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View Full Version : Control your TC with a Bluetooth Presentation Remote



GTHill
12-22-2009, 07:41 PM
I've needed a solution to switch cameras remotely with my TC. I'm the talent (sad) and I have a multi-camera setup so I need the ability to control which camera was live.

Here is the solution:

Buy any good remote that is designed for presentations. Most of these remotes have four buttons. What they do isn't important because we are going to change that.

Each button on the remote actually just sends a keyboard signal to the computer (TC). For example, the right button (slide advance) actually sends a "Page Up" signal to the computer.

The key to getting this working is a program called AutoHotKey (www.autohotkey.com).

Auto hot key is a program that can map any key or key sequence to any function you can think of. It's actually quite neat. Anyway, all that is needed is to map the key presses that the remote sends to actual TC shortcuts.

Here is an example of what I used.

PageDown::F1
b::F2
PageUp::F3
F5:F7

The key before the :: is the key that the remote sends to the TC. The Key to the right of the :: is the key I want it to be. So as you can see, I made the remote go to source 1 (F1) source 2, source 3 and Ext (F7).

Of course you could map to any key or key sequence on the keyboard. This could even be helpful if there is a particular set of functions you would like to happen in a specific order, you can create your own shortcut keys.

Two hitches: You have to go into admin mode, start Auto Hot Key then load the TC with the Shift key depressed. This allows Windows XP programs to run while the TC is in operation. I know this isn't recommended, but this program is very simple and doesn't take much memory or CPU cycles.

Second, some keys you may want to use won't work. For example, the "b" key is mapped to one of my sources. It isn't a huge deal. You can just pause the AHK in taskbar, then start it up again if you need it. What I do is record my show, then shut down AutoHotKey, then edit etc.

Anyway, if you would like this and need some help I may be able to give some advice, although I'm not an AHK or TC expert.

GT

joseburgos
12-23-2009, 07:59 AM
If you edit the toasterscript for hot keys in the switcher, you can do this without running Autokey. You have to rem out page up, page down and F5. Then change F1, F2, F3 and F7 to the new hotkeys. This would then give you your new built-in hotkeys and they would only work in Live so no need to turn on and off anything :)

PS I'll state the obvious because it is so important. PLEASE BACKUP YOUR KBD.TOASTERSCRIPT before doing this. I'll add only do this if there is no way the remote can be reprogrammed. I read that Keyspan now has a map editor software which allows you to change the hotkeys the remote produces. This would be the desired way to go IMHO.

Take care,

Quiet1onTheSet
12-23-2009, 09:16 AM
Heck. Like Ted, you could simply use a Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse, doing away with any programming madness. :D
But be forewarned: You'll get flaky, stuck key-like activity from weak AA batteries.

Q1

GTHill
12-23-2009, 09:51 AM
I'm walking around while shooting so it had to be something hand held. I was using a keyboard prior to that.

I didn't know that key mapping could be done in the TC! Sweet! If my solution give me any grief I'll have to give that a shot. Thanks!

GT