I know this is an old piece of hardware, but is it possible to execute a file, such as an exe or bat file, with the Belkin nostromo n52? For example, pressing button 1 would bring up notepad, and pressing button 6 would run a batch script to compile a java project. I can do this with my Microsoft Sidewinder x6 keyboard, but I didn't know if it's possible with this older hardware. If not, is there some special software that would emulate this?

  • What version of Windows are you using?
    – badp
    Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 13:07
  • I'm using Windows 7 Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


If it's just a USB HID device with a bunch of buttons, this seems doable. You'd probably want to start with AutoHotKey, and perhaps add JoyToKey if AutoHotKey didn't support the buttons on it natively.

AutoHotKey supports joystick input from a variety of devices, so it's likely to just work. You may have to do some configuration in the drivers to map the buttons to either "joystick" buttons or some other key combination that is generally unused.

Once you get AutoHotKey to recognize the buttons on the Nostromo, you can write arbitrary scripts to launch or macro whatever it is you want the buttons to do. If you're experienced enough as a coder to need a hotkey to compile a Java app, I'm sure you can do serious damage with the AHK scripting engine.

  • Oh yeah. That looks beautiful. The only thing I might have to do that isn't ideal, is make each of the keys on the gamepad a macro with some seriously complicated hotkey combinations (like ctrl + shift + alt + i + a + w + n or something like that) to make sure I don't accidentally execute it. But if if captures the keys natively, that will be perfect! Thanks. Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 5:49
  • Yeah, I don't think it will come to that. Usually with those devices there's a way to make it just send a "joystick button" input instead of binding it to some key or macro. AutoHotKey should just be able to pick up on those joystick-unique buttons and you'll be good to go.
    – agent86
    Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 14:56
  • Just curious as to why you would use a third party piece of software to capture keys when the n52 software already does that for you.
    – Sorean
    Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 15:40
  • Because as far as I can tell, the n52 software won't let me execute programs and batch files Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 15:42
  • 1
    AutoHotKey is super, super powerful and well maintained. It can do all sorts of crazy stuff, and it's very lightweight. Its integration with Windows is unbelievable. If you haven't checked it out, I'd suggest giving it a shot!
    – agent86
    Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 15:46

You could in a way.

You would have to create a macro that would execute a series of commands which would allow you to open the intended program.

For example to open up notepad you would create a macro that did this order:

  • Windows Key + R (opens up run window)
  • Type the letters 'n' 'o' 't' 'e' 'p' 'a' 'd'
  • Hit the enter key.

Each of the above key presses would be registered in the macro, you can lower the delay times of each key press for your macro as needed to make it as fast as possible.

Next you would assign this macro to a key on the n52, save the profile and off you go!

Edit: You would do all of this from within the Nostromo n52 software.

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