Custom home automation control panel with tactile buttons

Discussion in 'Home Automation' started by bp2008, May 31, 2016.

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  1. bp2008

    bp2008 Staff Member

    Mar 10, 2014
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    Back around the start of February, I bought a used Razer DeathStalker Ultimate keyboard for my Blue Iris PC. I wrote some software to customize its built-in touchpad and 10 tactile buttons, so I can use them to control a number of z-wave and infrared devices in my house.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Basically, this keyboard has two LCD panels where the numpad goes. The upper one is overlaid by 10 transparent keys, so the screen shows through, effectively creating ten LCD-backed keys. The lower display is a full multi-touch screen. There is an SDK which lets you send 16-bit images for the individual buttons and the touch panel, which I used to create this.

    I like physical buttons, and always drooled over the Optimus keyboards which are always too expensive, or not being produced, precisely because I could use such a keyboard to build something like this. Razer's implementation is actually better though because it lets you have physical buttons AND a fully programmable touchpad.

    Just for fun, this uses my own crude UI framework and font renderer. I even drew the font myself in a paint program. If any C# developers are interested in reusing my code for this, I'm willing to share it. Just be aware it was cobbled together in about two days, and the code is messy. It is not in such a state as to be usable by someone who can't build a c# program, so I don't encourage just anyone to go out and buy one of these keyboards hoping to use it as a home automation controller.
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  2. nayr

    nayr Known around here

    Jul 16, 2014
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    Denver, CO
    clever hack, nice work..

    I just setup global hotkeys to send json commands to my home automation system, really useful for the PTZ because late at night taking control of it when something catches you off guard is hard to pull off.. I have several presets configured for the keys I never use, so a quick tap and the camera is moving.