous about wanting the perfect setup - but it's become a war against this stupid keyboard now. it could have been brilliant. later today i will attempt a disassemble. i'm wound up about it now.

cranioscopical

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2010, 08:31:19 AM »
I'm thinking we need to see some pictures of your various setups so we know what we're dealing with here.  =]
The name of the asylum would be helpful, as well.  ;D

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2010, 08:49:33 AM »
hahaha. i was hoping no one would make that connection.

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2010, 10:34:16 AM »
this is what i currently have (see image below). if i can cut the keyboard down the red lines then i'll be happy (if the keys on the left hand side keep working). then i'll buy a numeric keypad for £10 and keep it on the left of the main keyboard (or maybe just showed up out of the way on the right).

i touch type so i want to keep the main keys positioned correctly under my fingers PLUS, i use lots of shortcut/hotkeys in Photoshop, etc. so ctrl, alt, shift are used all the time - the programmable keys have functions on them that change depending on which program has focus - these are used a lot with Photoshop, etc. so it's nice that they are so close to the standard ctrl, alt, shift keys. in other words - this is perfect for my requirements; the left side of the keyboard fits under my left hand with all the right functions immediately accessible.

whereas, the right-hand-side is awful and i hate whoever designed it (both keyboard and mouse are by logitech so you'd expect someone to have realised they got in the way of each other).

plussss. this keyboard has illuminated keys. which i find useful if i ever need to look at the keyboard when i'm in my cave.

desklayout.jpg
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 10:41:58 AM by nudone »

mouser

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2010, 11:35:09 AM »
perhaps someone who knows what a keyboard tends to look like inside can advise you as to the probability that you can cut that off and have the keyboard still work.  based on my rudimentary observations i'd guess your chances of success are somewhere in the 0 range. :)

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2010, 11:45:48 AM »
i think once i open the case up i'll see a rubber mat for the keyboard input. a few other bits for numlock, etc. lights.

if the keyboard is some kind of rubber input i'll try folding it or rolling it up a bit - i won't just cut everything in half. if there are wires that do need to be cut then i'll have to join them somehow.

might be too difficult, i admit. or it might be quite simple...

mouser

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2010, 11:55:59 AM »
you know what would be smart is if you can find a local supercheap bad keyboard you can try the experiment on first -- rather than cutting up a keyboard you actually use.

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2010, 12:08:07 PM »
i won't rush in to it. if it looks possible i'll do it. if i can't see how to keep it all working, except for the numberic keys, then i won't go ahead with it.

so, if i do break it, it will be because i just couldn't have avoided it - like not understanding what kind of replacement wire was required to connect things i had to cut. i'm hoping it won't be that difficult though.

nudone

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2010, 01:48:56 PM »
after a quick battle with the logitech g11 i've had to concede a small defeat. there appears to be a thin circuit board directly where i want to cut things in two. this circuit board also appears to be part of the rubber key membrane - so i'm not going to attempt to do anything further. note: this isn't the main circuit board, just something weird that's soldered to the rubber membrane.

i shall now order one of those numeric key pads and see how that feels after i've tried programming the keys using autohotkey. if that works then i'll get a new small width keyboard. it's just a pity there won't be any back lighted keys.

inside-g11.jpg
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 01:51:37 PM by nudone »

mouser

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Re: could two numeric keypads work at the same time
« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2010, 04:23:15 PM »
It's really too bad no one has come up with a company that can custom build keyboards to users desired shape and size and layout.. that might be quite popular.