Background: There are several USB Volume controller. I have a cheap generic one - the more famous version is the Griffin Powermate.

While volume control is all Very Nice, what I Really Want is to use this knob within my own apps. Most obvious use: frequency tuning of Software Defined Radios.

Question: Is it possible to "redirect" the function of a USB volume control, allowing you to adjust some other system variable? Bass, treble, screen brightness, "temperature" in Adobe Photoshop? Hook up 2 and make a giant Etch-a-Sketch?

Windows is my OS of preference, but I'm sure the same concept / questions can be asked in Linux.

All I have found (so far) is about getting the Powermate to work in Linux.


1 Answer 1


Devices like the Griffin Powermate put out a specific code, emulating one of 2 possible keyboard keys: Multimedia Volume Up, Multimedia Volume Down.

While you can write code to catch that (like exception handlers) you can't actually prevent the audio level from going up and down.

If you want to build your own control, you need a small programmable USB chip like the ATtiny85, and a stepper control. You then need to program your own key codes. The USB HID usage tables are available from usb.org here.

Instructions on this process are at Instructables website.

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