Legacy web pages of Axel Beckert

Since I'm no more active at the Fachschaftsrat Informatik of the University of Saarland anymore, I have transferred all my university time legacy web pages from http://fsinfo.cs.uni-sb.de/~abe/ to this interim host at http://fsinfo.noone.org/~abe/ with only minimal modifications, mainly e-mail addresses.

Most pages on this interim host won't be updated anymore until they are moved (and redirected) step by step to their future home somewhere under http://noone.org/.

Please also note that my former e-mail address abe@fsinfo.cs.uni-sb.de is no more valid. Use abe@deuxchevaux.org instead.

Axel Beckert, Zürich, 23rd of September 2007

Because I got mails from several people, asking how to program a Cherry G80-2100 keyboard after they noticed that I own and use such a keyboard, I decided to set up this little page with the hope, that it'll be useful for someone.

Axel's Short Cherry G80-2100 Usage & Programming Reference

Cherry G80-2100

About the Cherry G80-2100 Keyboard

The Cherry G80-2100 is a (no more produced, but tough) PC keyboard with 24 programmable keys, which can permanently store key combinations as macros directly in the keyboards hardware, so there is no need for special drivers and it does work with all operatings systems or applications steerable by keyboard (excludes a lot of windoze applications). The Cherry G80-2550 is newer, but seems to be a similar model and may work the same way. The G80-2551 has the same box, but seems not to be programmable.

Programming Keyboard Macros with the Cherry G80-2100

Press the Cherry-Key, it's light should switch on. Then press the programmable key, you want to use for the macro, you plan to programm, let's call that key PF<x>. Now you type the key combination, you want to save under Key PF<x>. After finishing the key combination, press the Cherry-Key again, it's light should switch off and the PF<x> key now has stored your macro.

Example: You are an Emacs/AUC-TeX user and often need the combination "<Ctrl-C><Ctrl-C>Latex<Enter>". You plan to shortcut them with <PF1>. so you press the following keys:

<Cherry> <PF1> <Ctrl-C> <Ctrl-C> <Shift-L> <A> <T> <E> <X> <Enter> <Cherry>

The Cherry G80-2100 Layers

The Layer Key is used to switch between different layers. You switch into one of the 10 layers by pressing the Layer Key (The Cherry Key's light should start to blink), then one of the PF keys labeled with "Layer <x>" on the front side (the light should stop blinking). After having switched into a layer, you may define and use the keyboard macros for this layer.

Layers are useful, if you like to save different macros for different application or OSes, e.g. Layer 0 for GIMP, Layer 1 for Emacs (OK, you're right, you probably better would program those macros in Emacs Lisp... ;-), Layer 2 for XFig, etc.


The transmission speed can be altered with the PF-keys labeled with TS on their front. Press and hold down the Cherry key and then press one of the keys <PF13> (fastest) to <PF22> (slowest). The table below shows the delay between each sent key code.

Key PF13 PF14 PF15 PF16 PF17 PF18 PF19 PF20 PF21 PF22
TS/ms 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Delay in ms 1 2 4 7 10 20 40 60 80 127

Resetting the keyboard memory (deleting all macros)

To delete all stored macros, press and hold down the Cherry key (the LED in the key should switch on), then press and hold down the key PF11 (labeled "Prog Reset 1" on the front) and finally press the key PF23 (labeled "Prog Reset 2" on the front). The LED should switch off for short period. Press again the Cherry key to leave the programming mode.

Tips & Tricks

Here are some ideas, what you can do with a programmable keyboard under Unix/Linux and other OS:

Linux Virtual Consoles
Program PF1 as Ctrl-Alt-F1, PF2 as Ctrl-Alt-F2, etc., so can switch between all the virtual consoles and even X by just pressing one key. This is also useful, if you accidently hit the console with X running and usually need to release Ctrl and Alt and press them again to make X notice them.
Program PF1 as Ctrl-A 1, PF2 as Ctrl-A 2, ... and PF10 to Ctrl-A 0, so you can switch between the screens much easier than before. And if you don't want to switch layers between using screen and linux virtual console bindings, you can map the screen keys to PF13 to PF22 instead of PF1 to PF10. Only disadvantage: The PF numbers don't fit onto the screen numbers anymore. Solution: Put small, appropriate labelled paper sheets under the transparent key cap lids.
DOOM, Duke Nuke'm 3D and other first person shooter
Programm the cheat codes for each first person shooter in their own layer and save cheat codes with similar actions into the same PF-key, so you got one key for full ammo, one for health, one for keys, etc.

Copyright © 2001 - 2023 by Axel Beckert (abe@deuxchevaux.org)
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