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Thread: Looking for keys/buttons for custom keypad

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Bay Area, California, USA
    Posts
    64

    Looking for keys/buttons for custom keypad

    Hello!

    This is my first time posting here, and I have read many messages from a lot of nice people and I am hoping someone can help me now.

    I am building my first car MP3 player. I am still gathering parts, but I think I am almost there.

    One of the things I want to put on it is a custom keypad. I don't want to use one of the number keypads I have seen.

    I read many posts here of people who used the controller of an old keyboard, so I did that already.

    Now I am going to use some of these switches: http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bi...gi?item=PB-122 to power up the keys.

    The only problem I have is making the actual buttons. I plan on using those little switches and put keys on the top. Kind of like taking the keys off a remote control and using those, so I found this: http://www.elderestore.com/Store/p1156.html

    But that thing is 40 bucks and doesn't even have all the keys I want!

    So I guess my question is: does anybody know where I can get keys for a custom keypad? Something I can put on those switches.

    I realize as I re-read my post that I'm not making a lot of sense, so if anyone wants I could probably draw what I have in mind.

    TIA.

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Vancouver,BC
    Posts
    213
    I know exactly what you mean.


    An idea for you to consider...

    Get a case, and drill holes on the cover for the buttons... place the buttons directly under the holes (from inside the box)... hopefully u have enough key button shaft length to get just EXACTLY to the surface of the cover of the case. You dont want it to stick out too far... otherwise it will make a bulge when u do the steps below. If your button doesnt have a very long shaft... (from the looks of that picture u posted... im thinking yes...) u can add a spacer.


    Then place a sheet of transparency or such... and over that goes a good thick piece of white paper... with boxes and characters inside them... (printed out with a computer).... place this over the transparency... then another clear transparency over that... (so u dont wear out the paper/printed surface...

    The lower transparency protects the paper from wearing out by the button surface... the top one protects from your hands.

    By pressing the appropriate "box" you press your respective button...

    This basically immitates the way the device you posted operates.

    I hope you can figure out what i was talking bout from my 2 min mental blurb...
    2001 PT Cruiser "BLK ICE"
    http://www.cobaltcarpc.com

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    haiti
    Posts
    201
    thats a good idea i think i might try it
    Apple Ipod 20gig 4th gen black and white. Saves you lots of time. and a pocketpc with wifi for the ocasional email cheking and mapping at a hotspot.

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Bay Area, California, USA
    Posts
    64
    Thnx vickumar.

    This sound like a pretty kewl idea. I shall try i once I receive my switches.

    BTW, your setup is niiice. First I thought your site was down but then I realized I had turned off plugins in Opera.

    Once again, thank you.

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Vancouver,BC
    Posts
    213
    No prob...


    My sites a bit dated... there are no pics of the updated box... just pix of my older one.

    new box
    2001 PT Cruiser "BLK ICE"
    http://www.cobaltcarpc.com

  6. #6
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Salina, KS
    Posts
    12
    what about night time driving? just being a flat sheet without any light won't it make things extremely difficult to display?

  7. #7
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Bay Area, California, USA
    Posts
    64
    Well, I am thinking of making a plexiglass case with a neon light inside. Hopefully that will be enough light to be able to see the keys.

    I should be getting the switches sometime thsi week. After that, it's time to save money for the LCD screen.

  8. #8
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Salina, KS
    Posts
    12
    ahh, ok. I'm running into the same problem but I'm going for an extremely stealth install. I'm looking to mount my controls in under a flap where my ashtray resides now.

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    282
    I made a custom keyboard and it is awsome!!! It is small, and does exactly what i need.

    Here are just a few links. The buttons i used are much like the ones you are looking at, only flat and white. I make the keyboard itsef out of a huggies baby wipes box. The letters are rubb-transfer letters, (craftstore $4.50) Then coated in clear nailpolish to protect em. Wirin the thing is a )(*&$%)*%(. But it is worth it in the end. Just use a standard keyboard controller and follow the traces to find where to connect the switches. For the lighting, i put two AA batteries inside and wired em to a switch and then to an led that is on the end of copper wire which holds it nicely above the keyboard. One supperbright green LED lights up my whole front seat not to mention the keys. good luck!

    Here are some pics:


    "A4 Quattro. Rocket Science."

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