Alternative Controller for HHKB Pro
I wanted to add some features like vi cursor and mouse keys to my HHKB but its controller is not programmable and firmware source code is not open, of course. This means customizing this keyboard needs to replace original controller with programmable one.
This controller can work with HHKB Professional, Professional 2, JP and Type-S.
See this thread in geekhack.org for details.
- Bluetooth module RN-42 is supported.(2015/01)
- Customizable keymap
- More keymap layers(more Fn keys)
- Mouse keys
- USB NKRO
See README of tmk_keyboard for more.
- No risks: Everything is all reversible
- No need for PCB trace patching, case cutting or any other destructive mod
- Can keep original controller intact
- Can change all HHKB behavior as you like
- Void your warranty
- Lose USB hub function of Pro2
I'm not a professional of electronics nor MCU programming. This may damage your HHKB. And my English writing is poor, I'm not sure I can convey my notions accurately.
Quick-Start Guide for TMK Alt Controller
Build a custom keyboard layout using the online tool
.hexfile to your computer; note this is all you need to generate a custom layout with most of the available features (including mouse control)
- Check-out the last third of this video to get an idea of how to build your own layout; it includes how to load to the firmware using FLIP
Download and install the
dfu-programmer(the alternative to FLIP), open-source available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. e.g., for Mac OS:
brew install dfu-programmer
Note: This bootloader is all that is required to load/flash the firmware created using the online tool. You do not need the full
avr-gccdevelopment stack because you created the required
.hexfile using the online tool instead.
Please read and understand this next step in full before running the following three commands
dfu-programmer atmega32u4 erase --force dfu-programmer atmega32u4 flash <your_downloaded_file>.hex dfu-programmer atmega32u4 launch
Or if your are on Unix-like shell you can use command sequence concatinated with
sleep 20 && \ dfu-programmer atmega32u4 erase --force && \ dfu-programmer atmega32u4 flash <your_downloaded_file>.hex && \ dfu-programmer atmega32u4 launch
Run commands from the directory where you saved your
Put controller into programmable mode(bootloader) by hitting the red button located on your controller
Once in this mode, you will no longer have access to your HHKB, you need other keyboard to input the commands or mouse to copy and paste.
eraseclears existent firmware on flash memory
flashloads new firmware you downloaded
man dfu-programmerfor details
Replug controller and redo the process when you are in trouble
sleep 20gives you time to switch your controller to a programmable mode These commands execute automatically once the ~ 20 seconds have passed.
Build Firmware & Program
Build options and firmware settings are available in
To define your own keymap create file named
keymap_<name>.c and see keymap document and existent keymap files.
Several version of keymap are available in advance but you are recommended to define your favorite layout yourself. Just
KEYMAP option like:
$ make -f Makefile.<variant> KEYMAP=<name> clean $ make -f Makefile.<variant> KEYMAP=<name>
Makefile can be used for Pro2 and Pro USB controller,
Makefile.jp for JP,
Makefile.rn42 for Pro2 Bluetooth and
Makefile.rn42.jp for JP Bluetooth.
First, push reset button on board to start bootloader.
This command programs the controller with dfu-programmer if the tool is installed and configured properly.
$ make -f Makefile.<variant> KEYMAP=<name> dfu
Or you can also use FLIP command to program. Also the tool should be installed and configured properly. FLIP GUI application is also available.
$ make -f Makefile.<variant> KEYMAP=<name> flip
TMK Alt Controller Board
Preassmbled controller is available from here.
You can find design files of the controller at Keyboard Controller Board for HHKB(KiCad project).