Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting HP Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard FA287A Working on Motorola Droid

I’ve had an old Bluetooth keyboard I used to use with my HP Ipaq. It is a model number FA287A. I’ve always had a fondness for this keyboard and using it with my mobile devices. It has a number pad on the top, and it has a nice feel to the keys. I managed to get this keyboard working on my HTC Touch Vogue with some help from this driver.

I am happy to discover that this keyboard, which has served me well for years, lives on with my Motorola Droid. That’s right, this oddball keyboard that was designed specifically for the HP Ipaq, works with my Android based mobile phone. How is this possible? Thanks to a little application called KeyPro available in the Android Marketplace, and at http://www.mymobilegear.com/AndroidKBDriver.php (note, this site was down at the time of this writing, the URL comes from Google).

To get this working, I used the following steps.

  • Installed KeyPro from the Marketplace.
  • Opened up Droids settings app.
  • Went into Language and Keyboard, and clicked on the check next to KeyPro.
  • Clicked Back.
  • Clicked on Wireless and Networks.
  • Turned on Bluetooth.
  • Went into Bluetooth Settings
  • Clicked on Scan for Devices, it found “BT-FoldableKB”
  • Paired with it, and put in Passcode “0000”
  • Pushed the Home button
  • Opened the apps menu, started KeyPro
  • Opened the Settings menu.
  • Changed the Keyboard Model to “Freedom Universal”
  • Clicked on the Scan next to Keyboard Address textbox.
  • It found the “BT-FoldableKB”.
  • Scrolled down and clicked on Save.

Keypro then showed status at bottom of app saying “initialized”, then “connecting”, then “connected”. With it connected, I clicked on the Search button. Nothing happened. So I held my finger up to the search text box for a second, and a dialog poped up for Input Method. I clicked on Input Method, and selected KeyPro. And guess what. Now what I typed showed up. I can use my Bluetooth keyboard on my Android. This works out great when I want to take notes in a meeting and I don’t want to bring my laptop with me, and another reason to leave my IPod Touch at home.

16 comments:

Dan Lee said...

Hi John,

I don't know how else to contact you, so I'm posting a comment.

I'm looking to buy a keyboard of that model (FA287a) and wondered if you have issues with build quality (flimsiness) of the keyboard and/or the included stand (it has a stand, right?) as well as whether the batteries die quickly?

Thanks,
Dan

John Ward said...

The batteries do die quickly if you leave them in when not in use. The only concern I have for the flimsiness is the middle part where it unfolds, but unless I am trying to fold it the wrong way, I doubt that will ever be an issue.

godenver said...

Hey There!

I have the same keyboard, but when I try to connect via BT, the phone tells me that I am "paired but not connected." Any ideas?

John Ward said...

Go back into the Keypro application, and try to connect again. Sometimes it takes a few tries, but it will work. Also, make sure you change the input type by going to a text box, hold down on it, when the context menu for input comes up, change it to KeyPro. You may also need to go back into the Bluetooth manager to try to reconnect as well.

Francisco Diaz said...

Tried to connect with the Keypro trial my ipaq bluetooth keyboard to my HTC Inspire to no avail. Do you have to pay for the app first for it to connect? Just curious.

John Ward said...

You shouldn't. It worked for me right out of the box. I think it just gives a nag screen if you don't pay. It takes a few tries, something quirky with the Bluetooth on the keyboard I think, but it does work on my Motorola Droid (1st Gen).

Anonymous said...

ur da man!!!!!
it all worked! ive been looking all over the internet on how to use that old keyboard.
thaannxx

JohnPotter said...

I've just tried to connect my old Ipaq Foldable BT keyboard to a Galaxy II.

It sort of worked, but the keys didn't always map correctly. I note there are unanswered questions about this on the KeyPro support forum.

I tried a suggestion on the Beta Driver test forum (1) to change the keyboard model to "Stowaway Shasta", but it's still too buggy to use productively.

Bummer!

So I wouldn't recommend buying one of these keyboards based on this post.


(1)http://www.mymobilegear.com/showthread.php?t=10994&highlight=ipaq

nocnokneo said...

Have you had any success using this keyboard with Android 4.0? I'm able to pair it with pin 0000 but after that the status LED in the upper right goes from a slow blinking speed to fast. I tried hitting the Home button (Fn + Left) as you suggested. After 30 seconds or so the fast blinking stops completely - it never actually "connects".

Anonymous said...

Unfortunaley, didn't work on HTC Explorer (Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread).

I've got exactly the same Keyboard model.

KeyPro discovers the keyboard but indicator is stuck in "connecting" state.

Also in BT menu keyboard shows up as "paired but not connected"...

Such a pity - that old keyboard was so convenient.

Anonymous said...

I just found my old HP Foldable keyboard & wondered if it still had life. Sure enough - thanks to your post I have it working on my Asus transformer prime running ICS.

Now to see if I can get it to work on my HTC desire HD.

Cheers !

Anonymous said...

Just bought one of these keyboards to try to get it to work on my HTC One X. Sure enough following the instructions above I have it connected and have typed this on it. Great work around and great feeling keyboard

Travis Stickel said...

Prokey is just gone! can someone create a backup and post a link to download the APK?

mark said...

Would this work if I wanted to use a 3rd party keyboard on my HP laptop for class?

illuminati2000 said...

And Work!!!
Thanks for your guide, work for my Moto Droid A953, i follow all the steps, now can use this Keyboard.

Greetings from Mexico, and again thanks.

illuminati2000 said...

Now working in Android 4, (acer A510) nothing especial, only try two o three times for make conection. Only miss the altGr characters (like ñ).