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Working with CAD programs involves focusing on the task at hand and keyboard shortcuts can be very handy. Most software packages allow the user to customize these shortcuts but eventually, certain complex key combination can become a distraction.

[awende] over at Sparkfun has created a Cherry MX Keyboard which incorporates all of the Autodesk Eagle Shortcuts to a single 4×4 matrix. The project exploits the Arduino Pro Mini’s ability to mimic an HID device over USB thereby enabling the DIY keyboard. Pushbuttons connected to the GPIOs are read by the Arduino and corresponding shortcut key presses are sent to the host machine.

Additional functionality is implemented using two rotary encoders and the Teensy encoder library. The first knob functions as a volume control with the push-button working as a mute button. The encoder is used to control the grid spacing and the embedded button is used to switch between imperial and metric units. The entire code, as well as the schematic, is available on GitHub for your hacking pleasure. It’s a polished project just ready for you to adapt.

The project can be extended to be used with other computer software such as Gimp and the keys may be replaced by capacitive touch sensors making it more sturdy. Bluetooth can be added to make things wireless and you can check out the Double Action Keyboard to extend functionality further.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, peripherals hacks

New Project: Make Your Own D*mn Board – Part 2: Routing

arduino, Eagle, Electronics, layout, modern device, pcb, RBBB, Software, tutorial Commenti disabilitati su New Project: Make Your Own D*mn Board – Part 2: Routing 

M36_089_SkillBld_F1We're learning how to use EAGLE by stepping through the design process for a basic Arduino-type AVR microcontroller development board, specifically the Really Bare Bones Board design by Paul Badger of Modern Device. In Part 1, we showed you how to lay out the schematic and validate it with EAGLE's built-in Electrical Rule Check. Here we'll show you how to establish the physical shape of the board and the actual copper pathways that make up the real circuit.

Read more on MAKE

En la anterior entrada he hablado de como convertir una pantalla LCD para comunicarse con nuestras placas Arduino a través del protocolo de comunicación I2C, la cual podéis ver aquí. Entonces decidí investigar acerca de como realizar un teclado I2C para poder trabajar con nuestro Arduino sin necesidad de utilizar un montón de pines digitales, […]

New Project: Make Your Own D*mn Board – Part 3: Silkscreen and Gerbers

arduino, Eagle, Electronics, layout, modern device, pcb, RBBB, Software, tutorial Commenti disabilitati su New Project: Make Your Own D*mn Board – Part 3: Silkscreen and Gerbers 

M36_089_SkillBld_F1Use EAGLE to design a bare bones Arduino board.

Read more on MAKE


My open-source, do-it-yourself cellphone (built with Arduino).

cellphone, CNC, Eagle, gsm, laser cutter, matrix, wireless, wood, Workshops Commenti disabilitati su My open-source, do-it-yourself cellphone (built with Arduino). 

DIY cellphone (in hand)

For a little over a year, I’ve been working on an open-source, DIY cellphone as part of my PhD research at the MIT Media Lab. The current version of the phone is based on the Arduino GSM shield and Arduino GSM library. It sports a deliberately low-resolution screen (8 characters, each a 5×7 matrix of LEDs), a laser-cut wooden enclosure, flexure (living hinge) buttons, and a ~1000-line Arduino program that powers the user interface. The phone can make and receive phone calls and text messages, includes a phone book and caller id, and keeps the time. Everything you’d expect from a 20-year old Nokia! (Except snake.) I’ve been using various iterations of the project as my primary cellphone for the past six months or so.

DIY Cellphone (LED matrix variant)DIY Cellphone (LED matrix variant)

The phone is open-source and the design files are available on GitHub (hardware, software). Assembly instructions are on my website, although I wouldn’t recommend making your own unless you have experience with soldering surface mount components.

Second DIY cellphone workshop

Of course, it’s not just me that’s been building these phones. I’ve run two workshops in which other people have made them for themselves. A few people have been building them on their own, including someone who posted his result on Twitter.

Ben Peters' Phone.Dena's purpleheart phoneNadya and Jeff making cellphones

Here you can see some the variations on the enclosure that my friends have made. On the left is a 3d-printed case by Ben Peters, the middle is a CNC-milled purpleheart wood case by Dena Molnar, and on the right is a hand-cut cardboard case by Jeffrey Warren.

DIY Cellphone Prototypes

The phone has undergone numerous revisions as I’ve tried to get it into a robust, useable form. Here you can see some of those variations. I started with an LCD screen like those found on old Nokia phones, but it would break after a month or so in my pocket, so I switched to the more-robust LED matrix. The enclosure has had a few tweaks as well, primarily to find a good design for the flexure buttons.

DIY Cellphone (LED matrix variant)

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the current incarnation. It seems to be relatively robust, simple enough to assemble by hand, and functional enough to use everyday (although a long way from a smart phone). That’s my DIY cellphone.

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