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en:ble-series:device-switching

Multi-device switching

When USB and Bluetooth are connected to different devices, you can switch which one your keyboard is working with.

The switching between multiple Bluetooth devices is limited to the use of Adafruit Bluetooth firmware, so only some functions can be implemented.


Switching between USB and Bluetooth

USB and Bluetooth can be connected to different computers. The keyboard is always in Bluetooth mode when the USB cable is not plugged in. When the keyboard is plugged into USB, it will automatically switch to USB mode. When the keyboard is plugged with a USB cable, you can switch between Bluetooth and USB, you can set a key yourself, or use LShift+RShift+U.


Switching between Bluetooth devices

!! Be sure to familiarize yourself with the instructions below before using this feature !!

Except for Fmini (alf x3), the BLE series supports this function.

Set the function below to a key. And press it to switch between the connected host devices.

Limited by Adafruit's firmware, it does not support active switching. So the real action of this function is to disconnect the current device and try to connect another. If it is connected to another device, it indicates that the connection is successful. If not, it keeps trying to connect another until timeout. When timeout, it will connect back to the previous device.

So when using, it is recommended that keyboard only pairs two devices in the same place. In this situation, it is connected to either device A or B when switching, just like switching between device A and B.

When switching, the keyboard indicator will show the connection indication (Refer to Bluetooth Function switch & connection status).

My test results show that switching from iPad to Windows is fast, but switching from Windows to iPad may take several seconds. A Mac or iPhone is similar to the iPad. Switching between Windows is also faster.

Known disadvantages:

  1. It is not possible to know which device is connected from the keyboard, but from the host device.
  2. If you enter the deep power-saving mode and wake the keyboard up again, device A and B are both nearby, it may be connected to A or B randomly, not 100% the last connection before.
  3. In a few cases, the switch may not be successful at one try.

Besides, in fact, the experience of switching devices is acceptable.


Some Advices

If the devices to be switched are in a local area network, you can also consider using a KVM software, such as: https://github.com/debauchee/barrier

Both the mouse and the keyboard can be switched at the same time, and the pasteboard can be shared. As long as the network is not slow(recommend both connected to 5G wifi or wired), the experience is excellent.

en/ble-series/device-switching.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/07 20:37 by yangdigi