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'[EE]: Making a keypad'
2001\02\27@234822 by Simon Ethier

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I was lloking to buy a keypad but found that they are pretty expensive, not less than 30-40$ and up ... So I was wondering, did any of you tried to make your own ? I know you only need 16 switch N.O. and hook then like the matrix in the keypad, but I was wondering if you guys had some ideas on how to make it look good ?

If you already made one, please tell me what you did and what it looked like (if you have some pictures...)

thanks !
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2001\02\28@004720 by Mark Whittington

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On Tue, 27 Feb 2001, Simon Ethier wrote:

> If you already made one, please tell me what you did and what it looked like (if you have some pictures...)

Check out: http://www.cbridge.com/proj2.htm

They sell a photo silk-screen kit (similar to photo-etch PCB's) and one of
the projects on their website is for making custom touchpads.  I've
purchased their product, but haven't yet used it so I can't say how well
it works.

-Mark

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2001\02\28@005202 by Herbert Graf

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> I was lloking to buy a keypad but found that they are pretty
> expensive, not less than 30-40$ and up ... So I was wondering,
> did any of you tried to make your own ? I know you only need 16
> switch N.O. and hook then like the matrix in the keypad, but I
> was wondering if you guys had some ideas on how to make it look good ?

    I agree, keypads new are stupidly expensive, but on the surplus market
they are dirt cheap. Try one of the surplus stores in your area or if you
want an online source try http://www.bgmicro.com, I ordered a couple LCD
character modules from them and was very impressed by their service (since
I'm not in the US but in Canada). TTYL

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2001\02\28@005236 by mmucker

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Doesn't your town have a surplus electronics store?  :)

I can regularly get matrix keypads of all kinds and sizes for ~$5 US at
Tanner's in Dallas.

Fry's has a matrix keypad in a box for a lot less than that.  It even has a
transparent overlay so you can label your buttons.

-matt

> {Original Message removed}

2001\02\28@051915 by Chris Carr
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I was lloking to buy a keypad but found that they are pretty expensive, not
less than 30-40$ and up ... So I was wondering, did any of you tried to make
your own ? I know you only need 16 switch N.O. and hook then like the matrix
in the keypad, but I was wondering if you guys had some ideas on how to make
it look good ?

If you already made one, please tell me what you did and what it looked like
(if you have some pictures...)

Old video recorders are a good source of components and construction
techniques. They almost invariably use little N.O. push switches behind the
front panel buttons. With a little care, a soldering iron, and a small flat
blade screwdriver they can be levered off the pcb and re-used.

Motors can be recycled into models, Inductors into transmitter and
receivers, crystals to PIC clocks. But I don't recommend recycling the
electrolytic capacitors, they tend to have a finite life.

Regards
Chris

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2001\02\28@055339 by Thomas C. Sefranek

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If you are in the USA, I will send you a keypad.

Simon Ethier wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\02\28@081051 by Jinx

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> hook then like the matrix in the keypad, but I was wondering if you
> guys had some ideas on how to make it look good ?
>
> If you already made one, please tell me what you did and what it
> looked like (if you have some pictures...)

Can't do you a photo right now but I have a diagram of how I use
pushbuttons under wood panels

http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/joecolquitt/temp.html

More often than not I make my own keyboards from either new (10c)
or scavenged parts, as you say VCRs etc are good sources. Polished
plain wood panels with little black perspex dot buttons looks classy, and
there's no limit to the depth behind the fascia that the switches can be.
If you have a router you can make fancy countersunk holes, or otherwise
an ordinary (sharp) drill is just dandy. You need a 1mm drill for a hole in
the perspex rods to thread them together with wire (to stop them falling
out). The plastic sheet keeps dust out. I use laminate, which is a type of
polyethylene I think, tough but flexible. I prefer black 6mm perspex rod,
but pot shaft cut-offs, aluminium or black plastic, look OK too

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2001\02\28@084921 by Bob Ammerman

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>      I agree, keypads new are stupidly expensive, but on the surplus
market
> they are dirt cheap. Try one of the surplus stores in your area or if you
> want an online source try http://www.bgmicro.com, I ordered a couple LCD
> character modules from them and was very impressed by their service (since
> I'm not in the US but in Canada). TTYL

Yes, BGMICRO have a couple of nice keypads.

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>

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2001\02\28@104930 by Simon Ethier

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I'm in Canada too ... in Montreal more exactly ... do you know one surplus
in here ?

thanks

----- Original Message -----
From: "Herbert Graf" <EraseMEmailinglistspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTFARCITE.NET>
To: <PICLISTspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2001 12:26 AM
Subject: Re: [EE]: Making a keypad


> > I was lloking to buy a keypad but found that they are pretty
> > expensive, not less than 30-40$ and up ... So I was wondering,
> > did any of you tried to make your own ? I know you only need 16
> > switch N.O. and hook then like the matrix in the keypad, but I
> > was wondering if you guys had some ideas on how to make it look good ?
>
>      I agree, keypads new are stupidly expensive, but on the surplus
market
{Quote hidden}

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2001\02\28@110154 by Simon Ethier

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Why not if I'm in Canada :)  I'd love that ...

thanks
----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas C. Sefranek" <@spam@tcsKILLspamspamCMCORP.COM>
To: <KILLspamPICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2001 5:52 AM
Subject: Re: [EE]: Making a keypad


> If you are in the USA, I will send you a keypad.
>
> Simon Ethier wrote:
>
> > I was lloking to buy a keypad but found that they are pretty expensive,
not less than 30-40$ and up ... So I was wondering, did any of you tried to
make your own ? I know you only need 16 switch N.O. and hook then like the
matrix in the keypad, but I was wondering if you guys had some ideas on how
to make it look good ?
> >
> > If you already made one, please tell me what you did and what it looked
like (if you have some pictures...)
{Quote hidden}

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2001\02\28@111210 by Dal Wheeler

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I for one like to see a photo of one of your finished wood keypads sometime
when you have time to publish one.  The diagram looks like it could turn out
really nice.  You could probably even backlight some of these buttons as
well.  I might just do something like this for a car project I've been
thinking about...

> Can't do you a photo right now but I have a diagram of how I use
> pushbuttons under wood panels
>
> http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/joecolquitt/temp.html

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2001\02\28@112045 by Simon Ethier

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But are all the keypad layer Blue ?? I don't quite like them .. hehe


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Whittington" <TakeThisOuTmarkcEraseMEspamspam_OUTLIQUIDEV.COM>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2001 12:10 AM
Subject: Re: [EE]: Making a keypad


> On Tue, 27 Feb 2001, Simon Ethier wrote:
>
> > If you already made one, please tell me what you did and what it looked
like (if you have some pictures...)
{Quote hidden}

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2001\02\28@122441 by Alan B. Pearce

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> Check out: http://www.cbridge.com/proj2.htm
>
> They sell a photo silk-screen kit (similar to photo-etch PCB's) and one of
> the projects on their website is for making custom touchpads.  I've
> purchased their product, but haven't yet used it so I can't say how well
> it works.

Certainly looks like it could be used to make a mask for UV photo exposed boards
if doing more than one off. Just how opaque is it to UV?

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2001\02\28@133142 by Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO]

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       Neat idea!. Hmm. Thinking about this, there's no reason you need the
silk-screen paper. If you have a color printer that can print on
transparancy paper, you can make the legend/keypad area yourself. Just print
it mirror image so the ink is protected. Then paint conductive ink either on
the backside or on a separate page. I think I must try this myself. BTW,
that product looks pretty cool.

{Original Message removed}

2001\02\28@172228 by Jinx

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>The diagram looks like it could turn out really nice.  You could
> probably even backlight some of these buttons as well.  I might
> just do something like this for a car project I've been thinking
> about...

It's a bit of an effort to make it look nice but it's worth it. (I
should have mentioned that any routing or drilling should be
done through a piece of scrap to avoid splintering the hole
edges). The thing I like about this method is that it's flexible
when it comes to materials, could probably be done
economically in a production run (if the product warranted
it), and a one-off is easy to do at home. When you get right
down to it, sometimes "off-the-shelf plastic" just isn't tasty
enough. Making the insides work is just the start, there's
aesthetics too. Have a look around Bryan Mumford's site
http://www.bmumford.com , which has a better collection of pics
than I have of wood+electronics. There are some excellent
ideas to be had if you have a wander around the web looking
out for horologists (seemingly where art meets science most
often), automatons and long-forgotten gizmos such as those
wacky Victorian medical contraptions at antiquities museums.
It's not that long ago that hand-made was the norm. Wanna
be impressed ?

http://homestead.com/bikerodnkustom/woodeye.html

Backlighting is an option especially if you use clear perspex.
You could have a different colour for each button, flash them,
strobe them etc. I have one drawn up that will use dark wood
buttons against light wood panel. I'm thinking of making the
buttons 10mm diameter, which is wide enough to drill through
and insert a round flat-top LED. If you can't turn your own wood
you could use dowel and stick veneer on the end or paint it

(and a link to Nixie tube clocks re: another thread)

http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~wwl/mikesclocks.html

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'[EE]: Making a keypad'
2001\03\01@155924 by Peter L. Peres
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I have made several some time ago. My best result was a small (4x6 I
think) keypad. I used a normal breadboard, miniature pushbutton switches
(7.5 x 7.5mm with four pins SPST). Then I made a grid of plastic spacers
just as tall as the undepressed switches (by sawing a plastic ruler). Over
this I stretched a vinyl foil which was printed with symbols in a printer
and glued a sheet of transparent plastic over it. The result looks good
and works well but it feels a little odd to the touch. Next time I'll try
to use switches with a larger button (these had round buttons).

It was far too much work to be worth your while, but it is good for
learning. Oh, and I had a large key (like a spacebar). This had a piece of
plastic ruler glued between the vinyl and the transparent sheet spanning
two keys (in parallel) with missing walls in the grid underneath. I think
that the transparent adhesive sheet is sold for some purpose that escapes
me. I just borrowed some from an artist friend.

hope this helps,

Peter

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