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Old 09-10-2021, 10:17 AM   #1
Renate
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Clickers, love 'em or hate 'em

I think that I like them, but they do have their problems.

There are the little two button clickers designed for selfies. Unfortunately it's not easy to make the two buttons do something useful like forward/back. Even with multi-button clickers I'm sure you'll have some buttons that are useless. The big problem with the little clickers is that they usually? have a one minute timeout before they sleep. If you read a page a minute (and don't space out thinking about something) you might not notice. If the clicker sleeps you will need to click twice, once to wakeup, once to turn the page.

One of my big beefs is that many clickers present themselves as a qwerty keyboard. You'll see an "A" in the status bar to show that you have a real qwerty keyboard connected and don't need an on-screen keyboard. Ok, there are work-arounds for this, but it's still annoying. Android uses the capability to send a "Q" as the definition of a qwerty. Some clickers get sloppy and say, "I can send every character!" when they can't.

I bought a Chinese $1 clicker and found that it had an EEPROM in it which configures it. So I ordered a dozen and got the same exteriors but no EEPROM inside.

Another annoying thing is that the Bluetooth names are something stupid.

I just bought a new 5 way clicker. Out of the box it worked fine, but it said it was a qwerty. So I did what anybody would do:
  • Open the case, determined that it used a 24C128A 16384 x 8 EEPROM.
  • Traced the I²C data connections from the mezzanine board to the main board
  • Connected a 3.3V µC (like an Arduino, kind of) to the I²C data
  • Wrote some code to dump the EEPROM
  • Searched for where in memory the HID report descriptor was and decoded that
  • Wrote some code to overwrite UsageMinimum in the descriptor to 0x28 (Enter is the first sendable key, no letters available).
  • Wrote some code to change "remote helper" to "5 Way Clicker"
The key mapping is ok for now. The sixth button sends goofy multiple codes but it will take more decyphering of the binary dump to figure out how to change that. The bad part is that none of the addresses or details that I've worked out have any bearing on any other clicker (unless it's identical).
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Old 09-10-2021, 12:40 PM   #2
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I don't go to the trouble of doing this, I use the Boox Remoter for my Note Air
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Old 09-10-2021, 01:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottischwenk View Post
I don't go to the trouble of doing this...
Why, it's no trouble at all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ottischwenk View Post
I use the Boox Remoter for my Note Air
Yeah, but that's so big.

Edit: BTW, when you use the Boox Remoter do you get an "A" on the status bar?

Last edited by Renate; 09-10-2021 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 09-10-2021, 01:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Edit: BTW, when you use the Boox Remoter do you get an "A" on the status bar?
No - with the remote I can control the whole device; do exactly what I do with my fingers or the stylus on the touchscreen (don't scribble, of course).
It is recognized as a remote - not a keyboard.
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Old 09-12-2021, 02:50 PM   #5
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I couldn't get the really stupid button to do something differerent. (It sends out Volume Up and Enter). But at least I have five buttons that I can assign. (Although they do have to remain Consumer Control.) As everybody's usage patterns differs, for me, page forward/back and menu callup/cancel is the important one. The menu goes to a bunch of stuff, but shows time and battery so I can do a quick check.

This is a wired remote I made for the B&N Glow2 so I could turn pages without taking my hands out from under the covers and freezing. I could reformat my Bluetooth one to fit in a case with such a keyboard (but no wire, obviously). The membrane switches got a bit taxing though. Maybe some Cherry keys?
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:01 AM   #6
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Apparently Onyx uses the F1-12 keycodes for functions on the Boox Remoter. I don't have one, but this is how the F keys affect the Poke3 at least.
Code:
Key  USB  Code  Function
---  ---  ----  ---------------------
F1   3a   131   Menu
F2   3b   132   Back
F3   3c   133   Display control
F4   3d   134   Full screen refresh
F5   3e   135   Screenshot
F6   3f   136   Toggle glowlight
F7   40   137   (F7)
F8   41   138   Home
F9   42   139   Display control
F10  43   140   Refresh settings
F11  44   141   (F11)
F12  45   142   Brightness adjustment
To try these out:
Code:
$ input keyevent 134
If somebody with a Boox Remoter could double check this and also the 5 Way rocker it would be appreciated.
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:58 AM   #7
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@Renate
Thank you very much for such an invaluable finding!

I don't have the Remoter, but I connected my mechanical PC keyboard via USB-A to USB-C dongle to my Kon-Tiki 2, and those F1-F12 keys work exactly as you described. "Display control" is the Contrast dialog for me.
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Old 09-24-2021, 02:42 PM   #8
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If anybody wants to make a wired remote, you can follow the lead of mergen3107. If you go around on garbage night or visit your dump you can probably find an old keyboard for free. Take it apart, there is a small PCB that connects to the big translucent membrance sheets. Just short any of the two contacts that connect there and see what keycode gets generated. Now, get a cigar box, tuna fish can or enclosure of your choice. Mount switches to it and wire each of them to the two contacts you find that work. You could also make a footswitch.
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Old 09-24-2021, 03:04 PM   #9
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For generic programmability there's the Puck.js; https://www.puck-js.com/
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Old 09-24-2021, 03:55 PM   #10
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For generic programmability there's the Puck.js; https://www.puck-js.com/
That's not a bad suggestion and I'll admit that anything in screaming yellow gets my attention. Still, I have a visceral reaction to anything that says "JS". I just got a bunch of Cypress CYBLE-012011-00 in the mail today anyway.
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Old 09-24-2021, 04:05 PM   #11
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That's not a bad suggestion and I'll admit that anything in screaming yellow gets my attention. Still, I have a visceral reaction to anything that says "JS". I just got a bunch of Cypress CYBLE-012011-00 in the mail today anyway.
I confess that I have a poor opinion of javascript. Java, on the other hand, I worshiped.
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:48 PM   #12
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I confess that I have a poor opinion of javascript. Java, on the other hand, I worshiped.
Well, Java isn't hip enough, that's why we have Kotlin.
Code:
-$$Lambda$FloatingToolbar$FloatingToolbarPopup$-uEfRwR-_1oHxMvRVdmbNRdukDM.smali
-$$Lambda$FloatingToolbar$FloatingToolbarPopup$13$7WTSUuAWkzil48e0QxuKTn0YOXI.smali
-$$Lambda$FloatingToolbar$FloatingToolbarPopup$77YZy6kisO5OnjlgtKp0Zi1V8EY.smali


WIP, my dev board for BLE. At least it pairs already. Everything else is fine-tuning.
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:01 PM   #13
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Well, Java isn't hip enough, that's why we have Kotlin.

WIP, my dev board for BLE. At least it pairs already. Everything else is fine-tuning.
I retired before Kotlin arrived. A former coworker urged me to look at it and after reading some/most of the book on it I felt like it was mainly sugar coating. I must be weird because I really didn't mind all that boilerplate that Java needed. In any event I suspect that the latest versions of Java provide similar sugar coating. For all the crybabies that can't deal with all that boilerplate.


How are you going to package your button gizmo? Do you have a 3d printer to make a case for it?
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:54 PM   #14
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I remembered I have Genius Media Pointer E540 for helping in presentations (*khm-khm* when I had such in pre-pandemic times), and it pairs with my Onyx via the USB-C dongle as well

However, there are only a few buttons recognized:
- F5 (the one to the left from the yellow laser button) - acts as screenshot;
- PgUp, PgDn in the middle - works well for turning pages in KOReader;
- The actual "Tab" key with keycode 64 below those - I was able to only assign a single press action in Button Mapper. Maybe I should play with delays for double- and long-press in the Button mapper due to receiver delay, but I didn't test;
- and a key in the bottom right, which interestingly does "Alt, then F4" - so basically refreshes the screen;
- Other keys are "Unknown (0)" in Button Mapper and couldn't be remapped.

Those F5 and F4 also could be reassigned I think, but I didn't try.

This media pointer is from about 2014, so I don't know if it is available anywhere anymore.

However, I think there are much more elegant solutions like this one, which comes with USB-C right away. If they use something down-to-earth/generic like PgUp, PgDn, etc, this could be very useful.

I *think* Button Mapper does not need root to imitate keycode presses (because I have right now on keycodes and the root-access-granted popup doesn't show), so this might be useful to most of the users.
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Old 09-25-2021, 07:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
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How are you going to package your button gizmo? Do you have a 3d printer to make a case for it?
The PCB shown is only for development. I've modified a few Bluetooth devices by reverse engineering, but this is the first time I've had a chance to write the software myself. I've got a single pedal that runs on a hacked clicker. That will be the first retrofit. I've also got an iRig Blueboard. That just appears as custom GATT so the plus is no pairing, the minus is you need an app (which I wrote) to act as plumbing to other apps. I'll probably make a hand device using the same box and membrane keyboard as that wired remote above.

No, I don't have access (besides commercial services) to a 3D printer.
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