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Thread: Android v4.0.3 does not work with external USB keyboard

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeshor View Post
    Prior to ICS, earlier version of Honeycomb had issues with NTFS formatted drives but no problem with a USB keyboard.
    I believe USB host mode support was introduced in Android 3.1
    My generic ICS 4.0.3 tablet works fine with an external keyboard.
    OP, make sure you have the correct USB OTG host mode adapter to connect to the keyboard; I tried a normal USB adapter, and my keyboard did not work.
    But I don't have a full-size USB port on my tablet; just a mini-USB port.
    Last edited by Natey2; 06-21-2012 at 10:03 AM.
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    Yes, to the suggestion above for USB host mode plus the previous USB debugging mode suggestion. Are you sure you have Android 4.0.3? Have you checked in settings? With a no-name tablet maybe it is not as advertised or maybe not really 4.0.3. Older versions of Android require HID adapter software such as BlueKeyboard JP (usually with bluetooth but possibly usb). Sometimes a null keyboard app is required as well so the onscreen keyboard doesn't show up.

    In addition to trying the USB host mode and debugging modes, you may want to go into keyboard settings and make sure any appropriate options are checked. With the keyboard connected, open something with a text input field such as email and long press the text input area. This might bring up a menu where you need to select the input method. Select the appropriate option.

    JP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natey2 View Post
    I believe USB host mode support was introduced in Android 3.1
    I stand corrected!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederuco View Post
    Have you tried any other keyboards? It could be these ones do not work. I have tried 2 different Dell keyboards (that came with my laptops) as well as a Logitech G15 keyboard. Granted, the special keys on the left for gaming on this did not work, but it worked fine for regular input.
    Thanks again for the tip: I tried connecting a standard Dell USB keyboard with and without external power supply for the keyboard but again there was no result -- the laptop does not seem to recognise the keyboard. Please keep the tips coming -- I have these three tablets now with three cases with keyboards and none of them works when connected.

    Plamen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Natey2 View Post
    I believe USB host mode support was introduced in Android 3.1
    My generic ICS 4.0.3 tablet works fine with an external keyboard.
    OP, make sure you have the correct USB OTG host mode adapter to connect to the keyboard; I tried a normal USB adapter, and my keyboard did not work.
    But I don't have a full-size USB port on my tablet; just a mini-USB port.
    Thanks for the info. My tablets have two ports -- one full-sized USB-A and one mini-USB. The former is a host type and supplies power and recognizes USB smemory sticks and HDDs and can work with them (but not with the keyboards). The latter does not appear to be a host type -- when I used a standard mini-to-full-size-USB adapter and, like you say, the keyboards do not work there and the port does not supply power to devices attached to it. Over the weekend I will obtain a USB OTG adapter and I know that I should try with the keyboard attached and switching the tablet on from "power off" state. I'll report back with the results, though I do not harbour much hope for this -- why would they design a tablet with a full-size USB-A socket but only scan and recognise keyboards on the mini-USB socket? Seems counterintuitive (although who knows...)

    Thanks and do please keep the tips and suggestions coming.
    Plamen

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    Quote Originally Posted by J515OP View Post
    Yes, to the suggestion above for USB host mode plus the previous USB debugging mode suggestion. Are you sure you have Android 4.0.3? Have you checked in settings? With a no-name tablet maybe it is not as advertised or maybe not really 4.0.3. Older versions of Android require HID adapter software such as BlueKeyboard JP (usually with bluetooth but possibly usb). Sometimes a null keyboard app is required as well so the onscreen keyboard doesn't show up.

    In addition to trying the USB host mode and debugging modes, you may want to go into keyboard settings and make sure any appropriate options are checked. With the keyboard connected, open something with a text input field such as email and long press the text input area. This might bring up a menu where you need to select the input method. Select the appropriate option.
    JP
    Great -- this is the single most informative post for me so far. Here are my comments to your suggestions:

    1) "...Are you sure you have Android 4.0.3? Have you checked in settings? With a no-name tablet maybe it is not as advertised or maybe not really 4.0.3."

    Well, I did go to "Settings > About tablet" on the day of purchase and found the following:

    Model number: Q7A-2
    Android version: 4.0.3
    Kernel version: 3.0.8 ubuntu@ubuntu-Aspire-5750G #2
    Build number: crane_zu5370-eng 4.0.3 IML74K 20120510 test-key

    In relation to the above: (a) Does this unequivocally show that the android version is 4.0.3? (b) What about the kernel version 3.0.8 -- is it up-to-date or does it need to be v4 or above? (c) Finally what about the build number and that string -- could I find the build files off the internet and perhaps add any missing functionality?

    2) "...Older versions of Android require HID adapter software"

    Interesting -- perhaps if I try some of the applications intended originally to provide HID support for older versions of Android it could have some debugging capability and help me trace the root of the problems? Just as a thought: perhaps it could clearly display the status of the two USB ports, detect any devices attached to them as well as identify any drivers and routines scanning the ports, etc. Can you recommend any at all? (I will scan Android Play/Market, but there is so much stuff on it and not all is relevant).

    3) "...Sometimes a null keyboard app is required as well so the onscreen keyboard doesn't show up"

    OK, I'll look it up on Android Play/Market. I presume this is a simple app which inhibits the display of the on-screen keyboard and thus it might facilitate the use or the detection of the external USB keyboard. This is a long shot, but I am desperate.

    4) "...In addition to trying the USB host mode and debugging modes, you may want to go into keyboard settings and make sure any appropriate options are checked. With the keyboard connected, open something with a text input field such as email and long press the text input area. This might bring up a menu where you need to select the input method. Select the appropriate option."

    Well, I have tried finding all related settings, including but not limited to, "Settings > Language & Input" and when the on-screen keyboard is displayed "Settings > Android Keyboard Settings" but so far no luck with finding the silver bullet -- a setting that would remotely resemble anything that could select the input source (external USB keyboard as opposed to on-screen one). I tried also your idea with holding down the finger to envoke any context-sensitive menues, but again with no luck -- any and all menues that I can envoke do not have a sought option. In this respect: I can see that currently the tablets have two active input drivers -- one is the standard Android keyboard input driver and the other is some Chinese driver, which has all its settings in Chinese and the "active" checkbox is greyed-out and <TRUE> -- the user cannot deselect it. Is this if any importance?

    It is frustrating for me that in this age of "plug-n-play" I cannot make a simple USB keyboard work with a simple terminal. I am new to Android, Linux and Ubuntu, but I an not that new to computing and peripherals and I have even written a few device drivers in assembly language for various systems in the past. If you could recommend some testing or other applications and developers' tools I might be able to look at a greater depth into the problem...

    Thanks again for your help and time and do please keep suggestions coming -- I have now these three tablets with three cases with keyboards (intended as presents for three of my nieces) but they do not work when connected and I wanted so much to make the keyboards work to help them with typing and learning touchtyping, etc. For now it's been a series of disappointments (not least with the support from the seller on the eBay, but that's a different story).

    Plamen
    Last edited by Plamen; 06-23-2012 at 07:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plamen View Post
    ... standard Dell USB keyboard with and without external power supply for the keyboard ...
    Keyboard with a separate power supply? Wow!
    All my keyboards are powered via the USB.

    FWIW, download http://play.google.com/store/apps/de...ostdiagnostics and see what it reports.
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    Plamen,
    Have a tablet, Vital ASC ST0717, and it looks just like yours!! Same style, same ports, etc.

    It is supposed to support these: 3G USB-Dongle Internet Card, USB Drive, USB Mouse, or, USB Keyboard.

    Also got the carrying case with keyboard, and it does not work, and is not recognized as being plugged in the USB port.

    Being in the same boat, hope someone can provide some guidance on how to get the portable USB keyboard to work.

    Will be calling tech support on Monday, and see if they can shed any enlightment on the issue..
    Plamen thanked this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by feathered2 View Post
    Plamen,
    Have a tablet, Vital ASC ST0717, and it looks just like yours!! Same style, same ports, etc.

    It is supposed to support these: 3G USB-Dongle Internet Card, USB Drive, USB Mouse, or, USB Keyboard.

    Also got the carrying case with keyboard, and it does not work, and is not recognized as being plugged in the USB port.

    Being in the same boat, hope someone can provide some guidance on how to get the portable USB keyboard to work.

    Will be calling tech support on Monday, and see if they can shed any enlightment on the issue..

    Hmm... On one hand: a great info for me, on the other hand: sorry to hear you have the same problems. Do please post your news here, especially if you find a solution.
    Last edited by Plamen; 06-26-2012 at 07:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Natey2 View Post
    Keyboard with a separate power supply? Wow! All my keyboards are powered via the USB.
    Well, you are right -- all USB keyboards are probably powered by the USB port, mine too. However I have a cable and an external power supply which can provide up to 4 amps (its not a self-powered hub, which might require a driver in order to work, it's plain cable, so it works always in all configurations) and I used this cable to try the Dell USB keyboards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Natey2 View Post
    FWIW, download http://play.google.com/store/apps/de...ostdiagnostics and see what it reports.
    Thanks a lot for the tip -- this is a great software and a great help in my case, though so far I cannot report any tangible results -- I tried this over the weekend and this is what I get:

    The software checks the claims made by the OS for USB Host support and then verifies that this support indeed functions. It produces different results when I plug external USB HDD (or a memory stick) and when I plug a keyboard as follows:

    1) if I plug a USB HDD or memory stick: all listed by the OS claims for host USB are found to be true (presumably all tests of the relevant OS functionality by this software succeed)

    2) if I plug a keyboard: all listed by the OS claims for host USB support are exactly the same as for case (1), but this time some of them are found to be not implemented or not working (the tests fail)

    I have not had time to dive deeper into this in order to find what exactly happens and will try to do this over the week and post any further findings.

    Thanks again and do please keep useful information like this coming in...

    Plamen
    Last edited by Plamen; 06-25-2012 at 01:25 PM.


 
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