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BarButtons FAQ

What navigation apps are compatible with BarButtons?

See the page with compatible applications.

I use an application that is not supported

If the application has keyboard support, but it is not compatible with the current keymaps, let me know via the contact form, maybe we can tweak the keymaps to make it work.

If the application is wildly different, you might want to try Tasker or Automate to take specific actions based on keystrokes. Some examples of this are on the application page.

Is JaxeADV a commercial organization?

No, I’m just a nerd that likes to ride motorcycles ๐Ÿ˜‰

Is there warranty on the BarButtons?

Not formally, but in case of a defect get in touch and we’ll probably work it out

What phones are supported?

Most modern phones/tablets are supported. At a minimum, the device must have Bluetooth Low Energy (LE). BarButtons have been used on

  • Blackview BV5100 (Android 10)
  • Oneplus 5 (Android 9)
  • Samsung active tablet 2 / 3
  • Samsung Tab A 8.0 (Android 11)
  • Samsung S20FE 5g (Android 13)
  • Lenovo Tab4 8 plus (Android 8.1)
  • Lenovo Tab M10 FHD plus (Android 10)
  • Samsung S7 (Android 8.0)
  • iPhone

BarButtons don’t work on devices that don’t support Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), including:

  • Samsung Xcover2 (Android 4.2.1)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7.0 (2016)

note: check app compatibility closely for differences in iPhone and Android

If you have connectivity issues let me know!

Do the BarButtons support Push-to-Talk (PTT)?

Yes and no: the BarButtons don’t support native PTT support (yet). You can however map a ‘direct press’ key to the PTT broadcast intents using Automate or Button Mapper.

To set up PTT on Automate:

  • Install Automate on your phone via the Play Store. Enable the right permissions as indicated by Automate
  • Import this flow: PTT intent on F3. This sends a broadcatst intent android.intent.action.PTT.down when an ‘key down’ on F3 is received and sends android.intent.action.PTT.up when a ‘key up’ on F3 is received.
  • Configure the flow to use the correct ‘direct press’ button on a BarButtons keymap. Edit the flow’s Key Pressed component.
  • Start the flow in Automate
  • Ensure that your PTT app listens to the intent.
    • In Zello you can go to Options > Push-to-talk buttons > (+). If you now press the button on the BarButtons, it should register as ‘Hardware button’. Assign a default contact to this button.

Are the BarButtons rain proof?

They are pretty rain proof, I’ve used them in heavy rain with no issues. I don’t recommend leaving them out in the rain all year round though.

You can improve waterproofness by adding a layer of RTV sealant on the mating surface of the front and back case. Alternatively, you can add potting or silicone glue in the case to isolate the buttons and PCB.

Can I submit pull requests?

Yes, please get in touch via the contact form.

What Arduino libraries do you use?

The BarButtons use an ESP32-C3 Arduino board to emulate a Bluetooth keyboard. These libraries are used:

  • ESP32 BLE Keyboard library by T-vK. This as an awesome library to emulate a keyboard using Arduino
  • Keypad library by Chris–A. The buttons are connected in a keypad arrangement. Initially this was done to minimize the number of wires between the Arduino board and the buttons since the board was remote in the earlier versions. To maintain compatibility, the keypad circuit is still used.

Can I connect the BarButtons to 12V of my bike?

You can not connect the BarButtons to the 12V of the bike directly, but you can use a converter that transforms the voltage on the bike (usually between 12-14V) to a steady 5V. I have used a buck converter like this one successfully: You connect the 5V to the VBUS pin on the Arduino board. This is similar to how USB works, since a USB charger also converts the bikes 12V to 5V. I have heard of people who have successfully added the buck converter into the BarButtons case, but that is a tight fit ๐Ÿ˜‰

Do you have a suggestion for USB chargers?

I am using two USB chargers on my bike:

How can I see the keys that are sent to my device?

On Android there are 2 libraries that I personally use most: KeyEvent Display and Which Button / Key Tester. These apps show the keystrokes that are received by the OS. You can use this to verify keys are sent correctly. If you have iOS, you can use an online keytester like

BarButtons user Teazel has created 2 apps to verify that the keys of the BarButtons are correctly received. You can check them out here:

Some keys work as expected, some keys don’t. I live a non-English speaking country

If your phone is set to a non-English speaking country, it might have a different keyboard layout. For example, the German keyboard layout has a different key assigned to the + key than a US International keyboard.

To check this on Android, go to Settings > System > Languages & input > Physical keyboard (or similar). There set the keyboard layout to US International.

When the BarButtons are connected, I no longer have a virtual keyboard?

Since the BarButtons are, as far as your phone/tablet is concerned, a normal bluetooth keyboard, some devices turn off the virtual keyboard. This is not what you want . You can change this

  • Android: go to Settings > System > Languages & input > Physical keyboard (or similar). Enable ‘Use on-screen keyboard’
  • iOS: There does not seem to be an option for this, but if you know one, let me know!