Project announcement for mini keyboard and trackball combo
Here we go again:
as some of you may already have seen, I modded/built/fabricated a keyboard and trackball combo controller using;
a Sammy PS2 controller with keyboard built in,
a mini handheld trackball (usb)
a mini 4 port USB hub,
lots of plastic,
and a butane hot knife.
the thread related to the keyboard used for that mod can be found here, but you will have to dig a ways to get to my description of that project, or you can just go here for a pictorial view of the proccess ( www.angrymods.com/carpc/controller )
this unit works very well for controlling the carpc, but it has its limitations. it is a bit clunky, not my best craftsmanship, and the keys are tiny, soft rubber, not very "positive" so typing on it can be a bear.
right now my current controller is being used in the house for the mame arcade machine, www.angrymods.com/mame so this project will be expediated as a result of the need for a controller in the car.
This leads me to project number two.
I have priced out the nice little "ikey" controller, and at 25$ it is too steep. it lacks the extra buttons that the itype2 has, and the itype2 can be purchased for 9.99 though EB, or other sites online, and finally, - since I am going to butcher it anyway - Ill take the newer 9.99 itype2 instead.
(these buttons press really nice compaired to the keys on the sammy controller. nice positive click sounds when pressing. )
now, I have one of these joysticks apart on my workbench at home, and just like the sammy controller, the itype2 has the USB keyboard on a circuit board of its own, completely seperate from the PS2 joystick electronics.
how the unit works, is by hard wiring the usb keyboard and the usb trackball into two ports on a 4 port usb hub. this way the unit has only one wire from it, and it also provides the awesome feature of giving me a handy place to plug in my jump drive to sync up new mp3s into the carpc.
I have considered building this one using a trackPAD instead of a trackball, but as a huge fan of trackballs, the ball just seems more natural. if I went with a trackpad, the unit would be a bit larger in overall area, but it would be a lot thinner, so I may very well build one with a trackpad in the future, but for now, trackball it is..
I will be creating some sketches of the possible layout I will use on this mod, and will upload them soon.
the best place to find these mini usb trackballs is on ebay. (unless any of you know a better supplier, by all means contribute :)
I wish I could get my hands on some better, cheaper, or even smaller of these things, so if you know of any, please let me know!