Fast Hack: The Cellphone To Stream Deck Conversion

Fast Hack: The Cellphone To Stream Deck Conversion
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Fast Hack: The Cellphone To Stream Deck Conversion

What are you doing with these outdated Android or iPhone telephones and tablets? You have got many choices, but it surely’s fairly simple to construct your personal streaming deck with somewhat off-the-shelf software program. What’s an influence deck, you ask? The identify comes from its use as a controller for a dwell streaming setup, however in essence it’s an LCD touchscreen that may set off issues in your pc.

The software program I exploit, Deckboard, is a server for Home windows or Linux and naturally an Android app. The app is free with some restrictions, however for underneath $ 4 you should purchase the complete model. Nevertheless, even the free model is kind of succesful. You need to use an Android cellphone or pill and you may connect with a PC with a USB cable or WiFi. I’ve discovered that even with WiFi it’s handy to maintain the cellphone charged, so realistically you’ll have a cable, but it surely doesn’t essentially want to hook up with the host pc.

Linux Setup

Setup could be very easy. The most important hurdle is that you need to arrange your firewall to ensure that the server on port 8500 to pay attention with TCP. There are some minor points with putting in Linux that you could be wish to take note of. There are 32-bit and 64-bit variations deb, tar.gz, an Appimage Format. There may be additionally a snap. The issue with Snap is that it is a sandbox, so with out effort you can’t simply begin packages, which is a little bit of the entire level. I lastly eliminated it and put in the deb file which was effective.

There have been two different folds. First, whereas Deckboard presents a approach to launch packages, there have to be a program from a listing that reads them out of your system. That will be acceptable, however the listing was not exhaustive. I’ve by no means found out why some issues seem on the listing and others don’t. For instance, GIMP that appeared on my utility menu is lacking. However different issues that have been fairly obscure didn’t seem.

I believed this could be a dealbreaker till I came upon that Deckboard has a well-designed plugin system and one in every of these plugins allows you to run an arbitrary command line. I believe it is rather less handy, but it surely’s much more versatile as a result of you can begin any program you need and likewise supply choices.

The one different criticism I had was that while you run this system, it reveals its configuration interface and sits within the system tray. That is nice the primary time you run it, however at system startup it will be good to only begin it quietly. If there’s an possibility, I’ve not discovered it. I will inform you how I solved that later, however for now dwell simply with it.


After all, getting it put in on each machines is only the start. The entire level of such a factor is to configure it to your liking. This system is aware of methods to talk with OBS, Spotify, Twitter and Twitch. However you too can use generic packages, URLs, and so forth. There are additionally plugins for issues like Discord, Open {Hardware} Monitor, Steam, and extra.

The multimedia panel lets me management media and open some apps

You’ll be able to create a bunch of pages so you do not have to cry throughout one web page. The free model limits what number of buttons you’ve got on a web page, however the improve lets you set far too many while you need. I discovered that three rows of 6 buttons in panorama mode on my outdated Pixel 2 XL have been about proper for me.

After all, everybody may have completely different concepts about methods to set it up, and also you’re in all probability higher capable of create one thing aesthetic than I’m. Anyway, I attempted to maintain a couple of issues fixed. Within the prime proper nook of every display screen is a time button that does nothing, solely Tim reveals). This requires a plug in The remainder of the highest row is reserved for buttons that open the opposite sides and on every display screen however the principle display screen, the button subsequent to the clock takes you again to the principle.

Creating a brand new button is simple sufficient

The underside proper button on every display screen opens up a multimedia panel as a result of it is simply as helpful. Once more, you’ll not like my setup and need your personal.

Creating buttons and pages could be very simple on the PC. You’ll be able to choose actions, starting from keyboard macros to multimedia management. You’ll be able to management the mouse, open an online web page or take a screenshot. After all, you too can run a program like I stated earlier than.

Kind and performance

Graphic buttons could make your deck higher, however getting there’s not apparent

My buttons are a bit boring, I shut. The icons are constructed into this system and are available from Font Superior. Nevertheless, I didn’t discover that you should utilize any button to create your personal customized graphic. You do that by deciding on the form of the button, which will be sq., spherical or a mysterious third possibility that appears like a picture. At first I believed this meant simply “very clear”, but when you choose it after which click on on the button within the edit window, it is going to let you choose a file for a background. I believe I must reconfigure every thing now if I do know that.

One factor that’s good is that you would be able to press a button to carry out numerous actions. So, for instance, once I press the Hackaday button, it not solely switches to the Hackaday web page on the deck, it additionally flips to my Hackaday desktop on the PC by sending a keyboard command. It might additionally run a script or folder.

Buttons can run a couple of motion

It is not fairly a scripting language, but it surely does forestall you from having to hyperlink buttons to a Bash script in some circumstances.

The ultimate piece

I discussed that I don’t admire that this system at startup loading additionally seems the principle window. I discovered a comparatively easy approach to fight this, a minimum of on KDE. First, run this system minimized. You are able to do this in a number of methods. I used a KWIN window rule to drive it to iconify, however you too can use it kstart to do this. After all, in case you are not utilizing KDE, it is advisable discover one other approach to do it and, frankly, it does probably not matter if you don’t care that the configuration display screen pops up a bit at startup. That is as a result of along with this system on autostart, I even have a script file named

sleep 5
wmctrl -c deckboard

In different phrases, look forward to this system to begin after which shut its window. It nonetheless runs within the system tray. It’s also possible to inform deckboard to not load itself after which do the entire loading operation on this script. You’ll be able to in all probability do the identical stunt on different desktops, however the particulars rely in your setup.

Truthfully, it is a hack that’s extra helpful than it’s troublesome. However you’ll be able to spend a whole lot of time adjusting the right setup. Nevertheless it does make this outdated cellphone one thing you should utilize day by day.

Should you favor a extra rigorous hack, take a look at FreeDeck. Not that that is the one one on the market. If you’d like a extremely helpful hack, it will be good to have Deckboard’s TCP protocol reversed, so we’ve a Raspberry Pi server for this.

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