[plug] USB Keypad Shennanigans

Garry garbuck at westnet.com.au
Thu Jul 25 09:05:16 UTC 2013

Is there something like dmesg where you can see key events, and map them 
into a config file manually? Or an application where you can see them?

I'm guessing a usb HID device needs to send standard-ish usb commands....



On 25/07/13 15:41, Onno Benschop wrote:
> I've been pulling out my hair for the past six hours and figured that 
> it was time to see if anyone might be able to help. The situation 
> isn't helped by the Ubuntu forum having been hacked, since much of the 
> searching ends up there.
> I want to achieve the following:
> Use the individual keys of an external USB Numeric 18 key keypad to 
> play an mp3 file for use in a radio broadcast situation - think Jingle 
> Machine with 17 Jingles. (the 18th key needs to kill all audio).
> The OS is Ubuntu 12.04 on an R52 Thinkpad
> Things I've tried:
>   * Use the Keyboard shortcuts - doesn't work, since you cannot
>     reprogram each key without holding down a modifier, like shift or
>     control.
>   * Use KeyTouch, doesn't work, the software is not available for
>     12.04, only the KeyTouch-editor.
>   * I then figured I could remap a key to a multi-media key and have
>     Keyboard shortcuts see those instead. I tried to use setxkbmap. I
>     can use a command line like "setxkbmap -device 9 -option
>     KP_0:KP_6" which shows that the 0 key is mapped to the 6, for my
>     USB keypad, but no change observed on the command line when
>     pressing the 0, nor in Keyboard shortcuts. (I also tried it with
>     mapping the KP_0 to a symbol like: XF86Start.)
> I've learnt that there is much voodoo in this, lots of contradictory 
> information and a basic assumption that you'd just want to use some or 
> other layout.
> I've been unable to locate any information on how to create a layout 
> that actually generates a range of bogus keys from pressing a key on 
> the keypad.
> Note that the keypad works as expected. It's a Targus $34 keypad from 
> Officeworks, 18 keys, nothing special.
> I need to make the interface for this tactile, rather than touch 
> screen, since it's going to be used during a live broadcast, so the 
> operator will be reading a script into a microphone and wanting to hit 
> a jingle key afterwards, without needing to actually look at the keypad.
> I'm hoping someone has seen this, done this, wrote the book or knows 
> where I can find the manual to read it myself.
> Anyone?
> -- 
> Onno Benschop
> ()/)/)()        ..ASCII for Onno..
> |>>?            ..EBCDIC for Onno..
> --- -. -. ---   ..Morse for Onno..
> ITmaze   -   ABN: 56 178 057 063   -  ph: 04 1219 8888   - 
> onno at itmaze.com.au <mailto:onno at itmaze.com.au>
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