Today was a rather busy day. I spent most of it on the camper restoration. I took a break to get started on the camcorder buttons today though. I had an old Arduino Micro soldered to a protoboard in my hardware kit, and finally found a use for it: emulating a USB keyboard. It will read and denounce the button presses on the camcorder and spit out keyboard key presses to the Raspberry Pi running the camcorder software. So far I've only got the side buttons available as the top edge buttons had their momentary switches mounted to the main PCB that was taken out. It's a simple matter of soldering a row of buttons onto a PCB, mounting it under the outside buttons, and soldering on a connector. After the keyboard is made and programmed, the camera only needs a battery pack to be a stand-alone device. I'm considering mounting a USB battery bank inside the camera and building a connection on the back to accept Ryobi cordless tool batteries. We have half a dozen of those floating around already. After that, the only critical hardware missing is a microphone interface. The Raspberry Pi doesn't have an audio input at all. I find that rather annoying at times. In the end, I'll have a USB to XLR interface and proper mics.
If I remember correctly, the camcorder has 36 buttons and switches on it. I'll be adding more as I go for various things, and all will emulate keyboard button presses. A custom keyboard may eventually be made to control this camera. One of my IBM Model M keyboards will be the main keyboard for it once I get one of them working.
That's about it for this one. I may finish up the button mapping and coding for the keyboard tomorrow. If all goes very well, I'll have all the buttons hooked up and working.