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Swapping FN and CTRL key on external thinkpad keyboard

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hyde
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Swapping FN and CTRL key on external thinkpad keyboard

#1 Post by hyde » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:52 am

Hi, I just picked up a brand new external thinkpad trackpoint keyboard from lenovo, and hooked it up to my x220. I assumed no drivers are needed, and it looks like it is working just fine, except FN/CTRL swap is not replicated on external keyboard. Now onboard keyboard has them swapped, but not external USB one.
By the way, I am keeping my MX5500 mouse still plugged in, only think I will need is a numpad, but it is too bad that this new think keyboard does not have USB ports for daisychaining them.

found the drivers here and will try now: http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloa ... MIGR-73235
they must be more up to date than the CD they ship with keyboard anyway..


Did not work... There is no option to swap FN/CTRL keys.. Why wouldn't it replicate the function from on-board keyboard?
8/18/2011 - X220, Intel i5-2540M, 12.5" IPS, FingerPrint, Cam, BT, Intel 6205 Wifi, 8GB, U2312HM Mini Dock Plus 3
1/15/2012 - S405 (Wife's), AMD A6-4455M, 14", 4GB RAM, Windows 8
7/02/2015 - T450s Intel i5-5300U, 14" FHD IPS, FingerPrint, Cam, BT, SSD + M.2, Intel 7265, 12GB

hyde
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Re: Swapping FN and CTRL key on external thinkpad keyboard

#2 Post by hyde » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:41 pm

I am in such despair. I love my new keyboard, I can even get around the lack of numpad, but I really need to swap FN with CTRL.
Is there anything I can do to achieve that? I really don't want to sell or return this keyboard.
8/18/2011 - X220, Intel i5-2540M, 12.5" IPS, FingerPrint, Cam, BT, Intel 6205 Wifi, 8GB, U2312HM Mini Dock Plus 3
1/15/2012 - S405 (Wife's), AMD A6-4455M, 14", 4GB RAM, Windows 8
7/02/2015 - T450s Intel i5-5300U, 14" FHD IPS, FingerPrint, Cam, BT, SSD + M.2, Intel 7265, 12GB

kirby
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Re: Swapping FN and CTRL key on external thinkpad keyboard

#3 Post by kirby » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:58 am

That's really ridiculous. Just got a new wired external keyboard for my Thinkpad.
The laptop with the keyboard are the same stuff, why it doesn't work then?..

RealBlackStuff
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Re: Swapping FN and CTRL key on external thinkpad keyboard

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:15 am

The internal keyboard is attached to the motherboard with a 44-pin connector.
The external keyboard is attached to a USB-port with a 4-pin connector.
You do the math...
Now who or what is ridiculous?

Possible remedy: disassemble the external keyboard, retrace and resolder the PCB connections from/to the Fn and CTRL keys. :twisted:
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!

hyde
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Re: Swapping FN and CTRL key on external thinkpad keyboard

#5 Post by hyde » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:34 pm

kirby wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:58 am
That's really ridiculous. Just got a new wired external keyboard for my Thinkpad.
The laptop with the keyboard are the same stuff, why it doesn't work then?..

Hi Kirby,
OP here, (can't believe it was 6 yrs ago)
I love my SK-8855 and I just realized I got used to where the FN and CTRL keys are, I didn't even remember this was a big deal.

I guess you can get used to it, as long as you use the same layout on your thinkpad.
One caveat, It's going to be really difficult to switch to any other keyboard. Other than that, I wish they had wireless version of 8855 (the best keyboard ever made) because the newer chiclet type external keyboards have even bigger problem like not having dedicated volume/mute buttons, and lack of light on Fn keys for Volume/Mute/etc buttons. Not sure why they did that, maybe saved $0.05 per key by not adding LED under them? Who knows...
8/18/2011 - X220, Intel i5-2540M, 12.5" IPS, FingerPrint, Cam, BT, Intel 6205 Wifi, 8GB, U2312HM Mini Dock Plus 3
1/15/2012 - S405 (Wife's), AMD A6-4455M, 14", 4GB RAM, Windows 8
7/02/2015 - T450s Intel i5-5300U, 14" FHD IPS, FingerPrint, Cam, BT, SSD + M.2, Intel 7265, 12GB

axur-delmeria
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Re: Swapping FN and CTRL key on external thinkpad keyboard

#6 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:53 pm

kirby wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:58 am
That's really ridiculous. Just got a new wired external keyboard for my Thinkpad.
The laptop with the keyboard are the same stuff, why it doesn't work then?..
Simple. The internal keyboard is handled by the embedded controller.

The external keyboard has its own controller, in order to send/receive data via the USB ports.

There's no way for the embedded controller to communicate with the the external keyboard to enforce the Fn/Ctrl swap.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

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Re: Swapping FN and CTRL key on external thinkpad keyboard

#7 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:01 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:53 pm
kirby wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:58 am
That's really ridiculous. Just got a new wired external keyboard for my Thinkpad.
The laptop with the keyboard are the same stuff, why it doesn't work then?..
Simple. The internal keyboard is handled by the embedded controller.

The external keyboard has its own controller, in order to send/receive data via the USB ports.

There's no way for the embedded controller to communicate with the the external keyboard to enforce the Fn/Ctrl swap.
Also the Fn key isn't dealt with the computer, but the keyboard. There is no keycodes sent through the Fn key, but when a keycode combination with Fn is pressed then the key gets decoded and the respective keycode is sent for that function. Since the BIOS has access to the internal keyboard controller, then you can do the swap. The machine has no control over the Fn key on the external usb controller.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

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