krakers
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:57 pm

Mini keyboard - buy or make?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:33 pm

Hello everyone. I'm not very technical, just beginning with raspberry pi etc

I'm trying to make some PDA-like devices from raspberry pi-s 3b and zero w. I configured them to connect to each other like in mesh network. For now everything works fine, they all are syncing without access to internet etc. I've got almost everything I need, but...
I can't find suitable keyboard for them! I can't sleep...

I need it to be:
-WIRED, not wireless! USB/micro usb/ GPIO ??
-small, so freaking small. I need two versions: 1st like in old phones (about 12 keys - you press "2" twice to get "B", once to get "A" etc); 2nd raspberry sized ~80 keys keyboard with tiny tiny keys
-not be as thick as raspberry pi
-have arrow keys, ctrl, shift, tab (the second one)
-additionally, I'd love it would have trackpoint (yes, this oldschool red nipple mouse dot from your grandma's laptop. I heard somewhere it's called "cat" but I'm not sure it's true), because trackpad is just too big...

Here are some examples:
https://wi-images.condecdn.net/image/0g ... /f/pda.jpg
https://sc02.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1eCnDfy0T ... 50x350.jpg

Just that, but everything I found are some big keyboards for rpi/ remote sized wireless "keyboards" which works like sh*t etc... argh

I wonder, how about making keyboard by myself? If it's possible and not too hard to use few of for example waveshare 4x4 keypads? https://www.waveshare.com/4x4-keypad.htm
I found you can use them with arduino... How about raspberry pi? Could I connect few of them to one rpi? Maybe are there ones with bigger number of keys & designed for rpi?
I also found 5x2 keypad withg joystick (about like trackpoint!) https://www.waveshare.com/5-io-keypad.htm

What do you think? Do you know some keyboard whick would suit? Did you try making your own - is it a good idea?

hippy
Posts: 5387
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Mini keyboard - buy or make?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:03 am

I would suggest taking a look at Microsoft XBox Chatpad keypads and existing projects to interface them to the Pi.

krakers
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:57 pm

Re: Mini keyboard - buy or make?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:03 pm

Yeah, I heard about that, but they have only two arrow keys. I need all four

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Imperf3kt
Posts: 2424
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:16 am
Location: Australia

Re: Mini keyboard - buy or make?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:54 pm

I've used one of these with my Pi before.
https://ebgames.com.au/ps4-210575-play- ... yStation-4
Works great, but some important keys are missing, so I ended up using a virtual on-screen keyboard instead.

Edit:
Appears to be different to the one I have, which has all four arrow keys.
I have model 210575, which has all the keys of a standard 104 key keyboard, but lacks any function keys and special keys (print screen, 'menu' or Windows logo as it is most commonly known, etc)
Last edited by Imperf3kt on Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ptimlin
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:44 pm

Re: Mini keyboard - buy or make?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:30 am

Try one of these types...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/USRobotics-USR ... :rk:6:pf:0

or

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Wireless- ... rk:11:pf:0

or if you don't like eBay...

https://www.amazon.com/HDE-Bluetooth-Ke ... i+keyboard

They have all four arrow keys although you have to hold down the Fn key to use the alternative key functions. They are not great type on with any speed but they work. What all the ads that sell these do NOT tell you is these work as wired keyboards. When you plug in the USB cable to charge them, if you also turn on they keyboard, they work fine as a wired USB keyboard. And they can usually be had for under $10 USD.

krakers
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:57 pm

Re: Mini keyboard - buy or make?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:42 am

ptimlin wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:30 am
Try one of these types...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/USRobotics-USR ... :rk:6:pf:0

or

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Wireless- ... rk:11:pf:0

or if you don't like eBay...

https://www.amazon.com/HDE-Bluetooth-Ke ... i+keyboard

They have all four arrow keys although you have to hold down the Fn key to use the alternative key functions. They are not great type on with any speed but they work. What all the ads that sell these do NOT tell you is these work as wired keyboards. When you plug in the USB cable to charge them, if you also turn on they keyboard, they work fine as a wired USB keyboard. And they can usually be had for under $10 USD.
I didn't know they work when wired, so I think my first problem is solved :) Thank you. I'll buy it and try

But if I also would make some custom keyboard by connecting few brutton matrixes and trackpoint - can it be done with raspberry pi?

krakers
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:57 pm

Re: Mini keyboard - buy or make?

Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:29 am

I got the keyboard but it doesn't work when wired only. It's charging, but still needs bluetooth.
Not a solution for me

Carry
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:07 am

Re: Mini keyboard - buy or make?

Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:17 am

Yes it will need bluetooth.U can say it is an inefficiency or drawback of this keyboard dqfansurvey

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ptimlin
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:44 pm

Re: Mini keyboard - buy or make?

Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:45 pm

krakers wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:29 am
I got the keyboard but it doesn't work when wired only. It's charging, but still needs bluetooth.
Not a solution for me
When wired did you turn it on too? On the one of mine I used wired I did have to still turn it to ON for it to worked wired.

Might be difference models act differently. I have two different ones. I know one worked for sure, so I should check the other one to see.

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