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Author Topic: Mouseless operation of Mach 3 using programmable POS keyboard  (Read 3850 times)

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Hi All

It seems everyone has a different story about recycling computer gear into their projects and I thought someone might find this one interesting.  I picked up some ex-restaurant programmable POS keyboards on ebay last week and am trialling one for my cnc mill conversion.  The keyboard layout is 16 wide by 8 high with tactile feedback and a polycarbonate overlay.  Each key is re-programmable for make and break so a single button press can perform any sort of hot-keying.  It's also re-legendable so I'll be able to label the keys for start, run, etc. as required.  I've pulled one to pieces and it will be a snap to mount the key matrix and controller behind a panel together with my lcd screen so it hopefully ends up something like the panel on a commercial cnc machine.

The idea is to reprogram the keyboard to perform all the common functions required to drive Mach3 so as not to need a mouse (I'll keep a cordless usb trackball handy just in case!).  I'd also like to maximise the screen for display by removing the buttons I don't need from the screen.  The problem is how to program a hotkey screen button to respond to the keyboard hotkey sequence without a button being displayed on the screen or using up screen area?  I have tried making the buttons very small (like 10 x 10 pixels) so they are not visible but then they are too hard to find later.  Is there any way to create a hot key that performs the same function as a button without using an on-screen button?

Any ideas appreciated.

Kind Regards
Brisbane, Australia

Offline Hood

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Re: Mouseless operation of Mach 3 using programmable POS keyboard
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2009, 12:56:40 AM »
That is the problem with using HotKeys, you need the button that it is working on the page you are viewing. If you can use the keyboard buttons as digiotal inputs then you could set each key up as an oem trigger and that way it would not require a button on screen to operate.
 Failing that you can open the screenset in Screen4 making sure your monitor is at a higher resolution than the screenset and place the buttons out of the normal screen area. This will only work if you are not using Auto Screen Enlarge in General Config.
 Another way would be to use image buttons but dont asign an image, you will see them in Screen4 but not in Mach.