Dual Keyboard set-up

A forum I’m on was discussing tools for extending keyboard shortcut options. This video was posted on using an entire second keyboard on Windows. I haven’t made use of Karabiner Elements before, but how much such a mapping be achieved on macOS? Is Karabiner Elements capable of this, or would you need to use a different tool?

Note, I’m not asking about programming new macros with the likes of Keyboard Maestro or anything else, just about having a second keyboard that registers entirely unique inputs from the primary keyboard on a Mac.

Yes, this works. Had never thought of this!
I mapped Spacebar on my Apple keyboard to F18, and it triggered Alfred, just as it should. The Spacebar on my Matias still spaces.
I would imagine the Elgato Streamdeck emulates a keyboard too, but don’t know for certain.

This opens up a lot of possibilities for using an Arduino to emulate keystrokes from external inputs. Cool stuff.

Interesting, so is it able to have a totally different set of registered keys? (e.g. can you have ⌘J on your Matias keyboard be treated as a different input than ⌘J on your Apple keyboard?)

The streamdeck is actually very popular over on that forum. Unfortunately (for me/in my opinion) I understand it not really emulating a keyboard. You can bind a lot of shortcuts (or even subsequent shortcuts) to a button on the streamdeck though. I’ve played around just long enough to realize it wasn’t going to solve my problems.

Yes. As I said, I changed Spacebar on the Apple wireless keyboard to produce an F18 keystroke, while the Spacebar on my Matias is still spacing (as you can see :slight_smile:).

I’m explaining poorly; the system still only recognizes one F18 regardless of its source keyboard, correct? Are there a finite number of combinations the system recognizes?

My ideal goal is to have it not just map keystroke A on the secondary keyboard to obscure keystroke B, but to instead have an entire second set of keys (e.g. A1, A2, S1, S2, ⌘A1, ⌘A2) that I can bind freshly.

Can I ask what the goal is? At a certain point keyboard combinations have gotta become overwhelming for your brain. I imagine an adaptive piece of hardware like the Stream Deck might be a better solution for lots of special combinations.

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Yes, there seems to be a finite number of keys (available to macOS). But, that includes F keys from 1-24, so you could use, say, F19-F24, with up to four eight modifiers(⇧⌃⌥⌘, left and right of each), which should give you (does math) 80 1280 additional keys. There are also 31 mouse buttons that you might be able to define (less sure about that).

I fear my keyboard would assassinate me if I tried to make it work that hard :slight_smile: