Revisiting Wireless - a crazy idea that just might work

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Avery Sawaba

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Mar 22, 2017, 11:11:42 PM3/22/17
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Technology is moving fast, and I put my mind again to the problem of making all these existing AG-5s wireless. I think I came up with something workable.

The basic idea is that there's software out there that allows you to share mouse and keyboard between two computers, over a network. That means that the host computer runs a server, and the other system(s) run clients of a sort, but have no physical mouse/KB plugged into them. Well, as long as they're both on the same network.

I've used Synergy: https://symless.com/synergy 

And I stumbled upon Flexihub - not entirely sure if it does what I think it does: http://www.flexihub.com/download.html

A Raspberry Pi Zero W (has wifi built-in) is the host. It has a small Li-Ion battery pack. The AlphaGrip plugs into the Pi, and the Pi plugs into the battery. As long as the Pi and the computer you want to use are on the same network and have Synergy running and configured correctly, the AlphaGrip will control the remote PC - without wires. 

I know it is a convoluted solution, but should only cost about $45. My main concern would be the additional weight, and whether or not the 'Grip is still usable. I have most of the components, so I might try this out in the next week or two...

--Adrian

Michael Willner

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Mar 23, 2017, 8:28:14 PM3/23/17
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Cool idea. Good luck!  I copied your post to AlphaGrip's facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/alphagrips).  Trying to get some more "friends" in preparation for a crowdfunding campaign for the Next Gen AlphaGrip.

One of several modifications to the AG is to make the grip wider which should make it more ergonomic.  I've attached a pdf with some images.

Mike
Original AG v. wider Next Gen AG.pdf

Avery Sawaba

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Mar 23, 2017, 11:01:45 PM3/23/17
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Yeah, I never had a problem with the grip, but I noticed a lot of foam modifications to fit different hand sizes back in the day.

Something to also think of is that we're in the age of 3D printing. Sizing the next Alphagrip could be as simple as partnering with some makerspaces and making some 3D files available. It would be neat if there were modular 'connection points' where you could snap on accessories, or grip expanders, things like that.

--Adrian

Michael Willner

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Mar 24, 2017, 1:39:55 PM3/24/17
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Good ideas. Actually, we are trying to figure out what "connection points" to put on the top of the Next Gen AG so we can mount a smartphone holder.  Here's a video of a rough prototype in action:  https://youtu.be/FGQ8_lKP2Jk

Eiríkr

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May 14, 2022, 4:28:05 AMMay 14
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A bit late to the party, but the topic of converting USB HIDs to wireless has been bouncing around for years.  I came back to that myself just recently, and ran across this decent build video:


There's also (finally!) a USB-to-Bluetooth adapter that includes a bridge -- which makes it possible to plug in a battery pack.  The video above demos that.  The specific bridge they use is the BT-500 from Handheld Scientific: http://handheldsci.com/kb/  Currently retailing for $39.95 plus tax and shipping.  I'm thinking of getting one, see if that plus a simple USB battery pack for a cell phone would work.  Wouldn't be too heavy, and could fit into the U shape of the Grip -- since I don't have the skills to get fancy with deconstructing the Grip and try fitting the components inside.  :)

FWIW, still have two Grips in use (one at the office and one at home).  I still think this keyboard is a good idea.

Eiríkr

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May 14, 2022, 4:30:05 AMMay 14
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Ah, and it looks like there's a review of the BT-500 over here at Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/e6d2vb/review_bluetooth_adapter_for_keyboard_mouse_bt500/
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