How to Control the LEDs on a Novation Launchkey Mini II

I picked up a Novation Launchkey Mini II controller last year when I was working with those musical floppy drives, and recently I fell down the rabbit hole of Launchpad LED performance videos. That got me thinking: is it possible to control the LEDs on a Launchkey Mini like you can on a Launchpad? There’s surprisingly little information about this. Novation’s user guide for the Launchkey Mini has no mention of how to control the LEDs. There is some information available in a “programmer’s reference” manual for the Launchkey II (not the “Mini” version), but sadly the LED components don’t function the…

How to Use a Wii Nunchuk with an Arduino

When the Nintendo Wii was released in 2006, there was a lot of talk about their new weird control system. In place of a typical control pad, players would use a one-handed “remote” with infrared sensors and accelerometers in place of a joystick. For those games that required additional controls, players would use an accessory controller in their off-hand. This ‘accessory’ controller is the Nunchuk. A strange, bean-shaped attachment with a joystick, two buttons, and a three-axis accelerometer. Although the Nunchuk had a lukewarm response when it was first released, it’s the perfect controller for makers who want to add some fine…

Repurposing the Staples Easy Button

If you’re looking for a big project button, you can find it at Staples. Introduced as part of their “That Was Easy” marketing campaign in 2005, the easy button is a large red button that, when pressed, says the phrase “that was easy” via a small speaker. Its low price of $6.99 is enticing. What if instead of buying a purpose-built large button, we can repurpose an Easy Button for our projects instead?