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Thread: Fabricating buttons on a bezel.. need help

  1. #1
    gps
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    Fabricating buttons on a bezel.. need help

    Hello elite group..

    I need some help from experts here.

    I am planning a CarPC setup. Now.. I found almost everything i needed on this site.. thanks to you all..

    I have found sources of all (well... almost all) the materials required for fabricating/fitting a bezel on my dash. My dash has 1 DIN opening, but it has a useless coin tray under opening so removing tray and old HU will release enough space for a 7-8 inch screen.

    My problem is:
    I need to mount 7 buttons on the bezel below my touchscreen. (minimum 3, 7 is good, extra 2-3 wont hurt, but are unplanned)

    I figured I can disect a gamepad to find connection between switches and PC and use custom software to control responses for the buttons. I need to mount these switches on the bezel itself below the screen!

    There's one thing I couldn't find. How to fabricate custom buttons on a bezel?

    I can fabricate a bezel, but getting good finish on buttons seems to be hereculian task to me. Also, There needs to be some printing (white on black) on or below the buttons which must glow-in-the-dark.. hope you all get the picture.

    Printing will preferably be below the buttons (on the bezel surface). Since bezel below the buttons will not be intentionally touched with pressure often, printing should have longer life.

    Help me out please. Any links and information posted here will be highly appreciated.

    Thank you
    -GPS

  2. #2
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    maybe you could buy the button from radio shack or someplace like that.

    possibly try frozencpu.com they have some cool looking buttons.

    all u need to do then is drill a hole pop the button in secure it and ur good to go.

  3. #3
    gps
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    @Evilbunny1114
    Thanks for the help.. But thats not what I am looking for. Backlit illumination is required, but with a factory look, and characters printed on the bezel should glow.
    Like the controls provided on your car.. they have symbols printed, and they are backlit at night..
    -GPS

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate GoHybrid's Avatar
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    for making those kind of controls, I would first suggest designing a circuit board that locates each button in an explicit location so you don't have to install 10 buttons one at a time, rather you can just snap/screw in the board and be done with it. Next to each microswitch, you should plan on an SMD LED for your back illumination. Now for the switch covers themselves it depends on the feel you want. I imagine you could create a soft button matrix with a white or translucent urethane, or you could make hard buttons with resin individually and fix them to the switch actuators with a spot of glue. Either way you'll probably need to make a tool for forming the buttons.

    as long as i'm brainstorming, I'll submit another idea i've had which is to cast your whole bezel in translucent plastic, use rub-on transfers as masks, and then use a paint that won't dissolve in a solvent that WILL remove the transfers. You could use capactive touch switches instead of tactile switches to keep the surface pristine when not in use. That idea is rather half-baked at this point, but might warrant further investigation. What do you think?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoHybrid View Post
    for making those kind of controls, I would first suggest designing a circuit board that locates each button in an explicit location so you don't have to install 10 buttons one at a time, rather you can just snap/screw in the board and be done with it. Next to each microswitch, you should plan on an SMD LED for your back illumination. Now for the switch covers themselves it depends on the feel you want. I imagine you could create a soft button matrix with a white or translucent urethane, or you could make hard buttons with resin individually and fix them to the switch actuators with a spot of glue. Either way you'll probably need to make a tool for forming the buttons.

    as long as i'm brainstorming, I'll submit another idea i've had which is to cast your whole bezel in translucent plastic, use rub-on transfers as masks, and then use a paint that won't dissolve in a solvent that WILL remove the transfers. You could use capactive touch switches instead of tactile switches to keep the surface pristine when not in use. That idea is rather half-baked at this point, but might warrant further investigation. What do you think?

    I'd love this idea..

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    may i ask why not just use remote?

  7. #7
    FLA gospeed.racer's Avatar
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    I was just looking at this article a couple days ago and I think it may help you:

    http://www.llamma.com/xbox360/mods/x...0LED%20Mod.htm

    They are adding lights to XBox controller buttons- Might be able to use these ideas for your own buttons.
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    Maximum Bitrate seanz0rz's Avatar
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    http://modasylum.com/content.php?nam...TTON_INTERFACE

    might help, this is what i using for mine. will probably make a wired remote though.
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  9. #9
    gps
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    Thumbs up

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoHybrid View Post
    for making those kind of controls, I would first suggest designing a circuit board that locates each button in an explicit location so you don't have to install 10 buttons one at a time, rather you can just snap/screw in the board and be done with it. Next to each microswitch, you should plan on an SMD LED for your back illumination. Now for the switch covers themselves it depends on the feel you want. I imagine you could create a soft button matrix with a white or translucent urethane, or you could make hard buttons with resin individually and fix them to the switch actuators with a spot of glue. Either way you'll probably need to make a tool for forming the buttons.

    as long as i'm brainstorming, I'll submit another idea i've had which is to cast your whole bezel in translucent plastic, use rub-on transfers as masks, and then use a paint that won't dissolve in a solvent that WILL remove the transfers. You could use capactive touch switches instead of tactile switches to keep the surface pristine when not in use. That idea is rather half-baked at this point, but might warrant further investigation. What do you think?
    Thanks.. That sounds great.

    Now lets get back to basics. I am very comfortable with all kinds of electronics.. so PCB, LEDs and (to some extent) SMDs are not a problem. I guess I'll have sufficient room to use full size LEDs behind the bezel for backlit illumination.

    The issue is transparency.. as you have figured out. How do we achieve this? I have earlier worked with a epoxy resin (for some other works, not fabrication), which seemed to be a bit translucent, but I am not sure if it will handle extreme weathers (temperatures and humidity) very well. It can be easily formed, and sanded. If you have any other specific material in mind, please bring to my notice.

    Whats a rub-on transfer? I have a vague idea.. but.. if I put paint over transfered image, and paint does not dissolve in solvent, How will translucent base be exposed to light? Lets bake your idea.. this seems to be a promising start

    Thank you all for help..

    -GPS

  10. #10
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    check out this thread:
    text on plastic


    i'm doing exactly what you're trying to do, here is a picture of the laser cut blank for the buttons:

    now i'm just waiting on the slow *** laser guy to cut my back lit buttons
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