At SpecialEffect we use a range of switch interfaces. Some are designed specifically for playing games, such as the Xbox Adaptive Controller or Hori Flex, and some are designed for more general computer access, such as the Eneso Encore Plus and Hitch 2.0. However, these may also be used in some instances for accessing games.
This post focuses on the PC switch interface device, the AbleNet Hitch 2.0, which we tend to use to act as a single keyboard key press or a macro for up to four keyboard presses when programmed. Since the programming function can be useful, this post will talk through how to program the Hitch 2.0 so that you can map the specific keys used in your games, to switch inputs.
Please note: the Hitch 2.0 will not work for any actions which require the key or mouse button to be pressed and held for a period of time and will only work as a single press of your chosen key or mouse button.
For example, if you wish to program it to output the ‘C’ key, to crouch in a game, which may require a single press of the input to activate, it will do this. However, if you would like to press and hold the ‘C’ key to prone in game, this will not work and we would suggest looking at an alternative switch interface, such as the Eneso Encore Plus which allows you to hold down keys for various lengths of time.
What You Need
1 x Hitch 2.0 switch interface
1 x USB keyboard
1 x PC (the Hitch 2.0 is ‘compatible with most Windows, Mac OS X, Google Chrome, or Android operating systems’)
At least 1 x 3.5 mm jack accessibility switch (we use an AbleNet Buddy Button in this tutorial)
Programming the Device
Step 1. Start by plugging the Hitch 2.0 into the PC’s USB socket.
Step 2. Plug in the external keyboard USB into the Hitch 2.0’s USB programming port on the left side of the device:
Step 3. Press the small button labelled ‘Select Mode’ on the top of the device until the light on the bottom row is lit up:
Step 4. Plug your preferred switch into one of the switch ports at the bottom of the device:
Step 5. Slide the switch on the left of the device to ‘Program’:
Step 6. Press your chosen switch once (the bottom row light should flash).
Step 7. Press the key or keys on the keyboard you wish to program the switch port as.
Step 8. Press the switch again to confirm (the light should stop flashing).
Step 9. The switch port is now programmed for your chosen key press.
You can repeat Steps 6-9 for each of the five switch sockets on the device and program custom key inputs for each one.
If you make a mistake, just start again from Step 6.
We hope that this post has been useful. For more information on the switch interfaces we use at SpecialEffect, please use the ‘Switch Interfaces‘ category on the site.
For more information on the Hitch 2.0, please visit the AbleNet website: https://www.ablenetinc.com/hitch-2/
Below is a list of the specialist equipment we used or mentioned above, with unaffiliated links to the products on the manufacturer’s own websites, where possible. Other suppliers are available in most cases:
Hitch 2.0 Switch Interface: https://www.ablenetinc.com/hitch-2/
AbleNet Buddy Button: https://www.ablenetinc.com/buddy-button/
USB Keyboard: This can be any external keyboard with a USB connection obtainable from many online retailers or local technology stores.
PC: Please see the product overview at purchasing location to confirm your PC operating system is compatible. In this post we used a Windows 10 PC.