# Voltage Generated By each Key Press

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Joined Jul 24, 2014
15
Hi
I wanted to calculate the voltage that each key press that is generated by our keyboard. Naturally I can always connect a voltmeter between the both data lines(D1, D2) by opening up an USB Keyboard. I also read that each key press generates an ASCII code that goes for processing. But im concerned with the voltage, so is there any method by which i can obtain these voltages, because I really cant resort to clipping up the wires and connecting it and checking it for voltages.
Or is there already any such result available on the internet?
Thanks Guys ur help is really appreciated.

#### BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
2,724
Measuring a voltage is meaningless, it will always read 3.3V or -3.3V. The signal is digital, it is the sequence of signals that determine what key has been pressed.

Bob

Joined Jul 24, 2014
15
Hmm yes if keyboard as stated as a digital device, then my question is meaningless. Thanks for correcting me

#### hiteshvish123

Joined Sep 24, 2020
1
Hmm yes if keyboard as stated as a digital device, then my question is meaningless. Thanks for correcting me
but the keyboard isolated is a physical device, which needs electrical power to operate, and hence on key press an electrical voltage assigned to each key is generated as a signal which gets converted to correcponding ASCII value which then needs to be converted to machine language or say binary to be processed and then similarly the output is displayed depending whether is is a monitor or printer or whatsoever

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
22,481
Not true.

Modern keyboards are built using membrane switches printed on sheets of plastic.
Each individual key is a mechanical/electrical connection between two contacts. No voltage is generated.
There are over 100 keys to detect. A microcontroller chip (MCU) embedded in the keyboard scans the keys using a matrix pattern in order to detect which contacts are closed. Only then is the MCU is able to send a keycode (not ASCII) to the main computer.

The only time keyboard switches generate a voltage was when keyboards were built using Hall Effect sensors over 50 years ago.

#### ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
56
By now you've come to understand that pressing a key on a keyboard doesn't generate a voltage. Instead, as explained, any alpha character pressed, whether caps or lower case will generate a digital signature the computer recognizes as a particular alpha data. For instance, when you press a capital A the digital transmission is at 3.3 volts and you get a series of 0's and 1's. The digital representation of a capital A is 01000001 .

Here is a website you can try. Type any key in and you'll see the result in digital form.

#### sghioto

Joined Dec 31, 2017
1,798
For instance, when you press a capital A the digital transmission is at 3.3 volts and you get a series of 0's and 1's.
I suppose the series of pulses could be average and filtered producing a dc voltage but it seems like the difference between keys would be too small to be usable.
SG

#### ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
56
sghioto I agree.

I got the impression the TS wants to generate power from a keyboard. Not clear on why, but that's what I picked up. Or that's HOW I interpreted the desired outcome.

#### sghioto

Joined Dec 31, 2017
1,798
Good Lord that original post was from Aug 2014.

#### Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,512
HOLEE SCHMIDT! BIG waste of time. How did Mr. Chips miss that? Oh well. I guess we all make mistakes.

#### ericgibbs

Joined Jan 29, 2010
11,567
This Thread is 6 years out of date.

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