• Waiting on PCBs

    Kevin Arne04/09/2019 at 20:57 0 comments

    Ordered PCBs

    I'm currently waiting on PCBs that I expect in the next week or so. This version of the board has no chance of being the final product because it lacks any sort of text output device, doesn't have the wiring for a rotary encoder (I broke out some of the Micro's pins for prototyping that part), has haphazard spacing of the buttons, probably has poorly-sized traces, and totally lacks mounting holes. It's basically something hideous that I can start coding with.

    Current Issues

    Programming Interface

    At the moment, I'm not sure how I'm going to implement an interface that the average consumer could use. That's partially going to depend on whether I provide this as a diy kit or as a finished product. I'm going to shoot for the latter, but might fail my way into the former. Having users modify a header file for the Arduino sketch would work, but recompiling and flashing the code to the Arduino isn't going to be very user-friendly.


    I'm also not sure how I'm going to allow users to switch between macro keyboards. At first, I thought that color coding would make sense by adding some RGB LEDs behind some frosted acrylic, but that limits the number of keyboards to the number of colors people can easily distinguish between and their memories. Each keyboard could be named and displayed on an LCD panel near the rotary encoder (knob), but traditional LCD panels are big and don't match the aesthetic I have in mind. OLED displays either for named keyboard or individual buttons that say the key functions are another option, but far more expensive than the other two options. I'll likely try some version of all three and decide which I like best.

    Rotary Encoder

    Finally, I don't really know how rotary encoders work yet, so I have some research to do.