Command Line Hardware Keypad

What’s the plan for hardware for the command line? How are other people making it work? The software keypad isn’t practical and using a keyboard isn’t ideal. Any known plans to release a hardware keypad down the line? Thinking about customizing a gaming keypad for me to program with.

Hi Even,

There are no current plans to release a command line wing.

Like you say though, you could create your own custom keyboard/keypad quite easily.

Personally I get on well using a standard QWERTY keyboard, but I have been using it this way for quite some time now.

Another thing that you could potentially consider is to remap some keys on a normal full-sized keyboard (for example the numpad keys).
Google “keytweak” - this is a little bit of software that lets you easily change/remap keyboard keystrokes by altering your registry.

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I’ve been learning hardware design recently, I could try making a custom keyboard PCB and software for it, the only issue is that I would need someone else to design the enclosure and keycaps for it all.

I would say get a Elgato Stream Deck and make keys for it.

After a good amount of research, the hardware is actually the easy part: gamers have been buying customizable keypads for eons now. The keycaps are the hard part but I’m working on that at the moment.

The Stream Deck doesn’t have near enough buttons. Maybe if you had it as well as the numpad it would work but I’m looking for something approximating the layout of the soft keypad in the software.

Did you label those yourself or have a company make them for you, and if it was a company, who did you use?

I was hoping on making what would essentially be one of those keypads except with a display on it as well for showing what is currently in the Vista console, kind of like what the ETC Ion had to show commands right above it’s keypad.

The picture he showed was the keyboard on the Jands Vista L5.

Thanks for the insight. I actually found a gaming keypad whose keys can be remapped on the hardware controller level, which means I can drag it from computer to computer without needing to reinstall software. It seems like some of the keys on the virtual keypad react differently than their real-life counterparts (i.e. + and - flip to Left and Right when Fn is pushed on the soft keypad, but not on the QWERTY; Out doesn’t change to Home when Fn is pressed [but the reverse is true], I can’t figure out what’s going on with Delete and Escape). Some bug hunting here would make it pretty simple to get parity between the soft keypad and a hardware keypad.

It’d be fairly easy to make a keypad with a 100% custom layout. There’s plenty of open-source firmware out there (see: QMK, TMK) and it’s fairly easy to just write a new one from scratch for any $5 AVR microcontroller with USB support (my current go-to is the ATMega 32u4)

Dur. I have no experience with the L5 other than trade shows.
The keypad display may be difficult unless Vista somehow sends that data as serial data.

I already have some of the code written for scraping command line data out of Vista’s memory on Windows, but I last touched it in Vista 2 and I’d probably have to update it for each version of Vista (unless some kind of plugin API like I suggested back on the old Jands-hosted forums gets implemented)

You could also look into the X-Keys keypads.

I have tested it out and with the ability to make folders and folders in folders forever it isn’t that bad. If you want to I could send you the file to open up in the stream deck software just to see what you think of it.