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Illuminated buttons for custom console

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  • Illuminated buttons for custom console

    I have developed a 'console' device constisting of a PICmirco interfaced with a character LCD (have no desire for TFT yet), and selection of buttons and an IR receiver/decoder. It communicates with the PC via serial. This device is also responsible for shutdown control (although that bit is not completely finished yet).

    My problem is that at the moment I am just using buttons I got from RS. They look very amaturish and are not illuminated. I don't really want to use a numeric keypad. What I would really like are buttons similar to the ones you see on commercial car stereos. Preferably including illumination and if possible printed symbols/letters.

    Does anyone know where to get such buttons.


  • #2
    Digikey and Mouser sell that kind of stuff...don't have the exact web address, but I'll bet will work for both.

    But you may have to do some customizing.
    current projects


    • #3
      Thanks for the info. I checked out digikey and mouser. They really just retail the same sort of stuff as RS. Any buttons that include illumination are for industrial applications and are mostly huge and/or ugly.

      But, I had a look around your site (real nice dash install) and came across your custom keyboard thing. I see you used standard momentary push buttons with the intention of putting caps on them. You have made me decide to go the same route (with leds on the PCB for illumination). Most commercial stuff seems to do it that way anyway - it was broke so I took it apart

      Did you manage to find/make any key caps? Any ideas how they could be made? I was thinking of using small squares of diffuse plexiglass with a slightly larger bit behind to retain the cap behind the enclosure panel.

      What do you (or anyone else) think?
      Has anyone done anything similar?

      [ 01-12-2002: Message edited by: mccleanp ]


      • #4
        What about this or this, both from the pushbuttons category of
        Debt as of 1/1/05: $34,354.48
        Debt as of July 4, 2007: $0.00 explanation
        I'M DEBT FREE!!
        I'm now a reasonably successful gunblogger.


        • #5
          I've been playing with the idea of hacking apart an illumiated remote..
          [SIZE=1]'91 Nissan Stanza

          [XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX] XX% Completed -
          Car Totaled and i bought a 20G mp3 player

          a DIY video projector page


          • #6
            iused buttons froma super nintendo controller as the caps for my keys. These illuminated keys look cool though and I may purchase some for my next attempt. I don't know what I would use though for keys. In theory some diffuse plexiglass wound be great but I don't know how to machine it to shape...

            anyone work for apple? they sure know how to work with clear plastics.


            • #7
              what about taking apart an old VCR and using its controler?
              It would be really cool to get those kind of keys for next back play pause and stop...
              Still Building the rest


              • #8
                thats what i was thinking..

                Something like this one

                Just emailed the seller to see if he had any damaged ones of parts.

                Hmm just found this

                [ 01-14-2002: Message edited by: Machs_FueL ]
                [SIZE=1]'91 Nissan Stanza

                [XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX] XX% Completed -
                Car Totaled and i bought a 20G mp3 player

                a DIY video projector page


                • #9
                  I like mine!
         M.A.V.I.C. System
                  Asus MB, PII 266, 192 MB Ram, 6.8" LCD, 6 Disk CD-ROM, 21 Gig HD, All-in-Wonder Video w/ TV Tuner, Irman, Windows ME, Winamp, Cobra III -- All in a custom acrylic case.

         MP3car Listings - Please add to it! :)


                  • #10
                    I haven't done any more with my keyboard. I am not sure yet how many keys I want to have on it. Also the LED power shorted something bad, and blew a fuse on the computer, I was able to fix the computer, but haven't tested the keyboard yet.

                    I lost the link but there is a website about a playstation, or nintendo was turned into a hand held portable...the important part is how the guy made the game controller switches. If I find the link somehow I will edit this message.
                    current projects


                    • #11
                      u can get that glow wire, like EL cable but thinner and wrap it around the keys (pull keys off wrap under it, so it glows through the gaps) of the keypad, keyboard, other buttons etc. powered by 5v so u can just wire it to the ps2 port also


                      • #12
                        That may not be such a bad idea Paulzy.... When I first read what you were writing... I was expecting you to say wrap it around the buttons.... On the outside.... . I'm not sure if you all ever saw the ghetto job that was done in the adverisement for Target using their neon wires. It was hilarious... I still laugh about getting a tube of super glue with it.

                        I like your thought of using it as backlighting...

                        ~Brent "DD"
                        Brent Parsons
                        Raleigh, NC
                        Just purchased '01 Loaded Accord
                        that is begging for a computer


                        • #13
                          I'm gonna hack a backlit remote control or a cell phone keypad as soon as I finish remodeling my house...(never?)
                          I'm gonna use blue LEDS
                          If it ain't broken, open it to see what makes it "tick".