Pikatea Macropad GB2 User Guide
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Congratulations on receiving your Pikatea Macropad GB2! This quick guide will walk you through how to use it.
For Macropads bought in 2020, Follow this guide to update the firmware to version 1.2
What’s in the Box
- (1) Pikatea Macropad GB2
- (1) micro SD card
- (1) USB micro SD card reader
- (1) USB Mini Cable
- (2) Screws
- (2) Strips of Mounting Tape
- (1) Allen Wrench
Mounting can be done with the included screws or the doubled sided tape. Remove the red plastic to reveal the adhesive part of the mounting tape. Align the Macropad to the underside of your desk or monitor and press firmly for 10 seconds. The bond will grow stronger over time. Be careful not to cover up any monitor buttons. More mounting tape can be bought on Amazon or a hardware store. We can ship mounting tape for a small fee.
Note: The USB cable can act as a lever and pry the macropad off if you accidently pull the cord. We would recommend you secure the cable a bit behind the macropad so that if the cable is pulled, it doesn't pull directly on it and cause it to fall off.
Programming and Usage
Programming can be done with an SD card (default option) or with an interface on the computer using VIAL. Scroll down to the bottom to find information on using VIAL.
The Pikatea Macropad GB2 uses an SD card to read the configuration for how it should function. This makes it so the only software required is a basic text editor like Notepad.exe (Mac OS X should use VSCode). Configuration is simple, Just follow these steps:
- Remove the SD card from the Macropad.
- Place the SD card into the USB SD card reader and plug it into a computer.
- Open the file "Config.txt" with a text editor.
- Edit the Text file - (More details below).
- Save the file and remove the SD card.
- Place the SD card back into the Macropad.
- Press the small button on the backside to load the configuration to memory.
Details on Editing the Text File
The configuration text file is used to tell the Pikatea Macropad GB2 what to do after each button press, hold, or knob rotation. Use the starter configuration and examples to get started.
The configuration for each button (or knob) is defined after the equals symbol on each line. To edit button 1, for example, change the text after 'Button1='.
Hotkeys or a combination of key presses
Each button press, hold, or knob rotation configuration can include a combination of keys that will be pressed all at once. Using the table below, specify each action with a '+' symbol in between them. Examples and a starter configuration are listed below:
Note 1: There is a small delay between each action (5 milliseconds). Sometimes various programs don't like the small delay between keypress and an extra delay should be added. For example Ctrl+Delay(40)+Alt
Note 2: A single UPPERCASE letter is not the same as a single lowercase letter. Menu+T will actually press menu and shift and t. Menu+t will press only menu and t.
Starter configuration - download starter configuration
All Keys and the correct definition for the configuration file
|Key||Defined in Config||Notes|
|Space||Space||the space character|
|Return||Return||the enter key|
|Play/Pause||PlayPause||Plays or pauses the current music/media|
|Next||Next||Plays the next song/media|
|Previous||Previous||Play the previous song/media|
|Mute||Mute||Sets the volume to zero|
|Left Shift or Shift||LeftShift or Shift||Button1=LeftShift+2|
|Left Ctrl or Ctrl||LeftCtrl or Ctrl||Button4=Ctrl+p|
|Left Alt or Alt||LeftAlt or Alt||Button5=Alt+Tab|
|Left Menu or Menu||LeftMenu or Menu||Windows Menu or Mac Command Key|
|Right Menu||RightMenu||Windows Menu or Mac Command Key|
|F1-F12||F1, F2, F3, etc||Button4Hold=Ctrl+F11 or Button2=Alt+RightShift+F5|
|Left Mouse Click||MouseLeft|
|Right Mouse Click||MouseRight|
|Middle Mouse Click||MouseMiddle|
|Scroll Up||ScrollUp||scrolls the mouse wheel at a slower speed|
|Scroll Down||ScrollDown||scrolls the mouse wheel at a slower speed|
|Scroll Up Fast||ScrollUpFast||scrolls the mouse wheel 3x faster|
|Scroll Down Fast||ScrollDownFast||scrolls the mouse wheel 3x faster|
|Scroll Right||ScrollRight||Scrolls up while holding the shift key|
|Scroll Left||ScrollLeft||Scrolls down while holding the shift key|
|Any other character||a, b, c, d, -, &, #, etc||presses the character|
|Type a word or sentence||This is a sentence for example||types 'This is a sentence for example' (NOTE: the configuration file and the Pikatea macropad has a maximum memory size. We would highly recommend not trying to type out entire paragraphs of text)|
|Delay in milliseconds||Delay(x)||Delay(500) delays the program by half a second
|Number Pad 0-9||Keypad1, Keypad2, etc|
|Number Pad Dot||KeypadDot|
|Number Pad Enter||KeypadEnter|
|Number Pad Add/Plus||KeypadAdd|
|Number Pad Subtract/Minus||KeypadMinus|
|Number Pad Multiply/Star||KeypadMultiply|
|Number Pad Divide||KeypadDivide|
|F13-F24||F13, F14, F22, etc||Button3=F17|
|Media Rewind||Rewind||Rewinds the current song/media|
|Media Fast Forward||FastForward||Button1Hold=FastForward|
|Media Stop||Stop||Stops the current media|
|Release/action chaining||Release||Used to release the current keys. This is useful for chaining multiple actions for a single keypress. Example:
This is a list I've generated of useful ways and programs to use the Pikatea Macropad with. This is just an example. In reality, the possibilities are endless. Add your own use cases by editing the github page
- Music control - My favorite way to use the Pikatea Macropad. I usually configure 3 buttons for Play/Pause, Next and Previous songs. The knob is used to control volume. This works well with Spotify.
Note: A recent Spotify update has made it difficult to control the music while spotify is in the background and out of focus. Try turning off "show desktop overlay when using media keys" in the spotify settings.
- Screenshots - Configure a button to press LeftMenu+LeftShift+s to open up the screenshot tool on Windows 10.
- SoundSwitch - This is an amazing computer program that makes it very easy to switch audio devices. I've setup my first button to switch between my headphones and speakers when held. Button1Hold=Ctrl+Alt+F11
- In conjunction with AutoHotkey - AutoHotkey is a powerful scripting language that can do automated tasks. It can be triggered by a hotkey press so it's perfect to use with the Pikatea Macropad
- Streaming - Configure OBS or other streaming platforms to change scenes or camera angles. We like to have a button to blank my display.
Note: OBS requires an extra delay attached to the end of a configured hotkey. For example Button1=Ctrl+Alt+Shift+1+Delay(50) will work but Button1=Ctrl+Alt+Shift+1 will not.
- Video Editing - Program the knob to press the correct keys to move the timeline back and forth for any video editing program.
deej Software Usage
The Pikatea Macropad works with deej. deej is an open-source hardware volume mixer for Windows and Linux PCs. It lets you use real-life sliders (or in this case, your Pikatea Macropad) to seamlessly control the volumes of different apps (such as your music player, the game you're playing and your voice chat session) without having to stop what you're doing.
Important note: deej is a 3rd-party program. The macropad uses a rotary encoder - which isn't officially supported w/ deej - and as such might not interact super-intuitively with config options such as "noise_reduction"
Enable deej mode by changing the configuration from deejmode=false to deejmode=true
Once enabled, button holds will not work as usual. They will instead activate 1 of 5 virtual sliders which can then be adjusted with the knob. If you want to control the program attached to slider 3 for example, hold down button 3 for a moment and then turn the knob. You'll have to find out what port your macropad is connected to your computer with as well. More information on deej setup can be found on the deej Github. Please email Pikatea support if you have questions.
QMK and VIA and VIAL Programming
The Pikatea Macropad is compatible with QMK, VIA and VIAL firmware.
VIAL is a great choice for configuring your macropad. VIAL is an open source program that makes it easy to configure the device with a simple interface. (macros that include delays are not possible with VIAL currently)
After updating the device with VIAL compatible firmware and installing VIAL, connect the device, open VIAL and click "refresh". VIAL should recognize the device and you can easily configure the buttons with the interface.
Pikatea QMK Fork - Use this fork to create your own firmware powered by QMK.
A pre-built QMK VIA compatible firmware is available to download and is outlined in the firmware update guide here.
Sometimes the device doesn't work as expected or doesn't seem to work at all. If this is the case, we can do a replacement/repair up to 3 months after receiving your device.
Follow this guide here to install the debugging firmware and use it to determine if parts of the macropad are not working.