I’ve been doing a little streaming on Twitch (hiya!), and a lot of streamers I follow have something called an Elgato Stream Deck. The Stream Deck is a small device with 15 buttons, each of which has its own customizable RGB icon. By configuring the bundled software, users can set button icons and macros to control your casting software, send messages in the stream chat, launch programs, and much much more. Unfortunately the Stream Deck is out of my price range, at a whopping $149.99 retail. Fortunately I think I can make something that replicates the basic functionality for a…
A couple of years ago I picked up an inexpensive sustain pedal for an electric piano at a garage sale. The piano itself wasn’t much to look at, but the pedal intrigued me… it’s a basic on/off switch, but the pedal itself feels fairly robust and I thought it would be a handy switch to have around. This past week I finally got around to doing something with it! I built a small box that converts the signal from the pedal into a keypress, allowing me to use this pedal as a foot-controlled hotkey for my PC.
For one of my recent projects, I needed a way to control some lights powered by a 120V household wall socket. Rather than reverse-engineering some commercial “smart outlets” for the task, I decided to try and do this the old-fashioned way by embedding relays in electrical boxes.
I’ve got buttons, a rotary encoder, a touch-sensitive antenna, and a fancy RGB LED. Now it’s time to tie everything together with a custom circuit board!
Using a Nerf Hammershot and an Arduino, I built my own custom video game controller for the character of McCree in Overwatch. Overview The Arduino inside of the Nerf gun acts as a mouse and keyboard, sending HID commands over USB to the computer. The trigger and hammer are wired to buttons, and the cylinder is wired to a rotary encoder. Pulling the trigger fires, sliding the hammer back “fans the hammer”, and spinning the cylinder reloads. The gun also includes an inertial measurement unit (IMU) with an accelerometer and a gyroscope. This allows me to track movement for aiming. McCree’s…
The time circuit display is a mix of three LED types: alphanumeric displays, seven-segment displays, and standalone 3 mm LEDs. Each one has a different height off of the circuit board and a different distance to the faceplate. I need to offset the components so all of the parts mate with the faceplate correctly, which requires sourcing LED standoffs and designing my own custom ones.
It’s been a long road to get to this point, but I’m finally at the stage where I can design the printed circuit board (PCB) for the time circuit display.
I’ve chosen the LED displays, found a matrix driver, and determined the final positions for each LED display on the faceplate. The next step in the time circuits project is to build a dedicated circuit board for each display. This process starts with creating an electrical schematic.