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  • Alternative input devices

    Has anyone here built an alternative input device, such as http://www.lynxmotion.com/irpd.htm mounted in the dash? I cringe at the thought of having a keyboard or keypad sitting up front, and touchscreens are really expensive. Anyway, something like this little device mounted in an array might be interesting for a basic input device for up/down/left/right/select with no moving parts.

  • #2
    you don't need a keyboard or mouse anyway.. i get by with just an IRman. In fact.. no one can ever find the reciever to it. I can pretty much totally control my setup with a remote and if worse comes to worse i have a small mouse hidden just in case
    '98 Explorer Sport
    http://mp3car.zcentric.com (down atm)
    AMD 800mhz 192megs RAM 60gig hard drive 9 inch widescreen VGA
    80% done

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    • #3
      have alook at the input device this guy made, its pretty crazy.

      http://www.bjblaster.com/Epia_Car_Mk...uter_MkIII.htm

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      • #4
        www.girder.nl has the software, all you need is some kind of remote...the ATI remote wonder works pretty good.
        current projects

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        • #5
          Originally posted by smobot
          Has anyone here built an alternative input device, such as http://www.lynxmotion.com/irpd.htm mounted in the dash? I cringe at the thought of having a keyboard or keypad sitting up front, and touchscreens are really expensive. Anyway, something like this little device mounted in an array might be interesting for a basic input device for up/down/left/right/select with no moving parts.
          I used a keyboard matrix pcb from an old keyboard, one with the flexible keypad inside. The keyboard matrix has a series of pins and the keypad is connected to these pins. The matrix scans each pin to find out which key is pressed at any time. If you connect any two of these pins on the matrix together you get to simulate a key press -> perfect to be used with momentary push-button switches.
          The only problem is that every keyboard has it's own combination of pins for a specific key.. For example on one keyboard matrix F1 key could be made by connecting pin 1 and 2, while on another keyboard it could be pin 3 and 15... but in the end it's not really a problem if you make your car pc software yourself as any key can be mapped to a software function and you don't need to find which combination of pins you need for a specific key.

          Space occupied by all this is just that of a small pcb and ps/2 cable and that of your front panel with the push-buttons, but that's just up to you how big you make it etc...

          Hope this helps
          Zulu

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          • #6
            Hi Zulu,

            A better solution might be this,

            http://www.x-keys.com/custom.htm

            Look at the X-Keys matrix board. They have complete documentation. It can also store keystroke or use the supplied macro software.

            Just a suggestion that might help others.

            Angelica

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            • #7
              Originally posted by zulu
              I used a keyboard matrix pcb from an old keyboard, one with the flexible keypad inside. The keyboard matrix has a series of pins and the keypad is connected to these pins. The matrix scans each pin to find out which key is pressed at any time. If you connect any two of these pins on the matrix together you get to simulate a key press -> perfect to be used with momentary push-button switches.
              The only problem is that every keyboard has it's own combination of pins for a specific key.. For example on one keyboard matrix F1 key could be made by connecting pin 1 and 2, while on another keyboard it could be pin 3 and 15... but in the end it's not really a problem if you make your car pc software yourself as any key can be mapped to a software function and you don't need to find which combination of pins you need for a specific key.

              Space occupied by all this is just that of a small pcb and ps/2 cable and that of your front panel with the push-buttons, but that's just up to you how big you make it etc...

              Hope this helps
              Zulu
              yeah this is what i'm doing atm, i got an incremential rotary encoder switch hooked up, anyone know anything about those??? trying to use girder as the interface
              Signature: [==||========] 20% complete

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nic
                yeah this is what i'm doing atm, i got an incremential rotary encoder switch hooked up, anyone know anything about those??? trying to use girder as the interface

                Check this out - a new one-handed keyboard from Frogpad

                You could mount this in the console between the seats. I'll bet with some practice it's pretty easy to use. USB input too.

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                • #9
                  I don't have a link, but if you are dead set on getting some buttons somewhere to run your computer, then go to an arcade game simulator site (mame is a good keyword) Then look for hardware for adding buttons...all sorts of interesting interfaces, USB, etc.
                  current projects

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by smobot
                    Check this out - a new one-handed keyboard from Frogpad

                    You could mount this in the console between the seats. I'll bet with some practice it's pretty easy to use. USB input too.
                    I was just reading this article at Cnet about that. It is 3x5inches. Unfortunately MSRB is $169.99. A little steep for a keyboard. Next year in the first quarter, they are releasing a bluetooth version.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DodgeCummins
                      I don't have a link, but if you are dead set on getting some buttons somewhere to run your computer, then go to an arcade game simulator site (mame is a good keyword) Then look for hardware for adding buttons...all sorts of interesting interfaces, USB, etc.
                      Its called the I-PAC. It plugs in the keyboard port and you can hook up different buttons to do different things.

                      Heres the link http://www.ultimarc.com/ipac1.html

                      Hope this helps.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Angelica
                        Hi Zulu,

                        A better solution might be this,

                        http://www.x-keys.com/custom.htm

                        Look at the X-Keys matrix board. They have complete documentation. It can also store keystroke or use the supplied macro software.

                        Just a suggestion that might help others.

                        Angelica
                        Hi Angelica,
                        great stuff... Definetely a better solution than mine, especially if
                        you want to build more than one system.
                        Personally I will stick (for now) with the old keyboard matrix because my objective was to spend as little as possible and reuse stuff that would otherwise just take dust.
                        However I have another project in mind and that's exactly what I needed.. thanx

                        Zulu

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