The modHCI Panel is designed to make CAD and gaming faster and easier through the use of preconfigured shortcut buttons and switches, as well as giving your computer a boost in aesthetics with custom RGB lighting and other such novelties.
This project was inspired in part by the massive overhead control panel by smashcuts on reddit, but my aim is to make this system smaller, easier, and desk-friendly, i.e. you don't need to hang it from the ceiling. Mine also probably won't look as cool, because I prefer a simpler lighting setup (less soldering = happier hacking).
To increase portability and make it easier to convert to different desks, I've decided to make this a partially modular system - the left and right panels can be removed from the center panel, and are capable of independent operation (provided you have enough USB ports without the central hub).
The panels will be built from 1/8th inch plywood/MDF, with mounting holes cut in the top and some recessed areas for LED strips.
A quick overview of the subsystems we will possibly be making/using:
Number pad - for CAD, where the right hand is on the mouse. Used to input values for extrusion, shifting, etc. where the right hand is unavailiable. Self-contained.
Function Buttons - used for a variety of functions, can be assigned to any shortcut or key combination, i.e. CTRL-C or FN-F2 (Volume down on most keyboards). Powered by Arduino.
LED Controls - consist of a 5-way switch (from old electric guitar), and assorted buttons for queuing effects. Powered by Arduino.
USB Hub - combines all subsystems into one unit, allowing the use of other computer peripherals. Self-contained.
Function Buttons - Another set for any function, I intend to use these for play/pause and other sound-related controls. Powered by Arduino.
Buttons - used for "Jump" and "Fire" commands in MAME software, reconfigurable for other games as well. Powered by dedicated USB game controller.
4-Way Joystick - for MAME games, can also be reconfigured for other games as WASD or the Arrow keys. Powered by dedicated USB game controller.
RFID Unlock System & LCD - For unlocking various things across the computer. Powered by Arduino.
Rotary Knob - for selecting options within the RFID Unlock sytsem. Powered by Arduino.
A few of the subsystems within a single module may share control boards, especially the Arduino systems.