Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 8, 2010

Keyboard Keep Alive Circuit

at 2:48 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you have had your computer fall asleep at the worst possible time before you know how frustrating it can be. Todd Harrison from Toddfun.com has come up with a solution. He built a simple battery operated Keyboard Keep Alive Circuit that he stuffed in a cute candy tin shaped like a Wiimote. This circuit closes a relay contact every 25 seconds. Next he connected an interface jack to his keyboard to that the relay can “press” a key when the relay closes. He selected an arrow key but a shift key or something like that would have worked just as well. This circuit would be great to hide inside a keyboard and have it press the caps lock key every 5 or 10 minutes, that would be enough to drive someone mad! If you are looking to solve the same issue there is a device called the mouse jiggler that would do the trick, it is a USB device that slowly (or violently) jiggles the mouse, there is also a neat way to make a DIY jiggler using an optical mouse and a watch. 🙂



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16 Responses to “Keyboard Keep Alive Circuit”

  1. Odin84gk Says:

    Or, you could get a simple microcontroller to send whatever command you want whenever you want for $10.

  2. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Odin,

    That’s a cool (and cheap) circuit you linked to there.

  3. Jonathan Says:

    Actually, there’s a cool and cheap circuit _you_ linked to 🙂


  4. Scott Says:

    Why not just disable the sleep mode. Even cheaper!

  5. The voice in your head Says:

    Scott: sometimes you want it, sometimes you don’t. It’s a hassle going through the settings all the time, and on a public/other person’s computer you may not be allowed, not want to, or not even know how if it’s a different OS.

  6. poiso Says:

    so plugging in another keyboard device into an unknown computer is just as a good idea as taking the time to find out how to disable a power setting?

  7. Game Hack – How to Make a Game Keyboard Keep Alive Circuit! Says:

    […] via hackedgadgets […]

  8. Belcat Says:

    So instead of doing a simple OS change, you do a hardware change on someone else’s PC? Umm, no. Just go under Display Properties, Screen Saver, click the Power button. Takes seconds, lots less work.
    Article is still nice for giving ideas on what else could be done.. like maybe hooking it up to the “W” key, so your player in World of Warcraft doesn’t get logged out for inactivity. (Careful though, if you use that to perform automated actions, they can, and have, banned people).

  9. Akos3D Says:

    I understand him being very lazy changing the settings.
    If it is a windows computer (which it looks by the keyboard) then use Autoit.
    Couple of line of script codes and you can switch between power saving on and off.
    You can even take the script with you on a USB stick.

    Anyway, nobody mentioned he is fed up with someone else’s computer. Most probably he is talking about his own computer.

  10. Anthony Says:

    Guess this solution came from a hardware hacker. ( If all you have is a hammer, every problem starts looking like a nail. )

  11. yeah Says:

    Or perhaps you could just disable all the annoying power-saving options. Just a thought…

  12. Seth Says:

    back in win 98 something similar was possible by pressing win key. You just press “win” and while start menu was opened on top PC was unable to start screensaver(I didnt used sleep mode back in age of w98, os i dont know if it applies to sleep,hiberate…) or maybe, some kind of script which can change power setting properties should be easier 🙂 or use of power profiles, but do they work same way on PCs and laptops?

  13. Scott Says:

    Why not use one of these to hit the key every 30 sec or so? AND it’s easy to move from PC to PC!!!!


  14. Keyboard Keepalive - Hack a Day Says:

    […] [via HacketGadgets] […]

  15. Hacked Wiimote Keeps Your Keyboard Alive | Pig Jockey Says:

    […] Via Hacked Gadgets […]

  16. bartman2589 Says:

    I can appreciate the hardware challenge in making something like this but also can’t help but think that it probably would have been a whole lot simpler to just download one of the numerous freeware programs designed to do much the same thing but using software instead of hardware. These programs typically insert ‘keystrokes’ into the keyboard buffer that is read by the operating system.

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