View Full Version : could I simply use a hacked keyboard to connect flight sim pictures

02-20-2012, 08:38 PM
if i wanted to quickly attach some switches to a flioght sim could i use a hacked up keyboard?

if i can what type of switch would simulate a single press on then off ?


Peter KG6LSE
02-21-2012, 02:24 AM
a normal NO push button. OR a toggle with a One shot 555.... the latter is not as easy BUT can be done ..

I have in many years ago re rigged a IBM 104 key to use NO pushbottons . as it was not a membrane but a Real ALPS based swith Keyboard ..


02-21-2012, 03:04 AM
Sounds like you want a "momentary" switch.

As for "typing" keyboards, many of these now have plastic sheets on the inside. You could not solder anything to any of the connections.

Better would be an answering machine phone and the keyboard on that. Many of these have printed circuit boards and you could cut the traces and solder wires on.

You can get either from a second hand store for quite cheap.

These have "matrixes" of connections like the following...


02-21-2012, 08:14 PM
Sounds like somebody's double dipping: http://www.picaxeforum.co.uk/showthread.php?20587-can-i-hack-keyboard-for

02-21-2012, 08:41 PM
sorry I had not turned on notification. i thought I had reieived no help so posted afterwards in another forum :innocent:

02-21-2012, 08:50 PM
I challenge erco to a duel http://www.flickr.com/photos/76744686@N08/6918433167/

02-21-2012, 09:55 PM
if i wanted to quickly attach some switches to a flioght sim could i use a hacked up keyboard?

if i can what type of switch would simulate a single press on then off ?


Yes, you can use a hacked keyboard, especially to start since things may go wrong.

You'll need to get the pinouts for the keys by pressing the key on the membrane and seeing what pins are shorted where the membrane attaches to the printed circuit board inside the keyboard. Once you have that setup you can solder wires to those pins, route the wires out of the keyboard through a hole you drill and solder them to momentary push buttons. Or you can just remove the circuit from the keyboard and make something a lot smaller.

The type of switch you'd use for a single key stroke is a momentary toggle switch, or a momentary push button. If it isn't momentary it will hold the key down instead of pressing it once.

02-25-2012, 05:01 PM
Hacking a keyboard is always an option. There are others:

1. www.ultimarc.com has keyboard encoders with built in switch debouncing and are often used for arcade machine cabinets (a bit pricey though). These are USB based and there is a large variety available. They are a UK company. In the US, you can buy the KeyWiz from groovygamegear.com which is a PS/2 interface device.
2. Hack a keyboard (cheap and easy)
3. Some microcontrollers are sold that have USB interface capability and can be programmed to do lots of things including act as a keyboard. Currently sparkfun has an arduino-mini that includes a library for all kinds of usb interfaces (there is a keyboard project online) The advantage of this approach is that you can make all kinds of custom game interfaces for analog controls too - which is good for complex things like flight sims.
4. Use your own microcontroller and emulate a ps/2 keyboard - the protocol isn't that super hard
5. Use a "serial to keyboard" redirector program and have your microcontroller hooked to switches and send serial commands to a port on your machine. The flight sim will think keys are being pressed.

Good luck with your project and do let us know what approach you end up choosing. (perhaps even one not listed here)