Keyboard Keepalive


We’re not going to debate the necessity of this one. [Todd] plays online games that will log you out after a few minutes of inactivity. To resolve this, he has created a circuit that mimics keyboard activity at a preset interval. While he notes that there is software for this, he points out that many games block the software. They can’t block legitimate keyboard activity.

[via HacketGadgets]

43 thoughts on “Keyboard Keepalive

  1. Discrete components? No arduino?

    j/k… while this may be a rather simple project, it’s good to see some people still remember how to use transistors and RC timing. Folks don’t seem to have the analog knowledge anymore.

  2. Heh, lets make this even more interesting and add in a decade counter with reset… that way its always varying the key press frequency, in the fact that it takes a little longer each time then goes back to [5s]. little more circuitry, but beats the ‘exact press frequency’ counters.

  3. protectors like punk buster use native API and signatures along with PE modification. This could be detected with clock skews, but they likely wont implement it, and just let vendors do pattern recognition in ranking and general activity.

  4. @Heliostat hippy
    You obviously didn’t read the article.
    His computer is not going to sleep, the game is logging him out on the server due to inactivity, on purpose, and he can’t change that.

    Although I suspect saying this here is useless, you really need to read before you comment.

  5. sending keys via software can be detected especially if the game site has code to monitor the active processes running.

    remember the site blizzard can detect the glider and ban you.

    the advantage of the circuit is it is completely undetectable via software unless a time monitor is done

  6. One lo-tech method that has worked for me is to place the optical mouse on top of a cheap analog watch that has a sweeping second hand. As the hand sweeps around, it will cause enough mouse jitter to keep the session alive.

  7. While funny, let’s remember the “dipping bird” method doesn’t work on a keyboard — those lil birds need a glass of water in front of them to work properly. ;P

    Cool hack – certainly plenty of use for those who step outside for a smoke break every now and then.

  8. would’ve killed for one of these when farming honor in WoW. nice

    double nice with the candy tin, i think i’ve seen those around at the dollar store

    would rather see a drinky bird though :]

  9. we made somthing similar to this at work when IT decided that the computers should lock after 10 minutes. we used a pic and serialkeys. they worked brilliantly. also good fun to tweak a bit when one of the co-workers went on holiday :D

  10. although i have no idea where i’d start, for years i’ve wanted to make a “virtual keyboard” 2 usb plugs, 1 talks to software to get it’s macros, the other plugs in as a standard usb device
    if the capability was only required of 1 pc(ie, not using a laptop to type into a desktop or somthing)
    just have the input and output on the same usb device, a little dongle that will in realtime take input from software and output keyboard :D
    and yes, its for games that block sendkeys style input

  11. hm…
    yanno what…
    anyone wanna buy me a arduino? it’d be caek to make a arduino talk to ps2 or maybe even usb

    besides keyboard macros, mouse emulation would also be amazingly useful

    as it’d basically be taking input and directly outputting it so macro length is near infinite
    a little program that can record from a real keyboard/mouse as well as being able to import/export other macro software formats

    should the keyboard timing be could handled in real time with the pc controlling it or program in delays based off of the microcontroller’s internal clock
    could probably make a nice kludge with a microcontroller and a keyboard, the only headache is mapping the pins from the key matrix to the keyboard chip

  12. You can make a USB one with an Atmega, it has been on here many times as a pranking device to caps lock at random intervals (although CTRL key does funny things to your mouse clicks)

    Chuck Norris doesn’t need this hack, he is always in control.

  13. Can’t Todd just wake the f–k up and don’t sit in a game 24 hours a day even though he’s not home?

    I hate those people who take up spots and then sometimes you can’t get into World of Warcraft.. or how about those people who join a war game, create a room, then leave for vacation to Disneyland while a room full of people are screaming start already?

  14. It’s a good little hack. But if you’re a gamer and have a gaming keyboard (Logitech G15, etc.) you already have programmable keyboard macros that you can use to do keepalive stuff. And because it’s driven by the keyboard, it doesn’t get blocked either.

  15. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use a little 8 pin attiny and emulate a keyboard? You’d like like, two discrete components for it, and could probably hide the whole damned thing in something the size of a quarter.

  16. My version of this back when playing star wars galaxies at launch: Take my wacom pen, tie a string to it so it dangles just over the tablet, and tie feathers to the string to my PC case fan makes the pen move around a little. Good for “mouse detection” vs “click detection.” Also quite effective at keeping people away from my desk.

  17. I tried this, but needed something simpler that does not plug into the PC. I found “Screen Saver Killer” on the iOS app store. It does a similar job by projecting a pattern the mouse “sees” and “keeps the screen saver at bay”!!! It even has a timer. Like this video, there is no connection the PC, so no bells go off.

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