Bluetooth keyboard to act as a keyboard remote

Hi all, I recently saw a video where a youtuber added an RF keyboard to his home assistant installation and used that as a macro pad.

I wanted to do the same but with a bluetooth keyboard, since my home assistant hardware is all the way in the attic and i want to use it in my living room, 2 floors down.

I have bought the following hardware:

The dongle i plugged in into my NUC that’s running home assistant in a VM. i passed-through the usb dongle and set it up in home assistant.

the esp32 i have flashed as a usb proxy device. And the numpad is … yeah, obiously going to be used as the macro pad.

Now, when i put the keyboard in pairing mode, home assistant doens’t seem to notice it’s existance. Not when i am standing near the bluetooth dongle, nor the BT proxy node.

I have put a placeholder

keyboard_remote:
  - device_descriptor: "/dev/input/event3"
    type: "key_down"
    emulate_key_hold: true
    emulate_key_hold_delay: 0.25
    emulate_key_hold_repeat: 0.033

into my configuration just to make HA aware that i want some sort of keyboard remote. The device descriptor is incorrect at the moment because i can’t seem to pair the numpad in the first place.

Can someone assist here?

I’m gonna assume you’re talking about Paul Hibbert’s latest video because I don’t think anyone else has release a video about this, at least not recently. Also, your code matches his video description.

The reason he chose an RF keypad is precisely because of your scenario. (Most) RF works on the 433Mhz frequency, while Bluetooth works on the 2.4Ghz frequency.
Without getting too technical, RF will probably work even if you’re 2 floors away, while bluetooth will probably fail beyond 10m with no walls in between.

Also, from what I can tell, the bluetooth integration in HA requires both the dongle and the device to be supported. You can’t just plug in any device and expect it to work.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is - revisit your hardware choices because you seem to have reached some incorrect conclusions along the way. Buy an RF keyboard or a cheap “airmouse” remote which works on RF and you’ll be good. Hope you’re still in time to return whatever you bought!

Yeah, that’s the video i saw.
I was hoping to be smart and do it via bluetooth, using the proxy devices (which might come in handy for future hardware). but i guess it backfired :slight_smile:

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Alright guys, i switched to a 2.4ghz numpad (non bluetooth) and i am able to connect to home assistant. however, the distance is too great for the signal to reach when i use the numpad in it’s intended spot.

Does anyone have any ideas? i was thinking having a small raspberry pi with the plugged in keyboard and then communicate via mqtt or something. but it seems like a complicated setup.
Do you guys know any esphome implementation where i can plug in a usb keyboard and then submit the data via wifi?

i could use some simple ideas.