Hook up your Pimoroni Keybow to Numpad Superpowers

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What's this Keybow thing, then?

Pimoroni are a cool electronics company located in my beloved hometown of Sheffield, UK. They are experts in all things Raspberry Pi, and one of the cofounders (Paul Beech) even designed the Raspberry Pi logo!

They have recently come out with a macropad/shortcut keypad called the Keybow. It allows you to automate keystrokes through programming in Lua and, of course, it’s based upon the Raspberry Pi.

The Pimoroni Keybow, a 12-key keypad with mechanical keyboard keys and RGB lights.

Keybows have been selling like hotcakes and a couple of people have been in touch to tell me how they have programmed their Keybow to trigger automation in Numpad Superpowers.

Hooking up a macropad

One of the exciting things about Numpad Superpowers is that you can hook up hardware you already own to trigger powerful computer automation – the Keybow is perfect for this.

If you can make your macropad (like the Keybow) do shortcuts such as ctrl + alt + 0 and ctrl + alt + 1 then you can use it to control Numpad Superpowers.

The benefit here is you get well-made hardware that you have already bought to trigger powerful and reconfigurable computer automation.

The Lua code you need

To get your Keybow to press the keyboard shortcuts ctrl + alt + 0 and ctrl + alt + 1 you’ll need a little Lua code. Luckily, Raspberry Pi whizz kid and all-round software guru Josh Lowe has documented an example Lua script on Github. You can check it out here or can find the code below.

The general approach is to hold down the Ctrl key, then hold down the Alt key, press one of the number keys (such as 0) and then release Alt and Ctrl.

I know this code is good as our above-mentioned whizz kid Josh, despite being only 15, has already given a talk at Google, such is his coding skill – we’re in safe hands.

Once you’ve uploaded your Lua code onto your Keybow, you should find the following shortcuts will be used to control Numpad Superpowers:

Ctrl + Alt + 0:  Toggle the sidebar in/out

Ctrl + Alt + -:  Change menu

Ctrl + Alt + 1:  Trigger superpower 1

Ctrl + Alt + 2:  Trigger superpower 2

Ctrl + Alt + 3:  Trigger superpower 3

Ctrl + Alt + 4:  Trigger superpower 4

Ctrl + Alt + 5:  Trigger superpower 5

Ctrl + Alt + 6:  Trigger superpower 6

Ctrl + Alt + 7:  Trigger superpower 7

Ctrl + Alt + 8:  Trigger superpower 8

Ctrl + Alt + 9:  Trigger superpower 9

Give it a try and let me know if you have any issues – you’re always welcome to reach out with questions and comments.

Why hook up my superpowers?

Using a physical keypad such as the Keybow alongside reconfigurable automation from Numpad Superpowers gives you the best of both hardware and software.

You only need to programme the Keybow once, using the code shown above, and from then on, all automation can be created and adjusted in Numpad Superpowers using drag-and-drop.

This isn’t limited to just the Keybow – any macropad capable of doing a keyboard shortcut can be used to control Numpad Superpowers. Why not solder yourself up a Max Falcon-8 and see what automation you can achieve?

The max falcon-8, an 8-key macropkeypad configured to trigger media keys.

Wrapping up

To those looking to hook up their Keybow, I hope this post answered all your questions. To those without macropads, I’d really encourage you to get one for use with Numpad Superpowers – having well-made physical hardware to trigger your superpowers is a great addition.

As ever, feel free to get in touch – I’m always delighted to hear from you.

Yours clackingly,


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